Time to work on my body (as well as my mind

Hey all, how are you finding lockdown this time around? I am overall doing ok, but I’m still struggling a bit, but I am just trying to take things at my own pace and not getting too wrapped up in trying to compete and keep up with what I see other people doing, especially on social media. It’s super easy to compare your life to others and for me personally I can get myself completely lost in another person and just completely abandon who I am because I want to make that other person happy, which that in itself isn’t bad, but losing yourself in the process isn’t great and I also feel guilty about the things I think I SHOULD be doing with my time during lockdown… but ya know most days my focus is on getting through another day, my focus isn’t on the future right now because it is too uncertain.

Having my complete focus on making myself feel safe and comfortable has made other things fall by the way side, which isn’t too good but I can’t do it all. But I do need to find a bit more balance then I have at the moment. I’ve been doing too much sitting around and snoozing and not enough moving around, but its Jan, I find it harder to get motivated to get out anyway because its cold and rainy, however some days I have used that as a bit of an excuse to not bother lol!

So I ordered myself a mini stepper, now I have never been super healthy and fit because of my autoimmune disorder but I was much fitter then I am now before the very first lockdown. Like now I get out of breath putting my boots on which is really bad and I keep getting constipated, I know TMI but I’m here to tell my whole truth and that is partly because I’ve been so lazy regarding cooking different things and I’ve been eating too much sweet stuff, not drinking nearly half of what I usually drink and just not moving a whole lot and all of that has contributed to weight gain and belly issues.

My goal aimed at just loosing weight, I want to get my fitness levels back to where they were before lockdown and in fact probably before I had top surgery nearly 18 months ago now because that’s when the weight started piling on. So hopefully eating a bit better, drinking more water and moving more I will feel so much better over all.

Right now because I keep getting constipated my belly looks like I’m pregnant and that’s partly down to testosterone too as its redistributing fat and muscle, but it does make me feel uncomfortable and doesn’t help with the gender dysphoria. So that’s another big reason I want to try and get healthier.

My goal is to use the mini stepper every day and push myself further each day or every few days, set myself little goals etc as I am quite competitive so I know I can do it.

Keeping up with my walking which is where I get my exercise from has been more difficult during lockdown because I am high risk, shouldn’t really be out or going very far and its had a huge impact on my over all health and mental health so I am really hoping this can help me.

I shall keep everyone posted

Peace out

Zak

Self care and Christmas

The holiday seasons can bring such joy but they can also bring a lot of stress and anxieties, people often put themselves into debt and really put themselves out over this time of year just to make everything amazing and magical so you can have the perfect Christmas that you can show off on your social medias.. But for some its a hard time of year for different reasons.

Mental health issues, eating disorders, addiction, grief, disabilities.. etc DO NOT disappear at Christmas. They still exist and its totally ok to be depressed, to feel sad at Christmas, you will not ruin Christmas! and if someone tells you that you’ve ruined their Christmas because you’re feeling sad then they are TOXIC as fuck! Because it is YOUR Christmas too and you are allowed to feel however you feel!

If you aren’t looking forward to Christmas this year for whatever reason it maybe try and put somethings in place that will make you happy and make you feel comforted. Because this is your Christmas too.

Every year I buy myself presents and I buy all the fur babies presents too and wrap everything up. Which makes me feel good, especially as one of my dogs will unwrap his presents which is so much fun to watch.

I spend the day with a friend and if the weather is good, get out for a nice walk and I make dinner and relax, watch some films maybe play a board game or two and generally just have a relaxing time. But throughout that time I don’t always feel 100% happy because I’m a human who experiences emotions and that’s ok, I’ll also still have to take my medications and pain killers because my chronic illness doesn’t take a day off.

Boundaries are SO important this time of year, as it is so easy to become overwhelmed and anxious. First boundary would be don’t spend what you don’t have! Buy Christmas presents for every person you know, or buy lots of presents just isn’t worth getting into debt over! Put a limit on what you spend and don’t feel guilty about not buying everyone something, even kids you may have in the family or friends kids. Just because it is Christmas your are under no obligation to get them anything, especially if you can’t afford too, because the stress of being in debt will be worse then the 5 mins of joy that a present creates. If you HAVE to give presents, be creative, make something, gift something you don’t use, get it from a charity shop.

Time boundaries are super important too, as people feel obliged to see you just because its the season. But if you don’t feel up for seeing people when they’re feel try not to feel guilty, there’s always another time. Or if you simply don’t want to see that person, say no. It’s ok to say no to things that you don’t want to do especially if it won’t make you feel good. Don’t push yourself into doing things you really don’t want to do, even if its family engagements, you are under NO obligations to do anything! Do no let anyone bully you, guilt you or gaslight you into doing things you don’t want to do. You are you own person, with things going on and if you’re struggling with the season, tell people, tell them you’re not really feeling it and why and you’d rather just not do whatever it is and if they don’t respect that, they are the problem.

Time boundaries on Christmas day is important too, if you need to take some time out own your own, to nap or just be by yourself, do it! You don’t need to explain yourself, take yourself off and have some down time, that is TOTALLY OK! and much needed and it can get really overwhelming, especially if you’re surrounded by lots of people. It’s hard to be happy and social if you don’t feel it inside. Take some time to yourself to recharge, you will not ruin anything. You and your mental health is super important too, everyone will still be there when you’re ready to re-join everyone and if you just can’t face going back that’s totally ok too! Do what you need to do, take time to listen to yourself and what YOU need.

If you’re spending Christmas alone through choice or not, try and stay off social media, although I know there are usually a few different chats throughout Christmas on Twitter, which could be useful if you’re feeling lonely. Reach out to people, do things that make you happy, like I mentioned earlier, I always but myself presents and wrap them up. Just lots of self care, you are not alone. If you choose not to participate in Christmas at all that’s totally cool too, its not an easy time for everyone.

There’s lots of things you can do on Christmas, you can treat it like any other day, you can volunteer at a local soup kitchen, or at a animal rescue place, I’m sure there are lots of volunteering opportunities over the Christmas period.

But whatever you choose to do, whatever your doing, its ok to feel sad and lonely, its ok to still be grieving that doesn’t stop because its Christmas, its ok to reach out for help, its ok to be happy. It’s just OK, you’ll get through it. You are much stronger then you think. I mean we’ve made it this far right! 🙂

Peace out

Zak

Laid bare

I’ve been mia for a while, I’ve not been posting regularly like I was, for a number of reasons, which I’ll explain as I write this.

I’m feeling pretty vulnerable at the moment, so this is going to be hard and uncomfortable. But it’s something I need to do, I need to get it out and be brave and open myself up.

I’ve been really shut down for the last 8 months, which was around when I spilt up with the person I was dating last year.

I opened myself up and ended up getting hurt, so I did what I always do when I’m hurt, I just shut down, shut everyone out. But I’ve learnt all that does it hurt me more and other people cuz I’m often a absolute dick to people, which I hate but it feels safer then being vulnerable with people.

I’m still good friends with the person I was with last year, which I love but at the moment it’s really hard to not be super needy and just need them and want them to be here and make everything better.. which is ironically where I went wrong in the relationship. I put her on a pedestal and hoped being with her would fix everything and that’s a lot to expect from one person let alone a relationship. That’s not how they work and that’s where I seem to always go wrong. My feelings always just get too intense and I get too much, I expect too much and actually this time I crossed major privacy boundaries and went through her phone, which I regret and still feel so guilty about. I behaved like a jealous child. But it was like an impulse I just couldn’t control. I still give myself a hard time about it, I’ve not forgiven myself yet.

Ultimately the breakup was mutual although she initiated it. It wasn’t meant to work out.

I need to be with someone who’s not embarrassed to be with me, who won’t hide the fact their with me, I deserve that much I know.

From there my mental health has just spiralled down. I think I’ve disconnected with anything mental health related because I didn’t want to have it anymore, I just wanted to be fixed and move on and just have a good life, like everybody else. But I realise I’ll never be like everyone else, maybe I was always meant to stand out and be different which I hate because I’ve tried so hard my whole life to fit in but I never have. Maybe this is it, maybe I’ll always have to work harder then everyone else just to be where I want to be.

Everyone shines, they know who they are, where they’re going in life. I still at 34 have no idea who I am, what I want. I don’t try because I’m so scared to fail but I’m also scared to succeed. I hate being centre of attention. I have no self esteem anymore, I don’t think I ever did. The last few months I’ve just been listening to the negative words running through my head every second of every day, mentally bashing myself. I’m so horrible to myself but I can’t stop.

I doubt this will make much sense because I’m really struggling to organise my brain and thoughts, everything is just all over the place. My brain is just all jumbled up at the moment and it takes so much energy to just get myself organised enough to get out of the flat.

I’ve been trying really hard to fake it till I make it, but I really can’t do it anymore, it’s too hard and it’s not working. I got myself a voluntary job, I started a social group etc I thought it would help and for the most part when I’m out doing stuff it helps, but as soon as I’m on my own again it’s like a switch gets flicked off and my brain is just done.

I’ve really been struggling with depression, anxiety, insomnia, disassociation, gender dysphoria and it’s all just overwhelming and too much for me to deal with alone anymore. So I made an appointment with my GP, I’m going to ask him to refer me back to the community mental health team, I need meds upped and probably need some therapy or something. But this time I need to be super honest and not hold everything in like I can just handle it all, because well no one can do that, not forever anyway.

I think recently I’ve felt worse, for a few reasons, I’m just emotionally exhausted from trying to hold everything together on my own, I’ve stopped doing things that I know help, I’ve been spending too much time on social media, wishing my life was different, knowing full well social media creates a fake reality, it still effects me. I’ve just had zero motivation to do anything, I have to push myself from the moment I get up, some days I can do stuff other days I fail and the furthest I get is from my bed to the sofa and back, with 2 15 mins walks for my dogs.

I don’t feel anything either, just numb all the time.

Everyday I wake up and pretend everything is ok and just fake my way through what I have to do. But inside all I want to do is just be at home where I feel safe. I’m a pretty good actor, some days in front of certain friends I can’t hide it and the darkness seeps out but to most people they see me smiling and happy and it couldn’t be more opposite.

It’s getting harder to just pretend, it’s getting harder to keep it together, it’s getting harder to keep everything inside.

I feel so small, so worthless and that’s another reason I’ve not sought help sooner is because I am trans and have physical health issues, I feel like I don’t deserve help because I already have so many issues. I’m just a drain on society so why waste more money on me.

I know it’s completely self loathing and probably comes across like I’m playing the victim or something (something I’ve recently been told I was doing and tbh hands up I probably was because I was angry and I couldn’t be the rational adult I know I can be) but it’s genuinely how I feel like a lot, all this negative mass of self loathing words swirling around my head daily, I try and say nice things to myself but I just don’t connect with them so I just can’t believe them.

I need help, I need support, whether that be meds’ and therapy or whatever but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact I just can’t do this on my own anymore. My GP is ringing me tomorrow and hopefully I can say everything I need too and maybe get referred back to the community mental health team.

I don’t want to feel like this forever, I want to feel better and I want to feel better about myself and stop destroying myself. I want to try and fail and try again until I succeed at something.

I want help with dealing with disassociation, I’ve just been doing things myself on a trial and error basis to help my dissociative moments. I don’t know if it’s the right thing or not and what I try and do to help myself doesn’t always work. I want to feel more connected with myself, at the moment myself, my brain and body just seems to be fragments floating around bumping into each other but never connecting. It’s really weird, I want to feel like a whole person.

I’m just so emotionally exhausted, I just want some relief. I feel like I’m wading through mud with no end in sight, I’ve ran out of ideas and steam, I can’t help myself anymore on my own. I wake up just as exhausted as when I went to sleep.

So yeah this is me laid bare, heart on the table.

Peace out

Zak

Forever waiting – Massive catch up

Again it’s been just over a month since I last wrote anything about my exciting life lol, I’ve been struggling to write at the moment because my life is in a bit of a limbo and the benefits saga seems to be over shadowing everything else and the other stuff seems to be a lot of inconvenient bullshit, that occurs on a regular basis it seems at the moment. But like I said the benefits saga is the main concern and looks like it will be that way for another 3 months.

Whilst I am on the subject of benefits I may as well do a proper update of this ridiculous situation. So in my last post I said that the courts had gotten the appeal with all the information I sent and they were waiting to hear from the Department of Work and Pensions. It’s now 5 weeks later and I rang the courts up last week to see what was going on and they said it can take up to 12-17 weeks for a court date and I am on week 5, so I’ve possibly got to wait another 12 weeks or 3 months which makes it sound longer, just for a court date. September should be when I get a date but fuck knows when the date will be for, probably for 3 months after that, by September it will be 7 months since my money stopped but it all started back last September, when I got the form to fill out, December I had my face to face assessment, January they said no, February I did the mandatory reconsideration, last month I appealed that… and here I am yet again waiting. If I get a court date by September then it will be a year since this whole thing started and to be honest I’m surprised I’ve got through without self harming because it has been incredibly stressful, soul destroying and just utterly horrific. Having to do the appeals and write down all the things I cannot do or that I struggle to do, it has totally destroyed any confidence or self esteem I had about myself and has knocked me to the floor and I’ve been struggling to pick myself back up again. When I read the statistics about the people who have killed themselves because they’ve been deemed fit to work and are no longer entitled to disability benefits, I totally fucking understand why! I totally get it! I have felt so close to the edge and I’ve wanted to end it all several fucking times because I felt like I could just not do this any more. It does make you question the fact of well am I fit to work? Am I really this ill? Is it all just in my head? Even though the rational part of you knows you are ill and you are entitled to the benefits. It’s horrible questioning you’re entire life, whilst having to prove it to others who simply have no fucking clue. Right now this isn’t living it’s existing and everyone is entitled to a decent quality of life. I’m lucky that I have a few good friends who’ve helped me out with money, emotional support, love and just everything a great friendship is made of and I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful place, where I can sit by the water with my dogs just a stones throw from my house.

That nicely brings me onto the rest of my life and what I’ve been up too. I don’t feel like I’ve done a lot really and that’s mainly because everything I do something I have to then spend time recovering from it, which is frustrating to say the least because someone of my age shouldn’t have to rest and recover from activities that most people do without thinking. I’ve spent a lot of time with L and the boys either being here at mine or being at their place and as always its a good laugh but so exhausting, I honestly don’t know how she does it with all her problems too, big respect to her. L dyed my Mohawk blue 😀 and yeah it looks so awesome! I’ve also been regularly going to my groups and counselling, which at times has been hard because I have been so unmotivated and just so low but I’ve pushed myself through it all. Like I previously said I live a stones throw away from the sea and its such a beautiful place, when the weather is nice I could just stay out there forever. I’ve just been trying to maintain some sort of normality, which includes the odd treat for myself and the animals, its been the very rare occasion but I think we all to often forget the power of treating/pampering yourself has, whether it be ice cream, a facial, a holiday or a Lego set. Treating yourself isn’t something you should be ashamed of or guilty about, because lets face it no matter what walk of life you are from, life gets fucking hard and whoever you are, you should have enough self respect to say YES I deserve this. Yes I am on benefits but does it mean I am less worthy to treat myself then someone who works hard for their money? No! that’s what the media wants you to think with all there shit fucking shows about a small minority of people on benefits and they do not at all represent people like me, who have a well documented and real health condition that effects my daily life because they don’t want you to know about genuine people like myself, they have their own agenda and they just demonise everyone on benefits, which if you haven’t already guessed really grinds my fucking gears. Anyway that was off on a bit of a rant lol so back to what I was talking about, so yes I have continued to treat myself, obviously not as much as I did before as I’ve just not had the money but it has been an important part of keeping me going and keeping me sane. I’ve also taken a lot of time over the past month to just be by myself and not talking to anyone and that’s also been a vital part of getting through all this. Overall the last month has been good but the really low darkness is always there in the background, I’m just working really hard not to let it overpower me on a daily basis and I don’t think people appreciate just how hard it is, to battle with your own mind every second of every day, its exhausting. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been really low and struggling and I still feel low and I am still struggling and in all honestly without my lovely friends, my groups and counselling I probably wouldn’t be here right now. Besides I do not want to die as the person that isn’t my true self, I need to go through my journey to be the real me.

Moving on to my physical health, which as usual has been a bundle of fun…NOT! Where to start… I suppose I’ll start with my transition stuff as that is fairly straight forward because I am still waiting for my first appointment. But I am going to send them a letter with my new NHS number and ask if they know roughly when I should be hearing about my first appointment. To be honest right now I’m happy to be waiting for this for a few reasons, even though I’m desperate to get on my journey, I have other things in my life that need to be sorted before hand, ie money and meds, so its not really high on my list even though I want it so bad. Sometimes wants and needs differ and needs are more important. Last time I wrote about my knee and trying anti-inflammatory’s, I tried two and neither helped so two weeks ago today I had a steroid injection right into the joint and it has helped to a degree but it still keeps swelling up and hurting, it’s not as bad but still its not great. Also two weeks ago I started Gabapentin which is a anti-epileptic which is also used as pain relief. It seems to be working well along side my Tramadol but I am slowly lowering the Tramadol as my body is addicted to it and I want to see how well the Gabapentin works by itself. The other reason I want to come off the Tramadol is because I will need strong opiate based drugs after the surgeries I have throughout my transition. So I need to detox off it and hopefully when I need it in the future it will be more effective then it is right now. Oh my appetite is great since starting the Gabapentin, it has the same weight gaining effect as Quetiapine and I’ve put on 5lbs in two weeks. It does seem to be slowing down now and I’m not nearly as hungry as last week, I just couldn’t stop eating lol! I am being mindful of what and how much I am eating but it is hard. But to be honest I’m just glad I’m eating and its not a stressful thing. I’ve spoken to my GP about what’s happening with my referral to Southampton hospital and it’s basically down to my gender change…DO’H! So because I’ve changed my gender and title I effectively have become a whole new person, which is true but what happens is that all your medical history is deleted from the doctors system and your are put back on as a new patient, so what they are currently trying to do is get hold of the hard copy of my medical records in order to send to Southampton as they need to know everything before they see me. I certainly don’t remember everything that’s happened to me medically in the last 31 years because well its been loads lol. But yeah I’ve been assured that the practice manager is on it, I feel better now I know what’s happening but it is another thing that I am in limbo with. I swear I spend most of my time waiting for shit to get sorted out lol! Other then that not much has changed, still struggling with fatigue and not sleeping well but it is what it is, I wake up a few times a night sometimes and I just get up have a drink or a wee and sometimes I go straight back to sleep but sometimes I have to get up for a hour or so. I’m not stressing about this because my insomnia or painsomnia issues have been going on for so long now and I’ve tried everything to help me sleep through the night but its clearly not meant to be. I’m on long term Doxycycline at the moment so I’ve not caught any colds, although I have a bit of a chesty cough at the moment but that’s probably down to my sinus gunk dripping down to my chest, which ironically the Doxycycline is meant to help with…I feel its not working lol, my ENT app isn’t until next month so not much I can do or my GP can do right now.

Wow that’s a lot of stuff about me aha! I shall end on a update of my 4 four babies, who are all just in perfect health and are all amazing and are all helping me get through the darkest times and I am totally in love with them ❤

Ooh also here’s a few pics of us all

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^^ yeah boi I am 😀 haha

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^^ Me and Harvey on his 9th Birthday last week ❤

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^^ Me and my boo boo ❤

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^^ Harley doing a bit of yoga lol

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^^Marley moo

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^^ Mr Scrappy doodle

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^^ My beautiful Foxy girl

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^^ I love this place

Right that’s all from this boi, its taken me hours to write this, its very therapeutic though and I do feel calm and grounded.

Peace out Batman

 

 

Clocks change confusion…and a catch up

Ahh the clocks have gone back an hour and thrown me completely. When I woke up this morning my phone had 8 am and my alarm clock has 9 am… I didn’t know which one was right lol. It’s nearly 10 pm and it feels so late, even though it’s not.

Just a quick update really, as I want to go to bed soon. I start a new course tomorrow called mindful living 🙂 so really looking forward to that.

Wednesday – Didn’t do much really, I went out and had a scaffold piercing done, got myself a new comic and went to see my friend in the sweet shop, chatted with her for a bit which was nice. Just relaxed all evening.

Thursday – I saw my specialist in the morning, I had to get a chest x-ray done while I was there. She wants me to stay on the steroids every other day at the moment, which I’m not 100% happy about.. but she’s only seen me twice now. But she is sorting out a bone density scan to check me for the early start of osteoarthritis and also I need to see my GP to check my calcium and vit D to see if I need to take tablets for it.

I made group only 20mins late, so that wasn’t bad. I didn’t miss anything really so that was good. Group was really good 🙂 had a guy talking about Vita Nova group and I am really interested in doing the art and creative writing group. So I am going to look into that 🙂

Friday – I did the housework, made some cakes, took the pups across the road for a wee and a run a few times. Did the paper work for my P.I.P form, watched tv, slept quite a bit and did some colouring.

Saturday – I did fuck all all day and I totally needed it. I slept all morning until 1 pm lol but I so needed it. I didn’t get dressed all day apart from like 20 mins when I took the pups for a wee and to get milk. H came over for the afternoon and we watched American Horror Story – Asylum as she’d not seen it before. After H left I spent the rest of the evening watching the rest of AHS and I did some more colouring. I felt so much better for not doing anything, I needed a few days to just rest.

Today started with the confusion with time lol but it’s ended well.

I did the housework this morning, got myself showered and dressed.

I spent the afternoon with L the boys and the pups 🙂 which was cool, had fun messing about with the boys. Can’t believe how big they’ve both got! It’s crazy!

So that’s it for now, I’m feeling a bit happier then I have done 🙂 I’m feeling really tired though, especially in the morning I find it really hard to get going because all I want to do is sleep in the morning until about midday.

I’m a bit chesty today, coughing up crap. So whatever I had before I had my teeth out has finally gone to my chest. I’ll see how it goes before I see my GP too soon.

I am really looking forward to starting this course tomorrow called mindful living, it’s 1 pm – 4 pm which means I have to leave here at 11:45 am. I am going to see how tomorrow morning goes and if I am feeling too tired then I am just going to sleep. I really need to pace myself and look after myself, these courses will come around again in the spring term.

My thoughts are saying that I am being lazy and that I just need to go and do this course. But my rational brain is saying see how you feel in the morning and decide then, no pressure, remember to pace yourself. I am going to listen to the rational side of my brain although the other side makes me feel guilty about not going. But this course is free and will have many others attending, so I won’t be letting anyone down…urgh I hate my brain sometimes. I do need to listen to my body too better then I already do.

ARGH! it’s all so complicated! I just want to be able to do what I want to do without thinking about it in depth!

 New piercing

 How me and my boy chill 🙂

 Chilling with my baby girl

 Marley Moo loves chilling too 🙂

 My beautiful babies love playing in the leaves 🙂

 Yummy

 A picture I coloured in from my new book the lost ocean

 Harley suckling on my top lol

 Aw me and Boo Boo 🙂

Peace out

Batman ❤