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

10/6/19

Sorry I didn’t update at all last week. I was literally busy ALL week.

Monday I went to the gym. Standard stuff.

Tuesday I went over to my friend’s house and we watched a movie.

Wednesday I babysat.

Thursday I had therapy, stuffed food in my face, and then babysat.

Friday I had to myself, but I went to bed early because I had to be up early for Saturday.

Saturday I took my nephew Caleb to the Hartford Science Center. He behaved excellently and had a great time. He was wiped out after, and on the way home he conked out.

This week I have to make it a point to get to the gym more than once. I have just been so damn busy, I haven’t been able to. I have been accepting every babysitting gig I can get, because I can really use the money…but I can’t be using that as an excuse not to go to the gym, so…

Other than being busy, not much else going on. Just listening to audio books, watching videos and trying to better myself. The usual. Lol.

-Luke

09/23/19

I completely forgot to update this all last week. Nothing major really happened. I tried going to the gym in the morning, and found that I didn’t have the energy to push as hard as I need to to actually accomplish anything.

So I am back to nights. I pushed pretty damn hard last night.

This past Friday night I went to see “It: Part 2”, by myself. It was really nice doing something for myself, by myself. I enjoyed the movie as well. It was nice seeing men in a movie, expressing emotions besides anger. There were men crying, showing legit fear, and telling their friends they love them.

-GASP-

Oh, and I don’t remember if I posted about my corn snake on here or not, and I don’t feel like looking back to see if I did, but long story short…I bought a corn snake that I have wanted for 25 years. Well…it got out of it’s tank because of a stupid design in the Zoo Med Creature cages, where they have a hole built into then for running cables. A hard to see, small hole…perfect sized for a baby corn snakes to get out.

That pissed me off…

But I refuse to be without the snake I have wanted for 25 years, so I ordered another one…and got a cage for it that is escape proof. I am still hoping I find the first, and if I do…cool, but I have low expectations on that as my house was built by toddlers and has large gaps in the baseboards…perfect for baby snakes to go into and be lost forever.

Just ask Skarsgard, the first corn snake this house ate…

Anyway, that is all for now. Nothing major happening. Working out, working on improving myself mentally and physically, and working on small projects that get me out of the house more.

I will do a philosophy post or something very soon.

Until then, remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Improvement

So, I have been hitting the gym. I didn’t break any records or hit any personal bests. I actually don’t think that will happen until I invest in some good shoes. These $25 Walmart gym shoes are not cutting it. So…I am on the search for good shoes.

Also, I decided to start working out in the morning (started today), so I have to adapt to getting up earlier as well.

Not much else is going on. I have been babysitting for extra cash, and I enjoy it. I want to pay off as much of my credit card debt as I can before Christine moves out. I CAN afford this place solo, but it will be easier not paying out $300 a month in minimum payments.

I have made some headway in my “No more Mr. Nice Guy” breaking free exercises. I started doing the exercises in an actual journal. It is helping. I need to listen to the book again. And again. And again. Really burn it into my mind.

I also did something for myself. I bought a snake that I have wanted since I was 13 years old. I saw an adult Bloodred corn snake, and I wanted it. It was so pretty.

This is what they look like.

They are not crazy expensive now, but I just never got around to getting one. My buddy Adam had one at his shop, and I saw it…and I said “Heck with it…” and bought him.

Here is Ragnar.

As they age, they lose their pattern.

He is very bitey and skittish, but he will tame down.

And now, no more animals. Debt elimination is the goal, as well as continuing the self improvement.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Sorry about that.

I know, I didn’t blog last week. It was a rough one mentally. Monday I didn’t feel good and skipped the gym. Wednesday I went alone and pushed too hard. I was at 0.92 miles at 15 minutes. Getting so close! I did 3 sets of 10 at 758 lbs on the leg press, and boy are my quads sore…which made me skip Friday. Add to that the fact that Christine’s car died and I am letting her use mine for work, and I am just mentally worn out. We are trying to find her something quickly, but in a decent price range and that will last her at least a year…is great, especially when no one returns your dang messages!

Such is Facebook marketplace.

Anyway, I will do better next week. I need to rethink my dietary things as well. Low carb is ok, but my mind is changing a lot when it comes to the suffering of animals and factory farming. I can’t condone it anymore. (Not that I ever did. I just turned a blind eye…)

I am thinking Monday-Friday vegetarian, and weekends I allow myself some humanely raised meat. Meat from local grass-fed farms, that were humanely slaughtered. Or I say screw it and go full vegetarian.

Stoicism has greatly impacted the way I think about killing and eating conscious creatures for sustenance.

Maybe it is just part of me rethinking my place in this world, and discovering more about who I really am. Who knows? I will figure it out.

Anyway, until next time,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/30/19 I can almost taste it.

I went to the gym early today because I had babysitting tonight.

That 15 minute mile goal I set is getting so close, I can taste it.

It’s funny. I really get into it hard for 15-16 minutes, drenching myself in sweat…then slow down to a lower pace for the last 15 or so…so if you just showed up and saw me walking that pace and covered in that much sweat, you’d be like “That dude needs to come to the gym more!”

Lol!

So…I have been putting some thought into going back to school to be a teacher. My therapist told me that when she looks at me, she sees the letters “Ph.D”, and that she thinks I would do well surrounded by intelligent people who care about education. She also said she could see me teaching.

The idea of being a Biology teacher has crossed my mind, and when I really think about it…I would probably want to teach at a college level. I don’t think I could handle trying to teach children in society today.

I have dome SOME research, and found an online college that offers biology teaching degrees, with a cert that works in all 50 states, and has cheaper tuition than pretty much any college.

I already have an Associates in Environmental science, that should transfer. I could bang out an accelerated Bachelor’s in no time, and I might be able to find a college that would pay me to work there AND pay for my Master’s.

Worse case scenario, I end up with a Bachelor’s and some debt.

All I know is I like my current job, but I don’t want to do it forever. It doesn’t challenge me intellectually. I literally take glue from drums or pails and down pack it for sale. That’s really it.

I like teaching people things. I like learning. I like Biology and ecology. Why not get paid to teach those subjects?

For years I have felt almost trapped in the area I live in. Rooted to a job, my marriage, my family. My dad moved to SC, and pretty much left me to take up helping my grandparents at their house (they had 13 acres and a lot of chores that needed doing.) Grandma sold the house and Grandpa passed last year, so that is not a thing anymore. My marriage is not a thing. Sure, I have quite a few animals, namely spiders, snakes and cats…but they can be moved. My brother is debating moving to a different state…

There is nothing really tying me down here anymore. I am not saying my marriage was an anchor or anything, keeping me from “living my dream” or anything like that, but it is much easier for one person to relocate if need be.

Honestly, I would probably try to find a job in this state anyway, as Connecticut pays professors a little better than many other states, and I might not even want to do it full time. I could work my current job, and be an adjunct professor at a community college. I may actually prefer a community college, as I like smaller classes where I could learn names and not just see 200 students who are numbers.

Anyway, I have a lot of research and planning to do before I jump the gun, but the idea of becoming a teacher of some sort does feel really right to me.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

06/28/19 Happy Birthday to me…

So it is my 38th birthday.

I went to work. I went to the gym. I “took it easy,” but still did well.

I still did a 19 minute mile, and did 680 lbs on my leg press. Not too shabby.

So now the serious talk. This is a rough birthday for me. I am 38. Two years from 40. I have been so stagnant for the last 15 years, that I have practically been dead. I have not accomplished anything in that time, other than racking up credit card debt on bullshit I didn’t need.

So here I am, pushing 40…renting a house I hate living in, headed for a divorce, and I am just tired. I don’t know if I have it in me to meet someone else, go through the song and dance of getting to know someone, meeting their parents, etc etc. I just keep thinking I am destined to die alone.

But that is old me talking. New me checks his passions and realizes it has only been a few weeks since the separation from my wife. New me realizes that this situation isn’t going to get better until we are physically separated, which could be 5-6 months. New me wants to believe there is someone else out there.

But old me…pessimist me. “Nice Guy” me…he convinces me to open a dating site profile “just to see”…and sees a lot of women…who want kids. Old me realizes he was talked into a vasectomy and just went along with it because he was convinced that kids were out of the question, and he would do anything to avoid confrontation, so it “made sense” for him to get clipped. It was easier and cheaper….but he was also not 100% convinced he didn’t want kids at some point on the future…

New me says “Well, if you find someone and decide you do want a kid or two, you can get it reversed.”

Old me knows that is expensive and not always successful.

Old me is a tough bastard to kill…but I am working on it.

Don’t mind my rambling. Just venting it out. I don’t like to dump this on people because it is something I have to fix, and only I can fix it…but I felt like I needed to get it out onto a physical medium, and that is what this blog is for me, so…

Anyway, remember…

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

8/26/19 Back to it!

I know…I know. I skipped two blog days last week. I missed Wednesday and Friday. I also missed those days at the gym. There is a reason. I was sick. I caught a Summer cold. I am not one to bring that to the gym and spread it, nor did I feel like going. I went to work Thursday, stayed for 1.5 hours and left…then slept all day.

But today I felt better. Not 100%, but better. In fact…

New best! That 15 minute mile is getting closer and closer!

And Erin did a 10 minute mile.

I was so very sweaty. And sorry to the girl behind me for getting you in my selfie. (As if she will ever see this. Lol.)

Then we did Chest and triceps.

So for non-gym talk, I recently started listening to an Audiobook.

“No more Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert Glover.

The book has a deceiving title. It is not about become less of a nice person. It is about “Nice guys.” You know the type. The human doormats who never get their needs met. The ones who hide their feelings from everyone in fear of being abandoned and rejected. The boring ones who try to be perfect so everyone will love them. The ones who seek validation from others and more often than not, women.

In other words…me.

I thought I got rid of that man a long time ago, but boy was I wrong. I just evolved into hiding him better. Blech.

It is hard to explain how much this book has opened my eyes.

I highly suggest reading it, if you are a “nice guy”, or you are in a relationship with one.

You can buy it here. https://amzn.to/2HsI9hX

After my first listen, I am going to go back through my physical copy and do all the exercises.

Hopefully I can become an integrated man, as Dr. Glover puts it.

That’s all for now.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke