First Step In Fighting Phone Addiction

Spring cleaning was in the air, I too was feeling like starting over, cleaning out the closet, dropping relationships that didn’t serve me, and breaking bad habits. I found myself evaluating where I was, what I wanted, why I wasn’t happy and how to change it.

 

I realized a lot on my to do list, never got done because I always mismanaged time. I also noticed that I was constantly looking down. God knows how it was affecting my posture, my brain cells, my ability to react to my present if I was so glued to my phone. I was getting very annoyed with all the interactions coming thru my phone last week, and the failed expectations I was experiencing when I didn’t hear from someone. I had created unrealistic expectations for people that didn’t function like me. I was creating an escape from my life into a never ending scrolling thru Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or constant convos going back and forth thru KIK, Messenger, Texting and Whatsapp. Even Amazon and Ebay were constantly visited. Shopping has never been so easy. Love my Amazon Prime but even that was addicting. Before I knew it I was wasting an hour or two searching for the best reviews, best price, best shipping etc. This phone addiction was past Etsy and Pinterest scrolling, and extended to Posh, FB marketplace, and dating apps.

Then last week after a horrible Monday, I made the big decision. I finally had the big push to turn off my phone . I realized I needed a change. So I decided to break it off, (squeezy clean type of a break), with a guy I had been seeing for about six months plus. He was obviously not going to give me what I wanted in a relationship, and I was giving my all to someone who didn’t deserve me. I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t hurt to end it. It was a very sad moment, a moment where I didn’t care about anyone else, because all I could feel was sadness. I kept thinking about all the great moments we had and how no longer will there be an “us”. I kept thinking of all the new friends we made together and how awkward it will be or how crazy jealous I will feel if I see him again with someone else around the same circle of friends. It’s hard ending a relationship, especially when it was really good one, no fighting and great chemistry. I think it would be easier if the relationship had turned shitty and painful but it wasn’t like that. It lacked commitment, real love, thoughtfulness. Qualities that you must have in a long term relationship. It no longer served me or supported me in my future, so I said “Good bye”.

Boy Bye Gif

Once I shut my phone off, I felt so relieved. I didn’t have to worry about getting disappointed because x didn’t text me, and I didn’t have to worry about having friends trying to make plans with us, and could avoid having to deal with this breakup. Without realizing it, I was really breaking up with my phone. I then all of a sudden found myself looking for my phone, as if it had been a child and needed to be bottle fed. I was now FREE, liberated from the constant attention I felt I needed to give my phone. I had so much more extra time! I could be more present, absorb everything around me. I found myself seeing details around me that I hadn’t noticed before. I went for a run at the park with my dogs and all the sounds and visuals were so alive, so loud, so vibrant. I was present and felt so much appreciation for my eyesight, my touch, my hearing. I felt gratitude. Pure bliss.

A day later of turning my phone off, I got an email from Lewis Howes announcing his next podcast with visiting professor Cal Newport, who recently wrote a book on phone addiction, ‘The Power of Digital Detox’. Of course I went and listened immediately. All the things he said made sense. He advised to take a MONTH OFF your phone. So right there, I decided to do a PHONE DETOX for a full month. I think it’s the only way of breaking the habit of me reaching for my phone, as if it was a cigarette.

Now “my happy” psychological reward points are the feeling of accomplishment with every task done. Definitely a better feeling than the social media notifications. I hope with this new challenge, I will grow into a better and stronger person where I can live within silence, stillness, and boredomness, feeling secure, fulfilled, and content. For I will be completely complete with my present and self.

Why A Blast From The Past Isn’t Always Good

Last christmas I went back to my hometown which is a vacation town, it’s full of palm trees, marinas, bars, and beautiful people. Seems like anytime old friends find out I’m in town they want to meet up or hook me up with someone. This year, my girlfriend insisted that I get in touch with an old “lover, ex-roommate, friend” from 12 years ago; who had recently broken up with his girlfriend and moved across the state to a different touristy area after 19 years of working at the same bar. I was curious of his crazy move, so I decided why not and sent him a text.

We caught up on each other’s lives but weeks later realized he had confused me with another person by the same name. Before I knew it he was sending me unsolicited dick pics. Yuck! Nothing like getting one in the morning before work of someone you have zero feelings for.

He then started blowing up my phone like when I was 20 years old. I realized then why I had discontinued talking to him. There was so much that I was no longer impressed by. He constantly tried to peacock me with showing me pictures of his 100+ collection of fancy watches, pictures of his monster truck, pictures of his tan body, muscles, or how to tell me how much money he was saving and making. Perhaps he felt there was the same connection, the same comfort level, but to me, it was very clear what he was doing and I was not naive at all to fall for it. One thing that is different in your 30’s and 20’s is intention. What are your intentions, what are their intentions? Ask yourself that, and you will save A LOT of time.

