You are Worth It
Hello, I’m Cameron; I use he/him/his pronouns and I’m a trans guy living in Knoxville.
Four years ago I found myself sitting in a Very Professional Psychologist’s office, complete with a leather couch, dark stained wood, bookcase full of very serious books. Said psychologist spent most of the 45 minute session talking about his experience with anxiety, occasionally cutting me off when I tried to contribute. At the end of the session he gave me a list of emotion words to help me express myself better, not appreciating the irony.
Six months after that I found myself in a psychiatrist’s office. I informed her that I was trans (and terribly depressed), and she started spewing some horrible stuff that need never be repeated. I had my first panic attack, and felt like I was dying.
I’m here to say that not all counselors, psychiatrists, or psychologists are good at their jobs. Some of them are not good people.
Maybe that’s obvious to many people, but man, it took me years to figure out.
A year after that, I found myself sitting in another office, this one with a very distinct sunflower theme and a pile of fluffy pillows. This time, the counselor watched and listened, and figured out that I needed minutes of silence to be able to begin expressing my thoughts and feelings, and so she gave that to me.
Yesterday I hopped on a video call, where my counselor listened, laughed with me, empathized and congratulated me on my progress forward.
Some mental health professionals are amazing at their jobs. Some are good people too.
The good counselors, psychiatrists, and therapists I found helped me figure out how to save my life when I was at my absolute lowest, and are helping me figure out how to flourish.
Being transgender in our world is extremely difficult; the kind of stress that we deal with on a daily basis is more than enough to make someone anxious, depressed, or contribute to other mental health problems.
Trans people are also some of the most amazing people I know; it takes so much to navigate this world, to fight against oppression, to keep being loving and compassionate in a world that more often than not, isn’t that way to you. My trans friends light up my world.
Look, you’re a shining star of a person. There’s a bright light inside of you- I don’t even know you, and holy smokes do I want to see you dazzle the world. If you’re struggling with any mental health issue, there are good people who are trained to help. Sometimes they can be hard to find, but often other people in the lgbt community will know of the good ones.
You’re worth it. Shine on.