BEING ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL ON MONDAY FOR PSYCH CARE: I will record a YouTube video speaking more about this this weekend. But, briefly (as brief as I can ever be as a writer and over-thinker) –
1. I know my mental health well enough to know what I need and when I need it, and my Team of Healers (5 people from various fields – psychiatric and alternative) agree that I need this, and there’s nothing more they can do.
2. Please trust me on this.
3. The photos where I’m beyond happy in a heart-expanding way about top surgery are not faked, forced or “putting on a happy face because you expect it”. You can see this.
4. But it IS possible to feel more than 1 emotion at the same time.
5. When you have mental health issues, especially an intersection of a number of them, this storm of feelings can become unmanageable; and has become so in my case, to the point where I am unable to self-care (and I’m a VERY good self-carer, while also being a very good self-harmer – aren’t we all?)
6. PLEASE understand that I do NOT regret my decision to have the surgery – video will explain more.
7. PLEASE be open-minded and suspend your lack of understanding enough to not see being transgender as a mental illness. It IS NOT. I am a person who happens to be trans and have mental health issues. They are complexly connected and unconnected.
8. I am not suicidal. I will be ok, because I am a warrior. And to misquote one of my favourite movies: “It will all be alright in the end, and if it is not alright, it is not yet the end.” EVERYTHING is as it should be and EVERYTHING is a part of my healing – depression, hypomania, surgery, being unable to self-care, hospitalisation, etc.
THE LOGISTICS AND SPOONIE REQUESTS & WHAT I NEED (in this space where I can’t look after myself):
1. Please don’t give me any advice. I don’t want or need advice. I just want to be seen, heard, visible, loved, held.
2. Please don’t call me. I can’t do voice without eye contact and phonecalls are something that are beyond me right now (and, in fact, in general).
3. Anyone who knows me personally (real life or social media – there is NO difference between the two) who does have my phone number and/or email, please send a WhatsApp, email or text message (not Facebook or Instagram DM). I will deal with these messages when I can, or have my housemate (Bianca) update you. If you only have my email I will answer when and if I can.
4. Please don’t message to ask how I am. I am how I am and explaining it to numerous people every day is exhausting. Just saying “I love you, am thinking of you, is there anything I can do?” is perfect (this is true for ANYONE going through a difficult time – divorce, death in the family, etc.)
5. If you want to visit, which would be great as I’m probably going to be in for 21 days, please WhatsApp, email or text message me to check where and when you can (not in terms of visiting hours but in terms of my Spoon levels). Part of my inability to self-care is not eating, so bananas, chocolate (not sweets), smoothies more than welcome (please check before you come which of those I need – just imagining my bedside table looking like a banana plantation in KZN; but of course there’s no such thing as too much chocolate).
6. My Instagram trans, intersex and gender non-conforming friends whom I’m in regular contact with, get my details Skype or WhatsApp video call deets before Monday via Facebook inbox, Instagram DM or email. (I don’t know how FaceTime works, but if you have an iPhone we can do that).
7. Under STRICT instructions to only journal in notebook and NOT to update social media at all; so while I will take photos to document top surgery recovery and write about all of this physical, emotional, psychological, surgical and spiritual recovery, I will NOT be sharing it until after I’m more ok-ish. My housemate will tag my name in posts with general updates.
8. So remember: while I am not following your journeys, KNOW that I love you, sincerely, and miss you, and that it is REALLY difficult for me to not keep you updated due to my Saviour Complex and my need to educate people who do not understand or can’t wrap their heads completely around what it means to be transgender. My blog Life Writ Large, by Germaine de Larch is there for a reason, and has a HUGE amount of information and resources. Use them.
9. So your being patient will help me hugely. If I return home and to social media with a flood of questions about things I have been VERY clear on, it will undo a lot of what has led to this period of needed rest.
10. Ok, enough. Rest. Breathe. I will record a video as I’m too good of a writer who is able to edit while writing, so speaking for me is more real, as I don’t do it very often.
And it, and all of this, is for ME. Helping others while helping me is why I’m on this planet.