Depression

If you read the blog I used to write, this may sound familiar… so I’ll forgive you if you get bored half way through and stop reading it! This is definitely going to be a “me me me” post, it’s my experience with depression.

That D word that people seem to avoid talking about, that D word that grips so many people, most of which probably won’t try and get any help at all. Who can blame them? When you do try and get help, a lot of it isn’t actually that constructive. What good are anti-depressants? I don’t think they have that much value, all they seem to do is remind you that you are depressed, and that you have to be depressed because you’re taking tablets for it!

I talk from experience, I went through a very dark time in my life and it wasn’t actually that long ago. Every time I look at my arms, I have a visible reminder of how things were, every time I look at my arms, I have a trigger… it’s not a good thing.

Was I depressed because I was a girl trapped in a mans body? No, I was depressed because at that time in my life, I just couldn’t cope with anything around me. I mentioned in a previous post that I really don’t think I could have transitioned during that period, and I’m really glad I didn’t. I had to sort out my life before I sorted out my gender. At the time, gender was only a tiny thing, amongst a whole array of… well… “shit”

I coped the best way I could, and that was badly! I descended on a slippery slope, each day that little bit worse than the previous, sometimes for absolutely no reason at all. I cried, I hid myself away, I self harmed, I attempted suicide. Getting to that point where you are willing to take your own life, right now, I can’t even put that into words but I do know it was the worst feeling that I’ve ever felt… I knew exactly what I was attempting, I knew exactly what was going through my head, I *was* thinking straight, even though I wish that the opposite of all those statements were true.

If I ever hear anyone point out how selfish suicide is, I do legitimately feel like punching them in the face. Nobody that has ever been there and felt the emotions that you do has ever called it selfish. Saying something like that is a great way to make someone feel so small and stupid… why could anyone actually remotely think that that is a sensible thing to say to someone already on edge? Yeah… go on, kick them when they are down, make them feel that tiny little bit worse about themselves.

But, I’m in the next chapter of my life these days, that was over 3 years ago. Am I depressed? Yes, even though I wish it would go away, it hasn’t. I can hide it, and I think I hide it well… the more I hide it, the more I convince myself it isn’t there… but it is. I wish I could count the number of days since I last self harmed in years, instead it is still only months… but being able to count it in months is still progress in the grand scheme of things.

I tried to push nearly everyone around me away, I found that my true friends gave me space, but were always close enough to pick me up when I fall. Unfortunately, some of them just couldn’t handle it, and gradually… vanished, and in the grand scheme of things, I think I’m better off without them anyway. It’s a brave person that wants to get deeper into my head and see what’s actually on the inside, the feelings deep inside are still pretty much the same as they’ve always been, I’ve just learned to cope a lot better.

I believe the way to get on top of depression is to find ways to cope, not to find ways to take away the feelings, and I really don’t think a solution lies in a packet of tablets.

 

 

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VIDEO: I’m ill / How to get up later (part 2)

Getting up later using the method in my first video, seemed to not work as well since people were also an hour late for work… here’s something a little more constructive :-)

 

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My Changing Outlook

No, I’m not upgrading my version of Microsoft Outlook, this is about my changing outlook on the world out there, how it functions and how I feel about it. It’s hard to think that it wasn’t that long ago I was young, sweet, innocent, probably even classed as quite narrow minded.

But these days, how I see the world is so much different, what I want to get out of life has changed. A few people reading this will probably know me from back at school (stop looking for Jen in your head… she wasn’t there then!), and lets face it, I don’t think I was known for radical viewpoints or anything like that! Just plodding along with whatever was considered to be fairly normal at the time.

In total contrast, now, I totally go against the grain of what most people consider to be “normal”. I don’t plan to do this… I didn’t wake up one morning and think to my self “you know what, I fancy doing things a bit different today!” It’s just happened over time, I’ve had my eyes opened to so many alternative viewpoints… to be fair some of them are crazy and totally not for me, but some I do find myself thinking “you know what, that actually makes a lot of sense”, and I’ve never thought about it before, purely because I didn’t really know about it before.

Take for example, me and relationships, I won’t go into detail about it now, because to be fair – that’s a whole post of its own! But I consider myself to be polyamorous (most people know that about me these days… I don’t hide it). Why? This is the way I look at it, in life do you only ever love one person? Rarely! What if the love for those people actually occurred at the same time? I’m on a path where I can be open and honest with everyone, I don’t need to get jealous about tiny little things and I don’t particularly need to worry or be paranoid.

Woah! That’s not Jen is it? Yes, that’s me and it is perfect for me and people that are in my life. I’m not in this life to impress anyone or force them to do things my way, it’s not for everyone (and to be fair, most people I know aren’t poly), in the same way that homosexuality isn’t for everyone… but that’s the beauty of life, everyone is different, everyone does things a little differently, and some people might find things weird, but I guarantee that there is some aspect of *your* life that most people will find weird… good! It shows you are being yourself (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of being yourself!)

I will try to do a proper post on poly pretty soon, I’ve only included it in here as an example of one of the ways that my outlook has matured, and I’ve realised that there are more ways to live your life!

 

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Did I time it right?

My first proper time out!

I transitioned nearly 4 years ago back in 2008, my “big outing” was on my 23rd birthday and yes, I looked terrible… but lets face it, we’ve all been there once! I had it all prepared, I’d let everyone close to me know what was happening, even sending a mass-message to everyone on Facebook pointing out that they might notice something a little bit different about me! All this came after years and years of saying that I was going to do it, but did I get the timing right? Do I think that I should have actually transitioned earlier?

Not a chance! I think I got the timing more or less perfect. It was at a point where I was becoming more stable. I don’t think I could have coped with transitioning at the same time as going through that dark time in my life that I’d had in the years before that. At first, the transition wasn’t easy, while I had very little trouble from other people, there is still that level of self conciousness to deal with, which remained until I gained enough confidence to have another “sod it” moment (my life seems to be defined by a series of “sod it” moments!). The capacity in my mind at the time just wasn’t there to deal with *another* thing going on on top of all that!

Progress?

There are a lot of people that say they wish they’d done it sooner, and there are a lot of people that do it sooner, but everyone is different. If I’d have left it much longer, then I’d probably be saying now that I should have transitioned earlier.

And then there is the question, would I have preferred it if I’d just been born a girl? I kind of think both ways with this one… Yes, perhaps it may have made my life a little bit easier, but equally, I look back and despite all the rubbish I’ve been through to get to where I am now… a large part of my journey to get here has been fun and enjoyable, and to be fair has made me a much better and person!

So basically, I think I’ve got it right, and I don’t think that I’d go back and really change that much about how I got here, even if I had a chance to. I’ve made it here now, and I guess that in the grand scheme of things, that’s all that really matters.

Afterthought: Taking the journey this way, has made me learn a lot about other people in the world, which has given me some valuable lessons in recent times!

 

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Sexuality and Gender

Hello from this freezing cold bus into Birmingham! My feet are about to fall off from frostbite! On the plus side… it does look pretty out there :o)

One thing that I get asked a lot is “so do you like guys or girls?” I think I need to start replying with “yes I do!”. I like both, yet I’m not bisexual.

A person’s gender means absolutely nothing to me, it’s just another one of those boxes that people like to make sure are ticked. I’ve got to know so many people that can’t really be defined by a two box gender definition, the option of “male” and “female” just doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore!

There are both male and female characteristics that I do find myself getting attracted to at different times, but since half the time they are in the opposite “gender” to where you’d expect to find them, it just confuses the definition!

So basically, and I think I’ve said this before… I love the person, not the gender.

 

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Memory Lane via LiveJournal

In reality, I’ve come such a long way since the “old days”

I was prompted to read through my old LiveJournal’s by someone today, all 3 of them! It made for pretty depressing reading really, I can’t believe how bad I actually got (and thats not forgetting that in my darkest times, I never even updated at all… that explains the big gaps). I struggled to find *any* positive posts in them.

I do wonder how anybody managed to put up with me in that time!

There was one comment though that I’ve just read, and, I didn’t realise it at the time, but it’s so true!

One day you will look back on this time in your life and you’ll see it in a different way. Rather than see things as impossible, for now, see them as a challenge that is accomplishable.

You know what? You were right, I am looking back at that time in my life, and I do see it in a completely different way. I look at it now as a building block of what I am today, without all the rubbish I’ve had in my life, I would probably still be that weak, quiet and shy person I was back in school. I’ve learnt to be strong, I’ve learnt to speak up, and I’ve learnt to come out of my shell. I look at it as a period when I found out who my true friends were, the friends that *did* stick by me, no matter what.

My LJ’s were friends only, and I kept that list rather short… everyone I had on there, will probably read this and you know who you are. Thank-you for the support you gave me, some of the comments are *really* touching and I’m glad I have been back through to read it all.

Oh, and there is a recurring pattern in those entries that still existed until recently… my car was never really good at working, even 5 years ago! 😉

 

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Video: Randomness!

 

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Changes

OK, so this isn’t a video I’m afraid, but I will be doing more of those!

Had a convo with a friend recently about how much I’ve changed. Here’s the thing, I’ve changed a lot, but only on the surface, underneath I’m still the same person I have always been.

I’ve still got that same lack of confidence I’ve always had, if you look closely you can spot it. I’ve just learnt to hide it the best I can in order to survive, you can’t seem to get anywhere without seeming confident any more :(

I’ve still got a completely irrational phobia of Bristol, I’m scared of falling asleep on the train back from Manchester and ending up at Bristol Temple Meads! I could actually think of nothing worse!

I still rely on people around me far too much. OK so I used to generally just rely on a single person, at least now I rely on lots of different people… but I like that, it’s nice to have people around you who you can rely on :-)

I still enjoy visiting various places around the country, the only difference is that now I don’t have my Fiesta to keep me company :-( Instead, I have to just deal with coach C, seat 52, which I think Crosscountry should just give in and name after me! I actually travel a hell of a lot more now than when I did have a car, though its been over a year since I’ve been to Wales… I think this needs to change!

Basically, I’m not Jeni 2.0, I’m Jeni 1.5… still the same but with lots of exciting new features!

Oh, and don’t forget… tomorrow is National Chocolate Cake Day!


Chocolate Cake Day

When : Always January 27th

Chocolate Cake Day is a a chocolate lovers delight, and a day to eat cake. Why this a day to “bake your chocolate cake….and eat it, too!”

On this day, a white or yellow cake will not do. Nor, will part chocolate, part white suffice. It must be chocolate, all chocolate. You can make milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fudge, or any other type of chocolate cake.

The only reference to Chocolate Day on the Internet is from Ecard and calendar websites. This might lead you to conclude that this as a day for(and by) the Ecard companies. But, we know better. This day is for you, and all chocolate lovers.

There are three objectives of Chocolate Cake Day: To bake a chocolate cake. To decorate a chocolate cake. And, to eat a chocolate cake. Of course, if you are to busy to bake or decorate a cake, then just eating a chocolate cake will certainly do!

Origin of Chocolate Cake Day:

Our extensive research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. Perhaps, it was baker. Perhaps, it was a food company. Most likely, it was a chocolate cake…eater!


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHFFol-8REI]

 

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Video: Why I’m putting off the op

 

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Saturday Night

OK, so it’s Saturday night, and I’m sat at home listening to My Chemical Romance… so shoot me! I’m allowed a break once in a while! Long time no see, its been a bit busy I’m afraid.

Where am I these days? Still living in the same place, but moving up to that Manchester in 3 weeks, I am rather excited about this! It’s about time I finally upped and properly left the midlands. I’ve got so much planned, so many changes to make, and so many different varieties of chocolate fudge cake to try!

So what am I doing? Still making the web work, and making tills work, and I’m going to carry on doing this! I’ve had to cut down the social life quite a lot recently, its been killing me! Though I have one of those horrible feelings that once I move, I’ll be out all the time again! Still meeting lots of new people and making loads of new fabtastic friends (if you missed it, awesome is such a 2011 word, 2012 is for fabtasticness!)

I am going to miss everyone down here when I move, both new and old friends. I will still be back though, quite often as it turns out… all to do with work, so its kind of a win win situation!

Anyway, enough about me, here’s a bit more about me… I am going to put off having the op! I still don’t think I’ve properly explored the body I have now, I don’t *need* a bit of surgery to make me a woman – surgery is a rather large thing, and a lot can go wrong with it. I am much better off waiting, there is nothing to stop me having it in the future if I decide that is what I want.

This isn’t me saying that I want to go back to being a man… hell no, I could never do that! I think I’m just pretty happy where I am right now, and I want to go with the flow a bit and see where it takes me, putting things off by a few years is not going to hurt (unless they ban anaesthetics for this kind of thing… then it will hurt *lots*)

My opinions on life have changed, my definition of me has become a lot more fluid recently, I just need to take stock and make a new plan :-)

And on that bombshell…

 

 

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Bad days

The world isn’t always the fantastic place I make it out to be, sometimes I still have bad days because I’m only human. On those bad days all I can do is put a smile on my face and plough through. Music, innocent comments, bad memories can all set me off.

It would be nice if the bad days weren’t there but its all part of the process that builds me up as a person. I’m much better for having been through the crap that I have in the past and wouldn’t go back and change it.

But… things get better… life gets awesome!

 

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Awesome news

Sorry for not updating… I’ve been very ill and very busy!

Anyway, I have awesome news… I’ve got a date for my op! 27th March, only 5 months… eek! It feels so good to know that its actually finally going to happen, and I can start getting on with my life!

I’ll have a week in hospital in that London, bored as anything… come visit me! But no, I won’t let you test it 😉

 

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The Op

Well… having the op is potentially getting very close now, and it’s starting to hit me just what I’m letting myself in for. OK, I just want to make it clear that I’ve got no doubts that its what I want… but… even so, the finality of it is kind of scary.

Once its done, there’s absolutely no going back. I don’t want to go back, but in life I get scared if there is no plan B… even if I won’t use it!

Things can go wrong, to be fair there is a high chance I won’t come out with the perfect designer bits that people are expecting me to have. What if things go horribly wrong? Could I deal with it if its not perfect? I’ve learnt to love me the way I am right now… is upsetting that balance worth the risk?

All the maybe’s, what if’s etc… I can really see why some T girls chose not to have the op at all and lead perfectly happy lives. Then again, if I don’t have it then I’ll feel incomplete.

Meh. Just writing what’s in my head… probably doesn’t even make sense! I’m tired, irritable and feel rough today!

Note to self… should have checked where this bus was going before I got on it! I hope its going to Brum!

 

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Friends

Ok, I’ve just posted yesterday’s so I may as well start writing todays, even though you won’t read it until… now… and damn I just let my secret out again. Note to self stop doing that!

Friends are a massively important part of my life.. and its something I actually keep harping on about it! They are probably sick to death of hearing how amazing they are… so I won’t say it :o)

Friends are what drag you through this life… sometimes against your will… sometimes kicking and screaming… sometimes holding your hand… and sometimes you are the one dragging them along! But that’s what its all about really :)

I’d have been a gonner a long time ago if it wasn’t for the people around me… People can save your life without them ever realising it, and sometimes all it takes is a hug!

People do come and go all the time, but a true friend is one who you can go without speaking to for months, even years… pick up the phone and it’ll be like it was only last week you spoke. (Yes I know there is a Facebook group with that name… that’s where I stole it from! Well it is awesome!)

 

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Lazy Tranny

Because lets face it, I can look pretty good even when I don't make an effort!

So I’m a self confessed “lazy tranny”.

Basically, I don’t make an effort when it comes to how I look, I do the least amount possible. But, you know what? In its own way, it works. When it comes to makeup, I just put on a little bit of foundation and maybe a bit of mascara.. if I even bother with makeup at all. My hair, most of the time I just tie it back. When it comes to clothes, you’ll more than likely just find me in a hoody and jeans.

Some people may go as far as saying that I should have been born a man!

OK so I made a little bit of effort here

Why do I not bother? Because you don’t actually need to make that much of an effort to look great. Less is more and all that! Lots of T girls put in lots of effort, and so often that’s what gives them away. Go and take a walk around town and look at the girls… in most cases, how much effort do you think they’ve actually put in? Not that much!

Don’t get me wrong, I do sometimes make an effort… I might stretch to a bit of eye shadow! I still haven’t got the hang of eye liner… its just evil! Lippy? Nah… far too much effort! And have you tried sorting out *this* much hair? Not happening any time soon!

Come over to the lazy side! It’s fun and you get an extra hour in bed each morning… now that makes it worthwhile!

 

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