Part 46

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on F.I.R.E.  This week is a shorter post owing to the fact it’s my birthday week.  I’ll be discussing my progress at the gym as well as an update on my mental health, and finish with some photos from my birthday meal.

Quote of the Week

I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and I saw this quote posted by Jamie Salsburg, who was in turn quoting Allan Lokos.  It’s a great quote and it struck me like a punch to the gut.  The effect it had on me was like a cross between a blindfold being removed and a penny-drop moment.  Those words contain immense truth and wisdom, but knowing something does not always help with the emotions that come with the thoughts.  In some ways, thinking about something that never happened can be just as painful as remembering something that has happened.  This is where PTSD and obsessive/intrusive thoughts can be debilitating.  You can know that a particular thing happened, but then your mind can take that premise and run with it, creating an entire epic of traumatic thoughts.

Also, a little shout-out to Jamie is needed. For those of you who don’t know, he’s the host of The After Gambling Podcast and it was this podcast more than anything that helped me stop gambling. He’s a great guy and we had a video call a few weeks ago to talk about gambling addiction. For anyone struggling with gambling I would recommend you listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter; @jamiesalsburg and @aftergambling.

Weekly Update

My mental health is still not great.  In fact, in the last few days I’ve been as low as I can remember being.  I’ve been having therapy, and I’ve had six sessions.  It hasn’t helped.  The act of talking was helpful at first, but that’s all it was.  Talking.  I would feel a little better for a couple of days for having talked about my thoughts and feelings, but the “high” from the therapy was getting shorter each time.  I had my last session on Wednesday and I was just impatient to get it over with.  I was hinting that I needed more practical help, but it was not forthcoming.  We had talked about mindfulness but it just isn’t effective for me.  I have been switching from intense anger to utter despair, and when you are in those extremes mindfulness just doesn’t cut it.  I likened it to trying to quench your thirst with a single drop of water.  It’s only going to make you more angry and more frustrated.  

It was my birthday on Friday (September 11th) and it was maybe the worst birthday I’ve had.  I’ve had worse birthdays objectively; times when I’ve been alone or having arguments.  This birthday sucked because of what’s going on inside my head.  Also, I had to go back on antidepressants.  I stopped taking them years ago and it was self-reinforcing to my self-esteem that I was able to manage my mental health, for the most part, through diet and exercise.  The fact I’ve had to go back on them, and on my birthday, was a massive blow to my self-confidence.  Just as I think I’ve bottomed out, I feel worse.

The thing about depression is it manifests in different ways for different people.  I’m a functioning depressive.  I can do my day-to-day activities, for the most part, to my normal standard.  A lot of the time, though, I’m on autopilot, and I’m simply coasting through life.    

Health Update

My diet is still not great.  I find myself waking up in the middle of the night and eating.  Although I say I wake up, I’m not fully awake.  It’s a little like sleep-walking.  Not sure what the answer is, or why I do it, but from what I’ve read online it can be a symptom of depression.  I asked my therapist about this and she said I should lock my food away, which is not really a realistic option.  Also, if I’m awake enough to have cereal, I’m awake enough to figure out how to open a lock.  The problem is I’m not awake enough to stop myself.  It’s a bit weird.

I’ve gone to the gym several times in the past week and seem to be finding a routine, which is good.  I’m doing full body workouts with much lighter weights than I’m used to.  My plan is to complete these workouts for a few more weeks and then slowly increase the weight lifted and the sets completed.  I’m doing three sets on my chest, back, biceps, triceps, upper legs and lower legs; so eighteen sets in total.  I’ll increase that to four sets and then continue for a few more weeks before splitting the sessions into leg, chest/tricep and back/bicep days.  Then, when I’m back to something approaching reasonable shape, I’ll start working on abs and core muscles.  For now, I don’t want to be that overweight guy doing wrist curls in the corner of the gym.  When you’re overweight, I believe compound exercises are where you get the biggest gains.

Financial Update

Premium Bonds: £20,550 (no change from last update).

Stocks and Shares ISA: £12,262.79 (up £133.23 from last update).

Fuck It Fund: £0.00 (no change from last update).

Property Value: £187,554 (no change from last update).

Total Assets: £220,366.79 (up £133.23 from last update).

Credit Card: £0.00 (no change from last update).

Residential Mortgage: £142,814.69 (no change from last update). 

Total Debts: £142,814.69 (no change from last update).

Total Wealth Figure: £77,552.10 (up £133.23 from last update). 

Investment Income in 2020: £111.36 (no change from last update) (target £2,000).

My ISA value has apparently increased, but when you factor in my monthly investment of £200 you can see it’s actually decreased in value a little.  The stock market does not show any immediate signs of sustained recovery and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I can see this continuing for some time.  However, as each month passes by I’m increasing the quantity of stock units I own which means when the market does recover I will see more growth.  

9/11

Having your birthday on September 11th is unfortunate, although a friend of mine did point out that if you look hard enough you will find tragedy on any day of the year.  The 9/11 attacks were a turning point in world history though.  It’s one of those events for which there is a definite before and after.  People talk about the post-9/11 world and we sometimes forget how much changed because of 9/11.  My thoughts are with all those affected by the attacks.

My Birthday Meal

Those who know me well, know that I’m a bit of a foodie.  I love fine dining, and so for my birthday, a group of us dined at Rafters and the food was excellent.  Below are a selection of photos from the tasting menu:

Although the food was excellent for the most part, the lamb course was the weakest link.  The sides had an almost spicy flavour that I did not feel complimented the menu as a whole.  The Cornish Plaice was great but the charred leek accompaniment was incredible.  The Isle of Wight Tomatoes with goats cheese, garden herbs and elderflower was a big hit with all four of us.  This is the thing about fine dining; the chefs can take simple ingredients and through careful preparation elevate them into something fantastic.  

The service at the restaurant was a little disappointing.  Most of the staff were great but one waiter, when placing our cutlery on the table, seemed to be passive-aggressive in dropping the cutlery instead of placing it.  It’s difficult to describe but after he finished we were all a bit dumbfounded and wondering if we had done something to offend him.  It was a small issue in the context of the evening though and I would still thoroughly recommend Rafters to anyone looking for fine dining in Sheffield.

Final Notes

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great week.  If you enjoy Mortgage Advisor on FIRE, please share the blog on your social media.  If you have any questions, please get in touch on Twitter (@nowwelive01) or Instagram (@david_scothern), or leave a comment on this post.

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