20170106_140024_hdrI started this page as a place for me to come and essentially find solace in my words. I have always been a writer and sometimes being able to write things down makes it a little easier to breathe. It helps me put my life into perspective or just quiet my soul a little when it’s raging and on fire.

I imagine that somewhere out there someone is reading my thoughts and maybe nodding their heads or perhaps wiping a tear or thinking “wow, i totally get that.”  It’s a nice feeling to think that maybe you are reaching out this invisible hand and some how through the miles and the words are able to touch someone; if only briefly, if only quietly… just having that moment where someone else out there totally gets what you are talking about or thinking about or feeling so deeply that the only way to express it is to have it written down – whether or not it is ever read by anyone, it’s out there; it’s out there without a real purpose or direction, but silently seeking someones heart to sink into.

There is no real story behind me, who I am. I am just another nice guy trying to not finish last. The boy next door; the slightly awkward, terribly shy nice guy who tries too hard to please everyone else while forgetting that he matters too. The only real way to discover who I am – just read. Within my words is all of who I am, the kind of person I am and who i strive to be.

Come, take my hand and let me walk with you, alongside you as I pave the path and clear the way down this narrow winding trail. I cant promise bewilderment or moments of thunderstruck; but i can promise that I wont let go of your hand, that I will stay with you from start to finish and walk with you while we take this journey through the confines of my mind. (it’s not as scary as it sounds, I swear haha)

Thank you for taking the time to walk with me; it’s nice to not be alone sometimes:)

#justme

~ByAlex~ As long as I am writing I know I am still alive.

It’s been a while again since I have written anything, I like to think that it’s because I have been doing well mentally, though I am sure that’s not really the case. Sometimes the more my mental health suffers, the less I am driven to pick up a pen or sit behind this keyboard. A couple of weeks ago I actually picked up my journal and just stared at the blank page in front of me, pen in hand, unable to make that pen do its magic. When I am feeling it, I mean really feeling it, it’s like the pen takes on a life of its own, like I am not the person writing but the pen itself has something to say and when it touches the paper it just starts forming its own words and writing its own story; like my brain is sending all its input out though my hand and into the pen. Other times, when it appears I have lost it all – all the passion, all the drive, all the want – it’s like the pen is a block of wood in my limp and lifeless hand and my brain has been unplugged from the power source, unable to send signals anywhere, let alone my hand.

After staring at the blank page of my journal for what seemed like an eternity, and flipping back through pages of random thoughts, uncategorized entries, word collages and drawings I found myself writing in broken print, fast and unkempt – no thought, no coherence, just writing. Here is what I wrote:

 

20170428_093210-1No Words.

Yet a million thoughts run amok

In the confines of my brain

I can’t write them down, I can’t

Speak them aloud, I can’t

Silence that inner voice that

Violates my soul with a tongue

20170428_100714-1Laced in acid.

 

A million times to match the

Million thoughts I’ve tried

In vain to speak but try

As I might no words can be

Uttered.

Reaching with trembling

Fingers to pluck the words from

20170428_100641-1Thought, to paste them upon

Paper, only to have the thoughts

Turn to goldfish – swimming fervently

This way and that to outwit

And avoid my probing digits

 

I am without hope, without cause

Absent; adrift; falling between

The cracks and grasping with

Torn and tired fingers, trying to

Find my way back to the surface of20170428_101143-1

This ocean that seems hell-bent

On drowning me in my own tears

And perpetual malaise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just a few paragraphs, nothing serious but still all encompassing. I have no rest from all the thoughts that ramble, mostly incoherent, throughout my mind all day, every day. These thoughts I have no words for, these deep, dark, moss-covered thoughts, like a fallen tree in the forest – aged and tired and broken; damp from the rain, decaying to nothingness under a fine layer of moss that grows fuller and thicker as the time passes and the clouds rain tears upon the forest floor. That tree can’t ever be repaired, we can’t replant it and make it grow again, that tree is broken and dying and alone.

Maybe when the sun shines a little brighter and the darkness attempts to subside, that tree could be hauled from the forest floor and repurposed into a new life, one dead branch at a time can be limbed from its trunk and formed into something new, something useful, something with a purpose; but it will never be truly unbroken.

I have taken the vase that was shattered so long ago and glued each piece back into place, there are no holes that are visible but if you look close enough you can see the tiny cracks in the surface where the glue was lain to join those pieces back together. That vase is even more fragile now than it was before it was broken. Each sliver and fracture is a weakness, a soft spot, a point of entry to an end that results in shattering once more and if that be the case, that the vase gets chipped away at and a fissure becomes breached, then I fear there is no glue in the world that can help put it back together again. Maybe it’s the fear of that end that makes me keep that vase enclosed in a padded box, wrapped in plastic and encased in concrete, placed upon the highest shelf. If I build the walls high enough and keep the box hidden far enough away, then maybe, just maybe I can make it out of this life unscathed. But to what end?

Do I want to be the tree or continue embracing the vase? I want to be the tree. I want to let go of the vase and spread my arms like branches of a great fallen forest tree, a tree that has a purpose even after it’s fallen. What purpose is a vase anyway? Even one that has withstood the test of time? What, but to hold a bunch of flowers that will wilt and die and become useless themselves?

 

And this is greatest question at hand.

 

“To Be or Not To Be?”

 

And answering this question proves to be more difficult than one would think, when the thoughts can’t form words then the pen has no hope of writing thoughts. I can tell myself that this too shall pass, that it won’t always feel this way, that I do have a purpose, that all these things happen for a reason and that I shall overcome – dwindling hope make the light hard to look at, like a snowy field on a bright and sunny day – right now my eyes are squinted just a little too tight. Though dwindling as it may be, hope is all I have and our eyes eventually adjust to the sunshiny snow. I don’t know what today or tomorrow will bring; maybe I will buy me some sunglasses. Today my brain let my thoughts out through my fingertips and I guess just for today I can be grateful for that, because as long as I am writing I know I am still alive.

 

 

 

 

~ByAlex~ An open apology to anyone who has been in my anxiety’s line of fire

I was on Facebook the other day and came across a post about social anxiety:

Be patient with that friend who always cancels – they might have social anxiety

(http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/22/be-patient-with-that-friend-who-always-cancels-they-might-have-social-anxiety-6463202)

Continue reading “~ByAlex~ An open apology to anyone who has been in my anxiety’s line of fire”

~ByAlex~ A Few things, as FTM that I took for granted when presenting as female.

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For as long as I can remember I have suffered from debilitating depression and anxiety, coupled with chronic pain and chronic fatigue caused by Fibromyalgia – it’s been an uphill struggle for a lot of years. For many years I hid behind my pain, buried myself in my depression and used my anxiety to close doors and lock them tight, I never dreamed I would one day be able to peek my head out and actually see the light – granted, my pain is still severe, and my depression is still debilitating, but despite all the turmoil and haze and agony that comes with it, I was able to make a change in my life that, years ago, I never thought was possible. When I finally opened my mouth and said the words out loud that I am Transgender it opened a door that my anxiety was powerless to close; I was granted a peace in my soul that I never thought possible. I could finally start looking in the mirror, I could finally start to see who I was supposed to see, and as the time goes on, it’s only becoming better and better. Some days I catch a glimpse of  my reflection in a window as I pass by and I am struck with the realization that the man I had just seen is actually me – I can’t even describe the way it feels: like being blind all your life and then finally gaining sight and finally being able to see yourself after only having had an image in your mind of what you think you look like; and when you see that reflection it’s like seeing your mental image come to life. I wish I had words to explain to you how it feels when I touch my face and feel a beard growing there, or the elation of grooming – I know that sounds crazy, but trimming my beard and my hair and seeing a man looking back at me in that mirror fills me with a delight that I cannot describe – I don’t think the words have been realized yet to give life to the feeling of actually seeing in the mirror who you see in your mind.

