For me, dysphoria peaks and troughs, sometimes for days at a time. When it overwhelms me, it really fucking sucks.
It's enervating. It completely drains me of the energy and motivation to do anything except stay alive.
It's crushing. It makes me feel like I'm suffocating, like every breath catches on a fish-hook embedded in my chest.
It's inescapable. I have always tended to seek respite from my problems – school problems, relationship problems – in fiction, whether books, TV, or movies. There are stories with no school in them. There are stories with no romance in them. But I don't know any stories with no gender in them. All the stories have gendered characters, gendered terms, gendered pronouns.
When it's bad, it's really bad. All I can do is curl up, trying not to cry from the pain, and wait for the sweet release of sleep.
I don't have wildly unrealistic aspirations. I don't dream of being a muscle-bound Adonis with washboard abs. I have felt searing envy over bodies that, by normative societal standards of masculinity, would be considered quite unenviable.
(As one friend put it, meanly but hilariously, "Dysphoria will trick you into thinking that [name redacted] is someone to aspire to.")
I wish I knew how to get out of the pit. I wish there was something I could do to stop feeling this way. I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up in the right body.
You have laid me in the lowest pit,
In darkness, in the depths. ...
You have afflicted me with all your waves.