It’s been almost 8 years since my last post. A lot has changed since then. I’ve moved. Traveled. Seen a ton of shows. Taken road trips. Peed in public. Peed on planes. Peed in airports at the urinals… And still, to this day, I have issues with Paruresis…
Not as bad as I did…
And I think I know the reason why.
Because right now, I can cope. I can pee in public restrooms if needed. Nothing really has changed, except for one thing…
You see, when I started this journey, pee shyness was constantly on my mind. It consumed me. Almost tormented me. It was in my face 24/7. It practically took over my life. I fought hard to battle it, to stop it, to cure it and overcome it. I made a ton of successes. I was able to pee under extreme situations that I would have never been able to before. I learned how to fluid load, breath hold, and face my fears.
I wrote about it. In depth. I studied others. I practiced non-stop. I forced myself to endure and battle this demon inside me.
And then, life changed.
I moved to a new city. I started writing horror stories (go figure), I even wrote scripts. I started tons of other websites, I submerged myself in graphic design, and really got busy with clients. I also started up a new business that is doing rather well and I’m super happy about it.
My thought process shifted into other realms. I no longer had shy bladder on my mind every day, every stinking second. It took a back seat…
And when it did, I began to notice a change in me.
My anxiety decreased
That’s right. My constant worrying, anxious behavior, panic, all pretty much dissolved and diminished.
The less I thought about it, the less it bothered me. And when I did have to go to the bathroom in public, around others, in previously hard to envision circumstances, I tried not to even think about it. I just went in and did my business. I said to myself, if I pee, I pee. If not, oh well.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I would go in if I felt I had to, and just chill, make an attempt, not worry about time limits, and not beat myself up over the final outcome. Most of the time I succeeded, and peed, and was quite proud of myself. Sometimes I gave in, and tried again later. But the only thing that changed was me. My mindset. My own inner pressure that made me tense and overwhelmed.
And for the first time in my life, almost all of my horrible stress vanished.
I could go into bathrooms and pee.
Now, of course, this is all rather weird to hear. I mean, I just stopped thinking about it… It didn’t cure me. But it came close.
And, like I said, I still know I have Paruresis. I don’t think I’ve ever be rid of it. It is still present and tends to knock on my door when I’m out and about. I know it. I feel it. But I’m no longer worrying about it endlessly. I’ve accepted the fact that it won’t kill me. I will survive. I will move on with my life no matter what. So whether I go, or not, it doesn’t mean much. Because I did learn that if you fail, you just keep trying. Don’t worry about it. You will be able to go. And usually, the second time is golden. It works.
Yes you can go into stalls to make is easier. Yes you can breath hold in a pinch. Yes you can keep going back when the bathroom is empty… But you will succeed. You will eventually be able to go. And that reassurance has eased my tension. It’s made me more relaxed and more understanding of my situation.
Just last month I peed in a urinal in the airport (the first time I’ve been in an airport since Covid). No problems. I went.
A lot of it had to do with my attitude. When I was sitting in the terminal waiting to board, I suddenly felt the desire to urinate. And normally, I would sit there, consumed by it, stressed, panicked, worrying, wring my hands, fretting… And by the time I would go, it would be insanely hard. I would be a bundle of nerves.
But this time, when I felt the urge, I just excused myself, got up, and went. I didn’t hesitate, didn’t slow, just headed on in. And I think that helped massively. I didn’t have the time to drive myself crazy over it. I just went. And it worked.
So my friends suffering from the same symptoms as me, take this advice… Put it out of your mind.
I know that seems impossible. But it really is the truth. The more you worry about it, the worse it gets. So distance yourself.
Stop reading about it. Stop hesitating. Just go in and try. Make an attempt. And whatever you do, don’t be so hard on yourself if you fail. It’s not the final battle. It’s just a small speed bump in life.
Learn to cope with it.
Learn how to work with what you have and ease your mind. Find a way.
It will get easier. You just need to relax, calm yourself, and never give up.
Give your brain a rest.
And the rest will come.