Having said all of that, I did spend thirty-four years presenting as female, avoiding mirrors and reflective objects at all cost, but presenting and living nonetheless. I spent 13 years in a lesbian relationship before my transition; the majority of our friends are female. My mother raised me to be a good girl, and I was for the most part; and now, raising boys, I can see how very, utterly different girls and boys actually are. Boys are a completely Continue reading “~ByAlex~ A Few things, as FTM that I took for granted when presenting as female.”

~Alex~ Two years ago today, I died…

It’s strange to think about it now; and honestly, most times I don’t think about it.. I read a post by my wife on Facebook where she stated that she was relieved and that she loved me – and I am sitting here trying to collate the two statements: She loves me AND she is relived – what a funny thing to write; and then I realize: “Rigghhhtt – it was two years ago today that I went to the hospital to have the first surgery in my transition (hysterectomy) and after all was said and done with the surgery and I was beginning to come out of sedation, my body decided that it was having none of it and I had, what we are calling, an episode of sorts. Essentially it was pulmonary edema (via Wikipedia: “Pulmonary edema is fluid accumulation in the tissue and air spaces of the lungs.[1] It leads to impaired gas exchange and may cause respiratory failure.”) it is surmised that I aspirated gastric fluid as I suffer quite extensively from gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD); I say surmised because no one was able to actually tell me what really did happen, we just know that I went into respiratory distress and I had to be resuscitated; my wife and my family were called to come to the hospital immediately which of course sent everyone into a tizzy – me? well I didn’t know anything had happened to be honest. Once I finally was sent to ICU to recover, I awoke briefly to see my mom and my wife and some doctors hovered above me saying my name and asking how I was. My reply: “what a great nap I just had!” and then slid back and forth in and out of consciousness for a while.

I recovered fine from both experiences of surgery as well as the complications and life has gone on, seemingly as normal. I didn’t have any epiphanies, or light bulb moment where I knew I had to start living life it was this precious gift that could end at any moment (however true that may be) – it struck me, that without notice I could have met my end. The effect it had on my family hit me the hardest and I was sad for what they had experienced – it’s unfortunate that the depression in my life (in my soul) has made me immune to fear of death; Some days I often welcome it. The thought that that day could very well have been my last took a little while to really sink into my bones. My body rides the waves of my depression like a little old sailor fishing from his dory on a sea taht ebbs and flows and sometimes raises higher than the sky and swallows him whole, but he always comes out the other end of the storm; mind you on the other side he has come out tosseld and drenched and a little worse for the wear, but he comes out all the same – his dory is still afloat and he’s only lost a little of his gear over the  years. The sun dries out his clothes and weathers his face and takes the color from his hair, but the sun is the only warmth and he treasures the calmness of the ocean on those sunny days – he might even catch a fish or two. He’s been though storms where he’s hunkered down on the floor of the dory, curled into the fetal position with the wind and the rain pelting all the pain of his wounds into his face, raping his body with whip lashes, and with every snap of the whip he silently begs for the storm to take him, the tears on his face are blended with the rain but the anguish is unmistakable. The storm never takes him, and when the sun comes out he’s almost grateful even though he knows that just over the next horizon that storm is going to brew again and he doesn’t know how much his slicker can take before it’s nothing but tatters and the rain and wind start battering his bare skin.

It took me a while to realize that I had been standing so close to the front step of Mr. Death himself (for the second time in my life) and it took a little while for it to sink in. Most people have these brushes with death and suddenly leap forward in their life, making changes for the better, living in the moment, seizing life by the proverbial testicles and twisting until the darkness goes away and the storm stops and Mr Sailors dory gets finally docked and the poor ol’ guy gets to come in out of the weather… Me though, not so much.

However, here I am now – two years to the day later and suddenly this morning it hits me – I could have died that day. I could have ceased to exist and not been here to sit in front of this computer, or drive my kids to school or kiss my wife after work – all of this could not be happening; and for a moment I couldn’t decide whether I was happy or sad that I hadn’t been taken that day – just for a moment, because all I have to do is close my eyes and picture all the amazing people I have here in my life, the people who love me so much and the thoughts of not being here with them, to not see the boys grow or not kiss my wife or hold her hand or look into those amazing brown eyes – those are some of the things that keep me here and make me ecstatic that I woke up that day and just thought i had been sleeping, because i cant bear the thought of my life without me in it.

There hasn’t been any testicle-grabbing, but my mind is clearer, my heart is lighter, and I know that I want to keep getting what it is that I am getting that I need to keep doing what it is that I am doing – so I’m making changes. Small, baby steps, one day at a time kind of changes, and I am not gonna say that poor ol’ sailor boy will ever get to come in out of that dory, but I can say that he now has an umbrella and a brand new slicker and as long he can weather this storm – so can I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Alex~ Happiest Birthday Wishes

When I was a child, I wasn’t overly close to my extended family, especially in my mom’s side. Most family gatherings took part at my nan’s house (dads mom) where all the aunts and uncles and cousins would gather and eat and play and congregate, all the good things that come with family gatherings. That all ended in my mid teens when my dad and his brothers and sisters had a falling out (details not included), but we stil never spent a while lot of time with mom’s family.

Having said that, however, we were by no means estranged. Mom has some sisters who live away, and every once in a while mom would fly out to see them and take me and my brother, or later Just me, with her. 

I loved our visits because I got to see my favorite aunt; a woman with whom I related a lot to, and was just all around amazing. She was a little quirky and always greeted you with a smile and she made you feel like she has been waiting her entire life just to see YOU. She told the funniest stories and had a sense of humor like no one else I had met in our family, and to top it off: she was just the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes on. I wanted to be just like her: friendly, and happy, and quirky and travelled and cool and pretty (i was presenting as female back then, so yes pretty lmao) 

I never got to see her as often as I would have liked, but I always kept a picture close and I would write letters and mail them to her (yes, i am showing my age). And when I did get to see her, I have those moments cherished in my memory. 

I havnt seen her in very many years, and I have to say that I miss her terribly, I think about her often and still think she is the most amazing and beautiful woman… Who just so happens to celebrate her birthday today! How I wish I could be there to celebrate with you, we would eat cake even though we shouldn’t eat cake and laugh into the night. I love you my auntie and I hope you are having the most wonderful day! Happy Birthday xxoo

~Alex~ “Meryl Streep just took down Donald Trump & never once mentions his name”

God love Meryl Steep! she said everything that is in the hearts and minds of so many of us, words that I cannot form into statements, she has encapsulated it all. A man in power treating human beings like garbage in a public forum only gives his followers permission to do the same. My children are products of the way they are being raised by myself and my wife and those closest to us – hence, what we do and show them gives them permission to mirror that in our image, which is why I treat everyone with decency and respect and try my absolute best to respect myself especially in front of my children. What a shame that the adults running the world can’t offer the same to us, their “children”. What a shame that those we call leaders and those we give over our power to cannot insight us and give us something to look up to besides animosity, shame, degradation, and INhumanity for all. We as a people allow the media to shape how we think about others in society and we have been allowing it happen in the same breath of stating that it is disgusting how the media treats human beings and alters the truth to fit their definition of it, yet we do nothing to fix it. WE need a change, and we need it now. I fear for the future of our children based on the the world we live in now, what in the hell is it going to be like twenty years from now?

 

The whole video with Viola Davis introducing Meryl before she gives her speech, brought tears to my eyes. Just beautiful!

We spend our lives watching these people on TV and in movies, we grow a fondness and a love, and even come to feel as though we know them somehow – yet we fail to realize that they are just real people living real lives. Thankful for these real people, and I wish more would stand up and stand together to be the change we wish to see in this world.

~By Alex~ A new Year, a new day: 2016 in review

I haven’t been writing near as much as I  want to, and I have no one to blame but myself; I have had tonnes of time on my hands these past few months. I managed to get half of something written and some jot notes for other things I want to write, but actually sitting down and finishing something has been way out there for me.

