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My 90 day gaming abstinence detox journey journal


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Day One

I spent about two hours writing my introduction last night. Then I read some forum entries and finally went to bed around 12:30. For some reason I couldn't get to sleep. I kept tossing and turning. This happens maybe once a year and when it did normally I would get up and play some game on the computer for an hour or so. Finally I managed to nod off. Slept in woke at 9. Got my butt to the gym around 11am and had a decent workout. One of my goals is to start doing better at planning my workout and what I'm going to do. I often get to the gym and have trouble deciding what I want to do. I worked with a couple personal trainers a bunch over the last four years as recently as last Summer. Having a mentor really helped me because I didn't have to think about what I was going to do they did it for me. Plus a good trainer becomes a friend who is interested in your success and that also becomes extra motivation. Alas, Chris changed careers and Nick moved away and I needed to cut expenses. I need to utilize more of what I learned. 

I did some job searching online but only applied for one job. I managed about a 90 minute effort. Right now I have one phone interview scheduled on the 17th other than that I'm waiting to hear on some applications. Part of my problem is I never really quite figured out what it was I wanted to do when I grew up. Keeping up the effort and not taking rejection personally when I spend so much time on a cover letter, job submission, and skills assessment to not even make it past the human resources barrier is going to be key for me. Because that's when I know that I don't want to think about my life anymore and just lose myself in some game. 

I chatted a lot with a couple good friends this afternoon and evening. I need to hang out with my friends more. I definitely love hugs and the endorphins you get from them. 

Books I'm reading right now: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey. I saw season one of the Expanse on Amazon Prime and told a friend how much I liked it. She said the books were great and loaned me a pile of them.

I have a ton of board games in the basement I need to get listed online and sold so that's one project I'll be working on. I've been writing a book. It's like a memoir but instead of a boring linear autobiography it's about a lot of the lessons I've learned in my life the hard way and what I've struggled with. There will be a chapter about escaping into video games I decided. I figure I'm half to 2/3 done with the handwritten draft. Then I'll start typing it up and asking trusted friends to read a chapter and give me feedback. 

I have a bunch of Lego that I've picked up at thrift stores and yard sales over the years. I want to start trying to make some microscale city buildings and  as I find those fascinating.

 Last of all I'm looking forward to going to a local board game and role playing gaming convention going on here in town this weekend. It'll be fun hanging out with friends and making some new ones. 

Alright I made it through day 1. I'm off to bed.

 

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Day two - made it through

I overslept this morning. A saying I learned from Al-Anon a few years ago is "when you're Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired then HALT and take care of it". I'll be getting to bed earlier tonight so I can get up at 7am as planned. It hasn't usually been a problem. Just.. lately.

I goofed around a lot on Facebook and IM'ing a couple friends and had lunch before I finally got down to the day's work of looking for a job at about 1:30. I looked up a company that I'm interested in working for and saw a job that made my jaw drop and I thought OMG I want that! My qualifications were perfect. I spent about 1.5 hours researching on Linkedin finding the name of the hiring manager so I could put it on the cover letter that I could include with my application. The cover letter wasn't required, but in order for my application to get through the HR barrier I have to stand out from the hundreds of others who will likely apply.

The other good thing that happened today is I talked on the phone for the first time with a guy I met on a dating app. We talked for 1.5 hours. The conversation flowed easily and we'll meet up sometime soon. 

In the past either of these things would result in me really getting my hopes up. I've been disappointed so many times in the past that I've learned to be cautiously optimistic and to just focus on the moment and the process. It's still really hard though. Too often in my life I've been stuck in the past or planning a future that was speculative at best. I'm a lot better than I used to be. 

The job I applied for is in Seattle so I would have to move if I'm successful. I've always lived in Portland so the idea is thrilling and terrifying at the same time. My brother and his family live near there and I have several friends who live there as well. Portland is only 3 hours away and the distance to my parents' house will be the same. Basically I'm at a huge turning point in my life I feel like. 

I was tempted to play a video game but managed to avoid it :)   The time flew by today really fast. The next few days I'll be attending Gamestorm so I'm not sure exactly when I'll be blogging. Stay tuned!

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Day three done

Goofed around a lot this morning on Facebook and Youtube. Went to the gym. Came home had lunch decided I would find one job to apply for before I left for the gaming convention that started today. Found another job where my jaw dropped open and I said OMG I want that! Shot off two emails to guys who I know that work there one here in Oregon and one in San Francisco both of whom I met through the board gaming hobby. I asked them for informational interviews about the company to get some insights and see if I can find some other information I'll need. 

The game convention I went to - Gamestorm - goes through this weekend. It's always fun to meet new people. Best way to be sure to play the games you want is to run them and teach them to other people. I did a pick-up game this afternoon of Roll for the Galaxy and ran a game this evening of Star Trek Ascendancy. I was the Federation and the Romulans took over the Earth but the Cardassians won. 

I'm off to bed. I'm running a game all day long tomorrow. It's going to be epic!

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Day four

One thing that has always helped me when I've struggled with depression is to just get social activities on the calendar. If I know I have something already planned then I don't have to get stuck in just wanting to sit and play video games and feel worse.

Today was day two of the game convention. I ran a 12 player game of Mega Civilization. It was epic! It lasted from 9am until 10pm with two hour long breaks for meals. Everyone had a great time building their empires and wheeling and dealing in the chaotic and lively trade grounds. Today was a very fun day and I'm definitely tired.

If you like board games at all then I highly recommend board games and card games. It's a very social activity and there are games that suit everyone's tastes from light card games and party games to really heavy strategy games. I like a large variety. If you ever want game recommendations, advice about how to start hosting your own regular game night, or how to try to find games cheaply by shopping at thrift stores, yard sales, ebay, and elsewhere feel free to ask.

Generally the only time I ever play board game by myself is when I was trying to learn the game from the rules. Otherwise I'd play a video game. I bought so many games that I haven't read the rules to so another project I have is to read rules and figure out how to play a lot of these games I own and haven't played or get rid of them. 

Alright bedtime. Goodnight all!

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Days five and six

Yesterday played a five player game of Mega Civilization which was a lot more relaxing than Friday's game. Went to dinner with my friend Kenny who I originally met at the convention back in 2009 and we had a great time talking and hanging out. I told him about my 90 day detox and that I've been applying for jobs in Seattle and he's very supportive. I was going to write a journal entry last night but got busy chatting with a friend about some relationship troubles he's having. Got to bed late.

Today was the last day of the convention. Overall it was a great weekend. Played Twilight Imperium 4th edition which is a magnificent game. Got home around 6pm. Talked to my roommate for a bit and relaxed with some goofy movies on Netflix I told my roommate as well about the detox and about applying for jobs in Seattle. I told him that if I moved I'd ask the landlords to just make a new lease with him since he's just been subletting. Later I listened to a voicemail a friend had left me earlier who was asking if I knew anyone who would have a place for a friend to live who needed a place this next Summer. Coincidence? I have a hard time believing everything could work out perfectly like this for me. I've gotten my hopes up so many times in the past and been disappointed I find it hard to be confident that all the pieces will fall into place.  

I've decided to invite a few friends over next Friday and cook dinner. It's been a long time since I've done that. 

Goodnight everyone!

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Day seven

So far one week in. I feel in some ways like I didn't get much done today but in other ways I feel like I did. I'm beat though.

I've been thinking about my routine. I used to go every day to the coffee stand two blocks away in the mornings. At the beginning of this year I decided to start making a pot of coffee every day instead to save money. But I stopped jumping in the shower immediately after waking up which meant I was sitting on my ass on the couch all morning playing games and I'm still doing the sitting and wasting time part. So I gotta start showering first thing in the morning again as part of my wake up routine. 

I've got to redo my resume for dream job #2 in Seattle I'm applying for. I wish this process was easier. I feel like you have to get good at looking for and finding a job to be able to find a job this day and age. I never really learned how to be a great job hunter so I'm having to do so now. 

I did make it to the gym today and I cooked dinner this evening. I learned about 10 years ago how to cut up a chicken into the traditional 10 pieces from a youtube video. So if you want an idea for something new to try then do that. It's then really easy to bake. Then I just put some barbecue sauce and garlic chili sauce on it and baked it. Sometimes I'll put salsa & barbecue sauce on it. Other times I'll put garlic, olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme, and oregano and bake it. I cook rice in a rice cooker and broccoli in boiling water for about six minutes and I get probably four meals out of all of it.

Wow I'm tired. I watched a silly movie and goofed around on Facebook this evening. Lots to do tomorrow. Goodnight everyone.

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Day eight

I felt so weary this morning. Got my resume updated and online application submitted for dream job #2. I just need to keep finding and applying for jobs while waiting to hear back. I hope I hear back...

I ran into a former coworker/buddy this last weekend at the game convention who is also unemployed. We went and saw Love, Simon at a matinee this afternoon then went and got tacos. I think he's lonely and depressed. I'm not interested in dating him but I tolerate the hugs that last just a little bit too long. I know he plays video games a lot and I told him about my quitting cold turkey about a week ago. We had a fun time and will get together again soon.

Talked to the guy I spoke to a week ago on the phone this evening. We spoke for 1.5 hours last week and 2 hours this evening. Even if we don't end up being romantic or dating I feel like a good solid friendship is being formed. Dating guys is odd. Sometimes you have sex when you barely know them then get to know them after. Then you become friends or realize you made a mistake or start dating. Sometimes you bond for the strangest reasons. It doesn't hurt to slow down and take things slowly. I've not always been good at that but realize that hookups in general are another form of settling. I have to admit though I do have a little crush on him at this time. 

I haven't done any real planning for cooking for friends on Friday so I don't think I'm going to do it this week. 

Goodnight all

 

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Day nine

It's so hard to get out of bed in the mornings. It's like I want to avoid my life. My morning routine has been to play video games for at least an hour after waking up. Now I try to read or go on facebook for a bit before starting the day's job searching. I got a call this morning about meeting with a state work person thing I can't remember her title about a workshop that will start April 30. i got an email survey yesterday which prompted her call so I signed up for the class. It's three times a week for two hours for about four weeks. I figured any help wouldn't hurt. It's been six months now. It's flown by so fast. Last time I was unemployed back in 2001-2002 it was for ten months and I swore I would do better. I found one good job to apply for today and it too is in the Seattle area. 

I realized this morning that I'd been holding in a bunch of emotions and needed to cry a little. It felt good to get it out. 

Late afternoon on went better. Cleaned the kitchen and did some laundry. A friend called and asked if he could crash here tonight as he lives 1.5 hours out of town and going to the airport in the morning. We've been hanging out and are watching a crappy movie now. 

The last game I was playing was an idle game. I keep feeling this temptation to just go mess with it for 10 minutes. I know it would end up not just being 10 minutes though. 

Tomorrow will be better. Goodnight.

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Day ten was fine 

I took my friend to the airport then I went to Costco and got a haircut. My friend Kristie has been cutting my hair for the last 19 years so it's always good to see her and talk to her. We've supported each other through a lot of life changes especially relationship ones so we know each other really well. She's very supportive of my video game detox. 

Spoke on the phone twice with the guy I've been talking to for over an hour each time. It's so weird I haven't talked on the phone this much with someone I haven't met face to face in about five years. He's going to come down to Portland from the Seattle area on the 22nd. The conversation flows easily. I've definitely got a little crush going. I think he does too. I've told him about my detox as well. He's trying to quit smoking which I understand is a lot harder. 

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Day eleven done 

I had an informational interview this morning with a guy I met through the boardgame hobby at the Boardgamegeek con in 2006. We hung out at several of the cons we attended in years after that. He happened to work at the company where dream job #2 is and gave me some really good information and insight from the 15 years he worked there. It was good to catch up with him. 

I then read some forum entries here, went to an eye doctor appointment, and the store. Talked to my brother a little bit on the phone as well. My nephews asked when I was going to come over and play video games with them again. I do need to spend some quality time with them again soon but I'll probably have them play and explain to me what they're doing rather than play myself. They really love Lego Dimensions.

I went to the gym and then game night at my friends' house this evening. Driving home I started thinking about my problem that I have with my job search and how in the hell I'm going to answer the question about why I left my former job. I'm going to need to seek out some good advice on that. I don't know if I can get that here but I'm going to ask because it's agonizing trying to explain what happened without making myself sound like I was the problem employee. 

I worked at my previous company for 15 years. I temped there for two years then was hired on permanent at the end of 2004. I was promoted six times during my career there including twice by my previous boss - once into the position end of 2014 and then to a level 2 in the position in 2016. I worked with the branch of the company I came from doing quality review and was paid through that side. I was managed through a different division which my boss and the other quality review specialist came from. 

My problem is I was fired. My former boss is a narcissist who was gaslighting me. I tried to complain and challenge her. She created a narrative where I was the problem. I didn't know how to counter what was going on and defend myself. It became clear that my job was going to be eliminated. I tried to transfer internally to other jobs but was unsuccessful. I started looking outside the company in Summer of 2017 but was so defeated and depressed I didn't do very well at the few I tried for. I played so much Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri in 2017 it was ridiculous! Sometimes I played it while I was working from home.

I have been fired three times in my life. First time was when I was 19 it was a retail job that I didn't take seriously and was late all the time. They rightly fired me. I learned my lesson, owned it, and became a better person because of it. The second time was in 2001 when I was an assistant manager at a bank. I did something really stupid one day when we were goofing around that someone said was sexual harassment. It was. I was fired for that. I owned it, learned from it, and was always careful not to risk saying or doing something stupid that could get me in that kind of trouble again. I became a better person for it. 

The third time though felt out of my control. I've been stressed out and depressed these last five months. I felt cheated and I feel like I can't get over it. Then it dawned on me recently that I'd been stuck feeling like a victim. When I used the word victim then I knew I needed to change. I needed to pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep trying to make a better life for myself. That's when I started my 90 day detox. 

I worry that my job search has been unsuccessful because when companies call to verify my employment they can't get information directly. They can ask if I'm eligible for rehire. I need to call and pretend to be a company so I can find out how exactly they are answering questions. I suspect when asked if I'm eligible for rehire they say "no" or "cannot answer" which is not a yes. 

If I do manage to get an interview I'm really at a loss about what to say about my last job ending. I figure saying too much will work against me and make it sound like I was the problem. Maybe I should have quit before getting the axe? Then I wouldn't have gotten a severance which is what I was hoping would happen if I was downsized. 

All I know is I need to be humble, teachable, and willing to work my ass off. I'll get something. I just really have a hard time feeling hopeful sometimes. And so many emotions come into play when I think about my situation - anger, sadness, fear, humiliation. I'm done feeling sorry for myself though.

I want to be ready for the next part of my life. It's going to be amazing! 

The guy I met on the dating app and have been talking to a lot is coming to visit Portland on the 22nd. I'm excited for that! 

 

 

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Day 12

I had gotten to thinking today about how I can often feel strong emotions from others. I wonder if others here are affected by the emotional states of others like I am? Then I read @Arch journal entry today where he mentioned some HSP podcasts he's been listening to. I don't think I'm HSP but I really don't know a lot about it. I just know that if someone is sad or angry I can feel it readily. Anger has always bothered me while feeling someone's sadness has always prompted a desire in me to comfort. I think this comes from my father's anger and my mother's sadness that they have been having to deal with their whole lives.

I stayed up late last night writing, deleting a huge part of, and rewriting my last blog entry and didn't get to sleep until about 2am. I slept in and skipped yoga class this morning that starts at 10:30 so I went to the gym in the afternoon instead. For some reason I mixed up the dates that friends of mine are having a BBQ on I wrote it correctly on my calendar that it's next week Saturday but I was thinking it was today. Fortunately nobody was home when I got there and I figured out why. I was embarrassed and fortunately nobody saw me. So I left and ordered a pizza and took it home. I watched Netflix and chatted on the phone with Matthew - the guy from the dating app - and browsed here and elsewhere online. 

 

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23 hours ago, Natelovesboardgames said:

Day eleven done 

I had an informational interview this morning with a guy I met through the boardgame hobby at the Boardgamegeek con in 2006. We hung out at several of the cons we attended in years after that. He happened to work at the company where dream job #2 is and gave me some really good information and insight from the 15 years he worked there. It was good to catch up with him. 

