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Success Story - A Cure Story from Don in CA

Submitted 06-27-2002

Steven Soifer
ssoifer@ssw.umaryland.edu
Dear Friends:
Many of you will remember Don from San Francisco. Well, here is his success story, which he has given me permission to post on the board. Happy reading! And thanks Don!!

------------------------------------------------
This is a true account of one mans CURE--once final and forever! (no bull!)
from being pee-shy and paruretic. I was about 13 when a bully that was
taunting me socked me in the arm while at a urinal in junior high
school--telling me to hurry up! That was it---the beginning of the
avoidance and anxiety that became my paruresis phobia. It bothered me
throughout junior high and high school. Not being able to pee at school,
guess why? (possible-but non existent bullies), and only getting by in high
school as a student government leader who could freely use the staff-one
person-bathrooms. At the prom I obsessed about not being able to pee and it
ruined it for me. You know all the stories! I went through college and
still obsessed about this phobia but managed it better as I aged. I joined
a fraternity in college and always worried about peeing when we went out to
bars and the like. I decided at this point in the phobia---in my mind--that
I HAD to be able to pee to live----or I would just end it all and kill
myself. I, KNOW as I look back on that time in my life AS A CURED MAN,
began to desensitize myself to using stalls freely without knowing I was
desensitizing jack! I just HAD to live! And I slowly began to be able to
pee free in stalls and with the door shut. If there was extra anxiety in
the restroom air---like at a bar---or other macho oriented place I would
still have some trouble at times. More of a thought that I could not
succeed. That would pass after a while in the stall IF I could stick it out
that long! I would freak at noises, smells, and all the classic paruretics
"cues" to the phobia. I stayed in this place---pee wise----from 22 to about
43 yeas old. I am now 44. IN ONE YEAR, ALMOST TO THE EXACT DATE I STARTED
BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION DESENSITIZATION, I HAD CURED THE PEE-SHYNESS
100%---WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY ONE, THING, PLACE, URINAL TYPE, OR OPENNESS, OR "SAFE" OR "UNSAFE" RESTROOM. AND WITHOUT THE USE OF ANYTHING BUT MY OWN BODY AND MIND. Simply put, I changed my thinking and I changed my life! I will explain later on. But a GREAT thing happened when this phobia finally was retired forever and I was a new man----I WAS A TOTALLY NEW MAN---IN SO MANY, MANY WAYS! The phobia, was extinguished, opened a flood gate of new ME's------I felt like a whole man for the first time in my life. When I found the IPA website in May 2000, I was at first VERY afraid any work on this hidden-secret phobia would make my phobia worse. It DID for about 2 weeks as I obsessed about looking for a way to end it permanently. BUT, as I started to practice desensitization routines---with my newly found, via the IPA website, pee-buddy, I started to feel new power in my life. I lost 80 pounds during this one year journey in addition to curing the phobia, and went back to the gym after a 10 year absence. I became an average guy who can go to bars and ballgames with his buddies---drink beer---and piss with my buds next to me at urinals, especially troughs which are my FAVORITE NOW! The idea of peeing in a trough urinal with a buddy next to me was SO FOREIGN to me one year ago that you might as well have told me that I was going to the Moon on the next Space Shuttle! Impossible for you ----so you think---absolutely NOT!!!! If I could do it so can you! BUT---you gotta be honest with yourself, do your homework, and treat practice like a part time job for a year. Be honest with yourself that this IS a PHOBIA----period.
And ALL phobias are curable, period. KNOW this in your heart and soul when you begin to practice---then see the END IN MIND FROM THE GETGO. Whatever is right for you to be cured----using a stall freely or all the way to the trough urinals like me--know what is right for YOU TO FEEL CURED. Because once you are there---you'll know it in your heart and soul. I picked ANY, ALL, SAME-----meaning---my end in mind was ANY urinal, or whatever was available---ALL situations, types of urinals, people present or not----ARE THE SAME TO MY BODY AND MIND. Simply put, CURE!---not thinking about it at all---all situations are the same. I repeated these words as "CUES" to my mind--over and over and over again thousands of times---but only when peeing. At home alone, in practice at urinals, with people present or not--etc. IT WORKED! NOW, I piss in any situation without regard for the "conditions" of the situation. I have no safe or unsafe program running in my mind. I REPROGRAMMED my mind to accept the NEW program which was how I wanted the end to be in the beginning of practice in 2000. This all happened in stages of about 30 days each. Each stage brought a new challenge to be as bold as possible. First it was going into very scary urinal situations and challenging myself to SUCCEED--and I DID! Then, more risky behavior---like pissing in a parking lot of a grocery store and not caring--AND I DID! The stories and situations go on and on for me---but the basic principals are the same for you---CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO SUCCEED AND SAY TO YOURSELF "I DONT GIVE A F__K WHAT ANYBODY THINKS IF I GO OR NOT---IM GONNA TRY ANYWAY. That is the cure folks. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOU WILL SUCCEED TOO!!! Now, as I write this, I return from a summer YMCA camp gathering of 300 men for a 4 day conference. ALL MEN, cabins with 10 beds, all public restrooms. This would have sent me to high anxiety before the cure. NOW, I went BEYOND-THE-BEYOND just to show off---to myself and others there as a twisted "kick" for my new ego. Pissing with a buddy both of us using one urinal as if was only one in the room. Pissing in front of over 100 guys in a food line outside at a lunch Bar-B-Q against a tree. COMMON place fun for me now-----I know LOVE to pee---as much as I possibly can. I MADE MYSELF love to pee by loving myself, forgiving the past, living in NOW, and NEVER giving up until I felt in my heart and soul that I was CURED---PERMANENTLY! AND I AM.

