Then this happened…

My travel day from Mexico was something of a clusterfuck. The morning had started nice – M (my Canadian) and K and I had coffee and snuggles and played a little and talked and it was, truly, a lovely goodbye, if one can say that about saying goodbye to people you know you won’t see for probably another year. (I hope it’s not that long, but you never know.)

But it quickly went downhill from there.

The plan was to take K to the ferry to go on her own little adventure to Cozumel before taking me to get Covid tested and then to lunch, and then to the airport for the start of my 10-hour travel day. But we dawdled too long (none of us wanted to actually start the goodbye process, I think) at the apartment and K ended up literally having to run to catch the ferry. M and I knew where the ferryport was from the drop-off point, and pointed it out to her, watching as she hurried away from us. But as she disappeared into the crowd, I suddenly asked M to pull over so I could run after her to make sure she made it on. I ran all the way down to the port, looking for her, but finally had to give up, hoping I hadn’t seen her because she had got on okay. We did tell her to message us as soon as she was aboard, which, five minutes after I got back to the car, she did. Mission accomplished – but that sense of anxiety was to stay with me the rest of the day and night.

It started with an overweight bag at the airport, and the super-friendly-trying-to-be-helpful ticketing agent insisting I “just repack” some of my checked bag into my carry-on (10 lbs worth) to save me the $100 overweight fee. Right there at the check-in counter, with hundreds of people in line behind me. In a mask, my glasses fogging, and already feeling the anxiety from the morning and from having to rush around to find a Covid-testing station. And from knowing that when I opened my bag it might not rezip (the zipper had been off the track that morning and had taken 20 minutes to get sorted out) and that I had BDSM implements and sex toys in my bag that very easily could fall out. Right there in front of hundreds of people. I was more than willing to just pay the $100 – she was more than willing, insistent even, to help me save the fee. I capitulated and reorganized, amazingly not dumping whips and canes and a Hitachi on the floor, and managing to rezip the damn thing. (The airport personnel were not as lucky, I don’t think, as when I got my bag back in StL it had been thoroughly rifled through – but at least they didn’t confiscate anything, as they had in Cuba – I lost a Hitachi there.)

Anyway. The rest of the day was a jumble of not being able to charge my phone in the airport or on the plane, having to go through customs, retrieve my bag and recheck it as well as go through the TSA lines in Miami again, and then traverse the entire Miami Dade airport, lugging my now-20 lb carryon bag on my shoulder. All this cost me so much time I almost missed my connecting flight, even though I had a two-hour window between one and the other, and had planned to get a bite to eat in that window. As it was, all I had to eat all day was a bag of M&M’s and some pretzels on the plane. I was harried, exhausted, stressed out and starving by the time Adam picked me up in St. Louis at ten o’clock that night, and so so sick of my mask, that had been on since arriving at the airport that morning.

And, hanging over my head this whole time was the certainty that I was going to have to tell Q, my Sir, that things were just not working for me.

As it was, he was the one that brought it up in a phone call a couple of days later. It was amicable enough. There just wasn’t the spark between us that there had been early on. I’m guessing that the spark flickered out because I set off on my Mexico travels too early in the “bonding” phase of things, and he didn’t know how to create and maintain a long-distance connection. But that was valuable information to learn sooner than later, as any partner of mine does need to have that skillset – and desire. If I can travel, I will. Often spur-of-the-moment, and often with – or to – someone, but on my own as well. Working remotely has given me the ability to do that, and now that I have the bit in my teeth, I can see it happening again. Maybe not for three weeks, and maybe not to Mexico…but. It’s a possibility. I had thought – hoped – that he would be a lovely kinky hiking partner, and that we’d have three or four day weekends hiking, playing and cabin-ing, but during my trip I had come to realize that it probably wasn’t going to be. Still, I held out hope, until that last travel day, when he was too busy to text or call me for even ten minutes all that long, torturous day, when I was having a mini-meltdown and needed a strong, calming presence – preferably my Dominant’s – to help anchor me. I realized in that moment he had already checked out of the relationship, and probably had weeks before. I had known it, felt it in my gut, but hadn’t wanted to acknowledge it.

That’s one lesson I hope to have learned from this experience – trust my gut. My instincts had said he was just going through the motions a lot earlier, but I held on, hoping that when I got back, we’d put things to rights, and that it had just been the distance between us that had stalled things. After all, I was still really invested in the daily habits and tasks he had me do, even if none of them were sexy fun. I like having a Dominant. I crave it, really, and love being a submissive. I like having tasks, being told what to do, accomplishing the things I have been tasked with. Obeying, and feeling that I have pleased my Top. I hoped that once we had time together again, the sexy part of things would be there as well. But I think I knew, even before I left, that his heart wasn’t in it the way mine was. Not “heart” as in love, but as in the desire to form a strong, sexual D/s bond. And if I had been honest with myself – if I had listened to my gut – I would have admitted a lot earlier that I wasn’t feeling that pull to him, either. I do think he will make a good Dominant to someone – just not to me. I need obedience, but I also need heat, and it just wasn’t there for us.

February Photofest – It Doesn’t Matter What Day

The last couple days after my last post were a mixed bag. My mom went back in the hospital, work was incredibly busy, and I was living more like a local, just living my life and trying to get by, than like an adventurer exploring my new world on my own.

Oddly enough, that settled me into this space in a way that felt…more authentic? Getting up, doing my morning routine, walking to a little coffee shop I’d found, then working hard all day, dealing with the complications of my aging parents and a sister stretched to her limits by having to deal with everything on her own, I experienced what it might be like to be an expat here. What the rhythm of a life apart here might be like. I opened my door and let the humidity enfold me like a warm, wet blanket, listened to the sounds of traffic and the cacophony of birds, to the men on their food-and-drink bikes calling out their wares; had a beer in the tiny, lovely backyard after work, took the trash out, dealt with tropical bugs and enjoyed a refreshing, cooling rain late one afternoon.

Last night, my last night on my own in Tulum, I wandered back up to the restaurant and shopping district I had found the last time I ventured out, and had dinner in a delightful little outdoor restaurant with trees in the middle of it and fairy lights and cool trip-hoppy music, and sent back Marco Polos to my people back home, because I wanted to share the magic I was feeling with them. I listened to the cadence of a language I have vowed to learn before I come back (everywhere I went I tried out new phrases, asked “como se dice…?” and tried to stretch my very limited vocabulary.) I felt at once a pang of longing to be home where the world was familiar and known, and the magic of being somewhere wholly new and enchanting – and that was, even better, becoming quickly known and familiar as well.

I had an interesting exchange with Sir, trying to explain the mystery and delight I felt in the dichotomy of being both wholly in the moment here and yet still able to recognize the gentle ache of longing for home, my dog, Adam – even him, though we have not known each other for long. Apparently he is not able to experience more than one thing in that way, and I felt a little sad for him. My world is such a wonderful kaleidoscope of experiences, thoughts and emotions all tumbled together, while at the same time each being experienced in its own, exquisite perfection (even the sadnesses, the pain, the sorrow) that to not experience it that way feels like a constriction. My goal, my desire, is to open my heart to all of it, to not deny one iota of my existence and to experience it all in its immediate, messy, tangled glory. Maybe, on a baser level, that is why I can experience pleasure and pain at the same time, orgasm through the lash of the whip, laugh through my tears.

Today is a beach day with the Canadian and K, though our snorkeling trip got canceled due to rough water. I’m looking forward to lazing about under the shade of a palapa, talking, and watching the clouds race across a painfully blue sky while the turquoise sea crashes against the rocks. Tonight I head back to the Canadian’s place in Playa del Carmen with him and K, and then Saturday I am headed to the airport and back home. I hear it’s cold and snowy there, and I am relishing the feel of an icy wind again, of a brisk hike bundled head to toe, of seeing stark, naked trees outlined against a gray sky. And to finding my home routine again, before I set off for another adventure, this time to the Pacific Northwest with my daughter in March.

And since I am behind so far on February Photofest, I’ll share a slideshow now of these lovely days I’ve had here in Mexico, from the mundane to the naughty to the magical. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did making them!

Celebrating Life

I have so many reasons to celebrate lately. It feels a bit like bragging: “Oh my life is so wonderful” and I feel guilty about being happy when things are so damn hard for a lot of people, but I have just gone through a shite time, and things have been so hard and so ugly and depression and anxiety has been such a devouring beast, sucking the joy from my life for so long, that having things to celebrate, even the small things, feels absolutely necessary and appropriate.

