I go out to eat today.
Mike asks me if I’m going to the bathroom.
I reply “I could. I hand’t really thought about it, because I have big plans for the end of the week”.
Mike looks at me full of questions.
I remind him that next Year’s Goals (in just days) are to actually load up on water and NOT pee before I leave the house.
He nods “You mean I don’t have to wait for you to pee 3 times before we go?”
YEP! That would be it!
Ha! And to think that he knew me for 15 years and had no idea I was pee shy.
It scares me to think about water loading and leaving the house with a full bladder. I must be insane!
He tells me to just pee at Krogers, which is pretty much across the street from our house.
I could, but I don’t think that bathroom will help me much. There’s only one urinal, low traffic, and the cafeteria sits right outside the door, so everyone eating sees people coming and going.
It would be very obvious and would make me even more anxious. Nope! Not going to go there.
I tell him I was thinking about going to the mall. The traffic is steadier, the bathrooms are bigger, there’s lots of urinals, lots of stalls, and I know if I need to, in an emergency, I could probably pee in a stall.
But I don’t really plan on that.
I’m Peeing in a Urinal!
So, on the way out the door, I stop and go into the restaurant bathroom. Might as well… Entering more bathrooms than my goal says, will only help me desensitize faster!
I will say, that going in with the intention to go to the urinals is a totally different point-of-view than I’m used to. Really, I’ve never even glanced at the urinals.
I’m so used to hiding in a stall…
As I go in, there’s a young guy at the sink. He’s probably 20. He looks like he belongs on the football team. I walk in, he glances at me in the mirror for a second, and I step up to the urinal.
Notice I said “urinal“… There’s only one!
DAMN! What’s with all these places that only have one urinal? Is this common? I’m beginning to think so. And that frightens me. Because I’m sure I’ll run into many situations where guys (needing to pee badly) are waiting behind me, staring at me, seeing that I’m not peeing…
Trying to Pee under Pressure is the Worst!
I step up to the urinal as I hold my breath.
It’s so much harder to do this when someone else is just feet away from you. It’s even more difficult I find, to do this after you’ve eaten a big meal.
My Breath Hold folds quickly and I breath again. CRAP!
As I stand there trying to relax myself, I see the guy’s reflection in the tile in front of me. He’s drying his hands and looking in the mirror (which is directly behind me).
I slowly inhale and exhale 3/4 of my lungs. I hold my breath again.
The kid throws his paper towel away and now I see him move back towards the sink. He’s fixing his shirt and hair…
My heart is racing overtime
I’m holding on and struggling inside.
Pee Pee Pee I tell myself.
Surely with him directly behind me in the mirror, he can see, and hear, that I’m not peeing.
I mean, it is a tall urinal, you CAN see if urine is running down.
He’s checking himself out still
I’m holding my breath and trying to relax. 20 Seconds. 25…
Finally the kid leaves.
It’s just me… I think!
Someone could be in the stalls, who knows? I know I’ve been in the stalls before as quiet as a mouse. Although I hear no one, they could be waiting for me to leave. You just never know. I’m not the only Paruretic in town…
I hold my breath for another few seconds and finally…
I Start to Pee!
(4th time Peeing in a Urinal)
WOW! That was tough. Breath Hold is going to kill me yet, ha!
I didn’t pee much, but I didn’t really have to pee at all.
The important thing is, I DID PEE! That’s another feather in my cap.
Little by little I’m doing it. I’m seeing that it can be done, and it does give me hope and encouragement. Every single day that I succeed, my confidence builds, and as my confidence builds, it changes my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It hammers away at my Paruresis Wall and breaks it down brick by brick.
I wash my hands, dry them and push on the door…
And as I’m going out of the bathroom, a young guy, probably 18 comes in. We play chicken in the door frame for a second as I excuse myself and head out.
All these young guys have no idea what Paruresis feels like. To them, I’m just another guy peeing at the urinal. They will never know my true horror.
And if I can help it, they never will!