I then read some forum entries here, went to an eye doctor appointment, and the store. Talked to my brother a little bit on the phone as well. My nephews asked when I was going to come over and play video games with them again. I do need to spend some quality time with them again soon but I'll probably have them play and explain to me what they're doing rather than play myself. They really love Lego Dimensions.

I went to the gym and then game night at my friends' house this evening. Driving home I started thinking about my problem that I have with my job search and how in the hell I'm going to answer the question about why I left my former job. I'm going to need to seek out some good advice on that. I don't know if I can get that here but I'm going to ask because it's agonizing trying to explain what happened without making myself sound like I was the problem employee. 

I worked at my previous company for 15 years. I temped there for two years then was hired on permanent at the end of 2004. I was promoted six times during my career there including twice by my previous boss - once into the position end of 2014 and then to a level 2 in the position in 2016. I worked with the branch of the company I came from doing quality review and was paid through that side. I was managed through a different division which my boss and the other quality review specialist came from. 

My problem is I was fired. My former boss is a narcissist who was gaslighting me. I tried to complain and challenge her. She created a narrative where I was the problem. I didn't know how to counter what was going on and defend myself. It became clear that my job was going to be eliminated. I tried to transfer internally to other jobs but was unsuccessful. I started looking outside the company in Summer of 2017 but was so defeated and depressed I didn't do very well at the few I tried for. I played so much Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri in 2017 it was ridiculous! Sometimes I played it while I was working from home.

I have been fired three times in my life. First time was when I was 19 it was a retail job that I didn't take seriously and was late all the time. They rightly fired me. I learned my lesson, owned it, and became a better person because of it. The second time was in 2001 when I was an assistant manager at a bank. I did something really stupid one day when we were goofing around that someone said was sexual harassment. It was. I was fired for that. I owned it, learned from it, and was always careful not to risk saying or doing something stupid that could get me in that kind of trouble again. I became a better person for it. 

The third time though felt out of my control. I've been stressed out and depressed these last five months. I felt cheated and I feel like I can't get over it. Then it dawned on me recently that I'd been stuck feeling like a victim. When I used the word victim then I knew I needed to change. I needed to pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep trying to make a better life for myself. That's when I started my 90 day detox. 

I worry that my job search has been unsuccessful because when companies call to verify my employment they can't get information directly. They can ask if I'm eligible for rehire. I need to call and pretend to be a company so I can find out how exactly they are answering questions. I suspect when asked if I'm eligible for rehire they say "no" or "cannot answer" which is not a yes. 

If I do manage to get an interview I'm really at a loss about what to say about my last job ending. I figure saying too much will work against me and make it sound like I was the problem. Maybe I should have quit before getting the axe? Then I wouldn't have gotten a severance which is what I was hoping would happen if I was downsized. 

All I know is I need to be humble, teachable, and willing to work my ass off. I'll get something. I just really have a hard time feeling hopeful sometimes. And so many emotions come into play when I think about my situation - anger, sadness, fear, humiliation. I'm done feeling sorry for myself though.

I want to be ready for the next part of my life. It's going to be amazing! 

The guy I met on the dating app and have been talking to a lot is coming to visit Portland on the 22nd. I'm excited for that! 

You know the reason you were fired was because your boss was a liar. It can be a hard pill to swallow, especially since you were doing so well. Don't let this get you down. Forgive and move on from the experience. Forgive yourself for falling into that trap. Sometimes people who do the right thing get unlucky like that. 

I would find out what they can or cannot say. I live in Washington and if people are intentionally not telling the truth to misrepresent you, that is defamation. I would ask for your employee file. 

My favorite games are Betrayal at house on the hill, Dominion, star realms, dead of winter, tsuro, exploding kittens, and Lord's of water deep. 

