The light at the end of the darkness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak

Psych app!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak

Laid bare

I’ve been mia for a while, I’ve not been posting regularly like I was, for a number of reasons, which I’ll explain as I write this.

I’m feeling pretty vulnerable at the moment, so this is going to be hard and uncomfortable. But it’s something I need to do, I need to get it out and be brave and open myself up.

I’ve been really shut down for the last 8 months, which was around when I spilt up with the person I was dating last year.

I opened myself up and ended up getting hurt, so I did what I always do when I’m hurt, I just shut down, shut everyone out. But I’ve learnt all that does it hurt me more and other people cuz I’m often a absolute dick to people, which I hate but it feels safer then being vulnerable with people.

I’m still good friends with the person I was with last year, which I love but at the moment it’s really hard to not be super needy and just need them and want them to be here and make everything better.. which is ironically where I went wrong in the relationship. I put her on a pedestal and hoped being with her would fix everything and that’s a lot to expect from one person let alone a relationship. That’s not how they work and that’s where I seem to always go wrong. My feelings always just get too intense and I get too much, I expect too much and actually this time I crossed major privacy boundaries and went through her phone, which I regret and still feel so guilty about. I behaved like a jealous child. But it was like an impulse I just couldn’t control. I still give myself a hard time about it, I’ve not forgiven myself yet.

Ultimately the breakup was mutual although she initiated it. It wasn’t meant to work out.

I need to be with someone who’s not embarrassed to be with me, who won’t hide the fact their with me, I deserve that much I know.

From there my mental health has just spiralled down. I think I’ve disconnected with anything mental health related because I didn’t want to have it anymore, I just wanted to be fixed and move on and just have a good life, like everybody else. But I realise I’ll never be like everyone else, maybe I was always meant to stand out and be different which I hate because I’ve tried so hard my whole life to fit in but I never have. Maybe this is it, maybe I’ll always have to work harder then everyone else just to be where I want to be.

Everyone shines, they know who they are, where they’re going in life. I still at 34 have no idea who I am, what I want. I don’t try because I’m so scared to fail but I’m also scared to succeed. I hate being centre of attention. I have no self esteem anymore, I don’t think I ever did. The last few months I’ve just been listening to the negative words running through my head every second of every day, mentally bashing myself. I’m so horrible to myself but I can’t stop.

I doubt this will make much sense because I’m really struggling to organise my brain and thoughts, everything is just all over the place. My brain is just all jumbled up at the moment and it takes so much energy to just get myself organised enough to get out of the flat.

I’ve been trying really hard to fake it till I make it, but I really can’t do it anymore, it’s too hard and it’s not working. I got myself a voluntary job, I started a social group etc I thought it would help and for the most part when I’m out doing stuff it helps, but as soon as I’m on my own again it’s like a switch gets flicked off and my brain is just done.

I’ve really been struggling with depression, anxiety, insomnia, disassociation, gender dysphoria and it’s all just overwhelming and too much for me to deal with alone anymore. So I made an appointment with my GP, I’m going to ask him to refer me back to the community mental health team, I need meds upped and probably need some therapy or something. But this time I need to be super honest and not hold everything in like I can just handle it all, because well no one can do that, not forever anyway.

I think recently I’ve felt worse, for a few reasons, I’m just emotionally exhausted from trying to hold everything together on my own, I’ve stopped doing things that I know help, I’ve been spending too much time on social media, wishing my life was different, knowing full well social media creates a fake reality, it still effects me. I’ve just had zero motivation to do anything, I have to push myself from the moment I get up, some days I can do stuff other days I fail and the furthest I get is from my bed to the sofa and back, with 2 15 mins walks for my dogs.

I don’t feel anything either, just numb all the time.

Everyday I wake up and pretend everything is ok and just fake my way through what I have to do. But inside all I want to do is just be at home where I feel safe. I’m a pretty good actor, some days in front of certain friends I can’t hide it and the darkness seeps out but to most people they see me smiling and happy and it couldn’t be more opposite.

It’s getting harder to just pretend, it’s getting harder to keep it together, it’s getting harder to keep everything inside.

I feel so small, so worthless and that’s another reason I’ve not sought help sooner is because I am trans and have physical health issues, I feel like I don’t deserve help because I already have so many issues. I’m just a drain on society so why waste more money on me.

I know it’s completely self loathing and probably comes across like I’m playing the victim or something (something I’ve recently been told I was doing and tbh hands up I probably was because I was angry and I couldn’t be the rational adult I know I can be) but it’s genuinely how I feel like a lot, all this negative mass of self loathing words swirling around my head daily, I try and say nice things to myself but I just don’t connect with them so I just can’t believe them.

I need help, I need support, whether that be meds’ and therapy or whatever but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact I just can’t do this on my own anymore. My GP is ringing me tomorrow and hopefully I can say everything I need too and maybe get referred back to the community mental health team.

I don’t want to feel like this forever, I want to feel better and I want to feel better about myself and stop destroying myself. I want to try and fail and try again until I succeed at something.

I want help with dealing with disassociation, I’ve just been doing things myself on a trial and error basis to help my dissociative moments. I don’t know if it’s the right thing or not and what I try and do to help myself doesn’t always work. I want to feel more connected with myself, at the moment myself, my brain and body just seems to be fragments floating around bumping into each other but never connecting. It’s really weird, I want to feel like a whole person.

I’m just so emotionally exhausted, I just want some relief. I feel like I’m wading through mud with no end in sight, I’ve ran out of ideas and steam, I can’t help myself anymore on my own. I wake up just as exhausted as when I went to sleep.

So yeah this is me laid bare, heart on the table.

Peace out

Zak

Living with a chronic illness

I’ve not written much about my health lately, mainly because I’ve been super busy with like a trillion appointments!

It feels great having such a great team of doctors around me but that comes with a lot of appointments. The team of doctors and nurses looking after my care are incredible and I am so grateful for them. I love the NHS!

My Rheumatologist over sees everything, but he is just one Doc apart of my team, I also have a Ears nose and throat doc, physiotherapist, and podiatrist. I also have to go to the hospital for a blood test every 8 weeks. I have two other appointments for my medical transition, I see a nurse every 3 weeks for my testosterone shot and also the gender clinic.

Since January I’ve had a total of 9 doctors and hospital appointments and I have another 7 coming up in the next 6 weeks!

Appointments mean a lot of early mornings and a lot of bus rides and days of recovery from these appointments.

My treatment is going well but like the appointments its takes up time as well. I take medication in the morning and in the evening, which have two pill boxes that I have to fill up every Monday, I do a sinus rinse twice a day, morning and evening but sometimes in the afternoon if my sinuses are playing up and physio exercises.

The treatment itself seems simple but if you add in the human element of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, getting ill, depression, dysphoria, disassociation, insomnia, memory issues and no motivation, then its not so simple.

Some days its so hard to get myself up an organised and get everything done before even leaving the house, that I often can’t get out until 2-3pm. Some days its such a struggle, some days are a bit easier but everyday is hard work.

Mental health has a huge impact on physical health and visa versa, which complicates matters. Even after all these years of dealing with these things it only feels like recently things are more under control and I am being properly cared for, but its still not easy and I’m still learning about myself and learning different ways to deal with whatever is thrown at me.

I don’t think living with a chronic illness will ever be easy and I don’t think its something I’ll every truly accept and its something I’ll never stop learning to deal with. But all I can say is that I am trying my hardest to maintain good physical and mental health, which in itself is a full time job.

Overall things are on the right path, at the moment its about maintaining good physical health with medications, physio, insoles in my shoes, sinus rinses and hospital appointments.

Peace out

Zak

The disassociation spectrum

Recently I’ve really been struggling with disassociation and just being in the moment. I think it’s mostly due to gender dysphoria, but partly due to recent bouts of insomnia, depression and chronic fatigue.

However I’ve discovered a way to help me stay in the moment and bit more and spend less time off in my own little world.

I’ve been writing out a daily schedule, I say daily I mean for the days I need to get things done. Also it’s not absolute, if I wake up and I still feel exhausted then that’s ok and I do what I’m physically capable of and do the rest another day.

The point is that having a written schedule gives me a purpose for that day and helps me stay focused. Whereas if I’m a bit directionless then that’s when the disassociation just completely takes over and I no longer feel I’m in control and often feel like I’m no longer even in my own body, I’m floating above watching the shell of me just floating around not really doing anything.

I’ve connected the fact that with long periods of disassociation my memory just disappears and I struggle to recall anything and often forget what I was saying mid sentence and even what I was doing mid thought and it’s so bloody frustrating. I decided to see if temporary memory issues are connected to disassociation and turns out it is! It’s called dissociative amnesia, which for me makes so much sense!

There’s no medication for disassociation but just having an awareness of it and having the skills in place to help deal with it makes things easier.

I can loose chunks of time just by sitting staring into space, I often find it difficult to get organised enough to get out on time, which is something I’m usually hot on as I hate being late.

Chronic fatigue definitely makes it easier to slip off into my own world. But on days like that I try and take it easy and not beat myself up too much.

I struggle with disassociation, derealisation, depersonalisation and dissociative amnesia. Along with everything else lol! But as with everything I’m dealing, I’ve found things that help and have stuff in place which is positive.

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – 1 year on testosterone

I cannot believe that today I am 1 whole year on testosterone, its absolutely crazy!

I don’t really know what to write right now, but I felt like I needed to do a quick update.

So what’s changed? well I’m much hairier then I was lol, voice has changed a little bit, I sound more like my brother lol and my shoulders have look a bit different to me.  My chest has kinda deflated a bit, which is good and well there are some more intimate changes but I don’t feel comfortable at the moment talking/writing about that.

I’m really tired at the moment as I’ve been up since 6:30am and I’ve not slept well at all, so this blog post isn’t as good as I want it to be, as I’m not quite feeling connected with myself as I’m so tired.

I’m gonna try and write again soon.

1 year on T

^ Can’t believe I am 1 year on testosterone!

1yr on T comparrison

^ Comparison picture, pre T and 1 year on T

^ 1 year on T video

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 33 on T

Another week on testosterone, its been such a long crazy week but its been s good one.

I’ve struggled to get through money wise, but I’ve been selling stuff. That’s slowed down now and I don’t have much left but I have food so hopefully be ok. This is a whole other issue… I’ll maybe write about it in a separate blog.

Despite having little money I had my haircut today as its been driving me insane. But I feel so much better after my haircut, feeling fresh! When I got home after my haircut, I sorted out my wild eyebrows, I swear testosterone has made them much thicker then before, so am always having to pluck and tame them. As I was looking in the mirror, I was looking at the fluff on my chin and moustache and the hair on my chin was looking really messy. I decided that I was going to have my first shave and so I just went and did it without thinking about it too much. It all went fine, I didn’t even cut myself which is always a bonus. Feels like a big milestone, it feels really good, I feel really good. It makes it all the more real I suppose.

I feel a bit sad that my dad wasn’t there to guide me through or to talk too about all this manly stuff. But I know he’s always with me. I know he’s proud of me and how far I’ve come.

I started this blog this afternoon…its now gone 10 pm and I’m only just getting around to finish it. This day has just flown by and I don’t feel like I’ve had the time to do anything. Or I’ve just got too many things to do and not enough time. Feels a bit overwhelming at the moment, haven’t really had much chance to have some quiet time and just sit.

Also I’m so tired, feeling a bit unemotional and a bit disconnected. I haven’t slept very well the last few nights as I’ve had a lot on my mind and my legs have been really achy at night.

I just need a good nights sleep and my inner child is screaming out to be looked after, he’s tired and cranky. I’ve been neglecting him and myself a little bit.

I realise its not so much ‘trans’ stuff in this blog but being trans and going through this transition is only a small part of my life. There is so much more to my life and me then this transition.

That’s enough from me, I need to start winding down for the night.

 

Week 33 on T.JPG

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks video

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 29 on T

This week I have some big news! But before I talk about that I’ll talk about other stuff that’s transition related.

This morning I had a blood test to check my testosterone levels, this is the trough which means that my testosterone levels will be at their lowest. I then had my testosterone injection done, which went well. Next Tuesday I have another blood test which will be the peak of my testosterone levels and from that they can work out if my levels are too low or high enough. I’m still not convinced that my levels will be high enough but I’ll find out next week.

Again no massive physical changes going on, other then my hair on my face, chest and stomach is getting darker which is really cool. I’ve still not had the confidence to start shaving yet but I’m in no rush. Voice is definitely starting to change, it sounds more noticeable to me now, so that’s pretty cool and others are starting to notice it too.

The gender dysphoria hasn’t been too bad over the last few days, that’s mainly because my mood has lifted a bit, which makes everything a lot easier to deal with. I feel like I’ve got a bit more positive energy going on. I felt a real energy shift on Saturday and I’ve been feeling really calm and peaceful, it feels so nice.

I’m ill yet again at the moment, I have a chest infection so I have more antibiotics and a higher dose of steroids. Hopefully it will kick it soon, I’ve had a high temperature, I ache so much and my chest has been really sore. I’m anticipating a bit of insomnia though being on 35mgs of steroids, hopefully it wont be too bad.

So the big news! which I have left till last on purpose. 9 years ago before I even realised I was trans, I changed my name to Dyllan. I wanted to change my name as I’d always hated my birth name, it never felt right, it never felt like it was me at all. I always felt disconnected from my birth name. I purposely picked Dyllan as its the unisex was of spelling it and I was so sure I wanted a unisex name, but I couldn’t tell you why I wanted a unisex name, I just did. Now it all makes sense as to the why I did what I did.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about my name and how I want to change it to a masculine name, rather then have a unisex name. Since starting testosterone and having physical changes to my body, I’ve been wanting to move away from everything associated with pre-transition. So I have decided to change my name to Zak, its a name that I’ve always loved and it was the name I really thought about a lot when I changed my name to Dyllan. My middle nephew Leo’s middle name is Zack, so it’s cool we’ll have that little connection.

I told my bro and sister in law the other day and they’re both happy about it. My bro said oh well least I can spell that! lol!!! and I’ve told all my friends and had a good response from everyone which is really awesome. I ordered my deed poll yesterday morning, I’m super excited and it shouldn’t take too long to sort out.

The only people I’ve not told yet is my mum and grandparents… But mother is never happy with anything I do in my life, so I know she won’t be happy. I’m not sure how my grandparents will react. But I’m already anticipating a negative response but in all honesty their opinion really means nothing to me. We have no emotional connection, yes we are family but they’re like strangers to me.

Anyway I’m super happy with my new name, it feels so good and feels really right. It feels like the natural progression of my transition, the next step. I feel really content and peaceful and I’ve not felt like that in a few weeks, so its a nice relief.

That’s all for now 🙂

Week 29 on T

^ This weeks picture

Week 29 on T comparison pic

^ Can’t believe how different I look! so awesome

^ This weeks video

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 7 on T

Well its a week before my 3rd testosterone injection, I can’t believe its come around so quickly, I’ve barely caught up with myself yet. The next injection I will be doing solo, so pretty nervous but excited for next week.

Anyway back to this week, so I’ve just about got over the chest infection I had, although last night I didn’t have much sleep. I was up most of the night in so much pain, to the point I had to get up and take some pain killers. I’ve not had to do that for a long long time, despite that though I’m feeling pretty good within myself.

Because of the painsomnia last night it took a while to get going this morning, but I knew I couldn’t just stay in all day again. I needed to get out and wanted to get out and do something to make myself feel good. So I took the dogs to the beach for an hour and I took some great videos pictures. It felt good to just be out there in the cold sea air, on my own, barely anyone around. It felt nice to just be away from everything and just be in the moment with the dogs, doing what I love at a place that I love.

After the beach I had my flu shot done, because I’m as well as I’m ever going to get, my arm is still achy now. Did a bit of food shopping and paid some rent, got some electric. That also felt good to get stuff done that needed to be done, self care isn’t always buying yourself something, self care is also paying rent, getting food shopping etc.

After all that jazz, I felt pretty good and felt confident so I went on a mass cull on all my social media’s, which took a while to do but, wow did it feel so good. I’ve decided that in order to move on I need to cut things/people/groups out of my life especially if I am no longer benefiting from. That may sound a tad selfish but I need to look after myself and my needs in order for me to be of better service to others. Its good to get rid of dead weight every now and again and it feels really good. I’ll be doing the same thing with my possessions, as I have a habit of holding onto things that are no longer useful. I think as humans we desperately cling to anything and anyone in order to feel safe, but often that means you are stuck at that point and don’t move forward. So I feel this is a necessary step for me to take in order to move my life forward into the next phase.

I would say my mood is pretty good, I feel happy in myself, I feel peaceful, settled and just good. I know I am walking and living my truth and it feels awesome.

I’ve noticed that the hairs on the trunk of my body are getting darker, so from my chest down to the pubes, that’s the only new changes. Been finding more dark hairs on my chin, my upper and lower lip, under my nose. So that’s all really cool and most days I feel like I’ve got a bit of a sore throat, which means my voice is trying to break still. But its all good, still closely examining my face several times a day lol, popping spots, checking for new hairs on my face. Happy with the medical transition so far and just excited for the future.

That’s it really this week, feeling good, continuing to move myself and my life forward.

Here’s this weeks picture

Week 7 on T

Peace out

Batman

Update – A bit of everything

I’ve been on and off the laptop all day doing one thing or another and I’m still on here just messing around, googling random things, as ya do and looking up stuff.

It’s been a pretty good start to the week, I had all intentions of getting up at a reasonable time but it didn’t end up that way. I woke up about 7 am and my hips and legs were so painful, painful enough to wake me up. I managed to lay in bed until I was rudely woken up by the workmen, although our intercom and the lock on the front door to the communal door is now fixed.

I got up and had some breakfast with the intention of getting the housework done afterwards but my hips and legs were hurting so much it just zaps my energy so much. So I feel asleep on the sofa all snuggled up with the dogs. After that it still took me a while to get myself off the sofa, I did eventually get the housework done and all the other bits I do on a Monday, like doing my med box up for the week.

As I said I’ve spent most of the day on and off the laptop doing one thing or another but I’ve needed this time to just rest and take care of myself and my body definitely needed a rest.

I’m so excited for tomorrow, I’m getting my second testosterone injection in the afternoon. I can’t wait to see the changes from this injection over the next 4 weeks. This is literally the best decision I have ever made, whilst everything else may not be where I want it to be, this is the only thing in my life that is just perfect, its exactly where I want to be, exactly who I want to be.

My mood has been pretty settled, I’ve just been feeling good and that’s a feeling I’m starting to get used too. I’ve not noticed any drastic changes in my mood which is good, as myself and the endocrinologist were concerned that it could cause me to have a manic episode. In the past when I’ve had a steroid injection for my physical health issues, I’ve had trouble with insomnia and a manic episode after the injection and as the testosterone is steroid based that’s why I was concerned. But luckily so far I’ve had not had a issue, I have had a few nights where its taken me ages to get to sleep but I wouldn’t class that as insomnia. I am hopeful it stays this way, insomnia and manic episodes aren’t fun and I don’t really want to up the Quetiapine as I don’t want to ruin my weight loss.

Talking of weight loss, I’ve got 8 1/2 pounds to go until target.  I hope I can reach this before Christmas, I’m going to give it my best. I really want to succeed at this, I know I can do it. When I started it was super easy, as the months have gone its gotten a bit harder and I’ve gone off track a tad over the last few weeks. But I am determined to get to target.

Anyway I shall update with a transition post tomorrow after my T injection! woohoo!

Peace out

Batman