My AP was, therefore, less severe than some, but it still made me feel miserable and ashamed: I hated hanging around waiting for a cubicle as my friends urinated quickly at the urinals and left me in the toilet. Sometimes I left without peeing to avoid questions over why it was taking me so long. At really busy events where getting into a cubicle wasn't practical I just held on and waited what could be a long time until I got home.
What the beginner's course taught me was that it was no one else's business how long I took or whether I chose a cubicle or a urinal, and I had nothing to be ashamed of. Through this change in mind-set and the varied practical techniques I learnt, plus desensitisation practice during and following the workshop, I had fairly quickly gone from someone who avoided urinals routinely to one who almost always uses them. Nevertheless, I was still having trouble peeing at urinals in small, quiet, toilets and in the presence of people I know, and I had stalled somewhat in the progress I was making. Therefore I signed up for the follow-on workshop that took place this weekend.
The follow-on workshop gave me plenty of desensitisation practice and a reminder of much of what I learnt at the beginner's course. Once again it was great to be in the company of people who understood what I had been going through. Attending gave be a morale boost and I went away with a plan to move forward in dealing with my remaining challenges. Already I feel more confident and energised, and have been practising every day this week.
I would like to echo William's comments: if you are thinking of attending a beginner's course then just go for it, you won't regret it! And the follow-on workshop is definitely worth it too.
I too would like to thank the leaders of both workshops: Andrew, Peter, Ian and Jonathan, and also my workshop co-attendees.
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