Been a little while

Been riding the roller coaster of life. Processing emotions. Dealing with pain. Coming to realizations. The works.

A particular comedy special, Daniel Sloss’ “Jigsaw” put a lot of the stuff I am dealing with into perspective for me. I keep having ups and downs, but I will be ok.

So today’s topic. Sleep.

Christine and I have had separate beds, and for much of our 11 years, separate rooms…since the start. Why?

Well, she likes it warm and silent. I have a window fan or A/c all year round (I like it cold.) I run a floor fan and play rain sounds while I sleep. I also snore like a chainsaw.

So we never tried sleeping in the same bed, and quite honestly…I felt for a long time that it was ok.

Now that we are done, and headed to divorce…I realize that it was stupid. It is a level of intimacy that we missed out on. Cuddling until we fell asleep. Random night kicks. Waking up next to each other. We missed out on 11 years of that and I think it definitely did not help our bond.

There were not night time frisky adventures. I mean, sure…I could have woken up at night and snuck into her room, but I’d risk scaring the crap out of her and getting kicked/punched etc. Nothing says romance like scaring the shit out of your partner in the middle of the night!

Also, after whatever activities ensued, I’d have to go back to my room to sleep. It made the whole thing feel…temporary, now that I think about it.

So when (if) I end up in another serious relationship, I am not making that mistake again. We will adapt to however the other sleeps and compromise. If it means a couple sleepless nights from being too warm, or getting kicked a few times from a sleep sprawler…whatever. Worth it for that bond that comes along with sharing a bed.

Anyway, that was my thoughts for today.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

And I love you.

-Luke

Lessons

15 or so years ago, an event happened that left me numb. Long story short, someone I cared about deeply hurt me, and the morning after it happened, I came home from work, cried so hard that I literally pulled muscles in my chest, and went to sleep.

After that day, I was numb. I iced over. Shields went up, feelings were repressed and put in little boxes, shoved into the back of the brain attic and left to fester. No joking, I did not cry again until over a decade later, when my cat (Eddie) died in front of me. I didn’t even allow myself to fully feel that, as I plowed through a 6 pack of hard cider to stop it.

Last night, I sat in my darkened bedroom, listening to music, tears streaming down my face. My repressed feelings have filled all the boxes. The attic has overflowed, spilling out into the stairwell and the rest of the house, and a mouse has chewed a wire, causing a spark. The house is in flames, and the boxes are burning away, releasing their contents.

I post little song lyrics. Music videos. Little quotes from movies the resonated with me at that moment, screaming in to the void social media…like a surfer too tired to paddle back to shore, hoping a passing ship will throw him a life saver…

But the void doesn’t respond. The void clicks “like” occasionally, but sits silent and looming.

As I sat crying last night, trying to stifle it because A: I don’t WANT to feel this way. I don’t want to hurt like this and B: my “room mate” (future ex-wife) was in the room on the other side of a door, I pondered how simple it would be to not feel this way. How a 5.7 mm piece of lead, projected from the muzzle of a .22 caliber hand gun, is all it would take to stop feeling this way…the tears streamed silently.

Don’t worry, as bleak as that paragraph was, I would not do it. Ever. I would not rob the people I care about, who care about me, of me. It is not something I would, or could, ever do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t ponder it sometimes. Who hasn’t? Hell, today as I watched the sun rise over a frozen pond, the thought of walking out onto the ice that was clearly too thin to support me, crossed my mind. Slipping into the cold, murky depths…into silent oblivion, seemed almost comforting. Obviously I didn’t. I am here, typing this, sharing my darkest feelings, once again, on social media. Casting out the bait, time and time again, hoping for a nibble.

Also, I have therapy again Wednesday, and will be talking about all of this, so…there is that.

But in all this thought, all this feeling and pain…deep down in the quagmire…I realized something. Regardless of all the hurt, pain, fear, etc, and beyond the source of it all…deep in the darkest, dankest regions of my heart and soul…is love. Forgiveness, compassion and love. I am not, at my core…a hateful or spiteful person. It takes so much energy to hate, and to feel angry. It comes to many so easily, and too many pour a vast amount of their inner power and worth into such endeavors…but my tank isn’t even running on fumes. It is running on molecules…and is not designed for hate.

