To Light A Fire

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by FuriousJ, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I have made sporadic attempts to recover since July of 2013 and previously had a journal in the 25-29 section. Keeping a loose journal of my positive progress and experiences could serve to benefit me, so I'm willing to give it another go. It doesn't hurt that I enjoy writing! Here are some cliffs:

    • Been a loner since college and a major recluse
    • Virgin who has never dated before, despite being a good-looking dude
    • PMO addiction started from a young age. Fractured my penis in 2010 during masturbation, which led to a downward spiral and depression for several years. Developed PIED, PE, among other complications. Regained amazing sexual health after several spurts of no PMO. To my delight, the situation is now better than ever and still improving. If not for PIED eventually leading me to discovering Gary Wilson and YBOP I may still be deep in the throes of this, or even worse. I am forever grateful to have discovered such a beacon of hope in a time of utter misery and despair.
    • Other big vice is internet addiction and, essentially, living vicariously instead of for myself. Also developed an addiction to junk food in the midst of being in the throes of recovery from PMO. Successfully gave up gaming since the start of 2015, which had been a major addiction since childhood
    • Revealed my addiction to parents last year and they have been very supportive. They are the only constant people in my life that I talk to regularly. I'm lucky to have them.
    • Been in the same office job shortly after college for almost six years now. I don't have a real passion for it. Despite being in a good position for advancement, all signs are pointing towards a career change. I live below my means, so urgency in this area of my life is not as pressing.
    • Have a long history of great apathy, inert laziness, and not venturing outside of my comfort zone. Also a perfectionist
    • Health-wise I am good, but only because I'm getting by on decent genetics. I am currently out of shape and have a very poor diet. Mentally speaking I still suffer from occasional bouts of mild depression, but have gradually gained a more positive outlook on life these last few years.
    • Fairly certain the longest I've gone without porn is just over 50 days. I've gone longer without MO, but letting porn go has been a challenge I've been wrestling with for well over three years.

    I have a long road ahead of me, but I possess all the tools needed to transform myself into something much more. To light a fire under myself is such a task, but with great effort comes great rewards. Life is worth living. Sacrifices will be made. Serious effort will be put forth to achieve happiness.
  2. NoDestination

    NoDestination Active Member

    I'd suggest you make small but lasting changes.

    I started to meditate 15-20 minutes every day. The chain is unbroken now for 2 months or something like that.

    I remember a few days back. I went to bed. Then I remembered. The chain will not be broken. I got up and did my meditation.

    Try different kinds of meditations until you find the one that works best for you. I am a big fan of standing meditation, there is like a million more of them.

    I find this very nice article
  3. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I have been off the wagon since creating this new journal. Seems familiar... I'm writing here now because I haven't challenged myself in a long while to face adversity. I am simply hoping to create a spark.

    One thing I'd like to get off of my chest is that sometime last year my parents strongly urged me to see a psychologist. They even offered to pay for the first visit. Several months ago they sweetened the pot and offered to pay in full indefinitely for all of my visits. While surprised and grateful, I just couldn't accept their offer because of my own pride. I had too much pride. I could have easily afforded one myself, so I simply couldn't accept their money. Nor could I come to terms that I needed anyone else to help me find my way through recovery. After the longest time spent being my own worst enemy, I had the utmost confidence that as soon as I stopped sabotaging my own mind I would set myself free by my own accord. But I'm still here. I've learned some things about myself along the way, but I've spent way too long living far too simple of a life to understand how to process this all without talking to someone about it.

    This scene from Rectify really spoke to me (*Spoilers*)

    Hell, I didn't breathe a word about my addiction until last year. I just kept it all to myself that entire time. In my first attempts of the recovery process I suppose I romanticized my path to recovery in a nonsensical way that led to more pain and frustration. These negative emotions from what I perceived as failures overrode what positives I could have taken away and built upon. I did accumulate small victories over time, but never fully ceased any of those opportunities to ride the waves of momentum I had created for myself. I think there is something holding me back, and I can't identify what that is.

    It is my secret hope that my parents extend another offer on Christmas to see a psychologist. I feel that if they offered it in this manner as a "gift" I would take them up on it this time. If I had to pay for one myself I feel that I'd once again opt to take the easy road in lieu of seeking professional help.

    On another note, I recently ordered a new laptop and it will be arriving soon. My current desktop that I've had since college has failing memory and fan noise, among other issues. It is my intention for this new laptop to serve as a platform for my innovations and research towards self-improvement. It will also be a welcome change to have a mobile machine I can use out in public if I so choose. It's always exciting to get a fresh toy. It will also be a lot of power at my fingertips, power which I could very easily abuse to my own detriment. Here's to a fresh start.
  4. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    This Christmas is the most I've ever spent on family by far. It's the season for a giving spirit, and I feel more at ease with myself now. I feel less self-conscious, knowing that I put a little time and consideration towards extended family members who I rarely see.

    I was actively engaged in conversation with people at my office during our department's Christmas luncheon yesterday, even though it was mostly with people I was already comfortable around. I am usually more withdrawn. There was one guy in particular in attendance who used to do the same job as me; In the last few years our paths seemingly headed in opposite directions. I continued to struggle with basic things in life, often taking one step forwards and two steps back. He got himself a better job within the company, married his college sweet-heart, bought a new house, new car, and his his first kid is now on the way. I used to compare myself to him and it really struck a nerve with me every time I thought about his success after he got his new job. I saw him the other day, and those irrational emotions subsided. Oddly enough, I think it was because of the kid on the way. In a way I felt sorry for him and how anchored his life had become; he followed the stereotypical path of the middle-class, white collar working male at a blazing pace. On the other hand, I am quite free with the options I have at my disposal and can focus almost exclusively on myself at this stage in my life. I certainly wish him well because he is a good guy... But when I saw him the other day I just felt a sense of relief that I did not make those commitments yet. And I say "yet", but who knows, I could veer onto a path that goes against the grain of the socially acceptable standard and be completely happy.

    There's a certain appeal with how I've skirted around making most all of the big decisions and leaps in life. It's almost a blessing in disguise that I have been so risk-averse, allowing myself to observe and learn from others' mistakes. I've been studying the chess board many moves ahead, yet I am no clairvoyant. I've barely scratched the surface, in fact, when it comes to making mistakes in the real world. While I have a lot to learn, I've absorbed some good food for thought along the way that will hopefully allow me to make sound decisions as I move forward in life. I stand in a good position right now, continuing to ripen at a slow, yet steady pace. If I can overcome my mental baggage I will be in very good shape to create many great outlets for myself.

    I'm still warming up to the idea of seeing a psychologist, with the hope that it is what my parents will offer as a gift (to pay for my visits, that is - why am I so stingy with my money?!). It just feels like the right time for me to finally invest in one and have some face to face time with someone about what's been going on with me; and in a manner where I can unburden and express myself freely without fear of being judged.
  5. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I went to pick up some pizza on Friday night and there was this cute girl working behind the counter who would not stop staring at me. I could tell I had caught her attention through the plate glass at the store front even before I walked through the door. The place was fairly crowded, yet she didn't seem too preoccupied with work; her eyes just continued to gravitate towards me. At one point I acted like I was fooling around on my phone, and then quickly looked up to still find her still staring. In that moment our eyes locked for a second or two. I could tell she was surprised by the sudden shift of my gaze because her eyes grew to the size of saucer plates, as if I had become even more captivating now. I was expecting her to acknowledge that she had been caught by averting her stare, but she just seemed to double down! I am so bad at maintaining eye contact that I just looked back down at my phone with a grin on my face. This place is known for hiring the local high school crowd. While I appreciate the attention I get from young girls, it's always disconcerting that I would have no idea whether they're of legal age without actually asking them.

    I signed up on Tinder and Bumble the other day. It's been a very underwhelming experience, but I guess the jury is still out. I'm not going to take it too seriously, so I will set my expectations very low. These dating apps feel like more of a time-consuming distraction than fruitful labor. If you don't behave in a manner that the app's algorithm favors then it seems that your profile becomes increasingly low visibility. I am very selective in who I swipe right on, which apparently the Tinder algorithm frowns upon. For every few hundred profiles I see I'll swipe right on a handful, if that. I also have to take into consideration that there is an over-saturation of guys on these things, and the girls constantly get bombarded; they essentially have the pick of the litter. And because of all that attention the majority of women raise their standards to much higher levels. It's a very odd social dynamic when it comes to online dating.

    I signed up on Bumble because the women have to be proactive and initiate the conversation, but Bumble also has much lower traffic than Tinder. Best not get too invested in it before I drive myself crazy (which has happened before).
  6. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    There's this girl in an adjacent apartment unit that will occasionally parking near me. She has been doing that off and on for months. I know that she deliberately does it at times because she has to walk from my side of the parking lot all the way diagonally to get to her walkway. One time I was leaving my apartment and she looked to be camped out in her car, parked right next to me, listening to the radio. As soon as she saw me coming towards my car in her rear view mirror she turned the volume off and started to open the her door. I assume she was trying to increase her odds of bumping into me. I've actually never gotten a good look at her. The one time I tried to, her hair was covering the side of her face. She seems to be almost as reclusive as me... Almost. I would have thought she'd given up trying to get my attention by now, but just yesterday she went out of her way to park where I always do.

    I have to train myself on how to capitalize on real-world opportunities now.

    I had a similar situation a few years ago at my old apartment, except that the emboldened girl actually took the initiative to come knock on my door in an attempt to introduce herself. In short, those moments ensuing the knock was my rock-bottom. It was so much more than a missed opportunity. Everything that was wrong with my life had come full circle and neatly presented itself in mere seconds. I think what happened that day was what gave me the incentive to seek out answers, and eventually led me to stumble upon Gary Wilson/YBOP.
  7. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    Tinder and Bumble look like a no-go. So far I've only matched with fake profiles. I tried to be conscientious about swiping right more often, but I'm just not that desperate to hook up with a stranger right now. Also, I now seem to easily run out of people in my area. I'll keep using these for a few weeks to give it a little time, but I definitely do not want these apps to by my primary means for making contact with the other sex.

