Monday, February 14, 2022

Therapy Day

 As luck would have it, today was another of my twice a month therapy sessions at the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration. 

I put it that way because in some ways I needed therapy after last night's Cincinnati Bengals Super Bowl defeat. Oddly, outside of Connie and Paula here on the blog, the only long time acquaintances I heard from were Pittsburgh Steelers fans. One almost wished me good luck and the other was rooting for the Los Angeles Rams. Which I found odd after all those years of beatings the Steelers had laid on the Bengals. 

As far therapy went, I think my therapist "studies" up on certain sporting events because we will undoubtedly be discussing them. 

All went as expected as we talked about the usual suspects...mood swings etc. Today though was different in that I had time to take the usual infamous test/survey they give about your mental health. Questions include how is your concentration, how much sleep are you getting all the way to have you thought about self harm to yourself or others.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

For once, the question concerning self harm became specific. She asked if I ever tried to commit suicide. When I said yes, the overall tone of the session became much more serious. I told her the experience I had with a bottle of J├Ągermeister I used to wash down a whole months supply of anti depressants. Needless to say I am happy it didn't work. 

Sometimes I think self harm is just something which comes hand in hand with extreme gender dysphoria. When I think of all the crazy self destructive actions I did behind a wheel of a car, I feel I must have had some sort of guardian angel riding with me. I call those incidents passive attempts at self harm.

The ironic part of all this is, I grew up around suicide. My one uncle, my father in law and a couple other acquaintances committed suicide. You would think I would realize the loss to all of the others left behind. These days I do. On the brighter side also, years ago I tried to call the Veterans Suicide Hotline and got essentially nowhere. I hope today that is not the case and I don't think it is. Plus, my therapist and I have been together so long, I can quickly get ahold of her and use her as a resource.

Looking back at how this post started, I didn't mean to connect the dots between a football game and self harm but here we are. 

I am aware also of the exorbitant number of transgender women and men who try self harm as a coping mechanism. Back in my dark days before I developed a new group of supporting friends it seemed my only real friend was my dog. During my dark periods she would sense a problem and come up to me. 

I don't know if therapy helps to dredge up all of these dark moments but it does help me to see again life is but a circle. If you can live long enough to see it. 

1 comment:

  1. I suspect that our experiences are not unique in as much as most who transition later in life will at the least have had some suicidal ideation. ~ We've at least thought about it, many of us will have made "Credible attempts" Again, like many I have certainly experienced self harm, this may not take the classic "modern" pattern of cutting etc. I am quite sure that in my own case my drinking has been a form of self harm. As for the risks I have taken over the years in sport, driving or on my motor bikes, they have at least been reckless if not actually harmful. There you are I've brought it back to sport as well!

    For me I can say that the only thing that kept me alive was music! The fear of letting down people who were relying on me would keep me going, when other motivations didn't. Of course now I have transitioned I am a lot more careful and have no thoughts of ending it. I won't say I don't get "down" sometimes, but it's never as bad.