Gratitude Journal

Trying to remain grateful and trying to remain positive has been hard, but I’m still trying and I’m doing my best to keep going.

I have been doing a mantra meditation course on an app called Oak – Meditation and breathing. Its a really good app and its actually been nice to have moments of peace and restfulness during these meditations. I’ve been trying my best to make time each day. I don’t know why I find it so boring, just the thought of meditation makes me feel like its pointless and a waste of time, but right now I’m not doing much else right now and meditation is just like sleeping or breathing, its necessary to find that inner calm, that inner peace to get through the day.

I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to be super productive during this lockdown, which is adding unnecessary pressure, stress and anxiety, to an already stressful situation. I’m trying not to feel guilty about not doing anything and just sitting around. Some days I am productive and get things done but it ebbs and flows and I’m trying my best just to chill and go with it, without judgement and guilt.

Its a strange situation we find ourselves in, we’re all trying to navigate our way through it. There is no right way to get through this epidemic, some people will be super productive, some wont, some will get into fitness, some wont, some will be chill and cherish this time, some will really struggle. But whatever you do, however you get through this, we’ve got a worldwide connection, we’re all going through the same thing. We’ll get through this as a collective, keep loving and supporting one and other.

Peace out

Zak

Surviving self isolation

Yesterday I said I was going to do a timetable of stuff to do during the day and as I was thinking about it, I realised that having a chronic illness makes a timetable a bit hard and feels too pressured. Also I can’t say how I am going to feel from one day to the next. Like I slept 11 hours last night, I went to sleep around 12:30am and I woke up at 11:30am, I must have needed it and all day I’ve felt a bit tired.

So instead of a timetable, I wrote out a list of things to do and divided into sections.

The sections don’t have set times, just go with whatever feels good. But its also important to remember its perfectly fine to do nothing at all.

Quiet time is always good to do regardless, its good to switch off and be still, its a god time to go within.

I haven’t done much today as my fatigue has been bad and that’s ok, to just rest and do what my body needs.

Peace out

Zak

Daily gratitude

I’ve still been writing my daily gratitude list, it’s a great reminder to be thankful for all we have in times like this. Its also good to take time to sit, reflect and just be in the moment, rather then worrying about what’s going to happen over the next few days and weeks.

I’m going to continue to share my gratitude list, as it will give me the intensive to keep writing.

These next few weeks are going to be really trying, stay grateful.

Peace out

Zak

Dear friends,

Dear friends, old and new. To those who I’ve known for 20 years and to those who I’ve known for 2 months. I wanted to write this to catch everyone up on where I am and where I’ve been.

In January, I was in a really dark place, which is somewhere I haven’t been for a long time and I feel like I’m only just coming out of the other side of it, but I still have a way to go.

As a result of this darkness I removed everyone from my Facebook for a good 3/4 months. I was angry, frustrated, isolated, depressed and struggling to survive.

But in that time I did a lot of soul searching, I know such a cliche, but I did.

I realised that over the years I’ve been quick to shut people out of my life, I’ve been quick to give up on friendships. I was trying to cut out “bad energies, drama” etc but in doing that I closed myself off to the good energies and good stuff.

I think I became so closed off because I’m so willing to help everyone, that sometimes I get burned. That’s not necessarily down to people themselves but due to my lack of boundaries and respect for myself. I thought if I made other people happy then I’d be happy but it doesn’t work like that.

Then about 5 years ago I started exploring my gender and came out as trans and I began my journey. Which again I was really open about but I was also wary of being people’s token trans friend and I was just anxious about not being accepted or whatever. So again I made my friend circle smaller.

In making my world smaller, I’ve missed out on living. I’ve missed out on friendships with some really great people. I gave in to the negative inner voices and the darkness, I allowed myself to become isolated and alone, the anger and frustration grew within.

January was my breaking point but in the weeks and months after I spent most of time alone, thinking, reflecting and meditating.

I started to allow myself to be open, slowly I began to add people back on FB, I began to reach out to friends. I started to ignore the negative inner voice and the darkness and walked towards the light.

It’s by no means perfect, I still struggle with anxiety and depression but I’m finding it a bit easier to deal with.

I often felt my expectations of people were too high, but I realised I rarely expressed my expectations in my friendships, I can’t have expectations if people don’t know what they are.

My voluntary work has helped me so much, it’s helped me with not being so isolated, I’ve made some incredible new friends who’s friendships I am so incredibly grateful for and hopefully in 20 years plus we’ll still be friends, still having adventures and experiencing this life together.

For those who I’ve not spoken to in a long time, who I’ve recently added back, I hope you’re well and forgive me for being so distant, I had to go off in order to grow into a better version of myself and I hope to hear from you soon, much love to you.

For everyone else, know that I appreciate you, I may not say it as often as I should or even show it but I do very much appreciate every friendship I have. You’ve kept me going even when I didn’t want too. I will continue to try and be open with you about everything, it’s something I’m still working one. But I’ll get there.

Thank you to everyone for your patience, love, support and sheer awesomeness!

I love and appreciate you all!

In 6 weeks time I will embark on the next stage of my journey, my physical transition, my spiritual journey.

I’m excited, I’m a bit scared, I’m nervous but I am so ready for it, I know it’s going to be a challenge but I’m ready to face it head on.

I know I will have my friends by my side helping me through and I’m so excited to have you guys with me! I can’t wait for this next adventure!

Peace out

Zak 💜

A day in the life of a trans guy – Chest binding pain vs feeling happy/confident out in public

Chest binding pain vs feeling happy/confident out in public

It’s a difficult dilemma, especially in the summer and as here in the UK it’s been a lot hotter for a lot longer then it usually is in June/July or ever actually lol. In the winter I tend not to bother to bind as I can hide my chest with baggy tops and hoodies, so it makes life a bit easier.

It’s also difficult because I have an auto immune disorder which causes joint pain/inflammation etc and I’m more susceptible to broken bones (a few years ago I fractured 5 bones in like 6 months)… so I have to weigh up when is safe to bind and for how long. It means listening to my body and how my body feels. For example if I’m tired and achy then it’s probably not the best idea to bind for 8 hours straight or at all. But I don’t always listen to how I feel, because I’m often disconnected from emotions and my body, I know I need to work on it though. I try and connect with myself by writing, meditation and just sitting quietly. I’ve been trying to do it more often as it does make a difference and helps a bit with the disconnect between mind and body.

The last 3 days I’ve worn my chest binder and 2 days I’ve worn it for the majority of the day and my ribs at the end of the day ache so bad and all I want to do is get home and take it off. But those 3 days I’ve been out in public, so beach one day and the other two days I’ve been around people I don’t really know that well and wearing the binder has made me feel a bit more myself, a bit more confident, less anxious and a bit less self conscious.

Tomorrow I’ll need to give my body a rest a not bind all day. It’s not recommended that you bind all day every day and definitely not recommended to wear it for 8 hours straight, especially when it’s hot.

I’ve been careful to make sure I’m drinking more and eating regularly too. So I’m not dehydrated or hungry.

Chest binding is exhausting, I’ve had mine on for nearly 12 hours… and I can feel it. I’m exhausted, hot and in a lot of pain but it was totally worth it as I’ve felt really good all day… so it’s a real dilemma.

Because of my health issues, I’m used to dealing with joint pain, some days are easier then others. But I know this pain is fairly temporary, cuz as soon as I take the binder off and relax then pain will subside which is good.

I use a high impact sports bra to bind my chest, as I’ve found it the most comfortable (as chest binding can be) an the material isn’t too hot, itchy and scratchy. I’ve tried a range of different chest binders but have found this to be the better one. So it is really important to find a chest binder that feels as comfortable as possible and makes you feel good cuz ultimately that’s the main point. What suits one person may not suit another, so it’s a bit of trial and error. But it’s definitely worth it if you find a binder that you feel comfortable with.

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 41 on T

Its so strange how things can change for the better in a second. I’m feeling so much better then I have done over the past few months. My financial situation is finally sorted and I got a back payment. Its such a weight off my shoulders, I feel like I can breathe again.

I’ve not spent all the money yet and what I have bought so far has been an investment of sorts. I’ve booked a short holiday in Devon with a friend, I’m super excited as I’ve not been on holiday for about 10 years. I booked to see Eminem in July! with my best friend, we are super excited for this. I got myself a Nintendo switch, a tattoo session and a new hoover. I intend on doing an online course and get my passport sorted. So I feel its not been a waste, I’ve actually got stuff to show for it this time around. So I’m quite proud of myself, as I’m not the best with money lol! I’ve also paid off the people I owed money too, so that felt good.

So I feel right now that my mental health is much better then it was, I’ve had a few anxiety attacks but there’s been a real reason behind them and not just anxiety for no reason. I feel back to myself again, I can enjoy life again rather then just trying to survive. I’m looking forward to the future rather then dreading it. I’m 100% committed to moving forward and bettering myself, I don’t want to be stuck in this place forever. I feel like apart from the transition and coming out as trans, nothing else has really moved forward in the last 5 years or so and I feel now is the time to do something more worthwhile. I’m not going to dive into anything, just small steps, small changes and things will start moving.

Transition stuff is going ok, I had my fasting blood test this morning to check my T levels and then I had my injection. I’ve got to have another fasting blood test next week and then hopefully I’ll get the results before I go away. I’m still not 100% that my levels are right as the last 3 weeks my emotions have been all over the place and I’ve found it really hard to hold myself together. Part of it has been high stress levels but I also think some of it is hormonal as well. Its a waiting game and I realise it takes time to get theses things right and I know it will be an ongoing thing.

Gender dysphoria has been ok-ish and its been manageable. Some days its easier to deal with but other days its so much harder. It makes me feel anxious, agitated which makes me detach and disassociate. I intend on trying to ground myself daily in order to help me deal with the gender dysphoria and disassociation. I’ve been writing in my journal again and that’s helped me express how I feel daily and its been helpful to look back on it and reflect on how I’ve dealt with things and how I’ve been feeling. I also intend on looking after myself and my needs again properly as I’ve let the self care side slip a bit, so I have made a promise to myself to put myself first.

That’s all for now 🙂

Week 41 on T

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks video

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 20 on T

5 months on testosterone today! WOOHOO! I did my 6th injection this morning, after the fasting blood tests and everything went well. I got my second bloods next Tuesday, to see how where my testosterone levels are.

Not really sure what else to say… um my facial hair is starting to get long and wild lol! which is pretty cool and I can still hear slight changes in my voice which again is really cool.

I got an appointment with my ears, nose and throat doc soon, I’ve had sinus issues for the past few weeks so I’m hoping he can sort something out. I’ve been getting nosebleeds and just so much snot its ridiculous.

Mood wise, I’ve been ok I suppose. Just been disconnected really, neither up or down. But I suppose that’s a good thing, because I’m not really depressed or anxious, I’m just nothing. I think its a coping mechanism to deal with all the overwhelming feelings and intrusive thoughts.

I’ve been trying really hard to look after myself, so everyday I’ve been meditating and doing something to look after myself. Like today I booked in with a charity to help me with filling in forms for PIP (personal independence payment) and I rang up to claim the forms. I’ve been dreading this for so long but I took the plunge and I’ve got the ball rolling. It actually feels good to have got everything started and I’m just hoping its not as traumatic as last time.

Self care is super hard, its so much easier to look after others. But its so essential , if you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of others.

 

IMG_6807

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks video

That’s all for this week

Peace out

Dyllan

Transition update – Week 6 on T

I missed updating on week 5 as I just didn’t have the time, as I mentioned in my last post I was at my friends place looking after her two boys and her dog, along with my two dogs.

I thought I would have time but looking after kids is hard work, there’s school runs, cooking, tidying up, homework…urgh homework! etc and on top of that they gave me their germs, it started off with a cold but now I’m on antibiotics for a chest infection.

The change I started noticing last week was dark hairs growing on my chin, which is pretty cool. I’ve tried to take a picture of it but haven’t been able to get the right angle or lighting. I already have a pretty dark moustache area, I always have done and I used to get bullied a lot about it at school but I have noticed that my moustache area has got darker and the hairs are coming further down which is all cool by me.

I don’t think I’ve ever examined my face as much as I have since starting testosterone. I’m constantly looking at myself, looking at and squeezing spots that are all over my forehead, constantly checking for hair in the beard area. It’s funny because I’m not a huge fan of looking at myself in the mirror but now I’ve just been scrutinising ever inch of my face, several times a day.

Week 6 – I’ve not noticed any new changes, its hard to notice if my voice has changed much because of my chest infection and I just sound like I’m ill.

Since starting T my mood has been pretty good, I’ve had a few up and down days but nothing major. Today my mood has been pretty shitty, I think I woke up feeling in a bit of a funk but the days events just haven’t helped how I’ve been feeling at all. I just tried to ignore how I’ve felt and just carried on but as the day went on and things irritated me. The more things irritated me the more I’ve felt really fucking frustrated and angry, yeah I get moments when I’m angry and frustrated but I usually get over it. Today I just feel low and irritable and I can’t seem to get out of it. I’m notching it up to the testosterone and its ok to feel low and irritable and after all I have a chest infection so that is probably impacting on my mood as well. I’m feeling more tired, more achy and just feel ill right now, I just need to look after myself and do things that are good for me, like resting, napping, meditating, reading, being outside in nature with the dogs, eating well, the usual self care stuff.

Anyway below is a pic of last week and this week

Week 5 on T

^ Week 5 on T

Week 6 on T

^ Week 6 on T

Peace out

Batman

Feeling the energies of the earth – My Spiritual journey

I am so lucky to live to close to the sea, I feel so at home there and so grounded when I’m by the sea.

Yesterday evening I took the dogs out for a walk, I wasn’t intending to be out for long but we ended up being out for 4 hours. We met a lovely couple and ended up sitting and talking with them for ages, we sat and watched the sun go down. Even though I didn’t know these ladies it was as though we’d all known each other forever.

Sitting by the sea watching the sun go down was so beautiful, I felt so peaceful and calm and just at one with the world. It’s not something I’ve felt for a while, it felt so good just to sit and be. Also the only time I picked up my phone was to take pictures of the sunset, because I was sat chatting with these ladies, I didn’t need to look at my phone and constantly check my social media. It was just what I needed to switch off for a while, I really need to do it more often. I will make it a habit and apart of my daily routine.

Last night was good because I almost felt like I’d been reset, refreshed. I feel like I can take on anything again, I feel like myself again. It feels good.

Today my best friend and I took the dogs down to the water again, which was really nice. Because it was hot I wanted to put fox in the sea to cool her down, she doesn’t like swimming whereas Scrappy just dives straight into the sea. I took my shoes and socks off and walked into the sea with fox in my arms, I went in up to my knees so fox got completely wet and she even had to swim back into shore bless her. I got her little head wet as well, she was not best impressed but it stopped her panting.

I paddled about in the water for a bit, playing fetch with Mr Scrappy. He was going in so far having a good swim, he absolutely loves the sea.

The sea wasn’t cold it felt just right and I could feel all the stones under my feet, usually they hurt my feet but today they didn’t. All I felt was peace and calmness, I felt the energies of the earth flowing the me from my feet upwards and it was bursting out of my head. It felt so good and when we walked around to find a bit of shade I decided to carry on walking around barefoot.

Walking along the path was a tad hot on the bottoms of my feet and I didn’t feel the energies as strong. Once we got onto the grass I could feel all the earths energies again and I felt the same, peaceful, calm and just in the moment. I’m definitely going to walk outside barefoot more often, to be more in touch with earth and myself.

I feel good, I’ve not felt like this for a long time. It’s partly down to starting testosterone (see previous blog post) but its also down to walking this spiritual path I’m on. Sometimes I wonder off the path a bit and that’s ok as sometimes life gets in the way a bit. I manage to come back onto the right path and walk towards the light and what feels right.

Here are some pictures from last night and today’s walk by the sea

 

I’m loving my spiritual journey, I’m learning more about myself, others and the world around me. I’m learning where I fit in and how I can  be of service to the world.

I better get some sleep as its pushing midnight here in the UK.

Peace out

Batman

Time for some self care

Recently I’ve been busy doing things and making sure everyone is doing ok, but I’ve neglected myself a bit. I haven’t really done things to make myself happy, I haven’t spent much time alone, doing my own things. Don’t get me wrong I love looking after my friends but if I’m not feeling 100% then how can I help anyone else.

On Friday when I got back from my volunteer work, I chilled out with my beautiful fur babies and I spent an hour or so across the road playing with the pups and some of their doggy friends which was nice. I spent some time gaming too, I’d not gamed properly for a while so it was cool to get lost in the worlds of Lego Dimensions. I can’t remember what else I did but I didn’t get to bed until nearly 2am.

Yesterday I pretty much just slept all day and man it was so good! I so needed it. I felt so calm and relaxed, just totally chilled out. I had my nephew for an hour or so, we took the pups for a run around and we had fun messing around. I spent all evening just relaxing too and like I said I just so needed it. I’ve not felt this relaxed in a while, bliss.

Today I woke up about 9 am and it took a few hours to get myself together lol, I did the housework, changed the bedsheets, I’ve still got a few loads of washing to do. It’s been too hot to walk the dogs, so we’ve just been relaxing, having cuddles and playing around. Today has been pretty productive but still really relaxing and I do feel so much better for taking a few days just to do nothing and look after myself.

I love being around people and doing things, making memories and helping anyone who needs my help but I do tend to forget to look after myself. I think its good to have some down time, whether it be a morning, a day or a few days. Time to look after yourself and your needs is so important because you cannot rely on another person to fulfil all your needs.

My favourite things to do to look after myself are, sleep or rest, spend time with my fur babies, spending time by the sea with my pups, watching films, putting lego sets together, eating my favourite food and drink, reading, mindfulness. That’s just a few of them

Self care is super important and its not at all selfish, sometimes its ok to say no and go off grid for a bit, sometimes its necessary to do that.

Anyway that’s enough of me rambling on about self care, I don’t have much planned for tomorrow. Its a bank holiday weekend here and in the UK so I’m sure they’ll be stuff happening somewhere. Its meant to be really hot again so I probably won’t walk the dogs until the evening when its cooled down.

Peace out

Batman