Poop. That’s right, I said it. Poop. You can’t stop me! Poop!

We have a lot of taboos in our society, things we’re not supposed to talk about. But silence slows down progress and cuts off support. Today, I want to talk about why we must break the taboos we all face with illness. Watch today’s video now for some really – I mean REALLY – frank talk about my own experience with breaking the “poo taboo.”

*AWAP = As Well As Possible

Now it’s your turn:

What taboos are you breaking? Which ones do you wish people would get over? Share your experience in the comments below.

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Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches!

(Loose) Transcript:

Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible).

Each week, I offer you my personal favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can.

Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK?

We have a lot of taboos in our society, things we’re not supposed to talk about. It was only a generation ago that no one said the word cancer out loud – we had to whisper it.

My generation saw the rise of HIV and AIDS, and for many years most people were silent about being HIV-positive – but that did nothing to help the community. I understand why people were silent – they needed to protect their careers, their personal safety, their families – but silence slows down progress and cuts off support.

Today, I want to talk about why we must break the taboos we all face with illness.

The Poo Taboo and the Isolation Problem

My intern, Alix, has irritable bowel disease or IBD. She introduced me to a new phrase yesterday, which I can’t believe I hadn’t heard before: the poo taboo. I grew up in a household of mouthy ladies and we talked about everything, so poo was never a taboo. But some people are REALLY hung up on talking about poop.

We’re afraid to talk about our butts, which is weird, because most people have no problems talking about other bodily fluids. But butt stuff gets us all freaked out. This causes isolation.

Here’s a personal example from my life: I recently crapped myself. Yup! I said it. I got some kind of GI bug and couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time. At first, I tried to hide it from my fiancee, quietly cleaning myself up and throwing out my panties. But he could tell something had happened. I fessed up, crying out of embarrassment. He consoled me… and I felt less isolated.

“Bodies do weird things,” he said, “and we all have bodies. So don’t worry.” His calm, cool, collected response helped me feel that I wasn’t alone with this incident. It removed the shame.

Shame and Taboos

That shame is what keeps us disconnected, what keeps us from asking for help. Let’s stay on the poo-poo train for a minute here. We may be ashamed to go out to a concert, for example, because we don’t want to have to scope out the location of all the bathrooms in advance, or stand near a bathroom, or even tell our friends why we are thinking about bathrooms at all. So we may choose to NOT go out in the first place, which causes isolation.

We may feel embarrassed about going on a date with someone new if they recommend a restaurant where we know the food is going to cause us GI issues. Because we don’t want to feel ashamed about potential symptoms, we may suck it up and pay the price later. Or skip the date altogether. Bummer!

We must stop worrying about how we look in other people’s eyes. Shame keeps us from finding solutions and seeking support. Shame keeps us isolated. And shame slows down society’s eventual acceptance that $hit happens.

Don’t let shame keep you from getting all the support you need.

Thanks for watching today! What taboo are you breaking? Are you struggling to get comfortable talking about something that’s taboo? I’d love to know. Share your strategy in the comments at YouTube or join the conversation in the comments below—I want to hear what YOU have to say.

If you liked what you saw today, subscribe to our channel—and watch another one of my favorite videos right now. I think you’re gonna like it!

Until we meet again, be AWAP! Smooches!