Although we live in a progressive world, there is still a considerable presence of ignorance, misunderstanding, and hate. Processing gender identity is something that one must do. Unfortunately, people are plagued with the presence of societal and unsolicited advice or opinion.
Some individuals may not identify with the gender that they were seemingly born into. Some, however, do not acknowledge this. These individuals can find themselves living a life that they are very unhappy with. One of the hardest things to do in life is walk through each day as someone or something that you are not.
This consistent discomfort can lead to a desperate attempt to find comfort by any means. You may find a false sense of comfort in substance use. It simply allows you to, in moments, ignore or forget the reality of the society in which you live. However, this does not help your discomfort.
What Is Gender Identity?
Gender identity is an individual’s sense of gender or how they see themselves pertaining to sexual orientation. Essentially, it is one’s sense of being a man, a woman, both, or neither. Stress, shame, and even self-harm are some results surrounding gender identity related to the stigma and discrimination of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Some gender identity terms are the following:
- Agender (not identifying with any gender)
- Bigender (fluctuations between male and female)
- Gender expression (an external display of how they identify sexually)
- Gender fluid (identifies as both traditional genders)
- Cisgender (identifies as the sex they were born)
- Gender variant (non-conforming to societal gender-based expectations)
- Non-binary (falls outside of traditional gender identities determined at birth or at all)
- Genderqueer (gender non-conforming or non-binary)
- Mx (gender neutral)
- Transgender (lives as and identifies as opposite gender assigned at birth)
People can be born with sexual organs that at birth deem them to be male or female; however, they do not actually identify with that determination.
What Processing Gender Identity Means
Toddlers begin to notice the physical differences between boys and girls and will begin identifying themselves as a girl or a boy. However, some children progress in life and start to feel different. There is an odd sense of unfamiliarity with their assigned sex and expectations of said sex. In many cases, this feeling is hidden and not addressed until later in life, and in unfortunate cases, ever.
Achieving gender identification is important. It is an internal experience of an individual’s experience of gender. In exploring one’s gender identity, one must consider biological sex, social sex role, gender identity assigned at birth, and sexual orientation. These components of sexual orientation aid individuals in exploring and expressing their sexual identity.
Gender identity does not necessarily determine sexual identities such as heterosexuality and homosexuality. However, being able to stand in the truth in your identification as one offers the ability to do so with the other also.
How Processing Gender Identity Can Help Individuals Overcome Addiction and Mental Health Issues
When living in addiction, regardless of how your life encountered it, standing in the beauty of who you are is key. Sobriety and recovery help you to uncover what lies beneath the pain, shame, and trauma. Recovery changes you, and it starts with the mind.
Processing gender identity allows for clarity of mind. You can process who you are in full when you let go of what you feel you should “be” based on the world around you. And when you have the freedom to just think, feel, and be, it opens the door for hope amidst the challenges and inevitabilities of life.
Here at Lantana Recovery, some staff members identify as LGBTQIA+. As such, these individuals know how to treat this specific population and be an example for those who may not. Processing gender identity is a part of the healing process for some clients. Lantana Recovery can be the place to do so for you, along with other treatment methods and approaches.
Be True to Yourself: The Importance of Living Life as Your Genuine Self
No one can live your life for you. This is hard to conceptualize when considering the amount of pressure that outside opinion can have on an individual. However, people are always going to have an opinion, solicited and voiced or not.
In navigating the journey of life, one must come to a point where you choose to be you. Live out loud. Do not hide who you are in shame. Negative and unwanted emotions can lead to addictive behaviors. This only brings you more shame and guilt.
Sometimes things that we experience in life cause us to feel as if we have to shy away from who we are or even live a double life. However, that is extremely exhausting. Your life is your own. You only have one life. You deserve to be you and leave it to the fullest.
Gender identity plays a huge role in everyday life. For some time, going to the restroom in public, who does certain chores, and how you choose to dress were all societal determining factors of gender. However, society has progressed and is beginning to understand the reality of gender identity. Terms and titles that individuals go by should not be deemed by others. The shame and fear that many live in because they feel that they cannot acknowledge who they truly are can lead to mental health disorders and addiction. Treatment can help you to live in your truth and start your recovery journey. Call Lantana Recovery for more information at (866) 997-2870.