So I guess not having a plan to write is about equivalent to planning to not write ever. Oops.
There is a curse in Chinese: “may you live in interesting times”. The past couple of months have been pretty interesting, I guess. Especially from a mental health standpoint.
Before I say anything else I want to remind you that I am not a trained mental health professional and if you take any advice from me at all regarding your mental health, it is that you should not take any any advice from me at all regarding your mental health. I learned a few tricks for handling one type of depression a lot of years ago, and when it stopped working and I finally saw a doctor about it she laughed and said “you’ve done everything perfectly fine by the textbook for treating depression, but what you have now is anxiety, and what you’re doing now is a perfect textbook demonstration of how to make everything worse.” My point is, I don’t even take advice from me anymore about mental health, so why should you? Stop reading this! I’m serious, save yourself while you still can…you’re still reading? WHY? What is the matter with you?!?
So anyway this post is about mental health, because LOL.
One of the strategies I use for coping with depression is “chop wood, carry water”. Basically this strategy means my brain is lying to me about how I feel, and if I ignore it long enough, and just slog through the dull chores of the day, my brain will eventually give in and go along. I don’t feel energized or creative or sociable and I definitely don’t feel particularly good about myself, but I drag my butt to work and I push the keys on the little computer. I do small, manageable chores even though I don’t want to. It’s not fun but it gets me through and eventually things get better.
I’m realizing this applies to Dominance as well. I don’t have the need for control that many Dominants do, so when I get depressed, I withdraw from managing Beth’s schedule and behavior. She doesn’t brat or intentionally misbehave, but neither is her behavior perfect. She drifts from good habits back into old bad ones, if for no other reason than from lack of guidance. To the ship with no destination, no wind is favorable.
This week it finally sunk home that she needed me to Chop Wood and Carry Water in a D/s sense. I made a short list of tasks for her and we’ve been checking in every morning and every night. There’s not a lot of micromanaging going on; that’s not our thing (if it were I would double down on it). What I’m seeing is immediate, if small, results. For Beth, having me withdraw into my depression is hard because I take my Dominance with me when I go. Just having me show up and set expectations is already having a positive effect on her mood. I suspect it’s the showing up as much if not more than the setting expectations.
Chop wood, carry water. Eighty per cent of life is just showing up.
P.S. I meant it about the whole mental health advice thing. If my eyes are blurry and your eyes are blurry, it does not mean you should try on my glasses. You should go to the eye doctor and get glasses that work for your eyes.