In Which Things Do Not Go As Planned

Walking by the pool in the courtyard of the condo building I live in, I think to myself that I could just wade in, duck under and take two deep breaths. The water rushes in and takes me away. In my imagination, it’s a cool flowing sensation, gentle and kind. I purposely forget for the moment that I know that drowning hurts; my lungs have been filled with liquid before and it is excruciating. Lungs are attached to the inside of your chest by several ligaments (Sinews? I don’t know the right word) and when they become filled with fluid they get heavy, and start to yank on those connections. It’s exactly like if someone was trying to rip your lungs out. But for the moment, I don’t know that. The water is lit blue and enticing and I’m sure it’d feel great. And afterwards…release. Freedom. Calm. Step one of the plan that pops into my head is to take my cell phone out of my pocket. I don’t want to get it wet.

In other words, it hasn’t been a good day.

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7 thoughts on “In Which Things Do Not Go As Planned

  1. I’m going to say something here that I’ve been struggling with for a while. I’m going to do it publicly because somehow it feels most in spirit of what I want to say. I have no idea exactly how it will come out. I hope it will be helpful.

    It seems like that’s all I can say these days, at least to myself. “I hope I can help.” “I wish I had something to say.” Words have always been what get me by and they have always been what I rely on when there is a friend in need. It’s difficult here because you’ve always been the pragmatist to my optimist. I try and get something out and I don’t know if my speaking honestly will only make things worse. More to the point, even if speaking is the right thing to do, what could I say? The journey you’re taking is one I can never fully comprehend because I will never live it. I would and will walk a million metaphorical miles on the road alongside you, but I know we’re not on the same path.

    So I won’t tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel about whatever happened today. There are others who are far more qualified. I’ll only speak as someone who as known you for a long time and cares about you a lot. What I have to say is this:

    You have strength, April. I don’t know if you know it. I do know it doesn’t feel like it in times like this. (I’ve been there for reasons of my own.) It’s true, though. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be here today. You’ve already endured a lot. You’ve had moments like this before–probably opportunities too–but you have always remained. You stood up and did what you had to. You discovered who you are and even though the journey ahead of you is long, you accepted the quest. That takes tremendous courage, far more than I would have were I in your sexy lady boots.

    There are some things people have to go through in order to understand. The average Joe or Jane on the outside doesn’t realize that just getting out of bed and leaving the house can sometimes take more willpower than they have exerted in their whole life. Sinking twelve hours of your life into a video game can look a whole lot like sloth if people don’t know the main objective is to avoid taking a dive. It’s a horrible, horrible place to be at. That’s one of the few things I can say from experience. The only reason I didn’t jump off a bridge one day was because I was afraid I would screw it up and just break my legs. But again, I’m here. So are you. We thus have the chance to conquer our individual pains instead of just escape them.

    Here’s another perk of being present. The most important of all, probably. You have people who love you–people who will do anything to help you get where you are going. I wish they were in your home or doctor’s office, but just because they are not doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’ve seen them. They’ve carried you when all you felt you can do was crawl. They’ve been there for you when I couldn’t be. They’ve stuck around you all this time for the same reason I have: because you are worth it. Please remember that. And even if the person you need to lean on isn’t me, please do lean. People will offer their shoulders gladly.

    That’s pretty much it. I hope it helps.

  2. I am absolutely terrible at cheering people up, just awful. So please pretend I said the absolute perfect thing you needed to hear to make you feel better, because I don’t know what that thing is, and I really wish so much that I did. Please just don’t give up. If the world tries to kick your ass, don’t give it the satisfaction. You’ll get your chance to kick back at it soon, and when you do you’ll be glad you held out. Don’t give up on your new life when it’s just barely started

  3. So, I read this when I woke up this morning and I’ve been trying to think of something helpful to say. Honestly, if I knew a good way to get that kind of mood under control I think I’d be a bit better off myself.

    I haven’t hit the same roadblock with doctors yet, but I’m anticipating that pretty soon. My docs live in a part of the country that isn’t known for dealing with gender issues, so I doubt they’ve encountered anything like this before.

    But the past few days I’ve been in a big slump regarding where this ends. I look in the mirror and I can’t see it yet, and it’s hard to stay optimistic. And that leaves nothing but questions right now about where it’s all going and what’ll happen when I get there.

    At the same time, though, the way out is through.

    You may want to check out Susan’s. I found it just the other day and there’s a lot of useful info. I joined the forum there too, and there’s a lot of others who have hit this same roadblock.

  4. I checked it out. Holy shit, the design is like 1994 all over again. Looks like I might be moving again, anyhow. Not sure I can stand to keep living here. Doctors are only half the problem right now.

  5. Lauren: I got turned down for HRT because I didn’t have a psych note (not that they bothered telling me to bring one). Also, I maybe shouldn’t have been so honest about my recent suicidal ideation with them. Lesson learned: always lie to the gatekeepers.

    Liz: Wow, you know JUST what to say! Awesome. So very eloquent to! I’m sure they’ll be quoting it for years.

    Joey: I hate to break it to you, but you’re a terrible writer. Thanks.

  6. Pingback: Damaged Goods | Destination Girl

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