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

Coronavirus

Some years ago I met a lovely lady in a vasculitis group on FaceBook called Tracie Jayne Jacob. Even though we had never met she was always so lovely and super supportive.

Tracie was diagnosed with the coronavirus 2 weeks ago and on Saturday morning, she sadly lost her battle and passed away.

It’s beyond devastating and hits so close to home, she was only mid 40s’s and had a similar physical health condition to me.

This virus takes no prisoners, it doesn’t care who you are, how old you are, it will come for you.

If you think you won’t it won’t effect you, you’re wrong! eventually you will know someone who will be effected.

Please stay safe out there, do as the government advises you too, yes it sucks staying in and not hanging out with your friends, family but it will save lives. Especially those like myself who are at very high risk of this awful virus. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for those in your life who are vulnerable. Now is not a time to be selfish, now is the time to think of your community, to keep everyone safe.

Tracie, I hope you are at peace now, forever in my heart.

Rest in Peace my friend

Peace out

Zak

Self isolation – My favourite podcasts

As were self isolating, lockdown is on the horizon. I thought I’d share some of the stuff I like to do when I’m at home.

One is listening to podcasts, please feel free to share your favourite podcasts with me too 🙂

Ask Iliza anything

Did I stutter Drew Lynch

Nobel blood

Cabinet of curiosities

Lore

Happy place

Nothing much happens – Great for getting to sleep

Unobscured

Over the next few days I’ll be sharing more posts like this.

Please feel free to share my blogs, please like, subscribe and comment.

Take care everyone

Peace out

Zak

Grumpy boy

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle, I’ve been feeling so agitated, grumpy, achy and exhausted. A lot of it has to do with having stopped taking trazadone, which is slowly working its way out of my system.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything as well. I’ve taken a bit of a step back from life, by not answering messages straight away, as it feels too much and I just need that time and space and also taken a step back from people, some days the thought of having other people near me, especially a lot of people almost feels like a physical pain, which is really hard to explain Even just going to the shops to get food is difficult and I put it off until I really have to go. I also feel like I need a protective bubble around myself as I’m always nervous about people being near me, touching me etc, especially random people I don’t know.

Being just on my own is so much easier, as I don’t have to explain myself, or feel like I have to perform, or be happy or whatever. I can just be grumpy and irritable, without upsetting anyone by accident.

Its just much less pressure and feels freeing. 1:1 with someone isn’t as daunting, I think my social anxiety has really been kicking in due to coming off my meds. But I’m sure with a little time and patience I’ll be alright again. Just need to give myself some space to breathe.

I get so frustrated with myself for feeling grumpy and irritable and I know its usually because I’m trying to stop myself from feeling low, as if I let myself feel low, its a hard work to make myself feel better again. So I fight against just allowing myself to feel how I feel, which just makes the whole process longer, then if I just let myself feel sad in the first place!

I’ve also come to realise that I’m an introvert, I also used the think I was a bit of an extrovert. But I don’t think I am at all. I’m still really quite shy, which has something that has never really changed since I was small. I need my own space to be and recover from social interactions, I prefer my own company, being around lots of people is exhausting.

I think because I am quite good at coming across who is someone who is fairly confident but I’ve spent my life being my own advocate to get what I need from services, mainly hospitals/doctors etc.

But yeah I’m a pretty shy, anxiety filled human lol.

Hopefully in the next few weeks when the trazadone has come out of my system fully, I’ll start to feel a bit better again.

I got a SAD lamp, which I’ve been using most days. Haven’t noticed a difference just yet, but I’ll keep with it and maybe use it in the morning rather then the evening.

Peace out

Zak

My Journey from the L to T in LGBT

I saw today on my memories thing that 11 years ago today, I told my mum I was a lesbian. Which now seems hilarious as I feel like such a late bloomer in everything. As a at the time I would have been 23 very nearly 24! and now I’m still figuring out who I am, although I feel like that journey never really ends.

My memory is so rubbish and I just don’t remember these things that should be memorable moments and things I should be able to remember easily but my brain just doesn’t work that way. So Facebook is super helpful, in helping me remember important moments and obviously the not so great ones lol!

So after I saw this particular memory, it got me thinking about my journey over the last 12 years and how far I’ve come. I think its so easy to forget what my life was back then and what it is now and the huge journey and work that’s happened in between and I think the journey I’ve been through hasn’t always been visible or noticeable to those around me.

I hide a lot of things I’m going through, I always have ever since I was small. I was a toxic trait that was learned behaviour from my family. Mainly my from my mum, but again that stuff is passed down through parents. So not necessarily her fault, it’s what she knew and grew up with and she’s still like it a bit now.

I am getting better at expressing myself to those around me, but I still keep a lot to myself. I’m trying my best to live my life authentically and that means being apologetically myself! Even if people think I’m weird, I no longer really care, I know I don’t really fit in and I’m cool with that. I was never meant to fit in anywhere, I was meant to stand out and standing out is hard, because I’ve always tried to fit in, blend in and tried to disappear. But I’m still learning how I am, learning how to stand in my truth, to stand in my power and to shine. It’s a bit scary but I’m kinda starting to like myself for the first time in my life.

From at a fairly young age, I think knew I liked girls but I just always thought of maybe I was looking for a mother figure, as my relationship with my mum was always never close and I always kinda felt not apart of the family I was born in. Always felt like I was the odd one out, so maybe when I was young I was hoping I’d be cute enough and someone would come and take me into their family.

Even as a young teen I was so naive that I only thought men could be gay, I mean sounds so stupid saying that now, but I didn’t grow up with access to the internet and it wasn’t something that was talked about in my family. I just thought being called a lesbian was an insult, didn’t really realise it was an option! LOL! how wrong I was.

I grew up thinking I had to get a boyfriend/husband and that was how it was meant to be, that’s all I grew up seeing. I had like a 2/3 boyfriends, I’ve only had 2 sexual experiences with males and I really didn’t understand why my girl friends were so hyped about sex with guys, cuz I fucking hated it! I thought there was something wrong with me.

As I got older and met different people and experienced life more, I realised there was this whole community of people and my mind was blown! I felt like maybe this is where I fitted in.

It still took a little while for me to actually say I am GAY! I like woman. That was 12 years ago, that I finally was like, nope I’m not going to keep trying to fit in with what I was taught is expected of me. That felt great, it felt like I was being me and not hiding anymore.

It was 8/2/2009 that I finally told my mum, that I had a girlfriend and I don’t think she was shocked and she accepted it. I vividly remember telling my dad and he was like yeah I knew! lol, I remember saying why didn’t you tell me! Would have made things a bit easier! But its the journey I had to go through I suppose.

It took until around Sept 2014 to start questioning my gender and I don’t remember what triggered that particular process. At that point I had 2/3 people that I was friends with, knew of who’d starting transitioning from female to male, which me being the naive person I am again never knew that was a possibility or something that was obtainable to like anyone.

This is why representation in the media whether it be tv, film, music, books etc is SO important! Not only does it help educate people, it helps people feel less like a freak and an outcast.

During this time I wrote a lot, I talked a lot within the LGBT mental health group I attended, I talked with close friends at the time. I went to a Trans group and it didn’t really take long for things to slot in place and for me to realise that I am not and never was a female and that’s why I’ve always hated my body with a passion, why I’ve never felt comfortable within myself and just explained so many other things.

At the time only close friends knew about this part of my life, as I wanted time to figure myself out. I didn’t want to rush such an important life changing decision.

But the day after my 30th birthday in 2015, I messaged everyone on my FB list to explain that I am transgender and I will now be going my male pronouns. I had such an out pouring of love and support, I was honestly taken aback. I was really shocked and I’ve always had that support from people around me, yes sure it took people some time getting used to pronouns and stuff and I had every weird questioned asked under the sun but ultimately everyone just wanted me to be happy.

I don’t remember when I told my mum but I do remember she didn’t really have a lot to say about it and even now, 5 years down the road its not something she openly talks about to me, doesn’t ask me questions. So I still really don’t know how she feels about it all, which is sad because I want to know how she feels, I mean I know she loves me in her own way because she’s my mum but I don’t know if she’s proud of me. It’s not like I haven’t tried but she’s really hard to communicate with because if she doesn’t want to talk about something she just doesn’t respond, so end of conversation. I can’t have a conversation with someone who just won’t reply, just shuts that shit down straight away.

I think that hurts more because my dad is no longer here and I can’t ask him about what he thinks, does he still love me, is proud of me etc. I think we all need that approval from our families, from our parents no matter how old we get. Even though I don’t really know what she thinks about my transition, its never stopped me. Because I am an adult (I think, in age only! lol) But deep inside I do just wish she would express her feelings to me about my transition, mainly so I can have that connection with her. But also so I know she approves too.

But as I mentioned feelings, thoughts and emotions were something that just wasn’t talked about in our house and to be honest nothing really was. Looking back now it’s probably a big part of why I felt so disconnected from my family as love and emotions weren’t expressed. It’s almost like it was a business arrangement that these 4 humans were living together, aliens from another planet who didn’t know what regular human emotions were. Maybe it’s why I’ve always struggled to connect with myself.

Now I just try and meet my mum where she is, I don’t mention my transition as its pointless. She’ll never be what I want her to be and that’s hard to accept as I maybe nearly 35 but I still need my mum and I still want her to be the mother I need her to be. But that’s not who she is and I’ll never get that out of her and she hasn’t unlearnt her learnt behaviours picked up from her parents, she doesn’t yet have that awareness and maybe she never will and that’s cool. We all have our journeys and everyone’s path is different and everyone does things at different times and in different ways and that’s completely fine. So instead of trying to hold them up to the standard you want them to be at, you have to meet them where they are.

Our relationship is less stressful now because I don’t have these expectations of her, I just accept her how she is and its been so much better. I even enjoy hanging out with her now. I maybe see her once every couple of months and that’s cool with me. She’s the only parent I have left, I wanted her in my life, so I had to change how I viewed our relationship in order to have a better one.

Coming out as trans and starting my physical transition has been one of the best things I have ever done, my only regret is that I didn’t realise sooner but its all part of the journey and it happened when it was meant too.

I have learned so much about myself in the last 5 years, that its hard to express. Even though I still feel shy and have low self esteem, I feel confident in that fact I finally know who I am as a person, I feel less disconnected and I feel confident in the fact I am finally standing in my truth.

I’m still learning about who I am and where I fit in this life, I don’t think that ever really stops, as life is always changing and if it isn’t then it means your stuck.

Recently I have been questioning my sexuality a bit, again I think this is a natural part of the process. I think its because testosterone makes you feel like a horny teenage boy! But also, I used to look at guys and wished I was them and now I’m nearer the journey of having lower surgery in the next maybe 2 years, I’m starting to think a lot more about sex and having a penis and what that would look like, feel like etc cuz I’ve been 35 years without one, only ever touched 2 in my life and so its something that’s been on my mind.

Like recently when I watch porn (shocking I know!) I’ve found myself more focused on the guy and what he’s doing with his dick, which got me thinking and questioning, does this mean I want to have sex with men, do I like men? what does this all mean! and I’ve come to the conclusion that no I do not like men in that way, I don’t want to have sex with men, I’m just fascinated and excited for when I get to have sex with woman when I get my penis, which btw is 35 years late! lol and I suppose when I’m watching these videos, that I want to be that guy that’s having sex.

I still look at other guys and think wow they look so manly and fit that’s what I want to look like. But my ass over here is 5ft 3″ a bit chubby from christmas, I hate the gym and working out cuz it’s boring and exhausting. I try and remind myself that no one else looks like me, no one else can be me, I am who I am meant to be no matter what that looks like, as I don’t want to look like everyone else I was born to stand out, born to be me.

I was a bit nervous about writing about watching porn, as you know still can be a bit of a taboo and not something I really discuss with anyone. But fuck it, I’m talking about my journey and my truth and this is me, laid bare.

I don’t know where I’m headed next in life, but I’m going to keep writing, keep being me and hopefully, I’ll be me with a penis before I’m 40!

All I can do it keep standing in my truth, keep talking about my journey and hopefully helping others to stand in their truth and hopefully educating those naive people who don’t know much about the LGBT community.

Peace out

Zak

Rediscovering myself

Since December, I’ve been in hibernation mode and I’ve really struggled to get out and about. I’ve wanted to stay close to home and just relax, but I feel its time to start slowly crawling out of this cocoon I’ve built and participate in life again.

It was necessary for me to take a step back from life so I could continue to heal from surgery and reevaluate my life. As I had some big life changes, friendship changes and growing in self confidence.

I’ve also been rediscovering who I am as a person, been trying to find my style, who I want to be as a man, what I am willing to put up with, who I want in my life, my expectations of every. So the hibernation time has been a really important part of that, as its allowed me the time and space to just sit and be and to look back on how things went before and what I want my future to look like now.

I’ve learnt that I had put myself into the role of care taker, for practically everyone in my life and I was always waiting on who needed me next, I was always making myself available for other people even if it meant not putting myself first.

I know I am a natural healer, which is really cool and I love helping people but I also need to know my value as an individual. I have stopped helping people at the detriment to myself, I’ve been putting up clear boundaries with people as well, which isn’t always easy but it makes me feel good.

I’m going to stop putting my life on hold and start doing the things I want to do. I’ve spent so much time making myself available for other people, just in case I’m needed, that my life kinda took a back seat.

I’ve made myself available for the people who wouldn’t do the same for me. I’ve realised that some friendships I was in were making my self esteem so low, due to the way I was talked to and treated. I am more capable then I realise and I am totally ready to see what I am capable of doing.

I want this year to be fun, I want to have adventures, I want to make memories, I don’t want to be reliant on anyone, I don’t want to be looking after everyone.

I know I can be a healer whilst remaining autonomous and not feeling like I HAVE to be there for that particular person.

This week I am hoping to go on an adventure, but I’m not going to say where and when until it happens. As I’ve learnt that if I announce what I’m going to do, it feels like so much pressure and I find it hard to then commit too. But I will keep you all posted.

Peace out

Zak

My own worst bully

Who else struggles with negative self talk?? Cuz I certainly do, I am my own worst bully, far worse then anything I ever faced from any real life person.

I’m so bad for constantly picking myself apart and flogging myself to the point of depression. It’s such a bad habit of mine and I think as I move closer to turning 35, it’s gotten worse. I have a habit of comparing my life to others and feel like I am so behind everyone and where I feel I should be.

I have to remind myself that there is no set timeline, I am where I am meant to be and we all have our own paths. It’s still so hard though, not to feel like a complete failure.

I haven’t had the easiest of lives, I live every day with a autoimmune disorder, which effects my health on a daily basis, poor mental health and being trans as well, hasn’t been an easy path. I have a lot of unresolved trauma, which is buried deep inside, that I can’t really remember, or put into order, but I am slowly trying to work through these things. I’m grateful to still be here, living my life and I know that some day my path will help others, I hope anyway,

I always feel like I SHOULD be doing more, I SHOULD have achieved more by now, I SHOULD be better then I am. Those should’s suck! I put so much pressure on myself and for what? All those should’s just make me feel like shit and it kinda ends up being a self fulfilling prophecy and I end up doing nothing.

The way I talk to myself is so mean, I wouldn’t dare talk to another human like that. So why do we do it to ourselves? Why are we so mean? I know for me a lot of it comes down to low self esteem and feeling unworthy and I am trying to be kinder to myself, changing that inner monologue from such negative, bullying, horrible stuff to being more kinder and more compassionate to myself.

It’s really hard changing how you talk to yourself, some days are worse then others. But I am trying my best to be as kind and compassionate to myself as I am to others. It will always be a work in progress and that’s cool, things don’t change over night.

To anyone struggling with negative self talk, YOU ARE WORTHY! YOU MATTER! YOU’VE GOT THIS!

Peace out

Zak

Hibernation mode

I’ve been really struggling to write on a regular basis, even though I know it helps me. I’ve been trying to write in my notebook, as that feels a bit less pressure then writing my blog, as it doesn’t have to make sense, or even full sentences. It’s mainly just random, partially formed thoughts, that are rolling around in my head.

I’ve had a lot of blog ideas, stuff I want to write about, delve deeper into. But I just haven’t had the motivation to do so.

The weather has been so sucky recently, we’ve had so much rain! There’s been very few nice days in what feels like forever! and this really hasn’t helped with my low mood, lack of motivation.

I’ve also been overeating, ugh! which makes me feel so shitty. Throughout December my excuse for eating crap was its Christmas, so it was cool to eat crap. But I was cooking dinner for myself every day, which in the past I’ve really struggled with. In recent weeks, I’ve kind of lost control over my eating and I’ve been eating too much, eating when I’m not even hungry and eating more crappy shit then I actually did in December.

I’ve recognised that I am overeating due to low mood and being bored, which is the first step to getting my eating back to not normal but eating less. I’ve stopped buying in crappy snacks and I’ve been trying intermittent fasting, which has helped me in the past to regain control over my overeating.

I know this will help improve my mood, as overeating makes me feel so crap and I’ve put on so much weight as well, which makes me feel so gross about myself. Now I’m on testosterone any weight I put on goes straight to my stomach and man I just look like a pot bellied pig right now! I already have pretty low self esteem and right now its really low.

Since December, I’ve been in hibernation mode, eating snacks and mainly staying at home on my own, out of choice. It’s been great, I’ve really needed to recharge and relax. Usually I don’t like being alone for too long and it in the past has effected my mood. But I’ve actually really enjoyed this time alone, I’ve not missed being around people, it hasn’t effected my mood like it usually does. It’s definitely been a huge spiritual change that I’ve been going through recently and it feels great. I feel like I’m standing on the edge of something great but I’m not quite ready to make that leap out of my cocoon and fly over the edge and that’s ok, things take time.

I’m still not ready to come out of hibernation mode just get and that’s cool, I just need to maybe push myself a little bit to write actual blog posts as well as my random notes I’ve got floating around in my millions of notebooks lol!

Peace out

Zak

Sunday Funday

Had a good trip out today with a friend and my dog Scrappy, was nice to get out and explore. I got some good shots too 🙂

We went to Corfe Castle and Swanage

Here are some of the pictures I took, hope you enjoy them 🙂

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