Now that I’ve made my ebook “Stay Wild; Notes From a Self-Aware Teen” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the unseen chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in July 2017.
I’m sitting in the kitchen of my apartment, beside a half packed suitcase that’s about to travel (with myself) to my Mam’s house in Wexford for the next few weeks. I can’t really believe that I’m typing that sentence, but this is my current reality.
My younger self would not be impressed that I’m about to (temporarily) give up my glamorous life in Dublin but such is life. My younger self wouldn’t have been able to predict any of what I’ve been through in the past couple of weeks either.
God has it really only been a couple of weeks? I’m so exhausted. I’ve changed my mind and gone through so many different headspaces in those weeks that it feels as though it’s been forever. But here I sit, hopefully nearing the end of this trepidation that’s been a part of my existence for six months, ready to take my life back.
This morning I woke up to an email telling me that I hadn’t been picked for a journalism job that I interviewed for and that I really wanted. I waited for this news to pull me under a dark cloud, but it didn’t. Similarly, yesterday when I discovered that I’d failed some of my modules for my course, I was also able to manage that news.
I feel as though my resilience is building up once again which is something that I’m very happy about. When you’re facing challenges, as we all do, it’s so important to have resilience in order to manage them. Resilience is something that I’ve been without for the past while.
During this time, I had to lie down and just let life roll over me. I wasn’t able to participate in this world. Making decisions. Looking after myself. Being productive. These were things that I wasn’t able to do.
When I went in for my hormone appointment, my physical and emotional exhaustion was explained. My hormones have been out of balance for the past six months, meaning that I’ve had high levels of testosterone while also having high levels of oestrogen.
This has wreaked havoc on my body which has wreaked havoc on my mind and well, if you’ve read this book, you’re aware of the rest.
I’m tearing up as I write this. I’m very tired of this body that isn’t working the way it should and that frustrates me. Because as we all know, I’ve made amazing strides in terms of accepting my body and that’s become even more challenging now.
I’m having horrible hot flushes again as well as fatigue, dry mouth and intense mood swings. Also, my nipples are incredibly sore which means that I can’t flop down on my stomach and despair about life like I usually would.
Bear with my negativity, for I sense that I’m about to hit a positive note.
I’ll be seeking sanctuary in my Mam’s country house while I figure out what to do next. I finally do feel like I’m in a headspace to figure out what to do next. I hope to sleep, cry, scream, despair, practice gratitude, come to terms with my anguish and become myself (or at least some replica of myself) in my time there.
Looking back, a lot of the Stay Wild essays seem to have been telling me a similar thing. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Focus on yourself.
Now, I’m finally taking the time to do that.
The other day, I snapped at a group of men who were wolf-whistling at me. I let my shoulders drop and my eyes show my exhaustion and I marched up to their table, not hiding my disgust that I had to confront them.
“What is your game here?” I asked them. They just laughed uneasily while all staring at their feet. They can never meet your eye when you try and force them to.
I let my voice crack when I said the next part.
“I’ve just been checked out of a psychiatric hospital this morning because I had a nervous breakdown,” I told them. As I was saying it, I realised I wouldn’t be able to deal with the possibility of their response not being what I expected so instead of going on, I immediately turned away from them and left.
I’m not sure what their response would have been and I’m not sure what I’d want it to be. But when you lay yourself bare like that, you leave yourself open to the harshest possibilities, and I didn’t wish to do that.
For the record, this was a lie, or rather an extreme twist on the truth. I’m not sure why I chose to lie to them like that, but I think I thought those words would have a much bigger impact than my own confusing reality.
Standing up to people isn’t something I usually do because I’ve never seen the point but maybe in the future I will begin to face these people. This doesn’t mean that my past approach was incorrect or weak, it just means that I might need to find another way to keep my sanity.
I’m reluctant to dismiss the past few months as awful, because there have been many wonderful experiences mixed into them. But I can’t deny that so far, it’s been extremely challenging to be David Beattie in 2017. 2016 was amazing, but this year has been tough.
Today I’ve cried, returned to my bed a number of times, forced myself to eat meals and felt despair whenever I think about the future. This is what my days look like in this new current reality and that’s something I have to be okay with.
It’s not you, I keep reminding myself, it’s the hormones.
But if anyone can get through this, it’s me. I’ve proven that to myself time and time again and as long as I can keep that unshakable faith in myself, I’ll be okay.
Okay is okay for now.
The rest will come later.
Read more about this breakdown here.
Watch my mental health journey below:
Now that I’ve made my ebook “Stay Wild; Notes From a Self-Aware Teen” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in July 2017.
Let’s talk about a very charming young man that I encountered on the internet recently. Think you know where this is going? I doubt it.
What I’m about to describe is an experience that I think is unique to trans women. Not sexual harassment, unfortunately a lot of people experience that, but a specific form of sexual harassment that’s a result of the trans fetish. It’s hard to explain without an example, but lucky for me, I have many examples to draw from.
Read more of Críostóir’s posts here.
I remember mixing paints in primary school. I must have been four at the time. Red and blue made purple. Blue and yellow made green. Red and yellow made orange. It was fun but it was all too simple. I decided to give myself a challenge. Instead of mixing colours I already knew, I was going think of a colour that I’d never seen before and then work out how to mix that. I concentrated and focused my mind but I was quickly frustrated. How can you imagine something you had never seen? How would describe a colour to a blind person? I still remember the feeling of frustration.
Read Críostóir’s Other Posts here.
I remember the day well. I actually remember it as a happy day. My mother and my then baby sister were taken on a day trip with a neighbour, we’ll call her Linda. She had a young daughter who aged with my sister. Her partner, Jim drove us all. All five of us packed into the tiny car. Continue reading “An Lá Sin”
I’m Críostóir. If someone were to ask how my life has been thus far the first answer that would fall out of my mouth is happy. I generally feel happy about my life. I’m close to my family. I have a job that I’m passionate about and I enjoy and most of all I have a wonderful partner. I’m genuinely excited about the future and happy where life is taking me.
It wasn’t always this way. There’s been some very dark parts to my life thus far. I often describe it as though some has taken a dirty black marker and scored out parts of my life. I do feel fortunate though.
I’ve had extreme issues around body image for as long as I can remember. I hated the way I looked growing up and I tried to use a lot of different methods to make myself look different. Some of these were simple things like adopting a good skincare routine from a young age to develop smooth “feminine” skin. Others were more harmful, like starving myself to look smaller and more fragile.
Having an unhealthy obsession with controlling the way I looked got me a lot of approval. My peers in school would often makes comments about how much I looked like a girl. The girls would inform me that I had a high fashion figure being so stick thin. The fact that I was living as a male never came into it. I enjoyed that. Continue reading “Having a Body Image Disorder in a World Obsessed with Bodies”
I awake early and look over my bags. I packed last night, but I have no idea whether I’ve even brought the right stuff. I’ve never stayed in a hospital before. I’ve never known anyone who was in a psych ward. Sitting on my bed, I have a few silent tears. My room is a complete mess. It hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. There are takeaway cartons and dirty dishes lying around it. I’ve barely been able to get out of bed the last few days.
My Dad is on his way and I resist the urge to get back into bed, pull the duvet over my head and sob. I agonised over what to wear. I thought it was best to dress in jeans, a long top and a cardigan. The most casual outfit I own. I didn’t want to dress up and look like I wasn’t sick enough. I laugh at this thought now, but I really had no idea what to expect. Continue reading “My First Day in the Hospital”
I suppose I was quite nervous about turning twenty. I thought it was the age where you declare yourself an adult. The age where everyone expects you to stand on your own two feet. Although I don’t know why that would make me nervous because I’ve pretty much been standing on my own two feet for a long time now.
I was surprised to discover that this wasn’t true. People still view you as being quite young when you’re twenty. I remember during one appointment with a doctor, I expressed frustration with some of my friends in regards to my illness. But she told me that I can’t expect too much from twenty year olds. Continue reading “How it Feels to be Twenty.”
There are so many people who let me down when I was in the hospital. More than I ever could have imagined there’d be. Being honest, I’m quite bitter about it. But I need to let go of that bitterness.
One thing I never wanted to be was bitter. I’ve always believed that bitterness halts you. It keeps you in a moment that’s already passed. And it’s an understatement to say that I feel ready to move on from my time in the hospital. It seems to be all I’ve focused on for the past few months. One of the ways I can move on is by forgiving each of you.
I’ve probably told you almost everything about myself at this point. Nothing’s really been off limits when it’s come to opening up on my website or in my videos. However, I’m going to share 30 facts about me that you may or may not know. Continue reading “30 Facts About me.”
We live in a diverse world, I think most people see that nowadays. It’s a world where people are all on incredibly different journeys. Journeys most of us haven’t even begun to understand. Almost every day, I read an article or book about someone’s life which helps me to see things from a new perspective. I think this is the case for many of us nowadays with our online world. There’s less room for black and white thinking. That’s a benefit of social media which we don’t hear about often enough. This means that it’s time to embrace the grey.