And the Rollercoaster of Emotions
I’ve been over the moon with excitement for my first shot of testosterone but I woke up around 3:30 this morning and was overcome by anxiety. In complete darkness, everything hit me at once and to go through with this felt absolutely overwhelming and impossible. I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t wanted to go back to sleep and never wake up- that is how hard my decision felt in that moment. Fleeting thoughts of returning to life as a girl, never returning to the clinic and walking away from it all, bombarded my mind. How could I possibly go through with taking testosterone, telling my parents and everyone I knew? What if this was all wrong? What if bad side effects happen? What if it makes me sick?
At some point sleep and I reunited.
In rare form, it snowed in Austin that night so I figured that had to be a good sign but gradually anxiety seeped back into my body. Panic. I felt like I was living a double life. Hormone replacement therapy was so accepted within the transgender community, at the DR’s office, in counseling but once I step out of that fairy tale, what will the rest of the world think?
This was a huge, life altering decision, yet I was living it in secret. I longed for people who were excited and encouraging for me. If I was going to embark on this journey, then I wanted to be able to enjoy it without keeping secrets. I might as well accept my journey no matter how long or short it is, no matter what happens. Every day, I lose a day of my journey so I want to make the most of it. It is OK if I tell people that I have no idea what my goal is; I have no idea how long I want to be on testosterone.
10 minutes until my 1:00 pm appointment, I sat in my car shivering with nervousness. Was I doing the right thing? Again, I contemplated running from the entire situation. It wasn’t too late to back out completely. With just the turn of a car key, a press on the gas, and a drive back to work, I could pretend that none of this ever happened and return to my previous life where I knew what to expect.
I took a deep breath. I could do this. I wanted this. Being scared does not make this a wrong decision, I reassured myself.
The check-up was quick and routine for the nurse and doctor which put me slightly at ease. Around the world, people did this every day, right? Then finally it was time for my first shot. I didn’t feel the needle go in but just like that, testosterone was being absorbed into my bloodstream through a muscle in my thigh. Back in my car, I sat, leaned back and smiled. I had male hormones coursing through my veins and nobody but me and my partner knew. This was my precious, sacred moment. I couldn’t stop smiling.
I had made the right decision. It was the first day of my new life. Years of uncertainty, confusion, and hesitation were left in the parking lot that day. After that moment, I never ever looked back.
Later on, she asked, “So, how do you feel?”
“I feel just like I’ve felt for the past 36 years of my life, only now I feel real.”
This was a relief knowing I was not going to turn into a completely different person all of the sudden.
I went to sleep that night feeling immense gratitude that finally I had the correct hormone controlling my body and brain yet in the back of my mind, millions of thoughts and questions crisscrossed wildly. I would have to tell my parents at some point. How would I do that? I’d have to tell my friends and co-workers. What would they think? What changes would I get? How fast would they come?
What if I looked in the mirror one day and I no longer recognized myself?
I am only at the beginning of what lies ahead. Cross those bridges when you come to them, I tell myself. Be present. Enjoy this moment because this is the best moment of your life.