I’m back from the south coast now, having spent 2 days with my wonderful friend. I’m glad I made up with her, because I always feel so comfortable around her. We went and had lunch at a cafe on the seafront before I had to take my train back, which was really nice. At least I got to see the sea on what was quite a nice sunny day.

I broke up my journey on the way back and went to see my friend Jo and her 2 cats. We had a good talk, but by 9 I was getting tired and paranoid about missing the last train to Grantham.

I had to change trains at Watford Junction, where I ran into a girl called Nicole who I used to be at the same hostel with until she got kicked out She didn’t as me how I was, but she asked me for money. Clearly she hasn’t changed, despite changing her hair colour.

I didn’t get back home until just after 1 am and I got all of an hours sleep because I am up and awake and on my way to Boston on the train to collect a vintage bike (assuming I buy it and it’s not caked in rust) After this, I’m going to Sheffield.to get another vintage bike, but that one isn’t as old.

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I made it to the south coast without any problems. I’m having a good time with my friend and the Airbnb home is huge and ridiculously comfortable. We went out last night and has an Indian meal, which was the best I’ve had since going.to another amazing Indian restaurant in Toronto, although the first Indian restaurant I suggested turned out to be a vegan Indian restaurant, but my friend isn’t vegan.

I had 3 hours to kill in London yesterday between trains, so I took a few pictures of Central London as the big yellow thing in the sky made a rare appearance.

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New Aquarium

20190106_113326.jpgI now have a fully functional, almost fully kitted out aquarium, although I can’t add any actual fish for 2 weeks or so, as the water has to be treated first.  Its still quite soothing, both to look at and the noise of the filter bubbling away.  It was an ordeal setting it up though and I almost caused a fire, when I turned the tank heater on when it wasn’t submerged, so it started smoking and smoldering.  On top of that, I couldn’t figure out how to set up the air filter, so I had somewhat of a meltdown and gave up on it.  I didn’t understand the instructions, which might as well have been written in Arabic.

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However, the aquatics shop that I bought the heater from exchanged it for me without asking any questions and I installed it correctly this time.  Having to go through that embarrassment at least saved me another £24 for a new heater.  I’m worried about not being able to remember all the things I need to do in order to take care of my future fish, as like everything else in life, it seems so daunting and complicated.  I do have a friend in Kent who is an expert when it comes to keeping tropical fish and he’s given me a lot of good advice.

I decided to use a different bike today rather than the green one that I’ve been using 95% of the time, so I took out the more girly Apollo Twilight bike instead, which is actually far more comfortable to ride anyway as it has suspension and a more comfortable seat.  It took me to and from the aquatics shop and I took it for a 5 mile lap around the northeastern quadrant of Grantham that seems to be the most cycle-friendly part of the town where there aren’t usually many cars or major hills.

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Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment, which is solely for me to ask her to refer me to someone or somewhere in order to get assessed for autism / I also need to take my folding bike to the bike shop to have the cheap and partially broken chain guard replaced with a more sturdy metal one.  I don’t have to dread going out quite as much tomorrow, because (thank fuck) the school holidays are over, so I won’t have to run into children or teenagers anywhere, at least not until 3:30 pm or so.

On Tuesday, I’m going down to the south coast to see my best friend, which I’m looking forward to.  I’m not looking forward to having to travel across Central London on the tube though.

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Dyspraxia + anxiety + the ‘trans curse’ = embarrassment

I hate Friday nights and weekends, but at least the school holidays are coming to an end on Monday, so I can try to resume my usual ‘going out’ routine when it isn’t dark or extremely early in the morning.

I did go out once today, as I had to pick up a vacuum cleaner that I’d agreed to buy on Facebook Marketplace for £20.  Of course, I had to warn her in advance that I’m a freak (transgender) as I have done with every random person I’ve met from the internet, but each time, they tell me that I shouldn’t even feel the need to say anything about it in the first place.  It wasn’t the trans curse that embarrassed the shit out of me, but my seemingly ever-worsening dyspraxia.  I struggled to get the vacuum cleaner into the crate that I’d strapped (badly) to the back of my folding bike.  The whole lot fell over twice and I must’ve been fumbling around in the freezing cold forever trying to secure it.  The lady and her husband even came out to see if I needed any help, but I’d already managed to do it by then.  It took me a long time to cycle home one handed and I gashed my leg somehow in the process and didn’t notice that I’d been bleeding until I got home.

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The vacuum cleaner works really well though, much better than the one my mum had let let me borrow.

Prior to that, I went into the Weatherspoon’s pub and ordered 2 double whiskeys with diet coke.  The alcohol at least lessened my anxiety and made me more immune to the cold, but now I feel rather shitty because I’ve been drinking on and off for most of the day.  I felt really anxious in the pub and I noticed at least 2 people staring at me.  I ordered my drinks from the app at my table, so at least I didn’t have to talk to anyone.  I drank the last one quickly as I didn’t want to stay any longer than that, especially as it’s Friday night and the place was bound to get even busier.

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I agreed to buy a fish tank tomorrow from another person on Facebook Marketplace.  Again, I had to warn her about the trans curse, but she didn’t have an issue with it.  She offered to deliver it tomorrow, even though that’s quite a drive from where she lives.  Since I can’t have a cat, I’ve decided to get fish.  I used to love keeping fish when I was a kid and this is another childhood hobby / distraction of mine that I’m revisiting now as an adult in physical age only.  I’m too scared of the world outside to deal with it, so the more I can immerse myself in my own world, the better it will be for my sanity.  Mt borrowed time will expire sooner or later though, although it looks like I’ve got another month’s reprieve.

