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My Successful Road to Recovery

Jan 23, 2005 | Success Stories

Submitted 01-23-2005 [Originally posted the IPA’s now retired community forum “IPATalk”]

My successful road to recovery…… liverowe

While not yet completed, I am almost free of the entrapment that ruled my life just several years ago. I come back to tell my story because this message board is the is the sole reason behind the strides that I have made, and it is important that we continually share our success stories for one another to build on!! That’s right, you can cure yourself merely from reading this board! How did I do it? First I’ll give you a brief history and then I’ll tell my story….
My whole life I suffered from some form of paruresis. However, it was always in a mild form until sometime around 1994. It was then that my paruresis jumped to the next level. Before I knew it I couldn’t pee with anyone around! On a scale from 1 to 10 I was a 9.7! I couldn’t do the following- pee in public with anyone in the same bathroom, pee in my own house with anyone close to the toilet, pee in anyone else’s house, basically I couldn’t take a leak to save my life! I planned my day, and for that matter my life, around where and how I was going to pee. To exacerbate the problem my life style was not exactly condusive to paruresis! I was (and still am) an extremely social person. I travel a lot and am in social setting quite frequently. So needless to say, I spend a lot of time in public settings. From ’94 to ’01 my life was dictated to me by this annoyance! I did not get involved with women for more than a couple of weeks (couldn’t bare the thought of peeing with them around), I would “disapear” from every social settings just so I could find the “right” place to piss. In short, I was a mess! Then on New Year’s day ’01 I came back from a trip where I had finally reached the point where I realized I had to do something. As soon as I got home I typed in “stage fright” in a yahoo ssearch and eneded up reaching this board. My life from that point forward was about to change….

I was so relieved that there was actually a clinical term for this! That in itself was healing! I started reading all the messages on the board and the books that were avaiable (Dr. Soifer’s is the best). Slowly I let the news leak (no pun intended) to those that were close to me. Now I started my plan of attack…..

I decided that I was going to force feed myself a cure. That means drinking a ton fluids and going out in public! I also never let the thought enter my head that I was going to lose!!! I may not still be 100% cured but I can guarantee you one thing- I will completely defeat paruresis! So say it along with me “I WILL DEFEAT PARURESIS”, because you will!!!, Now back to our regularaly scheduled progam There’s one other important thing I did before I started- I didn’t
go to the doctor. I know people say you should start with that to make sure nothing’s wrong but I wanted to hit the ground running. In retrospect this was a wise move! I am convinced that this thing is 1000% mental. Don’t waste time!! Get off your ass now and take your life back. It’s that simple. I guarantee you are going to have a lot of extreme difficulties but you have to meet this thing head on!!! It’s the only way! We are always looking for the smoking gun. The bad news is there is no smoking gun as we know it! The good news is that you are the smoking gun!

I started going to malls, airports (it was perfect with my schedule), sporting events and anywhere that I could just to take a leak! You have to force yourself to do this! My success ratio was woeful. In the begining if I just so much as sat down and pissed I was happy. but that was success and slowly I graduated to the level. And trust me, each level was slow (for me at least)! It’s almost like I didn’t even realize it. Before I knew it I was pissing in stalls and then urinals.
The main thing was I knew I wasn’t giving up no matter what and that was healing all by itself.

Today, I can piss anywhere! There is never a moment where I think “where and how am I going to piss?”. Honestly, it’s great! I am free and while I still have some unfinished business I know that thing is going down completely! When I think of where I was then and where I am now I knew that I have to come back and tell my story. You’ve got to do it!! Like I said, you are the smoking gun, reclaim your life!

Now I would like to share with you some helpful tips I have learned along the way……

1. Continually read the best of the boards! That is the almanac for any recovering paruretic. Whenever I was down I would read the best messages and it would give me strength!

2. Start out by making noise while pissing wherever you can. There is something in our brain that is connected to the sounds of relieving ourself. I made a point to make a lot of noise even when I was by myself. You have to retrain your brain to getting used to the sound of making noise when you piss. For me, I believe this had a lot to do with my recovery. There is a connectionn between your brain and the sound of a stream of piss, as ridiculous as this may seem!

3. Don’t whine about bathroom conditions that are not “paruretic friendly”. Remember, we are the ones with the promblem, not the rest of society! It will hinder you if you complain about no dividers or whatever else is in our brain and our brain only!

4. Start laughing about this problem because when you step back and look at it, it’s pretty damn funny! We can’t piss! Again, no feeling sorry for yourself. Humor is a great healer and it leads to optimisim. If you think about it, it’s like the old dictum “you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time”! We can’t stand in fron of a toilet and piss, that is FUNNY!!!

5. Don’t let distractions get you down! I realized that some gay people hang out in public restrooms. At first it was not only shocking but downright disturbing!! If you encounter this type of situation just get out of there and go somewhere else or come back another day.

6. Again, stay positive! Look at all the success stories out there!! This thing is beatable and the good is you hold the key to beating it. So turn off your old Barnaby Jones box DVD set, get your ass off the couch, load up with fluids and get out there!

7. Best places to go… Sporting events! buy a ticket to see a game and spend the next three hours practicing by yourself. There are tons of bathrooms so you should never find yourself in a situation where you just can’t go. Also there are a lot of urinals and stalls. You can get a lot of practice with spacing. I made my biggest strides at sporting events.

8. Remember nobody really cares whether you can piss in public or not! I used to think the whole world was watching when I went up to the bowl and it took me a while to realize, nobody gives a shit!!! You think that every time you fail everyone is going to start serenading your name like they do at sporting events when in reality nobody gives a shit! “daarrryyylll, daarryyylll”. For you sports fans you know what I’m talking about Again keep your sense of humor!

9. People love you! Your family loves you, your friends love you and just because you can’t piss in public that will never change. Also remember that you have this board which is the support group of all! I never communicated with anyone on this board. Just reading it was helpful to me!

So good luck! I hope my story helps give you something, anything, that will get you out there to reclaim your life!


Moderator’s comments: Chris

It’s great to hear of your success, and I’m glad you posted it with some excellent insights. I particularly like the idea of trying to desensitize yourself to noises in the restroom. We’ll put it up on the Best of Boards.
Two important points I want to make:

The fact that you didn’t see a doctor is not recommended. If it worked for you, then count yourself among the group of people who successfully self-diagnosed their paruresis with no tests or professional help. Because you didn’t have a physical problem you ended up recovering without complications. The next person may not be so lucky. If you had seen a doctor, I seriously doubt it would have hampered your recovery in any way.

Regarding gay people hanging out in restrooms, there are also straight people who hang out in restrooms looking for sexual activity. Being gay does not equate to being a sexual predator or molester. Statistically there are many more heterosexual predators and molesters in the world.

Noted sexual abuse authority Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote:

The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).
You can find more about the mistaken societal impressions about sexual orientation and sexual abuse at:
Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. “Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation.” Sexual Orientation: Science, Education, and Policy. University of California at Davis Psychology

Department. psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

Groth, A. N., & Gary, T. S. (1982). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation. In A.M. Scacco (Ed.), Male rape: A casebook of sexual aggressions (pp. 143-152). New York: AMS Press.




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