Category Archives: therapy

Aiming for happiness

I’ve often wondered if happiness is something you can just have or experience for long periods of time.

My experience suggests no. For me happiness is a transient state. I don’t think I can ever find happiness and then keep it forever.

Being Happy

I seem to live my life in a state of flux. If I am lucky I find a level of contentment that hopefully is bearable and life continues in this steady state in a “business as usual” mode. When something great happens in my life it can raise my feeling of happiness and contentment to a higher level. It will stay there for a while but will return to the steady state.

Conversely when something gets me down my mood will be lowered and depressed somewhat but hopefully it will eventually elevate back to steady state.

Friends, family, pets, hobbies, sports, the arts, travel and even crafts can all help us to raise our mood. Maybe its just the social engagement that does it.

Expecting to be perpetually happy is unrealistic at least for me.

Carrying a rock up a hill

But one thing we all seem to need. We all need a rock that we are trying to carry up a hill. That is to say we all need a challenge in our lives that looms large and is difficult to overcome. It could be our challenging job or our upcoming gig or even our transition. But without a challenge to engage us our lives can seem purposeless.

We all need to find our rock and decide which hill we are climbing with it. As the song says “It’s the climb”.

In fact the climb is our life playing itself out. In a sense reaching the top, although important, is secondary to the journey.

Even when we reach the topi we are gonna need a new rock and a new hill. Our lives need purpose and challenge.

Conclusion

Our life is a journey and for it to feel worthwhile we need to feel challenged and overcome adversity. On our journey we will feel highs and lows. If we are lucky the highs will outnumber the lows.

Life is hard but it can also be wonderful. It will never be perfect but it wont always feel bad either. The sun always comes up eventually.

Giving up on Therapy

At times I feel like giving up on therapy. I feel like I am sometimes just talking in circles.

“Yep, still dysphoric, nothing I can do about it”.
In our last session my therapist asked me what it was I really wanted deep down.

The truth is the same as it was when I first discovered that article in my Mum’s magazine about gender confirmation surgery. A transgender woman went through transition and had her surgery. She seemed to me to be a happy and beautiful woman who now enjoyed her life. I was ecstatic when I read it because it meant my dream was possible outside of magic or act of god. I remember how hopeful, sensitive and kind the article was.

The problem was that daring to hope I could also fully transition was what led me to my feeble suicide attempt when my hopes were dashed.

So saying the words out loud, admitting it has always been what I’ve wanted was actually quite hard to do.

I did say the words.

Funny thing is it has made me feel a bit more relaxed about things. I obviously needed to get it out there.

I think I need to forgive myself. I didn’t ask to have gender dysphoria. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember and have been trying to deal with it as best I can.

I also know that I need to fully transition and live the rest of my life as the woman I have always been inside.

How does it feel

As I walked away from my first therapy session I felt very strange. It was liberating to tell someone out loud who I really am and how it feels every day to pretend to be someone else.

My whole life I have had to present this “expected person” to the world. He’s my greatest creation. But  it’s exhausting playing him every day. I’m so sick of it.

I just dream about one day not having to be “him” and just be me. I don’t know if that is possible anymore but as long as I am alive I know there is hope.

It’s only when I say it all out loud, articulate the words to another person, that I begin understand it. It unravels and I begin to see how it has affected my life and how painful it always feels.

Starting Therapy

Well I started therapy. My therapist is really nice. She describes herself as gender fluid. That made me feel more comfortable to begin with. When I was searching for therapists so many of them seemed so unlike me. I wondered how they could begin to understand me.

My therapist, let’s call her Jen, as I suspected, just gets it and has no judgement or superior position. That’s probably the position of most therapists. Let’s hope so.

So what’s the story..

The truth is similar to all those other transgender stories you may have read before.

My truth is that from the age of at least four I’ve felt I should be female. That feeling has never left me and has badly affected my whole life.

One of the core fundamentals of our existence is our gender. If that feels wrong then nothing else ever fits properly into your life.

The worst thing though is that I’ve never done anything about it. My one brilliant strategy to cope has been “focus on something else, don’t think about it”. That’s really hard to do.

Talking with Jen

Talking to Jen was great. It felt good to tell someone who wasn’t affected by the truth. My truth just hurts people I love. She listened as all good therapists do and I guess she had heard similar experiences before. But it still meant a lot to say the words aloud.