Precipice of Authenticity

It is far from a secret to most that I am an Ally to the transgender world. In my few years of meeting and getting to know some of the most beautiful people, I have come to realize just how brave every transgender person truly is.

In a world where meretricious people finagle  nothing more than Instagram pictures, Facebook posts, and fleeting Snapchat fades, we as a society have relegated ourselves to nothing more than a wile quip or image on some form of social media.

It is rare that we get to truly know a person beyond the façade of posts and images, and when we do we are often disappointed by the discrepancy of the social media world and the real world. It takes an act of bravery to allow someone to get to know us beyond the fey walls and cages of social media these days.

There is one major reason for this apparent discord in what we “post to be” and what who we actually are: authenticity. Nefarious behavior and people decimate the validity of all forms of social media in these days of virtual reality which has replaced in person formalities.

Authenticity is what makes people real: makes them true and tried friends, makes them people we truly want to know and are ultimately interested in, but the façade of social media and invidious people acts as a fortress of a delusional mirror to forsake and forgo such intimate and real interaction.

Transgender people are polymaths and  have had much to actually deal with when it comes to authenticity-we all do for that matter but it is much more glaring for obvious reasons in the transgender community in a world where they must evince.

Transgender people must decide at some point in their lives if they are to live in mendacity or as their true selves; to embrace their laudatory natural-born truth to whatever extent they are comfortable and capable of doing and brave the world nekkid in their soul’s reality for the entire world to see and sadly malignly judge, with mendacity a lot of the time.

I have no greater appreciation, apotheosis or awe for the transgender person who steps outside of their lived selves  and decides to shed the costumes and the protections of necessity and bear their succor truths for the world to see, love, and in lots of cases reject and hate. It is called transition by many folks in the transgender community, but it is more of a self-actualization of sorts where one’s true self is finally recognized for all to see and bare witness after years of living as someone they were not and never were.It is a catharsis of sorts. Of course transgender people are real, and their personalities, love, friends, relationships are real even though they themselves are not living their BIG and truly only TRUTH prior to their brave avatar of self.

Lots of times this someone who they are not, is a person who has been quite successful, perhaps married and had children, and spent their entire life being loved and admired by friends and family who may have not had any idea that the true person inside the body which doesn’t match the soul is not the TRUTH in gender at the very least. They have built full lives filled with undeniable memories and experiences which make facing and braving transition all the more painful on the way to the greatest form of liberation.

Authenticity is something we as humans struggle undoubtedly mitigating our entire lives to overcome this debacle and actualized to the best of our abilities to mollify if we are inclined to seek our inner-most truths and realities. Transgender people face this formidable task straight on, imputing  the moment they decide to break free, scuttling from the prisons within which they have lived their entire lives, now ready to  gambol and  decide to free themselves, imputing to  be their true selves whatever that may look like.

I find it ironic that so many transgender people look to the cis-gender world for guidance and assurance when that couldn’t be farther from what should be happening. Cis-gender people have so much to learn from transgender people regarding truth, honesty, and most of all authenticity.

See transgender people in order to traverse the landscape from former self to true self have no choice but to deal with the issue of authenticity on some level, and well the same is not true for cis-gender people at all. A cis-gender person can live their entire life without every searching for their authentic self or actualized their authentic selves if they are not brave enough to choose so. This can not be said for the transgender person who bravely choses to transition in their life to embrace their inner most truth, which many have come to realize is not a choice or an option but a necessity to take their next breath.

Authenticity is not a destination but a journey regardless of who or what we are. Courage, bravery, sadness, loss, enlightenment, and freedom to name a few are all part and parcel of a circuitous pathway to a lifetime of empowerment and uncertainty. But through the quest for personal authenticity we are guaranteed a journey and a life lived with freedom and self-actualization that surpasses any road block that comes with the pursuit of our personal truth.

Very few people have the honest and courageous ability to look into the mirror that is not faded or cracked and face the undeniable search of their true selves in this world; where we are not rewarded by society for being our authentic selves in part and parcel. Coming out of closets, out of caves, freeing ourselves from shackles, coming out from under rocks are all amazing and beautiful transitions that lead to self actualization of our beings but guarantee nothing but personal satisfaction and the incredulous truth that we are who and what we are supposed to be. There is nothing more beautiful and more priceless for a human being participating in this world than realizing deep truths about ourselves and the people we are meant to be here on this earth.

As an intersex person I have spent a great deal of my life working through my authenticity in this world where I really didn’t fit in. I worked hard, I went to therapy, I created my own universe and lived a life without pronouns to be clear.

As I crested forty I felt liker I was in a good and solid place with myself, and the truth I figured out about myself over the ensuing years left me in a solid place as a parent, student and partner. I was quite sure of who I was, and lived accordingly in this world where the world received me as my reality defined me.

All this changed as does authenticity over time, but my change was sudden and drastic and not one I was comfortable with in the least.  This past January I found myself dependent on opiates from a fall I suffered in August. Prior to the opiate dependence I was a successful parent, student, partner and worker on a National Presidential Campaign, who had started a political group following the election which was quite successful and gaining momentum. The opiate dependency left me fractured, disposing of the rest of the prescription and going cold-turkey off the opiates into a whirlwind of vicious withdrawals.

The opiate dependence started a cascade of punitive actions from other health care professionals even though I did the right thing by tossing the rest of the prescription and withdrawing instantly from them. I was found non-compliant with a controlled substance and hence found to be unworthy of any other controlled substance I was being prescribed. This made little sense to me, as I could have stayed dependent and gotten the opiate prescription month after month without any medical intervention.

As a person with pure mania and vicious anxiety I was prescribed controlled substances of Adderall and Xanax at very high but approved dosages. These prescriptions were no longer an option with my provider so after twelve years I faced a barbaric 16 day medical detox off both drugs. I never thought it was right or in my best interest.

I went through the medical detox in March of 2K17 and suffered tremendously from the withdrawals and dependence. I was put on a host of other drugs to try to combat the anxiety I was dealing with but nothing worked. My authenticity was non-existent during the weeks following my detox. I knew nothing of who I was or where I was heading. I was in pure survival mode.

As the weeks passed and now I have surpassed two months since leaving the hospital I see a glimmer of who I was and still who I believe to be. Loved ones comment that I suffer from slurred speech, have lazy eyes and move more slowly, but I am here somewhere in this mess of medical mayhem.

I want everything to be the way it was-for my authenticity to be the secure facet I knew it to be. That is not the case, sure I am still me, no pronouns, in my own universe, but my confidence and my effect as well as my physical looks are off. It has only been two months and lots of progress since those initial days has been made. I want what I was, and the TRUTH is my authenticity changed dramatically and now I must figure out my new, evolved truth and embrace it even if it hurts and causes me pain, loss, and grief. We are always changing, we just like to think we have ultimate control over our changes as we grow deeper into our authenticity.

Being truthful is paramount to authenticity and it was glaring until today in a major part of my life:my Facebook community. I had not been honest or forthcoming with my on-line community that has become an extension of my family with some friends becoming more than just social media acquaintances and even some meeting in person. It has nagged on me for a month that I couldn’t return to Facebook without first facing my truth to the community. I didn’t want to be seen as an ordinary addict, for whatever reason I don’t see myself that way.

Sitting in church this morning it came to me that I missed my Facebook community and they deserved my TRUTH as ugly as it might appear. I bravely and painful crafted a post in summary detailing what I had been through. I tagged certain people on it and while I was writing it a huge wave of grief and sadness overtook me and drew me to tears I could not escape. They flowed freely for quite some time and I wasn’t really sure where the pain was coming from. As I sat with the grief it became apparent that I was filled with shame and guilt because in my mind THIS was never supposed to happen to me. I let the tears flow, I finished the post and I sent it.

This was the first major step in reclaiming and figuring out my new authenticity that has definitely changed my appearance, and my social effects, but perhaps not quite so much more was established today. I was left feeling today that there was more of me left past the physical ailments than there was parts of me that were newly  deficient in nature. Three weeks ago, I was unable to write freely and had to think and concentrate on each word. Now like times of old, I can readily type sentences and paragraphs without pausing to think about the next thought.

Facing Facebook was a major challenge and it hung over my head. I knew I had to be truthful to be a member of my community but I didn’t know how to do it. The response to my post has been nothing short of incredible. People have offered advice, shared similar experiences and let me know just how cared for I am in this community.

Today my authenticity is solid with changes to my physical being and my motor skills, but my mind and my soul which truly makes me, me are whole and not broken like I feared. I learned my authenticity will forever be changing and growing as I am, but my core, the part that makes me Corey is solid and something I can count on and so can others.

I weep gratitude and I ooze my evolving authenticity.