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2018
Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

When Its Yours

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 30, 2018

~~Be yourself.  If you water yourself down to please people or to fit in or to not offend anyone, you lose the power, the passion, the freedom, and the joy of being uniquely you.  It's much easier to love yourself when you are being yourself.~~ Dan Coppersmith

 

It's easy to lose yourself here.  There are so many people supporting and guiding you....so many cheering you on...so many who have amazing stories of overcoming obstacles.  You like them.  You are impressed with them.  You want to be like them.  A quitter.

 

So you take their advice.  You read everything they suggest you read.  You say things like "I don't do that anymore".  You stick your head in the freezer and drink gallons of ice water.  You chew on cinnamon sticks and get rid of all smoking items in your house, your car, your porch.

 

And still you relapse.  And as you smoke, you hate what you're doing and you don't understand why you failed.  You did EVERYTHING they told you to do.  So why?

 

Your life is not here .  Your spirit is not in the control+alt keys.  Your soul is not in a blog, no matter how wonderfully you write or how many comments you get. 

 

It is so important to add you to your quit!!  Your personality.  Your routine.  Your passions.  Even your family and friends.

You are the only one who knows what makes you happy so add that!  You are the only one who knows what stresses you out....so avoid that!  You are the only one who knows what keeps you going....so add that! 

 

In other words, personalize your quit.  Add all the little nuances that make you you   Bring out your talents, utilize your strengths, create your quit with all that you are!  Because it's yours.  Mold it, shape it, build it.  Own it. 

 

When your quit is a reflection of who you are, you will find that you are in control of it.  You know how to hold on to it, you know how to strengthen it, and you know when it's solid.  You don't have to be like anyone else here....not even the elders.  This is all about YOU.  Know we are here for you but it's your quit so make it yours.   You'll keep it then.

 

 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

The Reality

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 29, 2018

~~The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.~~  Unknown

 

Not trying to be hard on anyone here.  Most of us have thought we couldn't.  Many of us have had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.  A few of us.....myself included....have even felt like we were the only ones in the world who COULDN'T quit.  It was beyond our capabilities.

 

But the reality is that of course you can quit smoking!  It takes no special skill set.  No unique talents.  Not even much physical effort.

 

It just takes a willingness to not smoke no matter what.  Smoking is off the table regardless of what your life looks like or what you are going through.  Just a willingness.  How simple is that?

 

Now simple doesn't mean easy.  Getting out of our comfort zone is uncomfortable.  Dealing with stress without a crutch is uncomfortable.  Going through our day without that habit we have nurtured for so long is uncomfortable.  And not many of us like to be that uncomfortable.  But please remember feeling uncomfortable is not the same thing as being in physical pain....or being unable to function.  Do not build in your mind the thoughts that being without cigarettes will kill you.  Because that is addiction talking as the truth is that smoking is what will kill you.

 

I read about a woman who had lost 90 pounds and was extremely proud of her achievement.  One man commented, "You are doing good things for you, but let's face it...losing weight isn't difficult.  Eat healthy, cut out the junk, and become physically active will get you there.  It's not rocket science."  Well, I thought that was a bit harsh but as I thought about (while smoking on my back porch) it dawned on me that he has a point.  It isn't hard in that only certain people can achieve it.  The hard part comes in changing our habits, not falling back into old patterns of behavior, and overcoming the blocks in our minds of why we can't have what we want.  

 

I wanted to quit.  It wasn't rocket science.  To reach my goal, I just couldn't smoke anymore.  And so I didn't.  It's been over five years now and not one regret in quitting!

 

Again, I am not dismissing the fact that you may find quitting a struggle.  Difficult.  Stressful.  But can you do it?  Of course you can!!  Let go of those thoughts that you can't.  Let go of those ideas that it's too hard.  Feel the fear and do it anyway because when you do, the fear has no place to go and it dies.  

 

Reach that goal of being an ex!  It just takes a willingness to do it and an open mind to keep it.  The utter freedom you find is worth it, I promise.  

~~My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive;  and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.~~  Maya Angelou

 

You'll often read here that quitting isn't just an event, it's a lifestyle.  It's a journey filled with changes, challenges, and personal growth.  And it's only when you resist those changes and challenges and growth that you run into struggles and angst and relapse.

 

For me, my quit truly began when I decided that I wasn't going to be a victim anymore.  Not a victim of addiction.  Not a victim of others.  Not a victim of life.  I had to let go of what had happened over the years in order to begin to thrive.

 

Letting go of a lifetime of beliefs isn't always easy.  It's so easy to fall back into the old way of thinking or feeling or behaving.  That's why I surrounded myself with positivity.  I woke with gratitude, I gave to others, I counted my blessings.  I tried new things even when I wanted to run and hide.  I laughed often.  I found myself.

 

This may be total confusing to some of you.  Maybe you think you have your life together and don't need to look at things differently.  Maybe you don't.  Maybe some of you think that you have every right to be hurt or isolated or shut down.  And maybe you do.

 

That's the thing about life.  It allows you to be any way you want.  It allows you to create your reality.  I chose to be a non-smoker who loves life.  Who thrives.  Who tries. 

 

What do you choose?

~~And then it happens...one day you wake up and you're in this place.  You're in this place where everything feels right.

Your heart is calm.  Your soul is lit.  Your thoughts are positive.  Your vision is clear.  You're at peace, at peace with where you've been, at peace with what you've been through, and at peace where you're headed.~~  Unknown

 

If you hold on to your quit, you'll feel it happen.  You will feel different.  And it will all be worth it.  

~~I may not be perfect, but I'm always me.~~  Unknown

 

Someone once asked me why I start my posts with quotes.  I love words and how they touch my heart!  That's all I'll say on that

 

Just wanted to say that I am getting the hang of having two jobs now!  It's still a work in progress but I enjoy them both and wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm finding time for me so that really helps as well.  Being an introvert, I value my alone time to rejuvenate and relax. 

 

But I also have this need to remind people that they are ok with who they are where they are.  Strange, huh?  It's alright, I agree.  But the thought of so many people being unhappy with themselves because they've been told they aren't good enough...aren't pretty enough....aren't smart enough....well, it hurts my heart.  And the thought of people smoking because they don't think they are 'enough' to quit???  Makes me tear up.

 

Anyone can quit smoking.  We all know that.  But in the secret of your heart you don't think that you can be successful because you "aren't"...aren't smart enough, strong enough, brave enough....please listen. 

 

You are just fine as you are.  You are just fine where you are in life as well.  Maybe you haven't reached all your goals.  Maybe you haven't even set any goals.  Doesn't matter!!  You can live a smoke free life no matter what. 

 

I know because I've been there.  And I'm now here telling you that things get so much better!!  Your quit gets better when you hold it.  You get better when you accept who you are.  And who you are is perfect.  I mean that.  No one else can do the things you can do with your grace, your skill, your unique spin on things.  No one else.  You are so needed just the way you are.

 

So get over those thoughts that you can't.  That you aren't 'enough'.  That it doesn't matter.  Of course you can, you are enough, and you matter to the universe!!  Why else would you be here??? 

 

So, see?  I have these needs and I act on them.  It's kinda who I am.  You may not understand.  You may not need my words.  You may not even 'get it'.  But I'm simply being me and that is enough for me to continue  

 

Sheri

~~It's not a crime not to know yourself.  It's not a crime to send life away.  It's just a shame.~~  Andrew O'Hagan

 

 

 

Sometimes when we first quit smoking, we have no idea who we are.  How are we going to fill our time?  How are we going to NOT be angry?  How are we going to cope?  A life without cigarettes?  We tend to let go with regret and...almost...sorrow.  It's all we know and for some....it's who they are.

 

Or so they think.  It's not a crime to not know yourself.  Truly it's not.  But I can tell you that there is sheer joy in knowing who you are.  And I can tell you that you are so much more than you ever thought you were!!  Tied to cigarettes, smokers do not let themselves drift too far away from the next smoke.  Any adventure is somewhat stifled by the need to stop and light up.

 

Without them, the true you can emerge.  The you who is creative.  The you who is compassionate.  The you who wants to volunteer at a homeless shelter.  The you who has always secretly dreamed of performing at your local theater.  The you who longs for adventure.

 

You may doubt me.  You may say you are 'too scared', 'too shy', 'too depressed'.  You may feel like you simply want the comfort of your old routine.  You think you were fine just that way.

 

Not as a smoker, my friend.  You were never meant to be one.  You were never meant to hide your brilliance behind a cloud of nicotine.  Most of us knew we were risking illness and death even when we refused to think too hard about that.  Most of us knew we were isolating ourselves from those we love most.  "Protecting them" from second hand smoke meant so much time away from them.  Maybe only 5 or 10 minutes at a time but doing that 20 or 40 times a day for years....well, you get the picture.

 

So a new you will be blossoming as you move through your quit.  I hope you are curious about who you are becoming.  I hope you are proud of that part of you that always wanted you to quit smoking.  That part of you that never abandoned the hope that you would free yourself from your addiction.

 

And mostly, I hope that you will find out that really the sky is the limit!  You have it in you to do anything you set your mind to.  Truly you do!  You are brave, resilient, strong, and persistent.  As you allow those characteristics to stretch and grow, you will find there is so much more to life than you saw as a smoker.  So much more to feel.  So much more to do.  And so very much more to be. 

 

On your way, dear quitter.  Life is waiting  

 

Sheri

~~I care.  I care a lot.  It's kinda my thing.~~  Unknown

 

I love coming here and reading how you're doing.  Stan and Ralph and Deborah and so many others!  I love to read Mike's morning cheer and Marilyn's positive vibes and Dale's fun but yet so true posts.  I love Larry's travels and Giulia's psychological insights and Daniela's light.  Well, I guess you get it by now (although I could go on for days!) that this site is important to me and so are each one of you.

 

But since I started my second job, I confess that learning the ropes is time consuming and then giving 100% attention to my first job as well is a bit of a challenge.  My church started religious education last Wednesday as well so I'm back to teaching my 5th graders that God does indeed love them.  And I only have one day off a week which is needed for the laundry mat, lawn mowing, grocery shopping, and household stuff. 

 

In other words, right now I'm kept busy. 

 

I'm not here like I want to be. I'm missing out on wonderful posts and lovely sentiments, and beautiful blogs.   And I'm sure it will all even out eventually and I'll learn how to successfully juggle.  But for right now, I just have to take care of business. So I'm not here like I want to be and often I'm too tired to do much more than say hi.  But please know that I want to hear all about your quit!! 

 

Because I care   I love to hear your successes, your triumphs, your adventures.  Whether you are on day 1 or day 1001, every step counts.  I like to cheer, to clap, and to support.  So just know that even when I'm not here, you all are important to me. 

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

For You

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 18, 2018

~~Cover yourself with love, bathe yourself in forgiveness, honor yourself by pursuing your passions, open yourself to life with purpose, give yourself a chance, surprise yourself with dreams realized.~~  Unknown

 

For some, quitting smoking is a very pragmatic process.  Create your toolbox, chose a quit date, get rid of all smoking items, change routine.  Done!

 

For others, not so logical.  Because sometimes smoking masks the pain of living.  I understood this clearly when I was talking with someone I was working with.  She was a domestic violence survivor, a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, a high school drop out.  She was defensive, defiant, angry.  She said she was glad I had quit smoking, but that didn't mean she would.  Not because she couldn't (so she said), but because it wouldn't change anything for her.  No one cared if she lived or died.  No one would be proud of her if she quit.  And smoking was her comfort.  Because she got no comfort from anyone or anything else.

 

Now most of us don't have pasts like this young woman.  Most of us have some sort of support system and most of us have jobs, families to care for, and/or a defined purpose to our lives.  Most of us also have a sense of self, a secure feeling about who we are and what we can accomplish. 

 

But some don't.  And that breaks my heart.  So for those quitters, want to be quitters, and 'why should I quit' quitters, I want to remind you that the reason for your quit should, above all else, be for you.  It should be because you deserve to live a live free of substances that keep you isolated from the world.  It should be because you deserve to live a life of good health.  It should be because you are a beautiful soul who deserves to live a life secure in the knowledge that you belong here on earth....there is a purpose to your being here...you are important and worthy and you matter.

 

So if you have no one to remind you of all these things, it's up to you to cover yourself with love and to give yourself a chance.  It's up to you to surprise yourself with a life well lived and to bathe yourself in forgiveness for not loving yourself for all those years.  It's up to you to honor yourself by pursuing your passions and to surprise yourself with dreams realized. 

 

Concentrate on nurturing all the good in you and walk away from things like smoking that no longer serve the person you  are.  And the person you are is so very, very worthy of the good life has to offer.  You are deserving of being loved...by you.  Start taking an active interest in all the brilliance you have inside and allow it to come out! 

 

The young lady I was working with is surrounding herself with positive things that mean something to her.  She has a gratitude journal she writes in every morning because it starts her day off well.  She volunteers at a local animal shelter because she knows what its like to be abandoned and abused like the animals have been.  And she is working hard at her GED classes.  Through therapy, she is working through hard stuff so she has her hard times.  I think she is amazing.  She isn't so sure. 

 

When you don't have a cheering section, when you don't have a loving family, when you don't have positive outside influences, find what you need in you.  Your quiet strength, your courage, your inner grace, your self-love will be enough to see you through your quit and build a life worthy of you

 

Sheri

 

 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Clarification

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 15, 2018

~~Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.~~  Unknown

 

I seemed to have ruffled a few feathers today, unknowingly and unintentionally, with my blog about addiction.  Most of us, as another exer pointed out, didn't know cigarettes were addictive when we started smoking.  Big tobacco may indeed have hidden the truth.  An being a nicotine addict is not the same thing as being an illegal drug addict.  Or a gambling addict.  Or an alcoholic.  All different yet in many ways the same. 

 

My intent was not to upset anyone.  It helped me when I decided to stop playing around with my quit to actually really understand addiction and therefore understanding that I was an addict.  That little four inch paper cylinder had total control over me because even if I could "put it off" for awhile, I always ended up finding a spot to smoke.  Always. 

The definition of addiction, per the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine), is as follows:

Short Definition of Addiction:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

 

I'm here because I want to help people quit.  Even if it's just listening or supporting or educating.  I can't make things nice because people don't want to hear the ugly.  Addiction is ugly.  Smoking is ugly.  It just is. 

 

I hear people say that they will quit tomorrow...or that they just couldn't help caving in....or that they are too afraid to quit.  But the truth is that addiction has them caught right now.  I know they are 'just words' but maybe if we stopped skimming over the ugliness of addiction and stopped romanticizing smoking in our minds, it may help us quit.  It did me.  I didn't want to die an addict, especially not to a skinny little tube of tobacco. 

 

I felt it was important.  I can't apologize for the post but I hope with all my heart that you took it in the spirit it was written in.  I care about you and don't want you to die an addict.  That's all.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Get Real

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 15, 2018

~~Addiction is the only disease that tells you that you don't have a disease.~~ Jason Z W Powers, MD

 

~~Addiction means we cannot imagine living without a substance, an activity, or a person, despite it having a detrimental impact on our emotions and responsibilities.  Living convinced you cannot live without is not living.  You deserve freedom and happiness.  There is always another way.~~ Unknown

 

Sometimes hearing the word "addiction" brings about images of heroin, cocaine, alcohol.  Many nicotine addicts scoff at the thought that they are an addict.  Smoking is still legal even though only in certain places and you can buy as many packs or cartons as you want.  Nicotine doesn't turn you into a raving lunatic like 'those drugs'.  And you only smoke four or five a day so what's the big deal?

 

Isn't it ironic that your addiction is telling you that you're not addicted?  Smoking kills.  Everyone...everyone!!...knows that.  And if it doesn't kill you, it may be killing your children through second hand smoke.  It may be killing your pet, your friends, or perfect strangers as they walk past your daily cloud of smoke.  But make no mistake...smoking is killing you as well, little by little, bit by bit.  Depleting your oxygen, damaging your heart, weakening your lungs.

 

As far as it not turning you into a raving lunatic....what happens when you don't get that hit of nicotine?  How long can you last before your every thought is a cigarette?  Once you take that hit, your brain may calm down but what happens when you can't smoke?  It builds to a bigger and bigger crave until you feel like you're going to scream if you don't get one, right?

 

Addiction is addiction.  It doesn't matter if it's cigarettes, alcohol, sex, gambling, or drugs.  It doesn't matter if you are rich, poor, college educated, male, or female.  It doesn't matter if you are newly addicted or have been addicted for years.  Addiction is addiction.

