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

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

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

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

A day in the life of a Trans guy

So just a quick update really as I don’t have a whole lot to say regarding my transition. As at the moment it feels like it’s on pause.

20/3/2020 marked 7 months post op top surgery! Which is cool but as I’ve spoken about over and over, I still feel that lack of connection with my chest and body in general. So whilst I’m extremely grateful that I was lucky enough to have the surgery, I don’t feel the happiness I thought I would feel. Maybe I put too much expectations of surgery making everything better.

Now we’re in this quarantine times, I intend to try and slow down and connect with my innermost self and really trust myself and learn to love myself unconditionally. Maybe this will help ease the dysphoria and help with the connection. I need to lose weight too as that definitely isn’t helping. But I feel stuck inside myself, I can’t move.

I intend to look after myself better because I deserve it.

Here are some pictures of my chest 7 months after life changing, life saving surgery

Peace out

Zak

Gratitude

Now we’re facing times of such uncertainties, I think it’s a good opportunity to stop and look for the positives and be grateful for what we do have.

I’m going to try and write a gratitude list everyday.

Who’s going to join me?

I made a start, here are my lists.

I hope this gives you hope and inspiration

Peace out

Zak

Inner monologue

I wrote this early hours of this morning and thought I’d share the sort of stuff that runs through my brain.

Inner monologue

Body needs to rest but my brain needs that’s physical stimulation which is maybe where/when/why I get so agitated and frustrated as I’m not physically working moving enough and my brain needs that stimulation/sensation in order to be able to focus and function better

But obviously having a chronic illness rest time is hugely important and essential to keep my body well.

My brain is also easily overstimulated which can either leave me feeling drained and overwhelmed or hyper and unable to sleep or settle down.

It’s been such a great journey learning more about myself and how my brain is working and connecting those dots.

Pretty much everything I write isn’t based in science, just my own personal experience, discovery and exploration of myself and how I work and function, which is fascinating.

I’m heading towards 35 and I’m finally figuring myself out, in a way I’ve never really looked at before.

When I have counselling before it’s was always based around dealing with the situations I was currently dealing with like self harm and depression. I never really delved into my past and never really spoke about the why, why I am the I am, what’s making me tick.

This round of counselling, I mean yeah I was struggling big time with anxiety and depression. But I feel like I’ve been way more open with my current counsellor, I’ve delved deeper than just surface stuff and I’ve been given the space and opportunity to look at things completely differently and it’s been super fascinating and now when I’ll just get random thoughts much like how this post started from a light bulb moment I suppose and I’ve just been writing and writing and a lot of my scribbles don’t make it into a blog but I’ve got so many notes all over the place I will type them up and turn them into some kind of order as I think it’s such an important part of the process and journey of rediscovering who I am outside of friendships and relationships and outside of my transition.

I don’t think I’ve ever really known who I am and where I fit. But I’m slowly learning and discovering more about myself and it’s exciting.

I’m starting to like me and who I am, what I represent and what I can contribute to this life.

I’ve always felt like a lost soul, just kinda floating around, not really fitting in or not even really needed.

I’m started to feel more grounded in my body, in my mind and in my soul, the essence of who I am and why I’m here. Feels super weird but also pretty cool.

My sessions end this month and I’m feeling pretty confident that I can continue this journey myself. Just gotta keep writing out all these thoughts in my head and continue to listen to myself and the different aspects that make up me and make sure all needs are met where possible so I can continue to be the best version of me.

I did write another note of stuff I was thinking about last night but I will post that separately as its pretty long.

Also reading this back I have little recollection of writing this, I knew I wrote it but I was so in the moment and everything was just flowing, which I think the real me is able to come into power and be at my most raw and vulnerable.

Peace out

Zak

My Journey from the L to T in LGBT

I saw today on my memories thing that 11 years ago today, I told my mum I was a lesbian. Which now seems hilarious as I feel like such a late bloomer in everything. As a at the time I would have been 23 very nearly 24! and now I’m still figuring out who I am, although I feel like that journey never really ends.

My memory is so rubbish and I just don’t remember these things that should be memorable moments and things I should be able to remember easily but my brain just doesn’t work that way. So Facebook is super helpful, in helping me remember important moments and obviously the not so great ones lol!

So after I saw this particular memory, it got me thinking about my journey over the last 12 years and how far I’ve come. I think its so easy to forget what my life was back then and what it is now and the huge journey and work that’s happened in between and I think the journey I’ve been through hasn’t always been visible or noticeable to those around me.

I hide a lot of things I’m going through, I always have ever since I was small. I was a toxic trait that was learned behaviour from my family. Mainly my from my mum, but again that stuff is passed down through parents. So not necessarily her fault, it’s what she knew and grew up with and she’s still like it a bit now.

I am getting better at expressing myself to those around me, but I still keep a lot to myself. I’m trying my best to live my life authentically and that means being apologetically myself! Even if people think I’m weird, I no longer really care, I know I don’t really fit in and I’m cool with that. I was never meant to fit in anywhere, I was meant to stand out and standing out is hard, because I’ve always tried to fit in, blend in and tried to disappear. But I’m still learning how I am, learning how to stand in my truth, to stand in my power and to shine. It’s a bit scary but I’m kinda starting to like myself for the first time in my life.

From at a fairly young age, I think knew I liked girls but I just always thought of maybe I was looking for a mother figure, as my relationship with my mum was always never close and I always kinda felt not apart of the family I was born in. Always felt like I was the odd one out, so maybe when I was young I was hoping I’d be cute enough and someone would come and take me into their family.

Even as a young teen I was so naive that I only thought men could be gay, I mean sounds so stupid saying that now, but I didn’t grow up with access to the internet and it wasn’t something that was talked about in my family. I just thought being called a lesbian was an insult, didn’t really realise it was an option! LOL! how wrong I was.

I grew up thinking I had to get a boyfriend/husband and that was how it was meant to be, that’s all I grew up seeing. I had like a 2/3 boyfriends, I’ve only had 2 sexual experiences with males and I really didn’t understand why my girl friends were so hyped about sex with guys, cuz I fucking hated it! I thought there was something wrong with me.

As I got older and met different people and experienced life more, I realised there was this whole community of people and my mind was blown! I felt like maybe this is where I fitted in.

It still took a little while for me to actually say I am GAY! I like woman. That was 12 years ago, that I finally was like, nope I’m not going to keep trying to fit in with what I was taught is expected of me. That felt great, it felt like I was being me and not hiding anymore.

It was 8/2/2009 that I finally told my mum, that I had a girlfriend and I don’t think she was shocked and she accepted it. I vividly remember telling my dad and he was like yeah I knew! lol, I remember saying why didn’t you tell me! Would have made things a bit easier! But its the journey I had to go through I suppose.

It took until around Sept 2014 to start questioning my gender and I don’t remember what triggered that particular process. At that point I had 2/3 people that I was friends with, knew of who’d starting transitioning from female to male, which me being the naive person I am again never knew that was a possibility or something that was obtainable to like anyone.

This is why representation in the media whether it be tv, film, music, books etc is SO important! Not only does it help educate people, it helps people feel less like a freak and an outcast.

During this time I wrote a lot, I talked a lot within the LGBT mental health group I attended, I talked with close friends at the time. I went to a Trans group and it didn’t really take long for things to slot in place and for me to realise that I am not and never was a female and that’s why I’ve always hated my body with a passion, why I’ve never felt comfortable within myself and just explained so many other things.

At the time only close friends knew about this part of my life, as I wanted time to figure myself out. I didn’t want to rush such an important life changing decision.

But the day after my 30th birthday in 2015, I messaged everyone on my FB list to explain that I am transgender and I will now be going my male pronouns. I had such an out pouring of love and support, I was honestly taken aback. I was really shocked and I’ve always had that support from people around me, yes sure it took people some time getting used to pronouns and stuff and I had every weird questioned asked under the sun but ultimately everyone just wanted me to be happy.

I don’t remember when I told my mum but I do remember she didn’t really have a lot to say about it and even now, 5 years down the road its not something she openly talks about to me, doesn’t ask me questions. So I still really don’t know how she feels about it all, which is sad because I want to know how she feels, I mean I know she loves me in her own way because she’s my mum but I don’t know if she’s proud of me. It’s not like I haven’t tried but she’s really hard to communicate with because if she doesn’t want to talk about something she just doesn’t respond, so end of conversation. I can’t have a conversation with someone who just won’t reply, just shuts that shit down straight away.

I think that hurts more because my dad is no longer here and I can’t ask him about what he thinks, does he still love me, is proud of me etc. I think we all need that approval from our families, from our parents no matter how old we get. Even though I don’t really know what she thinks about my transition, its never stopped me. Because I am an adult (I think, in age only! lol) But deep inside I do just wish she would express her feelings to me about my transition, mainly so I can have that connection with her. But also so I know she approves too.

But as I mentioned feelings, thoughts and emotions were something that just wasn’t talked about in our house and to be honest nothing really was. Looking back now it’s probably a big part of why I felt so disconnected from my family as love and emotions weren’t expressed. It’s almost like it was a business arrangement that these 4 humans were living together, aliens from another planet who didn’t know what regular human emotions were. Maybe it’s why I’ve always struggled to connect with myself.

Now I just try and meet my mum where she is, I don’t mention my transition as its pointless. She’ll never be what I want her to be and that’s hard to accept as I maybe nearly 35 but I still need my mum and I still want her to be the mother I need her to be. But that’s not who she is and I’ll never get that out of her and she hasn’t unlearnt her learnt behaviours picked up from her parents, she doesn’t yet have that awareness and maybe she never will and that’s cool. We all have our journeys and everyone’s path is different and everyone does things at different times and in different ways and that’s completely fine. So instead of trying to hold them up to the standard you want them to be at, you have to meet them where they are.

Our relationship is less stressful now because I don’t have these expectations of her, I just accept her how she is and its been so much better. I even enjoy hanging out with her now. I maybe see her once every couple of months and that’s cool with me. She’s the only parent I have left, I wanted her in my life, so I had to change how I viewed our relationship in order to have a better one.

Coming out as trans and starting my physical transition has been one of the best things I have ever done, my only regret is that I didn’t realise sooner but its all part of the journey and it happened when it was meant too.

I have learned so much about myself in the last 5 years, that its hard to express. Even though I still feel shy and have low self esteem, I feel confident in that fact I finally know who I am as a person, I feel less disconnected and I feel confident in the fact I am finally standing in my truth.

I’m still learning about who I am and where I fit in this life, I don’t think that ever really stops, as life is always changing and if it isn’t then it means your stuck.

Recently I have been questioning my sexuality a bit, again I think this is a natural part of the process. I think its because testosterone makes you feel like a horny teenage boy! But also, I used to look at guys and wished I was them and now I’m nearer the journey of having lower surgery in the next maybe 2 years, I’m starting to think a lot more about sex and having a penis and what that would look like, feel like etc cuz I’ve been 35 years without one, only ever touched 2 in my life and so its something that’s been on my mind.

Like recently when I watch porn (shocking I know!) I’ve found myself more focused on the guy and what he’s doing with his dick, which got me thinking and questioning, does this mean I want to have sex with men, do I like men? what does this all mean! and I’ve come to the conclusion that no I do not like men in that way, I don’t want to have sex with men, I’m just fascinated and excited for when I get to have sex with woman when I get my penis, which btw is 35 years late! lol and I suppose when I’m watching these videos, that I want to be that guy that’s having sex.

I still look at other guys and think wow they look so manly and fit that’s what I want to look like. But my ass over here is 5ft 3″ a bit chubby from christmas, I hate the gym and working out cuz it’s boring and exhausting. I try and remind myself that no one else looks like me, no one else can be me, I am who I am meant to be no matter what that looks like, as I don’t want to look like everyone else I was born to stand out, born to be me.

I was a bit nervous about writing about watching porn, as you know still can be a bit of a taboo and not something I really discuss with anyone. But fuck it, I’m talking about my journey and my truth and this is me, laid bare.

I don’t know where I’m headed next in life, but I’m going to keep writing, keep being me and hopefully, I’ll be me with a penis before I’m 40!

All I can do it keep standing in my truth, keep talking about my journey and hopefully helping others to stand in their truth and hopefully educating those naive people who don’t know much about the LGBT community.

Peace out

Zak

Crystal healing

I’m just off to bed, feeling pretty tense after writing out earlier blogs.

I was drawn to pick some crystal to put under my pillow while I sleep tonight, apparently I need 15 of them lol!

Hopefully their powerful energies will help me feel refreshed and relaxed when I wake up tomorrow

I already feel my muscles relaxing a bit, it feels nice

Peace out

Zak

Adventure Time – Brighton day trip

On Thursday I took a pretty huge step, I went to Brighton for the day by train on my own.

I’ve always had anxiety about getting the train places, as I have a fear of getting lost. Which is probably a weird fear but that’s where my anxiety around travelling alone comes from.

I’ve been to Brighton before, with a friend for Pride. This was probably about 11/12 years ago now. I don’t remember much of the journey or even pride itself. It sucks that I don’t really remember this experience but I don’t remember a lot of experiences in my life.

I got my first train just gone 9 am, it was running late but I was feeling pretty relaxed. I had to change trains, which went smoothly and I got on the right one. I did ask the train guard if it was the train to Brighton before getting on, just to ease my anxieties.

Got into Brighton at 12:21 and man it was freezing! I didn’t really have a plan of where I was going or what I was doing. So I just started walking and followed the sign posts.

I hit some shops and the first one that drew me in was a crystal shop! haha I mean of course it was! But there were loads of them! There was so many awesome shops, such bright colours, such a lovely energy. I kinda felt at home, my anxieties disappeared and I just was in awe of the place. I spent the day walking around with my mouth wide open! lol.

I went down to the Pier and walked along it, went in the arcade, had a walk along the beach. I went to Franco Manca for lunch, they do the best sourdough pizza’s. It was nice sitting and having lunch on my own in a new town.

I headed home at 5pm feeling extremely proud of myself, I felt incredible! Like I could conquer anything. Even now a few days later, I’m still feeling really good about myself.

I’ve spent my life waiting on other people, always believing I wasn’t strong enough to do things on my own, or that I needed other people to help me. But I bloody did it, I proved myself wrong and I proved everyone else wrong.

I am strong, I am capable, I can do things! I am good enough.

I had the best day and I definitely intend on going back there. Maybe when its a bit warmer lol. I’m also intending on going to Brighton for this years Trans Pride. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but just haven’t got round to going yet. But this year definitely feels like the year to go.

This is one of many adventures I plan on having this year!

Peace out

Zak