    I exchanged Merry Christmas and pleasantries with a few at my office. It felt nice. After work I bought a few groceries and filled up my stock with extra vitamin D. Very important this time of year since vitamin D deficiency can contribute to depression. I was pretty pissed at myself for forgetting a coupon I thought I had in my wallet, but I calmed down right afterwards and reminded myself it was only five dollars. Not a big deal. You'll remember it next time.

    I watched Home Alone the other day, as I always do at Christmas time. Kevin was still on point as a child actor. Kevin, you're such a disease.

    I'll take a few moments to list out all the things I'm frustrated about and want to change:

    I'm tired of neglecting my body and not giving it the fuel it needs to perform at a high level (including my brain).
    I'm tired of getting phantom injuries from inactivity and letting my joints/muscles become so inflexible.
    I'm tired of giving into my cravings, seeking immediate gratification on a whim.
    I'm tired of not having any deep, meaningful relationships outside of my immediately family.
    I'm tired of being single, without someone else to show affection for, share intimate moments, and explore the world with.
    I'm tired of procrastinating, playing endless tricks on my mind and remaining stagnant with old self-improvement initiatives that I barely ever scratched the surface with.
    I'm tired of residing with this perfectionist attitude that puts me in an "all-or-nothing" frame of mind, leaving me a broken man whenever I experience failure.
    I'm tired of falling into slumps for months at a time while I waste away in complacency, doing nothing to advance my quality of life.
    I'm tire of ruminating on the past and reliving regretful moments.
    I'm tired of not having any good friends that I can share truly meaningful bonds with.
    I'm tired of being such a shut-in and spending all of my time on a computer.
    I'm tired of remaining stagnant in my professional career.
    I'm tired of spending so much time exchanging boredom for cheap entertainment that gives way to fruitless thoughts, which occupy most of my conscious mind.
    I'm tired of all the self-help material going in one ear and out the other, barely ever utilizing any of it.
    I'm tired of not setting clear, defined goals, and staying focused on them.
    I'm tired of failing to cultivate a sharp level of self-awareness.
    I'm tired of feeling down on myself and neglecting self-love/respect.
    I'm tired of repeating the same actions and expecting different results.

    I am almost 30, and I have to get a move on things! Some of this is very basic stuff. I am incredibly capable of changing all of it.
    cjm likes this.
  8. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I had a full-blown relapse yesterday after I hit the 3-week mark, but it caused me to come to terms with my approach. I was no longer trying to avoid P entirely. Your brain just doesn't reboot properly when you don't cut out P.

    A pure reboot had become a lost art on me, and I continued to peek/watch P videos just about every day during those three weeks. Abstaining from MO while still looking at P does nothing for me anymore. I get no "super powers" and I don't re-sensitize, which is the entire point of it all - to be able to derive immense pleasure from sex. If I'm being perfectly honest with myself here I don't enjoy masturbation like I used to, which I'm positive would carry over to the real thing. I don't get any crazy dopamine hits because I've been interrupting my rebooting process time and again. It's like after all this time the receptors still haven't bounced back. I still have pretty bad PE. All of this can easily be fixed, and I know because I've done this before! Well, I won't care about enjoying masturbation again, but... The sensitivity. That part is sorely lacking and I lose it so fast now... I think I know a few things I need to correct with my lifestyle to regain that aspect of pleasure again, but still might want to do some research to see if there's something else I could be doing to expedite the restoration.

    All right. I'm awake. Now I see the error in my ways, and I will commit myself again to a proper reboot... and rewire. I can't continue to delay seeking out the real thing. I'll continue making excuses until I'm blue in the face if I maintain the mindset that I'm not ready allow a girl into my life. It's just a maddening cycle, and the perfectionist in me must be broken down.

    I utilized my time well today and got some things done. It's time to step up to the plate and get some positive momentum going. Today I watched Joe Rogan's podcast with Shannon Briggs, a former heavyweight pro-boxer who is now trying to make a comeback at 45 years old. He overcame a rough upbringing, asthma, bad depression with suicidal thoughts, a very bad diet (McDonalds and junk food every day), and low T. He's been treating his body like a shrine, cut out sugar, eliminated all the inflammation, and is now eating only organic from the whole foods store... Expensive, but super healthy. He said even a small taste of sugar now gets him thinking bad. Shannon cuts out all instigators of negativity around him and control his inputs, who he surrounds himself with, what he listens to, etc. He's on a mental diet as well as a physical diet.
    He's using his platform to spread positivity through his mantra: Let's go champ! Let's go champ! He calls everyone champ, hyping them up. He feeds off of the people following him on social media, where he regularly spreads motivation and uplifting material, and in turn channels his acts of altruism into fuel to kick life in the ass. And he's spreading all these good vibes just by being himself, no gimmicks or marketing.

