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Ladybug--7-3-12 Blog

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Ladybug--7-3-12

Stop the Cravings

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 27, 2019

 

Two ingredients to a quit that are 100% guaranteed to eventually stop the cravings (or at least no longer have them rule over our life) and a potential third one is offered for your consideration.

 

#1 DON’T SMOKE.

 

Don’t smoke & eventually you will not crave to smoke or have incessant thoughts to do so.   Keep smoking and you’ll continue to have cravings every 30 mins or so.  Simple (I didn’t say easy).

 

#2 TIME.

 

Every single one of us starts at Day One and goes through whatever it takes to keep moving forward smoke free.  It’s not harder for you than it was for most of us.  You are NOT unique in that way.  Neither were we special “snowflakes”.  Choose it for yourself & then give yourself the time to find the peace & gratefulness in it.  That time varies for each of us.  

 

#3 STOP THE NRT.

 

I’m adding a third to this “simple” formula because I’m seeing more & more people abusing their chosen NRT aid & wondering why they are craving.  Overuse of self-administered nicotine products will cause more cravings (ie mist spray, gum, lozenges). Think.  It’s no different from when we smoked.  We would have one which then would cause us to want another one 20 or 30 mins later.  

 

Self-administering individual doses of nicotine in another form (NRT) whenever we want one does the same.  It may tamp down your “need” but only because you “fed” your addiction.  You then want another “hit” later.  Understandable.  

 

Be sure to use NRT self-administered doses of nicotine appropriately as directed and then follow a planned reduction schedule to eventually get yourself off them.  Total freedom from nicotine should be your goal.  Don’t sell yourself short of this goal.

 

DON”T SMOKE (#1), give yourself the gift of smoke free TIME (#2), and if used, STOP THE NRT (#3) eventually to reach THE Ultimate Freedom from active nicotine addiction.  It’s a

truly wonderful place to be!

 

Ladybug--7-3-12

Memorial Day

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 26, 2019

     From a former service member to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country … Thank you.  You will never be forgotten.  R.I.P.

Ladybug--7-3-12

Corridor Signs

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 20, 2019

 

 

Visualization was one of the tools in my “Tool Box” that I used in my early quit days to make the right choice when the Nic O. Demon was incessantly messing with my brain.  It’s important not to let smoking thoughts roll around in your head for long (to quickly kick them out each & every time).  

 

I eventually learned to swiftly dismiss these thoughts without spending a lot of time thinking about them with a simple hand gesture upward & to the right (although probably not what you may be thinking! lol).  It involved using corridor signs.  I’m sharing it in the hope that it may help someone.   

 

I pictured myself literally walking down the corridor of a Multi-Use Medical Center.  When I stopped at one corridor that splits off into different hallways to the left & right as possibilities instead of just straight ahead I automatically looked up at the signage hanging above to see which direction I needed to keep walking in to reach the destination I wanted in my life.

 

I saw these corridors as CHOICES I could make in my Stay Quit AND future life.  The Radiology Department to get a CT Scan/MRI/X-rays to get the status for a suspected or ongoing medical condition was STRAIGHT AHEAD as was the Pulmonary/Respiratory Department for a follow-up appointment for asthma/COPD & other breathing issues.  If nothing changed I knew I would continue to be headed straight ahead in this direction.  

 

The corridor to the LEFT would take me to the Lab for diagnostic tests.  The Physical Therapy/Rehab Depts for ongoing therapy was further down this same path.  It also led to the Business Office where I could pay in person for ongoing, extensive medical care bills to keep my account up to date since incurred expenses seemed to be gaining momentum.  

 

I could also choose to take an immediate RIGHT to head to my Primary Care Physician’s office for a routine well adult visit.  A RIGHT turn would give me hope for continued healing & recovery.  A RIGHT turn embraced everything right & beneficial about staying quit. I chose to take a RIGHT turn because I knew that no matter how long we smoked that it was never too late to stay quit to accrue some benefit(s) from it.  

 

All corridors were possibilities or choices I could make for myself.  The different choices led to different consequences and different outcomes in my life.  A simple hand gesture upward & to the right kept me on track without thinking about smoking for any length of time.  It can for you too.  Don’t be afraid to change the direction YOU are heading in to impact & make a better ending for yourself.   

 

Which corridor will YOU choose to take?  Choose wisely.

 

It’s never too late to quit smoking or to choose to stay quit no matter your age, how long you smoked, or your current medical conditions without receiving some benefit(s) from it.  Health declines for most people with age some of which we cannot control but we all know there is a huge difference because of a person’s smoking status (or you’ve been living under a rock!) and this IS something we have total control over.  

 

How many of us told ourselves or heard the “old” saying when we smoked, “Well, we all have to die of something.  At least I’ll do it my way & die happy.” Raising my hand.  The difference is it’s no longer true for me ... or funny either.  It’s just a stupid cliche.  Of course it matters.  

 

You absolutely can influence (even halt) the progression of some medical condition(s) if you don’t smoke (think COPD).  You may not even acquire some conditions (heavy smoking is one of the causes of DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis) and you may even be able to eliminate some (like high blood pressure).  Keep smoking and its the same ‘ole same progression downward with time.  “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”  Another well known cliche but so very true.  

 

As different as your life may be as a smoker from a non-smoker now there may be a HUGE difference at the end of your life if you remain a smoker.  You may become dependent upon the environments you find yourself in (hospital, assisted care, even your home) and the people who support you.  Will they be willing to get & give you your drug of choice (cigs/nicotine).  You may be dependent upon when, where & how much time you are even given to smoke.  

 

Do you think it will be pleasant to be actively addicted if you have no control over what it takes to be able to smoke?  Do you think it will be easy going through nicotine withdrawal every 30 mins or so of your every waking moments if you can’t smoke while dealing with the other changes you are going through physically, emotionally, and mentally?  

 

Wouldn’t it be much easier transitioning through your life changes if you had the old “ball and chain” of addiction off your back?  Think about it.  We will all be quit in the end.  Wouldn’t you rather pick the how & when and circumstances of your own quit rather than live the "it is what it is" in this situation?  

 

Choose to quit NOW to get that “monkey off your back”.  Choose to stay quit to continue to accrue more benefits from not smoking.  Give yourself a chance to make a better ending for yourself.  It's never too late!

Ladybug--7-3-12

Should I Tell

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 12, 2019

 

Should I tell someone if their way of thinking … of quitting … is detrimental to their quit?  Or should I just let them learn (hopefully) & watch them try to do it their own way, sometimes over & over again?

 

I believe each persons’ quit is … well, theirs.  I also believe in sharing my journey in the hopes that it may help someone in theirs just a “smidgen”.  I don’t believe in telling someone what they should or must do but I will offer my thoughts, resources, experience & insight in the hope that it may help them.

 

Quitting smoking for most is life changing.  How could it not be since it was a huge part of our life for many years?  All that time & money spent smoking too.  A waste surely but it also got me to where I am today as … ME.  I honestly would not have analyzed myself to the same degree that I have done after I quit smoking so in that respect it was beneficial for me.

 

Sure, I have regrets that I smoked & have consequences from choosing to do so but I’ve forgiven myself and left my regrets behind me.  I don’t wallow in the past.  A well known motto I’ve embraced for myself is, “It is what it is.”  

 

We are all accountable for our past choices but it is not necessary to live in regret or stay in guilt for what we did to ourselves & others as an active nicotine addict.  I encourage you to leave all that behind you & keep it where it belongs … in your past.    

 

No matter where we are in life we can make a difference to someone.  I recently heard this from a very wise terminally ill person who chooses to live each day in pure JOY (paraphrasing),  “One day we will all die, but in all those other days we will not, so make each & every one of those other days count.”  “Do not simply exist.  Choose to INHALE & thrive AND share.”  (***)  

 

You can make a difference for someone willing to listen & learn so, YES, you should tell them your thoughts if you feel it may help them.  Use your example, experience, trials & tribulations you have had & still do now, and let others know about them, so they can perhaps make better choices & endings for themselves.  

 

Choose to Tell.

 

(*** This paragraph is dedicated to the “Other Days” of those on this site who wrote they felt forgotten on Mother’s Day.  You DO matter & will always make a difference to someone.  Personally, I try to always count my blessings before my trials & tribulations because it helps me keep gratitude front & center in my life.  Hugs.)

 

I know you can pinpoint WHEN you started smoking but have you taken the time to analyze & understand WHY you started smoking?  Is there anything that could get you to not only think about smoking again but to actually do it? Have you answered these questions & others in your Stay Quit?

 

I believe its important to address not only the WHY in retrospect but to really explore the WHAT IF’s in your future.  It can be helpful, enlightening, and even essential for us in our healing & recovery to try to foresee any pitfalls we may encounter in our quest for a lifetime of smobriety.

 

Its true that if we still want one we may still be at risk of smoking one but what made us want one in the first place?  It wasn’t the physical addiction since we were “virgins”.  Is the reason now no longer an issue for us or could it become one again if our life circumstances change (or if we haven’t changed ourselves)?  

 

Have you thoroughly educated yourself about nicotine addiction so you are on solid ground for the rest of your life?  Do you still think you enjoyed smoking or have you worked hard to change that falsehood within yourself?  If you relapsed previously & went back to smoking have you addressed the reason for it so you don’t repeat it?  

 

Is there anything that may happen to you or a loved one in the future that would threaten your smobriety?  Would you ever reach a point where you just didn’t care about staying smoke free any more (or about anything for that matter)?  Is it important to you to have a smoke free ending to your life?  I encourage you to seriously think about any possible risk situations for yourself.     

 

I thought out different scenarios for myself.  I had already taken smoking as an option off the table from Day One but I had one weakness/loop hole which I had to “plug”.  I worked hard to successfully eliminate it or, should I say to be more accurate, to address it and then put up my warning guard rails around it.

 

The Personal Relapse Insurance Policy I chose to put in place remains important to my lifetime sobriety.  I feel confident that I will no longer smoke but if I need it I have it up & “running” at all times.  The mental warning system I chose will loudly shout out to me if I ever cross the line I have set for myself in my thinking (which is where any relapse begins).

 

Do you have a Personal Relapse Insurance Policy?  I hope you consider getting one in place that will work for you to keep your Stay Quit safe(r).

 

(Celebrating 2500 Days Quit today!  You can do it too!)

Ladybug--7-3-12

I'm Quit

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 4, 2019

 

I see many people say that they are quitting smoking when they have actually already quit.

 

NO you are not still quitting smoking when you haven’t smoked for an hour, a day, a week, a month, or whenever. You ARE quit (THE EVENT).  Now you are working on your Stay Quit (THE ONGOING PROCESS).  

 

As hard as the launch or get quit was, it’s done, and the real steadfast work has begun in the Stay Quit phase.  Give yourself credit for being quit already even if it has “just” been an hour because you are building on that smoke free time.  Smoking is no longer an option.

 

It may seem like a simple point (or even ridiculous to some) but your self-talk is so very important.  Instead of telling yourself & others when asked, “I’m quitting smoking” say “I HAVE QUIT SMOKING!”.  There is a difference.  You have already done it.  You never have to quit again if you don’t smoke again. Pat yourself on the back … and then move on in your Stay Quit and focus ahead on your smoke free life.

 

Congrats for making a great choice!  You ARE quit!  Repeat.  You ARE quit! Stay that way!

Ladybug--7-3-12

Piece It Together

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Apr 30, 2019

 

How hard or easy it is for you to quit does not predict the long term outcome of your Stay Quit.  All quits are NOT the same either whether it be our own quits or others quits.  In my experience I found that the harder it was for me the more personal work I had to put into it & the firmer I built my foundation.  It was a good thing for me although I didn’t feel that way at the time.   

 

Education, mindset, commitment & perspective made a huge difference when I quit smoking this time.   It helped me understand & overcome the initial “Lizard Brain” most of us have as active addicts which told me many things including that I could not quit cold/smart turkey.      

 

I didn’t appreciate & value my first quit (of a year & a half) because it was so easy for me to quit (sorry, but true).  This time it was hard.  Much, much harder.  Chosen meds were removed from my Tool Box one after another.   I felt great anxiety just at the thought of quitting without “help”.  

 

Chantix (my miracle drug for my easy quit) was stopped on Day 6 (a day before the actual quit day) because of an extreme side affect.  The patch was stopped after 11 days due to a severe allergic reaction and then Wellbutrin had to be discontinued on Day 32 also due to an extreme side effect.  (I realized much later that I had truly taken smoking as an option off the table from Day One because smoking never entered my mind with my initial setbacks.  It really worked!)    

 

My point?  If you are using a aid & it “fails you” it does not mean you have to return to smoking.  Instead piece the different methods together & use your other chosen tools from your “Tool Box” and keep moving ahead smoke free. Your doctor can also be a great resource so I highly encourage you to get your doctor on board with your quit.  Mine was with me every step of the way.      

We never know how much harder it may be for us the “next” time so I encourage you to just hang on & keep building on your smoke free days. Piece your aids together if you have to & don’t return to smoking.  It doesn’t matter how “ugly” you do your quit because if you don’t smoke the days count the same.  In fact, the harder won it is the more you may appreciate your Stay Quit.     

 

No matter how I felt or what happened to me or what I thought I cemented my quit foundation one hard day at a time in the beginning.  I appreciated any smoke free time.  It was my most precious gift to myself & I treated it as such and hung onto it for dear life.      

 

It’s hard when you’re an active nicotine addict.  No doubt about it but if you don’t smoke and give yourself time you can regain control of your brain … or at least to the point that the Nic O. Demon is no longer whispering constantly in your ear.  (By the way, the reason those whispers are so powerful is because the Nic O. Demon is YOU (your self-talk) and knows all your weaknesses & likes to exploit them fully to try to bring you back to Nico Land.)  

If you are going through hell with your quit recognize that it’s because of your smoking and what you are going through is the price we pay to rid ourselves of our active addiction.  It’s temporary.  Focus on the goal … to be smoke free and to achieve peace & gratefulness about it.  The when for each of us varies. Don’t smoke & give yourself the gift of time to reach Freedom for yourself.

  

If you have to keep piecing your quit tools together … do it … it all counts.

 

Knowing about PAWS helped me. I hope awareness of it helps those who are wishing for it to just be all over. Patience. You'll get there! I promise; if you just don't smoke.

 

FOR THOSE IN THEIR "STAY QUIT" MODE (Approx. 4 MOS to 2 YEARS QUIT towards FOREVER!):

 

*** PAWS -- The 2nd Stage of Withdrawal ***

 

The first stage of withdrawal is the acute stage which usually lasts at most a few weeks. During this stage, the physical withdrawal symptoms experienced may be different for every person.

 

The second stage of withdrawal is called the POST-ACUTE WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME OR PAWS. During this stage you will have fewer physical symptoms, but more emotional & psychological withdrawal symptoms.

 

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) occurs because your brain chemistry is gradually returning to normal. As your brain improves, the levels of your brain chemicals fluctuate as they approach the new equilibrium causing Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms. Most people experience PAWS.

 

The most common PAWS symptoms are: mood swings, anxiety, irritability, tiredness, variable energy, low enthusiasm, variable concentration & disturbed sleep. It feels like a roller coaster of symptoms. In the beginning, your symptoms will change from minute to minute and hour to hour. Later as you recover further they will disappear for a few weeks or months only to return again. As you continue to recover, the good stretches will get longer & longer. The bad periods of PAWS can be just as intense and last just as long.

 

Each PAWS episode usually lasts for a few days. There is no obvious trigger for most episodes. You will wake up one day feeing irritable and have low energy. If you hang on for just a few days, it will lift just as quickly as it started. Each episode is time limited.

 

Post-Acute Withdrawal usually lasts for 2 years. This is one of the most important things you need to remember. If you're up for the challenge you can get through this BUT if you think that PAWS will only last for a few months, then you'll get caught off guard, and when you're disappointed you're more likely to relapse.

 

* BE PATIENT. You can get through recovery one day at a time. If you resent or bulldoze your way through it, you will become exhausted. PAWS symptoms are a sign that your brain is recovering. Don't resent them. Remember, even after one year, you are still only half way there.

 

* GO WITH THE FLOW. You'll have lots of good days over the next two years. Enjoy them. You'll also have bad days. On those days, don't try to do too much. Take care of yourself. Focus on your recovery and you'll get through this.

 

* PRACTICE SELF-CARE. Give yourself a lot of little breaks over the next two years. Tell yourself "what I am doing is enough". Be good to yourself. Sometimes you'll have little energy or enthusiasm for anything. Understand this & don't overbook your life. Give yourself permission to continue to focus on your recovery.

