So I’ve been on HRT a year. Yay!
I won’t ramble on about what I think about HRT as a concept and how it’s viewed in the trans community (mainly because I already did that a week ago!), but I know looking at one year retrospectives of HRT can be useful to people just starting out, or those just considering transition. So, here’s some thoughts about slapping patches on my butt for 12 months:
HRT has, without a doubt, been a hugely positive influence. In a sentence, it has made me a happier, calmer person who is much more wired into her emotions.
Before HRT I felt like my head was full of white noise. Once the effects kicked I felt like I had much more space, like I could really stretch my legs. It was like having my mind just to myself for the first time ever. No more clutter.
This sounds ridiculous, but it’s made the world brighter. I feel like I can see more. I’m no longer dragging myself around in a dull haze. I’m awake and alert, finally thinking clearly.
Meanwhile I have cried, a lot. I’ve cried sat in the bath. I’ve cried into my pillow. I’ve cried into my partner’s shoulder. I’ve cried at work in a toilet stall. But this isn’t a bad thing, crying is great! Crying means feeling. It means no longer walling off your emotions or feeling numb to the world.
HRT has been like having the cap on my emotions taken off, the limiter destroyed. I can feel a range of emotions now which previously were completely walled off to me. My emotional state is no longer a binary switch between numb misery and quiet contentedness, it’s a giant range.
My body has seen the most undeniable changes. My flat, uninspired and boney buttocks have become a comfortable cushion. Meanwhile my hips have filled out, giving me a curvier figure and ensuring I look way better in fitted t-shirts, among other things. I’m no longer boxy and flat. Speaking of no longer being flat, arriving with sensitive pain is also a pair of small breasts, a very welcome set of additions.
As for my face, it’s now rounder and softer. I don’t look as drawn out and tired anymore. I even look younger too, which is a pleasing bonus.
Overall the changes are clearest when you look at them side by side. Above is an embedded set of photos, one before HRT and one from last week. I think the expression on my face says a lot too, just look at the life in my eyes, compared to before. I feel a lot more comfortable in who I am now and I really think it shows.
In terms of my actual levels, they haven’t been consistent over the year. They’ve bounced up and down quite a bit, but I’ve learnt that I need to not stress about numbers (though I forget this sometimes!). Instead, it’s best to just get on with life. Hormonal transition is something that mostly happens in the background, you have to stop and actively maintain it sometimes, but the heavy lifting is done on its own. There’s no perfect type of dose either, I requested patches as that was simply my personal preference.
Altogether HRT has just been one piece of my transition, but it’s been a big help, maybe the biggest. I’m looking forward to seeing how I’m doing in another year!