One Week On Testosterone
It’s been one week since restarting Testosterone and just over two years since going off of it. I want to take some time this morning to talk about why I went off and how it’s been the first week back on.
People often assume that I stopped my Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in order to conceive Wilder, when this is in fact, not true. You see, after a while, it gets hard to give yourself a shot every single week. Or at least, it did for me. When I would begin to notice that my self-care was slacking, the first thing to go was the shot. This meant that it became easy for me to gage where my emotional sobriety was, but it also meant that I would skip shots on a semi regular basis when I wasn’t doing well emotionally. Before conceiving Wilder, I experienced a two and half month period where I was in relapse mode (that ended in a two day relapse) and that’s when I stopped taking my shots. This lack of self-care combined with the timing of my relapse created the perfect storm, one that cleared and left me with this beautiful rainbow I now call Wilder.
As a result, I never went back on Testosterone while pregnant and waited until about six months (time is blurry) postpartum to try restarting. It was also during this time that I noticed my anxiety beginning to increase to levels that led to regular panic attacks and my depression left me pacing through tear filled clouds all.day.long. I thought at the time that this was related to beginning Testosterone and perhaps some of it was. But without talking about it to my medical provider, I stopped taking my hormones. And that’s when everything got even harder.
I had very little dysphoria around my body during pregnancy. In fact, I felt more euphoria in relation to it than ever before in my life. And then I had my baby and that all changed. Each day postpartum brought added dysphoria. After stopping my hormones around seven months postpartum, things began to fall apart, at least on the inside.
After a four month downhill, I finally broke and something had to change. And absolutely everything has. I’m one week back on Testosterone and I can already feel a shift and sense of relief. I will essentially be going through another puberty before leveling off, and unlike the first time around, hope to document my process for you all here.
One week is long enough to feel my appetite slowly start to increase. And I can my energy level rise right along with my anxiety. But the thing is that I have tools now, that perhaps I didn’t have before or had a never knew how to use. I have tools that I can use to reduce my anxiety, or release energy, or express feelings.
I also woke up and it sounded like I was beginning to get sick, but really, it’s just my voice already beginning to readjust. This is the part that I’ve been struggling with the most, my voice. Since stopping Testosterone two years ago, its changed and as a result, I am misgendered on the phone on a regular basis. :This make signing up for unemployment or food stamps, or any kind of doctors apt or apt for Wilder, I’m faced with having to explain myself and my pronouns or continue to be misgendered and it’s exhausting. It’s uncommon and it makes me sad. It makes me not want to pickup the phone and make phone calls and so I don’t. And then I suffer because I don’t have access to resources that I otherwise would. So each morning that I can hear a little bit more of me in my voice, is a morning that I wake up feeling grateful.
I also want to talk about the other greatest impact of my dysphoria, which is the shape of my body. You see, Testosterone also changes the bone structure and shape of your body and over the last two years, my hour glass figure is back in full force and my muscles are no longer existent. Now, I also want to say that there is nothing wrong with an hour glass figure at all. In fact, I love them on others. But have you ever tried to find pants that fit in the mens section with a sold hour glass figure? It’s dang near impossible and makes shopping for clothes has a larger trans person emotionally inaccessible. I literally have one pair of pants because shopping for cloths is too challenging emotionally (and financially). With being back on Testosterone, I can already feel an increase in energy which will hopefully lead to losing some of these hips.
I’m noticing an increase in some of the things that I’ve been worried about since starting Testosterone, but everything still feels manageable and worth every bit of anxiety it may bring. I’m so excited to get find a new version of my masculine self and am so grateful to finally have Testosterone back on board to help with that journey.
Here’s to coming home again, Danny.
Danny (and Wilder)