Rise Over Runs- A Diarrhea Inspired Project
I think sometimes its hard to truly quantify the way one day’s events can affect your whole life. Even thinking back on this is causing me to tense up, each letter typed on my keyboard is more of a struggle than the one before it. The day’s events still haunt me to this day, and I often find myself wondering how things would be different if it hadn’t happened the way it did.
It happened while I was with one of the most stunning girls at my high school, not just physical beauty but one of the most pure, loving souls I’ve ever met in my life. Every time I saw her my heart would skip a beat; every time we talked or laughed or smiled, I felt like I had never felt before, I can’t describe it. I struggled with confidence at the time, which is something that has followed me my entire life. I was so scared that if I opened myself up to her she would reject me; I can’t explain why, but it was a fear that overtook me, and for weeks, months, I never felt comfortable telling her how incredible, amazing, unbelievable she truly was.
One day when she and I were sharing a pair of pizza bagels over lunch, I slowly started to work myself up to finally tell her. With each bite of cheese, green olive and cajon chicken, I felt stronger and stronger about it: this girl was one of a kind and we connected on so many levels, emotionally, spiritually, it was all there. The time to step up was now.
I turned to her and she smiled. As I opened my mouth I felt a rush to my head and I felt like I couldn’t breath. This was it. Then, all of a sudden, I felt an uncomfortable rumble in my abdomen. Oh god. I knew this feeling. Dread came over my face and I knew things were about to spiral out of my control. I just kept thinking, “Not now, not now, please Lord my savior, not know”. I tried to get up but the rumble grew in intensity. I didn’t have a chance. She started rubbing my arm and a concerned look came over her face. “Please Lord, not now”.
I felt trapped. Suffocated. I couldn’t move. Breath. Talk. I wanted desperately to ask her to leave but I couldn’t muster the words. Then it came. Like the rush of an all-powerful mudslide, the diarrhea exploded out of my anus, more intense than I had ever felt, and a consistency of which I cannot bring myself to describe. I was frozen. My entire body had been overcome by an embarrassment which I still have trouble shaking. She took her hand slowly away from my arm and looked at me as if I had died. And that’s exactly how I felt. Dead. I hated, despised, loathed myself. As I saw her run away I felt both tears running down my face and diarrhea running down my leg. Dead. Hated. Despised. Loathed.
Things were never the same. Ever. I sent her a long apology letter and apologized in person as well, but it just seemed like the connection was gone. And that broke my heart. We would have short conversations, or smile when we passed in the hall, but it was never genuine. Never real. The weeks leading up to that day seemed like a dream, getting to spend more and more time with her and about to tell her everything I truly felt. The days after however, have been a nightmare. A living nightmare. A lonely, dark, sad, nightmare.
The events of that day have stayed with me ever since. Very rarely do I go more than a few hours without being drawn back to thoughts of that terrible day. Its almost like a backpack, where every day that I have it on it seems to get heavier and heavier, dragging me down more and more everyday. At first I tried to just shake it off a la Taylor Swift. The news of it didn’t spread as I thought it would and I was able to maintain my social life reasonably well. That didn’t last though. Everyday it haunted me more and more and started to effect my life on a daily basis. I would go out less. Interact less with my friends. Interact less with my family. I felt isolated. Alone. Like I had nowhere else to go.
The problems continued during my time at Queen’s. I thought that heading in a new direction would help put those things in the past. But I was still haunted by the images of me running out of the school towards home, a trail of diarrhea following behind me through the halls; the feeling of the diarrhea squishing beneath my feet, ruining my favourite pair of shoes; I couldn’t get it out of my head. I have never been able to connect with other people, no matter how hard people tried to reach out to me. I’ve just been so scared that if I connect with people here they’ll end up running out of my life the same way that she ran out of the cafeteria when she saw the diarrhea running down and out my pant leg.
“Like the rush of an all-powerful mudslide, the diarrhea exploded out of my anus, more intense than I had ever felt, and a consistency of which I cannot bring myself to describe.”
But enough is enough. I need to move on with my life. I’ve known that a long time, but I’ve never known how to make that happen. Every attempt I made still resulted in me having the same haunting thoughts of my diarrhea soaked lower body at the end of the day. So I’ve decided I need to accomplish two things: I need to re-connect with her, she still in my opinion is the most incredible, inspiring, loving person I know, and that opinion will never change. Number two, is that I need to get this story out there, no matter how gut wrenching that thought is to me, I need to have this story as far reaching as possible, so other people in similar situations can learn from me. I want them to understand that one traumatic diarrhea-related incident should not drag you down, but should lift you up and put things in perspective. There are far worse things in life than the uncomfortable feeling of diarrhea exploding out of your ass and running down your legs. Believe me.
That has led to the creation of this project. And today, upon the release of this story, I will have the opportunity to meet back up with the girl who I have and will always care about, to finally, at long last, get to tell her exactly that. And I’m not looking back.
That is my story, of rising over runs.