Monday, January 31, 2011

green is not a good color on me

i've posted about jealousy before, and i'm currently dealing with some (with everything else that's also going on). it's envious when i hear people who meet people so easily and make new friends and go out with people, like it's no big deal. not only is it something i envy, i may (i'm still wrapping my mind around this, so i don't know for sure) also look down on the relationship side of things. i also blogged about the difference in meeting someone and hooking up right away, and my previous history. it may be because when i go on a date, it is actually a big deal to me. so is when i take the step and something happens physically with a girl. so maybe the combination of those two is why i look down upon (and of course are jealous of) the seemingly flippant and fickle actions of people around me. in my most cynical and dejected sense, i see these boys and girls as easy. not quite slutty perhaps, but easy. i don't like that. i don't know why. i'm trying to enunciate this, and i don't know. i'm not really a prude, but i am less attracted to girls that hook up with random guys often. i don't know, i've never been that type of guy. so i don't know what i'm really writing here, but i do know this: i'm jealous of those guys, because they're with those girls. i'm incredibly lonely and that sucks. and i'm really trying to get through this panic attack/depressive episode/crisis as fast as i can. we'll see.

approaching full-blown crisis mode

there's something amiss and i am feeling quite bad right now. i need to get the hell out of here. however, it's not going to happen. i have no car and i have things that need to be done. given the chance, or maybe more accurately, if i get to feeling worse, i might jus blow off the things i have to do and not care about it. i don't know what to do.

hey joe, i'm down in this hole. can you help me?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

social. this shit just don't stop

i could be social right now. there are people here who want me to hang out and i declined. i'm really pretty messed up. i want something, and when i have it, i feel so messed up i don't want it/can't enjoy it. wtf over?


i've found that certain days i am just not fully here enough to be social. actually, it may be more accurate that i don't want to put what seems like an enormous effort in.

today is one of those days and i know why. well, maybe not exactly why, but i can absolutely pinpoint certain contributing factors:

i have not been getting enough sleep lately. the new people are here, and i have been drinking quite a few nights with them, and not going to bed until late. i didn't get but 4 hours last night and so i came home after school and napped. i woke up tired and that made me worse.

there's also a lot of sociality issues that i have been experiencing lately. so, i have no idea how to interact with girls anymore. i'm seriously stupid.

and i know that what i just said is untrue, because i've been doing alright. it's just that today, i'm pretty depressed and dejected, so my thought process is quite murky and delusional.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

mood swings and shit talking

i had a weird mood swing just now. the conversation i was having with friends turned a bit negative regarding both people and situations. and the negativity got me down and set me off on a weird mood. i've been pretty positive and social and enjoying things this week, and the conversation reminded me of how i used to be, the ways i used to see other people. i don't like that. i didn't like it when i was like that, and i don't like the reminder of it, because it seems like it would be so easy for me to fall back into the antisocial/everyone sucks/i don't care type of attitude. i never want to be that person again. i struggle with my mood and my outlook on a daily basis, and like i have said before, i don't need anyone else to bring me down, i'm more than capable of doing it myself. so i am taking a few moments to myself to get these thoughts out and hopefully cleanse my thought process.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

of sociality

to coin a new word, i'll use sociality.

i'm 29 years old. i'll be thirty in a couple of weeks. i have not been in a real relationship since before I joined the Marine Corps, back when I was 20.  So, it's an accurate description to say that it has been quite a while since then. I'm also a totally different person since then. As well, the social scene is quite a different environment since then.

I never really went to bars and picked up girls. I never really had "game" in that sense. I also never really operated like that. I figure that it's better to meet and get to know a girl whilst sober and then begin something rather than a drunken Friday night at a club or bar. But as far as I can see, that is the norm now. And I don't know how that works, I don't know what to do, and I really don't know if that's what I want to do.

Here's the situation: I think I'm ready for some sort of relationship with a girl. I certainly want it, without a doubt. But I'm not, and never really have been, the 'random hook-up' type of guy. So I don't know where that leaves me. I am gaining confidence in social situations, but have no idea how to express that I like a girl.

