Warnings, coping, and surviving

Hi,

I think I can start this post by stating that the days around the weekend did not go well. I would add that it was no one’s fault and that I mention it because I try to keep YATGB honest.

Yes, I’m aware that the hair, padding, shapewear, makeup, and not being 100% out make that statement jar somewhat, but hey, you can only do your best with what you have 🙂

TL/DR: it was pants, then things got better 😉

I can only describe the situation as being a slow descent into the dark woods. Not a relapse into depression, but certainly the withdraw of light and joy that accompanies that.

When you realise you are in darkness,
don’t forget the light isn’t far away

I’m writing about this because A) blogging helps me explore and process things, B) if I can survive this, you can too, and C) bust a few myths. What do I mean about the latter? Well, a handful of times, folk have been kind enough to say some things along the lines of you seen very confident in who you are when dressed or you seen to be someone who’s got it together.

Those words were said in kindness and I’ll absolutely not going to knock them. That seems rude around a compliment. I will say that I struggle, just like everyone else. I have fat days, or more accurately, days in which my appearance doesn’t match with how I feel. Nothing seems to fit, I feel to big, etc. Call it Shrek Syndrome if you like 😁 So far, so human.

I said earlier that it was no one’s fault, and I’ll stand by that. I think it has simply been that I’ve spent far too long in Bloke Mode. It was the festive period and all was cool, so I paid the transness no mind. Yet, it’s part of who I am, so the metaphorical countdown kept ticking…. and it wasn’t until the tank ran dry that I noticed.

If I look back, the warning signs were there: excessive searching for just the right top/shoes/dress/lippy, not being able to sleep at night, watching lots of before & after videos, not having any energy, feeling ugly, bouts of tearfulness, dropping off during the day, etc. Yup, that’s a cocktail of winning positivity right there! 😋

The Ever Lovely Mrs J noticed a drop in my mood and, bless her, asked if there was anything she could do. Well, it’s not like she’s got enough on, so I said no, I just need to get to Thursday and not worry too much; that should fix it. Mrs J also asked if going to another group in the interim might help (it would), but there’s nothing local.

Mrs J also mentioned a few articles about something called Highly Sensitive People, which surprised me, and like reading the book I Had a Black Dog, I found solace in reading about sensitivity… Heh, even now, I’m mentally chiding myself about being overly sensitive and coming across like a complete tit. 🙂 Mind you, if I wanted to look serious, maybe I shouldn’t have started dressing up. 😉 But jokes aside, I think it’s chosen for us: a genetic propensity here, a dash of hormones there; that’s what transgender people are made of. 🙂

So, what, if anything can we draw from the above wanderings?

Learn your warnings – keep an eye on your mental health and by knowing you alert behaviours, think about some helpful coping mechanisms.

Coping – stuff that makes you feel better and doesn’t make things worse (excessive drinking, bingeing, drugs, ‘shopaholicism’, etc). For me, it was taking my foot completely off the gas around work and telling myself to do what I could, rather than I should. Playing a computer game with a female protagonist as that helps. Plus, some body care with keeping the Wookie pins at bay. Then enjoying the simple things like blue skies in winter, being outside, dry clothes during a downpour, and hot drinks in cold weather.

Perspective – easy to write, but less easy in the moment of emotional turmoil. Remembering that while it’s a pants* now, it was okay before and it will be again. ( * For overseas readers, pants as in rubbish, crap, or in modern English, shite 😉).

Given the above, I am hopeful. I am looking forward to a night out on Thursday to see my friends, listen, and to be all of me once again.

Oh, and to hope the clothing order from Oxfam’s online second hand shop arrives quickly. Recycling, shopping, variety, and money to a good cause: what’s not to like! ❤️

L x

16 Comments

  1. Your post wasn’t too long for me to read Lynn lol.

    Sorry to read that you’ve been feeling a bit low, fingers crossed for you that you’ll bounce back quickly. I get days like you’ve written about and funnily enough more so in the Winter months.

    ‘Excessive searching for just the right top/shoes/dress/lippy, not being able to sleep at night, watching lots of before & after videos’, sounds familiar to myself at times, so you’re not alone there.

    Mental Health, It’s definitely important to keep an eye on ones mental health, I find running helps me. It allows me to clear my mind and more importantly every session makes me feel good inside. It’s a good way of keeping the weight off too and maintaining ones figure.

    Coping, i like the simple things you like, ‘blue skies in winter, being outside, dry clothes during a downpour, and hot drinks in cold weather’, nicely put that was. There are lots we can do to help us cope in times like this. Blogging helps me, as does painting the toes, shaving the legs, spraying ones favourite perfume on the pillow before bed and those long soaks in a bath with candles and lots of ‘bubble bath’.

    Perspective, you have Charms to look forward to in the coming year. I think you’re one of the lucky ones, even if you only get to dress just once a week and you’re able to be ‘you’ for just a few hours, that’s a very good thing. There are others like myself who struggle for that precious time and can only wish to be in your shoes.

    Yes, stay hopeful Lynn and enjoy your night out on Thursday with friends.

    Warm Regards

    Lotte x

    1. I feel like I’m coming out of it, thanks Lotte. Tuesday evening seemed to be the turning of a proverbial corner, so that’s positive.

      I remember you writing about running and good to know that works for you on various levels. I’m much more of a walker (careful how I type that 😉), which while it may not burn the calories, it certainly feeds the soul.

      Chams is twice a month despite occasional breaks or long gaps due to how the calendar falls. Yet, and as you say, it is regular and that’s a really good thing in my book.

      I guess I better go and pick something to wear! 🙂

      1. Ah yes, sorry I forgot your Chams meetings are only twice a month.

        Walking is good, it does burn calories too but like you say it feeds the soul which is the important thing.

        Glad to read you’re coming out of it Lynn.

        1. No problem 🙂 I think having started getting treatment for a persistent chest issue (lungs, not boobs or COVID) may be helping too.

  2. It’s certainly something we all go through from time to time, but I take heart from the last bit of that line “then things got better”. Let’s wish they stay that way.
    I also feel I’ve stuck in bloke mode for a long time – since the end of September in fact, partly due to lack of opportunity, partly to indolence (there have been occasions where I could have snatched a brief hour or two but just haven’t felt it worth the faff when half of that would be getting ready or getting cleaned up again), and partly because it’s just to bloody cold to think about stripping off after I’ve wrapped myself in multiple layers of jumpers. As Robert Plant put it in the glory days of Led Zep, “Nobody’s fault but mine.”
    Meanwhile I have finally succumbed to a minor bout of retail therapy and have put away a summer frock for when times (and the seasons) change for the better. So that’s something to look forward to.
    It’s nice Mrs J was alert noticed your drop in mood and was willing to help. Treasure that as a gift not to be lightly turned away.
    love
    xx
    Susie

    1. September?! 😮 I don’t know how you have managed since then. I think I would’ve gone crackers. I hope you catch a break soon ❤️

      Yes, Mrs J’s love and acceptance is something to be cherished indeed.

  3. AW, sorry to hear of the drop in mood. I find the shortest, coldest, darkest days of the year are the hardest to get through even with the excitement of Christmas and New Year and sales shopping (well, OK, maybe not the last). Then there’s the return to work and the bills coming in for the excesses of December. What with everything else a TGirl faces, things can be distressing. So I hope you have a nice Chams meeting and feel a buoyed up by that. I’d also say that The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones is a treasure and ally. Look after yourself, hon. Sue x

    1. Thank you, Sue. I think health issues were part of it. Once I started the treatment for my chest infection, my energy levels and ability to breathe fully certainly helped. That and not being knackered all of time from it. Funny how little things can build up to lay you low.

  4. I have no grand words either. It sounds like things sucked and then you got a chance to realise how and why. Hopefully you are feeling better now! Uselessly I add: because you deserve it.

    Otherwise: solidarity!

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