The Chronicle of Cait is time for me to talk about my lifestyle, my feelings, and what it's like to be me. It's a regular chronicle of the events taking place in my life. While it probably won't be a huge benefit for the anonymous reader, there are those in my life that I have trouble keeping in touch with. I'm hoping to share more information with that audience should they choose to read it.

Welcome back to another edition of the Chronicle of Cait! If you haven't already read the first edition, please check it out here. All right let's get started, I have a lot to talk about.

Mental Health Update

** Warning: I plan to talk about some pretty heavy shit which includes discussion of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. Please skip ahead to the next section if you'd like to avoid these topics.

I'm going to start this off on a lighter note. Last month, we talked a lot about how I was lost in feelings of depression and how I tried to harm myself. Foremost, I haven't attempted to harm myself since then; in fact, I'm doing quite well. About a week ago my therapist informed me that I no longer have what is labeled as clinical depression. All that means is that my depressive episode came to an end. It's possible I might have another episode in the future, but my therapist and I have been tailoring tools for me to use to better support my mental health.

In the same way you go to the doctor for a regular check up (or should), I have these tools now that let me keep an eye on my well-being. One of those tools is meditation. Now, don't get all crazy-eyed about it; it's essentially a focus exercise. When I'm feeling anxious, or even if I'm doing okay, I can take a few slow, deep breaths and concentrate on the air entering or exiting my body. It allows me to put some distance between my feelings and myself. You should take a look at these videos, they're what sold me on the idea. You might find it effective for you too.

In addition to the meditation, I've been writing a lot. You might've noticed an uptick on the number of posts on this blog lately. That's because I'm trying to write every day. I started down this path by writing my negative feelings in a journal for therapy. I still do that, but from that I realized that I really like writing. I've always liked writing. English was one of my favorite subjects during high school. I wish I realized this sooner because I could've been writing a lot more often. So, you might find that I overwhelm you with things to read, but I think that's a good thing. Save them for later!

Final notes before we move on, I stopping smoking and I'm still sober. I went into the sobriety stuff a little bit with A Glimpse of Sobriety. While it's still challenging for me to be sober, I don't feel the need to drink so much as I used to. In fact, I think I used drink more than I realized and it was difficult to come to terms with that. Anyway, I've been sober just about two months now. And don't fret, I'm getting used to it. My burgeoning love for La Croix helps lift my spirits.

Happy Hormones

So what's new about my hormones? Nothing all that spectacular, I suppose. They're quite the same as they were a year ago. In fact, I'm soon going to celebrate two years of taking the same pills everyday. However, if you didn't already know about the feminizing hormones I take, they're these little pills I take that are similar to female birth control and work to make me more feminine.

As a side bar, our genes determine at birth which sex organs we have. They also determine the function of hormones at puberty, but with the right treatments, you can replace those hormones with more appropriate ones. So when people talk about gender at birth, they're making assumptions based on the state of the hormones people may receive or their sex organs. It's kind of a false premise though. Hormones don't take effect until puberty and the body changes to meet the directions the hormones define. This includes things like body shape, weight distribution, center of gravity, various senses, and of course secondary sexual characteristics. As for sex organs, it's true that presently we can't define the behavior of our genes, but genetic research has come a long way. It's possible in the next few years we can define which sex organs a child may receive at birth.

While most people tend to identify with the gender they're assigned at birth, there are those that don't, such as myself, and it can be frustrating as someone who feels that way to be assigned to something that doesn't properly represent them. The problem is most people don't really know they're doing it until it's already happened. It takes some effort to fundamentally question the way we represent gender.

But I digress, what I came here to say is that I'm now taking my hormones as an intramuscular injection. Hurray!

These new injections a challenge for me. I've been afraid of needles most of my life. I don't mean like "Eh, needles...", it's more like "Hello, that's a needle, I'm going to pass out now. Wake me up in a little bit!". My mother recalls this story whenever the subject of needles and me comes up of when I attached myself to the bumper of her car when I was younger in order to avoid getting a vaccination. I only gave in after my favorite doctor agreed to give me the shot. (By the way, doctors usually aren't the best at giving shots, trust your nurses to do it instead.) So, I'll be trying my best not to freak out every two weeks to take my usual dose of hormones. My hope is that I might see better results from the injections rather than the pills.

Hormone Level Upgraded 💉💯

A photo posted by Caitlin Hoyle (@caitmarie.87) on

My Favorite Subject: Work

Ah work, my favorite subject to talk about. My career and I have a love-hate relationship. Some days, my job is rewarding and satisfying, but then other days I question why I still work there. The fact is that I should really try and find a new place to work given the amount of happenings going on at my job.

To clarify, we've been in this period of evolution over the past year which began with a merger. We merged with a larger company which didn't really engage in our industry. This'll be important later. As we did, new leadership took over at the bequest of this company and they have implemented some really challenging, but also really good policies for us to follow. These policies are hard to implement, because change is hard and no one wants to be involved with it, but they also make it easier for individuals to make a difference at their job rather than feel useless.

In my case, I've implemented some pretty interesting changes company-wide that have been largely successful for what they do. However, I feel like every step forward I take towards improving my job experience, I take another two steps back as more unexpected changes are mandated.

For example, this merger brought some interesting requirements for our sales team to meet. As a result there's been a slew of really questionable deals. One of the contracts they accepted is probably the worst I've seen in the five years I've worked here. This particular contract had us agree to develop nonsensical and specialized features which made no difference to the customer base at large. We've now been working on it for about eight months. And during this project, half of my team was redirected to work on another project to replace some of the older bits of our application, putting those contracts yet further behind. The half of the team who were reassigned have now completely disappeared to the outside world, because of requirements that are impossible to meet in the schedule they have. Last I heard they were working sixty hour weeks without overtime pay.

And finally to cap off the year, we were informed that the division I work at is now being sold off to our largest industry competitor. This included a number of layoffs as well, which appears to be typical behavior for a company trying to make it's profit margin look larger. All in all, it's been one the more challenging periods of my life. I don't quite know how much more I feel like dealing with, but I do know that my job is pretty secure right now and I don't need to leave if I don't want to. Any advice would be welcome.

Other Interesting Crap

That wraps up this edition of The Chronicle of Cait. Please come back next month for more details about my on-goings. Until then, please enjoy some other interesting crap about me.