In keeping with my pursuit of deeper conversations and connections with friends (and future friends), here is an update on my week, the intimate and mundane. If you’d like to start a conversation with me using this post as a prompt, or really using anything you want as a prompt, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or, if you’d like to send me an anonymous message or question to respond to you can message me at pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH. I won’t really be checking Facebook or other social media networks consistently.
It has been kind of a week of highs and lows. I decided to take the advice from “Deep Work” and I have essentially cut out all social networking. I deleted Instagram off my computer and changed the password on Facebook. I will now only be logging onto Facebook once a week on Friday’s to post my weekly update and check any messages I have, and I’ll be responding to most messages with a “Hey, let’s take this over to email” type message.
So far, the social media blackout has been working REALLY well. I’m in a much better headspace daily and I am getting a ton more done. The quality and quantity of my work have been pretty strong this week. With this free mental energy and time I’ve:
- finished reading two books
- wrote a handful of blog posts
- caught up completely on my work
- exercised five days
- caught up on my volunteer work (I’m on the board of directors for a local non-profit)
- got two fillings (only two more dental appointments this year!)
- went to physical therapy
- got 8 hours of sleep per night
- started watching a new show on Netflix (“Love”)
- Played D&D, we traded two dogs for a big bag of weed and then my character passed out from the weed. I woke up basically enslaved and ended up mostly killing a guy with my bare hands and acid breath. It was actually a strat lightning bolt that finished him off but I put in a lot of work.
- Had an hour-long virtual meeting with two of my best friends to discuss our life goals, struggles, and tactics for overcoming them. We are doing this twice a month because we all have entrepreneurial and creative ideas but hit mental roadblocks. Bouncing ideas off each other and holding each other accountable is helping a lot.
- I made phone calls… this may seem minor but I am usually super anxious about using the phone and I was able to do things like schedule a meeting at the College of Wilmington, talk to my real estate agent on the phone, etc.
- I’m currently reading “The Feeling Good Handbook”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals”, and “The 12-Week Year”
- Buproprion Update: I’m not sure if these changes are directly or indirectly due to the drug, placebo effect, or completely unrelated (correlation doesn’t mean causation, obvi), but here is what I’ve noticed:
- Day 1-2: Moderate stomach issues, diarrhea
- Day 3+: Increased sex drive
- Day 4+: Anxiety seems to be more controlled, able to stop spiraling more easily when I feel overwhelmed and anxious, reduced guilt when I’m watching a movie or something
- Day 8-9: Dose doubled per doctor’s instructions, difficulty falling asleep
- Day 10: Unexpected weakness, fatigue, and feeling lightheaded during workout, reduced feelings of obligation towards non-human tasks like finishing a podcast or book that I’ve lost interest in, reduced anxiety with the phone, able to knock out little things on my to-do list that I’d been ignoring (and feeling guilty about)
- Day 11 – Clipped my nails for the first time in a long time, I usually chew them. My trichotillomania also seems to have been reduced.
Of course, there were struggles this week. I made a mistake on Saturday and decided to take a little MDMA to see how it would interact with my Bupropion. The good news is that it didn’t seem to diminish the effect at all for me. The bad news is that I lost a lot of productivity on Saturday and Sunday. My productivity recovery was pretty good though, I didn’t feel completely unmotivated for 2-3 days like I normally do and I resisted the urge to completely binge on food and drink.
There are two areas of significant improvement for me. The first is, as always, my writing. I set aside a couple of hours this week for deep work writing that was minimally successful, but that is an improvement over zero success from previous weeks. I have a significant amount of the fantasy world that I want to write about flushed out, including how magic works, its history, evolution, etc, but I’m having trouble figuring out what story I want to tell within that world. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to write a novel but I think I’m going to take a page out of Ursula Le Guin’s book and write some short stories first.
The second area for improvement is that I need to refocus on my exercise. I didn’t lose any ground this week, but I also didn’t get any closer to my body fat % and weight goals. I kind of coasted this week. There are a variety of reasons (excuses). The weather was particularly cold this week which makes it difficult to motivate myself to bike 40 minutes each way to the gym or even go for a run or walk. I also had late morning appointments three days this week during the hours when I normally try and work out. And, lastly, the molly just killed my desire to be active. I did manage to have a couple of good fasts this week though.
Oh, another area of my life that is going well is my mental health beyond just the medication. I’ve been reading through an assignment from my therapist (“The Feeling Good Handbook”) that has CBT exercises in it. I’ve already noticed an improvement in my anxiety and preventing “the spiral” (as I like to call it) where a disruption spins me out of control into an anxious mess.
Alright, so next week I have the following things coming up:
- Meeting with a representative from the College of Wilmington today about enrolling in their Massage Therapy program
- Going down to Myrtle Beach to see some friends and the Avett Brothers tomorrow
- Personal trainer session on Monday
- Massage scheduled on Wednesday
So, here is my fitness progress.
My partner mentioned that she has noticed greater muscle mass and definition on my back. I hadn’t noticed that much but in this flexed photo I actually noticed a fair amount of shoulder and back definition.
And now the comparison pics
Wanna stay in touch? Got a question for me? Want to tell me why I’m wrong and are curious how I got everything so backward? Have an idea for a blog post? Drunk and wanna send me a snapchat? Wanna become penpals and send each other letters in the mail about life in general?
Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!
Email address: email@example.com
Questions: pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”