I had a very enjoyable weekend in Manchester, which was ironic because the main reason I was there was to do thing I most hate doing; peeing in public loos of course!
The reason the weekend was so enjoyable, not to mention beneficial, was because of the support from all the great people on the course. If you've been to a beginners or improver's workshop, then you'll know just what I'm talking about. If you haven't, then it is difficult to explain just how much better you can feel just by meeting other people with who know what it is to live with this horrible condition. The support that everyone gives and receives over the weekend is truly amazing and has to be experienced to be believed.
The education that you receive on paruresis and the desense sessions are a very important first step on the road to recovery, but remember: (i) it is only a first step, you must be prepared to put in a lot of hard work yourself after the workshop is over and (ii) you must be realistic about the amount of progress you can make in one weekend, overcoming this problem will take time for most people and if you expect to be 'cured' in 72 hours then you're going to be disappointed. Think of attending a workshop as laying the foundations for your recovery and a chance to make some real progress and you'll be more than satisfied.
Many thanks again to Andrew, whose dedication to helping others with paruresis is truly heroic. Many thanks also to Mert who gave great support to everyone throughout the weekend. Thanks finally to the other participants who are a really great bunch of people. At the beginners workshop I was so wound-up about paruresis that I had great difficulty in even opening up to other sufferers about my experiences. By the second workshop I was so much more relaxed about the whole thing that we spent most of the weekend cracking jokes about it. Thank You.
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