I am interested in a girl or two, but I have no idea where to go with it. Getting drunk and hooking up isn't what I want, and certainly isn't the building block I'm looking for as a start. But that seems the way to go about it. So what the fuck?

And before I get any "well, you're a great guy and girls who are worth it will understand that and like you for it," that doesn't friggin' help. I am lonely and impatient and want things now. This sucks. And before I let this post derail into an "I'm so lonely/everything sucks" rant, I want to be serious and state I really don't know where this leaves me. I am so far removed from anything resembling a social relationship with a girl right now that I honestly can't see anything happening. I seriously think that I might as well just do the drunk random hook up like everyone else, because at least that way, I am participating in social life in some stupid way.

I am at an impasse. I've been here for a while, but I think now, I've recovered enough socially and mentally, that something has to give for new growth and the possibility of relationships and companionship.

there but for the grace of God go I

I came upon a blog, Living with PTSD and TBI and was forced to take a moment to reflect on my own recovery. I am reminded of how bad some of the bad times were, and it makes me realize how good the good times are. I am reminded that I have come a long way with my recovery, and the things I experience and do on a daily basis were nigh impossible for me in the previous years since my return from Iraq. I am thankful for my family and my friends who have helped me along the way.

The blog talks about some of the darkest aspects of PTSD. On here, I have written about my mind and the dark places it goes. But on here are my thoughts from the last year, which is four years removed from combat, and four years into treatment and recovery. While current popular opinion and desire is to help veterans, noone really gets into the bad shit that accompanies PTSD. I think it is necessary to speak about it. And necessary for everyone to read about it. I make no excuses for any behavior I have done, and I am terribly sorry for the things I inflicted on my family. And, like I said, without them I would not be here. But  there needs to be a larger societal awareness of PTSD and all its blackest days. Only then can we get more understanding and work harder and more effectively as a society to help our returning veterans through the hell that is PTSD.

Sick. And you know how I hate that.

So I made stupid choices this week, along with other things, and got myself a little cold. I have not gotten really good sleep, because the new group is here, and we've done some drinking and partying for a couple of nights in a row. Add to that the running, and the change in weather, and my body is not good. So I took last night off, and will return to my regularly scheduled programming tonight. I got almost 9 hours of sleep last night. I feel much better this morning, but I wouldn't characterize it as good just yet. So more tea, and more oranges for vitamin C, and more TLC for my body.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

party at my place: a recap

So we invited the new group over to our apartment to smoke some hookah and drink some booze. It soon became a lot more people than I thought would show up. I say this with the caveat that it's not like some movie in which tons of unknown people show up for a house party. I think everyone from the new group stopped by for at least a little bit, and most of our group was there as well. It was good, but at times it was a little overwhelming. But, hey, not too bad. Tonight is Bad Decision Tuesday™ and we're all gonna head down to the bar. It should be quite interesting.

On an unrelated note, I went for what turned out to be my best run last night since I have been here. I just mapped it and it was only 2.3 miles, but it was a good pace, with a stretch uphill twice then ended running on the beach next to the boardwalk. Really good run, followed by a 25 minute workout. Very motivating.

Hope yall are having a good time wherever you are...

Monday, January 24, 2011


I met most of the new group earlier. Everyone seems cool, and it's exciting to get to know them more. The thing is, I was quite social. They are all girls, and one dude. So for the most part, I was hanging out with and being social with a large group of women by myself, whom I had never met. And I did rather well. I'm pretty pleased at this.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

quick housekeeping note

no, i didn't lose any weight, i just readjusted the data for the two tickers on the right, as far as my new goal, and my current weight. i'll have to wait until next sunday to post my weight loss :)

day 2, good deal with the plan so far

Yesterday was great. Did well with the plan and today followed it up with good food choices and a real good workout. A sampling of today's food - not much different than yesterday.

scrambled eggs and rye bread for breakfast. apple juice to drink.
shnitzel and pita for lunch, israeli salad and apple juice for lunch
tuna and oranges and chocolate milk after the workout for dinner.
half a shnitzel and half a pita with hummus for a snack.

i've started following the weight watchers thing again, and their new plan is all about fruits and vegetables as "free" foods - ie. eat all you want, so I bought a big bag of oranges and am peeling them three or four at a time, and eating that as snacks. Also, the israeli salad is a good free snack.

