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Guest cerise

Came out then came sobriety

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

It was my 50 th birthday and I was a bit cut from drinks at my birthday dinner. I had decided maybe a few years that burying Cerise deep within me was not working and had aquired a few items of clothing and some shoes but was still hiding.

The drinkng, and everything else was nuts and I was ready.

Thats not the point of this post though as for the last nine years I thought I was 51 when got sober finally , which would haven a full year and 8 months later. Last week or so I did the math and I was still 50 when I stopped using.... 8 months later.

i would like to say it was the coming out that lead to my stopping but it was an DUI charge.

The first time I came out to the world outside of my family was in an AA meeting that was part of the psych ward group sessions at St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. That took me around 4 months and the words well trod before uttered that night to a group of various drug and alcohol users with multiple diagosies . They were all interested and transgender was a word no one knew of at that time as it was 2007. 

I figured it was safe as most alcoholics don't really listen that well especially when still using but still they were interested after the meeting.

the facilitator eventually became my sponsor until I asked him to be my addictions coucellor to do a weekly step 5 for about 2 hours after meeting every Sunday for 15 weeks in a row until Things started becoming redundant.

He never really got what it was to be Trans and was somewhat smug in his belief that being Trans was a choice or a way of having having power over my inability to have or want a normal relationship with a woman.

i think coming is gradual even if there is a milestone. More people were told but it has been in truth a handful until entering the Trans program in Vancouver. I have been thinking for awhile how long I lived daily knowing who I am and not letting anyone else in one it.

A long bloody time as I knew I was female inclined when I was 9 . I turned 60 in August and will be 10 years sober in May.

i have only been on hormones for six months. 

Like I said coming out is gradual. You come out to your family, then a few others and then finally you come out of yourself to become you.

 

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MarcieMarie12   
MarcieMarie12

For some, mine was to just get it all done. I let my immediate friends and family know all in one weekend (Late November 2015). Also came out to my department head as welll to prepare for transitioniing at work. I later came out to few co-workers and then to all by the end of may 2016 and came out to the rest of my friends via a facebook message. 

Not sure that counts as quick or slow. To me it seemed pretty quick!! :)

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

There's an AA meeting thats I was told about thats Trans as well as gay on Wednesdays that I have yet to attend part because I was gigging those nights and as well as its at 8:00 and a 45 minute drive to east Van from where I live.

Now that I have been moved to Thursday to host an open mic this is now possible. I have never really come out as Trans in AA other than to a few during the psych ward meetings, nor have I discussed too much the role of booze and drugs played in dealing with being Trans in a public way.

Like the first meeting I have been thinking about what to say or whether it is appropriate or considered an outside issue .

To me it's not an outside issue as I smoked pot for the most part to smother the feeling and stop Cerise from clawing her way out and then later drank at times to dull the fact that I was male physically. My wife did not like me smoking pot and even though she always knew I was Trans , (told her in 85) I couldn't tell her that being clean of drugs made my dsyphoria so intense that I had to act on it by dressing in private again any chance I could get. She knew but like me , thought it would go away with the developing relationship.

It did not go and after a series of events mixed with denial on my part even to the point of saying to myself I was 40 and it's gonna stop.

Dark times then, it was.

I left the marriage in 96 and moved back to Vancouver. Alcohol had taken over and although I had found Laura's on line then I was not dressing and still in denial , thinking a gay woman would be the solution or a Trans woman. 

At some point I decided that I was Trans and was dressing again in a moderate way in private and bought a few clothes on line and bought my first bra at the Bay, a horrible under wire bra that was discarded gratefully in a clothing purge.

The drinking did lessen with my final acceptance but I was physically dependent on alcohol at that time if I wasn't before. I had crossed the invisable line and had to drink in some amount every day. I was a pickle and could ne er be a cucumber again.

After this acceptance I managed to get 2 , 6 month periods of sobriety but the pot was always there. I was dressing as Cerise but always in private.

When the imparted charge came I used it as an opportunity to straighten out and joined AA less than 24 hours later and have been clean and sober ever since.

I never thought I would transition physically as the 1 year or 2 year rule was in place and living as a woman for that period seemed not only impossible but a ridiculous requirement. By who's definition am I supposed to live by what's my response. 

When I finally decide to transition in whatever way possible I was actually surprised that that had been done away with. I found that out at my intake and also with reading the blurbs on line that surgury was covered under MSP as well as the doctors appointments. 

Things were becoming possible and somebody got cold feet and I got bumped forward just less than 2 months to have my first doctors appointment after 4 months in the Trans program.

There was a period in between being signing off on the informed consent forms and getting my first prescription for me to think about it as we were waiting for an ECG and the final blood work. ( I was having heart flutters that were food related from preservatives) I was ll over the map as to proceed or not now being at the door after 50 years living with my dysphoria.

After getting sober, the last 9 years had been all about managing my moods without weed or booze and I was just getting a handle on it with my diet ( thanks to OA ), and throwing hormones into the mix just seemed like a risk. The forums here came to be handy as well as my support group , all saying how HRT helped in that regard.

i said yes on Sept 6 , 2016 and it worked out amazing! 

Admit-idly I do keep my prescription in a little tupperware box with the spices and look forward to getting a new supply despite the cost. Carry over from my pot days I guess. I just wish I would get the same pharmacist every time as there is always a period of confusion at the time of getting them on the clerks part .

 My ease and comfort with it instantly calms them and they relax quickly.

Every week I think about stopping due to the expense. The hormones and Spiro, the laser and now the electrolysis have escalated the costs to at over 300 a month but I cut back in other places and am determined not to let my lifestyle addictions win this time.

i have taken on hosting an open mic as the money is better and that covers my weekly electrolysis and I cancel that the times I have laser to offset the cost.

Although a myriad of pros in the pharmacy, hair removal and medical community know, very few outside that circle know.

it has always been a need to know basis but I am holding back right now. The aa meeting on Wednesday might be a good place to get to work done on this.

Life is good and keeps getting better.

 

 

 

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Caykay1972   
Caykay1972
5 hours ago, cerise said:

Life is good and keeps getting better.

 

 

 

sounds like me.  We all need to be honest with ourselves.  It goes with life as everyone faces that truth at some point.  For to love life you have to be alive faults included.

Keep on the right track because you are doing everything right.  Right on GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jani423   
Jani423

Cerise, thank you for the posts.  I know your journey has been difficult but you've done well.  

7 hours ago, cerise said:

The hormones and Spiro, the laser and now the electrolysis have escalated the costs to at over 300 a month but I cut back in other places and am determined not to let my lifestyle addictions win this time.

This just seems to be part of the deal.  The costs are high, then you add in a new full wardrobe, haircare and skincare.  It's worth every penny.   There can be no price put on sanity and satisfaction that is too high for me.  

You're doing fine.  BTW: I love your avatar.  You look so good! 

Jani   

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Charlize   
Charlize

Cerise congratulations on continuing your sobriety as you go through this huge thing that life throws at some of us. 

Life on it's terms can be difficult.  like you i found the rooms of AA to be critical to my transition.  I found there a place to be honest with cis gender folks who only wanted to help me stay sober.  My first sponsor appeared to agree with my feeling that dressing was a character defect and i prayed that my feelings would be removed.  My higher power surprised me by removing the shame and fear and not the reality of who i am.  I am blessed to have found sobriety and the ability to be true to myself.  

Perhaps you might enjoy the trans* meetings on Zoom.  If so there is a post in this forum giving instructions.   Several of the folks here attend.  I have found the combination of folks who are dealing with the realities of their addiction and well as their gender is very helpful.  I know those issues  can affect my sobriety. 

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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tracy_j   
tracy_j

Congratulations Cerise.

It's good to hear your progress :)

I think the main step is accepting ourselves. Once that is done, at least our health is likely to be better.

Tracy

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

I was planing on attending the meeting but my son opted to use his power over me to get me to go to a movie with him. It's becoming more of an issue for me to find places I can be "out" now that the Trans support group I went to is on hiatus. There are lost ss of support meetings for Trans people in Vancouver but almost all are youth groups except two.

i was telling my laser tech on Friday that it would be easier being gay as there are peers groups and it is almost mainstream. 

Literally while writing this post I figured out the problem of attending. 

The meeting is on Weds at 8 and I can switch my electrolysis appointment to weds as well and is only a few blocks away. Done deal.

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Caykay1972   
Caykay1972

Great job! Keep it up!

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Charlize   
Charlize

Hope you can get to that meeting.  There is a GLB meeting in Princeton that i attended for years before they added a T and a Q.  Now i'm not the only regular Trans person to attend and there have been as many as 5 of us on occasion.  It is helpful to share and hear others share there stories about being themselves while being sober.  I have to be careful though.  At one point i shared about my anxiety about an orchiectomy and the use of painkillers and the guys all crossed their legs and one man actually left the meeting.  That's one reason i love the Zoom meetings.  I can be open and honest as well as understood.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

Hi Charlize and others,

I will most likely attend this coming Wednesday as the day I was going to go I checked the times and it was at 6:30 now and I had just gotten home.

That's a perfect time for me as I can pretty much go right after work.

I could go to the Q munity Aa meeting on Saturday but its listed as LBGTQ whereas this one has Trans in Capital letters.

My Trans doctor feels its important as well for me to go as she's hip to the whole recovery scene from the location of the clinic she works out of. Sometimes it's what you share by accident that is more important and that happens when your guard is down. I try not to have an agenda and if I am flat I usually share how I have stayed sober.

Lately my shares have been about the power of routine prayer and meditation and deep prayer.

When I was struggling with my food issues and them clashing with the HRT I started going deep where I had to be aware of the words and my thoughts . If I started to pray in automatic where I was not listening or contemplating the content I started over again.

This time my addictions didn't come out on top be it salty foods or roasted nuts and coffee. The coffee was still a problem as not only was I drinking it when I didn't want to, I couldn't pay for the transition expenses and live like I had before with all my replacements and basically had to get real.

There is a passage in the Big Book in a story that has always stuck for me and that is ...Normal people change their behaviors to meet their goals and addicticts/alcoholics change their goals to meet their behavior.

I had to do this and it seemed impossible but I wanted the transition to continue so the prayer had to get deeper and stick. It did and that period is behind me. I still have to modify my spending to make room for the transition expenses and continue to work on that using what I learned.

Now I don't say. "I gotta stop spending money on chips or coffees or movies"

I say.. "I need to pray more on this."

There is little I can do to help anyone who still feels self will avails us all if I am determined.

Free me from the bondage of self makes more sense to me.

WEDS AA.tiff

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Charlize   
Charlize

Thank you for sharing Cerise.  My GT was thrilled that i had some sobriety, went to AA and had also started to spend time here at Laura's.  Those helped me a great deal.

The first meeting i went to as myself was a women's meeting while on a business trip.  Topic was honesty and i was.  Perhaps that was the first time i felt any acceptance by sober cis folks.  I realized that i had a chance in the rooms to find a path towards myself.  Prior to this when i did my steps with my sponsor i had been honest but the issue was dismissed as character defect to be prayed away.

I had prayed and felt poorly because after 3 years of sobriety my issues remained.  That had lead to the women's meeting and suddenly i found that my prayers were actually being answered.  Like sobriety transition has been a process and perhaps like sobriety i will always be (hopefully) be making progress because i have to accept that perfection is only a goal at best.

 

Glad your making the journey and are sharing it here.  For me the F2F meetings have been critical so i hope they can work for you as well.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

I saw that earlier about your sponsor thinking its a defect of character and was saddened for how you must have felt being given that kind of falseness by someone. 

So glad that prayer worked to take away that unneeded shame imposed.

When I first started dressing and praying every night that I would wake up as a woman I had made a promise to myself about never feeling ashamed for what I was doing and about being trans. I still didn't want anyone to know however as I didn't want to lose my friends or be an object of ridicule. My wife asked me point blank "Don't you feel ashamed at what you you are doing?"

I told her what I said above but inside I felt ashamed about the lying and sometimes about deflecting statements.

I was brought up in a family where shame was doled out daily as way of control so my arrogance about authority developed before I was out of grade 4. There was no escape at school either and my teachers were cruel. I did not get physically punished but the natives did as they were singled out with one boy being strapped over the PA.

My arrogance was my protector as my elders were not other than my father.

i did find solice in our Uninted Church minister was very kind .

Because I came by my Trans nature naturally and it was never a choice, I felt it right or for lack of a more succinct or true phrase, God's will.

As I said my shame came about in the lies and deflections I manifested to remain undiscovered, ....joining in the chastizment of gay or trans celebrities etc. Fortunately the disgust I felt with my behavior was so profound it ended almost as fast as it started but that behavior was on my step 5 in the first 6 defects to be discussed.

Being Trans was on my step 5 but now I know it was the secrecy that was my issue.

The AA line you're only as sick as your secrets stuck out for me every time it was uttered and staying under cover indeed had made me sick.

I told female friend yesterday as a result of what was being discussed on this thread and it went well enough and I will let her digest the news over the next week. I must accept the outcome but know it can only strengthen our friendship over time.

 

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Charlize   
Charlize

   Thank you for sharing Cerise.  I also felt ashamed as you mentioned.  My dishonesty and lies about issues affected me deeply.  For me there was also the failure to manage to push my issues to the side.  I was "sick" and couldn't solve that issue.  Society and my upbringing had reinforced that image.  Man up..... i'd tried and yet i was still me.  I had failed.  One of the only places where i could be myself was at a gay bar or club and even there i was marginalized as i wasn't gay and was still attracted to women.  Lesbians were definitely not accepting either.  

For me the rooms of AA and working the program gave me a chance to be honest.  The guilt i felt certainly lessened and little by little i understood that i had to accept what i couldn't change.  That became easier as i found others were able to accept me.  As we say in the rooms :  "we will love you until you can love yourself".  That has taken time but thanks to a power greater than myself i have found some peace with myself and the world.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

  

 

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Guest erinanita   
Guest erinanita

This has been a really interesting thread.  It's interesting that I don't think that I went through a lot of issues like some of you girls did.

During the time when I was transitioning, I didn't attend any AA meetings.  Instead, A group of us "cross dressers" began our own support group.  there were only two of us there who were members of AA.  I got the same kind of support from the trans people that I would have had in AA, so it paid off to only work at one thing at a time.

But I missed AA.  I always wanted to be there, so after about 7 years away, I went back.  My intent actually was to get the son of a close friend into the program.  I got back to the program but unfortunately I couldn't help my friend with the message of sobriety.  He came on his own three years later.

I was so scared when I was at the first meetings back.  I was attracted to the first meeting I went to, new to me, because I could see that it was very service oriented.  Having been involved in lots of service work previously, I knew it was the way to get out of my head and my self.  Anyways, at the second meeting the chairperson didn't know my name and I was so scared I forgot it.  I talked about the fact that I was different and was told "You are the same as every one of us here".  When I was pointed to page 417, I realized that they were willing to accept me as I was, I eventually started to believe that I was a alcoholic first and whatever else I wanted to call myself was secondary.

I feel secure in myself now and have no issues regarding talking about my journey.  Everyone has their own journey and in that way we're all different but I feel that if I go to special meetings, that's just another label and added stress I'll be adding on.  I' like to write more but it's time to get up and I haven't got into bed yet.

I'll be back, again.

Erin

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Caykay1972   
Caykay1972

There is something I want everyone to remember when we talk about acceptance, and that is you're not going to be liked by everyone, but y6ou are going to be liked by someone.  The question I want to pose is important.  It is not whether or not your going to be liked.  It is a question of do you want to be liked by the wrong people?

If you want to be sad and feel no one knows you, it is OK to be dishonest.  Still, if you want to be liked and understood, you will have to be honest as that is the only way to make true friends that know and trust you.

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Caykay1972   
Caykay1972

I want to say to all of you sharing about your experiences with AA that you all have proven that if you will be honest and not try to control things that aren't yours to control you can make a large amount of progress.  If you stop trying to please others, you will find the strength to be yourself.

What I am getting at is it is not for you to decide if someone likes you.  You can't control that, and it is never necessary to be liked by everyone.  Being liked is a goal that for the most part while we should appreciate when it is happens.  We should grow out of demanding it from everyone as it says nothing bad about us if we are disliked so long as we maintain our safety.  For that is what is important.  Not if or if not everyone likes us.

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

We come out for our sanity.

Years ago the American Medical Association somehow decided that Gender Dysphoria was a mental illness. Although I never agreed with this as a valid statement I feel that gender dsyphoria can lead to other forms of illness left untreated or kept undercover. Coming out from the shadows is one step out of many on our way to self acceptance

Thank the universe that things have gotten better and the medical and mental health community have wised up. 

The more we feel comfortable with ourselves the more others will feel comfortable with us.

By the way my ten year cake went well with my topic being chosen to be

"Who am I?"

It was a "normal" AA meeting and although I am sure some people are still processing the knowledge of me being transgender I feel good and sensed no malice.

 

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

Oh yeah 

Love to you all Cerise.

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Charlize   
Charlize

Congratulations on 10 years!   Glad to hear you have found not only sobriety in the rooms but acceptance as well.  

The topic of "who am i" is a good one.  My experience has been that that question has had different answers through the years.  Honesty has certainly helped me accept that.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Guest cerise   
Guest cerise

Thank you Charlize:)

it was a very good night!

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Cerise   
Cerise

His everyone!

i guess the new system realigned a few things but I re registered.

i have come out to a lot of people since the above posts and the response has been all good. I think I am lucky but I chose a time when people actually know the term transgender as when I came out to a friend around 7 years ago I had to explain it and she was pretty hip by her own standards.

At my AA home group it's been amazing and in truth has drawn people closer to me in so much as that I get the idea that they feel at ease with me because they know me.

Still I know that there is a long way to go with Transgender rights and acceptance from what I read in the articles reposted here. I tend not to bring that up to people as they are not used to the dark realities of our world. In a lot of ways being an alcoholic and drug user in recovery our realities are quite different from the rest of so called liberal society with relapses , treatment centre stories and near death experiance being the topic of every day conversation in the rooms of AA and other 12 step programs.

i was telling my best friend a week ago on my birthday that I live in a different world than him for the reason that I just can't stop for coffee while at work for 30 minutes just because we happened to meet downtown. The different world goes far beyond that and my exclusion from the luxury of 'doing lunch'.

Fortunately for me there is a whole fellowship who live in that different world with me where we laugh and cry about our depression and talk about suicide like other people talk about the weather or real estate prices.

Acceptance of transgender people and our lifestyle choices still have miles to go and it's great that it has found some traction in the mud of traditional thinkers. I do hestitate to tell these friends outside of the program what the BC medical system pays for for TG transitioning as I am sure a few would have some nasty opinions about it so I will stay mute (in regards to these wonders) as after living half a life for 60 years I now feel at peace with my body and the changes that are happening thanks to the wonderful doctors and changed attitudes of the medical comunity in Canada.

Pride week is awesome but it has to go beyond a stylish ideology that we and other people might wear for a week or more and then allow to fade until next years Pride.

I stopped in the VPD to pick up an envelope for a lawyer as part of my job as a courier and was going to use the washroom as couriers do whenever there is an opportunity and there it was a nice plactic sign with raised letters capped with embossed chrome, Transgender People Welcome . It's a start and my heart soared as I called in to say goodnight and head to my Queer Trans named AA group at the Brittania Center off Commercial Drive.

i am now in my 12th month of HRT and see my Transition doctor tomorrow as part of my routine visits. I love being Trans in BC and I love the acceptance I have found in AA and also with my friends. Like I said though, ..there's still miles to go and I am not even sure if we are in double digit acceptance yet (if there is a scale) however if there is one thing I have found its that, if we are comfortable with ourselves , other people are more likely to be comfortable with us.

Much Love to you all:)))

Cerise.

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Jani423   
Jani423

Hello Cerise, 

Yes the new system did have a hiccup a little while ago and it looks like you were affected.  Take no offense please, we love to hear from you.  I'm glad you're finding wide ranging acceptance. That is always a positive note!   Vancouver certainly sounds like a good place to live. 

Cheers to you! 

Jani.

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Charlize   
Charlize

Thank you for sharing Cerise.  it's good to see you back for a visit and glad other that your experiences have been so positive.

I am also blessed by being in a homegrown where everyone knows me and accepts that as well.  Wonderfully just being myself seems to have liberated many others who are now able to open up and share things with the group that they have kept hidden for a lifetime.  Aa has given me so much more than sobriety.

I know things are not perfect for the trans* world.  They probably never will be but cis folks have their problems as well and i've found a degree of acceptance of the realities of the world i never had while drinking.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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tracy_j   
tracy_j

Hi Cerise

It's good to hear from you again :)

Thank you for the update. It sounds really good. I am glad things are going well for you.

Take care

Tracy x

 

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