Welcome to this board :-)..
About your long flight; let’s put together some strategies.
When you check in, ask for an aisle seat. That way you can get up without disturbing anyone. If there is a difficulty, say you have a medical condition that means you use the loo frequently, and you dont want to keep on disturbing other people.
There is always a rush after the seatbelt light goes off, and again shortly before landing, so avoid the rush.
When people settle down for a film, and during the sleeping period, things go quiet: a good time to go.
Long flights mean large planes means 2 to 4 toilets in a block. Your negative thought about “they know I’m in here and are wondering why I’m taking so long” is not true. Contradict the thought by saying “even with a queue, no-one remembers who went in which and when”.
When you walk along the aisle and people look up at you, your negative thought is “they know I’m going to the toilet (and they are setting a stop-watch!)”. This is not true; people get so bored staring at the same thing for hours on end, that any movement of any sort causes them to look up. They may even assess the clothes you are wearing, but once you have passed by, you are out of their thoughts altogether.
When you walk along the aisle, defocus, and do not look at people. Similarly when you come out of the toilet.
When you are in the toilet, it is yours for as long as you need it; and if someone is constipated, that can be for a very long time. No-one knows or cares what you are doing in there, so say that to yourself.
If you misfire, you can go again a bit later, with no need to explain or justify. On a plane I seem to go about every two hours – its no problem.
Go on our website and read the page Cognitive Therapy and Practical Advice.
Use a toilet early on when you don’t need a pee. That way you get over the novelty before you need to use them in earnest. Deliberately stay in there two minutes. Before leaving, compose yourself and set your face into a slight smile. That way you when you come out, you will experience any reaction; which will be zilch. Again do not look at people’s faces: instead defocus.
And drink plenty, but not coffee or alcohol; its easy to dehydrate on a long-distance flight, and peeing is easier when you have a good urge.
But if it is causing you anxiety every day even now, it may be worth getting used to a catheter now, because after all you want to enjoy the holiday. Just having the catheter to hand could reduce your anxiety enough to let you pee without it. You can go to your GP and say you get “urinary retention” uncontrollably; as you are going on a flight, you wish to be able to use a catheter in extremis. The surgery staff will show you how to use it. Raymond’s strategy of making his own catheter is a risky one; it worked for him but is not to be recommended!
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