To the uninitiated this may not seem like much but only 6 months ago I couldn't pee in the bathroom at all unless it was in the stall, with the door closed, sitting down. So my plan of graduated exposure is working but I have to keep moving forward or I'll drop back.
I've done as much as I can do in the stall so the time has come to try to move to the urinals. This seems like a leap of a hundred miles, moving from the safety of the stall to the urinals.
A word about the testing ground : There are 3 urinals in a line with dividers. This is good because it means that I can still move up to un-shielded urinals and to open troughs (assuming I can find some) as my self-therapy progresses.
So to the test. As before, I'd load up on water until I feel high urgency (7/10 or more) and enter the bathroom. The rules of this game go like this :
1. Use the urinal while someone else is at a urinal.
2. If someone is in a stall and nobody is at the urinal, leave and come back later.
3. If the bathroom is empty, wait at the urinal until someone comes in.
Attempt #1 : Went into bathroom with an urgency of about 8/10. Saw a colleage in there, was gripped by avoidance and so used the stall next to the urinal. Left the door open, had no trouble peeing and carrying on a conversation with the colleage. Failure broke Rule #1.
Attempt #2 : About a 9 on the urgency scale. Went into the bathroom, took the first urinal of 3. Waited for someone to come in to start flow. After a minute or so a colleague did come in and took the furthest stall. Was able to push out a tiny stream but couldn't maintain it and closed down. Dissapointing failure.
Attempt #3 : After standing at the urinal for 5 minutes with nobody showing up urgency got too much and had to pee. Failure.
Attempt #4 : Bathroom stalls occupied, urinals empty. Took a urinal and peed. Failure. Should have followed Rule #2.
Nobody said it would be easy.
Thinking about attempt #2 later I realize that the colleague coming in didn't exactly make a big splash either and in fact flushed the urinal about halfway through (like running the faucet to encourage peeing). I work with this guy and I know he doesn't normally have a problem going so I guess it's normal to sometimes be hesitant and/or not have a great flow.
This has definately been a setback but mostly because I was weak with myself and allowed my ShyBladder to control me. Another name for Shy Bladder is "Avoidant Paruresis" and the Avoidance is a set of habits that you will fall back on if you don't actively fight it. These habits don't actually stop you peeing, but they stop you acting "normally" in the bathroom by steering you into a stall or whatever.
Further reading :
Read about the next stage in my progress.