 

PAWS can be a trigger for relapse. You can go weeks without any symptoms & then one day you wake up & are hit like a ton of bricks. You'll have slept badly. You'll be in a bad mood. Your energy will be low. If you think that PAWS only lasts for a few months or that you'll be different and it won't be as bad for you, then you will not be prepared for it & will get caught off guard but if you know what to expect you can do this. Relax. Don't get caught up in PAWS.

 

Remember, EVERY RELAPSE, NO MATTER HOW SMALL UNDOES THE GAINS YOUR BRAIN HAS MADE DURING RECOVERY. WITHOUT ABSTINENCE, EVERYTHING WILL FALL APART. WITH ABSTINENCE, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

 

(Modified Source: addictionsandrecovery.org)

Ladybug--7-3-12

Help Yourself

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Apr 12, 2019

 

One of the first things I recognized in my smobriety journey was that it didn't matter how many resources I had or people who wanted to help me out of my active nicotine addiction. The most important help I always had was the helping hand I found at the end of my own arm.

 

Help yourself. Educate yourself. Commit yourself. Choose for yourself. Do it for yourself. The common denominator is always YOU.

 

Everyone wants to help you but by the very definition of the word "help" we are secondary to you choosing to help yourself first. Who else is with you 100% of your time? Who else creates & listens to your own self-talk? Who else will be with you from birth to death guaranteed?

 

Help yourself first. You must always be your own best supporter. It's important & only you can provide this ongoing support for yourself.

 

Make it a great day for yourself!

Ladybug--7-3-12

Mini-Quits

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Apr 11, 2019

 

What the heck is a Mini-Quit?  It’s not a “practice” quit but it sure can help you begin a quit if you are having trouble launching one for yourself.  It helped me. 

 

A Mini-Quit is changing up WHEN, WHERE, and WHY you normally smoke.  It’s purpose is to give you a head start on breaking some of the smoking behaviors, habits and associated cues you made for yourself.  As smokers we all had our rituals, patterns, and pacifier moments when we used smoking to soothe & calm ourselves.  

 

Although not the purpose of a mini-quit, a normal consequence is usually less smoking because it does not feel normal or as satisfying.  Smoke as much as you want just not in the normal places and at the normal times.  

 

**********

Change the When.

 

If you smoke right after a meal for example, or first thing when you wake up … don’t.  Wait 30 mins instead.  Do something else first to distract & delay smoking to change up your normal routine.  Do the dishes, brush your teeth, take a shower, exercise, meditate, whatever you choose.   

 

Change the Where.

 

Smoke in different places.  If you have a specific place you smoke at home outside, don’t go there.  Smoke somewhere else.  Don’t get comfortable either. Don’t listen to music, read, text, or talk on the phone.  In other words, don’t multi-task; just smoke.  Keep your sole focus on smoking.  Observe what it looks like & notice how you feel when the smoke swirls around you. (Personally, I felt an overwhelming sense of all the time I was wasting just smoking.)

   

I’m assuming you already don’t smoke in your home or in your vehicle.  With all the known health hazards nobody should be exposing their spouse, children, pets, loved ones, or friends who visit you in your home or ride in your vehicle to second & third hand smoke.  If you do smoke in your home or vehicle, stop it!  Make those places off limit now for smoking.

 

Change the Why.

 

Change your smoking patterns/behaviors.  If you are used to smoking when angry or upset, to concentrate or think, while stressed or talking on the phone, etc., (and who of us as smokers didn’t) … don’t.  Wait 30 mins.  Do something else to distract yourself & delay smoking.  Walk around & breathe to give yourself time to let the “go to” ingrained smoking behavior pass.  The only way to change is to make/do the changes.  Don’t focus on wanting to smoke either during the wait.  Kick the thought(s) to the curb.      

 

   

Try changing up 3 or 4 of your cues/smoking association behaviors for a few days or a week.  Then add 3 or 4 more change-ups.  It takes 3 weeks to change a “habit” or before we become comfortable or “normalized” with it so I don’t recommend using the Mini-Quit process for more than a week or two (but whatever, it’s your quit; do you!).  The ultimate purpose is to launch your quit with fewer cues/smoking associations.

 

It IS important & necessary to replace the old cues/smoking association behaviors with something else to fill the void.  Strictly speaking, we don’t eliminate our “habits”  …  we change them into something else.  Make sure what you choose to replace them with is positive and can be sustained for the long term regardless of mental & physical status.

 

As far as being “ready” to quit smoking goes many of us weren’t ready or even wanted to but we chose to quit anyway and made the commitment not to smoke.  It’s not about will power either.  It’s WILLINGNESS, CHOICE & COMMITMENT.  If you can quit for one day, you can quit for two days, and so on.  One day at a time in the beginning.  

 

Again, the purpose of Mini-Quits is not smoking reduction although as you learn about yourself & change it up it is a wonderful side effect.  Be aware that If you intentionally focus on just reducing the number of cigarettes “way down from normal” (especially if it is 5 or less cigs/day) you may be putting yourself into constant nicotine withdrawal or you may be treating cigarettes as a reward which is the last thing you want to do.  You do not want to make a cigarette a “precious” commodity to yourself.    

 

Remember you are a nicotine addict; it’s not just a bad habit.  

You might want to consider doing Mini-Quits and then “just” jump off the scary cliff whether you feel ready or not & build your wings on the way down. That IS how it’s done.

Ladybug--7-3-12

Common Courtesy

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Apr 9, 2019

 

This is an edited version of a blog I posted "elsewhere" about 3 weeks ago when a lot of new members & returning ones started migrating back for Spring.   

 

**********

 

Just some quick thoughts for consideration (in no particular order).

 

* You don’t have to like all the advice you get from community members (and chances are you probably won’t especially if you’re in the early stages of your quit) but common courtesy should be a given for those taking the time to respond to your post.

 

* If people respond to your SOS post you need to at least acknowledge them. People care & want to know if you were helped through your crisis. Don’t just disappear. It’s rude.

 

* I encourage you not to outright dismiss responses you don’t like. Those may be the ones you need to listen to the most. Kudos received over & over again may not help you achieve & maintain smobriety which is what you say you want. Give it a try listening to other insights.

 

* This is not a professional/medical site for advice regarding your depression, diet, bi-polar, breathing, or other medical conditions, diagnosed or not. Members may share their own experiences regarding a topic you post about but the best advice is always to seek professional help if the issue is a real concern of yours. Be safe.

 

* Treat people how you would like to be treated. Disrespect is one thing I do not tolerate well. I’m not here to waste my time on those that don’t’ appreciate it. I will simply choose not to support that person & move along to someone else. No skin off my backside! I’m already quit.

 

* Participation on-line is a risk & you never really know who you are “talking to” but if you hang around for a bit you can see who are the regular supporters. If you receive private mail from someone soliciting you personally (that you do not want of course!) notify admin. Help keep this site a Safe Zone.

 

* Don’t attack people. If you really don’t like the community or its members you can always choose to move on. There are many resources/sites out there one of which may be a better fit for you.

 

* If a post/poster/response rubs you the wrong way you have the option to scroll. Your input is not necessary. Let others respond to it. I do admit I tend to believe people when they show me who they really are in their post(s) the first time & they go on my ignore list.

 

* A good litmus test for making a post or while responding to one is to ask yourself … Is it helpful? Is it thoughtful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If it doesn’t meet one of these criteria, you might want to choose not to make it.

 

* AND finally, take what you can use and leave the rest (notice I didn’t say take what you “need” because early in a quit it is questionable if we even know what we need).

 

**********

It’s always your quit, your life, your choices, your consequences. Take what you can use and leave the rest! 

     

 

An addiction is an addiction but all addictions are also NOT exactly the same. Some are socially acceptable, some affect only you, some are visible and some are not; some have dire consequences, some are good for you and some are bad.

 

I can never have just one ‘Cookies N Cream Hershey kiss (lol).  If I have one, numbers 2 & 3 will quickly follow.  If I refrain from having one though it is easier not to have any.  I have never been able to have just one.  A chocolate addiction fortunately only mostly affects the person who eats it.   It can become addictive in a bad way.

 

Sometimes its hard to keep physically active during the winter time.  Once I get myself out the door into the fresh air & start off on a 10k walk it is so invigorating, both physically & mentally, that I am glad I made the choice to just do it.  I have found that if I say no one day that it is easier to say no the next day too and if I’m not careful it will become my “go to” choice.  On the other hand, a 10k walk done one day helps me choose it again the next day too.  It can become addictive in a good way.

 

We all know those addictions that are not good ones for ourselves, others in our life, or for society.    Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, excessive on-line presence, gambling, shopping, and overeating to name a few.  

 

Addictions love to piggy back onto other addictions.  If you get one under “control” another one likes to bulge out.  Dual diagnoses are common. Addictions cannot be cured only arrested so it is not uncommon to extinguish one (let it become dormant) and then see another one previously not a problem (or even known) come to the surface with a vengeance.  

 

Physical exercise/activities can become a good addiction but … ever notice that those who choose to only exercise exclusively to redirect themselves away from smoking have a hard time or even relapse when they are physically compromised.  Smoking thoughts become rampant in their minds again as a good “go to” soothing choice.  Often they relapse back to smoking when their chosen physical activity is no longer an option whether it’s only temporary or permanent (ie walking, running, biking, etc.)

 

Replacing smoking behavior with healthy physical endeavors is great but don’t forget to include activities that you can do for the rest of your life if you become limited in your mobility.  Things like meditation, listening to music, knitting, taking a class, reading, playing an instrument, whatever you are interested in learning, doing & spending your time with that you can continue to do if you become incapacitated (now or later in life; temporarily or permanently).  

 

It’s important, because if we are fortunate enough to age our status will most likely change, mentally and physically.  Interests & activities should be in place which allow us to make a peaceful transition so we can stay on the road to Freedom when life changes things up for us.  Expect it.  Plan for it.  Keep yourself safe from relapse.

Ladybug--7-3-12

Being Afraid

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Mar 30, 2019

 

Ive heard this excuse a lot for smoking again.  Being afraid of feeling your emotions to get through something & choosing to smoke to stop them from bleeding you.  Who of us hasn’t felt fear or anxiety or fill in the blank?  Yet we long termers chose NOT to smoke again.  

 

What is going to happen to you if you feel those emotions that you’ve hid behind your smoking screen for many many years in most cases?  You’d finally have the opportunity to process them and let them go or put them in their proper places which is a good thing.  An absolutely positive benefit of not smoking.  

 

If you smoke again you may ward them off once again but if you really want to Be Quit you will have to deal with them eventually.  Personal growth is a required prelude to the Freedom you will eventually feel.  It’s worth every bit of the struggle or overdue processing of your emotions that you need to do to get to the point of gratefulness & peace in your smobriety and, more importantly, in your LIFE.  

 

If you are sick and tired of the same ‘ole same ‘ole smoking life only you can do something about it.  Nobody else can do it for you.  Other people (& NRT’s, etc.) can help but in the end its totally up to you to get & keep your quit.  The good news is it’s one of those things you have total control over.

 

You are not unique in this process.  You are not the only one that has had to go through it to come out the other side.  We not only survived it but gained so much of ourselves in the very doing of it.  The process itself is empowering.  Don’t be afraid of it.  Relish it.  

Ladybug--7-3-12

Kaleidoscope

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Mar 28, 2019

 

 

Have you ever looked through a Kaleidoscope?  If you turn the cylinder (or instrument) you are looking through a little bit to the right or left you get an entirely different picture or perception of things.  The shapes & colors change into a totally different visual experience.

 

That's how life is too.  We've all heard stories about how a person decided not to take a scheduled flight which ended up crashing.  The person who decided to take a different road to work or delayed leaving for work for a few minutes and avoided a catastrophic accident.

 

Again, that's life.  The choices we make results in changing the specific events we experience in our life.  When (not if!) you make the choice to become smoke free (or stay smoke free) your life will look & become different.  It shifts.  You will be changed.

 

If you are open to see, acknowledge, and appreciate the different possibilities now available to you because of your smoke free status you can get a different perspective on life. Your personal resources (time & money) can be used in more positive life affirming constructive ways.  A smoke free life allows for many more possibilities for us to choose from for ourselves.

 

Choose to quit.  Choose to stay quit.  Choose to then pick up your personal Kaleidoscope and don't be afraid to turn it to change your pattern & explore new pathways to make a different life & better ending for yourself.

 

Freedom is awesome!  Happy discovery!