today sucks

Now lockdown is easing, I’ve had two different hospital departments ring me up last week to book me in for appointments. It was quite nice to go without hospital appointments for the last few months, its been the only real upside to lockdown life.

One appointment was for the podiatrist, he said my new insoles are ready… finally! Feels like I’ve been waiting forever for these new ones. He said he can post them to me or I can come in for an appointment and I said I’d prefer an appointment as if they still aren’t right then he can write down what adjustments they need and send them off there and then, rather then having them posted to me, them not being right and having to go up for an appointment anyway. Made more sense to me to just go in for an appointment. I go there on Thursday morning, I’m really hoping these are better then the last ones as its been nearly 2 years now trying to get these insoles just right.

The second appointment was for cardiology, which I went to this morning and it was a pretty fucking shit experience for a number of reasons.

The first being the face mask, for some reason is provokes such an intense reaction. It makes me feel really angry, really agitated and really anxious. I fucking hate wearing stuff over my face and around my neck, I can’t wear a Halloween mask for the same reason, I can’t fucking stand scarfs either. So as soon as I put that mask on to enter the hospital, my mood completely changed and its not under my control. I just instantly felt on edge and really emotionally dysregulated, I just wanted to take that mask off an leave.

Then I was fitted with a blood pressure monitor which is completely different from the one I was fitted with at the doctors surgery, which stressed me out even more. This one I have on now for 24 hours is uncomfortable, I have the monitor looped around my belt and the wire is all bunched up around my back and isn’t sat flat across my shoulder, its extremely hard to ignore the fact I’m wearing it and I fucking hate it! For bed time I have a softer belt to wear but if possible I’m not going to wear it as a belt, if its long enough I’m going to try and wear it over one shoulder.

The one I had from the doctors surgery a few months back was way better, the monitor itself was in a little bag with a strap, so I wore it over my shoulder which meant the wire wasn’t all bunched up around my back and sat flat around my shoulder. It was barely noticeable and it wasn’t such a stressful experience as this one is turning out to be.

I feel so fucking angry because I don’t feel comfortable and there’s nothing I can do so make myself feel less angry and uncomfortable. I just have to put up with this bullshit till 12 pm tomorrow and then have to drop the fucking thing back off which means wearing a fucking mask again!

I feel so fucking frustrated I want to smash my head in! That’s how intense I feel right now, I can’t wait for this 24 hours to be fucking done!

How I feel is beyond any self soothing skills or any other bullshit skill, I won’t feel better until I can take this fucking thing off.

Before lockdown I could cope ok with changes and sensory things, I was still effected by sudden changes or something that didn’t feel right but I was able to just deal with it and it didn’t often invoke a strong reaction, occasionally is did but not always. But now because lockdown guidelines are forever changing and things are so uncertain and my anxiety is heightened, I simply cannot deal with the smallest of changes or things that don’t feel right. It sends me into a massive internal spin and invokes such intense reactions, which makes me want to physically act out, in hurting myself. Which admittedly I have punched myself in the head, I’ve pinched myself hard, scratched myself, punched my legs. Just anything to stop the intensity of how I feel, the only things I’ve not resorted to yet is cutting myself. Mainly because I’ve not cut for 2 years and 6 months but also I don’t think I’d be able to control myself and I don’t want to have to deal with going to hospital for stitches and being questioned by people.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of maybe being on the autism spectrum because of my sensory issues, the fact I struggle to deal with change and find it difficult to make friends, I don’t like being touched unless I’m in a relationship with someone then its different, I don’t give very good eye contact as I find it really uncomfortable and social situations make me anxious. I also have stuff that I will intensely be interested in, collect etc and same with foods I will eat something for weeks/months on end until I’m sick of it. Also I have a lot of friends past and present who are on the spectrum, which makes sense as people with additional needs tend to gravitate towards each other. I may bring this up with the nurse next week when I go for my T shot and see what she suggest I do and her opinion on whether I could be on the spectrum or not.

Girls with ASD even now get missed and aren’t diagnosed as often as boys are, mainly because when the DX was written about ASD it had boys/men in mind now girls/females. Also girls are often much better at learning how to pretend and mimic their peers, boys don’t often do this and will ore often act out more aggressively so are more likely to be tested for autism, whereas for girls its not often picked up until much later in life.

I was raised as female and actually there’s a high instance of trans people who are on the spectrum, so these two things makes sense as to why maybe if I am on the spectrum it was missed earlier on in my life.

Anyway I’m so over today, I’m going to try and relax and hopefully the intensity of the mass of swirling mess inside subsides enough for me to chill and feel a bit better.

Peace out

Zak

Where do I belong – communities

Where do I belong? Is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and whilst I belong to a few different communities, I don’t really engage with them as much as I would like too, if I did maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely. But its complicated, I’ve actively stayed away from these communities because I didn’t want to be defined by these certain things. I’m realising that these things will always be apart of me and its ok to engage with these communities and they could be a source of friendships and support. I’ve kinda cut off my nose to spite my face, but I’ve been surrounded by such toxic people who’ve said over and over that you can’t let these things define you because you are more then that.

Now years down the line, those people who said those things are no longer around, but I still have that fear and anxiety around engaging in certain communities because I don’t want them to be all that defines me and my life. Right now I due to lockdown, I don’t really have anything outside of myself right now because I’m high risk, so I’m not really allowed to do much and I’m struggling to do anything at home on my own, as its so boring.

So what are these communities I belong too, well first one is people with chronic illness. I was first diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder when I was about 15 and I spent a few years fighting against, as I wasn’t given any support. I’ve always tried to fight against it and act like it doesn’t exist, but that never ends well. I think I have a better acceptance of it now but it still kicks my ass, especially when I’m not feeling well. I know from experience there’s a huge online community, full of amazing people but I just don’t engage with it, mainly as I’ve said before I don’t want my illness to define me. I don’t want my life to be boiled down to just a person with a illness.

I also have mental health issues, mainly depression and anxiety but also struggle with disassociation and now this community I’ve ran from because I didn’t want my mental health made worse by others, I didn’t want to become a professional patient, which is such a toxic term and insinuates that someone is attention seeking and not really mentally unwell. I’ve also felt that because I’m not in and out of hospital and I don’t outwardly express how I feel that I’m not unwell enough to be in the community. I mean its a whole mess of not nice feelings surrounding the mental health community, so right now I’m not sure its one I can really engage with because I think it would make me feel worse.

And the last community is the LGBT community, I am the T in LGBT and it is really a huge community with amazing people, but when I came out as trans I didn’t want to solely engage with the T community, I’m not really sure where that came from, maybe because its how I feel about most communities. I don’t want to feel pigeon holed, I didn’t want my transition to be the only exciting thing about me. But again I think I’ve missed out on making friends and doing things.

I see ‘proud to be trans’ a lot and I think for me that’s now lost all sort of meaning, I’m not really proud to be alive let alone be trans. I just feel too old for all these communities, I feel like I’m not sick enough, not unstable enough, not trans enough, just not enough to be apart of these communities. I just feel like I don’t really belong anywhere, I don’t really know myself but that maybe because I’ve walked away these communities, but these parts of me make up who I am.

I’ve disengaged with life in general at the moment, everyday feels the same. I feel like I’m living in a simulation or something, nothing feels quite real and it seems to be never ending and its so god damn lonely!

I know I need to make an effort and engage more but it feels so hard, I just feel like I’m being annoying all the time and that holds me back from doing anything. I’m so stuck inside myself, I want to reach out but it feels impossible, feels like I’m physically being held in place, frozen. Totally engulfed by the darkness, overwhelmed by the anxiety. I feel like I’m drowning, trying my best to float but I’m getting tired.

I know there’s a wonderful world of different communities that I belong to and can engage with but I’ve been so disconnected from humans, I don’t even know how to interact anymore. I wouldn’t know where to start and feels a bit scary putting myself back out there and trying once again to make friends.

I don’t want to just find people who are only temporary, who forget me if I don’t always message first. That’s apart of why I’m anxious about making new friends. Because I don’t want to make an effort just to be forgotten again, cuz that shit is emotionally exhausting and makes me feel so worthless.

I want so much to have a better life for myself, I don’t want to feel this way forever. But I don’t know how to move on, I don’t know if things will ever get better, right now I can’t see that it will.

Peace out

Zak

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN..CONT

This feels like a never ending saga… Although things are starting to slowly get back to normal-ish. More places are starting to open and you’re allowed to travel a bit more and the level has been lowered to 3.. which I’m unsure of the exact do’s and don’ts but for me I am meant to be isolating now till the end of this month, although that could change. It’s just a case of waiting to see what happens next, I do think a second wave is inevitable as that’s just how a virus works.

For me I don’t feel quite comfortable going to any shops in town just yet, although I will have to go to primark at some point at I have one pair of shorts and the ones I’ve seen in Asda either don’t feel right or just aren’t my style. I’m also feeling quite anxious about using public transport, luckily at the moment I don’t have to go anywhere, despite bursting to take the dogs out for the day somewhere, I think for me right now the risks still outweighs the wants. Plus I need a mask which I don’t have and don’t feel comfortable wearing due to not being able to breathe properly. I think I’d feel to claustrophobic wearing a mask, especially on the bus. So for now, I’m staying local..which is boring AF but I got to keep safe.

I wish I could say I was coping better with this lockdown life, but sadly I can’t. I’m still really struggling, my depression is pretty bad, anxiety is bad and the disassociation is really crippling.

I decided that today I was going to try my best to actually participate and engage in life, rather then the disassociation take over and its been extremely exhausting trying to stay present and in the moment. But I’ve been able to get things done that have just been impossible to do in the last few weeks.

Most days I am so disconnected, disassociated and switched off that all I can do is sleep, eat snacks as cooking has just been too difficult and walk the dogs. I haven’t even been able to really watch anything either, I’ve just been watching things I don’t have to concentrate on, things I’ve seen a million times as its kind of comforting and eases my anxiety. There’s a few new seasons of shows I love on netflix that I’m bursting to watch, but for some reason I can’t start them. I feel too anxious, I know it makes no sense. I’m not really enjoying doing anything either, I just feel so numb, I can’t remember the last time I actually felt something other then feeling so numb and just nothing. I feel like most days I’m just going through the motions, just to get through another day of monotony.

I struggle to even start a task, it takes forever to do the basics, as I’m so trapped my anxiety and fighting to stay in the moment that I spend a lot of time sitting down trying to motivate myself enough to unfreeze and move. Its such a battle every day just to do the simplest of things and its so exhausting. I’m meant to be taking my blood pressure every day, but I’ve been unable to do that, as I just don’t remember and for some reason it feels like an overwhelming task, even though its so simple.

I’m just trapped inside my head all by myself all the time and my head is such a dark place to be but I’m stuck there. I need outside stimulation and interaction, I need outside help. But it’s just not there right now.

I’m so withdrawn from life, that I just don’t reach out anymore, I just can’t bring myself to it. I’ve kinda resided to the fact that this is life now, just on my own, loneliness forever. I’m not ok with that but I’m too tired to keep trying to insert myself into people’s lives.

Even when I’m out with the dogs and people talk to me, I keep stumbling over my words, I feel super awkward and incredibly anxious. I love being out with the dogs but I hate being seen, I just want to walk and chill on my own, which just isn’t me at all. I usually love talking to random strangers but now it just makes me feel so vulnerable and awkward I really don’t enjoy it and I wish I didn’t feel this way as I am quite a social person usually. But my anxiety is so strong and the constant negative thoughts is making everything impossible.

I’m kind of dreading everything getting back to normal, I can see myself keeping myself very withdrawn and isolated, it feels a bit scary getting back to normal. I don’t know how I’m going to get myself back out there into society, just thinking about it freaks me out. I’m not agoraphobic but the thought have having to go a bit further a field, like say to a hospital app is terrifying. Not just getting public transport but also interacting with others and also being able to organise myself enough to get myself somewhere on time. This lockdown has had a huge negative impact on my mental health and its not something that I’ll be able to easily fix.

I’ve had very little sleep today, under 4 hours I think. I got up early and did the house work and made some breakfast and I was out just before 10 am, I took the dogs for a walk and sat down where we scattered dad’s ashes which was nice and peaceful. Spoke to him and wished him a Happy Fathers Day, something I do every year. After our walk I had some lunch and watched and film, then jumped onto the laptop while my brain was still engaged in real life and I’ve been sat here for about 4 hours now. I feel a bit better for blogging and getting stuff out, I’m bloody exhausted now. I’m going to try and get an earlier night.

A couple of weeks ago I decided for my own mental health and sanity to cut ties with my ex completely, which meant deleting messages, blocking on FB and burning the break up letter they gave, which wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be. I couldn’t keep tormenting myself and I felt like I was still holding on, waiting, hoping that maybe I’d be wanted again. I didn’t really want to remain friends in the first place, it’s what they wanted and rather then be strong and stand up for myself I just went along with it. But I can’t heal from the situation whilst stuck in it and still wishing and hoping we’d get back together. I kept thinking I was over it but its still just as painful as when we broke up. I hate feeling so deeply, cuz sure as hell they don’t miss me or were even hurt by the break up, even if they did they didn’t show it. But why would they be hurt, I mean its only me right. Not speaking to them is so painful but being friends was painful, I can’t win.

Man, writing all this shit out makes me feel so broken.. no wonder I’m alone! lol who the fuck wants to take me and all my baggage on?! I don’t even want me.. Maybe this will always be the way, maybe one day I’ll find the light in all this darkness.

Peace out

Zak

Toxic positivity

What is toxic positivity? Well its this

Its something I experience a lot from others but also I do it myself. I invalidate my own feelings, mainly because I get sick to death of feeling so shit all the time, I just try and fake it till I make it, but that’s such a bad thing. As it doesn’t acknowledge or validate your situation and feelings and without that validation then how you feel will often last longer as your not being true to yourself.

It’s also something that I have really noticed recently in the spiritual/new age community and its not cool. Over the last few months I’ve felt increasingly like I don’t belong in the spiritual community because I’m not as knowledgeable, I’m not spiritual enough, I’m too depressed etc the list goes on. No matter what religion/community you belong too, it shouldn’t make you feel like an outsider. It should be a place of love and unity but its not and I’ve found that it’s just full of fakes, who say one thing but who’s actions are the complete opposite of what they speak and I’m not ok with that. That’s not the type of people I want to be associated with, so I decided to leave every facebook page and group I belonged to and remove most people from that community off my facebook.

I was sick of seeing the streams and streams and positive shit, I mean I love my quotes and stuff but it got to the point where seeing all this stuff was making me feel more worthless then I already do because everyone in these groups makes living life and being happy seem so fucking simple, its like they all know this secret to a happy life but aren’t allowed to tell me, I’ve just got to put up with seeing the fake stuff, oh just meditate and you’ll be happy, connect to your higher self and you’ll have all these special gifts… and yeah it all feels so unobtainable to someone like me, who’s on my own and I don’t have anyone to guide me or teach me.

It was just all getting to be really overwhelming and then its like all of a sudden I saw just how self centred and fake everyone is because life isn’t fucking perfect no matter how spiritual you are because your still here living the human experience. I often feel that there’s a sense of superiority within the community, because they have all these gifts and whatever that they are better then everyone.

This is all just how I feel and it could well be a reflection of how I’m feeling in general right now, but no one’s noticed I’ve left or removed them of my facebook, so kinda makes my point really. Community is meant to care for everyone not some.

I’ve also had a lot of toxic positivity from friends who will over generalise whatever I say by saying oh well everyone is struggling right now, everyone is in the same situation. Which while yes its true, that doesn’t make me feel good and I struggle to open up to people and be vulnerable and tell people the truth about how I feel. I very rarely express how I really feel because I don’t easily trust people’s words, I often don’t feel safe enough to be honest and the times I have been honest I either get one of 2 reactions. I either get invalidated and they’ll talk in general or the person will over react and in doing that then makes it about them. So either way I often left feeling invalidated, so my automatic response is usually I’m good thanks as it doesn’t invite any more questions. Also I find people want to fix it for you, they listen to reply, they listen to help and that’s not always helpful either. Being heard by someone can make you feel 10 times better then any advice as often all I want it be heard, acknowledged and validated and sometimes that’s all anyone needs.

I know I am a rescuer type personality and its something I have become very aware of over the last few years and its really hard walking away from people but constantly rescuing something is draining. But its so hard not to rescue people, not go above and beyond to help people just to make myself feel better, to make myself feel useful and worthy. But I can’t rescue the world when I can barely rescue myself.

I’m not completely sworn off spirituality despite the situation I find myself in, I still have my spiritual beliefs and I will still be open to learning more. I just don’t want to be stuck in a box or community, I want to explore what’s out there. I will always try to be one with earth and the universe.

Maybe this post has helped you recognise toxic positivity, whether that’s because you’ve experienced it or are guilty of it. Which I think we all are to a degree, non of us are perfect.

Keep being authentic

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy

Well I haven’t been writing for a long while, although the notes on my phone are crazy long lol. I just haven’t had the motivation or concentration to sit down and write, so I have lots to catch up on. That’s if I can make sense of some of the things I’ve noted down.

Yesterday marked 10 months since having had top surgery, it has gone crazy fast. I can barely keep up with myself. My scars are looking great and I’m just so happy with the results, areas of my chest still feel a bit numb but its slowly regaining sensation. I still have the occasional nipple twinge where I’m assuming the nerve endings are still growing, that is a super weird feeling.

I still feel quite self conscious when I’m out and about, I still feel like I need a hoody so I can hide my chest. I still feel like people are staring at me, that I don’t ‘pass’ well enough etc and I know that’s just my insecurities and gender dysphoria. I also think its down to the ridiculously high standard that is set for trans men to look a certain way and I certainly do not meet the criteria. The expectation is that all trans men are super buff, work out, have muscles and are super handsome. I am non of those things, I’m short with a chubby body and I don’t work out or have muscles. I am currently in the process of loosing a bit of weight to help with my self esteem, body image and my general physical wellbeing, but I will never be a gym bunny.

I will never look like a lot of trans activists out there, who all work hard and look amazing. But there’s not a lot of representation out there for different body types within the trans masc community and I am no where near brave enough to show my chubby body in all its chubby glory on social media, as I am not strong enough to handle any negative criticism, even though I know it may help others feel seen, right now its not something I can do. But hey maybe one day.

I also think the expectation that once you have surgery that the dysphoria will disappear, I think I was under the illusion that it wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I’ve spent so long not feeling comfortable in my skin, that its going to take a whole lot of self love to even being to love this body of mine. I am so grateful for my body, it keeps me alive but I still don’t love my body enough and I don’t even really know what that looks like, as I’ve spent so long neglecting my mind and body that true self love and acceptance is not something I’ve experienced before and not sure how it looks or how it feels. I feel like I’m only just starting to scratch the surface of this self love stuff, I’ve got so much I need to heal first but I’m still trying.

The 12 weekly testosterone shots are going well, I’m 2 years and 10 months on T now which again has gone crazy fast. Only feels like yesterday that I would have done anything to be on testosterone and now here I am nearly 3 years down the line. There where times where I thought I can’t wait, its taking too long, once I knew who I was finally, waiting for everything was absolute agony it was almost like a physical pain, it was unbearable. I am so glad I held on, things get better eventually.

I much prefer the 12 weekly shot to the 3 weekly as my hormones are more settled and I feel less chaotic, then on the 3 weekly shots. My next one is due on a couple of weeks and I’ve got to get my levels checked to see how my body is reacting to the longer lasting testosterone. My sex drive has only just settled down since my last injection lol, it sucks being single and stuck in lockdown by myself. The first few weeks after my shot I’m super hungry and just want to eat everything and I’m horny as hell too, which is so weird. Before testosterone I had very little sex drive, mainly due to being on the medications I’m on, but now its a different story lol! But unlike the crazy appetite which settles down, the high sex drive seems to last a good 9-10 weeks! But self pleasure is a good pain relief, which I can say is true as I’ve barely had to take any of my usual pain meds recently so its not just an old wives tale.

I recently joined a dating website, which feels so embarrassing to even say… that I just want the ground to swallow me up right now lol! Its called OkCupid, which is a LGBT friendly dating site and that was the main reason for joining that specific one. I decided to join as I’ve on dated one person in the last 7 years and that relationship was exactly long, it lasted all of 6 months and it was my first relationship out as a trans guy.

There’s a few downsides to the website, one being that I am shit and describing myself and bigging myself up or even making myself sound in the slightest bit interesting…so I’ve not had any likes yet lol and I’m too scared to message anyone first as I feel awkward as fuck and I’m so shit and inserting myself into other people’s orbit, as I feel like I’m being instantly annoying.. Shit if I could be invisible but still be seen that would be the best lol. So yeah I don’t think my profile is really anything special, it doesn’t really stand out from anyone else’s.

The second downside is that I keep being matched with lesbians… like WTF! Lesbians want to be with lesbians, they do not want to be with trans men, I mean that would make them bi/straight. So that’s pretty annoying, trying to sift through all these hot lesbians and I feel bad for swiping no, although I don’t think it tells you who rejects you which is good.

So yeah I’m trying to get myself out there but its so fucking hard when all I want to do is disappear because I don’t feel worthy enough to be taking up space on this earth. I’m desperate to be seen and heard but I also want to disappear which is such a confusing paradox. But a lot of it is I have no self worth, self love etc and like I said I wouldn’t even know what that feels like, looks like. I’m so used to feeling like this for most of my life, its hard to imagine ever feeling any different. Maybe one day. I’ve got a lot of trauma to work through.

I know I am a bit late but HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Always live your truth, no matter how hard your light will eventually shine and you can be a beacon of hope for others out there.

Peace out

Zak