I have struggled to put these words to paper for quite awhile. However, this is a subject dear to me. I would like to share it with you.
I often speak about how mental health impacts my relationships and the struggle that I deal with personally. However, I am protective of my spouses and try very hard to only speak of it from my perspective.
If you’ll bare with me, I’m going to tackle the balancing of needs when mental health is involved.
Depression is a personal issue. Much like BDSM, it is unique to each individual. Typically, you are told it involves a sense of hopelessness and sadness. This can be true.
For some of us, it also leads to a lack of hygiene. It can lead to days in bed without any desire to move. It can be staying so busy that you pass out from exhaustion. It can involve a lot of crying when your insecurities are overwhelming. It can be anger, so high and instantaneous, all you can do is walk out the door to try and cool off.
Depression can also lead to ghosting.
Ghosting:. When you withdrawal from personal relationships by forgoing communication.
We talk constantly in the community that communication is everything. So, what happens when you lose that connection with your partner?
You have to make a decision.
I will never tell you to stay in a relationship you don’t feel is healthy. I will never tell you that lack of communication is healthy.
But, I will ask that you try to be patient when your partner has these issues.
It is mentally exhausting. It takes a very patient and strong person to continue to face every day when you feel alone.
For one of my partners, she deals with depression by hiding. She will spend days in our room. She doesn’t talk to anyone and she withdrawals from everything around her.
For another partner, her hygiene and desire to get up off the couch are non-existent. She just stares into space for most of the day.
For both of these partners, this is how they deal with their chronic pain and depression.
So, I talk to them. I patiently repeat what I’ve said multiple times as though it’s the first. I push them toward a shower, even when it makes them angry. I set timers for them to eat and take their medication so they don’t forget. I text them throughout the day when I’m at work so they know they aren’t alone.
Master does the same. I am a lucky individual who has him at home with our partners. He is able to make sure they’ve eaten. He is able to take them to doctor appointments when they can’t take themselves.
Even in our deepest frustrations, we do our best to stay calm and take care of them.
For our wives, their depression is fairly “standard”. The symptoms are close to what comes to mind for depression.
Now, we get into the hard subject.
Master suffers from Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). This is a disorder that basically means that during the winter months, his depression is tri-fold. It comes on suddenly and lasts for anywhere from 4-6 months. Please keep in mind that where we live, we only experience Summer and Winter. There is no Spring or Fall weather out here. So, the darkness, the cold, and the snow lasts longer.
When he withdrawals, it starts with spaciness. He will zone out and be unaware of those around him. When the sun goes down, he feels exhausted. His insomnia acts up. He sleeps around three hours a night, and it is restless at best.
Then his headspace goes. It starts with an honest conversation with me that he is nowhere near the right headspace to play. Something I am grateful that he can be honest about.
Then the anger happens. Because his mind and body are so restless, combined with his lack of sleep, his patience wears thin. He spends a good deal of time alone so he does not risk any of us taking the brunt of his anger and frustration.
This leads to self-loathing. See, Depression doesn’t make you blind to what’s happening to you. It just makes you either not care or feel hopeless about change. So Master dwells on his list of things to-do but has no energy to complete the tasks.
Then he feels guilty. He was raised that the man always takes care of the household. But, when depression hits, we do our best to take over the tasks to alleviate some of his burden.
The more he gets in the head, the less I feel our connection as Dominant and submissive.
We go months without play. We go months without centering. We go months without any time to ourselves.
It’s hard. I have no qualms about saying that. It leaves me with high anxiety, panic attacks, and it makes my insecurities much more intense.
Sounds unhealthy, doesn’t it? It’s ok. I know it’s hard to understand.
I feel that my Master is worth my patience. He is worth my service. My Master is human. He experiences the same stresses and pain that the rest of us do.
So, I wait.
And we compromise.
Even on his worst days, he will never turn away hugs or kisses. And most of the time, cuddles.
Those silent moments are the most important. Because even as his voice is silenced under the weight of his depression, he communicates the best way he can: with open arms.
When you feel like you aren’t enough, you have to make a decision. You have to learn to separate your thoughts from their actions.
Depression, seasonal or otherwise, will consume everything in it’s path if you let it. It will fuel the anger of someone who doesn’t want to take care of themself. It will taunt you that no play means no want.
I’ve had several days feeling an overwhelming sense of loss. To a point, that I asked Master when I could “earn back my collar”. See, I have my day collar and my leather collar.
Spending months with the affirmation of his Dominance, without my leather collar and cuffs, and without centering, left me feeling abandoned.
It’s very hard to talk to someone lost in their head. But, thanks to a very firm conversation by a bestie, I realized that my needs cannot be completely cast aside.
So, several bouts of crying,a whole ton of cuddles, and some centering later, he has started to come out of his head.
He talks to me now. He tells me he’s working on it and that no matter how bad he gets, I am still important to him.
But, I never let him apologize.
In our house, you do not apologize for health issues, mental or physical.
When I made the decision to be with each of my partners, I accepted their physical limitations and their mental state. I accepted the good and the bad.
Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it is exhausting. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed and just treading water to keep going.
But I always know I’m loved. I am always told I’m important. I’m am always welcome to hug and kiss and cuddle as needed to keep me sane.
The rest, as they say, is just dessert.
About the Author
My name is Joji. I am 29 years old currently and I have been in and around the kink community about 15 years.I am a collared submissive to Magick42. I am also a Daddy to a wonderful babygirl, and have been for more than three years now and I find it very fulfilling. I am being mentored in and being taught electroplay. I am a masochist at heart and thoroughly love impact play, especially caning. I enjoy reading anything I can get my hands on and am a die hard Harry Potter and Doctor Who fan. I am also the secretary for a group in Idaho called Moscow S.P.A.R.K.E (Simply Providing Another Route to Kink Education). It is our mission to teach safe practices to those new to the community and give them a safe haven to ask questions and learn without judgement. We accept all kinks and all we ask in return is respect between all our members.