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Phoenixking

Maintenance of the PhoenixKing

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I was about to call this "The Rise of the PhoenixKing" but then I realized that this journal is less about rising from the ashes and more about maintaining a healthy and new lifestyle. Such a thing cannot be achieved overnight and then be left alone. One must tend to one's garden and one must do so regularly or the crops get fucked up.

I hereby vow to improve my life. I will not play a single video game. I will also quit porn and quit browsing Reddit on my phone. All these things take up too much space in my brain, I feel they are problematic and they limit me from becoming my true self. I feel as if my entire life I've allowed myself to be inhibited, to be numbed in a way. No more. 

I was a tad skeptical at first but now that I'm writing it, I already feel the influence. I'm an entertainer and I used to do so professionally. When there's an audience involved, I tend to perform better.

So what will I try to achieve and then maintain? I want to finish reading Respawn and stick to everything it advises me to do. I want to find fulfillment and joy and this in the form a good job. Right now I have a boring job in administration. I used to be a freelance speaker and a paid comedian and a weatherman for 3 local tv-stations. Can you imagine how empty I feel some days? Combined with the neurological and chemical shitshow in my brain from detoxing both porn and games and the discovery that I might have ADHD. It's going to be a bit of an uphill battle. But what good is any hero in any story, if there aren't any maddening obstacles involved? 

So no porn, no games, a better life in general and a way better job specifically. I would also like to bring my body back up to par but that's a long game we're playing. I miss running and exercising so badly. I used to play soccer, then some rugby and finally quidditch for a while. My knees got hurt and any strain would result in inflammations. But every single day I try to do my exercises the physical therapist gave me. He said I should be able to run safely by the end of the year. I used to have daily pains and that's over now. I used to not be able to walk long distances, but I managed to 'survive' Disneyland Paris with my girlfriend. She's a true fan and we did about 20 kilometers, every day, for 3 days. I have seen truly every inch of Disneyland Paris. In September we'll be facing 7 days in Anaheim and a road trip of 2 weeks to boot.

This is where it starts. As far as I'm concerned, this is my Genesis. Thank you for reading.

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Day 2

First day. Or second day. Whatever. It was complicated. I knew it was going to be rough. Oof. Past me wasn't kidding. I did make a conscious effort this noon to go to a local supermarket near my workplace to buy some fresh fruits and veggies. When I came home I whipped up a great vegetable, meat & tomato sauce and some pasta. First proper nutritious meal I've made myself in a while. Sadly, I didn't really get anything useful done. I had emails that needed processing, I wanted to go for a run, try my hand at some job interviews. And the entire evening there was this very clear itch. Like claws digging in the back of my mind, like a crack whore clucking for a fix. It whispers. "It would be so quick, so easy, it would feel so good and nobody would have to know." 

When I came home I was a bit lost. I had a long list of things to do. Interesting stuff like making a new D&D character. Or prepping to go for a run.

In the end, I ended up wasting time on Reddit on my computer. I removed the app on my phone to make sure I didn't fall back into my old habit of numbing myself every waking second. I should find a way to make that harder for me. To make going to Reddit a conscious choice instead of making the pitfall easy to find. But sometimes it feels like it's my only interesting thing I have. The only thing that kind of keeps me sane through this all. I ended up wasting a few hours and finally starting to clean and cut up the veggies, cook the sauce and the pasta and eat. I prepped my lunch and dinner for tomorrow. Through the better part of this I was listening to Critical Role, the D&D podcast/Youtube series. Another thing that keeps me sane. Just cooking in silence would drive me crazy. 

Though having more time to let my mind wander today, rather than fill up every spare minute with Reddit or Critical Role or another podcast felt nice, it's a tough habit to break. I felt my creative thoughts flow back into me. I was thinking of beautiful words and texts and jokes. But as soon as I got home, I felt so lonely and lost. 

All in all, not a bad day. But then the drinking started.

I luckily drank all of it. So it's not going to be a temptation anymore. In a brief moment of impulse, I opened the bottle of bourbon and took a swig. Then another and another while cooking. Then I poured a glass and added some pineapple juice. It made me lethargic, slow and basically ruined the night. Looking on back on the last few hours, I'm thoroughly disappointing. I didn't break any of my vow but I didn't really achieve any goals either. I should probably no longer drink when I'm alone, nor should I browse Reddit for so long when there's so much to do. Lesson learned. 

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

My friend Dorian is going through a very, very rough time with his girlfriend. I feel like I was able to make him feel supported. It's been a while since I've had the feeling I made a friend. I hope it lasts.

Body/health

Cooked a proper meal with fresh veggies, with leftovers for lunch and dinner. But sadly also drank alcohol and was too lethargic and weak willed to be more productive 

Mind/soul

I'm becoming more aware of bad patterns and habits. I once felt like I wasn't just trying to climb a mountain, but rather a steep cliff. I now feel differently. I will try to, though very probable it's going to be with baby steps, walk forwards. Slowly, but surely. It's more important that I move and stay on the move, than that I worry about how fast I'm going.

What progress did I make today?

I became aware that Reddit and alcohol are dangerous. I made the conscious choice to not spend every available second on my phone and let my mind wander, despite my anxiety about it.

What went well today:

The cooking and my social skills on this forum and towards my friend, Dorian.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Not drink. Start doing stuff as soon as I get home and not give myself any chance to waste time.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

As soon as I get home, I open my PC and make a list of all the stuff that needs to happen. I rank them based on importance and time. And I work through them until I feel satisfied.

Goals:

Focus on being productive without losing sight of allowing myself to relax

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2 minutes ago, Cam Adair said:

A journal will really support you. I'll be following along. :) 

Thank you. This is a healthy step in a good direction. I look forward to your insights.

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Day 2

I woke up from a solid sleeping state. No hangover from last night's bad decision. Yay.

Work was fine. It's still the boring same old administration thing. I get to do more diverse stuff now, so less boring. But it's like when they tell you to file all these dusty dossiers. But to cheer you up, some are colored pink, others are colored blue and some are purple. 

In any case, I learned from my mistakes. I got to work as soon as I came home. I don't really remember what I did because of my fuzzy brain, but I feel like I did better that yesterday. I read my respawn book, I went through 100 job coaching centers and finally picked 4 to ask them to guide me in finding a new and fulfilling job. I'll be véry busy in the upcoming weeks, with something that'll feel like progress :) Hopefully the coaching won't be too expensive. I tend to bleed money because I have difficulties telling my girlfriend 'no'. She was always spoiled and I can be an enabler and a pleaser. I'm working on it, though. Slow and steady.

So just another day at work. Feeling a bit healthier though. And also more productive than yesterday. 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

I used one of the apps/sites/extensions for Chrome to block all possible porn sites. Obviously, if I want to get to porn, I could. But this makes the decision harder and the process slower. It's supposed to make me think of what I'm doing and throwing away. I can feel the itch every day, though. 

Body/health

Bought apples but didn't eat them. Yet. Ate àll of the veggies and food I made yesterday. It feels nice to cook proper things for myself. I will try to do this more often. It feels fulfilling and makes sure I have less time on my hands.

Mind/soul

I can often feel old habits creeping up on me. It's a struggle sometimes to not give in. Focusing on positive things will make a difference, I feel. Also any alcohol is gone now and I'll probably not buy any more for a while. Just to be safe. I feel like I'm making progress. It's slow and it's little. An inch. But sometimes it's all we have and worth preserving.

What progress did I make today?

I ran. I did not drink. I ate healthy. I made genuine attempts to connect and converse and joke with colleagues rather than flip through posts on my phone. I did not lose more than a normal amount of time dillydallying. 

What went well today:

Allocating my time and being productive after I came home. It feels as if the night just passed me by and nothing happened though.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Instead of focusing on being productive, it would be nice to also be able to focus on something that's productive ànd makes me happy. I'm proud I did important things and invested time in long term goals. But I just wish it made me happier. I just feel a bit more numb than I expected. So be more happy, I guess? Watch more funny improv?

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Kiss my girlfriend, make love, tell her about what I'm doing. Or maybe not. Just enjoy my night with her without enabling or pleasing her. Be assertive and firm, but kind and loving.

Goals:

Focus on being productive without losing sight of what makes me happy.

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Day 3

Sleeping is weird. I went to bed tired because of the running and because of being productive (yay!). But I slept mediocre. That probably has something to do with another bad habit of mine that I'll be targeting soon: I fall asleep to Netflix. Just an Archer episode or two. But still. I'm cutting down on stuff that I use to numb myself. So this is something to address at some point.

Common day today at work. It's nice to have fun with colleagues. Every day I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have these cheery fun people around me. And also great coffee, a baker's nearby. But sadly, I'm also reminded every day of how incredibly dull and boring it is. 

Then I got a call at noon. A job office called me about my profile they saw online. They thought I would do well as an online content creator/copywriter/online marketeer. I said that it sounded amazing but I don't want to get my hopes up. It might be a job with horrible co-workers or shitty pay. I need to think forwards, not backwards. But it was still a very nice surprise and a reminder that a brighter future is out there.

The remainder of the evening was spent at my girlfriend's. A lovely, funny, romantic evening. We had a discussion about flirting and trust. But nothing major. She can get under my skin sometimes. I should learn to not raise my voice and remain calm. But I really just wished she'd trust me and not be so manipulative...

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

I randomly got a call from a job office with a great job opportunity

Body/health

Ate fresh bread and 2 apples, delicious and nutricious home-cooked meal. Sucks that I don't have any lunch for tomorrow but I'll figure something out.

Mind/soul

Nothing specific to report. Then again, I'm véry forgetful ^^

What progress did I make today?

I ate my apples. I had a lovely evening with my girl without letting a discussion escalate to a fight.

What went well today:

The lovely evening with my girlfriend. Teaching my colleague how to do my job when I'm on vacation.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Not raise my voice. Plan my meals ahead to make sure I get enough fruits &  veggies.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Make a plan of my food the upcoming 10 days so I know what to buy and when.

Goals:

Focus on being productive without losing sight of allowing myself to relax. Also chill out and not let discussions become fights and not take things too personally.

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Day 4

I'm going to be honest. Belgium just beat England in the world cup so I'm not at all sober. I have a shitload of stuff to do. But I settled on one or two things. I could go out and drink and have fun with my friend, but on several conditions. When I come back, I have to do at least 1 productive thing. This journal counts as that. I also made a proper meal of spices, chicken, rice, red paprika and wraps. I missed cooking. It's so nutritious and fun. Pc also got repaired and I got the first couple of emails about job counseling. Yay! All in all it was a rather nice but slow day. Nothing out of the ordinary, other that my GF waking me up because she screamed herself out of a nightmare where I was cheating on her. Issues to resolve in the future. Still, all in all, I'm slightly growing proud of my tiny bits of progress.

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

I had a boatload of fun with my friends at the local bar, watching the game. I vowed to hang out more with them.

Body/health

Nothing physical happened. But I ate right and well.

Mind/soul

Nothing specific. Other than using my social skills in the way they should be used. So, yay!

What progress did I make today?

I ate properly and didn't drop the ball. I'm also drunk but still writing this, so I àm capable of stuff even when the going gets tough.

What went well today:

Work progressed quickly. Food went well. Overall a proper and okay day, bending towards good :)

What I could have done to make my day better:

Perhaps not drink too much. Tomorrow my head will probably hurt.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Seriously plan to see these friends more often. It's a blast and i very much enjoy it. We bullshit, we play games, we drink but they are also there when the going gets tough.

Goals:

No porn. No games. Relax and enjoy life. Be productive and change what I perceive as something that needs improving.

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Day 5

I was so drunk, I had to leave work. That's how hungover I was. There will be a reckoning come Monday, but I'll surely deserve the new one they'll rip me. It probably had something to do with all of my bad little habits I've been purging. I feel like I should probably need to find a healthy way to blow off some steam. I also got into a big fight with my girlfriend over this. I ended things afterwards. She hurt me once too often. I can ask or demand for more respect or less drama over nothing. But that won't change. So I'm going through a véry rough time. I feel awful. It's so tempting to fall back on old coping habts now. Porn, Tinder, ... But I'm staying true to myself. Healthy food, enough sleep, ... Tomorrow we'll make a battle plan for the upcoming days. I never thought the day would come but it's here. I asked a friend to support me and we grabbed my stuff out of her apartment. So here we are now. Single. Recovering from a boatload of stuff. I am very proud that it feels as if the entire world is crumbling around me, and I still will not yield to any temptations. Every day will be a bit of a fight from now on. But on the bright side a whole lot of time just freed up that I can now invest in myself.

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

I solidified the backbone I was growing for a while and finally stood up to my girlfriend and left her. My friend was amazing during all of this.

Body/health

Major Hangover. But ate healthy nevertheless.

Mind/soul

In absolute chaos. In pain. But my will does not bend. I am proud of myself.

What progress did I make today?

I broke up with her. And the relationship with my friend and his gf deepened. They were really there for me. They were amazing and supporting.

What went well today:

Dinner with grandma was lovely. Talking with the friend and making sure he knows I'll be fine and that I appreciate him.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Not drink so much. Good god. Apparently I'm no longer 21. Somehow I didn't get the memo.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Be cold as ice and pragmatic about the girlfriend situation. Send my friend a message that I'm doing fine. Make a practical battle plan of what I have to do in the next weeks.

Goals:

Stay true to myself. No matter what the next weeks will throw at me.

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Sometimes when you decide to make a big change in your life a bunch of other things happen at the same time too. Fairly normal actually. Just be patient and stay focused on where you're going. These videos can help on the stress/coping mechanism side:

 

 

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Day 1

This is not going to be pretty. Or short.

I broke the promise I made to myself. I watched porn. I don't want to say I relapsed but if I can't stay off porn for a week, then it's an issue and deserves to be taken seriously. I feel like ever since I did away with video games, I've been leaning on different other things. Browsing on Reddit, fixating on D&D, ... Now that I'm purging all of these pseudo crutches, I guess it's only normal it comes with a setback. I haven't finished the Respawn book yet so I haven't put any parachutes in place yet. I can look at my stumble and fall with a pair of critical eyes (as in, holy shit this réally is an issue to be taken seriously) but also with love and understanding (look at the shit you're going through, you have not yet given yourself a different pair of wings, no wonder you keep grabbing for old ones). I honestly want to lead a better life. Less numbing, happier, more quality. It's proving to be more difficult than I thought because in the first place it's tough to figure out what that even means to me. I need to finish the book first, I feel. And take the time to go through the steps and figure our what I should be doing next to stopping with the bad habits and trying not to relapse. 

I've been watching Cam's videos. Some are very applicable to me. Other less so. I'm still grateful in any case that I was able to watch them. I learned that this relapse was a good opportunity to look at why I did it, what it did to me and why I can't do it again. I used porn to escape from reality a little bit, I used it as some sort of dopamine-button. But it's not real. I messed with my brain chemistry for too long. None of it is real. It's a waste of time. An escape and nothing else. It slows me down. There is a tonne of rational reasons I can come up with to keep away from all of it. I used a porn blocker to get rid of most of it. But porn is ubiquitous. I can slow myself down but I'll never be able to preemptively stop myself. That's gotta come from myself. I'm ashamed to say I relapsed àfter I saw Cam (Holy hell, the founder himself responded to my struggles?!) post his videos here. I was grateful for the timing. But I made the conscious choice to give in to the urge. That one is on me. But I came out of it with a different awareness. I just hope it's enough to give me perspective.

I'm not going to lie. I'm scared. Terrified even. I have friends supporting me through the break-up. Loving family members that will help out with cleaning, laundry and helping me move out. But it feels like it's really a lot. Sometimes it feels like too much to handle. At other times, I feel like I'm on top of shit. I made a list of all things that need to happen this summer. Moving out, find a lovely new place for me to start my fresh and clean new life, see my friends more often. I've already vowed to go to a metal festival next summer. I've picked a few cool hobbies: improv (I have 10 years of experience and might be giving the classes rather than partaking), Toastmasters, playing D&D and being a DM and world- and character building and I'll likely volunteer as well. I found a lovely organization that help out blind people. Now that I'm single, I can truly go for the things that make my heart beat faster and make me feel alive and true to myself. It will give me a chance to do things I love, grow in my skills, be social and not home alone all the time.

I never thought I'd need to work on my social skills. I was a professional speaker for ages! But I do have a tendency to keep people at a distance. I recognize that in situations like these, this trait of mine bites me in the ass. Hard. I feel like Respawn & The Challenge will help this out too. It's all very positive, but it's such a long list of shit to think of, ponder over, be aware of, consider, yadda yadda... How does anybody do this without falling apart? Nobody told me as a kid that this would be what life is. Nobody prepares you for this mess.

I need to eat healthy, sleep enough, be productive but also relax enough but also relax in the right way but not too much because that would be unproductive. How do you figure out what's right and wrong? Then I also need to deal with the break-up, find a new apartment and actually move. I need to check myself and not relapse in any old bad habit of mine. Games, porn, too much Reddit or Netflix... I also need to go do the new hobbies, read Respawn, read other stuff and work on myself. I also need to clean, buy new furniture, decorate, ... 

One day, somebody will get super rich when they figure out how to outsource head space. Because right now, I would pay a pretty penny for somebody to help me unravel the mess that is my head. Until then, I will probably keep telling myself that it's normal to feel overwhelmed and confused and stressed. I am, after all, building a new me and leaving the old one in the rubble. That begins with a little bit of sledgehammering myself to get the bad bits off. Because that's how you get the rubble I'm supposed to rise out of.

 

List of stuff that happened over the weekend:

Broke up with gf, a véry hard but healthy decision that I stand by 

Received 1000 calls, voicemails, Facebook messages and mails from said gf. Also from her mother and a colleague, asking for an explanation

Spent an evening with a good friend playing board games and talking about the gf. We agreed this was a good call of mine

Spent a few hours at the beach with my aunt and her kids

Found a realtor to help me out and put in a request to visit 2 places she proposed

Got a job interview (in case I get fired over the drunk thing, this might become very important, if not, it's still nice to know my options)

Sent a few messages back to the gf, sadly this is me giving in to her manipulative ways

Answered a call from her mom, it turned into a very angry conversation and ended with the gf suddenly interjecting something, it turns out I was on speaker and they didn't tell me

Relapsed and watched porn despite Cam's videos

Bawled my eyes out because of the breakup and all of this madness in my brain

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Dodged 2 jellyfish at the beach, headed into the dunes and had a great walk, view of nature and also a pretty good workout

Body/health

Should probably stay this course for now. I could definitely improve more but I'm allowing myself to deal with all of the current mess instead of putting that energy in my food and eating habits. There is nothing truly destructive here for now. But I àm planning to make some kind of food/recipe schedule once I've moved.

Mind/soul

Turmoil. Lots of it. It's only normal, I know. But that realization doesn't make it any easier.  

What progress did I make today?

I read another chapter of Respawn. I relapsed but learned a painful and valuable lesson from it. I had a great hike at the beach through the dunes. That made me feel alive and happy.

What went well today:

Being nice to myself, being in nature and being nice and friendly to random people. Breakfast was nutritious and healthy. 

What I could have done to make my day better:

Start the hike sooner. Read my book more. Use sun tan lotion (OUCH!).

What I will do differently tomorrow:

No relapsing. Reading instead of Netflix in bed. Just carry on, do what I feel is right and keep on writing this journal. And take more pictures to post here. I feel sorry for not adding a shot of the beach/dunes here. I should take more pictures and maybe post more stuff on Instagram. I feel like that might help me be more connected to my friends.

Goals:

Nail the interview. Apologize to the boss and colleagues for being drunk. Dare to let go and hang out with my friend and watch the World Cup on the big screen

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You're doing better than you might be giving yourself credit for. Keep growing, keep learning, and being curious about yourself. This is all part of the process. Keep your head held high, you're doing great.

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14 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

You're doing better than you might be giving yourself credit for. Keep growing, keep learning, and being curious about yourself. This is all part of the process. Keep your head held high, you're doing great.

Thanks, Cam. It honestly does something to me when I read stuff like this. It gives me the feeling that I'm not writing all of this to empty air.

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Day 2

So I didn't sleep well. I am now trying to not fall asleep with Netflix or anything else that counts as numbing to me. So I use nature noises and the sound of water clattering. But I watched Netflix just a tad too much and it took me a long time to properly fall asleep. This night, I will change this. I'll read my book and then fall asleep. Not Netflix needed.

The work day went okay. I talked about the break-up with my coworkers. They're nice and supportive. I also addressed the fact that I was drunk. I went up to the office of my boss, asked to speak with her in private, admitted the whole thing and apologized. I followed up with detailing I felt ashamed and embarrassed and that it was a painful but effective lesson. She appreciated my honesty and no consequences were given to the matter. I didn't just get lucky, I feel. I didn't get any repercussion because they felt I was aware of what happened and I didn't mollycoddle my mistakes. I owned it. I can honestly say I'm very proud of that fact. A colleague suggested I use a vacation day to switch out the sick day I got. My boss denied this, gave me the sick day and made me feel appreciated for my candor. 

The whole day long it felt like my heart was a black hole. The break-up is draining. Every couple of minutes there's a message, an email, anything at all... I wish she would just leave me alone. She can't even respect that. She's started messaging my friends now that I've blocked her number. She's got her mom texting me too. I can't believe she thinks this kind of behavior reflects well on her. Tomorrow I'll go and give her back her stuff and her keys. She wanted to have a conversation. I didn't. She held the whole shit hostage until she got what she wanted. She wasn't going to give it all back unless I talk to her and only near her house. That's about a 30 minute drive. Normally I would flip her off, but I want those keys. I have to be sure she can't get in here. 

The job interview went well but there's a big Wolf Of Wall Street vibe. It's a HR company, white collar recruitment. There's some kind of cultist vibe. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, actually. It would be a big risk and it could go either way. I'll be invited to a second interview and I'll ask about money, benefits, the contract and what I'll actually be doing. I'm not going to risk my only stable element in my sea of chaos. But I still want to grow and get ahead in life. And that's not something I'll find at my current job. It's a scary leap of faith. But I'm thinking about it. I'd get to wear suits and it's filled with a rock'n'roll vibe. It seems shallow, though. But it's not as if I'm currently feeling any deeper connections at my current job. I'll sleep on it.

I went to check out a potential new apartment. A busy street and rather warm. But it's nice and roomy, lots of space and natural light. I'm checking out another one on Thursday. I'll have to move rather quickly. Time is running out. I had a big trip planned with the ex but I now need to make sure it's cancelled properly and we get our money back. To do this, I need to move asap and prove that I changed residences. Another occasion where I'll have to sit down with the ex. The thought alone makes me sick. Not that it would go badly. Just that I'll want it to be over quickly, quietly and respectfully. She will do no such thing.

I conquered a porn website! It was tempting and kind of fucking with my head. I had to stop myself for a second and ask myself if what I was doing was okay or not. Would I feel bad afterwards or not? Would it count as a relapse on frigging day 1? Thankfully, I used StayFocused and blocked it. I was in turmoil but I hit the switch! A huge weight fell off me immediately. Very proud of that victory!

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Went to the World Cup game Belgium-Japan with friends. Had a blast! At a certain point I was covered beer, sweat and screaming enthusiasm. For a second I exhaled and realized I was careless. I had no worry in the world for a split second. After 2 years of feeling like there's some kind of shadowy sticky filter over everything pretty, it cleared up. It was amazing.

Body/health

I have been neglecting my workout. I have been making sure I eat some fruit/veggies daily. But the amount I eat in general is not that good. Break-up stress, I figure.

Mind/soul

Still chaotic. I have told myself that it's okay to let go a little. I'm only human. Combating yourself and bad habits and also improving your life is hard. Dealing with a break-up too is even harder. I cut myself some slack sometimes. As soon as I've moved and settled in, I can start used proper schedules for workouts, food, cleaning, ...

What progress did I make today?

I owned up to my mistakes and was rewarded. I watched no Netflix before sleeping.

What went well today:

Job interview, apartment viewing and seeing my friends, all without being late. Also I was able to let go of all the stress and realized I was happy to be alive and out there instead of inside.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Eat better. Sleep better. 

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Eat something healthy and not waste any time when I get home. Also take a picture because I keep forgetting to take pictures of stuff I write about here.

Goals:

Survive the day. Get the stuff to the ex. Survive the confrontation without giving up any self-respect. No capitulating to her manipulations.