Wow, how about that for a compound, rambling sentence? But that’s what it feels like to me, this bubbling, tumbling feeling of…joy. Hope. Happiness.

When you’re in the middle of darkness, it’s hard to believe that you’ll ever feel any other way. That things can ever be bright again. Intellectually I knew they would. I reminded myself daily, when in the midst of the depression, that “this too shall pass.” I mean fuck, if I could come out of those awful days after Warren died, I could sure as hell get through a break-up. (And the pandemic and the Trump presidency and selling my house and moving away from my beloved city and dealing with the complexities of becoming my parents’ caregiver.) And I learned something during those dark days. I learned to give myself pause when it seemed hopeless, when missing V and that life filled my every thought, and when depression set in as I realized I would never have it back. I made myself pause, and breathe, to allow myself to feel even the dark feelings – because feelings change. I made myself lean into and experience it, all the while reminding myself that I wouldn’t always feel that way.

Oh, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns now. My mom had a pretty big health scare that made my sister and I face the fact that we can probably measure the time we have left with her in years, not decades, and maybe not many of those. I still miss V (acutely at times) and our long, rambling, sometimes contentious discussions about all things robot and brain science and the meaning of consciousness and AI and self-driving cars. I miss, too, the way we related in D/s and our sexual connection, even as I am building and experiencing a new one with SirQ. Not as often, for sure, but it rears its head every so often, and still twists my heart just a bit. And while the move has been successful, and I love my new house and I am so glad I am here – especially when something happens like this past incident with my mom – I still miss my solo poly city girl life.

BUT –

My Mom got out of the hospital and is relatively healthy.

I have this wonderful new relationship that reminds me every day why I am not in that old one.

Adam and I are better than ever – it appears living together is good for us both as we approach out first year-in-the-house anniversary.

My daughter and I – though we had a recent, highly unusual rift – are back on track and planning vacation time together.

I’m getting the opportunity for travel again – to see the Canadian & to work remotely for a couple weeks in February; to travel with the daughter to the Pacific Northwest in March; and then with Adam to hike in Utah in April.

Life feels…good again.

So, yes, I’m celebrating.

Check out who else is swapping by clicking the badge above or follow @SwapWithFloss on Twitter.

Introducing My New Sir

“Turn to an entry in your journal or diary from a year or
more ago. What has changed, and what has stayed the same since then?”

In my last post I mentioned that there’s someone new in my life, and even shared the image below on Twitter after a play session the other night, but I haven’t really said too much about him here yet. Maybe I’ve been waiting to see how it settled, maybe it’s just too new (we’re only a couple of months in), maybe I just haven’t been ready to share yet.

Aftermath

Maybe it was this 5-year diary that my sister gave me, One Line a Day, in which you write (as it says) one line per day all year, then just beneath the first year’s lines, you write the next, and so on and so forth, for five years, that shook loose what I needed to feel comfortable sharing here.

The idea fascinated me – yes I can look back in this blog to see where I was and what I was doing at roughly this time last year, but (especially in the last six years) I haven’t always kept up, and when I did it was heavily self-censored and I was often deeply self-conscious (and anxious) about who might read it, and what the fall-out might be. So it hasn’t been a very accurate look at what’s really going on in my life. My OLAD diary is for my eyes only and as such, I have been very upfront about my daily life – what is challenging me, what is making me happy, what is making me sad, what I am feeling in the moment and what I have found important enough to put down in one (or two) lines there. And, as I record each day, I can look back and read where I was on that day last year.

And holy hell it’s hard to read.

This time last year…hell, all of last year (but especially the first half) was really fucking hard. It is PAINFUL to read where I was, what I was going through. What I was putting myself through. I just want to gather myself in my arms and rock myself, tell myself it’s going to be all right. It was about that time that I wrote a note to myself that I stuck to my monitor: Everything changes. I am not sure I believed it then, but I put it there, to remind myself of that truth. “It’s true, believe it!” I would tell myself if I could go back. Because it was all right, eventually. Things did change. And not because I met someone new. No, I was all right before that happened – in fact I believe I met the new person in my life – and was ready to explore a new relationship – only because I was finally all right. I wouldn’t have been ready to be here, now, if I hadn’t made it through the past year and come out the other side whole and healthy. In fact only about a week before we met I had written, “I’m all right. My life is good, just as it is.” And it was.

I mean, of course the fucking pandemic still raged. Of course my aging parents were still a challenge. Of course there were challenges in all of the changes that have happened. But I was happy, for the first time in a long time. Happy in myself. More than just “over” V, I had found myself again.

And then I met my Sir. I met him in a hiking group that consists of kinky folks. The hikes aren’t kinky – but they are open in that we are all in the lifestyle in some capacity, new or long-term, 24/7 or just exploring, and as such it’s a very open, freeing experience. We talk about anything and everything, as varied as our travels, pets, careers, relationships, curiosities, books we’ve read…as well as kinky topics. I don’t have to be careful of how much I share about my life and experiences, and I love it and the group.

Plus, you know, hiking. The last one was ten-and-a-half miles in below 30* weather in the Ozarks. It was beautiful, it was challenging, and it was so much fun. Afterwards we all played card games and ate and drank and laughed and talked, and I was at the heart of that group, with friends – and with my Sir.

He runs the group, and as its leader, I kind of naturally gravitated towards him as we hiked that first time all those weeks ago. We talked a lot that first hike, and later I emailed him about a hike that I had mentioned. We ended up messaging back and forth, planning to meet up to do the hike outside the group, kind of feeling each other out, what we were looking for – as potential hiking partners and eventually, as potential play partners. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but his profile made him sound like someone I might be interested in playing with – I was looking for a play partner – and I told him as much.

We started seeing each other, and in a very considered, deliberate, and yet natural way, we ended up realizing that being play partners was not what either of us ultimately wanted – we wanted more. He wants a D/s dynamic. Initially reluctant to embrace that – due to feelings of betrayal of those desires in my relationship with V – I came to realize and accept that really is what I want and need. It has been since the beginning when I discovered kink. Play is good, play is fun, but I crave the depth of a D/s-based relationship. It fulfills something in me that feels hollow and empty without it. And just because it ultimately didn’t work with V, doesn’t mean it can’t work with someone else.

And so here we are. In a developing D/s dynamic.

I’ve realized, in reading through my previous year’s entries, how very broken things were with V and I. This is not to place blame on V. He struggled and suffered just as I did – maybe, in some ways, more. We neither of us was good for the other by the time we tried to get back together at the beginning of last year. I should never have said that I would try again – we were well and truly broken, and no amount of love or wanting it to be different was going to put it right. But only in reading it now, from the perspective of a year on – and in the midst of what feels like a very healthy dynamic – especially comparatively – can I see that.

But the truth is, I learned so much about myself in that last, impossible year. How can I regret the growth it brought me, even if that growth was gained through so much pain? And how would I even recognize the growth, if I didn’t have my own words – honest, heartfelt, in-the-moment words – to read, to listen to?

So anyway. That was the impetus for this post, as well as the prompt from 365 Days of Submissive Journal Prompts, a PDF he sent me from submissiveguide.com – to introduce my new Sir – Sir or SirQ – here, and also to celebrate the fact that I can write here again. (Actually it’s a task he has given me, weekly (at least) blogging.)

And ah hell, since it is my kink and sex blog, here ya go – the one “kinky” thing I did while hiking, because if there’s an opportunity to get the girls out… well, you know.

(I know, I know, big surprise, no? No.)

Endings, & Self-Care

As the “hiatus” with my kink partner looks more and more like it’s an “ending,” I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care, and trying to practice it as much as I am capable of doing. Sometimes, no amount of self-care helps, and there’s just the tears, the self-recriminations, the anxiety, the what-if’s. It’s hard to walk around my house and not think about him being here, sitting at the harvest table, with me in my bedroom, showing him all that I’ve accomplished over these past months in making my house a home. It hurts like a toothache – unending, always in the back of my mind until a sharp pain brings it to the fore. But…as time goes by the pain is dulling, dulling just to an ache. Maybe, someday, it won’t even hurt anymore at all. It’ll be like I got that tooth pulled, and just every once in awhile my heart will dip into the empty hole, probing the phantom ache. I don’t know. Meanwhile, self-care looks like this:

