It started a couple of weeks ago - a manic period. Of course, I didn't realize it at the time. I thought I just had more energy.
My workouts were kicking in. My mood was just better. I was getting back to "normal."
Maybe other people see it when they're in it, but not me. All I knew is that I was working 12 hour days, saying "yes" to things I usually have to say "no" to. Don't get me wrong, I say no all the time if I don't want to do something. But there are things I have to decline out of necessity and now I was doing All The Things.
The venue for our wedding was locked in (and deposit paid).
Pitches went out for writing jobs. I could do All The Writing Jobs if I just kept working.
I ran errands, did after school stuff with the kids, and cooked from scratch.
Look at me with all this energy and drive!
I even came up with ideas for two Twitter chats - but couldn't figure out when to do them (thankfully).
And then, the drop began to set in.
I felt overwhelmed. Exhausted. Running on fumes.
Until the morning I woke up and realized those fumes were all gone, and I had nothing left to give. Depression set in. Not sadness, even though I cried. No, all the awful things about depression that come after mania or anxiety (at least after mine): irritability, numbness, guilt, anger. And none of it is linear. There is no straight path from one to the next to the next until I'm out of it. No, it's circular. I go back and forth between being annoyed, feeling guilty, hating the world, hating my self, and then...nothing.
The meltdown came quickly, although I kept it contained to our bedroom. John Brownstone, in the face of the Herculean task of "fixing me" (not his job), withdrew from me. That didn't help.
Depression, and then of course, anxiety about your depression, makes you not care while also making you care very deeply.
It wasn't a good moment.
After a few hours in the dark with the covers over my head, I found the words I needed to express myself.
And I did.
Standing in the garage, in my pajamas, with wild hair andtears in my eyes, while the poor man tried to puff on his cigar.
"This is how I feel. This is how you made me feel. I hate this. I'm not doing anything today and you can't make me!" (Yes, the submissive said this to her Dominant.)
I couldn't focus on anything. But I could only stare into space for so long. Eventually I read. In silence. Alone.
The message was clear. Leave me alone. And they did. And, apparently, it was what I needed.
Later, in a semi-private moment, I asked (through blushes and clenched teeth) for a spanking. Not a paddling. Not playtime. An honest-to-goodness over-the-knee spanking with his bare hand.
I didn't know how it might help, only that I thought it could. I wanted him to beat my ass until I cried. I wanted to release the build-up of emotions, even though my real problem was a mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion that had flattened me.
That night he put me over his knee. Muscled thighs pressed into my stomach. Cool air kissed lips that dampen at the mere mention of a spanking, let alone the reality.
His palm landed on my ass too many times to count. The impact burned and stung. I writhed away from him. I curled my toes. I cried out in pain.
Whenever I tried to get away, he pinned me down.
When I flattened my body in some strange (and futile) attempt to get away, he continued on.
I never cried, even though I wanted to. Truly, the moments that brought me closest to tears weren't as his hand made contact with my butt.
No, it was during the in-between times when he stroked my back or smoothed my hair. Those gentle, loving, tender moments were nearly my undoing.
He stopped when his hand wore out.
He held me, and we cuddled. Then we talked.
When I asked why his initial reaction to me earlier in the day had been so bad (he barely spoke to me, y'all), he admitted being overwhelmed at the need to fix me, lift me up, and get me out of whatever this was.
"You don't need to fix me. You can't."
My voice was stronger than it had been all day. I knew this was the truth.
"I need you to hold me, love me, and remind me that I'll get through it. I need your support more than anything."
We talked until there was nothing more to be said.
It wasn't until later that I realized that the bout of depression had been preceded by a manic period, a light one, but still very real. Now, I'm doing what I always after one of these mental gunk episodes - tiptoeing around myself, unable to trust that my current emotional state is stable and good.
But I'm here, doing what I do, albeit slower than the past couple of weeks, and certainly with more patience in myself.
The spanking didn't do what I thought I wanted, but I think it did what it was supposed to do. That's got to be progress.