Monday, September 28, 2009

A light in the darkness

I feel like I've been fighting to get out from underneath the dark cloak of depression, that has settled on me once again. There's no way to tell when it will come around, and there's no way to tell when it will vanish, nor how long it will be gone. I just have to be thankful when it does go away, and try to have patience and hope when it does come back around again.

The past couple weeks have been especially hard. It has been a bit since the darkness has come around, and I was hoping that it had perhaps gone for good. Though as Frost wrote, nothing gold can stay, and sure enough, the gold faded and tarnished and turned black. It came on so fast, and I was caught completely unaware. I don't think it was any worse this time than it ever was before, but time thankfully grants a degree of forgetfulness.

This past week, though, has shone a bright light under the cloak. I've been making steady progress toward my goal, though I have an inkling that my recent transition related stuff has been an oblique part of the problem. It's just an idea, though, so I'll keep it to myself for now.

This week I managed not one, not two, but three days out in femme mode. Wednesday was nice, though I was too tired to properly enjoy it. Friday, on the other hand, was the real turning point; on my way out, I could not help but have a big smile on my face. And this afternoon was the icing on the cake. I felt extremely good, and I think I looked pretty darned good, and that just made me so happy. And the fact that we had an extremely good gaming session today didn't hurt things at all.

Tomorrow I have my next appointment with the electrologist; I'm actually getting pretty excited about all the progress we're making. I feel like I've been a bit of a bore here lately, since that's about all I've had to talk about, but that's been foremost in my thoughts. Now that my emotions have come back to a place where I can function, I'm sure I'll have a wider variety of topics, and a more encouraging amount of words to share.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gauntlet of pain

My third hour of electrolysis is done. This appointment was the difficult one - the upper lip. Despite applying some numbing agent about a half-hour before we started, there was still a good amount of pain. My electrologist worked quickly, and finished up in just about an hour. Once she finished, she told me that she was with me, in my place, for every single one. She has been through facial electrolysis of her own, and so she has great empathy for everyone who lies on her table. Those kinds of things assure me that I chose the right person.

The work was done a few hours ago, and the redness has gone, but there is still a little bit of swelling, and it will be tender for the next couple days.

My next appointment will complete my lower lip. After that, further appointments ought to be able to get everything that pops up.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two down, more yet to come

My second electrolysis appointment was this evening. We've completed the initial clearing of everything on my neck and chin, and even got a couple long hairs out of my left ear, of all places. Things were starting to hurt a bit more this time; apparently there are a lot of nerve endings along the jawline. Right now, two hours after my appointment finished, my face is extremely itchy, and I'm doing my absolute best to not touch it.

The only major parts left are my upper lip and the area directly underneath my lower lip. The really sensitive parts. The really painful parts. I'm to arrive at her office an hour early for my next appointment, so I can apply some numbing agent to myself, and give it time to work before we start.

I'm feeling a whole lot better about this process this time, than I did last time. Though I think that was more a general emotional state, than anything having to do with the procedure.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm glad that's over...

...whatever it was.

This week was shaping up to be an utter nightmare. It felt like I was sliding right back into the old depression from last year. Late last week was starting to get progressively more difficult; my energy level was low, and it felt like things were piling on once again. I saw my therapist on Tuesday, and we had a particularly difficult session. At one point she asked if I could look in the mirror and honestly say that I loved myself. I paused for a bit before I even opened my mouth, which told us both the real answer to her question.

She suggested that it might have something to do with my aunt's recent visit, and the contrast of her response to me with the rest of my family's responses. She is quite accepting, and even offered to connect me with some distant relatives who also have a trans person in their immediate family. My immediate family, of course, is quite a bit less than accepting. I'm sure that has brought back at least some of the stress that I thought was gone. I mean, it's pretty obvious that my family is having a lot of trouble with me, but it's neither my fault, nor my problem, and yet I keep making it into my problem. I can understand intellectually that it's them, not me, but that doesn't stop my heart from breaking when I think that I might no longer have my family for support once my transition goes further.

On Wednesday and Thursday, my feelings actually seemed to get worse. Wednesday was still just a down time, and I didn't have much interest in anything. During the day, I started answering a list of questions my therapist gave me for homework; they all asked about things with my family, and they weren't pleasant to think about. Once Thursday rolled around, I couldn't sit still. I kept trying to do different things, but I couldn't generate any enthusiasm for anything. I must have cycled through a half-dozen different things in the space of an hour on Thursday evening, and all each new activity did was make me angrier. I ended up just going to bed out of sheer frustration.

But then when I went to C & E's last night... all that bad stuff just evaporated. In the car on the way over, I felt so comfortable and happy; it didn't quite make sense to me. The entire evening was a smiley time, and when I was cleaning up before bed, I felt like it was easy to love myself. Such a huge switch. I'm still at a loss for words about it.

This morning it occurred to me that it could just be a PMS-type thing again, but it seemed to last a bit longer this time, and also came a little too quickly on the heels of the last one. Or maybe I'm not necessarily on a cycle, but have extreme emotional responses to things now, and it will take some time to learn how to deal with them.

Sometimes this whole transition thing is very, very confusing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Progress, or something

Over the past month, I've been trying to gather the courage to start back up with my hair removal. The laser treatment has been done for a few months now, so it's time to start electrolysis.

It's been hard to get going - a lot more difficult than starting any other process has been for me - and I'm not at all sure why. It's not the pain, or the cost, or anything about the procedures that is causing me anxiety. I knew about all those long ago, and I've known for a long time that I would need to go through the process of finding an electrologist. I feel like I've reached some impasse, and even this is not the thing I need to do in order to progress. In previous months, the various stumbling points have been related directly to the things I needed to start in order to progress - physical changes that needed to happen. This is another physical change, of course, but it just doesn't feel like this is some sort of turning point for me.

Regardless, it's something that I've needed to get started, so I went through my typical stalling and anxiety. I made my telephone calls, and did all my stuff, and found an electrologist with whom I'm comfortable. Now that I have finally found a person to do the work, it's just not that big a deal. I had my first hour of treatment yesterday. It was mildly painful, but it was WAY less so than a similar hour of laser treatment. A day later, my chin is still tender, but things are underway.

So why am I not happy that I'm finally progressing again?