”I don't see how I would be able to cope with a whole weekend in Manchester.”
You would be in a hotel with your own room i.e. your own safe place. Secondly we are experienced in dealing with severe cases: no-one is dropped in the deep end; in contrast, you decide a safe set up and start from there. You would be in your hotel bedroom’s bathroom, and I would be wherever you what me – on a different floor if you want, with no time limit. How does that sound?
” when the guy who is stood next to you looks left and noticing you can't pee asks mockingly "you just here for the ambiance then mate?"... “
Standing next to someone is a long way up a hierarchy: we advise guys to have an aim to get comfortable with there being an unoccupied urinal between them and anyone else. There is lots of evidence that “normal” guys prefer that anyway. As for that crass comment, has it actually happened to you, or is it your Boo Monster winding you up? If it did, an answer like “so I’ve got problems with my waterworks, why are you looking?” No seriously we are in fantasy land here.
"Instantly my body goes into panic mode". This is where we teach Thought Stoppage – look on the website.... It’s a simple technique to stop you from catastrophising.
"There is a stigma attached to it and there's always a good chance that you're the only one to suffer from it in the whole building. No one can relate to it as it is not normal and so it is less socially acceptable."
I mentioned it to a taxi driver as to why I was going on the train; he just said “I think there’s a lot of it about “. Feedback from guys who tell a friend or family member is that about one time in three, the listener will say either that they know what you are on about, or know someone who is affected to some degree.
"If I could stop living inside my head all the time. Stop trying to constantly judge every single face, calculate reactions, Read minds. I'm sure I wouldn't have this problem to start with."
Guys who are socially self-conscious can be more easily affected. Try looking to the horizon and defocusing; this helps you to stop clocking faces; very restful.
"I have a thousand ideas on how to beat this thing and yet every time I feel the urge to urinate when in public I let it beat me with out even trying to go. Already defeated without trying I retreat into the last bastion of hope that is holding it in until finally after wave upon wave of what seems like sometime endless, hopeless struggle against yourself the end comes... "
That is because you are trying to go in at a higher level of challenge than you can presently cope with. You need to put some time aside and to work out a safe starting point, and start from there. This is where the workshop is ideal, because you are totally in control of everything.
(also a side note does anybody know when the next beginners meeting is in Manchester?)
Probably September; is London in May not possible?
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