When sex is the last thing on your mind

Love and desire in times of anxiety

Hello lovely readers: this blog post is a little less fun and games and a little more serious reflection than usual. But it’s a topic close to our hearts and we hope you enjoy it too.

“As if the world, the people in it, experiences, smells and images are suddenly all at a very strange angle. It’s the same stuff, just lots scarier and utterly depressing and you can’t find your way back to seeing everything normally.”

That’s one of the many attempts I have made over the years, to describe what it feels like when anxiety comes over me, as it does every 1-3 years for a few weeks or months at a time. Nothing feels and looks like it should anymore and it’s relentless. The only escape is sleep, which isn’t always easy to get when you’re scared out of your mind and there is nowhere you can run because there’s nothing you’re not scared of. When it comes, it stays for a while and makes life a constant struggle. It is hard work to get through the day without a) crying in public, b) starving (eating is also a problem), c) not being completely useless at work and life. It is hard because thoughts, fears and feelings have to be controlled and checked at all times. It is as if you were in a constant brace position, just in case something terrible happens, and that could happen ANYTIME, right?!

“Libido” in those times is something you’d have to spell out to me so I can look it up in the dictionary. Because it seems as if I’ve never heard of it, let alone experienced it. It is just not in the scope of feelings and emotions I can process when I’m going through one of those phases. To use another analogy: imagine yourself riding your emotions like a kid’s swing. A gentle back-and-forth: pleasant. Once it becomes a bit wilder, it starts to get exciting. But the higher and quicker the swings go back and forth, the more dangerous it becomes. That’s when you start to feel the panic. And that’s also when I start to avoid anything that could give the swing another push, whether it’s up or down. And sex, unfortunately is one of those things. Even though the emotions connected with sex are positive, it is still a strong enough emotion to make the ride wilder, throw me out of a carefully established and guarded balance.

So it usually takes a lot of patience, love, genuine empathy and an attempt at understanding of what your partner is going through to make it through mental health crises without losing yourself as a couple at least a little bit. I am hugely grateful I have a partner well equipped do deal with all of it and ride it out with me until we’re ready to resume the passionate, sexy side or our relationship.

Stay strong and make love,

One of the girls

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