Reviews & Profiles
What it Means to... Be an adult bedwetter
Posted Wednesday, February 27 2013 at 00:00
Stella, in her 20s, still wakes up to a wet bed every single morning.
I burn with shame every time it happens. Every time I wake up and feel that tell-tale moist warmth beneath me. Why me? Why do I have to live with this constant humiliation of wetting my bed well into my adulthood?
I am in my late 20s, have a job, a lot of friends. I have my share of male attention like any girl of my age. Basically, my life looks charmed until I go to bed at night. I am happier if I do not go to bed, like if we go partying with my friends because then I will not have to sleep.
No sleep, no bed wetting which-means a rare morning experience where there is no beddings to clean. It is a blessed relief not to feel that knot in my gut I get every time I wake up to find my bed wet.
My mother calls it “my problem” so I am going to refer to it as such from here on. I cannot say when it started. It just never stopped from when I was a child. Not even when I went to boarding school in primary and secondary. It never stopped when I went to university, or after university.
Naturally, I have tried a lot of therapies and treatments. From desisting from taking any drinks after 3pm to setting the alarm and waking up several times in the night. My mother got me several herbal remedies, horrible tasting concoctions that I took religiously, but to little avail.
The fruitless efforts
I have even been advised to take lots of water throughout the day and before going to bed which will give me a full bladder and thus cause me to wake up severally to ease myself and not wet the bed.
The only thing these therapies did was to make me more frustrated with myself, especially if they came with assurances that they worked for somebody else. I would feel like I am not trying hard enough, like I do not want to stop.
So I took it upon myself to try harder. I have read up on it, and tried virtually anything I saw online. I even joined a prayer group where I shared with the leader. We fasted and prayed together but I still woke up to a wet bed. I remember at that time I got so depressed I even contemplated committing suicide. I kept wondering why nothing was changing despite all the sacrifices I was making.
I then resorted to staying awake at night. After all sleep had become a very nervous experience for me. I would pretend I was up watching movies while in reality, I just wanted to avoid going to bed and wetting it.
It worked, but I could not sustain it for long as I would be asleep on my feet throughout the day. I was falling behind on my classes at campus because I would doze off the minute I sat down.
I could not socialise either as I was nodding off all the time. My mother was concerned about my irritability and zombie-like state at that time so she took me to a doctor. He could not point out why I was always so fatigued since all the tests turned out negative. I knew it was because I was not sleeping at all but I could not tell them.
However, when we went back home, I had to make the difficult decision of resuming normal sleep and a wet bed, or risk dropping dead from exhaustion not to mention missing out on everything. Reason prevailed and I went back to regular sleeping hours.
The no sleep method may sound extreme but it is pretty tame compared to what was employed in my early teenage years by my parents and other relatives.
My grandmother tried beating me into stopping it. My parents once forced me to sleep in the same soggy beddings for a week, that this would disgust me into stopping. I had seven days of teary disturbed sleep but once I got exhausted and slept, I would wake up and the bed was wet.
Another time, I was forced to sleep on a sack on the floor for some days because someone told my mom that it was the comfort of my bed that made me sleep so hard that I forgot to get up and go to the bathroom. They even tried bribes, withholding certain privileges, threats, but as long as I fell asleep, my bladder would open.