Day 22

Today was the start of our User Conference. I made the horrible mistake of thinking I had to be there at 6:30am when I really didn’t have to be there until around 8:00. So fuck me, right? The day went well enough, this is the one busy day throughout this whole process(minus first thing tomorrow morning, which will also be busy.) The rest of the week will be a lot of “hurry up and wait.” So I’m not exactly looking forward to it. And I can’t just zone out and listen to podcasts because I have to be ready to respond to walkie-talkie requests. Oh well, it is at least nice to get out of the office for a while and do something different.

Jensine flew in from Philly, he’s basically the only coworker I have that’s around my age. And while he’s nice enough and I know he means well, we just don’t get along super great. He can be so incredibly needy and I want to help him, because he’s nice and pleasant to talk to. But man, boundaries! And I was so fucking certain he was going to ask me a ride, I just knew it was coming. I had built up the nerve to shut him down before he even got a chance. And sure enough, he did. And then 30 minutes later he tried to guilt trip me by telling me how much he’s spending on Uber rides. Expense that shit bro, I’m not your chauffeur. I offered to take him out to dinner Wednesday night, so there’s that. But I’m not going to taxi him around everywhere.

I’m playing a game at Kyle’s. It’s called “See how long Kyle will go without washing his dirty dishes.” The sink currently has dishes from his dinner on Thursday I believe, and it’s Monday evening now. Plus others, it’s getting quite full. I know he won’t touch it tomorrow, since he has class. So I’m expecting to break the 5 day mark for a new record. When I first moved in, I was doing his dishes a fair amount, just because I would wash mine and his were right there anyways. But something made me stop, it wasn’t even really something I consciously decided, I just don’t want to do his dishes.

After work I went to PE and met Kristin, she had her final intro class and was a bit nervous to use the barbell so much and work with Nicole. She actually really surprised me, she seemed to be picking up on the barbell movements quite well. As for me, I wanted to test my deadlift max. I’ve been pulling all of the weights Kyle has here, which is about 340 lbs x3 for a half-dead. So I was curious to see what I could pull from the floor. And some how, some way, I blew my own mind and pulled 165 kilos(363 lbs.) It was a serious fight, and seemed to take forever. It took so long that people started collectively cheering me on, like 1 by 1. It was a monstrous PR, about 30 lbs. I honestly have no idea how or why. I guess it can only be a combination of running and doing half-deads here at Kyle’s. I followed up with some light push press work, my hands are still absolutely shredded so just gripping the bar was painful. Then I finished with Annie, which was at least a recent best if not an all time best at 6:17. I just felt mentally very strong this evening.

I know my oly lifting is suffering, but I’m honestly OK with that. I put way too much emphasis on that for too long and the cold hard truth is I don’t have the genetics for it. That, coupled with some substantial shoulder mobility issues, it’s just not going to be something I’m ever great at. And that’s OK. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to do it, I actually want to start getting back to doing more of it. I have just come to the conclusion that it is going to have to be more of a casual thing for me. My goal now is to get back into Crossfit and build overall endurance. I’m thinking something like weightlift a couple of times a week, maybe follow Nicole’s programming and try to keep it progressive. Then Crossfit 2-3x a week. And on top of that, continue running, bouldering and whatever other outdoor activity I want to jump into.

I have an idea for my gift for Chels, as the last of the goals I set for myself when I moved out of the house. I have been waiting to check this one off for a while, as I finished everything else a few days ago. I just need to iron out the details and work out the specifics. I’m actually looking to complete it through Reddit, but we’ll see how that pans out. This is something I’ve actually been wanting to do for almost 2 years exactly now and I was just too lazy to make it happen. So that’s exciting.

And on a related note, I have to give myself props for completing all of the goals I set for myself. No matter how simple some of them may have been. It still took some mental effort to get them all completed. And in the process I’ve actually picked up on some new habits, ones that I feel will stick with me for some time and hopefully have a positive impact on my life in general.

Chels signed up for her Level 1 today, which is a pretty big deal. It’s something she’s talked about doing pretty much for years. I’ve admittedly always had some reservations about this, mostly out of principle for the fact that Crossfit charges an exorbitant amount for something that realistically shouldn’t cost nearly that much. But her boss is fronting the money which is huge. I definitely want to encourage her on this. I know she can be a bit…demure. But it’s something she’s passionate about and maybe taking on something like this will help gain confidence.

I’m also trying to think about her less and less. But it’s hard and I still consider her my best friend and honestly, my only *true* friend. But I’m working on it. I’ve started to develop new relationships over the past couple of weeks. And returning to the gym today was great. I admittedly still have some reservations about this and when I came in I felt a tinge of anxiety. But the people there are so chill and so cool, I ended up talking to a handful of people and having a good time. But now that I’m here alone and the sun has went down, the house is quiet(Kyle goes to bed at like 8:00pm…) those thoughts are starting to creep back up on me. I am fighting the urge to text her just for the sake of texting her. Granted there are things we could talk about that aren’t about our relationship. For instance, it feels kind of weird to not tell my “fitness buddy” of the past 3-1/2 years about a *huge* PR. But I dunno, I just go through phases. I feel that texting her right now will be mostly done out of weakness, like I just need to hear from her. But that shouldn’t be the case. I absolutely don’t want to cut off communication with her; the opposite really. I want to be able to have really meaningful talks that don’t end with me sobbing in a pool of tears. I know we could have those. I’m just not quite there yet.

Tomorrow I have to get up at 5:00am again. This time I actually have to get my ass to the convention center by 6:30, which is lame. But you gotta do what you gotta do. This user conference is huge for our company and some people spend months and months planning this thing out. It’s quite the production really. But god damn, it’s super boring for me.

