Mental health and 1000 origami cranes

I have been in survival mode since the moment I got on a plane at JFK to Prague airport eleven years ago. I didn’t want to go back to my passport country. That was the moment when one of the core issues of my depression has begun. One year before this moment I packed my stuff without any intention to ever return at age thirteen.

As puberty hit and I went to high school in my passport country two other core issues emerged independent of each other, being a transgender woman and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and yet intertwined with first issue. I’ve suffered from ASD mostly through Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and problems with executive functioning. The less apparent was my inability to use language like every one around me, translating from one language to another is almost insolvable problem, I can’t do it. What’s worse my brain doesn’t use word when thinking so translating ideas into words most of the time a daunting task. I couldn’t speak how I felt because I had no words for what I was feeling.

This led to a suicidal depression I’ve had to live through during high school because whenever I tried to express myself and couldn’t use Czech I tried to use English. Answer from people supposedly close to me: ‘Speak Czech.’ And I could not. So my solution was to keep everything inside and wait it out.

Fast forward to the end of college, I’ve started to deal with gender dysphoria by going to a doctor who prescribed me hormones but it took me a year between initial contact and this moment. The reason why it took me this long is, again, my inability to use language, especially Czech and feared silencing again and it took me 6 months before making initial contact to translate everything they might ask me from English to Czech. Since going on estrogen my life has been less miserable until January 2014.

This time ASD came by to tell me that I can’t really be adult like everyone else. Autistic burnout, this is the term used on forum for autistic people, happened to me and changed my life upside down. This is also a time when I started my Real Life Test so there was a lot which was going on in my life. Burnout on autistic spectrum means something different compared to “normal” burnout. It means that you were stretching yourself more than you should’ve and your spoon bank went bankrupt. You can no longer borrow spoons from the next day, and you have to slow down considerably and start changing how you live your life.

A lot of times it means changing one’s working environment, for some it might mean homelessness because they can’t afford to pay rent for others even death, for me it meant that I can hardly go back to school due to sensory issues. Sometimes I have problems to go to groceries and buy food for myself due to the noise which normal people consider, well, normal. Around September another part of my depression emerged, being in Czech republic for eleven years and wanting to go away.

I haven’t realized how much this part of depression affected me until I got out for ten or so days and felt a little bit spoonless but more productive, less anxious, and overall happier. From the fifth day on I’ve cried myself to sleep because I knew I had to return and didn’t want to but I also didn’t want to risk going off hormones. So my feelings were mixed.

Today, the day I’m writing this, I have made last crane for senbazuru. It’s strange feeling because for past ten months I couldn’t focus on anything, may be some times on a book, and now I made over 500 origami cranes in four days. I probably would call this miracle. I also have planed one trip out of Czech republic for next month, and commission for SRS will be January next year, and then I’m moving home.

I don’t know where home is, and that’s OK at the moment.

I’ve been also falling back in love with coding which I was taught to hate by my teachers at university and people around me, mostly accountants and tax advisors who openly hated programmers. Unfortunately one of those people is my mother who was never in my support circle and sadly she’s one of my anxiety triggers so I have decided to leave her outside of what is important to me. This makes me angry and sad at the same time.