A tough subject……and one that I’ve experienced many times over the last 20 years. Sometimes it’s me, as the follower, experiencing one of my depressive cycles. Sometimes it’s Dan, my leader, going through something situational.
So, how do you survive depression in a power exchange relationship? It can be hard some days. I used to have days where I’d come home from work and just go to bed and hide under the covers and cry. No reason. Nothing would have set it off. I’d just be down and cry. Dan had a hard time dealing with that because he’d want to fix it and there wouldn’t be a way to fix it. When I’m down like that, you can’t make me laugh. I would find humor annoying. Stop trying to fix me and just let me feel. Holding me. That would be the answer for awhile.
Holding me and telling me …..not that everything would be ok….because I wouldn’t believe you…..but that it would cycle around to a good day soon. To just hang in there til it did. That was one of the best things he could do for me on some days at the beginning of our relationship.
But, as we continued to work on power exchange being our foundation, we found that it was actually better for me if he would not give in to my moments of depression, walking on eggshells, but instead kind of ignored it. Instead of giving the depression special attention, he’d still require me to serve him. I wasn’t allowed to hide in the bedroom anymore without at least asking his permission.
Asking his permission to give into my depression actually made it harder to do so. Instead, even feeling low, I’d serve him or just ask to sit at his feet. I’d use the power exchange as a way to pull myself up. Sometimes it works, other times I have to use other tools. But, I’m never allowed to hide like I did before.
He supported me during my years of therapy. He supported me during the years of trying to find the right med for me. Most didn’t work. He continued to be my Master/Leader.
Just as when he goes through situational depression, I continue to be his follower/slave. Sometimes that means I still come to him for decisions. Sometimes that means I ask him what he needs from me to make his life a little easier until he pulls through.
Regardless, neither of us are allowed to fall into old habits. We are expected to continue to do the work that is needed for our personal mental health and for our power exchange relationship.
We’ll be chatting about this with our Patrons tomorrow. I’m sure that the chat will help me flesh out more of this. I feel like I have deeper things to share, but I’m not sure what they are yet. I don’t share a lot about my depression, except in the Survivor class I teach. I certainly don’t take it lightly, but it can be hard to talk about.
If you are a leader of a follower that goes through depression…..or a follower with a depressed leader…..it’s a good idea to gain some knowledge about what’s going on and hot to help.
That meme that says even if someone is laughing they can be hiding depression? It’s true. So, it’s good to know your partner, know the signs, and agree on how to handle this in a power exchange situation to get each person’s needs met.