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

~~Your struggle is your strength.  If you can resist becoming negative, bitter, or hopeless, in time your struggles will give you everything.~~ Bryant McGill

 

Sounds a little crazy, right?  Struggles giving you everything?  But yet it's true.  And I know firsthand how true it is.  About 9 or 10 years ago, I had what I would consider a breakdown.  Professionals have different terminology for stuff like that but real people say things like 'nervous breakdown'.  I had let things pile up in my mind for so long that my mind just couldn't handle it anymore.  I couldn't stop crying, I could barely function, I was frozen but hurting badly.

I'm not sharing this for sympathy or the horror factor or even to educate you on how very important it is to take care of yourselves (although it is and I will touch on it).  I'm sharing because smoking was very much a part of my breakdown.  Any time I didn't want to handle life, I would smoke.  And we all know that addiction allows us to push unpleasant realities into the dark corners of our minds.  I recognized that my world was getting tense.  My job...my relationships...my finances...everything was balancing precariously in my world, tilting my days.  Instead of addressing anything, I tucked my chin down and just plowed ahead, hoping to get through the day in one piece.  Too exhausted at night to think about anything, too busy during the day to take the time to figure things out.

Crash and burn.  That's what happened.  And smoking led to this, no doubt.  My addiction pounced on my perceived flaws and weaknesses so much so that I was glad to hide behind the cigarette smoke.  

Thank goodness for my lovely mind!!  It crashed and burned anyway.  I was at rock bottom and it was time to face life head on.  And believe it or not, facing things was easier than continuing to bury my feelings and my thoughts and...well....me.

Step by step, I pulled myself up.  I took time for myself.  Physical activity time, sleep, downtime, gratitude time...everything I needed to fall in love with my life and to fall in love with me.  I regained my balance before I quit smoking.  I don't think unhealthy minds are able to quit smoking without ugly, horrible moments and I had my share of those already.  So I learned to love me before I quit and that made all the difference.  When you love yourself, you don't want to continue to hurt yourself in any way.

I don't mean to ramble.  I just wanted to say that my struggles became my strength.  I thank the good Lord didn't become bitter or negative or hopeless!!  I just fell hard...and then rose again with strength.  I had too much to lose by continuing to smoke so I quit.  And now I continue to use my strength to get through life's tough times, sad times, uncertain times, ugly times.  Because, thank heavens, there will always be those times....how else can we be reminded to cherish the good, the sweet, the love?

Find the strength within to stop smoking.  Life may be tough but when you love yourself, you will get through those tough times with strength rather than with addiction.  Your struggles will give you everything.  I know firsthand  

 

(Btw...no, it wasn't easy to write this today.  I don't necessarily like sharing everything about myself.  But if my experience can help even one smoker, I believe it is worth it.  Still, it leave me a bit vulnerable and off balance.  So please, as they say, take what you need and leave the rest )

~~Do you know what happens when you decide to stop worrying about what other people might think of you?  You get to dance.  You get to sing.  You get to laugh loudly, paint, write, and create.  You get to be yourself.  And you know what?  Some people won't like you.  Some will laugh or mock or point out flaws...but it just won't bother you all that much.~~ Doe Zantamata

 

When I was a newly single mom of three little ones, I lived in an apartment complex in Panama City.  One of my neighbors was a lady named Margaret.  She was also divorced and had a seven year old son.  The other neighbors didn't really like her.  They said she was 'weird' and had strange ideas about parenting.  She let her son paint her fingernails and sleep in bed with her.  She was a no-nonsense, hard kind of person.  I liked her but had a fear of ending up like her....cynical, weird, alone.

Over the years, I came to better understand Margaret.  She had no knight in shining armor to save her.  No prince charming.  No family to encourage or support her.  So she made a life for herself and her son that worked for her.  No excuses.  No apologies.  She did what she felt she had to do, regardless of what people thought.

When I quit smoking, Margaret's philosophy was what made all the difference.  I stopped worrying about what people thought of me.  I stopped thinking someone was going to come in and save me.  And I got busy quitting in a way that worked for me.

No excuses.  No apologies.  Some may think that's weird.  Harsh.  Lonely.  But it's none of those things.  I danced.  I sang...loudly and a lot!  I got to be myself.

Sometimes new quitters can be so wrapped up in getting to know people here that they worry more about what the elders think than what's best for their quit.  Sometimes they hesitate to ask questions because they don't want to be labelled "weird".  Sometimes they get so excited about quitting they take every piece of advice to heart yet lose themselves in others' quits instead of their own.

It's ok to be you.  You don't feel comfortable blogging?  That's ok.  Just read and learn.  You don't feel comfortable questioning the elders?  That's ok.  Educate yourself simply by reading.  You having too easy a time quitting and worry that you're doing it wrong?  Not at all!!  Let others know that it's ok to be ok just as much as it's ok not to be ok  

I grew up to be like Margaret and I'm proud of that.  I'm a 'no excuse' kind of person but that's because I have no one who is going to save me when things get tough.  I need to get things done...or they won't get done.  But I also have a soft side that loves the pretty, the wonders of the world, the heart and soul of others.  I'm only as weird as I want to be.  I'm me.  And I quit smoking by being who I am. 

I hope you....yes, you, the silent one reading this...quit smoking your way.  Find what's best for you and just do it   Be like Margaret.  It's not a bad way to live at all!!

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Hear Your Heart

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 25, 2019

~~Be confused, it's where you begin to learn new things.  Be broken, it's where you begin to heal.  Be frustrated, it's where you start to make more authentic decisions.  Be sad, because if we are brave enough we can hear our heart's wisdom through it.  Be whatever you are right now.  No more hiding.  You are worthy, always.~~  S.C. Lourie

 

I work with broken people.  I work with the sad.  I work with the frustrated.  Others may call them addicts and criminals and lazy and worthless.  I don't see that.  I truly don't.  I see the potential.  I see the possibilities.  I see the worthiness.  I see the wonder.

 

We are so very hard on each other, aren't we sometimes?  We skim the surface of someone and decide based on that impression whether they are worthy of our time and effort.  It's often times no different when we look in the mirror.  We see the shame and the humiliation and the failures and the flaws.  We see things we have sometimes been told are there.  We see things we sometimes feel are there.  And we never look at the heart...the spirit...the soul of who we are.

 

Quitting is much, much more difficult when we hate ourselves.  When we don't like our worlds.  When we think "Why bother?"  How can we do something so good for ourselves when we think the worst?  It doesn't...and shouldn't...work that way.  It's only when we begin to see that glimmer of who we want to be...who we should be...that we begin to change that horrible image of ourselves and therefore change our thinking about smoking.  

 

I think, then, maybe we should start healing.  Start hoping.  Start forgiving.  Start loving.  Ourselves as well as others.  Because then we can begin to believe we deserve good things.  Health.  Happiness.  Confidence.  Joy.  Freedom.  

 

I see possibilities in people.  I see the potential.  I see the wonder.  I can't make you see it.  I can promise you it's there, though.  It is.  And once you begin to glimpse the wonder that you are, you will begin to heal.  Begin to make more authentic decisions.  Begin to be brave enough to hear your heart's wisdom.   No more hiding then.  You will understand that you always have been worthy of the best life has to offer.  And there is nothing better than being smoke free.

 

Blessings,

 

Sheri 

~~There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go.~~  Frederick Faber

 

Do you know someone like this?  I do.  There are elders here who have that gift!!  My daughter has the gift.  One of the students I teach at the jail has the gift.  Some foster children I worked with have the gift.  One of my dearest friends who left this world behind had the gift.

 

It doesn't take money.  It doesn't take a college degree.  It doesn't take that 'perfect' life.  

 

It takes you.  It takes you letting go of the worry...of the stress...of the heartache and embracing the fact that you are alive.  Realizing you have yet another day.  Another day to make things right.  Another day to try your best.  Another day to be grateful.  

 

Finding joy doesn't mean that hard times avoid you.  It means going through hard times knowing they, too, will end.  It doesn't mean that there are no feelings of loss.  It means feeling the loss knowing the memories of love.  

 

Finding joy isn't living with your head in the clouds or not being able to face reality.  It is a heart that gives little bursts of happiness even in darker times.  It is serenity in a storm.  It is learning how to skip when it took so much effort to even crawl.

 

If only every soul on earth had that gift of finding joy everywhere!!  We all could if we tried, I suppose.  But I thank those to whom finding joy comes so naturally.  You give hope.  You give light.  You give a reflection of what life can be like.

Today there is just me.  I often write because it's one of my coping skills.  If I keep emotions inside (especially negative ones), they grow out of control until I sink into the blahs and pity parties.  Releasing them out into the world just allows me to let them go and move on.

 

So I come here and write.  Hoping to help others as well as myself.  But I'm unsure of that.  I don't know how much I help anyone.  I'm ok with that as well because I don't need to know I do...I just need to continue to hope I do (if that makes sense).  When I write, it often gets written in short-hand.  My thoughts flit from one thing to the next and I don't always finish the thought.  So the end product can be a bit confusing and a multitude of only glimpses of insight.  I get that and I don't go back and re-write.  Once I get it out, I have very little interest in making it presentable

 

But I want you to know that I share because I also care.  We are all very much alike in some ways.  We all want to or have stopped smoking.  We all have emotions.  We all ride life's roller coaster.  And, I think, we all want to be accepted for who we are.  Whether who we are is anxious, depressed, confused, angry, socially awkward, shy, or a leader.

 

Writing is one of my coping skills.  I don't have to be Tolstoy or Hemmingway or Bronte to write.  It just is who I am.  I also dance, paint, volunteer, garden, roller skate, cook, organize.  I still want to learn how to draw, sing, speak better German, balance my checkbook.  I hate skydiving, scuba diving, race car driving, and public speaking (yep, tried them all!).  I am only telling you this now because I used everything I love to quit smoking.  I avoided everything I hate to quit smoking.  I used everything I want to learn to quit smoking.  And so it worked for me.

 

We can't quit for you.  There is no magic cure, no secret quit society, no pill that is going to do this for you.  Your quit depends entirely, 100% on you.  I hope you truly understand that.  Because sometimes I think quitters come here asking for help and then don't understand why they are still struggling.  Your quit is absolutely on you and only you.  I can't say that enough.  If you succeed, it's because you are a bada** quitter who stayed the course.  If you do not succeed, it is because you aren't yet in the right mind set.  No, you do not "fail"!!  This is not a pass-fail kind of thing.  This is a 'changing my life' kind of thing.  You have to accept the change and you have to maintain the change.  If you succumb to the 'it feels too uncomfortable and icky', you are right back at day 1 again and will go through the exact same things until you are ready to accept the change.

 

So this became a very long post and I didn't mean it to be.  I wanted to let you know that I write a lot here because it's how I cope.  And I wanted to let you know how I cope because I want you to understand it matters how you cope with things.  It's the key to change, you know?!!  Coping through it.  

~~We are all just a car crash, a diagnosis, an unexpected phone call, a newfound love or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person.  How beautifully fragile are we that so many things can take but a moment to alter who we are forever.~~  Samuel Decker Thompson

 

To those who think quitting is simply a process of not smoking, I say tighten your seatbelt.  Because if quitting is as easy as not smoking, we would not be here as everyone will have quit.

Quitting is a journey in living.  In feeling emotions long ago buried beneath addiction.  In coming to terms with old grudges and sudden bursts of anger and misguided hostilities.  It's an adventure in forgiveness, balance, and stressors so intense they take your breath away.

Because we smoked for so long, we tend to take it for granted and addiction slyly wiped clean every hurt.  Angry?  Just smoke and you'll feel better.  Worried?  Same.  Addiction has managed to take every negative emotion we ever attempted to feel and swept it away within a cloud of smoke.

Many of us are damaged.  We struggle to remember that we are not what has happened to us but what we choose to become.  We are lost souls one day and healing spirits the next.  Life is a combination of harsh realities and fragile hope.  So when we quit smoking, we feel the loss, the heartbreak, the devastatingly ugly truths all over again.  This time, however, without the crutch of addiction. 

Do not be bewildered by what you feel.  Do not be taken off guard.  Do not recoil from emotions.  Surrender to them as you surrendered to your quit.  Because once felt, those emotions begin to heal.  In time, you begin to realize that you can get through any emotion without that once necessary cigarette. 

We will most likely get hurt in life again.  We may battle depression.  We will feel loss.  But please keep in mind that when you crawl out of bed in the morning because you don't have the strength to rise....when you move through your day as if you are underwater because you are stunned by bad news....when you barely have the energy to get back into bed at the end of the day....that is when you are the strongest.  Because true strength is found in trying anyway even when you feel like your failing.

We all have our stuff.  None of us are perfect.  Some of us are questioning if we are even ok.  But smoking plays no part in any of this.  This is life and it deserves our full and undivided attention.  You  will never be able to give it that when you smoke because addiction demands the same thing.  Don't hide.  Live.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

What If

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 20, 2019

~~What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?~~ Unknown

 

Let go of the idea that you need to follow rules A, B, and C in order to quit smoking.  Forget that you are supposed to be at war with yourself and ignore the negative signals your brain is throwing your way.

 

Take your quit....your precious, precious quit...and make it all about loving yourself more.  Devote your time (which you'll have so much more of!) to learning who you truly are...what you truly like....how you fit into this world.  Delight yourself with your humor, stun yourself with your strength, care for yourself when you feel weak.  Emerge from your smoke filled cocoon and blossom into the you that you are proud of.

 

No, this isn't a feel good post.  This is a simple reminder that you yourself, more than anyone else, is deserving of your time and attention.  Take the time.  Pay attention to you.  Notice.  Be gentle with your flaws, be satisfied with you.  Nurture all that you are, discover all that you can be.  Break free of the 'supposed to' and head into the 'never tried before'.  Shake off the 'everyone else does' and embrace the 'this is me'.

 

Be so focused on growing you that you forget to miss your quit.  Be so astonished by the possibilities in you that you let go of the way you used to be as a smoker. 

 

Take this year of quitting until you reach that 'elder' status...that 6% club...to love yourself silly.  Be goofy, be loving, be kind.  Be funny, be shy, be generous.  Be who you've always known you could be.  Love, simply love who you are.  Explore you.  Discover you.  Shed addiction.  

 

You can, of course you can!!  And once you start, you will never get tired of discovering new facets of who you are!  You are a true miracle.  Unique.  Breathtaking.  A joy.  And it's time, don't you think, for you to notice all that you are.  Take this time to simply love yourself.  You're worth it    

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Smoking Kills

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 19, 2019

~~Every time you light up, you are saying your life is not worth living.~~  Unknown

 

Smoking kills.  I'm guessing that's why we all want to quit, right?  The illnesses, diseases, and cancers attributed to smoking are scary and life threatening.  So, logically, we know we have to quit if we want to live.

 

It isn't the addiction that kills you, it is the chemicals within the addicted substance.  It's the arsenic, acetone, formaldehyde, ammonia, turpentine, and the other over 3993 chemicals found in cigarettes.  At least 81 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.

 

Still we smoke on.  Addicted.  Our brains are wired to keep that addiction active.  It will search out reasons, it will blatantly lie, it will try to force you to believe you cannot live without smoking.

 

And we know this.  And we smoke.  We accept the rationales that we 'can't' quit.  We reason away our health.  We justify away our freedom.  

 

These cancers and illnesses and diseases are not going to gently whisper "Get ready because you are going to be sick soon...."  That diagnosis will take you off guard.  It will come suddenly and without warning and all at once your whole entire life changes forever.  And you wish you could go back and do things differently.  And you regret that quit you lost.  And all those chances you had to make things different.

 

But we smoke because we don't like the discomfort of quitting.  The going through the day without a cigarette in hand.  The dealing with feelings you never had to deal with before.  The handling life's challenges you never had to handle before.  The cravings.  The longings.  The changes.

 

I so wish I could get you to understand that quitting doesn't hurt you.  That while you may feel like quitting is agony, at the same time your body is singing as it works 24/7 to repair the damage you have done to it.  That every moment you do NOT smoke is another moment you are gaining some health, some freedom, some light at the end of an addiction tunnel.

 

I want to be gentle with you.  I want to comfort you and say it will be ok.  I want to be perky and sweet and say it will work out.  But I understand what smoking is doing to you.  And nothing about smoking is good.  Nothing!!!  All the damage it is doing it is doing under the cover of addiction.  It's killing you but you feel better while it happens.  Crazy, isn't it?

 

I know there are often hidden issues that appear when you quit.  Depression, anxiety, weight gain, insomnia.....

But with professional help, these issues can be dealt with.  The only way to deal with smoking related illnesses is to quit.  That needs to be your priority.  Because even with professional help, the only way out is through.  Smokers have to quit.

 

Every time you light up, you are saying that your life isn't worth living.  Remind yourself of that with each and every cigarette and maybe that will help you to quit.  Tell yourself you are choosing to smoke, not needing to.  Tell yourself that you are risking a stroke, a heart attack, cancer.  Make smoking so despicable you won't enjoy that cigarette.  With each and every puff, remind yourself that smoking means death.  

 

I know this is harsh.  This isn't my usual post.  But I truly, truly want you to live.  

 

Sheri 

~~Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.~~ Tyler Knott Grayson

 

I'm not going to be able to come here at all next week.  And of course you'll be fine!!  The elders here are phenomenal and you will have all the knowledge and support you could ever want   But I wanted to leave you with something that's been on my mind lately as I read about relapses, anger, loss, and confusion.

 

Please keep it in perspective.  While addiction kind of overtakes our whole lives, if we aren't careful, quitting can do the same thing. Quitting involves not smoking.  That's it.  Just don't smoke.  It isn't the same thing as performing open heart surgery....finding a cure for cancer....spending a month in outer space.  It isn't the same thing as going through the days after losing your partner, spending your life in a wheelchair, or losing your hearing.

 

Just don't smoke.  For today.  For right now.  Just don't.  And then get on with your life.  Get that college degree.  Have that baby.  Remodel your house.  Take that trip.  Accept that promotion.  Get on with life....because you love life.  You always have.  You have dreams yet to reach, goals needing achieving, hopes for the future.  Don't put everything on hold until you 'feel better' about your quit.  Allow your life to continue and your quit will become a part of all that's good.

 

Now I'm sure I'm getting some eye rolls and indignant thoughts and head shakes.  What????  Quitting isn't that easy!!!  I'm supposed to focus on my quit and now she says get on with life???  Sheri has LOST. HER. MIND.

 

Keep it simple because I truly believe not smoking is simple.  And if you get on with your life, you will find those coping skills you need to deal with cravings and stress and breaking the habit of smoking.  Because all those things you love...family, gardening, your job, education, travel....will sweep you up into the life you were always meant to lead.  Without the smoke breaks, the hacking cough, the glares from family, the searching for a lighter....the addiction.  Life without addiction is glorious!!! 

 

Did you forget?  Forget your hopes, your dreams, your enthusiastic energy for life?  The anticipation of what's going to happen next?  Quitting has hard moments but keep it in perspective and know that life will keep you occupied when you surrender to your quit.  Stop fighting yourself.  Stop battling your brain.  Stop being stuck in the "I don't like this feeling".  And get on with life. 

 

I hope you take this in the spirit it is being written.  There are so many amazing people here who bring nothing but stunning light and warmth to the world.  Truly!  Get out there and make your mark, change a life, be touched with wonder.  Remember you are a miracle the world needs.  Quitting isn't ever going to end as it's a journey, not a destination.  Don't let it stop you from living.

 

May all of you have a glorious week this week.

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Who You Are

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 14, 2019

~~Life's challenges aren't supposed to paralyze you, they are supposed to help you discover who you are.~~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

 

You aren't 'a smoker', you know.  That's something you do, not who you are.  But the addiction that keeps you chained to nicotine grows bigger and bigger until smoking becomes vital.  You need it to function through your day.

 

But it's not who you are.  Who you are is hidden beneath layers of dirty, smelly smoke.  Who you are is tucked away in some small corner of your world, buried by addiction.....because who you are would never allow yourself to continue to smoke.

 

The real you is strong.  The real you is brave.  The real you loves life.  All those things that you truly are would walk away from smoking without a second thought.  You know you are better than that.  You know you deserve better than that.  And you know you are worth more than that.

 

So addiction had to hide you.  Addiction had to take over so that your ability to quit became less and less important.  Addiction lied so often and so well that you never even noticed that the true you was disappearing.

 

It's time to accept life's challenge.  Dig down deep and stay the course and allow yourself the freedom to emerge.  The real you has been waiting for this moment and the moment has arrived.  Let yourself come forth...finally.  Let the real you out because the real you is ready to fight addiction.  The real you will not allow yourself to fail.  The real you will not be beaten back again by addiction because the real you wants to live this life you have.

 

So commit to your quit.  And commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.  The real you has spoken for the first time in years the minute it said, "It's time to quit".  Stay loyal to that...stay loyal to you.

 

Please don't be paralyzed by the challenge of your quit.  It's a good thing...it's a great thing!!  Allow yourself to live it.  Because when you fight your quit, you are only fighting yourself.  Love yourself instead.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Choices

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 13, 2019

~~Today I choose life.  Every morning when I wake up, I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain...to feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices-today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.~~  Kevyn Aucoin

 

I could choose to feel lonely.  I've been divorced for almost 30 years now and been a single parent for as long.  Instead, I feel blessed that God gifted me with amazing children and loving grandchildren.  I choose to accept that my world is full.

