I think I can start this post by stating that the days around the weekend did not go well. I would add that it was no one’s fault and that I mention it because I try to keep YATGB honest.
Yes, I’m aware that the hair, padding, shapewear, makeup, and not being 100% out make that statement jar somewhat, but hey, you can only do your best with what you have 🙂
TL/DR: it was pants, then things got better 😉
I can only describe the situation as being a slow descent into the dark woods. Not a relapse into depression, but certainly the withdraw of light and joy that accompanies that.
I’m writing about this because A) blogging helps me explore and process things, B) if I can survive this, you can too, and C) bust a few myths. What do I mean about the latter? Well, a handful of times, folk have been kind enough to say some things along the lines of you seen very confident in who you are when dressed or you seen to be someone who’s got it together.
Those words were said in kindness and I’ll absolutely not going to knock them. That seems rude around a compliment. I will say that I struggle, just like everyone else. I have fat days, or more accurately, days in which my appearance doesn’t match with how I feel. Nothing seems to fit, I feel to big, etc. Call it Shrek Syndrome if you like 😁 So far, so human.
I said earlier that it was no one’s fault, and I’ll stand by that. I think it has simply been that I’ve spent far too long in Bloke Mode. It was the festive period and all was cool, so I paid the transness no mind. Yet, it’s part of who I am, so the metaphorical countdown kept ticking…. and it wasn’t until the tank ran dry that I noticed.
If I look back, the warning signs were there: excessive searching for just the right top/shoes/dress/lippy, not being able to sleep at night, watching lots of before & after videos, not having any energy, feeling ugly, bouts of tearfulness, dropping off during the day, etc. Yup, that’s a cocktail of winning positivity right there! 😋
The Ever Lovely Mrs J noticed a drop in my mood and, bless her, asked if there was anything she could do. Well, it’s not like she’s got enough on, so I said no, I just need to get to Thursday and not worry too much; that should fix it. Mrs J also asked if going to another group in the interim might help (it would), but there’s nothing local.
Mrs J also mentioned a few articles about something called Highly Sensitive People, which surprised me, and like reading the book I Had a Black Dog, I found solace in reading about sensitivity… Heh, even now, I’m mentally chiding myself about being overly sensitive and coming across like a complete tit. 🙂 Mind you, if I wanted to look serious, maybe I shouldn’t have started dressing up. 😉 But jokes aside, I think it’s chosen for us: a genetic propensity here, a dash of hormones there; that’s what transgender people are made of. 🙂
So, what, if anything can we draw from the above wanderings?
Learn your warnings – keep an eye on your mental health and by knowing you alert behaviours, think about some helpful coping mechanisms.
Coping – stuff that makes you feel better and doesn’t make things worse (excessive drinking, bingeing, drugs, ‘shopaholicism’, etc). For me, it was taking my foot completely off the gas around work and telling myself to do what I could, rather than I should. Playing a computer game with a female protagonist as that helps. Plus, some body care with keeping the Wookie pins at bay. Then enjoying the simple things like blue skies in winter, being outside, dry clothes during a downpour, and hot drinks in cold weather.
Perspective – easy to write, but less easy in the moment of emotional turmoil. Remembering that while it’s a pants* now, it was okay before and it will be again. ( * For overseas readers, pants as in rubbish, crap, or in modern English, shite 😉).
Given the above, I am hopeful. I am looking forward to a night out on Thursday to see my friends, listen, and to be all of me once again.
Oh, and to hope the clothing order from Oxfam’s online second hand shop arrives quickly. Recycling, shopping, variety, and money to a good cause: what’s not to like! ❤️