  • Not drinking too much. I have had a tendency to drown the ache in my heart – or try to. It never works for long. So I’ve been making a concerted effort not to drink so much while we go through this.
  • Exercising regularly. This is a challenge when all I want to do is curl up in a ball on the sofa and cry, but I have been moderately successful at making myself do a run when it gets to be too much. Running really does help clear my head, though sometimes the tears still come and then I am running, blinded by tears, and hoping no one sees me.
  • Keeping up with housework. This is a weird one. But when I organize and clean, it helps alleviate the tight ball of ache in my chest, and wandering around a clean, orderly house also helps.
  • Doing my crafts and working in the yard. Always my go-to when my head is too full and my heart is heavy. Making a beautiful piece of art, decorating my house with favorite photographs, growing flowers and herbs has always been part of me, and turning to these activities when my heart is heavy or my anxieties are ratcheting skyward usually helps.
  • Self-love. This is a harder one, as my orgasms were (and still are) so tied to him & the fantasies he spun for me. He had control of my sex for almost six years, and when we went on hiatus, that didn’t end for me. He discarded his responsibility for them without a backward glance, but my heart and my cunt stayed his. I’ve been trying to pleasure myself at least once a day this past week, when I realized that things might be heading to an end rather than just a temporary break, but it’s been…well, an act of determination each time, rather than pleasure. And act of will, which isn’t the best way to approach it. But I have to find a way to unhitch my orgasms from him, and this seems the only way to do it.
  • Therapy. I’ve been seeing a therapist since we started this, and it helps to have someone to parse all this out with. At times I wonder if she is sick of me moaning about my father’s, brother’s and sister’s deaths, Warren’s death, and now what feels like the impending death of this relationship, but I guess that’s her job, poor thing. I’ve wanted to quit a few times, but have stuck with it. I do believe it is an act of self-care to continue.
  • Dating. How is that an act of self-care? Sometimes I am not sure it is. Dating – no matter how lovely the people are that I date – is hard. So much easier to be around someone that knows you inside and out, that you don’t have to be “on” for. But the truth of the matter is that he didn’t always know me inside and out, nor I him – we had to date to learn each other, as I have to do with anyone new. But as an introvert, it can be a challenge. But dating – as hard as it is – is fun, too, and affirming. I feel alive and exciting and attractive – and attracted – again when I’m doing it. It reminds me there was love and kink before my kink partner, and there will be love and kink again.
  • Playing with others. This is important too, because that, also, was so deeply tied to him that I have wondered if I could enjoy it with anyone else. I have discovered that I can, and I intend to explore that more. Owning these things about myself will only make me stronger.
  • Being gentle with myself. This is perhaps the most difficult task of all, because being gentle or kind to myself feels like excusing myself, absolving myself, of all the ways I messed up throughout the past 6 years – hell, my whole life – and I am not good at forgiveness when it comes to my failings. But I am trying (therapy helps.) Being gentle with myself also means letting myself cry when I need to cry, and letting myself be happy or enjoy the moment – whatever the moment is – when it is available to me. This last is harder than letting myself cry, oddly enough. I had a lovely day at our Botanical Gardens on a first date last weekend, and was able to enjoy and stay in the moment, for the most part. But there is still part of me that says, how can you be smiling, how can you be happy, when your heart is breaking?
  • Spending time with friends and family. I’ve made a concerted effort to honor my time commitments with friends and family. So often it would be easier to just stay home and hide. But I feel better after time spent with them (even if sometimes time with my aging parents is fraught with other anxieties.) But my world had more or less closed down to my kink partner and Ad (as I am wont to do) even as I realized it wasn’t healthy. It really is what I do: I don’t need that much stimulation in my life, or so I think. But I have realized that was an error, especially in this relationship. And so I am trying to unlearn my hermiting habits and take advantage of the wide circle of friends, family, and playmates that I have, deepening and broadening our relationships, if I can, and giving more of myself in doing so.
  • Appreciating my nesting partner. What more can I say? Showering him with gratitude and love for all that he is and does, for all that he has brought to my life, for always being there, steady, loving, stalwart and generous of heart – it’s an act of self-care, because remembering how loved I am is important, and remembering how much I love him even more so.

