Read This First Please...........

Whats this blog about?
I suffer from Gender Dysphoria, a medical condition that sets the mind against the body. It's more commonly know as transsexualism and is commonly percieved as a 'choice' or sexual in nature. It's not. It's a genetic quirk, a birth defect - no more a choice than having blue eyes or being left handed, and has nothing to do with sexuality or gratification. It is not a mental condition but a physical one of the hormonal system and the way it interacts with the brain. It's been with me since I was 3, but always pushed away as 'wrong' and a foible of my mind. in late 2008 it exploded back out into my now normal life with a loving family. It's put me into the pits of depression with this, and have been close to suicide twice now. I'm not going to fight anymore. I give up - I can't beat this and I now accept that I will have to transition to female at some point. Or I'll die. It's as simple as that.
I am, and always will be a family person, so one thing I can promise is that this blog will not contain content likely to be regarded as being offensive. It may make you think, but will never be salicious or rude. So I've blogged about fighting being trans before and I've blogged about running before. It's time to start to normalise apparently contrary things in my life [ha!] and accept that all parts of life are not incompatible.
So it's 20/12/10 today as I start this blog. In April 2011 I'd like to run the Highland Fling as a male vet. At some point in the years not too far ahead I'd like to run it as female. Now there is a target.
Please do stop by and leave comments

Monday, 31 January 2011


Depression is a bit of a pain really. I was doing so well getting running again and was fairly hopeful of making the Fling this year. Well looks like I've overdone it. Not the usual running injury type, but the more hard to pin down damage to the limbic system depression causes. The flush of energy and drive I had just collapsed and I've been just plain old dead, crawling in at night and having to sleep before dinner, yet being unable to sleep well at night and impossible to get up in the morning. This weekend we were decorating and even with that level of exertion I had to have a snooze late both afternoons. I know you need to rest when training for an ultra, but you also need to be able to run as well. Right now I'm pretty unable to stay awake all day never mind run. 
This general 'shatteredness' has coincided in a couple of bad weeks mentally. Last week I was down, the feeling of hopelessness and mild suicidal thoughts started to return. Was really feeling like I'd rather die than hurt my wife and kids [not that that makes sense anyway and dying will hurt them more]. Anyway this cumulated in me breaking down into tears on the phone on thursday to my beloved wife. "I hate this!" I cried, "I hate being trans and I hate hurting you - it's sh*t!". Bless her, she was brilliant [always is] and I while I knew I was just feeling sorry for myself, it was nice to have someone to talk to. But I know this is just passing and that was just a very bad week. My PHQ-9 depression score is coming down slowly and constantly as a long term trend and this is just a blip.
But it's improving. Still extremely tired and even had to stop and have a snooze on the way to work today. I'm off on wednesday and may, I say may, head over to the WHW for a jog/walk. I'd rather run, but know that would be too much too soon, but would be nice to get out there for an hour or two.
Other immediate plans? I have more IPL facial hair removal this week, hypnotherapist on friday, seeing my GP next tuesday and hope to have my head back together for my '2nd opinion' appointment with the shrink in just under two weeks. So it's hopefully back to running this week and trying NOT to fight the trans stuff. Seems every time I try to resist it in any way, it always beats me up!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Ups and Downs

The week started off with reasonably expectations even though I knew I was going to miss a day or two through a business trip to Paris. I'd had two great runs up the hills with pups on saturday and sunday in the snow and was looking forward to the weekMonday night was off with the head torch around the countryside roads, before heading to the castle and back into town. On the last stretch the road heads down a long fairly steep brae as it descends into the town. All the way round the footing had been 'OK' - a bit icy but nothing too bad. Suddenly as I rounded the corner I felt my feet slip, but I didn't fall down. Instead I just started sliding slowly down the hill while apparently standing still. The whole road was one sheet of ice and even the path was the same. It took me probably 10-15 minutes to edge my way down the roughly 400m long hill, until I could get to a sane piece of road.
Tuesday night was traveling to Paris and wednesday was meetings there and flying back, so complete right offs as far as any running was concerned, but since I knew that was going to happen I was cool with it and was looking forward to a longer run on thursday. Well that didn't happen either did it. One of the things about depression is that it robs you of energy and ruins your sleep. Although I've been on the happy pills since october, I'm still having trouble sleeping and am constantly tired -mid-late afternoon is the worst. Since I'd had two late nights with work travelling, I knocked off a bit early on thursday still with the intention of running, but just before I got home, a huge wave of tiredness and sorrow came over me. Couldn't do anything except go to bed for an hour. Just completely wiped out. When my depression was at it's worse in sept-nov, this was what most nights were like, but I guess maybe I've been doing too much with the running and the travelling can't have helped. It's not very nice having sh*t like that hitting you as you feel your getting better.
Anyway friday night was another appointment with the hypnotherapist. I really can't recommend her highly enough and it strikes me as almost being like classical psychotherapy in that it helps pull the subconscious through and makes you aware of it. This is about the 4th session now and I'm going down into a very deep state very quickly. This time my arms felt like concrete they were so heavy and I couldn't move them at all. We were looking into some stuff from my past again, some stuff with my parents, when I was a kid, the night I met my wife and being completely smitten by her [still am] and looked ahead in this 'book of my life' to the future. It's important when doing stuff like this not to edit what comes through in your head. When I turned the page in this imaginary book inside my mind to the future what I saw was startling clear. A tall bridge over a gorge. The bridge had a circular arch with columns from the arch to the road. Behind the bridge was a fir forest. In fact it looked a lot like the bridge over the Garry at Killiecrankie. The message is clearer than ever. We've seen before that I see myself internally as female - the image is very clear at times. This is not so obvious but the gorge is clearly my fear and the gap between being male and being female. The bridge is what I have to cross to transition. I can stand one side or the other, but not in the middle.
She also read a fable by Friedman to me  called the Fable of the Bridge. I didn't quite understand it as far as my situation is concerned, but the essence seems to that I can release my responsibilities if they won't come with me. But do I want to release my responsibilities - that is my family. No. Absolutely not. Still thinking the fable through through.
Finally I got my '2nd appointment through'. For those of you not up on the Standards of Care [SOC] it takes so separate mental health professionals to give a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria. I've seen various people about this and have had probably 4 meetings with Dr Callendar in Aberdeen. I have not seen him since october and what should have been a 6 week wait has been nearly 4 months with my appointment being mid february. So looking forward to it as that then sets the course clear for a final '3rd' appointment and a formal diagnosis. From there? Who knows, but until then it's back to running!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

2011 and things

Well 2011 is here and I'm falling in love again with night time running. I really am. There is almost nothing so satisfying right now as plodding my way round a nice route with the cone of light from my head torch defining the limits of the world at large. Whether it is going through the woods near home, or out in the countryside, the peace and solitude are hard to beat – it gives you time to think, while the running endorphins help take the edge off the mental stress of Gender Dysphoria. The hypnotherapy I've been having has helped big style. I'm fairly sceptical about some stuff like this, but this has really worked, helping me clear my head a bit, and somehow giving me more energy and drive. I would highly recommend the woman I use for anybody with any problems at all.
So the planning to get me to the Fling start line is getting put in place. A realistic plan has been drawn up on spreadsheet [John Kynaston would be impressed], maps bought, the WHW ran on, if only for a few miles in the ice, and most importantly I’m starting to get the miles in slowly but surely. I was planning to do a 'Jan-athon' - running every day in january for a minimum of either 3 miles or 30 mins, but this isn't quite going to be possible. I've only missed one day so far due to a family day out to Aviemore and I know that next week I have a business trip to Europe which will blow at least one day out. But still going to try for every day and reach 90+miles for January. The plan for the next week is to get a decent run in at the weekend, hopefully up the nearby hill with the mad pup, and then run home from work next thursday [12mil] one night, along with the usual daily 3 milers. OK - I know it's hardly Jez Bragg mileage, but building up from zero again will take a bit of time. It's going to be a challenge to be able to do the mileage required for the Fling, but right now I'm up for it.
All this running and the anti-depressives has taken some of the edge off the GID, but I'm hoping not to fall into the usual trap of going 'Oh! it's gone - I can go back to a normal life again!' - that only ends in pain as the GID comes back soon enough. This time I'm not hiding it, not repressing it, so tonight it was back to the salon for a second IPL facial hair removal session. The first session hurt like nothing on earth, but this one was much much less painful. Really looking forward to seeing some more improvements, although the first session has made a huge difference.
As a bit of inspiration I was looking through Jennifer Mccreath's blog this evening. She managed 6 marathons in 2010 with 5 within a 33 day period. I do hope I can keep that level of activity up as I transition. 2011 looks like her year for GRS [surgery], so here's hoping she recovers quickly and gets back into running again soon. I also found this link to this article from runners world.