Living in the darkness

I haven’t written anything on here for just over 2 months now, the main reason is I just got swallowed up whole by my depression and I just haven’t had the energy or desire to do the basic life things let alone sit down to write.

The main cause of my depression has been lockdown unsurprisingly, as it has I’m sure effected every single person in one way or another. It’s been an incredibly hard time and I haven’t experienced this depth of the darkness and isolation in such a long time and its not a place I like to be in. But I’ve had zero control in getting myself out of it and making myself feel better and you know right now that’s ok. My brain is doing everything it can to protect me from further tramua.

I’ve had silly comments from people who’ve said well I survived through it, I live in a beautiful area etc, which is extremely dismissive of how I’ve been feeling and its a reason why no one really knows just how bad and how dark the places I’ve been in recently because I get sick of this toxic positivity bullshit! Yes I’ve survived lockdown so far, but only fucking just and I mean I was on the verge at a few points of ending it all because the loneliness and depression was just so loud and it was so intense that I just didn’t and couldn’t deal with it anymore. But I did keep pushing through and its still not something I can feel proud about because I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m still pretty depressed, I’m just a fucking master at hiding it.

A few weeks ago it was my 3 years on testosterone and 1 year post op top surgery and in July I had arranged to meet up with some friends to celebrate as the previous years I haven’t and its something that’s extremely important to me and I wanted to celebrate, but it was pretty much a fail because most people bailed! which hurt like fuck and still fucking does and I’m still so angry and upset that I’m not overly interested in talking with the people that bailed. I tried to be happy and grateful for the few that did turn up but I just couldn’t, I was already extremely depressed and this just topped it off. Next year I’m not going to fucking bother! I am so fucking done with people!

People are so fucking fake! Always promoting mental health, self care etc but fuck me right! I don’t actually matter! I’m so fucking angry with people, I’ve been let down by everyone over the years and I have not one single person who I can rely on. I hate everyone, I don’t deserve to be treated this way, I bend over backwards to help anyone but no one seems to be able to celebrate something that’s extremely important to me. I am fucking done with everyone! I’m just not interested anymore. They can talk the big talk but I don’t trust that shit anymore, when it comes down to it, no one actually shows up for me.

All is does is make me feel like a really fucking shitty person! I feel like the worse person in the world cuz I’m 35 and still have no friends and I still don’t understand where I’m going wrong like wtf!? am I this fucking dumb?! I know I am far from fucking perfect, I know I’m an annoying dick head but I’m not a bad person. Yet shit like this makes me feel like the worst person in the world.

I see everyone else with their friends, having fun, doing stuff etc and there’s just me here on my own, like when’s it my turn?! When is it my turn to have friends and be happy? I fear my life will always be like this. I can’t seem the change the patterns no matter what I try, I try be like everyone else, I try and be myself, nothing works. So must be me right?

I’ve always felt like such an outsider, I feel like I’m from a different planet cuz I just don’t fit in socially, its too hard. But I don’t understand why I’m so different, I hate feeling like this. I don’t understand why people don’t like me or why people just can’t be bothered to put the effort in with me. I can’t change what I don’t understand.

I’m so fed up of writing about the same shit and crying about the same shit. I don’t think people understand the depths of my isolation really is. I have no emotional connections with anyone, certainly not my family and no friends. I’ve become so shut down emotionally so I can deal with this depression and loneliness, I can barely feel anything other then sadness and anger. I spend 99% of my time alone, there’s only 2 people who regularly message me and to be honest the last few months they’ve really helped get me through. But its still not the same as social interactions, I get so much from social interactions and I just haven’t had any for so long, its beyond difficult.

I’m back at counselling now, I begrudgingly went back. I enjoy going and I enjoy talking about stuff and its at least some social interaction for the week. But I’ve been in counselling for the last 20 years on and off, I’m starting to feel I’m too broken to ever be fixed and this is just my life forever now. My life has been hard and its still hard, with a few moments of happiness but they seem to be few and far between. The darkness is just so strong, its hard to climb out of it. Most days, I just let the darkness take over and I just sit and completely disassociate so I can just get through the day. I’m barely functioning most days, I have my non negotiable things I do each day, like take my meds, do my sinus rinse and take the dogs out, but the energy it takes just to do those small things is immense. I’m barely getting through each day and its exhausting. I want so much to be happy, to be loved, to have friends, to have adventures with my friends, but seems like that’s a lot to ask for. It’s all I’ve ever wanted from life. But damaged people don’t get a happy ending right? I just feel like I’ll be living in this darkness forever, its the only constant in my life over the years. I can’t remember when the darkness and I first met but I think I was quite young.

I do think my diagnosis of Bipolar is wrong, I reckon I have complex PTSD, autism spectrum disorder and ADHD as all 3 of these have symptoms that are the same or similar to bipolar and all 3 have overlapping symptoms with each other. I don’t have the energy to speak to my GP about any of this as I know I’ll get sent to my psychiatrist who doesn’t believe in adult ADHD, which is ridiculous and I just hate talking to him, I find it hard to get everything out as I feel like he’s sat there judging me, I always feel like he thinks that I’m just an attention seeker. So yeah I hate talking to him and I can’t ask for someone else as he’ll block that because he’s a prick! But hopefully through counselling I can figure some stuff out and maybe gather some evidence for a potential re diagnosis.

So yeah that’s me, writing out my heart and soul of darkness!

Peace out

Zak

today sucks

Now lockdown is easing, I’ve had two different hospital departments ring me up last week to book me in for appointments. It was quite nice to go without hospital appointments for the last few months, its been the only real upside to lockdown life.

One appointment was for the podiatrist, he said my new insoles are ready… finally! Feels like I’ve been waiting forever for these new ones. He said he can post them to me or I can come in for an appointment and I said I’d prefer an appointment as if they still aren’t right then he can write down what adjustments they need and send them off there and then, rather then having them posted to me, them not being right and having to go up for an appointment anyway. Made more sense to me to just go in for an appointment. I go there on Thursday morning, I’m really hoping these are better then the last ones as its been nearly 2 years now trying to get these insoles just right.

The second appointment was for cardiology, which I went to this morning and it was a pretty fucking shit experience for a number of reasons.

The first being the face mask, for some reason is provokes such an intense reaction. It makes me feel really angry, really agitated and really anxious. I fucking hate wearing stuff over my face and around my neck, I can’t wear a Halloween mask for the same reason, I can’t fucking stand scarfs either. So as soon as I put that mask on to enter the hospital, my mood completely changed and its not under my control. I just instantly felt on edge and really emotionally dysregulated, I just wanted to take that mask off an leave.

Then I was fitted with a blood pressure monitor which is completely different from the one I was fitted with at the doctors surgery, which stressed me out even more. This one I have on now for 24 hours is uncomfortable, I have the monitor looped around my belt and the wire is all bunched up around my back and isn’t sat flat across my shoulder, its extremely hard to ignore the fact I’m wearing it and I fucking hate it! For bed time I have a softer belt to wear but if possible I’m not going to wear it as a belt, if its long enough I’m going to try and wear it over one shoulder.

The one I had from the doctors surgery a few months back was way better, the monitor itself was in a little bag with a strap, so I wore it over my shoulder which meant the wire wasn’t all bunched up around my back and sat flat around my shoulder. It was barely noticeable and it wasn’t such a stressful experience as this one is turning out to be.

I feel so fucking angry because I don’t feel comfortable and there’s nothing I can do so make myself feel less angry and uncomfortable. I just have to put up with this bullshit till 12 pm tomorrow and then have to drop the fucking thing back off which means wearing a fucking mask again!

I feel so fucking frustrated I want to smash my head in! That’s how intense I feel right now, I can’t wait for this 24 hours to be fucking done!

How I feel is beyond any self soothing skills or any other bullshit skill, I won’t feel better until I can take this fucking thing off.

Before lockdown I could cope ok with changes and sensory things, I was still effected by sudden changes or something that didn’t feel right but I was able to just deal with it and it didn’t often invoke a strong reaction, occasionally is did but not always. But now because lockdown guidelines are forever changing and things are so uncertain and my anxiety is heightened, I simply cannot deal with the smallest of changes or things that don’t feel right. It sends me into a massive internal spin and invokes such intense reactions, which makes me want to physically act out, in hurting myself. Which admittedly I have punched myself in the head, I’ve pinched myself hard, scratched myself, punched my legs. Just anything to stop the intensity of how I feel, the only things I’ve not resorted to yet is cutting myself. Mainly because I’ve not cut for 2 years and 6 months but also I don’t think I’d be able to control myself and I don’t want to have to deal with going to hospital for stitches and being questioned by people.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of maybe being on the autism spectrum because of my sensory issues, the fact I struggle to deal with change and find it difficult to make friends, I don’t like being touched unless I’m in a relationship with someone then its different, I don’t give very good eye contact as I find it really uncomfortable and social situations make me anxious. I also have stuff that I will intensely be interested in, collect etc and same with foods I will eat something for weeks/months on end until I’m sick of it. Also I have a lot of friends past and present who are on the spectrum, which makes sense as people with additional needs tend to gravitate towards each other. I may bring this up with the nurse next week when I go for my T shot and see what she suggest I do and her opinion on whether I could be on the spectrum or not.

Girls with ASD even now get missed and aren’t diagnosed as often as boys are, mainly because when the DX was written about ASD it had boys/men in mind now girls/females. Also girls are often much better at learning how to pretend and mimic their peers, boys don’t often do this and will ore often act out more aggressively so are more likely to be tested for autism, whereas for girls its not often picked up until much later in life.

I was raised as female and actually there’s a high instance of trans people who are on the spectrum, so these two things makes sense as to why maybe if I am on the spectrum it was missed earlier on in my life.

Anyway I’m so over today, I’m going to try and relax and hopefully the intensity of the mass of swirling mess inside subsides enough for me to chill and feel a bit better.

Peace out

Zak

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN..CONT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak

trauma – Parts work

I posted last week I think about childhood trauma, but I missed a big chunk out. I didn’t come to mind at the time, but as I’ve mentioned before my memory has huge chunks missing and things that aren’t in order and that’s got much worse over the years and I think that’s mainly cuz I’ve been getting closer to the source of the trauma, maybe its ready to start healing. Finally.

So when I was about 7 years old I started getting ill (I’m not sure if that age is accurate, but I know I was in first school) I think it started with asthma like symptoms and in fact I ended up having a asthma attack as all my x-rays would come back clear and I have the same issue now, I can have a chest infection and doc’s can never really hear anything until I cough. So In was treated for asthma, I then started having nosebleeds that would last for what felt like hours at a time and because I was young and the shape of my nose wasn’t right they would never cauterise my nose to stop the bleed. It then progressed to joint pain and fatigue but as was young most doctors didn’t really know what was wrong with me.

By the time it came to the year 2000, which was the year after my parents divorce (I think) I was diagnosed with an auto immune disorder, for which I was given heavy medications and their side effects were just as brutal as my illness itself. I was given no support for my mental health, I was given no extra support at school even though I had to take a lot of time off. I was given this huge life changing condition and I just had to manage it myself and that wasn’t easy.

At school I was always different, always the outsider and dealing with a auto immune disorder, did me no favours. I was already struggling with my mental health and this only impacted on it. I thought my life was over, what I wanted to do with my life was taken away from me, well I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, but now everything seemed pointless. I’d already given up on my life at that point and to be honest I feel the same way, just a ghost going through the motions until I die. (PSA No I am not suicidal, just tired of existing, wanting this pain to end, not to be dead)

Childhood/teenage years are pivotal for the person you grown into as an adult and some who suffer trauma in those years can because stuck there, or parts of your inner system can become stuck in a certain mode as a way to protect that child.

I have been reading about ‘parts work’ or internal family systems model and holy shit did my protective child go crazy when I read about the protective child, why they are formed and how they can be changed to be more in balance. I felt physically weird reading that part, I definitely disassociated, felt itchy and uncomfortable and had to stop reading, so I could get up and move around. I ended up having to do something else as my protective child wasn’t ready to be reading that stuff, especially as its only been in the last week that I’ve verbalised to another human that yo this trauma is the source of this pain that isn’t shifting no matter what I do, I need to heal this pain first.

But I know that this protective child is protecting not just me but other deeply hidden pains and I know that this is going to take a while to work through and its not going to be easy or comfortable but I want to heal properly now, I think I’m finally ready to be vulnerable enough to dig through this pain and trauma that’s trapped within. I want to feel more balanced, I want to feel happy, I want to let this stuff go. I want to be able to fully accept myself and I want to self to take its place, I want to stop coming from a place of hurt and self preservation because that’s not helping me.

I want to stop hurting, because its getting to hard to keep carrying on my own. The load is too heavy now, I only end up bleeding on everyone, that’s why I can’t break into any friend circles, I don’t want to be alone anymore.

But for now at least I know that 95% of the time protective child fronts to protect me from the world because that’s what he’s had to do for so long. I wish I could hold that little kid and tell him its going to ok, those nights I would cry in bed at night, all alone. I’d never let myself be emotional or cry in front of anyone, I’d hold it in until I was alone. I do the same now, I could do with a hug now, someone to tell me I’m going to be ok.

I may not be where I want to be, or where I think I should be, but I’m finally starting to understand myself a little better. It’s never too late right?!

Peace out

Zak

trauma

This lockdown has been kinda good for one thing its allowed old wounds and pains to surface and its made me face the reality of the route cause of this pain that’s been there forever.

I’ve had counselling and different therapies since I was 15 years old on and off over the years and I’ve always skirted around this issue, cuz its painful and embarrassing to admit and as I’ve gotten older its got harder.

I find it super hard to be vulnerable and honest with myself let alone anyone else. But today I was able to verbalise it, which was very uncomfortable.

My parents divorced when I was 15 and my memories from around that time are patchy. It was a pretty traumatic experience and the years running up to that weren’t that great either and again memories are patchy.

For some that may not be seen as a traumatic event but for me it was and my mental health wasn’t great before it happened as I started self harming when I was around 9/10 years old. I can’t explain why I started self harming as again memories are fractured, not in order or missing completely.

I was an extremely anxious and extremely shy as a little kid, I struggled to make friends, I always felt left out and I still feel the same now at the age of 35 years old.

