I have two Masters Degrees and am successful in life. Great wife, job, kids. . . I have it all. I however have been controlled by one specific anxiety my whole life. This group helps and is doing very important work with very meaningful consequences for millions of people like me. In my situation, drug testing, which is required, is my worse nightmare even though I have never done any drugs in my life. anyway, this is a great nonprofit.
As someone who suffered from a severe case of shy bladder syndrome for 40+ years, I didn't know who else to turn to. All the professionals from whom I had sought help had failed me, and the people in my life, while supportive, didn't know what to say or do to relieve the constant and heightened anxiety I felt each time I entered a bathroom. My life had become increasingly limited because of my condition. Then, back in 1997, I discovered the IPA, then in its infancy stages. Suddenly I found others with my symptoms who commiserated and communicated. I went on to take two IPA-sponsored workshops, practiced the exercises that were taught to me there, and gradually recovered. As a result, I regained my life. What more could one ask? At the same time, I developed meaningful and longstanding friendships with many of those people who are either fellow sufferers of paruresis or equally dedicated to helping people recover from this debilitating condition.
For more than 40 years, I suffered from a severe case of paruresis. Almost every waking moment my attention was focused on everyday rituals - the when, where, how, and whether I could urinate that day and the consequences of not being able to do so. As a result, I missed out on all kinds of life-affirming activities and opportunities. In short, my condition ran my life - it defined who I was to a large degree - and I felt very alone and isolated because of it. In 1997, I made a startling discovery that ultimately changed the course of my life: I located an Internet-based Discussion Forum (now operated by the IPA)through which I found others with many of my symptoms. I went on to enroll in two SBI workshops, at which I made tremendous progress; armed with new-found confidence and dedication, I continued to practice - over and over - many of the exercises I learned. Gradually I achieved a full recovery to the extent that paruresis no longer controls my life. Through extensive communication with other female paruretics over the years, I gained new insights about issues and behaviors that are unique to female paruretics - and went on to write and publish a book to help empower others in their journey towards leading a paruresis-free life. As a result of my recovery and my involvement in the IPA, my life has changed in many remarkable and unforeseen ways. When I look back on my life's accomplishments, overcoming paruresis is definitely at the top of my list. I am eternally grateful to the Shy Bladder Institute, its capable leaders, and its compassionate supporters, and I know I speak for countless others who have greatly benefited as I have.