We've passed through several stages as we've worked to address Master's alcohol issues. From denial to resignation to anger to triumph to amazement -- and most recently, depression. In the last few days, as His initial sense of well-being wore off, He fell into a state of sadness, grief, hopelessness, and depression that seemed to reach a crescendo on Thursday evening and throughout the day yesterday.
He has been doing His very best imitation of Eeyore -- telling us that nothing mattered, He didn't care about anything, saw nothing at all in His future to look forward to, didn't see any reason to enjoy living. From food to sex to spanking, to sports to politics to the daily doings of our family, He simply looked at T and I and responded with a shrug or a dismissive and pitiful sounding "whatever." He and I walked four laps together late on Thursday night -- in nearly total silence. For something over an hour, we trudged along, side by side, in nearly perfect step; and spoke hardly a word. Last Night was a repeat of the same business. Blech!
All day long, in emails and IM's He'll tell me He can't wait to have me home. Then, when I get home, He sits on the sofa, staring into space, drinking Sleepytime tea -- and refuses to talk in anything beyond monosyllabic grunts. Makes a girl wonder what it would be like if He really wasn't interested in seeing me...
Now. I've been through depression myself. I know exactly how miserable it is, locked inside your own mind, and telling yourself how absolutely dreadful and hopeless everything is. It is dark in there -- and scary. Even if you know, intellectually (and I did -- and He does), that you are in the grip of a biochemical imbalance, the insistent voice in your mind goes right on telling you how horrible everything is -- horriblizing.
In the days when it was my depression that we were dealing with, we went right on engaging in SM play on a regular basis. I cried and raged and pouted my way through an uncounted number of spankings in that passage. We never really discussed it; never pointed to it consciously as a component in dealing with my emotional state, but we surely knew about spanking as "therapy." It is a well-known BDSM community phenomenon -- the almost unconscious tendency of many of those people who struggle with depression to "self-medicate" with spanking induced endorphins. One of Master's favorite bits of spanking lore is anchored in the 2005 "study" done in Russia that indicated that it is possible to treat depression with regular and severe whippings.
That's where my head was when I fell asleep last night -- my dear Master, lost in the darkness of despair and depression (and refusing, predictably, to seek medical help with that fact), and my own personal history with depression and long history with spanking. Sometime early this morning, as He lay sleeping -- because at least the depression has overcome the former issue of insomnia -- I began to formulate a plan for managing this current situation. I determined to grasp the "disciplinary" power He's delegated to me, and work to drag Him back from the depths of His depression, using the only tools and techniques at my disposal.
He woke up at about 9, and wanted to make love. That is an improvement and I was happy to oblige. Still sitting astride Him, after He'd finished, I told Him that He needed a spanking -- and I told Him we'd take care of that this morning. He immediately began to protest that He'd "been good." I acknowledged that, yes, He had been good, but that this spanking would be "therapeutic." I assured Him that I knew that He was feeling depressed and hopeless, and that I was coming after Him -- not going to let Him get lost in there all by Himself. He curled onto His side, snuggled into me very sweetly, and was quiet for a bit. I rubbed Him and calmed Him, and finally asked Him if He wanted His spanking before or after we walked. "Before, I guess," He whispered.
I cleared off the massage table, and He got Himself settled -- a little surprised and a bit curious and just a little freaked out. I started off with a hand spanking, reminding Him that I was "here." "I'm here, too," He responded. Then I pulled our lightest, smallest, stingiest wood paddle from the rack and gave Him a quick 25 whacks while He squirmed and wiggled and ouched. When I finished, He was sobbing, far beyond the intensity of the spanking I'd administered would have warranted. I wrapped Him up in my arms and rocked Him and held Him, crooning soft assurances into His ear -- "It is alright, that's right -- go ahead and cry, I've got You, You are alright, I love You..."
When the initial cathartic emotional storm passed, I started back in with my plan. I whacked Him with the paddle, and demanded: "Tell me five good things about Your life!"
"What?" He yelped.
Whack! "Tell me five good things about Your life."
He learns quickly, and He blurted, "I like our condos, and us, and our cars."
"Good. That's three. Give me two more." Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack...
"I'm reasonably healthy -- physically," came next.
"Good. Just one more," I encouraged Him. Whack. Whack. Whack.
"I LIKE MY KNIVES," He gasped. Giggling.
And I hugged Him close. Rejoicing in His list, and thrilled to hear that soft giggle. "I love You. You are so cute -- furry, and wiggly, and little and skinny..." We spent a few quiet moments, just breathing the air of our connectedness.
So... there you have it, friends. For the next little while, you may expect regularly occurring essays on the good things of life.