One of the things I’ve realised about myself is that I love to lose myself in oblivion. Whether that oblivion is drugs or alcohol or just a book or a TV series, it’s the feeling of being lost in something other than reality that I crave so deeply.

It’s a feeling that I’ve always felt. When I was a child, I used to imagine myself in worlds other than this. I would play games with my imagination that became so real that I could see the subjects of my imagination, just out of the corner of my eye. I struggle to differentiate between dreams and waking too. My dreams are so real to me that I often can’t tell whether what I dreamed actually happened or not. When I was a kid, I genuinely believed that I could fly – but only in my Grandad’s house, because this is where I had the dream that convinced me that being able to fly was real.

Drugs are the easiest way out, but alcohol is a decent enough substitute. The difference between the two is that alcohol can depress me at the same time as taking me out of myself, which often leads me back to myself – which I suppose could be seen as a good thing, but when you want to escape, being forced back into your own skin isn’t fun.

Fantasy films and TV shows or books have always had the same effect on me. The difference is, I can take the same drugs over and over again and, with the exception of needing to increase the amount that I take, the high is often always the same. But with books, once I’ve read it, it’s never the same. I know the story, I’ve devoured it, so I need to move on to something else. And when those books run out, desperation kicks in, and I’ve often found myself scouring bookstores for something, anything that will satisfy my craving for more oblivion.

It sounds ridiculous, comparing books with drugs, but the end result is always the same – the desire for more and more and more. There is no such thing as enough.

Today is the first day of the new year. As my dates for top surgery and starting testosterone draw closer, this ever elusive search for the unknown, for oblivion, also seems to draw closer and closer. It’s like I’ve been grasping at something my whole life and missing it, over and over again. Oblivion is loss of pain, it is satisfying desire, it’s living completely and utterly in the moment. I believe that some people have the propensity towards drug taking and excessive alcohol abuse, and others do not. I am one of those who leans towards the darkness, but I enjoy it, I revel in it. I cannot imagine living my life in any other way. The fact that the risk of losing control is always there, right on the edge, fills me with fire, fuels me. The fact that I have gone over the edge and managed to come back doesn’t scare me. It empowers me.

Last year I wrote down the things that I aspired to for 2015. My aspirations haven’t changed much to be honest. Most of it is still a work in progress. Enjoying life, facing my fears, having a clear head, being more tolerant and kinder, to worry less and to live in the moment, to stop taking anti-depressants and to learn to manage my anxiety and depression. 2015 was not my best year. But it wasn’t my worst either.

Life is hard, and how hard it is comes down to perspective. Some people cope really well: to some people, it doesn’t even feel like they’re coping, it’s just what life is like. But everyone is doing the same thing. Getting through the hard times, trying to enjoy the good times, beating themselves up for not appreciating it more. We just all deal with it in different ways. Oblivion is my way. I hope that this year, transitioning will be the beginning of the end of my search for oblivion.

Happy New Year to you all.

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