I had an interesting feeling come over me today as I was … strangely enough … pumping gas into my car (no worries, despite the places your mind might go, the two had absolutely nothing to do with one another). I am SINGLE – the last “long-term” relationship I had was just that – LONG-TERM, and it was actually a blessing from GOD / THE UNIVERSE that that was the time I started to get very sick and this person couldn’t “handle it” and we broke up. Again, that was a good thing. The BAD part is that since then I have been “out of circulation” due to being so ill – as I have mentioned in numerous other posts, most of even the friends I used to call my “best friends” left me in the dust. At any rate, long story short, I have not been in any sort of romantic relationship or dating sort of relationship for … a VERY long time.
I have heard from many people that many of the medications I am taking absolutely slaughter your “libido.” I think that is somewhat true. For me, I think the true “libido killer” is the recognition that I went from being someone who could have easily posed for Playboy or Maxim to someone whose body has been extraordinarily ravaged by the long-term steroids. I am starting to lose the last of the ‘prednisone puff” as I call it, but the way it has destroyed my teeth, the thrush, the stretch marks and the thin skin that I have no control over, the hunched back from my broken spine healing in a poor way (hey, at least I can walk and at least my spinal cord and nerves were not affected!), &c. I have terrible body dysmorphia to begin with; even back when I weighed like 105-110 lbs I thought I looked like a big ol’ fattie. A lot of that is also thanks to yet ANOTHER bad long-term relationship, but that’s another story. In short, the actual effects on my body combined with my mental perception of myself physically have created this “monster” of absolutely AWFUL physical self-esteem. I don’t really notice a “lack of libido” so much because of the meds, but I just don’t care much to think about any of that kind of “physical intimacy” stuff because I am mentally and emotionally devastated at what has happened to my body.
However. That does not mean I have not had “crushes” or romantic “interests.” I have been sort of dwelling on one (GOD-help me) for quite some time now. I got out of my car and this person popped into my head. And FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS (I’m talking like … 10+ years) I ACTUALLY HAD THE DESIRE TO KISS SOMEONE. It actually made me grin like a damn fool and cry at the same time. I’m sure my companion gas-filler-uppers thought I was one of the many whack-a-doodles around. But to me, despite the inherent sadness in it (I cannot really explain that one for privacy reasons), I was thrilled and almost relieved feeling and KNOWING the actual realization that I am, in many ways, “getting better.” My teeth are still a hot mess. My skin is still … I don’t want to talk about it. I have the same physical problems I had yesterday and the month before yesterday and the day last year at the same time, &c. But this was honestly the FIRST TIME in many, MANY years I had that “butterflies in my stomach” feeling thinking about kissing someone. That might seem goofy and perhaps sophomoric (here with the insinuation being that of being in high school!) because that is just a small part of “physical intimacy” with someone … but knowing that I am GETTING there, slowly but surely, really is “everything.”
I know I say this frequently, but I really would love to hear from yinz about your experiences in this kind of context. Do you find that the medications you take do dampen your libido or kill it entirely? Does comparing your “normal” physical self with your “current” physical self make you want to jump off a bridge (proverbially, of course)? I would just love to know how others feel in this “romantic” regard and if you have managed to come through it, how you did so and how you feel now.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post! I do plan on writing up another “basic makeup” post as soon as I can do so – SO STAY TUNED! I hope you are all having a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world and PLEASE stay safe and healthy out there!
❤ Always, Beth (whose heart is ALWAYS with you!)