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Guest Risu

How to live with this pain.

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It seems each day I sink deeper and deeper into depression. I'm not really sure why, I suppose it's a cocktail of life's problems beginning to weigh on me. Things are going really well with my transition and I feel and look better than I have in years so why am I hurting so much?

I realized the biggest issue for me is the pain of having a female heart in a male body. There are tons of minor transition related things and life related things but I'm going to spare you those. I just want to know how I can keep going? Do we ever heal from this pain? Even after having SRS it won't take away the memories of the days before surgery.

As things progress with my transition and I actually begin to like a little more and more the person I see in the mirror it seems to get easier to live with. The problem is from day to day, moment to moment I see something different in the mirror. Sometimes I look and see someone beautiful. Other times I look and see someone plain, average and barely passable as a girl. The thing is just because the pain gets easier to live with it seems like nothing ever really makes it go away.

I'm slowly reaching a point where ignoring and avoiding the pain is very difficult. I'm beginning to resort to more serious out of head coping mechanisms that are also losing their potency. Often times I can wait it out, sleep it out, something. It's beginning to reach a point beyond that though.

My therapist has moved away to take care of family and living in a rural mountain area finding another one just isn't really an option right now for many reasons. My closest friends are trans and I don't like to trigger them with talk of these things, not to mention that I'm having such a hard time organizing my thoughts and putting them coherently into words lately that I can never seem to express what's really bothering me in conversation.

I'm looking those transitioners who are farther along. Does the pain go away?

How have you come to handle it?

What do you do when you feel it coming?

What are some things you have found help you through it?

Do you have any advice for building up self acceptance?

Right now, I'm still fairly on the up side of my depression. So long as I try to keep my thoughts away from the things that are triggering it I'm alright. If I allow myself to think about what is bothering me to any depth I begin to reach the suicidal/self harming part of depression and that is a place I try to avoid.

I turn to my peers for help with this struggle. Any advice is truly appreciated.

~Jade.

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Hi Jade,

I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave and your troubles would be over, but I'm afraid that doesn't happen in real life. Do you go into the chat rooms here? Just talking things out one on one with one of the moderators can really help. They have a lot of tips on how to ease depression. If you haven't, give it a try. It's worth a shot.

Since your therapist has moved away and there is no other near by, have you considered an online therapist? It's not the same thing as face to face but with Skype, it's the next best. You might want to consider that..

MaryEllen :)

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Jade, I'm so sorry you're feeling down. My heart goes out to you. From what you've said, its hard to get a feeling for just what it is that's got you feeling so

low. More of a general malaise, seems like.

I think ME's suggestions are really good ones. Chat is a good place to be when you feel like this. Have you thought of just a general therapist rather than a G.T? That would at least give you someone to talk to about your depression, even if they couldn't help a lot with your transition.

To answer your question, yes, I believe the anxiousness and fear and self loathing that a lot of us feel at first does go away with time, especially once you see the woman in you start to blossom and the future looks brighter. I've had bad days from time to time, even now, but they pass quickly.

How to handle those days? Try writing a list of the good things you know to be true about yourself. Then write another list of the good things about being a woman, what you want to accomplish and feel as a woman. Focus on the positives, hon. That always works for me.

You know you can always PM me, too. I'm not always on, so there might be a delay in answering, but I will answer. I care about you, Jade. You're a good woman, and you will lead a good life. Hang in there, hon.

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

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Jade,

In your post you mention you are looking for advice from transitiioners that are 'farther along', so perhaps my advice is not what you seek?

If so, just ignore my input, my guess is that I am no farther along than you are...;)

But, I DO wrestle with similar demons at this point in my transition as you do, or so it seems to me...

It can be mightily disheartening to see this half-changed body and man-ish face in the mirror some mornings. No doubt about that, ugh!

Okay, so I guess I have no actual advice, just a willingness/ability to co-miserate with ya on this subject, it seems! lol..

Hey, for me, I just KNOW that time (and regular scheduled E dosing) will eventually dissolve many of my fears and worries, so I TRY to NOT let any particularly bad moment spoil my whole trip, but it CAN be almost TOO much some days, yes?

I haven't been to chat lately, but I have gone there when feeling like I cannot go on anymore, and guess what? The wonderful folks at chat actually HELPED me to see my way forward again. Try it sometime, it may be just what you need, too..

Love and every consideration to you, lovely Jade!

You can do this, I just know you can.. :)

Love to my sister! Svenna

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I'm not as far into transition as you wanted replies from... << wait that sentence makes no sense BUt i can't think right now how to make it make sense, never ind.

Just wanted to say though that I can relate to the mysterious changing ways of the mirror. As a trans person the mirror is like some elusive mystery with a mirage of contorted images looking back at you. One day you look and for some reason feel more confident, maybe it's the colour of your shirt that seems to set everything off into the female or male look one is looking for. One day you look in the mirror and from one angle you're like "yea I can take that, I don't mind that. Sure!" Then I look from another angle and then I'm like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that isn't me!" It's a horrible feeling. I guess it's something that will not go straight away, even when as far as you are into transition as I guess it takes time.

I don't know if my advice would be any good to you, not being that far into transition and going in the opposite direction as you. But what I'd suggest is taking note of the times you look in the mirror and see mroe of the person you feel you should be, the person you have been waiting to become and take notice of what your wearing, what colour your wearing and so on. Like for example I don't know why but some t-shirts I wear sometimes I NEVER seem to pass as well in certain colours, at least I don't thin I do in the mirror. And since confidence can have so much to do with passing I tend to opt for black t-shirts and a few other colours I find acceptable because for some reason I seem to look more male in those colours. I don't know what It is. I can't explain it, there is probably some psychological explanation maybe even some explanation on how colours reflect on your face and such.

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MaryEllen: Thank you. I'd forgotten about the chat rooms here and the next time I start feeling down I'll look into them. My old therapist was the only private practice Therapist in my area and she was kind enough to charge on a sliding scale. I'll look into online therapists but right now it's a matter of cost as I am dealing with a whole host of non-transition related medical problems. Things are picking up at work though so perhaps I'll be able to work something out soon. I really appreciate the advice :)

Carolyn Marie: I thank you for always keeping that line open for me :) I know I can PM you and I sincerely appreciate it. Normally I'm pretty good at focusing on the positive but eventually things start dragging me down and they get harder to ignore or forget about. I will definitely try making some lists to remind me of all the good things going in my life right now. I even have an app for making lists on my phone so it's something I can do anytime :)

Svenna and Matthias: I'm sorry. It was very late when I posted this topic and I think I just forgot a lot of good advice can come from the people who are experiencing the same things right now. I guess I am so fixated on the future and looking to it for positive and good things right now that it's hard to forget that those who are in the same places can help support each other and those who are struggling with the same things can possibly offer advice for how they deal with it. I thank you both for reminding of that for sharing your thoughts.

I think one thing that may be causing me so much trouble lately is my sudden inability to sleep. I have restless leg syndrome among other medical issues right now that make it hard for me to sleep and I notice the more tired I am the more difficult it is to keep depression at bay. Unfortunately Restless leg syndrome comes and goes at random and there is little I can do besides wait for it to stop bothering me. Add to that my boyfriend is having one of his emotionally distant spells and it's a recipe for a difficult emotional ride. I'm looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight though and again I thank you one and all for your support and advice.

I wish there were a magic wand that could make being us easier. I wish there were answers that could ease the heartache but I guess there isn't. The best we can do is try to accept ourselves and feel our self worth from the inside first. It's not always easy and sometimes things get in the way. I'm really grateful to have all of you here on my side though.

Again, my sincerest and deepest thanks.

*Hugs*

~Jade.

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Jade,

As you rightly noted, sleep disturbances contribute to depression, and depression complicates sleeping patterns even further in response. It can be a vicious cycle, been there, done that...

But there can be other causes for depression, please continue to seek solutions if you don't start to feel better once solid sleep returns. Depression sucks, no matter what the cause, BUT, it is treatable. Been there, done that, too! :)

Whatever it takes to be healthy in mind and body, that is what we should do, in my opinion. We can make things better now that we really have a handle on what has been wrong all along, ya know?

I have a lot of faith in you, Jade. You are going to figure it out and move through it..:)

Hang on and hang in there!

Love, S

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Jade

I always love reading your posts and at your core you have a very balanced perspective on things. Depression is an insidious thing. Its like a cockroach, it can find the smallest opening imaginable in your defenses and slip through to wreak havoc.

Irregular sleep is like honey to that roach so see if there is a way to address the RLS. My wife suffered from it for years and there are medications that help. Coincidentally the meds that work for her are certain anti-depressants so its kind of a two-fer!

I have struggled with depression all my life but never knew I even had ti until I stopped drinking. Then they put me on meds which I am now slowly getting off of. But to answer your questions directly:

How have you come to handle i?

  • Talk. My trans friends tell me that when I talk to them, it helps them too. However I often will ask if they are OK becaue I don't want to trigger their stuff. Like everyone said above, talk to us, we are here.
  • If you can't fight it, and you can't flee from it, flow with it. It takes a great deal of internal energy to maintain pain at a specific level for very long. Its like if I hit my finger with a hammer (which I do from time to time!) It hurts alot, then peaks ,then ebbs then aches then goes away. My body cannot maintain a consistent state of pain. So I flow through it, let it do its thing and watch it ebb and leave my body. I try to disconnect from feeling it and focus on watching the process. I do the same thing with my head. When it happens I recognize what is going on and then flow through it.

What do you do when you feel it coming?

  • ​First I ensure I am safe
  • I try to clear what I have going on so that I don't wreck anything I have been working on. I know I sometimes get really angry at being depressed.
  • I try to see past the pain to understand what is causing it if I can. (not always easy) Is it really my GID? Is it frustration? Am I angry about something? I find that for myself, I can get caught up in stuff that in the big picture, are fairly inconsequential. How important is it really? If I know that I might be able to head it off. Like they say: Don;t sweat the small stuff; its all small stuff.

What are some things you have found help you through it?

  • I think alot about things I am grateful for; I am grateful I am sober today, I am grateful that spring is here and teh birds are singing, I am grateful for LP because I have a place to take my angst. etc.
  • I go to the gym and take it out on the free weights! Or run on the elliptical. Anything to divert my mind away from it and to make my body tired in good way.
  • I stay away from sad music. That sounds obvious but with my depression, music affects me. My friend Lacey Lynne would crank up some Stones instead. That never fails!

Do you have any advice for building up self acceptance?

  • This is not my strong suit, however lately I have found that going out is helpful. Here in the Twin Cities, the cultural scene is huge. There are always plays and concerts and events going on. Or I will go see a movie. I always go dressed (I am not completely out yet) and work at smiling at people I don't know.
  • I sometimes spend some time trying clothes on to see what works (I dont have agreat fashon sense, but I am working on it!) or not. Or I will try a different makeup scheme. The key is I go into it with the idea that I will probably mess it up more that I will get it right but I am okay with that, its just experimentation and failure is acceptable.

I hope this helps you some. Don't give up, you are too beautiful a person for that. Give yourself a break and try being as kind to yourself as you are to me and others here.

Zoe

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