For all my high-falutin’ talk about embodiment I somehow became the kind of person who gets day long migraines every other weekend. February, when the Ryan Anderson book came out, is when this every other weekend pattern started. Sometime in my mid twenties I became prone to these things- I will throw up every 15 minutes for, no joke, twelve hours, along with this piercing pain right where my eyebrow starts, and then a dull ache that wraps around to the back of my head on the same side. The side of my head the headache happens switches up every time. It used to be I’d only get them if I had been drinking the night before or if I was both stressed and it was the end of my period. So for awhile I just called them bad hangovers, and then enough happened when I hadn’t drank that I called them migraines. But now it’s clearly just stress. Maybe inflammation too, because sometimes a really sugary dessert has set them off.
It’s been a real problem because the thing is I work weekends. I do internship during the week, I earn money on the weekends. So for me to have a day for myself is pretty special, and then when that day goes to a spectacular migraine that’s a real bummer, especially the next morning when the necessary commitments commence.
I might be a stress addict. I go to dinner parties in Cleveland with other, I don’t know, I guess yuppies, and everyone has got the same opinion on bike lanes and healthcare and guns and campaign finance reform, and I pretty much have all those same opinions too, but I just get itchy to get out of there. It just feels like there’s not an actual encounter between people happening, it’s more like a ritual. We all already know what to think and we’re just killing time.
I want to run off to the woods. But I like the cars blasting music and the neighborhood dogs and the drama of the city. Cities are very dramatic places. People go out into the street to fight on the west side of Cleveland. I’ve always lived in cities, my whole life, except for one year where I followed my college boyfriend to Carrboro, North Carolina and was bored shitless. I don’t do well in hippie enclaves. Hippies fight through passive aggressive posters. It’s just not enough.
Family therapy is good if you like drama and real as f encounters. It’s definitely the right line of work for me. It definitely gives me some access to authenticity that I like- authenticity that uses my brain, and my social skills, and my interoception too. Family therapy requires presence, and it’s very good for me to be in a line of work that requires presence.
After this summer I have to tone down the stress. I have to settle into a regular weekly rhythm that includes multiple days of rest. Next year cannot be anywhere near as eventful as this last year was. No deplatforming, no Ryan Anderson books, no ADF, no reporters, no producers, just work and real weekends off and the occasional detransitioner camping trip.
I wish I had other detransitioners closer. It was such a game changer when it wasn’t just me in Cleveland. Universe, if we could arrange a real life support group in Cleveland sometime soon that would be very good. I get that it would be work. But I think that work would do wonders for my migraines.
Whatever, even with the over the top moments this year it was less existentially stressful than my first year being detransitioned, and that year was wayyyyy less existentially stressful than the years I was trans. So we’re moving in the right direction, even with the Heritage Foundation fucking up my blood pressure.
One moment I like in a yoga class is when the teacher makes you do a bunch of hard stuff, like a bunch of boat poses, and then you finally stop and she tells you to breath and then let it go. Then a couple of breaths later she tells you to begin again. My endings and beginnings have been bleeding together without those breaths in between. This summer and fall I’m going to make sure to schedule those breaths. And agree to a lot less. Keep it smaller. Talk to less people. Write much, much, much more. Settle in and make it easier.