Testosterone

Morning after my first T shot

Announcement: I am a few days into my first T shot!

Some background: About a year ago I was set up to start taking T, but I was in a relationship which didn’t emotionally support it. I decided to cancel my doctor’s appointment which would put that prescription in my hand. Since being out of that relationship I’ve been traveling and not available to reschedule my appointment, nor have I felt I knew enough about my constantly changing calendar to maintain starting it. A few days ago I was offered a dose from a friend, and I’m really happy that I accepted.

After this one shot there are a few things I’ve noticed feel different to me. Barely into one dose isn’t going to make a huge change, but there are some things that do feel new. Here are some of my experiences so far:

1. The voice in my head which for my entire life has been nagging and insecure (often to a rather paralyzing degree) about how I look, how I’m perceived, what I’m allowed to do, and whether my needs are worth standing up for has:

Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

It’s like a magic muzzle took it away, and that voice in the back of my brain is dulled out or missing entirely from my daily routine. I wonder if that phenomenon is truly a testosterone thing, or a balancing of my personal brain chemistry thing, or something else? It makes me wonder, as a vast generalization, could it be possible that the more T you have swimming through your veins on the daily, the less apt you might be to caring what you look like, spending a ton of time picking apart those details or persevering on it, and allowing such thoughts to deeply influence how you reach out to others? At base I always believed this dynamic to be socially constructed and reinforced by our culture along sex lines. From experience, I know that AFAB people are taught to be concerned about our outward appearances from a very young age, and it’s persistently reinforced in millions of ways publicly, socially, and commercially from that point on. This conversation is obviously complex and multi-layered, but I didn’t expect to feel more secure in my body and confident in general as a side effect of taking a little bit of hormone. My thought patterns, emotions, and functionality have been notably different in the past few days though.

Or maybe it’s a personal-to-me brain balance thing rather than a general side effect of the hormone testosterone. Maybe my brain has been persevorating on these things my whole life in part because my brain wanted more testosterone in my system to ease it out. In general I haven’t felt treated as I’ve wanted to be throughout my life, and maybe taking T somehow balances my brain chemistry in a way which makes the world around seem less stressful to me?

Or perhaps it’s psychosomatic. Maybe by taking this drug which I’ve been wanting to take for a long time, I just feel better about me and can relax about myself a little bit because I’m doing something about it?

Regardless, I really like this feeling of confidence and contentment with my body. I really like touching body parts which I avoid looking at and feeling them differently under my fingers — liking them, feeling their strength, and the way they take up space is positive in a way that’s new to me.

Related, another side effect seems to be that I’m finding it much easier to clean out my system. My intestines feel very functional, and I’ve struggled my entire life with that particular functionality. I connect my intestinal angst with a history of sexual trauma, so I wonder if feeling more physically confident will affect that to some degree?

2. My appetite seems much more consequential. Primally so. I have not been feeling “hungry” the way I am used to. When my stomach growls, my brain isn’t all like, “hmm, how do I feel about eating now…?”. Since taking the shot, I become aware at some point that I need food, and it feels like a demand not a question. When I wait too long to eat I arrive at my meal in a very irritable mood.

I’ve always considered the concept of “hangry” a cute thing that meant “kinda moody and tired or sad ’cause needing to eat”, however over the past few days it’s been like “hungry = agro”. Agro like I don’t really remember feeling much in the past. When I eat I am devouring my food. I am not taking bites here and there and enjoying the conversation. I am wolfing down food. I feel my jaw chewing and my throat swallowing as a bodily focus. It’s as though attitudinally my shoulders are hunched inward protecting my meal. I feel like I know what my father felt like when I watched him eat so much so quickly when I was a child. Wolfing down food, I masticate deliberately with speed and drive these past few days. I need to relearn how to eat, I think. And carry snacks.

