There’s a lot I want to say about this, so you should know – this might be a bit all over the place.
In 2013, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder – specifically Panic Disorder, in which worry and panic tend to live alongside me each and every day.
This makes me think of something a little amusing to me – the people who haven’t read my blog, who haven’t touched the deeper parts of my psyche, shall we say? – never guess that I am a Dominant, that I identify with dark, sadistic sexual urges on a daily basis.
And sometimes the readers, who grace my blog daily or whenever, are surprised when they read or hear that I struggle with anxiety a lot.
In person I am rather withdrawn. I’m quiet, actually referred to as a man of few words. I’m introverted – until you get to know me or I get to know you and feel at ease. Even then, I’m socially awkward – I don’t have much of a filter and dark, dry, goofy, perverted humour slips through. So I understand completely how people can be miss entirely that I am a Dominant with a streak of sadism.
That doesn’t come through on the blog though. While I am generally my awkward self in the digital world, there’s more time to think and create a response, rather than waste real time with a person not knowing what to say. I am myself, and you are getting truthful, honest-to-goodness responses, because there’s less a degree of worry involved.
Most days of my life, I have a handle on my anxiety. On these days it’s nothing more than a nervous disposition about something – work, health, the future. It’s worrying but between what psychologists have taught me and what I’ve read, I have a grip on it.
I guess you could say anxiety has stages. On a good day, it’s just mild worry. If there’s a problem, a fight with a friend or I get myself into a spiral of depression, I will spend the whole day obsessing over every tiny detail till I am mentally exhausted.
In this mild-worry-stage, when it comes to dominance and D/s and all that entails, there is a part of me that is usually self-critical towards my actions, my demeanour and my ideas for tasks and scenes and protocols.
There was a moment, one time, where I walked into our bedroom and she’s wearing my favourite lingerie – and I just froze with doubt and anxiety, ruining the moment and mood. Kitten could read my face and we talked about it right there and then before the moment continued – but I will say, in the beginning, my anxiety and my inability to express my anxiety caused self-doubt in her own mind.
Self-doubt that was alleviated thanks to our many in-depth discussions about my weird personality quirks when it comes to shyness or anxiety or what have you.
I WILL SAY – time and practice has helped me to be less critical about my own voice and ideas. There’s always this frightful idea that I’m an idiot, just bubbling away beneath the surface, but I have been getting better in telling it to be quiet so I can be who I want.
On the really bad days, I’m not me. I live in a constant panic that everything – my life, my world, my relationship – will come crashing down because in that moment, I have no idea how long the panic will last – will it be a week? Another month again? I don’t eat, sleep is interrupted, and our D/s relationship is put on hold. The things I love to do – write, read, game – are the last thing I want to do. I don’t enjoy anything that I love.
I’m a mess. I’ll hate myself for being weak, for ruining kitten’s week. I tell her to leave me, she’s better off. I’ll sob uncontrollably, I’ll come up with anxiety-fuelled thoughts that make no sense, and I’ll want to run and keep running and never, ever look back. The last thing I’ll ever want to do is be Dominant and lead.
Being panicked and spiralling can last anywhere between a week to a month. In that time, I don’t eat properly, I’m constantly assessing my own reality, how I feel, things that are said. Even my taste is out of order.
And then….slowly everything will come back to me – my taste, my enjoyment of the things I love. Dominance. I’m me – properly me. All of my systems and it’s many files reboot and for the next week, I’m installing updates and getting back to my regular life of love, work and D/s.
Usually, with my returning state of normalcy, my sex drive will be out of the roof. I can’t say why, maybe it’s just pure joy from feeling like me again and not being riddled with thoughts conjured up by anxiety. But there you are.
I have been blessed though, to have someone who will stand by me through the storm – who will shelter me from the torrential downpour with her own body, even if it means being pelted with rain.
She doesn’t let me buy into my own anxious bullshit. She will hold me, hear my paranoia, reaffirm truth and reaffirm her love and that she is not going anywhere and will be here until I feel better. That….that ability – to have that unwavering patience, is so beautiful and special that it brings tears to my eyes as I write this. It’s something I could never FULLY repay, no matter how much I return the favour when she’s feeling out of her element. It never seems to be enough.
Beyond the spikes, anxiety is manageable. I realised, early on, that I couldn’t get rid of it, I just had to find a way to live with it – and I have. Most days I am fine, I am me. Panic attacks might still hit me in my sleep or randomly while in the cinema but I am getting better at alleviating it via nude meditation before it infects the rest of my mind.
Lastly, I will say this – man or woman, teenager or adult, dominant or submissive, if you ever find yourself in a downward spiral and you want to talk or need a distraction, you are always welcome to email me directly – no one deserves to be alone in that time. Sometimes you just need an anxiety buddy.