If only I had know what Paruresis was when I was 20…
Back then, I had no idea what Bashful Bladder was, I didn’t know that’s what I had. I had never heard of it before. I grew up on a farm raising Cows and Pigs and Chickens. No one ever talked about it. It’s not something that casually came up during Sunday Supper “Pass the Rolls Please, Oh Yeah, I’m Pee Shy!“
Who knew? I just thought I was weird and different and timid. I thought my shyness and my fear was Caused by my Dad (I still do – the bastard beat me). Who knew it was a real condition that affected 20 million people in the USA?
If I had known back then what I know now, things would have been much different for me. I would have nipped it in the bud back then, before it grew and festered and consumed my sanity.
Because as the years went by, my Paruresis got worse. That’s what this Phobia does! It’s shame based and secretive and mushrooms if left un-attended. Years went by. I started noticing it’s hold on me and how I couldn’t use the bathroom like other guys. I just thought it was me. That’s how I am (Thank you Dad). I’m afraid!
If I had known about Breath Hold back then…
I do feel that my entire life would have been different.
Who knows where I would have ended up? What I would have done. What I would have seen. Become. Be with.
Everything in my life could be totally open and free, a life without Paruresis!
But I can’t undo the past. I can’t change that fact, nor dwell on it. I know what I have now, and that’s all that matters.
Because NOW I am doing something about it. I am taking a stand and fighting back.
I’m determined to win this battle!
Today, I practiced Breath Hold with every pee I took. It worked like a charm! :)
I used it when I peed by myself, I used it when I peed with my Pee Buddy Mike (who stood by my side at the toilet – rather bored lol). So Breath Hold IS working, and I ALWAYS get my urine to flow. Always! Maybe not full force, but it goes, and I do empty my bladder. So I couldn’t ask for more.
I also find that I’m getting better at not gasping at the end. I’m learning to keep myself relaxed, especially when your body starts to involuntarily quake. It also seems that the more I practice the faster this gasping point comes about. Like it’s learning WHEN to pee!
As soon as my body wants to convulse, I relax and let it go. I make myself calm and not be scared to go there, because I know, within seconds, I’ll be peeing. And it works!
Relaxing towards the end does make it all better and smoother.
My Next Big Goal!
My next BIG Goal though, won’t be easy. I’m going to push my limits to the extreme.
With the New Year coming, there’s no better time to set the bar high then now.
I’ve been desensitizing in Public Restrooms for a month already (with no need to pee). I’ve gone in just to get used to entering bathrooms, being in them, getting used to being around other guys peeing, the feeling, the sights, the sounds, the fear… And facing it. Learning that it’s not harmful to me and that I can stand there just like them and not feel intimidated by them. They aren’t watching me. They aren’t scrutinizing, laughing or judging. They don’t even know I’m there. I’m learning to relax and breath deep. It’s no big deal.
But Bow the Fun Begins!
My goals for the New Year will really test everything that I’ve learned so far. It does make me anxious just thinking about it, but that’s good. I know I’m going in for the kill.
Here are my Plans:
- Load Up on Water
- Don’t Pee 1 Hour Before I leave the House
- Go to a Public Bathroom with Moderate Traffic
- Pee using Breath Hold
Drink water beforehand and refrain from emptying your bladder in the hour before you leave home
Steven Soifer’s Book: Shy Bladder Syndrome talks about Fluid Loading (which has always terrified me). On page 43 (Step Four in the Gradual Exposure Therapy) says:
You need to drink a lot of fluids to the point that you feel you are going to burst
Steven Soifer does go onto say that:
The idea of fluid loading goes against one of the main coping mechanisms paruretics use, that is, controlling the intake of fluids in order to control the “when and where” of needing to urinate
He also gives a cautionary note at the end: “Do not overload on fluids“. LOL Nicely said. Thanks Steven, it sends shivers down my spine. Ha!
These steps are almost insane to think about. It breaks apart every safety net I have, because I DON’T drink fluids if I know I’m going out. I DO pee 2 or 3 times before I leave the house. And I haven’t had to actually worry about really peeing in a restroom, because I’ve been desensitizing and just standing there to squash my screaming fears.
Now Things Change!
Starting January 2nd, 2014… (lots of parties, New Years and New Years Day are very busy) I’m going to force myself out of my comfort shell. I’m going to face my Social Phobia head on.
No more beating around the bush. I’ll load up on water before I leave the house (I’ll cut back on Coffee since it has Caffeine and acts as a Stimulant). I’ll have no choice then, I’ll HAVE to Pee with a Full Bladder, like it or not!
Sounds Positively Dreadful! LOL
But, I think I’m ready. The only way to do it, is to just do it.
Next Year, I’m writing a whole new chapter in my life. It’s called:
I BEAT PARURESIS!
I’ll either beat it, or it’ll kill me.
Either way, it ENDS!