*This post was written on February 17th, 2020
It’s been a hard winter. Not in the normal sense where we get a lot of snow and are stuck on the mountain for days at a time. There hasn’t been any snow this year and that is alarming enough. There have been lots of storms though. WE have struggled against the strong winds and rain that blow and patter against the solid foundation of our own relationship. And, every time we think the storm has passed, another seems to follow shortly after, testing us once again.
I’ve written about my PMDD in the past and how I was hopeful for an easy fix. I did not find that easy fix. We got stuck in a cyclone of tears and fights and misunderstandings. I don’t think I reacted well to the medicine I was prescribed. I’m not intolerant, it didn’t send me into a dark pit of depression, but it didn’t work for me. I did become more depressed as the months passed by. My libido disappeared and I learned that I am dependent on it and how it makes me feel for my own happiness. I felt disconnected from myself, and that turned into a sadness that permeated our whole household.
It was a terrible cycle of depression and crying followed by a discussion that made us both hopeful. We knew what we needed to do to make things better. We communicated and supported each other, but it wasn’t enough. There was still a dark cloud over us.
We stopped having sex. Well, we didn’t stop, but it wasn’t as much a part of us as it used to be. We used to have sex all the time, kinky sex, vanilla sex, morning sex, blow jobs in the car, and passionate drunken sex on the couch at 1:00 am. I was lucky that I was still able to reach orgasm, but my sexuality was still compromised. I didn’t feel it, I wasn’t turned on like I used to be.
We were also just busy. That kind of busyness that comes with the holidays, planning and cleaning for the imminent arrival of family. Even though we largely checked out this holiday season and put in the absolute bare minimum level of effort, it still consumed us. We traveled overseas right before Thanksgiving and while it was fun, it was also difficult. I fought with my mother and had a public breakdown because of my PMDD. She did not understand why I couldn’t stop crying as we ate dinner at an unfortunately well-lit restaurant. He was amazing, he stood up for me and held me up, he carried the weight of my emotions with him and did his best to sweep them away. When we returned home, we jumped right into the tumultuous waters of Thanksgiving and Christmas without even a thought. We went to all the kink events, went on dates and traveled with our partners. I also got sick twice this winter which always throws things off balance. Work has been emotionally and mentally difficult for him and busy for me. We did it all, and WE got swept away. We as in US, our core, our solid foundation.
We didn’t notice until the whirlwind had died down and it was quiet, our connection had been severed. It was still there, it always will be. We looked at each other and the mess we were standing in and realized we needed to do some work. It was time to clean up after the storm.
Step One was to go to my doctor to discuss my meds. That turned into a total shit show. I called on a Monday, then again on Wednesday, then he asked about it during his own appointment on Thursday. Finally, I just showed up on Friday. I cried in the waiting room when the nurse told me there was nothing he could do for me, that I needed to make an appointment. I told him that I tried to make an appointment, I’d left several messages and that I would wait as long as I needed to until someone had a moment to talk to me. I’d already been there for an hour and a half at that point, and I waited another hour before the doctor could see me. He came up with a plan that might make the meds work better for me, telling me that this was a trial and error situation and might take a while to figure out. So, now I am spike dosing my meds, meaning that I’m only taking them a few days before and during when my episodes occur. It hasn’t been long enough to know if it’s working yet, but again, I am hopeful.
Step Two is to repair the connection that he and I have lost. We have stepped back from dating as much. I see V once a week on Wednesdays and she comes to a couple of events with us throughout the month. He is not dating anyone at the moment, and I hope that changes soon. I know when he was dating a lot this fall and my dance card was completely empty, it felt off balance. I wasn’t unhappy, but I did want what he had, I wanted that excitement and newness, and I want that for him now. We have gone back to a more strict schedule for our social events and dating and we have set aside specific days just for us. We are now only going to two kink events each month instead of three. During the week, we have one evening set aside to go to spin class together, one evening for rope and one for relaxing. We have also started having sex more often. I think the pressure to have mind blowing kinky sex got to be too much, so we are leaning in a more vanilla direction. Not that we are ever truly vanilla though!
Step Three is to reestablish our D/s dynamic. It got a bit lost in the shuffle over the past few months. It’s always there, but it is not as strong as it once was. We both see this and it hurts to know that we have let go of the reins and that things have gotten out of our control, out of his control. Tonight, we will go over our contract again, something that should have been done right after the first of the year. We will start putting back the building blocks that have been knocked over by this long winter storm. Our D/s is the foundation of our relationship and it is important to both of us.
This winter hasn’t been all bad. Although we have been too busy, too emotionally invested in things other than us, we still came together eventually. It shouldn’t have taken as long as it did, but we still found our way. We named the problems and discussed the solutions. We have work to do and we both know it. The good thing is, we are both willing to do the work necessary. We are a team no matter what life throws at us or what kind of storm rages outside.
**(May 11, 2020) Much has changed since I first wrote this post. The world has been consumed by a viral pandemic which greatly affected our vacation in London, we caught the virus and healed from it. Now, he has started dating someone new, and we have greatly reduced the D/s focus in our relationship. Reading the line “Our D/s is the foundation of our relationship” made me want to hit the delete button. We are constantly learning and changing in our relationship, and one thing that I know is that the D/s is NOT the foundation, we are. D/s is just a tool we use to manage it and shape it into something good for both of us. It might not always be there, but we will be. We aren’t perfect and never will be, but we will always strive to be the best that we can. We might fail sometimes, but we will always pick ourselves back up and try again.