A day in the life of a Trans guy

I had a weird experience on Saturday, I took the train into the next seaside town with my dogs and we spent the afternoon there. I was really nice, beautiful blue skies, the sun was shining and the dogs had fun playing on the beach with the other dogs.

We had a walk through the town as I wanted to go into my favourite Fossil shop. But as I was standing outside just putting my mask on a girl came up to me and asked me if I had gone to Ashdown (my secondary school) to which I replied yes. I could tell she was nervous as she was talking to me, she didn’t say who she was. It caught me totally off guard and I didn’t recognise her at all, no idea who she was.

I find this type of situation difficult because its embarrassing, awkward and kind of makes me feel vulnerable because I hated school and I didn’t really have many friends and also back then I was presenting in my birth gender. Which isn’t me, its never been who I am and yeah it makes me feel like oh well if I’m still recognisable by someone who’s not seen my in nearly 20 years I must still look like a fucking girl!

It just makes my head spin and makes me feel all kinds of shit! Because I don’t want to be seen as female, I don’t want to be reminded that I’m biologically female, I don’t want to be remembered as female! Because I am not and never was that person I was perceived as.

It’s something that’s been bugging me all week, mainly because I have no idea who this girl was, she wasn’t in my year, she was the year below me. But I don’t remember a lot from school, I don’t really remember people’s names, faces etc because it was such a shit time for me.

Most of the time now I’m stealth, I’ll still get called miss on the phone sometimes and very rarely when I’m out. I am a guy, always have been, so I’m happy I can be out in the world as male. But yeah situations like this don’t make me feel great about myself.

I mean I will never deny my past and my transition etc because its apart of my journey but I don’t want it to be my whole identity. I want to be seen as me, not just for the fact I happen to be trans.

Who I was back then wasn’t really me, I was trying to fit into a world that I just didn’t fit into and I didn’t understand why. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, I was just trying to do what everyone else was doing. But that wasn’t a true reflection of who I was.

I am more me now then I’ve ever been before, because I am more comfortable in my skin, I’m far more confident then I ever was. I mean yeah I am still on my journey of healing past trauma’s but I know who I am now, I used to feel lost like within myself if that makes sense, but I don’t feel like that anymore.

I know its inevitable I will come across situations like this but its something I hate dealing with, hopefully as time goes by it will stop happening and I can just pass as me and not as who I was before.

Peace out

Zak

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN..CONT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak

LOCKDOWN SUCKS

I’ve not written anything for a while because there is SO much in my head, so much to write it feels too overwhelming to even begin to think through and process.

Things keep popping up that I thought I was done dealing with, one thing/person in particular and it sucks! Sometimes I really hate being so sensitive as things seem to take forever to stop hurting over and over about the same thing, people, situations etc. I wish so much was different, I wish I was different but there’s little I can do to change any of that now.

I was searching through paperwork on Monday and found a few receipts and a letter that stirred up a lot of emotions. I don’t know what to do with this letter, keeping it isn’t good but I’m not ready to let go. I’m not ready to let go of this person, I still feel as raw as when we broke up, that was 19 months ago. I know healing isn’t linear but I feel like some of my wounds never fully heal, despite the work I put in, despite not wanting to be hurting anymore.

Lockdown has stirred up so much stuff within me and its hard being lockdown on my own. Lockdown has stripped me of any kind of intimacy, there’s loads of different ways to be intimate, social, emotional, intellectual, physical etc. And this part of lockdown is starting to become increasingly difficult to deal with. I didn’t realise how much I miss intimacy, how much I need it. I definitely miss it so much in a more romantic way, fuck I miss that so much, but I miss that person so much too.

This disconnection from humans is brutal and unnatural, we’re not built to be alone, we’re not built for this much with no physical contact. It’s not good for anyone’s mental health and it feels like I’m being pulled and dragged back into a place I worked so hard to get out of, 1 step forward 1000 back. I feel disconnect but at the same time I feel overwhelmed and feel everything.

I am getting used to the new routine, letting go and trying to focus on the day to day rather then looking into the future. That part is easy to deal with now, it was really hard at the start because I struggle with changes, especially big changes and changes in routine. But kinda feels nice to be relaxing more and being outside more with the dogs, I like that most places I walk feels calmer, I don’t miss the busyness of town and the noise of the people doing food shopping.

Some days are better then others but everyday the swirling mess of feelings is stuck inside my brain.

I’ve always felt quite lonely for as long as I can remember, never felt like I quite belonged and these feelings kinda come and go. But lockdown has stirred all that up again and it kinda feels like I’m gonna be alone forever.

Going over the same old thoughts, same old circles round and round. Feel like I’ll always be stuck here. I’m always being told that working on yourself comes from within, only you can change yourself etc. But I try so hard and it doesn’t seem to be good enough, it never changes, not really. Maybe I just can’t do it alone, but also meant to be alone. Feel like I’m gonna be stuck with this internal pain forever.

Peace out

Zak

Keeping busy during lock down

The last few days I’ve been pretty lazy and disconnected from life and not wanting to participate in life, which obviously hasn’t made me feel great.

My nose has been really stuffy the last few days and I think that’s because I’ve spent a lot of time laying down and sitting down. Which also isn’t good for my joints, I’ve been more achy then usual. Being on lockdown and having physical health and mental health issues is going to take a toll on both.

Today I got up at 9:30 am, did the housework, had breakfast, filled in my personal wellness journal, I had a delivery of food for the fur babies and cat litter which should hopefully keep them going for a while. I took the dogs for a wee, dropped them home and went to Asda as I needed to pay my rent and electric. I paid more then I usually do, so I don’t have to keep going out. I went to the pharmacy to pick up my medications and the line was pretty long but fair play to the staff working their asses off to make sure everyone gets what they need.

I weighed myself this morning and holy shit I got fat! I’ve been eating too much and being so freaking lazy! I’m 10st 12′ which is probably why my blood pressure is super high at the moment. I’ve decided I am going to loose this weight and usually once I’ve put my mind to something I will do it. I’ve started by intermittent fasting, which will hopefully help me to stop binge eating and eating when I’m bored. I’m also going to try exercise inside by doing a bit of Yoga, walking inside, using my weights.

I’m going to sit and write out a rough timetable of things to do everyday, so I don’t go insane lol! And so I make sure the fur babies and I are getting the stimulation we need, so our brains don’t turn to mush! I will share my rough timetable, which hopefully will give you guys some ideas of how to stay sane too.

I got myself Disney+ and NowTV Kids, along with Netflix and Amazon Prime I’m not short of things to watch. But I also need to get a balance of watching TV and having some quiet time to read, nap and listen too podcasts. I find I write better with the TV on which is weird.

I think before this day is out I may shave my hair lol! As going to the barbers isn’t essential and my hair is already starting to look a bit wild. I need to trim my facial hair and sort my eyebrows out lol! I will not look like a caveman at the end of this lock down! hahaha.

One thing that I am have done today is to keep my windows open, so I have some fresh air coming through, so I don’t feel so claustrophobic. It’s also good for your lungs and mental health to have a flow of fresh air, when stuck inside.

I’m definitely feeling much better today and I think actually getting up and doing stuff has helped.

I may write more a bit later,

Peace out

Zak

Sunday Afternoon walk

Yesterday I spent most of the morning relaxing and resting which was very much needed.

I finally got myself up and together, did the house and some laundry and as the sun was shining I decided to take the dogs on a walk to Upon Country Park and back.

It was so nice to be out in the sun even though it was a bit chilly, I love walking really helps me get out of my head and be in the moment. There wasn’t many people around, so I could still practice my social distancing.

The dogs definitely needed a good long walk and run around, they were both shattered when we got back. I had to give Scrappy a shower when we got back, as he’d been in the stinky water and stinky mud! He smelt gross lol!

I got some great pictures while we were out, which always makes me feel good.

Hopefully I can continue to safely take the dogs out on a walk, in these uncertain times we all need a sense of routine.

Peace out

Zak

Self care during self QUARANTINE

I suffer with mental health issues, mainly depression and anxiety. But also struggle with disassociation and gender dysphoria. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I started myself back on trazadone to get through this tough, uncertain times. I’ve been back on it for around 5 days now and I’m already feeling a little better then I was feeling.

I know what its like to be socially isolated and it freaking sucks! It’s super hard! Even though I can be shy and a bit of an introvert, I do love being with other people. But as I am vulnerable to getting the covid19 I am staying away from people, ie not having people over and stuff. So I’ve been thinking of ways that I can stay connected with people, so the social isolation doesn’t hit me so hard and I can stay sane and mentally well.

One thing that has helped so far is that I’ve been reaching out to others who I know are in the same situation as myself and making sure they’re doing good. I find it hard to reach out to others when I need help, but this is a unique situation, we’re all kinda feeling the same anxieties and uncertainties, so I don’t need to express explicitly that I need help or support, as we’re all in the same boat right now. Which is making it much easier for me to reach out, as I feel like I’m helping others instead of asking for help/support which I’m not keen on doing.

I’ve offered people video calls/voice calls and messaging, to ease the social isolation and I’ve had a few video calls and voice calls with a few different people already and its been an absolute blast. Talking with my friends has definitely helped! Video calls makes it feel like I’ve socialised and got that essential interaction with people that we all crave. It makes the days feel less lonely and isolated.

I know I am often viewed as someone who is strong and capable, as I rarely let myself be truly vulnerable in front of people. So I feel like sometimes people don’t check in on me, as I’m seen as someone who can look after themselves quite happily. Whilst yes I am more then capable of looking after myself but I have my struggles. I’m trying my best to keep reaching out and talking to people. So I can feel connected with others and feel like I’m making a difference to others.

At times like this it’s important to remember no matter how alone we may feel, we are not alone! There is a community out there to help get you through this, you just have to be brave and reach out.

I’ve also been trying to keep some sort of routine, although its super flexible, I’ve just been trying to keep doing the things that for me are non negotiable for example I have to make sure I take my meds in the morning and evening, doing my sinus rinse morning and evening, do the housework every other day, walk the dogs twice a day, eat 2 meals a day. I’ve kinda given up on my sleep routine as I’m more awake in the evening hours anyway. I’m still making sure I get enough sleep, whether that’s napping in the day or waking up late.

I try and split my day up into units of time so the day doesn’t feel so overwhelming. I also try and remember that I don’t need to fill every second with an activity, its totally ok to just sit and be.

I roughly know how much time certain things will take me to do, like doing the housework takes about 30-40 mins, having a shower and getting dressed takes between 10 and 20 mins depending on how long I’m sitting in the shower for. So I know that when I decide to wake up and start my day how long it takes for me to get ready for the day and that’s like the first unit of the day and then depending on how I feel and what the weather is like helps me decide on what to do with the dogs, either a long walk or a short run around across the road. That’s another unit of time take up and you get the idea, cutting the day into more manageable chunks without feeling so overwhelmed about having to fill a whole day.

I wrote a list of things I can do on my own whilst were all on lockdown, so I’ll share with you what I wrote down

Things to do during self isolation –

Check in with myself daily

Video call friends

Reach out on social media

Write and blog

Try and read (I have adhd so I struggle to concentrate sometimes)

Listen to podcasts and audiobooks

Colour/draw/create something

Teach Scrappy new tricks

Play video games

Teach myself to play solitaire with playing cards

Nextflix/Amazon/DVD’s

Spring clean the flat

Walk the dogs

Watch YouTube videos

Create a cosy fort/nest

Yoga

Make bread, cakes, biscuits, meals

Nap

Be silly

I hope you’re all coping as well as you can during these uncertain times. We need to come together as one, show each other the kindness, the compassion and the unconditional love that I know we are all capable of.

If there’s anything you want me to write about/comment on please let me know and I shall try my best. Please like, share, comment and follow my blog

Peace out

Zak

Surviving self isolation

I’ve spent the last few days thinking about stuff, I think being forced into self/social isolation has a tendency to do that. Whilst I am used to social isolation, its something that is really bad for my mental health. So I’ve had to really think about how I am going to get through this, without spiralling into the darkness.

The first thing I decided was to start back on trazadone, I decided to stop taking it as I felt like I no longer needed it. Although having stopped it, I realised they were helping more then I thought they were. They helped me focus, stop disassociating as much as I am right now, took the edge off anxiety and depression, all which have come back but I’ve been able to keep on top of them a bit. Now we are in this self isolation and not being able to do everything I enjoy I know my mood, anxiety and disassociation will get worse, so I know I need to get on top of this. Not something I really wanted to do but I need to do.

I need to write down a list of things I need and see if I can try and get hold of them, I don’t need much just a few bits to get by. But as I’m vulnerable to this condition I need to try and be as prepared as possible.

I also need to write a list of things I can do inside, things I can do to keep the fur babies occupied as well. I can still take them for walks but with my chronic pain and fatigue I can’t always be outside with them.

I need to write out a rough routine that I can try and follow, I do better with a routine. Although I know I easily get bored of routine, so it won’t be something I will follow strictly just guidelines really so I don’t feel like I’m just floating around.

My asthma clinic appointment was cancelled as my doctors aren’t doing face to face appointments unless they are an emergencies, which I understand. I can still get my testosterone injection as that is something I need, so that is booked in for 14th April. I did ask if I can get paracetamol on prescription just for now, as I cannot find it anywhere and I don’t want to search the shops. I was told to ring back, but wasn’t able to get through, so I will try again tomorrow.

I plan on writing more, whether that is a blog or just scribbling down in my notebooks. I’ve felt so disconnected from myself I’ve struggled to write anything that I felt connected with.

Once I have some stuff written down about how to get through this self isolation, I will share it on here and hopefully as a community we can come together and help each other get through this.

Peace out

Zak

Braving the weather

This weekend most of the UK was hit by storm Dennis… we had a storm last Saturday as well. I’m getting fed up with such shitty weather. I’m so looking forward to the spring/summer. I much prefer being outside then stuck in all day.

I live close to the sea and yesterday it was so grim, the wind was just howling and the rain was non stop. I did manage to get out for 20 mins in the morning to take the dogs for a quick walk/wee but the rest of the day was an absolute wash out.

I made use of my time, makes some cakes, marmite and cheese swirls. I had to entertain the fur babies, with playing indoor stuff like bubbles, laser pen and fetch. Played on the PS4, watched some stuff on Netflix. So not too bad.

But today the wind and the rain had calmed down a bit so I decided to take the dogs out for a walk.

I’m so glad I did as it made me feel a whole lot better. It was cold, really windy and it did rain, so we all got soaked. But it was much needed exercise, especially for me and scrappy lol!

I thought I would share some pictures of our adventures by the sea

I always struggle to get out in the first place, but once I’m out I feel so much better. Especially with such gloomy, cold weather. It’s just been relentless this winter.

Anyway I hope everyone stayed safe this weekend.

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

Earth is waking up

We are heading towards spring and I couldn’t be happier, I’ve really struggled this winter with the darkness and near constant rain that we’ve had this winter.

The nights are slowly starting to get lighter again a bit later each day, the weather seems to be settling down too, although we have a storm heading our way this weekend.

I feel like I’m very slowly emerging out of my cocoon, just like the flowers which are slowly starting to bloom.

Still having days where things feel so intense and I just can’t face the outside world but I’m still pushing myself to get out at least a few times a week. I can’t hibernate forever lol!

Tuesday was a beautiful day and after a few days of feeling groggy and struggling with my chronic pain and fatigue, I woke up on Tuesday feeling a bit more human and the sun was shining, so I decided to take the dogs out for a walk and I’m glad I did.

It was so beautiful, lots of snowdrops and other gorgeous flowers blooming away and it was fairly quiet as well, we didn’t see many people out, until we got closer to the beach.

It was so peaceful and relaxing, it was definitely needed. The dogs had fun running around and I got some great pictures of everything. I love looking at life through the lens, finding beauty in everything I see.

I hope you enjoy my pictures,

I love being outside with my dogs, I feel so at peace. It seems to be the only place where my mind is fairly quiet. I feel like I can breathe when I’m out in nature, I feel at home.

Peace out

Zak