A day in the life of a trans guy

I’ve not written on here for a while, mainly because I’ve not really had anything much to say and partly because I’ve not had the concentration to be able to sit down and write, so I thought I would write a bit of an update regarding my transition.

On the 20th Feb was my 18 month post op top surgery! Which is so crazy, time has flow so quickly and I am still so pleased with the results of surgery, the scars look fab and its healed so well. I am beyond grateful and still just so happy with how my chest looks.

And on the 22nd of Feb was my 3 years and 6 months on testosterone which is just so crazy, can’t believe its been nearly 4 years already! Still trying to grow my beard in lol! but its getting there. Testosterone and surgery saved my life and I will be forever grateful for access to trans healthcare.

One thing I have been thinking about for a long while is my pronouns, I have been going by he/him which is cool that fits me fine but I’ve recently been thinking about going by they/them as well as he/him. Because I’m not out here trying to be a cis guy, I’m just trying to be me and for me I feel that he/him is just too restrictive and that in order to be he/him I have to be a certain way, which just isn’t me. I still identify as a trans masculine guy but I have a much softer, far more sensitive side and I don’t feel like who I am fits into the narrow view of what it is to be masculine and that’s totally fine with me, I definitely feel like they/them gives me more room to breathe and continue to explore myself, without such restrictions. It feels far more freeing already.

Being trans isn’t just hormones and surgery, its a constant journey of self discovery, for me it has been anyways and I think a lot of that is down to my growing confidence within myself and free from toxic/negative/gaslighting situations and free from others judgements so I’ve been able to really look at the things I really love and enjoy and not worry about what other people think about it because I AM happy and that’s all that matter and I am looking forward to continue to explore this part of my journey.

Always be yourself and if the people around you don’t like it or don’t respect you, get rid of them. If someone cannot respect you for who you are, they don’t deserve to have a place in your life. We all deserve to be treated with love and respect and we shouldn’t accept anything less.

Peace out

Zak

Counselling – You are worth it

Hey all, how’s lockdown treating you all? I am actually doing pretty well considering that I barely made it through the last lockdown. Even though it is difficult I feel much more capable, I feel like in the past few months I have just grown so much as a person and even I’m like who the f*ck is this person that’s talking! I barely recognise myself but in the absolute best way.

This change/breakthroughs are down to my counselling sessions I’ve been having and I am so glad I chose to go privately, as with the NHS the mental health services are sadly severely underfunded and they have been for many years and the things I need to delve into will not be solved in the 12 weeks often offered. I need something much more regular, more in tense and I feel like I have more control over and I feel like my sessions are led by myself rather then my counsellor, which is how counselling should be. I also view it as an investment in myself, all counselling and therapy is an investment in yourself, because your mental health is so important and I am definitely worth that investment because I want to be the best version of myself I can be, so I can attract better things too.

I am in no way ashamed to say that I have been in and out of counselling and therapy since I was about 15 years old, where I first saw a counsellor at school. I was actually doing my exams when I saw her but I didn’t care enough about them to care about missing class. I loved my sessions, as I’d never really had that 1:1 attention before and that time in my life was so chaotic for many reason and to have a 50 min session once a week with someone who was actually listening to me was such a relief and she helped get me through till the end of school.

I think my pervious experiences of counselling and therapy served simply as a kind of plaster, to help me go through those chaotic moments in time. Not saying that I didn’t get anything out of them at all, because I did I learned a lot and I learned how to manage that chaos and how to keep surviving. But what I was unable to do at that time because it wasn’t safe for me to do so, was to dig deeper into myself and look at my trauma. Also I was unaware of the trauma I had, but as I’ve grown and as life has calmed down and things aren’t as chaotic anymore, I’ve slowly been able to gain more awareness of myself and boy it’s been a journey and I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I can certainly say that I am finally on my way.

Lockdown took so much away from me and without all the noise of life and other people’s input and with the help of an amazing counsellor who has been beyond patient with me and has been incredibly helpful and has shown me different materials on different things that relate to mental health and trauma. I have been able to really focus on myself and I’ve taken the time to step back and really reflect on everything and I’ve been able to see things with eyes wide open. I’ve been able to dig into the trauma which has been difficult with a fuzzy memory of my life. I’ve been able to really analyse past friendships and relationships and see where I went wrong and also see that I let people treat me so poorly without saying a single word. I now feel like I have grown so much and I am now able to be a much better friend and potential partner to someone, but I also feel confident in the fact I can put boundaries in place, I can speak out when someone says or does something I don’t like.

I have always struggled with confidence and poor self esteem issues and a lot of that was down to how I let people treat me, I let people treat me like shit over long periods of time and that just wore me down so much, that I had no self esteem, no confidence and no self worth. I so wished I could just live my live but be invisible, because I just felt so unworthy of everything, of existing. Which is such an awful way to feel. But I feel so much stronger now, I still struggle with all those things but I know that I am worthy, even if I don’t feel like it. I am slowly learning to be confident in myself. I know I am a good person with a good heart, something which in the past I couldn’t say because I didn’t feel like a good person at all.

Anyone who is thinking about counselling/therapy, you are so worthy of it! There’s no shame in needed it. It is an investment in yourself and in your future! YOU ARE WORTHY.

Anyone already in counselling/therapy and feeling like your not really getting anywhere, you will eventually. It may not be right now, next year or even in 3 years. But when the time is right and when you are safe you will make some huge breakthroughs and it will be incredible! Just be patient, it will happen, stick with it.

Peace out

Zak

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

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

Birthday Boy!

As I said in my blog the other day, I’ve been struggling to sit down and concentrate and a lot of that is because I’ve had a case of ‘I can’t be bothered’ been feeling a bit low, stressed and tense. I’ve withdrawn myself from life a bit, withdrawn from people and from doing anything at all. It’s been a huge struggle to get up and do the most basic of things.

I’ve been a bit depressed and a bit lazy but I am going to try my best to get out and do stuff.

Anyway, last week 2nd March, was my 35th Birthday! Which is insane! 5 years until I’m 40! WTF LOL!

I had a really great week, on my actual birthday I had two friends over and we had pizza and cake! Which was awesome. Thursday my friend and I went to Brighton for the day which was so much fun, we went to the aquarium and wow I loved it there! I love Brighton so much. On the Saturday my two friends came down for the weekend, we ate loads, drank, watched movies and chilled.

It was a really great birthday week, I am so grateful for all the people I shared my birthday with. I was a bit worried about this birthday as its the first without the 2 big friendships I’ve had over the years, so I was worried that I wouldn’t have anyone to do anything with.

I thought I’d share some pictures of my birthday week

Safe to say I took a billion pictures at the aquarium lol!

I was in such a different place when I turned 30, I’d just come out as trans, I was surrounded by different people, good and bad friendships. I’m now 2 1/2 years on testosterone, nearly 7 months post op top surgery, I have a very different friend circle. Things are not perfect, I’m still figuring stuff out but I am slowly becoming the person I want to be and I will continue to change and grow.

That’s all for now, as I am struggling to feel connected to what I’m writing so it doesn’t feel quite right. So I’m going to stop.

Peace out

Zak

Dear friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love and appreciate you all!

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak 💜

I love my friends <3

I am back, I’m feeling a bit more lively and a bit less mopey. It’s been a very long few weeks but hopefully this is the start of me feeling better.

My stomach has been loads better this week and I’ve been catching up on eating lol 🙂 but that’s good though, I needed to build myself back up again.

My friends have been really amazing this week and I am so so grateful for every single one.

On Thursday I spent the whole day with L and the pups. Harvey was at school and Albert was at nursery 🙂 so it was nice just to chill and have some adult time. We watched some films and just chilled really but, even just simple things like that makes all the difference.

L picked up Albert from nursery and I went to pick up Harvey from school 🙂 which was cool.

L cooked us all dinner too, which I needed, as I’d not eaten properly for a while.

I left just after the boys went to bed, when I got home, I got my meds, a drink, a snack, my hot water bottle and let the cats in the bedroom too and snuggled in bed with all my fur babies and I was fast asleep by 10:30 pm.

Friday I woke up at 5:30 am…but I had slept well for 7 hours. I just chilled out for a bit, hoping I would go back to sleep for a bit, but I didn’t. So I cleaned up a bit, got myself showered and dressed and by 8 am I was out with the pups, we went for a walk down Baiter. It was really nice, I saw a rainbow and got some great pictures.

On my way home I went to my friends shop and picked up her dog Lolly for a play date for the day. I did try and have a nap after my walk, I couldn’t sleep though but I did just rest for an hour.

I felt a bit restless all day long, I couldn’t settle on any one thing. But I felt ok other wise. Just spent the day pottering around the flat and playing with all the dogs and cats 🙂

I dropped lolly home in the evening and S and her family invited me up for dinner which was nice 🙂 I had nice snuggles with baby JJ and Lolly was wanting me to play too. It was nice just to chill out with friends and be looked after a lil bit ❤

I got home to my happy puppies and kitties, took the pups out for a wee and then snuggled up in bed like I did Thursday night. It was really nice not to have to inject myself and put that crap into my body! Felt nervous about it but good too.

Saturday was the first time in 15 years that I didn’t wake up with a methotrexate hangover! I didn’t feel tired and groggy, I just felt like I normally do in the morning.

I just sat watching cartoons for most of the morning, then decided to get my butt up and do the housework. Despite the rain I got my waterproofs and welly boots on and took the pups out for a walk, it was great fun 🙂

I got home and did myself some actual dinner, only scrambled eggs on toast but at least I cooked something.

Two of my lady friends took me out, we went to Flirt for the evening but it was really nice to get out with some lovely friends.

After getting home, I took the pups for a wee, took my meds and fell asleep pretty much straight away.

So we are all caught up to today, which is Sunday.

I’ve felt pretty tired all day and all I’ve done is eat, sleep and watch cartoons. I just couldn’t get going but I think where I’ve not slept well all week, it’s all caught up with me. I don’t mind spending the day the way I have done because some days I just need to sleep, rest and eat.

I am feeling so so grateful to all my friends who’ve been there for me this week 🙂 either physically or just through messages. I am feeling so much better for having my needs met from everyone, it was definitely needed. I cannot express enough have important and how much everyone has helped me, even the smallest of things has been brilliant, argh I can’t even explain what I mean lol. I am so so so grateful and I love all my friends ❤

So yeah I am back on track to feeling a bit better. I have emailed someone who knows all about my condition, who works for a charity, who will hopefully be able to help me be seen in a different hospital by an actual proper specialist. I am so excited about this, I just hope things work out!

Um so yeah, just staring at the laptop now, my brain has switched off. Not much planned tomorrow, I do need to get some bloods done, so I may go do that. We shall see how tomorrow pans out. I just can’t wait until Tues when I get paid so I can go and do something and get on with xmas shopping.

Peace out

Batman

A better day, feeling grateful

Ah I am so tired right now but my pain levels are much much easier to deal with but I think that is because I am just getting used to it now. The swelling has gone down a bit and the bruising has come out, I just can’t wait till the fracture clinic Thursday.

Despite everything, today has been really productive. I sorted out getting a new bus pass sent to me. The pet shop I get the animals food from were able to drop my order of their food to me this evening which was amazing and just so so helpful!

This morning I managed to clean up the flat as much as I could. L and the boys came over in the afternoon, we chilled out for a bit and had some lunch then L and Harvey helped me do the bits I couldn’t which was great and I am so grateful of the help.

We went into town so I could pay my rent and get electric, I also got myself 2 pairs of jogging bottoms because they are easier to get on then jeans lol! because I can’t do my belts up.

I treated myself and the animals to some bits on amazon last night because I felt so shit I think I deserved a treat.

I didn’t end up going to the group social as the location was changed to a pub, it’s quite a small pub and I didn’t want to go just in case anyone bumped into me. It will be much better if/when they cast my arm. I really hope they do! Any wrong movement or small bump really fucking hurts! So yeah missing group all this week 😦 gutted!

Overall I’ve had a good day 🙂 despite my broken bones lol! I’m grateful to have such amazing friends.

Tomorrow I am just going to rest all day! I think I need it. My energy levels have just been zapped, all used up by being in so much pain. Slept ok last night, I’ve found the perfect sleeping solution, all propped up with pillows and blankets lol but it works so can’t knock it.

So I’m off to bed after this to relax and sleep.

This has taken so so long to write one handed lol.

Peace out

Batman

Dissociation from emotions

I am so so tired but everything is a lot less intense then it was yesterday, which I am very grateful for.

Um where to start.. Slept well last night, woke up about 5 am though but managed to get back to sleep pretty soon.

Took my time in getting ready this morning, remembered to put my dinner on in the slow cooker. Didn’t have the head space or energy to rush about, even managed to do a little colouring in and I think that made all the difference, that helped to relax me and lighten my mood.

M picked me up at half 12 pm and off we went to the Weymouth LGBT mental health group. It was a really good session and I so love helping out there 🙂 M is going to help get me more involved so I can take a session or do a little exercise within the session which would be so great.

The group ran an hour over, but that was cool because it was needed and I think a lot of people got a lot out of it.

Despite the traffic, the crap weather and it being the school holidays, it didn’t take too long to get home thankfully.

I was greeted by my two happy puppies and my two happy cats 🙂 Sat for a bit catching up on text’s and stuff.

Had myself some dinner, stuck on CSI, did my Lego and just been catching up on here.

Legs have been sore again today, the muscles on the bottom of my feet hurt when I walk. But it’s not been as bad as other days.

How do I feel right now? Now that is a question that I am not sure I can answer because I’m not sure how I feel. Things feel less intense then it did yesterday which is a good thing. Still feel really irritable though, I feel like everything is on top of me at the moment and I just want to scream FUCK OFF! I don’t mean it though, I think I just need sometime out. Also think I am putting a lot of pressure on myself too, I’ve spent such a long time feeling so down and depressed that now I’ve been fairly stable and feeling good that I am terrified of even feeling a tiny bit down because I am scared that my mood will dip to the point of how it’s been before, which wasn’t a good place. It was dark, it was scary and it was fucking hard to get myself out of and I don’t want to have to do that all over again because it’s so hard. So now I don’t let myself feel the downs, not even a little. I suppose it’s a sort of prevention..coping strategy but I think if I don’t let myself feel the downs as I go along then it will build up to the point where it will all hit me at once and I will be right back down at the place I am trying to stay away from….so yeah I think this is what I’m doing on a subconscious level, what I need to do now is stop it..but now sure how :/

I suppose I can start by doing a bit of mindfulness, just being mindful of how I am feeling. Name the emotion and sit with it…

I will at some point at the weekend update with some pictures, I have loads 🙂

Peace out

Batman