Analysis (Services and Self)

Koan Bremner's view on life as a database and data warehouse professional / addict and non-genetic woman

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Maybe I'm in mourning

Last week was, for me, one of those intensely frustrating (and ultimately, upsetting) weeks. It began well enough; I had enormous fun recording my first podcast on the Sunday. Monday evening I attended my first session of speech therapy (which went well, I thought). Tuesday I was finally able to spend some time using some code that my colleague Ryan had created from a prototype I'd put together a while back, and applied it to the new features I've been prototyping for the last few weeks. Sensing that the two combined heralded good news for the company, we gathered together whoever was in the office and gave an impromptu demonstration, and I think it's fair to say that the lights went on for most of the audience; giving me the kind of feeling that embodies what I love about the job that I do. Add in my first appearance in someone else's podcast and a lovely email from Lee Ann Westover of The Lascivious Biddies (giving me permission to use part of one of their songs as the "intro and outro" music to my podcast... the week was really humming! And then, around lunchtime on Wednesday, the metaphorical fog rolled in...

... and it was as if none of the above had happened. I entered a few days of perpetual "blonde moments" in which I could hardly string two thoughts together, let alone two sentences, with a mood as dark as night. Things that had been professionally simple just days ago were now beyond me once again. My memory started playing up again. All in all, not a lot of fun. And, feeling as low as I did, I realised that attending my firm's Christmas dinner on Friday night was really not an option. Far from enjoying the occasion, it was likely to see me as miserable as sin and dampening others fun. This mood didn't really lift until Sunday afternoon.

Now, I've dealt with the dubious pleasures of mood swings for years; particularly when I was much more affected by Depression, they were pretty much a constant companion. Recently, though, their pattern and nature has changed. Since beginning my social transition to womanhood, I genuinely feel that the kind of depressive feelings I used to get have almost completely disappeared... to be replaced by an intense frustration that I am now sure stems from the realisation that my ability to use the professional skills I have is changing. More accurately, diminishing.

Let me put that in context; it's not that I can't do what I used to. Instead, it's that I can't do what I used to as well as *I* remember I used to. I'd hoped that this was going to prove a temporary challenge, particularly as it only really started to be an issue shortly after I started taking hormones; I was hoping it was a side-effect of the sudden changes in my body's chemistry. But sadly, I now think that may have been something of a red herring. I can't shake the notion (the resignation, almost) that this is how it is going to be from now on. And that leaves me with the reality that every time I use my professional skills in a similar area to that which I used to I feel intensely frustrated (to put it mildly) even if those around me (colleagues and peers) can't see an issue.

Basically, I think I'm just getting old! ;-) Maybe that's all it is. But the sense of loss I feel at this sensation of no longer being able to apply my skills in the way I used to, I can really only describe as akin to mourning. It sucks.

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