The Big Amalgamation Post

I’m still alive.  Apparently.

OK, so I’ve been off in my own little world for some time now, which isn’t unusual, especially around this time of year (when my brain unfailingly decides to mutiny).  I’ve been rethinking lots of things for lots of reasons, mainly the Big Important Futurey Things, and have unsurprisingly self-inflicted a lot of anxiety.

I’m still in something of a panic about restarting university, and whether or not my brain is up to the challenge is yet to be determined.  But I’m finally being more proactive – which isn’t easy with the whole lethargic indifference that typically accompanies my August And Apparently Also September Brain – and trying to make things better rather than wallowing.  The plan is to go into Halls to avoid the exhaustion of commuting 3 hours a day, hopefully be successful in the whole responsible independence thing (even when surrounded by non-adult-brained students), handle the workload of a UCL chemistry student (be thankful if you don’t know quite what that means) and simultaneously make clear progress with the ol’ social phobia.  Oh, and deal with the trans stuff successfully as well.

I received an email a month (ish) ago, warning me of the imminent opening of the re-enrolment service.  After hearing nothing from them for a fair while, I checked up on it all, to find that it had indeed opened, and they’d failed to mention it (which they said they would)… and then I enrolled.  Fairly simple logic there, yes?  You know…  The enrolment service opens, and you have to enrol to continue your course for the next year, so you enrol.  The steps kind of follow on well, right?

Yep.  Well, it made sense to me too.  Until I received a letter, several weeks after the original enrolment email, from the Chemistry Department.  And it instructed us not to enrol until after term had started, because we were expected to discuss our options with the staff and assumedly have it approved before we could actually get on with things.  But it had apparently not occurred to them to, you know, mention that fact before the generic enrolment emails had been going round.  So now, I have to try and find a way to un-enrol and then re-enrol later.  And so far, I’ve been failing miserably.  Clearly much more logical than the enrolment-service-opens-so-you-enrol progression above.  Clearly.

And I’ve emailed my Personal Tutor to keep him updated and to set up some kind of let’s-calm-the-ol’-nerves-type meeting where we essentially discuss how to keep me from losing my marbles any more than I already have.  He was on holiday, and now he’s back, I’m still waiting for a reply.

So, I guess all I can say about uni is watch this space.  Followed by an internal sigh.

—-

OK, I suppose the most logical follow-on point is about my mental health in general… or indeed, my lack thereof.  I’ve already mentioned the whole Brain Mutiny thing, but because I’m strange and probably repressed in some way, I’m not all that good with clinical words so I never explain it very well.  So now I’m going to try and do better.  Usually, around this time of year, I have a major depressive episode; it’s usually caused – at least in part – by having too much time on my hands, leading to introspection and inevitably overanalysing in every possible way, coupled with a lack of human contact (which is only partly my fault; I can hardly blame social phobia for the fact that no one wants to see me).

And this year’s one was right on time.  Except this time, there was no wavering, fluctuatey period at the beginning before The Crash (the August ones often have bouncy, let’s-decorate-the-house-with-tuna-and-shampoo-type starts to them); it just led in quietly.  So quietly, in fact, that I didn’t notice any warning signs until it was too late and I was floundering.

I’ve had largely no help from those around me, not that there’s much that could be done anyway.  My parents don’t know what to do, and are so used to my low moods now that they are noticeably freaked out when a good mood comes along.  In fact, by their reckoning, during Good Moods I’m too loud, do things too quickly, “hyperactive” and generally an exaggerated version of what they’re used to.  But it seems rather unfair to judge someone to be “hyperactive” when all they do otherwise is sit around, typing or staring at a screen somewhere.  Moving on.

So I’ve been doing a lot of reading.  Nothing heavy, just escapist alternative-universey fiction.  I don’t have the brain- or willpower to do Deep Analyses right now, so I keep myself distracted from even Deeply Analysing myself.  It’s working better than I’d expected, so I’m trying to keep it up.

The only problem so far: I was enjoying a series, recommended by my mum and borrowed from the local library.  All was well.  I got through the first three books in the right order (although my mum originally got hooked on Book Three without realising that it was a sequel, then read B1 and B2 in order).  The fourth one was nowhere to be found, and is due to reappear in the library after I’ve gone into Halls.  Which kind of defeats the object.  And there are two more books to be read after that one and one just published, but I refuse to read it in a weird order; my mum, however, does not.  She’s now read them like this: 3, 1, 2, 5, 6.  And I’m considering buying the book I need just so that I can keep my sanity levels within a tolerable range.

But at least I’ve found something to help.  That’s progress, right?

—-

Next up… transition.  I’m now on T, and have been for two months (and two days).

So far:

  • My voice has deepened, although it’s far from broken yet (it still squeaks when I least expect it).
  • I’m hungry all the time.
  • I’ve not gained as much weight as I’d expected to, but my muscles are less smooth and more, erm, liney is how I usually describe it, although I think “defined” makes more sense outside of my brain.
  • I’ve yet to notice much in the way of body hair, but I’ve been told I should be expecting it around now.
  • My chin is getting fuzzier – this is a reported change, and not one that I’d noticed.  Facial hair is apparently the last change to arrive, so I’m not getting my hopes up, but after it had been pointed out, I noticed it: just a higher density of peach fuzz on my chin, and some darker hairs above my upper lip.  It was rather comforting, even if deluded, so I’m counting it.
  • I’ve stopped menstruating.  I’ve been period-free for seven weeks now, and apparently that was to be expected, so all is well (and extra hassle-free).

The pain from the injections was the same for the first two injections; three days of not being able to straighten my leg or walk without making lots of strange faces and jumping around.  Third time around, the pain didn’t extend to my knee at all, and remained localised in my thigh, so walking was much easier, and I barely notice it now.

I can also now self-inject without supervision.  I was shown how to do it the first time, then instructed and supervised while I did it myself (although I could have put it off if I was still apprehensive; luckily I wasn’t, because one of the few things I’m not phobic about is needles) the second time, and then I was left to get on with it the third time, but I was still with the nurse so I could have asked if I needed help.  Just one more paid visit to go (plus blood tests, peak and trough testosterone and liver and things), and then I’m set for life.  Mwah ha ha.

Unless I change to nebido, that is.  But I don’t understand how most of it works, so I’ll try and take it as it comes.  There’s also the possibility of switching to gel if the supply of sustanon and enanthate is still going funny by the time I’ve finished my five month supply.  It was hell on earth trying to get hold of any at all, and pure luck that we managed to fill the prescription.  So I’m crossing my fingers now because I’d really rather not go on gel, because of sensory issues mainly.

And that’s about it on the transition front.  I’ve typed more details and things as they came up, along with voice updates, on my transition-related Tumblr, which can be found here if anyone’s interested.

—-

Finally, social things.  None to speak of.  I recently went to the cinema with my oldest friend (from before school), her sister (and also my friend) and our respective families; we saw Brave and made plans to watch a few others as they came out, although nothing’s come of that yet.

Other than that, I’ve not done anything social since April.  Which is no great surprise, really.  There’s only so much hope one can have for making progress with social anxiety when one has little reason to socialise, other than the self-motivation-y ones.  And self-motivation’s been somewhat lacking, for the exact same reason: feeling like even tolerable company can be hard when there’s no supporting evidence.  But there’ve been Bigger Thoughts on this whole “being tolerated” thing, and I’m working on my responses to it, hopefully for the better.

I’ve not done much editing of this, because I’ve put off posting for long enough.  I apologise if I’m not coherent, but I wanted to do something other than panic, so type is what I did.

More to come.  Thanks for reading, and for not giving up.  I’m still alive.

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About JC

I'm a no-longer-nameless trans asexual autistic, chemistry undergraduate at a London university, pronoun enthusiast, amateur photographer and budding proofreader. Son of Optimus. Join me and be amazed. Or just join me. The sense of awe and wonder is optional.
This entry was posted in Gender, Life, Mental Health, Musings, Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Big Amalgamation Post

  1. theartistryofthebipolarbrain says:

    I’m planning on commenting, I just haven’t had time today. I prefer to respond with thought and caring when you put so much into your posts. 🙂

    • J.C. Prime says:

      Sounds fair to me! I look forward to yet more words 😉

      -JC

      • J.C.,

        I am always impressed when I read your posts like this. For you, it’s just a list of what’s going on with you. To me, it is inspiration that those steps toward our dreams may be scary (if not terrifying), but we *can* make them.

        I am currently working on getting a 2nd job so I can start saving up to go back to school. I didn’t finish school the first time around and am hoping to go back and get a business degree with a concentration in logistics. Since I save all my organizational abilities for work, this is actually a great field for me, regardless of how my apartment might look. 😉

        I also want to travel. Even though there is a certain amount of fear associated with traveling alone as a female, I want to get to the point where I am more comfortable doing things on my own. I’m too old to wait for someone else to go with. So if I want to go, I need to put my feet on the path to get there. Beyond the money portion, I need to get more comfortable going out on my own. I have actually been working on this and have been taking myself out to dinner when I can afford it.

        When I read your posts about your transition, I smile because I know how committed you are to this, even when obstacles are placed in your path. I have also noticed that you have been able to temporarily push past some of your phobias due to this determination. So every time you have good news, I feel a sense of awe that you have fought for what you need.

        I love the way you label it the Brain Mutiny. I completely understand! In January and February is when mine usually comes. I have been hospitalized 3 times (technically 4, but 2 of those were within a month), and 2 (3) of those hospitalizations have been during that time period. I know what causes the depression. I absolutely abhor New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day because of the expectation that you are dating/married/with close family to celebrate. Additionally, I believe that living here where the seasons are not drastically different from each other depresses me. Many people talk about the lack of Vitamin D and Seasonal Affective Disorder causing depression. That’s not my problem (well, the vitamin D is, but that’s a different story). I think the lack of seasonal change depresses me as well. Just one more reason I want to move. lol

        Well, there’s a long post for you. Sorry. I guess you can tell I’ve missed your posts?

      • J.C. Prime says:

        Never apologise! I like long posts more than pretty much anything else in the world 🙂

        I’ve yet to get even a first job, so I have great respect for your determination. Especially when it comes to paying for higher education; I applaud anyone willing to put themselves through it! It sounds like a great field – and I’m one of those organisation-savers too, which would be quite evident if you saw my bedroom, so I’m definitely with you there!

        Believe it or not, travel is one of my goals as well (although I realise how far off it will be before I get there), and I think you’re going about it the right way. The hardest thing for me (and my social phobia) is my dependence, and my hyper-awareness of it, so that will be my biggest hurdle: to start doing things on my own and learning for myself. I’m really glad you’ve been working on it so successfully!

        Thank you; I have indeed. It was almost proof to me that I wasn’t deluded in my transness when overcoming the phobia became a Real Thing as opposed to a pipe-dream-at-best-type thing, if that makes sense!

        I often have a smaller Down Period around the same time as you, although mine around that time are caused by both seasonal things and exam-related pressure, followed by overanalysis (which is usually the link) and so on… but season-wise, I’m the opposite, in that the change bothers me, especially when it changes towards the grey!

        Thank you for giving such thoughtful responses, and I’ve definitely missed posting, so there will be more to come… 😉

        -JC

  2. Meike says:

    Yay! You’re still alive! =D

    Also: Hang in there. YOU CAN DO IT! Uni will be a challenge, I’m sure, and getting over a phobia is a pain in the royal ass…or is it the other way around…anyways, you get what I mean. All that being said, I know you can do it. And if you need it, you have my support. All of it. Yes. You will have ALL the supports!!! =]

    • J.C. Prime says:

      I am indeed! 😀

      Thank you – I will try! Either way works with the pain-ass-ery – it’s incredibly true both ways! I hugely appreciate all the supports; I’ll probably need them all too!

      Thanks again 🙂

      -JC

  3. Storm M. Silvermane says:

    I was so happy to see your post. You sound like you have a firm grip on yourself, or at least on what is going on with you. Which is a good thing. I have missed reading your posts, but I understand that life grabs a hold of you. Or sometimes your brain just grabs a hold of you. Fun huh.. I understand.. it happens a great deal to me. You know that though.

    • J.C. Prime says:

      Thank you – yes, I’m back with a vengeance… 😉

      I love the way you seem to put my thoughts into words, even when I can’t! Life, and brains, can be far too needy sometimes, and they need to be paid some attention otherwise they might start plotting against us… and you’re right, it is such fun to juggle it all. Hopefully we’ll both figure out a way to balance out the grabbing so that it’s more on our own terms, maybe, possibly, with a bit of luck! 😀

      I’ve missed posting, so hopefully I’ll keep the demons at bay for a while. But I’ve still been reading your posts, even if I’ve not been commenting, and I look forward to the next update (when you can escape the grip of life outside, that is)!

      -JC

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