    The thing that stuck out to me was when he's talking about the craziness of the presidential election, and how he had to do a detox from the news altogether. Shannon didn't have the time or mental expenditure to focus on Trump and Hillary, choosing instead to put his priorities in perspective and focus on HIS goals.
    The ability to compartmentalize the white noise, to put those things aside knowing that they probably aren't in your best interest to get wrapped up in, whether it's T.V., the news, or internet, is such a valuable tool.
  9. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I'm in the process of transitioning from my desktop to the new laptop and am sorting through a few old files. I typed up some quality bullet points about a year ago with mostly abstract pieces of advice that either already have or will/continue to help me in recovery. I tweaked a few things.

    This advice to myself is from the heart. I want to see myself make a full recovery.

    · The Slight Edge works. You must build upon your momentum through the little actions you do every day, and then keep adding to those daily actions when you feel you can handle more.

    · Stay humble and ground yourself.
    “Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” — Steve Jobs

    · No procrastination. Do what needs to be done and feel good about it. If there is some lingering issue or a bothersome event, find a way to reach closure so that your mind can be unburdened.

    · Clean, sustainable eating. Eat good, look good, feel good. The same thing can be said for dressing sharply, and grooming yourself properly. You should treat your body as a shrine, and the sky it the limit… But, in order to sustain your physique you must plan for proper amount of calories and a healthy balance of nutrients to maintain energy levels for mind and body.

    · Self-respect and love. Instill discipline through positive frame of mind. You are a very interesting and unique individual, and through inwardly seeking self-worth you will naturally attract others.

    · Treasure your natural highs, and do not squander them. Ride them and allow them to course through your being. There is no need to immediately seek out dopamine escalating activities. If you need an outlet for your energy, be creative, improvise.

    · Communication with others. Eye contact, listening, body language, engaging, reciprocating, wittiness, endearment, charm. Building social skills and showcasing your own self-expression and personality will help with your confidence.

    · Self-awareness. Be aware of that voice playing the devil’s advocate, telling you it’s ok to do this and indulge in that… just this one time. Acknowledge the temptation, but say “No” and be done with the thought. Be aware and in tune with every aspect of yourself; your breathing, body, every ache and soreness, your actions, surroundings, when you become bored, when you become excited, aroused, irritated, embarrassed, when you’re fantasizing while half-asleep and still in bed… Awareness when you are feeling down or depressed.

    · Do not allow your mind to wander into a place of danger. Stay focused and mentally sharp. This is part of staying engaged in self-awareness. You cannot let your mind wander astray. Do not let your curiosity get the better of you. There are far greater rewards awaiting you. Acknowledge the presence of the fantasy/temptation/provocation, and then immediately erase it from your mind and move on with your day.

    · Do not compare yourself to others. Be your own man and own yourself. Remember the quote from Miyamoto Musashi - “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”

    · Courage. Courage to step outside of your norm, to try something new, be adventurous, flirtatious, daring. Courage to set yourself apart, get away from the mundane and stale.

    · One day at a time. Focus on living every moment of your life in the present, not the past or the future. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

    · Clear mind. Stop worrying. Don’t get so wrapped up in own thoughts that it prevents you from living in the present and staying focused on your goals. Mindfulness. Meditation is very beneficial to help clear mind.

    · Process information efficiently. Absorb or discard and move on. Trim the fat. Don’t get so bogged down in the little details or try to absorb so much information that you stop to process it all rather than continuing with the momentum you have going for yourself.

    · Partake in activities that only benefit you, or help you towards your goals. You have to replace the void in your life with healthy activities. You can’t replace it with lazy, mindless activities, like browsing the internet for hours a day, sitting at home watching movies, etc. You have to discover new, satisfying and enriching ways to spend your time; for your well-being and future depend on it.

    · Patience with the understanding that there are no quantum leaps – see the Slight Edge. Having predisposed yourself to a perfectionist attitude your whole life is going to make it that much more difficult for you to stay on the wagon when you feel you’ve screwed up or taken liberties you shouldn’t have, so you’re going to have to claw and fight every inch of the way to live on the right side of the Slight Edge. But with the understanding of the virtue of patience, you must also believe that change is imminent and right around the corner! Do not be delusional and cloud your mind, but give yourself hope and something to look forward to.

    · Goal-setting. This gives you things to strive for and look forward to. Goals are something that can be revisited and/or readjusted however often you see fit, but they provide structure and purpose in life.

    · Stretching to relieve tension in muscles. Muscle atrophy is real and can set in when you don’t look after your body properly. When your body works together harmoniously and feels nimble, it’s invigorating to feel young again.

    · Give yourself things to look forward to. Give yourself gifts. Spend a little to treat yourself to something nice every now and then when you’ve earned it.

    · Rewire! Put yourself out there and get excited by women in everyday situations! You’ve only just tasted it before on occasion, and were invigorated with a massive libido for the rest of the day! You loved it that women could have that kind of power over you. Natural. Libido.

    · Adequate sleep. There is no replacement for a good night’s sleep. It is very important to get enough sleep on a daily basis.

    · Seize opportunities that present themselves. If you don’t, do not beat yourself up about it, but learn from every experience. “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

    · Find things in your life that bring you immense pleasure and do those things, not for anybody else or to prove something to yourself or others, just do it because it feels good doing the thing. Do what brings you happiness.

    · Surround yourself with positive input, whether it's music, people, or reading material. Cut out the negative influences in your life that will ultimately bring you down, and invest in that which promotes a healthy frame of mind.

    I am going to kick 2017 right in the teeth!
  10. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I re-ignited my clean eating goals yesterday. I finally cooked for myself and the salmon turned out great. I'm learning a bunch of new stuff and it will be exciting to see where proper nutrition will take me. I guess that's kind of even more important now that affordable healthcare is completely out of whack. Hopefully ObamaCare gets repealed ASAP. I also remember now how hot the girls are at the whole foods store. I need to be going there at least once a week. Caught the first podcast Joe Rogan had with Dr. Rhonda Patrick, and plan to catch up some more this weekend.

    I started writing down daily to-do's, and right now the list is at three (all related to nutrition). I plan to slowly add on daily tasks to this list once I feel comfortable with knocking out what I already have on there.

    The new laptop is up and running. It runs great, and the fan rarely ever kicks in compared to the loud whirling of my old desktop. That's peace of mind in itself. I watched a video on youtube of things to do first on a new Windows 10 laptop, and it really helped clear out all the clutter and notifications. It doesn't seem to like my old speakers, even after new drive software downloaded, but I think I may have fixed the issue. We'll see. I also adjusted my computer chair for better posture.

    I'm growing my hair out, but I haven't really yet settled on a hair style. I also have almost next to no experience with hair products, so that'll be a learning curve. One thing I'm looking forward to is my hair getting healthier and bouncing back from clean eating. The texture of one's hair can change over time based on diet. Mine has been as coarse and wavy/unruly as I can ever remember. I used to have straight hair... Maybe I still do.

    I guess the biggest thing for me right now is to remain consistent with the things I've just started. Keep doing the little things every day that make a difference in the long-term. That reminds me that I probably need to pick up reading the Slight Edge again, which I never fully finished.
  11. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I've been off the wagon recently, but I want to post here anyway.

    Clean eating is going decently - all except for when I run out of food in the pantry. I'm bad about letting myself run out of food and then putting off going to the grocery. When that happens I inevitably slide into an oh-so-easy fast food binge and just go hog wild. I ate fast food almost four times in a row. But in between that spell I have been eating very clean. I even encouraged my mom to start cooking healthier and she's now getting into it.

    I am still trying to figure out my cheat meals as far as how frequent the intervals between them are, what I will allow myself to eat for a cheat meal, and whether it should be a cheat day as opposed to a cheat meal. I think some of it comes down to willpower and principles, but a lot of it seems to really be trial and error. How well does my body respond when I don't give it a craving every now and then? Hmm. It's food for thought...

    I upped the ante with Vitamin D3 - I just bought close to a year's supply of 5,000 IU capsules. That is in addition to my multi-vitamin, which is fortified with 1,000 IU. Today is my first day for increasing my dosage so drastically, so I will monitor and see how I respond. I am steadfast about not sliding back into a slump where I wallow in my own self-pity for months on end. I'm putting that period of my life to rest.

    I had a lot of energy today after several relapses over the weekend, and I didn't feel as naked around people as my typical PMO self would be. I was analyzing situations and tasks without a burdened stain on my mind. I didn't feel nervous about going into meetings or shopping. I think I can attribute a lot of that to the recent clean-eating and supplementing. I just seem to be doing better overall with energy, but it's far from optimal levels. It should take time and consistency to see greater benefits, and the same goes with the Vitamin D. I'm absolutely certain I was very deficient there to begin with, so it's going to take some time to balance out my body and rebound to normal levels in several areas I was deficient.

    I'm not trying to overwhelm myself with a great amount of things to accomplish every day - work already has that covered. I'm going at my own pace and, even though I'm far from satisfied with that pace, I have to remind myself that I'm crawling out of a deep ravine... The main area I am challenging myself in right now is consistency. I feel if I can become so good in one area to the point where I'm essentially on auto-pilot then I'll shift my focus towards the next pillar (such as exercise). It's that day-to-day struggle with consistency in forming healthy habits that is still so new to me I just need to sit back occasionally and enjoy small victories. I'm currently not in that frame of mind with PMO, though MO frequency has gotten much, much better in the last few years. I'm not sure why PMO still feels like an all-or-nothing effort to me... Hmm, may need to think about that some more. I will get there. I don't feel the need to keep a spreadsheet anymore. In the last two years I'm kept my annual PMO total within the 150 - 200 range, which is not too shabby at all considering where my numbers were just a few years ago. That number needs to shrink to 0. :)
  12. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    It's been a while...