I have an appointment with my GP on Monday as I was contacted through their new confusing-ass online ‘talk to a GP’ system.  I hope she refers me to the right place this time so that I can finally get an autism assessment and hopefully the right help that I’ve needed since I was a child.

It’s been over a week now since I stopped talking Duloxetine and Citalopram.  I’m still getting brain zaps and I’m sleeping very poorly, but the withdrawal hasn’t been as bad as other medications in the past that I had to taper off gradually.  I’m honestly scared to try anything else, especially drugs in the SSRI family.  I’m terrified of gaining weight and since July, I’ve gained over 15 lbs.  I’m so worried about being fat that I’ve bought appetite suppressant pills on Amazon to try to at least help me cut down on snacking and stress eating.  I don’t expect the pills themselves to cause weight loss, but if they reduce my cravings then they’re worth it.

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Referred to the wrong place (yet again)

I received a letter today from the NHS operated mental health organization that I’d been told to ‘self refer’ to by my GP telling me that they are unable to help me, as they are only commissioned to treat ‘low level’ mental health disorders such as social anxiety. I don’t know why my GP couldn’t have just referred me to an actual psychiatrist in the first place, because I did mention that I have a diagnosis of severe anxiety, depression, PTSD and have needed an autism assessment since I was a child. The letter did include an autism spectrum quotient checklist, which I filled out, but I have no idea what to do with it now. I went to my GP’s medical practice to make an appointment, but now they’ve changed the system and everything has to be done online. This just adds to my stress and overall confusion, although I registered on their system and put in a request to talk to my GP about needing a referral to hopefully and FINALLY get an actual autism assessment, rather than be misdiagnosed with yet another mental illness that I don’t have and given treatment that not only doesn’t work, but actually makes things worse.

I received an email from my old therapist in Rochester, so I’ll reply to him and ‘spill the beans’ to see what he suggests. I’ve really been struggling and I’ve been getting dangerously lost in myself without having someone understanding to talk to, even if they are only paid to listen. He’s certainly not getting paid to contact me now as I’m no longer a patient there, so he must care. I will be honest with him and say that I don’t like my chances right now and I’m just as terrified of people as I was back in Rochester and I’m more dependent on my headphones while out in public than ever before, which isn’t exactly safe while riding a bike.

The weather has turned freezing cold here. In fact, it was so cold when I went out earlier today that I felt like I was back in Rochester. I still managed to cycle just over 10 miles and I got up early enough to buy groceries and avoid kids and families with kids. I can usually keep most of my body warm enough, but my feet and hands feel like they’re permanently frozen.

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I cycled 30 miles today

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I didn’t go to Derby today as I was too worried about running into kids, teenagers and families and couples on the train.  Besides, most of the shops would have been shut anyway.  I decided to cycle to a town called Sleaford instead, which is roughly 14 miles from Grantham.  My initial plan was to cycle there and take the train back, but I wasn’t as tired as I thought I’d be and I decided to save the train fare and cycle back to Grantham.  I cycled a total of just over 30 miles, as I took a few detours along the way and cycled around Sleaford, even though it’s small and there isn’t much to it.

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Sleaford is a pretty little Lincolnshire town and there were hardly any people out when I arrived there around 10 am.  I took dozens of photographs and had a vegetarian breakfast and 2 glasses of wine at a Wetherspoon pub in the town centre, which was as good as empty.  I didn’t like the Brexit propaganda next to the menu and I should boycott Wetherspoons, but it’s cheap, the food is reasonable and you can order from your mobile phone at your table, without having to speak to anyone to order food or drinks.

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The countryside on the way to Sleaford and back to Grantham was very scenic, even in the middle of winter when most trees are devoid of leaves.  I missed the English countryside while I was away in America for 14 1/2 years.  It’s not the most beautiful scenery on earth, but it’s accessible without a car and it’s what I’m familiar with, having grown up here (the UK may have changed exponentially but the countryside largely hasn’t).  I used the second hand digital camera that I bought on Facebook Marketplace the other day, but I can only really use it in automatic mode as I’m too stupid to figure the rest of it out.

Here are the rest of the photos anyway, in case you give a fuck to see them.  They’re not in order as some were taken from my phone, but most of the photos of Sleaford itself were taken with my camera:

PHOTOS: New Year’s Day bike ride from Grantham to Sleaford (and back again) – 01-01-19

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“What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?”

“What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?”

Answer: The same as I do every other NYE….nothing.  If days like Thanksgiving and Christmas remind you that you have no family as such and no relationship, New Year’s Eve reminds you that you don’t have a social life either.  The holidays are nothing but a shit-load of pain causes by feeling alone and left out.  NYE is almost as bad as Valentine’s Day, but not quite.  While everyone else is out at parties with friends or home with loved ones, I’ll be here alone with my demons.  The last time I actually celebrated NYE was in 2000, when I had fun at Disneyland in California.  I was quite excited at the prospect of the world ending because of the whole Y2K thing, but 18 years on and that never happened.

At least I managed to get my groceries early this morning, before the supermarkets got busy with hoards of people and their loud brats.  Most places will be closed tomorrow and the trains will be operating a restricted service, so I might take advantage of the fact that fewer people will be out, so I may go to Derby on the train and play with the digital camera I bought today on Facebook Marketplace for £40.  I’ve never actually been to Derby, just through it and past it and it seems less intimidating as a city than Nottingham.  And judging by Google Maps, there are a lot of bike trails there, so I can spend all day riding whichever bike I decide to take with me on the train (probably the green one).

2018 has been really shit and I’m not expecting any better from 2019.  I’m looking forward to seeing my BFF next week though for the first time since March.  At least I finally got out of Rochester, but I’ve lost all of the limited amount of support that I had there in the process.

 

 

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