One Month On Testosterone!
I didn’t realize how far from me I was until I stared coming back towards myself.
I’m officially one month back on testosterone this week after being off of it for almost two years. I didn’t go off in the beginning for any reason other then self-care was hard for me at the time and that made shots even harder. It had only been two and a half months without shots when I conceived Wilder.
Fast forward to now, just over a year postpartum and just shy of two years off of Testosterone. These past two years have felt like an absolute hormonal rollercoaster and it finally feels like the ride is slowly starting to end. After being just a month back on Testosterone – taking my shot around the same time of day, once a week like clockwork – has led to many changes that are old familiar friends, and some that I’m less excited to see.
The first the that I noticed is that that I have an increase in my anxiety for the rest of the day following my T-shot as well as the following day. The intensity of the anxiety was triggering at first and hard to manage, even on medication now and almost sent me back into the place of pacing around in a fog, but I was able to catch it before it got there. After just two shots, it became clear that I had to increase my level of self-care the day of and especially following my shot. This looks like eating more, so much more, but eating well. This also means getting exercise and doing things that use more energy, like taking a hike with a toddler on my back. This increase in anxiety is no longer debilitating, it’s simply a signal now that I also need to increase my own care. One thing that I do now since becoming a parent when I find I’m having a hard time doing things to care for myself, is I imagine I’m a child again, but that I’m my mother’s child. And that my mothers child deserves to be cared for just as I would care for my own child. That helps me drink more water and get outside. But it also helps me let go of anxiety, instead of turning it into a weapon I use against myself. Yeah, some days I have to let it go hundreds of times. But even that is better than allowing it to manifest in the ways that it used to, in ways that no longer serve me.
I’ve also noticed that my voice has started to drop again! This makes me feel relief because the constant misgendering on the phone and in public is picking apart at my heart. It’s so funny, because when I was a male nanny, everyone thought I was Dad. And now, I am a dad and everyone thinks I’m mom. Most day’s it doesn’t sting too much, but then there are those moments when I already feel unseen with wounds raw from society rigid stereotypes, that the sting lasts a little bit longer. It’s why I’ve lost resources for both myself and Wilder, phone calls mean being misgendered and some days I just don’t have the spoons. Most days I’m still just treading water.
Another change that I have noticed is an increase in my energy! After two years of being sick with COVID, pregnancy and now a hard postpartum, my body finally feels good hiking and wants to be doing more instead of less. I can feel my upper body becoming stronger again and muscle start to come back. I can feel myself starting to feel relief in this new shell that’s been home to the one I love the most. This change has brought the most relief to me and is what I’ve noticed decrease my dysphoria the most. I’m still experiencing a great deal of dysphoria, mostly around clothing and not having any that feels ok on my body.
I’ve also noticed an increase in my sex drive, which has been a trigger in the past for this recovering sex addict. One of the beautiful things about tearing as much as I did while giving birth to Wilder, is it has left me absolutely terrified to have sex again. Just keeping it real with you all because I’m here for the real deal. I haven’t tried getting over my fears because for me, they are good fears to have that help keep me healthy right now in my life. Eventually I’ll do the work in that area, but for right now, it’s working as a great safety net. What I am noticing thought is that it’s increasing my desire for intimacy and connection as well, which is hard when you’re a single parent during a pandemic going through a break-up.
This past week I also had what will hopefully be my last menses cycle. These have always been really hard for me and the week I reached my postpartum psychosis break in October, I was also on my cycle. I have big feelings and when I’m on my cycle at the same time as increasing my Testosterone dose, it’s like a hormonal hurricane. It has been a source of triggers and struggle since its return and to say I’m excited to see it go is an understatement!
I didn’t realize how unlike me I had started to feel and how much that was impacting my dysphoria and depression until this past week when I had a moment of comfort in my own skin. As I make my way home to this new body that my baby helped me build, I’m also allowing them to help me heal and grow through the hard things.
Thanks for joining along on this journey my friends, it’s been a wild ride and something tells me it’s just getting started.
Danny (and Wilder)