Let me tell ya something
I hate pooping in public.
There, I said it. It’s a fear of mine. And I’m betting that I’m not alone… especially because there’s a word for it.
Google calls this Parcopresis: the inability to defecate without a certain level of privacy.
I will only poop in a public restroom if I absolutely have to. Why?! IDK, we all poop! But we don’t want everyone else to know that we poop.
Going #2 at work is a covert operation for me. I don’t use the bathroom right next to me—I sneak down the hallway.
I walk down that hall like I’m involved in a drug deal. I check my 12 and 6, searching for eyewitnesses that could only come to one conclusion should they ever put the pieces together that I’ve ventured farther than necessary from my desk: “Oh, that girl poopin’.”
I peek into the bathroom to make sure that I don’t recognize anyone or anyone’s shoes. I can’t run into anyone I work with while in the bathroom because then there’s an awkward “hi”, but I know they’re really thinking “did she just poop”? Is that HER odor? Once I realize nobody I know is in there, I rush to a stall, keeping my shoes out of sight. Being as quiet as I can, I do my business. You know how hard it is to poop fast when you need to poop fast?
Of course you don’t—you don’t poop.
The other day I was minding my own business (and doing my business), trying to convince myself that I’m alone and not in a public restroom where everyone else has been doing their business.
SIDE NOTE: I hate sitting on the toilet for copious amounts of time. It’s like the longer you sit, the more chance you have of contracting some type of disease from the toilet seat. I need to bring my own cleaning supplies. Anywho…
The other day, whilst I was both minding and doing my business, another woman came into the bathroom, sat down in the stall next to me, and began to grunt and groan. Shamelessly. Like a bodybuilder on leg day.
It gets worse…
She started talking to herself! Mumbling and carrying on! I couldn’t make out what she was saying completely, but in between grunts all that could be heard was “that’s disgusting” and “oh my goodness.”
I was in shock. My eyes were wide, and I lost focus on my task at hand. I was under the impression that most people—nay—everyone wished to poop in secret, but she didn’t mind if the whole world knew! She continued to hold her one-sided conversation as she wrapped up and washed her hands. As she was drying her hands, (I’m assuming all of this as I’m listening in the semi-privacy of my own stall) she did the unthinkable.
She addressed me.
I was still in the stall…pooping! (Obviously hoping she thought I was peeing.)
She said, “Oh, don’t think I’m crazy; I talk to myself all the time.” She chuckled and then paused.
PAUSED. Awaiting a response.
As if I’m actually supposed to respond! I cringed and shriveled on my toilet seat in an attempt to make myself as small as I could so she wouldn’t be able to see me through the cracks. Hopeful, I thought, Maybe she doesn’t know I’m in here. Followed by, I’m taking a crap; I don’t talk to people while I’m taking a crap. And I’m definitely not going to laugh with a stranger! I’m not even supposed to be in here! She proceeded to laugh and say as she exits, “You must think I’m crazy.”
I picked the wrong day to poop.
Of course I think you’re crazy! But I ain’t going to tell you that while I’m going to the bathroom. Something you’re supposed to do in privacy. of. your. own. home!
I left there as fast as I could, checking around all the corners as I left.
My exit presents a new problem: what am I going to do if someone I know sees me coming out of the bathroom? Perhaps they’ll say, “You must’ve been pooping, seeing as you are all the way down the hall and not in the comfort of our own bathroom.”
To which I will say, “I was going for a walk.”
Now, if I have coworkers that ask what I was doing in the bathroom, who is the one that should really be embarrassed? Hm?
Yes, I think too much about this.
Maybe you don’t have a fear of pooping, but I’m sure you have fears. Who cares if someone found out I pooped, would they laugh in my face? ….probably, but who cares? Not me!
Why do I let fear have so much control over my life? I mean, analyzing my poop strategy? Come on.
I’ve been working on trying to let go of some of my fears, even if they are small. Overcoming small fears soon becomes overcoming big fears. There are different types of fears—fears of the unknown, what could happen, or will happen, fears of speaking in public, dying, or not living to your full potential. But I’m going to start with overcoming those fears that are more readily in my control.
Like pooping in a public restroom like an adult.
Tips for Overcoming Fear:
1. Admit you have a fear
I have a fear of admitting my fears! What?! I’m flawed? Of course I am, we all are. You have to acknowledge that you have a fear of something before you can start overcoming it. Be honest with yourself. These are some of my top (more readily in my control) fears: These are all things I’ve noticed about myself and some I’ve already begun working on.
- Just walking up and introducing myself to someone out of the blue, talking to strangers, or mingling with people especially other moms. If I have a foreordained script or someone sent me to talk to them, I can muster up the strength, but if someone said, go talk to that person, no way!
- Admitting that I don’t know something. I don’t want people to think I’m stupid. I feel like if I say “I don’t know” they’ll see me as completely incompetent. BUT I CAN’T POSSIBLY KNOW IT ALL!
- Sharing my beliefs or things I’m passionate about. What if someone calls them stupid or think I’m weird?
- We can’t forget, pooping in public.
2. Do the fear.
Whether its pooping in public or talking to a stranger on the street, you have to set up goals to do the fear. Take small steps. Even the smallest steps can help. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll become, and then you’ll be able to move to the next step. I try to make a goal every Sunday to talk to someone new at church. Just one person and just say hi. I mean the worse thing they can say is “get away, I hate you”.
3. Hope for the best possible outcome. Be an Optimist.
If you’re trying to overcome a fear, and before you even go for it, you see yourself failing, you have already failed. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Envision yourself doing it and following through with it. Always hope for the best. Be an optimist! Also, don’t let your past failures or mistakes take away from your daily victories. We tend to focus more on our daily negatives then our positives. Take each day as a new day and a new chance to succeed.
4. Have a support system.
Tell your husband, friend, sister, mom or co-worker what you’re going to do, so you have someone to report to, help you, and keep you accountable. Or use a check list, like I do. I love lists. Write it down so you can check it off! Pray about it, ask the Lord for help. Have him be your support. He would love to help you overcome a fear.
5. Don’t be afraid to try again.
One of my biggest fears that I struggle with the most is the fear of failure! No one wants to fail, but don’t let that keep you from trying. What if it works out? What if something you “woulda, shoulda, coulda done” 10 years ago would be successful right now? Don’t get into the mindset “oh that won’t work, so I’m not going to try”. You might fail. You might fail the first 3 times, but that’s okay, this doesn’t make you a failure. But what if you succeed? You’ll never know unless you try!
Why is it Important to Conquer our Fears?
Can you imagine how much better our lives would be if we took away our fears? We would do more, see more, and accomplish more. We would hold nothing back and take nothing from nobody. We would think more of helping others and less of ourselves. We’d have confidence, drive, and motivation. Less worry, panic, and anxiety. We’d see the world as our opportunity instead of our disadvantage or detriment. We’d live like there’s no tomorrow and value everyday.
So start with your small fears, then work upward. You can do it! Go out and conquer the world! …Or your bathroom!