    I'm back with some good news on the job front. I finally landed the job I've had my sights on for the past several years. I'm basically doing the same thing I have been, except now I actually have great benefits and a healthy salary to show for it. I was ready to quit and go back to the drawing board with my career path. In fact, I did quit... Or, at least I tried. I took a gamble at a strategic time and it paid off. Literally. For the first time I can say I feel content with my job situation. I'm working a few more hours each week, which will likely increase steadily over the next several months. It's child's play, though. I'm lucky to be in the situation that I am. I had several allies in my corner. It all happened in such an unconventional way, but at the end of the day it was my own volition which created an opening that didn't previously exist.

    It's quite a relief that the whole job situation worked out in the end so that I can finally focus my energies towards other areas of my life that are in desperate need of an overhaul. I've been distracted with stress from the job thing over the last few weeks, but now I need to look forward and begin plotting my next moves in the self-improvement initiative. My career is perhaps the one thing I've consistently applied the Slight Edge philosophy to over a great period of time, and I'm finally starting to see results. Now that I have seen how it can work in one aspect of my life, it's time to apply it to more!

    Since the beginning of the year I have stuck to my clean eating plan, which has slimmed my figure down and given me consistent energy throughout the day. My "cheat day" has really been more of a cheat weekend, but at least I can say that I eat very clean for five days in a week. I'll take that over last year's depression controlling my mood and gravitating towards junk food at every opportunity. I don't go all out on my cheat days either... It's very easy to eat thousands of calories in just one or two meals, yet I remain conscious about my intake. It's interesting that I haven't touched ice cream yet this year. My gut tells me that it may be one of my kryptonite foods that possesses greater potential to derail me. Regardless, I have to cut down on sugar altogether. I really don't have a choice, because my gums are in really bad shape from the crap diet I forced upon myself for the past few years. I neglected proper oral hygiene, and now I'm suffering the consequences. I'm lucky that my gums seem to be the only lingering consequence of such a poor period of nutrition. My first order of business is to schedule a dental visit once I get my new dental card in the mail and consult with my dentist on the correct path moving forward. I'm a little nervous because I think I likely have some form of gum disease. I just hope it's not to the stage where I'll need to have oral surgery down the road. There's no sense in worrying about it now; I just need to get the visit scheduled and heed the advice of a professional.

    Oh yeah, about the whole PMO thing. I've managed to keep the beast somewhat at bay by simply conceding the weekends to relapsing. It's far from ideal, and I know that I have to get serious about my recovery again. I broke my new laptop's chastity belt already, so I am now disillusioned to the idea of a new machine being a fresh incentive for me to change my habits. It goes to show, once again, that I can't just white-knuckle my way through recovery.
  13. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    OK. So I've managed to vastly improve my eating habits and get my career under control. I'm going to create new goals for myself now and attack them. Don't stop here. There's so much out there that I've yet to tap into. I've been taking baby steps by design. I didn't want to overwhelm myself earlier this year while I was trying to work through some mental issues, but now I feel that I'm in a more balanced state of mind. I really need to make sure I avoid sources of negative energies that bring me back down to an unhealthy mental state. Because when I reside in that state it feels like I'm just trying to survive from one day to the next. I don't want to simply survive anymore; I want to live... And it all starts with self-love and respect.
    cjm likes this.
  14. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    My dental visit went so much better than I expected. All of my concerns were alleviated and I felt like a million bucks walking out of that office. In the past week or so I've spent some time just soaking in the simpler pleasures. I rearranged my salt rock lamp collection, and they look totally rad/romantic, depending on how dim my living room is set. I am feeling good in some new clothes I recently bought on sale. My previously gimpy leg is doing much better now that I am giving myself proper pre and post-run nutrition. I've been discovering new smooth jazz and rediscovering some older music that rekindled my interest (Chicago!).

    This morning I received a very interested look and eye contact from the Starbuck's barista, who initiated super flirtatious smiles with me. I feel like I could have asked for her number and easily gotten it. She wasn't that bad looking either. I just tried a machiatto (milk with espresso) and felt a great buzz from being hopped up on all the caffeine. Unfortunately, I've turned into one of those guys who goes to Starbucks now. I don't know if that makes me a hipster or what, but it's a nice, low-calorie compromise on my cheat days... Not to mention, I can definitely afford it now. I've never been a coffee drinker, but I do enjoy coffee and espresso flavored frappucinos.

    I've got some new goals laid out, and while they're still very loosely defined, it's potentially another step in the right direction.

  15. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    Having things to look forward to is so underrated; those dopamine releases you get by simply anticipating the event... I'm eating at a nice Mexican spot with the family tomorrow. The weekend's activities are to be determined, but it will be some great weather. I am very much looking forward to taking the next leap in my journey. I'm focused on cutting out wasted time where I find myself idling and doing nothing particularly productive. This week has been a step up in that regard.

    I finally got my hair cut back to a normal length after months of long hair. I might could have found a way to make it work for me eventually, but I finally realized long hair just isn't really in the cards for my head of hair. It was taking too much work to dry, tame with product, and I can look great with a shorter cut. My hair is super thick to begin with. I'm still long on the top and bangs. I look younger with my hair long and unruly, which is not necessarily a good thing since I already look young for my age. The main factor is that it's just too much upkeep to spend time hassling with to make it look half-way acceptable. Some days it looked really good, but it was either a hit or a HUGE miss (and strands of grease!). I'm glad I decided to axe long hair before the summer months so I can save myself some sanity. I will continue to experiment with different hairstyles and lengths now, exploring my options and pursuing the best hairstyle that compliments my face shape.

