strix_alba: (Default)


When you struggle with your mental health on a daily basis, it can be hard to take action on the things that matter most to you. The mental barriers anxiety creates often appear insurmountable. But sometimes, when you really need to, you can break those barriers down. This week, with encouragement from some great people on the internet, I pushed against my anxiety and made some calls to members of our government. Here’s a comic about how you can do that, too. (Resources and transcript below.)

Motivational resources:There are a lot! Here are a few I really like:

Emily Ellsworth explains why calling is the most effective way to reach your congressperson.

Sharon Wong posted a great series of tweets that helped me manage my phone anxiety and make some calls.

Kelsey is tweeting pretty much daily with advice and reminders about calling representatives. I found this tweet an especially great reminder that calls aren’t nearly as big a deal as anxiety makes them out to be.

Informational resources:There are a lot of these, as well! These three are good places to start:

Find your representative at

Find your senators at

Use the “We’re His Problem Now” scripts when calling (or write your own!)

Keep reading

I hate making phone calls.

I’m a motherfucking cockroach and I will not let my terror of phone calls stop me. Fucking fight me, cellular devices.
strix_alba: (Default)
I have a hard time putting names to some emotions. I don’t always — or ever, really — process grief the way that it’s usually shown. I feel numb, unsettled, desperate to think about anything else and unable to stop fixating on this one thing. This is the first time that I’ve actually learned to label this feeling as grief while it’s happening, instead of only recognizing after the fact that yes, this is mourning, this is sadness.

That’s really all I’ve got for now. I usually let the processing happen in the background once the shock wears off, to be revisited piecemeal, but I don’t get that luxury this time because literally everyone in the world knows. It makes me feel — ludicrously, but go tell that to my brain — like I’ve been robbed of privacy, because I don’t get to choose who to share my feelings with. Everyone knows. Maybe there can be some comfort in that, but right now I just want to escape and have interactions that aren’t colored by recent confirmation of the sheer volume of hatred in this country, and there’s nowhere to go.
strix_alba: (Default)
It’s gotten to the point where the war between “I want to be well-informed” and “I want to have a good day” has become more like “I want to be well-informed” vs “I want to be a functional human being”, so … that settles that. I’ve voted, I have my “don’t you fucking dare vote third-party” rant ready for facebook on Monday, and I’ve blocked all mentions of politics on tumblr. Now it’s time to focus on whatever the fuck it takes to not have one long uninterrupted panic attack from now until Wednesday.

…so, nanowrimo, and fanfiction, and podcasts, and a lot of baking and cooking. And trying to spend more time around other people because I am feeling a slightly frantic need for more human contact lately and these things are probably related.
strix_alba: (Default)
Could it be the reason I’ve been on a weird emotional roller-coaster this week is not because my life is over but merely because I forgot to take ALL MY MEDICATION? Could it be????????
strix_alba: (Default)
I’ve been scouring the internet for other people’s transition narratives, and I couldn’t really explain to myself why it was so important to me … but I think that at least part of the reason is that my memory is really shitty. I’ve moved around a lot since leaving for college, and it feels like every time I move, I need to reinvent myself. Everything else that isn’t the Present Time fades very quickly into a nebulous past and it’s very hard for me to draw any sort of conclusion about the people that I used to be because … what the fuck even was I? What was I like? I remember only in the foggy way that I also remember dreams. It’s making planning for a future very difficult because I know there are things that I like and want now, but they’re not the same things that I liked and wanted when I was still in school, and which one of those is “real”? Which one is more valid?

Knowing what the problem is likely to be means that then I can work on a solution. Right now, my solution is to track down all of my blog posts and journal entries and try to get them together in one spot. I kept a journal religiously from the ages of 8 to 20 or so. It dropped off after that, but I still have my blogs, my photographs. I used to have hundreds of text messages saved - I wrote them out onto paper, tangible proof that I had friends who cared about me. I printed out IM conversations that I had with my then-girlfriend to prove that she was real.

Once I’d … recovered from that period of my life, for lack of a better word, I threw out those pages of text messages, and most of the IM conversations. I now kind of regret that, even though I know it’s healthier this way to not be able to pore over interactions from the past. But I’m so grateful for those blog entries. I’m grateful that I have my journals, even if they’re spectacularly unhelpful at times.

The really Type A part of me wants to create a massive binder of photos and scrapbooking pages and journal entries organized by year so that everything will be in the same place next time I have an identity crisis and forget who I am, but that would be a lot of effort and a lot of dead trees, so we’ll see.
strix_alba: (Default)


my anxiety has a loophole that if somebody is else is equally or more uncomfortable I develop the sudden ability to Do The Thing

i cant go and ask for more ketchup for myself but if my friend wants more ketchup im out of my seat in a second
strix_alba: (Default)
You mean trans people who’ve transitioned and now feel self-actualized in the correct gender?  I’m very happy for them!

…That’s probably not what you meant.

So I actually have a lot of trouble saying that I have dysphoria, not because I don’t want to transition, but because it’s hard for a fish to say “I’m wet.”  I’ve lived in this body and assigned gender my whole life.  I don’t necessarily notice dysphoria, except when certain events sort of rub my nose in it.  What I notice more is a glorious, soaring euphoria when people recognize me as male and when I perceive myself as male.  Is that euphoria just the way normal life feels to people who don’t have dysphoria?  I don’t know.  I’m a fish.

