“Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point.”
How true this message holds in every area of my life. I’m at a turning point in regards to each facet of my existence.
In my sobriety, do I want to continue doing things the same way I did before? I do not, because I want to remain strong and steadfast, to avoid another relapse. The divide that grew steadily between who I presented on the outside and how I felt on the inside last year became an impossible gap to close and inevitably led me back to the bottle. I was not rigorously honest with those around me, nor with myself, and I kept things to myself that I should have shared with someone else. Today I have a mentor whom I love and trust with my entire being, and I know her sole motive is to see me stay sober. What an incredible experience I get to share with another human being.
The honesty and avoidance of that ever-increasing divide now leads into my coming to terms with my gender identity, understanding who I am and who I am not. I want to align what I present to the world with the way I feel on the inside, and what I once saw as an ugly demon to keep at bay I now realize is my true self, who I am meant to be. What a disservice to myself and those around me to keep that locked inside, to use alcohol and drugs to hide it and throw away the key. The boy inside wants so badly to be let out and is trying with all his might to garner my attention, to be taken seriously, to be allowed freedom of expression. I don’t want to be scared of who I am anymore, I want to embrace it and learn to love myself for exactly who I am.
I began taking Risperidone in December of 2015 to help stabilize my erratic mood swings from highly manic episodes to incredibly depressive lows, to a more grey area, middle ground to notice my behaviors and how they affect those around me. While it’s helped me tremendously along this path of self-acceptance and working to better myself, a negative side effect I’ve experienced is extreme weight gain. At 5’7″ I was consistently around 140 lbs for most of my adult life, but I currently stand at 185 lbs, an increase of the weight of a young child. Adding on these extra pounds has increased the feminine appearance of my body with its new, soft curves, and has contributed to body dysmorphia and an extreme uncomfortability each time I look in the mirror. While my esteem should not be based solely on my body, it has a part in the way I feel about myself and I want to make changes to continue helping the outside match my inside. I’ve read up on healthy eating habits and small exercise routines to help me lose the weight, and once it’s off I can begin building some muscle mass to help with the gender and body dyspohoria I experience. I read an article from someone who made an important distinction: that my altered eating habits will not be going on a diet, but changing my diet. If I’m going on a diet it implies that at some point I will go off of that diet, but if I’m changing my diet then I realize that I’m making a positive step in the correct direction in how I live my life.
Ultimately, in each piece, half measures will avail me nothing. If I try halfheartedly at any of these parts of myself, the result will be nil. I’m on an incredible path and a new friend told me that I should appreciate each small, everyday victory of this incredible journey. That is what I’d like to document on this blog: the everyday victories that will accumulate into the person I am meant to be. If I don’t appreciate each step of the way I will not be able to fully appreciate who I become in the future. I cannot wait to see where I end up, but the most important aspect of my life today is learning to remain in the present, with each breath I take. All I can control is right now and half measures will avail me nothing. Not every day will be a step forward, but as I make a record of each step regardless of its direction, it will culminate into the incredible human I know is waiting to be let out.