As I have explored the world of D/s, I have had the enormous benefit of a small collection of Dommes and subs who have helped me to process feelings, to understand what D/s is about, and also to just have added perspective on life.
Self-acceptance is one of the most important benefits of this process. Let me begin with ADD. Diagnosed as a child [I have written about elements of ADD in my childhood and the unpleasant diagnosis that came with it here], finding the diagnosis and its medication turned into a part of the war between my mother and father post their divorce, I have always had an uneasy relationship with ADD in me. Put simply, I refused to acknowledge it. That doesn’t change how it has affected my life (though I would regard those ways as immensely positive—I wouldn’t step away from the maelstrom for anything). I know that for some it can be immensely debilitating, as with all things there are degrees. It is not a contest. I accept today that the childhood diagnosis and accept that Ritalin may have helped (though I remain deeply uncomfortable with medication in my case for ADD).
What does this have to do with D/s? [The ADD and D/s connection here]. Well, for one, it was through a wonderfully florid series of conversations with a Domme on many topics, including the meaning of life, D/s, feminism, sexuality, and so many other things, it emerged that many of the things I was describing to her were symptoms of ADD. When I confessed my history with ADD, she said it made sense. And as we talked, and she described more of the unique things that ADD people experience in the world, it all started to make sense.
Before this happened, I was in denial. And that denial was unhealthy. The denial didn’t just affect me, it affected the people around me. Being self-accepting helps other people to engage with you in ways that are healthy and wholesome—and to understand. Most importantly, one of my children was diagnosed with ADD, and I wouldn’t accept the diagnosis. We are doomed to repeat the failure of our parents. Or are we?
Mistress herself then opened a door for me by recommending that I read Gabor Matés excellent book on ADD [Scattered Minds, Reviewed Here]. When I could see myself so clearly in the writing, I could no longer deny it, but also knew that I needed to undertake the healing that he outlines in his book of how you can grow. This is what gave me confidence to admit my own diagnosis to myself, and to accept the diagnosis of my child, and to begin to talk about it in a constructive way in family.
Thanks to this Domme’s contribution to my life, and subsequently to Mistress’s recommendation, I was able to accept myself, accept my child, and was able to talk about it. It has done wonders for our family environment (not that there are any problems with an inherently loving environment, but one can always have and give more love).
Who says that D/s isn’t a wonderful mechanism for healing and growth?
Is ADD a superpower?
ADD, as the Domme said, is a mischaracterisation. It is not a “deficit of attention” at all. On the contrary, it is an excess of attention—our minds are hyper-stimulated and deeply sensitive to environmental stimuli…we can go from one topic to the next and blinding speed, without lingering for the requisite time for others…for us, it is normal—the random association is not at all random. When you stop to explain the threads, they can make sense to someone without ADD.
I would not be the first to wonder if ADD confers abilities. This short snippet from Instagram highlights the message well.
I like to think of it as similar to the invention of the QWERTY keyboard. This clunky arrangement of letters on a keyboard was designed for the mechanical typewriter era when keys would catch against each other and cause a jam when the typist was too fast. So, the designers engineered in this flaw, which was designed to slow typing down. That is what Executive Function does. It makes the mind work in a more reliable and consistent way. The ADD mind is, according to some, a superpower, provided you learn how to manage and use it. I think it would help if we were taught differently.
ADD and meditation
I will learn how to meditate. That’s a fact. It is also a fact that I find it incredibly difficult. Mainly, I can’t yet calm my mind. As a child I used to be able to “think about nothing” which I think was all about being in a meditative state. It came to me easily and often, and was a source of deep relaxation, but more importantly, a way of disassociating myself from my body—a way of coping with dysphoria, my dysfunctional home life, etc. It was my “happy place”.
I want to learn how. My ex-therapist wants me to learn how. My new Reiki master wants me to learn how [you can read about my encounter with her here], and so does Mistress. My SO, on the other hand, doesn’t call it meditation, but wants me to do two things which are pretty equivalent to me: she wants me to go for walks in the forest…something which I already find profoundly soothing. And, she wants me to practice gratitude thinking—ie, during yoga, think of all the blessings in my life.
I mentioned this concept to the Domme who has helped me so much, and her own perspective was how challenging it is for an ADD person to clear their minds. That to her, it is far easier for an ADD person to “get it out” and that they need to do that, to be able to. Trying to clear the mind without “getting it out” is a near impossibility. Oh well. Whoever said this was going to be easy? Mistress on the other hand has encouraged me to do it anyway, in spite of these challenges, for as she says, “for those who struggle to meditate for these reasons, the rewards are that much greater.”
Thankfully and helpfully, my Reiki Master has given me some helpful tips and suggestions to clear the mind and to get into the meditative state. They seem to work. Thus far, however, I have best been able to connect to an inner calm when I am running. After the first few km, things settle down in my head, and meditation and presence become possible.
As I gradually find calm and balance in myself, I find greater happiness. And this is most certainly affecting how I interact with people. Starting at home, but also in how I interact with strangers. And this is being fed back to me in warmth and good will. And I am finding that the energy we put out when we are calm and fully in ourselves, is an energy that brings out the best in the world around us.