So today (Monday, October 14th, 2013) was my first full day of Gradual Exposure Therapy (GET) with a Pee Buddy (my Best Friend and Roommate Mike).
I went to the bathroom about 8 or 9 times today (only in my home for starters), and every time I had Mike stand on the other side of the bathroom door.
Generally this doesn’t bother me too much, since I’ve known Mike most of my life and I’m used to him moving up and down the hallway. Sometimes it makes me pause or hesitate, but as soon as he moved on I could pee.
Today was a little different!
Today I knew that he wasn’t moving about his business, he was actually standing directly on the other side of the door silently waiting and listening to me.
It took me longer to go than normal. Generally I can pee in under a minute. Today, double triple that!
I felt anxious knowing that he was only 2 feet away and listening to everything I did.
And when I say 2 feet, I mean it. The small bathroom (one of three in the house) has a toilet and a sink and barely any room to stand. It’s a spare bathroom right next to the Kitchen. It’s very convenient!
Well, the toilet is right next to the door (which swings out). So yes, anybody on the other side is literally just 2 feet away!
A couple of times I stood there for minutes without peeing. But, for the most part, I did pee every time, and it wasn’t that long of a wait. 3-4 minutes.
I also did load up on Coffee and Water throughout the day to help me go as well.
A few times Mike would talk to me, and I could often hear him shifting, shuffling or grunting as he patiently waited for me.
But each and every time I DID PEE!
One time I peed, flushed, washed and stepped out, only to have to turn around and go back in and pee some more “I thought I was done” I said “I have to pee again!“
Mike gave me a look, but he knows I often have to pee a couple of times, so he just kept playing with his iPhone. Never once did he act frustrated or bored with the whole exposure thing.
Most of the time he played games and paid me no attention.
I asked him if listening to someone else pee made him want to pee himself. He said “No. Unless I have to go, then it would. Just like the sound of running water does.”
I will say that I’m quite proud of myself for doing this the whole day. I thought it would be much tougher. I did feel bad to have to go up to Mike and make him stop what he was doing so he could be my Pee Buddy. But he said he would, so I’m taking full advantage of it.
Only twice did I actually pee without him around. One time was when I was doing #2 (his response was “Thank God I don’t have to hear that!“) ha, and the other time was when I was in the shower (that I can’t help).
Other than that, he was there every time!
This of course would have been more difficult if the person standing there was a complete stranger. But it’s baby steps first. I plan on making things get more and more difficult as I progress. I don’t want to rush things or over load my senses.
The last 2 times I peed tonight, I did up the ante some. I used the bigger bathroom in the back of the house (where the door swings in).
I closed the bathroom door without latching it and had Mike stand on the other side. The door was just bunted up against the latch. Mike could have easily pushed or bumped the door and it would have swung completely open. (I’m happy he didn’t, but thinking he could did make me hesitate more).
I still went both times, but it did take me twice as long. But no matter, I DID PEE! Yahoo!
One last thing I did during the afternoon, I stood there in the bathroom with Mike as he peed. That was ODD! (First time for everything!)
Doing that was me getting used to being in the bathroom and getting used to being around other people as they pee. It’s a natural thing, so I need to learn not to be embarrassed or humiliated by it. Desensitization!
Mike stood at the toilet and I stood behind him with my back to him. I wanted to stand close (like you would at a urinal), but of course I didn’t need to see anything, just be there to hear it.
That’s half of my anxiety!
Mike pees fast and loud so it was over in 30 seconds flat.
Me, not so fast. Sometimes poor Mike had to stand there for 3-4 minutes (it seems so much longer than it actually is). But he never said a discouraging word. He never made me feel uncomfortable or scared. He allowed me to pee in peace. I appreciate that!
Day one was a success!
Tomorrow will be a little bit tougher. Tomorrow I plan on having the door cracked open just a little bit more. A gap that I could peek through (like being in a stall).
Will I lock up? Will I be able to go?
I may crack under pressure, I may be able to pee.
Right now, I’m just getting used to peeing in close proximity with people. That’s a huge step for me.
Someday I fully expect to recover from this social phobia.
Will I be able to pee with the door wide open?
Only time will tell!