Everyone poops

“Look at this book we found,” Heather laughs. “Everyone Poops!”

We are both childless sophomores in college. The toilet-training sub-genre of children’s books is completely foreign to us. Heather brought the book to cheer me up, so I manage a smile despite the circumstances.

I’m glad that Heather and Matt have come to visit. Of course, they’re the only ones that know I’m here. I can hold the book now that they’ve removed the restraints. I was even allowed up to use the toilet before they arrive. I bet this book doesn’t mention what happens to poop after you’ve been given activated charcoal.

We flip through the book chuckling at the illustrations. It’s meant to help people talk about what comes naturally. We are using it to avoid talking about what happened.

I don’t remember if I started saving the pills before or after phoning Counseling Services and learning there was a waiting list. It seems everyone has problems.

I waited until Kristen had left our dorm room with her boyfriend. I filled a glass from the bathroom sink and began taking the pills. I’ve always hated swallowing medicine, so I had to use my trick: take a sip of water, tilt my jaw and bend my tongue so the water stays in my mouth when I slip in the pill. Push the pill back with my tongue and swallow. If the pill gets stuck, down it with extra gulps.

I tidied up my stuff, leaving the bottle on my dresser and laying down on my twin bed.  I really liked my roommate. I felt bad about how this might affect her, but not as bad as I felt about myself.

After laying there for almost an hour, I laughed at the irony.

It didn’t work.

I fail at everything.

I went to a recital. As a music major, I was required to attend a set number of performances every semester. So I walked across campus to the recital hall, grabbed a program and attendance form and took a seat.

I don’t remember who performed. All I can recall is the sensation of trying to keep my head on top of my shoulders. I knew I shouldn’t be falling asleep at a recital, but I was finding it hard to stay awake.

Then it was a blur. I remember people talking at me. I was in Heather’s dorm room. I was in the back of an ambulance. I was on my back in the ER, fluorescent lights blinding me, people in white coats asking me “What did you take? How much did you take?” I couldn’t answer. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I didn’t want to.

Then I was waking in a hospital room, strapped down to my bed.

When Heather and Matt had arrived, it was easier to look at pictures of animals relieving themselves than to face reality.

The reality is that everyone is muddling through.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Everyone cries.

Everyone hurts.

Everyone poops.

If I’m going to tell this story for the first time, I can’t think of a better place to share it than on the Yeah Write #104 birthday grid.


43 thoughts on “Everyone poops

  1. I’m sorry you went through that dark time. It sounds like you had great friends though and that’s awesome. I think it’s very brave of you to tell your story. You just may help someone else who is having a particularly difficult time right now. You’re right about us all muddling through and us all pooping

    p.s. The past few posts that you have written have been great. I’ve really been enjoying your A-Z’s.


    1. Thanks, Deenie.
      I’ve already decided that I’m not doing the A to Z again. It’s been nice to get some new visitors, but I don’t feel like I have the time to check out other participants. Plus, I really limited myself, so now it seems more like work than fun. Lesson learned!


  2. That is a difficult place to pull back from. Everyone poops and as difficult as it is we all experience moving past some poop of our own as well.


  3. I have fond memories of that book back when I worked at a bookstore. 😀
    Thank you for sharing this! I know how scary it is to try to tell others “Yes, so my brain convinced me to try to off myself…” No, I’m not crazy. No, I’m not going to do that now. Yes, I still think about doing it when I have an overly dark moment but I know it will pass. Jenny Lawson explained it best with “Depression is a lying Bastard”
    – with love from the A to Z challenge Heather, the Evil Twin @ thewinetwins.blogspot.com


  4. Since we’re all throwing poop around, I’ll add to it. I always talk about needing a bigger hat for when the (s*#t) poop rains down so heavily. Yes, it’s difficult to get past, if we ever do but…knowing we aren’t alone is the biggest help.


    1. I only posted it to the Yeah Write grid. I know it got shared with my subscribers, but I wasn’t brave enough to tweet the link which then would have ended up on Facebook. Funny how it is easier to tell the story to strangers.


  5. What a wonderfully written, powerful story about such a sensitive subject. I’ve been there, swallowed those pills, made those same dumb decisions. Your post was so delicately, yet poignantly worded, it drew me right back to my own emotions. Bravo for having the courage to write this.


  6. This was beautiful, both your bravery for telling the story, and the way it was told. My brother committed suicide, and I think it’s important for survivors to speak out and show others that they found hope, and a way to move on. Well done, and thank you.


  7. You are so brave to share this painful time in your life. I am so sorry that you had to face this darkness, but am so happy that you found the light. And you are so right. We all make mistakes, stumble, and fall down in our lives. What counts, I think, is what we do next.


  8. Thank you for writing this post, Cynk. I’ve been through exactly the same thing, and often I need a reminder that it wasn’t/isn’t worth it. And I so appreciate your honesty and your willingness to share what many people would be ashamed of. This can happen to anybody.


  9. Man, who knew jabbing at you to make sure you would join us this week would bring out this. I hope you feel good about your decision to share the story and that it has brought healing. Love your writing. Love your strength. Love your poop?


    1. Yes, your tweet the other night was the kick in the pants. The post began brewing when I was trying to come up with my “E” post for the A to Z challenge. It didn’t fit in with my theme, so I had stuffed it down until your jab.
      “Love your poop” hahaha!


  10. This is incredibly. I had no idea when you started with that book where you were going with it. I’m just in awe. I wish I could come up with a better comment, but I can’t. Nothing I say will do justice to this post, to its impact.

    Thank you for sharing this.


  11. Wow. How terrible, but yet so well told! I loved how you slowly revealed what happened and also how you matter of factly explained how you took the pills. Thank God you survived to tell the story.


  12. Thank you for sharing your story. I did a large project in college, soul searching through creativity of sorts. When I was through the review board asked what my conclusion was. Amazingly it was that although we are all unique, we are also so generic. The common parts are much greater than the individual ones – we all suffer, we laugh, we grow, we all poop! I am glad you are here to share.


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