The title is supposed to reflect a sound you would make when relaxed or satisfied; like laying back after a hard days and going "ahhh". I think I am there now.
There have been some tough moments during my transitioning and I had expectations that post-op would see the troubles over. This blog has clearly shown that it has been a much different experience and the difficulties have surprised me greatly.
I expected a very long physical recovery and yet that never was the case. I was very much up and at it after my return from Brighton with none of the tiredness or pain that others have described. I thought perhaps this was down to my high level of fitness, but a friend who was fitter than me is at this moment having a much different experience.
I have talked a great deal about the emotional difficulties I have had. For a couple of months, these were incredibly tough going and there were one or two moments where I had to try to fathom out why I had suicidal thoughts. None of it made sense to me for a while, I should have been happy and ready to move on with life but was thinking instead of ending it all. I do not think there was ever any danger of that, but those thoughts entered my mind. Not everyone gets to this point, but it is clear that a few do. It is something that no one wants to admit to easily either. This happiness you expect to have is also expected of you by others.
Why I had these difficulties is something I have pondered very deeply. It was perhaps a combination of lots of things. For a while your life is taken over a little by dilation, after-care and being scrupulously clean. HibiScrub, Kyjelly, dilators and douches take over your life as you learn this new aspect and it can be overwhelming. The future looks bright and free of transitioning, and it can be overwhelming. There is a void in your life where transitioning was, and it can be overwhelming. There is a horrific period with no hormones, just as long a period of waiting for them to work again and then their effects are very overw... (you know what's coming!).
Overwhelming was a word I used a great deal when I was struggling because that was how I was. Mandy would come back from her day centres full of energy and describe her day. I would shrink back from her as she did this because I could not take it all on board.
Over time though, I have managed to cope with this and I was beginning to get to a point where I felt quite contented, the dark thoughts had disappeared and I was starting to look forward to life ahead without the transitioning.Then someone sent me a terrible message on Facebook and it had the effect of triggering me back to the dark thoughts. It took me a little while to get over this one and I had to rethink ways of avoiding getting such messages.
The last week, perhaps a fortnight, I have started to feel a new feeling in myself. The dark thoughts were a memory and there was a new found sense of contentment with the future. I think last week with my observation day at the Laurel's sealed it all up nicely and made me realise that I can look to my future with some sense of optimism.
I still have a few things to deal with, but then everybody does. I have this internal granulation, it gives me a little pain when dilating but I have the correct silver nitrate sticks in front of me now and an appointment with my GP on Thursday to treat it. Dilation itself is actually a nice part of my life, it is an important part of my relaxation and if I miss one, I miss it literally. I also have the issue of the mild PTSD but my CBT starts for that in a few weeks. I can then adapt my strategies and hopefully put that behind me.
I am finding myself truly now. It needed the surgery to complete this discovery, and then a little bit more work to get used to it all. For those that say GRS is the icing on the cake, pah! It was a heap more than that and the key for me to be able to go about my life content in the gender I have always know I have been.