In all the books that I have read so far (on the right), they all talk about making a list of bathroom situations that you fear from 0-10 (or more). It’s not the easiest thing to put your phobia in order. But I tried…
Below is my list
I only made one that goes 0-10 (0 is the least feared, where 10 is the most feared). It was a very interesting experience ranking these, since most bathroom experiences are fearful to me. I have a hard time even stepping foot in a public bathroom…
My 0 starts out with the best situation, one where I have no fear whatsoever…
0) Bathroom at Home
My Bathroom at Home is my safe haven. When I’m alone, by myself I have no problems peeing. No anxiety. I can pee with no pressure.
1) Bathroom at Home, People Present
When I’m at home, and guests are over (get together, party). Things get a bit more difficult. I can go, but I usually head towards the bathroom at the other end of the house (one that guests won’t be using). Just so they won’t be able to hear me, or see me as I enter and leave the john.
2) Single Locked Public Bathroom
A Single Locked Public Bathroom is the next best scenario (like the bathroom at my work). I can usually go with no problems…
As long as there are no people directly on the other side of the door. Working, talking, laughing… If they are right on the other side, and I can hear them, then I know they can probably hear me too. This makes it more difficult to go, but I still normally can.
Single Locked Bathrooms that have a large gap under the door (my work bathroom has 1 1/2″ gap), or ones where the trim or molding is loose and there is a faint gap around the door frame, makes it much more difficult to go. Especially if other people are present outside (and especially if those people are strangers).
3) Large, Loud, Public Bathroom, Plenty of Empty Stalls
If the restroom is a large one, with music playing, plenty of urinals and empty stalls, and very little (or no) foot traffic, I can usually pee within a couple of minutes.
The loud music, or noise (sinks, dryers) helps drown out the sound of my peeing and masks other guys as well. White noise!
If I have little worry about someone coming in and using the stall next to mine (I always try for a corner stall), then I can go. It may take me a couple of minutes, but I can go.
4) Medium Bathroom, Steady Traffic, Empty Stalls
If the bathroom is a medium sized bathroom, with just a couple (2-3) empty stalls, and steady traffic, things get much harder to go. Especially if the bathroom is a quiet one.
The odds increase with the less stalls that someone will come in and use one… I know I have to pee quick and get out. My anxiety starts to rise every second longer it takes me to pee.
5) Medium Bathroom, Busy, Stalls half Empty
With a medium sized busy bathroom, with half the stalls filled, anxiety increases. I have to pick a stall that isn’t used and hopefully get one that isn’t surrounded by other guys in other stalls (almost impossible).
When I can stand there and hear them in the stalls down the line, shuffling around, making noise, doing their business, I feel myself locking down. If music is playing, it really helps to distract my attention. But if the bathroom is also quiet, then everything is escalated. I can almost hear my heart beat.
6) Medium Bathroom, Busy, Quiet, One Stall Open
This is very difficult for me. If the bathroom is a medium sized bathroom with lots of commotion and traffic, with no music playing, and every stall filled but one, I find it very difficult to go. My fear gets out of control.
I normally have to wait in the stall until one of the stalls next to me leaves… With both stalls next to me filled, and both taking a crap, where I can see their feet moving just inches from my stall… It’s almost a no go.
This type of situation could take me up to ten minutes or more to go. My heart will race heavily. My bladder will lock up. My only saving grace is if one or both of the guys goes quickly and leaves and it gives me enough time to pee.
7) Intermission at a Theater or Play
Those 15 minute Intermissions at Plays or Musicals are horrible. 15 minutes, with a small bathroom, and 1500 guys wanting to pee. And what makes this a very scary scene is the long line of guys out the mens room door.
When a line forms and it gets really long down the hall, they always hold the bathroom door open. Now everyone within eye sight can see into the john and see guys peeing at the urinals, and see their feet under the stalls.
They are all watching, judging.
It gets really bad when it’s close to your turn… You never know if you’ll get a urinal or a stall. Usually my odds are not good. I always have to tell guys behind me to go first…
I HATE THIS!
I have to wait for a stinky stall. I’ve never peed at a urinal and never could under these circumstances.
8) Airport Bathrooms
Airport Bathrooms are such a fear of mine. Huge, huge traffic. They are loud, noisy, moving fast and very stressful. Plus, the anxiety of flying doesn’t help the matter.
Everything is on a time limit! Gates are closing… People are coming and going in the stalls next to mine. Doors are slamming, startling me. The auto-flush goes off at random times making me jump. Guys are taking smelly dumps (Airplane food) right next to me. They are tapping their feet…
The Janitor is moping the floors, his mop is going under the stall doors… UGH!
I hate the Airports (but I do love to fly).
9) Concerts, Arenas, Sporting Event Bathrooms
Thousands of guys flooding the bathrooms endlessly. No peace and quiet. It’s noisy. Guys are loudly talking. Some are drunk and staggering. The stall doors are gapped apart or broken. The toilets are plugged and overflowing with paper and God knows what. Some are arguing about the score or the team…
It’s extremely difficult for me to even step foot in one of these bathrooms. They are always dirty and wet. I don’t want to look at anything or touch anything. These types of bathrooms could lock me up forever. I usually can never go. Never!
10) Bathrooms with No Stalls!
A bathroom that has no stalls (or where the stall is out of commission) is an impossible mission for me. When I walk in and see nothing but urinals or troughs, I CAN’T GO. I can’t even attempt to go. I stand there horrified, and am ashamed of having to turn around and bolt back out the door with a screaming bladder. There is no way…
Urinals are totally foreign to me and I can’t ever recall in my life using them. Ever!
Urinals are my Ultimate Nightmare!
So there you have it. My ranking from least to most feared. I guess the way to concur these fears is to take them one gradual step at a time and build up. I’m already doing steps 0 – 2 now. I do these just about everyday. So step 3 is where I really need to begin.
Step 3 is the first step: A Large, Loud, Public Bathroom with Plenty of Empty Stalls and very little traffic! I can do that! I know I can…
Now all I got to do is find this bathroom…
One bathroom at a time!