I had to be direct with him soon after. Just how quickly he tried to enter my life, he soon after disappeared from it again.

Even though I would be happy to be his friend, I’m not willing to be chosen because they are lonely.

Always ask yourself, is this person interested in me because of me, or because they are lonely, bored, and I’m always accessible.

You are worth more. Don’t ever forget that.

Some people need the constant attention, I don’t. That’s why I have dogs.

 

Bye Felicia!

Bye Felicia! It was nice knowing you!

The benefits of being older are much greater than one expects them to be. Wisdom is something that you gain through your intuition and your experiences. I think I finally felt wisdom in my own shoes. A few months ago, I used to think I was weak and always was attracted to the bad boy type or the narcissistic asshole. I thought I had issues and that my past controlled my taste in men. I saw bad qualities in men as normal since that’s what I was used to. In other words, I could look past the bad qualities and focus on the good qualities, like their good looks and muscles, maybe their love for dogs, ambition, or confidence.

 

Font The Date

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a date with someone from Bumble. To my surprise, he was so handsome, tall, with dark features, hazel eyes, and looked like a thicker version of James Dean.

James Dean
James Dean

When I say thick I don’t mean fat, just bulkier. Anyways, he was a gentleman, told me if I didn’t mind he was raised to always pay for a lady, which I was impressed to hear since those type of men are disappearing from the dating scenes. We sat at the bar at an Asian inspired restaurant. We drank sake and had one appetizer. To our surprise, the restaurant didn’t serve sushi, which was the main reason we chose the location, so we found ourselves going next door for sushi. I chose a sake and thought he would share mine, instead he asked the waitress which beverage had the least alcohol. I raised my eyebrows to this. I immediately saw red flags go up. We had barely drank at the place before and here he was trying to cut back. I asked what he was concerned about and he mentioned that he did not want to go crazy drinking and he also had to drive. For some reason, I didn’t feel his answer was sincere. I could see a lot of tension that he carried on his shoulders and forehead. I could feel like there was something he was holding back, perhaps a lot, he seemed like he was about to explode with emotions. I mentioned to him what I felt from his body composure and he immediately was taken back and told me that I figured him pretty damn well and he couldn’t understand how I could tell so much. He became very emotional, didn’t cry but I felt he was close. He opened up and told me that he had a lot of bad qualities which he shared in detail and he was still trying to get over a breakup.

 

Ariel crying
Ariel crying

Anyways, later that evening he went outside for a cigarette break, while he was gone I checked my phone and received a nasty unexpected email from my ex-husband (since he had been blocked). There was no real reason why he contacted me but to be hurtful and wished my family and friends all the worst from a present hurricane. He mentioned a bunch of other nasty things that I will not waste time expanding on. It was obvious he was bored and hating his own life because he wrote me from someone else’s email address so he could go past my email blocker. I became immediately emotional, started crying; not because he hurt me but because I felt desperate. Here I was trying to move on with my life, erase him from my life and he still was able to affect me.  Well quickly after, my date returned to our table and found me sad, so of course I had to open up and share what had just occurred. He immediately came over to my side of the booth and put his arms around me where I sobbed a little and we shared a strong emotional connection.

At last I thought I had found a good looking man who was a gentleman and didn’t send me dick pics and actually wanted to spend quality time together (instead of getting drunk and getting crazy). Then as we were leaving, he kissed me and then invited me back to his place. To my surprise, he stopped at a liquor store where he got whatever I wanted and of course I chose tequila, my new go-to drink.  We definitely got drunk, danced a little and sat down and had a deep conversation thanks to me. He told me a lot of things that perhaps he wouldn’t have if I didn’t self-analyze him and confront him with my thoughts. Bottom line: I discovered that he had a lot of issues. He was a chronic smoker, smoked weed a lot, and drank frequently. His home was pretty clean, plain, but homey. His kitchen was spotless and outdated but very clean (aka- obviously he didn’t cook). He also mentioned that he tries not to be a narcissist and that once someone breaks his heart, it’s over and they are dead to him (he might have said this in other words). I immediately felt warned. The house he lived in was small and identical to my ex-boyfriend and I’s from when I was 18. I literally felt I had turned back time and I was sitting home with a man with depression and addictions – someone who obviously didn’t love himself and was disappointed with himself deep inside.

We fell asleep and I went home the next morning. During the car ride, I couldn’t help but feel scared. Scared of myself, my past returning and feeling drawn to this type of man who obviously needs help.  I was scared that I was starting to really like him even though I knew he was an emotional wreck.

Now it was Saturday and I was hungover and didn’t want to do anything but relax. I was bored and so I texted him if he wanted to come visit me since he had mentioned he really wanted to meet my dogs. Well, what I thought was going to be a few hours turned out to be a sleepover (NOT MY IDEA!).  We sat all afternoon in the hammock. I tried to sleep but he just kept getting up non-stop to smoke. I was disgusted. At this point, I was annoyed and I knew there was no way I could be with him. His addiction was too much to handle (he literally would get up and smoke every 15 minutes),  but the more I sat with him I felt more and more comfortable with him. I think I began getting used to him and his bad habits. He also drank beer after beer. Meanwhile, I had none and all I cared to do was sleep and recover. Then it got late, so he went outside to his car and came inside with a plastic grocery bag with things inside.  He said, “I planned on sleeping over so I came prepared. Hope that’s ok.” I was so shocked and thought it was so rude of him to invite himself to sleepover so quickly. This is where another red flag popped up big. What man throws himself so quickly after meeting someone and when it’s not about sex? Wanting to spend quality time with someone comes with time. The more you get to know someone, the more you are able to expand your time with them, but to want to spend all day and night with someone so quickly is a HUGE NO NO! But because I’m a nice person and felt bad, I said sure you can – missing out on a friends jacuzzi party.

Bye Bye Emoji

By this point, I was not impressed by this man sitting in my bed, who was obviously really liking me and wanting to have something special and serious. We went on another date the following week. It took a lot of push for me to go but because we were going to my favorite Mexican restaurant, I couldn’t cancel. Plus I really wanted to give him the chance since it looked like he was willing to put the time and effort in having something serious. But seriously! What was I thinking? He was closed minded, didn’t work out, a heavy smoker, had a beer belly in the making, and watched sports and tv on his spare time, ANNNND….also showed signs of being a narcissist. He was absolutely everything I didn’t want in a man!! But why had I put myself through two weeks of talking to him and accepting going on a second date?  Well, I did and I enjoyed myself on our date. The food was great, the drinks were great, and he looked at me like I was gold. I felt happy. Here’s my advice don’t let the fools gold fool you! RUN FOR THE HILLS THE SECOND YOUR HEART AND MIND TELL YOU THIS ISN’T RIGHT!

We went back to his place, where I learned that a man who smokes and doesn’t work out will never provide good sex. If you have crappy lungs, how can you breathe properly and have stamina? YOU CAN’T! But not only did he suck at performing, his spirit wasn’t there. I was so bored but glad it didn’t last very long. We then shared some quiet time talking and I somehow felt so drawn to him. Well, what I felt was nostalgia. I didn’t know until a few days later.  I was thinking at the time, “Maybe I’m being too judgmental and he might be someone who can make me happy in the long run.” Still wondering WTF I was thinking. Well, I mentioned to him that I was planning to continue seeing other people until I thought what we had was going to be something serious. He mentioned something I don’t recall and I felt bad so I decided to invite him to my house for another night and said he could sleep over. It was obvious he wanted to spend time with me, and it had been a long time since anyone wanted to spend alone time with me in a non-sexual way. Well, he came over and I began to realize I really didn’t have feelings for this man. I was so bored with his presence and I knew we were a terrible match.

The following day I reached out letting him know he had forgotten his charger, etc. I will not continue with the rest of the details of the conversation but bottom line, he exploded on me with an attitude and refused to open up as what friends do. At the same time, I was putting away dishes from dinner. The dishes he had helped wash. Well those damn dishes were freaken dirty af! I immediately told him, that I was done talking to him and we were a bad match. The following day he tried apologizing and blah, blah, blah…The old me from 10 years ago would have accepted his apology and tried to work things out.

bye felicia
Bye Felicia

I realized then that I had succeeded! I had finally broken the chain of narcissistic boyfriends who were judgmental and had evil souls. I told him sorry I was not interested anymore but he fought back via text. He insisted he wouldn’t give up that easily and that we had something special. Blah, blah, blah…..I told him we were not a good match again and that he had a lot of qualities I did not admire. I said Good night and I was on a date.  He responded with something mean and tried to hurt me. So I blocked him.

Moral of the story is that if I hadn’t gone through all those bad experiences with my ex’s, I wouldn’t have the bad feeling “intuition” when I saw those red flags. I would have tried to look past those bad habits and tried to make it work just because he thought I was special. I have learned to care more about how special and valuable I feel rather than how someone else feels about me!

EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAS A LESSON EVEN IF IT FEELS LIKE YOU ARE GOING THRU HELL AT THE MOMENT, LIKE EVERYTHING, IT WILL PASS AND LATER IN LIFE YOU WILL STAND STRONGER THAN BEFORE AND YOU WILL HAVE THE WISDOM TO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES!