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I had become a prisoner of My Own Private Bathroom, a sanctuary and source of salvation in my life, and I was desperate to be released from a life-long sentence.

     For over 40 years, since I was 13 and at a familiar summer camp, I could not urinate easily while other people were nearby in a bathroom. It didn’t matter whether it was a women’s public restroom, the home of my friends and relatives or even in my own home if visitors were close by or someone was waiting for me. I simply could not “go” at will when I needed to, no matter how hard I tried.     

     Despite my limitations in being unable to urinate “like everyone else,” I resisted my temptation to surrender to paruresis. Instead, I continued to try and live my life as best as I could. I simply rationalized away my condition and accepted my fate and circumstances. “Some people,” I told myself, “are in wheelchairs, while others are blind. They manage; you can, too.”     

     In the most desperate of times, I prayed.

To read more, please download the Sample Chapter. 

Sample chapter - Introduction.pdf