Therefore, I have plenty of empathy for trans people who don’t describe their experiences in terms of dysphoria because they’re like me, unable to put a label to it because they’ve never experienced anything else.

But I’m sure, because Tumblr is vast and contains multitudes, that there are some people out there who would object to that characterization, who would say that they have perfectly good insight into their own dysphoria and they seriously don’t have any, they just feel trans regardless. 

…And heck, you know what, I support them too.  I don’t think that gatekeeping who gets to be trans is ever a good thing. It doesn’t make medically diagnosed dysphoric trans people look more legitimate; it just spreads the idea that trans fakers and wannabes are a serious problem that everyone should watch out for.

Just as I think “sexuality is complex, and many sexualities are okay” is a better narrative for LGBQ people than “we were born this way, so please accommodate our unfortunate situation,”  I think “gender is complex, and many genders are okay” is a good narrative for trans people.

Right now, I’m in my fifth month of intensive screening for being a Fake Trans before getting any kind of medical transition treatment.  And I’ve got it easy compared to trans people in a lot of places.  I don’t think “trans people aren’t doubted enough” is a problem we need to be fighting super hard.
strix_alba: (Default)

Sorry for clogging up dashes with obnoxiously personal shit that no one cares about, but …

… holy shit I think I actually have regular-people levels of social anxiety most of the time now, not ‘curl up in a ball and hide from the world because the world will stomp on your everything’ levels of anxiety, for literally the first time in my life. (I can tell you about the time I crawled under the kitchen table to cry when I was in kindergarten because I didn’t have friends like other people, so when I say as long as I can remember, I mean as long as I can remember.) It is like … wow. I feel like someone took an enormous lead backpack off my shoulders, and it was the first time I even realized that the backpack was actually this heavy-duty external-frame monster packed with a years’ worth of lead bread, instead of a dinky drawstring bag with a couple of notebooks inside like I’d been lead to believe.

I do feel a little guilty, because what right do I have to be happy when other people are still anxious, and need medication to deal with it, because it doesn’t just go away like that for them? But fuck it. In a lot of ways my life has been very easy, but this is definitely not one of them, and I am going to publicly celebrate this while it lasts.

I wrote this in the spring of 2013, if I recall correctly, and I just want to say that whenever the question comes up of “what‘s the happiest moment of your life?” it is unequivocally this day, walking up the hill from my apartment to campus and realizing that I wasn’t terrified of running into someone I knew on the way to class. I have had top surgery, I’ve started dating someone really important to me, I’ve done successful conference presentations, and nothing stands out quite as much as the moment I realized that my anxiety was under control for the first time in my entire life.
strix_alba: (Default)
whoweargoldintheirhair replied to your post: clean house clean house clean house

Please lend me some of your housecleaning motivation

My housecleaning motivation is primarily anxiety-based so I’m not sure how useful that would be to you :P Yesterday was a godawful frolick through the land of Constant Crippling Panic from 7am until I went to sleep; and Part Two of my particular all-day-panic-attack episodes* usually consists of hours of hyper-focused cleaning the next day. (I’m lucky that my first job is a lot more relaxed than my second in terms of taking time off; I swapped today out for an extra day tomorrow because if I’d had to go in to work today, I’d probably have just continued to be anxious and dead inside.)

TL;DR: No motivation to explain today’s activities, only brain quirks. Most of the time I break shit down on a checklist into very small increments (e.g. “put away clothing on chair”, “throw away all trash on the table”, “put the chicken in the fridge”) and then go checking it off. Then it’s something I can do in five-minute bursts in between, say, going from tumblr to reddit, without having to remember over and over again what I need to do and how I should do it.

*not actually all-day … more like a couple of random panic symptoms floating around at all times, with three full-on “I am going to die right the fuck now” panic spirals at intervals throughout the day.
strix_alba: (Default)


WIP, i cant seem to figure out this idea to my liking
strix_alba: (Default)


one of the most amazing things that has been said to me in therapy is that self esteem doesn’t exist.

and that floored people and the psych went onto say that what she meant was that self esteem is a concept that actually includes a vast array of things and labelling them all as one thing is really limiting and prevents actual improvement

you could have real strong pride in the things you create and hate your body

you could hate your creations but also want to share them with people

you could not hate yourself at all but not take care of yourself, engage in reckless self endangerment

thats all bundled under ‘self esteem’ but saying ‘i need better self esteem’ doesn’t mean anything

whereas if you say ‘i need to work on ways to keeping myself safe, refusing to act on destructive urges’ or ‘i want to be in a place where i believe compliments trusted people give me’

thats concrete, thats a goal.

having it said in therapy helped a lot of people in my group stop saying ‘i have low self esteem’ and start specifying about the actual issue they have

Wow, that is so, so helpful.
strix_alba: (Default)

Do other people get the thing where your hearing is fine as far as non-voice sounds go, but when someone talks and you weren’t expecting it, all you hear is “hawhwoh wofewf wmmagh”?

I feel like I have to sort of prepare myself to understand language.  Is this super weird or incredibly common?

…Is it a dyspraxia thing?  I have a lot of dyspraxia things.

strix_alba: (Default)


The worst part about having mental health issues is that you’re seemingly required to have a breakdown in order for people to understand how hard you were trying to hold yourself together.

“you have an apartment and a job! you’re stable!”


strix_alba: (Default)
strix alba

February 2017

567 891011


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 11:03 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios