Finding Life in the Midst of Leukemia

BY AMY

I grew up in a fairly unusual household. Because of that I think I spent most of my adult life trying to create some sort of normalcy. I became a social worker and got married and had a couple kids. Looking back, I almost feel like I was trying to be something that I wasn't.

My 20 year marriage was pretty unsatisfying. I had been very sexual before my marriage, and my husband and I had a great sex life at the beginning. But when we started having kids, things started to fall apart in that department. My mother died when I was pregnant with my first child. And that was incredibly stressful. Frankly, I think I was depressed for years after that. Both of our kids ended up having ADHD and were rather difficult, and my husband was gone most of the time. Basically I felt like a single mom who had been abandoned. 

My loss of interest in sex was a shock to my husband, because I had been so into it before the babies. Charlie and I had an open marriage and he took advantage of that, but between my job and the kids and my depression, I just didn’t have the time. My resentment built. By the time the kids started to become more independent and I was able to get my sex drive back, we discovered that sex was no longer very satisfying between the two of us. 

The distance between us widened. And then I ended up in the hospital, sick with leukemia. When I got out of the hospital, I was dumb enough to go back to work, and about three years after I went into remission, I relapsed. After a bone marrow transplant and another year of hell, Charlie and I split up.

Another two years went by with me trying to figure out why I felt so traumatized and filled with rage. I also really missed enjoying sex and was kind of desperate to figure out why I was so shut down. I started exploring different kinds of self-help groups and that, eventually, led me to Orgasmic Meditation.

Both Charlie and I had obvious intimacy issues throughout our marriage, and I had a strong fear of intimacy. To me it seemed that OM was the perfect solution. I could receive pleasure and rekindle my fire and not have to worry about having a relationship.

I don’t really remember my first few OMs, but I've had a number of really memorable ones. The bliss factor of just feeling and being in my body without being in my mind was tremendous. It really was like a blissful, delicious meditation. I could just focus on one thing and my brain could go quiet. It was amazing and so out of this world. A lot of gratitude came up for me. Just the fact that OM was even available seemed like a miracle. After all, the practice is pretty unusual!

Looking back, I feel that OM opened me up to living life a different way. No more trying to be “normal!” It felt as though I had found home at last. I became friends with a woman I admired that I met through OM, and she moved in with me. Then her boyfriend moved in with us, and then a friend of mine who was evicted moved in with her kids. And then the pandemic hit. Since then, we've been living in this crazy, wonderful household together, coming together almost as a family during this time. 

I don’t think I would have been able to do this without having gone through the OM experience. It taught me how to communicate with people in a way that actually works. The people I met, and the practice, expanded my world so much and gave me a lot of resources for self-development. In the past I’ve gotten feedback from people that I can be a little harsh. But learning through the practice how to direct people—directing people where exactly to stroke and what to do—and learning about my own pleasure and my desire and how to express it, all that helped me with other aspects of relationship. I’ve learned what I want and learned how to ask for what I want in a way that people can hear and respond to. And I know that’s how I manage to live in a very unusual household through these crazy times.

Through OM, I've learned how to ask for what I want. When I recently relapsed again, I sent out a group text to all my friends asking for support, and so many people showed up. It’s just been amazing. My daughter did a GoFundMe to help me out economically. People have just come out of the woodwork to support me.

I’ve realized that most of the time people want to give. They want to be present. They want to be helpful. And that's been amazing. I've been given so much--because I asked for it! And I have OM to thank for that.