Great Expectations

I love the holidays. This year was no different. But it was differently celebrated than I’m used to. Instead of tradition-oriented, home-based celebration, much of the holidays was spent traveling with my wife’s family. And I did, truly, have a delightful time. I saw things I hadn’t seen before, got to know my new family better, and was pushed out of my comfort zone into some new adventures.

Given my once-a-week diaper routine, extended time away always gives me a bit of pause, even mild worry, that disruption of that routine might lead to hard times. It is, in some ways, both a blessing and a curse that a weekly diaper keeps me stable. It’s such a simple remedy. But having relied on it for an extended time, it becomes harder to dispense with the expectation that it’s coming every week.

To be clear, I did so well. Compared to past years when I had no diapers or too many diapers, it was so manageable. The relative difficulty I experienced was truly fractional. But, by the end of the trip, I was feeling anxious to put one on. In preparation for the trip, I did wear one the day before. I also brought one. Primarily as a mental salve to know that if I needed to I could. And secondarily to wear if I got desperate. And I never did. So, I guess, it actually worked. And all of the systems and routines and fail-safe measures kept me grounded.

Though, I did wear diapers two consecutive days when I got home — to rebalance. I think that materialized out of a conscious bargaining charade I put myself through in those anxious times. You’re missing a week, but you can tough it out, because you can make up for it when you get back. I set up that expectation for myself, I rely on it, and then I kind of have to do it when I get back, otherwise I’m disappointed and I’ll feel all the more pull to wear. It’s the same disappointment I feel when I’ve looked ahead a few days, picked a convenient day to wear a diaper that week, but that day arrives and unforeseen obstacles prevent me from wearing that day.

The point is, I think a lot of the anxious and disappointed feelings that make the desire to wear diapers difficult to bear sometimes, are a function of my own expectations. I get attached to the idea of being able to wear on a certain day or on a certain schedule, and then when life interferes, that’s when I have a more challenging day. I’m not sure what the remedy is. It’s also the routine that makes this work. Can I somehow loosen up my expectations such that I am able to have a target frequency with less rigidity in how it plays out? Not allow myself to schedule so far in advance, and allow for more spontaneity?

Topics

Friends, I find that I have less to talk about these days. I think there is something of a finite pool of topics that people in the DL community rehash over and over again, and I’ve never wanted this blog to become redundant. But I desire to write with enough frequency that I’m keeping an arm of outreach extended to those who feel alone in this. Particularly as one of only a few vocal DLs that are members of the Church. So, I’d love to ask for your assistance feeling out other relevant topics I could share my thoughts on, and we could discuss on the blog. If you’ve got a topic or question on your mind, please add a comment below. I’d love to continue exploring new thoughts with you, and your input would be invaluable to me.

Thank you.

Community Four

About once a year I like to summarize a handful of the comments left on the blog in the previous year because I feel like some of the best content on this blog comes from its readers. I’d hate for it all to get lost and forgotten, so I surface them in a bona fide blog post. This year did not disappoint. This is the longest Community post to date, due to the quantity and quality of this year’s comments — I just couldn’t cut it down further. Thanks for letting me get to know you. I know other readers appreciate it as well.


YOUR STORIES

I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know I am not alone in my diaper desires and struggles… I am 41 now, am happily married with 6 children, have served in church leadership, and have struggled since I was a little boy with desires to wear diapers… As a fellow LDS member – one who is striving each day to stay worthy, to be good, to reconcile the desires I have to wear a diaper with my desires to be obedient and follow the principles of the Gospel – knowing there are others out there like me is relieving, comforting, and strengthening. Thank you.

Camron
See full comment here >
and then read the rest of his story starting here >

Throughout my teen years I was tormented by getting caught by my family, desperately searching for someone like me, and wearing diapers. The binge and purge cycles tore at the fabric of my sanity at times… I have always wondered why I carry this, how can I get rid of it, why was my faith not enough? I served a mission and with that came a brief period of relief. I was able to serve knowing I wanted to give God my all. I came home ready to finally lay these desires to rest but they flared back up… I am getting married soon and I don’t want to keep this a deep secret… I needed this blog. Not only for it to bring to surface my own need to blog about my struggles but also to finally feel I wasn’t the only LDS person to struggle so much.

T-McD
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I just want to thank you for this. I am a fellow member of the LDS Church and I have struggled with this since I was 14. I have had similar experiences with abstaining from indulging by faithful study my scriptures, attending church as well as seminary but in the end I always seem to fail eventually… I am going on a mission in November and would love any other suggestions you can give me. I haven’t told my parents and I am very worried about how they might respond. Again, thank you for your blog. It gives me HOPE.

Ethan
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It’s eye opening to find just how many there are of us, and how many of the rising generations that will struggle just as we have, in keeping balance between what Heavenly Father wants for us, and how to handle our desires to wear diapers… On video I could hear my three year old self ask my mom why I didn’t wear diapers… When I was 5, a cousin who was watching me that day dared me to put on one of my younger brother’s diapers… the mission was a blissful two year breath of fresh air… About a year after my mission, my grandpa moved in with us… I saw them. They were the first adult diapers I had seen in my life. It was like I was on autopilot, no premeditation at all–I snatched one, shut my bedroom door and slipped it on… I can’t count how many binge and purge cycles I went through… I hadn’t worn a diaper months before I met my wife… intimacy [was] very difficult at first. And my wife’s tears were a renewing motivation to try and leave it behind completely. I’m nearly 34 now, and I feel I’ve come a long way.

battleborn85
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…The stereotype is that this is a male only issue and I’m always afraid that I will marry a woman who won’t understand, but it’s comforting to know that there are women who struggle with this too… One of the things I want to do as a parent someday if the Lord blesses me with children is to make sure I alieve any anxious feelings around toilet training or bed wetting.

David
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SERVING MISSIONS

I was one of those that struggled mightily on my mission… every corner store I walked by all day everyday had diapers around. I wanted with all my heart to just forget about them, but the desires were so overwhelming… while I was watching General Conference… the burden I felt over my desires to wear diapers were ‘burned’ away from me. I didn’t struggle as much after that… I think I’ve come to a point in my life where I feel the least amount of guilt or shame that I ever have.

Josh
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I am not a LDS, but I did have a very similar experience while working a very missionary-style job… My days were filled from beginning to end with prayer, service, teaching, and reaching out to others. There was no time for my mind to wander to other things like diapers… I also really believe that God’s grace, while always present and available, is more efficacious in my life when I pray, read Scripture, and serve others in service to Him more consistently… our minds are always going to be filled with something. While serving as missionaries they are constantly filled with something besides diapers, and those things are also good and holy.

Robert
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I brought up my feelings of unworthiness and iinatiquacy to my mission president. He told me that Satan was just trying to keep me from the work. After that point those desires more or less left me, and the rest of my mission went incredibly smoothly. The desire to use diapers didn’t return full force until about a year and a half after I returned home… I discovered this community right around the time they came back. I’m still figuring things out, but I’ve learned my triggers and I’m learning to deal with them.

Life OnTheMark
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RELATIONSHIPS

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s always welcome to hear from an outside POV. I admire the support and love shared between you and your husband.

battleborn85
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I haven’t worn in months. It has caused arguments, stress, and an almost breakup of my marriage. But after months my wife now wants me to wear.

Devon
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…my husband and I recently welcomed a baby into our family, and life could not be happier! I still have days that I struggle, but my urges have mostly died down thanks to being completely open with my husband, and the Lord (and it probably helps that the little one keeps me too busy to think some days!). I know I need to keep my gaurd up (constant vigilance and all that), but I’m so grateful that I have learned that I don’t have to let this quirk control my life…

Katie
See full comment here >

Words from My Wife

Hi! I’m the author’s wife. I’ve been mentioned a few times on this blog, but recently felt the desire to step into it more fully with my own post.

From what I’ve seen in comments on this blog, you all represent a broad range of experience in terms of sharing your being a DL with others, the extent to which what you shared was accepted, your marital status, your spouse’s reaction to it, and so on. My hope today is particularly to speak to those of you who have not yet found acceptance, and are wondering whether you ever will. If this post inspires particular questions that I can address from anyone, I would take and appreciate those for potential future posts. But in this first post, I’ll start with my side of the story that my husband has also shared.

・•・

My husband and I had been dating for just a few months when he decided to tell me about his experience being a DL. We were on a walk through his neighborhood and had sat down on a park bench. I didn’t immediately understand the gravity of what he was going to share with me, but was sitting close enough to feel his heart pounding and suddenly felt some concern for what this piece of news could be. I don’t remember exactly where my mind went as far as predicting what he was about to share, but I waited and allowed him to speak.

He shared in what I later learned was a very calculated, careful, way, and my response was just, “Phew, that’s it?”

For me, dating a man I really, really liked, I was relieved to hear that the scariest thing he had to share with me was that he liked to wear a diaper here and there. Every person on this planet has something that they like to do to calm down. Long showers, long runs, evening walks, afternoon naps, soft blankets, binge-watching TV… the list goes on and on. And honestly, if my husband regularly binge-watched TV, that might have a larger impact on my life than his being a DL does.

My husband did a lot of things to help me feel this relief. First, he promised me that he would never let being a DL come before being my person. He was committed from the very start to making me his priority. Second, the kind of acceptance he was asking for from me in that moment was something he had already extended, and has continued to extend to me. (No, I’m not also a DL, and don’t have any particular secret that I would say is parallel. But I do have fears, and things that are hard, and causes to cry, and my husband has always taken me as I am in those moments.) And third, in my accepting him in that moment on that park bench, I felt him let walls down and grow closer to me. In fact, every time we have spoken about it since and I have re-accepted him as a DL, I have felt him grow even a little closer still. And this is actually a little hard for me to write about, because I don’t know that I have the words to describe how grateful I am for that level of intimacy. I feel so secure with my husband in those moments, because I know that as I accept him in what he would describe as his weakness, that I have a partner who will walk with me through anything in just as much love. You can’t buy that, and it means the world.

I know that there’s a “weirdness factor” to being a DL that must be scary. And I know there are stories out there to validate the fear. But let my husband and my story be one that reminds you that you are lovable, and that in your “weakness” there is potential for huge strength to your (future) relationship(s).

・•・

As I mentioned before, I’d love to be more involved in this blog if my perspective is of value to its readers. Please comment below if that’s the case, and if you have any questions.

Man in the Mirror

I’m not sure I’ll be able to weave a cohesive story out of my thoughts this time. If nothing else, this blog occasionally gives me the chance to think about where I’m at compared to where I’d like to be.

The circumstances of my job have changed such that I’m not working from home like I did for some time. I allow myself a diaper a week, and I’ve been able to take care of that almost entirely during daytime hours when I had the house to myself. It felt like the right way to go about it so that I wasn’t violating anyone else’s space with my odd, awkward, potentially invasive hobbies. I dunno. Maybe I’m projecting. I keep I very discreet, but it would certainly be a distraction to me to notice some dude wearing a diaper. Anyway, I’ve had to shift to wearing around the house on an evening after work each week — a change I was somewhat nervous about — but my wife has been unfazed by it. Her acceptance of me and my weird quirks has been paramount to my acceptance of myself.

As routine and unexciting as I’ve tried to make wearing a diaper, there is much about it that I enjoy. For example, it’s a lot of fun to me when I get to try a new diaper from time to time. One I recently tried came with velcro tabs instead of tape. It dawned on me one day that velcro really enables one to wear a diaper multiple times in a way that you can’t with tape because the velcro can be undone and refastened without ruining the diaper. Suddenly the temptation to wear more than once a week became very real as some of the consequences suddenly weakened. I’m still committed to it — but it was a reminder to stay ever vigilant.

Speaking of vigilance, it’s always good to revisit internet habits from time to time. As I’ve said before, I’m happiest when the time between my weekly diaper is as diaper-free as can be. The internet is a key part of that. I get drawn there by the desire to connect with other DLs, and strive to do so in the safer, moderated spaces. It’s constantly comforting to be reminded that there are other people in the same boat as me. But even the safe sites can draw me in for longer than I want, get my mind in that space more deeply than I intend, and even guide me to other less appropriate things. So I’ve found I’m happiest with less of it. It makes room for the things I need more in my life like personal development, family togetherness, and God. Having an ongoing project I’m excited to work on seems to be the best combatant, and that’s been a bit harder to come by for me recently, so that’s probably why it’s been on my mind.

If you feel so inclined, I’d love to hear in the comments what aspects of your diaper attachment have been particularly challenging recently and where you want to go from here.

Remember, I’m here for you.

The Annual

Today marks four years since I wrote my first words for The Recovering Diaper Lover. I actually made version 1.0 a few months prior to that, but got scared and deleted it. Then I regrouped and went live with the blog again on May 17th, 2015. I’m glad I came to my senses.

I’m really pleased to have reached so many of you in those years, and even more pleased to have heard some of your stories in return. Putting all of this out in the open initially felt like lighting a tiny candle in The Upside Down, hoping to spot some other candles in the distance, while fully expecting the Demagorgon to devour me first. But instead, you all bunched around me with your candles, and there’s a fiery glow building.

This is my 34th article on this website, which have been commented on 134 times. 7,613 visitors have come to view its pages 20,272 times. And 31 of you follow either on WordPress or Twitter. We’re not alone.

Things are much different for me now than they were four years ago. Consider the following graph, which is in no way exact or scientific. The lines aren’t nearly that smooth, they jitter back and forth with bad days and weak moments. Just try to absorb the story that it tells.

A year before I began the blog, it had been many years since I’d worn a diaper. A few experiments as a young teenager would have left some spikes on the graph in the early 2000s, but I’d been avoidant for the years following. The anxiety slowly mounted about what exactly these feelings would mean for me going forward, and why they hadn’t subsided. A few desperate experiments in late 2014 left me more confused and upset and I swore them off, which brought a brief dip in the stress, which didn’t last long. It was during that period that this blog began, as an effort to gain strength by sharing my struggle.

The rising tension brought with it a few more desperate spikes triggered by loneliness, embroiled in shame, confusing as ever, and illustrated by more graphs — until I decided to try the opposite, and wear regularly instead of never, punctuated with manic binges. The stress began to subside at the moment of decision, just prior to my actual execution. I started wearing almost daily to flush the funny feelings right out with some good old fashioned desensitization, and then rapidly diminished my frequency to a comfortable level. The stress spike in mid-2017 came as I realized I’d soon need to tell my significant other, followed by a dramatic fall as she accepted me where I was at and passed no judgment.

For many months now, I’ve been wearing a diaper once weekly. It’s really been working for me. The continued decline in diaper-related stress I attribute to my current efforts to keep the days between diapers as diaper-free as possible in thought, attention, conversation and deed. The power it once lorded over me, looming like King Kong, now scurries around like a mouse, mostly unseen as it darts from shadow to shadow. It’s still pesky and unwanted, but largely inconsequential.

Whether you’ve been with me all four years, or found me today, thanks for being here and involving yourself in my story. I wish to support you in yours whichever path it follows.