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Hi Nate, If you want to know more about HSP you can start by reading https://www.amazon.com/Highly-Sensitive-People-Insensitive-World/dp/1785920669 or simply googling the topic. I'm still on the fence whether I am an HSP, about 20% of the population have the trait and 70% of them are introverts and 30% are extroverts. Here's a self-test you can try yourself http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/

People speculate that it is potentially an beneficial trait for the human species in that we are more cautious in taking risky action. We like to take as much information as possible from our surroundings before coming to conclusions. This has it's pitfalls in that we can overthink things and miss the moment like over worrying what to say on a date because our reciepters are more sensitive than the average person. The benefits is that we are highly detail orientated and creative, suited to working in arts and highly empathetic, able to 'feel' the vibe of a group almost like an aura. There is small danger in this, in that we can 'take' up peoples problems very easily and can cause us to be fatigued, on the other hand allows us to be invaluable in fields of care like Psychotherapy, counselling, nursing, teaching, etc

The reason I am on the fence whether I am an HSP or not is because I had a somewhat rough upbringing that made me form defensive coping mechanisms and behaviours of compulsiveness like gaming and not liking to talk to people. So I am unsure whether this sensitivity was forged from nature or nurture. Like the way I focus on all the little details before taking action: Is this because I have nurtured myself defensively because of the bullying I experienced when I was younger? Or is it a disposition from birth?

One thing I notice though is I cannot read if there's noise around me, even if its low-medium volume, I repeatedly get distracted and re-read a paragraph 4-5 times and still don't get it. I have to physically leave the room and relocate. The little noise becomes a source of input that we attend to with as much attention as the words I'm reading.

This is currently very important to me because I don't want to work behind a label and limit my capabilities according to the specifics of the condition but at the same time it provides a very comforting feeling of closure that I can accept myself as this sensitive person and work to my strengths. It probably doesn't matter where it originates from as long as we use it to empower ourselves but as you I am nitpicking it, to find the absolute truth. Loose ends make me feel queasy :)

Another thing about HSP is we don't like shallow conversations, we would rather build relationships with people that communicate deeply about aspirations, feelings, hobbies, etc. This makes us very loyal and trusting people but we tend to have fewer friends as well.

The definition of being an HSP overlaps commonalities with perfectionism and the INFP group; it seems very hard to distinguish. I am trying to read more and more about it until I feel I have a firm understanding. 

Edited by Arch
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14 hours ago, Natasha said:

You know the reason you were fired was because your boss was a liar. It can be a hard pill to swallow, especially since you were doing so well. Don't let this get you down. Forgive and move on from the experience. Forgive yourself for falling into that trap. Sometimes people who do the right thing get unlucky like that. 

I would find out what they can or cannot say. I live in Washington and if people are intentionally not telling the truth to misrepresent you, that is defamation. I would ask for your employee file. 

My favorite games are Betrayal at house on the hill, Dominion, star realms, dead of winter, tsuro, exploding kittens, and Lord's of water deep. 

I think I got a copy of my employee file when I hired an attorney and considered suing based on my boss retaliating against me for complaining about her. I haven't really looked through since November though. The attorney I hired sent a letter outlining my complaint. The response created by the company's attorney made me sound like a most awful person who refused to learn how to do his job. While I had compiled a lot of documentation and evidence I didn't have anything that would counter the lies in the response. Having coworkers testify could counter the lies but you can't ask people to do so while they are still working for the company. 

While all this was happening my unemployment claim sailed through without a response in writing from my former employer. I figured any case against my former employer would boil down to my word against theirs. So with the unemployment benefits secured I could move on with my life and forget about a lawsuit. 

Part of the reason I hired an attorney was so many people over the years told me that the company always settles cases filed by former employees out of court. Maybe because they have had this reputation they made some changes like outsourcing employee verification and severely limiting anything former managers could say if someone did get in touch with them.

I think the part that hurts the most is that she was able to turn others against me. 

I will forgive them all eventually. I'm getting to a point of acceptance and forgiving myself first. I'm pretty sure once I have a new career started I'll shortly be able to completely move on and let it all go. I'm feeling a lot better now than I did in November.  

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Day 13

Hey @Arch I took the HSP test and got 13 which is less than the 14 or more the test says would indicate I'm probably highly sensitive :11_blush:

I read a lot today. I use swapaDVD.com a lot which I highly recommend if anyone has a lot of DVDs sitting around collecting dust and you want some new ones. I picked up the tv series Sliders there and watched a couple episodes. Season four of How to Get Away With Murder which is an absolutely ridiculous and fun show is now on Netflix along with season six of New Girl so I watched a bunch of those. 