I want to take a minute to talk about my manager Chris. Chris is the definition of a “nice guy.” And that makes him super easy to talk to and an all around good person, but it really hurts his managerial skills in my opinion. Granted, I don’t know shit about managing, but I just know that his approach doesn’t always work well. For instance, Wendy has an obvious anger/stress issue. And this leads to her flipping out and mistreating people for no good reason. It honestly reflects poorly not only on her but on the IT group as a whole sometimes. And I like Wendy, but christ she can be too much to handle sometimes. And Chris just lets her walk all over him. Chris will never say a bad word about Wendy. And sometimes he just needs to put his foot down. And if he did, she would probably actually respect him more. Then there is the passive-aggressive way he doles out orders. Instead of actually telling you to do something, because that could be a bit difficult; he has this weird of way of telling you to do it without actually *telling* you to do it. For instance today he casually mentioned to a group of us that the general session stage will need an HDMI cable and 8-port switch. At this same time, I announced I was going upstairs to work on the ballrooms. About 30 minutes later I get a text from Chris that says, “Where did you put the HDMI cable and switch for general session?” And I’m like, what? What this was, is his convoluted way of telling me to do something. He knew when he sent that text that I hadn’t delivered those items. It was just a way of telling me to do it without actually telling me. It’s kind of annoying.

But if there’s one good thing I’ve learned from Chris, it’s the power of time management. I want to start using my personal calendar more and more to add activities and to keep myself in check a little bit. To add just a tiny bit of accountability there to motivate me to get out and do these things. I want to start dumping some things on there that make me uncomfortable. One thing I’m going to try is to go back to Planet Granite alone and ask the front desk for a belay partner. What they’ll do is announce over the intercom that someone is looking for a partner and I’ll be forced to work with someone. This is something Kyle mentioned to me and I like the idea of it. It’s almost kind of an intimate thing really, because your life is sort of in their hands and vise versa. It could be a great way to meet people.

Anyways, time for bed. I’m definitely not looking forward to up so waking up so early.


Day 21

So it finally happened, I slept past 5:30am. It only took not laying down until 3:00am to make that happen. At first when I checked the clock on my phone, I was super excited, thinking I finally got in some decent sleep. Then I did the math and realized it was barely 5 hours. It’s fine though, I have to wake up at like 5:00am or earlier tomorrow anyways to be at the convention center by 6:30.

I’m pretty sure that every morning for the past week now I’ve woke up with Chels already on my mind. I assume that I must be dreaming it, I can’t really tell as I’ve never been able to remember my dreams much(how weird are dreams.) But I always wake up with a conversation in my head and this particular conversation is always horribly sad and it’s rather annoying since it plants this negative thought into my mind before I even have a chance to resist it. I’ve been awake for over 2 hours and only now do I finally feel calm.

I went back and read some of my earlier posts after I left my house 3 weeks ago. And I think to myself, “that sounds like a person who is on the right track.” I was pointing out all of these areas of my life that I wanted to improve and just being very clear and direct on how I wanted to work on those. I feel my progress has really stalled since the “breakup” but I need to try to make an effort to get back onto that. It’s just difficult currently, if I sit with my thoughts too long I can become consumed.

I had a lengthy conversation with Dan, which was good. Even though we have some different beliefs and ways of thinking about things, I definitely value his opinion. And I know he just wants me to do what’s best for myself. We touched on issues in both of our childhoods that were similar, we both come from poor parents who basically taught us that showing emotion was a sign of weakness. To just bottle everything up and keep it inside. He blames this for the failure of his first marriage. And I can definitely see that. I know that type of behavior *seriously* hindered my relationship as well. Suppressing feelings instead of talking about them. How can you grow as a couple if you aren’t sharing those things?

So I drove into town to get groceries and do some shopping around the Hawthorne area. I was texting Chels casually and she mentioned how she’s leaving for Indiana on Wednesday and for some reason I just got a wild hair that I needed to talk to her today. I asked her to meet and she agreed. After some casual chit-chat, I asked the question that’s been on my mind all day every day for the past 6 days. Is there any possible way we can make this work? Can we just give it one more chance? I should have waited, I wasn’t ready to have this conversation.

The answer was no. And it hurt pretty bad. It was soul crushing again. Even though I pretty much already knew what the answer would be. We both ended up getting heated and while it wasn’t anything terrible, it wasn’t great either. I do regret bringing this upon the both of us at this time, but I don’t regret asking. I had to, I just should have waited a bit.

Fortunately, we both cooled down and were able to express ourselves more clearly. I could see for the first time just how serious she is about taking her own personal journey and that it means *a lot* to her and she doesn’t feel like she can give herself to anyone until she gets this out of her system. I can only respect that. I love that girl so much, I have to encourage her and hope that she finds what she’s looking for. In the meantime, we will just have to learn to be friends. It may be slightly bumpy, especially at first. But I truly believe we can make it work. Our friendship is special and I know that we have the ability to change each others live’s for the better.

Driving home after this conversation, I was somehow able to find peace. I don’t know yet if it’s just temporary or not. But as of this moment I feel content. I feel like everything will be all right. I know it sounds silly, and it was only a few hours again I was crying my eyes out and in immense pain. And that may happen again, but it’s OK. I’ll be all right.

I have to get up super early to be at the convention center by 6:30 and I’m already up too late. Time for sleep.

Day 20

I almost feel like it’s not even worth mentioning sleep at this point. I’ve just come to accept that sleep isn’t going to come easy for me here and that’s that. There are multiple factors as to why and I could probably change some of them, but it seems weird to dedicate time and money to a place I don’t even want to be at. I think I’m just so mentally over this place that I’m making it sound worse than it really is. But it’s also not great, at least not for me. When I reached into the fridge this morning, my hand got caught up in a spider web, wtf?

