How Alcohol Affects Paruresis

I often wonder, if I drank, how different my life would be.

I never drink as a young adult, I didn’t drink at all in my 20’s. I may have had one small sip of champagne at New Year’s, but that’s about it.

I always contributed it to the fact that my dad was an alcoholic and used to beat me. I swore I never wanted to be like him. Hence I stayed away from alcohol as much as possible.

But that of course is not entirely the truth!

That’s what I used to tell people.

Paruresis also had a lot to do with it.

For the more I drank in public the more I would need to pee…

And that frightened me!

So when I would go out to the bars or events I wouldn’t drink. I literally drank nothing. I would dehydrate myself all night.

But I often wonder if that was the right thing to do?

As one reader of this blog and a fellow Paruretic pointed out (college kid), that alcohol actually helped him overcome his pee shyness. He said it lowered his inhibitions and allowed him more success at peeing in urinals around other guys. He went on to say:

Drinking helps you pee, and is good even after you mess up, because it helps you come across stronger… After like 5 beers, any man can pee anywhere is what I am saying.

So yes, I do think about it a lot!

Would my life have been different if I drink like my friends?

How Alcohol Affects Paruresis?

They would down beer after beer and everything else, and have such a great time whooping and hollering. But not me. I would just stand there and watch them get drunk, and it always made me feel out of place, like I didn’t belong. If I drank back then, would it have allowed me to pee in public? Loosen me up enough where it didn’t bother me? Who knows?

But I do remember some of those bathrooms…

I remember being scared to death of them.

There were always young people everywhere, talking, laughing, drinking… Macho Guys, Beautiful Girls… and here I am like a deer in headlights, walking in with my tail between my legs.

I hated those days!

For it took a lot for me to venture into those bathrooms as it was. I had to be so desperate to pee that I had no choice. I had to walk in and at least make an attempt, it was that bad. But it got worse… Most of the men’s bathrooms were nothing but a wall of urinals. And when I would walk into those bathrooms I felt like I would just die. I would stand there and pretend to pee, and of course I couldn’t. I would have to leave the bar and drive the 45 minutes home just to finally be able to urinate in a safe bathroom.

That’s why I hated the bar scene, hated socializing, and of course, hated drinking.

Over the years my Paruresis got worse!

I told no one, I hid it, kept it bottled up for 45 years.

Even my best friend for 15 years had no idea I was Pee Shy.

Over the last few years, as I get older, I have started drinking a little. If you could call it drinking.

My drinking consist of a glass of Moscato D’Asti (Sweet Wine) maybe once or twice a month. And every now and then I’ll also have a Mike’s Hard Lemonade (Cranberry), or a Strawberry Daiquiri. I know, wimpy drinks, but that’s me. Drinks that taste more like Kool-Aid than anything.

I don’t drink anything else!

No beer, no hard alcohol, nothing.

But my friend sure do.

They know how to party!

And when I’m around them and they’re drinking like crazy, I still feel out of place. I never feel like I fit in. I never have. Every now and then I think “maybe I should just get drunk like everyone else”?

For that’s something that I’ve never been:


(although all my friends vow one day to get me drunk!)

It’s just one of those things that I ponder. Did I make the right choice? I tend to believe I did because I’m not an alcoholic like my father.

But in the back of my mind, I still think, what if?

What if?

My whole life could have been different.

Maybe I could have cured Paruresis with a Cocktail???

Would that have been enough? Would have lowered my guard?

Enabled me to Pee in Public?

It’s something I’ll never know.

But if I was young, and I knew what I did today, I think I probably would try…

Because after 47 years of living in hell, I’d try just about anything!

What about you?


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