I am a being of love, forgiveness and compassion…and that is okay.

In the end, everything will be okay. I have lived through all my worst days until this point, and I will continue to do so…

Hopefully, in that time, I can make more discoveries like the one I made last night, as I cried myself to sleep…

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying…

And also,

I love you.

-Luke

Hey hey hey

I’m back. I took a little break for a bit because A: Stress and B: Broke. Lol.

Anyway, 2020 is around the corner and my self improvement continues. I have a small list of things I want to do.

  1. Eliminate debt. I have over $600 a month going out between car payment and credit card minimums. If that was not going out every month, I could easily afford a small house (if you consider the fact that my rent is $950/month). The debt needs to go.
  2. Get healthier. I took a break from the gym because of the holidays. Thanksgiving, then all the cookies and candy at work, then Christmas. Back at it next week.
  3. Continuing my therapy.
  4. Reading/listening to more books. I have been listening to a lot of self help books on Audible because I have time to do so while I work. A lot of my job is monotonous, repetitive tasks…so an audiobook in the background is great. I stop and take notes with my pocket notebook as well. It really helps.
  5. More outdoor time. I have a “bug out bag” with gear for camping and bushcraft. I need to USE it. More fishing as well. Leave my phone in the car and detach from society for a bit.

That is a basic list of things I would like to do in 2020. I still want to figure out my current hobbies as well. I don’t want to invest more into them, other than time. I need to stop spending money as soon as I have it. It comes from a scarcity mindset. Money literally burns a hole in my pocket.

We didn’t get our bonus at work BEFORE break like we usually do, and at first I was upset, but then it made me realize that I won’t blow it all on my shutdown time. When we get the bonus, I can spend a little of it (need to get my transmission fluid changed and the cats need a new cat tower) and put the rest away. I won’t buy one small thing here, one small thing there etc…until the bonus is gone, like I usually do.

And to start, I am not buying anything non-essential in January as well. It will allow me to get caught up, and possibly even squirrel some money away.

Anywho, remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

New Bed

So I bought myself a new bed.

My old bed was a twin XL mattress and boxspring, on the floor of my bedroom. I slept on it for years.

I have wanted a Purple Mattress since seeing this commercial for it.

I told myself “One day I will get one of these mattresses.”

Then this whole divorce thing started happening…and I realized two things.

  1. I really need to grow up.
  2. If I start dating again once all this goes down, a twin XL is not gonna cut it.

So I applied for financing for a Purple mattress, and I got approved!

Ordered myself the biggest one that would fit in my room, which is only a full size, but that is enough for now. I also ordered a metal frame, that can hold 2000 lbs of weight.

This is more than just a bed. It’s an investment in me. An improvement in comfort and confidence, for ME. This is literally me thinking about me for once.

And in half an hour, I am going to sleep on it for the first time, and I can’t wait. Lol.

I did this for me, I wonder what else I can do for me.

Let’s find out, shall we?

-Luke

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

Dreams

So for the past two days, I haven’t slept well. When I don’t sleep well, my depression kicks my ass.

So last night I had a dream, and it was quite upsetting to me.

I was with some dudes, most of them faceless. My brother and friend Tim were there. We rolled up on a party taking place in a big field, next to a pond.

For some reason, Tim and my brother, who are both happily married in real life, were single in this dream. Whatever. Not the main point.

So we are all sitting around in lawn chairs and this group of girls walks up to us all, and they each start like…picking a dude to pair off with. Eventually they all do this, and I am left there alone.

So I am sitting in my lawn chair now, alone, and I have a blanket. I cover up with the blanket and suddenly these two sisters approach me and they are both…please don’t judge me for saying this, cartoonishly hideous. They both start going on about how handsome I am and kinda fighting over who gets to pair off with me. Then I woke up.

I was just suddenly hit with this feeling like…do I really hate myself that much? I mean, chosen last, and only by these two ogreish women? What is my subconscious really trying to tell me here.

