I Hear You

I had a panic attack the other day.

It could have ended in despair, and I’m actually pretty sure it did end with me crashing in some way. What I do remember was this:

“I hear you.”

If you recall, I get spiritual impressions that make a profound impact on me. The only one that has ever come back for a second poke was an impression I had in June just before my husband proposed. This one sets a new record. It’s poked me so many times I have lost count. I feel known by God and that he is aware of me now.

I’ve felt known by God before, but this time it’s personal. I know people say that God knows everyone perfectly, but I’d never felt it that personally until the panic attack. I now believe that what he feels toward me is unique and made for me, just like he knows others in their own ways. He finds ways to speak my language, giving me clues and notes just for me. Part of being known is knowing how I think, and He often appeals to my intellect and gives me things to ponder or even take to the blog to sort out, like this.

This knowledge gives me a great sense of security. It helps me to realize that words of mine that are put in the right place have immense power. I feel comfortable speaking out on what I believe in because I feel Him backing my play, even when my writing becomes a little controversial, so long as I use my powers for good.

Using my powers for good does NOT mean that I will go around and thrust God as understand him down people’s throats or use religion as a weapon. I speak out against people using religion as weapons, but I do my best to not use religion for that same purpose. The God of my understanding is loving, kind, accepting, and does not use fear or shame to influence people. Am I always kind, loving, and accepting? No! But writing about and defending my personal beliefs has helped me define them further. Writing Byzantines and Button Downs has helped me to know, hear, and love myself more than I could have ever hoped for. It’s become a powerful phrase, “I hear you”.

Because I am heard, I, too need to hear. I do my best to listen to my friends and family and be there for them when they are in need…and when they are doing great. Proving that I am constant is important to me, even when I am feeling down. Listening to the people I love helps me get out of my own chaotic head and into the minds of others. More often than not, my head clears.

Part of hearing is a continuation of yesterday’s post. I want to become my own best friend and advocate. So naturally, this involves hearing myself out. When I wrote “I hear you” on the list of things I would say to myself, I almost cried.

I have a tendency to invalidate myself in everything from my gender identity to my struggles with mental health to how I look on any given day. That’s funny, because I first got the impression when I was struggling with strong dysphoria.

At that moment, I knew on some level that God was telling me that what I was going through was valid. At that moment, “I hear you” was God saying “I love you.” At that moment, that was exactly what I needed. He sees – loves – me as I am, glitchy brain and all. He sees me as I am and who I can become.

I know you are looked after and loved, too. Every second of every day.

I hear you.

Until next post,

Meg

Enjoy this fabulous post next!

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Heavy

Hey, gentle readers.

I confess that I’m not doing very well today. I’ve been fighting off the depression side of my mental friend bipolar, and add anxiety and slight dysphoria to that, and you have my current headspace. I’m at the point where I am just waiting for my mind to finish throwing its fit and trying to get on with my day. Work is scaring me even though I know to give myself a break. I don’t want to do anything, you know? Even though there’s stuff to be done. Coffee is brewing, which might wake me up. We’ll see. If this post is pretty short, that’s why.

(I am safe. I’m not at risk of hurting anyone, myself or anyone else. Brain is just being its glitchy self.)

My depression right now feels like everything is heavy. My arms, my heart, my environment. I’m fatigued. I’ve been meaning to make a psych intake appointment for about a month now and the thought of doing so seems more difficult than usual. I don’t want to say “I’ll do it tomorrow”, but everything feels too heavy to want to move. I’ll ask if we can do a phone intake. I hope they say yes.

For once, I want to truly claw my way out of it. I want to actually be happy, and I don’t understand why this depression is happening. But I also know that if I try to do too much, it would be like trying to run on a sprained ankle. I should be putting my “ankle” up and being kind to myself, but instead my inner bully is being hyperactive and I’m criticizing everything I do.

I was given a new idea by a friend who in turn heard it from a friend of theirs. I am going to adapt it to my own imagination. They told me about an exercise wherein they would picture an orb and manipulate it with their imagination and in time with their breathing and the mood they wanted. I want mine to be a crystal spinning. Call me weird, but I think it might work.

I’ve also found that I get sad around a certain time of night both at the house and at work, so I might ask to take my break then. I hope my managers will listen.

Something I’m proud of is that I’ve been blogging for almost three weeks straight, never missing a day, no matter how hard life gets or how stressed I am. It’s refreshing to sit back and just write for an hour or so. I’m taking it one day at a time and consciously making time for it, and I’m applauding myself for it.

