Just about 2 years ago (2-15-2012), I compiled a Bathroom Exposure List, that ranked my Phobia and what Scares me on a scale of 0-10.
I read that list today.
It’s All Hog Wash!
None of it makes any sense anymore, because I am NOT that same person that I once was.
The entire list was made through the eyes of one concept: STALLS!
You see, back then, those very few times that I would even step foot into a Public Bathroom, STALLS were the ONLY place I would TRY to Pee in.
Urinals were not ever a part of my Plan!
In fact, at that time in my life, before any of my Paruresis Recovery, I couldn’t even remember stepping up a Urinal… EVER!
It was either I used a stall, or nothing at all. That’s how bad I was. So Secretive and Shy!
So when I look at that list of things that I wanted to accomplish back then, I can’t even go by it… it’s all “Peeing in Stalls“, and I’ve only stepped foot in a couple of stalls in the last 4 months. So that list I created is now Useless and Irrelevant.
I believe it’s time for an update… Because just look at what I was ranking 2 years ago:
- 0 – Peeing at Home, Alone… That’s still no issue
- 1 – Peeing in my House with someone close by (like on the other side of the door)… This is not a big issue since I now pee at home with my Pee Buddy standing directly next to me at the toilet
- 2 – Single User Bathrooms! I barely had any problems with them then, and I still don’t now
- 3 through 6 – were all different sized bathrooms, small, medium, large, with varying traffic, but again, this was only peeing in Stalls. I’ve been Peeing in Urinals now for over a month (and again, I haven’t really stepped foot in a stall for a long time, unless there were no other options – and that did happen twice!)
- 7 – Intermission at a Play or Theater… YES this one is STILL on my new list (which is coming up). But I did Pee at the Theater just recently, just not during the time constraint of an intermission!
- 8 – Airports! I have Peed in Airport Bathrooms recently (both there and back to Vegas), PLUS I also Peed on the Plane! But these are still High Anxiety Situations for me :)
- 9 – Concerts, Arenas, Sporting Events… I Peed in an Arena on Sunday (Hockey Game). I haven’t gone to a Concert yet, but I did just buy tickets for one Yesterday (so it’s coming)
- 10 – Bathrooms with No Stalls! This was my WORST fear 2 years ago. Peeing in Urinals!!!
To Quote my page 2 years ago, it said:
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!
Now look at me… I’m Peeing in a Urinal at a Sporting Event, Peeing in Airports and on Planes. I’m Peeing with someone standing directly next to me, even staring directly at my junk…
What a difference 2 years make!
(Really, I should say the past 4 months, for I just started my change and Shy Bladder Recovery back in October 2013)
So what I need to do now, is to re-evaluate my terrifying list and re-rank my Bathroom Exposure needs!
So let’s begin once more. 0-10 (0 being the least of my fears, 10 being the MOST) things that I find difficult at this particular time in my life (now from a “Peeing in a Urinal” point of view).
You’ll see, some things have stayed the same, but the last part of the list has changed dramatically.
Bathroom Exposure List
- Peeing at Home Alone
- Peeing at Home with other people in the House
- Peeing in a Single User Locking Bathroom
- Peeing at Divided Urinals in a Public Bathroom that’s totally empty (and there’s plenty of Urinals)
- Peeing in a Large Bathroom, with plenty of Divided Urinals, and only one or two guys in there
- Peeing in a Medium Sized Bathroom, in a Divided Urinal with moderate traffic and lots of noise and commotion: Music, Dryers, Sinks…
- Peeing in a Smaller Bathroom that only has 2 or 3 Not Divided Urinals (Peeing next to someone and with a possible chance of someone else waiting for me to finish)
- Peeing with People Watching, like Bathroom Attendants, Lurkers, People Crapping in the Stalls, People Waiting Behind Me…
- Busy Bathrooms like Airports and Airplanes, Arenas, Concerts, Stadiums, Casinos… the fear increases as the amount of traffic and guys increase. Huge crowds send my Paruresis into overdrive. Especially if there are limited spots to Pee, and people are Waiting and Watching (seeing that you’re not Peeing!)
- Peeing at Theaters, Plays, Live Performances! Especially at Intermission! The time constraints of a live show really mess with me. You’re under the gun. Plus, there’s always a line out the Door, the Door’s propped open… it’s the worst stress that I could think of… Other than…
- Peeing in a Trough! I can’t even imagine walking into a bathroom with nothing but a big open trough (like a Metal Bin that makes loud noises when you Pee). All those Guys just Walking up around you, Shoulder to Shoulder, Unzipping and Pissing in the center just frighten me! The horrors! You’re really on total display in those bathrooms. I don’t ever see that happening. And I’m just happy to say that so far, I’ve never run across one in the States. I’ve only seen pictures of them on the internet (mostly in Europe – how do you guys do it?)
So there you go…
A brand NEW top 10 list!
It looks so different to me now. All of them could be better or worse depending on Time Limits, People Watching, Friends Peeing with Me, People Chatting, Fluid Loading, Breath Hold, Panic Attacks…
But what makes it all interesting is the fact that I’m doing most of this in Urinals now. A little here, a little there, I’m accomplishing my list with mixed results. All it takes is more practice!
One thing I do know… Stalls are a thing of the past! They aren’t part of my equation anymore!
NO MORE HIDING MY SHAME!
So while I have good days, and bad, I am still making great progress.
I mean, I am walking into Public Bathrooms now. I am drinking plenty of Fluids away from Home. I am Stepping up to Urinals. I can get Breath Hold to work (most of the time). I am Peeing with a Pee Buddy. I’ve Peed with People Watching. I’ve Peed in Bathrooms with just 1 Urinal. I’ve Peed in Airports, Arenas, Casinos… I’m doing things I’ve only dreamed of.
So no matter what, I should never consider what I’m doing a failure. Far from it!
And, when I look at that old list, it really is amazing to see where I’ve come. It’s like a whole different universe. It’s mind boggling!
I still have plenty of work to do, and I’ll probably work on it my entire life, but I CAN Pee in Public now, and you can’t take that from me!
And what’s weird is…
I WANT to Pee in Public (which is changing the way I think)! I’m forcing myself to Pee in Public. Face My Fears! Squash it! For it doesn’t scare me so much anymore. I can feel it slipping away, ever so slowly…
I AM Peeing at Urinals. I’m Peeing in Busy Bathrooms. I’m Peeing for all to see!
I’m not trying to disappear in a stall anymore. I’m out there!
This is Me!