The light at the end of the darkness

I feel happy again and I can say that now and actually mean it.

Just a few months ago I was in the darkness, struggling to get through a day. At times I felt so tired, I just didn’t want to keep going.

I recognised that it’s not that I wanted to die, I just needed the pain to end.

At that time if you had told me to just hold on because you’ll soon be surrounded by some amazing people and you’ll soon be having top surgery, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

My world was so dark, I just couldn’t see that there would ever be light and happiness again in my life.

But sat here now late at night, I feel happy, I feel content, I feel understood, I feel connected, I feel loved, I feel like I’m wanted. And it’s the most amazing feeling ever because I don’t feel I’ve ever really experienced it, I’ve never been around a group of friends who encourage each other, genuinely care about each other, have different passions and talents, who build each other up, help each other without question.

Most of my past friendships have come with conditions and they were about what I could offer, non of those friendships have endured and non of them really helped me grow, but they opened my eyes to the fact my kind nature attracts damaged souls and can easily be taken advantage of.

But now it feels different and for that I am eternally grateful, I let myself be vulnerable and open, which was scary but it’s paid off.

I know these people won’t all be in my life permanently and I’m ok with that, I know we were brought together to help each to continue to grow through our each individual journeys, by coming together as a collective, who’s knows where this will take us in 6 months/ a years time.

Its already helped me and started to heal some of the hurt I was carrying inside, I feel happy, I want to live, I’m actually excited about life now, I want to start looking to the future and what that will bring.

The only changes I made was I let myself be open and vulnerable and fuck that was scary but it’s something I’m going to continue to do, so I can keep experiencing life and hopefully new friendships and opportunities will arise.

You know who you are and I’m so grateful 💜

And to everyone in my life, know I love you, I appreciate you and I support you 💜

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – gender dysphoria

I’m sure not everyone is happy that it’s raining today but I certainly am, it means I can wear jeans, T-shirt, hoodie and a baseball cap without being hot and without feeling dysphoric about my chest area.

Now I know in 4 weeks I won’t have to worry about it because I’ll be getting top surgery. That doesn’t mean the dysphoria goes away just because I have a date. I feel like it’s actually made it worse and heightened my dysphoria around my chest.

I think it’s because a lot of my focus is going towards arranging stuff, talking about it, counting down the weeks etc. I’m super excited about it but nervous too. So I think that’s all magnified the gender dysphoria.

The last few weeks it’s been hot, so I’ve been living in shorts and T-shirt’s, so today is a welcome break for me. I’m not feeling that added stress and anxiety. I feel a bit more relaxed, as I feel comfortable and safe.

The word that keeps repeating in my head when I think about top surgery is the word FREEDOM and I think surgery will be the start of me releasing stuff that no longer serves me and looking after my body better, because I won’t be self conscious about exercising and I’ll be able to do things that I love, like swimming and maybe I’ll go back to Thai chi.

This will definitely be the start of the next chapter, the more authentic me, the more confident me. I’m so excited for this next stage.

Always be your true self 💜

Peace out

Zak

Teeth op

So this week I finally had my two teeth out. I had been waiting since June last year. It took so long for various reasons, the referral to the hospital kept getting lost and twice they denied it. But I eventually got an appointment in April.

I still then had to push for a pre op assessment, they said I could be waiting for quite a few weeks… but I’d already been waiting for a year.

Anyway last month I was booked in for the pre assessment and that all went fine and two weeks after I was booked in to have my teeth out, but it got cancelled and rearranged at the last minute.

So I went in again the next week, spoke to the doctors and stuff, got changed and because it was a Saturday and they only had skeleton staff on and because of my complex health issues they refused to do it just in case anything went wrong.

I was so cross, angry and frustrated! Mainly because of how long it had all taken to get to this point in the first place but also because it was the first time I’d sat in the men’s waiting room, so that was quite daunting but cool at the same time. It was a big deal for me and it’s something I don’t think they really appreciated.

Anyway it got rearranged for this month and again saw all the Docs’s etc. But when it came to the anaesthesiologist, he wanted to sedate me instead of putting me under general anaesthetic. Now this really stressed me out and made me anxious, again because it had taken so long to get here but also I’ve had sedation before and it’s not worked, so I was extremely apprehensive and anxious about it, not really the feelings you want to have before you get put to sleep.

It made me feel like I wasn’t listened too and it was something totally out of my control, which at the moment control over things of sorts helps make me feel better. But I think a lot of that is due to top surgery coming up and that’s a huge deal and a lot of that feels out of my control.

I tried my best to just let it go and trust but I couldn’t. But to my surprise the sedation actually worked! Which I was grateful for but then felt bad for giving the guy a hard time and I felt frustrated with myself that something like that caused such a reaction inside.

I’m trying my best to keep on top of these intense emotions, but I think it’s just apart of who I am and it will be something I’ll always have to work on.

After all that stress, everything went fine and I got home and rested the rest of the day and yesterday. I’m sure I’ll continue to heal well.

Peace out

Zak

Psych app!

So a few months ago I asked my GP to refer me to the my psychiatrist and I was meant to have an appointment last month, but I had to to reschedule.

Anyway I had my appointment first thing this morning. 9am… why do they book such early appointments lol!

I felt fairly awake this morning though, so it wasn’t too much of a struggle and I had enough energy for to get the bus up there.

I didn’t have to wait too long before I got seen.

I knew what I wanted to say and what I wanted from the appointment. I think that always helps, to have an idea of what you need/want etc.

So I told him everything that’s been going on recently and what I’ve been struggling with. About the anxiety, depression etc.

I said I would like to maybe do DBT again, maybe not the main therapy group but maybe the group people do whilst waiting for the main therapy.

I also said that it’s been 6 years since I finished DBT and then there’s no follow up. And he thankfully agreed that it would be a good idea, he also gave me Trazodone to help me sleep better and hopefully it will help with my anxiety too.

My next appointment is in 3 months and then I’ll have an appointment with Deirdre, she heads up the DBT group.

I last saw my psychiatrist January 2018 and I wasn’t open, I didn’t know what I wanted or needed and I didn’t want to be there. So nothing happened as a result, but I don’t think I was ready.

This appointment was different from most appointments I’ve had there, because I wanted to be there, I know things need to change and I know I can’t do it alone. I’m ready for the extra support and I need the extra support.

I’m glad I have things put in place for now and after my surgery in August. Feeling pretty proud of myself 🙂

Peace out

Zak

Dear friends,

Dear friends, old and new. To those who I’ve known for 20 years and to those who I’ve known for 2 months. I wanted to write this to catch everyone up on where I am and where I’ve been.

In January, I was in a really dark place, which is somewhere I haven’t been for a long time and I feel like I’m only just coming out of the other side of it, but I still have a way to go.

As a result of this darkness I removed everyone from my Facebook for a good 3/4 months. I was angry, frustrated, isolated, depressed and struggling to survive.

But in that time I did a lot of soul searching, I know such a cliche, but I did.

I realised that over the years I’ve been quick to shut people out of my life, I’ve been quick to give up on friendships. I was trying to cut out “bad energies, drama” etc but in doing that I closed myself off to the good energies and good stuff.

I think I became so closed off because I’m so willing to help everyone, that sometimes I get burned. That’s not necessarily down to people themselves but due to my lack of boundaries and respect for myself. I thought if I made other people happy then I’d be happy but it doesn’t work like that.

Then about 5 years ago I started exploring my gender and came out as trans and I began my journey. Which again I was really open about but I was also wary of being people’s token trans friend and I was just anxious about not being accepted or whatever. So again I made my friend circle smaller.

In making my world smaller, I’ve missed out on living. I’ve missed out on friendships with some really great people. I gave in to the negative inner voices and the darkness, I allowed myself to become isolated and alone, the anger and frustration grew within.

January was my breaking point but in the weeks and months after I spent most of time alone, thinking, reflecting and meditating.

I started to allow myself to be open, slowly I began to add people back on FB, I began to reach out to friends. I started to ignore the negative inner voice and the darkness and walked towards the light.

It’s by no means perfect, I still struggle with anxiety and depression but I’m finding it a bit easier to deal with.

I often felt my expectations of people were too high, but I realised I rarely expressed my expectations in my friendships, I can’t have expectations if people don’t know what they are.

My voluntary work has helped me so much, it’s helped me with not being so isolated, I’ve made some incredible new friends who’s friendships I am so incredibly grateful for and hopefully in 20 years plus we’ll still be friends, still having adventures and experiencing this life together.

For those who I’ve not spoken to in a long time, who I’ve recently added back, I hope you’re well and forgive me for being so distant, I had to go off in order to grow into a better version of myself and I hope to hear from you soon, much love to you.

For everyone else, know that I appreciate you, I may not say it as often as I should or even show it but I do very much appreciate every friendship I have. You’ve kept me going even when I didn’t want too. I will continue to try and be open with you about everything, it’s something I’m still working one. But I’ll get there.

Thank you to everyone for your patience, love, support and sheer awesomeness!

I love and appreciate you all!

In 6 weeks time I will embark on the next stage of my journey, my physical transition, my spiritual journey.

I’m excited, I’m a bit scared, I’m nervous but I am so ready for it, I know it’s going to be a challenge but I’m ready to face it head on.

I know I will have my friends by my side helping me through and I’m so excited to have you guys with me! I can’t wait for this next adventure!

Peace out

Zak 💜