Dealing with dysphoria and learning to love your body

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When I was a teenager, around 13 or 14, I used to look at myself in the mirror a lot and ask my little sister “do you think I’m handsome?” She would always say ‘yes’ partly to make me feel better, partly because I asked her that question a lot, but most importantly because she was the only one who really saw me as her brother even though she was 4 years younger than me.

As I kept going through puberty, I slowly stopped looking myself in the mirror, or even looking at my own body when I showered or dressed.

Because we are creatures of habit, it became an unconscious and automatic habit until one day after a few days on hormone replacement therapy, I was taking a shower and noticed THE GROWTH. I was obviously surprised and a little shocked and had to take a closer look. Since then, I’ve taken the time to obvserve my body changes a little more closely. I’ve still dealt with certain physical dysphoria once in a while but here is how I learned to love myself. No pun intended..

1. Focus on the direction you’re going, not where you came from

Look at the changes as they’re happening, record them either by talking about them on video or writing about them. Don’t be ashamed to share them with everything and everyone that breathes even if you annoy them, including your pets! You have dealth with the feeling of not belonging for a long time, so now it’s your time to enjoy slowly fitting in! The more excited you are about it, the happier you get and the more satisfaction you get out of life, even when it comes to non-transitional events.

2. Find ways to improve your appearance

Did you find a shirt that fits you just the way you think it should, or an old shirt that fits you now even better than it used to? Find more shirts like it, and don’t be ashamed to wear them as often as you’d like (as long as they’re clean….). If you find that after doing a few pushups you can already see results, do more; if you find that a certain hair style is working very well with your new bone structure, take advantage of it. The better you feel about yourself, the more you “pass” (or as I like to put it “you’re seen”). When you feel good, you make people around you feel good.

3. Visit people you haven’t seen for a while

And these people should be positive-minded, not negative. People who will compliment you on your changes, on how much of an handsome man you’re becoming and so on. It’s okay to feed the ego once in a while as long as your head doesn’t get too heavy. Sometimes we get caught up in the routine of our own transition that we forget how much and how fast we’re changing. Having people to remind you that you’re slowly getting there is an awesome thing.

Now go smile at yourself in the mirror and kick that dysphoria in the butt! 🙂

Neo






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