Hobbies – photography

I absolutely love photography, I’m not a professional but I love viewing life through a lens.

I haven’t shared any of my pictures lately, so I decided to write this blog and share my recent pictures.

Spring is on the way ☀️

^ dog walk at sunset last week, I had fun looking at stones, shells and glass and using them to take pictures with.

I love capturing a moment in a picture, capturing a memory, a feeling.

I have a Facebook page for my photography, it feels good to share something positive and to do something that makes me feel alive.

https://www.facebook.com/Zakattact3/

^ the link for my page.

Peace out

Zak

Living with a chronic illness

I’ve not written much about my health lately, mainly because I’ve been super busy with like a trillion appointments!

It feels great having such a great team of doctors around me but that comes with a lot of appointments. The team of doctors and nurses looking after my care are incredible and I am so grateful for them. I love the NHS!

My Rheumatologist over sees everything, but he is just one Doc apart of my team, I also have a Ears nose and throat doc, physiotherapist, and podiatrist. I also have to go to the hospital for a blood test every 8 weeks. I have two other appointments for my medical transition, I see a nurse every 3 weeks for my testosterone shot and also the gender clinic.

Since January I’ve had a total of 9 doctors and hospital appointments and I have another 7 coming up in the next 6 weeks!

Appointments mean a lot of early mornings and a lot of bus rides and days of recovery from these appointments.

My treatment is going well but like the appointments its takes up time as well. I take medication in the morning and in the evening, which have two pill boxes that I have to fill up every Monday, I do a sinus rinse twice a day, morning and evening but sometimes in the afternoon if my sinuses are playing up and physio exercises.

The treatment itself seems simple but if you add in the human element of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, getting ill, depression, dysphoria, disassociation, insomnia, memory issues and no motivation, then its not so simple.

Some days its so hard to get myself up an organised and get everything done before even leaving the house, that I often can’t get out until 2-3pm. Some days its such a struggle, some days are a bit easier but everyday is hard work.

Mental health has a huge impact on physical health and visa versa, which complicates matters. Even after all these years of dealing with these things it only feels like recently things are more under control and I am being properly cared for, but its still not easy and I’m still learning about myself and learning different ways to deal with whatever is thrown at me.

I don’t think living with a chronic illness will ever be easy and I don’t think its something I’ll every truly accept and its something I’ll never stop learning to deal with. But all I can say is that I am trying my hardest to maintain good physical and mental health, which in itself is a full time job.

Overall things are on the right path, at the moment its about maintaining good physical health with medications, physio, insoles in my shoes, sinus rinses and hospital appointments.

Peace out

Zak

Dealing with disassociation – with self care

Schedule for tomorrow, this helps so much with disassociation and trying to get some stuff done. It’s mostly dependent on weather, pain and energy levels. I’m hoping I don’t feel as wiped out tomorrow so Scrappy and I can get out for a good walk, I may take Fox if it’s not too cold.

For me this is a form of self care whilst helping me stay in the moment. But I always make sure how I’m feeling before doing anything, so that my physical health is also taken into consideration, as well as my mental health.

I’m hoping I can get out and walk the dogs tomorrow as I was so wiped out this weekend because of the pneumonia jab I had Friday, but if I still need another day to rest and recover the that’s ok too, I have other low energy things that need to be done at some point as well.

I never put pressure on myself to complete everything and in the time scales I’ve set. It’s more of a reminder of what I need and want to do and having a rough time scale helps. If I manage everything then brilliant, it does make me feel good and even if I don’t manage everything but do a few things then that’s great as well and also makes me feel good because at least I’ve done something. But if I don’t manage anything at all because I’m in too much pain or too exhausted or both then that’s also absolutely fine too, because resting and doing nothing is as good as being productive because it’s still extremely important self care

Peace out

Zak

The disassociation spectrum

Recently I’ve really been struggling with disassociation and just being in the moment. I think it’s mostly due to gender dysphoria, but partly due to recent bouts of insomnia, depression and chronic fatigue.

However I’ve discovered a way to help me stay in the moment and bit more and spend less time off in my own little world.

I’ve been writing out a daily schedule, I say daily I mean for the days I need to get things done. Also it’s not absolute, if I wake up and I still feel exhausted then that’s ok and I do what I’m physically capable of and do the rest another day.

The point is that having a written schedule gives me a purpose for that day and helps me stay focused. Whereas if I’m a bit directionless then that’s when the disassociation just completely takes over and I no longer feel I’m in control and often feel like I’m no longer even in my own body, I’m floating above watching the shell of me just floating around not really doing anything.

I’ve connected the fact that with long periods of disassociation my memory just disappears and I struggle to recall anything and often forget what I was saying mid sentence and even what I was doing mid thought and it’s so bloody frustrating. I decided to see if temporary memory issues are connected to disassociation and turns out it is! It’s called dissociative amnesia, which for me makes so much sense!

There’s no medication for disassociation but just having an awareness of it and having the skills in place to help deal with it makes things easier.

I can loose chunks of time just by sitting staring into space, I often find it difficult to get organised enough to get out on time, which is something I’m usually hot on as I hate being late.

Chronic fatigue definitely makes it easier to slip off into my own world. But on days like that I try and take it easy and not beat myself up too much.

I struggle with disassociation, derealisation, depersonalisation and dissociative amnesia. Along with everything else lol! But as with everything I’m dealing, I’ve found things that help and have stuff in place which is positive.

Peace out

Zak

Toxicity purge – Update

I thought I’d do an update with how things have been going since I decided to change things, cut people out of my life etc.

First thing I want to say is that is has been incredibly difficult part of my journey but its been really freeing and I’ve learnt so much about myself. I feel this part of my journey has been really important.

It’s been a pretty dark time, where at times I’ve really struggled to keep going and I’ve just wanted to give up but somehow I’m still going, still trying my best.

About 4 weeks ago I removed everyone off Facebook and only been using FB for the group I run. I originally planned to post stuff to my timeline so I can use it as a diary but I’ve not done that as much as I thought I would. I can honestly say its the best decision I’ve made. I can’t really explain why, I suppose I don’t have that pressure of being watched and judged by people. I feel more free, I can just be me.

I wrote a public post saying what I was doing and people know how to get hold of me and unsurprisingly no one contacted me and this is precisely the reason I did it. I was fed up with all the fakeness of it all and the fact that every friendship I have I was the one keeping it afloat, I was the one to always message first and arrange stuff. I refuse to do it anymore, it has to be equal or I’m not interested anymore. I don’t think I’m setting standards to high I am just beginning to value and respect myself enough to say I deserve better from friendships and relationships in my life.

Some people don’t want you to change and realise your value because it makes them look at their own poor behaviour. I think that’s what happened with the people that blocked me. I still haven’t heard anything, but that’s ok. I’ve forgiven them not for them but for me, being angry won’t hurt the other person, it only poisons yourself. I don’t hold any hate towards anyone who’s hurt me or hasn’t put in equal effort into friendships, because everyone is dealing with their own journey and everyone is at different places in their journey. I think I’ve out grown a lot of people in my life, last year has shown me exactly what I want and now that’s what I’m aiming for. I just wont settle for less anymore.

It’s been a pretty lonely time, cutting out people isn’t easy but I’ve learned to love my own company, I thought I was already comfortable in my own company but clearly not as much as I thought.

I’ve spent a lot of time walking the dogs, when the weather has been nice, listening to podcasts, reading, teaching scrappy new tricks, volunteering at the cat cafe and going to the cinema.

There has been a few people I’ve met up with over the last 4 weeks which has been nice, so I’m not totally isolated and friendless, I do still have a handful of friends that I appreciate and aren’t one sided friendships.

Overall I’m doing pretty well right now, I’m feeling pretty good. Its not easy but I’m just trying to trust the process and enjoy the ride and looking forward to what this road brings in the next few months.

Peace out

Zak