It’s been 2 years and 3 months since I first admitted myself into rehab for my chronic drinking problem. I choose a luxury alcohol rehab in Palm Beach, Florida based on a recommendation from a alumni of their program. Since that time in retaining my sobriety, I have transcended beyond the physical havoc that ten years of hard drinking wreaked on my body. Like most alcoholics, I was drinking to cope with my unhappiness. Like most young adults, I drank to feel “socially accepted.” The physical destruction my body was enduring was killing me but my luxury alcohol rehab treatment was able to restore life to my meager remains – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Did you know that when you type “transgender” into an iPhone, it is auto-corrected to be “transcend?” This is assuming that you’ve never before typed the word into this device in the past – which I believe that the majority of people have not. The dialogue on transgendered individuals is minimal. I would estimate the dialogue on transgendered individuals who are also in recovery is even less common. If society cannot keep up with the dialogue, we cannot expect technology will. (Important point: I do not mean to discredit the iPhone nor Apple technology. It may very well be that all phones auto-correct with “transcend.” It was simply with my iPhone that I discovered this.)
I’ve always been known as a “tomboy.” Dressing in an androgynous fashion has felt most comfortable for as long as I can remember. That is because, for 2 years and 3 months, I’ve publicly identified as a transgender male. Privately, I’ve felt this way since I was just 7 years old. The possibility of physically becoming the male to which I already emotionally identify, is not a new consideration for me. This is something I’ve thought about for a long time. In fact, this is what landed me in the luxury alcohol rehab. The more I thought and analyzed how this could affect my friends and family, the more alone I felt. The more alone I felt, the more I drank. The more I thought, the more I did not want to think anymore and alcohol was an easy cure for that pesky “thinking.”
I believe this was a nearly perfect mistake on the part of my iPhone. Identifying oneself as transgendered defies the mores and social constructs that have been assigned to the words “female” and “masculine” and thereby “transcends” beyond the physical, mental and emotional confines of both sexes.
I had researched hormone replacement therapy and knew that in order to begin the transitioning process; I would need to get healthy. But I couldn’t get healthy on my own. I wasn’t ready to admit to my friends or family the real motivation for getting healthy. And I’m certain that I could not have gotten healthy with any rehab other than Seaside Palm Beach. Like anything, hormone replacement therapy has its risks. Before I sought alcohol treatment, I’d discovered that testosterone can be brutal to physical health. Raised blood pressure, raised red blood cell count and heightened cholesterol levels can all be a result of the therapy which would in turn damage my liver. Since my liver was already wrecked from the alcohol, I knew I had to quit and pledge my sobriety.
When I was admitted to the luxury alcohol rehab, I was admitted with the housing consideration of being “female.” I had not yet come out to any friends and family. It was difficult enough to come to terms with it on my own. Being that my therapist was going to be the first person I was going to come out to, “challenging” is not a sufficient adjective to describe the beginning of my treatment.
My successful treatment is the reason that I have been able to begin hormone replacement therapy; I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. And with the hormone replacement therapy, I finally have a body that I am determined to take care of. I could not be happier that my sobriety birthdays and my trans-birthdays will coincide. I think they will reinforce one another.
Lastly, I want it to be known that I did not volunteer to go to a luxury alcohol rehab because I felt like I was “too good” for any other type of rehab. I felt that it was the only program where I could get the truly individualized treatment that I needed. Turns out I was right. Seaside helped me to reclaim – not to mention rename – my life.