The Chronicles of Lily Jane Part Two

Sometimes it’s so freaking astonishing to me how far I’ve actually come. For many years I was way too terrified to go out in public presenting as female. It’s coming up on Halloween and one year since I finally began to force myself to deal with my inner turmoil. I still struggle with RA and Bipolar Disorder. Sometimes immensely. But ever since I realized that I had been absolutely suffocating my inner self and just let go… Things have been gradually improving. So allow me to bring you up to speed on the latest happenings:

I have one more session with the nice Gender Therapist I’ve been seeing in Pinellas Park and I’ll have a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis letter to take to the Endocrinologist I’m scheduled to see in early December. I really like this therapist and may continue to see him after I’ve gotten my hormones started and whatnot. For some reason we’ve just really clicked right from the start and believe me, good therapists are worth hanging on to.

I’m doing alright healthwise. Still having breakthrough flares since quitting Sulfasalazine. That stuff just made me too damned ill. I’ve been on Plaquenil for about a week but my Rheumatologist told me it’ll take a couple months to start working. Kevzara injections are pretty effective but they weren’t quite covering me for the full two weeks so hopefully Plaquenil will help me get slightly better mileage than I was.

I should have said my PHYSICAL health has been decent. In the magickal Bipolarcoaster of my head things frankly haven’t been so cheerful. I woke up a couple days ago to a New York Times article saying that the current administration is trying to legally erase transgender rights and protections and define us into nothingness. I’ve been hysterical for days. I feel sick and absolutely demoralized. I’m getting by on little snippets and scraps of absurd laughter and it’s somehow sustained me this far.

It freaking figures. Barely make it through my twenties and early thirties and when I finally find the courage to assert my femininity the federal government decides to wage war on LGBT people. I’m still living and breathing and existing. I’m just terrified by hearing our President openly call himself a Nationalist and calling people like me an angry mob as they begin to systematically strip us of our rights and protections and civil Liberty. Everything might seem normal to you, but in the queer Community the fear is very real and tangible. I carry pepper spray and a knife whenever able, I don’t go out after dark alone, I’m afraid to lock eyes with strangers, I don’t go off the main roads and by all rights I guess I got my transitioning wish. Living as a woman and everything that comes with it. That includes mortal terror.

Still, things could be far worse. I’m becoming more politically active (mostly out of a sense of survival imperative) and I have a fuckton of support in my life. My amazing friends as well as my family have been as supportive as humanly possible. Except for my Dad. I’m scared of that conversation. But I won’t stop living my truth. I just have to hope for the best. I fucking refuse to go back. The psyche of Lily has become like a hospital for the tortured wreckage of Thomas. A name and an identity I never had a say in. I still have many elements of my old life or precious memories or whatever that I carry in my heart. As profoundly difficult as it’s been, since I began living as Lily I’ve been doing my best to heal my being, to let go of Thom without resentment or shame. To forgive him for being so miserable all the time he was hiding out not being able to comprehend what was happening to him. I’ll never forget the time a few days after coming out where I had a moment of reflection. As I grappled for the words tears began streaming down my face and all I could manage to say to myself was ‘Thank you so much for letting me out of my cage’.

I don’t intend to stop now or in the near future 🤘

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Berserkitude

Well, I’m still here! Things are pretty rough at present time and I figured ‘What better time for a blog post?’. A few highlights of late:

The Alaska Trip is not happening (at least in the form we imagined). Shannon has an infection in his foot and is currently in the hospital being treated for it. Not sure what his plan of aftercare will entail but we’ll know more soon. I took him to the hospital the night before last. I am worried fucking sick 😖

As for my health, I did a dumb thing recently and lapsed on my RA meds for about a month or two and I’m paying for it with an absolutely punishing flare up. I saw my Rheumatologist a few days ago, explained what was up and he gave me a few treatment options. I chose Kevzara shots because he had samples (meaning I could start on it right away) and I did my first injection in the office before I left. I’m still hurting bad and am currently attempting to control things with low doses of prednisone. It’s making me loopy but it IS helping. I’ve been highly stressed physically and mentally and have managed to weasel my way out of my last two days of work but tomorrow I absolutely gotta go.

My Mom(who reads this Blog) has been really awesome and supportive about me transitioning. She suggested seeing an Endocrinologist and looking into starting hormones as well as possibly genetic testing. She still has outfit angst for Me, bless her heart. She couldn’t stand the way I dressed before I figured myself out and that hasn’t really changed 😂

So those are the major occurrences lately. Time to go through the hot ass summer with awkward stage hair. Whatever. I feel surprisingly good considering I’m deep in a wicked RA flare up. I hurt like hell and I’m more emotional than usual but Shannon is the one in real trouble right now and I’m doing my best to be strong for us. I’m gonna clean up, put on something cute and go have dinner with my lover in his hospital room. I’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.

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

Of mischief and fragility

Been on a bit of an odd trip the last few months. Or is it just that sort of life? Meh, probably. At least I’m mostly having fun. So allow me to break down what’s happening on my planet.

1. Excited about Halloween in a couple days. Going to work and a party that night dressed as Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn. It’s simply too epic a trolling to pass up. My inner Loki simply has a raging boner for this one. I know, sometimes I’m just totes eloquent.

2. My RA has been resurfacing after a long period of being in very little pain. Not sure if it’s the weather or what but I’m back on the prednisone and not thrilled about it. Tapering down because most predictably the stuff always turns me into a wreck mentally. Calming down a bit but worried I’m going to flare like hell as soon as the steroid is gone. Hoping this doesn’t mess with my Halloween Fun.

3. I’m still having lots of fun rediscovering my boyish inner self and watching lots of cartoons and spending lots of time outside. Trying to spend more time laughing because it makes difficult and trying times so much more bearable. Getting ready to chill with my Pikachu and some gummi worms and watch something cute.

4. Mentally, as usual I’m a highly mixed bag. I’m honestly well aware of my varying degrees of madness. I have my craziness fairly well deconstructed. It’s just that awareness does not automatically equal results. I’ve done a lot of work on myself the past few years to just be more open with other people and laid back and peaceful. Yes, Crazy Thom wants inner peace. I know, it’s wacky, right? In all seriousness though I’m still tearing away context/details/shit that I don’t need from my brain on a daily basis and tossing it in the incinerator.

5. I’ve come to realize that most people do the bulk of their suffering privately. I’m trying to keep in perspective the fact that everyone could be in the midst of a raging battle that i know nothing about.

That’s about all i have for now except…..

A Halloween teaser photo:

Have fun and be safe this Halloween!

-Tommy Boy

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

Muh Summer

It’s right around the corner. The humidity is spiking in grand Florida fashion as I prepare myself to go see Iron Maiden in June. That along with turning thirty-five are the main points of interest so far. 

On the home front I’m bracing myself for two lonely months without my Lover Man. He got a lead in a Play in Alaska. I would have liked to join him but  I simply couldn’t scrape together the funds. Also, I feel like it’ll be best for our animals having one of us here.

Rheumatologically the battle continues unabated. In spite of a year of various meds my Vectra DA score (Disease Activity) more than doubled since last year when  I was first diagnosed with RA. I’m trying to remind myself that this number doesn’t reflect the increase in my methotrexate which I’m sure is helping. 

Sometimes I’ll have a few days straight of my joints being relatively calm and painless. It’s easy to underestimate how capricious and erratic my body can be. I’ll start feeling strong and cocky but the swelling always returns and slaps me back into my place. Still, overall I think I’m showing some recent improvement and am optimistic that incorporating a gluten and sugar free diet will give me even more edge. My first diet attempt crashed and burned but  I plan to give it another go while my Man is in AK.

So yeah, the summer is pretty wide open. I am sure as shit not just being a house ape the whole damn time. I’m gonna miss the living fuck out of Him 😦

That’s about all for now. I find this is a useful protip to give oneself from time to time 😉

Be well-

Thom