 

You deserve freedom and happiness.  You may think that you have that with smoking but in reality, you don't.  You may think you can't live without it, but in reality you can.  You can.  And quitting is the best gift you will ever give yourself!  It means you care about your life.  It means you want what's best for you.  It means freedom forever.

 

So get real about addiction.  It's the only way to get real about recovery.  

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Maybe It's Time

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 14, 2018

~~I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders...and whispers in your ear :  "I'm not screwing around.  It's time.  All of this pretending and performing--these coping mechanisms that you've developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt--has to go.  Time is growing short.  There are unexplored adventures ahead of you.  You can't live the rest of your life worried about what other people think.  You were born worthy of love and belonging.  Courage and daring are coursing through you.  You were made to live and love with your whole heart.  It's time to show up and be seen." ~~   Brene Brown

 

Smoking used to be my way of coping with mean people.  When my feelings were hurt, I smoked.  Of course, I smoked when I was also happy, angry, confused, stressed, anxious.....addiction will give you a million reasons to feed it.

 

So when I quit smoking, I knew it was also time to deal with any and every upcoming incident of mean people and sad situations and uncomfortable feelings and stress.  

 

And so I did.

 

I learned that how people treat me is a reflection of who they are, not of who I am.  I learned that even if I fumble through an uncomfortable situation, I'll get through it.  I learned that those who love me will love me no matter how bad my mistakes are.  I learned that silence is good.  I learned to forgive myself for my faults and flaws.  I learned that life is simply life and I get to decide whether mine is good or bad.

 

And I learned that I have unexplored adventures awaiting me.  So I face each day with anticipation and eagerness, secure in the knowledge that I belong.  I'm here for a reason, as is everyone on earth or we wouldn't be here at all.  So I will discover my purpose, conquer my fears, and enjoy myself.  Without worrying about what others think of me.  Without the crutch of addiction to ease my pain or fear.  Without wondering if I can get through it.  

 

Maybe it's time for you, as well.  Maybe it's time to seek out your unexplored adventures.  Maybe it's time to be daring.  Maybe it's time for you to show up and be seen.  The universe is waiting  

~~I've found that recovery means being honest.  About what I want.  What I need.  What I feel.  Who I am.~~  Unknown

 

You may feel you are being honest.  You say you know you need to quit smoking.  Your health depends on it.  You say you need support.  You can't quit successfully without it.  You say you aren't strong enough to quit when you relapse.

 

Honesty is sometimes buried deeply beneath the layers of addiction.  Remember all the years you could stuff your emotions under the nicotine?  Remember all the times you had 'just one' to get you through the 'bad' times?  Remember how you could better de-stress when you smoked?

 

Lies.  All lies.  The only reason we smoked was because we were addicted to nicotine.  The 'feeling better', the 'relaxation', the 'just one' were all lies our addicted brain concocted because addiction scrambles our brain cells.  That's all.  And the first step in recovery is being honest about being an addict.

 

Now, honesty in recovery?  Still a process for many of us.  Because we aren't used to facing our demons.  We haven't been able to think clearly.  Our thoughts, in one way or another, have always been focused on keeping our addiction active. 

 

Some of us are afraid of our emotions.  Some of us know we need to make changes in our lives even though we don't want to.  Some of us have been beaten down by life and don't know how to recover. We don't know who we are.  We don't know what we need.  Our life is a blank sheet in front of us and we don't know how to create a life...without smoking.

 

Life is waiting for us on the other side of addiction.  We aren't working from scratch, we are simply adding to it.  Life isn't as scary as we've led ourselves to believe.  It isn't impossible and it hasn't forgotten us.  In fact, when we step away from the nicotine induced haze, we find that life is much, much more than we ever saw before!  We simply need to get off the sidelines and become active in it.  Honesty is a good, good start to a good, good life  

 

Sheri

~~What screws up us most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.~~  Unknown

 

You decide to quit.  Check.  You understand that nicotine is out of your system in 72 hours.  Check.  And then you hear there are some cravings but no physical withdrawals that are going to keep you down and out.  Check.  Life will be back to 'normal' in no time.

 

And when that first craving hits, you think "Holy Hell!!!  I can't do this!!"  When you get light-headed or nauseous or have bathroom problems, you think "Omgosh, this is too hard!!"  And then when your stress rises and anger looms big, you cave.  Cigarette in hand, you post that you are so sorry to disappoint us but you failed. 

