I can't quite remember when I started with paruresis and I don't know what (if anything) triggered it. My earliest memeories are from late primary school and now I'm 28. My case was pretty severe, to name but a few examples: I went over 48hours not being able to pee when I stayed at a collegue's house, a full day when I attended the good food show and another full day when myself and my parents went over to Dublin on the seacat (when I really thought I was going to end up hospitalised) - my parents waited outside some public loos for over two hours and I cried when I fanally managed to go! A 'Life of hell' is just what it had become for me.
For years my parents got frustrated with me as I 'couldn't pee' and they didn't understand why. I went to the doctors and was told to try 'relaxation tapes'. I avoided sleeping over anywhere and sometimes had difficulty going at home on my own, never mind anywhere else or at my parents, I was constantly making excuses and my bladder was ruling my life.
It was my dad driving home one night who heard about paruresis on the radio (I must have been about 25 by then still not knowing what was wrong with me). It was such a relief to know I wasn't the only one out there and that my condition even had a name!
I sent Andrew an email and then got myself booked on a beginners workshop. It was great to meet people in the same situation, who understood what i was going through. The workshop helped me a great deal and since then I've found the man of my dreams (and despite dreading telling him about paruresis when we started dating he's always bene really good about it - in our early days of living together he would let me send him out of my flat in the middle of the night so I could go). We got married last Summer and bought a house together and now I have no problems when he's around. I thought that would never happen.
I've recently been on the improvers workshop as well. I can't say I'm completely 'cured' but my confidence has increased enormously and my condition is now much more manageable - I'm even going in public toilets now and I'm not afriad to go and 'try' anymore.
The workshops are hugely beneficial and I can't recommend them enough - they can change your life completely.
You don't have to carry on living like this; you can do something about it.
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