When I first got this gig writing for Gasm I thought it was a dream come true! I get to write whatever I want about sex and it gets PUBLISHED?? Sign me up! I have loved every second of it, except for lately because my sex drive and my dating life have been shot to hell. I’ve plummeted into the depths of a hellish depression for the better part of a year and I am only now climbing out of it. It has taken a while, as is obvious by my last article being published over a year ago, to get myself back on track and on top of my game. It’s still an ongoing process because I’m not the same lady I was when all of this started.
It had already been a rough few years for me. In the early summer of 2012 my father took his own life, ending his lifelong battle with depression. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say that I was totally devastated and am still reeling from it. I understand why he did it; I just wish that he had given himself a ‘reprieve’ of sorts. He had just been dealt a very harsh blow to his personal life and add in a budding addiction to alcohol and it was a recipe for personal disaster. I love him and miss him very much and there might always be a part of me that is broken when it comes to him. I’ve come to accept this might change eventually but I know the sadness will always be with me. It’s a silent pain that never goes away.
Then, I lost my longtime job in January 2015 and it took me the next nine months (to be exact) to find another one. I can’t say I was terribly disappointed to be laid off from this particularly horrid working environment because it was for a small printing company. And as you may or may not know, the print industry itself has been dying a slow and agonizing death for the last several years. To further complicate matters I also had three bosses, one of whom was a really great guy and doing what he could to generate revenue, but my other two bosses were complete and total bourgeoisie a-hole nightmares. Imagine, if you will, a woman whose main goal in life is to be like the boss in Devil Wears Prada but failing catastrophically because of her own ineptness. My other boss is her husband, who was like an aging frat boy that turned into the Bill Lumbergh character from the movie Office Space, with a healthy dose of douche-y Mitt Romney thrown in. I wish I was exaggerating but I absolutely am NOT. So to reiterate, I wasn’t exactly crying my face off when I was let go!
What was depressing, however, was the ensuing job hunt. For some reason I thought it would be no problem for me to find another job or an even better gig, in no time at all. I now know better than to be so arrogant in an unsteady job market that is saturated with other unemployed people. So the depression began to further seep in and manifest itself in the deepest nooks and crannies of my already deflated spirit. The job searching, the phone interviews, the trekking to unfamiliar places for face-to-face interviews while sweating profusely, the scraping by on a meager allowance of unemployment which was a fraction of what I had been making, it was all starting to really affect me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I watched my savings dwindle to nothing as my waistline soared due to inactivity. I really had no excuse for the weight gain as I had all the free time in the world to go outside and exercise, but I remained glued to my couch with at least six browser windows open to different job sites that rarely, if at all, produced a worthwhile endeavor in my job hunt. Nine months straight of this worrisome hell… NINE MONTHS! It took its toll on me in every way imaginable, but most noticeable of all was my depression and my steadily evaporating sex drive. What should be the starting peak of my sex drive was dissipating so rapidly I couldn’t even remember the last time I felt sexy, let alone masturbated. It kinda felt like my vagina had disappeared and had been replaced with what I can only describe as an invisible pair of khakis. A boring, beige, nondescript, utterly lifeless and useless dull pair of KHAKIS instead of a once thriving, juicy and deliciously beautiful vagina! I was a sexless entity, depressed and swollen to capacity with sadness, weight gain and no desire to do anything about it, except continue on with the cycle of repetitive and fruitless job searches in the hopes that something would break for me. I had job offers, of course, but the situations were sketchy at best or the money offered was deplorably low. All of this had such a hold on me that everything in my life turned into this stagnant and suffocating trek to find another job that I knew would pay the bills for me but leave me totally unfulfilled.
I had made a vow to myself right after I got laid off that I wouldn’t take anything that would be just a way to make a living, but rather I needed to hold out for something that I actually enjoyed doing. I soon began to question my decision because my savings had all but vanished and my unemployment was just about running out. I was getting desperate and had to do something, yet I tried to persevere under this tremendous soul-sucking burden of being unemployed, unhappy and feeling totally sexless. Whereas once I had been on the prowl for a lover now devolved into going on sporadic dates with an absolute lack of my usual self-confidence. I didn’t feel attractive, sexy or desirable, and add to that my recent weight gain of a whopping 25 pounds, and I was as insecure as ever. It was agonizingly embarrassing to tell my potential suitors that ‘Hey… I’m heavier in real life than I am in my pics and I hate my phone and haven’t yet learned to take a proper ‘selfie’ and…wait, where are you going???’ It was unbelievably embarrassing to see the attention withdrawn over this painful confession, but I also wanted to be honest with them. I might be a lot of things but a sneaky liar isn’t one of them. Some were cool and we still went out on a single date, but truthfully, most were not cool with it and I never heard from them again. It angered me at first but now I can totally see where they are coming from. I have absolutely no problem going out with heavyset guys as long as they have a great personality and know how to treat a lady, but I didn’t even like myself at this point, so how could I blame them? It was my own fault. I’d never had a double chin before and certainly can’t imagine I would look sexy with all this chubbiness close up and quivering all over the place while (potentially) in the throes of passion! (And it should be noted that I am NOT one of those people that thinks someone is unattractive just because they have extra ‘insulation’ on them, absolutely not… I’m only bashing myself about this, no one else!)