I found a counselor this morning through my insurance’s web portal. Although there is some confusion about whether or not she is in network with my insurance provider, I still have an appointment scheduled with her. I will just use my HSA if I have to(which I learned today has a lot more money in it than I realized.) When she called me, she asked many personal questions and it almost seemed like my openness and willingness to answer tough questions without hesitation maybe surprised her a bit but she seemed grateful for the honesty. I guess if you’re going to commit to something like that, there’s no sense in hiding anything. I’m not even nervous at all, more excited really.

I’m *extremely* sore from the workout I did yesterday, I knew that would end up being the case. I’ve been out of Crossfit for so long. It’s crazy how much effort it takes to stay in shape, just all around. I went for a quick mile run before picking up Kristin for the hike, running is getting a bit easier.

So the hike with Kristin was great. Well, it wasn’t really much of a hike it was more a drive around and talk. But we did get out and walk along the Columbia river and go check out an awesome viewpoint that overlooks the gorge. Though it was cool and rainy, it was quite relaxing. It is true, I can definitely tell that Kristin will always favor Chels in any conversation and I could definitely pick up on that. But we still had some great talk. It looks like I might be moving back in somewhere around 10/17, but I still have no idea what that means exactly. I definitely miss my house and living that close to work(and everything else) but there’s still *a lot* to iron out there.

After dropping Kristin off I met up with Marie. Which was absolutely amazing. And I had little doubt it would be anything other than that. She is such a kind and wonderful person and it breaks my fucking heart that she’s suffered in the ways that she has. I wish I could just take that pain from her. But being the wise young soul that she is, I know she’s constantly learning from all of these crazy things that happen in life. But yeah, we really hammered down onto some things and hopefully both took a lot of good from it. It was tough and I ended up breaking down pretty hard in front of a crowded coffee shop, but I’m not ashamed. I’m glad that Chels has her in her life, because I know she will always be there for her no matter what. And I’m super grateful to be her friend as well.

I swung by and grabbed some Teriyaki on the way home. This was something Marie talked about, how treating yourself to little unexpected things can help you when you’re feeling down. Sounds simple enough, but I’ve been too often choosing to distract myself instead of really being kind to myself in those moments of weakness. On top of the teriyaki, I also went and bought myself some nice clothes for really the first time in many years. I still tried to shop fairly frugally, but if I saw something nice that I wanted, I grabbed it. I have some weird hangups with money. I think growing up dirt poor with penny pinching parents instilled this notion in me. Food stamps, coupons, filling out a check and praying it doesn’t get cashed before a certain date. I mean, I think understanding money is important and it’s something I could use more knowledge in. But money is still just a “thing.” And I am learning to go with the flow better in that regard.

Jason is taking me out to eat at some super fancy place tonight, so that was actually what sparked buying some new clothes. I have my “fancy” stuff still at the house. And it’s not even fancy at all. But I’m looking forward to eating some awesome food and hopefully have good conversation. I really appreciate the effort he has been taking to reach out to me and help me through all of this.

So I just got home from my night out and it’s nearly 2:00am which is pretty unheard of for me. Especially considering I haven’t slept past 5:30am in over 2 weeks. But yeah, the night went a lot differently than I could have expected. We ended spending a good 2 hours at this fancy restaurant, drinking and eating a copious amount of expensive food. All of which Jason paid for. Then we stumbled over to a bar down the road and drank some more. Then we ended up losing my car somehow. It literally took us a half an hour to find it, which honestly was a *very* good thing because neither of us were in any shape to drive so I’m glad I had that 30 minutes to sober up. Then we made our way to a shitty, divey strip club on the east side.

It was honestly a lot of fun, and I found my conversation with Jason much more honest and easy going than any conversation I’ve had with him before. I think the possibility of us being legit good friends is real. You don’t spend nearly 5 hours laughing and drinking with someone if you aren’t having an actual good time. Most of our conversation was light-hearted, but he did ask some questions about my situation and what’s going on. Which went well, he for the most part just listened and gave bits of general counsel. His opinions were very similar to Kevin’s, hard nosed and aggressive. But that’s just not me, I have to find my own way to handle things that contains parts of me that I’ve always been but at the same time, adding a new layer of assertiveness.

It felt good to go out again, as I just really haven’t done that in a long time. But it also felt a little weird. I know that that was one of the many missing pieces from my relationship with Chels and I had some slightly negative feelings about it all. A tinge of guilt perhaps. Wondering why I didn’t do more of it with her when I knew that she was into that kind of thing. So maybe I should have been more open to things like that in the recent months, but I also have to be careful not to focus too much on the past.

The strip club was also accompanied by a weird feeling. Strip club’s have just never been my sort of thing and I view them as a huge money pit. Plus you see some of the creepest/dirtiest guys there. But it felt extra weird tonight. The girls were attractive enough, fit and good looking. But they had no motivation. If I go to a strip club I want to see girls working the pole and putting on an impressive show. Instead at this place they just shoved their pussy in your face and basically begged for a dollar. It was definitely the most “hardcore” one I’ve ever been to, as they would practically finger themselves right in front of you. But I dunno, it’s just still weird to think about other girls. I mean, yeah there are millions of good looking women in the world, but it’s just not the same. I know that feeling will pass but that’s just where I’m at right now.

So to end again on a more positive note, although it has been a tough road so far, the lessons I’m learning are tremendous. My ability to communicate my feelings has been the most obvious change. I’ve been holding very little back from anyone that really wants to talk. I may only change things up to protect Chels or simplify a situation. It’s honestly been therapeutic to just let loose like that. This a trait I want to continue on with in the future. I want people to recognize me as that person. I want people to come to me when they’re in need and I want to be able to truly help them. I know now what it’s like to reach out to people that you would fully expect to be there for you and not receive anything in return. And it’s not cool. So I want to seriously be able to provide that. And I feel pretty confident that I can.

