I have suffered from AP since being a small boy. At about the age of 26 I found this community and, after going on a beginners workshop, and continuing to practse, I went from never ever being able to pee in a urinal, to having pissed in some of the conditions in the top levels of my hierarchy. For me, the key to it is knowledge. Knowing in what circumstances you are able to go and if a miss-fire happens being able to evaluate why it occurred.
A great benefit to me was to learn about a trick that goes against your general thought patterns. I have found that the stronger my urge to pee, the more likely I am to be able to go. So, if I think I won't be able to go in a certain situation when I need to, I might actually drink more to make the urge stronger. Counter-intuitive and I appreciate it might not work for everyone but it did for me.
Anyhow, I am now 30 and armed with my understanding of my hierarchy I am much more confident about peeing in public and although I have far from a loose and easy opening bladder, I know how to pee in just about any set of circumstances.
Until recently when a new and unforeseen challenge arose- the girlfriends dad. I don't know if it's the authority thing, or the pressure to impress or what, but it made my bladder go all shy again and has knocked my confidence a lot. My girlfriend and I live together in a small flat in London and he came to stay for a week. Knowing that he could hear me in he bathroom through the day has caused me a great deal of lock up and all of my knowledge seemed to be absent. So i decided to come back on this website and once again I'm in a better place for after having read some of the posts by other people who have made good progress, it has triggered my recollection of the most important thing to remember and that is: it doesn't matter!
I think I will continue to struggle to pee when in a quiet flat when he is around but I won't care. I'll just stand over the toilet until I pee. It might take a minute or maybe even more but it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter. I have got a huge amount of proof about this. This is part of the knowledge you get once you start to pee in public and can see things from 'the other side'. I've stood next to people who have not been able to pee, they didn't occupy my thoughts for a second. I've stood next to a urinal where three or more people have come and gone while I waited for my flow. No-one cares at all.
Knowing that no-one cares is not going to cure AP but it helps you feel better. All the friends I have told about it don't think any less of me (I had not told anyone before the beginners course). Some of them have even told me I how insignificant my problem was.. Often enough by giving examples of the problems they or their friends have that are really terrible.
So I wanted to write this post for 2 reasons: the first because I know back in the day I would have really been pleased to hear a story about how someone with my problem (even existed) has found that they can find many ways to make it far less of a concern, and secondly to try and get people to really believe that other people knowing that you have this problem is no big deal at all in terms of the way they think of you.