A D/s post at last!
The preliminary answer on the Bastard, as of yesterday morning, is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ick).
There are clearly measurable physiological abnormalities, but not in any distinct profile and not severe enough to account for my experience. The best guess is that ramping up my exercise early in the year, combined with tons of stress and an underlying undiagnosed physical pathology, catalyzed the CFS. Better diagnostic capabilities coming available in the near future may help with the underlying condition and indirectly with the CFS.
But for the short-term future, at least, the answer to the Bastard is about management. Some of it I’ve already posted about (e.g., physical therapy to find and push the bounds of what I can tolerate). Some of it I’ve said less on — resuming regular talk therapy and probably hypnotherapy to improve my management and coping skills.
And some of it is a change in tone of Jalan’s dominance (and, thus, my submission). She’s been very careful since the beginning — and all the more sensitive since I got sick — to respect my answers: “I’m done;” “I can’t do more,” even, “I need a nap now,” etc. I’m not talking about play right now so much as life activities.
The internist yesterday (weird interpersonal style, good medical skills) told me to appoint her my “project manager” and not back down from that. We assured him that that would not be a problem for us!
But one of the things that means for Jalan is pushing herself to be more comfortable pushing me out of my comfort zone. She wants to hear less of, “I can’t,” and more of, “This is starting to be a problem in this area,” or “I feel like if I push further now, it will lead to X consequence.” Then let her take over the decision as to whether I/we continue or push in whatever we’re talking about. It’s a comfort zone issue for both of us that is rooted, in part, in some of my long-term habits of thought and personality that will, inevitably, be tough to change.
I signed on to this relationship consenting for her to shape and change me and my patterns in a way that is consistent with positive, healthy goals for me. But it’s still a sea change to push at that kind of deep-seated core issue, even if we both want it (which she and I both sincerely do).
There will be more blogging on some of the mechanisms we try and find to succeed, as well as — I hope — the return of more playful dominance that has been subdued the past few months as we get back in the swing. We have as much answer as we’re going to for now, so there is no more limbo to excuse not moving forward.
I explicitly re-affirmed my consent last night.