No More Caffeine

I’ve quit caffeine more times than you can shake a stick at.

For days, weeks, months even.

Then, one day, I’ll feel it.

Maybe I stayed up too late the night before.

Maybe I needed to get up extra early.

I’ll see a vending machine. Or a gas station.

“Just one won’t hurt.”

Right?

A few weeks ago I saw this:

Caffeine doesn’t give you energy, it just keeps you alert.

I knew that already.

I didn’t know it triggered the release of dopamine and cortisol.

Dopamine addiction is the reason the reason it’s so hard to just quit porn.

Cortisol is also known as “the stress hormone”. Elevated cortisol levels make it harder to lose weight.

I don’t drink coffee. It’s against the Word of Wisdom. It’s also gross.

Almost all of my caffeine has come from Mountain Dew.

So has a lot of my weight.

So by continuing to drink this stuff, not only have I made myself fat. I’ve also been causing myself extra stress, making it harder to lose weight, making myself irritable, AND making it harder to quit porn and get to the Temple.

If that’s not reason enough to quit, I don’t know what is.

Turn off the news

TV turning off

I was a news junkie. I’d go to news sites. Read all about all the things.

Mostly bad things.

It messed me up. I was stressed out all the time.

My wife at the time told me I should stop reading the news so much. So I tried it. No more Drudge. No more local news sites.

I felt so much better.

Most news outlets want to scare you. That’s how they make their money.

Think about it. Not everything happening in the world is bad. It can’t be. Good news seldom gets reported.

If something truly important happens, you won’t have to watch the news. Everyone will be talking about it. You won’t be able to avoid it.

And if it’s not big and important and life changing, why do you need to know about it?

You don’t need that negativity.

Stop terrorizing your own mind.

Be Weird

Weird Guy“Easy for you to say, Phil. You’re already weird.”

So are you. Being a Latter-day Saint is weird. We are a peculiar people.

Accept it.

Embrace it.

What do you care what other people think?

Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1965

Too many of us do what everyone else does, without thinking about whether that’s the best option for us.

Here in the Western world, a typical person’s life goes like this:

  • Preschool
  • School
  • College
  • Work at a boring/stressful job
  • Retire for a little bit
  • Death

For Latter-day Saint men there’s usually a mission or two in there somewhere, but the rest is the same.

We’ve been conditioned to believe this is how life goes. We figure we’ll enjoy life later. When we retire.

Most people die not long after retiring.

I spent twenty years doing things just to make money. After that I decided to try to find a better way.

I’m finally figuring out how to support myself and my kids doing things I love.

And it doesn’t involve getting a J.O.B. Just Over Broke. Building someone else’s dream. Working forty hours a week. Having someone else dictate my schedule. Barely having any time and energy left to do what I want.

Getting a job is one of many things our society tells us is “normal.”

Our society is sick, and getting sicker.

Don’t listen to them.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Heavenly Father didn’t give you a unique set of talents and abilities so you could be like everyone else. Stop suppressing the things that make you unique.

Try stuff out. Try as many different things as you can (as long as it’s not something immoral). See what you like. Pursue that.

Improve. Learn more, even though you’ve left school. Keep pushing. Don’t over stress yourself, but keep growing.

Be what James Altucher calls “The Criminal of Their Rules.”

Be willing to be ridiculed.

Be willing to be thought a fool.

Be a non-conformist.

Be willing to live by inspiration and revelation.

Be weird.

Porn addiction

XXX

She knew I’d had problems with it before.

She asked me about it directly .

I was ashamed. I didn’t want to admit I’d done it AGAIN.

So I lied.

Eventually the truth came out. She could accept that I’d slipped again. She couldn’t accept my dishonesty. That’s why she left me.

My addiction started years before I met her. Someone had shown me some dirty magazines, then suggested I get some of my own. At first I said no. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me.

It became a cycle. I’d buy a few magazines. Hold on to them for a while. Then throw them out in disgust. What had I become?

I’d be good for a while. Eventually I’d be drawn back in.

After several years I went back to church. I tried to stay invisible. Eventually the Bishop asked to meet with me. I told him everything.

I started checking in with him once a week. That seemed to do the trick. Eventually I got a Temple recommend. I did baptisms for the dead a few times.

After a while I stopped going to church. I fell back into old habits. Then I met her.

After we got married it was easier not to indulge. At least at first. Life became stressful, and I wasn’t good at communicating. I started acting out when she wasn’t around.

We moved. I resolved to quit once and for all. I went to the Bishop and confessed. He wanted me to get counseling, and said he would pay for it. He also said I needed to confess to my wife.

Confessing to her that first time was hard. I was sure she would leave me. She was hurt. But my confession helped us grow closer. I promised not to lie to her again.

I was good for three years after that. It didn’t seem hard.

We moved a few more times. Life got more stressful. I gave in to my urges. I was so ashamed.

Then she asked. I forgot my promise. I lied.

I confessed to the Bishop, but not to her.

We started marriage counseling. We became closer than ever. But something was in the way. So I told her.

I thought it would be like before. Our marriage would be stronger than ever. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

For six months she struggled. Eventually she decided to separate.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m not the only one. A LOT of men in the Church have this problem. My guess is around half. You’re not alone. Far from it.

There are a lot of single brethren out there who are addicted to pornography. Get it out of your lives. Do whatever you have to in order to be clean.

Then there are the married brethren. I’m not singling you out to shame you. I’m singling you out to warn you. You could lose everything. You don’t want that. Be open with your wives. Do whatever you need to do to save your marriages. I hope it’s not too late for you.

Ask Heavenly Father for help. Meet with your Bishop as often as you need to. Get marriage counseling. Go to addiction recovery meetings. Do what must be done.

If you slip, BE HONEST.

You may think you’re sparing her feelings, but you’re really betraying her trust.