Yesterday was a most interesting experiment in Paruresis 101.
I’m fighting this Social Disorder and it’s a constant battle!
Some Days you Win, Some Days you Lose; Yesterday was a little bit of both.
It all started around 3 p.m…
I’m drinking water at home (Very Brave of Me). Especially since I’d be out on the town ALL NIGHT!
We were going to eat at Frickers, and then we were off to a Hockey Game! And before I head out… I’m drinking like usual (Like I was NOT going out and NOT Dehydrating myself).
I drank Coffee, and around 3-ish, I drank 8 oz of water.
That should help give me an “urge“, because my goal was to Pee at the Arena! (Come Hell or High Water)
4 p.m. We Leave
We get to the restaurant, me and 4 other friends of mine, and I order a Root Beer (my Favorite Soda). I make sure that I drink the ENTIRE glass!
“Come on Urge!”
By 5:30, we were full and heading towards the game. I really was excited about tonight. I Soooooo wanted to Pee at the Arena!
And by the time we park, walk the Cold Parking Garage, get in, and find our seats…
I have to Pee!
So I excuse myself, and make my way to the bathroom (it was easy since I was sitting on the end and could come and go without bothering anyone else). I walk up the stairs, turn the corner, and the Men’s Bathroom is right there.
I Head In
I was expecting to see like 20 Urinals and plenty of Stalls… But what I see about floored me. I see 5 Urinals and 2 Stalls…
I could feel my heart rate increase greatly.
Those odds are NOT good! Chances are high that some guy will be on either one side or the other as I Pee! (If not on BOTH sides!)
I take a couple of deep breaths (which was probably the wrong thing to do), and head up to the last urinal on the right (#5). Another guy was already peeing in #2.
A couple of more guys were at the sinks, and both stalls were full…
I unzip, situate myself and HOLD MY BREATH!
“I can do this” I thought
I held my breath, and held it…
I could feel my heart beating quite heavily in my chest. It was pumping madly. My head began to pulse as well. I was struggling BIG TIME!
I tried desperately to calm myself and relax…
A guy enters the John and steps up to urinal #4. I feel the pressure and more anxiety sets in. My chest is screaming for air. My brain is on fire…
My lungs are Spasming, trying to expand…
And all the while I’m still not peeing, still holding on for dear life.
“Just a little more” I think
I remember what Dominic said in his Breath Hold Advice:
“If you’re not peeing, you’re not holding your breath long enough”
My chest starts pulsing, my head is about to burst.
Finally I feel my Pelvic Floor drop and a little urine comes out.
And then I lock up once more!
I can’t hold my breath anymore for I felt like I would pass out. I inhale slowly (so no one would know), and try to calm my body.
My head swoons, my chest hurts… It actually felt tender, like it was bruised.
I have NEVER felt anything like it. I would imagine that it was like some sort of Panic Attack. It wouldn’t let me calm down enough to hold my breath. My heart rate was too great.
I stood there for a minute and rubbed my chest. A couple of times before, in high anxiety situations, I have felt some discomfort after Breath Hold, but nothing like this! This was extreme. It almost scared me (Am I going to give myself a Heart Attack?)
I washed my hands and left the bathroom with my tail between my legs. I went back to my seat with a Full Bladder that did nothing but distract me for another period.
Everyone else was enjoying the game (and it was a GREAT game), but I was thinking more about my misfire, trying to analyze it (cause that’s what I do). Was it those deep breaths I took before Breath Hold, I remember the Breath Hold Advice (linked above) that said NOT to do that. Did I have too much air in my lungs? Did I not let enough out??? Did I not produce enough CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)? What gives?
I decide to push myself further. I buy a 32 oz. soda. I drank that for the next 10 minutes… And then halfway through the second period, I decide to try again.
After all, I have been drinking all night long, and I did have a pretty good urge to go (Attempting Breath Hold actually gives me more of an urge).
I head into the Bathroom
There’s a guy at Urinal #1, and Urinal #5. Oh Crap! My heart begins to thump. There’s also someone in the stall making a LOT of noise… And there is a Father and his 2 young kids at the sink… (which is directly across from the Urinals).
I step up to Urinal #3, DEAD CENTER!
Now, no matter who walks in to Pee, they’ll HAVE to take up a spot right next to ME!
I stand there and deep breath trying to relax my body (again the wrong thing to do). I feel tension leave my neck, shoulders, chest and body…
I expel 75% of the air in my lungs and hold it!
That’s when Bigfoot walks in!
Seriously, this guy is BIG, he’s like 8 feet tall. He comes up to Urinal #4. I barely glance his way (you couldn’t help not to), and I see he towers way above me (I’m 5’10”)
So when he’s standing there, looking down, he’s pretty much seeing everything else around him. Including ME! And, the fact that I’m just standing there NOT Peeing!
I try to ignore this!