Day 19

Day 19 has started off well for the most part. Sleep was absolutely terrible though, maybe the worst ever. I slept from 11:00pm to about 3:15am. But this allowed me plenty of time to get to the gym in the morning and do an absolutely brutal workout called “Eva.” It was very humbling but actually felt like a decent workout for me, it aligned with my skillset well(in my “wheelhouse” as Crossfit commentators love to say.) But my hands shredded badly on my 4th round forcing me to scale movements which actually slowed me down. I showed significant improvement in my butterfly pullups, despite not having really done them in months. Something kind of clicked for me while doing them and it may sound silly, but I realized that you don’t want to just mentally give up when you get slightly off balance while doing the butterfly. Just kip hard into the next one and I found that for the most part I would end up fine. It probably isn’t super pretty or super efficient, but it’s fast!

I did have a minor setback though, I went to ask our gym owner what I should do with my bloody hand pads. After a brief exchange, she simply asked me how I was doing in a somber tone. And I nearly lost it. I told her I may or may not end up cancelling my membership, which hurt to say because I love that place and I love the people. But it hit me hard and I hated breaking down in front of her or anyone. But also, emotions are real and things hurt. So I have to make sure I’m not being just outright ashamed of myself. And if I end up not going it’s to truly benefit myself mentally and not because I’m afraid.

I then went to meet Chels at the house and shower there. And it was great, as usual. And it’s such a conflict for me. Because we are legitimately great friends and get along so well. Everything feels easy when talking to her. And all of the things she was saying and talking about doing are things I’ve been thinking about as well. Actually, I noticed something odd on that same note. Almost every single thing she brought up to me was something I was experiencing or thinking about as well. From joining a ‘travel in exchange for work program’ and learning a foreign language. To the fact that we’ve both lost a bit of weight mostly due to our poor diets. All the way down to weird, hard to explain physical things. We are both having problems with a tooth in the same area. We are both having issues with our shoulder. I dunno, maybe I’m just focusing on these things in a way to justify us being together. It’s hard to say, but I can’t deny that it was weird and almost surreal. And therein lies the conflict. Everything just seems to make sense and work so well, but yet we are still apart.

Work was fine, more User Conference preparation. Monday morning will be crazy as we actually will be on site at the convention center setting everything up. My manager skipped my 1 on 1 as is fairly typical, but I still made it a point to reach out to him about advanced training and he gave me the go ahead on that. So I will be able to study for and take tech related certification tests on work time and work dollar. So that’s pretty cool.

After work I met up with Kevin at a brewery just down the road. And wow, this conversation was nothing like what I expected it to be. But I think it’s what I needed at this point in my life. I thought I knew Kevin relatively well, just his personality and roughly his beliefs but I was very wrong. He is quite hard nosed and opinionated when it comes down to it. He was calling me out on my bullshit and told me I was being a pansy. And I need to stop living my life to please other people. It was shockingly a bit harsh hearing these things come out of his mouth, but I actually really appreciated it. And while I didn’t necessarily agree with everything he said it definitely got me *really* thinking about things. We both agreed to meet up on a more regular basis after this. And I realized on the drive home that even though I didn’t always share his opinions, that it’s good to have people like that in your life. People who can give you a perspective and tell you how it is without being a total dick. Good talk, good talk for sure.

I finally got home around 8:00 and played Diablo with Ryan. Ryan is much different and I really like the guy and he’s fun to hang out with, but he’s not the most expressive or emotional person in the world. And I know he was really just reaching out to me out of kindness and maybe a little sympathy and that’s OK, I truly appreciate it. We played for a couple of hours and had a good time, maybe we’ll make more of a thing of it.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to pick Kristin up and do a quick hike in the Gorge. I’m honestly not sure how this is going to go down. I actually really like Kristin a lot and I have a huge amount of respect for her. It’s unfortunate that she’s kind of caught up in the middle of this whole ordeal. But I also know she’s Chels’ best friend and will side with her no matter what. So it will just be interesting to see what she has to say about the situation, but hopefully all is well and good.

I also have coffee with Marie midday and then billiards with Jason later in the evening. So it should be quite an eventful day. But even after all of this, after all of the stuff Kevin was trying to drill in my head. After all of the pain I’ve been experiencing. All I want to do is be with her. I’m just not ready to let it go yet.

Day 18

Another day with terrible sleep. I am starting to feel more and more the effects of the air mattress on my neck and back. I keep wanting to curl up in the fetal position for some reason, which normally I don’t really do. But it seems to be the only way I can get remotely comfortable. Now that the temperature has been dropping down to 40 degrees at night, it’s getting hard for my little space heater to keep my room warm as we have no heat in the house due to the skylight problem. So that definitely isn’t helping with the sleep situation. But at least I was up early enough to make it to the climbing gym before work.

I’ve been listening to a new podcast recently, Stuff You Should Know. It’s not quite as deep and philosophical as what I was listening to prior, but it suits me well for this point in my life. It’s a fun distraction that can also educate me a little bit. I learned about Satanism this morning, which I found surprisingly interesting and it honestly doesn’t sound like a horrible thing to follow. The idea is basically to look out for yourself while still respecting others who respect you. If someone doesn’t respect you, then you shun them or whatever. It’s not a terrible philosophy.

I tried cycling a barbell today for the first time in a long time. 115 lbs and it felt shockingly heavy. Granted it was with steel plates, on a concrete patio and with a barbell that barely spins. But still, this should be baby weight for me. But sets of 10 felt like near max effort. I need to make sure I’m not losing other aspects of my fitness while I hopefully gain new ones. I’m going to try to make it to PE in the morning and hopefully making that a more regular thing.

I’m very disappointed with the support that I’ve been receiving throughout this process. I’ve let multiple people know what’s going on and that I’m hurting but basically no one has reciprocated much of anything, including my own mother. My uncle Mike and my manager are the only 2 people to really offer their condolences and listen to me. Granted Jason agreed to meet up with me this Saturday, I guess I shouldn’t belittle his help throughout all of this as he’s actually probably been the most supportive. But other people in my life, silence. I have tried reaching out to friends back home, without just coming out and saying “Hey, I’m an emotional wreck right now, wanna talk?” so they remain as silent as usual. I let my former best friend Dan know what was going on and just got the same old “Sorry to hear man, I’m here for you.” But you just get sick of hearing that, I want someone to call me up and let me know that they care and that things will be OK. Maybe that’s selfish, but it’s true. In the future, I want to be that person. When someone is hurting I want to make sure that I’m there for them.

I texted a huge paragraph to my mom, describing my feelings and she literally said nothing back. I had to text her again and then she just ignored what I previously said and casually responded to my latter inquiry. Then when I pressed even farther, she told me she can’t text while at work. And now it’s almost 5:00pm(so 8:00 her time) and nothing. It’s super disheartening when your own mother is dismissive of your feelings. My Uncle Mike went through the same thing with his mom(who is my mom’s mother.) Insensitivity runs in the family I suppose. Expressing emotions in the household I grew up in wasn’t really a thing people did.

My uncle Mike was supposed to call me tonight at 6:00 but didn’t. This is after he didn’t yesterday either when he said he would. Granted I did miss his first call on Tuesday. But still, all of these little blows, however minor they may seem start to add up. I feel so alone out here. I can’t seem to occupy myself tonight, not even video games are working. I just keep pacing and thinking.

Today has just not been a good day. Not at all. I can’t get out of my own head. All I can think about is her and all I want to do is run to her begging and pleading. I have to snap out of it. I still want to try, I HAVE to try. But this is not the way. It needs to come from a place of honesty and respect. It needs to be altruistic and something that will benefit us both and not just something that *I* want.

I have also started to think about the other ramifications of this breakup(I think that’s the first time I’ve ever referred to it as a breakup.) I think about her family and how awesome they have been to me. My family isn’t exactly the greatest. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but they don’t really make any extra effort(no wonder where I get this from) and I’m starting to realize this. But hers is unique and wonderful. Her mom has been more supportive and motherly to me at times than my own mom has. Her sisters are fucking awesome. Lacey with her super sharp wit just flat-out cracks me up. And Abigail…Oh man, I picture running around flying a kite with her. Jumping into the frigid cold Pacific ocean. Getting my ass kicked at Speed. Her dad is one of the most free spirited individuals I’ve ever encountered and always down for a serious talk. Even her sweet fucking grandma. Who welcomed me with the most open arms.

Anyways, I decorated my desk at work with Halloween decorations, so that was fun. Work itself was really perfectly fine, I just didn’t want to be there. I went for a run at lunch, just about a mile or so. We are gearing up for the User Conference so I spent a lot of my time moving around packages and loading stuff up. Sometimes I miss manual labor, and I’m not talking menial/mindless crap. But just being outside and working with your hands.

I do want to try to start ending these on a more positive note. For starters, I haven’t lowered my desk at work in over 3 weeks now. I mean literally, it has not been lowered at all. I stand all day every day. At this point I intend to stand indefinitely. I have my chair set to the right height that if standing does start to bother me, I can just kneel on the chair and keep the desk raised. But by this point, standing is fine. And it should be right? Humans should be able to stand/walk/run for long distances, but a lot of us have kind of lost that.

I also have had better self control than I would have expected over the past few days. Granted my eating and sleeping hasn’t been great. Well, my eating hasn’t been terrible I’m just basically eating the same thing every day. But other than that I’ve been pretty adamant about working out, that’s for sure. Playing my guitar and writing in this capacity. I’ve been listening to nothing but philosophical and educational podcasts as well. So I’m trying to stay strong in the areas where I can.

Anyways time to attempt another night at sleep.

Day 17

So I’ve had a couple of days now to process the breakup. It has been extremely rough. The pain comes in waves, but when it comes, it comes hard. Actual physical pain. In my throat, chest and stomach. I did come in to to work today, but I’ve spent about half the day wondering if that was really a good idea. I really slipped up badly when I tried to do my daily meditation. My normal routine is to go into the “wellness room” and shut out the lights and play ambient music. But I quickly got into my own head and meditation turned into lying on the floor sobbing. I almost feel like subconsciously I knew that would happen and I just wanted to cry.

I went to group therapy last night. It was quite an experience. I told myself if I went that I wasn’t going to just sit in the back and hide. So when the leader called on me and asked if I wanted to share my story, I did. In front of 8 complete strangers. It was difficult and I had a lot of negative feelings about it that I’m not proud of. But what I am proud of is that I did it. Though I am debating with myself whether or not to go back. Although the group was welcoming and encouraged me to speak my mind and gave good advice, etc. It’s really a group for people with long-term mental illness, I was probably the only person in there without a diagnosed mental illness. Most of them were on medication and at least one of them had been committed to a mental institution after a severe nervous breakdown. So I do feel a little guilty whining about my problem that is a drop in the bucket compared to what they had been through. The next youngest person in the group was probably in her mid 50’s, with one of the members being 70+ and there was mention of a guy in his 90’s involved. And I wasn’t a fan of the religious undertones, granted the group is based out of a church, they claimed at the beginning that there wasn’t religious talk involved. But the group leader sounded like he may also be a pastor or taken bible studies because he was referencing obscure quotes from the bible.

