I love it when I’m reading a good book and the words just strike a tender nerve.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s the shot of adrenaline. The light bulb going off in your head. That “AH-HA” moment! Sometimes it’s a slap in the face, or a jolt that makes you sit up and take notice. You re-read the lines and the words over and over again. Soaking it all in. Living in the meaning…
This book that I’m reading “Bathrooms Make Me Nervous” by Carol Olmert did just that. It was a huge wake up call.
I thank Carol for that.
Chapter Nine, titled “Treatment of Paruresis” talks about both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Gradual Exposure Therapy (GET – Desensitization).
Page 83-84 is what struck a nerve.
Step 6 in the Gradual Exposure Section talks about deciding how often you need to practice (with a partner getting incrementally closer and closer).
It says to practice several times a week, but then goes on to say, and I’ll quote:
“The real answer to the question “How much should I practice?” is “How soon do you want to recover?“
That line hit me like a ton of bricks.
I read that line 2 days ago and I haven’t been the same since. I’ve been stuck on that phrase “How soon do you want to recover?“. It has all the meaning in the world to me. I’m still turning it over in my head.
I’ve put off doing Gradual Exposure because I’m scared to begin. I’m scared of going there.
To go there is to open myself up and to face my greatest fears… Urinating in front of people.
It’s not only made my heart race for 2 days, but it’s really pushing on my mental boundaries. I can feel it.
It’s pushing my mind, body and soul to the point of acceptance and saying “Okay, let’s begin!“
That’s a scary thought!
But it’s true. I must take a stand. Face the music.
I can take all the time I want to begin and practice… To get up the courage and determination, but the longer I put it off, the longer I dawdle, the longer it’s going to take to recover.
Do you want to recover NOW? Or do you want to recover in 20 years?
It’s up to you! Your choice!
It’s like dieting. You always say to yourself “I’ll start Tomorrow!” But Tomorrow never comes. In the meantime you eat like a pig and it just makes matters worse. You’re going in reverse!
Why procrastinate? Why not start TODAY!
Because it’s tough! It’s a huge challenge that will require the utmost enormous backbone and dedication. Putting one leg in front of the other is the only way to recover.
How long do I want it to take?
As little time as possible!
I’d like to be cured Today! Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Realistically, that’s not going to happen. But one day it will. I do believe that. And it all starts with that very first step.
Everything has a start and a finish. To get there, you only have to begin. Head in the right direction and never look back. Stick with it, keep moving forward. Keep your head up. Little by little it will happen.
Ultimately it doesn’t really matter how long it takes, as long as it works and you succeed in the end!
I’ve put a lot of effort in the last few days of my breath holding practice. So much so, that I feel like I’m actually learning it and it’s working. I can feel it happening. I do feel like progress is being made and I’m happy for that. Happy and excited!
But I also feel that the next battle has yet to begin. Battling my fears of the bathrooms, urinals, and urinating in the presence of people.
Gradual Exposure will help cure that…
Or at least help me get a handle on it.
I wanted to cure myself without a pee buddy. But I think now that one is quite necessary.
I need to ask my friend for help (remember him?) “You want me to watch you pee?“.
I’m nervous and anxious, but Carol’s book has given me a drive behind my purpose. It’s weighing heavily on me.
Do it. Do it. Do it!
Within the next couple of days I’m going to take that plunge. I’m going to ask my friend to be my pee buddy.
Just thinking about this makes my heart beat faster. That’s a good thing though. It means I’m manning up. I’m scared but facing reality.
I want to recover!
I want it bad.
Wish me luck!
I’m ready for the next chapter to begin. :)