there IS SO MUCH MORE TO SAY ABOUT THE ONE YEAR PROCESS THAT I WILL SIMPLY NOW LIST HALLMARK STEPS WITHIN THE YEAR PROCESS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

---Found IPA website May 2000
---Started behavior modification desensitization practice (exposure therapy) June 2000 with pee buddy found on IPA website
---Went to IPA workshop in June 2000 in Los Angeles. Learned I was NOT a freak
---Practiced 3 times a week for 2-3 hours each session until January 2001
when I went to "life practice"
---Life practice was going out into the world on my own and placing myself in bold and scary peeing situations ALL THE TIME--weekends with men only camping, YMCA gathering, etc. Boldly stepping up to ANY urinal and trying.
---TOTALLY engulfed myself in books and website to understand my paruresis and phobias--learned what to do about the phobia.
---Attended the PHOBESE Course in my home city for 10 weeks----repeated class for another 10. Found that a phobia COULD BE CURED---ANY PHOBIA. KNEW I could do it for sure now. (Note: This course CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER! and I HIGHLY recommend it to all---but ya GOTTA DO THE HOMEWORK OR IT WONT WORK FOLKS!) see course at www.PHOBESE.COM
---Treated my clinical depression and anxiety with a competent PSYCHIATRIST--but began way earlier than 2000---5 years earlier
---Found in therapy that I had obsessive-compulsive disorder as well.
Treated this as well and it worked wonders on the phobia as I would obsess about failure peeing INSTEAD of KNOWING I would succeed as a common bodily function---LIKE I DO NOW.
---Started taking seratonin based medications in 1995. Changed a dozen times to finally arrive at a "cocktail" drug mixture of Effexor (depression and anxiety), Remeron (OCD and phobia obsessing and anxiety and to block sexual side effects of Effexor, not ejaculating freely) Buspar (a common, older anti anxiety drug), and Wellbutrin (a common leveling off of mood swings drug) in 2000.
---Saw my PSYCHIATRIST (not a therapist!) twice a month during the one year (have been going for 6 years now----but NEVER even told him about the pee shyness until May 2000!---I was THAT embarrassed!) and freely discussed practice and its ups and downs.
---NEVER let the ups and down of practice detour me from TOTAL RECOVERY TO CURE---like not understanding why I could pee in a place once and not the next time----stayed at it until the site or circumstances didn't matter any more.
---peed in front of as many people as possible----whenever possible----just "waited it out" until I would start--KNOWING in my heart I could do it! And there were PLENTY of times I did NOT PEE folks, believe me, and I would feel sad but not let it detour me from my ultimate goal of peeing freely anywhere-anytime-with anybody present. "GOT IT" in my mind that this is the way normal people urinate and it was OK DAMN IT! to feel this way---it is the way we ALL FELT before we had a phobic incident surrounding peeing. For some people the phobia is spiders---others its airplanes---for us it is peeing. NOT WEIRD---simply a phobia worsened over time through avoidance to situations where we could possibly fail. So we did fail because we never would try. And our minds allowed this to be because it was our heartfelt will-----to avoid and feel good----try and feel like poo--poo. Our bodies developed the system to make us feel good---avoid restrooms---and there was the phobia all wrapped up and ready to strike at any time
---Learned I was a MILD paruretic (so my the time it took me to cure this was short by possible comparison). YOU must start to practice wherever you feel comfortable NOW. Wherever that is. And strive for your end-in-mind at the getgo! It could take you months or years to get there. But if you want it BAD----like I did-----It WILL come in time. CURING this phobia became the focus of my life for one whole year. NOW, I get 30+ years FREE of it forever---WELL WORTH THE TIME EFFORT AND EXPENSE.
