When I was in my teens, 20s and early 30s, I spent a lot of time being medicated for depression and anxiety disorder. My anxiety disorder was so bad that at its worst point, I would often feel myself separating from my body, floating sort of above myself, while in some potentially dangerous situations like driving down the highway. I spent years cycling through many different anti-depressants, taking Xanax and Valium like candy. In my early 30s, I decided I didn’t want to take pills anymore to get through my day, and I worked very hard to get myself off of the meds. Now, I still have some times when I can feel myself falling into depression, and I work hard to realign my thinking, to pull myself out of it.
Having had that long experience personally has been infinitely helpful to me in the last several months.
I’ve talked a lot over the last year and a half about Sir’s medical situation. I’ve talked about his hospitalization, his physical/occupational/speech therapy. His moving from wheelchair to walker to cane. Regaining his memory and his cognitive skills. His one-step-forward-two-steps-back recovery. I even mentioned in passing his recently broken shoulder. (It’s actually his humerus at the top where it connects with the shoulder, but that takes too long to explain so we just say shoulder.)
What I haven’t talked about is depression.
During all my years of struggling with depression, suicide was never a thought for me. I never considered it an option. Even when I was at my lowest period. It just wasn’t something I was ever even remotely willing to consider. I think that’s why, along with having two beautiful daughters, I was able to basically manifest the end of depression for myself. And so the idea of suicide is one that I can’t wrap my own head around.
But Sir can. Once, many years ago, he experienced that firsthand.
So when we were sitting on our porch one night a couple months ago, and he told me that he thought my life would be better if he just died, I took those words seriously. I knew that wasn’t something he would ever say lightly.
I also knew I couldn’t stop him if he chose to do that. So I decided that maybe if I could put people he loves, who also love him, in his path, maybe, just maybe, they could help me show him that we need him here. That he is loved. That his life is worth living.
Which is where the visit home to NC came in. A visit for him alone to stay for a week with his folks and get to visit some old friends. A break from me and for me. And as he was finding his way out of some of the darkness, beginning to feel like he could do this, he fell and broke his shoulder. An event that would put all of his therapy, and forward movement, on hold.
I was asked recently why we weren’t at Pride, and in the asking, was accused of only supporting het events, accused of being a ‘stand and model’ kind of title holder. Then I was personally attacked in general.
On December 21, 2012, Sir had a heart attack that included an anoxic brain injury and seizures. After spending 12 weeks in 3 different hospitals, he came home in a wheelchair. His entire life as he knew it has changed. He has to fight to learn to do things we take for granted every single day. It’s hard when you are in that situation not to look at everything ahead of you and see the impossible. For the darkness to engulf you.
The reason our public outings have been sporadic at best since SWLC is because we’ve been here at home battling for a life. Sir’s life.
Depression is a difficult thing to deal with and to talk about. There is such stigma associated with it. Especially if you are Master. Masters must have mastered themselves before they can master another. Masters must always be in control. Until they aren’t. Until life deals you a blow that changes everything.
We’ve kept this private because it should be private. But as we’ve battled this depression together, we realize that it is part of M/s because it is part of our lives. And our life is M/s, so it’s all part of the same thing.
M/s isn’t just about rules and protocols and hot sex. It’s not about how well you present yourself publicly or how often your slave kneels at your feet. For us, M/s is the foundation of our life together. And that means that we deal with life together. We don’t stop our relationship because something too hard is happening. We deal with it. And so, because we have chosen to live our M/s dynamic in the public eye by competing and holding a state title, that means we need to be open about this.
Sir is working on his depression – the hows of that are private and not important to this post. We are both hoping that as his shoulder heals and he is better able to get around without fear of falling again that we will be able to get out there and attend events. We even want to be able to talk publicly about all the things we’ve dealt with this past year and a half, including this battle with depression. And we will. But we have a little more to focus on at home first.
Thank you to all of the wonderful people who love us just as we are and have continued to support us even in our absence from the public arena. Your love and support help to keep us both going. To those who choose to judge, I leave you with this quote:
“Don’t judge people. You don’t know what kind of battle they are fighting.”