A Quick Fix

A Quick Fix

A short written in the posting window

By Melanie E.

-==-

Why wasn't she happy?

Anna stared at herself in the mirror, fighting back the tears as best she could. The vision that stared back was supposed to be everything she'd wanted: the gentle curves, the smooth lower profile, the full hair and expert makeup. All the money spent, all the time waiting and longing had culminated in this, a vision of femininity that, objectively, she could tell was exactly what she wanted. Oh, sure, if she focused she could see the minor flaws: a scar here from implant surgery, a stretch mark there, or the occasional hair the electrolysis had missed she would need to pluck later. Perhaps her jaw was still just a little too square, were her brows a little too heavy? She shouldn't concentrate on the flaws, she knew that, when so much of what she wanted was there.

So... why wasn't she happy?

Wasn't this the goal? Then end game? She'd been so depressed as a man, pretending and acting and feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders. She'd known this was right, that this was what would fix her. So many doctors had said no, but with diligence she'd found the ones who would say yes, for the right price. She would show the naysayers, prove them wrong, when she could stand tall and proud as the woman she knew she was, and she'd done just that, mostly, except there was still something missing, something... off.

So... why wasn't she happy?

This was the fix! This was the solution! This, THIS, was supposed to be the answer to all her anger and suffering! With a frustrated scream she spun away from the mirror and stared at her bed instead. Laying there were the clothes she'd chosen for the day, the sexy underthings and the feminine outer wear that would help to scream to the world she was a young, confident woman. She knew they fit, and they looked good on her. Next to them was the gun. She knew it fit, too, between her teeth, and just how far back it could go before it set her gag reflex off. She'd thought she would throw it out once her transformation was complete, but something had compelled her to keep it, and every day she still had to make the same choice she'd made for years before: go for the clothes, or go for the gun.

The tears dripped down her face, the face that was permanently made up to look so beautiful and fair, but she did her best to ignore them as she moved for the bed, reaching out. At the last minute she changed her mind, and leaving the gun in its place grabbed her clothes and slipped them on, piece by gorgeous piece. It was a slightly sloppy look, since she'd never had the patience to master matching pieces or doing her own makeup, and the tattooed look was a little stark for the clothing she'd picked. Once done, she looked into the mirror and once again saw the woman she'd wanted to be for so long.

So... why wasn't she happy?

-==-

Surgery is not the solution.

I know this sounds like a hypocritical statement coming from a member of the community who has every intent to get her SRS once she can afford it, but it's the truth: surgery, transition, these are tools meant to help us cope with a world that has trouble accepting who we are, that feels that gender is defined by the outside. It can be an affirmation to us of our own feelings, it can make us more comfortable, it can do so many things, transition.

But, when it comes to depression, it is NOT the solution.

We are, each and every one of us, more than the sum of our body parts, and the most important part of us is that which lies between our ears, and in our hearts. Depression isn't a sickness of the body, or a sickness of society: it's a sickness of the heart, one that has to be tackled on its own terms.

I am a transwoman, and I suffer from depression. I've been suicidal, I've been so stricken with melancholy I couldn't bear the idea of getting out of bed, I've been everything it means to be depressed. What's important to note is that, while my nature as a transwoman certainly adds to the stressors of depression, it is by no means the sole cause of it. Body dysphoria has a lot more layers than just "man or woman," and depression has a lot more causes than just the one obvious one so many of us cling to, and it's important to know where one part -- the dysphoria -- and the next -- the depression -- separate from each other.

I have a lot of issues I need to sort through, as do us all. Being trans might be the one that we feel is most important to our identity, but it isn't necessarily the one that needs fixed first if we're truly to recover and be happy. That's a big part of why psychologists are required for transition after all, is to help those who take that path to separate what they can fix with transition from the problems that have nothing to do with it. We may not like it, we may not always agree with it, but it's a system that exists for a good reason.

We shouldn't transition to try and repair our lives. We shouldn't transition because we think it's the key to happiness, either: happiness has to come from within, from a contentment with who you are inside. Transition is meant to be a tool to help us find contentment with our place in society and to help others see us for who we are, even to help us see ourselves the way we feel we should be.

But it's not a quick fix.

There's no quick fix for depression, and understanding that is the first step to coping.

Melanie E.



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This story is 1028 words long.