In her post "Getting Rid of Stuff" she wrote "What I do and how I feel about myself are the only things that will make me happy."
Jules realizes that possessions don't make you happy. In her words:
"Think about all the different things that go into you really being happy. Just to list a few:
ClothesKids(if you have them; I don't)"
There is not a thing on this list I would leave out. I even have the kids. Exercise for me is always blended in with some physical activity, like carrying my golf clubs and walking the course which always gives me great pleasure.
Reality must intrude here. For so long nothing on that list was of use to me. This past eight months has been so different as the impediment called Gender Dysphoria has been reduced. As everyone who has suffered through depression knows that list of activities does not matter even a little during the terrible times.
This might be an unfortunate trait brought by being Canadian, but I cannot ever believe when things are going well there won't be some sort of reversal coming soon. In my bones I feel certain that at some point the monster will rise up and feelings that made a wholehearted life difficult, at times impossible in the past will come back. It would be great to know someone who has taken spironolactone without estrogen. Are you out there? Are my fears unnecessary, or will there come a time soon when the benefits wear off? Will some side-effect eventually start causing more harm than good? I keep reminding myself, one day at a time.
What works for me might not have worked for anyone else. In fact, it probably wouldn't have helped me even ten years ago; circumstance has been so important.
Spiro has removed many things from me over the past eight months. Most noticeably, muscle mass, sex drive (or let's be specific, the drive to couple with my wife even though I still love her), any feelings of agression, and blessedly, gender dysphoria.
I notice my changed muscle mass as I went to do the usual spring-time clean up activities and get out stuff for the garden. Everything felt heavier than it used to be. The circumstance here, that in our age group, it isn't unusual for people to have to accomodate a change of physical strength because of heart or lung problems, arthritis, back or joint pain. I fit right in when I need to take my time doing physical labour.
My sweetie was not happy when sex stopped, but it is a sacrifice she is willing to make. Even ten years ago, this would not have been true. In my case while my sexual desires have taken a decidedly bisexual direction, age gives me perspective. If I was even ten years younger this would not be true. Even now it rankles, but is tolerable.
No matter how long this respite lasts, it has allowed me to uncover a better me, someone closer to the real me, who can take pleasure in, and find value in the small and large things that life brings.
Getting back to Jules' list, it seems to me that no matter what turn I had made, even if I had been transitioning to give me congruence, I would have had to find those things that could make my life worth living in that remade and female body.
Removing an impediment to happiness and wholeness does not make you happy and whole, it simply opens a door.