World Book Day Post: 3 books that moved me

As today is World Book Day I thought I’d do a special post on three different books which has moved me the most and why they did. It was a challenge to pick just three out of the many hundreds of book I’ve read but here they are:

 

1. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka 

The Metamorphosis tells the story of a young man by the name of Gregor Samsa who one day wakes up to discover that he has been turned into a giant bug. Not surprisingly, people become fearful of him. His own family rejects him and he is locked away in his room so that the world will not have to see him. Their despise for him only grows stronger as time goes by. Meanwhile sinks further and further into despair. Right until the awful end.

The main reason I felt so strongly about this book when I read it as a teenager was that it spoke to my sense of isolation. Being raised in a fundamentalist Christian community where LGBTQ-people were frequently mentioned in the same sentence with pedophiles and zoophiles, I truly believed I was repulsive to God and to my fellow human beings. Many of my time as a teenager were spent locked inside of my own room, hiding from the rest of the world. In Gregor Samsa I found someone who almost felt like a kindred spirit, someone I saw as being as isolated and alone as I felt.

Luckily, I’ve come a long way since I was a angsty Christian teen and I am now a very happy Atheist. But the story of poor Gregor Samsa will always touch my heart in a way many other books never could.

 

2. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

This story inspired by the author and his friends’ travels across the USA touched me for reasons that have little to do with the actual plot. Almost anyone could write a text about their travels. No, what really moved me was the feeling of it. The sense of longing for freedom, for truly living life itself. For it, as Kerouac himself would have expressed it.

On the Road was the very first book which really gave me a longing for living life. It helped me through depression and gave me hope in the midst of very dark thoughts. Jack Kerouac is without a doubt one of the authors who have changed my life in the most profound ways. In fact, I felt so grateful to him that I picked the first name of my author name after him.

 

3. Just Kids by Patti Smith 

The only non-fiction book on this list, Just Kids could also be put on the very short list of “Books that made me cry like a baby.” It tells the very touching story of the remarkable relationship of Smith with gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. From the New York art scene of the 60’s and 70’s when they would hang out with such cultural icons as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Allen Ginsberg to the tragic passing of Mapplethorpe from AIDS in 1989, this story will make you feel like few books can make you feel.  

If I had to give this book a rating, I would give it the highest possible rating. It is a must read, without a doubt.

Transition update: First appointment with the plastic surgeon

This morning I had my first appointment with the plastic surgeon who will perform my top surgery. It went pretty well. When I arrived at the plastic surgery ward I immediately noticed a little rainbow flag on a sign that said that the medical personnel here is specially trained to take care of the needs of LGBTQ-people. It’s always nice to deal with people who know what they’re talking about so that felt great. The nurse and doctor used the right pronouns the entire time I was here so that was pretty cool too.

The surgeon took first a look at my chest to determine what type of top surgery I will need and concluded that it should be a double incision top surgery, which is typically used for guys with moderately large to larger chests. He explained the potential risks associated with the surgery. They are bleeding, infection, opening of the wounds and loss of sensation in the nipples.

I was informed that I will most likely get my surgery in December 2016 or January 2017. So basically even further in the future than I had previously been told. Although I can’t say I’m surprised considering how incredibly slow the Swedish trans healthcare is.

After that I had some pictures of my chest taken for my medical records and we were done for the day.

So now I’m just going to have to wait for that call when they will inform me the exact date of my surgery, which will be performed by a surgeon by the name of Gennaro Selvaggi. I hear he has a pretty good reputation so I’m hopeful that I will get good results.

I will continue to update on my transition as it progresses.

On an unrelated note: I’m starting to get more productive with my writing again. I have been kind of mad at myself that I didn’t make the deadline I had set up but I’m focusing now on getting back into the game. Hopefully it will also get better when I get back on my ADD-medication. I’m still waiting to get my prescription refilled so we’ll see how it goes.

 

 

Giving it another try: Going back on ADHD-medication

For a couple of years now I’ve tried my best to deal with my ADHD symptoms without taking meds. I’ve managed it somewhat but now I really don’t think I can do it anymore. My mind is a mess right now I can’t get anything done. If I don’t do something about it soon it will continue to negatively impact my personal and professional life, so I really want to get help as soon as I can.

I really tried to get by without medical help for my ADHD symptoms, not because I am opposed to taking medication but because I had a pretty bad experience the last time I tried taking them. I was on Concerta on two different occasions. The first time the dosage was way too high and it made me go kind of crazy. The second time was a little better, I was on a lower dose but the medication still gave me tones of anxiety.

I’ve tried all kinds of things over the years to deal with my symptoms: caffeine pills, meditation and mindfulness, rigorous schedule planning etc. But nothing seems to work well enough.

I have an appointment tomorrow at the psychiatrist’s office and I will bring it up with her that I want to go back on medication. I don’t know if I will take the same pills as before or if I will try new ones but I really hope things will work better this time.

I will document my experience with going back on ADHD medication in case anyone is interested in learning more about taking meds to treat ADHD.

I’m not exactly sure of when I am going to get to restart my treatment but I will update once I know more.

Bad concept art nr 2

Still drawing scenes from my upcoming book because I’m having a hard time getting writing done. Dealing with constant fatigue due to work stress and my brain feels like porridge. Still manages to get around 200 words down per day though so it’s not completely hopeless.

FullSizeRender (3)

Bad concept art nr. 1 + An excerpt from an old project of mine

Sometimes when I’m in the middle of an period of writer’s blog or just need to take a break from writing, I draw things inspired by the story I’m writing. I’m definitely not super talented when it comes to drawing but I thought I’d share my latest mediocre masterpiece to give you a glimpse into the world of my first book:

FullSizeRender (1)

 

When doing a little spring cleaning at home yesterday I stumbled upon a short text I wrote a long time ago. It was supposed to be the beginning of a book but I never wrote the rest of it and quite frankly I can’t even remember what the story was to be about.

IMG_1922