Pre-testosterone

Hello!

At long last I have returned, ready to bash out 5 more posts before this month ends. My mental health has been suffering this past week. The worst I’ve been with dissociation and trauma memories and psychosis in a while. The voices are back, and even visual hallucinations because I’m gradually lowering my antipsychotic/mood stabiliser. Things are levelling out now but more of that in a new post. This one I am going to focus on the joys of my transness and the fun I’m having with Gender identity clinics. Almost like a trans mini series. I posted GIC referral in September, so here is the update since.

In September I was referred on, but it turned out I was accidentally referred to the adult services so the letter came back and I had to be referred again to Tavistock. My referral was received and then accepted in December, and the following January I was sent a letter much to my delight saying my first appointment would be 18 weeks from when my referral was accepted, which I worked out was mid April. I was hopeful in March and expecting a letter because I knew they notified you at least a month before your appointment. March came and went, April came and went, and here we are in May.

I chased it up and I will be got back to in August. It’s not even a definite you will hear by this point. So clearly something drastic changed from January when I was told there was now no delay and now suddenly there’s 4 months.

Emotionally I’m struggling hugely with dysphoria. I’m limited in almost everything I do, including basic hygiene. Hopefully in a couple months time things will be better and easier to cope with when the future is a few steps closer.

Liam 🙂

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Daily Posts

Hey!!

I’m going to be attempting near enough daily posts this month. We’re going to see how it goes, but I will definitely be posting a minimum of 10 over the period of this month so please follow if you’d like to read them. On average I post 3 a month but I really enjoyed doing blogmas in December and was really happy with the things I wrote about, so I will be trying again. I go to college full time so I am busy but I’ve got lots of ideas for posts and will be trying my best to create posts I am happy with regardless of their length. Quality not quantity!

Over this month I will be writing about mental health as per usual but other topics too like…

  • Being transgender – how my referral to Tavistock is going and how I’m coping being pre-t
  • Spirituality and my recent interest in chakras
  • Yoga – following up from my January goals
  • Books – reviewing Doing it! By Hannah Witton

And more!

See you tomorrow

Liam 🙂

Being New to CAMHS

Ah CAMHS, reminiscing over CAMHS causes mild panic, disgust and some level gratitude for keeping me alive. Being new to CAMHS is like being sucked up by a whirlwind and waiting for them to plop you down somewhere whilst you get smashed in the face with new people and professionals and diagnoses. Many people detest it, however make up your own mind, don’t listen to everyone else. Whilst I was with CAMHS I found it very helpful and vital in my recovery. Looking back I can see the flaws and things I would have done differently if I was a professional, however I am not. And I am still thankful of them.

People get admitted to CAMHS for all different types of illnesses. And also for no illnesses at all. CAMHS help people who are: depressed, anxious, transgender, autistic, have ADHD, have a learning disability, have an eating disorder, have psychosis or schizophrenia, have bipolar disorder, have a personality disorder, have PTSD, dissociative disorders and more. 

I was thinking of structuring this post addressing the new CAMHS go-er and some things you need to remember, and then some CAMHS vocab, because it’s a very strange world.

  1. Be honest. You need to be honest to get help, and they will listen.
  2. Trust them as much as you can, they do want to help
  3. They will not force you to tell them anything, however if you’re in danger please please speak out because they can help
  4. Do not stand for a bad therapist. If you feel victimised or discriminated against by any of the staff you need to speak out because you deserve better than that.
  5. It doesn’t matter that there’s trying to help you if you don’t help yourself.
  6. Your parents don’t need to know everything that goes on in sessions, except that when you are in danger they need to be involved in keeping you safe. However, if your parents are the ones struggling to come to terms with it, tell CAMHS. They are used to helping the parents as well as the child, they can explain things and are often listened to because they are professionals.
  7. Whatever illness, disorder, diagnosis or label you are given, that is not all there is to you. 

Vocab:

  • CAMHS – Child and adolescent mental health service
  • Crisis – When you are high risk and need extra support to get through each day. Often someone will visit your house or call every day if you are on the crisis list and you can also access 24 hour phone support.
  • Crisis team – The team of therapists who come and visit children and teens in crisis. They are involved temporarily during a time of high risk.
  • Psychiatrist – A highly qualified professional in medicine who deals with the medical side of treatment. This involves prescribing medication and giving diagnoses.
  • Psychologist – A highly qualified professional in psychology who help treat different mental illnesses or emotional difficulties with therapy.
  • Section – When you are forced by the mental health act to be in hospital for a certain amount of time 
  • Therapist – Someone who specialises in helping people with certain conditions, illnesses and difficulties. Specific types include occupational therapists, play therapists and psychotherapists. 

I hope that is helpful and informative as well as interesting. 

See you next time,

Liam 🙂

What am I doing here?

Hello!

It’s time for some reflecting on this blog that I titled His Adventures in Wonderland nearly 1½ years ago. I started this blog with a few things in mind…

  • I’d talk about mental illness and being transgender
  • I’d write about my own experiences constructively 
  • I’d spread awareness, break stigma and help those around me with less talked about mental illnesses by offering genuine advice I’ve worked out over the years

I think it’s fair enough to start a blog with others as the main thing in mind, but I’ve kept going because of myself. This blog is loved by me and I enjoy posting lots of different types of posts, not just advice to benefit those around me. My posts help me too. 16 months and 49 posts down the line, I am still here and able to reflect on what I’m doing here. Have a colourful spider diagram listing some of the things I gain from blogging!

Thank you for reading, whether this is a one off post, you are a recent follower or have been doing so for a while. See you in my next post!
Liam 🙂

Books

Hello,

I’ve recognised a sense of avoiding my blog recently. I think that because I have talked about my struggle with mental illness in the moment it is happening, it has made me feel quite vulnerable. I think that the new vulnerability and honesty is a good thing but I need to take a step back and post something I really enjoy talking about… books!

I have always been a book worm, I know I was reading books throughout my childhood, despite me not rememebering a lot due to dissociation. In the more recent years I haven’t been able to read much at all. My concentration has been at an all time low these past 2-3 years because of psychosis mainly, (let me tell you, hearing voices 24/7 makes so many simple tasks near impossible!) but guess what?!! I made it my 1 year goal to read a book. With the help of coloured acetate, glasses and stable medication I read my first book in years within a few days of setting the goal!!! Now I have read 4 books in 3 months and am just starting a 5th! 

I want to share with you the books I have been reading and letting myself get absorbed into, just like I did as a child. Below each book is a mini review 🙂 

The ABCs of LGBT by Ashley Mardell (Now Ash Hardell)

A very thought provoking and well laid out book. I enjoyed the analysing of different identities and terms such as bi erasure from the point of view of those affected by it, along with colourful illustrations and lots of reflective suggestions. I would recommend it to every person as an easily accessible information point for all things LGBT+, and I’d recommend it as a reading book to people with an already general knowledge of LGBT+, whether you are an ally, are questioning or are comfortable within your identity and what that is.

 The Art of Being a Brilliant Teenager by Andy Cope, Andy Whitaker, Darrell Woodman and Amy Bradley

A very easy read that I gained a lot of insight on how to be a positive and an all round brilliant person. I’d recommend every person to read just the first few pages, from that you will work out if you are bothered enough to make changes to yourself to have a better quality life or are fine being ordinary. For those that choose to read on you will be satisfied by all the colourful quotes and anecdotes and genuine suggestions on how to be a better person and get more out of yourself and life. Not just limited to teenagers, also people on either side of the age bracket and parents of teenagers too.

 A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

An amazing and beautiful story told from the point of a young boy going through the trauma of watching his mother battle cancer. A monster starts to call round his house each night and tells 3 stories, with the deal being the boy tells his story after. This is an incredibly well written book with realistic characters, vivid imagery and a gripping plot. I would recommend this to adults as much as I would to children, especially to those who have been through some kind of trauma. I found I related hugely to the young boy and liked how it was told from his own in denial perspective.

 BZRK by Michael Grant

A complex science fiction novel that takes a lot of patience and concentration to understand but is very worth it. It has a lot of interesting characters with room for so much further development I hope to read in the next books. The concept of BZRK and having the world split into nano and macro sounds scientifically believable and is talked about so vividly it’s like you are taking a step into their world. I love the focus on death or madness, and all twitchers (people who enter the nano world) are named after mad people like Vincent Van Gogh and Sylvia Plath. A unique read that I’d recommend to anyone with the capacity to constantly be working things out, perhaps a minimum age of 12 though as it is very dark at times. 

