I’m Okay

I’m okay.

No, I know what you’re thinking. Not the ‘please don’t worry’ okay or the numb okay or the ‘just go away’ okay. Not the ‘I can’t face my true emotions’ okay or even the okay that after you say, you think to yourself, “Well, technically I’m not lying”. Those are my usual ones.

I can finally say I feel okay.

The okay type of okay.

Nothing has changed, I’m not magically better, I am just okay being me and being ill. I don’t need to keep trying to make everything sound better than it really is. I can say it as it truly is – openly whilst making eye contact and saying the right words (which is defined by whatever comes out naturally).

But the thing is I can stop there. I don’t need to tell you every detail to free me of the guilt I used to feel from hiding it all. I was never lying. All I was doing was having some privacy.

I can tell you all now, yes I am struggling, but I’m okay with that which is all I need.

Till next time,
Liam 🙂

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Yet Another Diagnosis

Hello!

Over the years I have been semi-given (CAMHS never like to do things officially when it comes to this) A LOT of diagnoses. Words have popped up and appeared once, twice or a hundred times, despite how irrelevant and random they sounded.

This is a very emotionally charged piece of writing, my normal style is quite factual but this felt just as natural to write so I’ve just gone with it.

A NEW DIAGNOSIS.
First though: oh crap.

This one has baffled me and I’ve found it very insulting and invalidating because of its name. It was briefly mentioned during an appointment referring to me having an ’emerging — personality disorder’ (I’d rather keep the name of it private for now).

Firstly, I was yet again never told of this new diagnosis, in fact it probably wasn’t even new. I feel like I have been shoved into a group I don’t feel I fit many of the symptoms of. I feel like they’ve essentially gone ‘hmmm, he has SO many mental illnesses its CLEARLY a problem with his entire personality!’

Thank you for telling me my little sense of self I have is a DISORDER.

Hopping onto the train of thought the journey went something like this (in true dramatic Liam style)…

My life is a disorder? I need treatment for the flaws in my personality? And there are a lot of flaws? Like all of me is a flaw?

Okay so clearly they’re all assumptions and judgements and my first emotion was shame and then anger. Anger because I’ve been put in yet another group filled with ‘problems’ that will effect my whole life. I just wanted to scream out ‘I AM ALREADY TRANSGENDER do I not get anything ‘normal’ about me?!’

I’m never one to dwell on feelings like that and feel sorry myself simply because I never have the time or energy and its actually just not who I am. In all honesty I feel like I deserve a lot of what I struggle with. Technically I know of course NO ONE deserves mental illness, or any illness really. But in those dark moments when bad thoughts are circling in my head and voices shouting at me from all sides, its then that those core beliefs are more set in stone than ever.

However, with all that being said, I have had some help (especially from a beautiful and lovely fighter F) and I have managed to try to look at this diagnosis in a more positive light.

-> Being diagnosed helps you get the correct treatment… (or as F puts nicely I will get tailored help towards symptoms)

-> …Which I’m already getting and it’s helping so things there are looking good

-> Also as its just an emerging personality disorder and I can actually avoid the official diagnosis if the therapy is effective

-> It can help people understand why you can’t cope with certain things and therapists know what to look out for to suggest you’re getting iller again

And lastly, something that I’ve had repeated to me time and time again from the people I talked to is that although this feels like an attack on me as a person, it’s an illness and it isn’t me and definitely doesn’t define me.

Remember that with ALL diagnoses. I’ll end this post with an informative page on personality disorders if you are curious about them.

Look after yourselves,
Liam 🙂

Leaving a Dark Place

Hello everyone!

I have returned after yet another really rough night. I may write in detail what happened as I did with my lowest point but it will be password protected at first, I will just tell you now I’ve been going through a really dark patch for the last few weeks with the return of severe paranoia, high intensity of suicidal feelings and extreme distress with a very strange experience.

Surprisingly I feel okay, and would like to start reflecting on this to help me move on. These are the things I’ve taken away from being in a dark place…

•There is always a trigger, you never find yourself in a dark place randomly or for no reason, although that may be how it feels in the moment. It will always be so much bigger than you think.

•The only consistency to my journey with mental illness is that I am the one who’s saved myself, it’s me that’s kept me alive.

•Reflecting does so much. I have written a list of the small things that have helped me get through such a dark place and have also managed to recognise the signs so the people around me are more aware. I urge you to do the same.

•Things change and I am proof.

•Ice diving works wonders, but it doesn’t always have to be with water, going outside works just as well and trust me it will make you feel better.

•Contact with others is the hardest thing but the best thing. If you can’t go out, invite a friend over, if you can’t do that then call a friend. And if that isn’t possible then do something for someone else, like writing a letter.

•And lastly, there is always someone who cares. ALWAYS.

Hope you’re all well,

Liam 🙂

Breaking the Cycle

Last Thursday I put myself in danger. My individual therapist and mum got me through that day alive, although ultimately I was the one that kept myself safe.

Once I was out of the immediate danger there was a circle of thoughts in my head that I knew would just lead to my next crisis. I knew I needed support but the people I tried reaching out to didn’t really respond and it made me feel isolated and invalidated which just lead onto more intense feelings of unworthiness.

So, it was Friday night and I decided to message BrinConvenient on tumblr. I’ve been in contact with her for a while and found it so easy to talk to her because in my eyes she’s a responsible adult figure who understands trans issues and has experience and I feel like I know she won’t ever abandon me. I could tell her how I was feeling without feeling the need to add an ‘but it’ll be okay’ on the end.

She said the perfect thing that has become a help long term as well as short term and I’d like to share it as I think this will help others…

No one has ever been you before, and no one else is ever going to be you again

In all this universe, you are the only you and no one else can do it. I think that’s amazing

And I think it’s amazing that a 14 billion year old universe grew from nothing into this infinite space, stars were born, died and reborn and all of the infinite atoms and particles and molecules were formed, destroyed and rebuilt just so that on this tiny blue planet, orbiting this non-descript average star, you could be born, live and learn and all of humanity has come together to create the circumstances where you could talk to me, two people who couldn’t have met under any other circumstances, and we can have this conversation across an ocean that kept humans apart for millennia.

You’re damn special, kiddo.

 

My mind was suddenly opened up and I saw the world in that moment as something wonderful instead of a place filled with demons and hurt. It made me feel special and amazed. It was what I needed. It kind of shocked me out of the downwards spiral, breaking the cycle.

I said something along the lines of ‘you did it, you made me matter… actually no. maybe I mattered the whole time and you reminded me. You can guess what she said in response.

Thank you for reading,
See you soon,

Liam 🙂

Being in Love Unconditionally

I am in love with girls.
Not in a sexual way but in an unconditional you light up my world way…

I am in love with the girl with the beautiful voice and the way she holds her head higher when she wears heels. The way she knows she’s fabulous and will kiss me on the cheek when I hug her (she gives the best hugs in the entire world)…

I am in love with the girl who I can watch crappy films with yet still enjoy because she’s there, and how she lets me kiss her to try and get across just how happy she makes me…

I am in love with the girl who always wears black but has the brightest most sparkly heart. Like that bright pink magical heart emoji. Her smile lights up the world but she likes to hide it from most people, to me she is the most beautiful girl in the world…

I am in love with the girl who says cunt too much, yet it sounds like a word that could be caring when she says it. She’s this cute small lil one who I never fail to call gorgeous, simply because she is and doesn’t know it…

I am in love with the stunning girl who makes me laugh every situation, tells the best and worst jokes at the same time, who I trust with my life…

I am in love with the girl who has the cutest and happiest laugh yet is rarely treated like the magnificent person she is. My favourite person to have a sleepover with, there will be many to come as we both fight our demons and each others…

I am in love with the girl who looks so excited whenever I see her, the girl only I call by her true name, always there for ‘company’ and I know she’ll never leave me, and I wont ever leave her…

I am in love with the girl who smokes and tells me I mustn’t ever start, as if she was my mother and best friend at the same time. My fellow hot chocolate drinker who I have the best Skype calls with…

I am in love with the drop dead GORGEOUS girl who’s hugs really mean ‘I care and love you too’. That’s what hugs need, I wish she lived closer so we could watch Disney and just talk…

I am in love with the girl who inspires me and has so so much courage. She gives unconditional support and radiates beauty and light, she’s a fighter. She’s just so damn cute in every way…

I am in love with my precious FREN who is an absolute stunner. She creates the best little adventures of Liam and Lucyloo and those stories have got me through my darkest times…

I am in love with you all and I hope you know that now.

Finding the Light

Hi everyone.

I’m going to have to admit, I have had a really bad week.

I’ve struggled a lot to not only get through this but also get to a place where I can reflect on it properly. I’ve let down some friends and had to cancel plans because of my state and also have had to miss 2 days at work in a row.

I’m having really bad nightmares and have got into some really dark places, reminding me of how I was during my lowest point. I’m finding myself feeling really down and absolutely exhausted and although it helps to process it when writing it down, I feel that listing the positives and all my achievements may help. So, here’s my week in a more positive light…

  • I got through a stage of paranoia safely and without harming myself or others
  • I actually read out my writing piece called ‘It’s Just a Phase’ to my mum
  • I then went on just today to reading out several of my posts to my mum and dad
  • I dealt well with being in emotion mind afterwards
  • I managed to put a plan together to prevent an eating disorder relapse as I could feel myself slipping back into an anorexic mind set
  • I have skilfully dealt with the scary visual hallucinations I’ve been experiencing this week
  • I have managed to take all my meds despite hating the large amount of them
  • I joined the mermaids trans group and exchanged a lot of emails and made an amazing new friend
  • Got on to trying to process the weekend (which is when the paranoia was) which is really good as young Liam would pretend it never happened and not address it for months
  • Accidentally kept myself safe (I fell asleep before doing anything dangerous 😀 only me)
  • Used phone support (despite a particular therapist not responding for ages as usual)
  • Planned several social things (they’re huge challenges for me because of my anxiety)
  • Although I didn’t go into work I’m glad I made the right decision as I was in a state
  • Doing my DBT homework – something I rarely do unprompted
  • Followed my self care plan so far – my individual therapist will be proud 😉
  • Did work independently at school
  • Starting GCSE creative writing piece
  • Actually talked on the phone with H and enjoyed it a lot, despite my anxiety of phone calls
  • Feeling proud of myself now in itself is an achievement

I’m going to leave it there for today, I hope you’re all well. Never forget how many positives you can get out of tough situations, I certainly feel so much better after listing all that 🙂

Liam 🙂

Help With Voices

Hi guys!

So as you may have noticed if you’re following me, this was originally a password protected post. That’s because I wrote this for a friend who struggles with hearing voices and had actually never been given any legit advice on how to cope with it. The only one that we’ve all heard is the bus analogy, and in my opinion it doesn’t really help at all.

I’ve been dealing with hearing voices for about 2-3 years now and with the help of quetiapine (my current antipsychotic) I find them a lot easier to deal with. I think that doctors prefer to try and help you deal with hearing voices with therapy before medication is introduced.

Hearing voices is incredibly distressing and can be experienced in many different ways, these kinds of things vary from easy to hard but you need to know you can’t fight hearing voices. If you hear voices frequently you’ll know that sometimes they have an edge and you can do nothing but listen and do what they say. If you’re in this situation you need to tell someone and get proper support and help, try searching ‘dbt distress tolerance skills’ as these will help you deal with a crisis.


 

Help With Voices

1.Write or draw or paint or even write a song. Expressing the emotional pain the voices are causing can help you deal with it.

2.Calming music. There’s this app called ‘relax melodies’ that means you can choose sounds like rain and chimes and layer them and they play even when the app isn’t open.

3.Layered music. Often for me I need several distractions and sometimes normal music isn’t really enough to use up all that listening power you’re currently using on the voices. So triple layered songs became a saviour for me, try out this.

4.ASMR things. Again same concept, these I just find quite good to focus on and you can experience new sound textures which is very stimulating for you brain. Here is one by Dodie Clark, one of my favourite youtubers.

5.Writing positive things. Things like writing about how you will get through the evening and be proud of yourself and remind yourself how amazing you are and remember good memories and write them down, basically try to DROWN YOUR BRAIN IN POSITIVITY!

6.Personifying the voices. My friend Jenna created a creature that she drew that represented her mental health issues and just giving it a face and separating it from yourself can help.

7.Call a friend. This one is not only very helpful because you’re distracting but is a scientific aid to relieving hearing voices. When you hear them you use the language part of your brain, which you also use when talking so that uses up some of the brain power the voices WERE using.

8. DANCING to music and singing along of course. The singing is like the speaking too, it helps.

9.Rephrasing. This one takes a while to get the hang of and actually believe, its like a cheerleading kind method but for voices. Say the voices were telling you someone was going to hurt you (something I often hear), I could rephrase that as thank you voices for informing me I feel unsafe, I will use {DBT skills} to help me. Or telling you to hurt yourself – thank you for telling me I am having urges to hurt myself because I am {insert feeling} so I will use {DBT skills} to cope with the emotion (or lack of when feeling numb – grounding works).

You may have read that and not understood as it includes the use of skills I’ve learnt in DBT therapy. However, in theory this still works, rephrasing it in your head and then using your own methods to deal with your emotions.

10.Surf the wave. Urges will ALWAYS pass and simply riding out the urge can be incredibly hard. So don’t forget to distract and celebrate achievements of all sizes like making a cup of tea – it takes so much strength to not do what the voices say. And obviously most important remember who you are and how beautiful and strong you are and if you ever need reminding send me a message – ANYTIME! I will always reply as quickly as I can. 🙂