It doesn’t take an expert to know we are entering the most difficult time of the year for transgender and/or LGBTQ individuals.
During this approaching time, many in the community face the truth of having no close family any more to celebrate the holidays with. It happened to me when my only sibling (a brother) and his wife decided not to invite me to the annual Thanksgiving Day family feast. We have not spoken since and that was ten years ago. What made it hurt even worse was my deceased second wife used to take it upon herself to cook and feed everyone for years.
Similar to so many aspects of me coming out, I was fortunate in I had a backup plan. What happened was my daughter and my partner (future wife) included me in their families. An improbable happening especially when I needed to mix in with Liz’s heavily right wing conservative father. He has since passed on leaving me to forever wonder what he really thought of me.
So destiny led me out of a potentially bad situation with my own often fragile mental health. As you may, or may not recall, years ago I was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder along with having more than my share of anxiety. Again destiny stepped in and helped me cope with my mental health . I was nearly completely broke and could not afford my medications when a fellow veteran friend of mine suggested I take advantage of the Veteran’s Administration health care. I did and again I was fortunate when I was assigned to a VA therapist who was able to separate my gender issues with my mental ones.
As I said, I was one of the fortunate LGBT or transgender community members who was able to cope with lots of help. To this day LGBTQ women and men are subject to much more substance abuse than the rest of the population because of reasons such as harassment, discrimination, negative stigma and lack of family support. The basis for the information comes from a site called “LGBTQ+ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Resources” Thanks to Enmanuel from FloridaRehab.com for the heads up for the site.
I make no secret of the fact I used to be very self destructive due to all the issues I dealt with in my life. From reckless driving in my cars all the way to trying to commit suicide with pills, I had a total disregard for my life. Plus, there weren’t the outreach programs available in the pre internet/social media years which I lived through or groups of like minded individuals who provide social activities. Often, if you live close to populated areas, there are organizations you can take advantage of.
Please, as the holidays approach, see what you can do to help your mental health. There are sources available.