Shining light

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote anything and I’m feeling less angry and frustrated then I was in my last blog.

I took the decision to up my trazadone again to help me sleep better and hopefully help me feel less depressed and so far I’m sleeping a better most nights and I’m starting to feel a little better too. I don’t feel so hopeless and so lost in the darkness, I still don’t feel great but I can see the shimmer of light at the end of the darkness, I’ve just got to keep reaching out for it.

I’ve been trying to make little changes to my daily life, that will help continue to make me feel a bit better and to prepare myself for the winter months. Each year I struggle with my mood during the winter and every year it really hits me, so I’ve been trying to prepare myself so its not going to be so much of a shock when it rolls around.

I have written up a rough plan of things to do day to day, some of these things are non negotiable, like take my meds in the morning and evening, getting to bed at a reasonable time things like that. But also to get outside for at least 30 mins each day, especially when the clocks change. As some days I like to just chill and I don’t get dressed until 4pm, which during the summer months is fine as I have loads of time still to enjoy the sunshine. But in the winter it gets dark by 4pm, so I’m going to make sure that no mater how I’m feeling I make sure I spend time outside, soak in that vitamin D from the sun. I love being outside in nature so it shouldn’t be too much of a drag. Even something as small as that I know will make a huge difference to how I feel from day to day.

I love my lists and I’ve been spending nearly every day just writing and writing. One list is of self care stuff, things like washing my face masks regularly as that’s a new thing I need to do better, or using my SAD light every day, listening to what my body wants and needs. Just simple things.

This winter is going to be a tough one as we’re heading into another lockdown and firs time around I found it so hard and winter on top of that is going to bring added stress. But I feel much more prepared this time, that’s why I’ve been writing lists down, mainly as a reminder of things I can be doing to make myself feel better and help me get through this next part a bit easier and I know what to expect now so its not going to be so much of a shock to the system.

I think I mainly operate from my inner child, he’s in charge most of the time. Which is fine but at the moment he’s feeling scared, anxious and unsafe and that’s the main reason I’ve been trying to prepare myself for the winter months to ease the anxieties of my inner child and to make him feel safe. Which he is a bit more settled then he was but he’s still highly anxious and just wants everything in place to feel as safe as possible. Which I am currently working on and I’m not far off having everything ready but I’m not quite finished.

Trying to calm my inner child down has been difficult, but I’ve been trying to listen and trying to identify his needs and what he wants, but it’s tricky as he has complex needs from traumatic events in our life. Slowly I will heal us both, through counselling and lots of patience and self care. I’ve been trying to heal myself for the last 20 years but I’ve never even really scratched the surface until now, I think I’m finally ready to heal. I can’t keep bleeding, I can’t keep letting this little boy hurt, he deserves to feel better now. I want my life to be better now, I want things to be different, I want to break the patterns that I’ve been repeating for the last 35 years. I’m ready to be happy.

One of my self care/regular activities is to try and blog on a bit more of a regular basis. I love writing/blogging and my anxiety/procrastination stops me just getting on with it. I think sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed I can’t physically do anything so I don’t and then I feel annoyed because I haven’t done anything. So I am going to try and make more of a conscious effort to push through the anxiety and sit down and write. I always feel so much better for it, I just need to get over myself and do it! With any luck I’ll be here writing again soon and not with weeks or even months in between posts.

Now I’m sleeping much better at night, I’m getting between 7-9 hours a night, which is much better then the 4-6 hours I was getting, my appetite is a bit better as well. I’m not binge eating sugar because I’m tired. Hopefully I’ll loose a bit of weight now, as I’m not eating half as much as I was, I’m actually eating a proper breakfast every morning as well and I’m trying to eat dinner too, whether that be something I cook or a takeaway at least I’m eating meals rather then just shovelling chocolate into my face all day long.

Getting a good nights sleep for me is so important, it improves my mood, my appetite, I can manage my chronic fatigue better. It’s so easy to slip into bad habits when depressed but at the moment I’m really aware of what makes things worse for me and having all these lists of things will definitely help. Getting into a routine of going to bed at a reasonable time and having a slightly more structured day is slow going, it won’t ever be perfect but I’ve got a good start on it.

Well that’s all for now

Peace out

Zak

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

Left behind

I always feel like I’m being left behind, left out, like I’m still a little kid just still struggling to figure out what’s happening.

I feel like I’m missing out and being missed out of things.

I feel like no one really knows me or even wants to invest that time into me.

I feel that because I’m sensitive and emotional, it just puts people off.

I’m just a small person with big feelings and I know I’m weird and childlike but life is far too short to be serious.

I’ll never fit in anywhere properly, my life seems like it will be me and my animals and just temporary people.

That’s not what I want though, I want to find my tribe, people who truly accept me for me and truly mean it.

I find it hard to trust others now because I’ve always been let down and disappointed by people.

I’m tired of feeling lonely and being alone.

I won’t change who I am to fit in with who anyone wants me to be. I’ll meet you where you’re at if you’ll do the same for me.

The path I’ve been walking for the last few years have been incredibly lonely, with brief times of sunshine and happiness but never lasting long.

I want someone to take my hand and show me how proper love and friendship is meant to be.

I’m tired of the darkness, I want to see the sunshine again

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 5 weeks post op Top surgery

Yesterday, my friend and I went up to my last post op appointment in Plymouth.

It went really well, the blood clot that he initially said would need to be drained at this appointment had gone, he said my body had absorbed it which is good. That meant not having to have a big needle stuck in my side! haha. That side is still a bit puffy but he said it will go down in time, it will take a few months for my body to properly heal itself.

The nurse cleaned around my scars and got rid of all the sticky patches from the tape and dressings and my surgeon picked off the scabs on my nipples and I got to see my new shiny, pink nipples properly for the first time! and they look pretty damn good.

As parts of my chest is still numb and hypersensitive, I’ve got to keep touching the area so wake it and stop it being so sensitive.

I DON’T HAVE TO BIND ANYMORE! WOO! The first thing I did when I got back into town, was go get my haircut! and man that felt great. Went to a new barbers and wow had the best haircut and service ever. I got home and jumped straight in the shower and that was the best shower in the world! It felt great! I finally feel clean again! and then I threw the binder away!

My chest, ribs and back are sore and stiff from binding and a bit from surgery too, so I’ve been doing gentle stretches to loosen my muscles up a bit. I’ve also been trying to consciously walk with a better posture, as the binder and pre surgery I walked hunched up, which isn’t helped with the sore muscles. A surprising side effect of a better posture is a better mood, I feel great when I’m standing properly, I don’t feel like I have to hide away anymore. I can walk tall and proud.

I feel like I’m finally getting back into the swing of life again, I’ll probably go back to volunteering in a week or two, although I’ll need to do a sort of trial shift, just to see how I get on, as I don’t want to push my body too much before its ready.

It’s been a long hard road to get here today but I did it and I’m so glad I held on, even when it felt impossible and so far out of reach.

Life can finally start!

Peace out

Zak

The light at the end of the darkness

I feel happy again and I can say that now and actually mean it.

Just a few months ago I was in the darkness, struggling to get through a day. At times I felt so tired, I just didn’t want to keep going.

I recognised that it’s not that I wanted to die, I just needed the pain to end.

At that time if you had told me to just hold on because you’ll soon be surrounded by some amazing people and you’ll soon be having top surgery, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

My world was so dark, I just couldn’t see that there would ever be light and happiness again in my life.

But sat here now late at night, I feel happy, I feel content, I feel understood, I feel connected, I feel loved, I feel like I’m wanted. And it’s the most amazing feeling ever because I don’t feel I’ve ever really experienced it, I’ve never been around a group of friends who encourage each other, genuinely care about each other, have different passions and talents, who build each other up, help each other without question.

Most of my past friendships have come with conditions and they were about what I could offer, non of those friendships have endured and non of them really helped me grow, but they opened my eyes to the fact my kind nature attracts damaged souls and can easily be taken advantage of.

But now it feels different and for that I am eternally grateful, I let myself be vulnerable and open, which was scary but it’s paid off.

I know these people won’t all be in my life permanently and I’m ok with that, I know we were brought together to help each to continue to grow through our each individual journeys, by coming together as a collective, who’s knows where this will take us in 6 months/ a years time.

Its already helped me and started to heal some of the hurt I was carrying inside, I feel happy, I want to live, I’m actually excited about life now, I want to start looking to the future and what that will bring.

The only changes I made was I let myself be open and vulnerable and fuck that was scary but it’s something I’m going to continue to do, so I can keep experiencing life and hopefully new friendships and opportunities will arise.

You know who you are and I’m so grateful 💜

And to everyone in my life, know I love you, I appreciate you and I support you 💜

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 💜

Hobby – Photography

I saw my Grandparents this weekend and they have a lovely garden with beautiful flowers, so I took the opportunity to take some pictures 🙂

All just with my iPhone 7 and a few using my macro and eye fish lens.

I love looking at life through a lens, capturing a single moment in time.

Here they are, I hope you like them

Peace out

Zak

Self care – Being brave and asking for help

Dinner date and movie with myself tonight.

Something I’ve not done in a while, been too caught up with the negative stuff in my head, I forgot to love and take care of myself. Trying my best to get back on track.

I also did something that was huge for me this week… I asked for help and close friends will know this, it’s something I do very rarely and avoid where possible.

But in August I’m finally getting top surgery done 🙂 and I’m going to need help during recovery from more then one person. As it’s a lot to ask from one person, so I was brave and created a group chat. I was so scared that I would be rejected and everyone would be too busy to help but to my surprise everyone was just amazing and everyone was so happy for me and more then happy to help.

It’s such a huge relief to know I have people around me that love and care for me. I always knew I had friends but I’d convinced myself I wasn’t good enough to have real friends and eventually if you tell yourself something long enough you believe it.

I need to work on my self esteem and self worth, this is definitely going to help 🙂 I’m not as lonely as I thought I was.

I’m going to try and trust more and open my heart more. I’m always standing in the way of myself, I need to move out of my way.

💜💜💜

Peace out

Zak

Transition update

I don’t when I last posted an update about my transition stuff, but I have exciting news 😁

I am now 21 months on testosterone, my two years on T will be 22nd August. Everything with T is going well, I do my own shots now every 3 weeks, which is cool.

I got a letter the other day about arranging my first appointment at Harley Street to talk about lower surgery, which is super exciting! I’m just waiting waiting for them to call me to discuss a first appointment.

I got a call on Friday from Plymouth hospital and I booked in for top surgery! I have an initial appointment 1st August and my operation will be 20th August!

It’s only 3 months away! I’m super excited, I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. This means everything to me, it will be my freedom!

It’s scary and exciting but it’s absolutely everything. I’ll finally feel like me, hopefully I’ll feel more confident and less self conscious and maybe it will help my low self esteem.

I can’t really express how much this means to me. I can’t believe I’ve got a date! It’s insane, I mean I was waiting for a date but it somehow still felt so out of reach.

I can’t wait for the relief, my chest gives me the most dysphoria and causes me the most stress and anxiety. I feel emotional just thinking about it and how life changing it will be. I really can’t wait.

Peace out

Zak

2018 – What a year!!!

Yet another year is nearly over and 2019 is just on the horizon.

Its been another year full of ups and downs and for the most part its been an absolutely incredible time.

March was probably the most eventful months of this year, I got snowed in on my birthday due to storm beast from the east, two weeks after my birthday my 3rd nephew came into the world, I changed my name to Zak and the end of March was when I started a relationship with someone I’d been getting to know for a few months.

That was the start of an incredible 7 months and despite how things have ended I wouldn’t change a single thing.

The summer weather definitely made up for the freezing cold, snowy March. Summer was crazy hot! For months! And England qualified for the semifinals for the first time in forever!

I applied for and got my first passport in this millennium! My last passport ran out 14 years ago! I now have valid ID… which I’ve not needed yet 😂

I took my partner and my dogs on my first holiday in 10 years. We went to Dawlish in Devon, it’s such a beautiful part of the country. It was so nice to get away and that’s probably where I knew I was in love with this lovely human being.

Then came the Eminem concert at Twickenham stadium with my best friend. It was such an incredible experience, once in a lifetime opportunity! Just amazing.

End of July I had my first consultation for top surgery! Which is great!! I’ve picked a surgeon, I just need to chase up about a second appointment.

Towards the end of the summer, my partner and I went to Rize Festival in Chelmsford, which was an amazing experience as I’d never been to a festival before. It was insane! But so much fun, we saw some amazing artists like Rita Ora, Manic street preachers, Rag n bone man, James bay, Bastille many others. But my favourite by far was seeing Plan B! He was on fire! I definitely want to go to another festival again!!

In September I did something that made me hugely anxious but I braved it and I’m glad I did. I went to London, to a spiritual channeling to meet my beautiful, wonderful friend Pamela in real life. We’ve known each other for 10 years + but we’d never actually met. But when we met all my anxiety left, it felt like we’d known each other forever, I so didn’t want to let her go. I’m so pleased I went, it was amazing and just what I needed.

Towards the end of September, things sort of unravelled but that’s life. Things ended with my partner, mainly because I know exactly what I want and they were unsure. No point either of us wasting each other’s time, but we’re still friends, we still talk, even though sometimes I find it hard, I’m grateful we still talk.

We had an incredible 6 months together, made amazing memories together and despite what happened those things will never change. We will always have those memories together.

Sometime in the summer I quit my volunteer work, I was no longer getting anything from it and felt like I wasn’t being treated fairly and felt like my mental health was used against me and I was just surrounded by toxic people which is never good for anyone.

But I now volunteer at pause cat cafe as a cat care person, which basically means I make sure all 12 cats are happy and healthy, fed on time, clean up behind them and obviously have lots of snuggles and play time. It’s good fun 🙂

As in previous posts I’ll be starting the new year without certain people who I’ve removed from my life, which is good but scary, as I feel like I don’t really have anyone.

Anyway here’s to another year, I don’t know what’s in store but we’ll see.

^ what a difference a year makes

Peace out

Zak