tell me about: sexual health – masturbation

I wonder why masturbation became such a shameful activity? It’s healthy, good for mind and body, is a simple way to inject pleasure into one’s life, and doesn’t need anyone else or anything but yourself to accomplish. (Well, most times it doesn’t need anything – some folks do need or prefer mechanical or other physical aids to get themselves to orgasm. I’m one of them. I can make myself come with my fingers, but it’s so much easier with a vibrator, and one vibrator-style in particular – a Hitachi-type – so I almost always use it, with or without various other toys.) But I – like so many other people – am filled with embarrassment and shame about masturbating – even though I find it super sexy and hot when others do it! The topic is even hard for me to write about (which is why I am writing about it.)

What is also challenging for me is getting into the mental space to have a self-pleasuring session. Without a dominant in my life telling me to do so, masturbation takes a back seat to everything else, and I often don’t think of it until I can’t sleep at night (another benefit t of masturbating – it can be a sleep aid.) This use of masturbation would probably be the one I would do, dominant or no, but unfortunately I’ve swallowed the “feel shame for masturbating” kool-aide, and so can’t bring myself to do so next to my sleeping partner. So now, living with Ad, I seldom use masturbating to help me sleep. I even talked to him about it (red-faced, embarrassed, trying to adult and failing), and asked him if it would bother him if I did. He of course said no – but I still can’t bring myself to go there. So I get up and go to my bedroom, but by that time I’ve woken fully up, and lost the half-asleep-jerk-myself-off-into-full-sleep mental space.

In preparation for this piece, I masturbated yesterday in the middle of the day. Even home alone, though, I had to go up into my bedroom, shut the door and get under the covers. Ridiculous for a grown woman! But that’s how deeply the feeling of shame and embarrassment runs in me. I tried again last night, in desperation when I couldn’t sleep, but couldn’t get to an orgasm. It was frustrating and ultimately more unsatisfying than if I had not tried at all. I really needed my kink-partner- on-hiatus’s words in my ear, his nasty stories in my mind, his instruction and direction, to get me there.

I remember some delightful sessions where my kink partner and I played with that shame – he was very good at those games, ordering me to masturbate in deliberately humiliating places and ways, and it was defininitely not the effort it is to get to orgasm the way it is now, when I do it without his direction. A lot of my mental kink is playing with those edges, those things that feel taboo, and he used those spaces a lot in our psychological play. I miss those games with him, acutely. I wonder if he misses them too?

I thought about doing a “daily” masturbation session for this piece, each time with a different toy, and reporting on them, but I am not sure I could commit to it. For one thing, I’d have to do it during the day if I wanted privacy, or tell Ad what I was doing and go off into my bedroom of an evening, and that feels embarrassing – the kind of embarrassing that doesn’t get me off (shame games don’t work with he and I because we don’t have that dynamic.) And because he is not in a sexual space right now, that notion is even more fraught with anxiety for me (what does he think, is he sad I’m not sharing it with him) – not a good place from whence to start a sexy session.

But maybe I should do it anyway to normalize it? Okay, so he’s not in a place where he wants sexual activity, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped being sexual (this goes for my kink partner’s headspace as well) so maybe I need to take back that space for myself. I dunno. Sounds all gung-ho and strong, modern woman, but the reality is what I’ve said up there – it just doesn’t work very well without being directed to it.

Anyway, in anticipation of maybe trying to do a “once a day, different toy,” marathon, I thought I’d get an establishing shot – here’s my sex toy stash! If it happens, I won’t be reporting on it daily (way too much pressure that I know I’d never make good on!) but I might do “round-up” posts. Keep an eye out for them – and let me know if any of these look particularly interesting – that might help get me over the “hump” late at night when I need something extra to get there!

Everything Changes, Part Deux

This morning I woke – dare I say it – cheerful. Full of hope. Bouncy. Able to concentrate, with a sense of myself. My old self, my real self. I made Marco Polos for people, I made a to-do list for today that I am looking forward to completing (not just “doing the needful” as my kink-partner-on-hiatus used to call it when I felt overwhelmed, and he directed me to just take one step at a time, which is what I have been doing while in the throes of this depression.) I feel like there’s hope that I’ll actually be myself again, someday. Maybe someday soon? No, that’s too much to hope for. But someday.

