Why am I here?

| Jan 25, 2016
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Why am I here? What am I doing? How in the hell did I end up where I am? Why do I feel this way? Where do I go from here? What more will I have to endure? These are questions that I have posed to myself and to God lately. It’s winter here in the Bay Area. It’s a far cry from the hot, stark blue-skied summers. A grey, overcast pall has fallen over the land. El Nino is relentlessly pounding California with storm after storm. I think we are at 11 this month. The sun is a rare sight these days.

The foggy Golden Gate.

The foggy city by the bay.

I draw strength from the sun. Yes, it was damn hot all summer and some nights were a little hot to sleep. I looked forward to fall and the cool. Little did I know that I would be stricken with heavy anxiety in November. It’s been a hard time stretching all the way through the holidays. Work is slow right now and I am welcoming the reduced hours. I am making it up with accrued time. It won’t last. By March, things will be back. The El Nino weather pattern is really needed for our drought here, but I bet a lot of people with seasonal mood issues like SAD or GAD are suffering this winter. It’s been a long, overcast, grey slog. I’d almost rather see a bit of snow and some sunshine rather than a 50 degree grey, rainy day.

I had a consult scheduled for GRS in January. That came and went and I rescheduled it for February. I may have to push that back again. Life has ground to a near halt for me. All plans are on hold. I could not even imagine going in for GRS with this level of anxiety. It would be hellish. I need to be clear-headed. It’s been a major thing in my life, this agonizing decision whether to go through with this tough surgery. Once that doctor makes a few cuts, there is no going back.  You are altered forever, never to be the same again. Things could go wrong. Severe complications could happen. Is it worth it? Right now, for me, its not. Do I still have vagina envy when I see a perfectly shaped girl walking around proudly in her skin-tight exercise pants?  You bet I do. I wish so hard that I could just walk into a machine and come out the other side with all of the right parts. Easy Peasy.

I keep watching these people walking around happy and energetic. I feel so far from that. I feel so vulnerable and sick. I’m afraid to exert myself for fear that I might “have a spell” that scares me. I end up just trying to let sleeping dogs lie and not upset my mind any more than I have to. Why just a few months ago, I was hiking the foothills of Mt. Diablo and staying out all night just to watch the sunrise at the Golden Gate Bridge. I was staying up late and sleeping late. I was doing what I wanted. Then came the panic attacks at night. Then came the unbalanced feeling in my head. What the hell is wrong with me, I ask. Why am I here some 3000 miles away from any close family member, working a retail job, driving a 10 year old car, and too scared to get GRS? I have no direction. My only desire is to get better.

rainbow_ctrI do get worried that this will become the new normal. I pray that this is not the case. I hate to even give that notion any power. I am seeing all new doctors to try to address whatever it is that is stealing my sunshine. The one person I really need is a new therapist. I lost my old therapist due to an insurance change. I reached out to the Rainbow Community Center (LGBT center in Concord) for help in finding a new therapist with one of their staff. I figure, what better place to find a therapist that is knowledgeable about trans subjects than an LGBT center. I completed the intake and await the name of my new therapist. I also have a psychiatrist lined up for the 26th. I need to see an ENT for my ongoing sinus issues. They could be causing some of the issues that scare me into having anxiety. I have a new primary doctor, but the problem is, she won’t deal with my hormones. Now I have to go to an endocrinologist as well. I will see how this all works out. I just want to get better. Whether its peace of mind that helps, or talking about it, or different drugs or a combination of all three, I want it to happen.

I’m still not sure how I really got here. It is an amazing story, one that’s full of great adventure as well as sadness and grief. Much like the highs and lows of transition, Amanda’s Great Drive Across the Country was similar. Why did I want to come here? I knew the stakes. I knew it could potentially be rough. As I look back, it has been a lonely, scary and now anxiety-filled time saved by some adventures, sights, and new friends. I should be used to this place by now, yet, it still seems foreign. I know the main roads and towns and pretty much have my bearings. I have friends and support. I have a steady income with relatively inexpensive rent. Yet…I still can’t shake that feeling that something is off. Something is not right. Maybe my body and mind are trying to tell me something. I am scared of something? Is it where I am? Is it the pressure of GRS? Is it hormonal? Do I just feel like I am lost?

Jimmy Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life.

Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life.

Where do I go from here? Will I get better? How much more will I have to endure? I hope to God not much more. Spring is coming. I hope it comes soon. I need the sun back. I know the summer is hot, but I need the Spring right now. I need a glimmer of hope that shows me the way. I think of Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life praying to God at Martini’s Bar, to “Please God in heaven…show me the way.” I think of that scene a lot. I need to find my way back to happiness. Right now, the path seems as grey and foggy as a Bay Area winter. I need to soar above the fog and find my sunlight and hope. I need good people to help lift me up and keep me going.

I will fight on, whether this is the new normal or just a bump in the road.  I know things never stay the same. I hope improvement is right around the corner. I am doing the right things in seeking help. I try to stay positive and keep moving forward. I’ve got some good things lined up. It’s still a struggle every day, but I seek better days. Hopefully they will find me soon.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 5 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. But recently moved back to the East Coast. The adventure continues...

Comments (2)

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  1. laciapril laciapril says:

    Hi Amanda. Pretty picture. I certainly can empathize with the way you are feeling. I,m transitioning a bit late in life (65) and have been doing the anti-androgens since October and the estradiol since mid-December. The Spironolactone just killed any libidinal drive I had and in waiting for change–any change, I’ve had my anxieties and definite doubts. I take 40mg prozac a day but have depression coming right through. Retirement with some idle time and painful electrolysis treatments seem to be my life story right now. Going around with 4-5 day beard growth(for the electrologist) doesn’t help a girl feel very feminine.

    But–just this week, I started noticing breast development (tender nipples). And I am excited. I know your transition is well ahead of mine and that you are considering GRS. You are experiencing a flat spell in your trans-woman life and I feel for you.

    Maybe see about some meds for your anxiety and maybe sit under a light-deprivation lamp. Chin up girl.

  2. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    > I could not even imagine going in for GRS with this level of anxiety. It would be hellish. I need to be clear-headed.

    Don’t do it then. There should be now doubt in your head.
    You may not need it to be happy. What you may need is anti-depressants.

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