I was boring the hell out of myself so it got to a point I didn’t even bother checking on my dating profile. What was the point??? It’s not going to work out, he’s not going to be attracted to me or even think that I am pretty, and I certainly wasn’t going to be my usual quick witted, sparkling personality-self. I knew I would fail miserably if I were to try to fake it. I would have overwhelming negative thoughts as I was getting ready for the date. Sometimes, I even coming close to canceling the date right before I was supposed to be there. Still, I always went ahead with it and hoped for the best.
Miracles happen, right?
To say there was a total lack of chemistry on these dates would be a stupendous understatement. I didn’t like me or think I was cute. My battery-operated-boyfriend, Thor the Destroyer, hadn’t been used in god-knows how long, so why would anyone else want to get into my pants? I was convinced I was going to die at any moment and no one would notice until weeks later when the stench was unbearable. I envisioned I’d be discovered with half my face eaten off by my cat and partially glued to my hardwood floor from all the decomposing bodily fluids seeping out of my lifeless body, while my neighbors struggled to remember my name or what I used to look like despite living beside them for 13 years. The word ‘morose’ comes to mind when thinking about my fragile and tenuous situation. I remember thinking ‘I definitely don’t want to kill myself but I sure wouldn’t mind dying’. How fucked up is that?
What plagues me about all of this is that I’ve been through much, much worse and not only survived but picked myself up and out of it with flying colors. I’ve survived multiple sexual assaults, lost countless jobs, had abusive boyfriends, lost loved ones, and been humiliated beyond reproach for sport by people who I thought were my friends. I knew it was the combination of my father’s death (who was no stranger to being unemployed himself) and losing my own job that pushed me over the edge. I don’t want this to sound heartless or selfish, but I don’t want to wind up like him. I don’t want to be old, miserable and far away from the people I love. I don’t want to pour alcohol into an ever widening void in hopes of momentary happiness, only to wake to a sobering realization that I am now worse off than I was before I took that first drink. The thought of following in my father’s footsteps struck me with such a panicked and paralyzing fear that I’ve left the same two bottles of flavored vodka untouched in my freezer since before I was let go from my job. I have wanted to drink; I just didn’t permit myself to do so. I was afraid of what would happen if I liked being drunk too much.
So take that justifiable fear and couple it with an overwhelming depression and you have the ultimate recipe for a dead libido. Rigor mortis had set in my soul and was spreading like a foul invisible cloud to all of my insides, especially my brain, heart and vagina. The joy had gone out of me and I was so colorless I couldn’t remember what I was like before all of this started. It was like everything was faded out and in slow motion and I felt like I was suffocating on the stagnation of it all. There would be transient moments of somewhat happy instances from time to time, but they seemed far away from me and would float away like vaporous apparitions if I tried to reach out and grasp onto them to make it last longer. I was dead to everything.
Slowly but surely I realized I had to push myself out of this funk, that this was not a way to live my life. No one was going to want to hire me, date me, or be around me if it got much worse. I took a good hard look at myself, both literally and figuratively, and decided something had to be done to get my ‘spark’ back. I wasn’t sure what to do but I knew I had to do something. I started with some much needed self-reflection and deep breathing. It felt like I could literally breathe the toxicity out of me if I concentrated hard enough. I am a very spiritual person so I held on to my inner core of energy and expanded on it a little more each day. I took longer strides while walking and breathed deeper, enjoying being outdoors and around people. I would forcefully push the negativity out of my lungs while doing breathing exercises and direct it at trashcans as I walked by them, bidding it farewell and forbidding it to come back. I sat upright with better posture, closed my eyes and listened to the cacophonous world around me and knew I was still at one with myself deep down where it truly mattered. I eventually got another job at a cool office with a great boss that keeps me very busy during the day. It might not pay all that well but they cover %100 of their phenomenal health insurance, as opposed to the $700 a month taken out of my paycheck at my previous job. I’ll take a pay cut for that ANY DAY! I am getting out more and starting an exercise regime that will be easy for me to maintain and watching what I eat. I know it won’t happen overnight but nothing that is worth it is easy.
I know I will be the lady I want to be sooner than I realize and I can’t wait to finally meet her! She’s been hiding from me for long enough.