3. In conversation I want you to get to the point, and I’m not nervous about stating what I need as well. As I write this, I’m trying to sell my van and buy a new car. It’s been hard for me to figure out what I want out of the deal, how much I think I need to make for my current situation to work out, and it’s been hard to put a finger on how low I’ll go. Pre-shot I was ready to accept any amount I could get, just to get the thing sold. Today as I sat with a prospective buyer who’s been negotiating with me for the past couple weeks, he was explaining what he wanted to pay, and as he was talking I heard my head say, “get to the point, what’s your offer?!” — very out of character for me. When the offer was less than I desired it to be, I easily and casually replied “I understand where you’re coming from, but this is what I need for the deal to work out for me, and I can’t go under that amount”. I know it sounds simple, but that type of self advocacy has historically been hard for me to communicate without getting overly diplomatic, or pulling back from the finality of it, and certainly I’ve always stress-sweated my way through the entire exchange.

I feel great about the deal working out, and I feel great about it not working out. I don’t feel as though everything I need is riding on someone else’s whim. I’ve consistently shied away from conflict, given things away, or accepted being underpaid for my work because I feel overwhelmed by demanding what I need, and I’ve been fearful of rejection when I do. That fear seems to have evaporated with a subcutaneous injection of .4 ml clear viscous T.

4. I have been more awake and ready to go in the morning than usual. I am already a morning person, however I usually stay in bed a bit and read, check my email, and ease into my day slowly. Since my first morning post-shot I have woken up, spent a minimal time in bed, and immediately felt ready to get at the day. I haven’t felt tired throughout the day like I usually do, and my focus has been on point. I want to do physical things more frequently and earlier in my day. I haven’t been feeling depressed. It’s nice.

Do I think all these things are completely testosterone related? No, not really, but maybe? The only time I have ever taken hormones in the past was when I was 17 and had an abortion. Afterward I went on the pill for about 6 months, and it wreaked havoc with my body, my cycle, and my emotions. I hated the way I felt, and my body didn’t return to what I considered “feeling normal” for a few years after taking myself off the pill. Because of that situation I’ve never considered taking hormonal birth control of any type again. I absolutely believe that hormones affect us in a lot of ways rather deeply — my experience of my menstrual cycle for the past 26 years seems proof of that too.

I think there is a balance between the side effects of this hormone, and my personal brain chemistry in reaction to it. I think it’s possible there’s a psychosomatic desire for things to feel different, coupled with a hyper awareness of myself currently that may or may not be attributed to the T shot and a host of other environmental factors — like the fact that I was camping all last week.

Regardless, I have been really happy (except when hangry) since the shot. People have been commenting on it. I’ve been smiling a lot. I’ve been silly and playful in ways I haven’t felt in a while. I’m excited to play with makeup and re-find my love of pretty things as I feel less entrapped by the idea of being perceived as a female femme. Simply that my brain is less low-grade consistently worried about what next steps are coming in my ever-morphing schedule, and less stressed out about how I’ll get to the next place in my list of journeys, makes me feel as though I have more room in my life, my mind, my body, and my heart.

I want more.

Today I headed over to the clinic where I had canceled my appointment last year. I was lucky and got a walk-in appointment with my actual primary care physician — the one I specifically asked for because she’s a well known player in the trans program there. It was like picking up where I had left off, and on Friday I get to pick up my first prescription of T! It’s time.

I’m curious if any of my readers have taken T for periods of time in their lives? If so, did it affect you in similar ways I’ve mentioned? Did you have other experiences, and would you feel comfortable sharing them with me? If you have thoughts, feedback, or comments on the subject I would love to hear from you. Thank you. I also want to send a huge and resounding thank you to all of my friends and supporters who are trans-identified (binary and nonbinary) who have welcomed me and valued me in their company over the past few years. Many of you have helped me feel comfortable expressing myself in ways that I have felt really uncomfortable expressing myself and even demeaned for in the past. I need you. I’m grateful you’ve been there. Thank you.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature (Crea)

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~Thank you.

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