 

I could choose to feel jealous.  I have never been on an EX reunion due to finances and I am missing out on hugging lots of wonderful people.  Instead I choose to rejoice that they will meet and expand their worlds just as I expand mine in a hundred different ways.  I will wish them well, look at the pictures they post, and love them anyway.  I choose to accept that my world is full.

 

I could choose fear.  I've been assaulted.  I've been robbed.  I've been stalked.  Instead I choose to feel confident that I can handle anything life gives me, good or bad.  I am careful and wise and prepared the best I can be and I refuse to live in fear.  I choose to accept that my world is full.

 

We all have choices.  You can choose up, down, good, bad, positive, negative.  You can try or you can do.  You can wish or you can take action.  You can withdraw or you can move forward.  Don't let your addiction make you believe you have no choice.  Don't let smoking make you believe you are helpless.  Open your eyes, your ears, your heart to the truth that you have choices, opportunities, chances.  

 

Events happen that we have no control over.  But we can choose how to respond.  We can choose how to view it.  We can choose how to move on from it.  And that gives you power beyond belief!!  

 

I hope you choose life.  I hope you choose to embrace your humanity.  And I hope you take the power of choice with you each and every day.

~~People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don't need help.~~  Glennon Melton

 

Sometimes nothing helps.  Sometimes you try every suggestion and it doesn't work.  Sometimes you don't understand what people are saying because your mindset is not in the place that allows what's being said to sound reasonable.

 

Sometimes you just need help.  From a professional.  Someone who understands the way your brain is working.  Someone who understands situational depression, anxiety, and other disorders that we cannot see here.  Someone who knows that medications can help you think more clearly until you get things under control.  Someone who has been trained to see the whole person when we only get the glimpses you allow us to see.

 

Professional help isn't a weakness.  Professional help isn't for 'crazies'.  Professional help along with sites like this and people like these can help support your quit and guide you along the path of wellness. 

 

Please keep that in mind even if you don't hear it much here.  We aren't professionals and we don't know everything.  What sounds like an easy answers aren't easy if something else is wrong.  Have a bad smoker's cough for weeks?  Get it checked out, please!  Been so anxious that you've been crying for days and can't function?  Get it checked out please!  Been depressed even though you've been quit for months?  Get it checked out, please!

 

Not everything can be explained with "that's part of quitting".  We can't see you, we haven't observed you, and we only know what you tell us.  

 

I may be an elder, but I also know that stuff happens.  Brain chemistry gets out of whack,  illnesses develop, relationships sour....stuff, you know?  These things don't have anything to do with quitting other than they may happen at the same time.

 

Please take care of you!!  Get that balance of support and professional guidance that can actually keep you centered.  There is no shame in asking for help.  There is no shame in saying you need help.  There is no shame in saying that I can't always help.  Surround yourself with those who can

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

If You Quit Now

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 12, 2019

If I quit now I will soon be back to where I started.  And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now.~~  Unknown

 

I never want to go back to where I was.  A smoker who knew it was time to quit.  Making that commitment, deciding on when, preparing, having that last cigarette.  Nope, I never want to go back there.

 

I never want to go back to day 1.  Headaches, nervousness, feeling lost.  A bit shaky.  Wishing soooo much that I was at day 10 or 100 or 1000...anywhere but day 1 because it seemed never-ending.  Nope, I never want to go back there.

 

When you quit smoking, hold on to your quit.  Hold on to it with everything you've got even if it's just a moment at a time.  You earned it.  Whether it's 10 minutes quit or 10 hours quit or 10 days quit...you have EARNED it! 

 

Your body is busy healing itself.  Yes, even at 10 minutes!  Allow your body the time it needs to feel in charge again, rather than a prisoner of life threatening chemicals.  Don't give up on you.

 

Your brain is busy trying to find old pathways but it is also trying to build new pathways!  It is searching for comfort.  It is searching for connections.  Allow your brain the time it needs to carve out those new pathways until they become as much of a habit as your smoking was.  Don't give up on you.

 

Your spirit is busy trying to center itself again rather than being chained to your addiction.  It is leading you to freedom.  Freedom to choose your paths in life.  Freedom to be who you truly are.  Freedom to do anything you wish to do.  Allow your spirit the time it needs to bring forth the you that you were always meant to be.  Don't give up on you.

 

Your life is busy creating your smoke free world.  More time to spend with family, friends, and even just with you.  More money to do those things you really want to do.  Better health as you let go of deadly chemicals and embrace a simply walk in the park.  Allow your life the time it needs to create that world for you.  Don't give up on you.

 

Once you quit smoking, the hardest part is over.  The decision.  The walking away.  The severing the ties.  Yes, there will be difficult times to get through without your addiction, but millions of people get through difficult times without smoking.  Let yourself be one of them.  Don't give up on you.

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Thief

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 11, 2019

~~Comparison is the thief of joy.~~  Theodore Roosevelt

 

You've quit smoking.  Now you are starting to wonder why you aren't feeling as good as the quitter down the street.  And the quitter who posts how great she is doing?  You, meanwhile, feel discouraged.  Or maybe you are feeling really, really good but someone posts about how horrible the first few months of quitting are so you are thinking maybe you shouldn't write about how good you are feeling.

 

Your quit is yours.  Unique.  Individual.  Created by and for you.  Don't cheapen it by comparing it to someone else's quit.  They aren't you.  With your personality, your skills, your talents.  They aren't you and won't feel the things you feel and respond to things the way you respond.

 

Your quit is yours.  Take care of it.  Be proud of it.  Build on it.  Love it.  And know that no one can quit the way you quit because no one else is you.  You are unique.  Individual.  One of a kind.  

 

Please share your story.  Please share your thoughts, ideas, tools for quitting.  But don't compare and think you are doing something wrong.  Don't compare and be embarrassed because your quit is going well.  Be content that your quit is a unique reflection of you and be proud that you are creating your masterpiece.  After all, Monet didn't stop painting because he didn't paint like Van Gogh.  Beethoven didn't create music like Mozart.  And Tolstoy didn't write like Hemingway.  But they were all masters.

~~Good things take time, as they should.  We shouldn't expect good things to happen overnight.  Actually, getting something too easily or too soon can cheapen the outcome.~~  John Wooden

 

So I was giving out badges and points the other day to those whom I am close to and those whom I admire (if you haven't gotten one yet, no worries. I'm not done ).  I sent one to a member that said something about not only elders have good advice, so do you.

Yikes!!  The gracious lady informed me that she had entered elderhood this past December!!  I had seen the date but didn't look closely at the year so I mistakenly thought she wasn't one yet.  She was so kind about my mistake but I really felt bad about it.  I knew I had to do a  better job at taking my time to get things right.  When I rush, I make mistakes.  When I am stressed and not thinking, I make mistakes.  When I am tired, hungry, lonely, angry....I make mistakes.

 

Makes sense then, doesn't it, to learn to take time with our quits?  To be present in the moment.  To not rush towards the end....because there really is no end to your quit until there is an end to you.  Yet we ask "When will we feel better?"  and "Why is it still so hard?"

 

Maybe because we aren't taking the time to nurture our quits.  Maybe because we aren't working through the craves, we are just focusing on the craves.  Maybe because we aren't remembering what our poor little brains are going through.  Maybe because we aren't using our tools.

 

If quits were easy, we would quit all the time.  Smoke as much as we want, then quit for a while, then pick it back up.  Serial quitting at it's worst.  Quits are hard because they are WORTH it.  Because when we quit, we know we don't want to go back to day 1.  Because when we work through it, we know we don't want to ever do that again.  

 

So take the time with your quit that you need to solidify it.  When you are craving a cigarette, take the time to work through it.  "I'm craving a cigarette so I need to deep breath and remind myself I don't do that anymore" rather than "Omg, I can't do this because this is a really, really big craving!!!!!"  Take time to work it out.  Take time to actually list the things you want to do other than relapse.  Take time to learn about addiction, about recovery, about brain paths.  Take time to build that support system, to learn about positive thinking, to build your confidence.

 

When you take the time to do it right, you build a solid quit.  When you take the time to work through it, you don't relapse.  When you take the time to educate yourself, you'll have a better understanding of what's coming up so you can prepare.  

 

Take the time.  You are worth it  

~~Stay humble, stay original, stay real.~~  Unknown

 

I found this site a few years before my forever quit.  I learned a lot...and I mean A LOT...about addiction, quitting, coping skills.  All the stuff I needed to know about HOW to quit.  

 

And then I learned more.  I learned things like how I was just a valuable as anyone else.  I learned I had a voice and learned how to use it.  I learned that I deserved to be smoke free.  I learned that people really wanted to support me and I learned that I needed that support.  I worked through some traumatic times in full view of my ex family.  They didn't care that I was broken.  They helped piece me back together.

 

I am a better person because of these people here, who accepted me long before I learned how to accept myself.  They cared when I wasn't sure I did.  They held me up when I fell apart.  They kept the light burning (pir8fan and his saying) when I left...time after time.

 

It hit me yesterday when I saw the dissention how very much I love these people.  How every much I love this site.  I may have started my quit before I came back here in 2013....my quit needed me to be isolated and focused...but I had to come back to show them that their faith in me wasn't misplaced.  That their help over the years did mean something.  That their hopes for me weren't in vain.  All that support, encouragement, hand holding, shoulder offering, cheerleadering from the elders and from the newbies at that time and from those who simply came and went like I did....led to me being better.  A better quitter, a better friend, a better person.  And I cannot thank you enough.

 

Thank you for never giving up on me.  Thank you for seeing what was possible for me long before it became clear to me.  Thank you for healing my shattered heart.  Thank you for showing me the way.  Thank you for reminding me that I did have it in me all along.  Thank you.

 

I am honored to be considered an elder here.  Because those elders before me are still my heroes.  You really do know who you are   I am humbled to be considered a friend to those whose faith in me carried me until I was able to stand on my own.  I am thrilled to support this site and these people through their own life's journeys.  And I will never forget what you did for me.

 

So there will be drama from time to time.  There will be loss.  There will be arguments.  There will be pain.  But there is strength and faith in this community that will withstand all to continue to light the way for all quitters who find this site.  I know because a long time ago, I found this site, too....

 

Forever grateful,

 

Sheri 

~~You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you.  And in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.~~  Unknown

 

Stuff happens, right?  Bad stuff, stressful stuff, even good stuff.  It comes at us and try as we may, we can't change it.  We can't bring back that loved one, we can't change that diagnosis, we can't hold on to that perfect moment forever.  Sometimes the best we can do is work to get through it.  

 

Attitude is everything.  Especially in things like recovery.  Quitting smoking.  Breaking that bad habit that has taken over your life.  However you want to see it, whatever you want to call it.  Quitting means change.  Change in your routine. Change in your coping skills.  Change in your brain chemistry!  Which, in turn, affects how you feel, how you react, how you behave.  But never forget that you have control over your behavior and how you react to things!  Even quitting.

 

Is quitting impossible?  Absolutely not!!  Is it out of your control?  Absolutely not!!  It can be....scary.  Uncomfortable.  Aggravating.  Bewildering.  Hard.

 

But it is totally do-able.  And your attitude towards your quit will determine how far you go.  And how you get to how far you go  

 

Don't let your addiction master you.  You don't 'need' that cigarette.  You don't 'need' to unwind like that.  You don't 'need' to quit on your quit.  Instead, master your quit.  When a crave hits, think "I don't do that anymore".  When you feel weak, think, "I can get through this moment without giving in to addiction".  When you feel near tears, cry it out and take good care of yourself.  

 

There are so many wonderful things to do other than smoke.  But you don't think so, you won't see them.  It's up to you.  Take control of your quit!  Take control of your actions, your thoughts, your behaviors.  Even when you don't want to.  Even when it's hard. You get to choose what thoughts to invest in.  You get to choose how you behave.   You get to decide how long your quit will last.  It is not out of your control.

 

And when it seems like you've lost direction...when you don't know how to get back on your quitting path...when things suddenly go dark.....ask for guidance.  Ask for a hand.  Ask for a shoulder.  Because we've been where you are and we understand.  We can remind you that you've got this.  We can encourage you to take that cleansing breath.  We can cry with you or share our stories or just be there with you.  So you are not alone.

 

Master your quit.  Remember you are in charge.  And realize that you control what you put into your body.  Don't give it something that will kill it.  

~~Lasting change does not happen overnight.  Lasting change happens in infinitesimal incriments:  a day, an hour, a minute, a heartbeat at a time.~~  Sara Ban Breathnach

 

I'm writing this on my phone so please excuse any errors (I'm not good at seeing small print).  

Change is inevitable and when you are making major changes in your life like quitting smoking, it can feel overwhelming.  How do you handle things?  What if x, y, and z happen?  What about if you get sad? Stressed? 

The list goes on, right?

Slow your mind down and just focus on the here and now.  Sometimes one heartbeat at a time can relax us enough to feel ok.  A breath.  A nod.  You got this for right now.

Projecting ahead can turn anyone to panic as we plow through worse case scenarios.  The 'what ifs' can turn a perfectly good day into a disastrous cyclone of emotions as we worry through how to handle life without a cigarette in hand.

Just for right now, you got this.  Just for this moment, you are ok.  Right now, you aren't smoking.  Life is good.

Change may he inevitable, but if we take it one heartbeat at a time, we will be ok.  A breath.  A smile.  A nod.  You got this.

 

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sheri

~~If you walk in the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew.~~ Pocahontas (1995)

 

It's fun to come here and connect with friends.  I've 'known' some of these magnificent people here for well over 6 years and if we ever did meet, I'm sure it would be like coming home

 

But when I write, I write for those I haven't 'met'.  I write for the ones who are struggling with their quits.  The ones who haven't yet quit.  The ones who wish they could but think they can't.

 

I don't know if I reach them.  I guess there is no good way to know, right? 

 

So I thought maybe if I introduced myself and let you know who I am, you would feel more comfortable reading my posts and believing that I want you to succeed.  I'll even try to throw in some pictures  

Here I am in all my  roller skating glory   My youngest grandson turned one and we are at his birthday party.  I love, love, love to skate and finally had the opportunity to get out there.  I've learned to never pass up the opportunity to do what you love.  Live life with no regrets  

My oldest granddaughter is learning to skate, my now one year old grandson is 'dancing' to the music   I am carrying my daughter-in-law's purse, as well.  Never not willing to help   

My only child still left at home   Jake is not easily embarrassed by his mom but I try on a daily basis to turn his face red.  He is as talented as he is kind and I adore him.

 

Ok, enough pictures for today.  For you new quitters and wannabe quitters, please know I am harmless, somewhat creative, and a totally quitter   I can share what I know, I can encourage the beejeezes out of you, and I am strong enough to help carry you when you don't think you can go on.  Quitting is all about recognizing that addiction is all in your mind and YOU control your mind.  Together, we can get you on the road to recovery!! 

 

Your friend,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Let It Come

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Apr 6, 2019

~~Sh*t surfaces.  Watch it.  Laugh at the silliness of it.  Breathe through it.  Dig in.  Dance it off.  Make friends with it.  Talk to it.  But most of all, don't take it seriously.  It's just a function of our minds.  The point isn't to fight it off or try to make it go away.  The point is to learn how to let it come and let it go.~~  Unknown

 

Life happens.  We all know that.  Bad stuff occurs.  Good things appear.  Upsetting events.  Stressful situations.  The ups and downs of life aren't just yours.  They happen to all of us.

 

We can try to fight through it all.  We can rage against the injustice of it.  We can beat our heads against the brick wall in front of us.  We can battle people and situations and events that we don't want to accept.  Sort of like our quits, right?

 

I suggest....stop fighting.  Let it come and then let it go.  The battle is all in our minds and we have control over our minds so we can release that need to fight off the uncomfortable.  The uncomfortable will be there whether or not we try to avoid it or make it go away.  So let it come....feel it....let it go.

 

We don't have to take everything in life so seriously.  We don't have to agonize over every event or stressful occurrence.  We simply have to move through it.  And we get to decide how we do that   You can dig in and refuse to let it make you crazy.  You can dance it off knowing that this, too, shall pass.  You can make friends with it and talk to it.  Your quit isn't trying to kill you, it's trying to heal you.  Thank it.  Love it.  And remember it's a gift.

 

Yep, life happens.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  We will lose people we love as death is inevitable.  We will get our hearts broken.  We will be talked about, disliked, shunned, or even lied to.  That's life.  But each and every occurrence will come whether we want it to or not.  It's meant to get through, not avoided or battled because we can't win these battles.  We can, however, learn to let them come and let them go.  We can learn to dig in and dance through them.  We can learn to make friends with them and talk to them.  We can learn to simply get through them.

 

I hope that today you dance.  And that you see life is dancing with you.

 

Sheri

~~Turn your demons into art, your shadow into a friend, your fear into fuel, your failures into teachers, your weaknesses into reason to keep fighting.  Don't waste your pain.  Recycle your heart.~~  Andrea Balt

 

So you're afraid of failing in your quit....turn that fear into the fuel of your quit.  You failed before?  Turn that failure into a teacher...what did you learn?  Feeling weak?  That's a good reason to keep fighting your addiction.  

 

Sounds cliché-ish.  Sounds like a feel good moment from someone who maybe forgot what it was like in the early days of a quit.  Sounds like something you have no intention of trying because quitting is just too hard and no fun whatsoever.  

I'm not going to bore you with tails from my own quit.  If you want to know more about that, you can read my old posts.  And clichés are often words of hope for those who otherwise are stuck in their own darkness.  And I definitely don't have to tell you how hard it is to quit smoking....you already know that.  

 

But do you know that you gain so much more than you ever thought possible if you keep your quit?  Your fears really do turn into fuel as you travel life's roads.  You aren't afraid of shadows because darkness is only a small part of your life now as you learn you get to control your light.  And your pain?  All that pain that floods you as you learn to navigate life without the crutch of smoking?  That pain brings wisdom...wisdom brings peace....peace brings contentment.  Until all those negative emotions that you thought would stick to you forever are gently molded into experiences conquered.  Battles won.  Adventures accomplished.

 

And then you take all that fuel and teaching and art and friendship and you blossom into an elder.  Recycled heart.  You stay here like jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 because you know what it's like to quit.  You stay here like indingrl.01.06.2011 because it's God's calling for you to help others.  You stay here like elvan because your heart demands it.  You stay here like Youngatheart.7.4.12 and Thomas3.20.2010 and Giulia JACKIE1-25-15 and the Barbaras  and Mandolinrain and all the other elders active on this site because you care, you understand, and you want to support those who come behind you.  (Can't name all of you but if you go to Giulia's Elder list, there you all are )  

 

Recovery.  Quitting.  Letting go.  Whatever you want to call breaking your addiction to cigarettes, the fact remains that you will come out the other side a different, stronger, wiser person.  Recycled, in a way, from your start.  Hang in there.  Get to know your strengths and your talents and your mind.  Use all of that to create a quit that is a reflection of the beautiful person you are.  And then....stay.

 

Sheri

~~Don't hate the addict, hate the disease.  Don't hate the person, hate the behavior.  If it's hard to watch it, imagine how hard it must be to live it.~~  Unknown

 

I know it's late and hardly anyone reads late night blogs.  It doesn't matter, I just needed to get this out. 

I was getting ready to teach my GED class tonight when one of my students walked in.  She looked upset so I asked her if she was ok.  She started crying and apologized for it.  I assured her there was no reason to apologize as tears can sometimes be healing.  And then she said it. 

"I am a drug addict"

I waited because I thought she might have more to say, and she did.  She said she wanted to use.  She said she was so mad at herself because she tried to stay clean but wanted to get high.  She said that her daughter doesn't live with her because she has been using drugs since she was a teenager and couldn't stay clean.  She said she has been to rehab twice.  She said went to NA meetings.  She said  got help.  She said nothing works for her...because she wants to get high, even though she knows it's bad.

 

I nodded.  A lot.  I listened.  A lot.  We talked.  About rehab.  About getting a sponsor through NA.  About how addiction can take over your whole world, not just your day.  We talked about recovery and how she needed to focus on her needs.  How recovery comes from within.  How an addicted brain lies because it needs the drug of choice.  You know...everything we say here.

 

We got interrupted several times.  It didn't matter.  She needed to talk, she needed to hear it isn't hopeless, she needed to know someone cared enough to listen.  This girl is in her 20s.  She is intelligent although she doesn't see that.  She is gorgeous although she doesn't see that, either.

 

She sees she is an addict and she hates it even as she wants to use.  She sees the destruction she has caused by her addiction.  She understands the relationships she has damaged and the hearts she has shattered.

 

But she's not going to stop using.  Not right now.  I can hope for tomorrow and I can pray that she reaches out for help and I can talk to her about her purpose here on earth.  But only she can quit.  And as much as she knows she needs to, she doesn't want to because she 'likes' the high.

 

I've said it a million times....addiction is addiction, regardless of what you're addicted to.  I used to be her.  We all are her.  Some of us chose recovery over addiction.  Some of us chose to use another day.  But we all know. 

 

I was there to teach GED classes.  That was all.  C=pi*d and subject/predicate identification.  Instead I met a broken soul.  And as always, every time I see addiction win, it hurts.  So I'll send up a prayer and keep the line of communication going and hope that her truth will climb out of the depths of addiction to strengthen her.  And if it's this hard for me to watch, I can only imagine how very hard it is for her to live. 

 

Just had to put it out there.  It helps me to talk it out...even if I'm simply writing to myself.  I want her to win.  I want all of us to win...to recover....to break the cycle of addiction.  We deserve it.  We are worth it.  And, most of all, we are so much more than our addiction.