6 Weeks on Testosterone
On Monday, April 3rd, 2017, I will inject my 7th shot of testosterone which puts me at 6 weeks on hormone replacement therapy. Lately, I have been through some significant stress in my work life and personal life. Managing my stress has been a big priority over the past 2 weeks. In this pressure cooker of stress, I noticed some interesting things happen with my self confidence and my gender dysphoria. Being stressed caused me to feel weak and not as energetic, this dampened my spirits and created a chain reaction that went straight for my self confidence.
I have a history of beating myself up, being hard on myself. When I start to feel down, I am the first person that I usually blame. During the past two weeks, when my stress levels were high, I would hear negative thoughts emerge in my head. Doubt would come in and it kicked up my dysphoria. I started to question things... "would I ever pass", "are the hormones even doing anything", "is my voice ever going to deepen", etc. These questions would come in a fill me with defeating energy, But, unlike the past where those thoughts would stay with me, now I am able to have them come in and then send them away.
Since starting hormones, I have noticed a change in the pattern of negative self talk and thoughts. My stress no longer gets bundled into a package of depression and self hate, it stays clear to me as stress. I have been able to better manage these emotions and process them without getting depressed. Since self confidence has been a serious issue for me in the past and continues to be something that I have to work towards, I made a conscious effort to stay on top of my stress and not let it get me down. Being true to myself and better understanding who I really am has opened a doorway to being able to love myself. This change is huge because if I love myself, I can stand up to those negative thoughts and voices... I can stand up for myself.
I continue to feel clearer in my emotions and thoughts. My sense of well being and positivity are staying overall consistent and throughout the week I feel level headed. This is a new thing for me and I have not felt this level for this long in quite some time. It is a breath of fresh air to not be yanked down by depression's persistent hand.
Over the past few weeks I have noticed that I feel less access to sadness... specifically tears. I tend to be an easy crier, always have been, but lately it doesn't seem as easy to access. I don't look at this as a negative though, it feels better to be a little more steady and feel less of an emotional rollercoaster.
When my dysphoria kicked in during that stressful patch, at first it did bring me down quite a bit. I was able to turn this around rather quickly by remembering all the progress that I've made thus far and how much I have already accomplished. Being able to access gratitude as a tool during these down times has been of great assistance to keeping me in a positive mindset. I recently shot a video talking about this, click here to watch.
During the first few weeks of starting hormones, I didn't expect to see much but ended up having changes relatively quickly. I still am in the excitement phase of looking for little changes almost daily. Around week 4, I started to feel like things were slowing down and I wouldn't be seeing much but this was really just fear rising up. I have continued to see physical changes, even if they are subtle.
One of the changes in the past few weeks have been facial hair and body hair. It is growing in much faster than before. I need to shave almost every other day now if I want a stubble free appearance. In week 5 I noticed more chin hair than I've ever had and that it is creeping up higher on my chin. The shadow on my upper lip is significantly darker and comes in thicker than before. My body hair is also growing in really fast and any areas that I shave grow back in quicker than before. My treasure trail is still pretty sparse and there is no new hair on my midsection. My leg hair is slightly thicker.
A big change happened these past few weeks... I skipped my period. Not really the most fun topic to talk about, but it's an important change. I go through mental fog, depression, anxiety, heavy fatigue, and lack of mental stability every time that I get my period. It's been a hard thing to deal with in terms of staying on track mental health wise. Skipping it this month meant skipping all of those side effects... it was great to not go through that. Although, I did have some symptoms briefly for a day or two. Mostly, this was just a little fatigue but all other symptoms didn't appear.
I continue to have strength gains in the gym, especially in the chest. I have been able to really push the weights around but with how stressed I've been lately, exercising has been pretty draining. I'm doing my best to continue on my bulking plan, but taking time to rest as well so that my immune system doesn't get compromised.
Lastly, I do think that my voice is slightly changing. My throat gets scratchy on a regular basis and is often dry feeling. There are days where I notice a bass tone change in my chest.
Thanks for joining me on this transition journey. Please feel free to leave a comment or browse the other sections of the blog. My goal in sharing my experiences is to provide personal information to anyone seeking out advice on gender transition, mental health, and wellness. People's personal stories have been a huge inspiration and source of information for me, I'd like to pay that forward. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or just need a sound board.