About dysphoria, I still want to lop all of my hair off. That’s still here. -sigh-. So I want to grow my hair out and put it in a low ponytail Founding Fathers style, or get rid of it all and go for a Halsey look. I also put on an actual bra on after wearing my binder for a bit and it felt like waking up from one of those really good, really detailed dreams and being disappointed that that wasn’t real life. It sucked, but it was good to take a break. I’ll give it that.

If someone says “you look like a guy” at work if I cut my hair, I will elbow-bump them. Elbow bumping is not a bad thing. It’s our equivalent of a fist bump.

I’ll do better about taking care of my ankle today. May all of your ankles be okay.

Until next post,

Meg

Fear

Hello, fine readers of mine!

I want to admit that I woke up afraid.

I have nightmares nearly every night, and while I can sometimes shake them off, they stack up during the day. That leads to a ton of intrusive thoughts if my mind is any kind of idle. I’m scared of these, especially. Sometimes they’re “you should leave your husband” (how about no! He’s the best), and sometimes they’re gross mental images that my mind loops and can’t let go of, or worse, depressive thoughts that spiral. I try to squish them, but that makes them worse.

I am scared to not squish them. I’m afraid that if I leave them, they’ll multiply unchecked, but honestly, I think they’ll go away if I don’t bother with them.

My husband and I discuss this, and he says that the thoughts are a form of self harm. When my mind has been given nothing to think about, it goes directly to the worst thing possible. It’s worst when I’m alone and unoccupied for long periods of time.

I’m afraid a lot of the time of myself. I’m scared that I don’t deserve happiness or that I’m constantly screwing up, when both of these statements are false. Since embarking on this journey to love myself, I have come to realize that I’m okay. I’m trying. There will be bad days.

I’m afraid that I won’t be able to perform my new job physically sometimes due to my stomach pain problems, but I am determined to do my best in everything I do there. The pain has gotten worse since my menstrual cycle came back, and PMS is hell. I didn’t recognize it as such until the actual period began. The next few days will be interesting.

I actually wish I were working today. I love my job so far and it keeps my mind from idling so much. It also keeps me focused on others.

My parents taught me the value of compassionate service, whether it was my mom in the Mormon church or my dad working his AA program. I learned from a wise man at an AA meeting that he would go out and help another child of God every day. I try to do that, especially in a work environment. I find that if I help just one person have a better day than when they first encountered me, I have been successful. A compliment can save a life, and I give many genuine ones. Taking my mind and focusing it on others is also life saving. It helps me get out of my own head and out of my fear.

Most of emotional fears I experience are either from my “inner bully” or from unhealthy learned behavior. My inner bully is the element of my mind that criticizes everything I do. She is cruel. I have been working to silence her, and this journey of self discovery has helped immensely.

I used to fear that only people whom I had hurt truly knew me. I was leaving a double life, my brain was convinced, where I am kind to strangers, but cruel and unkind to the people I am closest to. It kept me from talking to people whom I knew I could talk to deep down. That was one of the most malicious things that my inner bully had me think. I believe it was my aunt who said that the people I had hurt only knew an aspect of me. That was incredibly comforting.

To me, fighting fears also leads to finding vulnerability. Finding the ability to speak up and out, along with the ability to set boundaries for self and others, is powerful. It takes a lot of courage to go out on a limb and communicate. I, for one, have felt better since writing about my experiences in depth.

I am glad to have supportive and loving friends, family, and readers. They are the reasons why I fight every day to stay alive and well. They are the reasons why I am speaking out. They are the reasons why I fight fears.

Thank you for reading!

Meg

Rebel, Rebel, you’re worth your Salt!

I’m sitting in a Wendy’s parking lot waiting for the restaurant to open so that I can speak to the manager.

Don’t get the wrong idea, this place is great. I’m not upset with anyone! I’ve come here to work with him on some paperwork so that I can begin working there! I’m really excited.

As I was driving here (Driving?? Me?? In Alaskan weather?? Nooooo), I was listening to David Bowie. One of the songs that came on was “Rebel Rebel”. I found that even though I’ve heard that song a zillion times, I related to it more than usual. The Rebel figure seemed to be doing more than just rebelling – they were being themselves, and Bowie’s character was attracted to them for it. Not everyone understood the Rebel, but what sticks out to me is that those that did loved them for it.

I also listened to it when I was getting ready for this journey, and I envisioned myself as the subject of a movie. “Rebel Rebel” played in the background as I got all my stuff together, and it had an 80s movie text overlay that read “Alaska, 2019”. Call me weird, but stuff like this in my brain makes me happy.

Another song that I relate to is “Salt” by Bad Suns. It speaks to me of confusion with identity and not feeling at home in one’s own skin. I understand that. It doesn’t lend the same movie opening feel or positive feeling/ending, but it’s something I think people can relate to. Empathy is one of the biggest tools to have, in my opinion, and writing songs that connect with people is a powerful thing.

I am grateful for friends who listen, something more powerful than a song. I spoke at length with my friend Wally this morning, and he listened. He didn’t claim to have the answers, he was just there for me. It was affirming and validating and was another reminder that I’m not alone in this.

Well, I just went into a Chevron to pick up cold caffeine while I wait and I saw people staring at my bolo tie. I don’t know if they thought I was strange, but I’m going to keep it on. Those who enjoy it will enjoy it.

Friends, the time is now for us to part. Thank you for reading!

Superheroes

I’m listening to my Spotify 2018 rewind playlist and I played a lot of these songs when my husband and I first started dating. “Superhero” by Kormac is on. I remember waking up to it after he ended our Skype call one night. It’s kinda weird hearing all of these songs that bring back so many memories from just last year and thinking about how so much has changed. I’m MARRIED now, something I thought would never happen to me, for one. I live in my ideal environment and in a place I’ve always dreamed of living. I am beyond lucky.

Even though dysphoria has been confusing and scary, I have been happy overall. I have many, many things to be thankful for – friends who get me, a husband who loves fiercely and is also my best friend, yogurt in the fridge, computer parts to play with. I love so many things here. Owl City is in my ears now, and he’s one of my biggest inspirations. Call me a sap, but these times are beautiful and made to be noticed and be grateful for.

I’m also thankful for this journey of self discovery, painful though it may it be at times. I’m learning, and that is important. That matters. I found a great article from the website The Body is not an Apology about self care when you’re in a bad dysphoric spot. I’ll share it at the end of the post!

If you’re in a learning period, I know it can look bleak from where you are. You may struggle with thoughts of hopelessness and worthlessness. I know these feelings all too well. There will be good times ahead, so don’t break yourself or beat yourself up. I won’t tell you to “keep your chin up”, or anything like that, because that is, pardon my French, bullshit. Instead, stay warm, tend to yourself, stay safe. I’m here if you want to talk.

Love, Meg

Here is the article:

https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/9-strategies-for-dealing-with-body-dysphoria-for-gender-queer-and-trans-folks/

Hello again!

The agender adventures continue. Hopefully I can a.) not wake my sleepy love who is next to me with the phone light and b.) come up with better post titles someday.

Today was pretty rad. I bought a bolo tie:

and made another (pictured up top with me wearing it) out of a disk drive (?) from an old PSP that my roommate said I could use.

I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’m still working on the dysphoria aspect, and I have found that my stomach only drops when I feel like I have to explain what’s going on to someone else.

Because I can’t tell why the dysphoria is happening or what it wants, for lack of a better word, it’s very difficult to explain.

(I know there are some of you fine readers that would say that I don’t owe an explanation to anyone, and I might take you up on that advice soon.)

Nonetheless, I want to be able to put words to what I’m feeling because I’m a writer. Putting language to my emotions and experiences gives me a sense of empowerment. And with this….

Words fail.

I feel increasingly powerless and sick to my stomach the more I try to explain what’s going on in my mind. All I can do is make metaphors, and even those are weak. But as I was laying here trying to sleep, I came to realize that if that’s a trigger, I don’t need to explain every detail. I felt euphoric in my button down and tie. I sent probably too many selfies to my friends. And they loved them. I think I also fear judgment too much. Semi-subconsciously, I don’t want people who are close to me thinking I’m trying to craft a new identity to put up a wall or to establish a defense mechanism. I’ve done that before, and that scares even me. So I’m approaching this with caution.

Most of the times I feel dysphoria, it is tied in with a rough patch in my mental health. Either I’m not taking my meds correctly, I’m not getting enough sleep, something major and negative has just occurred in my life, etc.. The only things I can think of are:

Coming out of a depressive spell and moving to Alaska several months ago. I don’t understand why either would trigger that or what I could be hiding from. I’m making friends. I’m getting a job. I’m getting settled in. I’m feeling better. Things are very positive. Why now? I have no idea.

If there turns out to be nothing that I’m hiding from, that leaves a possibility that it’s pushing me towards growth of some form. I’m not trying to reinvent myself, I feel like I’m molting. Same being, new feathers. Maybe this is what I’m supposed to grow into? Maybe this is the next step? I honestly hope so.

Love, Meg