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2015
Giulia

One Voice

Posted by Giulia Champion Mar 23, 2015

We are all singing the same quit song.  I just discovered this group.  And this song.  Thought it might be appropriate here and so I pass it on:  One Voice   or copy and paste the following into your browser window:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc6HloRYZGc 

"The sound of one who makes a choice."  You and I have made a choice to quit.  We join our voices in the harmony of that choice.  NOPE. 

Giulia

Don't Wait

Posted by Giulia Champion Mar 16, 2015

Was going through some old letters I wrote and came across one from 1982.  I was then 33 years old.  This is the part that's pertinent:

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Boy do you ever sound frustrated.  I'm sure the smoking quittage and the planets aligning and being home without a specific thing to do every day (i.e. your job), and choosing things to do that are frustrating in themselves are all responsible for the crazies.  It's so great that you guys have stopped smoking.  I berate myself every time I light up and it's driving me mad.  I find that I can analyze it to death with no results except more self loathing.  I question deeply the need and can find none, except perhaps fear of stopping.  Fear of not having the courage to stop.  Changing patterns has got to be the hardest task ever for the security-seeking ego.  I think it takes re-programming, probably why "smokenders" and the like are so beneficial.  I know it takes discipline, something which I have been sorely lacking for too long now.  I find that with a prospering career, things become easy, the drive to accomplish lessens....   I’m caught in an unmotivating, non-productive recess where even the joy of play is dampened by the eternal, unremitting cloud of knowingly wasted potential.  Talk about frustration.  I am riddled with thoughts of all the things I could do, should do, and don’t do.  What happened to mind of my youth that could play and enjoy effortlessly doing nothing.  When and why did guilt creep quietly in?  And how does one transform guilt into an all-rightness?  I guess one can only conquer the demon by overcoming its needs; fulfilling the deeds prescribed.  But the organism balks equally at discipline and at the lack of discipline.  And I find myself balancing on the edge of the coin.  Can’t seem to find the catalyst, the motivational force to turn the coin over – in either direction.  Hopefully I’ll get my act together on my own before that inner entity that teaches us throws up some devastation by which I’ll have no choice.

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Well, I got my act together March 1, 2006.  Twenty-four years later.  Don’t wait as long as I did.  Okay?!

 

I was thinking the other day that quitting smoking is not dissimilar to changing computer operating systems.  I was a DOS baby, though I came to it very late.  (I’m always the last to embrace new technology.  Just leave it alone would you please?!)   I knew many of the codes necessary to copy, and...what did we call ‘paste?’  Implant?  No, drop in?   No... oh somebody out there help me.  RETRIEVE!  Yes?
Anyway I still have my old 684 processor, or is it a 486?  (Too many numbers to remember in old age does NOT help us!)  Yes and it used those big ole’ floppies and had a hard floppy drive too.  How something can be hard and soft at the same time... well - let’s not go there.  HA!  (Remind me to tell you about my 85 year old uncle who was trying to copy his old word processing material and I was trying to help him and I said  “how big is your floppy?”  That one will go down in our family history!)
So then I moved onto ... what was it  XP.  NO, I think it was simply WINDOWS.   Then XP.  And although it was totally different, and I was forced to adopt, I managed to adapt.  UNWILLINGLY.  I was very happy with my original operating system - DOS.  And then I became somewhat satisfied with Windows and then quite comfortable with my XP.  And then I got a laptop with Windows 7 on it.  And although I can upload my files from my desktop  XP computer to my Windows 7 lapstop (sic),  I cannot  now download them back because the deskstop computer is STUPID and can’t grasp the information coming back in.
And my XP computer is the one I use ALL THE TIME and dear Microsoft has said “too bad for you!”  We created it and now we’re no longer gonna support it and you are scr3wed!   And kicking and screaming I will move forward into the new operating system - whatever it may be.
Does this remind any of you of your own quits?  It sure does me.  I was purring along quite happily smoking my life away.  But there was this constant gnawing annoying better wisdom part of me that knew I was being really stupid.  I kept getting inputs telling me so.  My operating system was slowing becoming obsolete and nobody was gonna continue to support it.  And I knew it.  And smoking was no longer allowed in all the places where it used to be allowed.  Do you see the parallel?
So I FINALLY got a new operating system.  And it was just hell trying to make the change.  I’d have some days when I’d get all excited because I thought I had finally figured it out and then something else would be updated and something else wouldn’t work any more and I’d start tearing my hair out again.  And then I’d go through several months of happy mind, where everything  was running smoothly.  And then for no seeming reason at all - yahoo mail would update and the kinks weren’t all out and why change it if it ain’t broke! and suddenly I didn’t know how to do half of what I used to be able to do.  Or this site would change platforms and I couldn’t post pictures like I used to, or I would get a message in another program saying I had to migrate to.... whatever - and I don’t fly well.  And I don’t like having to learn new ways of doing things that I’ve been doing quite well and quit happily for quite a long time!
And that’s EXACTLY what quitting is like.  It’s an on-going altering and alternating process.  And it’s frustrating as hell.  And you just have to go through and get through it.  That’s all.  IF you want that ultimate freedom.
Eat it up, love it, digest it and get over it.  MOVE ON TO THE NEXT OPERATING SYSTEM.  They actually work better.  Once you know the rules.

 


 

Giulia

The THRILL of it!

Posted by Giulia Champion Mar 1, 2015

It is positively THRILLING to be quit 9 years.  And kind of mind blowing.
What can I tell you about my journey that hasn’t already been said here?  
Not much.  But -  for one thing, there are no more unpleasant surprises.  No more surprise cravings that take me off guard.  Oh yes, I’ll still get a hankering for one at odd moments, but those hankerings don’t surprise me any more.  I recognize them now as part of the journey.  No big deal.  They come quickly and go equally quickly.  I don’t dwell on them and thus they don’t dwell in me.  
Dale (Jonescarp)  and I might argue for days about whether there’s a No Man’s Land or not.  The term wasn’t in my brain vocabulary when I quit, so for me there was no “No Man’s Land.”  To me it’s a made up place that’s helpful if you need it to be as a marker, as another stage in this journey to get through.   When the high of success has dwindled, your excitement has ebbed and ongoing maintenance is wearing you thin.  When you think you’ve suffered enough, paid your dues and it should be over - but it’s not.  Was there a period of time several months in where I kept being smacked with random strong cravings - you bet.  And for me that period went on past the designated day limit of “No Man’s Land.”   But then I was a tough case!  lol  That may not be the case for you.  I do know, from experience,  that quits are most fragile at the three-month period.  I’ve lost two at that stage and seen others do the same.  And it took me far too many years after the previous failure to come back and achieve this current (what I assume is) lasting success.  So if you are reading this and are in that No Man’s Land stage - be prepared, raise you conviction level and have safety measures in place.  You MUST stay convicted.  You’re either in this for the duration - or you’re heading for Relapse City.
I have to attribute my long-term success to several factors.  One is this incredible, loving, community.  I hope that if I ever got to a place (highly unlikely) where I was about to relinquish this cherished quit for that one stupid puff, that I would follow the precepts reiterated on this site day after day - to come here and yell for HELP before going to the Addiction Store.   But the other factor in my longevity is having the sense to stay tuned in to this quit site.  It’s a reminder from where I’ve come, how hard this freedom was to achieve, it’s fragility,  and the incredible beauty of it.  
I do know this - you can never take your quit for granted.  I’ve seen too many members here who have come from very long-term quits (longer than mine right now)  to begin another Day One.  They have taught me to be ever mindful.  I also know that I never stop learning about this addiction and I find joy in that learning.  From the newbie, from the oldbie, from the new information gathered and disseminated, from the incredible compassion offered here.  
I guess what I’d have to say bottom line is - take an avid interest in your quit.  Always.  Keep nourishing it.  Continue to study it.   It changes.  And so will you.  Beautifully.  It truly is a magnificent journey.  But you’ll only recognize that when you’ve had some serious time with it under your belt.  So stick with it!  For all of us.  But especially for YOU!
 

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