---Learned to use "cues" to pee. Words of association
---Used physical "cues" as milestones in recovery. Items, like a small snow globe purchased the day I first used a trough urinal to "remember the success" to capture the moment
---Learned to RELAX through self hypnosis tapes. Learned it well by religiously listening to tapes 1 or 2 times a day for 4 months--extra benefit is I can relax at will now in many other situations besides just peeing.
---Learned to trust and re-connect with my higher power. My personal belief in a universal God was MY lifeline to my cure. I trusted and lived one day at a time-----just like AA, although I have never been to any anonymous type meeting ever. I simply BELIEVED. In my god, myself, and in my ABSOLUTE ABILITY to cure this disorder. IT WORKED!
---Practiced-Practiced-Practiced. In 2 or 3 time a week sessions of hours, at the IPA workshop, on my own, with friends, and in any former "tough" situation that I could drum up. One time on vacation I ate too much dinner. Went back to my hotel room and drank the practice water to go and pee and threw up from it. I NEEDED to use this practice time----the second that day---as there were many busy hotels around me-----so I drank MORE WATER after heaving and went and practiced anyway. I WAS DEDICATED to a cure. Period. And you can be too!!!!!
---Started an IPA local support group and helped other while helping myself
---When I knew I was cured I let go of ALL the past, including my support group and the IPA website, as this is the way to stay cured----not to dwell in the past---to move on----and KNOW that it is "OVER". The experts agree that when you are "done" you will want to forget the phobia and move on. This is what I did and had to do for ME.

So that is by basic story and the way I did it. Your story is
different---everyone's is. BUT, the same basic principals apply for all.
TRY, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, FORGIVE THE PAST, GET SOME HELP and you can DO ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE TO DO. PERIOD. Love to all reading this from a former paruretic who understands where you are at AND THAT YOU MAY BE EMBARKING ON A SCARY ADVENTURE and you are looking for answers. The answer lies within you. It has all along. Find it---whatever that is for you---and you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams---and all areas of your life will change too. You will become the person you have always wanted to be. MY DREAM came true and so it can for you!.


Copyright 1999-2011 Shy Bladder Center.

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: This website is NOT a substitute for medical or legal advice and does not constitute the practice of law, medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, clinical social work, or any other mental health profession.  If you are having trouble urinating, you should always contact a physician since difficulty with voiding can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. We are a group of professional people and people who have suffered with paruresis. We have assembled a board and a board of advisors to help people cope with urinary dysfunction that has a psychological or social origin. On this website, we are NOT practicing medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, clinical social work or any other mental health profession. You should have your doctor evaluate your condition before diagnosing yourself, and seek the appropriate necessary mental health counseling if warranted. SBI, Inc. disclaims any and all legal liability whatsoever.



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