Year end / I scheduled top surgery

2015 has been one of the hardest years of my life.  I was majorly depressed for 4 months of it.  I was moderately depressed for the vast majority of the rest of it.  I was out of work for a total of 2 months due to mental health issues.  I was in the hospital, and I was also in a partial hospitalization program.  I did do some fun things (like camping, going to Pittsburgh, marching in the pride parade, adopting 2 cats, going to the beach 3 weekends in a row, becoming a radio DJ, seeing Sleater-Kinney) but they failed to feel like much fun.  I’m only now starting to feel like myself for extended periods of time.  For example, today and yesterday (but not the day before), I felt like a person in a normal mood, and that felt great.  I hope tomorrow feels like that too!  I started on a new medication 2 weeks ago, and I’m really hoping something clicks…

I wrote a similar post last year, and I summed up gender-related stuff this way:
“I continued to settle into a new and improved place with hormone therapy and talk therapy, but I’m finding I still have a LONG way to go until I really am where I see myself.  I want to be out as non-binary in all areas of my life.  I want to go by a different name.  I want all the people who know me to use male pronouns in reference to me, not just most of the people…  I might want top surgery…”

I made some pretty big strides – I started to go by a different name, and now all my friends and about half of my family use that name.  It’s still growing on me – it feels about equally as strange as my former name feels, now, but that is actually progress.  Currently it feels like neither name really is my name, but I think that’ll shift with more time.

This year I went from feeling like I might want top surgery to scheduling a date!  This feels like my biggest accomplishment, based on the amount of mental headspace this topic has been taking up.  I’ll be going to Dr. Rumer on June 1st.  I chose this date because I purposefully want to miss certain things by being out of work.  I really do not like working in the summers, and I especially have a hard time with the transition from school-year to summer.  I have a lot of sick time accrued, and I plan to use a lot.  Often, people can be back at a desk job 2 weeks after surgery, but since my job is so physical, I plan on being out for 8 weeks, as of now.  Why not?!  That’ll allow me to miss the last 3 weeks of school plus half of the summer.  That would be really amazing.

So if I were to sum up gender-related stuff now, a year later, it’d look like this:  I want to be out as non-binary in all areas of my life (still).  I want to come out at work, so that pretty much everyone will be using my new name and male pronouns in reference to me.  No more dual identities.  I want to get through the ordeal of surgery without too much psychic pain (physical pain is fine).  I want to wear t-shirts!  I want to make up my mind about testosterone – take more?  take less?  go off of it?  I want to legally change my name at some point…

These are not resolutions, but it will be neat to go back and see if I made more progress or not.

Other things I’d like to focus on in the coming year:
– Getting back to being more social.  Being social this year was too difficult, so I didn’t push it.  I’ve been a little more talkative with teachers at work lately, and I’d like to re-connect with some people, both locally and through writing letters to far-away friends.
– Enjoying the summer.  I never enjoy the summer – I usually get depressed.  But since I’ll be most likely out of work for half of it, maybe I’ll feel it more.  I’d like to do a road trip, more time at the beach for sure, maybe some backyard fires, weatherproof our picnic table and actually use it, and go on walks.
– Taking more photos.  My dad gave me a new camera for my birthday/xmas, and I want to use it!
– Giving myself a break.  I’ve been pretty hard on myself, and I’m going to try not to be (as much).

13 Comments on “Year end / I scheduled top surgery”

  1. sam davies says:

    I understand the meds, the hospital/partial and psychic pain. Here’s hoping your new medication will have you stable and you can go (back) to enjoying life. Many congratulations for scheduling surgery AND the timing of it. Take advantage of those well-earned sick days, Friend! Best wishes in 2016!


  2. Jamie Ray says:

    Sounds like a great plan to go with Dr. Rumer in June. I remember my surgeon told me no swimming for a while (6 weeks?) after surgery, and no topless sunbathing – but since I had mine in December I was not concerned – he also told me no ice skating because he was worried I might fall and pull a stitch out. There are some funky restrictions on activity, but hanging out in good weather sounds very appealing.


    • janitorqueer says:

      Yeah, I doubt I’ll do any topless sunbathing anyway, and I look forward to just hanging out in nice weather – as long as it’s not too hot! Otherwise I’d just stay inside…


  3. Emily Gritz says:

    Congratulations on scheduling your surgery and for adopting your new name with so many people! Also, I regret how trite this may sound, but congratulations on also still being here. Depression is no joke. Although I don’t know you, I am grateful to still read your words/know you’re around. Wishing you much strength, joy, hope, and satisfaction in this new year. You deserve it.


  4. I hope 2016 goes well for you and I look forward to reading about it 🙂


  5. Fredrication says:

    “Giving myself a break.” I think I’ll need to borrow that one from you! I think all people need that one, we tend to be way to harsh on ourselves!


  6. micah says:

    I think you accomplished a lot more than you give yourself credit for, and it counts double or triple when dealing with depression on top of it all. Like someone said above, you are still here, and that’s something.


    Currently it feels like neither name really is my name, but I think that’ll shift with more time

    I went through the exact same thing when I changed my name!

    Happy New Year and New Month and New Name and (soon) New Chest. Wow.


  7. Naomhán says:

    Congrats on making it through 2015! It sounds like you’ve pulled through some pretty tough stuff, and coming out as non-binary is incredibly tough but really rewarding in the long run, so best of luck all round 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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