Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Writer's Block and HRT Update



Back when I was in school I used to write all the time.  I loved English class, wrote for the school paper and was always writing poems and short stories that the adults loved.  I made good grades and had praise heaped me me for my writing ability.  I was to be a writer one day.  After what I recall as a very happy childhood I entered my teen years and things were not as bright anymore.  My writing style changed and I began to write more of what I guess could be called dark poetry and negative things.  I was called to the principal's office about it and there was some concern among the adults.  I know I didn't write anything threatening or dangerous but apparently they no longer liked what I had to say.  My parents found notebooks full of stuff I had written and sent me to a psychologist.  I remember that as a very negative experience and their conclusion was that I was normal but very unhappy.  So all that pretty much put an end to my writing.  Except for school necessities and work related things I have written very little down on paper since then.  When I started using computers I began to type online. It didn't seem quite as bad because I could type on a machine and have the words erased with the click of a button. 

So that was the origin of my writer's block that I still struggle with today and it adds challenge to keeping a regular blog.  I like to be creative in my writing and I have been trying to come up with an idea for a week or two for my next update.  I don't want to just spew facts but I would like to make my writing (blog) at least somewhat creative and meaningful.  There has been a lot of water under the bridge since those teen years, the beginning of my dark years, and I have also killed a lot of brain cells since then as well as gotten out of the practice of writing and being creative.  I honestly think I have come up with some great ideas from time to time (poetry, song lyrics , story ideas etc.) over this long period but I have either not written them not down or written something and then threw it away.

More relevant to my life than the writer's block is the dark mood and sense of foreboding that has been with me since those teenage years writing dark poetry.  I have managed to have some good times since then, especially in the last few years as I have been exploring my own gender situation more, getting out and expressing myself.  There has always been an underlying sense of dread however, and a sense that something was really wrong with me as well as a certain feeling that I was dying.  Every disease I ever read about I would have the symptoms of it.  I never made plans far into the future because I never thought I would make it that far.  The only good thing about that was that on my good days I would try to enjoy life as much as I could and live each day as if it was my last.  After all there wouldn't be many more, I believed.  I didn't usually sit around depressed all the time but I was never content and never cared much about self preservation.  Its amazing that I made it this far with that attitude but thank goodness it didn't become a self fulfilling prophesy.  Sometime within the last few years I began to see a little light at the end of the tunnel.  At least I was finding fulfillment in part of my life and I felt like I had something to live for.

Seeing the light way down at the end of the tunnel, I began to follow it.  I never expected to find a way out but I could not help but follow the light.  As I moved farther through the tunnel the light got brighter and I began to believe at least a little bit there there was a possible way out and that maybe I would live after all.  After all I had made this far thinking I had one foot in the grave and that there was no way out.  Maybe I was wrong.  All allegory aside, when I began to examine my own life, how I got here and what was next some rationality began to overcome the fear and dread.  Party through therapy and mostly through self introspection I believe it was the moment I decided that I could transition, that I desperately needed to and that was no other way for me to survive, that the fear and dread began to subside.  Today I can see a path, a future for me.  I am sure it will not be exactly like I imagine it now, but at least I do imagine a future and have goals to achieve my vision of my future.  If I imagine that transition were to be taken away from me and I had to go back to my previous fate, I do not see a future.  The path is again dark.

This brings me to the key point of my update on my transition so far.  It is like a dark cloud has finally passed and the sun is shining through again.  Around the first of this year I began to see enough light at the end of the tunnel that I started to believe I might could crawl out.  I don't know how much of my general mood change came from my own self realization and acceptance and how much was due to medication.  Around the end of February when I started taking testosterone blockers much of my anxiety decreased to the point I was able to get off anxiety medicine I had been on for years.  In the spring when I started taking hormones things got much brighter inside and life began to make some sense.  I reported in a previous update feeling a high from the medication but now I don't feel that as much per se.  It has become the new normal and life still has its up and downs but now I feel more at ease, generally happier and more comfortable in my own skin.  The mental well being that has come over me is the greatest effect of my transition and HRT treatment so far. 

The physical effects of hormones take at least 2-5 years to be realized but at the 3 month point I am experiencing a lot of changes though most are subtle and are coming along slowly.  Breast growth is the effect that most people key on and seem to be most interested in.  As I reported in previous updates, my breasts had begun to bud and grow somewhat in the month or 2 before I started HRT.  I had been taking natural herbs containing phytoestrogen for about 7 months and when I started taking the T blockers I began to see some results.  In the weeks since my last update at 6 weeks they have continued to grow and the biggest change is that they are rounder and fuller as well as just sticking out.  I am beginning to see some natural cleavage forming and the A cup bra is filling nicely. 

My rear end has definitely gotten bigger and its pushing out into my hips some too.  I think that is where most of the 6 pounds I have gained since starting hormones have gone.  I have lost some muscle mass and definition but that still has a good ways to go.  What concerns me is if I am losing muscle that should decrease weight but it must be being replaced by something.  Some of the weight has gone to the mid section too so I need to start working out again after taking the last couple weeks off during my lazy birthday period.  My appetite just seems to be a little more prolific and I know its easier for me to put on weight now.  I just like some of the weight gain because its giving me some curves I never had so I have not been vigilant.  In the past I only would gain weight in my belly and face so fat distribution is changing now.

I am finally starting to notice body hair coming in a little bit slower.  It may be getting thinner also but I never let it come out enough to really analyze that.  This is more noticeable on the extremities like the arms and lower legs.  I was reading a forum post the other day about someone that has started shaving their arms and now it was growing back in thicker.  I noticed this same thing a few years ago when I started shaving my arms.  The hair came back in thicker and darker and there seemed to be more of it.  After a couple of days the stubble would be noticeable which wasn't a huge problem because I kept shaving them.  Now even if I don't shave my arms for a few days I can feel something but cannot see anything there.  I don't think facial hair is coming in slower yet but there is less of it from electrolysis.  The hair on my head seems to be thicker but I don't know if that's from hormones or just growing it out.  I have never had a problem with thinning hair, it just seems thicker now or more prolific. 

Emotionally and mentally I do not feel much different except for the better mood I described earlier.  I have had a couple of events happen that caused me to be more emotional but I am not experiencing what I would call mood swings.  I feel like I have always had a female brain anyway so I don't seem to be having to adjust as much mentally as some describe, or maybe it is just too soon to tell.  I do think the hormones I am getting now are more natural for the way my brain is wired than what my body produces and that's why I feel more at ease now and comfortable in my own skin.

So I think that covers most of the effects of my HRT treatment so far.  I will keep updating so if I miss anything it will be added later.  I do apologize for taking so long to get this update out.  No excuses but besides the prevailing writer's block I had a birthday in which I gave myself a week (or more lol) not to really do anything and I have been busy on the weekends.  I am going to close this post now and start to work on a life update to be posted very soon, about what I have been up to in general.  I am still going to try to post at least one update a week, but realize I may miss a week here and there.  That's ok because that means the next update will include more and more :)  Life goes on in Tammy World and the summer is winding down.  I do hope that y'all stay tuned because things are about to get a little more interesting.


                               
                                              Y'all come back now, ya hear?