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Phoenixking

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5 hours ago, Brian said:

Hey @Phoenixking, thanks for being so real with your posts. Like you, I struggle with PMO and intimacy. It sounds like your romantic side is being engaged with Elien and that's helping to stave off porn. Romance is a whole-body/sensory experience, so that makes sense. It's literally more engaging. Porn reduces intimacy to an orgasm and that's it. That's probably why it's so addictive - dopamine and orgasm, dopamine and orgasm, repeat. 

'The call' sounds like a sweet opportunity! I'm excited to read about how that develops. Maybe consider approaching the problem of defining your worth as a writer differently: what are your basic expenses that you need to cover, how much time do you estimate investing in the project, what seems like a reasonable rate given how much the project will make monetarily... If you want to go more concrete, look at the numbers. 

Thanks man. I try to be as brutally honest as possible. I feel like this forum is a safe place, for one thing. For another thing, I'd like to think that in some way maybe some of my struggles would inspire or help out somebody who's in a bind. Nobody rised to glory and victory overnight. It's a long, slow struggle. There's no need to sugarcoat anything, especially not on a forum like this.

I do think that, without her realizing, Elien helps me out with the whole dopamine issue with porn. In an odd way, she's my fix for now. I just hope I can use her as a crutch for now but will find peace with a life without any porn in whatever way possible at some point. I still get urges on a daily basis.

The call does indeed sound like a crazy cool opportunity. In a way, if I do it amazingly, I'd probably get to write and develop more narratives. It's a good company, it has it's flaws, but for a creative dude, it can be a solid source of income. I'll do my best. And thanks for the tip! I was thinking of contacting a writer-friend of mine too. I have my D&D podcas tomorrow too, I'll ask them for some guidance. The DM is amazing in terms of worldbuilding and storytelling, he'll be able to tell me something about the time required to come up with cool ideas and write them out. My other podcast friend is a communication manager, I'll ask him about pricing and so on.

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Days without games & porn: 12

I woke up at a proper hour, for a Saturday, at Elien's. She was going to a brunch so we got up, I got a coffee and started my day. I mostly dawdled around the house and on my pc. I now installed StayFocusd again to limit my time on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Reddit. Mindless scrolling and scouring through infinite tabs is a bit of a timewasting issue for me. I hope to mitigate this now.

I left for the VR-session and dinner with my friends. It was great! The VR-game was laggy and buggy as hell, but the cool friends make it worth it. We had lots of fun and ate SOOOOO much. The wine flowed like crazy. I kept texting Elien through it all and my friends asked about her. We all agreed to set up something where she could meet them and vice versa. I get butterflies just thinking about the idea.
 

This prompted a pretty serious conversation with my friends. Two of them are married. Another two of them are expecting a kid in a few months. Another two are a couple. And then there's Anneke, she and I have history romantically. So the conversation really hit home. They mentioned the ex, and my career choices. They shared their opinion about my ex and my behaviour towards them. They said that I was lucky that they were so flexible and forgiving because I just basically dissappeared for a year when I was with the ex. And despite that, they welcomed me back without any fuss. I had to give it to them, that's mighy fine. Then we talked about relationships and love and how Elien is a clear break in my patterns of dating. But my friend Mike noted that right now it's a fun honeymoon period, everything is great. But my choice of career, combined with all of it's insecurities and lack of predictability, is not for everyone. He advised me to keep in the back of my head that she should be a person who should be able to find peace with a partner who doesn't have a stable income and a wobbly career. I have so many plans and so much ambition. But he's right. Despite being capable, wanting to plan stuff, write the blog, become a coach or a motivational speaker, and so on... There's no guarantee anything will work or be stable. I might be able to achieve a proper, solid, stable lifestyle by 40. And then I'll live the dream! I'll do what I'm good at and what I love and what will improve the world a little bit. Pure 'ikigai', as the japanese would say. But a partner with such a life? That's not for everybody.

I didn't like him showering my with reality like that, I'll be honest. But that doesn't make him any less right...

 

Highlight of the day: The chocolate cake at the restaurant. Holy shit, that was amazing. As was the wine. As was discovering that they accidentally gave us a 20% discount. Lots of bang for our buck!

Budget status: I was able to let go of my worries and just enjoyed the day and evening with my friends. We ended up getting major discounts on our bills. The VR park accidentally didn't bill my drinks or food. The restaurant gave our bill a 20% discount. Yes, I spent money. But I both had a blast, a great talk and serious value for my money spent.

My one goal for tomorrow: Do a good podcast episode! And get up in the morning and try to do something productive, apart from the podcast taping.

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Days without games & porn: 13

I had declined to go into the city with my friends. After we'd come home Saturdaynight, they wanted to keep the party going. But I had podcast tapings on Sunday so I acted like a responsible man and figured my voice could use some rest. I woke up with a throat sounding like somebody was rubbing two-week-old break against a rusty cheesegrater. My voice hasn't been the same since the week before Christmas, when I crashed the last time. I think I'm still not giving my body enough R&R. I did learn today that it's not about my huge workload. There's àlways stuff to do around the house, concerning my career or body or diet or friends, ... It's about priorities. I should try and discern a bit more what's truly important to me and act on that. Obviously there's the freelancing, D&D makes me happy too, this forum is a priority for me and so are my friends and Elien. Everything else is trivial. Important stuff like groceries or doing the dishes, sure! You can't get around that. But social media, arguments, and so on... I think I'll take this lesson to heart and try to focus on what is important and makes me happy and is good for me and try to let go of stuff that doesn't really matter all too much. I haven't figured out which is which, though. I assume wisdom will come overtime. 

The podcast taping, apart from my raspy voice, went great! It was an amazing session that I'm very proud of! I can already notice the fans responding more and more. We're growing exponentionally. It's amazing to be a part of!

I ended the day at Elien's. I was supposed to go home and cook, clean my place up a little bit and work on the writing assignment I'd gotten. We kept texting and texting and finally I caved into the urge to see her. We agreed we're loose cannons and that we should minimize our encounter to 1 hour. This soon became 1 meal. We made pizzas and drank cider while listening to great music and having dinner. We ended up on her sofa, cuddling and whispering sweet nothings. I didn't want to go home. I didn't want to be serious. I just wanted to curl up into that lovely human being's lap and pretend the winter's cold snap doesn't exist. We talked about how we felt. How we both viewed things and how we think relationships work, why and what we'd need. We talked about money and my career, about exes and how flirty I am and how I'm still close friends with some of my former friends with benefits. I felt so naked. I did my best to answer everything as truthful as possible.

She didn't want to have her heart broken and I didn't want to be responsible for that. She asked me if I was sure she wasn't just some 'filler episode' to fill up some hole in the tv-series of my life. I admitted to using flirting and relationships as a form of coping. That that was thé reason I wanted to remain single for a while and that I had already let go of that idea when I met the ex. I thought long and hard and eventually figured out that the reason why I wanted to be single was to protect myself. I wanted to work on myself and figure out my future, I didn't want another relationship where I'd lose myself in it. I wanted something real, I wanted to become more authentic and connect more with people. Real stuff, not through Tinder or social media. It was scary. I felt so vulnerable and uncomfortable and naked and fragile. But I told her how I saw things, as honest as possible. It was something I hadn't thought of. What if it all was an elaborate lie I had been telling myself? What if this one wasn't different at all from the others? What if this was just me continuing my old patter of using relationships to escape my problems? But I'm facing my problems now. I try to tackle stuff daily. I'm doing what I love now and I won't be held back. I am stronger now, more in touch with myself. And I didn't feel like I lacked connection with anybody. I didn't feel lonely. Sure, I missed romance, but not to the point where I'd actually go looking for a relationship to compensate that. I like the rush of falling in love as much as the next guy, but the way we talk, the way we both view the world? It's not something we're both telling ourselves to cope with other stuff. We agreed that it all felt too amazing, everything clicked too well to just be some random temporary thing we would use to patch old wounds up. It felt too powerful, our heartbeats too fast, our words too poignant. We both want to see where this leads. You can never be sure of the future, but you can at least figure out who you'd be compatible with. 

That's when our first "I love you" happened. It felt natural and safe. We spent the night at my place and I did feel a little bad for not writing and working on the assignment. But I also strongly feel that it was worth it. Love is important. In this instance, I felt it was okay to let the career come second for a night. I had spent al day being creative and funny on the podcast. We taped 4,5 hours of content. It's official. She's my girlfriend now. 

 

Highlight of the day: Hearing her say that she loves me.

Budget status: No money spent, had a homecooked meal with the GF.

My one goal for tomorrow: Kick ass after work and get to writing and creating and getting shit off my to do list!

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Days without games & porn: 14

Waw. I can't believe I'm pushing 14 days with no porn... I still get urges on the daily. Not nescessarily for porn in itself, but just erotica stuff. Certain pictures, music videos, stuff like that... I have been staying away from all of that for 2 weeks now. It feels healthy but I certainly acknowledge that it has a definite grasp on me.

Today was a productive day. I had a lot of energy when I came back from work. I made a little list of everything that needed doing. Once more it quickly became a long list. But I kept it. By the end of the evening I made sure if anything needed adding and I now have a mere 5 goals for this month and 2 bonus goals (as in, it's not bad if I don't make these but it would be nice). I learned that I needed to prioritize. My writing assignment is a big deal and I'll make quite a bit of money off of it. We're still negotiating but I told them I'd spend 30 days, give them 15 pages of proper stuff and would ask for 2250 in return. For a full month of work, that's only fair. It takes about 3 hours for 500 words if you do it well. It made me realize, if they would accept, that I'd spend a large portion of my time this month on this project. And that's when the social media, the notification, the chores and the dishes, ... it all fell away. It's not important right now. I shouldn't stress over this. Sure, it's nice to be in a living room that's clean instead of messy. But if there's nothing written, there's no money for rent. 

I feel so capable and productive today. Right now I'm tired as fuck. But I feel like I made good choices in terms of what's important to me and where should I spend time on. I think this year will remain focused around that fulcrum: getting enough gigs to build up the freelancing and finding the balance between what is important and what isn't.

 

Highlight of the day: The mixture of emotions I experienced while watching a documentary about Robin Williams, while working on the writing gig and texting Elien. Sadness, creativity and joy all in a few dazzling minutes.

Budget status: Slowly circling the drain. Almost out of money. I'd like to try and make the end of the month without dipping into my savings. I'm pretty sure there's some money coming in next week, depending on how fast the paperwork of the bonus I got will go. It's about 1000. Enough to make the end of the month. Gasoline and internet got paid, dinner with my friends this weekend was expensive. I should watch out what I spend when eating out, this is clearly a cost I need to cut down a little.

My one goal for tomorrow: Cook! Salmon and cream spinach. Bonus goal: Do something from the list after Krav Maga practice. 

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12 hours ago, Phoenixking said:

That's when our first "I love you" happened. It felt natural and safe.

How long have you known your girlfriend? It would be a shame to say and believe such words if there isn't real meaning to it, and meaning comes with time in love's case. Years. Being in love comes easy and fast, but it's dangerous to exchange potentially empty words. Be careful with your heart, and hers. Be cautious and realistic. 

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9 hours ago, Phoenixking said:

Days without games & porn: 14

Waw. I can't believe I'm pushing 14 days with no porn... I still get urges on the daily. Not nescessarily for porn in itself, but just erotica stuff. Certain pictures, music videos, stuff like that... I have been staying away from all of that for 2 weeks now. It feels healthy but I certainly acknowledge that it has a definite grasp on me.

Today was a productive day. I had a lot of energy when I came back from work. I made a little list of everything that needed doing. Once more it quickly became a long list. But I kept it. By the end of the evening I made sure if anything needed adding and I now have a mere 5 goals for this month and 2 bonus goals (as in, it's not bad if I don't make these but it would be nice). I learned that I needed to prioritize. My writing assignment is a big deal and I'll make quite a bit of money off of it. We're still negotiating but I told them I'd spend 30 days, give them 15 pages of proper stuff and would ask for 2250 in return. For a full month of work, that's only fair. It takes about 3 hours for 500 words if you do it well. It made me realize, if they would accept, that I'd spend a large portion of my time this month on this project. And that's when the social media, the notification, the chores and the dishes, ... it all fell away. It's not important right now. I shouldn't stress over this. Sure, it's nice to be in a living room that's clean instead of messy. But if there's nothing written, there's no money for rent. 

I feel so capable and productive today. Right now I'm tired as fuck. But I feel like I made good choices in terms of what's important to me and where should I spend time on. I think this year will remain focused around that fulcrum: getting enough gigs to build up the freelancing and finding the balance between what is important and what isn't.

 

Highlight of the day: The mixture of emotions I experienced while watching a documentary about Robin Williams, while working on the writing gig and texting Elien. Sadness, creativity and joy all in a few dazzling minutes.

Budget status: Slowly circling the drain. Almost out of money. I'd like to try and make the end of the month without dipping into my savings. I'm pretty sure there's some money coming in next week, depending on how fast the paperwork of the bonus I got will go. It's about 1000. Enough to make the end of the month. Gasoline and internet got paid, dinner with my friends this weekend was expensive. I should watch out what I spend when eating out, this is clearly a cost I need to cut down a little.

My one goal for tomorrow: Cook! Salmon and cream spinach. Bonus goal: Do something from the list after Krav Maga practice. 

Nice job for your streak!!!

I'm also tackling those two stepping stones at the same time!

Edited by dirkj3
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16 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

How long have you known your girlfriend? It would be a shame to say and believe such words if there isn't real meaning to it, and meaning comes with time in love's case. Years. Being in love comes easy and fast, but it's dangerous to exchange potentially empty words. Be careful with your heart, and hers. Be cautious and realistic. 

Oh, only a few weeks. It's all very new and fun and addictive. You know, the whole pink cloud part of a new relationship 🙂 I appreciate your concern, but you needn't worry. I guess it's a language thing. Where I'm from, there's several tiers of 'I love you'. We use different verbs that basically mean the same thing, but in a more intense way. It's like the difference between "I like you" and "I love you", or "I love you" and "I truly deeply love you with all my heart." I guess our first tier would be just saying that I like her and the tier two words we exchanged would be more along the lines of "I've fallen for you very intensely".


I admit it's all going rather fast. I appreciate you giving me a reality check. I totally need those from time to time. But everything feels very safe. We do talk ALOT. We're very open in our communication. Honestly, I've never connected so well with somebody so fast. But it just feels right, I guess? When I take a step back at look at it now, it does seem to be going a little fast. After all, I am the type that dives into these things and it turns out she's similar in that aspect. So that's totally a factor. But I mean well with her and so does she. We know exactly what the other feels and thinks because we keep talking about that. It's kind of nice to be with somebody who's as emotionally verbal as me. And she finally feels understood in that way because her exes were rather blunt in comparison to me.

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Days without games & porn: 15

The quest giver returned! He asked for more pages and offered more money. This shit is crazy. This gig now pays my monthly wage I make at the office for 20 pages of writing. I am fully commited to this but I'm scared how much time I have. I keep putting things into my planner. I'll probably skip practice Thursday to have an evening to myself to write. 

When I came home I immediately took to cooking, salmon and spinach. I ate some too but kept the rest. Light dinner is better when you've got Krav Maga. Practice was fun. 

When I came back I set out to do a million things. I wanted to write and maybe do a few other things on my list. I finished all of the social media stuff (not the distracting kind, the kind where you actually agree on dates, get gigs, do some PR, finetune some appointments, ...), I put in a load of laundry and hung it out do dry, I made a boatload of mashed potatoes, I collected and sent all of my proper poems I'll use to perform with soon to my work-email so I can print them out and I play Hot Fuzz in the background as part of my research for the police thing I'm writing. 

I was supposed to do only one thing, but I kicked ass at several things. But now it's really late again and I'll not sleep for a bit. So while it's awesome I progressed and finally took care of some stuff. And while I did all of it without being distracted, I failed at calming down and being kind to myself: I won't sleep enough tonight (again), I didn't have a proper meal today and was feeling rather woozy and I have another herpes outbreak. Clear signs of me neglecting myself and pushing myself beyond reasonable limits.

So all in all very positive and productive. But just a tad too productive and lost a little focus on taking care of myself. That should be my goal for tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'm shopping for special 18th century clothing with my former FWB. We'd already bought tickets to this cool ball later this month and we need a special outfit. After that I'll have dinner and leave for improv. It's a New Year's reception with food, drinks and games. I look forward to it.

Highlight of the day: The feeling of accomplishment I had when I was ironing my clothes, while watching Hot Fuzz for research, as a pot of potatoes was cooking, laundry was drying and another load was in the washer. I felt so productive and capable of multitasking.

Budget status: This writing gig is paying me about 2750 bucks. I get half that because of taxes. Together with my regular paycheck, I'm safe until the end of March, I feel. Big win.

My one goal for tomorrow: Be kind to yourself and go home after you've had your fill at improv.

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Days without games & porn: 16

Work was boring as usual. But I am getting the feeling of progressing. My Krava Maga skills are improving, slowly but surely. And I printed out all of my poetry material at work today. I feel like the Krav Maga stuff came slowly. Very unlike games, which came with quick and clear progress. But it's not real and not lasting. Krav Maga however will not only save my butt one day, it makes me more fit and more confident. I feel like the progress it's given me is more permanent. It's a bigger deal.

When I came home, it was hard to switch off. I have dedicated a couple of hours tomorrow evening for writing and I need to chill out a little bit. So my goal was to not push myself and have fun at improv and have an early night. It's 11 pm right now so I'll be fine in terms of sleep today. I drank a bit so I'm a tad tired now. I seem to have problems turning off my switch. I keep wanting to work, keep wanting to work through my freelancer emails, keep wanting to write or clean or whatever. I keep wanting to push myself and be productive. I'm happy that I didn't do anything like that today, in practice. But in my mind I can feel the major temptation to do my dishes, clean my place, iron my clothes, ... 

My new girlfriend is going to be spending the night tomorrow. I've given myself about an hour to clean up the place and I'll probably spend the rest of the evening doing writing. We just miss each other so fucking much. It's been 4 days and both of us are going insane without the other. This is such an intense love. I did agree with her that I'll be writing and she's totally welcome here but that I'll be busy. I'm not scared that I'd budge. I'm too proud an artist to not write and cuddle instead. But I am really happy to have somebody in my apartment while I'm doing stuff, though. Reminds me of the days I used to live together with an ex of mine. I like living together with a romantic partner. 

Highlight of the day: Going to this place called 'Avothea'. A great place for getting special outfits and clothing. I was fitted and measured and dressed in clothing from 1840. It was so cool! I'll have the outfit for a few days. I am looking forward to it.

Budget status: I paid for the costume & and for a freelancer workshop revolving around money management and mental health. I'm almost actually broke. I might have to dip into the savings. I still have to get my bonus, though. I just hope I get it on time. I'll make the end of the month if I get it. I feel like I should really stop spending any money soon but this well paid gig is giving me a feeling of security.

My one goal for tomorrow: Do not sacrifice my writing time for cudding with Elien.

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Days without games & porn: 17

Work was annoying. Not because it's boring, that's no longer a shocker. But because I'm used to being able to pull of some subterfuge. I was just busy with a lot of stuff all the time. I was able to stealthily print out some pages for my poetry gig at the end of the month, though. I did little things, but I couldnt shake the feeling that I was really being productive in the sense that I wanted to be. I did manage to work on my writing gig a bit. I put in a lot of effort to not be caught with any illicit activities. So it's a tad hard to actually get any writing done during office hours.

I had agreed to see Elien tonight. I cancelled Krav Maga because I just needed a few hours to work and write with focus and gusto. We missed each other so fucking much though. We agreed I'd write but with her in the room, just doing her own thing. Like a healthy couple should be, we don't want to be fused to the hip. So it felt like a nice idea. 

This resulted in a two hour cleaning spree. I was a tad pissed at myself that I couldn't just let my place be the way it was: a dirty writer's lair. But in hindsight, I do feel better now and it's a tad more efficient and feels better to write in a cleared out living room. I also didn't want her company to distract me but in the end she came rather late so we're all good. I got some good work done and I feel rather accomplished. I've got the bug now! I can't wait to continue my work! Next writing session will probably be Sunday evening. 

She's going to be here any second and I'm so relaxed. The place is clean, I showered, laundry is done, so are the dishes and my writing has progressed. I feel so accomplished! 

Highlight of the day: The feeling of relaxation and comfort after a day of work, cleaning and writing.

Budget status: I had to dip into the savings. I hope my bonus comes along soon. I had to pay for an improv weekend in May. I had already agreed before this whole budgetting spiel. I am proud of myself though! Elien had asked me to go to dinner next week and I was able to refuse! Old, people pleasing me would have gone with her but I held to my promise to myself and reeled it in. But later I discovered that she was meaning to introduce me to her friends and close colleagues at that dinner and that after that, they were going to go to this New Year's reception event at their workplace. So I kinda wanna make a good impression, stuff like this is important to me. So I agreed. It's not like I'm totally broke, I just have to watch what I spend.

My one goal for tomorrow: Try and do something productive before I go out and celebrate the weekend and dive into multiple dates with Elien (We're getting drinks on Friday with her friends, Saturday is a walk in the park with a dog from the pet adoption place, Saturdayevening she's coming to my improv gig and we might go out after that, Sundaymorning we have a free city festival planned. Note how more than half of this are free activities!)

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Days without games & porn: 18

Elien was here last night. I felt off. I felt tired, not myself... Maybe it was all of the writing. It uses up my mojo, my creative juices. I felt that I wasn't mentally there for her. I wanted to give her the best of myself, but I couldn't and that made me super insecure. We giggle a little bit over the fact that I was eating ice cream. I had a craving and I deserved a reward for my productive writing session. But the insecurity struck and made it all bigger in my mind. Suddenly I was aware of effeminate I was. I'm no macho. But I do martial arts and have a proper male body and a beard and stuff. I'm not the epitome of masculinity but I'm no androgynous type either. Not that it should matter, what the definition of male and female is, is totally relative anyway and you should just be happy with who you are and give no fucks about expections like being more masculin or not. But it still gnawed at me. Despite rationally know it's ludicrous. It made me hella insecure, and what do I do when I'm insecure? I crack wise about it, to show that I'm fine with it, that I can joke around with it and be okay. But I wasn't. The entire evening felt off. 

But we talked about it. As we do (Thank heavens). We seem to be able to and actually talk about everything. We agreed we were probably going a tad too fast. We agreed that the previous 'I love you' was a tad too much but that it's okay because it felt right to both of us at that moment. It was a hormone-fueled nirvana-esqua blur. And we'd not seen each other a few days, texted incessantly, so it had all gotten built up too much. It's also because it's all very new to us. We don't know each other very well yet and we need to take that into account. Both of us are used to being the giving party in a relationship instead of the receiving party. Suddenly, there's this new dynamic. Both of us are givers. I've read in books and articles about relationships and power dynamics that usually there's a dominant person and a follower and that we tend to settle into roles we're used to or are comfortable with. And that that can lead to healthy relationships because you are where you are used to being (sub or dom) or bad relationships like one where's there's some kind of abuse involved. But nevertheless, it's there and it's a factor to keep in the back of your mind. This is probably me overthinking this, but I hope this element won't be too huge a speedbump. 

We talked about this too and both of us got a tad sad and scared. We discovered through that that we really cared about each other and we didn't want to lose this, that this all feels so healthy and such a huge step forward. For both of us, the other is a clear break in patterns. She's used to macho assholes who tend to just do whatever the fuck they want and she's dabble along with them. Even to the point where her ex just kept her on the hook as a FWB but also trying to sabotage the friendships her and their mutual friends. She loves that I'm sensitive and such a great listener. I feel so comfortable around her. I'm used to a bit more conflict in a relationship. She seems to be so open, so kind and warm. I'm not used to somebody wanting to genuinely see who I am without expectations. I feel so oddly free. I get to be myself. And I guess that's why I freaked out. I AM a tad more like my grandma than anybody I know. I love baking cakes, eating ice cream, drinking red wine and talking about my feelings. Sex is just as much about the physical desire and lust as it is about how you feel and what the mood is like. I guess I'm just a tad insecure about myself because I feel so naked and vulnerable around her and that freaks me out a little bit. She's so easygoing, it's bringing out a whole other side of me. Not that I used to act like I was somebody else in previous relationships, but there's a clear difference I feel. We both notice this. We both acknowledge that we are a positive influence and a step in a good direction. We just both hope we can make it work, we're really keen to see where this could go. But we're both rather emotional creatures. It makes the highs higher and the lows lower. But we've both already found peace with that part of our personality. I'd rather be a candle that burns brighter than longer.

In short, work was a tad more fun because the changes are coming. My replacement was officially announced. A colleague talked to me about training and education because I'll be helping him out in Sales. My freelancing is picking up. It made the day fun. Though I did splurge and ate fast food with my colleagues for lunch. I wanted to get rid of the thunderclouds in my brain from last night. When I came home I watched Critical Role, drank a beer, fell asleep, ate a pint of B&J's, more Critical Role and I totally ignored everything else. Kindness! Relaxation! And now I'll shower, shave and spruce myself up for a party! I'll be meeting a few friends of Elien's for the first time. Exciting 😄 

 

Highlight of the day: My colleague asking me if I have any experience in cold calling or scientific instruments and him suggesting we get together and he train me.

Budget status: The bonus is coming at the end of the month. So I'll have to make due with what I have. Yikes. At least my next paycheck will be double with the bonus added to it. And my writing gig pays me midway Februari. So I'll have a nice, comfortable remainder of the winter before I go to Japan. But I'll still have to mind my money because Japan will be crazy and when I come back, there's still going to be bills to pay! 😛 

My one goal for tomorrow: Try to let go of my fear of dogs and enjoy my walk with Elien in the park with one of the dogs from the pet asylum thing.

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Days without games & porn: 20

Well, this was a crazy weekend! 😮 

There was partying, discipline, my mom and some pretty serious love going around. I'll try and keep it short, but it was an amazing weekend.

I met Elien's friends Friday night. They all seem like a fun bunch of people! Afterwards Elien told me that her friends texted her and found that she had picked up a great and attractive guy. I was nervous to make a good impression, but it seems it's all going rather well. Her ex popped up, though. From what I've been told by her, he's a bit of an emotionally constipated egomaniac. Doesn't really thing of others and just does whatever he wants. I still wonder why that whole group puts up with him, but who am I to judge? When he reared his head, I kept my cool and was just not impressed with him. I'm very proud that I was able to focus my attention on dancing, having fun and being there for Elien if the whole thing went south. Her ex is part of her friends group. Some of them are torn because of this. He doesn't want anything to do with her or me. But he does tend to text her and was told not to come into the club towards us, but did it anyway. I don't think he's handling himself, his emotions or us dating very healthily. But it's not really affecting me or her. Emotionally, I feel strong and confident. I'm not sure he would, but if things go really bad and it gets physical? I've got my Krav Maga skills now to back me up. It'll probably never happen. But it feels amazing to be so confident about it all.

Elien and I are doing great. We spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday in bed. Partly because of the parties we went to and we were a tad hung over, but mainly because of the sex and the connections and the talking. There was a certain point where both of us were crying in the other's arms... We both feel so safe and secure with the other person. We both try our best to listen, communicate and make the other feel at ease and loved. It's incredible. I never knew this was even possible! At a certain point she told me that she's so amazed by me. That my background should have left me shattered and destroyed. That it would have been easy for me to sulk, flee in booze or worse, be a way worse person that I am today. But instead I radiate fun and kindess, I dare to follow my dreams and ambitions. I try to spread love and joy into the world despite everything. She said that she saw and understood how much energy and bravery it all must have taken and that she was in awe of that and who I had become in the process. This is where I started to cry, held her ever so closely, buried my face in her neck and shoulder and admitted that I've always secretly dreamed of having a significant other seeing that inner strength. I always downplay that aspect of myself. My battered and bruised heart is still as strong as Hercules. It wasn't long before she was crying as well. Because about an hour later she was admitting her insecurities about her intellect or creativity. I eased her by telling her that I'd fallen for the warmth in her heart, her kindness and her acceptance. Through her tears she told me that she'd never imagined a partner being so supportive and loving. I held her very tightly after that. I think this a very, very powerful start to what could be a life changing relationship. I am very, very grateful.

And then there was mom. My aunt gave a little family brunch thing at her new place and I'd been thinking of giving my mom some sort of a peptalk after hearing from my sister that she'd been doing awfully. Despite the beef we have, I still care about her and had set out to remind her of how strong a person she was. I am very proud of myself for being able to set aside my differences with her and speak up like that. It was hard, though. The first thing she'd done when she came into my aunt's place was berate the way it looked. That's not really polite, it's very rude and crass. Who the hell does that when they enter the new home of a close relative? My sister knew of what I wanted to say to our mother and suggested she came with. We all went into a separate room and my sis took the lead. I then continued after she's set the stage. Mom was rather.... unresponsive. Her body language could not have been more closed off. I told her that I wanted to set everything aside for a minute and express to her that I was worried. I asked her if she was absolutely sure that what she was doing, the partner she was with, where she lived, ... If it all was actually making her happy. I told her that she used to be this amazing, strong amazon and that I just want what's best for her.

But she kept her upper lip firm and stiff. Despite her body language and the slow and subtle sobbing in between her words, the tears slowly escaping her eyes, she maintained that she was perfectly fine, everything was the way she wanted it to be, she wasn't aware that she and I were fighting and she even gave my sister a hard time for telling me how badly she was doing. She pressed on to say that said distress was for her to cope with, in the privacy of her own home, that my sister had no business telling me and that it was all just a momentary thing. My sister and I let go at that point. She wasn't budging. It was crystal clear that she was just guarding herself and denying that anything was wrong at all, to the point where it was ridiculous. I pity her. We have a therapy session in 2 weeks. I feel like she is the one that would benefit from it the most but sadly she's also not exactly excited about the idea. She's very much in denial. My sister once told her that she has a choice: be stubborn or be happy. I hope that one day she can learn to be a bit more at peace with herself and the way she feels.

 

Highlight of the weekend: Tears of happiness, moments of deep connection, tender kisses and joy with Elien. 

Budget status: Took out 60 bucks in cash to pay for drinks and such. I had a couple of cocktails. I could have saved some money there. When you have had a few beers already, you tend to get a little bit loose with money. I should learn from this to not take out too much cash at once. Also paid 400 bucks because of Japan. My travel partner has been fronting me and my savings account is partially meant to make sure I can pay for Japan so it felt like common courtesy to pay her a couple of hundred. The entirety of the trip will cost us about 2000, without souvenirs or food or splurges. I still reckon it's very doable since my bonus and my savings will pay for all of that, easily. They money I'll be making and saving nowadays is meant to make sure I don't end up broke in a few months when I'm part-timing and freelancing.

My one goal for tomorrow: Not lose too much energy at work. Because I want to come home, cook and do some random shit and then get to writing! I'd love to have enough energy to get me through a whole evening of writing 😄 

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Days without games & porn: 21

I'm three weeks clean of porn ànd games. The latter is not longer a major issues. The former is ... different.

I've been having a really difficult evening in terms of not relapsing.

Work was boring, as usual. I actually had shit to do today so no secret personal projects. I even had a bit of training about learning to sell devices that measure particle size. It was all very difficult and theoretical but at least something that breaks the daily drudgery. I had a brief talk with my supervisor a few moments before. She mentioned being displeased with me and that I lacked focus and concentration (well, duh, you got me doing the most boring shit ever). She told me that she didn't want to get cross with me and that I needed to step my game up and be less chatty. I had a little bit of an internal giggle. So what? What would happen? She'd get angry? So what? Anger is nothing scary. Heck, even getting fired wouldn't be scary at this point, it'd be almost a relief. In the middle of it all she asked why I was so laid back and didn't take any of it serious, I didn't really have anything poignant to say so I blurted out that I just simply didn't care. That I felt like a number and felt very replaceable. That I felt like I was just expected to keep my head down, don't say anything that might disturb the status quo in any way, don't go in against authority and just do my job and sit quietly at my desk. She said that she was surprised I felt that way, was sorry I looked at it all like that and hoped that I would change my outlook on things. I found that all very silly and smallminded. She shouldn't be suprised because I told her all of this a while back during my employee review. And it's not my responsability to change my outlook. You want me to care about my job? Then do something with that information I just gave you. You're my employer, motivate me, help me care, find ways to keep my morale up. That's what leadership is: caring about others and helping them grow. I don't think it's difficult to understand why I feel like this. There's a boss that actually laughs at me, out loud, when I yawn because I'm tired because of all the work I'm doing. He literally made a whole spiel of laughing all the way back to his office after that small encounter. What a dick. That's not how a boss should act. It's ludicrous. The whole company management uses no positive reinforcement whatsoever, when something happens, you get berated or push down back to your place. Whatever they do, it's a negative backlash. Like a parent using only punishments when their kids mess up, but never building up their confidence.

Sometimes I really, really hate working there. The boss reminds me of my dad. Blind to everybody but himself and his needs. Takes no criticism and takes the better part of stuff launched at him personally. They all seem like a bunch of emotionally handicapped nitwits sometimes.

I set out to cook this evening, do some random stuff like ironing or go through my inbox. But I just couldn't... I could feel it creeping up. The urge to watch porn or some equivalent clawed itself up my spine and settled in the back of my mind. It's still there, right now, waiting to pounce. I can feel myself starting to slip. I stopped and breathed and asked myself why. Why now, what am I feeling and how to we alter it. How do we deal with this like a healthy, breathing, living person? I know I don't actually want porn, actual sex or love or inner peace is waaaay better. I want relief from the stress I'm feeling. The stress of the shit that happened at work today. Relief from the pressure of needing to to the household chores and cooking healthily, of needing to write and check my emails and so on... So much pressure, so much shit that needs doing. Sometimes it's really like I'm drowning in a sea of small tasks that feel impossible. 

I ate ice cream. I tried chocolate. I had a cocktail. I watched Critical role. I watched funny YouTube videos and scoured Reddit for a while. I thought of meditating but the scrolling took over. It's been hours now. I still can't shake the feeling of wanting that relief. I'd feel horrible tomorrow but I just want to run away from it all for just one night. I want to lose myself in some kind of binge. I know it's horrible but I can hear the monkey on my back whispering, flirting with me. "You have other nights where you can write, it'll be fine. Just one night. You'll feel better, I promise. You know you want to. You're stressed and you're not able to figure out right now what to do. This might be a bad decision. But it's normal to relapse. It's a temporary thing. Just one night and you're good for another few weeks. You seems so empty and sad and jittery at the same time. I could make it all go away and turn it all numb." 

-edit-

I figured it'd be wise to call Elien before I do anything stupid. I didn't tell her about the urge. It's a tad sensitive and a little private. I don't know her well enough to share this part of my struggles yet. The call did wonders for my mood. I was able to vent and share what I thought and felt. We've set up a coffee date before work tomorrow morning! 😄 I'm so happy. it's so romantic! We'll have an hour to cuddle and talk and drink coffee together! We talked about work. Her job is as boring as mine, if not worse. Employers suck. Nobody actually cares about what's truly important. It's all about profits, numbers and margins... Anyway, I'm happy and proud that I reached out to her instead of sliding into a bad decision.

Highlight of the day: Calling Elien and feeling the stress slide off of me.

Budget status: I'm going to feel better when I see my paycheck at the end of the month, plus my bonus. And then I'll feel at ease when I see my writing gig getting paid halfway through February. Didn't spend anything today.

My one goal for tomorrow: Enjoy Krav maga and give it my all. Maybe try and do something productive afterwards.

Edited by Phoenixking

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I think you'll feel better if you pick any one task and do it, my 2 cents. Don't linger with the bad feelings, because your feelings will only change if you engage in a different action, not if you sit still.

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Days without games & porn: 22

I started my day really early. An hour earlier than usual. I also went to sleep rather late. Both are because of Elien. We had a morning date. We had coffee at the place we met. It was original, lovely, romantic and a great way to start the day after last night. I soon lost that extra energy it gave me due to the repetitivity of my office job. Tuesdays suck because my colleague isn't there so there's no actual stimuli apart from my boring daily drudgery.

I kept losing energy. I felt like a rag at 3 pm. I feel so burned out. So empty. Everything feels like such a chore. Like there's this endless list of stuff I HAVE TO DO and it never ends...

I've been reading a lot about burnouts and millenials. I need to keep an eye on myself and make sure I don't go batshit insane. Because I feel like a lot of this is a mental exercise. There's nobody forcing this on me. I just need some perspective, some change.

Krav Maga hit the spot so bad! Omfg, I enjoyed it so much. I'm happy I went. I had reservations (laziness mainly) but I'm very proud I bit through that and went anyway.

I arranged some stuff when I got home but mostly chilled out.

Highlight of the day: That feeling after practice. Accomplishment for pushing myself to my limits. Beers afterwards. Being productive afterwards at home. A good evening well spent.

Budget status: Paid 65 bucks for a big event for freelancers and storytellers. Full day of workshops and keynotes about storytelling. Also a networking event. I feel like it's a good investment. I got the early bird discount so that's pretty positive. Spent another 16 bucks on a ticket for a special comedy gig. I am strongly looking forward to seeing that paycheck arrive. I hate being so afraid to become actually broke.

My one goal for tomorrow: When I come home, Elien will drop by at some point to watch 'Unbreakable' with me. Knowing myself, I'll do just about 1000 things before she comes over. So my goal is to properly let go of everything as soon as she walks through that door 🙂 

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Days without games & porn: 23

So everything hurts. Krav Maga was brutal. I do feel battered and bruised but I notice a difference. I'm not as sore as I used to be after a rough practice. I hit harder and dodge faster. I'm still new and I still fuck up a lot. But I can take ànd dish out a punch now. I feel progress. I feel confident. And I'm aware of that and it feels great to be able to say that I've improved at something that's not gaming.

Work was a tad more fun, mainly due to my colleague returning. 

This evening was rather uneventful. Making food and doing chores and cleaning up the place. I'm going to rehearse my poetry a little bit and iron some clothes. Elien is coming over to watch a movie.

Highlight of the day: My podcast being mentioned on another podcast. It's a comedy podcast that I listen to and sometimes write letters to. They read them out loud on the episode. One of the other listeners sent a letter and suddenly started referring to little old me! It turns out that he knows my name from my own D&D-podcast! How cool is that? He went on to praise it and it just blew my mind!

Budget status: Paid 5,55 bucks for a bread and some cheese. I think I could save a lot of money if I went grocery shopping more. Food is cheaper there. I usually buy my bread fresh at a baker's and they have this fridge full of breakfast meats and cheeses and stuf... I could save way more if I just ate Nutella. It's like 100 sandwiches per jar, whereas a packet of cheese is only a couple of sandwiches. Or maybe I'm overthinking this...

My one goal for tomorrow: After I visit my friend to help him out with his D&D character, try to mentally drop everything and write a couple of pages for my freelancer assignment.

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20 hours ago, Phoenixking said:

Days without games & porn: 23

So everything hurts. Krav Maga was brutal. I do feel battered and bruised but I notice a difference. I'm not as sore as I used to be after a rough practice. I hit harder and dodge faster. I'm still new and I still fuck up a lot. But I can take ànd dish out a punch now. I feel progress. I feel confident. And I'm aware of that and it feels great to be able to say that I've improved at something that's not gaming.

Work was a tad more fun, mainly due to my colleague returning. 

This evening was rather uneventful. Making food and doing chores and cleaning up the place. I'm going to rehearse my poetry a little bit and iron some clothes. Elien is coming over to watch a movie.

Highlight of the day: My podcast being mentioned on another podcast. It's a comedy podcast that I listen to and sometimes write letters to. They read them out loud on the episode. One of the other listeners sent a letter and suddenly started referring to little old me! It turns out that he knows my name from my own D&D-podcast! How cool is that? He went on to praise it and it just blew my mind!

Budget status: Paid 5,55 bucks for a bread and some cheese. I think I could save a lot of money if I went grocery shopping more. Food is cheaper there. I usually buy my bread fresh at a baker's and they have this fridge full of breakfast meats and cheeses and stuf... I could save way more if I just ate Nutella. It's like 100 sandwiches per jar, whereas a packet of cheese is only a couple of sandwiches. Or maybe I'm overthinking this...

My one goal for tomorrow: After I visit my friend to help him out with his D&D character, try to mentally drop everything and write a couple of pages for my freelancer assignment.

What do you do on your podcast? Is it a game that you play and record? I'd definitely go grocery shopping at a huge store if you have those. I spend 50.00 a week and it works. I agree with the colleague returning statement. I hate my career, but love my coworkers. So it's just nice to see people you like. 

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4 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

What do you do on your podcast? Is it a game that you play and record? I'd definitely go grocery shopping at a huge store if you have those. I spend 50.00 a week and it works. I agree with the colleague returning statement. I hate my career, but love my coworkers. So it's just nice to see people you like. 

It's basically a recorded D&D session. There's no video so we try to be as descriptive as possible. There's 4 players, our DM and a guest star. We record long sessions that we edit into 2-3 episodes and release about 2-3 of those per month. We have built up a following of about 100-150 core listeners and about 300 casual ones. I try to help out with the social media but I've been a bit overwhelmed. It's pretty cool to see the reactions. It's totally going beserk nowadays. We're getting a couple of celebrities as guests this year. I never dreamt it would go this fast. All props go to the DM, the audio engineer and the dude who started it all. I just do funny voices and crack wise. They do all the actual work.

I should totally go shopping more but I'm so stretched out sometimes. Grocery shopping makes me really anxious so I tend to avoid it. I eat lots of veggies and fruit though, but all of it frozen so it lasts longer in my fridge/freezer and so I don't have to make multiple trips. It feels like such a waste of time to go shopping each week. It's just around the corner though. Maybe I don't like spending the scratch?

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Days without games & porn: 24

Soon I'll be free from porn for a month. It's still a struggle sometimes. I haven't told the girlfriend about how hard it is sometimes. I find that it's a very private matter. Despite us being able to talk about just about anything. Addiction is a strange creature. 

Sometimes, like today, a thought just pops into my head. An urge, a want, a need. And I can totally feel how easy it would be. No resistance present. I could just do it. Nobody would stop me. Normally I'd feel disgust of have enough mental strength to fight it off. But this time I was lucky to not be home and be busy. I know I'd feel sad or angry or empty afterwards. It's not worth it at all and I'd feel worse. I guess it's just surprising and annoying that this itch is still there. I wish it would go away.

I watched a couple of minutes of streaming today. I have a few friends who livestream games. I logged into Twitch for a few minutes to say hello, give my support and then I skidaddled. I didn't really feel anything, to be honest. If I think about it a bit longer, I don't understand the insane attraction anymore. Sure, the story might be great. But not spending all that time and money on games feels like a natural choice nowadays.

I did something rather crude last night. I've always believed that the passion, the viability of a couple can be measured through a kiss. A proper kiss is a good sign, a mismatched kiss is a bad sign. You know the spiel, right? Too much tongue or too little, moving their head the wrong way, stuff like that... I told the girlfriend this. And I must have been a tad tactless. She really took it personal and went into a little panic. It took the better part of the day but we turned it around into agreeing to a kissing date. We'd light candles and play music and just mess around with it. Kissing softly and then hard and seeing what we like. I think that the idea is amazing and great. But I'm also slowly becoming aware of this new relationship. It's rather intense. It takes up time and effort and energy. I am going to need to be aware of how fast it progresses and what I am and am not comfortable with. I think it's healthy that I realize this but I'm a tad dissillusioned that we've hit this speed bump.

I was supposed to write. There's less than 1 month to go. I keep putting it off. I have ideas and stuff, but I don't sit down and write them up. I feel like I should take myself hostage for a few days and just force myself to do it. I'm going crazy over how to start and continue. I'm used to writing when I have discipline. But I keep doing D&D-related stuff, seeing friends or the GF, I keep agreeing to see, go and do so many things that it's getting in my way. If I was already parttiming, I'd have more time and I'd be fine (I think, I hope). But for now, it's really hard... I feel really bad and guilty and am afraid of fucking this up. 

 

Highlight of the day: Seeing my friend Mike and helping him build a character from absolute scratch into something he truly looks forward to playing. I am a happy and proud DM.

Budget status: Spent nothing today. Only have about 1000 left in total. Not going to lie, getting a little bit anxious...

My one goal for tomorrow: Try to relax, make a good impression on Elien's colleagues at her work's reception and try not to stress and fret too much about it all.

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