09 November 2008

Coming to Life With the Dying of Light

Thinking about Toni, again. The days are growing shorter and so there's less light. But sometimes, at this time of year, that light can be so beautiful as it becomes more and more austere. Maybe it's beautiful because there's less of it, so it becomes more precious.

I suppose that is clinging to hope, in a way. When there is no dying of light, or when light is not seen that way, there is no despair. Those who do not see in this way would say, well, treasure the light and appreciate what's left of it. Yes, that is the logical thing to do. And it is something I am better able to do. But, having been close to the sort of hopelessness Toni must have felt, I can understand why she--and Corey-- could not soak up the dimming light, much less realize that it will not always grow darker. Even darkness has to end, or at least lighten, some time. Someone as depressed as Toni was cannot see this. They can't simply "snap out of it" or "look at the glass as half-full."

I know this, because I have been there myself. Once I tried to kill myself at this time of year; another time I was ready to do so but a friend was there and simply begged me not to. The next moment, I thought about my mother and grandmother, and I knew that I couldn't follow through.

During the time I've lived as Justine, and even during that year when I was spending my weekends and going to Center functions as Justine, no image or notion of killing myself has even found its way to my head. So..living as Justine for five years, the year before: six years without any such thoughts. That's a record for me. Before, it was difficult enough for me to get through even a single day, much less a week, month or year, without plotting some way to off myself.

That alone is almost reason for me to make my gender identity transition. But I know that what I feel now is real, unlike substance-induced euphoria, because I am not merely suppressing thoughts of killing myself. Sometimes it seems that every pore of my body is a receptor for either joy or sadness, which is completely different from the depression that took decades out of my life. In other words, I have been opened to a full spectrum of emotions. I'm still learning about them, just as I'm getting used to happiness.

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