So Thankful For All the Potties

It used to bother me when I would tell a friend I suffered from anxiety, or clinical depression. Most times, their response was – oh, I know how you feel. I get nervous when I do this, or I have been sad before.

Today, when I receive this type of response, I have a Cruella Deville laugh I perform in my head. Actually, if you’re reading this Little Missy, at times, it’s the Richard Sherman laugh. If any of you are so inclined, the laugh is about 46 seconds into the following video. (after the advertisement)

I have some real serious anxiety issues, but the more I left it untreated, the more the anxiety snowballed on me. It crept into areas of my life it didn’t belong. My depression was also left untreated far too long, and I’m happy my anxiety assisted in clearing up the clinical depression — for the most part. I’m not completely there, but I’m better.

Anxiety creates physical symptoms which make us feel as if we will die, or are dying. It keeps us from leaving our homes, driving our cars, socializing. Mine finally evolved into the belief that I was developing cancer of the everything.

There are many things which seem irrational to regular people, but are very real to us. It doesn’t matter how over blown it seems to others, and we can’t simply buck up and get on with things.

Maybe this is my own personal experience, but there was a time I had some anxiety issues, which caused a little more than a normal fear response. I never sought treatment, and I had a panic attack, thinking I was going to die. Still, I never sought treatment. My unrealistic perception of perfection created more anxiety.

Eventually, just about everything caused anxiety, which created extremely obsessive thoughts.

Anyway, now that I am on the road to recovery, I’m learning patience. I spent many years creating behaviors which have to be broken. I can’t expect all of the anxiety to disappear simply because I no longer want to feel this way. It isn’t a choice, but it is something I can PERSONALLY change with my thought processes. (I’m not speaking for all anxiety sufferers, only what I know to be true for me)

While I’m not perfect in some areas, I am finding some situations hilarious. I mean, my life could be a sitcom. I don’t think it would survive a season, but I have some silly things I have created in my mind.

I mean no disrespect to any anxiety sufferer. I am merely laughing at myself

Every time I have to go somewhere, I calculate how much fluid I can consume, and how long it takes my body to process it before I’ll have to pee. I will never drink anything before flying. I have a phobia of flying, and walking around in a tin can that isn’t on the ground, just to go pee, isn’t going to be an anxiety issue I want to deal with at this moment in time.

Never, ever, will I drink within 12 hours of going to the dentist. Before I visit the dentist, I make good and sure I have no fluid left in me because once they tip that chair back, I can’t help it. Once, I stopped a dentist during a root canal, and I’ve had many instances while walking to the potty with a rubber dam in my mouth.

I play little scenarios in my mind when asked to go with a friend to shoot photos. What if there isn’t a potty? I tell myself, perhaps there will at least be a Honey Bucket. Then I obsess about it, won’t drink, and I suffer.

Of course, there will probably be bushes, but it would be the only time a cop would pass by, and I would have to register as a sex offender. Did you know that peeing in public makes you a sex offender? Yeah, in about 13 states you don’t want to be a-peeing-in-public.

Finding a potty is one of my anxieties I laugh at today. While the fear hasn’t totally dissipated, I’m finding it a little easier to live with. Besides, I know where all the potties are—wherever I may find myself.

To conquer this ridiculous fear, I have used the process of minding my thoughts and redirecting them. It is helping, but anxiety doesn’t go away over night.

I will still dehydrate myself before going anywhere, and when we arrive at any place, my husband is usually looking for a bathroom for me. He is actually shocked if I say I’m fine.



About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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25 Responses to So Thankful For All the Potties

  1. aviets says:

    I’m really glad you’re managing your anxiety. After dealing with it in my husband and our older daughter, now we’re pretty sure our younger daughter is starting to have a serious problem. She and I have talked about it, and she’s not against bringing it up with our doctor, thank goodness. But it’s so difficult to see it happening to her. -Amy

    • April says:

      I’m working hard to conquer anxiety, but I do believe that it is easier to overcome anxiety that it has been to defeat depression.

      • aviets says:

        I’ve missed you in the last week or so – thinking of you and hoping all is well. -Amy

        • April says:

          I’ve missed you too. Thought about you while we were there. It would have been nice to share a bit of conversation over a cup of coffee/tea. I’m sure to be back. We have a ton more work if we want to move there. If we decide to sell, we could have someone come in and attempt to remove the nicotine off the walls and replace the carpet, and remove the wallpaper, but I have a feeling that it would sit on the market for quite some time. It’s too far from KC for a commute. I’m pretty sure we will move there eventually–after we do the work ourselves. It’s going to be a lot of trips though. I’m driving next time. 🙂

  2. meANXIETYme says:

    OMG I think I have a really tiny bladder because I’m always thinking of whether or not I should drink before I go somewhere. I even know if I drink water at night, I’ll need to pee in ten minutes later, so I time my nighttime drinks to the minute.
    Traveling as a child, I would always refuse to drink so that I didn’t have to worry about making my father stop at a rest stop so I could pee! I’m still that way, I rarely drink on road trips, even though I know I’ll get somewhat dehydrated. Otherwise, I’ll ask when we’re going to stop, then I’ll drink 15-20 minutes before that. 🙂

  3. Okay….about the bathroom…I go before I leave for some place. but no matter if it’s a five minute drive or two hour drive I have to go as soon as I get some place. I know that doesn’t relate to your anxiety part of this post. But it’s where my head went!!

  4. revgerry says:

    Great post, I love the potty anxiety. Yes, in a panic attack you think you will die. (Then the depression would hit and I’d wish I had). It’s so hard to describe to someone else – the racing heart, the terrible shakes, the feeling that you can’t breathe. You can’t drive (the worst was one hit while I was driving), can’t concentrate, you have to STOP.

    So happy (you and I ) can stop it early now by minding our thoughts. I have been on meds for 20 years, no one can convince me to ever stop. I WON’T go back there. Before meds there was no chance for me to redirect, I was just drowning.

  5. suzjones says:

    I have a friend and we spend a lot of time together. Our families go on day trips and have even been away on holiday (vacation) together. We always scout out the toilets for her because we can guarantee she will need it. It’s just one of those things.
    Anyway, that is my very tenous link with what you wrote. lol
    Nah, I understand anxiety and the physical symptoms it produces. I really do.
    You’re doing so well dear. Keep taking those baby steps.

    • April says:

      I have been able to stop worrying about fining a potty, but I will still keep from drinking much of anything. If I don’t, and sometimes even if I do, I will have some stash in my body right at the time there is no potty available. 🙂

  6. mewhoami says:

    That is too funny. I love how your husband is knows to already be on the lookout for one for you. That’s love. 🙂 We do have some interesting fears, obsessions and quirks, don’t we? Imagine the stories we would hear if everyone was brave enough to share theirs.

  7. Gallivanta says:

    Thumbs up to you for this post. I don’t suffer from severe “potty” anxiety (I worry a bit) but I know those that do, and it’s very real. Sometimes I wonder if it relates back to early childhood potty training…I don’t think this was said to me, but I have heard things like “You can’t go to school until you give up diapers” or ” no sleepovers till you stop wetting the bed” . In other words, there is a threat or negative aspect attached to toiletting from an early age. The one phrase I do remember is that every time, before we left the house, we were asked ” Have you been to the toilet?” There was no malice intended, of course, but constant repetition did wear a groove in my brain.

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    Although I agree that there are people who say they know what it’s like to have anxiety problems when they really don’t, some of us are just experts at hiding it and don’t suffer the physical symptoms except for sleeplessness, not eating, and such. With me, the first sign usually is feeling completely overwhelmed, which lead to either crankiness (bi**hiness) or tears that don’t stop for a couple of hours. It all depends on the type of anxiety disorder you have as to what the symptoms are going to be.

    • April says:

      I totally agree. Most of mine manifests as yours does. Being overwhelmed is the biggest, but I have had more of the other symptoms that I care to experience ever again. My daughter and I have a favorite word–gritchiness. Grumpy+bitchy. 😀

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