Currently reading: Stealing Snow

Future reads: Doing it!, BZRK Reloaded, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Being Jazz

Thank you for reading. I’ll see you in my next post,

Liam 🙂

What Hidden Figures Means To Me As A Transgender Boy

Hidden figures is about 3 amazing and inspirational women, who face the dreadful racism in America in the 1960s. It easily lands itself in my top 5 films, and puts Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson as 3 of the most inspirational people to me, right up there with my mum. 

I won’t go into all the details as to why I love the film, but to name a few it managed to make me feel every emotion on the spectrum, from joy and love to anger and jealousy – I love that in a film. I was shaking my head at some points and grinning and laughing saying ‘hell yeah!’ at others.

Let’s move onto what the story told in the film means to me. Who am I though?

My name is Liam and I am a 17 year old transgender boy who was born in England. I am half English, half Asian and at 4 years old I remember experiencing discrimination due to racism for the first time. As I grew up I faced more discrimination because I was a girl too. Although that isn’t all there is to me, it is the foundation of me. 

Some more things about me are that I love doctor who and reading books, especially non fiction. I am better at socialising with people younger and older than me, rather than people my own age. My favourite colour is yellow and I’m at college doing a course in childcare.

Hidden figures means so much to me because I relate to those wonderful women. My family came out after watching the film today and my mum said she didn’t know those kinds of things were going on whilst she was a child. I wasn’t surprised though, because to I face that today. For a different reason and to a different extent, yes, but it still matters and I will use my voice.

For something I cannot change or control about me, people make judgements and don’t want to be friends with me for that simple fact. They may also decide to hate me for that. I can get turned down from jobs and am limited to special toilets (the disabled toilets even though being transgender is not a disability, and the very rare few gender neutral or unisex toilets). This is because I have to check the policies and procedures and legality of going into the male toilets for every different place I go, and if I go into the female toilets, it not only makes me feel dreadful but it genuinely scares females in there who see I am a boy. I have to be cautious going to new places because if someone decides they is want to they can beat me up. I’m a walking ‘hit me’ note to some people. 

Published by the independent in 2016, there has been a 170% increase of transphobic hate crimes in the last 5 years. This means people face violence, sexual assault, threats and harassment just because they are transgender.

Someone who does not face this every day has no clue. 

Johnson, Vaughn and Jackson fought though, they faced racism head on. They did something about it. I want to do something about this. I will do something about this.

Thank you for reading,

See you in my next post,

Liam 🙂

January Goals

Hello!

I hope you have had a positive start to the year and are happy and healthy. I’ve had a shaky start, hence the lack of posts, but I am back with lots of ideas for upcoming blog posts. 

Going back to Christmas time (when I last posted) I got through it the best I have done in so many years! I was able to celebrate the festivity and not be constantly distracted by mental illness. I haven’t been in crisis and that has been so relaxing in comparison to the last few years.

In December I mentioned how January is historically a very bad month. Although it has been very difficult and I am struggling with psychotic symptoms, I am managing. There is little paranoia which I am so glad about and I’m managing to branch out from my isolated bubble.

Generally I don’t think the whole ‘new year new me’ thing is that great but if it reminds people to reflect on themselves then it can’t be a bad thing. Instead of setting ‘New Years resolutions’, I set 4 January goals. These are:

  • See my care-coordinator every week. With no other professional support in a difficult month this has been important and I have achieved it so far. It’s helped me stay on track and feel better in general.
  • Start the search for a therapist. My psychologist left quite suddenly in December and I’ve been on the lookout for someone since. I made a huge amount of progress with her and haven’t wanted to stop that momentum. During the month I’ve met 2 new therapists but they haven’t seemed all that great. It has helped me realise what I need in a therapist (someone to challenge me safely, not just listen) and that I can actually cope without one.
  • Start yoga. This was to help combat physical pain, so far I’ve been to my first session which was great and I’m excited to be going weekly from now on.
  • Read a book. I have actually finished reading a book!!!!!!! In case you’re interested it was ‘Ths ABCs of LGBT+’ by Ashley Mardell. 

I will end this post with some good news…

I got a letter from Tavistock (NHS gender identity clinic for under 18s) and should have an appointment within 3-4 months! I’m so happy about it!

I hope everyone has a good week, I’ll see you soon in another post.

Liam 🙂