In order to keep with the documentation of my mental/psychological progress I figure it might be good to discuss how I'm feeling as I post these pictures. First and foremost I can say that I'm not thrilled with my appearance. I am seeing it progress slowly in the direction I want it to go but I have a long way to go, both with the HRT changes and my weight loss program. I've lost about 80 pounds in the last 19 months but I still have about another 40 or 50 to drop before I'm at my ideal weight.
I'm also feeling fearful that people will be surprised in a bad way by seeing me.There is something about the anonymity of the internet that is appealing when you are a writer. Instead of being judged by your appearance you are permitted to be judged by the merit of your thoughts and articulation. I think this is the primary reason I don't want to post these pictures every week. Perhaps after the effects of the HRT become more physically evident and my appearance changes to something that I (hopefully) can feel better about I will increase the frequency with which I pull back the curtain to reveal the person behind the words.
As you might see I'm not really wearing makeup in these pictures. I do have a small amount of eye shadow on (at the suggestion of my wife) but that is it. I still don't really feel comfortable putting makeup on and rarely actually do. I believe that, again, when the effects of HRT are more evident that I'll start to wear it with greater frequency. I think I need to develop the habit of putting it on when I go to work before it's something I really start doing. I'm still many months away from presenting as Emma at work, so it will likely be awhile before that happens.
So, how do I feel after 9 days of estrogen in my system? Well, I do feel different than I used to. I have noticed that my emotions have become even more pronounced than before. What I mean by that is that when I find myself in a heightened emotional state, it's much more difficult to keep control of my emotions. In times past, when I felt sad about, say a famous person I admired passing away, I could usually keep myself from crying. I might feel a bit sad and proceed to quietly mourn for them, but I definitely didn't find myself being brought to tears. This past week, however, when I found out that Leonard Nimoy passed away, I started to cry. It wasn't deep weeping or anything like that, but there were heartfelt tears dripping from my eyes and a deep sense of loss, unlike any I've ever felt in a situation like this (I'm even having to fight the tears again as I'm writing about the dearly departed Spock).
It's not just negative emotion either, even heightened positive emotional states have the power to overwhelm me to the point of tears. I read a story on the internet yesterday about a 7 year old boy who was dying from a brain tumor, and his dying wish was for his mother (who had been recently diagnosed with kidney disease) to take one of his kidneys after he passed away. Not only was his mother's life saved by his willingness to be a donor but two other people were able to live because of his sacrifice. Allegedly the doctors were so awed by the boy's bravery that they bowed in honor at his bedside before they took his organs. When I read this story I was so overcome with emotion that I began to sob tears of joyful sorrow at such a wonderful and kind gesture. And again I'm finding myself brought to tears again as I retell the story now.
I have always been prone to being brought to tears with some amount of ease but this is just... just wow. Before estrogen it was much easier to control my emotions. After estrogen I'm finding my emotions to be overwhelming my self-controls with greatly increased frequency.
As far as physical aspects of the first 9 days goes, not a lot has changed. My chest has stopped being quite so tender and no longer aches.The sickly feeling I had the first few days has also passed. I think I can tell a very slight difference in my face, but that could just be the weight loss. (I've lost about 10 pounds in the last two weeks). My facial hair has definitely stopped growing as quickly as it used to. I used to have to shave every other day in order to keep myself from becoming the itchy-beard-hair-guy. Now, I could probably shave every three or four days before I got anywhere near I.B.H.G.
Well, that's about all I have for this entry. Much love to all of you who read my rantings and ravings.