Adsense Banner Top

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What to do when you fail

A bad couple of weeks

It's been 14 days since my last progress report and that was primarily because there was no real progress to report. I stopped testing myself and, inevitably, I didn't progress.

In the workplace I didn't fall back to the stalls but I wasn't severely tested either. A few times I stood waiting at the urinal for someone to come in to test myself but I got tired of waiting.

Last week I had a major test, a business trip with a number of colleagues. That meant using high-traffic bathrooms at the airport and high-pressure situations between breaks in long meetings when everyone headed to the bathroom at once.

It was a pretty miserable experience. I let my avoidance behaviour push me around and used the stall (successfully, standing up) 3 times on the trip. The bathrooms at the business meetings were just as bad - used the stall and while I was using the stall I had one of the team comment that he always sees me using the stall. Nothing was meant by it and I laughed it off but it triggered my Shy Bladder in a big way (although I was finally able to go).

This is about as bad as it gets.

What to do when you fail

So I had a bad couple of weeks mostly brought about by not actively working to progress. I forgive myself ;) Everything I have read about Graduated Exposure Therapy suggests that it's a process of retraining yourself to find the bathroom non-threatening. Persistance is absolutely required. No practice, no gains.

For me the course is pretty clear, drop the goal a little to reflect the fact that I've slipped and start to work up again. The Graduated Exposure Therapy has worked for me I just have to keep with it. So new plan :

1. Use urinal #1
2. If someone in stalls, come back later
3. Wait until someone enters room before using urinal.

That's a step back from my "use the center, only when someone comes and stands next to you" plan of a couple of weeks ago but it's a good base, something I know I can do and with persistance I will be able to build back up.

As I keep saying, Graduated Exposure Therapy works but it isn't easy.

No comments: