When my dysphoria started becoming too much to handle on my own, I confided in a trans friend. She's been extremely supportive over the last few weeks and I honestly don't think I could have even started to make peace with my feelings without her support.
I'm starting to buy some clothes that I can wear when I'm alone. One of the biggest things holding me back is trying to change my thinking from "I want to be a woman" to "I am a woman." When I'm in girl mode, it's easier to make that distinction.
I've talked to my friend about that and she said she had a similar experience. She asked if I wanted her to change pronouns for me. I didn't at first, but I eventually became comfortable enough. I even started changing to girl mode at her place. When I was able to look at myself in the mirror and feel like I was looking at a woman, I was excited and wanted to show her.
Somehow the topic of dating came up. I've actually had a bit of a crush on her for a while now, since before we started talking about these things. It turns out she felt the same way. We've been dating for about a week now and I'm the happiest I've been in a long time. When we're alone, she refers to me as her girlfriend and uses my chosen name. She cleared all of that with me because she knows I find it difficult to think of myself as a woman, but it's not as difficult when I'm with her. She respects my boundaries and she doesn't push any issues that I'm uncomfortable with.
I'm in a little bit of disbelief over all of this. I was so stressed and miserable for so long, and now I'm in a relationship with an incredible woman, I'm actually happy most of the time now, and I can see she's happy too.
I don't usually like writing about my life if I'm not ending on a question or observation, but right now, I'm giving myself permission to gush a little. I'm a secret lesbian. Don't tell anyone.