I try to keep this blog as transgender based as possible. Be it my struggles in an un-accepting world or directly coinciding with my transition medically, but some days it’s hard to not look past all of that and feel the need to share other aspects of my life.
I’m not just transgender. That sole thing doesn’t define me. I’m a parent, a husband, an artist. Someone who lives with struggles and dreams. I also live with mental disorders. Disorders that sometimes cripple my daily functions. Disorders I’m trying to treat so I can continue living a more improved life for not only myself but for my children and spouse.
I was hesitant on sharing this bit of information with the general public mainly because of the stigma that surrounds it. The whispers and assumptions people draw up to try and arm chair prescribe me a bit of their own advice. But honestly, I’ve moved past that phase of caring and paranoia. The more advanced medical science becomes the more we as human beings advance in our daily lives and the future. Some day I’d like to think the world I walk and live in has become more accepting of all things around us. Granted, I know there’s a lot of factors to play up to that point and by gods we all have to hit rock bottom before it gets to that point. I can still hope and dream though.
I’ll get to the meat of this post though and save you my rants about humanity for later.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the word depression. It seems to be a buzz word in conversations now a days, which is a good thing. Bi polar might be another maybe not so much talked about word that is out there along with many others as well. There may be confusion, misunderstanding, misinformation and the like about these words and others pertaining to mental disorders. So I’d like to clear up a few things from my perspective. From someone who suffers from these and more on a daily basis. I’m not a health professional. I’m not a psychologist, though that’s what I want to be later on in life. What you read from me, comes from me. Comes from a person who battles and lives with these disorders. You may relate to some of it, you may not. If you feel like sharing your story down below, I will say thank you for breaking that stigma that hangs around you and I every day.
Discussions and conversations are our biggest weapon against the fight and struggle we put up with daily. Getting others to understand that we suffer from a medical condition and how to help us.
Some days are harder than others. I live with Bi polar 2, which in it’s own self has a long list of side effects to which I’ll list in a bit. I also live with depression, severe anxiety, PTSD from emotional trauma, and ADHD (Yes adults deal with it as well)
“Is it easy?” you might ask. No, it isn’t. “Is there a cure?” No, there isn’t yet. “How do you live with these?” From day to day. “How can I help?”
By understanding that each person’s disorder is different for them, that being open minded, not jumping to conclusions and listening to the person and what they need is sometimes the best medicine there is. Shutting someone away because you choose not to understand or have patience with them is only furthering the same path we as humans have taken against anything we don’t understand since we’ve evolved to have functioning logical brains. We are smarter than that, we can be smarter than our past selves, I truly believe that.
So how exactly does my mental disorders hinder my days you might ask. Let’s take a look at my pattern of behavior real fast. Over a 6 month period I will suffer from insomnia for about a week or so. This hinders me being able to fall asleep until late nights up until around 4am. Than after a few days of falling asleep at 4am my body will do a shut down the next time I sleep and I won’t be able to be roused easily before 8am (when my children get up and ready for school) so my husband and roommate have to help them instead. I can sleep in hard sleep mode for anywhere from 8 to 12 hours and if I wake up before the 8 I feel extremely groggy, jumbled, forgetful and agitated the rest of that day. After 3 or so days of that and trying to keep up with the living day world, I’ll start to spiral.
My anxiety will peak higher than normal. I will have panic attacks more and more often(the fight or flight response. Elevated heart rate, sweating, light headed, adrenaline rush, pit of stomach feeling.) Anything can trigger this and I’m usually more on edge. As the days go on I’ll become overwhelmed, exhausted more easily, paranoid about a lot of things and my mood swings can set in. At this point I’m so stressed from everything I might blow up at the nearest person. If that happens I hit a rock bottom response where I can feel suicidal, depressed, lack motivation and I’ll wall my self shut of emotion. I may eat way less, not want to leave my house, talk to anyone and the list goes on. This pattern persists over the course of sometimes a month to six. If we have financial trouble or something unexpected pops up, it worsens.
Now don’t get me wrong. I do have good days in there. I try my very best to have more good than bad. In fact I’ve sought out counseling sessions just recently and looking at medication as an option finally to help ease my anxiety, insomnia and depression. I want to have good days. Who wants to sit at home, looking at the clock and it’s only 3pm and you’ve been awake since only 11am and you feel like you are ready to go back to bed because the overwhelming stone pit in your stomach says so? No one that’s who, me included.
I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want apologies. You, nor I have nothing to apologize over. Medically there is something going on in my brain chemistry that has forever effected me since the day I was born. You can’t help that you have the color eyes you do and I can’t help the fact I have a mental disorder or that I’m trans on top of it all. It’s that simple. I just want people to understand that it literally comes down to that above sentence. If there was a pill to ‘correct or cure’ these disorders I’d take it tomorrow and never look back. But just as anything we’re born with that we don’t like about ourselves, we have to find means to handle and deal with them our own way. I thought for the last 12 years of my life I’d be ok without medication. And for a while I was. But my symptoms have not improved and for my self personally I’m seeking treatment. Does that make me better than someone else? Hell no. It makes me self aware of my own boundaries and limitations. That’s it. There’s no further commentary needed on my end.
Will I become an out spoken advocate for therapy and medicine? Not really. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental disorder and their lives are being impacted by it, I would suggest at least seeking counsel with a medical professional to speak with. There is always a better way of going about doing things but just remember this, it varies from person to person. What works for me necessarily won’t work for you.
I will put a link here for those who are at that cliff in their lives right now or may be later on, that need this type of help. I know I did. I reached out because I had no one to speak to about what’s going on with me and they made me realize I really could use more help than I wanted to admit.
They have an online chat as well in case it’s hard for you to get the words to come out vocally like I do. I’m a much better organized mess so to speak when I can type it out rather than verbally convey it.
I’ll wrap this long winded post up now. I just felt that today, on a rainy Tuesday, I could help someone out there not feel so alone. I could open up this topic for discussion and maybe shed some light to those who hadn’t stopped to think about it.