*I am not a professional. If you are thinking about suicide, you should seek help immediately. Don’t pass go. Stop. Pick up a phone. Talk to a friend. Write me. I don’t care. Get help. Suicide is never the answer.*
I want to start by saying I’m doing alright. Compared to even a year ago, I am doing really good. I have come from a point of near constant suicidal thoughts, embarrassment and near paranoia about my gender dysphoria to a point where the daily pressure of keeping this secret has faded away. My social anxiety is at an absolute minimum. I wake up every day with a desire to live. To explore and discover new things about life I didn’t know yesterday.
Life isn’t perfect. It isn’t for anyone. The world still sees me as male. But, I’m realistic to know that I can only do so much about that at this time. I continue to take hormones and testosterone blockers. I’ve successfully cut caffeine out of my life. I’m eating better. The weight I gained from a lifetime of self hatred is slowly melting away. I ride my bike at a bare minimum 5 miles a day. Sure, I wish I had the money for facial feminization surgery and reassignment surgery today. But, I know I’m on the right track. Heck, I’m even taking a daily picture of myself. It’s become a fun project. Most of my life, I preferred to be the one behind the camera. Although I wish I didn’t have this male face, I feel comfortable enough to stepout from behind the camera and let my ugly mug get captured by the lens.
I wrote those two paragraphs above as a disclaimer of sorts. Everytime you say you think about suicide, people start surrounding you, asking if you need help. Really, I’m ok. I’m not going to jump off a bridge. I’m not going to hang myself. But, I will be honest. I do think about it. At least once a day. The triggers vary. It may be a nice looking woman who has entered my eyesight. It could be a conversation between two women I’m excluded from because they see my male exterior. I start thinking about the daunting task of transitioning. It can be overwhelming. Will I lose my job? Will I be able to find a job? Will I be killed? If you saw me at such times, you probably wouldn’t even know that I’m down. It’s very subtle. I’m a good actor. I’ve had to be good to get this far without offing myself.
Add to that, a trans woman killed herself last month. She lived here in Colorado. I think I may have met her once. I’m not sure. She looks very familiar. She had transitioned. She seemed happy. Apparently she wasn’t. I think about her a lot. If she couldn’t make this life work, how can I? But, then again, I tell myself she, like many of us, most likely suffered from clinical depression (I have no evidence of this).
These thoughts pass. I know they will. That’s how I get through it. It may take a half hour. Or it may take 5 minutes. But, I’ll get through it. And just knowing that, is something I’ve conquered. I didn’t use to have this kind of understanding. 5 or 6 years ago, I was a complete mess. I had bottled up these feelings for so long, that when my relationship failed with the girlfriend, when I failed at being a boyfriend and father figure, I didn’t know how to keep it bottled up anymore. Over the last couple of years, I’ve slowly let the pressure out. I’ve talked to counselors. I’ve talked to close friends. I’ve started attending support group meetings. I’ve met more trans people who have moved onto successful lives post transition. All of these things have helped me get a better hold on this problem. I’ve known for a long time now that I am not alone. Being able to talk with people, reading about personal experiences (Chaz Bono, Jennifer Finney Boylan) and not have close friends turn their backs on me has all helped keep me alive. Heck, I’ll even credit the It Gets Better Project. Those videos, made by individuals and people at corporations, do prove, that for most people, life does get better.
I’ve been on top of that bridge. I’ve put a gun in my mouth more than once. I’ve had that near constant thought about cutting myself. They were all very real thoughts and actions. I’m glad I didn’t do it. I’m glad I’m here. Although I’ve had at least one family member turn her back on me, I’m here. I wake up every day looking forward to my bike ride. I look forward to experiencing some new food on my food bucket list. Whenever I go to an event like Ignite, I look for one new person to meet. Heck, I’ve even gone back to writing. I’ve decided to try and write a fiction book that will be published on the Kindle and Apple’s iBook Store. It probably won’t go anywhere past a few downloads. But, it’s a fun project. I’m still programming. I debug and work through bits of code every so often. But, it’s mainly on the back burner right now. I’ve decided to get away from the computer every so often. I’ve lived in Colorado since 1997. I want to see what’s outside my front door.
The suicide rate for trans identified people is extraordinarily high. I fully intend not to contribute to that statistic. I’ve made the choice to experience life. All of it’s hardships and joys. When I die, preferably at a very old age, I want to be able to say that I lived life to it’s fullest. I want the world to know who I am 1,000 years from now. If I’m going down, I’m going to put up a big fight.
These two songs got me through some really rough spots when I was younger. I tried to post the better sounding clips. But, it seems the music label doesn’t like embedding. Idiots. Well, listen to the lyrics. And laugh at the fashions of Danny Elfman and the rest of the band. The second video in particular looks like a church revival concert. It’s certainly not the Oingo Boingo I remember. Very funny.