So I decided that as a result of a new year (cliché, I know) that I was going to make some real changes in my life; starting first with my weight and health. For the past few years I have complained and whined about the fact that I have put on so much weight and that I am so out of shape. I have had fail after fail in the “changing my habits” category, so many in fact that before long, I just gave up all together. For the past few months I have been on an all-you-can-eat-sea-food-diet. Translation: everything I would see I would eat and I would eat all that I could eat of said eats. It has been mentally and physically exhausting because I am not blind to the fact that I am doing something wrong, quite the opposite, which in turn results in copious amounts of guilt and shame. That, coupled with the depression and anxiety I have been swallowed in these past few months (I am not a fan of the winter months) has just turned me into this jiggly lump of a hot mess.

Alas, something, somehow clicked inside of me and I made this mental note that come January 2017, come hell or high water, I was going to make a change. I mentally noted that I would continue to drown in the sweets and fats and foods of 2016 right up until the turn of 2017 – like any good resolution maker would — Only it wasn’t a resolution, really. I just kept telling myself that I had to change, and before long I started to believe myself. I mean, I gave up the abuse of prescription morphine and various other pain-killer medications; I gave up smoking cigarettes; I came out of the prison inside of myself – burst out of that cage and announced to those I loved and held dear, that I was Transgender and after 35 years of life I was going to finally start living my life as the man I know I am – to stop pretending to be this girl that everyone thought I was supposed to be. So, after all of that, after everything that i have endured and gone through in this life – why then could I not make a change in the way I was living my life? Stop treating food like it was my next fix, stop that junkie behavior that I had become accustomed to in a previous life and just peel myself off the couch and get up and do something about it, dammit?!

I truly believe that there comes a time in every persons life when they have to stand up and be accountable for the choices they’ve made and the decisions they are making in order to have choice and to make productive decisions. Not everyone makes it to that meeting. There are so many people who have had the time to change their lives but missed the memo, or trashed the notice, or were just completely oblivious to the fact that they needed to change… Admitting you are powerless and that your life has become unmanageable is the first step I learned in my 12 step program when I was kicking my drug habit. The thing is though, that this step is the first step to absolutely ANYTHING. If you need to make a change in your life, you have to first admit that you are powerless over whatever it is that is making your life unmanageable. Sixteen years ago it was my addiction to prescription narcotics; twelve years ago it was my substitute addiction of not wanting to be alone and hanging on to a relationship long after it had ended; all my life it’s been food and my unhealthy, even toxic, relationship with food. I have abused food to make me feel better the same way that I had abused drugs, or people or any number of things in the pursuit of finding some sort of happiness in my life – real or imagined.

So I got that memo – the one that said “CHANGE OR DIE” and I admitted that there was a problem, I admitted that I was powerless over this problem, and I admitted that my life had indeed become very unmanageable. Now for the first time in my life, no strike that, for the second time in my life, I feel empowered to make change, I feel inspired to fix everything that I have broken within myself – Yes I have broken; ultimately it is no ones fault but my own – of course I could blame my boss or my kids or my wife etc, but what good would that do? The thing that got me here to begin with were the choices that I made – the decisions that I made – no one opened that bottle and put a gun to my head and said “use these drugs now or  I will blow your head off” – No, I made that conscious decision to use those drugs; it was my choice to have that second plate of food even though I knew i shouldn’t; it’s been my choice all along – Though i did not choose to be an addict, it is still my choice in how I live this life and whether or not I can be a productive member of society.

So here I am, six days into this new year, reflecting on everything that happened in 2016, hearing a lot of negative from a lot of people saying how 2016 was the worst year ever and so many bad things happened… I can’t be negative about the past year as I had quite a lot good come from it – and even the bad has helped me in my decision-making process to become the person I know I am meant to be. It has been a very long road that I have traveled, and endured more than I like to admit – but at the end of the day, all of these experiences mold us and shape us into the people we are. We learn from our mistakes (hopefully) and with any luck that meeting request doesn’t get barraged by friend requests or status updates or tweets or whatever else they’re doing these days.

If the time comes when  it feels like nothing in the world is making sense, like you are climbing the highest mountain without any gear – check your calendar because it might finally be that time when you have to make a real life decision and answer that question “What is it in my life that is causing me to feel this way?” and then deal with it, accept the challenge and build the life that you want to live – no one can do it for you, and no matter who we have around us, or how many – it all comes down to ONE.1253658212133378jpeg