Like I said in my last couple of posts, I’ve been re-reading the books I have on Paruresis and they are just as interesting, inspiring and informative as before.
In fact, they mean more!
I’ve come a long way since then in my understanding of this condition, and it really touches my heart.
If you haven’t read any Books about Shy Bladder, then I urge you to do so. It will open your eyes!
Carol Olmert has a wonderful book on the subject called “Bathrooms Make Me Nervous“. It’s actually a great guide for Women with Urinary Anxiety, but there is nothing so “Women Specific” about it that it can’t help Men. Paruresis affects both Men and Women and I find her topics and conversations dead on! Anyone that has a Bashful Bladder will relate and appreciate the knowledge, conversations, stories and resources this book provides. It’s priceless when it comes to Recovery!
Chapter 5, Page 32…
On page 32 in her book, Carol really hits home with me. She writes:
Once you accept the fact that you are just as important as the next person, you are more than halfway toward your recovery”
This whole Chapter resonates deeply with me. The title of this Chapter, Chapter Five, is entitled “Why Can’t I Be Normal, Like All The Others”.
I Am There!
I get stuck in that phrase A LOT! I tend to beat myself up, hate myself, hate others and hate life. I need to learn to let it all go and accept who I am and that I do have Paruresis. So What?
Page 33 in her book, Carol goes on to say:
“It’s not your fault that you are a paruretic. You did nothing to create your symptoms”
Stop and think about that! Really let it soak in. It hits you like a ton of bricks.
She’s absolutely right. I didn’t create my Shy Bladder. Some people, as Olmert says, are just more sensitive than others and this “high sensitivity” is completely “normal“.
I need to Accept that!
I have ALWAYS felt alone, a side kick, like I never fit in. I feel especially awkward in large groups. I fidget, shuffle my feet, over compensate by telling funny stories or jokes…
It doesn’t matter. I’m just an odd ball.
People are looking at me. I say the wrong thing. I can read it in their eyes “Why’s he here?“
I don’t drink like them!
I don’t get drunk like them!
I don’t even go to the bathroom!
“Who is this guy?”
It’s tough to accept your “Special Traits” as only that; Special! How do you accept the fact that you are just as normal as the next?
I know I need to. I need to feel good about myself. I need to stop comparing myself to others.
Carol goes on to say that:
Urination is not a competition in which you’re trying to be the best, or “perfect” nor is it a performance test”
I always want to compare myself with the masculine guy who steps up to the urinal beside me. He unzips and is peeing within ten seconds. He’s peeing very forceful, fast and LOUD! He doesn’t care! He has to go!
20 Seconds later, he’s done, flushed and is washing up. I’m still standing there saying to myself “Why can’t I be like that?“
30 Seconds, he’s in and out!
The truth is, I’m NOT like him! Nor will I ever be like him. I have tons and tons of qualities about myself that make me different from him, and more than likely “better” than him!
He may be a good pee’er, but he may be scared to fly, or gets tongue tied around women. He may be really clumsy, have 6 toes, or have an IQ of 28. You just never know!
Life is all about balances, we all have our Strengths and Weaknesses! Mine just happens to be peeing.
It’s Who I Am!
I pee different than most men. Do they care? NOPE!
Neither should I.
If I have to stand at the urinal for 5 minutes, oh well! So be it! It doesn’t matter how many Men are waiting. I was here first. I’m important too!
Peeing is a bodily function that we all do. We all MUST do!
If I’m a slow starter, if it dribbles out, stops then goes, then that’s how it is. No one is going to notice. No one will say anything. No one is watching you. No one will laugh. No one! EVER!
So take a deep breath. Shake it off. Get it out of your mind. Relax. The only thing that matters is peeing. Take your time. Eventually you WILL go! Exhale. Relax your shoulders. Let the tension disperse. Concentrate on nothing else but peeing.
So What if Bathrooms Make Me Nervous?
I’m a nervous person! That doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, or an abnormal person, I am who I am.
I’m Richard. I’m recovering from Paruresis. Join me!
Little by little I’m taking the proper desensitization steps needed to be able to pee in a public restroom. No one said this would be easy!
It doesn’t matter how long I take. It doesn’t matter who’s in there. They’re all in there for one purpose, and one purpose only: To VOID!
And by golly, I AM NORMAL!
Because it all comes down to this:
It’s NOT my fault!