I think as you get older you tend to romanticise what your childhood was like, with me I don’t remember much at all. But I remember what it made me feel, what I felt then is what I feel now. No matter how hard I try to heal, to move forward. I am always dragged back to how I felt at the age of 15 years old.

I still feel like a little kid standing in a room full of adults trying to be seen and heard, I feel like I don’t exist, I feel alone, intense loneliness, I feel so sad, I’m in so much pain, I feel lost, I feel scared, I feel numb, I feel unloved and unlovable, I feel unwanted.

I can’t keep bleeding over the same thing, hurting over the same thing. It’s just too hard, too painful.

I feel so left out, everyone has their circle of friends and I’m standing way on the sidelines, waiting to be seen and heard, waiting for the scraps, waiting to have my existence remembered. I can’t do it anymore.

I’ve not hit any expected adult mile stones, I’ve never been in a long term relationships, I’ve never lived with anyone, I’ve never been engaged, married, I don’t have kids, never had a long term employment (mainly due to my physical health) 1 long term friendship which I no longer have. I don’t have kids, don’t own my place and never have. Never travelled anywhere, never done anything.

I feel like I’ve missed out on so much because of this trauma that hides inside me and seems to have such a strong hold over me. I end up bleeding on everyone around me and no one wants to deal with that. But I don’t mean too, I try so hard but doesn’t seem to be working. But I’m just a traumatise kid inside.

I’m so exhausted, so tired of trying, tired of feeling this pain, tired of fighting to be seen and heard, tired of existing. I’m tired of looking after myself, tired of acting like I’m a grown up when really I maybe 35 but emotionally, socially etc I’m still just a 15 year old kid inside. It exhausting trying to pretend I’m ok when I’m not.

This is hard

Peace out

Zak

Living with a Chronic illness – Hospital appointments

There are some things that came part and parcel with having a chronic illness and one of those things is having lots of hospital and doctors appointments.

I have a good GP whom which I get on well with, along with the nurses who I do my testosterone shot for me. I also have a good relationship with my Rheumatologist and his nurses and my Ears, Nose and Throat doctor. Usually I don’t find appointments too difficult as I always feel involved in my care and generally feel listened too and well looked after.

But yesterday’s appointment with a Rhematologist was the an absolute disaster. It provoked huge anxiety and anger. It was NOT a good appointment.

So I had made my way to my appointment, now if my Rheumatologist is busy, I will see one of his two nurses, who are both really lovely and I am more then happy to see. So I’m used to seeing one of those 3 people.

However when I turned up for my appointment, a nurse called me in to do my blood pressure and weight, she also needed me to do a pee sample. But she said that Dr Hopkins will see me soon… I asked who he was and why I was seeing him as he’s not my doctor. She couldn’t answer me.

It put me right on edge, it made me incredibly anxious and I wanted to leave. I then couldn’t do a pee sample as I was too tense, it was noisy in the waiting room, there was more people then usual there, which didn’t help with my anxiety.

I heard my Doctors voice, the one I usually see and I saw both of his nurses, who I see if Dr Marks is busy. In fact I spoke with Phoebe and she said I wasn’t on her list so I must be seeing Carole.

This wasn’t the case, I was led into see Dr Hopkins. At this point my anxiety was so high, I struggled to concentrate. He basically talked at me, he didn’t listen, he talked over me when I did try to speak, he didn’t involve me in the plan of tapering off my steroids, he basically told me what I had to do. This for some reason really triggered rage within me.

I held myself together as best I could but I was so enraged. How dare this person just bark orders at me, the guy doesn’t know, he’s never met me before, yet he was like well do it like this.

I walked to the train station as I need to get back for my counselling session, when I got to the station I rang the hospital as I needed to vocalise what had happened and how I felt and I wanted answers and to why the fuck I saw a random doctor and I also let it known that I did NOT want to see this fucking guy again.

The person I said to said some one would call me back, but as of yet I’ve heard nothing, so I will chase it up next week.

I think I was so triggered because it was an unexpected change and no one explained to me why I was seeing this guy, when my usual team where there. I also fucking hate not being listened too, I hate not being heard, it makes me feel so small and angry. I’ve spent a lot of time not being given the respect of being listened too. We all want to be heard and listened too. I also hate being told what I need to do regarding my own health and what I need to do with my medications. I’ve been ill all my life, I’ve been on medications for most of my life and I know my body better then any doctor ever will. I was more then happy to try and taper off my steroids again, but I didn’t agree with the way he wanted me to do it and I want to wait until at least March, as I’ve been really struggling lately as the weather has been so damp and cold, it’s just not the right time to start reducing my steroids.

The whole appointment was almost like a power struggle, he had all the power and wasn’t willing to listen about what I wanted to do regarding my steroids as I didn’t agree with his suggestion. I felt powerless, so ended up just agreeing with whatever he said so I could leave.

I will not be tapering my steroids like he suggested, I will get down to the bottom as to why I saw this guy and I will push to see someone from MY team soon and I will make it very clear that I do not want to see this doctor ever again.

Advocating for myself is something I really used to suck at, but as I’ve got older I won’t tolerate shit like this and I will let it be known. It’s fucking exhausting constantly advocating for myself and making sure I am being heard and that I am getting the care I need and deserve.

Note to any Doctors or nurses who maybe reading this, your patients know their bodies better then you do, especially those living with a chronic illness. Listen to your patients, they are the experts of their illnesses, you may have qualifications but they live it every fucking day! They know what works and what doesn’t, they know how they feel.

As much as I’m not always connected to my body, I know my body better then anyone else, I don’t think sometimes Doctors understand and respect that. I know its something my usual team of doctors understand, but this guy certainly didn’t.

It took me the rest of Wednesday to calm down, I’m glad I had a counselling session that afternoon, so I could let off steam and talk through it. It was quite funny as my counsellor had out some tuning forks which she used near me and she was like woah your body is having non of this and asked me if I was feeling angry and I was like I am furious. It was nice to have a safe place to express myself and my feelings.

I am feeling a bit calmer now about it all but I know its something that I will ruminate on now for a while. It’s hard not too when something provokes such a huge emotional reaction. I’ll get over it eventually.

Peace out

Zak

Breaking very old patterns

As I mentioned in my last post, I had written 2 long posts early hours of this morning, but I knew I would need to proof read the spelling and if they made sense or not before posting as they were both written pretty quickly, as I didn’t want to forget anything and wanted to get everything out.

So here goes…

Stuck in patterns especially with friendships and relationships. Experiencing the same same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

I didn’t just need to step out of these friendships, I also needed to look at myself and where I was going wrong and why these patterns kept repeating.

A lot of it was because I let it happen and let those patterns continue as I wasn’t in tune, I wasn’t learning, changing or moving forward.

I also thought it’s all I deserved and because shitty friendships and relationships kept happening, so must be me right? I must have been the reason I was being treated in the ways that I was. That’s a little bit true in the fact I left my behaviour unchecked and unchallenged but I also didn’t challenge others about what they said and the way they treated me, I didn’t express how I felt when someone did or said something. I just shut up and accepted that’s all I deserved.

I’ve always struggled to maintain friendships and relationships. I know I’m not an easy person, I’m overly sensitive and I take things to heart. I used to view these as bad qualities because I was told constantly I’m too emotional, I’m too much to handle etc.

But my sensitivity is what makes me special, it’s what makes me different, it’s what makes me me!

I think these people just didn’t have the same emotional capacity, emotional intelligence as me, so it was easier to make out that I’m the bat shit crazy one and I’ll be the first to admit that I am absolutely bat shit crazy but I’m absolutely cool with that.

I wasn’t built for this cookie cutter society, I was built to stand out and shine bright. But all my life I’ve been surrounded by people who’ve slowly helped to dim that light until I was completely lost in the darkness, just serving others and not looking after myself because myself was completely lost.

I felt invisible like I was only here to serve the needs of others, regardless of the cost to myself. It’s what I deserved, after all I was only a shadow.

The last two years have been the most brutally beautiful and eye opening. It’s like my light has been switched on again and is starting to flicker and with every passing day it gets a little bit brighter.

2018 was the year I fell in love after being on my own for 5 years. Even though it lasted only 7 months I fell hard but it was hard not too as she’s an incredible human, it was the first relationship since starting my transition and as short as it was the longest relationship I’ve had.

I was completely broken when it ended but we remained friends which was really painful to begin with and I think it’s only been really recently that I can say that I’m over her. I still adore her and I’m glad we’re still friends but she was definitely sent to teach me a huge life lesson.

After we broke up my world went from sunshine to perpetual darkness, it was devastating. I withdrew from everyone, withdrew from life, I was so angry, so sad I would spend days crying, which felt like the tears would never stop.

But it gave me the opportunity to analyse what happened, where I went wrong and what I could improve on in the future. Now this isn’t something I’ve ever done before, usually I just get depressed and eventually get over it without learning any lessons so ultimately end up repeating the same shit over again.

It wasn’t a nice process looking at what a needy, emotional, childish diva I was. How intense I was and it’s proper cringeworthy stuff, so bad that I wished I just didn’t exist, that didn’t happen and no one remembered 😂

I mean fair play to her for surviving with me as long as she did.

Even though I did have some awareness of my behaviours and how needy I can be, I tried my hardest to act like a grown up and whatever but those not so great qualities of mine snuck in and soon took over and I couldn’t control myself.

I was overly needy, paranoid, super insecure.. the list goes on.

I’ve been able to step back and take a look at myself and it’s been hard. Especially admitting my flaws but I mean it’s been an essential part of me growing and changing.

It’s taken a lot of work to process the pain and move on from that dark place but I’m doing better now and I hope that if/when a new relationship arises that I’ll be better equipped to deal with myself and have a healthy relationship.

This all led to me taking a step back from important friendships in my life.

Often with long term friendships we don’t tend to take a step back and look at it and see the toxicity that’s slowly crept in along with the complacency.

Whilst this particular person was the one who actually took the plunge and said we need to take a step back from each other, it was something that I was already contemplating and thinking over. They just got to it quicker then I did. But I wanted to take my time look at everything, process everything before I made a decision but my hand was forced and this person did the ending off.

Which as time has gone on has been more of a relief then I imagined.

I won’t go into the ins and outs but toxic behaviour on both sides, a difference in needs/wants/expectations of the friendship which ultimately for me led to feeling disappointed and let down a lot.

I did though put in an important boundary for myself and blocked this person from all my social media as I feel like I wasn’t supported as much as I needed/wanted/expected, so they don’t get to know/see the next parts of my life. Plus a clean break from a bad environment is always good.

The other friendship, well I dunno just things had changed, I had changed and it was just too much of an effort and I just couldn’t be bothered anymore, we’d outgrown each other.

The other friendship, well I was sick to death of hearing the same old depressing shit over and over again and giving my advice and practical help but nothing changed. I walked away for my own sanity.

These decisions weren’t taken lightly as it left me extremely lonely as these people were the only ones that were the closest to me.

I feel like I’m no longer being strangled by others expectations and need. Which has been really freeing.

I’ve spent the last 6 months with huge chunks of time just on my own and it’s been amazing.

The friendships/people I still talk to now is such a different set up. No expectations of anything, we talk as and when, I meet-up with people as and when I feel up to it. I can say no and mean it, without feeling guilty about it. I can put in boundaries without feeling guilty. Proper grown up stuff lol!

I feel like a weight has been lifted, my light is shining bright, my confidence and self esteem is slowly building. I’m becoming the person I’m actually proud of.

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Holy shit who is this person that wrote this deep stuff?! like wow! ahaha. Its amazing what flows out at 4am.

Again another hugely raw and vulnerable post but its good to get this stuff out. I feel good, I am good.

Peace out

Zak

Counselling – Asking for help isn’t shameful

I went back to counselling sessions about 3/4 months ago now and I’ve found it to be really beneficial and has really helped me to process things I’ve been dealing with and has helped me unpick some real deep routed/ingrained stuff that I hadn’t really realised I had issues with.

I was a bit hesitant to go back into therapy/counselling, for many reasons. But some of these reason had actually come from what others had told me in the past that had become apart of my negative self talk.

One reason I was hesitant was that over my life I have seen a lot of counsellors, therapists etc I’ve done CBT and DBT and at what point is it enough? I kept telling myself, well I’m an adult now, nearly 35 I should be able to manage life on my own, I’ve had lots of therapy, I should have the skills and ability to deal with life… and the list goes on. Lots of I SHOULD’s which are the fucking worst!

Also in the past I’ve had friends people in my life, telling me I’m not trying hard enough, I’m not doing enough to change my life and the situations I find myself in etc and if you’re told that enough times, especially if you have low self esteem like I do, you believe those people and those statements and they become apart of your inner monologue, which you the use to bully yourself with.

I viewed counselling as an adult as a sign that I am failing, have failed at managing myself and my own life. Because of those negative statements I felt a lot of shame about needing counselling again, which is bullshit, the best thing for me at this time was to go back to counselling to help myself.

Things you say to people even if you mean well can be so damaging, especially if that person is like me and is particularly sensitive to other people’s words. Obviously you can’t know what words will hurt people, but its just having an awareness of what you do say may have a bigger impact on a person, whether you meant it or not.

The words we say are hugely powerful and can have a massive impact on the rest of someone’s life, not to be dramatic. But a lot of the things in my inner monologue are from negative things or perceived negative things that have been said to me.

It’s really hard for me to not take things to heart, I often don’t seem like I’m effected by things in the moment but I am very much someone who will repeat something over and over and over a million times and look at it from every different angle imaginable. By doing so I make myself feel so upset or angry by something and often my internal reaction often doesn’t match the actual event and is usually an overreaction.

It is something I have been working on for years as I am very aware I can be seen as overly emotional, but I can also go the other way and have no reaction at all, no response.

Taking things to heart is something I still struggle with a bit, I’m still learning. I am much better at controlling my emotions and reactions to things.

Counselling has been eyeopening and it has helped me process things that I was struggling with on my own. I feel like I have dealt with past hurts from a relationship that ended just over a year ago, that was the main thing I was still really struggling with. It still felt so raw and painful, but that pain and hurt has been worked through, unpicked and it just feels good to have had someone outside the situation to talk to about it.

It has also helped me unpick past friendships and why patterns kept repeating over and over. I lack boundaries with people and because of my kindness and low self esteem I let people walk all over me, I let toxic behaviour to continue unchallenged, I was way too much of a people pleaser, I often didn’t even realise I was being emotionally abused because it was so subtle, but over the years it wore me down.

Before I started counselling I was starting to realise that a lot of my main friendships I had were so toxic and just weren’t good for me. In on particular one I felt like I was constantly being put down, in such subtle ways but now I’m not involved in that situation I can’t believe the fact I let it go on for as long as it did, without even saying anything. I just accepted it because that’s what I thought I deserved.

I didn’t think I deserved to be treated better then I was, I didn’t think I was worthy enough. But since stepping back from these friendships and since unpicking this pattern of negative friendships, I realise I am worthy and I do deserve to be treated better then I have been.

Unpicking life, unlearning behaviours and patterns isn’t something that happens overnight and isn’t something that ever stops. I think its good to continue to keep stepping back and looking at different aspects of life to continue to move forward and to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of and helps you identify toxic negative behaviours, either from yourself or that you are allowing from other people.

Counselling also helped me unpick and look at the problems I have with disassociation and how its your brains way of protecting you and the different effects it can have. IE it can stop medications being effective as there is such a separation being brain and body. Which so so fascinating.

We also talked about my gender dysphoria and the fact that I feel still disconnected to my chest despite having had top surgery, nearly 6 months ago now.

This disconnection/disassociation from my brain and body is something I think I’ve always struggled with ever since I was small. Due to traumatic events, those events being my parents divorce which was extremely messy and painful and then being quite ill from a very young age and finally having a diagnosis as a teenager of a life changing, lifelong illness. Also being brought up in an environment that wasn’t great for anyone’s mental health, let alone a child’s

I have very little recollection of my parent’s divorce and the bits I do remember, aren’t great but the rest I’ve blocked out. I may never fully remember those events, I may have something that one day will trigger those memories. And that’s ok because my brain is doing whatever it needs to do to continue to protect me and keep me safe, which is amazing.

Maybe one day with more inner work and the further down the line I go with my transition I will close that gap between my brain and body and that disconnection won’t be so great. But as with anything these deep routed things take time to heal and takes time to change.

I think because I am a pretty sensitive person that I will need top up counselling sessions every now and then throughout my life, just to keep me going, keep me safe and keep me happy and I’m ok with that now.

You take your car for an MOT, you go to the hospital if you break a leg, you eat food in order to fuel your body to keep going, so why wouldn’t you put in the same effort for your mental health?

Mental health is such an important aspect and even now in 2020 it still feels as though going to counselling is a negative thing. But it really isn’t, it’s such an important part of life, especially if mental health is something you have struggles with.

There is no shame in needing help, there is no shame in needing medication, there is no shame in needing counselling/therapy as and when you need it and for however long you need it. There is NO shame in looking after your mental health.

Shame is such a powerful emotion, it’s one I really struggle with. Sometimes I just feel so full of shame about even being alive and taking up space that I do wonder why I am still here. But again often that shame isn’t mine, its come from words other people have said to me, opinions from others etc.

I am slowly learning how to build boundaries with other, which in turn is helping my self esteem. I’m slowly learning to like myself and who I am as a person, I am slowly learning to change that negative self talk to a more positive self talk. I am slowly learning.

Not everyone’s paths and journeys look the same, there is no time scale that anyone should be doing anything by. Some people learn huge lessons at a young age, some people take longer, some people never learn and change and that’s ok. We are all different, we all experience life differently and we’re all walking different paths to different destinations and that’s ok.

If you think you need some extra help, please access it. See your GP or psychiatrist, look up a privet counsellor (most of which will do a concession charge) talk to a friend, partner, family member. Needing extra help, isn’t shameful, isn’t a sign of failure. In fact asking for help takes such strength and bravery, it is the opposite of failure.

Asking for extra help means you respect yourself enough to know that you deserve help.

I decided last month to end my sessions at the end of this month and I know that I am welcome to go back whenever I need to and for however long I need too and it feels nice to know that whenever I need a little help to get unstuck from life, I have someone I can go to and work things through with.

I am looking forward to this next part of my life, with a new healthier view on friendships and relationships and the confidence to build and maintain boundaries. Even though at the moment my mood isn’t amazing, I feel stronger and I feel more capable of dealing with life in general.

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak

Self care – Honouring your emotions

Honouring my emotions is not something that comes easily to me, mainly because its so uncomfortable. I really hate sitting with how I feel, I’m always trying to make myself feel better, but I’ve realised in doing so I’ve been making the situation worse.

Lately I’ve been doing so much to distract myself, that I’ve ended up running away from how I actually feel inside and I’ve been ignoring how my body feels and its been shouting at me.

