That's the only word for it. I think I took on too much and it's worn me down. But at least I've realised now.
My dysphoria (oh, how I hate that word - it's so clinical and doesn't adequately describe the situation) has become so much worse since I got myself on the waiting list for the GIC, came out to everyone and changed my name. So I thought that a good way to remedy that would be to find lots of stuff to occupy me. I volunteered extra hours at the local LGBT centre, I took on training for Advocacy work, I volunteered to prepare a bunch of articles for LGBT History Month in February, and I agreed to take on a similar task for March, preparing a bunch of articles and biographies for posting to the company LGBT Network's website in the days leading up to 31 March (International Trans Day of Visibility).
I've worked hard on the preparation of those items; throwing myself headlong into the work, to distract myself from the dysphoria. And to distract myself from the knowledge that I couldn't write my usual stories. That writer's block was killing me because that's my usual outlet and I didn't have it.
So, I've been spending weekends prepping stuff for March (I have to do it at weekends because of the way our company network is set up - so many websites & resources aren't available at work because they're blocked by the security systems). I have full biographies of around twenty five different notable trans* figures from history, as well as information on notable trans-related events from history. I have written a "Trans 101" for people who know next to nothing about the subject. I have written articles on non-binary identities, a piece on non-binary pronouns, articles on understanding & respect, and I gathered together a bunch of verbatim quotes from trans* people I know; these quotes span the full range of experiences of being trans* and come from people who identify as belonging somewhere on the trans* spectrum. That final piece will be posted on 31 March and, even if I say so myself, it's a very powerful piece - emotional, thought-provoking and sincere. And it gives a real flavour of the thoughts and experiences of trans* people.
I asked the Trans* Advocate at our company to read and review all the stuff I'd prepared for the lead up to 31 March and she said she was "too busy" and I hadn't given her "enough notice" - that was on 10 March. By my reckoning, I've given her 21 days to read the stuff. So she obviously isn't interested. But what annoyed me more was she said, in her emailed reply to my request, "Be very careful with the language you use in anything you write - I wouldn't want you to offend any of my trans* colleagues."
Like, what?? I AM ONE OF YOUR TRANS* COLLEAGUES!
Does she think I don't know what I'm talking about? Does she think I don't know what it's like to be transgender? Does she think I'm going to be insensitive and use inappropriate language and terminology?
I've known I was transgender since before I was ten years old. Just because I have refrained from transitioning until now, doesn't make me a non-expert.
So, anyway, I've reviewed everything I've written & prepared; reviewed it so many times now that I've become word-blind - and now I don't trust anything i've written. And I'm so annoyed that I've come to this point. Because I know that I threw myself into that task so heavily that it was bound to hurt when I had finished it, regardless of anything the company's Trans* Advocate had to say.
Because, at the end of the day, I was doing it all for myself, not for anyone else. I needed the distraction. I so desperately needed the distraction. And now I want to delete everything and forget I ever started it.
And I want to cry.
But I can't cry. I haven't cried for months. I seem to have lost the ability.
So instead I pick fights with my husband. Yeah, that's really productive, isn't it?
The only good thing to have come out of all of this is that my writer's block has gone. I wrote three chapters for one of my books, yesterday. I just finished one chapter for another one, and I enjoyed doing it. The words have come back. Now that I have my trusted outlet again, maybe I'll be able to pull myself together.