Self-help & Self-improvement

Ninety-Nine Days from Now: A Story of Getting Better

By

This book will launch on Jan 26, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Not for me 😔

An inspiring read but offers little in the way of practical advice and tips

Synopsis

On a beautiful spring day in 2018, I realized I’d hit the lowest point of depression that I would tolerate. In this moment of clarity, I committed to change everything that was making me unhappy over the next one hundred days. I would write and document my progress while working to change my destructive habits, my poisonous thinking, and lack of hope or direction. This is the story of finally shining a light on what I let myself and my life become, and working everyday to turn it all around toward something better. It is dark, it’s funny, it’s embarrassing, and I hope it’s inspiring!

Wanting to change is one thing but making a long-term commitment to change is an entirely different kettle of fish. Ninety-Nine Days from Now: A Story of Getting Better demonstrates the pain and joy experienced on the road to transformation as Volk documents every pitfall and triumph with honesty. His ability to bare himself so openly to the world is admirable and will undoubtedly inspire any reader to have a moment of introspection. However, the author fails to offer much in the way of practical advice for those having such a moment. 


There is no doubt that Volk is a talented and enthusiastic writer – and his achievements are absolutely worth celebrating – but reading a diary documenting the tricky act of combating depression and other obstacles without any pointers is slightly remiss. His true grit and determination to make himself exercise, read several books and commit to a new way of life is commendable, but I wish there was more insight into how he managed it so others could embark on their own journey. 


Of course, this documentation of how lifestyle change is an uphill battle could indeed give someone (already taking steps towards improvement) the reassurance they need, and serve as a friendly reminder they are not alone. The diary format is comforting and the author’s voice shines through so heavily, I found myself feeling guilty at reading something so personal and private. The book covers various topics that will be relatable to so many in the current crisis as positive lifestyle choices are becoming increasingly lost. 


If you are currently hitting a brick wall with your own personal development then this book could be a cheerful reminder that it takes time. I would also recommend this if you want to launder your self-talk language and develop a kinder inner-voice, but if you are looking for clear action points then come back to this when you have an established game plan.



Reviewed by

I'm a journalist by day and a horror enthusiast...also by day. But I can't live off blood and gore forever, so I like to switch it up with a nice romance, fantasy or true crime book.

I will always be fair and honest with my reviews.

Synopsis

On a beautiful spring day in 2018, I realized I’d hit the lowest point of depression that I would tolerate. In this moment of clarity, I committed to change everything that was making me unhappy over the next one hundred days. I would write and document my progress while working to change my destructive habits, my poisonous thinking, and lack of hope or direction. This is the story of finally shining a light on what I let myself and my life become, and working everyday to turn it all around toward something better. It is dark, it’s funny, it’s embarrassing, and I hope it’s inspiring!

Day 1

Life Date is a term I know from gang culture. Gang members often get tattoos of the date they joined their chosen affiliation, forever marking that date as the day they began life anew. “Began life anew “ is a phrase no gang member has ever said and serves as proof that I am not one. Today is May 7th, 2018, and it gives me unsure butterflies to suggest that today is mine.

I’m halfway through twenty-seven, and I’m miserable. Since I was twenty-five, I’ve let my life be a slow descent into isolation, stretch pants, stretch marks, mediocrity, and hopelessness. I’ve been aware of this through my observations and previous counseling for my depression, habits of isolation, and eating disorder - I’ll get to that later. Recently though, I’ve been experiencing something foreign even to my ever-darkening horizon. That is the feeling of malice.

From age twenty-five to today, I’ve sunk further into the quicksand. I’ve declined more invitations than ever before. I’ve punched more walls than I ever had in my lifetime, and then teared up at the frustration of only hurting myself. I’ve broken down in tears a few times out of nowhere, feeling crushed under the weight of despair. I’ve said things about strangers in the privacy of my car that shocked and frightened me because they were so vile. “Is this really me speaking?” The things I’ve said to myself this year have changed too. I’ve looked my reflection dead in the eye and said, “I hate you, you piece of shit,” and I really, really, meant it.

In the past few months, the newest deviation from my old self-image is the sick pleasure I got from bullying some house pets, in particular, an annoying Shih Tzu named Chelsey. I’m an animal lover, but Chelsey, I don’t like even a little. What alarmed me most was my pure enjoyment frightening her with my mere presence. I enjoyed watching her scurry away like the coward she is. I suppose it made me feel powerful when I felt the weakest - like the twisted gratification bullies get when they prey on the meek.

I’ve never hurt or even touched Chelsey. I couldn’t if I wanted to - she is afraid of her own shadow, and barks bloody murder at the faintest sound. But every day, I got more enjoyment from intimidating her. I made more and more jokes about her accidental disappearance, and the humor that disguised that truth slipped away every time. As an animal lover, I didn’t use to believe I could ever harm one. That wasn’t me. In fact, imagining the violence I would bring to those who do hurt animals had been one allowance of evil I’ve let myself contemplate. But I’ve encountered more and more of my dark side this year, and I believe I have a better understanding of how evil manifests. I’m glad I caught it before it was too late.

I think we are all capable of committing the most insidious horrors just as we are capable of the grandest acts of kindness. All of us. I used to believe that there were good and bad people, and I was one of the good ones. Chelsey helped me understand that the tilt towards the angel or devil on my shoulder is a gradual sway made up of millions of benign choices. For years, I’ve been allowing myself to tolerate decisions and circumstances that deviate from the better angels of my nature, all the while imagining who I used to be, as who I really was.

Today, May 7th, 2018, is the day I realized that who I am now is entirely different from who I want to be. I’ve chosen isolation over community. I’ve chosen food over love, perhaps confusing the two. I’ve become bitter, resentful, and jealous of those who prosper. I’ve become Cain, and I’ve seen that I’m able (cough) of committing more evil if the years continue like this. Before I go on, Chelsey is fine and thriving as much as one can as a terrified Shih Tzu. If she doesn’t bark at me and run away, I’ll have to thank her. She showed me the reflection I needed to see.

As of today, May 7th, 2018, I accept and own the following:

• I am 40 pounds overweight, and my pasty- white belly spilling over my pants is a daily disappointment, often preventing me from venturing out the door.

• I am about $14,000 in credit card debt, and I have no plan to get out. Continuing down this path will make the debt worse.

• I currently make about $600 each month, which is just enough to make the minimum payment on my credit cards, leaving me little cash to fill up the car or make purchases, so I use the credit card and sink further into debt.

• I live at a friend’s house for free, and nothing is mine. I’m a tolerated guest, but I need to be the king of my castle.

• I’ve lost years of my life “waiting to be better,” and I will continue to lose years if I don’t make a change.

So, today is the day I’m tentatively committing to change.

It’s scary to commit, even to no one. What if this is just another broken promise I make, and no one ever knows? Based on Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and a basic understanding of The Law of Attraction, here are the things I would like to focus on every day, as a ritual to pull myself out of the dark and into the light:

Mantra: I will work daily to create and follow new processes and habits that will shape me into the person I wish to be. I will adjust strategies along the way, but I will not stop. I will be 145 pounds of lean muscle. I will have $250,000 in my bank account. I will write professionally. I want to be a New York Times Best Selling author. I will be honest with myself and others. I will be my most authentic self for myself and others. I will live my definite purpose in life. I’m thankful for everything and everyone I have. I will relentlessly pursue my desires. I believe they are working just as hard to reach me, as I am to reach them.

Health

• Implement the Bulletproof Diet Plan and Inter- mittent Fasting for weight loss

Wealth

• Start looking for a job

Knowledge

• I want to increase my knowledge by finishing one book a week from now on


About the author

Cody had always loved to write, but music was the chosen career path. In 2018, life took a downward spiral and necessity led to Cody writing a detailed account of finally confronting depression, poisonous thinking, and toxic habits to turn his life around. Ninety-Nine Days from Now is that story. view profile

Published on November 20, 2020

60000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Self-help & Self-improvement

Reviewed by