“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through”

beach comparrison.jpgI wandered over to the beach this afternoon, whilst waiting for my washing to finish its cycle in the launderette. The seafront in Eastbourne has seem me in many physical and mental states, drunk, stoned, lost, depressed and suicidal. Most recently though, it has seen me walking hand in hand with my new partner. Two men with faces fixed in matching ear to ear grins, glowing from the warm high of that new relationship buzz.

Once again, I am having one of those wonderful periods of time where I am overwhelmed with awe and gratitude for the life I have today. I look at this picture, which I shared for #transformationtuesday and I remember the pain I was in. I could never have imagined the life I have today. Which is different in every way possible, largely thanks to the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I remember sitting in my first Alcoholics anonymous meeting and hearing, ‘The Promises’ read out.

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through…”

I am 7 years sober, I feel I have areas in my life that still need work. My gender transition and my career for example. My life isn’t perfect, I live hand to mouth and my Mum is slowly and painfully being stolen from us by vascular dementia. However, despite these things, I have a truly wonderful life in which I am content and proud. I am not even hallway through and yes, I am more than amazed.

In these seven years, I have discovered the man I truly am and stepped forward into that identity with clarity and grace. I have unashamedly embraced living an honest life, even when that honesty meant facing difficult facts about myself. Where once I would run from emotions, using alcohol to numb their razor-sharp edges, I now lay myself bare to even the most painful of emotions.

I have done this because every time I face something rather than run, I am rewarded with a new phase of development. A growth in self-knowledge, a deeper level of self-awareness, and an even deeper sense of contentment and faith in life’s process of unfolding.

Facing my doubts about my sexuality, and my fears about relationships has been a long and confusing road. I am now being rewarded with the arrival of a wonderful man in my life who brings me so much joy. Alongside that, being with him has given me even greater confidence in my gender identity and a much deeper understanding of my sexual attraction.

To think I once feared change, and now I welcome it, even when those changes are the least expected. In fact, those changes are the best.

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Embracing New Beginnings-Day 40-43 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is allowing yourself to trust in new beginnings

2018-06-11_09.17.49-01At the beginning of this year, I decided to start dating again. This was for two main reasons. The first was because l really needed to get my own life back after being so focused on looking after mum for the last 7 months. The second reason was that l still hadn’t had a significant intimate connection with a man and l really wanted one. My thoughts about my being attracted to men were still a theory. I felt pretty sure that these feelings were real, but they were still largely untested. You can think about strawberry ice cream all day long and imagine what it would taste like, however, until you actually taste it, you really can’t know for sure, can you?

I wasn’t looking for a relationship. Neither was l purposely not looking for a relationship, but l certainly wasn’t expecting to find one. To be honest,  I wasn’t sure l was ready, what with everything in my life presently being incredibly physically and mentally challenging. I also didn’t think l was ready to share my life in any significant way with anyone, and l wasn’t sure l wanted too either. I’ve been burnt too many times now and it is not easy putting your hand back in the fire. More than anything, I just wanted to date, to meet people and explore my sexuality.

My first venture back into the world of dating was with Chris. I was attracted to him instantly and after the first date, he made it clear the feeling was mutual. Even more than that, it quickly became apparent that we both felt very strongly for each other. This has continued to grow in strength in the 5 weeks since then, and we’ve even been discussing a future together. This is something that has surprised us both.

I feel wonderful. He makes me smile. He makes my heart feel like its going to burst out of my chest. Alongside that though, are a bundle of nerves, as is the case with new relationships. l am afraid of being vulnerable, of opening my heart and laying myself open to the possibility of being hurt. Additionally, as l have mentioned previously in my blog entries and my videos, my mental health and recovery cause extra concern, as being hurt can really set me back.  However, as l have also discussed, l refuse to let my mental health stop me from enjoying life, l just need to proceed with balance.

This week, l experienced an abrupt and distinct internal shift in these early nerves. Chris and l were sat having a coffee on the seafront, and l suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of acceptance of the intensity of my feeling for him. I moved into a wonderful feeling of trust, in both the way l feel about him and in my belief that this really is turning into a relationship with a future.

This is what has made me decide to break my silence around his identity and publicly share who he is. Despite it still being early days at 5 weeks into seeing each other, I know I want a future with him ,and I am fully trusting this very promising and magic beginning.

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Taking Time Out-Day 30 to 35 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is knowing when to take a break

2018-06-03_18.21.28-02I am out of date with my posting. In fact I’m out of date with all my social media. I decided to take a few days break from it all. I have been working so hard recently, writing articles, blog posts and short stories. My keyboard has been on fire!

I declared my fifth date with my new boyfriend, (I cannot get used to saying that!) as a little mini holiday. I travelled to him on Tuesday and stayed until Friday and allowed myself time off from writing. It was really lovely to just give myself permission to have some much needed chill out time and even more lovely that it was in wonderful company with a man that gives me so much to smile about.

I intended to pick work back up on Friday afternoon and spend the weekend catching up with all my posts, emails and general social media. However,  I was absolutely worn out and instead have spent the weekend slobbing out! I have done a few things, but all from the comfort of my bed! I finally emerged today and went out for a brief walk and for some food supplies.

Its been a while since I’ve flaked out like that but its understandable really as I’ve been on such an emotional high. Whilst the high is a wonderful thing and should be enjoyed, self-care means preparing for the come down and allowing my body to react in whatever way it needs.

 

 

Spending Time With Friends-Day 26 To 28 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is spending quality time relaxing with friends

rechargeLife has been full of so many wonderful things lately. It feels good to be able to say that after months and months of poor mental and physical health. I have been swept off my feet by a wonderful, kind and handsome man and he is responsible for all the smiling and laughing that is currently going on in my life.

After a particularly high Thursday evening and Friday morning, when this wonderful gent then asked me to be his boyfriend, (I know, cuteness overload!) I decided that the best self-care would be to recharge my batteries a bit, spending time with friends and resting up. I feel nicely recharged now and ready for the new week ahead!

Remember to Breathe-Day 17 to 19 Of #365daysofselfcare.

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is remembering to breathe

2018-05-18_23.39.22-01I have slipped behind with my posts as I have been rather distracted by my new dating adventures! Sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s OK, as long as we remember to come back home to ourselves as soon as we notice our attention has slipped.

I have still been practising good self care. Doing this challenge is helping me to stay aware which is a really great thing. On day 17 my self-care was in reminding myself to take breaks throughout a long day of writing. Day 18 was being firm with myself and not cancelling my driving lesson even though my anxiety was screaming at me to pick up the phone and do so.

Today, day 19, has been calming myself down after last night’s amazing date! I gave myself permission to have a quiet duvet day, just doing a little writing in between grinning lots! It’s important l enjoy this lovely feeling but stay grounded in looking after myself.

Day 11 of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

2018-05-10_23.35.24-01For the last 7 months since moving to Eastbourne, with all that’s been going on with my mum and with my own mental and physical health, my life has been somewhat on hold. Recently, I decided it was time to pick up where I left off last year and get back out dating.

I have been single for a while, its not easy to date when you are transgender. To be honest, its often felt like it would be easier to just not bother and get a cat instead! Self-care is in realising I am worthwhile and lovable and that I owe it to myself to be brave and date!

Today, I had a wonderful date with a cisgender male for whom my being trans was a complete non issue. He is such a breath of fresh air! We spent 8 hours together and almost kissed at the station! I have been on a high since, and I have discovered he feels the same! We have arranged a second date!

 

Our Story In Take A Break Magazine

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We kept this article a bit quiet after the last article in the Mirror caused some divide of opinion. We did this at the same time as we did the Mirror article earlier in the year but for some reason the article was delayed so it has only just come out. Last time I was quick to proudly share it, this time I was hesitant, but then a friend of mine shared it and it made me realise that there is no need to be ashamed.

Continue reading “Our Story In Take A Break Magazine”