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

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

I’ve not written much about self care recently, as after surgery self care was kinda a given. I had to listen to my body and look after myself.

Recently I haven’t been feeling great, I’ve been feeling absolutely exhausted and generally just been feeling unwell, but not enough to definitely say I have an infection or something. It maybe a delayed reaction to surgery. But I see my specialist tomorrow morning so I’m hoping to get more answers.

So because of feeling so exhausted all , I’ve been listening to my body and resting and sleeping when I’ve needed too. Which sometimes is a little frustrating as I feel like I’ve wasted a day. But self care isn’t a waste of time.

Today I’ve been resting and sleeping, as I’ve felt so exhausted. I eventually got up and did the housework which always makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

Took the dogs out for a quick wee, it’s been so grey and miserable today. Despite that I decided to go into town. I got myself some frankincense essential oils, as it’s meant to help relax the chest and help with colds and infections. I went to lush to take in my old pots in exchange for a free pot of face mask stuff, I also got myself a shower bomb too. I then went to Asda to get a few things.

I could have easily just gone to Asda, but I knew I needed to get out for a bit. Even if it was just to a couple of places.

I’m pleased I treated myself to some self care things 🙂 It’s important to me to look after myself and my needs. It’s keeps me relatively well, physically and mentally.

It’s important to slow down and listen to what your body needs. You only have one body, there is only one you.

Certain self care aspects of my days are non negotiable, like taking my meds in the morning and evening, making sure I sleep when I need too, eating as and when I feel hungry, putting my incense sticks on in the morning and evening, doing housework every other day, attending appointments. There are more I could list but it would take a while.

I’m feeling pretty exhausted now, so I’m going to wrap it up. I’m not sure this blog will make much sense lol.

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

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

Disconnected

Today’s been weird, this morning I was organised, got shit done, felt good. By sort of 13:30pm I was just done for the day .

I wanted to sleep because I was tired but I couldn’t settle. So just spent most of the afternoon zoned out, completely disconnected. I just feel like a zombie, it’s hard to get out of that feeling too.

I just feel nothing but everything at once. It’s so overwhelming.

Still after all these years I still feel so guilty about not being productive enough, or well just not being enough full stop.

It doesn’t help that it’s a full moon this weekend and I’m due my T shot Monday, they are all added factors.

Having a hard time focusing, concentrating and just getting thoughts in order. Everything feels disorganised. I feel out of place.

Not sure if it’s depression or not… I dunno. I don’t really know how to fix it either I’m not sure what’s going to help.

Peace out

Zak

Dealing with disassociation – with self care

Schedule for tomorrow, this helps so much with disassociation and trying to get some stuff done. It’s mostly dependent on weather, pain and energy levels. I’m hoping I don’t feel as wiped out tomorrow so Scrappy and I can get out for a good walk, I may take Fox if it’s not too cold.

For me this is a form of self care whilst helping me stay in the moment. But I always make sure how I’m feeling before doing anything, so that my physical health is also taken into consideration, as well as my mental health.

I’m hoping I can get out and walk the dogs tomorrow as I was so wiped out this weekend because of the pneumonia jab I had Friday, but if I still need another day to rest and recover the that’s ok too, I have other low energy things that need to be done at some point as well.

I never put pressure on myself to complete everything and in the time scales I’ve set. It’s more of a reminder of what I need and want to do and having a rough time scale helps. If I manage everything then brilliant, it does make me feel good and even if I don’t manage everything but do a few things then that’s great as well and also makes me feel good because at least I’ve done something. But if I don’t manage anything at all because I’m in too much pain or too exhausted or both then that’s also absolutely fine too, because resting and doing nothing is as good as being productive because it’s still extremely important self care

Peace out

Zak

Today sucked

Today sucked!

I hate how sometimes a little change can cause such an extreme emotional reaction in me, it’s like I have no control over it and it just ruins the whole day.

Rather then just accept the situation as it is, my brain just over reacts and ruins the whole day and makes me feel like shit.

Then the negative thought cycle appears and it’s really hard to make it go away or to change it. It’s exhausting constantly fighting against yourself.

I’ve tried to get myself out of how I feel but hasn’t worked just yet. Although right now I feel more sad and lonely then anything else.

Earlier I was really fucking angry. That’s mostly gone now and just left with a low mood.

It hasn’t been helped by the fact I’ve been pretty isolated this week. I saw a couple of friends last night for a few hours which was lovely. But they’re the only people I’ve seen since Sunday.

I like my alone time but not 4 days in a row. Two, three days tops is enough alone time for me, then I start to need a bit of real life human interaction.

But like today plans get fucked up. To be fair though I’ve fucked up a lot this week cuz I keep messing up dates, forgetting shit… so been causing lots of issues.

It’s really frustrating and right now I feel like I can’t do anything right so why bother at all, cuz I’m just getting everything wrong and messing everything up.

My mood is all over the place this week, I either feel ok or I feel really low. It’s probably because my testosterone shot is due next week. I hate feeling these extreme emotions.

Most of the time I handle them pretty well I think but just sometimes everything just bubbles over and goes crazy and I get over the top reactions to stuff. I hate it so much, makes me feel like such a dick that some days I just can’t handle stupid little things. Makes me so angry at myself.

Right now all I want to do is hide away forever, have a cuddle, a good cry and a good nights sleep. But that’s not gonna happen, so just sitting outside with the dogs, in hopes I can stop myself from feeling like such a loser! Hasn’t helped yet, but I have tried to feel better. Some days are just easier then others.

Today Negative thoughts 1 – Zak 0

Peace out

Zak

Constant feeling of dread

I wrote this last night, in notes on my phone, just before I feel asleep, its a snapshot of how I was feeling at the time. I actually slept really well and slept for about 11 hours, so maybe writing before I slept helped calm me down. I haven’t checked in with how I’m feeling right now because I don’t want to connect with it.

Laying in bed with the feeling of dread in my chest.

I don’t want to be dead I just don’t want to exist.

Trying so hard to step out of this darkness but it just sucks me straight back in, its overwhelming, overbearing. Too powerful and strong, or am I just too weak and feeble.

Everything feels so difficult and pointless, such a cliche for depression but so true.

At home on my own I don’t have to pretend to be keeping it all together, I still pretend because if I break, I won’t be able to put myself back together, not again.

I hurt inside but I don’t know what it is, I can’t even describe how it feels, it just hurts.

Today’s activities just seem like a dream, like someone else did all that.. it doesn’t feel real.

I feel lost floating around in this black void and I can’t find anything to grab onto.

It’s hard looking back on what I wrote, it feels so dark. It feels like someone else wrote it, even though I know it was me. Maybe I don’t want it to be..

I’ve been thinking I probably need to share some of this with a professional. As soon as I walk into any doctors office I don’t remember anything and I can’t verbalise what I really need to say, so I don’t really say anything and they don’t get a true representation of what’s actually going on… its really frustrating but its hard to go to every appointment to tell somehow how you feel. It makes me feel vulnerable and to do that every appointment is exhausting.

Maybe I’ll print this out and make a docs app, I’ll think about it anyway.

Peace out

Batman

Time for some self care

Recently I’ve been busy doing things and making sure everyone is doing ok, but I’ve neglected myself a bit. I haven’t really done things to make myself happy, I haven’t spent much time alone, doing my own things. Don’t get me wrong I love looking after my friends but if I’m not feeling 100% then how can I help anyone else.

On Friday when I got back from my volunteer work, I chilled out with my beautiful fur babies and I spent an hour or so across the road playing with the pups and some of their doggy friends which was nice. I spent some time gaming too, I’d not gamed properly for a while so it was cool to get lost in the worlds of Lego Dimensions. I can’t remember what else I did but I didn’t get to bed until nearly 2am.

Yesterday I pretty much just slept all day and man it was so good! I so needed it. I felt so calm and relaxed, just totally chilled out. I had my nephew for an hour or so, we took the pups for a run around and we had fun messing around. I spent all evening just relaxing too and like I said I just so needed it. I’ve not felt this relaxed in a while, bliss.

Today I woke up about 9 am and it took a few hours to get myself together lol, I did the housework, changed the bedsheets, I’ve still got a few loads of washing to do. It’s been too hot to walk the dogs, so we’ve just been relaxing, having cuddles and playing around. Today has been pretty productive but still really relaxing and I do feel so much better for taking a few days just to do nothing and look after myself.

I love being around people and doing things, making memories and helping anyone who needs my help but I do tend to forget to look after myself. I think its good to have some down time, whether it be a morning, a day or a few days. Time to look after yourself and your needs is so important because you cannot rely on another person to fulfil all your needs.

My favourite things to do to look after myself are, sleep or rest, spend time with my fur babies, spending time by the sea with my pups, watching films, putting lego sets together, eating my favourite food and drink, reading, mindfulness. That’s just a few of them

Self care is super important and its not at all selfish, sometimes its ok to say no and go off grid for a bit, sometimes its necessary to do that.

Anyway that’s enough of me rambling on about self care, I don’t have much planned for tomorrow. Its a bank holiday weekend here and in the UK so I’m sure they’ll be stuff happening somewhere. Its meant to be really hot again so I probably won’t walk the dogs until the evening when its cooled down.

Peace out

Batman