My new medication is a real catch-22. It definitely helps, but the side effects (brain fog, inability to focus, feeling like I have ADHD, restlessness) are real deterrents, and have made me almost quit it countless times. I like doing the things I do (work, projects, crafts, maintain connections) and if the very medicine that brings me back to life also makes those things impossible, then what good is it? But I’ll stick with it through the end of next week (a full month) and then my doctor and I can assess the situation. She seems to think by then my body will have grown accustomed to the side effects, or I won’t have them, or something. We’ll see. If they give me back me, then maybe the side effects (if they are sporadic) will be worth it.

I have lots of socializing (small, controlled groups) planned. I’ve had my second vax, so I am feeling safer and more willing to be out in the world in general, but I’m still cautious, and – like yesterday – sometimes being “out there,” as opposed to being cooped up, is stressful and anxiety-producing. I had to go to the store yesterday, but left abruptly and without getting everything I needed because the world was too much. But hopefully that will not extend to this weekend – I am going to a friend’s for dinner, then we are going to a play party; tomorrow my sister and I make breakfast for my parent’s for Mother’s Day, then Ad and I are going to play pickle ball and get ice cream sundaes for my Mother’s Day celebration. Wednesday I have a hair appointment – only my second since the pandemic and boy do I need it! – and then next Saturday I have a date – an actual real-life date with a new-to-me boy! Details of that to follow, but yes, I am excited and nervous. And then, the Saturday after that, if all goes well, is another play party, with someone I have known for a long time, and with whom I have renewed a friendship – and hope to explore a play relationship with again.

Things with my kink-partner-on-hiatus are in a slightly better place than they were…(?) though I still don’t know where they will end up. But we are communicating in small, controlled ways, and he seems to be working through the issues that have plagued him. To say I think about him all the time would not be overstating things, however – I have had days flooded with tears missing him.

Okay I am off to start my to-do list before I am unable to focus enough to get anything done. I saw that the Kink of the Week’s theme this time is leather – I may have to write something sexy and kinky about the topic. Now wouldn’t that be a change! But then, everything changes, right?

Everything Changes

CW: Depression, Suicidal ideation.

I have never placed a “content warning” on my writing before, but times are what they are, and there are a lot of people suffering deeply, and I want to be sensitive to that. I am discussing my own, pervasive, depression in this piece, but if you want to skip all that and see a fun image, I have included one of those as well. Just scroll to the bottom past all the words…

***************************************************

I have had to face the fact that I am depressed. Oh, this is not a new revelation, I have in fact been here, more or less, since the pandemic slammed its ugliness down on us a year-and-some ago, and have been in treatment with various doctors, anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants, a couple of therapists, meditation, lots of exercise. And I know there is another side to get to, I know it’s there, but right now, in this moment, I am hurting and so deeply, deeply sad. Tears are never far away; longing for days past is always there on the edge of my thoughts; so are thoughts that if I could just go to sleep and not wake up again it would all be better. The pain would go away.

I know there is good and happiness. I have felt good and happiness, even in the midst of this, but it all feels so…so ragged and fraught with the vestiges of this sadness that it somehow feels less real than the pain, than the suffering. That’s not true – happiness and love and joy are MORE real than this that I am feeling right now. This pain, this sadness, is ephemeral, and passing. Really, my meditation tells me that all is fleeting, and changing, and changeable, but I need to look to a future where things feel…okay again. Where I feel okay. I need to know that this sadness will ease.

I just have a hard time believing that it will at the moment.

So that is where I am right now – desperately holding on, trying to “look normal” – fake it till I make it. I feel trapped inside this spiral, but I have been here often enough before – when I was very young, later after my marriage ended, and again when Warren died – I have been through to the other side often enough to know that it exists. It really is not all pain and suffering. I really will persevere. But oh holy fuck it hurts betimes.

********************************************************************

Here’s the cute picture I promised. The Canadian continues to give me gentle tasks to help ease me through my days. Monday was “red” day. I decided it was a good way to vacuum. Red glasses, red blouse, red lipstick, red tartan panties. You can’t see my red heels, unfortunately. But check out that red vacuum! That’s some fun right there.