Here's What They Don't Tell You
Testosterone Changes and What You Won't Expect
Here’s the thing about hormones and taking them/the changes they put you through: Most doctors either don’t tell you about it, or they don’t have enough knowledge of the transgender/LGBTQ world to be able to tell you about it.
And here’s the thing: while testosterone can be a blessing for most transguys and is something they have waited SO LONG for, it can also be a bit of a bitch. A curse, really. And not for nothing, I am so happy to be back on my shots and to see the wonderful progress that it is bringing me. After struggling for so long, it’s been a relief. But with that comes changes and problems that you absolutely have to prepare for. And you have to know how to deal with them in a healthy manner.
What they don’t tell you about being on T are, mostly, the moods. The moods are a bitch to have and can be hard to handle and work though. You will be insanely irritable, short-tempered, quick to frustration and anger, and sometimes even hit depressive episodes that aren’t how they would normally feel. And you know what? These are all 100 percent real and 100 percent natural. Testosterone is a heavy hormone. Why do you think (most) males in both the animal and human world are so hard-assed and short? Because that’s just the natural way of the hormone and how it works, no matter whether you’re born with it or not.
It took my psychologist, not my prescribing doctor, to work me through how I was feeling. Why I was so irate and quick to tears, and a ball of anxious, nervous, tensed up energy. And the best advice that he gave me, to work through all that, was to busy myself. Whether that was working out, cleaning, reading, walking... anything to push that negative energy out and put it to positive use would help. And now that I’m entering my third and forth shots, I can tell you that over time, you will level out on your own some, given your chemical work up, but also that advice he gave me also helps put that energy to good use.
I wish that more pre-t folks and people starting out on the shot knew about the more drastic and heavy-hitting changes. It really is a rough road and is truly both a blessing and a curse. But if you know how to work through and with those changes, then it’s going to make things a lot easier on your mind, your body, and your emotions. It’s hell, for the first month or so, I’m not going to lie about that. You wish that you could fix it quickly on its own before you accidentally lash out and hurt someone’s feelings. But the only thing I can advise is to take some deep breaths and work that negativity into something better. Because it will get easier over time, and your body will learn to adjust. You have to just be willing to work through the rougher patches and take your time.
Starting hormones, (with any transition, not just with testosterone), can be damn tough. And again, I wish doctors were more skilled and schooled on transgender patients enough to tell them this going into it. Some psychologists do, but I can tell you mine didn’t even do that much. It’s both an exciting and scary time, and if you’re going through the changes a little rougher than you expected, know this: It’s totally normal and to be expected.
You’re going to be okay.