The Chronicles of Lily Jane Part I

Things have been more than a bit perplexing of late. I’m moving forward with my transition as well as I’m able to currently and despite the passage of time seemingly coming to a crawl…. Stuff IS happening. I’m not sure what I should go into first here so bear with me as I struggle to articulate my thoughts.

I’ve been socially transitioning since I came out as Transgender in March so about five months now plus some change. I’m building up a new collection of clothing, working on makeup skills and doing my best to alleviate my sometimes crushing dysphoria. I have been seeing my longtime therapist again since coming out and he’s been really great and supportive. He is not a gender Therapist though so I referred him to one that I’ve been in contact with about figuring out what the standards/criteria for the gender dysphoria diagnosis letter. After that I’ll go to an Endocrinologist and hopefully begin hormones soon though I think Florida may require a year of social transition first.

Not crazy about living in Florida. Many of the people are mean and paranoid and I feel like I have a target on my back here, even in my most confident state. I’m working on facing my fears and doing my best to be strong. People I know tell me they think I’m brave or something and while I appreciate the sentiment I feel compelled to confess that I am frequently overwhelmed and absolutely crippled by fear and anxiety. I’m okay for the most part being out in public but strangers and crowds are really starting to freak me out sometimes. I’m usually okay at a concert or something but I’m finding myself getting really perturbed when I go pretty much anywhere. I know it’s not fair on my part because most people are totally cool but I’m seriously developing a bit of a social phobia and it’s been making me really have more of a sense of urgency about keeping myself together.

While I’m much happier day to day since coming out as trans, I’m also finding myself having to handle far more anxiety and apprehension than I have ever had to shoulder. The Rheumatoid Arthritis has been it’s usual capricious self so I’ve been riding my bike obsessively recently. I’m usually okay as long as I keep myself steadily burning all this bipolar energy. But sooner or later I have to slow down or stop. That’s where things get challenging for me to deal with.

I get into a lot of awkward situations and look for unisex bathrooms wherever. Not that feminine looking so no matter where I pee I’m gonna get dirty looks and perhaps worse but… Whatever. Hopefully things improve for future generations.

I miss the outlet that I used to have in Theatre. But I feel like all I could do at this stage is help behind the curtain. I don’t want to play male roles and I’m not confident in myself enough to seek out female ones yet. I’m not saying that I never will be, just that I’m not there and it distresses me. I’m hoping I face this soon as I feel like this part of my soul is withering.

Really doing the best I can to be a good Lily. I’m plagued by self doubt and this ugly part of Thom’s emotional baggage that refuses to let myself take credit or pride in anything. I know I’m a fairly decent person but I constantly juggle bipolar disorder with an autoimmune disease (RA) and the stress of transitioning and….. I can’t properly put into words how exhausting it sometimes is being Me… I keep pushing forward because at ever so slight a pacing…. Things are improving. I don’t hate the sight of myself any more. There are things I can and will change but…. I’m mostly okay with my meat skeleton.

I still have flashes of absolute spiritual agony from time to time. Believe me, those abrupt shifts can make you completely mad. But I’m learning that somehow I still have a friend in myself. We’re even closer than ever since I allowed her to reveal herself 😹

I still haven’t come out to my Dad. I’m afraid of how he will react. I know he doesn’t have a particularly high opinion of trans people and I’m afraid but…. I know I’ll have to deal with it eventually. Just not today.

I keep moving through the various systems like I have some idea of what I’m doing. Sometimes I’m not even faking. The closer I’ve become with my inner self the more determined I am to never retreat. Lily has a name, a close confidante in herself, and amazing support network. The thing I’m becoming super adamant about is not letting my emotional or physical pain turn me into a jerk. I know who the fuck I am and who I want to be and….

I’m here for the Long haul 😘

It feels Lovely to spill my guts in the form of a Planet Berserk Post. Swear I’m going to try to be more prolific.

Love-

Lily Jane 💜

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Variability

The holidays notwithstanding things are ever shifting. Time distorts, and it seems like nothing is happening yet everything is somehow different or altered. Some for the better, others not so much.

I’m feeling sad lately and I don’t always have the ability to put it into even the most basic of words or terms. Not all the time, mind you. I actually almost have an idea of where I’m going with this line of thought.

Often I say that I’m X (Sad, Depressed, Morose, or whatever) and ‘I don’t know why’. I’m choosing to point it out because it’s nearly always a misrepresentation of the truth which eventually emerges. Granted there are times when words utterly fail me, but it really doesn’t happen much. Point being that I am almost always blowing smoke when I say things like that.

I’m also feeling quite happy in some respects. I have a lot to be grateful for and I’m fully conscious of this. I mean, there are the usual stressors but my romantic life is unbelievably fulfilling despite my Darling and I being on opposing schedules. I’m excited about Christmas, and seeing my Sister as well as the rest of the family.

I’ve just been shifty lately. It’s the nature of my illness, even when it’s well controlled. I’ve been having occasional flashes of intense sadness, sometimes in the middle of talking to someone. Or anxiety. Either way I feel icky as hell almost instantly. It seems to worry people who see me like that. I try to explain that it happens and I just sort of have to let it run its course. Doesn’t usually last that long.

That, of course is the easiest way I can sum up bipolar disorder. It’s not the highs or lows that get you. It’s the back and forth shit that really drives a person berserk.

Any time I’m sick or my joints start flaring up I tend to get weepy and blubbery. Today is one of those days and I’m on the couch with my Pikachu trying to take it easy. I’m hoping the dreaded work bug I seem to have goes easy on me. I don’t want to have to go off my RA meds when I just got things under control.

So yes, I am a bit frustrated and feeling icky at present. But instead of staring at the walls and wandering around in my head I decided to write about it. Did I achieve anything? I suppose that’s purely a matter of perspective. Whatever. It made me feel a bit better, that’s all I really care about right now.

That’s all I have at the moment. Be well and enjoy yet another obnoxious selfie.

-Tommy Boy

The adventures of Tommy Boy

It’s been a good, albeit an odd fall/holiday season thus far. As I laid out in my previous post, Halloween was a dream come true. My income hasn’t been great but my awesome Grandmother gave us a publix card so we had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner at home with my best friend Matt. Had a blast but more importantly lots of leftovers 🙂

Rheumatologically I’m doing a bit better since switching up my meds. I’ve been on Xeljanz the last few weeks and it seems to be helping quite a bit so that’s awesome. Off the prednisone and back to sleeping relatively normally which I’m quite pleased with.

Mentally I’ve been a mixed bag but I’m holding. I’m a lot more relaxed now that I got a very helpful early Christmas present. Been a bit frantic and anxious lately but its mostly under control. Excited about seeing my big Sister soon too, she’ll be here a whole month 🙂

I don’t really worry much these days about dressing or looking like a bit of a Nancy boy. I mean, I’m not doing anything ridiculously over the top. I’ve just let my guard down a bit. I’m not cartoonishly such but I am a guy who is deeply in touch with his feminine side and not afraid to express it occasionally. I realize that I might get jumped for looking like a homo but I don’t really give a fuck. I dress the way I do because it gives me joy. I don’t really care if other people don’t like or approve of it.

All I’m really doing is finally being comfortable enough with myself to not give a shit what people(especially other men) think or say about me. Yeah, I’m a bit crazy and a big fairyboy. I know who the hell I am and it only took me well into my thirties to figure it out and to be okay with myself.

I sometimes feel like an oddball in both the queer and Metal communities. I’m Death Metal as fuck but I’m the only Gay Death Metalhead I know except for a dude I follow on Instagram (I’m on there as rainbowbritethedestroyer) 🙂

I don’t care if I fit in or if people approve. I’m the Death Metal Faerie Boi and I like myself this way, damn it.

Whatevers. It’s almost time for Christmas. All I want is more time with my darling and LOTS of wacky knee high socks. The more insane the better. That is all 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Tommy

Say Hello…

To my little friend Wodos the Pikachu. Isn’t he just the most adorable thing ever?

As you can see he is a Thelemite type of guy, with a fondness for spikes,  ripping Death Metal/Grind core and denim. At least that’s how I’ve styled him 🙂

In all seriousness, I was having a great deal of trouble with anxiety and whatnot leading up to and after the hurricane. Having this little guy has done a lot to keep me grounded and calm. I don’t really give a shit if it’s ridiculous because it helps me. 

As you can see, I made a little Metal vest for him. Also a collar because I wanted him to have the unicursal hexagram pendant 😉 I had a lot of fun with this project. 

Why Wodos? It’s a reference to a meme in my battle jacket group. Someone selling a patch on eBay inverted the logo of the German Thrash band Sodom and sold it as a Wodos patch. Metalheads went berserk. 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed meeting my service Stuffie 🙂

-Thom 

Feeling sufficient

Sometimes I seriously feel like I’m playing with a stacked deck. I’m not sure where this developed but I rarely feel that great about myself. I know I’m not a bad guy but most of the people in my family have at least some kind of meaningful achievement whereas I’m constantly getting down on myself because I’ve done so little. I’m not as bad about this as I used to be. In a lot of ways being with Shannon makes me less apprehensive and does a great deal to build up my spirit. 

Sometimes I believe in myself. It’s a difficult frame of mind for me to get into, but it does happen. Sometimes I’m just so bent on not being arrogant or whatever that I go to the opposite extreme and either sell myself short or tear myself down somehow.  I’m working on this for real because I like to entertain the idea of having some artistic and creative potential yet to be realized. This is one way in which my Man is extremely encouraging with me. I mean, honestly I tried to put a Battle Vest together for years and never got anywhere with it. It’s amazing how much of a lift it gives your spirits when the person you’re with doesn’t think everything you’re into is stupid.

To put it bluntly, my Darling inspires me. He lights a creative fire under my ass and fills me with laughter. He and I are far from perfect but we’re perfect for each other and I can’t wait to marry him. He’s fiercely intelligent, nurturing and so compassionate. I hadn’t intended to turn this post into me gushing about my Man but here we are. I’ve never felt as loved or as safe in anyone’s arms. Now if we could just find him a day job I would be so happy.

Sometimes I feel insufficient, or perhaps insignificant. Shannon’s mental health background helps quite a bit, he’s pretty good about knowing when to let me be. I mean, I kick myself hard enough in the ass every day to appear normal, but I’m always going to be bipolar. I know I’m not either of those I words to Shannon, or my family. 

Let me be real for a moment. I don’t know what to do with my life. I had two severe mental breakdowns in my twenties and I’ve been pretty much adrift ever since. I don’t have a great deal of confidence in myself, but I’m trying to change that. At least giving myself credit for not being a jerk, for still working my ass off with mental illness and RA. I mean, I suppose there’s dignity in not being a deadbeat at least. 

This summer being home alone really wrecked me. I was hysterical most of that time. Didn’t do much outside of go to work and come home and be miserable. I was so happy when Shannon came home and it’s been such a blast. Only problem is my emotions got kind of weird over the summer and I can’t seem to shake it. It takes very little to upset me and make me cry these days. I don’t know how I became all fragile like this and it’s kind of disconcerting to me. 

Aside from that I’m basically alright. I just don’t have much of a social life these days and I miss my friends. It’s hard with opposing schedules and me not having a car. That is a major reason my job prospects are narrow , public transportation here is a joke.  

I’m sure I’ll figure something out here, just kind of bummed out lately. That’s about all I have at the moment. Sorry for being such a downer. 
-Thom

On being enough

Yep, this is gonna be one of those heavy deeply introspective Planet Berserk posts. Since I began this blog I have made no secret of the fact that I am mentally ill. It’s been a recurring theme of my writing, as it’s something I have a bit of experience and knowledge of. I do this blog because it helps me better understand and grasp what’s going on in my head. I’ve done it for a minute or two now and have some readers, which to me is great if you get something out of it. 

Anyhow, I hate to be a guy who constantly pisses and moans about everything under the sun. I do my best to avoid shit like that because it doesn’t help anyone really. With this said, if I write about the stuff I’m dealing with, I can at least get some outside inside perspective. A crude way of phrasing it but whatever. The ability to pick apart my own words from a distance is both crucial and precious to me. It helps me dial down my ego and be somewhat more… clinical I guess you could call it. Plus putting it on a blog that’s public enables without a mandate the possibility of genuine outside aka another person perspective. Perhaps I’m overthinking it but that IS what I do. 

Some days it feels like the deck is stacked against me. I do my best. I hurt a lot physically and mentally and I try my damnedest to be whatever ‘enough’ is. Strong enough, smart enough, hard working enough, I don’t know….. I just always feel like I’m not doing enough or far along enough or…I have no idea honestly. I know it’s my brain being all bipolarish but being self aware doesn’t just make everything better. It just makes your analysis better in my view. 

I’ve made a living with my body my whole life and now it’s revolting against me in the form of moderately active Rheumatoid Arthritis. The methotrexate and Enbrel are certainly helping but I guess my point of mentioning it is that it’s one more thing to deal with on top of being mentally interesting. There’s side effects from the meds, plus having a physically intense job, plus the creeping depression that is always harder to control than mania. I never go full manic on my meds. I get depressed a lot though. 

Everyone in my family has achieved something, all I’ve done is survive badly. At least this is the kind of stuff that creeps into my thoughts when I’m feeling sad. I chronically suffer from being down on myself. I know it’s stupid but it’s a hard habit to break myself of. RA also has a tendency to amplify depression, or so I’ve read. Of course flaring joints don’t have much of a mood improvement effect. 

I do the best I can. I get up and go to work. I try my hardest to keep up with everything life throws at me. Some days at my job I feel weak as all hell and I hurt all over and my wrists and knuckles are swollen and I go in the beer cooler and fucking sob for a minute. Only a minute though. Not getting paid to lose my shit here 😉

It’s been hard on me this summer. All the while I’ve basically been the walking undead. I’ve been fine at work throughout the last two months, but privately I’ve been a fucking hot mess. Hysterical at times. I’m maxed out on my antidepressant that I had cut in half six months previous. I’ve been gradually getting better about giving myself a break and relaxing, but the first six weeks were pure hell.

