By Amelia Gapin
When I finally accepted transitioning as a something I needed and wanted, I had a lot of ideas regarding how my life would change and what it would do for me. Many of them have either turned out to be reality or will at some point in the near future. However, some have kind of faded away as things I actually don’t want or care about anymore. The thing is, there have also been a lot of changes to my life that I hadn’t thought about or expected. Pretty much every one of these unexpected changes are very positive, but there’s one thing that stands out the most and it’s become the absolute best part of transitioning. It’s not having one singular identity or just being able to be me and express who I am without living a lie or even the fact that my dysphoria is almost entirely gone. I mean, yeah, all that is amazing and is right under this on my list of awesome things about my transition, but there’s one specific thing I actually didn’t expect would happen and it’s been absolutely revolutionary for me.
I no longer live with a constant background noise of suicidal thoughts in my head.
I can’t tell you exactly when it went away, but it was recent, only in the last two or three months. I woke up one day and it just hit me that I don’t think about suicide anymore. I can’t remember the last time I did.
Before I go much further, I want to clarify that there have only been a few points in my life where I was ever actually suicidal. My suicidal thoughts didn’t usually mean I actually wanted to kill myself to a point where I was considering it, but I did have my moments here and there over the last 30 years. I would need more than both my hands to count the times where things started getting a little darker than I’d like to admit and the only thing that got me through was not wanting to be remembered as a man.
Anyway, I’m glad I’m still here.
I spent almost all of my life that I can remember always thinking in the back of my head “you could just kill yourself, you know? All this could be over real easy.” I never went a day without thinking some variation of this. It was just always there. At times, I knew it was because I was unhappy with my gender and how I was living my life, but usually I wasn’t thinking about anything gender-related at all. Sometimes it would be triggered by a bad day or a fight with someone I cared about. Sometimes it would just be from doing something stupid or embarrassing. It didn’t take much to send my mind down that road, but most of the time, it was just for no reason. It would just creep up…
“Suicide…think about it!”
“You’ll never be happy, what’s the point?”
“Come on, just do it already. Unbuckle your seatbelt, press the gas all the way down, and aim for that tree over there. Quick and painless.”
I hated this. I could never understand why my mind would always go there, but I eventually just grew to accept this as who I am. I am someone who thinks about suicide every single day. Suicidal thoughts were my 24/7 background noise in my head. There was no escape and no understanding of why. It just was.
But the reality is that I’m not someone who thinks about suicide all the time. Not anymore.
Sometime recently, this just…stopped. I don’t think about it anymore. At all. I’m just…happy. I kind of like this being alive thing. Now, when things are tough, it just doesn’t seem so bad because, no matter what else happens, at the end of the day, I get to be me. I don’t know how relatable this is for cis (not-trans) people, but when you’re trans, finally just being able to be you is just about the best thing ever.
As awesome as transition has made everything else and as much as it’s made me and my life better, this is the one thing I am most grateful for. I’m me and I like that. I’m alive and I don’t want that to change. Suicidal thoughts are not a part of me anymore.