    I feel that I need to add more definition to my goals so that I can become more immersed in them. If they remain loosely defined then I know I will eventually lose sight of them and revert back to the path of least resistance. That's not me anymore. I will get things done now and not shy away from challenges that have potentially great benefits lying ahead.

    The only person I can rely on is myself.
  16. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    Well, this week has been an unremarkable combination of ups and downs. I have nothing to complain about; just need to instill a consistent drive to improve myself each and every day. I had a very organic, flowing conversation with an older fellow at work about TV series and movies. He had an unbridled enthusiasm about him when the topic turned to this discussion, and I quickly found out he was a passionate movie/TV buff when he started dropping all sorts of directors' names and titles on me that I was unfamiliar with. Our tastes and critiques were very similar. He sent me a list of stuff he thought I'd enjoy, and some of it doesn't look half bad. It's weird how the little socialization I do have tends to be almost exclusively with people from an older generation, yet our talk was very enriching. The interaction perhaps served as a reminder that I am meant to be a more socially outgoing being and have a lot of work to do to up my social game.

    I mentioned the other week about a Starbucks barista who was giving me very flirtatious smiles. It's funny, because now I can't stop thinking about those brief exchanges between us at the drive-thru. I think that, more than anything, says something about the lack of interactions I've had with the opposite sex, which can be easily fixed by me going out more and putting myself out there on a regular basis. Right now I can only imagine how many flirtatious experiences I could acquire, but a few tweaks to my lifestyle here and there and it becomes a reality. I didn't think I'd become so infatuated with a simple smile, but there's something that innately turns me on about a girl who really shows that she wants me. Of course, they have to be good-looking as well, but that quality for me really makes a girl stand out from the rest. I think part of the reason why I've been having some ups and downs lately is 1) I've been trying to reconcile a healthy outlook towards real women and passion to be with them... While on the other hand, I've remained unsuccessful in my more earnest attempts to break the seemingly inseparable bond between my libido and pixelated pleasure. 2) I've romanticized this idea in my head about being in a relationship with this Starbucks girl and have planned to ask her out when I next see her. After getting my hopes up the last couple weeks that I'd have another chance encounter with her, I've yet to see her again. This bummed me out a little and actually spurred me on to justify having a relapse (or several).

    One brief encounter and a warm smile was all it took to distract my energies from focusing on bettering myself. Instead of doing that, I invested my emotions and expectations in an external force that was nothing more than a simple interaction which quickly enveloped my fantasies.

    It's so easy to get distracted in this journey and lose sight of what you set out to accomplish. It's a constant inner struggle I need to have with myself from day to day, and if I'm not engaging in that struggle then I'm doing myself a disservice by allowing my discipline to fade. This is a healthy and necessary struggle... It takes some amount of stress, good stress, to check myself; to stay on course towards happiness and success...
  17. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I fell into quite a rut this past week with my diet and other pursuits, but in the spirit of staying positive I will say that this has been a decisive week for my future earnings potential. I feel that I've made some very sound financial decisions that will lay the groundwork for sustained wealth over the long-term, which could perhaps even lead to early retirement (ok, maybe wishful thinking). I've even invested in a developing side-venture that looks promising, but it is more or less an investment just for fun that I plan on holding for the long-term. If it pans out then that's cool, but if it doesn't then I've laid down an acceptable amount of money that I'm willing to lose. I think dabbling in equities can be fun when done in moderation, but I'm quickly seeing how it can open the door for some unwanted behaviors and habits to develop. I've definitely spent far too much time this weekend checking on prices and fretting over the ebbs and flows of the market. In fact, I'd say this has kind of put a damper on my Memorial Day weekend. Once I've finalized my accounts by the end of this week I'll have much less to worry about just be able to check in on them periodically.

    I'm embarrassed to write this, but I still have the Starbucks barista in my mind. I probably haven't seen her around in over a month, yet every time I go there to get a drink a slight tinge of anticipation sweeps over me until I see some pudgy arm emerge from the drive-thru window. I distinctly recall the first time she saw me I sensed her get lost in my eyes for a second. After that moment the level of sheer enthusiasm from her was just off the charts. In that encounter and the one after she undoubtedly worshiped me on my looks alone and made me feel very powerful. Ever since that day I've kept a folded sticky note in my wallet with my name and number on it in case I see her again.

    I can have such a one-track mind that I really need to focus on moving on from missed opportunities and just chalk them up to lessons learned that will help me grow as a person. Allowing a chance encounter to grow into such a romantic fantasy has really side-tracked me from focusing on ME. I'm the one I need to be focusing on right now. Everything comes from within. I must have patience and trust that more opportunities will occur organically in the very near future as along as I take the initiative to invest in myself.