OR

You are thinking of quitting.  But you know it's going to be agonizing.  You know there is a good chance you are going to fail.  You know you've never been able to do it before.  You know your spouse is going to drive you nuts and your job will stress you and you will be bored out of your mind.  So you quit and, sure enough, within 30 hours, you are smoking again.  You knew it.

 

If you think about it, what may have screwed you up is the picture in your head of how it is supposed to be.  You either have no idea of the recovery journey or you  psych yourself out on how very difficult and frightening it is.

 

Stop for a moment and learn to slow things down!!  Some call it mindfulness, some call it 'being present in the moment', and others call it being focused.  Whatever you call it, it's time to live it.  Live right now, deal with right now, and be here right now.

 

The past is done.  You can't change it so don't waste your energy.  The future has yet to be and you don't know what it will hold.  You can't predict it so don't waste your energy.  All you have is right now.  Here.  This moment.  So live it.  Keep your mind focused on it.  And just deal with what is happening right now.  Don't worry about the craving that hasn't happened yet....it may never happen.  Don't think about how happy you were smoking....it's romanticizing the past and the addiction.

 

It's not supposed to be anyway other than how it is.  And how it is...well, it's ok.  You have everything you need to get through this moment.  You are knowledgeable, you are prepared, you are strong enough to handle right now.  Isn't that great?!!

 

Sure, you may really, really want a quit that's painless, over in a week, and a walk in the park.  But our greatest moments come while stepping out of our comfort zone.  Lessons are learned through struggles.  And strength of character is built through challenges.  Life is not a fairy tale but it certainly is interesting!!  Slow down and enjoy the journey.

 

Sheri 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Survived

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 10, 2018

~~Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless.~~  Unknown

 

Hi Exers   Just a quick note to let you know I survived teaching my first ABE/GED class at the jail this morning and I'm headed back shortly to teach class with the women this afternoon!   It was a good class this morning.  I'm sure sooner or later I will make mistakes and I'm sure I'll be 'tried' but I'm feeling good about this job.

What does this have to do with quitting?  Quitting changed everything for me.  I know now I can get through anything   I can try new things, too!  Quitting definitely boosted my self-confidence and made me realize that the only thing to fear is fear itself.  Sounds cliché-ish, but it's true.  There is life on the other side of fear.  You can do so much more than you ever thought you were capable of!  That includes quitting.

I could go on and on but I won't right now.  I have to get ready for class   (Secretly thrilled that I can be a teacher!)

May your day be everything you wish it to be!!

 

Sheri

~~Do not see acceptance as a weakness.  Accepting a situation does not mean you are giving up.  Acceptance simply means that you recognize and understand your current situation.  Acceptance allows you to be free from the shackles of denial and move forward in life, creating anew path and a new life for yourself.~~  Unknown

 

~~Understanding is acceptance, only with acceptance comes recovery.  The best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.~~  Unknown

 

Sometimes when people decide to quit smoking, they gear up for a battle.  They tense, they get their weapons ready, and they dig in for the duration.  They hear that quitting is difficult.  They hear that some people 'fail'.  They may have failed at past attempts themselves.  So quitting, to them, means war.

 

I found that by accepting my quit, I didn't have the battles.  That didn't mean that I didn't have cravings and that didn't mean that I didn't feel stress. I did.   It just meant that by accepting that cravings and stress are part of recovery, I didn't try to change them.  I worked with them instead. 

 

So when you hear people here talk about acceptance, understand what that means.  Understand what recovery means, understand what your quit means.  And allow recovery to happen.  Allow the cravings.  Allow the nervousness.  Allow it.  Because when you battle cravings, you are only fighting yourself.  When you accept that cravings are going to happen, you no longer need to fight them, you just acknowledge them instead. 

 

If you don't understand this, think of it this way.  It's raining outside.  You can't stop the rain because you want to work in your garden.  You can't stop the rain because you want to go swimming.  So you allow it to rain and wait for it to stop before venturing out.  Simple as that.  You can't stop recovery by wanting to bypass the uncomfortable aspects. 

 

Acceptance means you are working with what's happening, not against it.  And that makes all the difference. 

 

Sheri

~~Nobody dreams of growing up to be an alcoholic, an addict, a divorcee, broken, and depressed,  Bad things do happen to good people, and it's the good people, the broken ones, that always seem to have a vacancy in their hearts for those who would not even give them a room in theirs.~~  L.L.

 

Bad things do, indeed, happen to good people.  And being an alcoholic or an addict or a divorcee or broken doesn't make you bad.  Please let go of the idea that you are 'less than' because you smoke(d).  Let go of the shame.  Let go of the thought that you deserve what you get because of what you do (did).

 

Be someone, instead, who has a vacancy in their heart for those who need it.  Be someone who offers hope to those who feel 'less than'.  Work your recovery with the confidence that you deserve it.  And then reach down to pull the next one up.

 

Much Love,

Sheri

~~Surprise yourself every day with your own courage.~~  Denholm Elliot

 

I'm heading out to my landlord's funeral this morning.  My 73 year old mother's bloodhound passed away yesterday and she lives alone in the middle of nowhere.  I'm juggling my new job with my other job and during the transition my bills are piling up.  Band fees are due and I have no Gatorade in the fridge.

It's life.  Ups and downs, goods and not so goods, sunshine and shadows.

I never once thought of smoking because I don't do that anymore.  I did do some relaxation yoga.  I count my blessings daily.  I even open up to my children  

But I don't smoke.  And once you quit, you don't either.  So surprise yourself with your own courage and get through those tough times.  Treat yourself gently, love yourself well, and always have support when you need it.  Asking for help is one of the most courageous things you can do for you!  Being kind to yourself is also courageous.  And just being yourself when the world wants you to 'suck it up, buttercup' is the ultimate of bravery. 

You can live a smoke free life, no matter your challenges and daily stressors.  I can say that with confidence because I am living proof   May your day be blessed and your troubles light....

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

One Day

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 6, 2018

~~One day you'll look back and you'll realize you never needed anyone but yourself.  You didn't need the alcohol, the drugs, the escapes, the gurus, the work and overworking, the busyness, the cigarettes, the sex, the food and the overeating, the achievements, the negative relationships, all the people-pleasing or whatever it was you clung to in your past because you thought you weren't enough.  One day you'll realize you've only ever needed you. And tears might fall down your eyes in relief and wonder because it will feel so simple and yet it felt so impossible to see at the time.  And it might hurt a little bit too as bittersweet things do.  But it won't be the kind of pain that damages.  It will be more the one that is proof of you truly being alive now, with your heart so soft, your mind open, signs that you feel things now.  That you're not scared to feel things.  And you'll definitely sigh.  You'll sigh deep because things are different now and you are finally in love with yourself and life.  You'll sigh because you feel grateful that today you know the truth.  ~~  s.c.lourie

 

Sometimes I feel that someone out there needs to hear things like this from time to time.  More than reading about addiction, more than reading about cravings, sometimes you just need to hear that you are ok.  That things will get better.  That you matter to us and to the world.

 

Because life can be challenging.  It sometimes hurts.  It sometimes gets so stressful you feel you can't breathe.  And it can be heart wrenchingly painful to think about tomorrow when you feel you can't even make it through today.

 

Please remember that a bad day doesn't make it a bad life.  There is beauty in life, too, and joy and peace and gladness and appreciation.  There, in the midst of your hurt, will also be love by those close to you.  To hold you up until you can once again stand on your own.

 

Love yourself.  No matter how you are feeling or what you are going through, love yourself.  Love your flaws and your mistakes and your weirdness and your faults because they are what make you unique.  They teach you lessons you need to learn.  They are as much a part of who you are as is your kindness and your goodness.  And they aren't 'bad' nor do they make you 'bad'.  They make you human.  So love them and please learn to love yourself.  You are worth it.

That, I can promise  

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Why Risk It?

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 5, 2018

~~For more information about lung cancer, keep smoking.~~  Unknown

 

Why risk that?  Why risk emphysema?  Why risk losing your teeth?  Why risk coronary heart disease? 

 

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States (Center or Disease Control and Prevention).

 

So why?  Why, when we hear things like that, don't we quit?