I hate feeling depressed and anxious, so I’ve been distracting myself. All this has done is magnify the depression and anxiety and made it worse.

This weekend I decided that I need to just sit and be and feel my emotions. Which has been difficult and uncomfortable and I can feel the sadness and darkness slowly creeping in, I feel vulnerable and emotional, I feel on the verge of tears but haven’t been able to let myself cry. I also somehow feel a bit more relaxed, less tight and intense. I feel a bit calmer then I have done.

Just sitting with how I feel seems to be helping, I’m going to try my best to continue to sit with how I feel and observe and notice when I am trying to hard to run from how I feel.

Sometimes self care isn’t about doing, sometimes its about doing nothing and just sitting and feeling the emotions, no matter how difficult it is.

I hate sitting with the darkness because I know it can be stronger then I feel. It makes me feel so weak and worthless, I know the depths of the darkness, I’ve been there before.

Obviously going to counselling is stirring lots of things up for me, helping me deal with stuff that happened last year with friendships, relationship and older stuff. It feels different to counselling I’ve had before, I feel more open, laid bare. I feel like this will really help with meaningful healing.

I surrender, I cannot control my emotions, I cannot control the darkness, I trust that in my surrendering the universe will provide me with healing and continue to guide me to my inner light.

Peace out

Zak

Finding myself

Over the last few weeks I’ve started to realise that I’ve lost myself, lost my sense of who I am over the last few years. I don’t even recognise myself anymore. I’ve not been living or speaking my truth.

I think it started when I was 30, I felt like now I’m 30 I need to be a proper grown up, I need to look more grown up and act more grown up. Its the unwritten rules of society that puts this pressure on us and we all end up these perfect cookie cut outs of what we think we should be.

What the fuck is a proper grown up anywhere? what does that even look like? Non of us have the answers, non of us are perfect and were all just trying to get by. So when we stop living in our truth we lose are spark, we lose ourselves.

I also think coming out as trans made me lose my sense of self, because again I was trying to fit in. Especially when starting testosterone and starting to look more male and starting to “pass” as male more often. Again I was trying to fit in with what I thought a guy should look like and I had a image of what I thought I should be. It’s such a confusing time, with new hormones, second puberty, wishing surgery would hurry up. It’s easy to lose who you are.

It got to the point that last year I even stopped blogging how I truly felt, that was mainly down to a particular situation but I mean that’s so fucked up! I held myself back, I stopped speaking my truth. I held so much bullshit inside and now its starting to flow out and feels amazing!

I started wearing straight cut jeans instead of my beloved baggy jeans, I stopped wearing my batman t-shirts and opted for brand named t-shirts. I was trying to look more “grown up” and to fit in with what I thought I should look like. It was a slow change but it wasn’t necessarily a good change. What we wear and how we have our hair is how we visually express ourselves and its important part of self expression. When we stop being authentic, we just blend in, we become invisible.

I got caught up in what I thought people needed me to be, wanted me to be. So again I kept changing, changing to fit in. Most of those people I changed for are currently no longer in my life, so you can change for another person and they leave anyway, so why not be authentic? maybe that’s the way to keep people? I’m not sure, I’ve never had many long lasting friendships or relationships. Maybe its just me, I don’t know, but I do know I can’t keep living for other people and being what other people need me to be.

Last week I bought myself some awesome new baggy jeans and I absolutely love them! I’m going to buy myself another pair in a different colour. I feel so great wearing them, it feels like a step towards myself. Today I bought myself a cool new long sleeved top and I can’t wait to wear it.

But living my truth doesn’t just mean what I wear, it also means about speaking my truth. I’ve spent a lot of time holding stuff in because it would be too uncomfortable or difficult to speak out or it would be hurtful/uncomfortable for the other person. But again in doing that it builds up anger and resentment towards those people, but it also allows toxic, energy sucking situations to continue unchecked. I think I kept stuff in because I didn’t want to offend/hurt people because I was scared to lose people. But sometimes losing people is a good thing because it helps you find the right friends. Speaking out also shows the other person what things you are willing to put up with and things your not. Which protects your energies and gives you good boundaries with the people around you.

I have started speaking my truth and telling people how I feel, which isn’t easy or comfortable but the relief of speaking out feels great. The big ball of emotions and darkness that I have inside feel like its slowly getting smaller with every time I speak and live my truth.

I hope at some point I will feel free inside, free of all the darkness and free from the feeling that I’m just trapped in a glass bowl looking at life but its always just out of reach. Maybe some point I will feel apart of life again, with more meaningful connections with people, myself and hopefully I’ll be living a life with more meaning.

I’m over being what people want me to be, I am over trying to fit in, I am over keeping quiet, I am just over this bullshit! I am so ready for a new start, I am ready to find my shine again, I am ready to find my tribe! I am ready for whatever comes my way!

Peace out

Zak