The effects of social distancing on my anxiety.

I get to work from home!  I was relieved, and maybe a little excited to be given permission to disconnect socially for the foreseeable future. It meant I would be avoiding the daily onslaught of people and things that influenced my ability to manage my Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Lacking a commute meant sleeping in, and more time for me and my personal projects. I am introverted by nature: I rarely feel I get enough time to be still with myself and recharge.

The scary truth is, my own mind is often my worst enemy. A few weeks into working from home, a major problem with this disconnection is becoming apparent: it creates a breeding ground for Anxiety’s close cousin, Depression.  It’s been creeping in for small periods, but now it really wants to move in. Sometimes I would rather be curled up in bed than be productive

As humans we are wired to be social, which is problematic for us anxious introverted souls: the need to socialize is often at war with the need to be left alone.  When online for work during the week, my extroverted coworkers are starting to message me—sometimes video—and I find I am not dealing well with that unpredictable nature.

My sleep is becoming disrupted. I am waking up at 3AM unable to sleep, and lay there thinking about unimportant things: “I really need to mop!” and also truly terrifying things: “Will I be mentally well enough to return to work once this is all over?” My daily meditation time is becoming more relished, but harder and harder to quiet my mind. I am also realizing there are some unusual effects on my sex drive: I swing wildly from wanting to be cuddled to being mercilessly fucked. Sadly masturbation is less interesting: I am craving the human contact.

Even in a strong, seasoned Power Exchange relationship this kind of stress can be difficult. I find I am being reminded of protocols that were second nature a few weeks ago and, now strained, are allowing my brain to replay bad tapes over and over. The support of my Dom is important: Dr. Payne would never take my mental health for granted. However, I am starting to feel guilty for needing so much from someone who is living in the same situation and has their own set of responsibilities and fears.

We have a protocol that has become my best friend–you know, the kind of friend that reminds you to do the right thing even when you don’t want to. I have a standing order to express my feelings to Dr. Payne. All my feelings: the good, bad, and the horrifying. We are talking more than usual about where we are emotionally, and I find I am relishing these moments of connection. It helps me keep focused to know I am not alone in dealing with whatever my mind dishes out.

A sad realization has come to light in these moments of sharing: I am not truly alone. We are all cooped up at home together. Therefore, we must find ways to truly disconnect and unplug, even if for short periods, from everything that tugs at our attention. I am spending more time outside in my garden or just sitting on the front porch. If I can’t take care of myself and my mental health, I am missing an opportunity to serve, and I must take care of Sir’s property. To that end, I get to serve at home. I find comfort in those still moments when I can kneel at Sir’s feet.

What basic act of service gets you centered when everything demands your attention?