[Mental Health] Handling Negative Emotions

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N.B: This blog post was inspired by an email from the Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s. If you haven’t listened to their podcast yet please do so, you can also check out the website for great resources and links on how to listen or follow on social media.

This follows on quite well for me from my last post from the 30 days of D/s on communication. For nearly all of my life I’ve handled negative emotions in the same way, by keeping them secret until they cause me so much turmoil they cause absolute chaos. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that this is a terrible way to handle things. There are not many things I would make a hard and fast statement about in relation to other people but this is one of the times I will, if you are someone who does this, please find a way to stop, now. Start opening up and trusting people, find a good therapist, have the horribly awkward conversation with your nearest and dearest but do whatever it takes to start talking about the negative emotions you have.

My inability to talk about the negative thoughts I have had in the past has led to situations that have totally changed my life. There is so much more to that statement than I can share in this blog post, in part because it involves stories about myself I’m not ready to share yet. One day I will, because it’s part of the healing, but I’m not quite there yet.

These days I try much harder to be open about the negative thoughts I might be having. This has been helped by a couple of things, firstly developing friendships where just unleashing the crazy in my head is totally acceptable, whether I’m looking to vent or looking for advice and secondly by Bakji having a bizarre sixth sense for when I’m not feeling quite myself, even if we are only exchanging messages WhatsApp.

When it comes to engaging in kink, there is no room for hiding negative emotions really. I’m not saying we can’t play when we are feeling less than 100%, but sometimes the way we play might need to be adjusted, some things might not be suitable if you’re already feeling teary, or having a particularly bad day for body image. Whoever we are playing with needs to know that they aren’t going to inadvertently make things worse for us. They can’t possibly know these things unless we open up about our the negative emotions we are having.

Last week was a hard one for me, nothing too serious, just very little time to myself to collect my thoughts and poor sleep left me feeling a little bit low, in both mood and energy. When I feel this way hugs and care can make me feel tearful, and being tearful in front of someone else is hard for me. So the following weekend I wasn’t as affectionate or as playful as I might usually have been. Which doesn’t exactly make Bakji feel good about things. It wasn’t until we discussed this a little that I was able to recognise the situation I have just described, once he knew where I was at things felt much better, but only by sharing my negative emotions could we move forward.

I think sometimes we can see sharing negative emotions as moaning, or being a burden. By not sharing though we are often shutting those close to us out, and that can create negative emotions in them, and it just becomes a cycle that becomes harder and harder to fix.

When you add a D/s dynamic into the mix I can see where people might face more reasons to talk themselves out of sharing. D-types might feel like they need to constantly be the pillar of strength, but we are all human, and sometimes offering someone the opportunity to support you or lift you up when you are feeling down can be a wonderful chance for them to feel good about helping you. Or perhaps you’re an s-type that’s excited about a scene, or there are tasks to be completed and your state of mind is going to make this less achievable, only by sharing can your D-type handle these situations appropriately.

At the end of the day, whether we are a couple engaging in light kink, a D/s partnership 24/7 or a non-kink couple, we are all people, with feelings, and sometimes those feelings aren’t good and we need extra care, extra support and someone to show us kindness and compassion. They can only do that if we speak up though.

We should all be in a partnership, or partnerships if you’re non-mono or friends if you’re single that make speaking openly about our feelings possible, if that isn’t happening please start finding good people to embrace who can off the extra kindness that is required when you are in need of it.

I’m also a big fan of being honest with myself. Why do I feel these emotions? What can I do for myself to feel better? Sometimes it’s hard to be honest about why we are feeling negative emotions because sometimes that means facing hard truths. I’ll give a personal example to better describe my thinking.

This week my son, who is 5 is on holiday with his Dad, Step-mum and her family. They are awesome people and I love them dearly. This holiday will be amazing for him as he gets to go to a place and spend the week doing all the things 5-year-olds love. I was the partner who left our family situation and decided to go it alone. Yet this week I still feel a little bit sad that we aren’t doing that as the original family unit that we created together. This is a really hard issue for me to address, I love my life now, I have great friends, a Bakji I adore, a podcast, a blog and so much more. But my old life was awesome too, just not in a way that was fulfilling for me, so sometimes I do mourn that it didn’t work out as I’d hoped with my ex.

I’ve shared this with Bakji too, and we didn’t discuss it in great detail because that wasn’t the need, sharing it was what I needed to do. Then I asked myself what I needed to do for me in this parent free week. The answer, work flippin’ hard on the things that matter, so podcast and blog have been getting some love. Because I know that when I’m off doing Mum things next week I will be so pleased to have my little dude’s face back, but also I’ll be wondering how I’ll fit any of ‘my things’ in between now and back to school. Knowing I’ve done loads this week will really help combat that. Especially if I can get blog posts written and scheduled.

While having a support network is awesome, and I think absolutely vital, being able to self-sooth is also a really helpful skill to develop. That will look different for everyone and sometimes it might not be what we expect. I find comfort in having a nice hot shower, put on my Harry Potter PJ’s and listening to Harry Potter on audiobook. For me, there’s something familiar about those things that help me relax. It wouldn’t work for everyone, but I found something that works for me and that is what counts.

Looking after our mental well-being is vital, so I urge everyone to do what they need to do to keep their mind happy and healthy.

If you enjoyed this post then you might like my Mental Health Archives. You could also follow the badges below to Sex Bloggers for Mental Health and of course visit the Loving BDSM link up to see who else is getting involved with 30 Days of D/s.

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