Now I'm on a roll, I didn't want to miss any opportunity for further advancement so I started out again with the fluid loading from my original plan. I have progressed since then so to recap the latest plan from progress report #5 :
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.
If you don't want to read the blow-by-blow account, skip to the Post-mortem.
Attempt #1 : This plan is harder than it looks. It took 3 trips to the bathroom to find it empty. Each time there was someone using the stall. I know that I can use a urinal if someone is in the stall (in this bathroom at least) so I had to keep leaving and going back.
By the time I found the bathroom empty and took up position at a urinal my urgency was again 11/10. It was very tempting to relieve the pain but I didn't want to lose any opportunity for success now that things seem to be going well.
After four or five minutes the colleague who I saw in progress report 5 (attempt 2) came in and took the far urinal. I think I initiated my stream the moment I heard the door open but I was able to maintain it with no trouble. He didn't seem to have trouble this time either.
Wow, I did it! SUCCESS!
Attempt #2 : On my first trip to the bathroom I found someone was in the stall so I left. As I was walking back to the bathroom to try again (urgency 9/10 and rising!) I saw someone entering ahead of me. This made me slightly worried since I've been working on the assumption that I'll be waiting for someone to enter the bathroom in order to go and haven't yet tried walking up to a urinal already in use.
Sure enough, he was at the urinal. I decided to stick with the plan, walked up and amazed myself by going without any delay. SUCCESS!
Attempt #3 : I walk into the bathroom, urgency at 9/10. Someone is in the stall so I decide to wash my hands and walk out again. While I'm washing my hands, someone comes into the bathroom and uses the urinal. I decide this is a perfect chance and instead of walking out I step up to the urinal. I void instantly and with normal (meaning "at home") flow. SUCCESS!
Attempt #4 : Had to wait in the bathroom with painful urgency 10/10. Waited until someone came in to use the urinal. Started flow with no problems. Tested myself further by stopping and re-starting my flow. No problem. SUCCESS!
This is amazing, am I cured? How did it happen this fast?
The strange thing about each time was that it didn't feel any different to the way it normally does when I approach the urinal. Despite my string of success I didn't approach it with any less doubt, I kind of expected to fail. But I didn't.
For me, this is one of the most difficult things to handle about Shy Bladder : Dealing with the fact that you don't get to choose. Some deeper level of your subconscious is running the show, a will-of-iron to succeed or a fatalistic belief that you will fail doesn't seem to make any difference, your subconscious decides regardless.
But I am winning! It's almost as if my Shy Bladder is fading away. Each success makes me feel more confident that this is the turning point. I had dreaded the jump to the urinal from the stall but it has gone far better than I could have hoped.
I know I'm not free yet. I haven't yet had to deal with a crowded restroom or tried to use the middle urinal of 3 but the grip of this condition is loosening, I am reclaiming my life.
I can't believe I've come so far in the few weeks since I started with my simple plan.
Further reading :
Resd about the next week of my progress.