Life is all about balance.
Marriage is all about balance.
Identifying as bi-gender is all about balance.
It’s important to have a work-life balance. If you work too much, even if you enjoy the work, you’ll not be able to live the life you’re working so hard for. But you also can’t neglect your responsibilities, your bills. your family obligations. I work too much, I take on too much, and it’ll catch up with me someday. But today is not that day.
When two people commit to each other, their lives become one. They are both striving to live a life together, pay the same bills, take care of the same children, and work towards something. Your partner is your everything, but you can’t lose yourself in a relationship. It took me too many relationships to learn that, and when the relationship ended I had to get to know who I was all over again.
And of course, I don’t need to tell you why balance is crucial in being bi-gender. I need Hannah to come out, I need to make sure she is being looked after, in a way. I can’t ignore this side of me, and on the opposite side of the coin, I can’t let her dominate my time, my money, my life. Again, this is something I had to learn and you learn by doing, you learn by making mistakes.
Oh! And walking in five-inch stilettos is all about balance but we all know that.
The Pink Fog can cause a girl like us to lose sight of that balance. We get so enraptured in this side of us that our lives can negatively be impacted by how absorbed we are in the world of femininity. We spend more money than we should, we spend too much time in her world, our partners get a little tired of us talking about makeup, our partners can get a little tired of us en femme. This part of us is overwhelming for anyone in our lives, and it’s easy for our partners to get even more overwhelmed by who we are. Of course, this is true with many parts of who we are. If I spent every weekend fishing or talking about fishing my wife would get real tired of that real fast. Or is that reel fast? Sorry.
Being in the fog can cloud our judgement. Of course we don’ think we are spending too much money on clothes. Of course we don’t think we are spending too much time en femme. Of course we don’t feel like we’re talking about shoes too much. But we probably are and goodness can that drive our partners crazy. When I was first coming into who I am, when I moved from underdressing to HANNAH, I talked about clothes and makeup and everything else ALL THE TIME. It drove my wife crazy. She felt like she was losing her husband and wondered where all of this was going. Looking back, I can absolutely see her point.
I wasn’t keeping things in balance in terms of my gender identities and in my marriage. I learned. I listened. I found the balance.
I also stopped drinking.
A few years ago there was nothing I looked more forward to than Saturday nights. I would get dolled up, usually wearing a new dress, my wife and I would pour some wine, put on some music, and have a girls night in. It sounds wonderful and it was. She and I both got to know Hannah. I talked about things that I never talked about before, I learned so much about myself. I also would get really drunk. It wasn’t long until I was drinking every night. And not just a glass of wine, most nights it was almost an entire bottle. Being hungover the next day soon became normal. I got used to it.
We all act differently when we are drunk. Some of us get loud, belligerent, rude, aggressive, silly, or… well, the list goes on, I lived in the moment and made bad choices. I never would call my exe’s or anything like that, but it was easy to forget about tomorrow and purchase that dress online instead of making the car payment that was due. It was easier to post a slightly risque photo on crossdressers.com. Being hungover wasn’t much different. I felt like I was always in a fog, but this was a different fog than the pink kind. My thoughts were clouded, I was distracted and it was hard to focus. And yes, there were mornings when I woke up still drunk. This fog wasn’t something that stuck with me just for a few hours, it impacted my entire day. I heard that drinking a lot kind of rewires your brain a little and I absolutely believe that.
I am not proud of any of this. It saddens me to remember these days. Everything I regret doing I did when I was drunk or hungover.
The pink fog can be dangerous. The fog I was in from drinking was dangerous. Combine the two? My god.
I had wanted to quit drinking ever since I began. I admired recovering alcoholics. I wish I had that courage and strength and discipline. As time went by, my desire to quit grew stronger. I knew I needed to. But I was so afraid to try quitting. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to. I was afraid I would stop for a few days and go back to the bottle and that cycle would repeat (like purging our wardrobes, for example). I was afraid that if I couldn’t quit on my own that I would need to seek treatment. I was terrified of being that much of an alcoholic that I needed to go that route.
It took me almost a year to quit. I stopped drinking during the week at first. The first morning I woke up without a hangover was… amazing. I felt amazing. I didn’t have a headache, I slept hard, I felt rested. I had forgotten what not being hungover felt like. The weekdays were incredible. I was so productive, so focused. My workouts became more efficient and I started to lose weight. I went from 240 pounds to 165 in about six months. And it was all from not drinking during the week and exercising more. I felt empowered, I felt like maybe, just maybe I could stop drinking altogether. Drinking on Saturday nights was still a thing, but after the weight loss I would get drunk after one or two drinks. And the hangovers and the clouded thoughts that came the next day were worse than ever.
Four years ago I stopped. I just decided to stop. My wife and I were settling in for our normal Saturday night and I just.didn’t pour myself a drink. I’ve been sober since I woke up on November 20th, 2016.
Of course, this all sounds so easy. It wasn’t and it still isn’t. Making the decision to stop drinking isn’t a choice I made one four years ago. It’s a choice I make every single day. Some days are easier than others. Some days are hard. Sometimes I find myself eyeing the glass of wine my wife poured for herself and I often have to push it away from my reach. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me at all. One day at a time. One moment at a time.
I’m glad I quit drinking, and I am glad I quit drinking before the pandemic. As much and as often as I drank four years ago, I know I would be drinking a lot more now.
As much as I admire recovering alcoholics, I also admire those who can have a drink at dinner a few times a month and be fine with that. Again, that balance….But that’s not me. I know one drink would turn into three, I know one night of drinking would turn into another lifetime of it.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life due to one fog or another. I’m also lucky to have learned from those mistakes. I am not perfect and I never will be and I don’t want to be. But I am getting better.
It’s hard to be who we are. It’s easy to drink to escape whatever we need to escape from. Some of us drink to forget about this side of us. Some of us drink to let this side of us out. I get it. I can relate. But if you think you need help, then please seek it.