What is Love?

I am being weened off my antidepressants.

This is a great thing. It means my psychiatrist, the guy who has treated me since my suicide attempt, has decided I have made enough progress to try out this life thing without the training wheels. He makes a living because of patients like me, so if he thinks I may not need the meds, he is doing so at the risk of losing his patient to a clean bill of mental health. That this has all happened within a year, really confirms how damaging my body’s naturally produced cocktail of male hormones has been, and how helpful female hormones truly are for me. I may not need my mind meds any more. Woo hoo!!!

Now, this is also, frightening. I am still close enough to my depression to remember it like it was yesterday and yet, more and more, it fades like a bad dream.

There is a real chance I may relapse. If I do, I just go back on the meds, since they really seem to have helped. I took them for a couple months before I started hormone therapy and they really did seem to take the edge off.

I have a number of people keeping an eye on me, making sure I do… not relapse without getting help first. I do not need the suicidey thing in my life ever again.

Many people want me to stay on. If they are not doing any harm, why would I want to stop taking them? Clearly I wouldn’t be writing about it if I was ashamed to be taking them.

There are several reasons I want to stop taking them. I want to have the success story. I am an actor and I want full, unedited access to my emotions. I only get to transition once and I want full, unedited access to my emotions. Also, there have been some weird personality quirks which have emerged and I can not pinpoint if they are due to hormones, or my depression meds.

The main quirk… I love everybody now. It can be humiliating, especially when alcohol is involved. I love my wife above all and I am not at risk of physically straying. My emotions though, they are SO positive and I can not contain them all. I have confessed love to 14,372 people this last year and I have meant it every single time. It has been so fantastic to feel this emotion so freely and to share it with others. As embarrassing as it can be, people tend to be a lot better at handling my affection than they were at handling my drunken douchebaggery from years past.

Speaking of love, I am starting to understand what love is to women as opposed to men. When I told my wife I thought my medication was amplifying my response to the love emotion because I am now falling in love with everyone, she said, “Well, that is just part of being female. We love a LOT.”

I took those words to heart. Women do love a lot. Men not as much. Teenage girls LOVE their BFF, and when that friend almost inevitably betrays them, they will go through a terrible break up akin to a romantic break up. A guy can go years without talking to his best friend and the conversation just picks up where it left off when they finally get to talk again. This is obviously an over simplification used to make a point.

When it comes to romantic love, men take a big risk, because they are not wired to be as emotionally versatile. Love is a huge vulnerability for a man. Women in a romantic relationship are typically in more familiar territory. If there is a bad break up, studies show that men are MUCH worse at handling the emotional short circuit. Women, even though they are more emotional in general, tend to bounce back faster. I suspect it is in part because women have had more experience with the emotion on average than men, and vulnerability is not as hidden in most women. Women typically have been through break ups before their first romantic break up. Having the capacity to better feel emotions also means women have an advantage when it comes to letting large emotions pass through them and into the past, while the woman moves into the future. I also suspect, this may contribute to women having a longer life expectancy than men.

So… it may not be my medication, it may just be hormones, but there is only one way to find out. I think hormones increase my capacity for love, and the lifting of my dysphoria allows me to be more positive in general and yet, I think my meds have been amplifying this to a sometimes embarrassing point.

Going off the meds sucks. Turns out they are addictive. Weeeeee! I have been taking dope without realizing it. While I ween, I take a pill every other day but the pill only lasts a day, then my body notices something is missing. It is a roller coaster. Up one day, down the next. I really can not wait to be off this stuff entirely.

And I can not wait to get back on, if I need to go back on. I just really need to find out what I am dealing with first. Hopefully I will not need the training wheels any more, and I will start to have a more stable, female experience when I feel the love emotion.

I will keep you all updated.

Aloha,
Tori

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