Shy Bladder Recovery Recap

Let’s go over all the steps I have taken so far to get where I am today…

It’s interesting to see the journey progress!

After finally admitting to my Best Friend Mike (of 17 years) that I’m Pee Shy (Paruresis), I decided to do something about it. Take a stand and recover!

Not only to recover, but to blog about my experiences, successes and failures along the way.

So I started this online journal (ShyBladderHQ.com) so people could see step by step what’s happened and why. I’m so happy I did

See where it all began in: I’m Pee Shy

Shy Bladder Recovery Recap

Where Paruresis all Started

My many attempts to diagnose where my Shy Bladder began has resulted into many, many posts:

Just to name a few…

These were tough to write. Digging deep into your past and childhood is not an easy thing. It often brought me to tears!

I Start to Research

I bought Shy Bladder Books on Amazon and I read everything I could.

The first book was called “Shy Bladder Syndrome” and I wrote about it here: No One Cares If I Pee. I was fascinated by the fact that I was not alone! In fact, 7% of the population has some form of Paruresis to some extent. I had no idea. I’ve never run across anyone else like me…

See how Secretive we are?

On 12-29-2011 I introduced you to my Best Friend (and now my Pee Buddy) Mike in a post called If I could Pee like that (he pees like a racehorse). And as he says “Oh well, that’s how I pee!” (love that attitude!)

Since my friend Mike lives with me, and we’ve known each other forever, it just seemed fitting to bring up the “Pee Buddy” conversation with him. I would casually hint about it and chat about my condition, but he still had no idea how deep rooted my fears really went. It’s not an easy subject to talk about. “So, you want me to Watch you Pee?

YouTube Videos

Doing more research on Paruresis led me to a couple of websites and videos that helped me out a lot.

In I Am Not Alone I find Youtube Videos on a Channel called “Paruresis Exposed“. That led me to watching Max and Dominic demonstrate the Breath Hold Technique. (which is also the day I start practicing Breath Hold) WOW! They make it look so effortless and amazing! Does Breath Hold really work?

I also found the Paruresis.org (International Paruresis Association – IPA) website and signed up with the forums (my username is “PeeShyRichard“).

I also ran across more Vids on YouTube from Dava A (Paruretic Dave), which led me to his personal website called Paruretic.org. Dave does a lot of Gradual Expose Therapy (great Vids) and Self Catheterization. Yowza is right!

More Paruresis Books

I purchase more books on Paruresis, this one called “Pee Shy to Pee Free“. That’s a MUST buy book! (especially since there isn’t a lot written about shy bladder).

Reading makes me realize that my condition is “MILD“, and many guys and gals have it much, much worse. Some people can’t even pee in the safety of their own home if someone else is in the house. That’s extreme! Read about my condition here: A Mild Case of Paruresis.

Another Video

I connect with Dominic M and got him to create a new Shy Bladder Video here: A New Paruresis Video. As much as all the books and videos are helping me, they all point to one main objective:

Get a Pee Buddy!

As much as I really think about this whole Pee Buddy thing, it terrifies me. I see that I’m not ready to go there yet. Plus, Mike’s reaction to all of this (“Are you Serious?“) is shocking, but to be expected from someone who has no problems peeing. Sigh! Read: I’m Not Ready for a Pee Buddy!.

Continuing on with my Breath Hold practice brings up some interesting conversation, and ONE HUGE BREAK THROUGH: I’m now making NOISE when I pee! I’m no longer peeing on the side of the quiet toilet bowl and am now peeing directly in the center making loud splashing noises! That’s a huge step for me! Read about it here: Breath Hold Practice.

Is Paruresis Hereditary?

A crazy thing I just learned on 02-02-2012 was that my Sister has some form of Paruresis as well. She admitted it to me in a crazy phone conversation here: My Sister has Paruresis

That was eye-opening! And what’s even MORE eye-opening? This new book that I’m reading called Bathrooms Make Me Nervous. That book really hit me hard. It woke me up. This line from her book about how often you should practice floored me. Her response was “How soon do you want to recover?” That’s Deep! Read about it here in my post How Soon do you want to Recover?.

Those books led me to create my very own Bathroom Exposure Ranking List, which I suggest you do the same (0-10 {the least to the most} things you fear about peeing in public bathrooms).

I peed in a busy bathroom after the movies in this post: A line out the bathroom door. That was an amazing experience, but it was also where my progress stopped!

I Gave Up!

You see, I gave up, I stopped practicing Breath Hold (after 3 weeks), I stopped forcing myself to go into public bathrooms, and I was too scared to ask Mike to commit to being my Pee Buddy. I felt like I was at a stand still and defeated. I gave up! I failed. I went back into my Paruresis Closet and shut the door for a very, very long time.

It was Horrible!

This failure lasted for 1 1/2 years, and in fact, if it wasn’t for me moving this blog to a new server (Bluehost to 1&1), then I still may have been in that helpless rut.

Moving my blog made me re-read my progress and see how close I was before I lost it all.

It also made me see what I had to gain!

I took a good long look in the mirror and decided to start it all up again. And that, was the beginning of my real recovery… And of course, my Pee Buddy!

As time goes on, I talked more about my Pee Shyness with Mike. I gradually felt comfortable exposing my Phobias to him (he thought he knew me).

It’s actually pretty cool, because now he helps me out. It got to the point where he’d let me know if he thinks I could use a public bathroom or not. Imagine that! Read: Bathroom Alert.

I battle with asking Mike to be my Pee Buddy though. I know I NEED to, but it’s so difficult to comprehend. Read: Recovery Procrastination.

Book Review

If you’re thinking about purchasing any of the books on Paruresis, read my post here: Shy Bladder Books.

I hit rock bottom with my Paruresis battles and finally get to the breaking point because I feel like I’m making no progress.

I see that I have NO OPTIONS LEFT and MUST get a Pee Buddy if I want to move forward. Read: Why Me?

In my journey of awareness, I discuss the common cures and recovery steps of Paruresis in my post here: 4 Cures for Paruresis.

After constant debate with myself, I come to this reality: It’s all in my head!

In fact, in my post It’s all in your Head, I talk with Mike about him becoming my Pee Buddy. He forces my hand and makes me face my fears, and that one line, that one line “That’s all in your head!” is what started the ball rolling.

That was the beginning of my Pee Buddy!

A couple of days later (October 13th, 2013) it starts…

Read how Gradual Expose began with me in My Pee Buddy Begins.

Gradual Expose Therapy

Now we get into the actual Exposure Steps (October 14th, 2013). Day 1 Mike stands on the other side of the closed bathroom door. I Peed with Success!

On Day 2 I crack the bathroom door open slightly. I get interesting results! Day 2 also has Mike standing in the open bathroom doorway facing out! (in just 2 days, who would have known?)

I start Desensitizing in Public Bathrooms on Day 3. It’s one of the very few times in my entire life that I’ve ever stood at a urinal! SCARY!

Exposure Therapy Day 6 positions Mike BEHIND me in the bathroom as I pee at the toilet (facing away from me).

Day 8 has Mike stand behind me FACING ME as I Pee with Success! WOW!

I PEED IN A URINAL!

13 Days into my GED, I peed in a urinal for the first time EVER! It happened on vacation quite unexpectedly. It does show me that there is HOPE and that I can beat this phobia. Read my awesome success story here: I Peed at a Urinal

Breath Hold Practice Resumes

I start up Breath Hold Practice again on Day 24.

I set myself some Public Bathroom Desensitization Goals here: Public Bathroom Goals. I don’t like it, since walking into Public Bathrooms really get me anxious, but I know I need to if I want to recover.

The following week (after my success) I up the ante: 3 Bathrooms, 3 Urinals, 3 Minutes each! Read about it here: Day 31.

I try some different Breath Hold Techniques here on Day 33.

I finally move my Pee Buddy up on Day 36! He’s now standing beside me at the toilet as I pee, like we’re standing at urinals. Who would have imagine this 2 months ago? It’s crazy to even think about.

So that’s pretty much it!

That’s where I stand right now. It’s not over yet… I have a long way to go. But it’s fascinating to see where I’ve come and I’m very excited about where I’m going.

Some days it’s a roller coaster ride, but I’m heading in the right direction.

I’m so happy that I started this website to document it all. I’m also happy that you’re reading it!

Everything is possible with time and patience… and a Pee Buddy!

So let’s Recap:

  • 12/20/2011 – I Start Writing about my Pee Shyness
  • 12/23/2011 – I Buy Books about Shy Bladder
  • 12/29/2011 – I Talk to my Best Friend about what a “Pee Buddy” is
  • 1/02/2012 – I Watch Videos and Start Breath Hold
  • 1/02/2012 – I Join the Forums and reach out to other Paruretics
  • 1/24/2012 – I Start making NOISES when I pee
  • 2/15/2012 – I Create a Bathroom Exposure Ranking List
  • 4/1/2012 – I Peed in a Busy Bathroom
  • 8/26/2013 – I Start Writing about Shy Bladder again
  • 10/11/2013 – I Decide to get a Pee Buddy
  • 10/13/2013 – I Set a “Start Date” with my Pee Buddy
  • 10/14/2013 – My Pee Buddy Begins outside the Bathroom Door
  • 10/15/2013 – I Crack the Door open as I Pee
  • 10/16/2013 – I Stand at a Public Urinal to Desensitize
  • 10/20/2013 – Mike Stands Behind me facing away as I Pee
  • 10/22/2013 – Mike Stands Behind me facing towards me as I Pee
  • 11/5/2013 – I Pee in a Urinal for the very first time
  • 11/20/2013 – I Begin Breath Hold Practice Again
  • 11/22/2013 – I Set some Public Bathroom Goals
  • 12/2/2013 – I Stand beside my Pee Buddy as I Pee

And that’s where I am today!

Awesome isn’t it?

Let’s see what Tomorrow brings… :)

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