delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Testosterone
delirium leaving
rho
As I mentioned yesterday, sufficiently deep into my very long entry that half of you had probably stopped reading, I started a new medication the other day, one of the side effects of which is a brief surge in testosterone levels, before shunting them down practically to zero over the long term.

I knew that this was going to happen, but I did not know how it was going to feel. Advice I had received had varied from saying that I probably wouldn't notice it to saying that it would be a deeply unpleasant experience. As such, I was trying to approach it with an open mind. I figured that it was worth being aware that it might suck, but also to be careful not to jump at shadows.

I had been thinking that I was getting off fairly lightly. As I went to bed earlier, around 30 hours after being injected, I had very little to report. I'd had a couple of spots turn up, which were unwelcome visitors, but hardly harbingers of an oncoming apocalypse. I'd also been feeling very twitchy, finding it very difficult to keep still. I get restless sometimes anyway, but I usually feel a restlessness of mind, rather than of body. Involuntary movements are not something I typically have to worry about. Even so, this was fairly minor, in the grand scheme of things.

Except that I've just woken up from a testosterone-fuelled nightmare. Well, perhaps "nightmare" is too strong a word for it, but it was definitely well into the realms of "unpleasant dream"; certainly it was sufficiently so to wake me up, and leave me shaken and unable to go straight back to sleep.

Details are starting to fade already, and I wouldn't really want to talk about them anyway, but I am fairly confident that this was a result of elevated testosterone levels. It was surly and aggressive. It was very much fight-or-flight. It was thrill seeking, irrational, and unthinking. Essentially, it was all the things you'd associate with testosterone.

On the one hand, having side effects ignore me while I'm actually awake isn't too bad a thing, but on the other hand, I really could have used a good night's sleep tonight. For once, I'd actually managed to fall asleep without much difficulty, and was looking forward to a nice, uninterrupted nine hours. No such look.

In an odd way, though, this has been very reaffirming. I'm quite sure that from a different perspective, the exact same thing that I experienced as aggressive and unpleasant could be put in a much more positive light. Energetic, lively, sharp. It's just a different side to the same coin. One thing I see a lot of transwomen doing is casting testosterone in the role of a pantomime villain; it is the great evil responsible for all that is bad in the world. I've always vowed not to do this, not least because it comes across as disrespectful. I have two FtMs on my friends list, who probably have rather differing views on it than what I do. Nothing says "yep, you're doing the right thing" more than having a bad reaction to testosterone, though.

(Not that I'm particularly looking for reassurances or confirmation, mind. I have enough evidence accumulated over the years that I'm already at a very high confidence level. However, when it comes to things like major, irreversible, life-changing (not to mention expensive) surgery, it never hurts to be absolutely certain.)

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I'd say that an unpleasant dream that wakes you, and leaves you too shaken to go straight back to sleep, is a nightmare by any useful definition.

On the one hand, I'm thinking 'I'll swap you my oestrogen for your testosterone!', but on the other I can understand exactly where you're coming from, because I have the same opinion of my own bloody hormones, which are as annoying in their own way for me as testosterone is for you. Nothing like really sore breasts to make you think 'dammit, T sounds like a really fabulous idea right about now'. :D

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