I was failing as a submissive. Something in me had broken and that magical, powerful feeling that submission was once giving me was gone. I didn’t want to believe that I wasn’t submissive anymore but every single clue was that something was wrong with my emotional wellbeing, and my happiness was clouded by the depression that I now lived in. Denial was becoming a comfort. And if this feels all in snapshots it’s because so much was going on that was bad in our power exchange relationship that it is still hard to really process.

My life was spiraling out of control. I was arguing with KnyghtMare about the simplest requests. I spent hours just refusing to do things, questioning his control over me and falling further into a circle of not caring. I was losing my desire to submit. The more I stopped caring, the more I felt like nothing mattered anymore. I hated submitting and I resented KnyghtMare for asking me to do anything. Trust became eroded and we did more fighting each other than working together.

We had a ton of arguments about how I had stopped submitting and that he was tired with my fighting him all the time. I was making his life miserable. It’s a time in my relationship with him that I wish I had realized what was going on and changed. Too late. In April 2017, KnyghtMare took his collar back. I had missed all the signs or didn’t care. But we all know that hindsight is always clearer.

Read More: Without His Collar: How This Happened and What I’m Learning About Myself

It’s been over 18 months and I’m still not back to the sense of joy in my submission I used to have. I’m getting there but I feel like a failure. I stopped writing for Submissive Guide because I didn’t feel like my advice was of any value anymore and who would want to hear from a failed slave? I’m recovering and relearning what importance submission has in my personal journey now. So I wanted to share with you why I feel like I crashed and burned, how I think I’m a failure (even though many of you who have reached out say I’m not) and what I’m doing about it now. I hope that my personal story will help you recognize the signs before you too face the loss of a relationship that you worked so hard to nurture.

What Failure Feels Like To Me

When KnyghtMare asked for his collar back, I thought that was what feeling like a failure felt like, but after the intense crying and disbelief started to wear off I realized that wasn’t a sense of failure at all. The failure had come months earlier when I realized but was also in denial of the loss of my submissive drive. I didn’t want to be submissive anymore. I didn’t know why and felt really lost without submission, but that was a failure that had many repercussions.

      I had failed KnyghtMare

      I had failed the readers of Submissive Guide.

      I had failed myself.

I knew that this feeling was more than disappointment in myself. Disappointment is almost a fleeting feeling, it can dissipate pretty quickly once you reconcile what you did. Failure lingers and this lingered for a long time. Long enough to drive me into a deep depression that I didn’t know if I could climb out of.

Failing KnyghtMare had me afraid for our relationship as a whole. Was it going to die? Did he not love me anymore? Could we function if there was no D/s? We had entered the relationship as D/s and never been without so I thought it would just fail. What happens now? So many questions raced through my head and the hard thing about all of it at that time was I had no answers. Some questions are still without answers over a year later.

When this all came about, I felt like a huge failure to you, the readers of Submissive Guide. I thought that I had become some huge hypocrite. Who would want to read the site when it’s lead author had failed as I did? I had adopted behaviors that I warned about in articles here and felt that I was flawed and not worthy of giving advice any longer. I stopped writing altogether for a long time; only recently picking up the digital pen again.

Worse, I had failed myself. I had let myself believe the misconceptions and stereotypes about slavery and shoehorned myself into a box that didn’t fit me and it made me miserable. In doing that I had denied myself some of the things that could be fun, pushed KM away from trying new things with me and overall not wanting to interact with me because I had become…. boring.

Is Failure and End or a Beginning?

After a year of feeling sorry for myself, of living in the darkest shadows of depression I didn’t think I’d come out of, I finally started seeing a glimmer of hope. Part of that hope was the realization that failure really isn’t an end. Sure I felt like that at the time, but in reality, it was a wake-up call. It made me think about how many times I thought the failure I experienced was the worst thing that could happen to a submissive, but that wasn’t it. It was my inability to see through my mistakes and to dwell on what I had lost instead of what I still had.

If being submissive is in your bones, then you can’t fail at submission. It’s a part of you, but I know that I felt so detached from my submission that the lack of connection felt like a failure. Do you know what all of my friends kept telling me? That it would come back and that I’d feel normal one day. That failure was a mindset and if I shook that mindset I’d be headed towards recovery and reclamation of what I was missing.

I must admit to you that I stayed in that dark place for a long long time. And my recent shift is purely coincidental. I’ve not been working on finding submission in myself. I figured I have a lot more crap going on to work on that I should do that first. But, it has come back pretty strongly and I’m relearning who I am and who I want to be this time around.

It’s eye-opening and it’s changing who I intend to be.

So, who do you go about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and finding a way back? Here’s what I’ve been doing, I hope that what I’ve gone through can help you, too.

Phoenix Rising

      Come to terms with what happened and figure out the cause. You’ll need to work on yourself a lot in this process but it is worth it. Journal, talk to friends, meditate; figure out some way to really dig into your thoughts. Everything is in there.

I was able to pinpoint some behaviors that I have brought about since childhood that are going to take a long time to re-write some negative behaviors. I’m also learning positive coping mechanisms for jealousy.

      Don’t rush things. Growth and healing take time. Be patient with yourself and the process.

I have had to remind myself numerous times that you can’t rush healing and progress. I’m an impatient sort when it comes to my own journey. I want all the good stuff now and to toss all the negative stuff into the forget it bin. But that’s just not how it works… unfortunately.

      Celebrate even the smallest of victories. Progress is progress. If you set goals, which I hope you do, make mini-goals too. Those little steps along the path are what will keep you going and help you feel like you’re digging your way out of feeling like a failure and more like yourself.

I do a lot of journaling so I am able to see pretty clearly as I progress and grow to a better version of myself. I share my positive progress with friends and with KnyghtMare.

      Get support. You don’t have to go at it alone. Even if you can’t find someone that understands, you can gain a supportive friend that will cheer you on as you build your life.

For the first part of my re-awakening after the fall I was alone and found that it just wasn’t going to work without someone to talk to and that could commiserate and also cheer me on.

Falling as far as I did, there’s no doubt why I felt I had failed. I wish I hadn’t taken so long to live in misery, but now that I’m working on me, I am ready to recover and rebuild and maybe even become a new me. This fall has helped me realize that perhaps there’s more to me than what I once was and it’s time to remake myself.

Failure isn’t always an end. For me, it’s been a new beginning, a rebirth and I hope one that I’ll be able to embrace and share my journey with you so you too can celebrate my milestones. Thank you for allowing me to learn and grow, to fall and to pick myself back up. It’s because of you that I’m confident that I can build a new me that will enjoy submission again and embrace some new service, new ways to submit and maybe even a few new kinks.

Do you need some help finding your focus? Check out the Solo-coaching Your Way to Better Submission ebook!