The dark shadow that hangs over transgender heads: how I almost lost my fight

We live in a society that treats us not even as second, or third class citizens but as freaks of nature not even worthy of legal protections. Right now transgender people are under attack across this country. As one of the most marginalized social groups there are not a lot of people fighting for us right now. That leads many transgender people to walk a dark path in life.

Among the many hurdles we face can be discrimination and hardship in the workplace, difficulties applying for loans, housing and other legal documents, deciding which public restroom to utilize, whether or not we can play on a sports team with others who share our gender instead of forced into competition with those of the opposite sex or gender. While all of those are hard, not to mention the relentless attacks on us from the media, government agencies, public figures, celebrities and more, its no wonder so many of us turn to suicide. It’s a dark topic but many of us face it. In fact I’d venture to say nearly every single transperson deals with suicide either directly through their own contemplations or via someone they know who went through it or contemplated it.

I don’t need to bother citing statistics here, we all know the numbers. It’s bad. We’re more likely to end it when our struggles feel overwhelming.

This is where I was recently I am sad to say. Not to the point I was actually going to try anything but I was absolutely at a low enough point that it didn’t just cross my mind, I started to view it as my only way out.

What got me here?

I don’t wanna air my dirty laundry here. I will say that life has become a bit overwhelming for me in recent months. I went from being a hard-working, respected journalist in my community with a loving, supportive family and a home I owned; to an out-of-work “former” journalist living on a persons couch I had met barely 9 months ago, largely ostracized from said so-called family. Now not everything has been bad but let’s face it every day I have been reminded what I have been through. I am told by my adopted sister how strong I am and how much I have been through. My therapist who calls me a survivor. Even my close friends who reach out to me often pull back once they too become exhausted at trying to help me find some light. It’s getting harder to stay positive. It’s getting harder to keep up the fight.

Did I actually attempt to take my life Saturday? No. But I cam as close to it as I have in years. In fact I was close enough not only did I consider it, I was looking for ways to pull it off. Fortunately my loved ones, and not my blood relatives, reached out and helped talk me through my crisis.

But the damage has been done. I already left a perfectly good, albeit difficult, job. I already disappointed my sister who I have leaned on heavily these past few months. I have already blown out my self esteem not only as I deal with everything weighing me down but also the fact I was so weak, so low, so hurt I was considering it, the fact I got as close as I did, it made it all worse. I started to feel like a failure. A disappointment. A lost cause.

These feelings put me in a downward spiral I will admit I have yet to recover from. I am taking steps to get better. I am working with people close to me to step back from things I can no longer keep up and looking forward to things that I hope will bring me some joy in the near future.

The breaking point was a combination of going three days without taking my medications, everything finally weighing me down too much, I was tired, had a fight with someone I love and respect more than anyone on this planet and I sank. I hit rock bottom. Once I rolled over onto my back after falling flat on my ass metaphorically, I turned to drinking. I went to a dark place because as a transgender person that darkness is always there. That shadow is always looming over my head. The constant barrage of people telling me or others like me I am a freak or worse it gets to me. The shitty things some people in my family have done or said to or about me. It disgusts me. The way my own church turned on me. It’s been too much.

Fortunately I do have people who love me and care about me. That does make me feel somewhat better. But at the end of the day the reality remains, I lost my hope for a moment and came that close to throwing in the towel. The last time I was that close to ending it all was after was expelled from university.

I have no advice. I have no direction. I don’t know what the path to recovery looks like. I am trying to get back on my feet. I am trying to find enough light to shine through the shadow and brighten my days. I am trying to feel less beaten down.

As of the time of this writing I am not back yet. I don’t know how long it will be or what it will take. I know that it’s not gotten worse but it hasn’t improved enough for me to say I am in the clear. I doubt I will take my own life. I have too much to look forward to and I might still have some fight left in me. But I am probably going to slow down some, find ways to take care of myself outside Twitter and Facebook. Right now I am even scaling back my involvement in projects I am involved in, more on that to come.

I have cried so many tears I am damn near dehydrated. The tears won’t stop and that makes my heartache. Knowing people care enough to reach out and offer support helps, but right now even as grateful as I am for all of that, I need to fight this on my own in my own way. I have people I can lean on but I also have to figure things out myself. And the clock is ticking. I don’t know where to turn to find my inner strength right now. I have mustered enough energy to look forward to Pride this weekend and my nephews wedding next weekend. I am hopeful those will recharge my heart and give me some renewed joy. In the meantime please know I am not ignoring people intentionally I just need to take a break.

Published by

Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos.