Don’t Be Scared. It’s Normal.

I made a post on here a few weeks ago, announcing my top surgery day and how I felt surrounding it. It’s been almost a little over two weeks since said surgery day has happened and there’s still a lot of feeling around the whole thing.

Let me start off by saying that I read an article last night browsing on my Facebook from FTM Magazine that touched a bit on post surgery depression. Before surgery, I was experiencing pre surgery depression and anxiety. Of which were completely normal after speaking with a few brothers and friends about how I felt. I figured as much, honestly. Secondly let me state that the article in question (which I will link below this write-up) was totally accurate. It was a total  nail hit on the head , I won’t lie. It completely explained why I have been feeling so exhausted and bleh. I have also been super irritable feeling towards everyone (ie. housemates, friends, the cats, my boyfriend and so on . . .) and everything as of late. The constant on and off sleeping (it is 3:30am as I began writing this. I went to bed at 9PM and only slept up until about midnight.) Plus being under house arrest for the latter of the two weeks after March 9th makes a person want to yank their hair out. I’m not much for being a homebody most of the time. I like to go out and have my walks and socializing.

The thing with major surgery is that it takes a lot of of you, and I should know from experience. It is a huge tolling experience for a quite a while. Your body has to have time to heal from trauma, and with that comes a lot of other physical and also mental exhaustion. Add on the stress of life and things going on with me personally right now, pain medications, and not being able to sleep properly or comfortably. Well, you get my drift. It makes for a wonderful Misery Soup.

I’m happy I got my surgery, do not get me wrong. It’s something I worked very hard to get and took a lot of struggle for me to get here. I’m so glad it happened. I’m so glad for the people who helped me get here. I’m so happy with my loving support the day it came. True be it that I can’t show a lot of emotion right now for it what with between exhaustion, pain pills every six hours, and lots of stress and little to no sleep, I am very happy and thrilled to have gotten to this point in my journey of life.

When you read the article, it explained how this person felt the day before, of, and after their top surgery. All of which were 100% valid and 100% accurate with me as well. People came to me asking me if I was excited or I must be vibrating with happiness and honestly? I wasn’t. And that sounds so shitty to say, but it was a normal feeling. A lot of transfolks who come to with their surgery, even hours before it happens (like the article stated) feel the same exact way. I wasn’t alone and suddenly I didn’t feel like such a bad person for not exuberating pure rainbows and sparkles for this big event in my life. I almost felt like a hypocrite. After all the fight and tears and struggle, I should have been nothing but a shining example of excitement. But I wasn’t. Not until the IV went into my arm did I feel some small semblance of happiness and excitement along with anxiety and nerves. I’ve had 33 surgeries throughout my 25 years of life. And they all felt the same. Top surgery was no exception.

I know that after another two to three weeks of annoyance, I’ll start really feeling good. It’ll sink in more and more every time I look at myself and each time I see more healing throughout the rest of this year. But for right now, it’s okay. I can feel these things. I can feel nothing, in fact. I can be annoyed with the process and life. I can feel a little agitated and stir crazy. I can sleep for five hours, stay up the rest of the day and repeat the cycle for the time being. I can take my meds, I can cry, I can be irritable, I can just be for now. I try not to be, honestly, however. I don’t want to be in a bad mood, but it’s understandable I should hope. In 25 years having 33 surgeries and being in and out of hospitals and bad health problems, I know for a fact this is okay. It’s totally normal. Your body doesn’t know how to handle or process extreme trauma and life changes that comes with surgery and medical ordeals. It’s a lot to handle and process. It’s a lot for your body to rejuvenate.

So if you’re a transgender identifying person looking to get their surgery and are worried or scared about the post or even pre surgery depression/anxiety: it’s okay. It’s totally normal, it’s completely valid, and you are not a bad person for thinking or feeling the way that you are. Take it from someone who knows from several experiences with surgery and most recently, yes, with top surgery. Take it from several of other transfolks who had their surgery and went through the same thing.

It’s 100% normal. It’s 100% okay. And I’m proud of you for being you.

 

Article: https://ftmmagazine.com/post-op-depression/

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The Trapeze Act Was Wonderful

I’ve dealt with depression and suicide since I was 16 and I will never forget the day it happened. It was terrifying and it seemed to have only gotten worse from there.

I’ve been hospitalized a great many of times for suicide attempts and threats. I’ve self harmed. I’ve thought about death in and out everyday. I still do. It’s one of those things that I can’t control. Even on my good days, it’s still in the back of my mind.

Sad to say things haven’t changed much for that line of thinking. It’s become worse some days. Being trans altered that a little more than I would have liked. But it’s not a blame. If my home life was a little more loving and accepting, maybe it wouldn’t be so much so. Not only that, but daily struggles. Medical situations, the constant feeling of people don’t want me around, they just tolerate me. The ugly fucking stuff that happened all of 2016 in and out. What people spread around about me and say to my face. Not that any of it should matter, but it leaves a mark regardless.

I think about it still a lot. If I wasn’t around. What would change, what wouldn’t change. How people would think, how they would feel. It’s scary to think about sometimes but more often than not I believe that it wouldn’t make much of a difference if I was here or not. And I hate that because it makes people cross with me. As if they don’t care and I don’t believe they care or love me. But that’s the thing. I’ve always felt that way. I’ve always been that way. My mother used to chastise me about thinking and feeling that way. ‘You have a family, you have everything you want. There’s no need to be sad all the time and feel so unloved like nobody/we don’t care. I don’t understand why you think nobody loves you all the time and we’re the worst people in the world.’

Funny. And that’s one of many things you don’t say to someone with major, manic depression and suicidal thoughts day in and day out. That just makes me feel worse. Makes me feel more unwanted. More unloved.

I don’t have a terrible life. That much I can say. But it’s fucking challenging and hardly rewarding at times. I’ve been chewed up and spit out so many times I don’t feel like I have much worth left. Beaten and kicked while I was down on the ground repeatedly. So much that I feel like the bruises will never go away. I’ve been wrung dry, thrown into a hot oven, lied to, lied about, told this, said that, guilted and ripped apart. I don’t know how I ever mend myself back up after all that, but somehow I do. Doesn’t mean I feel any better about myself or life in general. Doesn’t make the situations go away. Doesn’t stop the bleeding.

Aside from the suicidal thoughts, intrusive thoughts have been a new favorite friend. Sometimes they’re acted upon, sometimes I can ignore them. I was clean for a while. I’m sorry to say I haven’t been in the last two to three months. It’s a downfall I carry, but one I shouldn’t fall for shame on. Don’t judge the action before knowing the situation, as I always think. Most days I want to find a knife and stab it in my hand. Jam it down and let me bleed. Let me feel. Let me hurt. Let me grow numb. Other times, I should like to find it in the side of my head. Maybe then all the bad would just leak out and I’d be free. Other forms come in the personification of a bridge I’m steps away from.

I simply just call it My Bridge at this point. I’ve written about it before, but in fic form. Slaying all my feelings and wishes onto a character. Only because I’m too cowardly to do it myself. And too stupid to talk to anyone about it. I walk across it all the time. It’s not very high, but high enough that you’d meet the water with a nice slap. It would be freezing, though. Between September and probably into April. Sometimes it’s not moving much and real quiet. Other times, it’s loud and rushing. I always look at it. I always look over the railing. I always feel the cold metal. I always think. Most days I would rather just sit on it for a while. But having it sit at a busy area, someone would for sure call on me. I don’t want that.

The worst thing about having manic depression and terrible thoughts day in and day out is that you can’t tell anyone. Because there’s no safe spaces for people like me who say “yes. I want to kill myself/hurt myself and I probably will do it later this week or something” without them shutting you away from the world for a week or less in a hospital. I hated the psych wards. They were boring, and the days seemed to last into years. You can’t be honest with therapists/psychiatrists or doctors. And I know that’s for safety reasons, but there really should be a space for people to be able to be honest without fear of being shut off from the world. More often than not, I felt worse being locked up.

I’m one of those people, sadly, who believes with 90% of every fiber in my body that I would not be missed. That I would be talked about for a week, then forgotten. Nothing would change, the days would go on as usual, the world spins on, and people go about their lives. I am nobody special. Nobody to be missed so badly that the world has to stop forever. I’m not that important of a person, and none that loved. I have friends who do care, yes and love. But am I LOVED? Am I SOMEONE? Am I unconditionally remembered, wanted, or loved? Really, really and truly? I don’t think so. I don’t believe so. And that’s a problem. A problem I’ve had for so long.  

I have issues with self love. I have issues with people telling me they care and love me. That I can tell them anything. That I can go to them at X, Y, Z hours or times of the day to talk. I can’t grasp those. And when I want to message someone to talk, I tell myself it doesn’t matter. They’re busy. They have lives. They don’t have 5 minutes to listen to me whine and cry and complain about the same old garbage. Talking isn’t going to change anything. They’re not going to know what to tell me or say. They probably are sick of hearing about it. Sick of hearing me. Sick of seeing me. I’m merely tolerated. You can brush it off. Put everything away back into your little jars, label them, and put them back on the shelf. Because it doesn’t matter, and you’re boring. You’re annoying. You’re not going to do anything. And if you do, you have to keep it to yourself. Because it’s bad. And you’re no better.

I do not say these things for any other reason than it is truth. This is how I feel. This is how I think. This is how it is literally every single day. Even on my really fantastic days. The thing about major and manic depression is that you can fake it until you’re blue in the face. And I’m the fuckin’ master of that. It’s like my own little side show. Everyone comes to see it. They pay for the time that’s spent there, and at the end of it all, the tents come down and my master act has once again proven itself for the day.

Then you get up and do it all over again the next day. Repeatedly. With some interruption of routine. But it’s always the same. Always the same precision, always the same masterful act.

It seems like on my worst days, they’re always ignored. People are busy, so I fully understand that. But on my bad and worst of days, it’s like nobody bats an eye my way. That’s how it feels. That’s how it looks. That’s how it seems. Someone else can post the same exact way I’m feeling and get a ton of support. And I get a whopping -0 of anything. And that’s because everyone’s tired of me. Tired of hearing about it and tired of me whining. It’s just how it’s become. And why I try so hard to distance myself, but at the same time try to be a part of something great. Have friends, get out there, be a community, do this, do that, have fun. I try. But then I feel like I try too hard and suffocate everyone. So I stop. I shut down. I don’t message anyone. I don’t talk about my problems. I don’t tell anyone how I’m doing. I be there for them. I put everything away, again. It’s a cycle. And I always know when it’s coming.

Most days I believe I rather not be here. Not dealing with all of what’s on my shoulders. The chip I have is bigger than anything I could have ever imagined. And I tried so hard to just live for me. Be happier, love myself, look around me and see what’s good. I tried so hard. But it’s difficult to be on that path and stay there. I’m sick of dealing with all the legal issues I’ve had since June 2016, I’m sick of my relatives/parents and the thickness of air around them, I’m sick of feeling like I’m just tolerated and I don’t belong anywhere, I’m sick of fearing where I’m going to be living next month or even next week. I’m sick of worrying. I’m sick of wondering about my health and nobody wanting to take care of it or look at it seriously. I’m sick of running out of money all the time and not being able to afford things that I really need. I’m terrified for the state of our country right now and what that means for me, as a LGBT disabled person. More often than not, leaving this place seems like a grand idea. No more pain, no more suffering, no more problems. But what would I leave behind?? I don’t know. I don’t know if I would leave a mark. I don’t know if I would hurt others. I don’t know.

I used to have this thing where I would say I was sticking around for certain people. My sister, my cat, my boyfriend, etc. No longer. For a short while, it was sticking around for me. That I had too much to do, to see, and to offer. Now that fuse is burning out faster than I can try to keep it alive. I don’t know what I’m sticking around for anymore. I wish I knew the answer. Am I afraid? Probably. Is it something else? Maybe.

If you haven’t lived the manic, major depressive life then I don’t expect you to possibly understand. But I couldn’t leave these words unturned. Unspoken, and unlearned. It’s a terrible, dark, scary world for depressed people. And it’s even worse when you are LGBT, disabled, and have nowhere to go. When you’re always on your toes and on your last dime in the bank. Most days, I don’t know how I make it. Most times, I don’t know what’s picking me back up.

I don’t know how I’m going to move forward from here. I don’t know how I’ll be able to sift through all the damage I’ve been through. Therapy takes years. And it’ll take me years to learn to be okay with who I am, how to deal with my thoughts, how to accept my feelings, and how to not feel like I’m the worst person in the world. That I am loved. That people do care. That I can do good by me. That I have a reason to be here. That I can move on from the damage. It’s going to be a terrible road. Sometimes I don’t know if I want it. But I know I need it. And that’s what’s more important here.

I’ve been thinking about this write-up for a while. My moods have been quite horrific and all over the place, thanks to missed important medications. Even more so with just the state of my personal world right now, along with the world around me. The feeling of not being wanted or joined in on life or friendship. Feeling like I’m a easy piece of paper that can be tossed and forgotten for a while. Feeling like if people look at me and say they love me and I am a good person and beautiful and deserving that I should be able to believe them easily. My depression has felt like a terrible line chart. I’ve wanted to run off, take a walk over that damned bridge and just stop. I’ve wanted to self harm again and again and again until I just feel relief and numb happiness. I’ve wanted all this and yet, I haven’t done it. Because I’m afraid of getting angry at. At getting told off. Getting in trouble, if you will. I couldn’t handle that right now.

And as much as I want people to care and show it, want to go out, want to see people, want hugs, have validation, feel better, want this and that . . .  I also don’t. I do not want to be touched. I don’t want to be talked to. I don’t want to enjoy my favorite activities. I don’t want to watch my favorite shows or movies.I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to see anyone. It’s such a terrible contradiction. But until you’ve been in the same place as someone with major, manic depression, I cannot expect anyone to understand my place.

Don’t take this write-up so lightly. It took a lot of fucking balls for me to write all this out without the fear of someone reporting me. I implore you to not report me, nor my posts anywhere you see them. This is important to me. And like I said, it took a lot of fucking nerve for me to sit here and write all this out. Plain to see, and as blunt as I’ve ever been before. Mental illness shouldn’t be taboo and the negative space thinking that comes along with depression especially should never be swept under the rug. It’s why so many people do actually commit suicide. Because it’s always swept to the sidelines. Put back in jars, boxes, or whatever you put yourself in. And put away for later. Because you have to be okay in the eyes of everyone. Unfortunately being okay sometimes ends with planning a funeral.

Don’t ever turn a blind eye to someone like me. Don’t sweep them away for tomorrow or later, or next week when you’re free. You never know how someone is feeling that exact moment. And you may miss the chance to give them a hug, or ask them out to brunch, or send them a text message about something funny you saw. Be mindful, always if you can. You may not always know what to say or do in that moment, but you should always be ready. Even if they don’t want to talk, it’s important to engage. And how you engage is important and always up to you. Just don’t ever sweep someone under the rug for later. Please, I beg you this much.

You just never know what the morning will bring.