It’s not really a secret that I have never felt attractive. I have always struggled with my weight (been fat), and I have even had exes tell me years after a relationship that they weren’t attracted to me. (Ouch).

A few of my exes have been the “attracted to personality” types, more so than physical…and I know that is better. I know that leads to a deeper connection…but damn it, part of me just wants to feel attractive. Part of me wants a woman to look at me and just find me sexy. Christine would say I was handsome.

That’s what your mother calls you when you get dressed up for prom. “Handsome.”

I want raw animal magnetism.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s petty. Either way, I know I need to work on my self image. A lot.

Done rambling. Time for bed.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Depression

So I have always dealt with depression, probably since I was a teen. Poor self image, lack of self esteem, the works.

This past week though…it has been damn near crippling. I have just wanted to curl up into a ball and die. Nothing has sparked interest. Life has been dull and almost grey.

I haven’t been sleeping well. I have been eating like absolute garbage. Some not-so-great things happened. The works.

But I have to climb out of this funk. I can’t just wallow around.

Today I am going over my friend’s house to change my front brakes. My driveway is sloped and has trap rock (it is so horrible), so I can’t jack my car up on it. It also gives me more hang out time with my best friend, so bonus!

I did something the other day that I am proud of. It seems like a silly thing to most, but for me it was a huge step.

Depression and addiction are the main factors in what killed my marriage. I was depressed, and to medicate, I crawled into a PC game called Ark.

In Ark, you survive and build shelters. You tame dinosaurs. You can even breed them to produce color and stat mutations. To me, it is a fun game.

But I played it too much. At my worst, I would come home from work, fire up Ark and play. I would play until dinner, often leaving the game running because I was taming something, and go back to it after dinner. I would play until it was time to sleep, often staying up too late in doing so. I was not paying needed attention to Christine.

I spent 2200+ hours of my life playing that God damned game. 91+ DAYS. Almost 1/3 of a year spent taming pixels to be my “friends.”

And often, the game brought me more frustration than it did enjoyment!

I fired it up again the other day and started playing single player. At least with single player, when you close the game, that is it. The game stops. On multiplayer servers, the server remains up, so dinos can attack your base, your animals can starve etc.

I popped back onto a server I used to play on to find all my dinos gone. The timer had gone up on them, and other players had claimed them. A large dino had wrecked a big chunk of my base.

So I started rebuilding. I tamed a Pteradon, then an Argentavis (birds).

When I logged out that night…I felt it coming back. I knew if I kept going, I was going to climb back into this game and lose a lot of the progress I have been making.

“Gym or game? Well, I am kinda tired tonight…so game it is.”

“You had a stressful day at work…and it’s cold out. Why go make something in the garage when your room is warm and the game is there?”

So the next morning…when I woke up…I fired up my PC before I headed to work…

AND I DELETED THAT GOD FORSAKEN TIME SYNC WASTE OF MY LIFE!!!!!

2200+ hours…gone. 250 gb of space freed up from my pc.

No more. I can’t keep running from my problems and climbing into fictional universes for comfort.

I can’t keep seeking comfort. The comfort zone is not where change happens. The comfort zone is where progress goes to die.

So yeah, it seems like a silly thing, but deleting that game was a win in my book. Think of it almost like an alcoholic putting down the booze.

Anyway, I just felt the need to write an entry so, there ya go.

Remember,

There is more to life then paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Masculinity

Masculinity. The word has almost become derogatory in society today.

Gillette put out an ad, video below if you haven’t seen it, and people went nuts.

Men came out to either support this ad, as I did, or to crucify Gillette for “attacking masculinity.” So many men, especially on Youtube, took it as a personal attack on manhood. They defended masculinity, saying it is not toxic. Guess what guys.

It isn’t. Nothing is inherently wrong with being a man, or your masculinity for that matter.

Dictionary.com defines Masculinity as:

mas·cu·lin·i·ty/ˌmaskyəˈlinədē/Learn to pronounce noun

  1. qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men.”handsome, muscled, and driven, he’s a prime example of masculinity”
  2. Similar: virility, manliness, maleness, vigor, strength, muscularity, ruggedness, toughness, robustness.

