Happy New Year – 2021

Hey, how is everyone doing? I hope the first few days of the new year have been treating you well so far.

So far the first few days for me have been fairly good, I haven’t set any new years resolutions for this year, mainly because I feel very soon we will be back into a national lockdown so it seems kind of pointless. Although I do have things I want to aim for and things I want to achieve but I don’t like to share them, or even have them written down, as then I am less likely to do it. It just feels too much pressure to have specific things written down, but I know what I want to do/achieve but also if I don’t that’s totally cool as well because we’re all still stuck in such a weird time and feels like nothings really moving forward very far. I am quite happy with how my life is moving forward anyway right now and even though I initially found lockdown really hard, I am actually really loving my own company, like I am really enjoying it.

New Years day was extremely quite, even though I didn’t actually get to bed that late, I was so exhausted! That all I could manage for most of the day was sleeping and resting, not a terrible way to spend the first day of the new year though. But I did cook up the rest of the veg I had left over from Christmas so it didn’t go to waste, the last of which I will have tonight for dinner, can’t beat a good roast dinner!

Yesterday I did the housework and took the dogs for a walk around the Quay, which I forced myself to do, as it was cold and I was exhausted. But with fatigue its such a catch 22 situation, the less I do the more I’m exhausted but on the flip side if I do too much, I’m also exhausted! So I am making a conscious effort to try and walk a little more every day and try and build my energy levels back up a bit. It’s going to be hard but I’ve done it before, however I am fighting against a under active thyroid as well at the moment, so it may not go quite to plan.

After our walk, I got in and had a rest for a bit before cracking on with some paperwork for my disability benefits. The form filling service needed some information before the phone call, which will help with filling it in, so I spent 2 hours sorting through everything and writing down all the information they needed. I hate sorting through this crap, its so emotionally exhausting and draining!

I treated myself to a Pizza hut for dinner, as I was just too tired to cook or even think about cooking. I had a nice surprise and my friend B video called me, which was lovely as we’d not done that in years! We spent about an hour and a half catching up which was really lovely.

After my video call, it was back to finishing off sorting through the paperwork and I emailed the form filling service with all the information they wanted and holy shit! I felt so much better for having that all done and sorted! The benefits process is so long and draining, but I am so glad I am not doing it alone, because I would just put it off till the last second! Because I hate it so much!

I was so tired after all that I decided to get ready for bed and watched the Simpsons curled up in bed with my 4 fur babies, a perfect way to end a productive day.

Today has been a pretty good day and I am really proud of myself! It was so hard to get going, as its been so cold and grey today, I mean when isn’t it in the UK LOL! But it does make it much harder to get motivated to want to do anything.

I did eventually get myself up, showered, dressed and fed I had peanut butter and honey porridge which I am obsessed with! So tasty and filling. I then got the dogs ready and took them across the road for a run around, Foxy wasn’t overly impressed because she was getting cold. She did what she needed to do and she was done lol. We went back home and the whole time I was trying to decided whether or not to take Scrappy out for a longer walk on his own, but that meant walking further from home… which is something I have been really struggling to do.

We got in and I was going back and forth in my head and decided fuck it! I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing it because Scrappy loves going for long walks and being by the sea. So we went… I did nearly have a panic attack as we got further away from home but I managed to control it and carry on. Once we got down to the sea I felt so much better, I was still feeling a bit tense but I tried to focus on taking pictures and playing fetch with Scrappy. I was just trying to enjoy the moment and watching Scrappy run, play and swim always helps. He’s always so happy whatever he’s doing and that always makes me smile.

I had a great walk with my boy, all be it a chilly walk lol and I am SO proud of myself for pushing myself to get out and not turning back when the panic attack kicked it, but it did not win! We got back in and I made myself a nice cuppa to warm up and curled up on the sofa with a film.

I didn’t come on the laptop to blog initially… but here we are! I still have a few bits to sort out for my disability benefits, which is actually what I came on here to do. I need copies of all the information I need to send, but I still have this evening and tomorrow that I can sort that stuff out. It’s not too much of a rush to get done.

I’m actually feeling pretty good, that walk did me the world of good and also getting so much sorted regarding my disability benefits, I feel like I have some sort of control over the situation.

Life under lockdown has been far from easy but I am so proud that I’ve been able to mange and handle all the change and deal with everything its thrown at me and taken away from and I’ve still come out fighting and smiling. Although some days it does and has gotten the better of me but I mean that’s the nature of living with chronic depression that would happen in any situation. I don’t think my younger self would have been able to deal with this at all, I definitely think that a younger me would have given up, because younger me needed to be around other people to feel like a valid human. Me now at age 35 (very nearly 36) has finally realised that the only person that I need to be happy with is myself, I am the only one I will have a life long relationship with, so it better be a good one! I am valid, worthy and loved all by myself! I don’t need outside validation for that anymore, I know exactly who I am now and I am freaking awesome! I am happy on my own and I know whatever else is thrown at me, I am capable of dealing with on my own.

Here’s a few pictures from the first few days of this year

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak

Christmas and New Year 2020 Round up

Wow what can I say about this year… It certainly has been a wild ride, I’ve had to learn how to adapt quickly to new situations and be ok with the things that are completely out of my control and I’ve had to learn how to be ok completely on my own, which has been incredibly hard but interesting.

I’ll jump back to Christmas before continuing with the round up of the year. I thankfully was able to spend Christmas and Boxing Day with my friend, which was good fun. I got some great presents, I cooked a delicious roast dinner, we went for a walk, watched movies, ate and played games. I really had a good time, it was very much needed after such a crazy year.

Yesterday it was announced that we are now in Tier 4 which means sadly my friend can’t come over for New Years.. but thank god for technology! We’ll still be able to chat which won’t be the same but it’s the safest way.

Oh on the 19th Dec disability benefits decided to send me assessment forms! Absolute assholes! They’ve got to be back for 13th Jan, which just isn’t long enough. So I rang up for a time extension.. although its not much better and I booked myself in for a form filling service because I’m not doing it myself, its just too stressful. So all I really need to do now it gather evidence to send off with my assessments. I really don’t understand why they’re assessing me every 2 years, its not like I’m suddenly going to be healed! But whatever… they’ve extended my money until Oct 2021 so hopefully non of my payments will stop which will take a lot of stress out of the situation… But yeah URGH! they suck!

Speaking of my health, this year it has definitely got worse. I not only have Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, but I have high blood pressure and borderline under active thyroid… and my fatigue has been so bad that my whole body sometimes feels like jelly and I feel so shaky and sick. My fatigue hasn’t been this bad in years and its just so awful, whatever I do I have to have a sit down and rest afterwards, which is really frustrating. I can’t even really explain how bad my fatigue is some days, but I really hate it so much.

Other then all of that I’m actually mentally feeling alright, I’m getting used to being on my own for very long periods of time, not being able to just go out and do anything. It doesn’t really bother me now, earlier on in the year the lockdown and all the change that came with it was extremely stressful because I wasn’t really sure what was happening, what I was/wasn’t allowed to do. But now I feel like I’m more settled, I’m used to not doing the things I would usually do and being home more. I mean in the winter I’m home more then I would be in the summer anyway, so its not so bad. Although there doesn’t really seem to be an end of this in sight just yet, but I’m sure at some point in the new year life can slowly start getting back to normal.

It’s not easy everyday though, some days I’m still finding thigs really difficult. Even simple things like making breakfast feels like a mammoth task, but I do what I always do and just push through. However I am trying to sit more and try and really concentrate on connecting with how I’m feeling because pushing through regardless is easy but doesn’t always acknowledge what you really need/want and can make how I’m feeling worse. So I do try and connect with myself to see how I’m feeling and what I need in that moment. Most of the time what I need is a nap lol! which is easy enough and its actually a good way to have a little break from everything.

I think overall this year has been a good one, despite the strange circumstances that we’ve all found ourselves in this year.

I like a lot of people have experienced loss this year, I lost a friend to Covid-19 and my stepdad also passed away this year, which I don’t think the grief for either has entirely hit me yet, but I think that’s been my brains way of protecting me in order to get through these times safely. I think the sadness and grief has come out when I’ve watched a movie that’s made me cry, which happens quite often as I’m a sensitive soul but that’s ok.

I’ve made huge progress through counselling which I am so proud of! I feel like I can tackle any friendship/relationship and relationship with myself in a much more healthy way and finally healing those deep routed trauma’s, which feels good.

I feel like I’ve changed so much in just 12 months, I am unapologetically myself and I am confident in who I am now and that feels good. For the first time ever I know myself, I listen to myself, I know what I want and need and I know what I won’t put up with and I don’t feel guilty for asking to be treated better. I don’t feel embarrassed to be seen or even to exist, I feel solid.

So 2021, I have no idea what this year will bring and I’m not going into the new year with any resolutions. But I am going to continue to heal and continue on this journey with myself.

That’s it really, see ya all in the New Year.

Stay safe

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 37 on T

I’ve had a pretty good week this week, despite money still being tight and the uncertainty of being able to get through financially, I’m feeling fairly calm and quite positive.

