In the immortal words of Whitesnake:  “And I know what it means/To walk along the lonely street of dreams/And here I go again on my own.”

I’ve been released from my Dominant.   This was my first D/s relationship, so I don’t have any experience to compare this to.  It’s not like a Vanilla break-up.  No, not at all.  It is so much more significant.  I keep hearing the words “I release you” in my head and it reminds me that I’m on my own.  I know I’m not the only one who has ever had to deal with this; I want to share my experience with other submissives in hopes of helping those who need some advice.

Now, I should explain that being released didn’t mean “goodbye.”  I am in almost daily email contact with my former Dominant.  We’re close friends.  But even though he’s still in my life, I’m still out on my own, decisions for myself without his guidance.  It’s strange, but it’s manageable.  In the days following my release, I came up with a plan to keep everything together: focus on goals, and focus on self-improvement.

The most important thing for me is to keep moving forward.  The first order of business was reviewing my old rules and goals.  Now, submissives by definition are incredibly disciplined (no pun intended) by nature.  Our Masters and Dominants help to keep us in line, but much of the responsibility rests with us.  When I looked at the goals I’d established with my Dominant, I saw that they were created with my best interests in mind.  Some of them were my idea and some were his.  In either case, these goals are still good for me, and so part of my coping mechanism has been to rededicate myself to my goals.

Some of the goals and rules needed tweaking.  Now it’s up to me to decide the new parameters.  For example, I have a rule about only being able to drink soda on one day each week.  I don’t mind this rule at all, but I just started a new job and after a surprise staff change, I’m working longer hours to cover for the person who left.  I found myself dragging by midday, and the jolt from the sugar in a soda made me feel better.  More than the caffeine, I needed the sugar.  I did, however, change the rule so that diet soda is no longer allowed.  I’d rather have one sugar-laden soda than one diet soda full of scary artificial things.  And I’m going to limit my soda intake to three days each week or so until the schedule goes back to normal, and then I’ll return to soda once a week.

You might be wondering why I’d care about rededicating myself to my goals and rules.  I’m free, right?  I can do whatever I want, right?  True.  However, the future is uncertain.  The rules and goals help make me a better person, and it would be unfortunate to return to a D/s relationship and be forced to explain to a new Dominant that I wasn’t disciplined enough to make good choices on my own.   I can’t let myself go just because I am not owned.  In this case, I think it’s acceptable for a submissive to have pride enough to say that she isn’t going to fall apart.  This is her chance to move forward and show potential Dominants that she is capable of following rules even when no one is there to enforce them.

The other facet of my coping mechanism has been to focus on self-improvement.  Now is the time for me to take a hard look at my life and focus on areas where I can improve, with the understanding that above all, I’m doing this for myself.  The last thing I wanted to do was lose myself in my new job and let it take control of my life under the guise of escaping from my feelings about being released.  I’m sure some of you know what that feels like.  For me, it’s working so much that it takes over everything.  For others, it’s getting lost in chocolate.  For some, it’s drinking too much or sitting around all day.  We all cope differently.  All I know is that I don’t want to let this job control my life.  Sir’s biggest lesson to me was that I choose to give up control to someone else.  That control cannot be taken from me against my will.

I am managing my time at work so that I can focus on other areas: fitness, developing my own business, and writing a book.  Yes, I’m writing a book.  Having the book to think about helps motivate me beyond belief.  The fitness piece ties into my personal goals, and while I’m out running I’m thinking about the book and my business.  It’s all tied together, and it’s refreshing and rewarding and incredibly positive.

With all of this being said, the most important thing is that I keep moving forward.  I must make healthy choices (both physical and emotional) and I must take care of myself.  I have all of the tools I need to do this; I am a submissive and therefore I am incredibly self-disciplined.  Through this strategy, I will become a better, stronger person who is ready to take on new challenges.   As Doc Brown said in Back to the Future Part II: “The future is what you make of it, so make it a good one.”