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

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

A day in the life of a trans guy

Where do I even start, I’ve been really struggling with this lockdown in many ways but gender dysphoria has been difficult, as I’ve got more time to sit around thinking about it and also certain experiences I’ve had hasn’t helped.

I’ve been out as male for a little over 5 years, I’m 2.7 years on testosterone and 7 months post op top surgery and I still feel like I am viewed as female, not only by strangers but also by friends who knew me pre transition.

Last week I was out walking the dogs and a creepy older guy stopped ahead of me and I think he did that on purpose so he could talk to me, he then continued to refer to me as my dogs mum. I was wearing jeans, hoodie, baseball cap and boots. I don’t think that in anyway did I look female. It really made me angry and sad, I know I’m only 5ft 3 but I don’t think I look like a female. I don’t know… It really fucking sucks.

Also in my mums infinite wisdom (although it came from a good place) made a family group whatsapp group and they decided to share pictures of each other when we were young. Which I wouldn’t usually mind but it wasn’t in my control and my transition isn’t even acknowledged or even talked about. It’s just ignored like its not even happening. Which makes me feel invisible, like I don’t even exist as myself. It only took a week for my brother to push my buttons and piss me off so I left the group. He’s exactly why I’ve not spoken to him for over a year, he’s such a prick!

Then a well meaning friend added me to an all girl group chat for a group video call. I left that group and messaged her to say that I’m not a girl and wouldn’t feel comfortable and her reply was I was the only boy invited but she understood. Which it really doesn’t feel like it, otherwise I wouldn’t have been invited in the first place.

I’m so sick of being invited to girly things and being tagged in stuff especially for woman etc, every time it happens it breaks a small part of me inside. I feel like I’m still being viewed as female and it fucking sucks! I am not female and I never was!

Not being seen as myself is so fucking invalidating, it makes me feel like the me I know I am doesn’t exist as people just aren’t willing to see it. I don’t think people realise how painful it is, even if something is well meant.

Like I said lockdown has been rough, being sat with my own thoughts is hard. I’ve been struggling with gender dysphoria, which I thought would go away, after top surgery.

For so long I was so focused of getting top surgery, I didn’t really have huge lower dysphoria although I knew I wanted lower surgery. But now that focus has shifted from top surgery, I’ve realised I have lower dysphoria, I don’t hate my female parts but I don’t connect with it and I think it is starting to cause a bit of unconscious distress.

The more I think about it all the more I want surgery, so I can just move forward with my life and hopefully it will help me feel complete. But my appointment for my second yes for lower surgery is obviously postponed at the moment due to the virus, which is frustrating.

I hope one day I’ll be seen as myself and I’ll feel comfortable in my skin.

Peace out

Zak

Living with a Chronic illness – Hospital appointments

There are some things that came part and parcel with having a chronic illness and one of those things is having lots of hospital and doctors appointments.

I have a good GP whom which I get on well with, along with the nurses who I do my testosterone shot for me. I also have a good relationship with my Rheumatologist and his nurses and my Ears, Nose and Throat doctor. Usually I don’t find appointments too difficult as I always feel involved in my care and generally feel listened too and well looked after.

But yesterday’s appointment with a Rhematologist was the an absolute disaster. It provoked huge anxiety and anger. It was NOT a good appointment.

So I had made my way to my appointment, now if my Rheumatologist is busy, I will see one of his two nurses, who are both really lovely and I am more then happy to see. So I’m used to seeing one of those 3 people.

However when I turned up for my appointment, a nurse called me in to do my blood pressure and weight, she also needed me to do a pee sample. But she said that Dr Hopkins will see me soon… I asked who he was and why I was seeing him as he’s not my doctor. She couldn’t answer me.

It put me right on edge, it made me incredibly anxious and I wanted to leave. I then couldn’t do a pee sample as I was too tense, it was noisy in the waiting room, there was more people then usual there, which didn’t help with my anxiety.

I heard my Doctors voice, the one I usually see and I saw both of his nurses, who I see if Dr Marks is busy. In fact I spoke with Phoebe and she said I wasn’t on her list so I must be seeing Carole.

This wasn’t the case, I was led into see Dr Hopkins. At this point my anxiety was so high, I struggled to concentrate. He basically talked at me, he didn’t listen, he talked over me when I did try to speak, he didn’t involve me in the plan of tapering off my steroids, he basically told me what I had to do. This for some reason really triggered rage within me.

I held myself together as best I could but I was so enraged. How dare this person just bark orders at me, the guy doesn’t know, he’s never met me before, yet he was like well do it like this.

I walked to the train station as I need to get back for my counselling session, when I got to the station I rang the hospital as I needed to vocalise what had happened and how I felt and I wanted answers and to why the fuck I saw a random doctor and I also let it known that I did NOT want to see this fucking guy again.

The person I said to said some one would call me back, but as of yet I’ve heard nothing, so I will chase it up next week.

I think I was so triggered because it was an unexpected change and no one explained to me why I was seeing this guy, when my usual team where there. I also fucking hate not being listened too, I hate not being heard, it makes me feel so small and angry. I’ve spent a lot of time not being given the respect of being listened too. We all want to be heard and listened too. I also hate being told what I need to do regarding my own health and what I need to do with my medications. I’ve been ill all my life, I’ve been on medications for most of my life and I know my body better then any doctor ever will. I was more then happy to try and taper off my steroids again, but I didn’t agree with the way he wanted me to do it and I want to wait until at least March, as I’ve been really struggling lately as the weather has been so damp and cold, it’s just not the right time to start reducing my steroids.

The whole appointment was almost like a power struggle, he had all the power and wasn’t willing to listen about what I wanted to do regarding my steroids as I didn’t agree with his suggestion. I felt powerless, so ended up just agreeing with whatever he said so I could leave.

I will not be tapering my steroids like he suggested, I will get down to the bottom as to why I saw this guy and I will push to see someone from MY team soon and I will make it very clear that I do not want to see this doctor ever again.

Advocating for myself is something I really used to suck at, but as I’ve got older I won’t tolerate shit like this and I will let it be known. It’s fucking exhausting constantly advocating for myself and making sure I am being heard and that I am getting the care I need and deserve.

Note to any Doctors or nurses who maybe reading this, your patients know their bodies better then you do, especially those living with a chronic illness. Listen to your patients, they are the experts of their illnesses, you may have qualifications but they live it every fucking day! They know what works and what doesn’t, they know how they feel.

As much as I’m not always connected to my body, I know my body better then anyone else, I don’t think sometimes Doctors understand and respect that. I know its something my usual team of doctors understand, but this guy certainly didn’t.

It took me the rest of Wednesday to calm down, I’m glad I had a counselling session that afternoon, so I could let off steam and talk through it. It was quite funny as my counsellor had out some tuning forks which she used near me and she was like woah your body is having non of this and asked me if I was feeling angry and I was like I am furious. It was nice to have a safe place to express myself and my feelings.

I am feeling a bit calmer now about it all but I know its something that I will ruminate on now for a while. It’s hard not too when something provokes such a huge emotional reaction. I’ll get over it eventually.

Peace out

Zak

Living with a Chronic Illness – Ordering Meds

Every single time I order my Prednisolone they give me the wrong dosage ones! Despite having been on the exact same ones for most of my life!

It’s infuriating because they’ve wasted money as those wrong meds will not be given to another person. It means I then have to go to the GO for the thousandth time and sort it out!

Just organising 10+ medications + hospital appointments is like a full time job, which can be so stressful when I’m not being listened to continuously even though I know exactly what I take and when.

It may seem like a small thing to most people, but it gets beyond infuriating. It wastes everyone’s time.

I do see my specialist on Thursday, so I’m going to get him to write my GP a letter to say exactly what dose pills I am meant to be on and have always taken. Hopefully this will clear up the confusion, which started when I started tapering off the steroids last year, but I had to go back onto them when I had surgery in August.

Anyway hopefully this ongoing problem will get sorted soon.

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

Anger issues

Someone I saw yesterday at the Trans day of remembrance service commented on the fact that I seem less angry.

In previous friendships, I was told I was too angry. The one time that hurt the most was 6 months after my dad had died suddenly! Damn right I was fucking angry.

This person never thought to think they were partly to blame for me being angry and frustrated around them. After always feeling stupid and like whatever I said/did was wrong. That discreet toxic shit will slowly erode someone’s self worth, self esteem and hell yeah that’s gonna make them angry and frustrated.

So before you think someone has anger issues, come at the situation with compassion, look at their current situation and how you would feel at that time. Look at your own actions towards that person and maybe you could have been kinder and more compassionate.

I am less angry these days and I’m trying my best to keep moving forward. It may not seem like I’m doing enough, or trying hard enough or I’m just playing the victim of circumstances. But you can’t judge a person without seeing the good, the bad, without knowing what it takes to just get out of bed some days.

We could all stand to be more compassionate.

I’m by no means perfect and I have been that toxic person, we all have at one point or another. It’s about recognising that, apologising and moving on.

It was so lovely to have someone say I come across as not being angry and more chilled, it’s so nice to have your hard work recognised.

Peace out

Zak

How do I move forward?

I just wrote a whole fucking post that didn’t save! because my internet went down! I am so pissed! I poured my soul out and now its fucking gone! Hopefully I can rewrite it, as I need to get this shit out.

Even stupid shit like what just happened makes me so angry and frustrated and my reaction is probably an over reaction, but when nothing feels like it ever goes right, every small thing that goes wrong feels like a massive failure. It feels like such a childish reaction, there’s so much sadness, anger and frustration bubbling under the surface.

I feel like the last 2/3 years I’ve been stuck and I’ve tried so hard to move forward and keep going but nothing I do seems to work, or seems to be enough. I’m still stuck in the same place, I’ve been left behind by life and everyone in it.

I feel like once I fulfilled my role/need in someones life, then I am no longer needed/wanted. Not all cases are the same, some will just continue to use me for their own gains, but I’ve wised up to that and I will remove myself from those friendships. But that seems to be the only thing that’s changed. No one seems to stay around too long, no one seems to remember me unless I put myself out there. This is just the story of my life, I’ve always struggled to make friends, I’m so tired of trying and failing, so tired of being lonely. Tired of trying my best to break this cycle and it never being good enough.

I feel like I’ve lost myself, I’ve tried my best to fit in, I’ve changed my style in order to try and look my age, rather then looking like a kid. Although I still feel like a lost little kid inside. I’ve tried to be what others have wanted me to be, but I’ve seem to have totally lost myself in the process. In trying to fit in I’ve just made myself invisible, lost who I am along the way, how do you even find who you are? I’m no longer being my authentic self, but I don’t know who that is anymore.

I think being in a relationship last year with someone a little older then me didn’t help, I wanted so much for it to work, I wanted so much to be loved, that I just tried too hard, I lost myself in trying to make someone else happy, I tried so hard to be what they needed me to be, it still wasn’t enough. I felt like I had lost everything, I’d lost the relationship and I’d lost myself, although I think I was already loosing my sense of self beforehand. It’s been a year and I’m still struggling with this, I’m still not over it. Stupid right? I’m 34 and never been in a relationship longer then 7 months. I can’t even keep someone for a whole year. I feel like such a loser! although I can’t even keep friends, so I’m never going to be able to keep a relationship.

Will it always be this way? Will I always feel like this? It is time to just stop trying? I just feel so sad all the time, but I still smile because lets face it, who wants to be around someone who’s always so sad all the time? I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t feel this intense sadness that I hold inside, not even when I was young, not teenage years, not my 20’s nor my 30’s. I’ve tried so hard to pretend to be happy, to just get on with trying to live, but I always end up just trying to survive.

When is my time to shine? when is it my time to be happy? When will I have friends? When will I be loved? So much self pity, victim shit! Urgh even I hate myself and my thought processes. So much wallowing is self pity, I’m drowning in it, this whole post reeks of it. But its unfortunately where I’m at right in this moment.

I’m totally stuck, I have no idea how to move forward, how to get myself out of this cycle. I went back to the mental health team and I saw my psychiatrist this week and it didn’t really fill me with hope, it just felt like a step back. I don’t feel like its the place that’s going to help me. I mean I’ve been under them for over 10 years and they’ve only helped so much. It didn’t quite feel right being there, I feel like I’m not going to get what I need from there. Although I’m not sure exactly what it is I need, I just feel its not going to be found in that particular system.

There’s so much I hold inside, good and bad, I can’t seem to let any of it go, let any of it out. I’ve been through so much pain and trauma in my life and its all trapped inside, every hurt, every bad word said, every embarrassing moment, every trauma, stuck inside causing this deep sadness and pain. Causing me to stand in my own way, stopping myself from moving forward.

Maybe one day it will be better, maybe one day I can let all the past pains go, maybe one day I can move forward. Maybe one day it will be my time.

Peace out

Zak