One year back

It’s been nearly a year since I came out as trans to anyone. The days leading up to coming out were some of the most intensely stressful times in my life.

I felt tired and scared. The thought of losing everything in my life for a chance to be myself was too much to even fully process. Thinking about it made me feel sick.

I was going to lose everyone and everything that has ever been important to me. Could I do that?

On the other hand, this was getting worse with age, not better. This doesn’t go away. It saps the life out of you. Things were getting worse. I felt tired all the time. I was so irritable. Life just made me angry.

It wasn’t fair. The various prescriptions for anxiety, depression, and tremors (Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Xanax, and Topiramate) stopped having any net positive effect on me months before. Life was crushing me.

It was time to make a choice.

I went on long walks during my lunch breaks, debating this in my own head. Can I do this? I’ll lose everything. I can’t ask my girlfriend to have to deal with the reality of me… I can’t do this anymore. Each day is more agonizing than the last… I need to do this, but is it even worth it? I’m a freak… If I end it all right now, at least I’d die without anyone knowing what a broken person, broken freak, I am. What do I do?

Honestly, I was so very unsure of how I would handle this. Up until the day I came out, my brain was fighting itself, trying to determine the better of two horrible outcomes: lose everything in my life, be ridiculed, be known as a freak; or lose my life, but retain my dignity.

Early, the day I came out to my girlfriend, I felt incredibly sick. We had plans to go to a friend’s apartment for a Memorial Day get together. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to do anything. I never wanted to do anything. On the way, we stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some beer. At the check-out line, I got carded. Unfortunately, my drivers license had expired a month earlier, and the store clerk wouldn’t let me make the purchase; nor would she let my girlfriend make the purchase, as she was with me. In one of the more embarrassing moments of the past year, I threw what can only be described as a temper tantrum.

Stomping out of the store, the adrenaline from my overreaction still washing over me, I began to question why something so small made me so mad. Whatever the answer, I knew that I simply didn’t want to do this anymore. This would be the day I do something.

We get to my friend’s apartment, and I immediately look for a couch. I needed to sit down. People came and went, having fun, drinking beer, socializing. I was having a silent mental breakdown, frozen and not really there.

After a while, we went home. Still glassy-eyed, I rested on the couch at home for some time (hours?). I slept on that couch, and I had a dream. In it, I just felt… better. I felt light. I felt clear and focused. I felt a way I couldn’t really remember ever feeling before.

Maybe this could be my life. Maybe life doesn’t have to be pure torment. Maybe I can do this. I need to try. I need to fight.

Later that evening, in the scariest moment of my life, I actually said the words, “I’m transgender” out loud to another person. At that moment, I knew that I had revealed something about myself that I couldn’t put away, that I couldn’t hide anymore, that I needed to see through.

Nearly a year has passed, and I’m certain that I made the right decision. I am me.

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