”After more than a decade of struggling with crippling anxiety and depression, and with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a recent addition, I hit breaking point and, almost a year ago, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. That year, 2016, had been a year of watching myself crumble bit by bit in slow- motion. I spent a month over Xmas getting better in the hospital and when I was discharged in the New Year I was determined to make changes in my life to take care of my mental health.
Getting better involved changing the way I ate, exercising, finding new work, changing my sleeping habits, getting my hormone levels to a healthy stable place, going to so (so) much therapy of all different types. As well as, for the first time, planning for Gender Affirmation Surgery. I realised that was one thing that would, finally, make my body feel whole. If my body felt whole then maybe so could my mind.
So, I took my new job and worked and worked and saved and saved, and went back to my old job as well, then added freelancing on top of that and then got a new role at one of the organisations while still maintaining the previous one. It is a lot! Honestly, it started to take a toll. I was getting so focused on earning enough money for surgery, which is approximately $12,000 after rebates, that I was struggling to properly take care of myself. This meant putting myself at risk of ending up back in the hospital. This would mean not being able to earn money, which would mean no surgery, which would mean…..well yeah, not great times for wellbeing.
After some close friends encouraging me I decided to crowdfund the difference between my savings and the cost of surgery. Launching the campaign was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life, my fingernails quickly became stubs. But then, within 24 hours people’s contributions had totalled nearly $2,765. I was floored and overwhelmed. I had hit nearly half my goal of $6,000 in a day.
For transgender people like me Gender Affirmation Surgery isn’t a luxury, but something that is vital to my health and survival, and means the world to me. Thanks to the incredible response I’ve received it seems like something that may actually happen. This warms my heart to no end.
I don’t talk about it much but there is a part of me that is in constant distress from the way my body is right now. The idea that this campaign might succeed and that I might be free from that distress is incredible.”
To support Liz and to read more about her amazing story, please visit her crowdfunding page below: