Alexisofroses’s Blog

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You guys… I just got my Hearthstone Beta invitation. That is all.

I sit in a coffee shop I’ve never heard of, trying to gather my wits and courage, all so I can turn around, fearless, and face the Dragon that’s chased me most of my life. My power ups include the ability to be awesome at will, to chug endless glasses of water, and pat my own back in appreciation. One by one I struggle through quests, all to level up so that some day I can face my arch nemesis, and cut off it’s head. Then I will hold it up for all my allies to see, and we will all exit stage right together, triumphant and proud.

The game is called SuperBetter, and I heard about it on a TED Talk I was watching last night at three in the morning as I got ready to call out of work because sitting at home seemed like a better, easier way to spend the following day. It takes the challenges of real life, and turns them into a task based role-playing role. Here you take on a secret identity known only by yourself and your trusted allies, you take on tasks suitable for the hero hiding inside your heart, and you tackle large issues by taking small steps. It’s all very reminiscent of playing World of Warcraft or Rift, except that instead of killing fifteen goblins for their fire brands, I am finding pictures to embody emotions and working towards being a better, happier person.

The only thing is… this game is hard. World of Warcraft is comparably easy, especially at the casual level I have always played at. But when I look at the “Power-Up” called “Hug Yourself,” I am filled with emotions which sprint through me in different directions, threatening to tear me apart down the center. Taking advantage of this power up should be easy. This is how it is presented in the game:

“Studies show that accepting and feeling better about ourselves not only helps us be happier with the body we have, but also stick with our fitness and weight loss goals so we can have the body we want.

Give yourself a hug or a pat on the arm or back while telling your body what a great job it’s doing—just the way it is.”

That’s it. All I have to do is wrap my arms around my body and hug myself, all the while telling myself that I am a good person, that despite my difficulties I am a good person. It should be easy. I hug other people all the time, and human contact is something I crave nearly endlessly. It’s not the hugging that’s difficult. Instead it is that second part. You see… I have an unexpected repulsion to it. I don’t want to tell myself I’m doing a good job… because in so many ways I’m not. School is turning into a disaster. Friends in my area are non-existent. More, both of these issues are fed by the fact that whenever I seem close to making friends I withdraw into myself, avoiding social contact in loo of escaping into books or video games. It’s easier to socialize via text message then face to face… and all too easy not to socialize at all. So how am I supposed to tell myself that I’m doing good the way I am? 

And this is the issue I keep running into. I know in my head that despite everything I am a good person. I know that I am worthy of love – both from myself and others. I also know that if I don’t face these challenges, if I continue to let them consume my head space, I won’t get better. I will continue to withdraw into myself. I will continue to procrastinate. I will continue to escape into fancier, easier worlds. And in the end that’s what this game is all about. I’m not fearless. I’m terrified. I look into the future… and I don’t know what I see. But I just gave myself a nice pat on the back, told myself that I am doing okay for this instant in time. Then, unexpectedly… smiled. And that is a tiny but measurable step in the right direction.

 

Call of Allies!

So… one of the things this game encourages me to do is make allies through people I love and I trust. Seeing as this blog is written for exclusively those people (and for me). My allies are companions that are willing to help me on my quest to chop off the head of the fearsome Depressed Dragon. If you are interested in helping me please leave a comment here or on my Facebook and I will send you a link to my SuperBetter page. Helping me out means you would log into the SuperBetter website a few times a week and look at the page where all of my quest progress is displayed. Then you would give comments, advice, or encouragement for me. I would also super like it if someone was interested in chatting with me via phone or v-chat once a week at a set time. Obviously there is no pressure here. But if you want to help me out that would be amazing.

Oh my gosh! All the things! I really need a place to talk where family isn’t around, because OMG, all the things! I want to talk about hormones, and video games, and emotions, and life, and there is just so much going on inside me that I have to let out! So… um, without further ado, let’s talk about the strange world of hormones!

Being on hormones has been a strange and wonderful experience. I started them back in late January, so I’ve been on them for just over seven months now. And they are slowly starting to do their stuff. I have actual breasts now! I mean, sure they are tiny, but they are actual visible even when I’m dressed if you know to look. My skin is softer. My body hair grows slower. I love almost everything about it.

However, not everything is always sun and roses. First of all… breast development hurts! Its not the same pain that a cis girl would feel. In my scenario, my nipples are growing hundreds and hundreds of new nerve endings. At some point I am assured that this will make them very sensitive and fun to play with. In the mean time they just hurt. If I accidentally brush my arms against them or something I grimace in pain, usually secretly and quietly, but in my head I’m screaming “F’ing heck! That hurt!”

