This week I was set a submissive photo challenge. The idea was for me to take a photo each day and post it in a group chat. I was told that the purpose was to focus my mind on doing something for someone else. Secondary to this was to push my boundaries a bit further and help to work on my self-esteem by (hopefully) receiving some positive feedback to the aforementioned shared images.
When I first heard about it, I felt a little excited. It was the start of the holidays and I felt like it would be good to be focussed on my submission straight off. I had been feeling pretty exhausted as the end of term came around so this seemed like a good start. All went well until I actually tried to take a picture. I think I was probably tired and, in addition, have not been feeling particularly creative. I felt like I could do it though until I was hit by a series of small setbacks which should not have had the impact that they did.
(Cue ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’, Rimsky Korsakov)
I ended up having a bit of a crisis. Now I don’t think this was really down to the task, although being pushed outside of my comfort zone when I was already worn out from the weirdest school term in history, and hormonal as I fell into those down days before my cycle starts, didn’t help. I think in some ways it was the last straw which led to a decline which channeled negative vibes, not just all over the submissive photo challenge but much deeper than that.
The negative thoughts about my body which I am usually very good at keeping to a point where we can function in a symbiotic state hit an all time high of irrational fear, self-disgust and loathing. This pretty much sent me into a crisis about lots of things, not just the photos. I can be quite self-destructive and I could feel myself pushing things and people away, as well as setting myself up for failure. When this happens I feel like a runaway train and am aware that I am out of control but usually can’t find the brakes myself.
This cycle becomes even more negative as I will then beat myself up over my selfishness and lack of worth in indulging my vain fears. It is predictable and pathetic and tiring, but it is what it is and I am as I am and I have learnt to live with it, as has HL, much to his chagrin. What I need when I get like this is to be forced out of it by looking outward, rather than being allowed to turn inwards. It is easy to get lost in these thought processes and I need someone to help me out of them.
Enter the Dominant
(cue ‘Romeo and Juliet, No 13 Dance of the Knights’, Prokofiev)
While it can be annoying to be surrounded by people who think highly of you when you just want to wallow in your own misery, it is also a real positive. My behaviour will try to draw others into my web, but it works so much better if I can be drawn out of it. I guess that is why Dominance and submission works for me, because sometimes I just need to be told. And yes – like a child! If the cap fits, as they say.
As a way of responding to my wabbit mood, I wasn’t given dispensation to run to the hills leaving the submissive photo challenge behind. If only! There were further instructions posted in the chat which gave me a little more direction (by way of support of course) as well as a reminder that there was more than one vested interest in terms of me completing my task. I know that I throw up defences which can work to overthrow HL, but what I really need is for him to remain stellar.
So having moaned to gem (she agreed, of course, that it was impossibly hard for me, and gave me her best listening hear) I mustered up enough about myself to take a picture. I have to say this helped. I know that they say that doing often makes more of a difference to mood than additional time spent thinking, and it really did sort of kick-start me, taking the sting out of it. It wasn’t the best picture I had ever taken but without too much fear, I sent it and went for a shower.
(cue ‘Canon in D in D Major’, Pachelbel)
Trying to remain in the moment in order to put things into perspective is always helpful for me. Having to focus on the composition of a picture: the angle, the background, the overall mood, can actually be a good distraction from how I feel about the content. This is me and my body after all.
Missy. Your task is to take one photograph each day for the coming week. You are allowed one item of clothing only, bra, knickers, blouse, hat, gloves etc. The item is your choice as is the pose, however, revealing is key. Subtle or open, it’s how the picture feels best to you.
I found that having to think about it and plan out an idea each day was a manageable focus to have and I think that this helped my overall mood really. I don’t undermine the strength of my response, or in any way diminish the impact these negative thoughts can have on me or on others, but having lived with my demons for over 30 years, we do have ways of living together: Body dysmorphia accepting.
They are managed rather than gone and, while tasks such as my submissive photo challenge from HL will push me and allow them room to roam, it also helps me to make progress in terms of what I am able to do. The girl who had to navigate the room so that HL couldn’t see her bottom from behind, will now permit him far more than that, as it were. He points out the progress I have made in terms of where I am with him, and with others thanks to his help, but the old insecurities are, unfortunately, life-time companions.
I suppose I also see a positive in the fact that what I am so terrified of is actually part of what allows me to let go and access the submissive space that I love. Through confronting my fears in a relatively safe way (although it doesn’t feel like that at the time) I can let go of the defences and safety measures that my self control puts in place to protect me. If I am pushed, through erotic humiliation, I can break through the extreme self consciousness which holds me back and stops me being free to explore the things I enjoy. More on this later….
Mindful Moments is a new meme which is being hosted by The Barefoot Sub. Barefoot has “created Mindful Moments as a space where (she) can refer back to positive moments at times when (she is) struggling. A place to reflect on the evidence that things can, and usually do, turn out ok. Also somewhere to celebrate the positives and lessons when things are going well.” And in 2020, what can be more needed than this as we recalibrate and take stock of the ever changing world we are in.
As you know, encouraging positive mental health and wellbeing is a priority and a passion of mine. I think that we need to focus on these areas so that we can promote and demonstrate change in terms of thinking and behaviour and the wonderful project, Sex Bloggers for Mental Health run by Sassy Cat did that for a long time. Unfortunately SB4MB has had to take a break so I hope that you will join me in supporting BFS with her new project where she celebrates those mindful moments that are past of us being the vulnerable incredible people that we are.
Please follow the links above to see who else is posting for Monochromerotic and Mindful Monents, or check out more of my Mental Health posts.