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All People > Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 > Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Blog > 2019 > January
2019

~~I hope there are days when you fall in love with being alive.~~ Unknown

 

I sincerely do.  And I hope that even if you are only one day quit, you appreciate the effort it took you to get to that day and you hold tight to that precious day.  And may you love the courage you gathered to step off that smoking cliff.  What a brave person you are!! Truly a warrior.

So I hope you savor those victories, little as they may seem to you.  It's the smallest things that grow into masterpieces! You never have to start over if you don't give in so treasure that first day.  Revel in it!! Recognize the hugeness of it and feel the relief of it.  No more 'I should quit' or 'I need to quit'.  You've done it and now its time to rejoice in it.

I hope there are days you fall in love with being alive and I hope one of those days is when you quit smoking.  

~~"and I said to my body softly,  'I want to be your friend.'  It took a long breath and replied, 'I have been waiting my whole life for this.'"  unknown

 

It seems really silly but it took me forever to understand just how much my body loved me.  It kept working no matter if I ignored it, failed to properly feed it the nutrients it needs to function well, damaged it through smoking, didn't water it, and generally underappreciated it.

Then I read something that sparked an interest.  Something about if you feel lonely, remember there are 5 billion cells in your body focused only on you.  I mean....wow!  Yes, I know about cells and yes, I know my body functions daily.  But I never before really thought about how much my body works at keeping me alive while I do everything I can to make it's job harder.  I didn't drink enough water, I didn't eat well, and even more than that...I didn't treat my body like a friend.

 

Sounds a bit weird, huh?  But the body that keeps me alive...the body that functions without what it needs to function well...the body that keeps me here on earth....wasn't my friend.  I didn't pay attention.  

Until I did.  For me, it's now not just about doing yoga, but it's shutting my mind down to allow my body to enjoy movement.  It's now about knowing more about what foods my body needs to better function and giving it that.  It's about drinking enough water so it works better.  And it's about listening to it when it sends signals.  Of needing exercise.  Of needing vitamins.  Of being in pain.

 

Pain is our bodies' way of saying something is wrong.  It doesn't mean to panic, but rather to pay attention.  Broken bones need to set, a pinched nerve needs care, a headache may mean a dark room and some rest.  Really love your body enough to listen and to respond to what it needs.

 

Since I am somewhat of a fanciful person, I picture that quitting smoking make our cells sing!!  Happily, they begin to repair all the damage we've done through smoking.  And, if not all the damage, our cells work hard to allow our body to function as well as possible.  Sometimes not much can be done for the damage already created, but when you quit smoking, you quit further damage.  And that does mean a great deal to a tired, hurting body.

 

Today I take great care of a body that's taken great care of me.  If I'm tired, I rest.  If I'm hurt, I give my body time to heal.  I am physically active but when my shoulder gives me trouble, I don't push.  I pay attention and respond well to what my body needs.  

 

Sometimes I eat cookies.  Sometimes I stay in my pjs and binge on M*A*S*H episodes.  I have even been known to get overtired.  I'm not perfect.  But I am aware.  

 

So when you quit smoking, pay attention to your body.  Picture billions of cells rushing to heal the damages caused by your smoking.  It may just mean you don't ever smoke again   After all, why put your body through that again???

 

Hugs to all,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

New Insights

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jan 26, 2019

~~Recognize defensiveness as an attempt to keep new insights from entering your mental field.~~  Caroline Myss

 

Such is the life of addiction.  New quitters and those who struggle with keeping their quits often lead with defensiveness and in the process, attempt to push away those who offer help.  Elders recognize that and usually don't take offense.  And those in the defensive mode often don't see themselves as that way.  Again, addiction at work.  

 

I learned a long time ago that if someone makes you angry, it is usually because they have struck some chord in you that needs your attention.  Anger is mostly a secondary emotion....meaning that there is something driving the anger.  And that something is in you...not the other person.  Defensiveness is normally the same.  When you get defensive, it may be a signal that you need to work on something in your own life, not push your defensiveness onto someone who is only trying to help.

 

Now we all have things we need to work on in life.  Doesn't matter if its our quits, our relationships, our careers, etc...Life can be challenging.  But those who work from within rather than blame outwards have a much easier time working through those challenges.  Not because they are 'better' than anyone else.  Not because they are 'perfect'.  But because they understand the only thing they can change in life is themselves.  They can find their peace in life, they can come to terms with old grudges and past hurts, and they can adjust themselves to changes.  Sometimes they trip as well or fall or struggle.  But they heal themselves through looking inward to what they can do to help themselves rather than what anyone else SHOULD be doing.

