T DIARY: Week 2 on Testosterone

11 Days on T and my hair is getting grayer exponentially. I’m 38 years old and have had gray hair up until now (the clumps on each side), but the gray popping up in the midst of all the other hair is new.

Other than that and skin getting oilier and breaking out, nothing to report physically. Emotionally is another story. I’m a recovering depressive, having suffered from chronic depression, borderline personality disorder and major anxiety my entire life. It was particularly bad during my 20s and I was hospitalised 13 times for depression and cutting. I’ve overcome that and have been stable for 7 years – something the Drs told me would never happen.

And now, since day 6 on 0.5mls of T, I’m feeling terrible emotionally: depressed, VERY irritable, no energy or motivation. ​I feel really upset by this. I do NOT want to lose the emotional equilibrium I’ve worked so hard to build up. And I do NOT want to stop T. This is NOT how this is supposed to go. Most people I’ve spoken to say that T is like an anti-depressant, that they feel wonderful as soon as they begin HRT, that they have more energy, feel calmer, more settled.

But that’s clearly for people who are not on psychiatric medication to begin with… What’s the experience of you guys out there on psychiatric meds? A friend of mine said he had the same reaction, but once he upped his T dose to 1ml, which I’ll do this Thursday, and marginally upped his psychiatric meds, he felt great. So I’m feeling a bit more optimistic and will drag my ass to the gym this week, eat well and get plenty of rest – selfcare!

This week has been better. And not because anything changed or got easier, but because I shifted my expectations. I struggled last week because I expected T to be a magic wand. Having done the hard work of overcoming chronic depression I should have known better than to expect any one thing to make anything better… Also, show me one person going through puberty, let alone a second puberty in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, that isn’t slightly emotionally off kilter… Nevermind the emotional turmoil of voluntarily undergoing a body- and life-changing journey.

So I shouldn’t have expected euphoria and energy and muscles, but more dysphoria, depression and hit-one-motherfucker-with-another-motherfucker level irritability and frustration. Because impatience.
But I’m an old hand at dealing with frustration and anger and mind- and body-numbing lack of motivation. I’m a veteran at benchpressing my own weight off the bed and onto the chair in front of my desk and into the car to buy vegetables to juice and into the gym to benchpress dome more. Because it’s all that works. And as they say at 12-Step meetings: if it works, work it, so work it, you’re worth it. And: one. day. at. a. time.

And so I feel better. Because I’m taking control, again, of what I can. Just as I can only benchpress my bodyweight by adding 10kgs every time I go to the gym and building up to 100kgs, so I need to remember that once I can lift 100kgs I never have to go back to working up from 10kgs, because I’m always as strong as my last bout with depression.

Doubled my dose this week, to what the Dr initially suggested – 1mg (halved because I wanted to begin slowly). Guys I spoke to said 1mg definitely stabilised their moods after a few weeks, especially when T levels stabilised. I might have to up my psych med dosage (on Epilim and Aropax) slightly if things aren’t stable after T levels have settled.

Bring on Week 3!


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