The IPA Virtual Support Group is facilitated on a volunteer basis by myself and Steve Weinraub about once a month, and we hit a record on Sunday, August 28, with 31 participants. They included people from all over the United States, as well two people from the United Kingdom and one from Poland, and the age level ranged from early 20’s to late 70’s. Some of them were just starting recovery, whiles others were at further stages on the recovery continuum, and the overall tenor was entirely about mutual support.
The meeting began with each person talking for a couple minutes about his or her Paruresis experience, as well as issues that were important at this particular time, and as those issues were mentioned, others chimed in with their own thoughts and experiences. Some of the issues and topics which were brought up included how to find opportunities for public practice, how to practice in a work environment, how to retrain yourself to stop habitually voiding and instead wait for the signal of urgency, how to stop repeating avoidance behaviors, how to feel OK when choosing a stall rather than a urinal, how to tell others about a shy bladder condition, which medications can help with anticipatory anxiety, and how to manage on airplanes. The topic that was brought up most often was how important urgency is in successful graduated exposure practice, and that can’t be emphasized enough.
I received quite a bit of feedback after the meeting from various participants, all positive, and the consensus seemed to be that having an opportunity to connect with others who have had similar struggles and similar experiences was helpful in multiple ways and provided a sense of hope and a path forward. The next meeting will take place on Sunday, September 25, at 7:00 PM Central Time. We are trying to vary starting times a bit in order to make sure that those who have difficulty with the Noon start also get an opportunity to participate, and since it is world-wide that always unfortunately means that someone is inconvenienced, and we apologize for that necessity.
We’ll look forward to seeing you at the next meeting on September 25!
Feel the Flow!