The only changes really this week have been my voice is continuing to change which is really cool and still getting hairy everywhere. Tops of my thighs the hair is getting longer and darker and same with my chest and stomach. I’m fairly happy with my transition so far, my next testosterone injection is next Wednesday, so I’m looking forward to that as always.

I had a really good bank holiday weekend, I went to the beach with a friend where I was really brave. I spent the whole time sat in the vest top, binder and my boxers, because it was so hot I had to pretty much strip off, but I felt really confident and comfortable. No one said anything, no one was staring at me. It felt good to just be able to be myself and be comfortable sat out in the sun and enjoying it, rather then feeling anxious and uncomfortable.

So I’m super proud of myself for just accepting my body as it is and being able to just sit in my vest and boxers and being totally comfortable. Its definitely not something I would have done last summer.

I’ve made these steps by just doing them and not thinking to much about it. But I haven’t pushed myself, I’ve done these things like shaving, wearing my binder, wearing a vest top because they felt right and I felt good about it. I’ve not pushed myself at all, which is why I’ve been able to do these things with less stress and anxiety. Its also important to acknowledge these big steps and reward yourself and congratulate yourself. Its important to recognise the positive steps forward, so you have something to look back on when you’re struggling and when the gender dysphoria is bad.

It is possible to feel good about yourself and have gender dysphoria, there is hope!

Week 37 on T

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks video

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 36 on T

Today I finally got around to doing a voice comparison video! woohoo! I’ve been meaning to do it for a while, but my throat has been really sore today, I keep having to clear my throat and my voice sounds a lot different, to me anyway it does. I can’t believe how different my voice sounds! Its so crazy but really cool.

Apart from my voice I’ve not really had any other changes, just getting more hairy and horny lol!

I’ve been quite busy and I haven’t really had much of a chance to sit and just be, which is cool but I haven’t really been able to check in with myself as much, as at the moment I’m always planning on how I’m going to get by money wise fortnight to fortnight. I’ve not really been able to be in the moment as much.

I’m still in the middle of sorting all my benefits stuff out… I gotta email some stuff off tonight and hopefully it won’t take too long for the charity I’m using to put together my MR for PIP. I want it over with now, its so stressful.

I’ve been getting a bit of dysphoria, but its not been too bad. Its been manageable, although I’ve figured that sometimes when I feel dizzy its because I’m disassociating. It makes me feel really weird, like I’m not real, everything else isn’t real… and then I feel dizzy and wobbly. When it happens I just try and focus on something, which isn’t always easy but it does help a bit.

Self care helps with the dysphoria, things I like to do are –

Napping, eating, binge watching tv, playing with my dogs, walking, housework, being with close friends, meditation, singing, listening to music…the list goes on.

Other self care includes making sure I’ve eaten decent meals, paid bills, that I’ve got enough money, taking my meds, housework, laundry..etc boring self care stuff but essential.

 

Week 36 on T

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks video

^ Finally got around to doing a voice comparison video.

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 34 on T

Its been another week on testosterone and again its just flown by, I’ve barely been able to keep up. Its been like a whirlwind but its been good, for the most part anyway. I’ve been dealing with a few stressful situations over the last few weeks, one which has been resolved but the others I’m still working on. I’ve felt like I’ve been dealing with them better then I usually do when I’m put under a lot of stress, so that feels pretty good.

I had another shave today, which feels so awesome! Its hard to explain how it feels, but it just feels right, it just feels natural. I’m so happy I got over my anxieties and just went for it last week.

I noticed the other day that the hair on my arms are starting to get a bit thicker and darker… maybe just my imagination though, but the hair on my chest and stomach is slowly getting thicker and darker too which is cool.

My  voice is finally starting to break and its more noticeable now, even on the phone which is really cool. Sometimes when I say something my voice goes all weird and squeaky lol and I’m like what was that!! so funny.

Got my next T injection next week so looking forward to that as always! 🙂

Everything is just generally going well at the moment, I’m feeling good, feeling positive and making small changes to move things forward.

 

Week 34 on T

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks 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 32 on T

Today would have been T shot day but the docs didn’t have any appointments, so I’m having it done bright and early Thursday morning lol, 8:30am! Urgh, that’s still the middle of the night!! This is why I wanted to do it myself, so I didn’t have to mess around with apps and I can do it on the exact day its due. Even though I know it can be done 5 days before or 7 days after its due, it still gives me anxiety that its not being done on the exact day its due! But I’m weird like that, silly things give me big anxiety. I suppose its about control, its something I need to let go of a bit more and not let little things stress me out so much. A lot of it is because I often don’t feel like I have any power or control, so little things cause big anxiety. Man I sound like a lil weirdo but whatever.

My weeks been busy but its been really good. I’ve finally got rid of my chest infection, it only took just over 3 weeks and I’ve finished my steroids too, which is a relief! Although its been messing up my mood a bit, been feeling a bit emotional today but I think that was a mixture of things. I feel fine now, I had a nice shower and did some EFT (emotional freedom technique) on myself and it made me feel a lot better, much calmer and less emotional then I was, which is always a good thing. I know there’s a calmness inside, I just don’t always feel it. So I’m going to try and tap out all the intense negative emotions as and when they come, hopefully it will help me regain some control and things wont get so intense and overwhelming.

For some reason this week I am super spotty on my chest, neck and back, although I’m pretty spotty in those areas already but these last couple of days, loads of extra bloody spots have popped up lol! Its sooo hard not to squeeze all the ones I can reach, gross I know lol. Some of them are quite sore but I can’t reach them to put any cream or anything on them. Not sure what its all about lol, I’m hoping they calm down as like I said some are really sore, I’ve got a few on my scalp as well, they are a bit itchy and sore too.

My voice is slowly getting there, I’ve noticed today its a bit deeper which is cool, I said something earlier and I was like woah! who said that!! made me chuckle to myself. My T levels are nearly right I think, I speak to my GP Thursday about my levels as my results from the last bloods said they were borderline, not sure what that means, so I’m assuming it means that they aren’t quite high enough. So they may need to tweak the frequency of the T shot again.

My gender dysphoria and disassociation has been mostly ok this week, I’ve been feeling quite relaxed and calm where my body is concerned. But I’ve spent this week looking after myself and my needs, rather then everything else that isn’t really important. Which just proves how much self care is essential to my well-being, its something I struggle to do regularly. It is so noticeable when I stop basic self care, everything just goes off the wall and unmanageable. I’ve been taking a lot of really hot showers and it really helps with the disassociation and I can take 15-20 mins to just be totally in the moment, breathe and relax. It really works for me at the moment, it may not always work and may not work for others but at the moment its working, which is the main thing.

Well its gone midnight now and I better get to bed and I have my friends kids over again tonight and I’ll probably be up around 8:30 am, my mind is pretty awake so I need to wind down a bit before I can go to sleep

 

 

Week 32 on T.JPG

^ This weeks picture

^ This weeks video

Peace out

Zak

Transition update – Week 25 on T

I don’t know where to even start this week, its not been the best week ever.

I’ll stick to transition stuff for now and I may write another blog about everything else I’ve got going on. I probably need to get it out, as I find writing always helps me process me emotions a bit easier then just talking about things.

Anyway transition stuff, again not much to report but I suppose there wont be as I do these updates weekly. Some people have said my voice sounds a bit different this week so that’s cool.

I can’t write anymore, my brain has shut off. I’m tired and even sure how I’m doing right now.

Week 25 on T

^ This weeks pic

^ This weeks video

Peace out

Dyllan

Transition update – Week 23 on T

Woohoo! Today was injection day, that always makes me feel really good. Not that I wasn’t feeling good before but its just something I always really look forward too.

I update twice last week as my GP rang to say my T levels were low and I could inject every 3 weeks, rather then every 4 weeks.

He also wants me to get my injections done at the doctors surgery rather then me doing it and to be honest I’m happy with that. My surgery is literally across the road so its not far to get too and I’ve been struggling to open the testosterone bottles because I have hyper mobility, I just don’t have the power in my hands to crack them open safely. So I don’t mind someone else jabbing my in the butt.

Hopefully now I will see some significant changes, as its all been super slow and very minimal. Although some of my friends don’t agree with that, I don’t see the changes they do and I don’t feel it either. So I’ve been feeling really frustrated with the whole thing, hopefully this will sort it out but I’m still sceptical that its still going to be too low.

I’ve gotta have some more bloods in 9 weeks before my 3rd injection and then another blood test 7 days later. Then we’ll be able to see if my testosterone levels have improved or not.

Other then feeling frustrated with low T levels, everything else have been going alright. My PIP forms are currently being assessed, I so hope I don’t need to go for a face to face assessment, they’re so horrible and so degrading.

My mood has been a lot better then it was in December, I feel much calmer and more settled. Anxiety is still an issue but its not as intense as it was, its far more manageable now.

Week 23 on T

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^ This weeks video

Well that’s it for now

Peace out

Dyllan