Transitioning with Sophia: The Days Before Hormones

transition with sophia

Transitioning with Sophia is the Diary of Sophia Stanard and is not for entertainment. It's purpose is to document my transition for myself and anyone interested in the changes I'll be going though.  

March 14, 2017

Since coming out to the Veterans Administration on November 9th, a number of things have occurred in my life.  I lost a ton of weight; I bought the clothes and makeup I'll need to transition; and I had a flare up of my bipolar disorder. The cause of which is unknown, but I believe it is the result of a variety of factors. I actually think I nearly killed myself with the amount of weight that I lost.

It is a few days before I begin hormones and I want diary to my mental state before I begin. The past few months have been surreal for me and my mind has been swimming to say the least. I ended up in the hospital on four occasions, but I now feel stable and I have a better understanding for how to control my manias. I had been enjoying them in order to help build TRANZGENDR and pass the time, but now I feel they're detrimental to my long term health so I will be avoiding them at all costs.

The way I kill my mania before they start is by doing a few things. Video games help me realign my mind because I am forced into the moment and into a virtual space instead of an internal space. Reading news and watching documentaries also help me exit the internal mania and enter the physical world. The tools I use are what works for me and I uses them because they are of interest to me. I can't use anyone else's tools, because I find them boring and will just jump into my internal world, which is a manic world. I also take 350 milligrams of quetiapine to sleep every night.

The triggers that I have to avoid are listening to music and pacing my living room. Once I turn on music my mind immediately begins to swim and pacing helps me find a rhythm with the music and mania, so I must avoid both. I also bump my medication if I begin to stress out or enter a state of anxiety. I've been mentally ill for over 17 years now, so I've got a pretty good understand of what I am dealing with and how my mind works.

I should also note that I've also recently learn that I am an Empath. Which means that I feel other people, animals, and the Earth. I've always been this way, but I've recently began to feel other people's symptoms. For instance while I was being treated for bipolar disorder another veteran was lactose intolerant. I became lactose intolerant while I was around him. I believe I also picked up other allergies as well. Knowing this will help me find peace in this world. I've always assumed that people could feel other people's emotions. The last day of school always had me sort of high on the other students emotions. It was actually my favorite day of the year, because of how the world felt. When 9/11 happened I could also feel a difference in the air. It was thicker and heavy. I could feel the world change that day. The feeling lasted for a few weeks.

I want to document how hormones change my perspective on life, because I think could be interesting. The fact that I have to navigate this as someone who is both bipolar and an Empath may make my experience unique.

As of right now, I am calm and at peace. I'm oscillating between playing video games, reading the news, and watching videos on philosophy. All of which have pulled me completely out of my manias. The symptoms I had as a result of the weight loss and coming out have gone away. I also have a big move coming up, which has got me anxious. I have been avoiding the thought of it and I have knocked down the mania it sparked with a 50 milligrams of quetiapine. I should be moving to Portland at the beginning of next month and officially coming out to my family within a few month of moving.

The plan is to move, settle in, learn to do my makeup, engaged the LGBT community and then come out once I have support. I want to take things in stages in order to avoid taking on too much at once. The last thing I need is to be spun into a full blown mania again.