"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday, 19 May 2013

When Impediments to Wholeness are Removed

I've been reading some very interesting posts by a relatively new blogger Jules, who like me, is using writing to help her sort out feelings and find her way forward.

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:

Skin care
Hair care
Internal Health
Yard work
Kids(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.


  1. The only thing that came to my mind when reading your post, is that I read something along these lines "When the physical body with it's laws is especially dominant in the human nature, so that the spiritual essence of being is not able to overcome a certain hardness in the physical body, then we have to do with a melancholic teperament". It also said that if we are melancholic, we shall do well to seek out
    justifiable pain and suffering in external life,in order that we may have opportynity to work out our melancholy in the external world.
    This is Rudolf Steiner philosophy.

  2. Well, Ellena, I never thought I would see Steiner semi quoted on this blog.

  3. Nice to meet you again Kathryn.
    Maybe I should not have mentioned RS. Very kind of you to use the word 'semi quoted' when you had the chance to kind of put me into my place. RS is very difficult to understand for me. My autistic son lives in an anthroposophical community. I picked a few things up.
    Stay well Kathryn.

  4. Thank you Ellena. As Kathryn suggests, my humble blog has been elevated ~ sorry, semi-elevated!

  5. I was(am) wondering why Kathryn used the word "this" instead of "a" on purpose.
    Have a good week, Halle.

    1. Perhaps Kathryn and others are unaware of the highly spiritual nature of this blog! I need to do better it seems. You have a good week too Ellena. :)

  6. Good post Halle. I enjoyed reading it. In fact I reread it many times.

    I too am always waiting for the "bad" thing to happen while I am experiencing something good. I often wonder if it has to do with shame, like somehow I don't think I am deserving of good things happening. Maybe it is me just being pessimistic. I'm really not sure.

    I am happy for you that what you are taking appears to be helping. I have seen a change in the tone of your blog. You seem to be a little more at ease with life, and I am very happy for you!

    1. Thank you so much Nadine. I suppose my 'Canadian trait' theory has to be modified now!

  7. Great list though it needs to be on fridge magnets so that the order can be regularly changed about...

    Years ago, when I still thought that all my chances of transition had long ago faded I managed to just eliminate the source of the testosterone and my life was transformed. Being rid of the dangly bits was a joy though the occasional hot flush, (do you get them?), was a nuisance. Only my attempt to get HRT to stop the flushes opened the doors to my full transition though I had reached a point of contentment with which I could have enjoyed to the end of my days.

    I now know that there is an Everest of contentment I had not even imagined, but that is another story...

    will you ever consider removing the source of the discomfort now that you know that being "T"less is what you like?

    1. No hot flushes thankfully. Not sure what the difference is, but it might have to do with the mechanics of blocking receptors for T vs not having any T.

      The spiro helps keep my blood pressure in an acceptable range as well, but if there is a time when I can no longer take a T-blocker, then the orchi will be high on my list of requests knowing how much better I feel t-less.

      Knowing about that 'Everest' is, as you say, another story.

  8. That was a great post. It seems many of us struggle with our journey to be happy.
    I hope your journey is getting better; sounds like it is.
    I am touched you reference something I wrote; thank you!

    1. Thank you too Jules. I look at people differently than before. There is no doubt in my heart that what you say is true. Many are struggling in that journey. Perhaps we are different in that we are really working at finding those paths others haven't taken, or even suspected were available to them?

      I love your photo with Nadine you posted yesterday btw. All the best to you both.

  9. Lovely post, Halle, and one that is worth re-posting on T-Central.

    What Jules has written, her recipe for happiness, is essentially the same list I have discussed, several time now, as the way I deal with my gender dysphoria.

    She equates these items on her list with happiness.

    I equate, those items, in what is nearly an identical list, with remaining status quo - not transitioning - in favor of marriage, family and perhaps career.

    In a way, I think we're talking about the same thing. The desire to transition is often overwhelming for me (as you so well know), but keeping my mind occupied with work, hobbies, friendships, exercise, etc., has been an effective way of dealing with it. Likewise, exercise, facial care (I'm religious about this), eating right, etc., helps me to to treat my body right so that someday I may be able to transition smart and correctly - the proverbial light at the of the tunnel.

    1. Interesting that you should mention the ways we both are treating our body right so that we are ready for that "light at the end of the tunnel". It gives me shudders my friend to feel certain this is really true, knowing what that means.

      At any rate, thank you for your heart-felt comment.