I have written and re-written this blog post more times than I can count.
There’s even a finished version of this post sat in my drafts that’s been edited so much it’s changed tone and topics multiple times.
No matter what I wrote, it looked wrong, it sounded wrong. Then I realised, I was doing it again: I wasn’t being honest. I was writing what I thought you folks would want to read and not what I needed to say for myself.
But I’m sure you’d all rather I be honest than simply try to entertain you, right? Some of you have been with me now for well over a year, from back on my old blog, which was a lot more painfully honest and emotionally raw than this tamer one.
So I’m trying this again. I have no plan, I’m just going to write. This is an update about my life and how I’m doing, from the gut, no holding back.
In a sentence: I’m a bit of a mess right now, June has been rough.
On paper, work is great. Everyone is lovely, everyone treats me really well and I feel like a valued member of the team. But I also worry I’m going to lose my job. Nothing in particular has given me this perception, I just worry about the chance I’m going to lose it because I know what I have is so precious. It’s a job in a supportive environment within traveling distance of my home, doing something I’m good at.
But I’m poor as dirt. Supporting a chronically ill partner is hard financially. We barely buy anything, so I don’t know what the solution is, I just simply don’t make a lot of money. I’d sooner live on the beach though, under a pier, rather than move back in with my parents.
Meanwhile, transition is exhausting. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it’s hard. On an emotional level I’m basically going through puberty again.
When I went through puberty the first time, I hated it. I felt completely isolated, like I was the only person on the planet who felt this way. That wasn’t true of course, but it’s what my mind was telling me. Being trans didn’t help, obviously, but neither did the hormonal changes going on in my body.
At the time I listened to lots of Ozzy Osbourne, who I idolised, and other artists who sung about the world being screwed up. I carried a little CD pouch with me full of albums of angst, anger and disappointment. Music has always been important to me in terms of reflection and healing, and I had a lot of angry things to reflect on.
I felt like the world was going to hell. I was grumpy all the time. When I wasn’t grumpy, I was either asleep or eating.
This month I’ve found my listening habits shifting back towards my favourite Ozzy Osbourne releases, along with other pessimistic albums. Thankfully we’re beyond CDs and now my phone is a window into countless albums, meaning I have endless choice of misery.
I also constantly feel like I’m not sleeping enough, and the fact I just ate a whole chocolate bar for no reason while typing this, tells you what you need to know about my appetite. I converted one of my desk drawers at work into a snack drawer, as I can’t get through the day without craving junk food.
Surprise, surprise, I’ve also been especially grumpy recently. Finding myself angry over the smallest, simplest things, then feeling even more angry about getting angry over nothing in the first place.
After a couple of weeks of this, the obvious realisation set in:
I may be in my twenties, but I’m hormonally a teenager.
It is confusing, but I need to just roll with it.
I’ve been on HRT nearly 5 months now. At this stage things are definitely kicking in. I can see it physically as well as feeling it mentally.
I thought that being prepared for this, reminding myself it was coming when I started HRT, I would be fine, but I’m not. When you’re upset, knowing that the cause is just chemical doesn’t make it any easier. In a way it’s funny, I can laugh at the idea of being a teenager at this stage in my life, the fact I’m imitating the same habits from over a decade ago. But it’s also been very frustrating.
Thankfully, my emotions do seem to be normalising a bit, at last. My dosage got changed up at the end of May, which I think I can blame a portion of this on. A week after my dose changed I didn’t feel a thing, but then I was dropped into two weeks of emotional hell. As I closed in on one month since things had changed, I could feel myself slowly returning to normal. I then had my levels checked a week ago today and confirmed I’m doing well, my transition is still on track. So that’s a huge relief.
I hope this calmer patch lasts, as my teenage angst has cooled for now and I’m not in any rush to see it again.
Continuing on the lighter note, I’ve talked before about my frustration over not having the time to write anymore, or pump content into my pop culture website. My old website has essentially paused while I’ve been busy, but in the background I’ve kept trying to plan what I’m going to do with it and where to go next. Well, recently I’ve been looking at writing for other websites instead, and not worrying about the pressure of running an entire website on my own. This has helped my stress quite a bit and although currently I’m just working on a bunch of drafts, it’s helping me feel accomplished without the added pressure of juggling all that responsibility alone.
On a less fun note, apparently things aren’t going well with my family. I won’t go into details to respect their privacy, but I had a phone call this week that was basically an information dump on how a string of bad things have been happening that I’d been kept in the dark over. This is the first time I’ve talked to my family in a long time. It leaves me feeling incredibly conflicted. On one hand I appreciate them not bringing me into this stuff when it’s the last thing I need, but on the other hand, I’m not dead. It’s not difficult to include me in such serious developments. But readers of my old blog will know, my relationship with my family is complicated, I’ve not seen them since the start of the year when I went back to visit, and I have no idea when I’ll see them next. They know I’m transitioning, but I don’t think they’ve accepted it in the slightest. The next time they see me will be… interesting.
Land of Confusion
Of course the state of the world is a factor in how I feel right now too.
I can’t dance around the obvious, this month has been horrible and very frightening. I’ve cried, I’ve ranted, I’ve talked with others and I’ve shared a lot of content from people who are better than I at articulating how we’re all feeling.
The world is a scary place, it feels so now more than ever.
I’m currently focused on the future of the UK, what it means if we leave the EU. I dare to say “if” because although the referendum results were in favour of Leave, there’s been enough uncertainty and disastrous fallout that it seems possible that it might not even happen.
I pray it doesn’t happen. I’ve said all along my main motivation for wanting to stay in the EU is human rights. I don’t trust our government to protect the rights of the vulnerable.
Right now the whole climate is one of confusion and fear. Every day I talk with friends and we discuss the unprecedented nature of this situation and how nobody seems to know how things are going to go, but we’re all worried.
As June comes to an end, I really hope that July will be a good month for us. June has been just horrible.
Look after yourself, friends. I’ll check back in next month. I’ve got a few things happening in the next few days which should give me something more specific to write about next time, rather than just a general overview of my wellbeing.