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

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

LOCKDOWN SUCKS

I’ve not written anything for a while because there is SO much in my head, so much to write it feels too overwhelming to even begin to think through and process.

Things keep popping up that I thought I was done dealing with, one thing/person in particular and it sucks! Sometimes I really hate being so sensitive as things seem to take forever to stop hurting over and over about the same thing, people, situations etc. I wish so much was different, I wish I was different but there’s little I can do to change any of that now.

I was searching through paperwork on Monday and found a few receipts and a letter that stirred up a lot of emotions. I don’t know what to do with this letter, keeping it isn’t good but I’m not ready to let go. I’m not ready to let go of this person, I still feel as raw as when we broke up, that was 19 months ago. I know healing isn’t linear but I feel like some of my wounds never fully heal, despite the work I put in, despite not wanting to be hurting anymore.

Lockdown has stirred up so much stuff within me and its hard being lockdown on my own. Lockdown has stripped me of any kind of intimacy, there’s loads of different ways to be intimate, social, emotional, intellectual, physical etc. And this part of lockdown is starting to become increasingly difficult to deal with. I didn’t realise how much I miss intimacy, how much I need it. I definitely miss it so much in a more romantic way, fuck I miss that so much, but I miss that person so much too.

This disconnection from humans is brutal and unnatural, we’re not built to be alone, we’re not built for this much with no physical contact. It’s not good for anyone’s mental health and it feels like I’m being pulled and dragged back into a place I worked so hard to get out of, 1 step forward 1000 back. I feel disconnect but at the same time I feel overwhelmed and feel everything.

I am getting used to the new routine, letting go and trying to focus on the day to day rather then looking into the future. That part is easy to deal with now, it was really hard at the start because I struggle with changes, especially big changes and changes in routine. But kinda feels nice to be relaxing more and being outside more with the dogs, I like that most places I walk feels calmer, I don’t miss the busyness of town and the noise of the people doing food shopping.

Some days are better then others but everyday the swirling mess of feelings is stuck inside my brain.

I’ve always felt quite lonely for as long as I can remember, never felt like I quite belonged and these feelings kinda come and go. But lockdown has stirred all that up again and it kinda feels like I’m gonna be alone forever.

Going over the same old thoughts, same old circles round and round. Feel like I’ll always be stuck here. I’m always being told that working on yourself comes from within, only you can change yourself etc. But I try so hard and it doesn’t seem to be good enough, it never changes, not really. Maybe I just can’t do it alone, but also meant to be alone. Feel like I’m gonna be stuck with this internal pain forever.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 6 months post top surgery.

Time is flying by faster then I can keep up with, it’s just crazy. But today marks 6 months since I had top surgery.

I’m slowly starting to connect with my chest and slowly starting to realise that I’ve finally had this life changing, life saving surgery that I’ve been wanting since puberty.

Still struggling a bit with the gender dysphoria and recognising myself but I think its a natural part of being trans.

I don’t think I look at my chest enough, I don’t look at myself and appreciate my new body. I think I was focused on recovering from surgery and it going well without any complications that I wasn’t really present and I was pretty lonely during recovery as well, so I didn’t have anyone around to be excited about surgery with and to share it with.

Looking back at leading up to surgery and after surgery I was kinda disconnected from it and as I’m used to being in hospitals and I’ve had lots of minor surgeries before, I just kinda treated it like any other procedure I’ve had to go through. I was really excited on the day of surgery and just after but it didn’t last very long. I just came at it like something I had to go through and I do feel sad now that I was that disconnected, I feel sad that I didn’t have anyone close to share the excitement with, I feel sad that I had no support during the recovery period, I felt quite let down.

I’ve felt quite lonely during my transition, despite friends being supportive and being happy for me. Apart from 1 appointment last year and the friends who took me to appointments before surgery, who took me there, took me home and took me to follow up appointments, I’ve spent the last 4 years going to appointments alone. It’s something that still makes me feel really sad, more then I think people know. As its not something I really express as it can’t be changed now.

But moving forward, I know I need to try and spend more time looking at my chest and touching my chest, so my brain starts making that connection with my new body. I think when it starts getting warmer and I spend more time walking around the flat topless, that will also help as well.

I’m still really happy with the results and how well my scars look and I’m super grateful to have been able to have this surgery done. I do feel better for having it done, just its such a huge emotional experience and as I am a super sensitive person, I’m sure its something that will take me a while to process.

Here are pictures from today.

Peace out

Zak

Crystal healing

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

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

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

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

Peace out

Zak

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

Counselling Revelation

We talked about this breath holding thing today and I think it stemmed from last year when I felt my blog was being watched and what I said was being monitored and as a result I then stopped blogging and when I did I was extremely careful about what I said, so I wasn’t my usual truthful self. I held myself back, which then resulted in this weird breath holding behaviour.

I’ve started blogging a bit more regularly and back to my truthful, authentic self. I’m not holding myself back as I’m no longer in the situation I was last year so I have no reason to hold myself back.

But I think all that emotion and stuff is still held inside, which is why I still keep doing this weird breath holding. I’m hoping the more I write and think about this situation, the more I can tap into and unlock it and stop this breath holding for good.

It’s such a weird thing and is usually done by children as a response to intense emotions. So I definitely know it’s an emotional thing, I also think it’s because I’ve not truly been living authentically and I’ve been what I think others needed of me. I’ve been holding myself in too much, I’m slowly starting to get back to myself, I just need to be patient, be gentle with myself and keep loving myself and heal those parts of me that are still bleeding.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 10 weeks post op

This Tuesday was my 10 weeks post op, it still seems surreal but it feels so right. Its so hard to explain how it feels to finally have had top surgery, after having spent so many years feeling so uncomfortable with my body, I no longer feel as self conscious about my chest area when I’m out.

I’m still occasionally getting misgendered when I’m out and every time it happens it just feels like another chunk taken from my already low self confidence. I don’t know if its because I’m only 5ft 3 or if its my voice or what, but its soul destroying. Very occasionally I’ll correct someone, but most of the time it just knocks my confidence I just don’t say anything.

Healing side of things is going well, the scars are looking good. I haven’t been covering them with the micropore tape, I am meant to be covering them 4 days a week, just to help them heal and keep them strong. I think I’ve just been enjoying not having to wear a binder, I didn’t really want to wear the tape but I put it over my scars today and I will try and remember to put the micropore tape on my scars at least a few days a week.

The puffiness on the right side is going down slowly, its not as puffy as it was. I still have loads of areas around my chest which are still numb and I’ve been trying to touch those areas every day to wake it up. My skin isn’t as hypersensitive as it was, still sensitive but I can touch my skin without it making me feel weird lol.

I’m still struggling with post surgery blues and anxiety. Everyday is different, some days I feel ok and I’m doing fine but other days all I want to do it just hide away in my flat. Tomorrow morning I meet my (hopefully) new counsellor, just to see if we gel and talk about what I want from the sessions etc. I feel like I’m going to get more from private counselling then the mental health team.

I’m doing my best to take responsibility of my journey and moving forward and just my life. Its super hard and exhausting and I’m trying not to beat myself up too much about not being where I think I should be in life and just trying to remember I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

^ 10 week post op pics

I’m still struggling with my fatigue, this week I’ve slept in the afternoon a few times and have gone to bed pretty early a few evenings because I’ve been so exhausted. The weather has been pretty grey which I don’t think has helped a whole lot. But again its a case of self care/self love and just trying my best to listen to what my body wants/needs.

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak

Guy styling :)

I got my boy hair cut! And I must say that I look very handsome 😉 lol.

After I had posted last night, I sorted myself and the pups out for bed. I love my bed lol 🙂 I slept well a good solid 8 hours. It’s so nice to sleep like a normal person, like a normal amount and it not being a drug induced sleep. Some mornings I wake up feeling like I’ve actually slept, when I was taking a higher dose of quetiapine I used to always wake up feeling drowsy and drugged up. It’s nice to wake up feeling fairly with it, obviously it depends on how my physical health is. I just feel so much better for being on a much lower dose, I think I only have a few weeks till I am on 50mgs 😀

I woke up 15 mins before my alarm went off. Had to get up earlier then I usually do before group as I had my hand physio app before group. Had time to chill, eat and watch tv. I so hate rushing first thing, always set enough time so I can take it easy as I’m not functional straight away lol! I need to wake up slowly. Had my chocolate lucky charms for breakfast, got myself showered and dressed. Took the pups over for a nice run for 20 mins, it was sort of sunny today and the sun helps with a lil energy boost.

I brought the pups back and got them all settled in the hallway, I got my stuff together and headed up to the hospital for my appointment about my little finger.

My finger appointment went well. She said it will be 9 weeks before it is fully healed and I might not be able to hyper extend it back again like I can the others :/ so that’s a bit pants as it needs to click really bad. I still haven’t got full movement and it still hurts but she’s happy for me to only wear the splint if I am out with the dogs just in case I fall and hyper extend it again. She said it will get to the point where it won’t hurt so can’t wait for that because some movements or some things I do still really hurt it. But at least it’s healing and improved a lot. She signed me off so I don’t need to see her again but she said if I need to see her again if I’m worried about anything then just to ring and book an app with her, which is good.

Made my way over to the bus stop, I was going to get to group a bit early but that was ok. I am obsessed with Taylor Swifts song Blank Space, listened to it over and over on the bus trip. Darling I’m a nightmare, dressed as a day dream – Love it! I was a bit early for group, so just chilled out listening to my music.

Group was good, although check in was LONG. I really like doing the more focused work because I tend to find it really hard to concentrate when others are talking especially as some of it is a bit the same each week and the advice that has been given hasn’t been listened to or put into place :/ it makes me question why some people attend but that is totally up to them. I attend to see people, so I am not isolated and to better my skills to help keep me well and to get support. I love this group, as this year has been so tough already I’d be lost and I probably would have self harmed and undone all my hard work without this group.

I met Z in town after group was over. We haven’t seen each other for a while, so was really good to see her. Went to the hair dressers but it was rammed so I decided not to wait. But I bumped into little Raven and his daddy, it was so sweet lil man was so surprised to see me 🙂 hehe so cute. Z and I had a look in a few shops in town and chatted. I spent a voucher I got for my birthday, got two t-shirts 🙂 It was nice to spend time with Z had a giggle, we went back up to the hair dressers and they weren’t so slammed, so I waited. The guy was so lovely and I explained my situation and that I want a proper guys cut and he was so great and cut it exactly how I wanted it. So pleased with it 🙂 I’ll definitely be going back there. After I got sexy again lol Z and I went up to flirt and had a little sit down and a drink, I love flirt so much, such a great atmosphere and a funky lil place.

Didn’t get home till nearly 8 pm and my pups were so freaking happy lol! Bouncing all over hehe. I sorted out the pee and chewed up toys lol. I took them out for a wee and run as they’d been for longer then they are usually left on a Thursday. They were so funny tonight, racing around, bouncing all over the place. Foxy tries her best to catch up with scrappy but he’s so fast, way too fast, so she just barks at him lol! I’d love to know what she’s saying to him.

Sooooo needed a shower I HATE being all itchy after a hair cut. But my shower head has pretty much had it. I only de-scaled it the other day and it needs doing again…time for a new one me thinks. I am so lucky to live near a 24 hour shop that pretty much has everything in it. I was able to nip down and get a new one, I also a little bit accidently bought new batman boxers and I bought Leo a batman top hehe 🙂

I got back in and finally had myself a nice shower and got dressed. Was chatting to my bro and he’s got a ps2 going for sale, so I said I’d have it off him. I met him outside the shop so I could get some money out for him and he came up to the flat and we hung out for a bit which was pretty cool 🙂 it was nice, we need to do it more often just us two.

Didn’t get online till gone 10 pm. Haven’t had dinner tonight, not really hungry though.

Feeling pretty good today, I felt a bit grumpy this morning. Once I got going at group I was feeling much better.

Physically the pains been bad again, I think its more muscular then my joints as nothing really made it better but I do try and stretch out a bit to ease it.

Oh jeez I am tired all of a sudden. Bed very soon for me. I don’t have any plans for tomorrow, so a chill day. Or if I feel good I’ll take pups out for a walk.

Peace out

Batman