But I also need to make sure I’m not sabotaging myself either. Whether I do or don’t go back, I need it to be on the right terms. And not just give up something because it isn’t exactly 100% what I’m looking for. They still had good methods and I’ve actually been trying to use them today even. One practice is known as “spotting” and it involves recognizing a negative thought that pops up in your head and then focusing on that thought. Then you question why you are having that thought and how it makes you feel. The idea is that you keep doing this and eventually that thought will start to seem….Silly? It definitely sounds like good advice and has had mixed results for me today, but I’ll stick with it. Another good takeaway is encouragement. Whether internal or external, encouragement can literally change the nerves and muscles in your brain. Enough encouragement directed at a general belief and you can start to make real, physical changes.

One thing that I have found surprising throughout this whole ordeal is how incredibly hard it has been not to beg Chels. To grovel and plead. It’s downright scary how badly I want to do that. I feel like 1/3 of my thoughts today have involved that to some degree. It’s a very weak feeling and definitely comes from a place of fear. Here’s the thing, I do want to make an honest attempt to work things out with her, but I need to make sure it’s coming from the right place.

I spent all of yesterday afternoon and evening working on a letter to her. I mean I must have put 4 hours into this thing, I read over it countless time and made so many changes. I had planned to send it in the morning and I thought this letter was going to change everything, like magic. But after returning home from the support group, I read it again and realized this was written by someone so afraid. Someone willing to do anything to get back what they had lost. This letter wasn’t true or honest. I mean, I guess a part of it *was* but even the parts that were truly honest were also desperate. I know that I have to try, I just have to. That’s the kind of person I am and to not try would be straight cowardly. I care too damn much to just hang my head and accept defeat. I just have to do it the right way and I’m not sure at this juncture what is right or wrong. I need a few days to process everything.

I’m trying not to think about the future too much. This is something else we went over in therapy last night. I’m just focusing on one day at a time currently. But eventually, and I guess this just depends on what really ends up happening, I will have to start thinking about it. It’s just too heartbreaking and confusing to worry about right now, so I’m saving that for later as well.

I brought my gear to go rock climbing today but I’m just not feeling up to it I just have to make sure not to neglect fitness too much. It’s been such a big part of my life for the past 5 years or so, I don’t feel like there will ever be a time that I’m not working out in some shape or form. I had gotten to the point where I wanted to start taking it more seriously but I feel that has taken a hit as well. Maybe working out reminds of of Chels? I dunno, I was actually able to do a pretty respectable workout yesterday and I felt fine during it. Maybe if I focus right, I can put enough energy into working out for it to become a coping mechanism.

Let’s talk about an unhealthy habit I’m starting to develop again. Video games. I don’t think there’s really anything inherently wrong with video games, they can be a fun way to pass some time. But I have a history of addiction. And it has just been easy for me to sit in front of my computer and get lost in a video game. I can ignore my problems. But this is obviously not healthy. I keep telling myself that it’s only a temporary phase and that once I feel better I’ll snap out of it. I just can’t slip into them too much.

And another addiction is rearing its ugly head again as well. One that I’m only recently realizing was a problem. And that’s porn and masturbation. The whole breakup thing has kind of put a damper on that, which is a small blessing in disguise. But I’m actually starting to cope with the effects of that and what that might have done to my thoughts on sexuality. I would watch porn daily when I was younger, I’m talking every single day. Sometimes multiple times a day even. And it was easy for me to think this is not a big deal and everybody does it. But this went on for years as I just lie dormant in my bedroom, in front of my computer. Couple this with sexual molestation at a young age and it just doesn’t seem like a good combination. I’m realizing now that I have some issues with sex, so I’m also trying to work that out in my head.

But I also realize that I am a male, still relatively young, and I have a sex drive. I have testosterone and I have needs. There is a natural desire to express and release those desires. And that should be fulfilled. I want to have a more healthy sexual outlook. I shouldn’t feel ashamed after I masturbate, but on the flip side, I shouldn’t start jerking off every day just to make myself feel a little better.

I’m looking into counseling tonight, sent a few emails and hope to hear back from some. I’ve found that you can find sessions for $75 bucks or less if you really look around. So we’ll see how that goes, but I think it would do me well. And at least give me the opportunity to express myself and talk about these feelings that have been lying dormant inside of me.

Separation – Day 16 – The End

I don’t really want to write yet. It’s honestly painful to do so. But a part of me still wants to. This will be a terribly sad entry and one I may never read again, but for whatever reason I want to do it anyways. So here goes.

I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself. I haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday and have no desire to fix anything at all. I stayed up until 3:00am playing video games so that as soon as I hit the bed I would crash out. I woke up after a whopping 4 hours of sleep to a freezing cold, quiet and lonely home. I called in sick to work because I’m in no shape to be around people, not in a professional setting. Now I’m just lying here wondering how I’m going to get myself out of this hole and what my future looks like now.

Chels ended our romantic relationship indefinitely last night. Even though I know that I saw it coming, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. It was an absolute soul crushing experience and even as I’m typing this I feel the knots in my stomach tightening. I have had moments were I honesty felt I could vomit. I know with certainty that these feelings will eventually pass, as all things do in time. But all I can think about now is her. All I can envision are the amazing and wonderful things we have done together. And nothing can take those away, but right now they just end up bringing pain. And I just keep thinking about all of the amazing things could have been. Those dreams and fantasies that will never happen, not together anyways. Our dream of touring Southeast Asia. Roadtripping the other parts of the country. I can only imagine how amazing those experiences would have been. And to think that they will never happen is almost too much to bear.

I just wish things could have gone differently. I wish I had more of a chance to make it work. I feel like it all ended so abruptly. Not enough effort was given to save something that I know could be so beautiful and wonderful. And that hurts. I would do anything for that chance. But I could tell from the tone of her voice that her mind was made up. I almost feel like she has used the past couple of weeks to wean herself from me, which was smart on her part but shitty for me. I gave up so much and worked so hard to do what was right. But by the time I was ready to show those things and put them to use, it was already over.

I want to make sure that I don’t vilify her. I know she means well and I know it broke her heart too. But I just can’t believe that what we had together wasn’t worth a second chance. I know that she is trying to focus on herself, but you should at least try to make it work first before deciding that it can’t. Of course, this is just my perspective, I’m sure her story would sound much different. It just breaks my heart that she wasn’t willing to try any harder than she was.

She was the light of my life, she was everything to me. And I understand now that that’s a problem. You can’t put all of your faith in one person, you just can’t. The only person in the world that you an truly depend on is yourself. This is a cold, harsh reality that I’m learning the hard way. And I’m definitely not ready to face this yet and it may be a while before I am.

I have no idea what is going to happen with me now. I will just take it one day at a time and hope that each day is a little better than the last. It just sucks because it’s going to be hard to focus on improving myself and building friendships when I can barely get myself out of bed. I don’t know yet where I will end up living. Chels offered me the house along with Kristin, but thinking about that makes my stomach knot up. That was *our* home and Kristin is her friend. I do love the place and the location but so does Chels. I am willing to give it up for her but honestly I don’t think the two of them can afford it, in fact I’m quite sure they can’t. So what is the right thing for me to do there? Suck it up and sleep in the bed that we used to cuddle up together in every morning? Or just leave it as her problem? I don’t know, I’m not in the right state of mind to think about it properly at the moment. I’ll give myself some time to process and see.

Then there’s all of our other stuff as well. The car. The credit card(with $1400 in shared debt that neither of us can afford.) The joint bank account and insurance. All of the belongings in our home. I hate to sound like a dick, but as the primary breadwinner since our move to Portland, the majority of that stuff is mine. But honestly, I don’t even care, she can have it all.

Hell, I’ll even miss Riggs. His incessant meowing, waking me up at 6:00am. I will honestly miss that little furry guy. I grew quite found of him and found myself looking for him around the house here at Kyle’s.

This whole situation is just so tough. I am basically like a zombie at the moment. And what sucks it that time is crawling so slowly. It was last night as well, as I just begged for sleep to take me. Maybe getting some Nyquil and knocking myself out isn’t a terrible idea.

I had planned to go to group therapy tonight, just as a challenge to myself and a way to experience something new. I’m honestly not sure if I’ll end up going or not. Granted, I could use some therapy now more than ever, but it just depends on what kind of state I’ll be in.

I’m going to try to eat something now, despite having no appetite. My throat is dry and my stomach aching, I know that I need food and water.

Separation – Day 15 – Part 1

I went to bed earlier last night than I probably have in a very long time. Melatonin seemed to work, or maybe just a lack of sleep in general caught up to me and knocked me out. I was out before 9:00. But, of course the elusive “8 hours” still denies me, because I was wide awake by 4:30. I did the Wim Hoff method right after waking up and went right into a bodyweight workout, this felt pretty good. Also I’m probably going to do 2 entries today as I will most likely have a lot to discuss.

On the way to work I listened to a podcast about distractions in the modern world and how being “bored” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Studies are showing that when you take people away from all of their devices, their creativity level increases noticeably. I honestly hate the fact that I have such a huge reliance on technology. I have to check my phone every 15 minutes(and that’s probably sparse compared to some people.) It’s basically an addiction at this point. I pondered doing a technology free weekend this weekend, but man as much as I hate to admit it, that sounds scary. I’m definitely considering it though. Another thing that frustrates me about this addiction is that I’m old enough to remember a time before smartphones. I was probably around 25 before I got my first one. I have at least been doing well enough, my phone usage and computer usage is definitely way down.

So I’ve started masturbating again. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I would be curious to read some studies on any sort of health or mental deviation caused by regular auto-eroticism. I’ve had my issues in the past with pornography and masturbation and I can’t let myself fall back into that. I also hate the fact that each time I masturbate now, I have immediate feelings of guilt. I read a little about this and that it’s a common thing but not a good one. So for my own sake, regardless of any proven detrimental effects of it, I’m going to refrain from it as much as I can and do it only in moderation. I almost feel like the only reason to do it is to make myself feel better while in a shitty situation(I’m getting deja vu while typing this?) I’m also pondering some events that happened in my past that might explain some of this. I also wonder if masturbation was stunting my sex drive throughout my early-late 20’s. Now that I’ve been without sex for what must be a month now, it’s starting to have more of an effect on me than I would have imagined. I’ve never considered myself an overly sexual person, but this is something all “nice guys” tell themselves and others. The fact is men crave sex and that’s totally normal. It’s human nature, why fight it? I don’t know, I’m realizing that my views on sex have been weird and I’m just now starting to face that.

I have a group therapy session tomorrow. I have absolutely no idea how it will go or what to expect at all. I really don’t even know any details at all about this particular session. I contacted about a dozen people and this was the only person/group to get back to me. I’m honestly not afraid at all, which is kind of crazy to think about as it seems like a scary situation for me to be in. I also reached out to a fellow “redditor” in Portland who recently moved here and is having a really rough time. I offered to buy him food/drinks and chat about his issues(and mine as well.) He agreed to meet so I’m just waiting to hear where and when.

