Mental Illness and Hidden Diseases, Oh My!

I thought long and hard whether or not to post on this topic.  A lot of trangender-deniers will use mental illness as an excuse.  Same with doctors, even in the face of mounting medical evidence of the MEDICAL nature of gender dysphoria and being transgender.  Yet, these people still exist, and I don’t want to feed the ugly little trolls.  Fortunately, my little blog will never be big enough for that; so I write, comfortable in the hidden nature of the interwebz(the false anonymity) and knowing that I don’t have to show my third face if I don’t want to.  I will try to explain my side of things. Read on, dear reader.  I promise this will not be a long rambling post.  At least, I think it won’t…

What are hidden diseases?  Oh you know, those little issues that don’t manifest as physical disabilities. That is the simplified version and I’m sticking with it for the purpose of this post.  So I have three so-called hidden diseases and unless you are a close friend, family member, or fb friend, you would probably never know.  I have Gender Dysphoria(new label as renamed by the DSM-V), which we already know about, as this blog switched from tea to transition somewhere around Nov 2015.  As an aside, I just bought a book called “Tea and Transition” by Nicola Jane Chase. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I have heard good things about it! Check, check, check it out.  ——-And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…I also have Crohn’s Disease.  If you don’t know, consult the Oracle.  You will find mucho information.  The third, and probably most hidden of my hidden diseases is Bipolar Disorder I.  The reason I say it is the most hidden is because I have been told since my diagnosis in 2000 that I really didn’t have bipolar.  First the shrink who diagnosed me told my dad it wasn’t true. Then after several manic episodes and many dormant years, my friend mania came back like a mack truck, and hit me hard. You know what I mean by mack truck right?  The kind that take forever to get going, but once they do it’s hard to stop them.  And that is how my last manic episode was.  In addition to the manic episode(just a word of advise – if you know someone with bipolar disorder, don’t expect me to act like them.  We have different brains for fucksake.  Why would I act like them?There may be similarities in certain manifestations, but we are not the same person. TL;DR my bipolar  and your cousins bipolar will look different), I also had a flare up with the Crohn’s, along with some crushing dysphoria(another key word. Consult the oracle)

Now, I’ve got three major diseases triggering and firing AT ONCE.  I look back and am amazed that nothing stupid crazy happened.  I was being reckless.  That, of course, is through no fault of my own, unless you consider mental and physical disorders to be the fault of the person bearing them. I am lucky to have SO and friends who kept me out of the hospital or from acting out any stupid suicide fantasy. Yes, suicidal ideation is par for the course with my shite, so don’t be all flustered or surprised. I could have killed someone while driving too fast.  I could have been caught with illegal stuff and been sent jail.  I have been watched out for , and for that I feel lucky, synchronistic, and inspired to share this information.

I, through one of my brilliant friends, know that, at the very least, there have been promising studies showing the possible link between Crohn’s disease and bipolar disorder. Crazy right??!!  A poopy disease and a disorder that routinely makes me feel like I am the next Napoleon, Churchill, or Joan of Arc connected and firing EACH OTHER off.

Damn, now I’m thinking, and please understand this is just thinking:  I wonder what would happen if I watched my diet, restricted my meat intake, restricted drug use, exercised more(slowly, at first)??  If there is indeed a relationship between Crohn’s and bipolar disorder, might I be able to trick the system? or even do a system restore????  Well, only more medical research will tell, because for me to do all of the above is to severely restrict a certain part of me.  That is why I hate bipolar meds.  They make me normal. Boring. No inspiration.  Back on topic, if those two were controlled, I bet I could keep a job longer than 3.5 years, and leave on my own terms. I would never have to feel the crippling anxiety of going to a job where I constantly think people are talking about, and plotting against me.  I wouldn’t have to worry about FMLA and HR and paperwork.  I wouldn’t have to disclose, thereby giving me the same shot afforded people who are healthy. Healthy people don’t know what it is like to have a disease. I have three, and I have been living with them for over half of my life. I’ve lost many jobs.  I do not think I would have lost so many jobs had I been a healthy person. But lucky me, I got touched by fire…

