The DepressiOnion

Trigger warning: Talk of deep depression, brief mentions of fat-shaming.
This article is a late-night musing. I hope that it gives you a new idea of how my brain works, and I hope you can use this idea to relate to others. If this model works for you, I highly encourage you to use it too. 
This week, I had the opportunity to attend Playground Conference in Toronto. I had an amazing time, met a bunch of new people, and this will all be covered extensively in a blog post later. Right now, I want to focus on one moment that particularly stuck with me: I was talking to someone at length about personal philosophies and how their mind works through life. When it was my turn to share, I was at a loss to describe my own brain despite thinking about it almost every moment of every day.  I’m a Psychology student and I think about thinking a lot. I was shocked to realize that I couldn’t have this conversation. Some of it is because I’m too close to my own brain to summarize it properly. It’s hard to see everything at once. However, there is another layer at work here. I didn’t want to explore my brain because it scares me to talk about it.
The Problem
My brain is a hellish landscape of depression, anxiety and grief. My father passed away at a very important time of my life. My family was a wreck throughout my growing up. I didn’t really understand this until recently, but now I feel it very acutely as I try to work though my own mental problems with a professional. I begin tracing back the problems I have now to things that happened years ago, and were subsequently buried under life.
Someone recently described their default mode as “quirky and looking for innuendos.” At the time, I was baffled because that is the farthest thing from true for me. As I begin to think about how my brain interacts with the world around me, I am realizing that my default is “isolated.” I am consistently seeking out ways that I am special and different from others. I want to be seen as a commodity because I am unique. I also want to be independent, because my freedom is so important to me. However, I also default to a sense of loneliness. My brain automatically sees differences between me and the people I love. The differences that make me good come with other differences that (as my brain sees it) make me not-so-good.
The negative side of this primarily comes from a side of my depression that actively hates me. For every “Leo moment” where I love my hair, my skills, my humor, there is a moment where I feel obnoxious, annoying, awkward, or downright asinine. I play up my “Leo moments” because I want to believe them myself. I know this hateful part of me has existed for a long time, and I’ve learned to live with it. It got buried under careers, relationships, and other life. But now, I am working through those piles so I can live a healthier and fuller life. As this hateful side of me becomes more accessible, it becomes louder and more harmful.
If my default state is so easily tipped into the negative, what does that mean when I have social interactions? Well, thanks to insecurity, and a lack of being able to recognize social cues, I very often second-guess what I do, and the information I think I know. For example, I have a hard time believing that someone would be flirting with me. I let things go over my head because I’ll never be sure if they really were, or if I just wanted to believe that because I want to make sure I stay in a positive space that day. I usually walk away from parties and conferences fearing I missed opportunities (at best), or was downright awful to be around (at worst).
The New Idea
All of this sounds like very typical bad self-esteem. That certainly plays a big part. Why would I be sharing this when it’s nothing new? Well, there’s a new idea that came into my brain as I recover from Playground Conference.
The word intersectionality refers to a concept where differing identities cross, creating a more complete picture of someone. This most commonly gets applied to different types of oppression and/or prejudice. This concept is what I’m going for, but with depression. I refuse to use the word intersectionality for my depression concept because that is already associated with a movement and concept which is much bigger than my mental health. But I would like to borrow the basic principles and apply them. This is why I use the word DepressiOnion. It’s a really great pun (which is on brand for me), and it conveys this idea very well.
Let Me Explain
Imagine me holding a tiny onion sprout. It’s little with maybe two or three layers. This represents my base depression. It’s small but manageable enough. Not very trusting, a little less secure in attachment. With just this, I’m moving through the world differently already. I default to a feeling of loneliness, even when with a lover. I struggle to keep my head up on some days. But overall, I’m doing okay; I check in with a professional regularly just to make sure I’m on track.
Now add in some chronic issues like fat-shaming, transgender identity, weird non-monogamy spectrum, whatever applies. The onion is a bit bigger with a few more layers. It’s still easy to hold and work with, but it takes up more room and I have less space to hold other things (heh). I take on less of the outside world, and I need to check in more frequently.
Now, add in a life event, such as the recent break-up that I went through. The onion is even bigger, with more layers now. It’s still manageable, but requires much more energy than the first iteration. It’s takes up much more space than it used to, and now I have to spend all of my energy and space in one hand holding this onion. Each layer is built upon and working with the others. Again, my world view is different than before.
Now, with these three sets of layers, it’s much harder to feel good. I have a hard time feeling desirable. Maybe I’m better off alone, but then why am I lonely? Perhaps I’ll never be loved again. I worry that any time I date someone, they won’t see me for who I am. I worry that if I click with someone, I won’t be in a good headspace to date them at that time. I think that I am too much work/hassle/etc. But this is me, and I can’t get rid of it. I can’t change these identities.
So what if something else happens? Con drop? A new potential affection for someone? A friend being revealed as someone you’re not sure you can trust? All three in one week (which is what has happened)?
Well this onion is joined by more and more layers. That con is more isolating because I’m coming home to an empty bed instead of a partner. The new affection is highlighting how infrequently I feel seen (and loved) in my entirety. My untrustworthy friend reminds me why I don’t trust my own judgement in the first place. All of these layers are now related. They are intimately involved in one another. It’s hard to get to the core of the onion now. It takes up all the space and energy just trying to hold it.
Oh and you can’t put it down either. Because it’s you.

Indigo Tries the Bvibe Rimming Plug!

8 out of 10
Pairs well with a pint of Guinness. Bold. Full of Body.
This product was sent to me directly by B-Vibe. You can buy from SheVibe in Teal and Black! Or from Betty’s Toybox!

A box displaying a teal butt plug and a white remote sits on a giraffe print blanket.
Oooh. Sexy Giraffe print blanket. Sets the mood, doesn’t it?

When I heard about this plug, I was at Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. Suz was talking about it at length and how much she liked it. Now, we all know how much I like butt stuff. It’s one of the things that partners bring up, which immediately makes me go “Oh my GOD, I LOVE THAT.” So when I heard of a way to get a rim job without having to have another partner present, I jumped on that idea. I spent months imagining it. I was hoping that they would email and ask me to review one.
One day, I decided to send out some emails as I watched my review queue empty, and I sent one directly to bVibe asking for a plug to review. They said yes and I’m pretty sure I immediately texted my roommate to let her know that it was going to be there and I. Was. Excited.
When it arrived, I was in the middle of partner shuffling (an explosive break up), and going out of town to see a bang buddy. So it actually took about a week for me to open the box and examine this beauty. I did have to get through this very excellent carrying case to find a remote (with a battery), a manual, and a quick introduction to butt play. I absolutely love this case. I feel like I can use it as a mini sex-on-the-go kit because it will easily fit some lube, gloves and a small bit of baby wipes. Any company that takes the time to consider needs around butt play, and include education in their products will automatically get a higher rating from me.
A black rectangular case is open on a giraffe blanket. On one side is a teal plug encased in plastic. The other side has an elastic net which holds a manual and a white and teal remote.
This travel case is so damn cool.

But what about this gorgeous teal plug? My goodness, this plug is not for the faint of heart (taint of heart?). Now, I am no shrinking violet when it comes to butt stuff. It’s pretty common that I will haphazardly just put things in my butt. I’ve even gotten very close to being anally fisted (a new goal of mine). However, what I have explored in width does not help me with the length of this plug.
This plug has almost 5″ of insertable length. At it’s widest point, it is 1.5″. One of these is amazingly attainable, but like I said, I haven’t explored so much with length as I have with width. So when I pulled out this plug, I was alarmed by it’s size. It wasn’t until I finally made time to play with it that I realized how easy it is to insert. This plug is a tried and true shape and that was absolutely ideal for insertion. Even with the extra length, I had no problem. I barely had to warm up, even. If you are worried about the size, then you should know that bVibe has released a petite version of this toy as well!
The bvibe plug and it's remote sit on a giraffe blanket.
So when I got it in, what happened next? Well, I did a quick read of the manual (I might recommend reading this BEFORE inserting) and started playing with the controls some. It immediately felt like heaven in my butt. The vibrations are deep and rumbly. That length is actually wonderful for reaching as deep as possible. When I managed to get it comfortable, I turned on the rimming beads. There are a bunch of patterns, which I played with some, but my butt couldn’t really tell the difference, so I just left that bit alone. I will tell you, friends, I don’t think I’ve ever been launched into an orgasm so fast. Especially without some kind of vaginal penetration. It took a vibe on my clit, and the plug, and about a minute. Actually a minute.
Folx, this is why I really love this plug. When I have an actual mouth attached to an actual person, and they perform rimming, it feels amazing. But I usually have a hard time reaching orgasm because I just can’t maneuver the vibrators right. This doesn’t mean the sensations are better than a tongue, if I’m honest. I would much prefer a face between my cheeks. But this plug allows me to lay on my back without squishing anyone’s face. I can insert whatever I want, and I can vibe to my heart’s content. It’s the opportunities for play that make this plug so optimal.
It would be amazing to have this plug in while enjoying penetrative sex with a partner, and the next time I have access to one, you know I’m trying it.
A box with the cover open reveals a black plastic case and a white and teal remote. On the back of the cover is some basic information about the plug.
So why did I give this plug a 8 out of 10 if I love it so much? Well, it does fill some of the voids of not having a partner (ahem). I would even venture that it fills my favorite void. However, I believe that my ratings need to take into account two things that I don’t have to consider, but others do. This plug is pricey (around $150). I realize that is not as accessible for a lot of people. I can only say that it’s worth it if you can afford it.
The second point that I want to think about is size. I know that 5″ will cause discomfort for a lot of people. I have a lot of experience with butt play, so I was unfazed by this, but I’m not everyone. I think that bVibe has sincerely listened to feedback because they have a petite version. I have a sneaking suspicion that the petite version would be excellent, even as a size kweeng. The power of the vibrations just felt so good that the smaller version can only make it more accessible, and probably not lose any good traits.

Indigo Persists in Teaching

10 out of 10
Powerful as fuck. Pairs will with energy drinks. You’ll need them.
This week marks another turning point in my life. I went through a break up three months ago, which left me distraught for many weeks. In an effort to help myself, I got in touch with my ex and we attempted to cultivate a new relationship. We wanted to try being polyamorous, which was new for both of us. After very little negotiation, he fell into a few dates with someone (who ironically shared my birth name).
I realized that I didn’t like his new romantic connection, and it was probably because I was jealous. Around a lot of poly groups, there is a fear and scorn of jealousy. I’ve been around a lot of people who say it’s natural and you can work through it. But the louder voices in the crowd boast about how they never feel jealous and they are so secure in their love. You know what? I’m not secure in love. Ever. And I kind of doubt that will change, even with therapy. I never had good love role models. So fuck that. I was more jealous than I’ve ever been. I was curled up on my bed crying. I felt gross, like I needed a shower. I felt betrayed every time.
This is the part I’m not proud of: I tried to mitigate my hurt. I pushed it down, and as a result, I grew resentful. Of myself. Of my partner. I wanted to blame him. I wanted to be mad because we never put enough boundaries in there. But the real problem is that we weren’t secure from the moment we got back together. So all my blame and anger was useless. But the damage was already done. He was ready to fall in love with someone else, and I am over here, still NOT being poly, despite all my trying.
I couldn’t find any words to describe what I wanted until the very last night. “I want a relationship were we have sex separately, but with no emotional attachments to others.” It was the last thing I was able to communicate before we broke ties. Later, I was talking to some friends, and someone piped up “It sounds like an open relationship is what you want.”
Holy. Fuck. Guys, I wrote six fucking posts about polyamory and open relationships were a part of that research. Why had my brain failed me so thoroughly? I could have used the right words all along. I might still have my loving boyfriend. I would be free, and also secure.
Well, it’s all over now.
This morning, I woke up to offers of workshops in my inbox. My college has a week where they promote sex education and one of my classmates wants me to be a part of it. I looked at it, and I stopped myself from applying.
“What the fuck qualifies me for this? I just fucked up one of the most important relationships in my life by not being able to communicate. I’m not qualified for anything.”
I closed the laptop and went to class. Somewhere in the middle of differential calculus, I heard the “voice” of someone in my head. I’m used to these “voices” being mean. I’m used to hearing them devalue me. I usually have to tell my brain to shut up and leave me alone. But this voice was different. I don’t know this voice. It belongs to an older woman who has bushy hair and wears a red hat. I think it may be Lily Tomlin, but I’m not sure. What I AM sure of is that you’re wondering what it said.
“Honey, do you really want to let some incident with a boy drag you out of your career? Aren’t you bigger than that? What does happen when a sex and relationship educator/therapist/coach does something wrong? Does that make them less qualified for their job, or does it make them human?”
I thought of every one I know who is an educator. Someone who shares many feelings I have about polyamory, but still practices. Someone who recently broke up with their spouse and still talks about relationships and communication. If everyone goes through break ups and sometimes those break ups are their fault, does that mean they can never give advice? No, it actually makes them better equipped.

Indigo wearing a stripped shirt with a bright red scarf around their neck and bright red lipstick. Their hair is pulled into an up-do. They look prepared.
I may not have a red hat, but I do have a red scarf.

We become educators because we have been through the break ups and the heartache. But instead of just feeling and reacting, we listened and we watched. We grew up watching how others interact because it’s fascinating. We marveled at how people could be so oblivious to the signals from their partners. We couldn’t believe it when someone got upset about something so small, when there was clearly a bigger problem in the relationship. But most importantly, we cheered for the ones that got it right. We stared with wide eyes as they negotiated problems, and came back to love.
Lily Tomlin, I will not minimize the effect of my boyfriend. He was perfect for me for a long time. With the right words and actions, it could have been forever. But you’re right. I will not stop my passions and my career for a boy. I may not be able to eat right now, but I can and will talk about the things that went wrong in my relationships so that others don’t have to follow suit.