Today is better. Sir stepped things up today and it helped.
The dishes are done and put away. The laundry is done and put away. The kitchen is clean. The house is swept. The fridge has food in it for the week. I finished all of my school work that I needed done for tomorrow. I’m writing my blog post and it’s not even 8.
I still don’t feel totally connected to my submission. And, even better, I think Sub Brother is struggling with his right now, too. He didn’t say it, but I heard him sigh when Sir told him to do something today, and… he NEVER does that! Sir didn’t hear him and I didn’t tattle, but… I think he’s feeling a little like me. So maybe it really is just stress affecting us.
But here’s what I realized today. Or… two things I realized.
First, I am grateful for Sir’s dominance and the energy he puts into helping me and all of us stay on track. I recognize that it is energy for him, and I think he’s not feeling his dominance much right now in the same way I’m not feeling my submission. He didn’t say it directly, but a couple of offhand comments today make me think that is true. But he put on his game face today. And Sub Brother and I put on ours, and we all faked it. And… it worked… at least… I feel, for the first time in three weeks, almost at ease.
I think this probably means that my anxiety, at least, some of it, can be managed by really ensuring that I start every week fully prepped. That means, for me, clean clothes in the closet, NOT in a laundry basket. Clean dishes in the cupboard, not dirty in the sink, and not clean in the dishwasher. Food in the refrigerator prepared or ready to prepare for the week’s meals. My lunch packed the night before. My clothes laid out the night before. My keys laid out the night before. The floor at least superficially swept/vacuumed. My bathroom tidied. My school work on my Google drive (so I can access it at work and don’t have to print it and remember to take it with me.)
The problem is, that’s a lot of work! Of course, Sir and Sub Brother have chores, too, and help with maintaining the house, but still. I’m… I think that… I think this might be why Sub Brother is so much tidier than me… He has anxiety, too. And he’s almost compulsively tidy. He keeps their bathroom totally neat and clean, his part of the closet and his drawer in the dresser are always organized. He almost NEVER lives out of a laundry basket (unlike me). He gets dragged down and can’t keep up, especially when he’s busy and I’m not carrying my load. But… he… cleans… and organizes… and deals with his shit. And I’m beginning to think it is a way of managing his anxiety.
My anxiety is at a very low flame right now. Not perfect, but better than it’s been in a long time. And what I have, is pretty clearly (to me) not connected to my circumstances. I can’t tell myself, “I’m not ready for work, I don’t have clothes for tomorrow, etc.” I took away all the excuses for having anxiety so what little is left is… clearly… just chemicals. Which helps me manage it.
I think, though, that Sub Brother doesn’t have depression and I do. I think depression really makes it so much harder to do the work I need to do for self-care. He doesn’t have that barrier. I think depression might affect me much more and much more insidiously than I recognize on a daily basis.
Second, I realized that… or realized again… that… Buddhism is very true for me. Buddhism says that there are two types of… misery, so to speak. There is the pain of existing. We all have it. Existence is painful. And then there is the misery of resisting pain. That is the misery of not WANTING existence to be painful… of being UPSET about existence being painful… of… trying to escape or run away constantly from the pains of existence…
Buddhism teaches that the pain of existence is inevitable. You, literally (in Buddhist philosophy) cannot cease to exist. So there is no escape from that pain. But you CAN escape the pain of resistance… You can stop resisting. Then you only have one pain instead of two. And when you’re used to two, one feels a lot more manageable.
I realized that again today because I was doing the dishes. And I HATE doing the dishes. I hate loading the dishwasher, I hate unloading the dishwasher, I hate everything about dishes. So Sir made me wash all the dishes in the sink and put them in the dishwasher, today. I was grumpy about it but managed to get it done and started the dishwasher. I was secretly hoping that he’d have Sub Brother unload and put away everything, because I hate that even more somehow than loading it… But then he didn’t. He told me to put away the dishes after it was done.
I went in the kitchen and I fumbled around with wiping the counters and scrubbing the sink, and made the shopping list… I knew the dishes were sitting there, waiting… but dammit, I didn’t want to deal with them! So I paced around the kitchen, just feeling this increasing pressure of knowing I couldn’t escape doing the dishes, knowing they were sitting there, WAITING for me, and grinding my teeth over how much I hated it and how long it was going to take and what a pain it is, because everything goes in a different place… and it’s such a big pain…
Then, finally, I sucked it up and I started unloading the dishwasher. And I consciously didn’t let myself think about what was next. I took out one type of item (all the soup bowls) and put it away, then another (all the salad plates) and put it away. One thing at a time. One trip across the kitchen at a time. And I was finished in less than ten minutes, easy. And it really wasn’t that bad when I didn’t think about how much there was, just focused on one thing at a time. When I did that it wasn’t NEARLY as painful to DO the dishes as it was to RESIST doing the dishes. It also took about a third of the time that it took me to actually decide to do them in the first place.
And… sometimes I think if I didn’t have Sir or a dominant, I wouldn’t be able to function. That being submissive means I am weak and helpless and need someone else to run my life.
But I realized today that… I can function without submitting to someone. I have done it for large parts of my life. I just… function… in dirty dishes and living out of laundry baskets and eating pretty crappy food, and feeling significantly more stressed and behind all the time.
I can still function.
I just don’t like it as much.
So… I’ve decided… even if I can’t feel my submission right now. Even if Sir can’t feel his dominance right now and Sub Brother can’t feel his submission… I’m grateful for both of them anyway. And until I can find my submission and this can feel easier again, I can at least water my gratitude garden and let that ease some of my load.