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5 hours ago, Matt S said:

Nice.  I still have the same struggles you do with physical acts of affection when you just want a hug or something lol.  I totally understand that neglect feeling as well.  This is the time for you to build your emotional network around you and learn what your emotions mean.  Study how you've acted and reached out to these women and then see if you notice that you are lacking something else.  Maybe at night you just want a hug and comfort before bed to calm you down, or just to have someone appreciate who you are and stuff.  It's a really long journey and sometimes you don't even know what you're looking for until you randomly experience it one day.

Matt

Yeah. More than often I just need somebody to tell me that I'm enough. That it's okay to be mad or sad or whatever the circumstances. Just somebody to tell me that I'm okay. This is a great insight man. This one of the reasons why I'm back. Thanks.

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Days without games & porn: 2

Had to work today. But everybody's on holiday so it's just me and my closest colleague. It was a fun that in the sense that we weren't bothered or kept in line by anyone. I fiddled with my phone like crazy because work bores me like crazy. After work I came home and my friend Anneke dropped by to make and have dinner with me and to catch up. I hadn't seen her in a while, she started therapy. I'm so proud of her. We used to be fuckbuddies too but I stopped it. I told her about the girl I'm dating now and that I was using flirting and the sex as a coping mechanism and that I'd rather deal with my issues than run from them. She admitted to doing the same thing and the therapy is helping her out. Then we fell back into old habits and talked about Japan, funny stories and so on. She's a good friend. 

My close colleague will arrive at any moment now. She's spending the night at my place. Her boyfriend is violent as fuck and he hit her badly last night. She was in tears all day. She didn't want to go home and talked about a hotel room. I said that my couch is warmer than a cold hotel room and that I'd patch her up a bit. It's a long story, honestly. But I just couldn't leave her there. I'd feel bad if I didn't try to help.

I have a gig tomorrow. I was asked a few days ago to headline a poetry gig. The other two headliners are friends of mine, what a coincidence! My barista friend who works at the venue is maybe coming and the girl I'm seeing too. I told her it might be rough. I'm good at what I do. Some poems are meant to shock. Some are meant to make you cry. Some will make you swoon. Some of them are based on my love life or traumatic youth. You feel really naked when somebody you know watches a performance like that. But I'm still going to do it. Bare my soul and all that jazz. The honor I have as a performer is stronger than the insecurities I have as a person, it seems.

 

Highlight of the day: The taste of the mushroom risotto Anneke made.

Budget status: I now have a basic spreadsheet and filled in what I spent today. More coming.

My one goal for tomorrow: Print my poems and prep my ass for the performance. I'll be reading them off the page but I want to be able to know them well enough to be able to look away from the page to connect with the audience and gesticulate properly.

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Good luck, @Phoenixking! Headlining the poetry gig sounds exciting. This is less poetry than a quote...  I hope you don't mind if I share something from Mary Pickford:

"Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it... If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose. For this thing that we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down."

Please let us know how the gig goes!

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Days without games & porn: 3

Work was fun/relaxed. There's nobody in the office. Just me and my close colleague. We both give no fucks about our job so it's a very laid back atmosphere. Said colleague spent the night because of her violent boyfriend. Sadly, she's returning to him tonight. It's a very complicated psychological issue. It hurts me to see her this way but at the same time she keeps choosing to be in that situation. I can only offer an ear, shoulder or a couch to crash on. I feel so sorry for her.

My ex texted me. Her grandmother had died. I offered my condolences. When we celebrated our first anniversary I had written her a set of letters. Stuff like "Open this when everything feels lost", "Open this when you need a laugh", ... She had kept them after all this time, apparently. She wanted to thank me for reminding her through those letters that she's stronger than she realizes. I panicked and was fearful. She's véry manipulative. My mind scoured for the hidden agenda. At last she mentioned rekindling, possible friendship and the fact that there's a new man. Well, obviously she's left the path of talking about mourning, loss or her grandma. It's rather sickening you use the death of a beloved to wedge the door open to an ex and proceed to tell him stuff about the new boyfriend. I'm glad I got the clear signal that she's a very toxic person. 

The poetry gig was a lot of fun. I ended up kicking ass! Got a lot of compliments too. The girl I was seeing, Elien, came home with me afterwards. We admitted to having butterflies. I'm happy and curious to see where this might go. Suddenly it was all disrupted by a phone call.

Matthias has been my friend since kindergarten. You know that saying about your best friend showing up at your door, with a body in his trunk? I'd be the one to help him hide it. He's been there for me, through thick and thin. Suddenly he calls me in the middle of the night, gasping for air, in tears... I didn't even bother asking why, I just immediately asked him if he needed me coming over. He wanted to try and sleep. I'll see him tomorrow, it seems. So much for D&D tomorrow night.

