Thankful for Dysphoria

I've been thinking a lot lately about being thankful for unpleasant emotions because they can often teach and transform us so much more than moments of joy. I've spent a while this past week or so specifically thinking about gender dysphoria, and how it transformed my own life and ultimately led to my moments of greatest fulfillment and to the people with whom I am closest. Looking back, many of my moments of most transfixing joy were brought about because of the deepest grief or pain.

So today, I'm going to thank my dysphoria for what it has taught me about what my body needs in those moments.

Dysphoria is like any other unpleasant emotion in that when I try to escape or ignore it, it worsens, but if I have the courage to sit with it, it can ease. Just like how jealousy can point out to me when I am feeling neglected or insecure, dysphoria serves a purpose and tries to create an awareness of a need.

Sometimes needs are temporary. Sometimes they are not. So I'll sit with the feelings when they arise. Converse with them, even, if I can. Ask them what they wish to teach me, and think on it. Most of all, I will breathe deep and know that all emotions are temporary, even if needs may not be. This pain will ease, even if just for a moment.

I'll breathe in and breathe out, knowing I do not battle alone.


What are some unpleasant emotions that have helped you grow recently? What moment of struggle are you most grateful for?