Today’s post will be a bit short. Sorry. Today’s been an absolutely draining day, and I only just got home after having to go wait in line for an hour to pick up my hormones for the month.
This is the part where a more talented writer would insert a seamless transition from talking about hormones to emotions to why today’s been such a tough day. It isn’t something I can talk about on a public forum, but let’s summarise it as something very disappointing happening for frustrating reasons beyond my control.
I found out about this yesterday, and I thought I’d dealt with it. I’d felt a little sad, and a little angry, but by the time I went home, it was out of my mind. Then I got to work today and started crying within a few minutes of starting my shift. Throughout the day, I alternated between crying some more, and feeling so furious I had to stop and try to meditate to keep myself from doing anything stupid. Sadness, anger, sadness, anger. Rinse, repeat.
Near the end of the day, things got so bad I had to ask my supervisor to let me take a little time off the line. I ended up locking myself in a bathroom stall and just crying for twenty-something minutes. The worst part was leaving the bathroom feeling like I hadn’t cried enough.
That’s been an interesting change, by the way. Before I started hormone replacement therapy, I dealt with my emotions in a totally different way. Which is to say I really didn’t deal with them at all, usually. If something hurt me or made me feel upset, I’d just lock that feeling in a little cage, and shove it to the back of my mind. When I tried to do that a month or two after starting hormones, my emotions just went “lol no” and forced me to feel ALL THE THINGS.
It… took some getting used to. Suddenly I couldn’t think of my old best friend who stopped talking to me when I started transition without starting to cry, and I totally lost the ability to control how I dealt with any pain. I was forced to feel everything, and while that sounds like it made me miserable, it actually made it much easier for me to be happy.
On days like today, it might seem like not feeling anything would be easier, and maybe that’s true… in the short term. Long-term, though, it’s just not a healthy strategy. Pre-transition me was very, very angry. A lot of that was down to the frustrating, lonely position I was in, but a lot of it was also because I didn’t allow myself to feel however I felt.
So in the past year and a half, I’ve had to learn how to work my feelings out. The most important step is always just feeling whatever I feel. I allows myself to be happy or sad or frustrated or angry, or anything at all. No judgement. After I’ve allowed myself to just feel for a while, I continue to do so while also trying to figure out what’s going on. Am I angry because this happened, or am I angry because this reminded me of these insecurities I have about myself? Again, no judgement. There’s no wrong way to feel. If I’m feeling sad because I’m such an arrogant person I can’t see how anyone could choose someone else over me for something, then that’s okay. I just accept that it’s a thing going on inside me.
After that, still without judging myself, I decide what feelings I agree with, and which I don’t. The aforementioned one would fall into the latter camp, for example. The important thing, though, is to disagree with the feeling without rejecting myself. It’s all right for me to have reacted however I did. Maybe I’m not proud of it, but I’m not going to hate myself for something I have no control over.
Finally, once I figure out the root cause for my emotions, I see what I can do about it, or take comfort in the steps I’ve already taken to correct things.
To give an example, I might be playing my uke and suddenly feel like crying. I’ll put down the ukulele and bawl, or I’ll just cry while I keep playing. After I’ve gotten the tears out of my system a little, I’ll try and see what exactly I’m feeling. I might be sad because the uke made me remember someone who chose to not be a part of my life, and that’s enough. Or perhaps the uke reminded me of them, but I cried because thinking of that person also brings to mind the insecurities and clinginess that helped drive them away. Or maybe thinking of them makes me sad because I end up thinking of a friend I love who’s busy all the time and can’t talk that often. Whatever it is, I allow myself to feel that insecurity, or miss that old friend, of think about the friend that feels so distant. Then I’ll go out for ice cream to cheer myself up, or I’ll write my friend and tell her how much I miss her, or I’ll think of all the ways I’ve worked on my flaws since that old friend left my life.
I wish someone had told teenage me that it was okay to feel things, and that she was allowed to cry. As I so often do, I wish I could give her a hug, whisper words of encouragement, help her with advice.
Now I want to cry a little thinking about little, lonely her. I might go do that now, then think of how much joy she got to have after all that pain.
This ended up not being such a short post after all. Funny. Anyways, I hope your day has been better than mine. And if it hasn’t… that’s all right too.