I can pee at home, no problem.
I can pee in public about 20% of the time (on the rare occasions that I force myself).
So the odds are high that I CAN’T GO and will have to hold it all night long.
My anxiety knows this and drives me crazy right before I walk out the door.
My friends will be waiting for me in the kitchen, and I tell them I have to pee before we leave (who doesn’t?), and so I go. But then I think to myself “You know, you won’t be able to pee again in another 4 hours… It’s going to be a LONG night!“
And as soon as I think that, my anxiety level goes up. I try to ignore the long night as I grab my jacket… We all start heading out the door and what do I do?
I have to use the bathroom again!
Usually within a minute or two after just using it, I have to pee some more. My bladder plays tricks on me. It makes me believe it’s done, but it’s not. A minute later guess what? I have to pee AGAIN!
It happens all the time. My friends will be in the car waiting and I’m still peeing. I tell them I must have a small bladder, or kidney problems, but really it’s my Paruresis acting up!
It’s just knowing that I’m leaving the safety of my own house and bathroom. So I HAVE to go! It’s NOW or NEVER!
And so I go. And then go again. And sometimes a third or fourth time. It all depends on my anxiety level, where we’re going (a concert and dinner – a double event always heightens my fears).
And what’s funnier is if I pee for the last time and believe I’m ready… WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW!
Because once I’m out the door, I’m usually good. It knows it’s on lock down all night long! The urge to pee leaves!
But if we hesitate for just a moment, like one of my friends says “Let me down this drink“, or “Let’s watch this commercial (not really but you get my drift), or “Let me check my email“… that little bit of delay, even just for a minute is enough to make my bladder go crazy.
For then it starts knocking again “You have another chance to pee again if you need to!” “This will be your LAST time to go!” “You could probably pee if you tried…”
I can’t ignore it! It’s right! I know this. And I go!
I think I DO have a small bladder, who knows? A small bladder with an enlarged prostate? Maybe!
It’s pee, pee, pee before I go!
And then I pee, and pee some more!
Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get out the door!
What is it about my brain and the signals that fuck with my anxiety so much?
How can my bladder still hold any pee after just peeing?
I don’t get it. I’m sure it drives my friends crazy. They don’t realize it’s because I have Shy Bladder. They just think I’m loony.
I laughed with my friend Mike one day after he commented on me peeing so much.
“What do you have, TWO bladders?” He said.
Maybe I do!