Thursday, 29 September 2016

It’s good to talk…

On a roll?  Let’s not get too excited, its only the second one recently.  But I am in a happy place today which is both a minor miracle and a great relief.   I know that I have outlined my dysphoric episodes in the past, so I don’t need to go there again.   But the other day it struck like thunder.  Typically, it was on a day when I had so much work to do which was really frustrating.  I couldn’t focus or concentrate.  Luckily my friend who I think I have previously referred to as A2 on here was at the end of an email and really helped.  She helped calm me and to put things in perspective.  It was good to talk.

But today I went further with a confluence of three good things happening in one day.  The first is that I got a lot of work done.  I’m really worried at the moment as my list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter - it’s constant growth is getting tiresome.  So whilst it only got a little shorter today, it did get shorter.  Second, I got a day in Rhiannon mode which was fantastic.  As I said last time, I’ve been attempting to lose weight.  That, together with the removal of my hernia meant that I put on my skinny jeans and they fit perfectly and beautifully.  I felt a million dollars.  I put it together with a nice flowery blue top, blue cardigan and my blue kitten heel shoes.  I was saying to A1, the other A, that even my confidence was higher today because I felt better in myself.  What more incentive could you possibly want for losing a bit of weight?

All of that was working toward the fact that it was my counselling session today.  I’d decided to go in Rhiannon mode and so getting ready (and even my make up was good today) was a joy.  My counselling was recommended by my gender Doctor and it is with a recommended gender counsellor who is very good.  I suffer with verbal diarrhoea most of the time.  He, I think, has realised that, so asks me really good questions and lets me start talking.  It is so cathartic to get this time just to talk about what is in my head.  I’m grateful for the opportunity.  The gender Doctor indicated that in order to start my course of hormones, I need to lose a bit of weight and that the counselling would be useful to help me think about getting the rest of my life in order so that I can continue on the route of travel towards going full time.  Weight loss is in progress and counselling has started.

The counselling sessions so far have been very focussed on unpacking the issues and the problems I face with transition.  I think that as we move into future sessions, they will get harder because they will start to deal with the actions I need to take to make that happen.  I don’t really like that because whilst I desperately want it, I pathologically avoid upsetting people.  I can’t bear knowing I’m the cause of someone’s upset.  It might sound like I’m a saccharine goody two shoes, but I find it really hard to be selfish.  But I know that I have to do it.  I’ve realised over time, that it really isn’t a choice.   I need to take it very seriously as I start to plan to impact many of the lives around me.  Some of the questions today caught me short and I was hit by how tough this process is going to be to go through.

So today had real highs and I’m really grateful for them.  But it also was very challenging and went to the core of who I am.  I don’t mean to be flippant, but there is power in being able to communicate and to start to process all of this: it is really good to talk.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Less of me has returned than I left with...

The first question, when you have been away from your own blog for an impolite amount of time, I suppose, is where to start?  Looking at my most recent entry, you could be forgiven for wondering if I’d vanished in a blaze of self-recrimination after feeling like I had let my self down.  Actually, it was worse than that, but in a very different way…

Shortly after the last blog, I started to feel unwell.  Really unwell.  Unwell to the point that I could barely eat without feeling lots of pain.  Long story short, it resulted in me ending up in hospital and very quickly needing to adjust to a longish period of recovery following a fairly big operation.  Not a serious, needing organs to be fixed or replaced type of operation, but certainly an open up your abdomen, poke around and repair one!  Everything is all well and good now and I feel better than before, but it made for a mostly difficult Summer.  

This may sound a little macabre, but one of the upsides of being so unwell was that I lost a whole load of weight.  It was great, but when I then started eating again, disappointingly, it all began to pile back on to me.  As you will know from previous blogs, I really struggle with my weight, so that was very disappointing.  But it did inspire me to think about losing it properly.  I know I’ve promised this before, but this time, rather than acting in the rash heat of the moment and failing, I have actually started already.  Joining a local well-known brand of slimming groups, I have begun the process of reducing my size down…again. (Perpetual yo-yo dieter here I’m afraid!)

As you would expect, the group I joined, which is a large one, is primarily populated by female members.  There are a few chaps, but not many.  I find fitting in quite hard: as usual, I don’t feel part of either gender’s group.  I’m not (outwardly) a girl and I certainly find it hard to connect to the men.  

I had a major overwhelm of dysphoria at one point in my first meeting.  As is customary, you are asked to identify a target to aim for and instead of what I was expected to say (i.e. losing a million pounds), I nearly said I wanted to be a size 14.  Good sense kicked in and I realised that I’m not supposed to say that, so a target weight came out of my mouth instead.  But inwardly I felt so frustrated.  Why, for once, can’t I just live how I want to live and say it how it is and how I want it to be - I really really need to get this sorted out.

Anyway, to the group - I’m finding the purpose of the group meeting difficult: it is driven by almost a name and shame approach — or name and praise if weight has been lost.  But most people there seem to be comfortable.  As someone of my rotund proportions would expect, the weight is coming off well to start with — it’ll be interesting in a few months when it completely slows down to see how motivated I am at that point.  But for now, at 1 stone (14lbs, 6.35kg) lighter than I was, I’m feeling more comfortable already and more importantly am gearing up to sign up to some gym membership.  Fitness is as important to me as weight loss.

Other things are going on which I will report on later, but that will do for now except to say that during my period of unwellness, time as Rhiannon was rendered virtually impossible due to incapacitation and pain.  But things have resumed and now, for the first time in many months, my heart is singing again.