Be Careful What You Wish For

Approaching 6 weeks post op and almost everything is better than I ever dared hope for way back at the beginning. Lost in the heady mists of 2013 as those hopes are.

But now, here I am, entirely finished with the physical process. And yet barely out of the gates as a fully fledged woman. It has been one enormous, terrifying and gratifying journey since the day I started.

Sometime in 2013

You may not but I remember that fella so fondly. Everything I have is because of him. My friends, my home and the life I have today. None if it happened without him. I’m reasonably confident I don’t mourn him alone. And I’m incredibly indebted to him.

Sometime in 2017

To think that I got to today feeling intact is something I am grateful for every single day. I got to live the life I dreamed of. And it was worth every second, no matter how difficult some of them may have been. Traumatic even. But as we approach a new year, if there are changes you want to make then make them. Then never look back. Nothing is entirely impossible. And that’s as positive as I get for 2017. But here’s to Chris. That boy done good by me and I owe him everything.


Generally Speaking

Weird little week. Discovered I am much closer to full transition than I believed and failed to get the Transgender job I went for. C’est La Vie though. As my Mum always says “What’s for you, won’t go by you”. But at least one little ray of light did shine on me.

Been asked to talk to a combined meeting of LGBT/Mental Health student support groups. I’m absolutely delighted to have such an opportunity. Doors close and then other doors open.

Mental Health difficulties allegedly affect 1 in 4 of us. I’d argue it’s higher. Can’t get out of bed? Don’t feel you can face work? Avoiding social outings because of how you feel? THAT is mental health Darlin’, you just might not realise it.

I am desperate to attend and hope my work schedule allows for it. I have no clear plan but a very conversational approach seems likely if I am able.

We all have mental health. We all have coping strategies. And we all do the best we can. Every single day. That’s just life. But some of us struggle. And that’s OK too. No, really, it is. Just that’s hard to admit.

At present I have no idea what I am going to say exactly. I’ll speak to the existence of mental health problems, I’ll mention diagnosable conditions and I’ll trot out some statistics.

But mostly I think I’ll speak to the power we all have, an idea you might know of as Mindfulness. The definition I like best is that it’s a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Changing the way you think and interact with the world is amongst the most positive things we are all able to do. I have never studied Mindfulness, I have zero qualification in it but I do recognise it as how I cope. In so far as I manage by being thankful for what I have, rather than mournful for what I don’t. My own form of stripped down Mindfulness. But it’s the same principle. Fortunately you can access Mindfulness courses readily in the community. I recommend that you do. Even if it’s not ultimately for you, you might find something you can use.

And just because I always seem to want to finish with one line, Bobby McFerrin had it right with Don’t Worry Be Happy. Take that all the way to the bank. Damn it, that was three.