Shining light

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote anything and I’m feeling less angry and frustrated then I was in my last blog.

I took the decision to up my trazadone again to help me sleep better and hopefully help me feel less depressed and so far I’m sleeping a better most nights and I’m starting to feel a little better too. I don’t feel so hopeless and so lost in the darkness, I still don’t feel great but I can see the shimmer of light at the end of the darkness, I’ve just got to keep reaching out for it.

I’ve been trying to make little changes to my daily life, that will help continue to make me feel a bit better and to prepare myself for the winter months. Each year I struggle with my mood during the winter and every year it really hits me, so I’ve been trying to prepare myself so its not going to be so much of a shock when it rolls around.

I have written up a rough plan of things to do day to day, some of these things are non negotiable, like take my meds in the morning and evening, getting to bed at a reasonable time things like that. But also to get outside for at least 30 mins each day, especially when the clocks change. As some days I like to just chill and I don’t get dressed until 4pm, which during the summer months is fine as I have loads of time still to enjoy the sunshine. But in the winter it gets dark by 4pm, so I’m going to make sure that no mater how I’m feeling I make sure I spend time outside, soak in that vitamin D from the sun. I love being outside in nature so it shouldn’t be too much of a drag. Even something as small as that I know will make a huge difference to how I feel from day to day.

I love my lists and I’ve been spending nearly every day just writing and writing. One list is of self care stuff, things like washing my face masks regularly as that’s a new thing I need to do better, or using my SAD light every day, listening to what my body wants and needs. Just simple things.

This winter is going to be a tough one as we’re heading into another lockdown and firs time around I found it so hard and winter on top of that is going to bring added stress. But I feel much more prepared this time, that’s why I’ve been writing lists down, mainly as a reminder of things I can be doing to make myself feel better and help me get through this next part a bit easier and I know what to expect now so its not going to be so much of a shock to the system.

I think I mainly operate from my inner child, he’s in charge most of the time. Which is fine but at the moment he’s feeling scared, anxious and unsafe and that’s the main reason I’ve been trying to prepare myself for the winter months to ease the anxieties of my inner child and to make him feel safe. Which he is a bit more settled then he was but he’s still highly anxious and just wants everything in place to feel as safe as possible. Which I am currently working on and I’m not far off having everything ready but I’m not quite finished.

Trying to calm my inner child down has been difficult, but I’ve been trying to listen and trying to identify his needs and what he wants, but it’s tricky as he has complex needs from traumatic events in our life. Slowly I will heal us both, through counselling and lots of patience and self care. I’ve been trying to heal myself for the last 20 years but I’ve never even really scratched the surface until now, I think I’m finally ready to heal. I can’t keep bleeding, I can’t keep letting this little boy hurt, he deserves to feel better now. I want my life to be better now, I want things to be different, I want to break the patterns that I’ve been repeating for the last 35 years. I’m ready to be happy.

One of my self care/regular activities is to try and blog on a bit more of a regular basis. I love writing/blogging and my anxiety/procrastination stops me just getting on with it. I think sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed I can’t physically do anything so I don’t and then I feel annoyed because I haven’t done anything. So I am going to try and make more of a conscious effort to push through the anxiety and sit down and write. I always feel so much better for it, I just need to get over myself and do it! With any luck I’ll be here writing again soon and not with weeks or even months in between posts.

Now I’m sleeping much better at night, I’m getting between 7-9 hours a night, which is much better then the 4-6 hours I was getting, my appetite is a bit better as well. I’m not binge eating sugar because I’m tired. Hopefully I’ll loose a bit of weight now, as I’m not eating half as much as I was, I’m actually eating a proper breakfast every morning as well and I’m trying to eat dinner too, whether that be something I cook or a takeaway at least I’m eating meals rather then just shovelling chocolate into my face all day long.

Getting a good nights sleep for me is so important, it improves my mood, my appetite, I can manage my chronic fatigue better. It’s so easy to slip into bad habits when depressed but at the moment I’m really aware of what makes things worse for me and having all these lists of things will definitely help. Getting into a routine of going to bed at a reasonable time and having a slightly more structured day is slow going, it won’t ever be perfect but I’ve got a good start on it.

Well that’s all for now

Peace out

Zak

Living in the darkness

I haven’t written anything on here for just over 2 months now, the main reason is I just got swallowed up whole by my depression and I just haven’t had the energy or desire to do the basic life things let alone sit down to write.

The main cause of my depression has been lockdown unsurprisingly, as it has I’m sure effected every single person in one way or another. It’s been an incredibly hard time and I haven’t experienced this depth of the darkness and isolation in such a long time and its not a place I like to be in. But I’ve had zero control in getting myself out of it and making myself feel better and you know right now that’s ok. My brain is doing everything it can to protect me from further tramua.

I’ve had silly comments from people who’ve said well I survived through it, I live in a beautiful area etc, which is extremely dismissive of how I’ve been feeling and its a reason why no one really knows just how bad and how dark the places I’ve been in recently because I get sick of this toxic positivity bullshit! Yes I’ve survived lockdown so far, but only fucking just and I mean I was on the verge at a few points of ending it all because the loneliness and depression was just so loud and it was so intense that I just didn’t and couldn’t deal with it anymore. But I did keep pushing through and its still not something I can feel proud about because I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m still pretty depressed, I’m just a fucking master at hiding it.

A few weeks ago it was my 3 years on testosterone and 1 year post op top surgery and in July I had arranged to meet up with some friends to celebrate as the previous years I haven’t and its something that’s extremely important to me and I wanted to celebrate, but it was pretty much a fail because most people bailed! which hurt like fuck and still fucking does and I’m still so angry and upset that I’m not overly interested in talking with the people that bailed. I tried to be happy and grateful for the few that did turn up but I just couldn’t, I was already extremely depressed and this just topped it off. Next year I’m not going to fucking bother! I am so fucking done with people!

People are so fucking fake! Always promoting mental health, self care etc but fuck me right! I don’t actually matter! I’m so fucking angry with people, I’ve been let down by everyone over the years and I have not one single person who I can rely on. I hate everyone, I don’t deserve to be treated this way, I bend over backwards to help anyone but no one seems to be able to celebrate something that’s extremely important to me. I am fucking done with everyone! I’m just not interested anymore. They can talk the big talk but I don’t trust that shit anymore, when it comes down to it, no one actually shows up for me.

All is does is make me feel like a really fucking shitty person! I feel like the worse person in the world cuz I’m 35 and still have no friends and I still don’t understand where I’m going wrong like wtf!? am I this fucking dumb?! I know I am far from fucking perfect, I know I’m an annoying dick head but I’m not a bad person. Yet shit like this makes me feel like the worst person in the world.

I see everyone else with their friends, having fun, doing stuff etc and there’s just me here on my own, like when’s it my turn?! When is it my turn to have friends and be happy? I fear my life will always be like this. I can’t seem the change the patterns no matter what I try, I try be like everyone else, I try and be myself, nothing works. So must be me right?

I’ve always felt like such an outsider, I feel like I’m from a different planet cuz I just don’t fit in socially, its too hard. But I don’t understand why I’m so different, I hate feeling like this. I don’t understand why people don’t like me or why people just can’t be bothered to put the effort in with me. I can’t change what I don’t understand.

I’m so fed up of writing about the same shit and crying about the same shit. I don’t think people understand the depths of my isolation really is. I have no emotional connections with anyone, certainly not my family and no friends. I’ve become so shut down emotionally so I can deal with this depression and loneliness, I can barely feel anything other then sadness and anger. I spend 99% of my time alone, there’s only 2 people who regularly message me and to be honest the last few months they’ve really helped get me through. But its still not the same as social interactions, I get so much from social interactions and I just haven’t had any for so long, its beyond difficult.

I’m back at counselling now, I begrudgingly went back. I enjoy going and I enjoy talking about stuff and its at least some social interaction for the week. But I’ve been in counselling for the last 20 years on and off, I’m starting to feel I’m too broken to ever be fixed and this is just my life forever now. My life has been hard and its still hard, with a few moments of happiness but they seem to be few and far between. The darkness is just so strong, its hard to climb out of it. Most days, I just let the darkness take over and I just sit and completely disassociate so I can just get through the day. I’m barely functioning most days, I have my non negotiable things I do each day, like take my meds, do my sinus rinse and take the dogs out, but the energy it takes just to do those small things is immense. I’m barely getting through each day and its exhausting. I want so much to be happy, to be loved, to have friends, to have adventures with my friends, but seems like that’s a lot to ask for. It’s all I’ve ever wanted from life. But damaged people don’t get a happy ending right? I just feel like I’ll be living in this darkness forever, its the only constant in my life over the years. I can’t remember when the darkness and I first met but I think I was quite young.

I do think my diagnosis of Bipolar is wrong, I reckon I have complex PTSD, autism spectrum disorder and ADHD as all 3 of these have symptoms that are the same or similar to bipolar and all 3 have overlapping symptoms with each other. I don’t have the energy to speak to my GP about any of this as I know I’ll get sent to my psychiatrist who doesn’t believe in adult ADHD, which is ridiculous and I just hate talking to him, I find it hard to get everything out as I feel like he’s sat there judging me, I always feel like he thinks that I’m just an attention seeker. So yeah I hate talking to him and I can’t ask for someone else as he’ll block that because he’s a prick! But hopefully through counselling I can figure some stuff out and maybe gather some evidence for a potential re diagnosis.

So yeah that’s me, writing out my heart and soul of darkness!

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a Trans guy

So just a quick update really as I don’t have a whole lot to say regarding my transition. As at the moment it feels like it’s on pause.

20/3/2020 marked 7 months post op top surgery! Which is cool but as I’ve spoken about over and over, I still feel that lack of connection with my chest and body in general. So whilst I’m extremely grateful that I was lucky enough to have the surgery, I don’t feel the happiness I thought I would feel. Maybe I put too much expectations of surgery making everything better.

Now we’re in this quarantine times, I intend to try and slow down and connect with my innermost self and really trust myself and learn to love myself unconditionally. Maybe this will help ease the dysphoria and help with the connection. I need to lose weight too as that definitely isn’t helping. But I feel stuck inside myself, I can’t move.

I intend to look after myself better because I deserve it.

Here are some pictures of my chest 7 months after life changing, life saving surgery

Peace out

Zak

A quick catch up

Just looking at when I last wrote and it was nearly 3 weeks ago, which feels like forever. I’ve struggled to sit down and concentrate mainly because I’ve been so exhausted but I’ve also been really struggling with disassociation, sometimes when I sit down I just feel frozen in place and I just cannot move, its so weird. It’s like part of my brain has just switched off but a tiny voice is still aware and awake, screaming at me but its too quiet to wake the rest of my brain up. It’s really frustrating as I have no control, so I try not to sit down to much so I’m not loosing chunks of time. But its not realistic, as much as its frustrating and makes me feel a big agitated I’m just letting it happen because it makes it worse if I fight against it. My brain is clearly just trying to protect me from something, I’m sure I’ll figure it out what.

That’s kinda where I’m at right now, still a bit depressed I think, which I have a real time accepting. Which makes the depression worse, I bully myself so much and I think as it was my birthday last week that exacerbated how I was already feeling as birthdays bring up so much stuff, which I’ll go more into in another post. Just writing this first to get the brain working and fired up lol!

It’s been really hard work to get myself organised and get stuff done as my brain is so foggy and so forgetful. Thoughts and stuff aren’t quite clear and sometimes don’t really make sense and aren’t in any order, which is making organising myself and my life pretty tricky. That plus my fatigue has been crappy as well, most days I’m not getting up and out till way past 12 pm but I’m trying not to be so hard on myself about it and just go with it. Although I do feel there’s a fine line between being lazy and resting and I’m not sure where that line even is at the moment.

I’m sure things will be less hazy soon, I kinda feel like I’m traipsing through thick, sticky mud and every task, every thought, just everything feels so heavy and so difficult. But I keep pushing through this mud, keep trying to find the beauty in every day, keep trying to smile and laugh every day. Its super hard, but I’ve been through this before, I know it passes, I know I will feel better eventually.

I’m still doing the weird breath holding thing, some days are worse then others. It’s starting to get frustrating as I can’t fix it. I think maybe its because I have things inside that have been left unsaid and I need to get them out. I need to write out some stuff out, not to post but to either pass on to the people I need to get stuff out too or just to get stuff out as a way of releasing it. I know its probably anxiety as well but deep routed as I don’t feel anxious. It probably doesn’t make sense but doesn’t make much sense to me lol.

I think I lost myself a little bit, I am changing and growing faster then can keep up with. But its been cool exploring new stuff, what sparks joy and passion and what doesn’t and who sparks joy and who doesn’t too. I do know I want to explore more, have more adventures, my confidence has grown so much and I am way more capable then I gave my self credit for. But I think that has a lot to do with leaving behind friendships where it was probably a bit codependent and just ended up being no good for anyone, not just me. I feel more free now, I don’t feel like life is on hold.

That’s all for this post but I have WAY more stuff to ramble on about lol! But I shall break it all down into different blogs.

Peace out

Zak

Breaking very old patterns

As I mentioned in my last post, I had written 2 long posts early hours of this morning, but I knew I would need to proof read the spelling and if they made sense or not before posting as they were both written pretty quickly, as I didn’t want to forget anything and wanted to get everything out.

So here goes…

Stuck in patterns especially with friendships and relationships. Experiencing the same same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

I didn’t just need to step out of these friendships, I also needed to look at myself and where I was going wrong and why these patterns kept repeating.

A lot of it was because I let it happen and let those patterns continue as I wasn’t in tune, I wasn’t learning, changing or moving forward.

I also thought it’s all I deserved and because shitty friendships and relationships kept happening, so must be me right? I must have been the reason I was being treated in the ways that I was. That’s a little bit true in the fact I left my behaviour unchecked and unchallenged but I also didn’t challenge others about what they said and the way they treated me, I didn’t express how I felt when someone did or said something. I just shut up and accepted that’s all I deserved.

I’ve always struggled to maintain friendships and relationships. I know I’m not an easy person, I’m overly sensitive and I take things to heart. I used to view these as bad qualities because I was told constantly I’m too emotional, I’m too much to handle etc.

But my sensitivity is what makes me special, it’s what makes me different, it’s what makes me me!

I think these people just didn’t have the same emotional capacity, emotional intelligence as me, so it was easier to make out that I’m the bat shit crazy one and I’ll be the first to admit that I am absolutely bat shit crazy but I’m absolutely cool with that.

I wasn’t built for this cookie cutter society, I was built to stand out and shine bright. But all my life I’ve been surrounded by people who’ve slowly helped to dim that light until I was completely lost in the darkness, just serving others and not looking after myself because myself was completely lost.

I felt invisible like I was only here to serve the needs of others, regardless of the cost to myself. It’s what I deserved, after all I was only a shadow.

The last two years have been the most brutally beautiful and eye opening. It’s like my light has been switched on again and is starting to flicker and with every passing day it gets a little bit brighter.

2018 was the year I fell in love after being on my own for 5 years. Even though it lasted only 7 months I fell hard but it was hard not too as she’s an incredible human, it was the first relationship since starting my transition and as short as it was the longest relationship I’ve had.

I was completely broken when it ended but we remained friends which was really painful to begin with and I think it’s only been really recently that I can say that I’m over her. I still adore her and I’m glad we’re still friends but she was definitely sent to teach me a huge life lesson.

After we broke up my world went from sunshine to perpetual darkness, it was devastating. I withdrew from everyone, withdrew from life, I was so angry, so sad I would spend days crying, which felt like the tears would never stop.

But it gave me the opportunity to analyse what happened, where I went wrong and what I could improve on in the future. Now this isn’t something I’ve ever done before, usually I just get depressed and eventually get over it without learning any lessons so ultimately end up repeating the same shit over again.

It wasn’t a nice process looking at what a needy, emotional, childish diva I was. How intense I was and it’s proper cringeworthy stuff, so bad that I wished I just didn’t exist, that didn’t happen and no one remembered 😂

I mean fair play to her for surviving with me as long as she did.

Even though I did have some awareness of my behaviours and how needy I can be, I tried my hardest to act like a grown up and whatever but those not so great qualities of mine snuck in and soon took over and I couldn’t control myself.

I was overly needy, paranoid, super insecure.. the list goes on.

I’ve been able to step back and take a look at myself and it’s been hard. Especially admitting my flaws but I mean it’s been an essential part of me growing and changing.

It’s taken a lot of work to process the pain and move on from that dark place but I’m doing better now and I hope that if/when a new relationship arises that I’ll be better equipped to deal with myself and have a healthy relationship.

This all led to me taking a step back from important friendships in my life.

Often with long term friendships we don’t tend to take a step back and look at it and see the toxicity that’s slowly crept in along with the complacency.

Whilst this particular person was the one who actually took the plunge and said we need to take a step back from each other, it was something that I was already contemplating and thinking over. They just got to it quicker then I did. But I wanted to take my time look at everything, process everything before I made a decision but my hand was forced and this person did the ending off.

Which as time has gone on has been more of a relief then I imagined.

I won’t go into the ins and outs but toxic behaviour on both sides, a difference in needs/wants/expectations of the friendship which ultimately for me led to feeling disappointed and let down a lot.

I did though put in an important boundary for myself and blocked this person from all my social media as I feel like I wasn’t supported as much as I needed/wanted/expected, so they don’t get to know/see the next parts of my life. Plus a clean break from a bad environment is always good.

The other friendship, well I dunno just things had changed, I had changed and it was just too much of an effort and I just couldn’t be bothered anymore, we’d outgrown each other.

The other friendship, well I was sick to death of hearing the same old depressing shit over and over again and giving my advice and practical help but nothing changed. I walked away for my own sanity.

These decisions weren’t taken lightly as it left me extremely lonely as these people were the only ones that were the closest to me.

I feel like I’m no longer being strangled by others expectations and need. Which has been really freeing.

I’ve spent the last 6 months with huge chunks of time just on my own and it’s been amazing.

The friendships/people I still talk to now is such a different set up. No expectations of anything, we talk as and when, I meet-up with people as and when I feel up to it. I can say no and mean it, without feeling guilty about it. I can put in boundaries without feeling guilty. Proper grown up stuff lol!

I feel like a weight has been lifted, my light is shining bright, my confidence and self esteem is slowly building. I’m becoming the person I’m actually proud of.

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Holy shit who is this person that wrote this deep stuff?! like wow! ahaha. Its amazing what flows out at 4am.

Again another hugely raw and vulnerable post but its good to get this stuff out. I feel good, I am good.

Peace out

Zak

Inner monologue

I wrote this early hours of this morning and thought I’d share the sort of stuff that runs through my brain.

Inner monologue

Body needs to rest but my brain needs that’s physical stimulation which is maybe where/when/why I get so agitated and frustrated as I’m not physically working moving enough and my brain needs that stimulation/sensation in order to be able to focus and function better

But obviously having a chronic illness rest time is hugely important and essential to keep my body well.

My brain is also easily overstimulated which can either leave me feeling drained and overwhelmed or hyper and unable to sleep or settle down.

It’s been such a great journey learning more about myself and how my brain is working and connecting those dots.

Pretty much everything I write isn’t based in science, just my own personal experience, discovery and exploration of myself and how I work and function, which is fascinating.

I’m heading towards 35 and I’m finally figuring myself out, in a way I’ve never really looked at before.

When I have counselling before it’s was always based around dealing with the situations I was currently dealing with like self harm and depression. I never really delved into my past and never really spoke about the why, why I am the I am, what’s making me tick.

This round of counselling, I mean yeah I was struggling big time with anxiety and depression. But I feel like I’ve been way more open with my current counsellor, I’ve delved deeper than just surface stuff and I’ve been given the space and opportunity to look at things completely differently and it’s been super fascinating and now when I’ll just get random thoughts much like how this post started from a light bulb moment I suppose and I’ve just been writing and writing and a lot of my scribbles don’t make it into a blog but I’ve got so many notes all over the place I will type them up and turn them into some kind of order as I think it’s such an important part of the process and journey of rediscovering who I am outside of friendships and relationships and outside of my transition.

I don’t think I’ve ever really known who I am and where I fit. But I’m slowly learning and discovering more about myself and it’s exciting.

I’m starting to like me and who I am, what I represent and what I can contribute to this life.

I’ve always felt like a lost soul, just kinda floating around, not really fitting in or not even really needed.

I’m started to feel more grounded in my body, in my mind and in my soul, the essence of who I am and why I’m here. Feels super weird but also pretty cool.

My sessions end this month and I’m feeling pretty confident that I can continue this journey myself. Just gotta keep writing out all these thoughts in my head and continue to listen to myself and the different aspects that make up me and make sure all needs are met where possible so I can continue to be the best version of me.

I did write another note of stuff I was thinking about last night but I will post that separately as its pretty long.

Also reading this back I have little recollection of writing this, I knew I wrote it but I was so in the moment and everything was just flowing, which I think the real me is able to come into power and be at my most raw and vulnerable.

Peace out

Zak

Counselling – Asking for help isn’t shameful

I went back to counselling sessions about 3/4 months ago now and I’ve found it to be really beneficial and has really helped me to process things I’ve been dealing with and has helped me unpick some real deep routed/ingrained stuff that I hadn’t really realised I had issues with.

I was a bit hesitant to go back into therapy/counselling, for many reasons. But some of these reason had actually come from what others had told me in the past that had become apart of my negative self talk.

One reason I was hesitant was that over my life I have seen a lot of counsellors, therapists etc I’ve done CBT and DBT and at what point is it enough? I kept telling myself, well I’m an adult now, nearly 35 I should be able to manage life on my own, I’ve had lots of therapy, I should have the skills and ability to deal with life… and the list goes on. Lots of I SHOULD’s which are the fucking worst!

Also in the past I’ve had friends people in my life, telling me I’m not trying hard enough, I’m not doing enough to change my life and the situations I find myself in etc and if you’re told that enough times, especially if you have low self esteem like I do, you believe those people and those statements and they become apart of your inner monologue, which you the use to bully yourself with.

I viewed counselling as an adult as a sign that I am failing, have failed at managing myself and my own life. Because of those negative statements I felt a lot of shame about needing counselling again, which is bullshit, the best thing for me at this time was to go back to counselling to help myself.

Things you say to people even if you mean well can be so damaging, especially if that person is like me and is particularly sensitive to other people’s words. Obviously you can’t know what words will hurt people, but its just having an awareness of what you do say may have a bigger impact on a person, whether you meant it or not.

The words we say are hugely powerful and can have a massive impact on the rest of someone’s life, not to be dramatic. But a lot of the things in my inner monologue are from negative things or perceived negative things that have been said to me.

It’s really hard for me to not take things to heart, I often don’t seem like I’m effected by things in the moment but I am very much someone who will repeat something over and over and over a million times and look at it from every different angle imaginable. By doing so I make myself feel so upset or angry by something and often my internal reaction often doesn’t match the actual event and is usually an overreaction.

It is something I have been working on for years as I am very aware I can be seen as overly emotional, but I can also go the other way and have no reaction at all, no response.

Taking things to heart is something I still struggle with a bit, I’m still learning. I am much better at controlling my emotions and reactions to things.

Counselling has been eyeopening and it has helped me process things that I was struggling with on my own. I feel like I have dealt with past hurts from a relationship that ended just over a year ago, that was the main thing I was still really struggling with. It still felt so raw and painful, but that pain and hurt has been worked through, unpicked and it just feels good to have had someone outside the situation to talk to about it.

It has also helped me unpick past friendships and why patterns kept repeating over and over. I lack boundaries with people and because of my kindness and low self esteem I let people walk all over me, I let toxic behaviour to continue unchallenged, I was way too much of a people pleaser, I often didn’t even realise I was being emotionally abused because it was so subtle, but over the years it wore me down.

Before I started counselling I was starting to realise that a lot of my main friendships I had were so toxic and just weren’t good for me. In on particular one I felt like I was constantly being put down, in such subtle ways but now I’m not involved in that situation I can’t believe the fact I let it go on for as long as it did, without even saying anything. I just accepted it because that’s what I thought I deserved.

I didn’t think I deserved to be treated better then I was, I didn’t think I was worthy enough. But since stepping back from these friendships and since unpicking this pattern of negative friendships, I realise I am worthy and I do deserve to be treated better then I have been.

Unpicking life, unlearning behaviours and patterns isn’t something that happens overnight and isn’t something that ever stops. I think its good to continue to keep stepping back and looking at different aspects of life to continue to move forward and to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of and helps you identify toxic negative behaviours, either from yourself or that you are allowing from other people.

Counselling also helped me unpick and look at the problems I have with disassociation and how its your brains way of protecting you and the different effects it can have. IE it can stop medications being effective as there is such a separation being brain and body. Which so so fascinating.

We also talked about my gender dysphoria and the fact that I feel still disconnected to my chest despite having had top surgery, nearly 6 months ago now.

This disconnection/disassociation from my brain and body is something I think I’ve always struggled with ever since I was small. Due to traumatic events, those events being my parents divorce which was extremely messy and painful and then being quite ill from a very young age and finally having a diagnosis as a teenager of a life changing, lifelong illness. Also being brought up in an environment that wasn’t great for anyone’s mental health, let alone a child’s

I have very little recollection of my parent’s divorce and the bits I do remember, aren’t great but the rest I’ve blocked out. I may never fully remember those events, I may have something that one day will trigger those memories. And that’s ok because my brain is doing whatever it needs to do to continue to protect me and keep me safe, which is amazing.

Maybe one day with more inner work and the further down the line I go with my transition I will close that gap between my brain and body and that disconnection won’t be so great. But as with anything these deep routed things take time to heal and takes time to change.

I think because I am a pretty sensitive person that I will need top up counselling sessions every now and then throughout my life, just to keep me going, keep me safe and keep me happy and I’m ok with that now.

You take your car for an MOT, you go to the hospital if you break a leg, you eat food in order to fuel your body to keep going, so why wouldn’t you put in the same effort for your mental health?

Mental health is such an important aspect and even now in 2020 it still feels as though going to counselling is a negative thing. But it really isn’t, it’s such an important part of life, especially if mental health is something you have struggles with.

There is no shame in needing help, there is no shame in needing medication, there is no shame in needing counselling/therapy as and when you need it and for however long you need it. There is NO shame in looking after your mental health.

Shame is such a powerful emotion, it’s one I really struggle with. Sometimes I just feel so full of shame about even being alive and taking up space that I do wonder why I am still here. But again often that shame isn’t mine, its come from words other people have said to me, opinions from others etc.

I am slowly learning how to build boundaries with other, which in turn is helping my self esteem. I’m slowly learning to like myself and who I am as a person, I am slowly learning to change that negative self talk to a more positive self talk. I am slowly learning.

Not everyone’s paths and journeys look the same, there is no time scale that anyone should be doing anything by. Some people learn huge lessons at a young age, some people take longer, some people never learn and change and that’s ok. We are all different, we all experience life differently and we’re all walking different paths to different destinations and that’s ok.

If you think you need some extra help, please access it. See your GP or psychiatrist, look up a privet counsellor (most of which will do a concession charge) talk to a friend, partner, family member. Needing extra help, isn’t shameful, isn’t a sign of failure. In fact asking for help takes such strength and bravery, it is the opposite of failure.

Asking for extra help means you respect yourself enough to know that you deserve help.

I decided last month to end my sessions at the end of this month and I know that I am welcome to go back whenever I need to and for however long I need too and it feels nice to know that whenever I need a little help to get unstuck from life, I have someone I can go to and work things through with.

I am looking forward to this next part of my life, with a new healthier view on friendships and relationships and the confidence to build and maintain boundaries. Even though at the moment my mood isn’t amazing, I feel stronger and I feel more capable of dealing with life in general.

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak

Pushing through the dark

I woke up today just not wanting to participate in life at all, just wanted to hide. But I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t settle on doing any one thing and Scrappy kept looking at me with his big puppy dog eyes.

With much effort and a lot of complaining and swearing lol, I got myself up and ready. Every step to get ready felt so difficult and almost impossible to do, but I stuck with it and finally was showered and dressed.

I got ready to take the dogs out, I was undecided as to where I was going to take them. But as soon as we stepped outside it started raining, only a little shower at first, so I kept walking and then it rained heavily for about 5 minutes. We’d just gone to the green across the road, as they needed to go pee anyway. The rain stopped and the sun came out, it was pretty windy, so it was moving the clouds out the way.

As we were already soaked, I decided to go to Baiter for a walk, Foxy wasn’t overly happy with being soaked but we all soon dried off in the sunshine.

There weren’t many people down there, which was perfect. It was good to be outside, despite the struggle it took to force myself out, I’m always happy to be out.

I took some nice pictures, the dogs had a blast which makes me so happy, watching them playing and having so much fun.

I feel like I can breathe when I’m outside in nature, I feel free. I’m glad we got out in between the rain and storms, we’ve got more headed our way this weekend.

Here are all the pictures I took this afternoon

I’m feeling a bit more relaxed now, then I was this morning. It’s amazing what a bit of fresh air can do to help lift your mood a bit.

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoy this blog and my pictures.

Peace out

Zak

Grumpy boy

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle, I’ve been feeling so agitated, grumpy, achy and exhausted. A lot of it has to do with having stopped taking trazadone, which is slowly working its way out of my system.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything as well. I’ve taken a bit of a step back from life, by not answering messages straight away, as it feels too much and I just need that time and space and also taken a step back from people, some days the thought of having other people near me, especially a lot of people almost feels like a physical pain, which is really hard to explain Even just going to the shops to get food is difficult and I put it off until I really have to go. I also feel like I need a protective bubble around myself as I’m always nervous about people being near me, touching me etc, especially random people I don’t know.

Being just on my own is so much easier, as I don’t have to explain myself, or feel like I have to perform, or be happy or whatever. I can just be grumpy and irritable, without upsetting anyone by accident.

Its just much less pressure and feels freeing. 1:1 with someone isn’t as daunting, I think my social anxiety has really been kicking in due to coming off my meds. But I’m sure with a little time and patience I’ll be alright again. Just need to give myself some space to breathe.

I get so frustrated with myself for feeling grumpy and irritable and I know its usually because I’m trying to stop myself from feeling low, as if I let myself feel low, its a hard work to make myself feel better again. So I fight against just allowing myself to feel how I feel, which just makes the whole process longer, then if I just let myself feel sad in the first place!

I’ve also come to realise that I’m an introvert, I also used the think I was a bit of an extrovert. But I don’t think I am at all. I’m still really quite shy, which has something that has never really changed since I was small. I need my own space to be and recover from social interactions, I prefer my own company, being around lots of people is exhausting.

I think because I am quite good at coming across who is someone who is fairly confident but I’ve spent my life being my own advocate to get what I need from services, mainly hospitals/doctors etc.

But yeah I’m a pretty shy, anxiety filled human lol.

Hopefully in the next few weeks when the trazadone has come out of my system fully, I’ll start to feel a bit better again.

I got a SAD lamp, which I’ve been using most days. Haven’t noticed a difference just yet, but I’ll keep with it and maybe use it in the morning rather then the evening.

Peace out

Zak

Disassociation and other stuff

I’m not sure this post will make much sense, or even have a point lol. But I just need to write things out and hopefully help sort through the mass of thoughts that race through my brain every second of every day.

I’m going to try and make sense of everything, by sorting through things bit by bit.

I’ll start with an update about my weird breath holding thing… basically I’m still doing it and its still frustrating. Nothing works so I’m just trying to ignore it as trying to fix it makes it worse.

I do it the most when I’m feeling tense, which at the moment seems like a lot. I find myself sat on the sofa scrunched up, my whole body is tense and I’m just unable to move, unable to get out of my head. I can sit like that for hours, which I know is disassociation but in a different form then what I’ve experienced before.

This disassociation feels more like an internal struggle, I’d much rather feel all floaty and out of my body, as I feel weightless. But this is so intense and physically hurts my whole body and I feel like I have no control.

When I become aware of how I’m so tense and scrunched up, I try my best to relax my body but I feel so achy after, its hard to get away from this internal struggle.

I also keep getting stuck endlessly and mindlessly scrolling through social media, again feeling really tense and again with chunks of time passing by.

It feels like apart of my brain has just switched off and gone to sleep, which is a simple way to describe what disassociation is. It’s your brains way of protecting you, which in itself in super interesting. But I feel that there is still a small part of my brain that’s awake and shouting to wake the rest of my brain up, which is causing this internal struggle. Because even though I’ve disassociated, my brain hasn’t entirely shut off, so I have an awareness but I’m unable to do anything. I feel like I’m trapped inside my body, its really weird.

I can be sat down, all scrunched up know I need to get up and move because I have stuff to do and but I just cannot move, I’m glued in place. The small voice just isn’t loud enough to wake my brain up, but I can still hear it shouting at me. Which makes me feel even more tense and frustrated because I’m not in control, I cannot make myself move until my brain wakes up again.

I don’t really know if this will change, maybe it means I’m slowing healing the parts of me that needed to disassociate, maybe it doesn’t, I’m not sure.

Hopefully in time, this will improve or at least I’ll go back to fully disassociating.

I’m feeling more tense this week for a few reasons, I’ve come off trazadone, as I felt I no longer needed it, I’m sleeping better and despite everything I’ve just described I’m feeling better too. But the withdrawals of trazadone can make you feel more agitated and I think that’s really hit me this week. Also two weeks ago I had a pretty big hit of testosterone, due to switching over from Sustanon to Nebido and the loading process means having both shots at once! So I think again such a big dose of hormones has really hit this week. I’m sure in time these will both wear off and I’ll start feeling a bit more relaxed.

I’m still struggling to feel connected to myself, which goes back to the disassociation, but also apart of the gender dysphoria as well.

I think when I took a step back from people in my life and took stock of everything, I took a step back from myself and forgot to step back in again.

I feel a bit out of place, a bit out of sorts and just a bit weird. I’m slowly working towards getting back to myself. But I think I’ve always had this disconnect with myself, the gap feels bigger then before.

Talking about this subject in counselling is helping me understand it a bit more, which has been helpful. This week I learnt that my high tolerance to medications could be linked to the disassociation which is really interesting. Even CBD oil, does nothing for me, natural remedies don’t work for me and I’m really resistant to most medications. When I started taking tramadol, I don’t ever remember it making me feel high, like how it makes most people feel. This is definitely something I want to look more into, as its fascinating and I want to be able to react to meds like everyone else does. I also know a high tolerance to medications is also linked to hypermobility as well, which I have. I just want to try and understand my brain better and why it does what it does and if I can help myself in anyway.

I always knew my brain was wired differently to most, but never knew why. I’m still really non the wiser about why I disassociate, as its usually a result of trauma. I’ve not experienced your usual traumatic events like sexual abuse, violence etc. But then my life hasn’t been simple easy, I became ill when I was 6/7 years old, family life wasn’t always easy, my parents divorce was pretty messy but these are the only things I really remember.

My memories aren’t in order and there are huge chunks missing, which again a sign of traumatic event. Maybe it was just a culmination of events throughout my early childhood/teenage years rather then 1 significant event. Sometimes not being able to remember things is frustrating but I know its my brains way of protecting me from bad things.

This week my memory has been awful, its much worse when I’m feeling stressed/tense. It effects my short term memory, I can forget when happened a few hours ago, which is super annoying. If I’m feeling more calm and relaxed my short term memory is better, I have much better recall.

I struggle with routine, I have non negotiable things I do every day, like take my meds, housework, eating, taking the dogs out. Things I need to do to get by. But beyond that I have no interest in the 9-5pm life. Partly because my body doesn’t work that way, my brain certainly doesn’t either. I cannot stand early mornings, I need quiet time to wake up and adjust to the day. My brain certainly takes its time to wake up, its much more active in the evening, early hours of the morning. I like my freedom to do what I need/want to do in order to feel good and take care of my mental and physical health.

I know I have a lot to give this world yet, but I’m not sure what that looks like. Maybe as the year goes on, that will become clearer to me.

I need to keep writing, I keep saying this but I always hold myself back.. Don’t know why I do it.

I can feel myself switching off, running out of focus. So I shall sign off for now.

Hopefully this sheds some light on well me and how I function, which could be useful for those in my life and help them understand me more and maybe it rings a bell with whoever else is reading this.

Peace out

Zak