TL;DR: 25 year old male living abroad has spent a year waking up to the truth after a catastrophic, toxic friendship with a girl from college went up in flames. While he is still far from where he wants to be, he is on his way there.
Up until a year ago I drank all the SJW/Feminist kool aid I could possibly get my hands on. I grew up in a place that promotes PC culture (it might as well be renamed 'cuckistan'). To add to it, I had a very abusive mother growing up, who would beat me and have absolute control over my life. I took no responsibility for my actions and I believed I was entitled to everything under the sun.
Then, it happened.
I befriended someone in University and the friendship developed into a deep on. I believed her to be my best friend. Little did I know that I was being taken advantage of and it had all the tropes of 'friend zone' hijinks.
I won't go into further detail, but the friendship deteriorated. She broke up with her bf, started dating someone else, I started feeling funny when she was PDAing it up in my face (not excusable, just an explanation), and at the end she ended up turning really nasty. The full story can be found below.
She taught me a very valuable lesson, one that I had refused to learn for quite a while because I believed in maintaining a moral high ground and putting the greater good before self-preservation.
She also taught me that female friendships are worthless at best and toxic at worst.
I decided from that point to take action. I started hitting the gym at a more regular pace (I went sporadically before), I decided to pay more attention to what I was eating (it's gotten to a point where I get excited about eating a kale salad!). I've even tried a few new things, including doing a few open mics at the local comedy club to work on my wit and my courage.
I also had to make several hard choices. One of which was to close to border of friendships to women until I figure out what the hell is going on. Does this mean I am nasty to all the women I meet now? Absolutely not. Does this mean I proactively avoid women wherever I go? No. Some of my new friends (who are absolutely amazing) have gfs of their own and we get on quite nicely. I work with several female co-workers. So if you're a woman and the SO of someone I hold hear, or someone I maintain a professional relationship with, you're ok. Just understand that there'll still be an arm's length between us.
I am more selective with my time, which is an extremely precious resource. I used to languish in bars, not understanding the girl I was hoping to score with had chosen someone else. But nowadays, if there isn't something that stands to benefit me, I gtfo of where I am going and go somewhere that there is.
There haven't been many results, unfortunately. I am a lot more balanced with my thinking (as opposed to the mental wreck I was before). I have lost a significant amount of weight. And I have purged my life of most of its toxicity (male or female). My time and friendship is no longer freely given, it its earned.
But I am still single, and I still am without a girlfriend, which is what I want. But I have a date in the next few days, and while I am keeping my expectations balanced, I understand that I am in a much better place than I was before.
They journey, as they say, goes on.