At the beginning I was scared of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and the changes that it was going to provide. It was the fear of the unknown. The fear of changing and be seen changing. Also a fear of possible long term effects.
But now, after being on HRT for 2 years and 8 months I see there was nothing to fear. The changes are very slow and subtle. After all they were changes I wanted to feel and experience myself. It’s that period of “feeling in between” that is odd and doubts creep, but once my appearance is totally on one side instead of in between, I now have no problem continuing and enjoying the results and benefits of HRT.
The day I had my first appointment with the endocrinologist to start HRT it really didn’t feel super special. It was like many other visits to a specialist. For the first 3 months I was put on a starter dose to see how my body would take the treatment. After those first 3 months on a low hormone dose I was brought up to a typical/normal dose. Opposite to the first appointment with the endocrinologist, when I left his office with a prescription to dramatically increase my dosage, I do remember riding my bike back to the office wondering if I was doing the right thing and feeling somewhat overwhelmed with what I build to be a larger than life concern. It didn’t take me long and after reconsidering that it was something I really wanted to try and do, it was clear that higher dose was right for me.
A few months later I returned to the endocrinologist to see how the treatment was going and tweaking my dose if necessary. My lab results returned normal female hormone levels. Yet again, after discussing the lab results and leaving the doctor’s office and thinking that from a chemical perspective I had a female hormonal balance the fears and doubts hit me hard and sudden. And a second time, just after a few minutes of digging further deep in my thoughts and experiences, my conclusion was simple:
Up to that point everything had been fine and I was appreciating the slow changes that I was experiencing. And with that I calmed down and was resolute* to continue.
It’s weird, like tug of war between fear of the unknown and the faint knowledge that what I had done to that point was fine. More like a default reaction of “this is wrong – period” and on the other side proving this reaction to be 100% inaccurate. And probably most importantly, I was curious about this all my life.
I’ve had this similar pattern of doubts and fears, do a quick check-in with my past and recent experiences, and decide to continue moving forward. As with the experiences above, at the beginning, the doubts and fears were somewhat stronger, maybe I didn’t expect them, and appeared somewhat often. I still sometimes wake up wondering “what am I doing?”. After looking in the mirror for less than a minute, it’s then super clear to me that I’m on the right path for myself. As time progresses, these shocks of doubts happen less often and with much less intensity.
Sometimes it’s hard to unlearn a whole life of thinking the opposite.
* I really like the word “resolute”.