It’s been six weeks since I started hormones and the mood swings have begun to settle down a little bit. Thoughts are more levelled and I feel a lot more centred, emotionally and spiritually. I could not be happier with my decision to start HRT and the overall sense of ‘doing the right thing’ is very real and very comforting.
If there were no physical changes and all they did was to change my hormone levels, making me feel more comfortable in myself, then I would still take them, I’ve no doubt in that at all.
Two amazing things happened in the past two days. I took a drive down to Cornwall to see my friend Pixie who, as well as a friend, is my counsellor. It was nice to have a break from my own little bubble, talk and get some thoughts out. Pixie had guests staying over and she introduced me to them, as Amber of course. Although I wasn’t in ‘female mode’. I was still in all girls clothes, just looking more androgynous than anything else.
Here’s the first amazing thing. Later that night we were all sat at the bar having a drink and pixie told me that the woman had asked her if I were transitioning MTF or FTM! Wow! What a fantastic compliment! To not have put a lot of effort into my appearance and to not be read a male straight away, that’s a first.
The second amazing thing happened the next day in a supermarket. I was walking around just browsing. As I walked past an old couple the gentleman pushed the trolley almost into my leg, I had to do a little sidestep to avoid it. When I was mid-sidestep the woman said to her partner ‘mind the lady’. Wow again! I was walking reasonably swiftly along so they didn’t have the chance to really get a second look at me, but to be read as female at a glance was just amazing.
If this is a sign of things to come then I’m a very happy girl. You certainly don’t need retail therapy after that so I left without buying a thing.
Dysphoria & the moon cycle
As my mum gets more used to my transition and gets her head around it we have started talking a lot more about everything. Especially with me starting hormones now, she has been there on the other end of the phone when I have needed her and always knows the right thing to say.
We talk deeply about feelings and emotions, and in some ways I feel closer to her now than I think I ever have before. If you’re reading this mum, I love you.
One interesting thing that we have discussed is the cycles of the moon in relation to mood. It’s quite a spiritual concept to some, but I’m definitely in agreement with my mum on this. As the cycle passes through the full moon it sends hormones and emotions haywire and can cause drastic changes in mood and emotion, ‘messes with your hormones’.
I had a very difficult few days last month and it just happened to perfectly align with the full moon. So in light of this I made a moon calendar to keep track of when the full moon is every month and know when I might be likely to have a bad few days. Wait… does that mean I have a monthly cycle now?!
Transition is the easy bit now… or is it?
During my counselling I have said a couple of times that transition is the easy bit, life is the hard bit at the moment. Money worries, work stress, generally living and finding my place in the world. Whilst this is true, the struggle with coming to terms with my gender identity and the road to starting hormones was a tough one, am I right?
I do feel like my transition is on track and I’m happy with where it is going. Very happy. I take my pill every day, change my patch twice a week and in time changes will happen to make me look and feel more like the woman I have always been. So I can just sit back and let it happen, the hard work was getting here to this point.
In life I am struggling with knowing exactly what I want in work, having just moved into working freelance I am still trying to get to grips with working for myself and managing the finances of that. It feels more like swimming upstream at the moment to be honest (or maybe walking blindfolded off a cliff!). I also struggle with knowing really what I want from life and where I’m headed, but that’s nothing new and probably something most people feel.
My conclusion is that the only certain thing in my life right now is my transition, it’s the only thing I know for definite is on track and going in the right direction. So it’s the easy bit. However, is it really? When I take a moment to think, it’s actually still the hardest thing that I am going through. It affects every aspect of my life and is part of the reason that other parts of my life are so difficult at the moment. It’s my whole life that is in transition, not just my gender identity and how I chose to present.
So really, welcome to the hard bit. Life, the universe and everything. Strap yourself in Amber, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.