 

Hey, elders?  None of you condemn.  None of you shriek at the relapsers.  None of you beat them up, figuratively or literally.  None of you tell anyone that they will never learn or will never quit or are dumb as a box of rocks.  So no.  You are not 'hardcore' (Giulia and JACKIE1-25-15).  No, you are not 'tough love'.  You are their strength when they need strength.  You are their courage when they need courage.  And you are their truth when they need truth.  

 

We are all in this together, folks.  Every time someone puts down a cigarette for good, I truly do cheer.  Every time someone gets their "ah-ha!" moment, I applaud.  And even when someone gets defensive as we try to help, I nod and thank the good Lord that at least you are still here...learning and growing.  United we stand.

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

No More Battles

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jan 25, 2019

~~The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance.  The next year, the next day, the next hour are already lying ready for you as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life.  You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.~~  Arnold Bennett

 

Sometimes when we get caught up in the merry-go-round of life, we forget that we can begin anew.  With freshness and light and a perfect sense of now.  Instead we tend to plod on, dragging burdens and yesterdays and mistakes with us as if we need to remind ourselves just how rotten we are.  Then, of course, since we are rotten, we might as well smoke and get it over with, right?  Wrong.

 

Lay it all down, sweet quitters, and surrender.  Be done with the battles that rage within.  Surrender.  "Addiction, come do your worst!  I give up."  No, you are not giving IN, just giving up.  Feel like you're going crazy?  See how crazy you actually go.  Feel like your going to explode if you don't smoke.  Lay down and let yourself blow up.  (I've personally never seen anyone actually explode myself.  You may want to call me first.)  Feel like you just can't stand it another minute?  See what happens two minutes from now if you don't give in.

 

And if you have that heavy burden of quitting before then relapsing...then quitting and relapsing...and then once again quitting and relapsing......you haven't wasted your time up to now.  You've learned, you've grown, and you've suffered quite enough, don't you think?  Lay it down and step into this lovely next moment that is free of your yesterdays.  Time doesn't hold grudges or memories of all the errors of our ways.  We do.  Time welcomes us with open arms, new and clean.

 

We can't waste time in advance and I like that.  What we can do is come into that time with a clean slate.  No more lingering of past mistakes, no more guilt of what we failed to accomplish.  When you surrender, you are allowing the negatives you hold on to freedom to die.  What you're left with is quiet peace, calmness, and a soft beginning into tomorrow.  

 

I heard "To those who find stillness, the whole universe surrenders" in my yoga class today.  What a lovely thought.  Maybe you can find that stillness through surrendering and refusing to fight anymore.  Let things happen and stay still in your heart.

 

Blessings to you and yours

Sheri

~~These mountains that your carrying, you were only supposed to climb.~~ Unknown

 

One day you are going to understand the freedom you feel when you quit smoking.  Maybe not today, but you will.

 

One day you'll understand why elders stick around here to help others because you'll be one, too.  Maybe not tomorrow, but you will.

 

One day you'll realize how very important you are to the world and how quitting smoking is a gift not only to you but to all of us.  Maybe not now, but you will.

 

You will realize this when you remember not to carry the burdens of yesterday into today.  Burdens are meant to teach you, not cripple you.  They need to be released so you can move forward and they can develop into the memories they were always meant to be.  Tales of remarkable courage and strength for future generations.

 

You will understand it when you remember that once you climb your mountains, the downward slope allows you to rest, relax, and breathe easy. Don't carry them, climb them.

 

You will realize it when you recognize that you and only you can change your life.  It's not just up to you but it's also within your power.  You can successfully quit smoking.  You can successfully climb those mountains.  You only have to realize you can.  One day, you will.

~~You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily.  The secret to your success is found in your daily routine.~~ Unknown

 

I got divorced when I was 27 years old.  I had 3 children ages 5 and under.  I had been a stay at home mom and had little job skills, little self-esteem, and am ex-husband who refused to pay child support or even be a dad.

It took me years to carve out a life for myself.  I loved being a mom and I was a good one but I lacked knowledge in creating goals for myself or even speaking up for myself.  And making decisions?  Yeah, not so good.

What no one ever told me was to create my life based on my strengths, not my flaws.  And my strengths centered around my children.  I needed to make changes.  So I went to college to obtain a degree so I could better support my children.  I started speaking up for myself so my children learned how to speak up for themselves.  And after years and years of false starts, I quit smoking so I would be around for my children.  No one could...or would...do any of these things for me.  It was time for me just to own my life.

I do believe some people may think I'm abrasive.  After thinking about it, I agree I have sometimes strong opinions.  I also try to help people see that they are responsible for their lives rather than just being passive spectators.  And I've never liked it when people beat themselves up over what they consider failures.  

Life is a gift.  And my greatest blessings...my children...have taught me to treasure that gift and treat it with the respect, awe, and delight it truly deserves.  That's all I try to show you here.  Take charge of your life.  Speak up for yourself, do for yourself, and don't be a spectator. 

Just an fyi...I'm still a shy person at heart.  Still quiet.  Calm.  I definitely don't normally share my own life like this here.  Its uncomfortable for me.  But if it helps even one, I think it's worth it.  I may have to just ease away for a time, though, to center myself again.  That's how I cope

~~Awesome Life Tip:  Work on loving yourself, as you are right now.  That might mean sending love to your thighs, being compassionate about your lack of progress in a certain area, or reminding yourself that you're an awesome human being.  Whatever it is, sit with yourself and express love as you would toward someone you really care about.  Be your own best friend.~~  AwesomeLifeTips.com

 

Oh, no you don't!!  I am not going to let you talk bad about yourself any more.  No more "I'm a failure!"  No more "I'm so stupid!"  No more "I can't do this".  

Each and every one of you are the first to jump in when a friend is discouraged and depressed, right?  Each one of you would tell your child in no uncertain terms that he is NOT a failure.  Each one of you comes here and holds up another who is having a bad day.

So....?

Why do you let yourself talk to you that way?  Why are you so unforgivingly hard on yourself?  Why are you waiting to be absolutely perfect before you give yourself a pat on the back?

Can I gently point out, my dear quitters, that you need....you.  Who knows that your secret go-to is binging M*A*S*H when you're too stressed to get out of bed?  Who knows you still have that birthday card that your dad signed himself rather than your mother?  Who knows that you hate that roll you have around your middle?  Who knows that you had your heart broken at 15 and you broke someone else's heart at 18? 

You.  You know.  And when you need comfort, allow yourself to comfort you.  And when you need to cry, allow yourself to cry long and hard.  And when you need a pep talk, allow yourself to remember all the events you've survived and all the times you thought you couldn't but did.

Quitting smoking is a process.  One that doesn't stop when this site goes silent in the wee early mornings.  One that doesn't stop when you're alone in your car or when you receive bad news over texts or when you are out to dinner with your honey.  That's when you need you most, don't you think?  Give yourself the gift of yourself.  Pamper yourself with your absolute favorite scent.  Eat your most decadent meal.  Pat yourself on the back just because you're fabulous.  And know that you are doing the absolute best you can do at this time in this moment.  And forgive yourself if that's not enough.

We are all human and we all feel the emotions life can bring....loneliness, sorrow, guilt.  The best way to get through these things is by being good to you.  No more downing yourself.  No more beating yourself up.  No more allowing others to decide you aren't good enough.

You are.  Of course you are!  And you need to remind yourself of that when those dreaded self-doubts creep in.  You are so much better than those doubts allow you to believe.  You are so much stronger than addiction allows you to believe.  You are just the perfect you!!  The world needs you, we need you, but I believe that you need you, too.  Start by loving yourself....just as you are. 

~~You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place.  Like you'll not only miss the people you love, but you;ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place.  Because you'll never be this way again.~~  Unknown

 

I get it.  The reluctance to quit smoking.  Not just the addiction part, which you KNOW is hard to let go of.  But the part of letting go of your life the way it is.  You are comfortable as a smoker.  Of course you don't want to get cancer or any dreaded illness from smoking (which is why you know you need to quit), but you have a comfortable life, a quiet routine, and like your life just the way it is.

 

Then we come in and tell you that you are about to change your whole world!!  Find new coping skills!!  Find new friends to hang out with for a while instead of your smoker friends....find a new morning routine that doesn't involve coffee and cigarettes...find a new route to work so you don't pass the gas station where you stopped for smokes each morning....find something to do after you clean house rather than light up....new, new, new.  Change, change, change.  Different, different, different.

 

It can be quite overwhelming.  Believe me, I know.  And we all know it needs to be done and we all know that there is no magic pill to get you there.  

 

And you try to explain to us that you like you just as you are.  You try to explain that change makes you uncomfortable.  You try to say that you don't understand why everything must be different because different doesn't always mean better.  

 

I like you as much as you like you.  Smoking is something you do, not who you are.  But what you may not see and I see clearly is that smoking takes over who you are!  You are as chained to your cigarettes as any addict is chained to their drug of choice.  That means you...who you are....fades into the background.  You are 'better' after a cigarette.  You are 'calmer' when you smoke.  You are 'more in control' after that hit of nicotine.  Do you see?  The cigarette...that six inch piece of paper stuffed with chemicals....plays a larger role in your life than you do.

 

So while its true when you quit smoking, you'll never be the same; it truly is not a bad thing to let go of.  Because you're not letting go of who you are, you are letting go of cigarettes and the hold they have over you.  Without them you really are free to be who you are!!  You can be goofy or silly or serious or gentle or caring.  All of the things you were before without stopping for a cigarette to 'relax' you.  You can now soar instead of thinking about flying.  You can take the time to mend fences, develop skills, fix what's broken.  Or you can just simply be who you are without a cigarette.

 

I tend to think we simply shine when we quit smoking.  Everything is brighter and better....including ourselves.  But you don't have to be or do anything you don't want to be or do.  You just have to not smoke.  Everything else will fall into place.

~~The soul becomes dyed with the color of it's thoughts.~~  Marcus Aurelius

 

I know you feel discouraged.  Worn out.  Fragile.  

I know you feel no one understands what's going on in your head, in your body, or in your world.

We keep saying "Just hold on" when you want to let go.  We keep saying "One step at a time" when you are on your knees crawling as you have no energy to walk.

 

It may feel like quitting is as isolating as smoking.  No one understands YOUR pain, YOUR feelings, YOUR fears.  No one hears what you're saying.  No one has really helped.

 

During those times especially, you need to turn inward.  Turn towards yourself for comfort, for strength, for courage.  Know yourself and understand that you have everything you need for a successful quit within you.  The rest of it...the readings, the websites, the supportive friends....is all extra bonuses.  Yet the true hero of your quit journey is you.

 

Now you may be so filled with fears and doubts and insecurities that you forget just what a brilliant soul you are.  But you have survived every bad time, every trauma, every crisis, every heartbreaking moment up to this point. And you haven't just survived; you've thrived, you've grown, you've shined.  Sometimes you've had companionship and support on your journeys, sometimes not.  But you've always had you.

 

So at the risk of sounding cheesy, allow yourself to take care of yourself.  If you need pampering, pamper yourself.  If you need to cry, allow yourself tears.  If you need to collapse into a heap on the floor, cushion yourself with pillows.  Because every time you take care of yourself, you win.  Every time you take your needs seriously, you flourish.  And every time you listen to your soul, you soar. 

 

We will be here, of course.  But when the computer is down and your family is asleep, you still have you.  And that should not be dismissed!  You have held yourself up for....how many years?  You are amazing even when 'weak'.  You are brave even when 'scared'.  You are brilliant always.  Your soul continues to shine enough to so you can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Allow yourself to be led out of the darkness....by you.

~~It hurts because it matters.~~  John Green

 

I told my fifth graders good-bye tonight.  I accepted a job that makes it impossible for me to teach religious ed on Wednesday evenings.  It hurt.

 

I was told I was being 'self-righteous', 'judgmental', and 'defensive'.  It hurt.

 

It hurt because it matters.  Some think that by staying in the comfort zone of addiction, they can avoid the pain recovery can uncover.  Some think that if they hide behind a cloud of smoke, the hurt won't find them. 

 

It hurts because it matters.  Quitting matters.  Recovery matters.  It's going to hurt as you unravel the layers of smoking to become who you've always been meant to be.  Letting go can hurt.  Changing course can hurt.  Accepting can hurt.  It all matters because you matter!!  Your health, your emotions, your life.  You.  Matter.

 

Avoiding hurt is avoiding parts in your life that may enrich and enlighten you.  We don't grow as people in our comfort zone.  We don't learn when we hide from life.  Only through feeling pain can we truly bask in our joy.  Only in hurting can we revel in our contentment.  Because we've been in the darkness can we clearly see the light.

 

No, it's not a pleasant feeling.  And no, we do not want to wallow in our pain.  But we will survive it.  And we will grow from it.  And it will make us so much better than we ever thought we could be.  

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Fingerprints

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jan 15, 2019

~~Our fingerprints never fade from the lives we touch.  Every life and every death changes the world in its own way.~~  Unknown

 

So many people here have changed the world in their own way.  You've touched lives, helped save lives, and are a source of comfort and strength to so many others! 

Because you know.  You know the overwhelming fears that come with the thoughts of quitting.  You know the sickening sense of failure when a quit doesn't last.  And you know the extreme feelings of bewilderment when everyone but you seems to 'get' it.  You also know the importance of owning your quit, taking smoking off the table, and honoring your commitment.  It is what keeps your quit.

Even more than that...you've seen the deaths that happen when you don't quit.  Here.  Our friends now gone.  The cancers and the emphysema, the COPD, and the heart disease.  I miss them, the ones who used to laugh with me and scold me and tell me that I could do it.  They left fingerprints, too.

When you come to a site like this, you open yourself up to all these people who have touched lives.  When you blog, when you share, and when you speak, so many are willing to listen, to advise, to support.  Because they care.  Now sometimes you aren't going to like what they have to say, but that doesn't make it any less true.  Sometimes you are going to read into a response something that wasn't meant to begin with.  The phrase "take what you want and leave the rest" means just that.  When you leave your fingerprints on the lives of those you touch, its your responsibility to decide what kind of impact you make.  It can be helpful, kind, and wise or it can be ugly, mean, and close minded. The choice is yours  

 

ps.  Love to you, Nancy!!  And the marvelous Jackie, too!!

 

Sheri

~~Sometimes, the people who have been through many storms often take the longest to find their path because their sensitivity is a double edged sword.  At their core lies great strength but they are more susceptible to life's pains.  Good thing the soul doesn't know a thing about deadlines.~~  Unknown

 

I often come here and write.  Most of the time I just want to help others quit smoking.  Still, sometimes it is my way of getting out all the feelings I can't express verbally to others in my life.  Other times, it's simple a release of emotion from something that caused me pain.  

 

This isn't the place for those kind of posts.  I know that.  I'm looking at other avenues...finding my place, so to speak, to just write.  I haven't yet found my path but I know I'm headed in the right direction  

 

I just wanted to let you know that no matter what I've been through...no matter if my heart was hurt or my feelings crushed or how lost I felt....I never felt like turning back to smoking to cope.  The answers to life will never be found hidden in addiction.  Hurts won't heal through addiction either. They will only be ignored for as long as the effects of that cigarette linger....until you need another to once again hide the pain.  The cycle is so subtle yet vicious that you never even realize it's got you until you see know way to function without it.

 

Smoking cures nothing, fixes nothing.  It traps you.  It stifles creativity and limits your potential.  Truly.  So you may feel 'relief' because of those few 'slips' but you may be fooling yourself (as addicts do).  Quitters don't smoke.  And you know what?  Quitters learn other coping skills until they finally reach a point where they don't want to smoke when things are bad.  

 

Ok, so I veered a bit off course here   I have chosen a career where bad things happen to children.  Where parents are often lost children who never outgrew their own abuse at the hands of others.  Where the system often adds to the problems rather than assists and supports.  I've been doing this for over 20 years.  And you would think I would have become hardened and cynical.  Maybe I am, I don't know.  But the pain of a child still has the power to break me.  So I write and I care and I do what I can.  I will find my way maybe through a change in how I work with families or maybe in the way I cope with working with these families.  I just know that this site is not my personal journaling ground   I need to find other avenues to release emotions.

 

I will, of course, still support and cheer on all the marvelous people who have found the courage to quit smoking!!  That is what we do here!  

~~Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change.~~  Dr. Steve Maraboli

 

So you quit a thousand times before.  And you 'failed' at them all.  And you may have even disappointed yourself, disappointed your family.  Maybe you hesitate now because you failed then.  Maybe you are too scared to try because you haven't been able to ever live without smoking.

 

The only thing that matters in life is now.  You can't go back and change things.  You actually shouldn't want to.  Everything you've done up to this moment is leading you to...well....this moment.  You've learned.  Not failed, my friend.  Just learned.

 

You learned that the pull of addiction is strong so YOU have to be stronger.  You've learned that you can't do this by yourself so you've found this site for support and guidance.  You've learned that you have some things to learn....about addiction, about stress relief, about you.

 

You may be afraid that cough means something bad like asthma, emphysema, or cancer.  You may hate the fact that you've smoked your way through life, damaging your body, damaging your relationships, damaging your credibility every time you didn't 'quit'.  

 

The only thing that matters in life is now.  You have to face that cough....that emphysema....that cancer.  Illness makes no time for lingering over regrets.  You need knowledge, a plan, and goals.  You need to be centered on now and all the things that now is bringing you.  Don't let pain or uncertainty from the past further damage your attempts to move on.

 

If you dwell in the 'could've', 'should've', you get mucked down in regret, feelings of failure, and self-loathing.  The past isn't something you can change but it is something you can learn from.  Let it go with love for all you were then and turn to what you are now.  Wiser, ready, able, experienced.  Everything you want can be had.  Everything you don't want can be let go of.  Release yourself from the burden of the past and thank it for teaching you what you needed to know to move on.  As a non-smoker.

~~Everyone deserves to have someone who makes them look forward to tomorrow.~~   Unknown

 

Just ask.  Ask for what you need.  Throw it out there in the world!  Amazing things begin to happen when you believe they can.

 

I know because I threw it out there.  I needed a reminder of how good the world can be.  Low and behold I got that reminder!!  I was outside my office talking to my neighbor and I looked across the street because someone was frantically waving at me.  I got closer and saw that it was a boy I worked with at the CAC whose mother had told him that Santa wasn't coming to their house.  That's not why the CAC got involved, of course.  This child and his two younger siblings had been violently abused.  Well, it's not my story to tell but this young man touched my heart.  We crossed paths again at the visitation center 6 months later and he is always delighted to see me, which just tickles me to no end!!  He is still in the system but he said he's happy and asked that I get some jelly beans for my office in case he stopped by again  

 

The resiliency of children is simply amazing.  And when loved, even the harshest of abuse can heal with time, therapy, and positive attention.  It's what I needed to remember today.  His smiling face, his hug, his joy with life brings lightness to my own heart.  And he has his forever family even though the system is not quite done yet.  His 'dad' makes him look forward to tomorrow and I couldn't be happier for both of them!!

 

So throw it out in the universe!!  You need a reminder of the goodness of people?  You need some positive attention?  You need a hug?  Don't keep what you need buried inside you.  Please let it out.  Because you will receive.  Maybe not from the one you want to receive from.  Maybe from some unexpected person or some surprisingly unusual way but what you need will be taken care of.  God answers.  Always.  And I am eternally grateful that he does!!

 

It is important especially as you quit smoking to voice what you need.  People are willing to help and people want to help but your voice has to be heard.  Everyone deserves to have someone make them look forward to tomorrow.  For right now, let us be that someone.

 

Sheri

~~Don't be upset at the result you didn't get with the work you didn't do.~~  Unknown

 

At first that sounds a bit harsh, doesn't it?  But in actuality, it is only a gentle reminder that we can't quit for you.  You will not quit by just reading posts.  They are only there to help.  You will not quit by making friends here.  Your friends are only support.  You will not even quit by pledging every day.  The Pledge page is there to reinforce your quit.

 

You have to not smoke each and every day of your quit.  You have to not go to the store.  You have to not bum one from a co-worker.  You have to not sneak one you hid the night before you quit.

 

You have to develop coping skills.  You have to learn to deal with stress.  You have to create new routines.  You have to stay busy.  You have to be proud of yourself.  You have to take good care of yourself.  You have to maintain your quit.

 

It's work.  Sometimes it's hard work and other times its empowering.  It can be maddening and it can be surprisingly soft.  You may hate it and you yet will never regret it.


Most of all, you need to remember it's yours.  To do with what you will.  Mold it, create it, develop it, own it.  It's yours.  And you alone are responsible for it.  Some say that's a scary thought.  I think it's a freeing thought.  No one can mess with it and no one can blow it.  Only you.

 

So if you slip, if you relapse, please don't be surprised if you haven't worked it.  You won't find it here no matter how fabulous here is   Your quit is within you.  Totally and 100%.  Gain the knowledge, make your plan, and work your quit.  

 

Let me please add that I believe it is in each and every one of us to successfully quit!!  There is more strength and power and courage hidden behind your addiction that you will ever realize.  Allow all that to come out!  It may not come out roaring, but it will help you limp through another day if limping is the only way through for you.  Believe in yourself as much as I believe in you

 

Lastly and on a more personal note, classes start tomorrow so I will be bringing ABE and GED classes back to the jail!  And religious ed classes at church in the evening.  That means you may not be seeing much of me again.  You don't need me to succeed but know I'll be cheering for you anyway!!

 

Sheri

~~Life is a gift!  Today before you think of saying an unkind word, think of someone who can't speak.  Before you complain about the taste of your food, think of someone who has nothing to eat.  Before you complain about your husband or wife, think of someone who's crying out to God for a companion.  Today before you complain about life, think of someone who went to early to heaven.  Before you complain about your children, think of someone who desires children but can't have them.  Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn't clean or sweep, thing of the people who are living in the streets.  Before whining about the distance you drive, think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet. And when you are tired and complain about your job, think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wished they had your job.  But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another, remember than not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one maker.  And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down, put a smile on your face and thank God you're alive and still around.  Life is a gift, live it, enjoy it, celebrate it.~~  Unknown

 

Sounds good, doesn't it?  But when you are in the midst of a crisis....when you are stressed to the max....when your heart is shattered into a million pieces.....this just won't fly.  Nice words, of course, and yes it would be wonderful to remember how blessed we are.  But we are also excruciatingly human!  We lose sight of the blessings.  We wallow in our pain.  We hide from the uncomfortable.

Or at least, I did.  Still do, sometimes.  But most of all, I learn.  I learn that I can get through even the toughest times because truly there is nothing else to do but to get through.  I also learn that it is HOW I get through that makes all the difference in the end.  I can cry, scream, refuse to get out of bed, shout at people.....OR I can wait it out, ask for help, breathe quietly through it until I'm on the other side.

Quitting smoking is a process that brings out the human in us.  Addiction is just that way.  It's how we get through that process that makes all the difference.  It doesn't matter if you whine, cry, scream, or get ugly at people as long as you don't smoke.  It doesn't matter if you are Mary Sunshine, Mother Theresa, or Buddha either.  As long as you don't smoke.  You simply have to get through the process without smoking!!  Yes, they say that relapse is part of recovery.  Yes, they say that there may be 'slips'.  There doesn't have to be, of course, but again that's up to you.  It's how you get through the process of quitting that gets you through to the other end....and the other is end total and utter freedom from addiction  

Life can be hard for us humans.  Some events are earth shattering and everything we once thought can be changed in a heartbeat.  We need time.  Time to process, time to adjust, time to heal.  Please don't ever think that you need to smile through life.  You don't.  You just need to be here.  Excruciatingly human and perfectly imperfect.  Time will take care of the rest.

 

Sheri 

~~Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either.  People are simply unique, incomparable.  You are you, I am I.  I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own...~~  Unknown

 

If you read enough posts here by different quitters, you will find a variety of tips, tricks, wisdom, and suggestions.  You will also find success stories, stories of miracles, and heroics so amazing that it will make you tear up.  But nothing you read will quit for you and you won't find the perfect prescription for an easy quit.

My quit is my quit and it worked well for me.  But I can tell you that it won't work as well for you.  Not because you are 'less than'....not at all!!!  Not because you can't quit...of course you can!!!!  Not even because you aren't trying hard enough or want it enough.  Not true at all!!!

But my quit was tailor made for me.  It fit me perfectly!!  And those uncomfortable times during the early days of my quit were made more comfortable by me.  My wants.  My needs.  My talents.  My interests.

Believe it or not, your quit will be tailor made for you as well   It will fit you to a tee!!  Because it will be all about your wants, your needs, your talents, and your interests.  Quits, you see, are as unique and incomparable as people are.  What works for me will not necessarily work for you and what works for you may not work for the next person.

So when you say things like "quitting is so hard!", please remember you are saying that about YOUR quit.  When you say "I want to scream at those cheery, happy quitters who are too positive", please remember that they may truly have positive experiences about their quits and it has nothing to do with your quit.

Keep your quit about you.  Your feelings, your struggles, your experiences.  Allow others to have their own feelings, struggles, and experiences.  Because every quit is a unique challenge unto the quitter experiencing it and we don't want to in any way diminish their quits.  And also because it isn't about you....as your quit should totally reflect!

You are a quit waiting to happen, you know.  You'll find it within and when you do, you'll thrill yourself with the adventure of it all!  Hard times?  Probably.  We all have them.  Happy times?  Ditto.  But mixed in with all that will be something beautifully unique that will make your quit truly fit you.  Just as it should.  Then, my friend, you will be free.