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Optimistic for an Even-Keeled Future after an Up and Down Past Optimistic for an Even-Keeled Future after an Up and Down Past

05-16-2014 , 10:49 AM
My Top Ten TV Shows

10) 24
9) The Office
8) Friday Night Lights
7) Game of Thrones
6) Battlestar Galactica
5) Mad Men
4) Seinfeld
3) The Sopranos
2) Breaking Bad
1) The Wire

Honorable Mentions - The Shield (just started season 7), Macgyver, Quantum Leap

Greats starts but too early – True Detective, Fargo

Shows I haven’t seen that people seem to love – Curb Your Enthusiasm, Twin Peaks, Mash, Deadwood, Homeland, Sherlock, House of Cards, The Twilight Zone, Six Feet Under, Oz

On my list to start – Sherlock, The Returned, House of Cards

Last edited by scottp4braves; 05-16-2014 at 11:06 AM.
05-17-2014 , 05:39 PM
Hearing way too many good things about Godzilla to wait til Netflix, too busy this weekend, but gonna have to find a time to fit it in this month
05-19-2014 , 02:22 PM
May 9, 2013
I glance through the glass and thankfully see an empty waiting room before entering and taking a seat on one of the large, old fashioned chairs. I read through the discussion points listed in my notebook while I anxiously wait for my name to be called. I can’t help but check the door every 10 seconds, sure an acquaintance, friend, or coworker will enter and blow my cover, blind to the miniscule odds of such an occurrence.

I picked this therapist based on three simple criteria: she was in my insurance network, addictions were listed as one of her specialties, and she was female.

A portly woman offers me a warm smile as she confirms me name and escorts me back. Entering her office I’m surprised by the relatively close quarters and two chairs where I had imagined a couch. “Another movie misnomer,” I say to myself.

After introductions and a procedure/policy review she asks me to explain why I’m there. I provide a chronological, detailed report, focusing primarily on my alcoholism, but also touching on my general addictive tendencies, money problems, and penchant for dishonesty.

She asks about my upbringing and relationship with my family, and by the time I’m finished an hour has passed. I’m taken aback by how quickly the session went and how easy it was for me to openly discuss everything I had painstakingly hidden for so many years.

She tells me we’ll finish going over my background during our next session and then discuss a plan of action.

Driving home blaring Macklemore I’m borderline giddy. Telling my wife everything had afforded me some relief, but that was quickly replaced by guilt, embarrassment, and internal anger. Speaking with the therapist was a whole different ballgame. Purging all the horrible things I’d done without any fear of retribution was the most cathartic experience of my life. I felt completely unrestrained, and for the first time in quite a while I was legitimately optimistic about the future.
05-20-2014 , 02:43 PM
May 17, 2013
As I click the submit button I notice an absence of nerves. My head hangs, resigned to my fate as another addition to the massive population of Americans with dreadful credit. When 685 appears on the screen I blink several times to make sure my eyes aren’t playing games. It remains unchanged and I delightfully give my wife a high-five. It’s by no means a perfect score, but I was expecting something in the 500’s. My wife registers a 695 and I allow myself a sigh of relief before we move forward with the next step of our financial resurrection plan.

We had qualified for a mortgage modification so we make some calls and start the paperwork. We’re quite delighted to discover our monthly payment will decrease by $250.

Immaculate driving records allow us a painless negotiation with our car insurance provider resulting in a substantially reduced premium. (I certainly realize my good fortune having never received a DUI, or even worse hurt someone, during my drinking days.)

We call every company that sends us a monthly bill and find moderate success in our attempt to reduce as many rates as possible. We also consolidate our remaining credit cards (one of the few positive things I had done was starting this process a few years back), and we’re thrilled with the revelation that we will be completely credit card debt free in 6 months.

We set my wife up with her own log-in to our bank account, complete with several email alerts, and she reiterates her declaration to never be taken by surprise again. We review our spending, determine the areas that need improvement, prepare a budget, make a commitment to stick to it, and create a spreadsheet that we will update and follow to ensure we’re staying on target.

By the end of the afternoon we’re both mentally drained, but despite working harder than I often do at the office, I welcome the fatigue from the “working vacation” as we plop on the couch and prop our feet up. Our dogs gleefully hop on our laps and a smile spreads across my face as I picture a tiny glimmer of sunshine beginning to rise over our future.
05-21-2014 , 03:33 PM
AA: May 10, 2013 – Today
I attended a different AA meeting every week until I had tried all the local options that fit my schedule. The faces and places changed but the message was always similar. I found one meeting that began with the Responsibility Statement instead of the Lord’s Prayer, and although that was really the only way it stood out from the rest, it fit well with my work and exercise schedule so I made it my unofficial weekly meeting.

The 1st time I visited this meeting I introduced myself with the typical “My name is Scott and I’m an alcoholic,” but I scurried out seconds after the meeting closed to avoid any friendly faces that might want to chat with a newbie. Since then I always arrive right at the start or even a few minutes late and I’m usually the first one out the door at the conclusion. To this day I haven’t spoken another word aloud in the meeting and although I often think about it, I’m unlikely to do so in the near future.

I often discussed my issues regarding the “God is everything,” aspect of AA with my therapist and she recommended looking into online meetings as there’s likely to be one for atheists. I was slightly ashamed that thought had never crossed my mind, but I took her advice and joined an AA for Atheists forum. We don’t have “meetings” but there are plenty of threads discussing a variety of topics and the community is fairly active. I’ve participated in a couple threads, read all of them, and did start one of my own discussing “cross-addictions,” and was happy with the feedback I received from multiple members. I also learned something that I’ve happily taken with me to my regular meeting – “Take what you like and leave the rest behind.” A simple concept, but it works, and helps me remember that despite all the God mumbo jumbo almost every meeting provides some positive takeaways.

I should clarify that I don’t have a problem with alcoholics that have achieved sobriety through their belief in God, my problem is that most everyone in the meetings I’ve attended seems to be adamant that the only way to maintain sobriety is through giving yourself over to God. This may be the reality for them, but there are countless others that have achieved and maintained sobriety without God.

So why do I continue to attend AA meetings?

- As I mentioned above there are usually a few helpful ideas/concepts presented/discussed.
- I believe one of the essentials to managing an addiction is continued acknowledgement that it exists, going to meetings reminds me that I am and always will be an alcoholic.
- Despite differing views regarding religion, it’s somewhat comforting to spend time with individuals that share in a similar addictive mindset.
- The hope that someday I’ll be confident enough to openly discuss my continued sobriety without a higher power (and I’m pretty sure I would quickly discover others with similar feelings).
- I made a promise to my wife.
05-21-2014 , 05:46 PM
Considering the subject matter of your blog, please excuse my silly username.

But I just want to commend you and wish you well. Very hard hitting blog. Thanks for sharing!
05-22-2014 , 10:40 AM
Originally Posted by idlikeadrinkplease Optimistic for an Even-Keeled Future after an Up and Down Past
Considering the subject matter of your blog, please excuse my silly username.

But I just want to commend you and wish you well. Very hard hitting blog. Thanks for sharing!
Lol, nothing wrong with you username. Thanks, how're things going with you BTW? Noticed you haven't updated your blog in awhile, has your ennui faded at all?
05-22-2014 , 11:15 AM
Therapy: May 23, 2013 - Today
I continued seeing my therapist every other week through the end of 2013. The earlier sessions were very helpful, as other than my wife, she was the only person I had opened all the way up to. She introduced me to online AA, provided some financial recommendations, and was a great outlet for me to purge all my thoughts and feelings. However, after my initial visits, all I really did was talk about what had happened since the last session, how I felt, what’s next, and what my concerns were. I enjoyed getting everything off my chest, but I didn’t feel like our sessions were really going anywhere. I was pretty sure I could replace her side of each conversation with my wife, or even a good friend, and achieve similar results.

I had met my insurance deductible in the 4th quarter of 2013 so all of my sessions were free for the rest of that year, but at the start of 2014 I would be going back to full price. $75 per session, combined with my lack of feeling like she was providing anything more than a sounding board, led me to a conversation with my wife about quitting. She agreed I would be fine to discontinue it for the time being, as long as I was willing to go back if I felt the need.

That was five months ago and while I still have a ton of self-improvement ahead, I believe I’m doing fine without therapy. I’m open to the possibility of it in the future, but I don’t have plans to go back anytime soon. I do wonder what my experience would’ve been with a different (maybe better?) therapist, but for now I’m content without one in my life.

I’m working on a post discussing my views on addiction, hoping to get it posted today, but I might not finish until next week. After that I’m planning to do a series of “A day in the life of an addict” posts, just to show how irregular/crazy my mind works related to whatever I’m addicted to at the time.
05-22-2014 , 04:24 PM
My belief regarding addiction, which comes from my own experience, some half-axxed research, and discussions with my therapist (and I fully admit to having a very limited scientific understanding), is that addicts have reduced or desensitized dopamine receptors.

Dopamine - from the all-knowing Wikipedia:
In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity.

My hypothesis on Addicts: Many activities and substances result in a dopamine release, however, with our desensitized dopamine receptors we don’t derive the same “pleasure” from normal activities like “regular” people do, so when we discover something that floods our brains with dopamine (ex. – alcohol, drugs, gambling, and to a slightly lesser extent food, exercise, and anything else that provides a “rush”), we quickly develop a seemingly never-ending yearning for that substance or activity.

My hypothesis on Recovering Alcoholics: Alcoholics are addicts, and “addicts gonna addict.” In order to maintain sobriety when we quit drinking, alcoholics need to find another addiction to take its place. Case in point, I’ve discovered AA to be full of smokers, coffee guzzlers, and exercise fiends. But the most common addiction in successful recovering alcoholics, and subsequently what I believe to be the best thing AA has going, is religion and “working the program.” They are able to pour their addictive energy into reading/studying the big book and other AA literature, working the steps, and going to meetings. I also think this is a big contributor to the stories of countless alcoholics relapsing when they stop “working the program.” Their dopamine sensors are starving once again, and without something to fill that void they go back to the bottle.

Personally, when I quit drinking, I inadvertently alternated between several addictions to fill my dopamine deficit. Over the last 3.5 years my drug of choice has fluctuated between food, poker, running, fantasy football, movies, and probably a few others I’m forgetting. My level of commitment has varied and at times I’ve been addicted to more than one, but there’s always at least one specific activity or substance that provides me with the dopamine rush I subconsciously crave.

Recently I’ve made an effort to keep myself constantly aware of my addictive tendencies and I’m attempting to enjoy “regular” activities without allowing my addictive behavior to take over. I can’t say I’ve been 100% successful as I’d call my continued movie binge this year an addictive behavior, but of all the addictions I’ve taken part in, it’s definitely the most harmless. Also, in the past, no matter what I was doing, I’d never be “in the moment.” My mind was constantly focusing on my next “high.” Since I’ve been making this effort I find myself not always drifting off in my mind and have noticed an increased ability to enjoy the little things. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m making progress.

I would love to conduct a research study centering on individuals with addictive personalities. I’d be curious if they find themselves constantly addicted to at least one substance or activity, and if so, are they even aware of it? I’d also be very interested to see if they derive less pleasure from everyday activities that “regular” people enjoy.

If this were something I really chose to pursue I think I’d first have to learn as much as possible about the subject. And you know what, I’m going to make a commitment right now to do just that. I’ll start by reading two books I’ve had on my list for several years - "Addictive Thinking" by Abraham Twerski and "The Addictive Personality" by Craig Nakken, and then move forward from there.

Of course, the biggest hurdle with this will be making time to read these books instead of using said time to engage in my current drug of choice. The most likely scenario that would lead me to reading the books and delving into further research would be becoming addicted to learning about addiction.

So I’ll say my goal (instead of commitment) will be to read the two books and then begin additional research.

OK, I’ve moved into rambling territory and I’m a little afraid this post is all over the place and will be hard to follow, so I’m going to stop here.

Last edited by scottp4braves; 05-22-2014 at 04:31 PM.
05-22-2014 , 05:09 PM
I should clarify that regardless of the validity of my decreased dopamine receptors sensitivity hypothesis I'm 100% responsible for my actions and we all have the power to make our own decisions regardless if we have addictive personalities or not. And I should clarify that the decreased dopamine receptors sensitivity argument isn't an original concept that I came up with.
05-22-2014 , 05:59 PM
This dopamine hypothesis makes a lot of sense to me. I can't really imagine people deriving much pleasure from everyday activities. But I guess there are people like that out there. I am not one of those people. It reminds me of something comedian Artie Lange talked about once. He said that he was amazed at people who walked around everyday just being happy. And how he wanted to stop those people on the street and ask them how they did it.

I have a feeling though that most people are unhappy/****ed up in one way or another. Or then again I may be projecting.

Thought provoking post, Scott.
05-22-2014 , 08:59 PM
I forgot a key point that in addition to deriving pleasure from "regular" activities, non-addicts can enjoy activities in moderation that addicts cannot.

Examples - Having 1 or 2 drinks with friends, running 3 miles a few times per week without having to work up to a marathon, playing a 2 hour poker session and not playing again for a week or a month, eating a few pieces of candy without devouring the whole bag, etc.
05-24-2014 , 01:51 AM
Fri - usual, Subway turkey sandwich & kettle chips, 1 mile walk (2620 calories)
Sat - brown rice cereal w/ almond milk, usual snacks, Qdoba chicken burrito w/ queso & a steak quesadilla, chocolate ice cream. 2 mile walk (5420)
Sun - no breakfast or lunch, usual snack, veggies & rice w/ soy sauce, 2 mile walk (1640)
Mon - usual, baked tilapia & veggies, 4 mile walk & 15 min core workout (2220)
Tue - usual, chicken salad w/ vinegarette dinner, 45 min spinning class & 2 mile walk (2360)
Wed - usual, Jets pizza and breadsticks, 2 mile walk (4390)
Thur - usual, baked salmon & veggies, 45 min spinning class & 2 mile walk (2200)

Friday weigh-in - 210 (no change, no change)

Last edited by scottp4braves; 05-24-2014 at 02:09 AM.
05-26-2014 , 05:11 AM
Wow, just stumbled upon this and read the whole thing. A+
A few thoughts and quibbles, but as it's your blog, I'm going to keep those to myself. I will share a few thoughts/questions though.
1) Has your wife gone to an al-anon meeting? Living with a secret alcoholic and ignoring family finances takes a certain level of willful neglect. While you justly take full responsibility for your actions, has she recognized her own?
2) I admire your stick-to-itiveness with attending meetings. Don't people eventually notice the guy who never says a thing?
3) Having seen many a mental professional, part of the process is confronting him/her when you aren't satisfied with the direction of the relationship.
4) my drug of choice has always been food as well. I find it can take me out of myself as easily as alcohol, with none of the loss of control. If you can't find the right fit in AA, check out OA.
05-27-2014 , 09:55 AM
Originally Posted by NhlNut Optimistic for an Even-Keeled Future after an Up and Down Past
Wow, just stumbled upon this and read the whole thing. A+
A few thoughts and quibbles, but as it's your blog, I'm going to keep those to myself. I will share a few thoughts/questions though.
1) Has your wife gone to an al-anon meeting? Living with a secret alcoholic and ignoring family finances takes a certain level of willful neglect. While you justly take full responsibility for your actions, has she recognized her own?
2) I admire your stick-to-itiveness with attending meetings. Don't people eventually notice the guy who never says a thing?
3) Having seen many a mental professional, part of the process is confronting him/her when you aren't satisfied with the direction of the relationship.
4) my drug of choice has always been food as well. I find it can take me out of myself as easily as alcohol, with none of the loss of control. If you can't find the right fit in AA, check out OA.
Thanks, no reason to hold back thoughts and quibbles just because it's my blog, especially if its something that could be helpful to me or anyone else with similar struggles.

1) She definitely knows and has admitted that she should've been more involved with our finances and she's beaten herself up over that and even more so for not knowing about the drinking. I've tried to get to her to go to al-anon, but haven't succeeded. She actually hasn't spoken to a single other person about the situation other than me, and I've told her many times I think it's a big mistake, I'm the source of the problem, so there's only so much she can discuss with me. She's bound to be harboring some major resentments and feelings that need to come out.

2) I've wondered myself if anyone notices. It probably averages 20-30 people, 15-20 being regs, so it's not like I'm hiding in a crowd. My guess is that they have enough to worry about between themselves and others that are seeking help, so they just wait for the quiet people to initiate. I could by way off here, that's just my guess. If there's any AA oldtimers keeping up with the thread I'd love to hear your take.

3) Am I reading your comment right that you mean I should have confronted the therapist that I felt like progress was stalling? If so I agree completely, she can only address what I bring up. If I go back to therapy at any point I'm going to make sure to do this.

4) I went to a couple OA meetings about a year ago but haven't been back, I've thought about it, but just haven't made the time. My take-away was that it was basically AA with overeating substituted for alcohol, is that accurate? What has been your experience with it? If you're open to it I'd love to hear more about your experience with food addiction/overeating and OA, or if you've shared somewhere else a link would be great.
05-27-2014 , 04:29 PM
Memorial Day Weekend

I’m not sure how interesting this will be, but coming off a really enjoyable long weekend full of “clean” fun I’m compelled to share. If you’re used to reading exciting Vegas trip reports feel free to skip this one.

We hadn’t been to a zoo in several few years, so with a beautiful day expected we hopped in the car and made the 1.5 hour drive. The Gorillas were far and away our favorite attraction, highlighted by momma and baby:

We visited every exhibit, there was a mixture of cute, ugly, weird, and scary (I hate snakes), but really we just enjoyed walking around together in the beautiful weather (cue cheesy music), away from the normal daily distractions (namely work).

We took Simon for a walk when we got home and then settled on the couch for the day’s only negative, “The Monuments Men”. The source material is really interesting and I’ve heard the book is great, but the movie was a mess. The 1st was not only extremely boring, but also difficult to follow, and while the ending was solid, it didn’t make up for the rest.

After a 3 mile walk (for exercise so Simon stayed home) to start the morning we hit the annual Doxie Derby! What’s a Doxie Derby you ask? Well, it’s where a bunch of weird weiner dog lovers get together and show off their dachshunds, followed by said doxies racing. Simon didn’t race (Buddy’s the fast one and he still has a week left with the trainer), but we had a great time mingling with fellow canine lovers and watching the little guys run. We’ve learned that the fastest dog doesn’t always win, as very few are able to focus enough amidst all the distractions to make it to the finish line.

Maybe they’ll mow beforehand next year, as some of the little ones were barely taller than the grass:

After the derby we took Simon to the dog park to play with some regular shaped dogs then went home and got ready for my wife’s favorite restaurant:

Seafood aficionados might scoff at it, but it’s often our version of fine dining.

After dinner we watched "our" (not where we went to school just the university we cheer for) college advance to the Women’s College Softball World Series! We attend several games every year so it was especially rewarding to see them make it.

On our 3rd straight beautiful day we took Simon hiking. The weather was perfect one again, warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, but not too hot to have us sweating profusely. We did a 3 mile hike. It wasn’t particularly strenuous terrain, but it was steep enough in places to supply a good workout while also providing attractive scenery.

A stream ran most of the length of the trail, and we had to walk through some puddles here and there, so Simon got pretty wet and muddy. Everyone that passes us always cracks up seeing a dachshund hiking, but he handles it like a champ.

We stopped for carry-out grilled chicken salads on the way home and spent the rest of the night watching The Shield (we only have 4 episodes left).

After 3 days together it seemed like a good idea to fly solo for a little while, so I went to the morning screening of Godzilla. It was actually my very 1st Godzilla experience and I was pleasantly surprised, the beginning dragged a little, but the rest delivered and went in a direction I wasn’t expecting.

I spent most of the afternoon working in the yard while dripping sweat, it was another pretty day, but I definitely felt the heat as the temperatures had crept into the upper 80’s. When it cooled down we took Simon for our nightly walk and ended the evening watching ”The Factory” on Netflix Instant. It was an ok crime thriller about a detective’s hunt for a serial killer, nothing mind blowing, but not bad for a straight to DVD release.

Like I said, not too terribly exciting, but I really enjoyed the whole weekend, and I successfully stayed “in the moment,” for the vast majority of the time without being preoccupied by thoughts of any of my addictions.

Last edited by scottp4braves; 05-27-2014 at 04:41 PM.
05-29-2014 , 02:35 PM
Buddy finally came home from the trainer this morning. I was mixed up originally, thinking he would be gone 2 weeks, it was actually 4.

The trainer said he hadn't shown any signs of aggression in quite a while, and he thinks the reason he's been aggressive in the past is a combination of mouth pain (he's had 9 teeth pulled), a possible slight vision problem (sometimes he doesn't notice you until you're very close to him), and generally bratty-ness.

We went over a lot of specifics and now it's just up to us to keep enforcing everything, and I'm confident we'll do so. We also learned plenty of general training concepts, which should allow us to whip (figuratively of course) Simon into shape as well, he's a great dog, but very spoiled, and he behaves poorly when people come over. We're committed to sticking with everything, so hopefully we'll soon have a couple of obedient doxies.

Buddy quickly re-adjusted to the comforts of home.
05-30-2014 , 09:37 AM
Fri - usual breakfast & snacks, lunch - subway 6" chicken breast, dinner - subway footlong turkey & kettle chips, walked around zoo all day, 1 mile dog walk (3080 calories)
Sat - breakfast - brown rice cereal w/ almond milk & banana, no lunch, usual snack, dinner - Red Lobster cheesy biscuits, lobster bisque, shrimp nachones, dessert - Baskin Robbins gold medal ribbon ice cream, 3 mile walk, 1 mile dog walk (4980)
Sun - no breakfast, usual lunch and snacks, dinner - grilled chicken salad & kettle chips, 3 mile hike (2600)
Mon - usual, frozen WW meal & kettle chips, 3 mile walk, 1 mile dog walk (2310)
Tue - usual, baked tilapia & veggies, 3 mile walk, 20 min core workout (2100)
Wed - usual, frozen WW meal & kettle chips, helped friends move (2680)
Thur - usual, baked salmon & veggies, 2 mile "treadmill hike", 1 mile dog walk (2220)

Friday weigh-in - 208 (-2,-2)

Keys to finally having a good week - no mid-week Jet's Pizza and this:

Now let's see if I can put together back-to-back weeks in the red.
06-02-2014 , 08:36 AM
May Movie Report, all 1st time viewings, grades based on how much I liked them not the quality of the movie.

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
The Killer (1989)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Run Lola Run (1998)
Headhunters (2011)
Layer Cake (2004)
Godzilla (2014)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Pontypool (2008)

The African Queen (1951)
Sabotage (1936)

The Man from Planet X (1951)
Akira (1988)
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
Secret Agent (1936)
Rollerball (1975)

B-Number 17 (1932)
Trancers (1985)
Hard Boiled (1992)

Virus (1999)

The Factory (2012)
Crack in the World (1965)

The Monuments Men (2014)
06-06-2014 , 09:24 AM
Fri - usual, Jimmy John's Turkey sandwich & kettle chips, two 3 mile walks (2560 calories)
Sat - no breakfast, usual lunch, dinner - nachos & quesadillas, dessert - Graeter's cookie dough ice cream & reese cups, 4 mile walk & 1 mile dog walk (5440)
Sun - no breakfast, lunch - 2 glazed donuts, dinner - smart one's frozen meal & kettle chips, usual snack, 4 mile walk (2480)
Mon - usual, dinner - chicken salad, 1 mile walk (2340)
Tue - usual, dinner - baked salmon & veggies, 45 min spinning class, 15 min core workout, 1 mile dog walk (2480)
Wed - usual, dinner - Jet's pizza & breadsticks, 1 mile walk (4610)
Thur - no breakfast, usual, dinner - baked sea bass & veggies, 1.5 mile run, 2 mile walk, 15 min core workout (1870)

Friday weigh-in - 209 (+1,-1)

Jet's stikes again.

Steps for the week:

It's been a hectic week, Buddy vomitted several times Sunday, until Sunday night when he was throwing up every 30 minutes, so I took him to the emergency vet and we weren't back home until 5:00 AM, I took one for the team as my wife started a new job Monday morning and I would have hated for her 1st day to be on zero sleep. He's fine now, $600 worth of tests basically told us his stomach is all out of whack from staying with the trainer for a month and then coming back home.

I also have a potential new job in the mix, it's with a different company and would be my 1st supervisory role, so I'm a little excited, but mostly terrified. I've been working at the same place for 7 years now and I've gotten pretty comfortably, aka complacent. It would definitely be a positive step forward in my career so I've applied and have to start prepping for an interview, hopefully interviews are like riding a bike as my last one feels like a lifetime ago. Anyway, we'll see what happens.

I plan to post my 1st "Day in the life on an addict" installment this weekend, with the WSOP going on poker seems to be the logical addiction to begin with.
06-06-2014 , 02:56 PM
A Day in the Life of an Addict – Poker Edition

June 4th, 2012
Ten minutes into my shower I realize I’ve been lost in my head and need to hurry and get ready for work. I can’t shake my bust-out hand from yesterday’s tournament. It was the main event following a 6 month series and I had called off my stack with the 2nd nuts to a massive over-shove from a major nit that obviously had the goods. Six months of solid play had given me the chip lead to start the tournament and I was out in less than an hour. We weren’t playing for huge money, but after doing well enough in the prelim tourneys to secure a nice chip lead (additional started chips were allocated in the main event based on performance), I had fully expected to bring home the title.

I shake myself out of it by compromising to post the hand to 2+2 after I get to work. I spend the 30 minute drive listening to the latest Pokernews Podcast and get to my desk right at 8:00. After a quick email check I post the hand and ask for feedback, eager for someone to justify my call, regrettably knowing it was a standard “sigh-fold” spot.

After quickly knocking out some work I visit the WSOP website and spend 30 minutes reading up on last night’s tournament action. Throughout the rest of the morning I take several breaks to catch up on the overnight twitter activity of the 50ish poker players/news media members I follow.

My lunch break consists of a quick meal at my desk and 30 minutes of Pokernews “Live from the WSOP” videos.

Throughout the day I periodically check 2+2 for feedback on my hand, but nobody offers me any respite as the consensus says I should’ve found the fold button.

Later in the afternoon I open the WSOP website again and pull-up live tournament updates for each event in progress. Every 15 minutes I take a quick break to see what’s happening in Vegas, wishing I could be there experiencing it in person.

After work I run a few miles at the gym while listening to the 2+2 Podcast. I finish it during the drive home and immediately the Anteup Pokercast takes its place.

After a shower, quick walk with the wife, and dinner, I open the laptop, throw on my headphones and queue up the current live final table from the WSOP while my wife watches TV. As some of you may know, live final tables are quite slow, so I spend the down time reading all the updates from other ongoing tournaments and checking twitter. My wife goes to bed around 11:00, allowing me to pull up one of the World Poker Tour episodes I have stacked on the DVR. My eyes toggle between the taped WPT episode, the live final table, the live updates, and twitter for the next couple hours until I start to dose around 1:00 AM, at which point I finally join my wife in bed.

Despite not playing a single hand, my attention was directed to poker for at least 14 of my waking 18 hours, and it’s probably safe to assume it managed to sneak into several of my dreams as well.

Last edited by scottp4braves; 06-06-2014 at 03:01 PM.
06-09-2014 , 04:54 PM
Obsessing on poker. Lol! I know what that's like. I spent half my Sunday watching old Poker After Dark episodes on the ipad.

Good luck with the interview for the new job. Go in with confidence. Prepare ahead of time. Research the ins and outs of the job and be able to contribute concrete ideas of how you can make a positive difference in the position. I'm sure you know that already, but it is really key! Best of luck!
06-11-2014 , 08:34 AM
Originally Posted by idlikeadrinkplease Optimistic for an Even-Keeled Future after an Up and Down Past
Good luck with the interview for the new job. Go in with confidence. Prepare ahead of time. Research the ins and outs of the job and be able to contribute concrete ideas of how you can make a positive difference in the position. I'm sure you know that already, but it is really key! Best of luck!
Thanks and thanks for the advice, yes I'm aware of what you recommended, but it definitely helps having the importance of it reiterated. I haven't gotten a call for an interview yet, but they just posted the position a week ago today. My former supervisor moved to this company a little over a year ago and it's actually her position they're hiring for as she got promoted, she recommended me for it so it would take a colossal resume or cover letter screw-up for me to not get an interview, and I reviewed it thoroughly so I don't think that'll be the case. It's difficult getting readjusted to the drawn-out application and interview process, it's only been a week and I'm already antsy.
06-12-2014 , 11:51 AM
A Day in the Life of an Addict – Running/Losing Weight Edition

March 9, 2011
I’m positively giddy as I strut to the nurse’s office for our weekly biggest loser challenge weigh-in. I smile at my partner and ask if he had a good week, hoping he answers quickly and replies with the same question. He complies and I engross him in details of my 1800 calorie meal plan and strict exercise/training regimen. The scale reads 221, I keep a straight face, but I’m delighted at the 4 pound loss since last week. Several coworkers stop by my desk and ask about the weigh-in, I put the straight face back on each time and answer them plainly, hiding an overwhelming sense of pride with each congratulations I receive in return.

I log last night’s calories and exercise into my spreadsheet, and excitedly replace 225 with 221. My belly rumbles but I hold off on breakfast to avoid a large gap between it and lunch. While eating my banana and nutrigrain bar I open the national half marathon schedule saved in my favorites. I’m 4 weeks away from my 1st race and already thinking about which one I’ll do next, ignoring the fact that the 9 miles I ran Saturday is the longest distance I’ve covered to date. No matter, I’ll easily be ready for the 13.1 when it gets here. After which I’ll do a couple more half marathons this year before I tackle a full marathon in 2012.

After completing a few work reports I study my training schedule and compare it to several regimens I have bookmarked from various websites. I plug in all my planned runs and stare joyously at the 100+ miles I’ll be covering over the next 4 weeks.

My brown rice and green beans lunch is quickly devoured while reading internet articles on healthy eating. I log my lunch calories and immediately begin looking forward to my afternoon applesauce.

I spend the 2nd part of my day trying to concentrate on work, but with the unrelenting rush from my weight loss and upcoming running itinerary, budget schedules and reports have no chance at holding my attention, so I give in to reading health and fitness forum posts and researching cities for my next half marathon. All the while day dreaming about that afternoon’s 5 mile run (it’s a shorter one so I can push for a good pace) and the healthy dinner I’ll prepare later that night.

I complete the 40 laps around my gym’s track in 48 minutes (anything under a 10 minute mile was a great pace for me), and envision future races when I’ll be able to complete the entire 13.1 or 26.2 at that pace or better.

I inhale 2 cans of green beans and a chicken breast for dinner, not realizing until I’m down to a couple bites that my entire meal lasted 6 minutes. “I guess I was hungry,” I mutter to my wife, hiding my embarrassment behind a nervous chuckle.

We talk for a few minutes and then I open “Touching the Void,” another survival story from the long list of motivational books I’ve been reading, while my wife watches the latest episode of Law and Order SVU. A couple hours later I drag myself to bed, eager for a good night’s sleep so I can do it all over again tomorrow.

I completed the half marathon that April and continued to lose weight, reaching a low point of 195 in early June. Unsurprisingly my motivation waned soon after and I was back to 210 by the end of the year.

I finished my 2nd half marathon Labor Day weekend 2013, but a few weeks later an x-ray confirmed my right knee is now partially bone-on-bone (undoubtedly due to my many years of basketball and running while ranging from overweight to obese), which is why I mainly walk and spin for exercise these days.
06-13-2014 , 09:18 AM
Fri – usual, dinner - subway turkey sandwich & kettle chips, 2 mile walk (2650 calories)
Sat – usual, dinner – beef nachos & 3 steak tacos, dessert – graeter’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream & 3 reese cups, 3 mile walk, mowed, 1 mile dog walk (5860)
Sun – no breakfast, lunch – belvita bar & banana, dinner – grilled chicken & veggies, usual snack, two 3 mile walks (1540)
Mon – usual, dinner – baked halibut & veggies, 1 hour spinning class, 2 mile walk (2110)
Tue – usual, dinner - chicken salad & veggie chips, 1 mile walk, 1.5 mile run, 15 min core workout (2240)
Wed – usual, dinner – smart one’s pizza & kettle chips, 1 mile dog walk (2490)
Thur – usual, dinner – baked salmon & veggies, 3 mile walk (2220)

Friday weigh-in – 207 (-2,-3)

Steps for the week - 96,521

So it turns out the position I was talking about was already filled, my former supervisor wasn't the actual hiring manager so she didn't realize they already had somebody in mind, possibly a small red flag about the company, but everything else I've heard about it has been great.

Based on her recommendation to management they're having me come in next week to interview with several different managers, basically saying if they like me then they'll offer me a position as soon as one opens. I'm going to do that and now that I'm feeling a little motivated I'm also going to reach out to some recruiters to get the ball rolling since there's no guarantee this company will have an opening soon and I've now accepted it's time to get out of my current dead-end job.