My two new male roommates moved in today, and will be settling in this week, and the four new female roommates get here tomorrow. I'm interested in meeting everyone new, and seeing how the dynamic is here for the remained of my time here.

Debating the merits of sleep right now, or staying up to watch the Jets game, which is on right now. It's 7pm EST, but that translates into 2am here in Ashdod.

I'm also not feeling that great, so I might end up going to the clinic tomorrow instead of school. We'll see.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


while i'm not vain nor especially superficial, i am still concerned about my appearance, and opening my door to an imperious knock without a shirt is just an instant in a string of instants in which i am self-conscious about my body.

what's funny in a cynical sarcastic way, to me, is this: I am a grown man about to be thirty, not some teenage girl, like the stereotype is. Which shows me two things: the stereotype about being self-conscious is not exlcusive to women; and that i am human and care about both my body and other people's opinions. Perhaps other people's opinions too much, but hey, what can you do?

Dinner was good. I will have some sort of snack later on, because I didn't eat much. Had chocolate milk as recovery from my run, and then had a can of tuna and an orange. All while hydrating.
so i went running tonight, and a good run it was. now onto a shower and dinner.

lunch time and more cleaning

So two pieces of shnitzel and a pita and hummus was today's lunch. I also peeled three oranges for snacks later. Swept the room and changed the sheets, have to hang some laundry and then it's time to relax.

good morning (afternoon)!

Well, slept like 10 hours last night, and I feel pretty good. My family got on the plane safely and sometime soon should be landing in NY. I woke up and had a good breakfast, 3 scrambled eggs and two pieces of rye bread, washed down with water and orange juice. Very nice. That's part of the rhythm I am pushing for  - a healthy breakfast each morning. I also took pictures for my records, of what I look like, and also took measurements to compare. Six weeks of hard work and dedication start today, and we'll see what kind of progress I can make.

Now it's time to organize all my stuff in my bedroom, and prep for my roommate moving in, which happens pretty soon. Hope all of you out there are enjoying the day (or back home, the early morning).

Friday, January 21, 2011

well, the laundry is done and the groceries are away. played a little guitar, and now am thinking about going to bed. i'm suddenly very lonely. my friends from the last group have all gone home, and my family is now on a flight, and there's noone in the apartment but me. i'd like to find someone to care about and who cares about me to spend time with.


i sit in my kitchen writing this just minutes after my family departed to the airport. i am tired, and emotionally drained and won't relax until they are home. it has been a great week. there were trying times to be sure, but there always is with family. the difference is deep down we love and care for each other. we went to masada, ein gedi, tel aviv, jerusalem, yad vashem, the knesset, the old city and more. i got them to all the places they wanted to see. i am really glad that my family came to see me in israel while i am here, so that they could experience a little bit of what makes this country special. but now that it's over, i am so drained, that i just want to sleep. but i am going to clean up a little around the house.

i found out that i will have another roommate who i was originally told will not be living with me, so the warm fuzzy feeling i had about my new roommate situation is tarnished. but i'll live with it. i've just got to nut up and be mature about it. i know this program doesn't exist and the city coordinators don't get paid to provide for my every comfort and want. so i just need to accept the situation and go from there. i think i'm just a little more apprehensive about it now. plus, i need to adjust to everyone new again, and that is never a fun thing.

in any event, there's a lot more to talk about, but i will pause for the moment and come back later.
thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

of reflections and reevaluating.

I'm not sure now how much I have to be angry about. I think the situation was a conflagration of many things happening at once. I was already standoffish with my friend for a bit before this incident, on account that he was leaving, and I already spoke about my issue with goodbyes. Then add the jealousy, which in all honesty is more than I would like to admit, and stir that in with the actual events that took place, and well, you get the previous three posts. I should state that I know, and understand now, that nobody took any action in any way with the intent of hurting me. So, I understand that and am reflecting on why exactly I reacted the way that I did.

First off, the statement of "Jealousy because I might have had interest in said woman." is simply that. I might have interest in her. However, I did not profess this to my friend, and so anything that did or did not happen really has nothing to do with me. I let my jealousy eat me for a bit, and it really allowed the crap that is in my head to bubble over, creating shit where no shit had been. 

I don't say this because I feel that I was creating something out of nothing. There's something there that I am upset about. But truth is, I'm not sure quite what right now. I do know that disappointment is a huge part of it. Disappointment in his actions, and disappointment in the attention given to him. But, that is something I will deal with. I'm processing, and it'll work itself out. I just need time to reflect.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

betrayal of a friend

is worse than an enemy. you expect an enemy to wound you in any way possible. you expect a friend to only wound you inadvertently and to do all that is possible to remedy the situation. however, it has been, and certainly proven the point the other day, my experience that the betrayal of a friend is the worst possible wound one could receive. and so the walls that were raised before, the walls that kept new people at a distance, that kept someone from achieving "friend" status, those walls are brought right the fuck back up because the "friend" i accepted and welcomed betrayed my trust and my understanding. so a big fuck you to that.


so i'm realizing there are more in-depth reasons as to why I am asocial. As I wade back into the social world, I find that the judgments I make on people are harsh, and mirror a jaded perspective. I have been working to put those snap-judgments to the side and get to know people more, and see if I was right, or if I was way off base. I have no problem being proved wrong. That's because most of my snap-judgments are cynical and look at people in the worst ways. So when I'm wrong normally it is because the person I misjudged is actually a good person and is a good thing to have in my life.

Recently, I have been reevaluating some friendships and I have come to the conclusion that on one, I was dead wrong. In the last week, all the things I believed about this person have been turned around. And another friend, who I thought I misjudged, and was better than the person I believed, well, it turns out that that snap-judgment was pretty damn on the mark.

There's a lot of factors at play here. Jealousy at the attention of women toward a friend. Jealousy because I might have had interest in said woman. Disappointment in the friend in which I invested my time and my trust in. The idea that the time I invested and the advice I gave was all an utter waste of my time and energy.

I'm sure there's more, and this post probably doesn't make much sense. But I write as it comes, and rarely does my thought process proceed linearly. Especially when I am trying to figure this shit out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

i firmly believe that i will never be happy again

there's really not much more to say about that.


I am sensitive. About a lot of things actually. I guess it started out years ago after my mom died. I've written before about how the death of my mom made me "different" than everyone else. I don't think I have ever felt the "same" since then. I have never felt that I was really a part of the crowd, no matter who the crowd was or what they were doing. I've never really liked making fun of other people nor being made fun of. Even if it's done jokingly I get hurt and it's just not cool. But I have this facade that I have built that makes it seem that these types of things don't bother me. Hell, look at the title of this blog. It is sarcastic, but it's really not at the same time. I find myself so self-conscious about my weight, and at the same time I hate myself for feeling this way. I make self-deprecating sarcastic remarks only as a shield so that if someone else says something I can laugh it off in front of people. But what people don't see is that I really do get hurt and it sucks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

not good at saying goodbye.

I think part of the issue I'm having lately is the fact that some friends of mine are leaving. Actually my whole apartment is leaving, which means not only are my friends leaving, but I will also get a whole new living situation after my break. That's something bothering me for sure. Also I guess I just suck at goodbyes, so much that I subconsciously distance myself before it will happen so that it's "easier." Well it's not easier, and it's not cool. But, hey, the world keeps on turning, right?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Been a rough couple of days

I don't know what's going on with me. I'm not sleeping well, I'm not eating well, and overall I feel like crap. I can only hope that this ends sometime soon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

return of the food log

As we welcome in the New Year, let's welcome back Mr. Food Log. Nice to see you, Mr. Log, what's the news for today?

Breakfast: 2 chocolate croissants and chocolate milk
Lunch: chicken cutlets and french fries
Snack: hummus and pita and chocolate milk
Dinner: Israeli salad and tuna and orange juice.

Not bad, huh? Thanks for stopping by Mr. Log.

awesome - remix

I want to link again to the website Their post at the end of the year is absolutely AWESOME. If you remember, I linked to their last post of 2009 as well. There is some awesome writing out here in the interwebs. I'm just happy to pass some of it along.

As for me, I am about to shower after the second run of the new year. I am tracking my exercises and workouts better now, and will begin to set up a chart/tracker, to give me some decent idea of progress.

Here in the house, the 42 group is leaving in 11 days, and then I go on my week vacation, with my Dad and Rachel and Jed. I cannot wait for them to get here. I'm also pretty sure that I am going to go home rather than stay here extending my trip. I haven't fully made up my mind, but I'm pretty sure that's what'll happen. I need time to recharge after this trip, and I won't have that if I stay here. But that's a decision I don't have to make just yet.

OK. Enough for now.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Resolutions

Right now, I weigh 235 pounds. That's 42 pounds less than when I started a year ago. But to say that losing 42 pounds is the measuring stick for what's different between me now and me a year ago, is missing out on so much more.

I feel like I did a complete turnaround of my life. When 2010 started, my situation was much as it had been since returning from Iraq back in 2005: I was stuck in a depression the likes of which devoured me completely. I hid from everyone - my friends and my family, people trying to help - everyone. I had no job and no life whatsoever. I didn't go out and do social things. I couldn't work at that point. So basically I had nothing.

However I decided that I was going to change. I decided that I would lose weight. I would get in shape. And from that beginning, everything else seemed to fall into place. I got a job in April, and was able to work full-time. I made some money but also got out of the house and interacted with people on a daily basis. I lost weight. I began to regain self-confidence. I helped others, and in so doing helped myself. 

Now, if you've read a fraction of this blog, you'd know that it was not an easy road. None of this came right away, and none of it is here at all times. I still struggle daily with depression, self-loathing and self-doubt. I still struggle with social situations. I struggle with my inner demons trying to hijack my thoughts and screw me up. But it's a struggle that I am winning more than I am losing. 

I am living here in Israel, half a world away from everything and everyone. I live in an apartment with six other people, six people who I didn't know when I got here. I am volunteering in a country where they speak a different language. I have learned a great deal here. I have made friends with some great people. I live with great people, and they live with me. I am living. 

If there is nothing else to take from this post, it's that in 2010, I started living again. 

So what to do as a followup in 2011? I think most of my goals will be continuation goals, but perhaps a new one here or there:

Keep playing guitar: I am learning and having a great time making some music, and I want to get better. 
Keep exercising: If nothing else, the exercising helps with the depression
Lose 35 pounds: I want to be 200 pounds when 2012 comes along. 
Go back to college: It's high time I finished college. This is the year I start that path.
Make new friends: Can never have too many friends.
Go on a date:  Might as well see what's out there.

Well, that's it from here. If I think of more, I'l post them. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The new year.

I've been in a funk of sorts the last week and a half or so. I don't really know why, and I haven't been doing much to get out of it. I thought I was sick and the doc gave me a few days off, and so I slept. A lot. But I got my blood test results back today and I am not sick. Physically sick, I mean. So it's now time to get off the mat again, and start the new year. Actually, to start the new year, I am going to take a step back and look at the year that was 2010.

Back at the beginning of this blog, the idea was to lose weight and get in shape. I began with a goal of losing 30 pounds through the year. Also, these were added: Get outside my comfort zoneVolunteerGet new hobbies, and Open a savings account.

So here's the rundown:

I lost 42 pounds! 
I started different jobs and eventually came across the world to live in and volunteer in a place I have never been, living with people I had never seen!
I volunteer teaching English and at a Women's shelter here in Ashdod, and I volunteered back home with the Cub Scouts!
I am learning to play the guitar!
I made a goal to save money for my Israel trip, and I did!

So I successfully completed my New Years resolutions. 

Well, now the thing is: what do I decide is this year's goals and resolutions?

I gotta think about this...