Relapse. For those of us in recovery from one mental health issue or another, it's a filthy word. Who wants to relapse? There's a classic meme showing the difference between reality and expectations when it comes to mental health recovery - expectation is a nice straight line on a consistent upward trajectory. Reality looks like a ball of wool under siege from a horde of rabid kittens.
It's Christmas Eve. All the food preparation is done. The leaves swept up outside. The tree is decorated, santa hats unpacked and cheesy tunes uploaded to my playlist.
It's 35 days since I touched down on terra firma. Jet lag's done and dusted, the big adventure receding into once upon a time status, and I'm settled back into normality - taking for granted the luxuries of my pillow, my car, and our pristine drinking water. Yet for most of those 35 days, my mental health has been really shit.
My inclination is to run and hide and bury my head - old habits die hard. But if there is one thing I have achieved this year, it's to stop using eating disorder and self-harm behaviours to numb my emotions. They are becoming non-options. That's not to say I don't think about it, miss it, want it, and feel tempted to slip. I'm moving closer and closer to accepting they're no longer an option for dealing with life.
There are lots of reasons women - and men - might experience anorgasmia. I'm only going to talk about one - because it's the one that affects me. Medication. Specifically, SNRI anti-depressant medication. All medication has an effect - that's why we prefer prescriptions to placebos. Side effects are unwanted consequences of medication and when we treat conditions pharmacologically, we weigh the pros and cons of our options. I've been on my current anti-depressant two years. At the lowest dose I struggled with orgasm, and at my current dose it is an impossibility.