Solaria's Blog

In Defense of Hyperfocusing

Jan 14, 2024

Maybe I'm balking away from genuinely good advice and hiding into what I know, but I am tired of "doing x for a short amount of time every day" being treated as the only healthy/productive/sustainable way to achieve goals. This may be a good method for exercise goals, long term goals, or large projects, but what about small projects? Or people who just want to learn or do a specific thing rather than master a skill?

One of my problems with this method is that I have so many goals/aspirations and I could not possibly fit all of them in one day. The idea of scheduling my hobbies makes me writhe in my skin. It goes so much against my nature and for what?

My main problem with this is that for certain projects I cannot get any signifigant amount of work done in under an hour. Almost all of that hour will be taken up by me mentally preparing and getting in the zone. Gathering ideas, resources, background, refreshing myself on what ive already done, brainstorming what to do next, etc. Maybe I could dive right in on more mindless work like crochet and cleaning, but painting and Adult Responsibility Planning takes more thought.

Once I've finally gotten in the zone I now have the momentum to get the actual work done. Its an engrossing and satisfying experience, even if it leaves me disoriented at the end of it. The idea of stopping myself prematurely just to start on something else I'll have to get into the zone of doing? It sounds so exhusting and UNproductive.

Who is it hurting if I don't draw or paint an hour every day or every week? Why is it bad to take an entire weekend day to make a painting from start to finish? Its not like I do that everyday. If I start a hobby and work at it for a few days/weeks and then drop it, that does not mean I have "failed". I still have learned something new, enjoyed the experience, and maybe even made something material to show for it. Its a hobby, not a life time commitment.

Maybe I'm not "disiplined," but that does not mean I cannot get things done.

Its important to mention that many autistic and ADHD people work this way. This experience may be refered to as "hyperfocusing", "autistic inertia", or as a part of "monotropism". Things that are effective for neurotypicals may not work for neurodivergents. It is frustrating to deal with procrastination and executive dysfunction as a neurdivergent person, but that does not mean that the ways we do get things done are faulty. Grinding against your brain inorder to be ideally productive sounds more like a way to burn someone out than indulging in bursts of passion/inspiration.

How boredom can Help

January 2, 2024

I long since deleted Instagram on my phone. I had it to keep up with my Buddie who moved there from deviantart, and I decided to also post my art there. I left a while ago due to a multitude of reasons, increased ads, removal of chronological feed, but most relevantly the explore page. I liked the explore page! I found lots of cool artists to follow and funny memes to show friends. But I also ended up scrolling the explore page for hours. Hours of my life wasted on posts I didn't give more than a few seconds to, nor do I remember. Sen describes social media as an "endless feed of content that I'll forget about in the next hour" in her blog post: Why Neocities?, Social Media, and the Slow Web, an eye opening assesment that makes me consider more carefully how I use the internet.

More recently I added a browser extention to block Tumblr from my computer. Tumblr was much more insidious. Not only would I scroll for hours, but I would seath over TERFs and LGBTQ discourse. The hate reading was damn near addictive, and even when I closed my browser my brain would construct fake argments, again consuming my time and emotional energy. Not to mention the lack of good faith whatsoever on that site. I thankfully never posted there, but that makes the amount of time I wasted there almost worse. I contributed nothing there, made no friends there, and stopped learning on there years ago. I had to get rid of it. I've been more at peace since then.

Combined with my introverted personal life, the lack of endless scrolling leaves me sometimes Bored. Those moments of boredom that agonized me as an adhd child, that were comfortably filled in with scrolling, were now open again.

I turns out I need them. When I was bored as a child I had literally nothing to do. But now when I'm bored I can work on one of those responsibilities I've been putting off. It's not very fun or comfortable, but it needs done.

It's not a perfect cure for procrastination or executive dysfunction, but its a little better than it was. Its so easy to scroll on social media for hours, it gives you something to "do" instead when you're dreading important tasks. Allowing myself to be bored makes me consider doing these things so I can at least alleviate the boredom.

It's OK to abandon your site

December 12, 2023

It's sad to see a personal site someone obviously spent years crafting no longer updated. It inspires a bitter sweet feeling and a wonder of how the webmaster is doing, what they're working on now, or if they'll ever return.

It also may be frustrating to see dozens of half formed Neocities pages, containing nothing of interest and made from a template.

But neither of these things are bad.

