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Funmilola Ogunseye: Bittersweet Moments We Don’t Share



It started with a meeting I had at Marina. I was more of a tag along and had been going to the toilet frequently. I drank a lot of water to settle my stomach, wore my shirt, a touch of makeup, and I was ready for the meeting.

The meeting stretched into the day and gradually my stomach became restless. I felt the first rumble, not the cute hunger rumble, but the rumble that signals that your bowels need to be emptied. The intensity increased into something that felt like a tumble. I wore a fake smile to numb the pain; I was in a high executive meeting, I had to compose myself. A little nod here, a smile there, a little more before I paid the toilet a visit.

It gave me the first serious sign as we were going to use the lift. I couldn’t ask for the toilet, I thought I had it in me to keep still till I got back to the Mainland. If there was a way I could have used a toilet around, I would have. My partner at the meeting was unaware. We got into a friend’s car and I was on fire, my stomach crushing, my whole system aching for the toilet. The journey felt like a travel. I had to make sure I was stiff, any movement could release anything. That would be disastrous. I endured, until I started sweating.

I remember feeling uneasy, frustrated and tired. I remember running to get a cab to my hostel. I remember being rigid at the back of the cab. It felt like any movement I made would activate something chaotic. I remember almost slamming the cab door on the person that was supposed to alight after me.

My thinking faculty was on recess. The closer I got to my hostel, the harder it became to control myself. I remember bracing it to my hostel, flying to my room, then rushing to the toilet. I can still feel the relief, the joy. I made it! It was gruesome, it was difficult, it was terrible, but I made it.

At that point, I said to myself, this is a sweet moment. A few hours earlier I was having a terrible time, but at that moment the relief cascaded into happiness. I was ecstatic in the toilet. What a joy realizing you are happy at a particular moment.

I can remember three of such uneventful events in my life that later made it to my happy memory gallery. I also recall my friend’s experience, one I promised to share one day.

We were on our way to church on a moody Sunday. Bear in mind that it was a mainland to island journey. We were about ten minutes in and my friend grabbed my hand that she wanted to use the toilet. She mentioned she was having a running stomach and probably ate something to upset her stomach. I thought it was the usual, so I told her to hold it in for a while. She looked into my eyes and I could sense fear, we were in a BRT bus heading in one direction. There was no way; it was on a Sunday morning, most places were closed. I held her hand to encourage her. Nothing mattered at that point, all our attention was directed at making it successfully. She started sweating profusely and I knew it was on another level. If it was a feeling she could mask, she would have at the beginning.

She withdrew her hands from mine and made an attempt to stand. I gave her the “Are you thinking look?” We were either surrounded by water or shipping vessels. What do you want to do? Where are you going to? I tried in so many ways to encourage her. It was a pity that my training in psychology did not prepare me for that specific human experience. We finally made it to the church and she bolted to the toilet. I can imagine her relief when she emptied her bowels. I had been there. When we saw each other in the church, there was a knowing smile. What a bittersweet feeling!

These are memories that sneak into my head and I smile, sometimes laugh. Yes, highlight reels are beautiful, but these experiences uniquely bind us as humans. One way or the other we have all been at that position, one way or the other we have felt the relief in excreting even if we squeeze our face when we want to flush.

I want to reflect and reach deep to pull out these memories that we never get to share, experiences beyond fancy restaurants we visited or shows we enjoyed. These experiences are valid, yes, they matter. However, we should not relegate these bittersweet moments into nothingness. They matter too.

Did you survive a similar experience?


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Ogunseye Funmilola (dasience) is a professional reader, budding writer, blogger and a psychology student. One day, she hopes to visit places she has been to through books. You can catch her on


  1. Tush

    January 28, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    I think everyone secretly has a “shit” story,lol. Lemme share mine. Started out as a regular Monday. My bus picked me up Mobile bus stop. All was fine till we got to Unilag water front. I begin to sweat and shiver at the same time. I needed to use the loo urgently. This wicked Monday morning traffic started. I was already praying not to disgrace my self and this fine boy I was crushing on was in the bus with me.
    Ha, my village pple. I started to think happy and nice thoughts to distract myself from my pressing need. We finally made it to Ikoyi. My then office had an annex office in Ikoyi. I could see the building in front of me. oh sweet relief, so close yet so far away. The street the annex was on was been repaired at that time and a bulldozer was blocking the way so my bus was stuck.
    I saw a man emptying trash in front of one house. I couldn’t hold it again. I signaled the driver to let him know I was coming down, everyone wondered by and I said oh I know that man.
    As I approached the man, I said “Oga, I beg ur own no go spoil, I need your toilet”. At that point all I could think of was emptying my bowels and that the fact that I was entering a complete strager’S house. As we entered the company, I saw someone else cleaning the car and was directed to the guest quarters. I didn’t even care that the toilet was clean or not.
    When business was done, Gosh the embarrassment and shyness that over came me ehen. Cos I am sure everyone heard the way I was scattering the toilet.
    I thanked him and quickly made my out of the house. I still pray for that man.


  2. Tomiwa Gbaye

    January 29, 2019 at 8:44 am

    This was funny and very relatable ?. Memories like these turn to gold over time. They always bring smiles.

  3. yemisi

    January 29, 2019 at 8:45 am

    very nice and unique write up,keep it up dear

  4. Tomiwa Gbaye

    January 29, 2019 at 8:46 am

    This was very funny and relatable. Merories like this turn to gold over time. They always bring smiles.

  5. Afolabi Olamide

    January 29, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I have had similar experiences and at that moment you feel so terrible and uncomfortable but after you let it out, there’s this happiness and fulfilling feeling that sets in.
    Nice piece babe?

  6. Peter Coates

    January 29, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    I had a big grin on my face as I read this… Beautiful read, very relatable ?

  7. Ema

    January 29, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Lmaoo, I can sooo relate to this ???
    Mine was after eating a shawarma on my way to Balogun market.. I had barely started shopping when I felt the urge to “poo” Funmi, I tell you my own was worseee??. My eyes were just turning me, I was seeing double, in fact I was seeing bloody red; everything, everybody. I thought I was going to faint at that moment and I started praying for God to give me the strength to bear it ? I wanted to stagger to use the toilet at the bank because I’m not a fan of public toilet but mahhn a public toilet was closer so I rushed into one quickly. Omo, it’s a day I will never forget ???

  8. Bisola wililiams

    January 29, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    This is so relatable
    Nice one Funmi keep it up?

  9. Evergreen

    January 29, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    It has happened to me several times, infact I stopped eating cake, vegetables and beans altogether during the week, it is either i eat vegetable this week and do away with cake and beans or eat beans this week and do away with cake. I am on my way home but will come back and give you the gist. Each time I remember my own moments I just laugh out loud……….

  10. Omolola

    January 29, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    I can relate , back then in secondary school I was going home with some group of friends when the spirit of Usain bolt descended on me ,I ran till I got home.Truly a bitter -sweet experience.

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