I’m meeting with Chels tonight and I feel like this could be “the meeting,” the one that could change my life forever. I have been doing my best not to dwell on this too much, as I have no idea what’s going to happen. I do admittedly feel a little powerless as she still holds my heart in her hands. Obviously I have been doing a lot recently in an attempt to strengthen my resolve and get some of that back. But the cold hard truth is I could end up seriously hurt from all of this. I just care way too goddamned much to be able to fix that in 3 weeks. This is someone who means the world to me and I feel like we aren’t finished yet, it just doesn’t feel like it can be over. Like there was no real attempt made to save it. I almost said “salvage it” there, but that would imply that things were already terribly bad before our separation, and they really weren’t. Things could have been better, true. But really, the only thing wrong was 2 people that were too nice(or cowardly?) to talk about the difficult things and face them head on. There were some passive aggressive attempts, sure. But the communication was obviously lacking on both sides.

Also after re-reading that paragraph, I’m realizing that I say phrases like “I feel like…” and simply the word “like” too much. I know it may sound silly and like it doesn’t matter, but it does. There’s a difference between “Hey, I don’t like what you’re doing and you need to stop” and “I feel like maybe you’re not being super nice to me right now.” The latter is literally a response I would use. It’s almost passive aggressive in its own way. Like you’re trying to sugar coat it so much that it doesn’t sound like a bad thing anymore.

On a similar note, I also am starting to realize that throughout my adult life I have been doing something known in the psychological world as “creating covert contracts.” And what this means is basically I perform a nice action for someone and out of that nice action, I expect something in return. And the person who I’ve done the nice thing for will have no idea this is going on. And honestly, I didn’t know it was going on either. But it was happening subconsciously and reflecting back it’s hard to deny that. Moving forward I intend to try to be more honest with those I care about and

But, on a brighter note. I also want to take a second and congratulate myself. Throughout the past couple of weeks I’ve done a lot of things that I don’t think I would have or could have done before. I’ve made myself vulnerable to people, I’ve put myself in uncomfortable situations, etc. And I didn’t die. Go figure, right? Anyways, I’m honestly proud of myself for the work that I’ve been putting in. I have a long ways to go, ever-changing in fact – evolving – But I feel like I’m on the right path.

Separation – Day 14

It’s hard to believe it has only been 2 weeks. It feels like an eternity. I feel like so much has forever changed. And I hate to keep starting these entries this way, but my sleep last night may have been the worst ever. A combination of a shitty bed and my own thoughts running wild in my head. I must have barely slept over 4 hours. At least I didn’t wake up aching like I did yesterday morning. I will try to ensure that tonight goes better.

I went climbing with Kyle and learned how to belay. It was a very new experience for me, even though I have bouldered before and I have done actual climbing and repelling as well. Belaying is very different, and a 75′ “top-rope climb” has to be treated much differently than a 15′ bouldering climb. Fatigue is for real and it will hit you hard. It’s actually a great thing though because it trains you to use less of brute force and more technique, and as Kyle kept repeating to me over and over again, “less arms and more legs.” It also seems a great way to meet people. I’ll looking into their hours and pricing and see what I want to do.

My mind was surprisingly clear when I woke up this morning and the regret that I was expecting after last nights encounter with Chels wasn’t there. It doesn’t mean I don’t still love her, because I do, greatly. But I just know that I have to be firm with something this serious and stand my ground. The “old Brian” would eventually cave in and say that it’s ok and I’m sorry for getting angry, etc. But I can’t allow myself to slip into that. I got angry, I had a right to. Humans have been getting angry for tens of thousands of years, so I’m not ashamed of it.

I had a pretty good conversation with Kyle about everything. It was the most I had told him about our situation despite having lived with him for the past 2 weeks. He’s not exactly the most talkative or receptive communicator but it actually went quite well. He took my side of the argument with a little too much bias, meaning I wish he would give more credit to her, but it was good. I’m still omitting details when I talk to people about this, part of it is because the details simply shouldn’t be their concern. But another part of me realizes that I’m doing it to protect Chels. And I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that, but will most likely continue to do so because it feels like the right and respectful thing to do.

I went for another run around the golf course today. I timed it this time, it is just a little under 2 miles. Which isn’t much, but it still means I’ve ran almost 7 miles in just a few days time, which is pretty crazy for me. I used the “Wim Hof Method” before taking off. I don’t know if I noticed any real difference, but the run felt solid. I plan to start using that method in the morning and evening before bed. After I got back in, I jumped right into a cold shower. Well, a cool one at least. I’m not quite ready for legit cold yet, but I’m building up a tolerance. I honestly intend to take cool showers indefinitely, except for those times when I just feel like a warm bath/shower.

I plan to up my meditation time at work to a full 30 minutes. This is the allotted time I’m granted as an hourly employee for breaks throughout the day(2 15 minute breaks.) I may incorporate the Wim Hof Method here as well.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my living situation and how it is so hard for me to get settled here. I guess it’s primarily because I don’t know what is happening with my life. But I know that this place doesn’t feel like home. But what is home? Home for me is Chelsea. As sad as that is to admit. Her and I could live in a shack in the middle of nowhere and be OK. Without her I’m not sure that I really have a home anymore. Do I go back to Indiana and try to get a job working with Dan and Sam again? I kind of hate that idea, but I’m not sure I can afford what I want here in Portland and would probably have to room with someone. Not to mention, Portland is Chelsea to me as well. Again, that sucks and I hate that I feel that way, but it is what it is I suppose. I drove around for a bit last night after I left our house and saw constant reminders of her. Trinket, Harlow, our old apartment, etc.

I don’t know, I’m letting myself slip away too much. Time to end it here. Going to lay down super early tonight, maybe finish my book and check another goal off of my list(only a few left to go.)