Panic, anxiety, D/s, and love

21 Jul

Last night, just before going to sleep, I had a full-on panic attack. I haven’t had one in awhile, thankfully. I’m also glad that I’ve learned to read the signs of an incipient attack.

I very rarely complain to (or about) Jalan in any regard. This isn’t because she’s perfect — she’s human — but because I can almost always see the ways in which her intentional actions and words have a positive purpose for herself, for me, or for our mutual benefit. (The exception would be constantly picking my zits, but I don’t complain about that all that often either. Though I did just now.)

But last night during the panic, I recognized and complained to her about one of her patterns in responding to my anxieties about my illness. I tried to make clear that it was very specific, and that I hadn’t been holding back resentment. The complaint was still something that she had to cope with. After giving it careful thought, she explained why she does it and the important role in plays in her coping with current difficulties. That helped me to understand.

In the same tearful, shaking, panicky discussion, I brought up a couple of other things that weren’t as personally directed. But I recognized a theme in them — a need for more active help from her in my coping with the situation and the uncertainty. Let me clear (and I tried to be explicit last night, too): I see and deeply appreciate the many, many, difficult things she is doing to help out. But one of the consequences of some of those things has been greater difficulty in maintaining our day-to-day intimacy.

I also recognize that it’s not all on her. In a partnership and marriage, all of the responsibility for “making it work” is not and can not be on one side. But I have not been well enough, most of the time, to manage my own parts very well lately in the periods of physical weakness and fear.

Normally, we live in each other’s pockets. Being apart more than 2-3 hours feels like a long time to both of us. And we’re greatly spoiled (in the best possible way) in that our lives permit that closeness right now. But some of the work she’s had to do has stressed that pattern, and our D/s.

Part of the conversation we’ve already been having, in fits and starts but ramping up over the past couple of weeks, is that how feeling of deep, intimate connection has been threatened over the past months and what to do about it. One of the things that makes our partnership work so beautifully — both in the D/s sense and more generally — is that we are both continually, actively, monitoring and looking for our opportunities to heal (where necessary) and build (always) that partnership and connection.

Lately, my personal coping strategies have been failing. One of the plans in the works is, when we can afford it but not putting it off to long, for me to see a good hypnotherapist we know in order to add to my repertoire of coping strategies. And particularly to substitute tools for my self-injury fantasies. I haven’t cut in over a decade, but the habit is, in some important ways (not least neurochemical), like a substance addiction. The draw never goes away, it’s only managed more or less well.

Meanwhile, one of the other coping strategies I feel that I need is re-evaluating where we can from where we are now in the D/s components. I am absolutely not talking about moving away from it. But examining the parts we used in the past that I and we are not capable of in my time of disability. Examining the parts that we are capable of but that have been sliding (mostly on my part, but that’s part of the general stress issue, not rebellion). And looking at what we can do from here that we might not have incorporated in the past.

I asked that we have more conversation about that today. Appropriate grieving for what we’ve lost (at least for now), but moving on: Starting from where we are right now, what will work for us now and moving forward — to our benefit and our pleasure.

It’s a process, not a state. But, cheerleading ourselves for a moment, we excel at maintaining process.

It’s part of our love, our parternship, and, yes, our D/s.


Posted by on July 21, 2013 in D/s, Daily Life


8 responses to “Panic, anxiety, D/s, and love

  1. slapshot

    July 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I think that the level of communication between the two you your is wonderful, and as long as you can continue to “excel at maintaining process” I feel quite confident that you will get through, what has got to be a very difficult time for both of you. All the best in doing so.

    • nagadikandang

      July 21, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Thank you, Slapshot. It is a hard time, which is why most of my blogging, and a good deal of tweeting, is about this process. We know we’ll make it work. But this, like relationships generally, doesn’t work for very long on autopilot (and wouldn’t even if we had Julie Haggerty helping). It’s by conscious effort, good will, and trust on both our parts.

      And I appreciate the good wishes.

  2. hisbabygirl7612

    July 22, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Support and love conquers all and it looks like you two have a lot of that! It’s hard and you work at it with all you have but the outcome is always better when you worked hard to get there. You appreciate it more. Anxiety is a tough battle and hard to understand unless your are inside the mind experiencing it!

  3. hisbabygirl7612

    July 22, 2013 at 3:34 am

    A lot of my friends and family have dealt with a great deal of anxiety and I have helped them and even my best friend through the hardest of times. If you ever wanted someone w experience from the other side of it I am always here to listen and help:) just offering 🙂 xo

    • nagadikandang

      July 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Thank you, hisbabygirl, for both comments. I couldn’t tell from your WP site whether you’re on Twitter, but @Naga_d_K is where I do most of my whining and cheerleading solicitation!

      And Jalan does have her own experiences with anxiety and panic, which does help both of us.

      • hisbabygirl7612

        July 23, 2013 at 12:55 am

        I don’t do twitter much but I’m probably going to start posting more there and I will find you on there:)
        It’s good that you both understand what it’s like.
        My best friend got to the point where she couldn’t even drive by herself anymore and could never be alone and I helped her get back on the right track and she just moved to the city (new York city cause I and her home am in upstate Ny) and she is living on her own and happy. It’s a great feeling knowing I had a part in helping her conquer her anxiety. I’m so so proud of her.
        The best thing is being honest about it and opening up and trusting people to help.
        I’m always here if you ever want to vent or talk about it I truly genuinly offer to help or even just listen:)
        My email is
        Email me if you’d like:) even just to say hi and id love to hear about it all

      • nagadikandang

        July 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

        Thank you so much, Casey, for the generous offer. I may just take you up on that (I’ll establish contact either way, so you’re in the address book!).

        And as you can tell in this blog, honesty, openness, and trust help me through a lot. I get burned occasionally for that — it’s only natural — but it’s totally worth it.

      • hisbabygirl7612

        July 23, 2013 at 9:27 am

        Good! I hope you will!:)
        Me too! It does get you burned sometimes but it is absolutely worth it! It does show through your blog a lot and it’s very empowering getting all those hard and raw moments off your chest and written down. It helps you deal w it!


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