I spent the better part of today sitting across from a fellow survivor (whom I met through my blog) in a hipster little cafe on the outskirts of our city, and as conversations often do, we gravitated to discussing anxiety, something we have a lot of experience with. One of the things we got to talking about was how so many people don’t talk about the too regular and agonising visits to the toilet.
I spent the last two days, thinking I had caught a bug off of one of the kids, I was nauseous, spending more time on the toilet than usual, I even cancelled a dinner at a friend’s place because I thought I really was sick. I also felt tired and in general off, the more I sat with it, the more I realised it was actually anxiety because by the end of the day it had calmed down and ramped right back up this morning and it started all over again.
We all do number’s 2’s, poop, take dumps or defecate most days right? And we all know it, we live among those that dump yet we kinda pretend we don’t, there's some shame somewhere there surrounding adult pooping.
But you know they’re “walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’ve been pooping too”.…. -‘The sixth sense’
So let’s talk about poop.
If there was one thing more irritating about some of the anxiety symptoms other than anxiety itself, is the diarrhoea that comes as an accompanying symptom, a symptom that is also thought to be a sign of anxiety.
There are a few reasons diarrhoea is one of the most annoying symptoms, that those living with anxiety might face every day:
- It can give you sometimes all day/all night relentless diarrhoea. Not always but often can. And dumping a lot of times a day really makes you feel pretty average and just fed up.
- It’s really hard to spell, I can not even tell you the amount of ways I have tried to spell D-I-A- ummmm– _R-E-A-H, yes that's it, diarearh? Far out… man, how do you spell this word again. Sometimes I spell it so badly that even Dr.Google sometimes has no idea what I’m spelling and has zero suggestions.
- The way it effects your body’s gastrointestinal tract means it causes bloating, discomfort and cramps just like you’re on your period, except that you’re not….yeah, that seems fair. No more really needs to be said on how frustrating that is for a woman.
Mia Freedman on her love for routine on I Don't Know How She Does It.
- Even with the relentless anxi-poops you’d think you’d probably be hungry more often. But no, anxiety is also messing with your digestive tract so much so that you really can’t bare the idea of eating or can sometimes go with only eating once a day. It does NOT
e.g. makes Mr. Poop visit, then along comes Mr. Anxiety who causes that asshole Mr. Diarrhoea to show up suddenly, then having nothing to pass then makes way for stomach who leads to food consumption which can then cause more Mr. Anxiety and when your body is working so terribly your mental health suffers. And so the cycle continues.
. Its just an awful thing that happens to go hand in hand.
- If you have morning anxiety you have to ensure the pooping fit has passed before you leave the house, because if it's bad, you need a toilet right now, and if you don’t go right now you feel as though it’ll come out of your mouth; imagine me standing there casually with my school mum friends one sunny Monday morning but with just a phenomenal amount of diarrhoea coming out of my mouth while I mumble “oh hey guys, how was your weekend?” as if there isn’t. That could happen.
Anxiety really is something that affects peoples daily lives whether it be because of diarrhoea (OMG, I spelt it right first go….woah). It also causes panic attacks, chest tightening, restlessness, nausea, feeling wound up or on edge, hot and cold flushes which can cause excessive sweating. Many others suffer from excessive fear, worry and obsessive thinking among others, while all those people too may experience more behavioural issues such as avoidance which can cause issues in social, work or study, and depression.
Anxiety is a very real problem, for a vast array of people, it doesn’t discriminate. It’s not just a fad, a thing people say get attention. It’s a real issue within the lives of real people.
I guess the reason for this blog is just so others who might pooping their pants with worry at the idea anyone else might know their deep dark diarrhoea secret, well, now they know mine too. I also don’t know how to fix mine yet, but we’ll get there.
We are never alone in our struggles as human beings, and the beauty of a technological age is that we can all spread the word of anxi-poops and connect over them over and over again.
P.S… I have never pooped my pants…. in public. I don’t think.