There is the flipside however.  And that is what if I disclose at the beginning?  Will that help me in the long-run?  I chose NOT to say anything about the bipolar disorder at my last job(weird to type that). I only disclosed after 2 years of stability. The problem with that is team members and bosses are used to you performing one way, and bipolar can either drastically improve performance or it goes the other way. Like the disease itself, there is no middle ground.  I always get to the point where things get muddled in my brain. This last episode was really bad in that I was losing a lot of shyte that I would normally remember. I lost all my passwords, and had to have SO take care of my bills because I COULDN’T FUCKING REMEMBER!!!  Feels like early onset of Alzheimer’s and it is horrible.  Srsly, even now, I can have a thought and 20 seconds later it is gone.  This is how I know I am not completely out of the last episode.  There are ways I can tell it is ending. I am sleeping 7-8 hours a night, and other little things.  The memory thing concerns me themost.  Eek!  And with the Crohn’s, I walk MY green mile 5-8 times a shift, and my shift in the office was 4 hours long. 5-8 bathroom trips in 4 hours and other people might consider going home with diarrhea or sumpin.  For me, it is normal. It isn’t embarrassing in the least, as long as I make it to the bathroom in time. But the worry and stress caused by not knowing whether today is going to be the day I shit my pants in the office definitely exacerbated the Crohn’s and bipolar. Having a hard time with matching the Crohn’s and bipolar to the Gender Dysphoria.  My dysphoria is less now, but that is because I am putting myself out there.  Slowly, but definitely, I am introducing SO and myself to the queer community that secretly I have I felt that I always belonged in.  Being on FB and Reddit, Susans and Trueselves, also helps with the dysphoria. The main component, you ask?  Well, kind and gentle reader, the main component was SO. Having her onboard, and me being able to dress how I feel without a disapproving look or crazy freakout has most definitely lowered the crushing feelings of anxiety and unsureness, the mind always questioning itself, folding itself back onto itself, and into a myriad of knots to try and untangle later. Doesn’t take it all away. But goes a long way.

Why transition, then, if my dysphoria level has dropped so much?  Well, inevitably, those crushing and soul-sucking feelings will come. Ask SO, she saw it happen with me.  I tried to put it behind me for the greater good of the marriage.  It worked, up to a point.  And that point is what brings us here.  You see, no matter what happens, no matter how much I try to deny my transness, or how much others will try to deny my transness, the feelings will ALWAYS come back, and often stronger than before.  Trust me, and SO may be reading this for the first time, but I have had some hairy moments with dysphoria.  Suicidal ideation, remember.  My old shrink says it is important to acknowledge those feelings, and if you have a plan.  Don’t act on them, but don’t run from the feeling either.  That’s gotta be some Buddhist shyte, but I believe it. Anyway, the point is, the dysphoric feelings will always come back because this issue is MEDICAL, in nature.  Transition has been the only viable cure for Gender Dysphoria.  There are many ways to transition and my way will be different from your way, you feel me? Some go through all the surgeries and doc/endo appts. in two years; some do it over a decade.  I just want to get started on hair removal and hrt.  I’ll worry about the rest later. For now, at least, I think hrt will help to alleviate some of these uncompromising feelings.   I know there will be a settling in period, and a period where I will have some cray cray mood swings! HAHAHAHA, SO just silently cursed my name! But after that, I can see candy canes and unicorns in the future!

Wrap up time.  Jeez this one is way too long.  I guess I have a hard time staying on topic. And I don’t know if anyone is reading, so that makes it eaiser, I guess. Just a quick word about how I write. I usually use music.  A lot of writers like quiet.  I like music. It helps to get the creative juices flowing.  Today’s lengthy post was written while listening to Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. Two excellent albums that happen to be great for writing, I think.  Any writers out there?  How do you like to write?  How disciplined are you?  Drop me a line.  Until next time: sip slowly, and enjoy Mother Earth on this rainy Earth Day.

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