My head starts swimming again. I’m holding my breath and waiting for it to work. 20 Sec. 30 Sec. 40…
Finally about 50 seconds into Breath Hold I pee a little…
The valve opens.
The valve closes.
I keep holding my breath encouraging it to continue. My chest starts to hurt again. I keep holding… All the time I also try to relax my entire body and not worry about the guy next to me.
“Let it Go, Let it Go!” I think
I pee another couple of squirts, and then I’m done. Exhausted. I have to breath again.
FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!
I stand there for another moment as Bigfoot finishes and leaves. Another guy comes in and grabs Urinal #2 (the other side of me).
I start Breath Hold once more!
I was determined to get this to work… For I know I HAD to go. It was so uncomfortable.
I MUST GO!
There’s no way that I could wait until I got home. No way! I’ve had too much to drink. It’s crazy when you feel like you’ll piss your pants, but nothing comes out. It’s so BS!
I keep holding my breath and relaxing my body. And then, right as the guy next to me finishes up, I start to pee.
I peed for a couple of seconds, and then it locked up again!
This is useless! I’m over it. My chest hurt. My face felt flush. I’m tired of trying… Not cool!
Why can’t I get Breath Hold to work today?
It really is hit or miss…
Well, after another 1/2 hour, a couple of more goals (with lots and lots of FIGHTS), and a bag of Popcorn later…
I decide one last time to try to Pee!
I HAD TO!
I was too uncomfortable just sitting there. All I was thinking about was going. And it was a long cold 45 minute drive home, so I had no choice. I HAD to Pee here!
I head to the Bathroom!
I go in. There is only one guy peeing, he’s at Urinal #2. I feel good about this since I could grab the Last Urinal #5.
And this time as I approach, I decided to SKIP Breath Hold. My chest still hurt from the last time and I didn’t want to die in the restroom. HA! (No Joking!)
Plus, it seemed like holding my breath under those very stressful situations was actually making matters worse. It increased my anxiety because I was trying too hard…
So I stood there and relaxed. 1 Minute goes by. Guys are coming and going around me, #1, #3, #4, and all the time I’m just relaxing and looking down. Trying to ease my mind and coax myself to Pee… I was so close!
The good thing about these Urinals is the fact that they have dividers between them, and those dividers are pretty large, they give you a lot of privacy (unless you’re next to Bigfoot).
1 1/2 Minutes go by…
(I didn’t actually time myself, so I’m just guessing, for all I know it could have been 30 seconds…)
And then it happened…
I Started to Pee!
I Peed and Peed and Peed!
I stood there and Peed until my Bladder was Empty!
I Peed at the Hockey Game!
I was very happy for myself. FINALLY! But I was also sad because it took me 3 attempts, AND Breath Hold DID NOT WORK!
But I Peed! And I Peed under the most stressful situation I have been in… The only thing worse would have been a line of guys behind me!
I went back to the game and sat down. We scored 2 more goals and won the game.
Now I could have Peed once more before we left the Arena (after I Pee, I can usually Pee again and again and again), but there was no way. It would have put too much pressure on me with all my friends waiting outside, plus the bathrooms would have been cram-packed… So I waited.
I waited until we got in the car… Just Mike (My Pee Buddy) and I. And I told him:
“I want to Pee again Before we go Home!”
For the last thing I wanted tonight was to have to hold it… I wanted to Empty my Bladder while I was out!
“I want a Coffee anyway” he says, and so we swing into McDonalds.
As we enter, I head towards the bathroom. I go in. There are 2 Urinals here (and who knows how many stalls, I’m not really looking at them anymore), both Urinals are Empty.
I go to the furthest one, unzip, and wait.
And just like when I Peed at the game, I decide NOT to use Breath Hold, and just stand there and relax.
And within a minute, I WAS PEEING!
I peed until I was empty, and I flushed, washed and left happy.
Then I felt better about the night. I wasn’t going home needing to urinate.
So while this was a crazy night, full of set backs and successes, it is still a learning experience. I learned that I can Pee in an busy Arena WITHOUT Breath Hold!
And that’s amazing to me. I would have never imagined that. And the more I think about Breath Hold not working, I really do believe that it failed because of heightened anxiety. I was just too anxious. I need to learn to relax more. Calm my nerves (and not do Deep Breaths Beforehand!)
The more and more I practice, the more my tension will gradually disperse and fade away.
But you know what?
Maybe I’m expecting too much too soon?
After all, that is one of my highest anxiety producers on my Bathroom Exposure List.
So maybe I just need to work up to that level, instead of shooting from #6 to #10, just take it more gradually, little by little, baby steps.
It does make Sense!
But then again, I DID Pee at the Hockey Game. And that’s HUGE!
So while I’m not totally happy with my goals or the way it worked out, I still did accomplish Peeing… SCORE!
Was it a Trick Shot?
It was just a Change on the Fly! :)