Of late, I have seen an overwhelming and frightening number of pups, both friends of mine and not, that have been in what I can only describe as very dire straits. I’ve heard everything from sleepless nights and sour moods to actual suicide attempts. As someone that is most often a dominant in this community, and someone that leans toward caregiving, it is alarming to me to see so many of my fellow pups in danger of really hurting themselves. It hits me hard, because I have been there.
In my younger years, I spent most of my life feeling very out of place. I was never what I would call traditionally attractive, I have always been on the heavier side, and adding being confused about my sexuality and feelings towards my peers made me feel even more alone. My earliest experience with the mental health machine was when I was in the second grade.
What does a kid in second grade need to feel so horrible about? It’s that very same isolation and loneliness that I was talking about. I made a comment to someone about wanting to go off to a place where no one would ever find me, and was immediately taken into a conference room because someone misunderstood and thought I was threatening to take someone ELSE to a place where no one would ever find them. So, rather than harming someone else, everyone seemed much more relaxed that I was in danger of harming myself. I met my first therapist, and honestly don’t remember much about him. I’m a bit curious to ask my parents what they think I got out of it, but I don’t know how much I really want to know.
Over the years, I had several more bouts with suicidal thoughts. A few of those times, I actually made plans, wrote notes, and was prepared to say goodbye. The only thing that stopped me was someone reaching out and telling me they loved me, someone checking in to see if I was ok, hell..just someone helping me to see that I was important in someone’s life long enough to help me get over the feelings of despair and utter loneliness.
When I came out of the closet, things were not nearly as friendly as they are today. It was 1994, and gay bashing was a pretty common thing. I’ve had my life threatened multiple times, and have gone to the police a few times for fear of my life. Coming to grips with who I am, and who I want myself to be has been a journey since that 16 year old kid came out. Finding the kink community, and even more recently the pup community, has helped me realize that not only am I important to others, but that I have worth - regardless of what anyone else thinks.
I see pups looking for that sense of worth by comparing themselves to others every day. It’s a hard thing to realize, but you will never be happy with yourself if you are on a constant mission to be ‘as good as that pup’ or ‘as thin as that pup’ or have ‘as big a dick as that pup.’ I want to pick each one of them up and tell them that you have to realize how important it is to be yourself, and to be okay being you. No one else can offer exactly what you can. You’re amazing just for being you. There is a strength inside every one of us, and you just have to search to figure out what it is.
We all have those lonely times. I certainly still struggle at times with wanting to be a better version of myself. We all have ideals in our heads about what we should be, and sometimes we feel like we fall short. When you do, lean on your friends. That’s what they’re there for. If you don’t feel like you have friends, reach out to your pup community. We have many pups that will be more than happy to help talk you through the hard times.
If you’re not comfortable talking to other pups, or you are at serious risk of hurting yourself, please reach out to a mental health professional, or call a suicide hotline. There are options. There are people that are here to help. You are not alone.