It's official. I am just past six months of living with chronic pain and no end in sight. It's still new to me but somehow, also, it's now me. It is a part of me that I have had to adjust to, just like once upon a time I had to adjust from a vanilla world to a kinky one. I am changing and growing but still the same ol' s-type who loves homemaking and serving.

Here are some things about living life in beautiful, fulfilling power exchange alongside a big helping of constant pain:

Living with chronic pain is like hanging out in Vegas. The pain is the house and it seems to always win. Even on the good days, when you are rolling big and feelin' pretty fine, you are aware of the fact that right around the corner you are set up to lose. It's out of your control and even if you do everything in your power to up your odds, you are still more likely to come out on the losing end.

And on that, what the fuck kind of nerve does pain have in telling you anything? You have a Master to serve, to tell you when to stand and kneel and sit and fuck and laugh and cry. The nerve trying to take control of you without your consent!

I have re-learned masochism. See, I used to bottom to my sadist from a place of submission. The giving of pain got him hard and serving that need got my panties wet. We had it figured out. But now? I love the pain; look forward to the pain. Why the change?

Any chosen pain that takes my mind off of the chronic pain gets me hot now.

I asked for it. My Master controlled it. It's our pain. Ours.

I no longer have a pain scale from 1-10 like they ask you in the hospital. The best I can hope for on a given day is a 3 or 4. I love those 3 days now.

We have had some of our oldest and favorite protocols and rituals blown to pieces.

The hottest tears I have ever shed are those in the painful embarrassment of so desperately wanting to serve my Partner in the way that feels like home and instead finding nothingness. No, not nothingness. Finding the shame that is him being the one to take care of me all of a sudden. Of having to ask for help undressing and buckling myself in the car when I am the one who is supposed to be serving him, dammit.

I want to kneel. I want to cook and clean and scrub baseboards (ah, god, what I wouldn't give to give a proper scrub to my baseboards right now) and do the shit that makes me, me.

Friends, loved ones, ask how I am doing and I have to decide: lie to the ones who treasure honesty above all, or tell the truth and hear caring advice and empathy that is so well meaning but still crushes me inside. I am meant to tend to others, not the reverse.

Every day I wake up and sling my choices upon a balancing scale of "justice." I have to weigh my pain tolerance against the risk of pain medicine tolerance/addiction. I am a recovering addict living in the world of free flowing pills and each and every goddamn day I have to have the strength of self to say, "Nah, not today..." and limp away in pain.

But...

Living in Power Exchange with chronic pain is like hanging out in Vegas... with your very best friend. When the chips slide our way, do we ever celebrate together. And when the house wins as predicted? We hole up in our suite with some room service and TV and wallow together. I have somebody to ride the high with and somebody who picks me up when I am down. How much luckier could I be?

We are learning to listen to our bodies more now, pay attention to our health as we age.

I think Master loves having a masochist in his training finally.

I have learned the most amazing coping skills. We have altered our protocols and created new ones, ones that celebrate the spiritual and emotional side of our relationship instead of the physical, quite possibly for the first time ever. It's sexy and new and refreshing.

Did you know that you can achieve the same sense of peace sitting on the edge of the bed and grasping a Dominants mid-section that you get when kneeling and clutching their legs?

It's about the intention, not the action.

I never knew how much deeper I could love a Man until he had to physically lift my legs into bed and tuck me in. Power... exchange... I got his back. He's got mine. That IS what it is we do.

I do kneel sometimes. It still feels like coming home and I relish every shot at it.

I don't miss carrying the heavy laundry basket back and forth.

Lots of people inquiring means lots of people loving me.

Every time I fight through the pain I get a little bit stronger. A little tougher.

I probably needed a lil toughening up, honestly.

See, living with chronic pain in a chronically kinky home is more about the outlook than anything. There is no misfortune in our home. Only opportunities for creativity.

And on the bad days? The worst days?

Well, that's when we just need each other. And the fact that we have that, well, makes living through all the pain worthwhile.