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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Progress?

My mood has been better recently and I have actually managed to get myself focused enough to do things on a few occassions. I'm still distracted and I can't conentrate for any lenght of time which is highly frustrating. I've been trying to encourage myself by looking back at how I was before I started my current medication regime and I can see that I have made a lot of progress and am starting to regain the independence that  I once had. I have been somewhat motivated by my latest Goldberg Score which was 60, this is well into the "severe depression" category and I'm sure to many this score would be seen as a cause for concern but in my case its a significant improvement as before I started on my current medication regime my score was 83. I can still see that I know that I still have a long way to go but I am encouraged by the progress I have made in the last year or so.

I've now been attending an anxiety management course run by my local mental health team for two weeks. I really didn't want to go as I thought that it would just be the same nonsense and patronising waffle that I have heard before, especially when I met with the two people leading the course prior to its commencement at they mentioned that the course would be using a CBT framework, but I am actually finding it beneficial not because of what the course is teaching but for other reasons. Firstly, its a way of reintroducing myself to a social situations, as there are only 6 people in the group and it is in a quiet and secure location, I'm getting used to being a part of a group of people again and it feels liberating. Secondly, I have found that during the group sessions I have been holding discussions with the leaders and other group members on an intellectual  level, and have also found myself teaching the leaders things that relate to the content of the course that they did not know. These two factors have shown me that I haven't really changed in the way that I thought I had, I can see that I'm still the person I was before the start of this episode, I just need to work on building my confidence back up and coming back out of my shell.

I have been feeling in a bit of a funk recently and I have had little energy or motivation to do even the simplest of household tasks, but I am feeling a bit better about that now and can actually consider actually cooking and tackling my building mountain of laundry next week. I'm hoping that I can maintain this new found motivation and continue to focus on the positive aspects and the improvements to my attitiude and mood however, Christmas is just around the corner and that means a lot of travelling up and down the country a lot of people and an emotional rollercoaster over then next month or so. Christmas is a bridge I am going to cross when I get to it and I am going to take each trip and each encounter as it comes and try not to get overwhelmed. Hopefully, I'll be able to emmotianally support myself and Sheldon throughout the holiday period and we'll come out the other side relatively intact but I will have to wait to see if that happens,I'm just gonna relax and take things easy for the next few weeks to try and perpare physically and mentally for the challenge of Christmas.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Drained

Right now I am absolutely exhausted. I had a really restless night, largely because I have been worrying a lot about my partner Sheldon*. Sheldon is has rapid cycling bipolar disorder and is FTM. We are currently in the process of getting him refered to a specialist gender identity clinic in order to get a surgical referal so that he can have chest surgery as well as a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. This in itself is a very positive step in affirming Sheldon's identity and presention in the gender he defines as but it brings with it a number of other issues which cause a great deal of anxiety. Firstly Sheldon has been undergoing testosterone hormone therapy for over two years, this was started by a different gender identity clinic, where Sheldon was treated very badly and to which we will most deffinitely not be returning.While this has been highly beneficial to Sheldon it is a source of worry as eah gender clinic operates by their own rules and there is a posibility that the new clinic will terminate Sheldon's hormone therapy until her fulfills their own real life time requirements*. This is unlikely as he has been living as a male full time for almost 5 years now and has been on hormones for over 2 years, but it still a possibility and if it were to happen it would be a devastating blow as it would knock Sheldon back to the same position he was in at the age of 17 and 5 years progress will essentially be for nothing, that is a bridge that we will have to cross if and when we get to it.

Oddly having his real life time reset and his hormone therapy suspended is fairly low on my list of concerns relating to this new referal. If Sheldon is refered for the surgery, it will be seen as Elective Surgery and therefore will carry some provisos these being that Sheldon will have to stop smoking prior to his surgery and as he is currently classed as overweight in terms of his BMI he will most likely be required to loose some weight. The smoking cessation is not so much of a problem, he has stopped smoking before and has been saying that he intends to quit for a while so hopefully the surgical referal will give him the incentive he needs to make hisintention become a reality. It's the weight loss issue that is a real problem and which is currently causing a great deal of anticipatory stress for want of a better phrase. Sheldon has a history of weight problems and has previously suffered from EDNOS, although I'm not sure if this was officially diagnosed. What I do know for sure is that in the past he has induced vomiting and abused laxatives in attempts to control his weight. I will try to help him loose weight healthily by cooking balanced meals and not buying junk food when I do our weekly food shop. I am very worried that he will become obsessive about the weight loss, especially if he has a specific goal set by the clinic, I can't wath him 24/7 and with the increasing availability of laxatives and fat binders in pharmacists and even supermarkets now I know that it will be ver easy for him to revert to his previous, highly damaging, methods of weight management.

These concerns however are all concerns for things which may happen in the future, and we're not going to make any progress in terms of referal to a gender identity clinic until the new year now as christmas is fast approaching. My imminent concern is that these possibilities are dwelling on Sheldon's mind as they are on mie and I think that he may be on the brink of a depressive episode. This time of year is stressful enough at the best of times as it means having to spend time with my family which is something that I try to avoid at all costs. This year we will be spending christmas with Sheldon's family so that means that some of the stress on my part has  been eliminated as I don't have to spend a week trapped  in my hometown exchanging pleasantries with people that I can't stand. Sheldon's mother doesn't like christmas for the same reasons as I don't but she tends to stress out and this stresses Shedon out, if he does lapse into a depressive or mixed episode, as I suspect he will some time in the iminent future, I really don't know if I will have the energy to keep myself sane.

For those of you who like me are dreading the christmas period I leave you with this




*Not his real name but in reference to Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang theory and in particular this scene where Sheldon says "Its taking forever to load the new operating system on my computer, I disinfected the kitchen and the bathroom and now I thought I'd learn Finnish" which is something I can see my partner saying. 

*This basically means that he would have to spend a certain length or time (usually around 1-2 years) living full time as a man in society before they will approve hormone treatment.




Thursday, 18 November 2010

Introduction

A second attempt at blogging for me and this time I am actually going to stick at it. Looking at life from different perspectives, depending on my mood, and cataloguing my successes and failures along the way.

"Don't think...it don't 'elp to think" 
This has become something of a mantra for me during my latest "episode" (I hate that expression but a better way of phrasing it eludes me just now) as when I'm left alone with my own thoughts I tend to dwell on the negative and I am unable to concentrate or sleep as these thoughts constantly plague my mind. I've tried not thinking about the future, attempting to live life one day at a time, but I can not cope without some sort of plan or schedule so that I know what needs to be done, I get distracted and frazzeled and tend to just stop living completely, which makes motivating myself to carry on difficult.

It's a catch 22 situation. If I let myself think and consider the future then my thoughts become all consuming, I think about how I'm not goo enough, how little I have done with my life and all the things that I hope to achieve, I'm dominated but what ifs, wondering if I could be in a better position if I'd done things differently. On the other hand if I stop myself thinking about those things and try to livein the moment as it has been suggested to me on numerous ocasions I become frustrated and confused by a lack of structure and loose any focus of motivation that I had to begin with. Either way this position is not helping me get to where I want to be and so I've decided to give blogging another go as a way of getting some of thoughts and preocupations out of my mind, an outlet for my metal wanderings so to speak, I find it difficult to talk to people, even my partner, about these things that are going through my head but I can't keep them to myself anymore as the negativity and the self doubt are holding me back.  I feel that if I can get some of these things out in the open rather than keeping them bottled up I will be able to regain some control over my life and move on.