In spite of all this, I actually feel like I’m enough today. I put in a solid day of work, made some money and had a pretty good time doing it. My baby comes home in less than two days. I’ve never been with anyone so supportive and encouraging and it’s pretty awesome. He helps me believe in myself and I believe in him. We’re just a couple of hard working guys with serious health issues that do our best to hold one another up. That’s what love should be, at least that’s what I think. I know I’m enough for him 🙂

Again, I try not to bitch about my job or my health issues or whatever. I know lots of folks have it worse. I just have to get it out of my head to where I can see it. As I mentioned, this blog being public doesn’t serve any other purpose than giving outsiders a portal into my war. 

Anything else? I had a wonderful birthday party a few days ago. I’m thirty-five now. Got two Iron Maiden shirts and a pair of Iron Maiden socks too! I also switched to methotrexate injections this week which has helped significantly with side effects. 

Hope you enjoyed this disjointed head spew. Time to recuperate and prepare for Sunday breakfast shift.

Regards-

Thom

Sacri-licious

I know it’s not a real word. Stop oppressing me. I’ve been enjoying myself in the kitchen lately and don’t mind bragging a bit.  Yes,  I am a fan of my own cooking. I’m a big believer in comfort food. This morning I woke up with swollen joints in a decent amount of pain.  Took some analgesics and distracted myself from all that noise by making tacos at nine in the morning because I can. It made me feel better,  though that ache is still there. 

I’ve been on Arava for three weeks and am still not noticing any change. I just hope it doesn’t make my blasted hair fall out like it’s known to do. I was thinking the new med was starting to work until yesterday.  I had several pain free days without any NSAIDS and thought I had hit a clearing. Then I started flaring again.  My Rheumatologist has instructed me to be sparing with my bottle of prednisone so I’m not taking any more before I see him next week.  If I still have a lot of swelling when I see him he may add another med, hard to say. I’m back on a steady dose of Tylenol and Motrin for the time being.  

Mentally I’m much calmer today than I have been since returning to Florida. I had an interview for a job by the mall today which I freaking nailed. The beach is a dead scene lately and I had to go where the money is. I can’t live off two days a week,  much as I like my beach job. So, yeah. A bit more relaxed now that I’ve found a new job.  I’m usually pretty good at staying on top of my brain cooties, but the financial anxiety had been wearing hard on me.  

I’m doing fairly well otherwise.  Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am.  I wouldn’t have thought of pursuing this particular job if a work friend hadn’t told me to come check the place out.  She also put in a word for me,  I think. I left that place today with a satisfied smirk on my face and a spring in my step. 

It’s nice that some people still remember and practice karma. I do my best to put out mostly positive energy and be a decent person.  My great struggle in this life is not letting experience make me inexorably cynical. I can’t remember who said this but one quote sticks out in my mind: Snark is the modern disease. In so many walks of life it seems like nothing more than a vast sea of smiling back stabbers with no thought process outside the context of petty one-upmanship. At the risk of sounding like a hippie, I’m not letting these types lay waste to my true nature. 

Perhaps I should clarify,  I’m not referring to the concept of a higher self or whatever. I’m talking about the true incontrovertible raw essence of self. The will, if you like. Crowley tells us that every man and woman is a star with a unique and distinctive orbit. The Law of Liberty applies to all,  or it applies to none at all.  Some people absolutely crack their minds trying to wrap them around such a broad and sweeping ethos of tolerance and respect for others. Thou hast no right but to do thy will, save for if such will inhibits the liberty of another.  Thelema is truly the embodiment of the global citizenship notion which has become so popular in recent times. 

Now I pause and rub my knuckles in a contemplative state. As I glance at the time I realize that I’m due for nighttime meds. I’ll try to keep the rest of this post succinct. I’m okay. I was in an icky state for a few weeks but I made it through for now. I’m highly grateful for the quality time with my Boyfriend and our animals that I’ve been awash in of late. These are the things that keep me whole and pure. Which brings me back to the essence of self.  Beyond all the layers of experience,  the infrastructure of interaction with others, and how we see ourselves is the raw entirety of one’s being.  Not physical attributes, nor any shade or filter of presentation may obstruct the indomitable gleam of (for lack of better terminology) the inner light. It is the light which permeates and moves through all objects and things living or not,  that which the ancients rightly viewed as the active living will of God.  

Know thyself, and the rest will follow. I’m not the smartest, best looking or most successful person out there. I’m just a guy who knows who the hell I am. I refuse to let this world dull my glow. 

I’m not really certain what the purpose of this post was, but I’m running with it.

 See if I do not. 

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