Highlight of the day: The poetry gig. And Elien and me admitting to the butterflies for each other.

Budget status: Got a big wad of money because I do my taxes right. Spent some on coffee today.

My one goal for tomorrow: Be there for my friend. The hell with anything. His wellbeing is my priority, he'd do the same for me.

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Days without games & porn: 4

Matthias came over first thing in the morning. I've been falling asleep with Netflix playing in the background for a couple of days now. I'll quit this bad habit at some point. But right now I'm focussed on other things. He cried a lot during the day. He and his girl have been a thing for 7 years. They're about to move in together but she's getting cold feet. After some talking she admitted to having doubts about the relationship. They're two véry different people. She's bubbly and wants to see the world. He's rather grumpy and wants a calm life. Basically she wants to live life to the fullest but he just wants to settle down somewhere. I hope they find middle ground. It's tough. They still love each other but they want different things. We went to see the new Mary Poppins movie, talked about films and D&D and had some food. We also had a little sparring sessions with my Krav Maga gear and armor and some scotch. 

Then we played D&D with our mates. Half of the party was properly killed. I've never had a character death, ever. And suddenly, with me as the DM there were 3... I couldn't help but feel a little bit bad. But the players took it okay and were already discussing new characters. The ones they had were the basic ones out of the box anyway. This invited them to create proper custom stuff. My friend participated but his batteries were running low. Props to him for admitting what he was going through to the group. It was a day filled with equal parts pain and kindness. I am happy that I was able to be there for him.

Highlight of the day: The D&D session and getting compliments that I was doing it properly and pulling out all the stops. And also the immediate bouncing back of the players after the deaths of their characters.

Budget status: Paying as much as I can by card instead of cash. Getting into the habit of using my phone & banking app to jot down my spending of that day using the history of my app

My one goal for tomorrow: Try to let go of everything and spend the evening at a crazy hardcore party with my girl and her friends

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9 hours ago, Matt S said:

Nice job on the poetry gig and being there for your friend.  How's the quitting porn going?  Are you struggling with anything?

Yeah, the poetry gig was loads of fun. Last time I did poetry it was pissing me off that I kept rehashing the same stuff because I know it connects with the room. It was always the same material. This time I dove into my archive, got some old stuff out and just had fun with it. I can now do a proper 20 minute performance, balanced in terms of content, rythm and emotional range. And I could probably do about 45 min if you'd let me add improv and standup. Maybe one day I could do some sort of show 😛 

Thanks. It felt good to finally repay him for all of the times he's had my back and been my moral compass.

Porn is ... difficult. I don't like admitting how tough it is. Right now I'm not using any blockers to increase the difficulty of finding content. But it's there. In the back of my mind. Itching. Something small might trigger me. Like an ad somewhere or a pornographic pop-up. I'd feel disgusted if I'd crack and watch or search some. But the urge is totally there. I try to be mindful of triggers. I try to figure out what I'm feeling and why I'd want to see some porn. I think there's points I just feel tired or lonely and crave a little endorphin boost. I feel like it's one thing to deal with feeling sad or lonely or in need of being touched or hugged. But it's another thing entirely to want a little shot of endorphines. I hope it dies down. Because I'm not sure I can do this on pure willpower. But I'd hate it if I cracked.

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I think I'm really getting to the point where I'm disgusted by porn.  Each time I watch it I enjoy the search, but feel empty and sick after.  I then get depressed and lack any motivation to do anything.  I'm thinking porn is making it easier to quit gaming because it gives greater rewards than gaming, but goes away faster as well.  I think dopamine production increases as I search for things and get excited about the anticipation of finding something great, but I skip through the videos sometimes because I just want to see certain things that fulfill what I was looking for I guess.  It's all stuff unrelated to sex as well.  It's strange, but I'm learning a lot.

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Skimmed through most of your journal. It’s refreshing to see others so honest and vulnerable about themselves. You also have quite a funny way of looking at life. Some parts similar and some dissimilar to my own it’s entertaining. 

Im happy you’re getting back into your creative side. At the beginning you had a few random hobbies picked out but I think you’ve really grown and developed yourself since then.

Im a slightly chaotic girl myself, so I feel for your ex. She probably does care about you quite a bit. But she is too immature or oblivious to the hurtful and manipulative things she does. I hope she gets better 🤷‍♀️ I like what I’ve read about Elien though! 

In an earlier journal you wrote about not wanting to develop yourself around another person, there was a need to figure yourself out first you expressed. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with developing alongside someone, in fact I believe that’s what a relationship is. You should want to build your life around your SO eventually. The other side of this is no one is ever fully ready for an emotional connection. No one is without emotional baggage. And love does involve some healthy addiction haha. Where it becomes a problem is when it brings out things you don’t like in yourself, and takes you away or punishes you consistently from things you enjoy/need. A little taking away is to be expected when your life has another full of their own problems and ideas. One should be aware and constantly having a dialogue about it 🙂 it’ll fluctuate always from one end to the other of being too obsessed or not giving her enough time. 

Edited by Laney
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18 hours ago, Phoenixking said:

I hope it dies down. Because I'm not sure I can do this on pure willpower. But I'd hate it if I cracked.

As you said yourself, this is just like any other addiction in the sense that it provides us with endorphins, right? Well, since you have dealt with games addiction once, you have the tools to organize your life in a way that will help you not rely on will power for beating the porn addiction. 

The most important step for any addiction is having a busy schedule imho. I have problematic eating habits myself, and I can be triggered to eat because of emotions, because of places that have great food, because of places that are tied to food (cinema anyone?). I will be setting myself up for failure if I expect myself to say no to everything every time, instead I have to come up beforehand with a plan of action for each of those situations. 

So study your triggers and write them down. Is it your body which is ready to go and it's asking you for release? Maybe you can change the habit by replacing PMO with just MO, aka how people did it before the internet. Is it boredom and frustration? Maybe it's time to revisit your hobbies list and actively engage in something the moment you get the thoughts. 

It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it. I said no to extra food yesterday, a small victory that boosted my self esteem after the fact, even if at the moment the pain of discipline was there.

"We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons." Jim Rohn

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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On 12/29/2018 at 5:07 AM, Laney said:

She probably does care about you quite a bit. But she is too immature or oblivious to the hurtful and manipulative things she does. I hope she gets better 🤷‍♀️ I like what I’ve read about Elien though! 

Yeah. The horrible thing about that breakup was that I cared about her too. A lot. I still think of her, the banter and the joy, and so on... It's been one of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my life but as time goes by, despite the nostalgia, I am proud I did it and stood my ground. She meant well and couldn't help herself and I can look at that with kindness now. But she is still rather toxic and I should protect myself from her.
Elien is a clear pattern break. She's kind, communicative, open, warm and loving. Nothing like any of my exes. And I didn't meet her via Tinder or some weird singles party. Just via a friend, in a coffee bar. We talked and took things slowly. It's all going rather well now. Ironically, I can still feel a bit of resistance. It's as if my whole being knows I got a real shot at a healthy, loving relationship with almost no red flags popping up. But I've been used to difficult relationships. As if I've always chased after women and girls that I knew would hurt me. Even the body type I like, pierced, tattood, colored hair... It's al slightly pointing in the direction of masochistically getting crushes on girls that seems like they're going to break my heart and falling for them fully. But not Elien. I've been introducing her to my friends and she's been a riot! We've gone out with colleagues of hers and they all thought we were cute together and wished her well... I've been feeling very happy lately because of her.

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Days without games & porn: 5

I slept in and then went to see my friend Philipp. He and I both are part of a D&D Podcast. It's not in English so we don't have tremendous popularity, it's in our native tongue. But lately it's been growing massively. So we usually see each other once a month. I wanted to see him because he does a lot of project management as a communication manager. But we ended up talking about our lives and love and family. I told him I'd want to make a blog called "Happiness Enabled' and use it to write about emotions, communication and self-improvement. I notice that this diary is fun for me to do, I enjoy writing and especially if there's some kind of 'audience'. We then talked about how to do it, whom I should reach out to, ... It was very helpful! I don't know Philipp that well but we really connected and enjoyed ourselves. We also talked about him being single and me seeing Elien. He had recently had this magical one night stand with a single parent. The way he described it made me shiver. He's just as romantic as I am. I'm happy he got to experience it. I told him about Elien. I had been holding back a little bit. I didn't want to rush into anything with her, that's my usual MO. Same goes for her. We want to cultivate things slowly. But after what Philipp described, I realized I missed being on cloud nine. I felt like the conversation with him reminded me of what it's like to be in some sort of nirvana with that special someone. The conversation opened a door that would be walked through later in the weekend.

I saw Elien later that day. A colleague of hers is a singer in a hardcore band. I agreed to tagging along. There would be other people there I knew, so why not? I ended up meeting a colleague of hers, Kim. Kim has been through hell and back and is rather quiet and introverted. Because of the shitshow she's been through, she can be rather cynical. But apparently I made a great impression. It may have been my stance on feminism or my jokes or the fact that Elien and I were constantly jabbering about just about anything. Whatever it was, it felt good to be 'approved'. At this point I've seen a few of her colleagues and have made a good impression all around. Yay! After this crazy scene full of fries and fightpits, I got an invite from a friend of mine dowtown. He was having a few people over and having a good ol' drinking-and-games sesh! Elien was up for it and we had the craziest night! Introducing her went smoothly. She's just about as social and independant as I am. I remember being in stitches for the better part of the night. There was gin, Circle Of Death, weird german jokes and one of my friends admitting to sometimes taking a bath, drinking red wine and listening to smooth jazz. It still cracks me up XD (Nothing wrong with it, it's just the way he told the story). I was happy. I spent the night at Elien's and we closed off an amazing day. 

I was hooked. I felt butterflies all over. I walked through the door and admitted to myself at night what I had been suspecting: I've fallen in love with her.

Highlight of the day: My friend telling his bathtub story, crying from laughter and weird German jokes

Budget status: Tracking my spending habits as good as I can. I tend to forget what I spend with cash so I try to keep an eye on it via my cards

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Days without games & porn: 6

Woke up at Elien's and had one of those lovely, lazy, slow, cuddly Sundaymornings. It felt great. She's even got this huuuuuge shower that fits two people. We also can't seem to keep our hands off each other. But then, tragedy struck.

My sister called me. Drunk. At 11 am on a Sunday.

She and I had agreed to go visit grandma at the old folks' home later that day. She was trying to weasel out of it. I wasn't having any of it. And also, why the fuck was she drunk? She's been seeing this great, kind, caring guy, Thomas. I thought he'd be a great new leaf she's turned over and now this? I told Elien and didn't allow it to ruin my morning with her. She was worried and sweet about it, bless her heart. I picked my sister up a few moments later with my  car. Her boyfriend was standing a few feet from the curb, waving at me, but with an open can of the cheapest nastiest beer you can find around these parts. She stepped into my car and the small space was immediatly filled with the stench of alcohol and beer nuts.

Throughout this whole spiel I didn't blow my lid. Benefit of the doubt and all of that. Trying not to judge and asking questions first, before jumping to conclusions. But I was totally ticked off. This did NOT look good. It turns out, she had her reasons and I ended up empathizing.

The day before, she'd gone over to our mother's. They were having a huge holiday meal with all of the children. That's my mom and my sister (and me, hell bent on skipping this while ordeal), my mom's boyfriend of 10 years, his 3 kids and their SO's and 1 grandchild. None of these people rub me the wrong way. But there's beef between my mom and me and I'm not one to go to parties with a big fake smile plastered on me until all issues are resolved. Turns out, mom's not well. At all. Because of stress and other factors, her face is covered in cold sores. She's literally up to her eyes in them. She's quit her job as a nurse in the cancer ward nearby and will start a new job somewhere else soon. 

My sister was there to help with the cooking. My mom's boyfriend can be véry annoying. None of us (the family) really like him. He's very needy, rude, a tad racist, loud, ... You get the picture? But mom is scared of being alone, so she puts up with it. It's sad to see that a once strong and proud womam has been reduced to this shade of what she once was. She used to read up on food and would cook super healthy. Nowadays they eat fast food at least once a week. And don't get me started on her sugar intake. That boyfriend of hers is a horrible influence. My sister told me he was being horrible and rude and annoying all day to her, to the point where she cracked and ran up to her bedroom to cry. My sister screamed at him after that. 

At dinner, my sister and Thomas, her boyfriend, had to cover for me. Apparently they weren't talking about what the problem was. I have no qualms stating why I have taken a step back from my mother, apparently she likes keeping things a secret from other family members. My sister told me it was heart wrenching. Seeing her that way, the crying, the mean boyfriend's comments, ... She told me the worst part was seeing the last two gifts under the tree with my name on it. As if it was a constant reminder of me not wanting to be there. I can totally understand that a day of mayhem like that would drive a person to want to numb themselves with alcohol instead of facing a mess like that. But then it got worse.

Her ex-boyfriend kept texting her. They were together for years. My sister was always able to look past the broken pieces of his personality and tried patching him up. I only saw a junkie degenerate, mooching off my sister and keeping her from getting ahead in life. He's the reason it took her so long to get clean and she still bears some emotional scars because of that shitstain. But she loved him and cared for him and you just can't wipe away those feelings for another human if you've been through crazy shit for years. He urged her to call him. I'm proud to say that she was being very transparent about it with Thomas. Once, again, great guy. It's at this point in the story my sister admitted that the beer he was holding when I picked her up, was hers. He had take it away from her because he didn't want me to see her like that. I misjudged him.

She ended up calling the ex, with Thomas next to her, and calling him out. He'd be using ketamine. The drug she spent years trying to get him off. There were hospital visits and lots of chaos and pain and money involved. He had relapsed.

So when she woke up, she had started drinking. I am still to get to know Thomas properly. I can imagine he must have been suprised and shocked. My sister can be tough to love. But if you understand where she's coming from, it makes a bit more sense.

After the whole story, I saw grandma and grandpa at the home. Bags of senile bones, really. It always freaks me out a little. It's a bit too much to write it all out but afterwards, I am proud to say, I asked Elien for help. I admitted to her that it's been a rollercoaster and that I'm feeling a tad lost in all of it. She invited me over to hers and we ended up talking it all over. She's a great listener. We drank wine, sang and danced and kissed and we made Albondigas. That's like Spanish meatballs. She's spending New Year's Eve with friends of her downtown and she was in charge of making snacks. I love cooking together so it was a great way to pick me up. I ended up spending the night once more.

I told her how I felt. She felt the same way. We don't want to make a fuss and we'll just keep doing things at our own pace. But goddammit did it feel great to entangle our lives for another night and fall asleep like that. It was a crazy day. But she made it more stable. I think this might be the start of something healthy and nurturing.

 

Highlight of the day: My sister's story about why she got drunk. Not a happy highlight, for sure. But an important one with lots of honesty.

Budget status: I had a bit of a hectic weekend so I have to catch up a little bit.

My one goal for tomorrow: Have fun at New Year's Eve (I'm celebrating at a theme park with some friends and family!) and find Elien in the city when I get back this night. Kiss her as if she's the last woman on Earth.

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Days without games & porn: 7

I slept in laaaaaate. I have a big, long list of chores that I'm ignoring. It's the holidays! And I'm trying to not be too demanding of myself. I've been feeling stronger and healthier lately. When work starts again, I'll probably need that energy to survive the flacid office culture. 

I was preparing myself to go and see Elien. She was going to introduce me to her friends and I promised her a New Year's kiss that would blow her away. I planned on donning a suit and making a great first impression with her friends. She was excited to introduce me.

I left for the theme park my friends and I were planning on spending the evening and night. We ended up having a super fun time. Drinks, rollercoasters and greasy food! I saw my aunt and my little niece and we hung out. But then Elien texted me. Apparently there was somebody at said party of her friend's who was shittalking me. It was the sister of an ex-roommate of mine. Mind you, that roommate was a handful and a sadly a bit of a headcase. Elien suggested I don't come over and not confront this person. I told her that I wasn't afraid and that there's always two sides to a story but she's there and she knows her friends so I trusted her judgement. What had happened? Elien started mentioning me and told her friends we were dating. A couple of the guys thought it was cool that I was into D&D and had a podcast and were being really cool. Until that bitchy girl caught my name properly and started what I assume was an angry rant. She told the whole group about what a terrible roommate I was to her sister, about my manipulative ex and how horrible the relationship was, how Elien should run away now that she still can, and so on... 

Lucky for me, Elien and I are great conversationalists together. We talk. ALOT. She already knew the better parts of the story so she also knew to take it all with a grain of salt. But she was saddened that that girl ruined the moment when she wanted to share this newfound joy with me with her friends. I kept texting her and was very dissappointed myself. My friends at the theme park urged me to let go of it all, stop texting and enjoy the moment, to not let it ruin things. I was hard not to. I kept texting. I wanted to help her feel better again. I promised her that kiss and I wasn't going to fail my promise to her. 

I ended up letting it go, trusting Elien to respond to it all with integrity and found peace in the idea that I'm as flawed as the next person. I have my bad sides. But I'm no murderer. I highly doubt it's a fitting response to tell a girl I'm dating to run away asap. I'm proud to say we talked it through and she said she didn't know me as the person I was described to her. She knows me to be kind, loving, attentive and nurturing. Even if you take my bad sides into account, it was clear to her it was an overreacted response. I'm happy she's a sane adult. Sometimes those are hard to come by.

I saw her after her friend's party had died down and she'd gone home. I had my suit on, bow tie, the whole shebang. We kissed, talked and expressed how happy we were to finally embrace each other again. I told her the whole story. She fell asleep on my chest. I mulled over things one more time, smelled her perfume and drifted off. I keep hoping like this might a good, sane, healthy relationship in the making. Fingers Crossed! 

 

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Highlight of the day: Elien believing none of the shitty lies about me, her falling asleep on my chest.

Budget status: I spent some cashola on take-out and at the theme park. Nothing insane. But the place was pricy.

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Days without games & porn: 8

I woke up in nirvana with Elien. Cloud nine. There was sex, great music, more sex, a nice hot shower, more great music, jokes, stories, ... This girl is absolutely amazing. I also haven't thought of porn in days. But I've been very busy for a few days too and Elien is kind of insatiable. I'm very happy the cravings are being kept at bay but I must stay vigilant.

I left for home to get greasy hangover food into my body and watched Bird Box.

