By Sharon Gordon
Last year was filled with loss. Good friends, board members and people I cared about deeply died from a variety of ailments. Not sure why but this week I missed them. I miss their guidance and humour but most of all I mourn the loss of memories shared, because now only I am around to bear witness.
I suffer from depression and have most of my adult life. For many years I have taken medication and for just as many not. I have tried to manage it with exercise, food, supplements, meditation and journals. For weeks joy wins and for months bone crushing sadness.
The worst is that there is no real reason for it. I have a truly blessed life.
I know that depression affects everybody differently. I have a friend who requires hospitalisation when her depression gets out of hand. I don’t think I’ve ever been that bad although I have to admit that some days, when the sun comes up I am so disappointed. I know how awful that sounds. I recently read a line that said we should change our approach – so instead of saying ‘I have to do x,’ rather say ‘I get to do x ‘I’m trying, and I’ll let you know how it goes.
I try to live in abundance and gratitude, and I know that many of my darkest hours are related to my financial position. I, like many of you, am the sole provider and the future scares the living crap out of me. I truly fear having to live off cat food in a cardboard box when I approach retirement. I recently saw the price of cat food and fear that even that won’t be affordable.
I keep a gratitude journal, to keep the spirits up and I have so much to be grateful for but some days, breathing is all that comes to mind. Oh and hot water out of a tap!
So why talk about it in a column about sex and relationships?
Because suffering from depression has a profound effect on both.
If we allow depression to win it will destroy our relationships, physical and emotional. That is why orgasm is so important.
Think about it... What do you think about while you are in an orgasmic state? I’m not talking about the before or after part. I’m talking about the throws of that contractive orgasm. We think about nothing!
Money, pain, betrayal, sadness, self loathing and all the other negative emotions disappear for a short while and all you feel is your body experiencing pleasure.
It is the very definition of living in the moment. It is physically and mentally impossible to orgasm and think at the same time.
The problem is when you are depressed, sex is very often the very last thing you feel like. The effort required to ‘get in the mood’ is just too difficult to even contemplate. It doesn’t matter what your partner says or does nothing seems to work.
If you are both depressed your relationship may be in real trouble. It’s time to take action.
And now we come to that word that we all know, can all say and have no idea how to do! Communicate. You have to tell your partner what is going on and hopefully they will hear you.
Many partners are SO uncomfortable with the discussion that they act in bizarre ways.
I don’t want you to fix anything (although I do have a chores list that fills an A4 notebook), but I do want you to just listen. Just a heads up, if your partner is telling you they are depressed and need some help, offering oral sex is not the required response. Maybe later but not just then!
Other inappropriate response are, ‘What have you got to be depressed about?’ or ‘Oh snap out of it!’ If I could snap out of it I would!
My partner recently told me that it was time for the pity party to be over. And he’s right. I am so tired of being tired. I must say that being back at the gym has helped significantly.
I need a new challenge and despite hours on Pinterest researching possible hobbies, researching what’s on and chatting to more exciting people than me I’ve come up with zilch! The new business I am starting has stalled as I wait for the developers to discover a sense of urgency.
I’ve gone back to my bookshelves and found a book that I bought many moons ago, It cost me R40 to give you some idea of how long ago that was. Its title is ‘The Complete Idiots Guide to Being a Sex Goddess!’ and ‘1000 Reasons to be Happy’.
I’m having a good giggle as I page through it. There is a section on how to initiate sex. I wanted to skip past it because really ‘who cares?’
Well, I should, and I’m going to because come hell or high water I want my relationship to last and my depression to lift. If I can have an orgasm or two a day, that’s a couple of minutes I don’t have to feel depressed.
I’m going to give having sex an opportunity as part of the journey before I take myself off to the doctor for another round of medication. I might even try Yoga!
Wishing you all love and light and orgasms!