I also find my interests… shifting in some surprising ways. The things I’ve noticed most is my attention level to things like video games. I used to lose myself in virtual worlds for hour and hours. Ten, twelve, twenty hours could pass with me hardly leaving my seat. Killing two headed ogres and sealing errant Rifts was like the best things ever. And that is… changing? I mean, I still love video games, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t sit at them for as long without getting bored. It’s like I actually have more attention to pay to time, and time passing. I can’t explain it, but now I sit for two or three hours on a video game and I’m ready to move on.  I’m sure my future still holds many an all day gaming session, especially when new and exciting things come out, but it’s not going to be the norm anymore. Part of me misses that.

The other thing that has completely changed is my sex drive. I’m going to attempt talking about this without giving TMI, because no one wants that. But it’s something I want to talk about. I hadn’t noticed how far my sex drive had dropped until this June. This June I was super, super depressed. Like, ready to kill myself depressed. Like, I had it all planned out and only a couple things were stopping me from ending it all. I closed myself away from the world, wanted everyone to hate me, and really wasn’t a very fun person to be around. I had no energy, no will to do anything. It was icky and gross, and somewhere I hope that I won’t go to again. It’s maybe the worst I’ve ever been emotionally, even worse than a few years ago when my dad drove thirteen hours because he thought I might hurt myself. I don’t really bring this up to discuss my depression, I bring it up to discuss something else.

Late into that time period I stopped taking my hormones. I wasn’t eating well, and one of the meds I take is a diuretic. I was having digestion and stomach problems all the time, problems I knew would fix themselves if I ate better and consumed less diet soda. But I was in a mind set that it was easier to give up the hormones, despite how hard I worked for those in the first place.

As the estrogen slowly left my system my sex drive shot way back up, and oh my gosh. I didn’t know how to deal! You sometimes see threads on reddit and other places asking “What would you do first if you suddenly switched sexes?” And let me tell you, most girls are not ready for that amount of T! It was like my entire life was covered in a haze of sexual desire that just wouldn’t go away! And, like, I’ve been dealing with that haze for my entire life. You would think that I’d know how to go back to it. But it was staggering, and astonishing, and I was drowning. It was really humbling in some ways.

I went back on hormones after my family vacation, and god, it is so much nicer! I can think again without getting distracted, and gods, it is really, really nice not to think about sex in every second of every day.

Alright, so I’ve talked about hormones, and I’ve talked a bit about video games. The other things about video games I wanted to mention is that I finally acquired a copy of Pokemon White 2. It’s fun and amazing! I really like Pokemon, you guys. Also, at Torch Lake on my family vacation, it was really fun to play Pokemon with my daughter and my cousin. We spent hours battling it out, and playing, and even watching the anime. Jaden, my cousin, also brought his Pokemon cards! The only things missing was Pokemon Macaroni and Cheese to complete the nostalgic picture. The three of us started a Pokemon blog together, and it is a lot of fun posting fan stories, comparing progress, and staying in touch. So, yay Pokemon! If anyone is playing Pokemon black or white, let me know. Maybe we could do some online trading and things like that!

And now… life. I’m really very pleased with my life right now. I’m in such a better place emotionally than I have been in months and months. I’m back in school, and I see family on an almost daily basis. Family that loves me, and knows about my trans* identity, and doesn’t hate that part of me. I haven’t asked them to call me Lexi or Alexis yet, but I know that when I do they will, and that is so comforting! I have a car to drive places, and things are good. But I miss having friends. I don’t know anyone here, and I am so freaking shy!

That being said, I finally did something tonight that I’ve thought about doing for years and years, and never have done. Tonight I went to a munch. It was held at a restaurant, and somehow I expected that we would talk a lot about kink. This was a munch for a very specific set of interests I happen to share, and I was nervous, and excited, and really expected something entirely different. Instead, it was just like going out to dinner with people. Kink was hinted at occasionally, but for the most part we just talked. Like, conversations I would have with anyone. That being said, I met a lot of really fun people tonight. People that I have a lot in common with. People that are geeks like me and into geeky things! So yay that! I’m also getting dragged to all kinds of future events now, so I guess that is fun too.

Alright, I was going to put up a picture of a pokemon ball bra here to tie together my video game playing and my excitement of having breasts. But I think I’m actually going to leave this entry without pictures. If people are still reading, thank you for following me through my ramblings. This was a long blog post.

 

I have a dream! And if you follow me I will lead you down the road to the future! (Literally…)

 

I really like Sherlock Holmes. I remember growing up when my Dad used to read Sherlock Holmes stories to me and my sister. They are a rare pleasure, and they have always sparked in me the desire to have a bigger brain. Of course, despite my dearest wishes, my brain has never been all that good at observation. Oh well.

This miniseries (which was worked on my Stephen Moffat who is a hero in his own right) was absolutely amazing. Watch the trailer, then go watch the series. You won’t regret it.

Norton Anti-Virus already kills computer processors by the thousands. Every day a new processor, unable to put up with the programs demands, overheats and moves on to electronic heaven. But now Norton has taken its campaign of genocide to a whole new level. Please protect your Unicorns.