Toilet anxiety is something I personally struggled with for years. If you're anything like me, the anxiety symptoms can often present as stomach issues (cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, to name a few). And when these symptoms pop up, it can feel like you need a bathroom that very second! These feelings can often trick you into thinking that it's not safe to be far from a bathroom, or that you're bound to have an accident if a toilet is out of reach. It might sound silly, but toilet anxiety can be really difficult to navigate on your own.
For years, I was afraid to even mention this fear to the people who loved me the most, like my husband and my mom. I mean…being afraid of pooping your pants sounds so silly, right?! Eventually, I realized I wasn’t silly for feeling this way. After all, the feelings are very real. And when I opened up to the people who loved me, I finally began to heal. I share more about my personal story in my blog post: My Journey With Toilet Anxiety - With 5 Helpful Tips!
On today’s episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Lauren Rose about her own journey with toilet anxiety. Like me, Lauren tried to hide her struggles for years. But today, she shares just how she overcame toilet anxiety! Lauren Rose is a writer, mom, and partner who shares her story of overcoming toilet anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia with her community.
Lauren shares many of the changes she made that helped her to overcome bathroom anxiety, and inspires so many people in the process! She shares so much valuable information in this episode, but I want to talk about some of my favorite pieces of advice that she mentioned...
Engaging in Safety Behaviors Keeps the Toilet Anxiety Coming Back
Here's the thing... safety behaviors might make you feel like they are keeping you safe, but they're really just keeping you stuck. Lauren shares that these behaviors just kept her stuck in the dreaded loop of fear and self-doubt. And when it comes to toilet anxiety, these behaviors can become very restrictive. When you're relying on objects to ensure your safety, you learn to not give yourself any of the credit. And ultimately, you start to believe that you can't rely on yourself for safety.
These safety behaviors might look sound like...
Taking medications like Imodium to prevent pooping
Avoiding certain foods while out in public
Wearing a diaper
We talk about the importance of ditching these behaviors throughout the recovery journey. Because as you drop the safety behaviors, you begin to realize that you are your safe place. And that these objects and behaviors were never keeping you safe. It was just you all along!
Learning to Nurture Yourself Through the Uncomfortable Moments
For many of us who struggle with toilet anxiety, it can feel natural to look outside of ourselves for support when things are hard! But just like the safety behaviors, we’re teaching ourselves this comfort can’t come from within ourselves. Lauren mentions that learning to nurture herself was one of the most powerful tools she used throughout her recovery journey.
Taking a moment to be kind to yourself can really work wonders! Over time, this kindness teaches us that we really can trust ourselves. And it can be a great reminder that no matter what, you’ve got your own back! Learning to be compassionate with yourself goes a long way on the anxiety recovery journey. (more on that here!)
Releasing the Power of Anxiety by Being Open About Our Struggles
For Lauren, sharing her journey with the world brought her so much peace. And it did for me, too! Many of us tend to be ashamed of our anxiety or see it as something that we need to hide from the world. But what if your struggles are actually your greatest strength? Lauren mentions that when she created her YouTube channel and saw that there were people with experiences similar to hers, she felt like she had the space to breathe again. Being open about what you’re experiencing can release so much of the power that anxiety holds over us.
Struggling with toilet anxiety can be so difficult, but you can overcome this! And if you’re wanting some extra support to help you finally say goodbye to toilet anxiety, my Freedom From Toilet Anxiety masterclass is just the thing you’re looking for! In this masterclass, you'll learn practical tools that will allow you to start saying 'yes' to things, whether or not there is a bathroom nearby! And if you can't make it to the live session, don't worry! The class will be recorded and sent to you.
If you’re interested in hearing about my personal journey with toilet anxiety, you can check out my blog post and podcast here! And, of course, don’t forget to tune in to this week’s podcast for even more helpful tips from Lauren.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH LAUREN:
Free resources, E-book, mentoring, & all the things: Head here!
On Instagram: @laurenr_rose
Struggling with toilet anxiety? Join my two hour masterclass and I'll teach you how you can say goodbye to the fear of not making it to a bathroom in time!