I’m in the Kitchen eating breakfast and my roommate Mike walks in.
We’re chit-chatting about Haunted Cornfields and how I’d love to go to one, but it’s an hour away!
“And you know that’s an awfully long drive for someone with Paruresis” I say.
“It’s an awfully long drive for anyone” he corrects me.
“True! The funny thing about Paruresis is that half of it is avoidance” I say. “I’d rather skip the Corn Maze because I might have to pee and it’s too far away from a safe bathroom!”
He just looks at me and contemplates this.
“I avoid situations that are uncomfortable for me because it’s easier to just not put myself into those scenarios”
“I can see that” Mike says.
“Like when we go to the Store or the Movies and you go into the restroom. I’ll stand outside and wait. My fear of stepping foot in the bathroom is high and it keeps me from even attempting it.”
He slowly nods
“I know that there are two things that I need to do to overcome my Paruresis. I need to force myself to enter the restrooms, even If I have to go or not. I just need to get used to them and to teach myself that it’s okay to go there. It will help me feel more relaxed and even allow myself to pee if need be.”
He nods again
“And secondly,” I continue “I need to get used to having someone close to me when I’m peeing. Like on the other side of the bathroom door or even right behind me or next to me, like at a urinal. That would have to be done in gradual steps of course, but that would help me get over my fear of peeing with other people around.”
Mike is silent for a second then says “What ever you need me to do, just tell me“.
I’m a little taken back by this
That’s pretty bold and pretty awesome.
“I want to, but I fear that you’ll not take it as serious as me” I say. “You’ll scare me, or bang on the door, or startle me and make things worse“.
He shook his head “That’s avoidance again!“
“I know” I say “But it makes me anxious!”
“That’s all in your head!” he said and walked out of the room.
It’s more mental than physical.
Paruresis makes me avoid even trying to recover because it’s the easy route to take.
Crazy isn’t it?
You’d think that your brain would say “You NEED to do this to get rid of your Phobia!“
It hangs on and puts up walls and makes you scared of things that haven’t or won’t ever happen.
It is all in my head!
I know that!
Maybe it’s time to quit avoiding it?
Because all this time, I’ve been living in my own haunted maze…
I’m looking for the way out!
And it’s right in front of me!