I also updated my resume on Linkedin and Indeed as I liked the changes I did to it for dream job#2. Then I found an interesting sounding job on indeed and applied for it. I am meeting tomorrow with the agent from Worksource Oregon and have a phone interview on Tuesday. 

Talked on the phone to Matthew again. Even if we don't end up dating it feels like a good friendship has formed. When I think about him I just smile :16_relieved:

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Day 15 complete

My job interview went alright. I really hate phone interviews done by HR people and not the hiring manager. I try to stand so I sound more confident but for some reason I start getting out of breath like I forget to breathe or something. Interviews in person I'm so much better at because I'm good at reading body language and it's easier to figure out when to inject some humor. The lady doing the interview this morning spoke so fast. I think I did good answering her questions. I wish I could have thought of more to ask her. We were done after about 22 minutes. 

I did figure out what to say about why I left my previous job. I decided to just say I worked with my boss for three years but she was treating me unfairly. I tried to challenge her assertions the last year I worked there but didn't know the best way to do so. I made mistakes that worsened our relationship. The company was getting ready to downsize due to the merger in 2016 and I recognized that my position was likely to be eliminated. I started looking for another job outside the company last Summer but my confidence had taken a beating. I wasn't able to find something before my job ended. I've done a lot of reflection these last few months and recognized changes that I need to make in my life. I realized I needed to pick myself up, dust myself off, and do better. 

I don't know how well it will fly. We will see. At least I got an interview I've had a dry spell lately.

After the interview I went to my favorite thrift store. They're closed Sundays so Tuesday is usually the day they get all the donations out on the floor that they got over the weekend. I first started thrifting back in 2002 when I was looking for board games to buy and sell on Ebay. I found this store when I used to hit several in a week and found that they got lots of great clothing donations from nearby affluent suburbs. I often find lots of Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Polo, Buffalo, Izod, Levis, CK, and others there. I didn't have any luck today finding any clothing I liked but I did find a blu-ray of Transformers for $1.95. I have the DVD already so I'll probably put it on swapadvd.com for trade. 

Went to the gym this afternoon after a short power nap. Ran into my old trainer Chris there. He doesn't work for the gym anymore but he was a great mentor for me. He's like 15 years younger than I am but was really great to work with because he was genuinely interested in helping the people he trained to succeed. I told him I quit video games two weeks ago and am making some great life changes and he was very encouraging.

Watched the first two episodes of Lost in Space on Netflix then turned on Hurricane Bianca which is a fun crappy movie. 

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Day 16

I was inactive most of the morning. After lunch found a great job to apply for in the Seattle area so I spent a good hour creating the cover letter, uploading and editing the resume, researching on linkedin to see whose name to put on the cover letter, and creating the application and described to my new prospective employer how I know that I can do the math needed to do the job well. We'll call this dream job #3. 

I got a rejection email from one of the jobs in the Seattle area I applied for but not dream job #1 or #2. They worded it so nicely - "we have decided to move forward with other applicants for this particular role. We remain interested in your skill set and think there may be another role at [company] that is a better match for you." Usually after a rejection email I get really down. I hadn't gotten my hopes up high on this one it just seemed like a great company worth applying at. I'll keep an eye on them. 

A friend of mine who is a flight attendant had a long layover in Portland today so we went to dinner and ate a ridiculous amount of sushi at Saburo's. We ordered too much food and I'll have a huge lunch of it tomorrow. It was good to hang out with him and catch up. We went out for a drink at one of the local gay bars and ran into a couple of my friends there and hung out. It was a really nice time. I'm still full! 

I have been thinking about telling my friends on Facebook about my detox. Some friends of mine have been very open about their struggles with depression, health issues, alcoholism, smoking cessation, weight, bratty children, divorce, and other things. I don't often share things that are that personal on there. When I announced on Facebook my sudden departure from my former employer the sheer number of friends who reacted in shock and who gave me encouragement was unexpected and I was really grateful for it. 

Alright, goodnight!

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I can't even tell you the levels of stress and anxiety I get when I start a job application cycle xD or even as I was applying to internships this semester. That goes for interviews as well :P But I'm slowly gaining confidence. Good luck, hopefully you will get good news on dream jobs on all #1 #2 and #3!

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