I've witnessed people state that its a waste of time to craft a site and then abandon it. I've read multiple articles/blogs citing the half formed abandoned pages as one of the sins of Neocities. I could not disagree more with those sentiments.

People pick up new hobbies and drop them all the time, infact its hard not to do if you have ADHD. Maybe its because I'm not a knitter, but I don't see judgemental articles about beginner knitters who start making a scarf and then lose interest. Maybe someone tried making a personal site and realize it wasn't for them, they didn't yet have the skills, or that they didn't have anything they wanted to put on it. Thats okay, sometimes you won't know until you try.

I don't mind "carrd" or linktree esq Neocties pages either. Neocties is just a host, not everyone here is deticated to the indie/personal/small web. It's an accessible platform to play around with CSS and HTML, and of course a lot less limited than carrd. Naturally people are going to try it out and then move on.

As for well developed sites that have been abandoned, I think there is still value to them. They still hold information and resources. If nothing else they serve as a snapshot in time of that persons life or interests. I would much rather a person abandon their site than continue working on something they no longer feel passionate about by adding half baked uninteresting content they don't care about. Infact that tends to be a mistake made by popular "content creators" on social media, and TV shows with excess seasons.

I honestly did not picture my personal site lasting this long. I had an end goal in mind, and Neocities started as a way to publicly share a few page designs I came up with along the way. It was by happen stance I was inspired to make more pages, found a community, and continue to have new ideas.

It's okay to experiment and play around. Its ok to give years of time to a personal project and then move on. In the end you learned something (even if it was just that this isn't for you) and your time was not a waste.

On Transandrophobia: Transmascs, Transphobia, and Misogyny

November 20, 2023

Warning for dicussion of transphobia, including transmisogyny, sexual assault, and violence.

This article assumes you are well aware of misogyny, if you don't believe women experience discrimination and violence for being women, don't bother reading this. Likewise you should also be familiar with transphobia and transmisogyny.

What we know: Transmisogyny

Transmisogyny is a term used to describe the intersection of transphobia and misogyny that trans women and other transfeminine individuals experience. This can come in many forms. The idea that trans women are trying to trick cis men into being gay is a particularly notable one, manifesting from jokes on TV to the trans panic defense, an abhorrent "self-defense" argument used for cis men who have killed a trans woman they were sexually interested in, after learning she was transgender. This is just one example, if you haven't already you should read more about transmisogyny.

Those are easy to access short articles, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity a book also by Dr. Serano, goes into much further depth.

Other terms

TMA is an acronym standing for TransMisogyny Affected, aka people who experience transmisogyny.

TME stands for TransMisogyny Exempt, aka people who do not experience transmisogyny.

Some (mostly trans masculine) individuals criticize these terms by arguing that they or anyone can be affected by transmisogyny, that TME is not accurate, but I find this to be an intentionally obtuse argument. Of course anyone mistaken as a trans woman can experience transmisogyny (from feminine cis men, masculine cis women, black women, intersex people, and other trans people), but TMA is obviously for those who experience it in their daily lives. From growing up transfeminine and internalizing transmisogynistic hatred/disgust, to workplace discrimination for being transfem, to transmisogynistic violence from cishet men, to the idea that trans women are sexual predators preying on cis women, etc.

I have also seen TME trans people criticise these terms for supposedly reducing trans people to their AGAB, but this misses the fact that TME also describes cis people, both cis men and cis women. In short, TMA and TME are helpful terms for discussing transmisogyny. There can be edge cases where someone who is not transfeminine experiences transmisogyny on a regular basis (particularly some intersex people), but I beleive TMA is inclusive of these experiences.

Transmisogyny is an undeniable force, but is transandrophobia a thing? Transandrophobia, transmisandry, and antitransmasculinity, all describe roughly the same thing: transphobia that trans men and other transmasculine people experience for being transmasc. "Transmisandry" and "transandrophobia" are critisized for implying that men are opressed for being men. "Transandrophobia" and "anti-transmasculinity" are critisized for their coiners having problematic views or interests. However I'm not interested in dicussing which word is less problematic, but the phenomenon they attempt to describe: the oppression/prejudice/violence aimed at transmasculine individuals.

Transmascs experience misogyny?

Let me first note that the coiner of transmisogyny, Julia Serano, PhD biologist and author of Wipping Girl, expresses the need for terms that define transphobia unique to nonbinary and trans masculine people.

for others (e.g., certain nonbinary people, trans male/masculine-spectrum people), misogyny may intersect with transphobia in different ways that aren't adequately articulated by transmisogyny. This doesn't necessarily make transmisogyny "wrong"; it may simply mean that we need additional language
- Julia Serano in What Is Transmisogyny?

Her quote here introduces an important idea, that all trans people experience an intersection of transphobia and misogyny. Unfortunately, the misogyny that trans men experience is frequently erased in LGBTQ and trans spaces. Gendering trans men as men is supportive, but not when its deliberately used to deny their experinces with misogyny. Its worth keeping in mind that feminist works rarely discuss or even consider the existence of trans men, so when they say "men" they mean cis men. The privleges afforded to cis men rarely translate to trans men, and never do if said trans men do not pass. Someone who is perceived as a woman, particularly a masculine woman, is going to face misogyny, this does not change if that person is really a trans man. It cannot be considered "misdirected" misogyny either, it is affects the person just the same. Even those who know that the individual is transmasculine, can very intentionally direct misogyny their way. Thats not to say trans men do not have any form of male privlege, they do when compared to trans women by virtue of not experiencing transmisogyny, but they have none when compared to cis women, considering they also experience misogyny (with additional transphobia).

The idea that trans men do not experience misogyny is a particularly objectionable to trans men who have experienced forced pregnancy, been denied a hysterectomy, have PCOS or endometriosis, been sexually asaulted by cis men, or otherwise oppressed for being considered a girl/woman in their culture. Unfortunately this can lead some transmascs towards TERF rhetoric, because their experiences with misogyny is at least acknowleged. This is not to defend these individuals, as they have accepted the foundational transmisogyny that comes with TERF rhetoric (easy for them to do due to being TME), but an explantion of why they turn that way. I hope that by acknowledging the misogyny transmascs face (without tolerating transmisogyny) we can prevent this.

Note that transfems do not experience male privelege, even if passing as cis gender-conforming men, since they are deeply affacted by the transmisognistic messages in our cultures (not to mention being in the closet is a result of oppression). Its incredibly important to keep in mind that trans men and trans women are not opposites. Trans men experiencing misogyny does not mean that trans women have male privlege. Anyone who is not a perisex cishet gender conforming man will experience oppression based on their gender (being a woman, being transgender, being intersex, and/or gender nonconforming). Its important to not spread TERF rhetoric by using frameworks like "female/male socialization" and "sex based oppression". We can acknowlege the misogyny transmasculine people face, without throwing transfeminine people under the bus.

Transphobia Unique to Transmascs?

Like Julia Serano said, transmisogyny does not describe the intersection of transphobia and misogyny that TME trans people experience. Some transmascs argue that it can, since they experience an intersection of misogyny and transphobia, but this is a technicallity made as a gotcha rather than a genuine relation to the term. One could even describe this as appropriative. The origins and usage of transmisogyny should be respected. Thus, like Julia Serano suggested, "additional language" can be used to express this intersection. Again, I'm not here to argue which term is better, but that an intersection of transphobia and misogyny directed at transmascs exists.

So what does the intersection of transphobia and misogyny look like for transmasculine people? Of course every trans person experiences transphobia, so I won't get into experiences that all trans people experience for being trans (medical abuse, denial of treatment, homelessness, employment/housing discrimination, violence, domestic abuse, sexual assult, sports exclusion, migendering, etc). This is for experiences of transphobia + misogyny that women (cis or trans) largely do not experience.

Some trans masculine people cite the high rate of sexual assault trans men experience (51%) combined with the denial to sexual assualt support services offered to women, but trans feminine people also experience a high rate of sexual assult and denial to sexual assult support services, thus I would consider this transphobia across the board.

Example of the misogynistic entitlement shown towards transmasc bodies (Elliot Page's in this case).
screenshot from a twitter thread. Twitter user Pidgeon Man Alt responds to someone out of screenshot, saying, 'they took nothing from you.' Twitter user Kaiser Clark responds, 'they took a beautiful woman who could have had a husband and a family'.

This person shows an extreme sense of ownership over the body of someone he knows is a transmasc, seeing Elliot Page a woman who has value only as a sexual object and for producing children (I hope the misogyny is clear). Similarly, TERFs (self claimed feminists) bemoan the loss of butch lesbians, breasts, and uteruses to trans men transitioning, showing entitlement over transmasculine bodies, particulalrly their sexual desirability as lesbians and reproductive functions, disregarding their body autonomy.

Extremely relevent in 2023, is the increase in legislature against trans minors, which is heavily linked to transmasculine specific transphobia. These laws are backed up by a faulty study on ROGD by Lisa Littman, who characterizes Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (gender dysphoria that suddenly presents during puberty) as condition present primarily affecting teenage "girls" (trans masculine and other afab nonbinary teens).

The adolescent and young adult (AYA) children described were predominantly female sex at birth (82.8%)
Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports by Lisa Littman

According to Ben Kesslen from MIT Technology Review in How the idea of a “transgender contagion” went viral—and caused untold harm, Lisa Littman's article has been frequently cited in anti-trans bills, which primarly target trans minors.

Julia Serano tears into the concept of ROGD in her article Everything You Need to Know About Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.

Again, the misogynistic sense of ownership over transmasculine bodies is blatant. One could argue this is an urge to "protect" transmascs, but it only results in a loss of rights, just like how the patriarchy "protects" women and girls by restricting their rights. Conservatives and TERFs alike only value transmasuline people if they detransition or reidentify as cis women/girls, transmascs are jokes, freaks, and perverts, a threat to both cis male masculinity and cis female femininity. Even then, detransitioned AFABs are heavily ridiculed in conservative/TERF spaces for the lasting effects of top surgery and testosterone.

It bears repeating that this article is not meant to say or imply that transmisogyny is less severe. Transfem readers will likely be reminded of the transmysognistic versions of these aggressions and how they may be more violent or paint them as sexual predators. Although not nonexistant, trans masculine people are less likely to be depicted as predators or experience brutality for "tricking" cis people. Nor are transmasculine people free from perpetuating transmisogynistic sterotypes and attitudes. All I intend to demonstrate, is that there is a specific intersection of transphobia and misogyny that affects transmasuline people in particular, and that it isn't limited to internet arguments, rather it devistatingly affects the lives and transition of trangender kids (of all genders) and transmasculine adults. My intention is only to shed light on transmasc experiences, not deny that of transfems.

This article also does not support transmascs who lean into TERF or MRA rhetoric. I very intentionally challenged transmisogynistic misconceptions seen in some transandrophobia discussions.

Graphic Design and Web Design

September 17, 2023

Just some ramblings about graphic design as a hobbist web designer.

I usually call myself a webartist since web design tends to imply this is something I do to earn money, but technically I am indeed designing web pages. Web design of course includes graphic design, but I've never really been interested in graphic design itself. I'm terrible at lettering, hate marketing, and find minimalism to be boring. So as someone who technically does some graph design, I find myself at odds with many graphic design schools of thought.

I'm not going to get into marketing too much, most people on neocities already understand. Marketing myself sounds soul crushing and I can't imagine marketing for anyone else or any corperation (I would also be the worlds worst salesman). So lets get into fonts and minimalism.

Like marketing, lots of neocitizens are not fond of minimalism. Lots of sites here have bold and/or cluttered designs, though there are some minimalist personal sites. I tend to be anti-minimalist, but can understand the strive for minimalism on the web, reducing file sizes and load times for everyone, especially those with slow internet, is a great goal. But I also think you can achive these things without losing personality and making a plain white page with black text, or black page with white text. Use some colors! Add a few small images, use CSS borders! pixelglade is a good example of a simple personal site that also includes personal flairs.

I personally like to add some more visual interest to my site, making most of my pages not so minimalist, but I do strive to make my content readable and navigatable. I have come across sites on here that are difficult to navigate and whose art/pciture galleries take long to load, and I would like to encourage fellow webartists to make their pages more accessable, but at the same time most of us are here to have fun with images and CSS so I'm not going to be upset at someone whos personal site is hard to navigate; I'll just click the back button.

Fonts. Theres a lot to be said about fonts. Text is important in graphic design of course, and I agree with most graphic designers that fonts should be readable. If you want anyone to be able to read your pages there should be sufficient contrast between your text color and background color (if your background is very busy this is harder to achieve), the text size should be big enough, and the font style should have legible letters.

But then there are some common graphic design opinions that seem strange to me because they go against readability. Comic sans is a font style popular to hate, and sure maybe you shouldn't use it in product design, but it is a commonly known font also known to be dyslexia friendly (though of course there are many other dyselxia friendly fonts and other ways to improve text readability). Graphic designers also seem to enjoy justified text, a design choice that goes back to newspaper columns, and a design choice that I hate. It makes text much harder to read and the only reason I can determine people use it for, is to make the text a nice box shape. But text is made to be read and the differing spaces between words from line to line is very disorienting. I promise your design won't look like shit.

Anti vs Proship: What in the Hell are You Guys Talking About?

August 26, 2023

If you've been in fandom spaces on Tumblr or Twitter you've likely come across the terms "proship," "anti," and "anti anti." Or maybe you've looked at someones carrd and saw those identifiers, likely in a DNI (do not interact) list. If you haven't, your life is probably better for it, keep doing what you're doing and don't waste your time reading this. I'm not involved in fandom anymore, not since 2013-2015 on deviantArt, but I still enjoy looking at fan art and fan theories online, thus I have encountered these terms without being invested in the drama. For transparency purposes I do not identify as either. Thats not to say I'm neutral, but to say I think these terms are clouded in too much doublespeak to be useful.

So, what the fuck do these words mean?

I intentionally chose "problematic" as a vauge term, because there is significant variation of beliefs in each group. Problematic ships can vary from toxic relationships to incest and pedophilia.

My stance is: shipping toxic or even abusive relationships is fine; its an exploration of dynamic and characters more than anything. I would be lying if I said the Batman/Joker ship isn't interesting to me. Theres something homoerotic about having a perpetual rival you are obsessed with but cannot kill. Its also obvious these characters are bad for each other, and shipping them isn't to say theyre good for each other, but to say theres Something going on there. I believe you can write about something without condoning it in real life.

On the other hand I find ships between a character whos a child and one whos and adult to be too close to pedophilia to be worth defending. You can write about something as sensitive as sexual abuse of children in a way that is cathartic for survivors, without taking it lightly or sexualizing/romanticising it, but ship art/fic very rarely avoids romanticizing it. (If it's not already clear I do not support positive or erotic depictions of child sex abuse, real or fictional).

The thing is, I've seen both pro-shippers and antis express similar sentiments. I believe there are more anits and pro-shippers who share beliefs than those who identify as either realize.

Unfortunately instead of realizing this, some individuals double down (much like they do in more relevant political topics) and start to defend things they didn't when they first idetified with these terms. Pro-shippers start defending pedos and zoophiles, antis suicide bait people over blatantly false or exaggerated accusations. That or they change the definitions of their own terms or falsely represent the beliefs of the other group, leading antis to believe all proshippers are pedo defenders, or all proshippers to believe that antis are children who can't understand the difference between fiction and reality.

As is the case with many controversial arguments, the urge to be right and paint the other side as awful people, throws nuance out the window. I beg people to ask others what they mean when they say something, rather than to jump to the worst assumption.

No I won't "Google it"

August 26, 2023

Aside from the obvious here on Neocities: Google being invasive, its search engine shittier than ever, shoving ads above info, and even hiding relevant results, there's more reasons why I hate the derisive way people say "Google it" when you ask a question.

First of all, it's just plain rude. If you had the time to roll your eyes and type "google it" you had the time to add just a tiny bit of context. It could be something as simple as "its a tv show". I understand being frustrated, especially if people frequently ask you questions that they could easily search up on their own, but often times I see this response directed at questions that would be difficult to google. Whether it be because its an acronym that has a multitude of meanings or a political topic that google is likely going to give you suspect results for.

Someone is asking you that question because they trust your viewpoint, or even want to have a conversation with you. If my friend mentions something I don't know, I ask them because oftentimes the context is important, and they will know how to explain it in a way that makes sense considering the conversation. Maybe its because I like explaining things, so I think it will give the opportunity for someone else to explain something, or even just talk about something they like.

Maybe take the time to talk to people like people, not like bugs. This should go without saying, but of course if someone is being demanding, they aren't entitled to your time, but an honest question should not be met with hostility.

Did the Sun Change from Yellow to White?

June 7, 2023

My dad, while having a background in science (biology), is prone to conspiracy theories and nostaligia. So when he rambled about how the sun used to be yellow when he was a kid and now its white, I internally rolled my eyes. Apparently there are some weird conspiracy theories around this, but I beleive it is explained by the same science that explains blue skies and red sunsets.

Its important to keep in mind that white light (that the sun emits) is composed of a wide variety of light wavelengths, each a different color. These colors blend to form white. Each color has a different sized wavelength ranging from 700 to 400 nanometers, where 700 nm is red and 400 nm is violet (with the rest of the colors inbetween)

The sky is blue because the small wavelengths of light (blue wavelengths) reflect off of the small air molecules (nitrogen, oxygen, etc). The colors reflected are the ones we see. A few years back during the California wildfires, photos captured fully red skies. The exact composition of smoke particles varies by source of smoke, but the compounds are larger than normal air molecules, thus they reflect the larger wavelengths of light (red at 700 nm)

Recently I've noticed in the morning the sun has a redish halo and throws red light patches into the house. Currently there are wildfires in Canada that are producing smoke that is making its way into the US, reminding me of the California fires and red skies. I then thought of my dad's observation.

Although not growing up in the 70s or 80s, I do know that air pollution, especially in cities, used to be much worse than it is now. So if intense smoke can make the sky and sun red, it may be entirely possible the high concentration of pollution in the air made the sun look yellow in the 80s.

Alt-right conspiracy theorists seem to be freaking out that the sun now appearing white is some bad omen and that the sun is supposed to be yellow (simply because they remember it being so as kids and think everything was better back then). But its more likely that the sun was white for a very long time, air pollution made it appear yellow for some time (at least decades, I would have to dig into data to determine a more precise range), and now the sun is back to appearing white.

Grind Culture

April 16, 2023


Those versed in communist or anarchist theory have discussed this much more articulately than me, but heres my take on grind culture

yeah it sucks, i don't think many active neocities users disagree. its a really depressing and discouraging mindset to see people take on. while the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" (bogus) theory has been around as a capitalist myth for decades now, "the grind" appears to be a more modern take that has grown in this last decade. and its not just condencending advice offered to poor people by the wealthy, instead poor people have eaten it up and promote it to their friends and family.

so many people proud of themselves for being on that grind, doing anything and everything for money. Of course you can't blame someone for doing what they have to to live in our overpriced society, but they way they are proud to do it and look down on those who cant or dont, rather than resenting that they have to at all is such a discouraging sign of capitalist propaganda

Although being on the grind is not limited to this kind of work, it no doubt has an impact on the formation of "business" where people bulk buy junk and resell it, or hunt thrift stores for "vintage" items and resell them at drastically higher prices. i cannot blame people for doing what they can to make a living, but its meaningless work that ends up costing others

Search Engines and Advertisment

April 16, 2023

I dont know why it took a tumblr post about gardening and native plants for me to realize this considering I am already critical towards ads and google, but google is has really just evolved into a product search engine rather than an information search engine. thats why almost every page is the same top ten list, or a "guide" that ends up recommending a specific junk product.

unfortunately it appears that while duckduckgo doesnt sell your data like google, they still prioritize glorified product recommendation articles rather than real resources. I guess thats why its free :/. the internet has such poweful potential for good, its so dissapointing its currently catertered towards serving capitalism.

Experiences on Sertraline/Zoloft

April 16, 2023

I started sertraline November 28th 2021 for anxiety.

Before setraline I tried fluoxetine (Prozac) first. My trans health doctor ended up prescribing it for me because I unintentionally opened up about my anxiety (that ive had since i was 12). I was only on fluoxetine for two weeks before i quit taking it due to consitipation where I felt so sick, backed up, and bloated I couldn't stand to eat anything. I was miserable and ended up losing about 10 pounds in those two weeks because I couldn't eat. Thus my doctor switched me to sertraline (Zoloft)

For a good number a months I didn't think sertraline was helping much at all, i was slow, and i still had constitpation (though not as bad), so i quit taking it for two weeks. I definately got my energy back but I was very quick to anger and my anxiety was off the charts. The fake arguments id have in my head and get worked up over came back. so i started taking it again. i didnt realize how much my anxiety contributed to feelings of anger/frustration/irritation, but its A Lot. i am much more chill now. i do miss my energetic demeanor though, especialy with friends. I feel slow and tired despite sleeping more than i used to.

I think the reason i sleep more, yet feel more tired, is that more of my sleep is REM sleep (thus less of it is regenerative deep sleep). I have lots of vivid dreaming like i did as a kid, but had outgrown before starting anxiety meds.

other people seem to get diarehea from zoloft, but i get the opposite. From what ive read it appears to be because antidepressants can slow your colon muscles. this makese sense in my case as fiber based solutions don't work at all for me (diet, supplements, fiber laxatives) but Bisacodyl does work, and Bisacodyl stimulates the colon muscles. However i am not a fan of regularly taking laxatives if i dont have to. Diet changes, increase water intake, and regular walking did not help either. The honest to goddness truth is that walmart fruit smiles keep me regular in a gentle way. to be fair they made me shit long before i was on meds (hence why i tried them out to begin with) and thankfully they still do. it maybe that most fruit snacks have this effect, but i am picky about texture, disliking the rubbery texture of most gummies and favoring the soft somewhat grainy (less sticky) texture of the fruit smiles. coffee sometimes helps, but not all the time, and my body too quickly adjusts to it to be a reliable solution

overall i keep taking sertraline because it is a huge help for my general anxiety (including irritability). Now, it hasn't really done much for my social anxiety, but i feel that is much more of a psycological issue rather than a biochemical one, so i am currently in therapy for that

edit 1/7/2024 - a while back I reduced my dosage from 100mg to 50mg. This definately helped with energy levels, though of course some anxiety came back. Its a much better balance.

Experiences on Testosterone

March 12, 2023

Note: discussion of bottom growth (genitals)

As of writting this I've been on T for roughly 3 years! Everyone has slightly different experiences on HRT so I figured I would share mine ^^ I'm 23 and started testosterone Febuary 28 2020! I'm currently on 50mg/mL per week, injected subcutaneously (into fat, not muscle). This was my starting dose as well, it was increased for a few months, but my red blood cell count had become too high (increasing blood clot risk) so it was lowered. Its still high, so I will soon be trying gel, but that has not started yet. To manage the risk, I take baby asprin (81 mg)

One of the first things that occured was bottom growth, which is very common for transmasc ppl on t. I did not get much bottom growth to my dissapointment, but it was more sensitive for the growth period (don't remember how long that was). Now my degree of growth is very likely because I have NCAH which already caused minor masculinzation pre-t, thus my genitals already resembled those on t.

I had one period after starting T and have had no more since.

As a greyasexual my increase in libido was mostly just present as "morning wood" when I woke up. Now that I'm on antidepressants that doesn't happen anymore. Otherwise there wasn't much of a difference for me.

I did not experience any notable change in appetite, which was dissapointing since it is sometimes hard to eat.

Before T i didn't hardly sweat, but I definately sweat a lot more. Cold showers in the summer without AC help!

I think I first noticed voice changes around 3 months, and I think they finalized around a year after starting T. Pre T I was trying to deepen my voice without much success, but in becoming accustomed to speaking from my chest rather than my throat, the changes T made on my voice are much more notable. I'm small so people are sometimes surprised by how deep my voice is, and I've frequently been told I have a voice for radio

I noticed a mild increase in facial acne, but that was expected since it is basically puberty, I'm also not bothered by acne

Body hair and facial hair has slowly come in, starting after some months. First the tops of my thighs filled in more as well as my knees (rest of my legs were already very much hairy), my chin hairs increased (I already had a few scragglies due to NCAH), and my sideburns lengthened. Somewhere along the way I got belly hair and my facial hair become enough to become a beard. As of now my beard is still filling in, as is my chest hair. Rightnow I have asymetrical chest hair, with hair on the left side of my chest but not the right, which I think is funny. I don't have as much arm hair as I anticipated, as both my brothers have very fluffy arms, but I hope it grows in.

On T I expected my hips to get a little narrower, and my waist to get less sinched, due to fat/muscle distribution, but that did not happen. To be fair my dad has a narrow waist and sturdy legs. What did happen, that I was not expecting at all, was how wide my shoulders/chest got! My neck also widened, meaning I can't stand small t shirts anymore. My small dress shirts fit fine, except for the neck which I often can't button.

I haven't noticed any change in my mood since starting T, positive or negative.

My height has not been affected, as I had puberty at a young age

Overall I'm very pleased with the experience!

edit 1/7/24 - I switched from injectible testosterone to testosterone gel to reduce the blood clotting risk. It appears to have worked though I'm behind on my lab work. Interestingly my doctor said that less frequent doses of t may increase this risk, so she switched me over to gel because it is taken daily rather than weekly. Its definately a lot easier for me to do and remember, since its just like putting lotion on. It has the consistancy of hand sanitizer and you rub it into your upper arm. It appears to be working just as well. My body hair and facial hair continues to fill in.