 

It's the nature of addiction.  It takes over to the point where we are willing to risk death rather than simply quit.  I can't even comprehend that now because addiction is a memory rather than a daily weight on my chest.  But I was there once upon a time.  Just like you were...or maybe you still are. 

 

And, maybe like me, you just refused to think about the consequences.  Maybe you ignored your family's pleas to quit.  Maybe you disregarded your doctor's advice.  Maybe you tuned everything out so you could feed your addiction without the agony of knowing the truth.

 

But it's time to break the chains.  It's time to face your addiction and conquer it.  Recovery is not only possible but it's probable if you set your mind to it. 

 

Don't play with your life because you won't win.  Don't toy with the thought of quitting because your life isn't a toy.  Get serious and get it done.  Because once you hear "terminal", you can't turn back the clock.  Don't let it get too far before you take your life back!  No excuses.  Just do it.

 

  1. Sheri

 

~~You don't get over an addiction by stopping using.  You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use.  If you don't create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will catch up with you again.~~   Unknown

 

I sadly see that a few people I care about are struggling.  Some have already chosen to smoke again.  And it's not that I feel disappointment in them, just an overwhelming sorrow as the lies of addiction seduced again.

 

I can't quit for you.  No one here can.  We do cheerlead and we do offer advice and we do make suggestions because we know those lies of addiction.  We also listen, sympathize, empathize, hear you, hold hands, offer shoulders, and sit with you in complete silence if that's what helps.

 

Everyone has a different take on addiction and what's important and what helped them.  We aren't here to give you the perfect formula because, frankly, there isn't one.  What worked for me may not work for you and what works for you may not work for the next.  But don't think that means you are alone, it just means that you have to create your new life 'where it's easier not to use'.  

 

For some that might mean keeping busy through knitting, painting, running, gardening, singing.  For others it may mean joining a club or a team or a class.  It may mean making new friends, leaning on old friends, meditating, lessening your work load, slowing down to ease your stress.

 

These are my thoughts alone but I think you will continue to cycle with smoking until you create a life where you don't need to do that anymore.  Replacing the cigarettes with things that make your soul sing.  It gives you something to look forward to instead of doing something you dread.  Even if it's a butterscotch with your morning coffee...or that early morning walk with a friend...or that extra 10 more minutes to read that favorite book.  Give yourself joyous moments, contented times, and healthy alternatives.

 

Accept that when you quit, you can't smoke anymore.  Period.  So no amount of cravings can make you cave because you don't do that anymore.  Look to your alternatives.  "I don't smoke anymore but I can read a book for 15 minutes....or I can do 15 minutes of yoga....or I can call my mom and talk..."

 

Just a few thoughts because I hate so much that I can't do more.  But you can  

 

Sheri

~~You deserve it all.  You deserve love and peace and magic and joy dancing in your eyes.  You deserve hearty deep-belly laughter and the right to let those tears fall and water the soil.  You deserve freedom and goodness and company and days of bliss and quiet, too.  You deserve you happy and healed and content and open.  So keep going.  Keep going.  Go realize into being the life you deserve.~~  S.C. Lourie

 

Each and every one of you deserve it all.  You really do!  And may today be the first of many days where you recognize your own worth and begin to take those steps towards living a life you deserve.  Free of addiction.  Free from the shame of sneaking that smoke.  Free from the chains of addiction.  Free from the potential deadly consequences of smoking.

 

And once you're free....once you understand the freedom that your quit promises you....may you take that next step and realize all you deserve.  Joy, peace, happy, open.  Contentment in your heart as well as in your day.  It's a feeling that settles your spirit and lifts your soul. 

 

And when life gets tough as it sometimes does, may you allow your tears to fall.  May you understand that feeling heartbroken and shattered is just as much a part of you as your feelings of bliss and quiet so allow those feelings to be.  Love yourself during those times so that when you're ready, you can move through them and heal. 

 

You are a precious, lovely gift to this world and in knowing that, you will better appreciate all you bring to it.  Your heart, your talents, your light.  All those things hidden so long behind the crippling control of your addiction.  Quitting breaks that control and gives you the opportunity to bring out all that was hidden.  You deserve all that is good in you to spill over into your days, sprinkling delight and joy into the world. 

 

May you truly realize into being the life you deserve.  Because your life is priceless and so are you.

 

Sheri