I lost myself

TW – self harm, depression

It was harder and harder to concentrate on tasks.

I stopped writing.

I was frequently asking for clarification of tasks and instructions from Dr. Payne.

Then I stopped obeying all together.

I know how to take care of myself. I know I should love myself. I know how to be obedient. When my head’s on straight, obedience to Dr. Payne is second nature. It sounds simple; yet, some days it is almost impossible to take care of myself, then a vicious circle starts:

  • If I don’t take care of myself my depression takes over instead of Dr. Payne.
  • If my depression takes over, I don’t want to take care of myself.
  • If my depression takes over I stop trusting.

I had become certain Dr. Payne and Princess were plotting to kick me out of their lives.

That was it: I was hopelessly lost down the rabbit hole and couldn’t find my way out.  Fear convinced me everyone wanted me there, nobody loved me, and nobody was going to help me find my way back to me. I felt stuck between the dead and living, in a limbo state I thought I would never have to visit again. I didn’t ask to go there, but once I was in that place I felt I deserved to be there.

I re-read my writings; I knew I wrote this, but I suddenly had no idea who this person was and how I was going to be like that again. I had become someone I didn’t recognize, someone I thought I had dismissed years ago.

But being stuck in that place it became extremely hard to ask or even want help. I was convinced I deserved every bad thing that happened.

It has now become a loop. I’ll have few good days, but then I am hopelessly lost again. They are becoming fewer and farther apart, but I still have some awful downward spirals. They can las moments, but often are several hours.

So how do I get back to where I want to be; need to be?

  • Supporting my partners!
  • Kneeling at my Dominant’s feet!

I have thoughts. I have a plan. This is not a day-by-day or week-by-week process, it’s more like minute by minute, and hour by hour. I hope that soon minutes will extend into hours, hours will extend into days, and days will extend into weeks. Then I’ll know I’m making progress.  For now I have to measure progress by minutes and hours.

This process to get back to a healthy mental state starts with some serious self-evaluation. You must be able to admit you need help, then you must take the steps to get the help. You must allow the people around you to help and support you. Easier said than done.

If you are in this hole with me as you read this; trust me, we can do this no matter what our brain is telling us.

Without help and intervention you can get stuck in issues of fear and react to the people around you with hostility.

You must have your Dom’s support in this. Below are some of the steps I am taking, all with Dr. Payne’s support:

  • I talked to my partners and told them I was struggling.
  • I found a kink-friendly therapist.
  • Being able to speak openly about my dynamic and partners was especially important.
  • When I could not find anyone locally that said they were kink-friendly, I looked for therapists that said they were sex-positive or LGBTQ+ friendly and sent them an email to ask. Don’t give up; this is a really important step.
  • I am doing all the things my therapist has told me to do:
  • Purchased the book she recommended.
    • Spending time outside more often.
    • Connecting with friends even if it is just online.
  • Exercising again.
  • Getting enough sleep:
  • I was staying up too late not always doing anything terribly worth-while.
  • Watching what I eat, and eating enough:
    • Historically I had been a stress eater, but now I was having trouble wanting to eat. Low-blood sugar is not helping my moods.
  • Reading again:
    • Intellectually stimulating fiction and non-fiction, to change my negative thought patterns.

Don’t run away and hide; stay connected to your friends and community, and people who will encourage a healthy mindset.

Avoid people who:

  • Pity your mental illness,
  • Try to compare their pain as being worse than yours.
  • Openly scold you for feeling that way.

Fear and depression will tell you nobody loves you, but this isn’t true. You need compassion, from others and for yourself.

I went down the rabbit hole, it didn’t happen over-night. My depression was slow and sneaky. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I was already lost. The road back to stable, manageable days will not happen overnight either, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Do the work, listen to the people who genuinely care.

Concentrating is still hard, but I have started to write again. Gradually I am finding myself again.

How many ways can my anxiety count the days?

Content note for self-harm

One-day, two-day, three-day, eighty.

It seems ironic that my mental health would take a nosedive in May: Mental Health Awareness Month. During this time, I am more cognizant of possible mental health issues, reading articles, meditating, and writing about mental health more. However, as time ticks on, I am aware that I am becoming less capable of coping with the chaos of the world. Or perhaps the world is becoming more chaotic than ever before? Both statements are true.

A significant sign that I am slipping when it comes to dealing with my anxiety and depression is that my people pleasing personality becomes more prominent than usual. It becomes apparent that the need to please everyone is seeping into all that I do. The awful problem with trying to please everyone is that I never feel good enough for anyone. This is a lesson and an old demon that I thought I had put to rest.

That is the trick depression plays on its sufferers; if you have maintained a healthy mindset for a long period, it’s easy to talk yourself into believing the illusion that you are recovered or have moved past your mental illness.

In the beginning of quarantine I am hanging on, not losing too much sleep, and not slipping into the deep dark rabbit hole that depression is. I am talking to Dr. Payne and I know He has me, and He will help me. Then I hit a major bump in the road: my personal physician decides that she wants me to try a new medication for my asthma.

This medication doesn’t simply lead me to slip down into the rabbit hole of depression, it throws me there head first and I am suddenly lost in a maze of awful thoughts: “Nobody loves me, and I can’t do anything right!” Then thoughts of self-harm creep in, “Why am I here? Something sharp cutting into my arm would feel better than these feelings!”

Depression lies to you; it tells you that making people happy is the only way to be loved. It also tells you that nobody loves you. I then feel that I must hide my feelings from those around me. Depression and anxiety begin to constantly whisper in my ear that Dr. Payne and Princess care more about each other than they do about me.

That is not true, and I know it isn’t true, but there are times at 2 am when anxiety tells me I have to make things perfect, that doing so is the only way to be happy. In those moments I lose my grip on my emotional and mental wellbeing. I then fall back asleep, and when I wake up, most days I am in control of the negative thoughts.

There are moments of clarity when I can see happiness and daylight, and I talk to my partners about what is going on in my head. However, this is not easy.

As time marches along, and what the world tries to refer to as the “new normal” becomes a scary thing, I ponder what the current state of the world and its unpredictability mean for my mental health. I fear I may not make it to the end of 2020 as an emotionally stable person.

I must fight the demons, the demons of fear that tell me I am too much emotional garbage to be worthy of anyone’s love and attention.

I can tell myself that I am worthy. I can stand up tall, smile, and say that I am loved, I am worthy. But there are moments when I wonder if fear is right, and I am the one lying to myself.

As we talk about the struggles, Dr. Payne reminds me that when times are rough it is more important than ever to rely on our protocols, those things about Power Exchange that keep us grounded. I wish it were as easy as that. I find I have to remind myself that I am collared and owned, that I am no longer the person who struggles daily with being in charge of myself. I fall back on old shameful behaviors that I should know do not work for me. We have had more tension events than is normal, and my anxiety and inability to remember who I am now is often at the center of the tension.

The world is still chaotic, and Dr. Payne tries to filter the outside disorder as much as possible. As time marches on and quarantine is extended, ten-weeks, twelve-weeks, thirteen-weeks, thirty, I touch and acknowledge my protocols and daily tasks: the simple act of drink service, blessing Sir’s tea, and kneeling at His feet when I am in need of guidance. I continue to love and support Princess, and give consent daily to the person who has agreed to be my Dominant, to protect and love me: Dr. Payne, my husband, my Dom, my forever partner.