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5 Things That Happened to Me While Transitioning Sober

5 Things That Happened to Me While Transitioning Sober

5 Things That Happened to Me While Transitioning Sober
Basil_Soper

When I got sober, I still identified as female. If not for getting sober I don’t think that I would have come to a place so quickly and easily that allowed me to walk into my true gender. Getting sober is a big identity shift on it’s own, let along transitioning. I feel lucky to have had an opportunity to do both. While uncomfortable for most of it, the experience brought me a lot of perspective. Here are a few things I learned as a sober trans man.

1. I Was Really Present for All of My Changes

There were many times that I wanted to check out from all of the discomfort of transitioning. There were all types of side effects I had during my early days on HRT (hormone replacement therapy), like some people were cruel to me, my binder was hurting more because I gained weight, my skin broke out, my voice would crack, and my features changed. Sometimes I really wanted to check out with drugs and alcohol and and not feel any of it. I didn’t have that choice, and became pretty introverted instead.


2. 12-Step Recovery Needs a Trans 101 

My transition did not go over well in my AA meetings. Many of my cis and mostly straight counter parts in the program did not understand my transition and made little effort to get educated. 12-step recovery is commonly a sex segregated space. I didn't feel like I had a home during my transition. Many trans folks have had my same experience. While some cities have trans specific 12 step meetings, many places are still behind the times when it comes to giving trans folks safe, supportive, recovery spaces.

3. I Felt Out of Place

When you don't feel like you have a sober community, don’t pass in cis circles, and don’t drink it's easy to feel different from everyone else. I became pretty introverted and anxious during the first few years of hormone replacement therapy. I was not sure where my place in the world was. In time, I grew out of that and found myself in terms of recovery and friendships.

4. I Abused Other Substances

Sugar, porn, and I all became good friends during my time of introversion. I was miserable! I’m glad now that I don’t have to be.

5. Meditation Changed My Life

I experienced a lot of loss and life changes really quickly. I don’t think I could have come back from it as swiftly as I did if I hadn't found meditation. It brought me back to the right path, and today -- 3.5 years on hormones -- I am happy and free.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Basil Soper

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.