    I will persevere!
  18. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    I just want to make a quick note of something interesting that happened today. I've seen the same haircutter for a few years now. She always looks nice... Typically she likes to get all made up and put on nice outfits, at least on the days I'm scheduled to come in. One time recently I dropped by unscheduled on a day I don't normally go to get my hair cut, and she didn't look all that great without makeup. With that said, she really knows how to bring out her sex appeal. Today she did just that, and was a bit more engaging with me in conversation than usual. In the past on several random occasions she's announced in a bragging manner to the entire room, "My client has really thick hair!". And she does other little things I notice, like take a really long time to shampoo my hair. She'll really get into it too, slowly massaging my scalp and behind my ears. It's as if she's fantasizing about doing things to me while she's doing it or something... I don't know, I'm just a guy that observes things.

    I've noticed that when she's in her best shape in the summer (and looking much hotter) she exudes more confidence, and I'll take notice because she will make eye contact and smile at times. One time last summer we locked eyes and she gave me a big smile, then I kind of sheepishly looked down with a slight grin. Today she did something similar, except a little differently. As I was waiting to pay at the counter she told me that the girl would be with me in a moment. As I thanked her (she was standing to my side) I turned my head slightly to acknowledge her. She was waiting for me to catch her gaze, and as she was walking away she gave me a very suggestive smile... I can't put a finger on what was so suggestive about it, but it was very intuitive.

    Now that seemed like a clear signal to me that she's down to do something. But I know that she's married and has kids. I found out today that she's 29. She's smart (the owner of her place), and seems to have her stuff together in life. She knows what she wants, and I think she wants me... Probably as a fling on the side. Just the last time I was in after going several months of letting my hair grow long I recall her being a little disappointed about me coming in less frequently. She made the remark that if I'm not happy with my haircut to drop by anytime and let her touch it up (pretty sure she knew I was happy with it). It seemed like today she left my hair a little longer intentionally so that I would have to come back sooner.

    I'm not sure that I have a clue how to move on this... But if I make a move to initiate this and it turns out that I misread her, then I would lose the best haircutter I've ever had... Hmmm. Oh well, I'll have until my next haircut to mull it over.
  19. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Hey there,

    Did not read all your journal but your last update sounded interesting.

    She's married? Yeah, you've heard it many times before, of folks having flings and affairs and so on. Maybe she could be down for it... or maybe she just really likes to flirt. Truth is, you won't know until you find out where she stands with respect to you. She could very well have a solid boundary in regards to sexual relationships and accept no one but her husband.. but allow herself innocent flirt-y fun. Maybe that's how she rolls!

    Now moving onto the other side of the coin. Is this what you truly want? Or is it because you smell a sexual opportunity? Do you want to share your sexuality in those circumstances? What about the husband? How would you feel if you were in his shoes? Point I'm trying to make is that it's not all that easy as you think. Maybe deep down, you don't really want it to happen that way. But if I were to play devil's advocate, you could go in next time, when you are likely to be alone with her, then ask her about her kids, her husband... and then see what she answers.. I think you'll get a very good feel of whether she is happy with what she's got.
  20. FuriousJ

    FuriousJ Member

    Yeah, thanks for the perspective. She doesn't come across as the flirty type. If she's been trying to, it's gone right over my head. There's just a couple instances that I mentioned earlier where I thought she was really making a concerted effort to catch my attention. She usually isn't that bold. I think she's been dropping a bunch of subtle hints more than being a straight up flirt.

    I'll admit, I'm pretty conflicted. Honestly, though, I think I've reached the point where I just want to experience some level of intimacy with a woman. It doesn't really even matter to me if it's sex. This opportunity has just kind of fallen into my lap, and this time is unique because I have a guaranteed followup meeting with the girl. I'm reminded of all the missed opportunities that flew right by me and times I was woefully unprepared to advance with anyone, and here is this situation. If this were a few years ago, my morals may be stronger. But truth be told, I lost my religion somewhere in my late twenties. Still though, I think about the family she has and what implications my actions may stir up.

    In our past conversations I've asked about her kids. She was brief on the subject and didn't go into a lot of detail. She's showed me a picture of her husband before and I'd say he out-kicked his coverage. She always seems to obsess over my hair being so luscious and thick, yet her husband is bald. Lol. The only thing I can recall her having to say about her husband is that they got into some argument one day and she made him sleep on the couch. The other day she was fishing about any "exciting" things I had planned coming up, or if it was more of the same ole. I responded with the latter, and she almost immediately made a long, drawn out, "Me toooo", as if to insinuate she was bored out of her mind. Most of the time she just banters with her other hairdresser friends and I occasionally chime in. She seems like a genuine, good person. One time last year she called me a friend.

    I've decided that the next time I go in I'm going to hand her the tip as I'm about to leave (no, the other kind of tip!). I'll slip a hand-written note under the bill that says something to the affect of, "You got my attention... Feel free to call or text". The ball is in her court then, and it also allows me to be discreet around her co-workers. I'll also try to match her "I want you" smile that she gave me this past time.

    But yeah, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Who knows... I really need to focus on self-love/respect right now, and this has been detracting from that (among other things).

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