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It seems like you are really acting on a lot of problems that you have avoided by gaming. I really feel like you are putting yourself out there and fixing your base. I believe in you! 

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9 hours ago, sskieller said:

It seems like you are really acting on a lot of problems that you have avoided by gaming. I really feel like you are putting yourself out there and fixing your base. I believe in you! 

Honestly, thank you. I've had a really rough day. I feel like I'm trying to do everything right, or at least as right as possible. But it's still hard, it all sometimes really hurt. It's small things like these that make a difference. Thanks!

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Day 3

Woke up to some texts of a friend of the ex. Spent the better part of the morning replying. God. I hate this break-up. It's soaking up so much energy and time. People keep popping up asking for her redemption or to treat her with more respect. Where were they when she humiliated me, compared me to my alcoholic schizophrenic dad or kept insulting my friends behind their backs or second guessing my plans of getting a degree or any kind of education? It's been a full year and the high points were interstellar. I'm not talking happy, I'm talking liquid fucking euphoria. But as high as the highs were, the lows were lower. It was exhausting. She manipulated me every step of the way. She spoon fed me bullshit and I ate it up. 

Anyway, I skipped breakfast because my stomach has been acting up lately (no doubt because of all the stress) and went to work. I managed and it was an okay day. But I was tired and hollowed out. I was going to see her that night to swap out our keys and exchange the stuff we left lying around each other's apartments. I asked for the day off tomorrow, I knew I'd need the recovery time. I lasted 'til noon. Then I asked for the remainder of the day off. I couldn't cope anymore. I was barely conscious. It felt as if I was going to faint at any given point.

I have nice bosses. They appreciate candor and show kindness. I'm lucky. The job is still incredibly boring and I will change at some point soon. But for now, it's nice to have some semblance of stability in a little corner of my life.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon in bed. I watched an episode on Netflix, read my book and took to Respawn. I now have an exhaustive list of cool new hobbies and activities. I've got a weak spot for D&D, I'll do some volunteering (helping out the blind), rekindle my love and talent for improv and comedy and I'll try out Toastmasters! Also snowboarding, maybe surfing, paintball, running, wushu, krav maga, kempo, ... It's a long list, but hey! I've got time and now that I'm a bachelor, I only have to keep track of 1 life instead of 2. I can focus on myself, growing as a person and trying to fill my weeks with as much parties, laughter and joy as possible. I honestly look forward to my progress. But first I'll need to move and find an apartment and try to cancel the expensive vacation we booked. We're looking at a trip worth about 2000 right now. I don't make a lot of money, so this is a painful stab to the wallet. But it's better to sacrifice money than my heart, soul, self image or mental well being. So I'll take the blow. But if I'm lucky, I'll move quick enough to be able to use the move as a reason to use the cancellation insurance we got. I won't bore you with the paperwork, but we'd get 1700 back, minus the fees they'll charge for cancelling. But every day those fees grow by 50 bucks. 

So I need to find a place, and soon. But contracts are a 3 year minimum deal. So I'm not allowing myself to be pressured by this all. I will find a good place, where I can build a life. A foundation is not something you build quickly. If I don't like the apartments, I'll look for others. No capitulating. I'm only going for gold medals here. Because that's what I deserve. A good, healthy, happy life. 

My good friend asked if I needed some mental support. He tagged along. Her and I exchanged the stuff, keys and paperwork about the expensive trip. She dared to make comments about wanting to be reimbursed for expensive gifts she had already bought. In the same breaths she also wanted to remain friends. But she worded it in a victimizing way. "It just sucks I'll be without a best friend on my birthday *sigh*". Poor you. Oh, I'm sorry! Is my grief and pain in the way of your joy?

I'm not going to lie. It hurts. I miss her. I miss being loved, touched, kissed and hugged. I miss my existence being validated and appreciated. But I'll soon find ways, people and circumstances to compensate. She was manipulating me. She was relentless. But she also made me tear with laughter every couple of days. I could do my silly voices (I rock as a voice actor) and make my weird jokes. And now she's gone. I pushed her away to have room to grow. It's only natural that I feel bad. But there's all this room around me now. I can't help but perceive it as empty.

She gave me a letter. Sealed. I haven't opened it yet. I don't know if I should. My friend advised me to burn it to get closure. To truly move on. It could be filled with emotional ploys and beautifully worded lies, taunts and pleas. I have trouble resisting the temptation to open it. I can't tell good from bad here. Should I open it, leave it here for now or burn it?

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

I felt my body relax and my lungs fill with air as soon as the exchange with the ex was over. I'm a LOT less stressed now.

Body/health

I need to seriously watch myself. I need food, vitamins, sleep, ... I felt woozy all day. I'll go buy food tomorrow and stock the fridge. I barely have anything right now.

Mind/soul

I feel like I'm on the brink of slowly recovering. I feel like the worst of it all has just passed me by. Now I have to ride out the remaining second, weaker half.

What progress did I make today?

I saw the ex, stood my ground and texted friends and family when I was having a hard time. I'm blessed to be surrounded by nice people. They are what will make me succeed.

What went well today:

Asking others for help. 

What I could have done to make my day better:

Eat better, sleep better. Stock fridge. Clean up the place. Seriously. Pick up a broom, future me!

What I will do differently tomorrow:

EAT. And clean the place. A clean place will make me happier and make me feel productive.

Goals:

Go view the second apartment and be critical, do not be pressured, make a well informed decision. Eat at aunt's and load up on veggies. Buy food and stock fridge. Go see movie with friend. Call holiday center about cancelling trip, then call company managing the apartments I'm looking at. See what kind of time frame I have to move and start planning the move if possible.

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Day 4

I read the letter. I had to. Even if it was a mistake, it was one of those decisions where you needed to do it just to verify if it was wrong. It was filled with everything I ever wanted. And doubt. It made me doubt my decision. It reminded me of all the good times, the love, the intimacy, the laughter, the adventures... But I know deep down that it was still the right move. She's not going to change. She's still manipulating me, trying to get me to think of her in a positive way rather than a realistic way. She didn't apologize, she just explained herself. Those are two very different things. I just hope this nagging comes to a stop soon. It's tiring.

I had a day off today. I went and visited a great apartment! Spacious, affordable(ish), and I was able to get them to contact the owner today. It would be a very lucky break if I got to move there this month. I'd be so happy and proud. And it would help with the cancellation insurance of the expensive trip. We'd get a big amount paid back to us. 

The sore part is that I would still need a sliver of contact with the ex to resolve it. Honestly, I'm looking forward to moving, finding my groove back and getting into my new hobbies asap. I've been delaying and procrastinating it because of everything that's going on. All of the pain is so fresh, the urges and cravings are still there, I haven't gone for a run in a while, ... There's so much to take care of. It feels like I'd be cheating if I suddenly started a new hobby now. I feel like I need every minute of every day right now to make sure I lay down a good foundation.

Overall, I'm doing fine right now. If I get the apartment, I'm going to celebrate. But I know that if it's too good to be true, I have to act now and form a plan B. I'll send a mail tomorrow to the realtor, asking if it's a sure thing and if not, to send me a couple of more options similar to this one. I can't become lazy, I need to make doubly sure that I'll land on my feet. Future me will be grateful.

I also went food shopping, took more care of myself and there's healthy things to look forward to. I cleaned the place a bit, but not completely yet.

But then...

There's pedophilia.

I ate at my aunt's place. We haven't seen each other in a long time, we have years of catching up to do. I wasn't supposed to stay for long. But her kid is cute. My niece is turning into a fine young person. My aunt is lovely but a tad fragile. She moved back to my hometown recently after she and her ex broke up. The hometown is not welcoming to her, it seems. They all think she stole money from somebody in town, somebody she worked for as a caretaker. After a long conversation, it turns out he did things to my niece... He was nice, gave gifts, gave money. When she stood up to him, he slandered her and ruined her reputation in town. My aunt did some digging. There's more victims. There have been bribed parents and guardians. There's a lawsuit she's not supposed to talk about and a secret witness she's going to pop out. There's this amazing secret invisible war going on and she's waging it! I'm so proud of her. And I told her if there's anything I could do, I'd be glad to help. But despite how positive I all make it sound right now, ... My niece was still abused by a child molester. And that rage is white hot. I don't know how to cope with this yet. I can't really tell anybody because it's a small town and her lawyer wants to keep everything quiet while they build their case. He has no clue they're coming for him. I'll just have to deal with it peacefully myself until they pop that ugly excuse for a human.

For me personally, a good day. I got some healthy stuff done. But that news about my niece hit me square in the solar plexus.

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

The apartment I saw was lovely, the owner was contacted and it's immediately available. I also talked to the travel agent about cancelling and I can submit the paperwork next month or in September if need be. A silver lining!

Body/health

Slept well. Ate well. Bought veggies and fruits. Now I need to make sure I eat them and cook.

Mind/soul

My days are rather full. I feel like I'm always running from here to there, from one task to the next. Better this than the opposite, I guess?

What progress did I make today?

Bought healthy food, ate healthy but not enough, saw the apartment and took action, tried arranging the cancellation, cleaned, overall a véry productive day.

What went well today:

The running from one place to the next and getting more done than planned. Except for cleaning. Seriously, future me, grab a broom!

What I could have done to make my day better:

Maybe plan things more efficiently? Sit and think what annoys me and then plan to change it.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Have 3 meals. Try not to think about the ex too much. Maybe try to send an email to get the first of the new hobbies going?

Goals:

Survive work in a healthy way. Have fun at dinner with my sister. If I'm home at a decent hour, clean the place up more. Try to make sure I don't spend a whole weekend home alone.

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Day 5

I had some really great news today! I got the apartment! The nice and roomy one! I'm signing the papers and meeting the landlord next week! I'll have fixed the better part of my worries in less than a week! I'll move in about two weeks, giving me an extra two weeks to move and clean and chill before the end of the month and the end of my current rental place. I am so happy. This is so awesome, I'm over the moon! This means I get to use the insurance to cancel the trip and get a whole lot of the money we invested back. This also means that in less than a whole month, I will have successfully started my new life! I already have interviews lined up for next month with a couple of skilled job counselors. I get to pick one to guide me through some job coaching and personal coaching to find out what a good career path for me would be. 

Seriously, I'm doing fucking amazingly right now. I have structure, plans, accountability, ... I am so proud of myself. Let's hope the coming months are of a similar caliber.

I went and had dinner with my sister. We had a lovely time catching up. Once again it became clear to me that the ex was a bunch of bad juju. She always was very judgmental towards other. My sister and mother were no exception to this. Oh yeah. Much like me, they are horribly flawed. But blood is thicker than that. We talked and giggled and ate. We also talked about mom. My relationship with her is rather distant and cold. There is no hate, but not much love to be spoken of either. I feel like she shouldn't send gifts. I don't want a new car or my rent to be paid. I want you to text me and ask me how my day was. But she's never really wanted to work on our relationship. On top of that I feel very strongly, as the child, it should not be my responsibility to initiate and also maintain the relationship. She's my mom. She's supposed to keep an eye on me, not the other way around. I'm a proud and stubborn man, I'll always easily admit that. But I feel if I budge, I'd be also admitting that I don't deserve any less than a caring mother. And I can't have that. I deserve a warm, embracing and loving mother that cares about who I am, what I do and what I stand for. If she has no interest in that, I do not require her attention. I am becoming an amazing and self-sufficient man and if she can't see that, tough luck. I waste no energy on one-sided relationships.

Sister thought this was rather harsh point to make and claimed that Mom cries about our relationship. When asked why she doesn't contact me, her argument is that I don't contact her either. .... >.>

In any case, I had a bit of wine so my evening wasn't all too productive. Spent a tad too much online, browsing. I should pay more attention to this, even when in a celebratory mood.

But it's so very tempting to just let my hair down for one night. I didn't clean, I didn't have to make dinner because I ate out. And the yoga mat arrived but it's still in the box right now.

I know I'm procrastinating and it's a slippery slope. But it's really late and I had to make some choices, writing the diary is a tad more important to me than other things sometimes.

I also have a completely empty weekend. It will be used to finish a lot of chores and lay the foundation for my new hobbies.

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

The apartment came through! Signing the papers next week!

Body/health

Better! Sleeping a bit better now, minding my food more. I'm starting to feel better. Not great yet. But my yoga mat arrived today so I can start being physical again!

Mind/soul

90% excited, 10% terrified. There is a big load of change coming my way. I hope I don't get too overwhelmed or lose myself in it. I don't want to break my winning streak.

What progress did I make today?

I met with my sister, picked up the yoga mat, arranged meetings with job coaches.

What went well today:

Work was nice. My coworker complimented me on taking such a big load of issues and stress and dealing with it in grace.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Less wine, less food (so full and slow, ugh); tad more discipline and a watchful eye on the clock to make sure i'm productive enough

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Be productive BEFORE I go out tomorrow

Goals:

Look spiffy for the World Cup party in the evening; do productive things before I go; eat properly; party hard and celebrate! And then sleep in and enjoy a productive and fun weekend!

 

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Day 6

Regular day at work. I should have had breakfast but my stomach was upset. Not sure if it's stress. During the day I had trouble eating. I managed, I'll eat when I'm hungry. It's not like I'm going to faint. But then I realized that I have this thing during some summers. I'll not eat properly for about a couple of months and then it's gone. I really think it's the heat that doesn't agree with me. In any case, I'm doing better food wise. I have a bunch of tasty, fresh things in my fridge.

I got the apartment, I'm setting up meetings with job counselors, I'm going out with my friends... I feel like I'm taking a lot of the problems head on and reaping the fruits of that labor. 

I look forward to my first weekend as a single. I hope I'll get a lot of things done. 

I do feel like I'm slipping here and there. There has been some alcohol and some circumstances involved and I feel like you should be lenient towards yourself. You can't always have your switch flipped to 'on'. But I've had my yoga mat for 2 days now and I haven't used it yet. And I've lost about an hour or 2 in the past 2 days to mindless browsing. I really want to make sure I don't fall down that slippery slope.

Also, WE BEAT BRAZIL IN THE WORLD CUP!!! I loved the game! I went out with the same friends, to the same place (because good juju). We're meeting up again for the next match. It felt amazing. During the after party I had to cross the plaza to go to the bathroom. I ended up spontaneously dancing twice with random people. Afterwards my friend said that he found I seemed happy and myself. I think there's been some kind of weight lifted off of me. Not sure if it's the ex-girlfriend that is no longer around to drain me or the fact I've become more self-aware. Either way, I'm happy. And that's so valuable.

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

We beat Brazil! Holy fucking shit! Whaaaaat?!

Body/health

I felt great when I went out. I feel like I had been taking care of myself. Not to flirt or pick anybody up. Just for my own sake.

Mind/soul

I was a tad overwhelmed at work. Busy day. And then I got the butterflies in my belly because of the World Cup. 

What progress did I make today?

I minded my food and I let go during the World Cup celebrations. I even joined in a few random dances with random people!

What went well today:

Work was okay. I took a looooong time to get ready but I enjoyed grooming myself.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Less alcohol, more productive, I guess. But I'm not really beating myself up over that. I am doing well and I feel like I shouldn't nitpick too much.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Mind what spoils first in my fridge. 

Goals:

Look at my battleplan/todo list and see what I can check off. Cook. Be productive. Eat properly. Sleep in. Don't browse mindlessly or binge series.

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Day 7

Soon I'll be hitting 10% of my 90 day detox! Today was both nice and awful. I had an entire day to myself. The fact that I'm not used to that, proves how smother the ex was. This is my first weekend alone. It's both a blessing and a curse. I spent the day cooking, listening to podcasts, biking, catching up on chores, ... Overall it was okay. But I'm left with an empty feeling. I am still reeling from the breakup. I can feel the old voices whisper to me that it would be okay to install Tinder to prove that I'm still attractive and my texts are still witty and disarming. I haven't broken any vows as of yet. I'm really proud of how I spent my time today. But I have to acknowledge how hard it is. Lonely even. I signed up for Krav Maga classes, contacted the improv group, sent a mail to the volunteering group, used my yoga mat and did my exercises, installed Duolingo, installed Trello, read Respawn, ... All of it should make me proud. I'm ticking off a lot of boxes. The to do list is shrinking. I've set up hanging out with friends 3 times next week, out of 7 days. I'm doing well for myself. But there's still this nagging feeling that I'm not doing okay. It's probably the breakup. 

How do people even get over breakups? I mean, I obviously can't game anymore, binge on series, mindlessly browse the internet or watch porn. I don't want to go on some kind of drunk Tinder bender. So here I am, the biggest cliché of all, tipsy on Fanta Exotic and William Lawson's and ate half a pint of Ben & Jerry's. I hate this. I feel like there's nothing I can do to combat this feeling of loss. I know that breaking up with her was a boon to my future. But it still feels horrible. She treated me as if everything I did, wanted to do, aspired to and the people I encircled myself with was completely inferior and naive. I deserve better. So why does it hurt then? What do I do? Or better, what should I do?

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

I felt lonely and went for a bike ride through the city, it was nice. I called my sister when I was feeling lonely. It ended becoming a bit of an argument about money because she's kind of a fuck-up, sadly. Then again, who am I to judge?

Body/health

Did my exercises and went biking. I'll try to keep the schedule tight now that I've broken out the mat. Now all I need is my aerobics step, it'll arrive soon enough. After that we can start go running soon and I'll start Krav Maga next month.

Mind/soul

I filled my day with lots of different things. But mainly I've been feeling trapped in my own home. I felt so lonely. It would be so easy to just call her up and hug and kiss and fall asleep in bliss. I hate that I think about that. I'm supposed to be stronger than that. I've been through worse that this, under worse circumstances, for longer. But still... It smarts...

What progress did I make today?

A LOT. Set up 90% of the new hobbies. Cooked about 2L of amazing bolognaise sauce with fresh veggies (meal prepping!). Progressed in Respawn.

What went well today:

Keeping busy. But it feels like that's all it was. Keeping busy to avoid feeling like mayhem was brewing inside. I just want to be happy again.

What I could have done to make my day better:

I have no idea. Not get into a stabby conversation with my sister over the phone? I don't mean to fuck up the relationship. But she can be a real piece of work.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Be forgiving of the fact that I'm going through ALOT right now. It's normal to be sad and try to use just about anything to cope. As long as it's not problematic.

Goals:

Clean the place. Go outside and talk to people. Go to furniture store and get some ideas for the new living room. Maybe read my book in the sun downtown somewhere.

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10 hours ago, Phoenixking said:

How do people even get over breakups? I mean, I obviously can't game anymore, binge on series, mindlessly browse the internet or watch porn. I don't want to go on some kind of drunk Tinder bender. So here I am, the biggest cliché of all, tipsy on Fanta Exotic and William Lawson's and ate half a pint of Ben & Jerry's. I hate this. I feel like there's nothing I can do to combat this feeling of loss. I know that breaking up with her was a boon to my future. But it still feels horrible. She treated me as if everything I did, wanted to do, aspired to and the people I encircled myself with was completely inferior and naive. I deserve better. So why does it hurt then? What do I do? Or better, what should I do?

Just because she treated you wrong and she maybe wasn't healthy for you in the long run, you probably still loved her which was why you were with her in the first place. You have lost a loved one, one you probably cherished for a long time. It is going to hurt, a little less each day, but still hurt. 

Don't beat yourself down too much on whether you still feel hurt just because she hurt you. Just keep yourself to your tasks, make sure you have other plans when you seem to have large blocks of free time and then the pain will slowly go away.

Before you would probably have coped by playing games all day. Lets think about what this activity does. It helps you escape from reality. You don't really solve the problems, the feelings that you have. This time you should maybe try to feel them, acknowledge them, accept them and then try to move on. And then make sure to have plenty of plans that you can stick to in your calendar, such that you do not have a ton of time to think back or have cravings during extreme emotional phases. Just follow the plans, acknowledge/accept/let go, and then I am sure you will reach for better days before long. 

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6 hours ago, sskieller said:

Just because she treated you wrong and she maybe wasn't healthy for you in the long run, you probably still loved her which was why you were with her in the first place. You have lost a loved one, one you probably cherished for a long time. It is going to hurt, a little less each day, but still hurt. 

Don't beat yourself down too much on whether you still feel hurt just because she hurt you. Just keep yourself to your tasks, make sure you have other plans when you seem to have large blocks of free time and then the pain will slowly go away.

Before you would probably have coped by playing games all day. Lets think about what this activity does. It helps you escape from reality. You don't really solve the problems, the feelings that you have. This time you should maybe try to feel them, acknowledge them, accept them and then try to move on. And then make sure to have plenty of plans that you can stick to in your calendar, such that you do not have a ton of time to think back or have cravings during extreme emotional phases. Just follow the plans, acknowledge/accept/let go, and then I am sure you will reach for better days before long. 

Thanks. I should be a little easier on myself sometimes. It's just that I don't really get that. How do you acknowledge that feeling? Do you just stop when you're sad and miserable, have a dialogue internally and say "Oh! I'm sad and miserable because of this and that." Then what? You tell yourself it's okay to feel that way and just go with it? And then do something else to get your mind off of it? Because I'm kind of scared that where I used to flee from it all using games, I'd use my chores and movies and seeing friends to flee from it. Or am I looking at it wrongly because when you're with friends or doing chores, your mind wanders or is engaged with people?

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Day 8

I honestly sometimes have trouble recollecting what I did during the day. Uhm. I started the day by sleeping in again. There is not exactly something super important I have to get up for nowadays. At least not something that can't wait a few hours. It's nice to be able to relax, honestly. I feel less stressed. 

I woke up to a text from a coworker. She's got her eye out for cool stuff for me. She knows about the breakup and the new apartment, she's being a real pal. I went to a quaint second hand book market in open air. I spent about 45 minutes scouring through old movie posters. But I found one of Limitless, Spawn and Donnie Darko. I bet they'll look great in a frame. 

I had a couple of nice moments with females today. Rather than staring at asses I caught myself wondering about more deep things. Why did she get that tattoo, what languages does she speak, ... It's nice to start to feel my brain restructuring itself a bit. I read that porn and instant dopamine gratification alters the physical structure of your brain. Knowing that, I'm so happy I'm making all these changes.

Overall it was a nice and sunny day. It wasn't extremely productive, I still haven't cleaned. But I visited the furniture store, sports shop, listened to podcasts and at a certain point I decided I wanted to go out. Just on my own. I went for a drink, read my book a bit and watched a TedTalk and did some Duolingo. Then I want to the park, read some more, some more Duolingo and some meditation using Headspace. 

I kept postponing picking up the new hobbies because of the imminent move and the implicit changes in daily rhythm that inevitably brings about. But I bit through that today and made an effort to get some proper podcast episodes, did the meditation thing, and so on. 

I felt less sad, more complete and more empowered. I still feel a little like I lost my grip on life a little and I'm struggling to find it back. But I can also see the progress I've made and how I'm setting myself up for success. I'm secretly looking forward to the next week. World Cup Semifinals and maybe Finals. Seeing my D&D friends for the first time since the breakup. Signing the papers of the new place. It's going to be an eventful week!

 

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

When scouring through the movie posters, the salesman was talking to a random passerby. I recognized him! He is one of the most skilled make up artists of the country. He once worked on my and made me about 50 years older. He made me look like my then recently deceased grandfather. My grandmother still cherishes that picture. It proves he lives on in me, in a way. I didn't get a chance to thank him, but the mindfuck brightened my day.

Body/health

Eating properly, exercising properly, got enough sun today, rode my bike around town, got enough sleep.

Mind/soul

Comments about me needing to be less harsh on myself are working. I am more forgiving towards little leaps in judgement. I'm curious what the daily meditation and gratitude diary will do to me. 

What progress did I make today?

Progressed in Respawn. Went out alone today, rode bike, looked at furniture, lived my life the way I wanted to. 

What went well today:

Keeping busy and getting some stuff done. Enjoying the relaxed weekend. I feel like I haven't been this relaxed in ages. The ex truly was stressing me out.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Maybe talk to somebody or meet a friend? I didn't really feel lonely but I do kinda miss somebody wishing me a good night.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

A tad less lenient towards procrastinating.

Goals:

Truly enjoy the evening with my friends. Not skip a single bit of the new routine. New additions are the gratitude list, meditation and my exercises.

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23 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

A lot of good changes brother, keep it up! 

Thank you! This forum and the book are really helping me out A LOT! I look forward to doing The Challenge!

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