Life is first and foremost about living... Naturally. What is it to live? It is more than eaking out an existence by going through the motions required to bring in the money and pay the bills.. That would be how a robot 'lived'. We.. as people.. experience life and the whole range of emotions that comes with it. From the absolutely wonderful to the utterly horrid. It distinguishes us from less complex organisms (or perhaps doesn't, depending on your philosophy. I personally like to believe my dogs are capable of loving me and missing me, but to each their own, right?).
Taking any kind of person and putting them in a position that involves more physical and mental fragility complicates things. Taking any kind of person and putting them in a position that involves more physical and mental power complicates things. Both sides of the coin of a D/s relationship are complicated... But then, most things in life are.
Today I'm writing about depression as it pertains to submission, and about the dangers and difficulties that coping with one while indulging in the other has brought about in my life of twenty and four years (oh-ho, isn't that a clever way to phrase age?). And in case you hadn't noticed... It's very much a bright and shining day for me. I had to be in a good place to trust myself to write honestly about this.
For those of you who don't know much about depression, let me send you to Rhedyn's blog, Dealing with Depression ~ A Personal Point of View
. It really grants a lot of insight and from a collection of us Elliers.
As a small precursor, please don't worry about me. I really am currently on top of the world for no particular reason. The clouds have parted and the sun is shining down and during these moments of lovely, productive, exemplary clarity I want to write something meaningful for myself and maybe others.
As a person I have many facets. Two of these involve distinct and unmistakable 'places' in my head... Headspaces if you will. The first is 'subspace', the lovely reward of relinquishing control and drowning in my deepest fantasies. The second, a 'dark place'. That's what I call it. It's what I tell Iressi when I've slipped into the depths of depression.
Iressi: "What's wrong, Babe?"
Me: "I'm in a dark place right now."
It's just the most concise way for me to explain exactly what I mean, and I'm sure it has a prescribed reaction from him to hear those words (sorry, Babe, though I know you wouldn't want me to apologize for that).
Depression came long before submission for me in one way, and not so much in another. I've always been naturally yielding so it's easy to say I've been 'submissive' in a non-sexual manner sense I can remember. Depression set in in second grade. I know because I remember the first time I thought about hurting myself distinctly.. And it was in second grade after failing to mediate a family dispute. BDSM only really came into my life a little before turning eighteen.
Prior to that I had hurt myself as a form of punishment. Books I've read and therapists tell me that most 'cutters' (I hate that labeling) can't feel the pain of cutting themselves. Or they can, but it's muted. I was never like that.
Semi-detailed account of feelings/emotions during self-inflicted pain contained within the spoiler:
Cutting was all about pain and nausea and getting what I deserved because I was lacking the ability to perform as I desired. It hurt, and badly, and I'll never forget that feeling of my stomach churning and the horrible darkness and tears and the bizarre, hateful release that came afterward...
It made me feel like I'd done penance.
This was not a good background for going into the Lifestyle. It simply wasn't.. Because I wanted to hurt in a real, emotionally and physically deteriorating way.. Which meant that I could use BDSM to get that.. And I did. And the Dom/me involved wasn't helping or healing or building me up through our shared passions.. They were helping me tear myself down.. But they couldn't have known at the time (God, was this really only seven years ago now?).
The fact is... I came into the Lifestyle during an up time, but when my outlook on the world grew dark and hazy I let my motives twist. I belittled myself, and I made myself less of a person, and not out of service to someone I highly esteemed and trusted... Out of service to myself.
I've learned a lot since then. I've grown a lot since then. Honestly I figured out pretty quickly that what I was mixing in my negative impulses and my BDSM inclinations were hurting me in a way that couldn't easily be undone, and were making the problem worse. They enabled me to convince myself I deserved less, I was worth less, I needed to suffer... And in doing that they kept me from seeing the rewards of this Lifestyle choice, the benefits of it. The dark place was taking over the lighter parts of my life.
It's hard to stop though. It's hard to break habits whether good or bad. It's hard to reinforce rather than deconstructing. It took me a pretty dangerous path to come to realize just what I could do to myself, and in so doing inflict upon the ones I loved. A D/s relationship is about trust. How do you imagine a Dom/me would feel knowing their gift of guidance and pain was being used to hurt their submissive? I found that out first hand.. And it's one of the reasons I'm so mindful of their humanity now. But that's another story and already written in the Dom/mes blog I wrote.
Here's the key to bringing dark inclinations and a convenient means of exacting suffering into balance (at least for me):
Before you trust anyone with your submission... You must be able to trust yourself with it.
Examine your motivations for seeking punishment or pain for pleasure. Examine the effects.. And for God's sake.. be honest with yourself and act on what you see.
As I stated in Rhedyn's blog about depression, all my love and my support goes out to those who can relate with anything written here. My PM box is only a few clicks away if you ever need to talk.