And then it hit me. The sadness of my sister telling me how bad my mom had been doing. How sad and unhappy and stressed she's been. My heart wept for her. We don't get along and there's much repair needed, I still stand by the fact that she needs to treat me better or the chasm will only keep growing. But that doesn't mean I wish bad things for her. She used to be so strong and healthy. She's just a shade, a fragment of that proud, tall standing woman she used to be. I am determined to give her a piece of my mind and tell her she's not living up to her full potential, that she deserves a better life, to be happier and healthier and that she's way stronger than she thinks she is. She used to be a badass mother. And I want good things for her. 

I was leaving for my family and I was mentally strapped in to face my mom and give her some love, without losing my footing on the current beef we're having. She wasn't there, though. But I ended up talking things over with the family members. They all agreed. She's clearly not happy. I might write her a letter or something one of these days. Somebody has to do something for the poor woman. Kids shouldn't be taking care of their parents. But she doesn't really have any friends because she's not very social. And I can't let my mom remain unhappy.

Elien and I keep texting each other. We admitted to having completely fallen for each other. I'm in love. I feel amazing. I hope I can see her soon. I didn't expect to miss her like this, only hours after having just seen her. (Also, sorry I keep mentioning her and the whole love thing. I'm just over the moon. I hope it won't get tedious.)

 

Highlight of the day: Waking up with Elien and spending the better part of the day in bed, talking and being together.

Budget status: I have been spending a tad much on eating out and having food delivered. I should cook more (but I haven't been home for a while)

My one goal for tomorrow: Survive the work day and muster up the courage to clean my pig sty of an appartment! 

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Days without games & porn: 9

I fell asleep with my laptop again. I know it's not healthy. But I'm trying to do so many things at a time, it felt okay to let this habit slip for a while. It's going to take discipline and energy to kick this habit and pick up books instead. So for now, I'm being mild in this aspect. 

Work was boring except for 1 thing. They found a replacement for me. She starts on the first of next month. I'll have 1 month to train her before she actually takes over. After that, on the first of March, I will be working part-time at the same company but doing social media and sales (way better than my current administration job). I'll have two more days, each week, to myself. I intend on using this for self-education, being happier, freelancing, writing my self-improvement blog called 'Happiness Enabled' and worrying about what bills to pay. I'm equally excited as I am terrified. How the fuck am I going to keep everything afloat? A forty percent pay cut. What was I thinking? I'll need to step my game up and make sure I have enough freelance work to compensate. Honestly, I'm actually terrified. I know all freelancers go through this but holy fucking shit. I'll probably have lots of sleepless nights. It'll probably be worth escaping the hellhole office job. I'm stoked. I'm astounded. I'm scared shitless.

I didn't clean up the place. I was rather tired when I came back. Working a full day doing shit you hate and is mindnumbing really does a number on ya. I left after about 45 minutes of recovery time. I scoured social media and reddit. Then I went shopping for groceries. I overdid myself and bought too much. Luckily it's all stuff that I can put in the freezer or stuff that doesn't spoil like cleaning supplies. But still, 250 bucks worth of shit. 

I feel weird. I didn't end up doing what I said I wanted to do: clean this place up. Instead I watched videos on Youtube about stuff I like. Marvel films, Netflix, ... I felt tired so I said to myself it was okay to slack off. It feels weird. Especially after the news today I feel like there's this Damocles' sword above my head. Usually I thrive under pressure. Right now, I dont really know what to do with myself. I assume this feeling is temporary. The day I heard that my request for a part-time job was accepted, the same thing happened. I don't think that I'm scared because I'd not be capable. I'm scared that I'm capable and will slack off or fail or not work hard or smart enough at this. 

Sometimes it's so hard to not reach for porn. It's so easy because of the internet. There's so many enticing models on Instagram. Commercials and ads use all kinds of hot women to fuck with your head. Sometimes it feels like everything is a trigger.

 

Highlight of the day: Talking to Elien about her new piercing, about D&D characters and about seeing her Friday night after her D&D session has ended and after my friend's birthday dinner

Budget status: I spent 250 on groceries. I track my spending using my debit card. So I compensated a tad using some cash I got from grandma over the holidays and my meal card I have from work that allows me to spend about 150 or something per month on food and groceries. That cut it down to about 70 ish.

My one goal for tomorrow: Enjoy Krav Maga and spend at least 20 minutes cleaning up the place.

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It’s tough to hear bad opinions of yourself from others mouths. You were surrounded by this unwell woman (your ex) and together you may have been a shit storm of emotions. Yeah, your best side may not have shone through all the time, because how could it? Especially when being confused and gaslit. 

Im proud you took it so well. I know it gave you awful anxiety at the park, but you kept your head in the game and you didn’t self pity or self blame. 

A good first impression is always ideal, but that’s rarely the case in smaller towns or because of social media these days. We have to stay vigilant to who we are. Always. If others decide to have wrong opinions, time and consistency of self will change that. I find more and more not reacting to others opinions and ignoring them gives me 1. Better people in my life and 2. More people understanding and being sure of who I am (in a positive or project kind of way) and 3. I don’t get distracted from my goals, I can keep my eye on my target without the drama from things that shouldn’t be my problem to begin with. Like why let others pull me into it and distract and upset my mental space? perhaps other things too but I have a fever right now & brain is tired. Night

Edited by Laney
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15 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Thank you for helping me not relapse.

Thank you for not relapsing. 🙂 One day at a time, buddy. One day at a time.

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8 hours ago, Laney said:

It’s tough to hear bad opinions of yourself from others mouths. You were surrounded by this unwell woman (your ex) and together you may have been a shit storm of emotions. Yeah, your best side may not have shone through all the time, because how could it? Especially when being confused and gaslit. 

Im proud you took it so well. I know it gave you awful anxiety at the park, but you kept your head in the game and you didn’t self pity or self blame. 

A good first impression is always ideal, but that’s rarely the case in smaller towns or because of social media these days. We have to stay vigilant to who we are. Always. If others decide to have wrong opinions, time and consistency of self will change that. I find more and more not reacting to others opinions and ignoring them gives me 1. Better people in my life and 2. More people understanding and being sure of who I am (in a positive or project kind of way) and 3. I don’t get distracted from my goals, I can keep my eye on my target without the drama from things that shouldn’t be my problem to begin with. Like why let others pull me into it and distract and upset my mental space? perhaps other things too but I have a fever right now & brain is tired. Night

Yeah, I was suprised as fuck. And upset. And anxious. My hands were tied! I feel like if I had defended myself, it would have implied that the things she said were true facts. But they were overexaggerations and some of them either lies or seriously biased opinions of somebody she only partially knew. I'm proud that I kept it together. My job coach once told me that some day I could be a calm, cool and collected person, a rock, a safe haven for people. I know understand what she meant and see that there's been a big change in me when there's conflict around me. Thank you 🙂 I very strongly agree with your point of view. I'm just going to keep on being myself and act the way I feel my integrity tells me to. It's all we have, our integrity, and it sells for so little sometimes. It's the smallest part of us, an inch. But within that inch, we are free.

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Days without games & porn: 10

Today was spent in a little bit of a panic. I'm not used to seeing so many bills. Because of the part time work I'll be doing, I'll have to make due with half a paycheck and get the rest out of my freelancing. It's not like I already have a bustling freelance life. I tried to get everything in order but then I crashed because I was clearly overexerting myself. The day job takes too much energy because it's soul sucking. So I took it down a notch, but now I fear I'm not doing enough. I will lie awake for a few nights contemplating options, getting a roommate, selling my car, ... Stuff like that. It's scary. This freelancing is what I'm meant to do. It's my Ikigai. But it's going to be hard to attain. I'll have to sacrifice things I'm going to hate parting with. I'm genuinely uncomfortable. I DON'T want a roommate. I want to keep my car. But I'm not fully sure I'll get by every month. I've been told this is a normal worry for freelancers. But that doesn't make it any less terrifying from time to time.

I'm not going to cancel my fancy trip to Japan. It'd kill me. It's my dream to go there. But I will no longer go to dinner or go out. That seems like an unnescessary expense. It's going to limit my social life a little bit. But I guess that's healthy since I'm never home in the first place. I'll get some more R&R and more free time to work my the stuff I need to work on.

For now I'm holding onto my one-goal-a-day. There was no Krav Maga today but I did manage to tidy the place up a whole lot more. It's not done yet. I spent about 1h30 recovering, browsing and chilling when I got home and then spent the rest of the evening doing the dishes, laundry and talking to Elien on the phone. I feel like I can find peace with how productive I've been this evening. 

We just finished calling. I'm going over to hers to help her out with her D&D character. It needs a bit more depth and she needs to select her spells. I love D&D. My inner storyteller always has so much fun with creating characters and stories. And it's free! Maybe that's my solution to the money problems and worries 😛 more D&D! It's social, lets me escape my problems, can be therapeutic and so on...

For real though, I've been playing with so many ideas like being some sort of D&D therapist (it's a thing!) or a dating coach. I definitely want to start that blog too. I have sooooo many great ideas I'm both eager to explore and would benefit my skillset! But I think this year will be the year I explore my soul and my skill and career by sacrificing finances and social life. And that's a bargain I haven't truly found peace with yet.

 

Highlight of the day: Phoning Elien and talking about her D&D character. 

Budget status: Rent came off. I only have a couple of hundred for the rest of the month. I have to use it to pay electricity and internet. SO MANY BILLS. It's the 3rd and I'm already almost broke! I have a birthday tomorrow with a dinner and the day after is drinks and VR-games and dinner. Next week I have to pay for a trip I'll be making with friends in May. I already cancelled a trip to Scotland in the summer, just in case I'll be in actual trouble by then. I have savings. I'll not die. I just worry about managing my money because it seems to be gone so fast.

My one goal for tomorrow: Get a small gift for my friend, arrange social media posts for my D&D podcast and if possible, finish tidying up the place and prep for maybe having Elien over.

This song has been stuck in my head for days. I thought I'd share 🙂 

 

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17 hours ago, Laney said:

What tool or website do you use to budget with? 

I scoured Reddit for a proper system. But they all felt very complex. For now I'm just tracking my spending day by day. I assume that after a month or three months I'll get a pretty accurate view of what the current situation is, in detail. And then I can figure out a system to save money. I learned from Reddit to track my monthly bills, set them to auto-pay and track my monthly income. Then substract a percentage from the money I have available after bills each month and use that to save up an emergency fund. With the remaining money, I'll do whatever. 

The major thing will be the variability of my income. My part-time job will cover the rent and my power bill and internet, I hope. I'll probably also be able to use for half a month of groceries. So I'm pretty sure I won't go homeless or starve. But if the freelancing goes to shit, I'll have to be véry aware of my spending. Thank god I've been poor before, so I can take a punch. But it's my intention to shine! I want to make MORE than what I make now with my full-time. I don't want to drop my standard of living one inch. On the contrary, I want to keep that status quo and start saving up lots for my future.

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Days without games & porn: 11

Work wasn't especially fascinating. I kept mulling over my money issues. Should I actually get a roommate? Is my problem thàt big? Is there still time to save my ass? I try to tackle one goal per day so it's possible? Maybe if I just do enough? Try to get my website up in a week or two? Start the blog right after that or maybe combine them? I kept switching between panic and control, between fear and having faith.

At 4 pm I left work to go get a gift certificate for my friend's birthday. I was having dinner with a few friends later that day. I felt a tad guilty because money should be spent wisely, not broadly. But I figured I'd just make sure whatever plans I made from now on, I'd be mindful of my spending. I didn't want to cancel too much stuff. So I showed up to the reservation, had burgers and laughs and drinks with my friends. It's important for your mental health to not let your worries overtake you but you must also take what worries you into account. I hope I struck a proper balance in between those two, saving money and cancelling stuff and letting other stuff slide.

Then I saw something on Facebook. And I also got a call. And I also got a notification.

The notification was for 2 poetry gigs, back to back, each one paid properly. I'd do a couple of poems with two or three other members of this poetry label I'm a part of. I'd get paid 90 bucks twice, no taxes (because artists don't really pay a lot of taxes and there's no real government body in existence to even check up on it if they did). So that was a nice surprise. It's not a big amount, but I'd get to do what I love, cement the relationship with the label and maybe grow a bit as an artist. It's a small start but a start nevertheless.

The thing I saw on Facebook was a movieposter. With my face on it. I had spent a summer in The Netherlands doing a fun movie with a laid back crew. Something about a writer having writer's block and falling in love in the middle of it. I was the lead. It was all crowdfunded and took a loooong time to get done because of money issues. Apparently they finished it after 2 years and the premiere is next week. I already got paid 2 years ago, so no paycheck is coming. But it's nice to be able to put that on your resume, maybe get some shots for my reel, ...

And finally, the call... This is a doozy. So I'm part of this thing called 'Prison Escape'. It's basically an escape room, but inside of a huge panoptic dome prison. There's about 400 participants and about 100 actors. It's an insane experience. The boss called me up and said he's working on a new idea, set in an abandoned police office. He's location scouting next week. He talked me through the idea and wants me to write for him. I get to flesh out the stories and characters. I was too hungry for work and money to say no, despite not having a lot of experience. But my background in acting and improv and my huge nerd boner for D&D and storytelling all point towards me being able to pull this off nonetheless. I have to give him my terms by the end of the weekend. Deadline, paycheck required, time required, how many scenes I'll be doing, ... It's exciting but also crazy and terrifying. How the hell do you pour something so vague and artistic into precies, concrete facts? How do you define what your work as a writer is worth?

I didn't clean up as much as I wanted to. But I had something productive happen to me, so I kind of let it slide. After the dinner I spent the night at Elien's again.

Highlight of the day: The phone call.

Budget status: Feeling a little bit more positive. Not going to cancel any dinner plans I already made. But I will probably not go out to eat for the remainder of the month or something like that.

My one goal for tomorrow: Try and do something productive, despite having a busy day. If not possible, enjoy the day nevertheless. (I have plans to go to another city with my friends, have dinner, play VR games and get drinks. It'll probably take up the better part of the day and I have my D&D podcast Sunday so I might beat myself up a bit for not finishing the cleaning AGAIN. So I guess my goal would be to let go of that pressure on myself?)

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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. 

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