There is nothing wrong with any of the things listed above. No one is attacking you for being a virile, rugged man. No one is shaming you for being strong, tough or manly.

What is toxic, is the flip side of the coin. The things that some men attribute to being masculine, that shouldn’t be part of being considered masculine. That would be sexism, man-splaining, being a bully, attempting to intimidate women, or men for that matter, with said strength and toughness (other than in sporting prowess. Obviously you want to try to scare you opponents in a sporting match. That is just strategy. What I mean is scaring a coworker with your size because he is smaller and meeker than you.) Things of that ilk.

Basically, toxic masculinity is being an asshole. THAT is what is under attack.

It’s fine for boys to wrestle and burn off energy. In that sense, boys will be boys. It is not ok for a larger boy to pin down a smaller boy and beat the snot out of him.

Objectifying women, and making it blatantly obvious that you are doing so. Cat-calling. Not acceptable.

Shaming rape victims.

“What was she wearing?”

“Why was she out at night, alone?”

“I don’t believe she was raped.”

“She shouldn’t have gotten so drunk.”

UNACCEPTABLE!

This is the sort of “masculinity” that Gillette is speaking out against. It’s obvious to see that in the commercial. I honestly have no idea where some men got that idea that being a man was under attack.

And another thing, the pressure for young boys to “be a man” is absolute bullshit. Raising your boy to believe that men don’t cry, and that they can’t have emotions other than anger, is absolute horse shit.

I just felt like ranting a bit. I could go on for more about this topic, and I might later, but I have a delicious smelling stew in the crock pot and I am quite hungry.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Happiness, and kicking an addiction.

As many of you know, I struggle with depression. I am on meds for it, but I still had ups and very bad downs. My brain was a vicious monster to me. Whenever I had a happy thought, a little voice would chime in with a negative retort.

That voice has been less and less lately, and if it does chime in, I quickly correct it.

So what has changed? Well, a fire got lit under my ass, so to speak.

The change in my relationship with Christine, made me realize that all the stuff I was doing, all the stories and paradigms I had in place for myself, were not working.

So I made gradual changes, and then larger changes. I am still working on even more changes. I am forcing myself to have happier thoughts, and they are bringing me even more happy thoughts.

I went back to my roots. I went back to things I know made me happy in the past. Example: The band “They Might be Giants.” For a long time, I stopped listening to them. I said to myself “Their music is too childish sounding. I need to listen to more mature artists, with more serious music.”

But the catch was, a lot of these more “mature” bands…were angry and upsetting. Music stemming from pain, and lack.

So I started listening to They Might be Giants more and more again. I made a playlist of my favorite songs, and it increased my happiness. With my background music being happier, happy thoughts came easier to me…and it is spiraling in a good direction.

I do not joke when I suggest that people read “No more Mr. Nice guy” by Dr. Robert Glover. Even if you are a woman, it can help you understand “nice guys” more.

I never realized how far into the “Nice guy syndrome” I had slipped…especially in my relationship.

I never challenged Christine. I never took the lead, in anything. I always just asked “What do you want to do?”, and even when she said “I don’t care, just choose”, I would have a hard time choosing. I was blatantly, a wimp. And I made her moods, or her problems, my own. I would care take and try to solve her problems, and tell her what I thought she should do…when in reality I should have just been listening to her. Simply listening, and letting her fix her own problems (unless she specifically asked for my help) would have helped out relationship so much.

But now I know. I am equipped and aware of my weaknesses going forward. I am actively steering myself away from this behavior. I am giving MY needs priority for honestly, the first time in my adult life. I am realizing that the only person’s problems I have to solve are my own. I am learning that I am not in charge of the mood of anyone but myself. I can still listen, and help my friends and loved ones, but only if they ask for said help. I don’t need to care take.

George Bruno talks about it at about 4:55 in this video. I was not the rock of my relationship.

I climbed into my head, soaked in my misery, and medicated with with addictions. Video games especially, but also pornography. Yes, I had a pornography addiction. Very few people knew I even watched pornography, much less that I had what would be considered an addiction. It will probably be a bit of a shock to some who read this blog, but I am no longer ashamed of it. I was exposed to porn at an early age, as most addicts are, and it really sank it’s hooks into me.

Part of ditching the “Nice Guy syndrome” is revealing your dirty little secrets and realizing that those who love you will not stop loving you because of your perceived flaws. My mind is screaming right now, “What are you doing? Why would you announce this on a public blog? People are going to hate you for it. Your grandmother might read this and be disappointed!” Well brain, this is part of healing. Deal with it.

So 49 days ago, I decided I was done with pornography, after watching many videos about what it does to the brain, and how it rewires your thoughts and even your physiology. I am proud of myself for that. It is a hard addiction to kick, but I have several tools at my disposal to help me do it, including this subreddit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/pornfree/

The people in this sub are VERY supportive, so if you have a problem with pornography, check this out.

It is not healthy. You will thank yourself for quitting.

Besides the health reasons, there is also just the absolute atrocity that is the mainstream porn industry. So much porn just consists of violence directed at women, blatant dehumanization, and unrealistic expectations…and this violence is just accepted by the women in these videos! A man slaps a woman, calls her a dirty whore or something even worse, and she not only accepts it, but acts like she actually enjoys it? (Some women might, that is not for me to shame, but I don’t believe it is as many women as porn suggests.) It is just plain sickening to me now, and I can’t believe it was a part of my life for 25 years.

And don’t get me started with all the other sick things that some videos glorify, like incest or rape.

Just another part of my mental and spiritual growth. Shedding old things that no longer serve me and adding new things to my life that will serve me.

I am a lot more to say, but I think this is a good place to stop for now. There will be many more posts as I declutter my mind.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Food for the soul

I was sitting in my room last night, bored, on a Friday…and decided to go to the gym.

So I am mid-workout and I see an empty bench under a Smith machine. I grab it and bring it over to the free weights, and the super fit dude on the Smith machine that was next to it comes over, shakes my hand and says “You’re going great brother.”

It was completely out of nowhere. A dude I don’t know. He had no reason to say that to me, and yet he did…and it was awesome. It fed my soul. It boosted my confidence and made me push harder on the rest of my workout.

In a world that has decided
That it’s going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

-Frank Turner

Tonight I am going to my best friend’s house to play board games and card games.

I bought myself a new tool/toy as well. I got a small laptop that can turn into a tablet. Why?

I am going to write my novel. I have had an idea that has rattled around for a while now, and I just need to flesh it out. So I got the laptop so I can go out to places and write. Coffee shops, the woods, while babysitting etc. I am not tethered to my home pc.

I am picturing the book published and people reading it and enjoying it. This will happen. I just need to make it happen.

More later.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Updates

So this past week has been much less busy. I didn’t babysit as much as I have been. I got into the routine of babysitting, so I had to find other stuff to fill my time.

I have been watching a lot of videos lately on spirituality and “The law of attraction.” I find it pretty fascinating and it has been helping me ignore my negative thoughts and spin them in a more positive manner.

I also made a sheath for my bushcraft knife. I am going to have to make another one, but I need to get some decent leather before I can. I need more practice with my tools before I will get an end product I really want.

I may end up building a leather specific crafting area in my work shop. A small bench or table with areas for leather specific tools. We’ll see what happens.

I also need to process some of the stuff in the freezer down there. I have several deer hides that need tanning, a skunk that needs skinning (and skull cleaned), as well as a few other odds and ends from my friend’s pet store (snakes etc.)

I am not sure if I will stick to processing dead stuff in the future. I don’t know if it is something I am genuinely interested in, or something I tried to get into to share an interest with Christine. It is pretty gruesome. Haha.

But at the same time, being able to make my own leather and hides for leather working could be really cool.

-Shrug-

I guess I will just play it by ear.

Winston is doing well. I caught him out exploring his cage last night. I may end up getting some suction cup ledges or something so he can utilize some of the vertical space he has. Or maybe add more climbing branches or something.

Anyway, that is about it for now. I have been a lazy bum and skipped the gym the past two weeks. That ends tonight. I am heading back to start up again. I was working through some mental stuff, and with the shift in temps and season, my morale has been low. I will overcome it and continue to move forward.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke