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OxfordComa Blog

38 posts

1 month, 6 days. Woo!

 

This weekend I got to play roller derby for our last official game of the season! It was a heroes v. villains themed mash-up and it was so much fun! I skated as Wonder Woman (so I'm the one in the blue/white star shorts with the tiara on a blue helmet). We have very boring sanctioned games at the beginning of the year and around this time everybody is just about having fun and playing roller derby. It's my favorite time of the year. 

Proud of myself for skating and so proud that I didn't smoke at the game or the after party. It felt gooooooooooooooooooooooooood. Also, I may have double-fisted some pizza at the after party  I also found out I was accepted to play in the Harry Potter themed tournament in a different city, which has been one of my derby goals for awhile! When I'm not smoking, I'm a better skater, and better able to accomplish what I want to get done with my life! I want to hold the joy I felt in my heart forever . I even met other non binary skaters from across the state and got to spend time/connect with other trans/non-binary skaters. It was just so dang satisfying.

 

Still navigating some frustrating health issues, but overall things are going pretty darn well. I even went by my Aunt's and picked up a few of mom's bags to sort, and I didn't smoke. Dealing with grief smoke-free. That's a flipping feat.  

 

Oh! The jigsaw is also finished! Woo!

 

Anyway, I hope y'all are having a fabulous Wednesday and there is joy in your smoke-free lives <3

OxfordComa

A Puzzling Situation

Posted by OxfordComa Sep 11, 2019

Since my quit date I've picked up some new hobbies: puzzles and audio books (in tandem). I have discovered that over lunch, I get obsessively into my puzzle and don't even think about smoking. I've had to put an alarm on my phone though, so I don't puzzle way past my lunch time. It's so satisfying! Also, I've been listening to Agatha Christie's biography by Laura Thompson and it is so good. I just got through the description of her mysterious disappearance for 11 days. 

 

 

This smoke-free life is pretty good, y'all. Also, if any of you are nerds for Agatha Christie and want to gab, hmu

OxfordComa

Day 21 and a Monday!

Posted by OxfordComa Sep 9, 2019

Hey y'all, just checking in!

 

I'm on day 21. I made it through my first birthday (37 but who's counting?) since mom passed It was hard but also good. I broke down and cried a lot, but I was lucky enough to have partners and fam who did their damnedest to make sure I had a magical weekend. My dad drove into town and took us all out to sushi and we watched a movie at the theater. Even my step son tried really hard, which was so powerful. I wanted a cigarette the most when I missed mom, but I didn't! Instead of smoking, I worked on puzzles, hugged my friends and family, ate good food and delicious cake, listened to fabulous music, watched a hilarious movie, and generally kept joyfully busy. I abstained from the danger sticks and felt truly loved and supported this weekend. Each obstacle is a chance to reinforce my resilience  

 

That birthday, smoke-free aesthetic.  <--- my birthday aesthetic

 

I can do this!
I AM doing this!

Woo!

 

 

That's my mantra for 37, I think.

Wow! This website has changed a lot since I last logged in! I like it!

 

So I started smoking again after mom died in April and tried to quit a couple times between here and there, but I've now been 17 days smoke free! I don't know how to update my profile stats (but I did the ones from the main becomeanex.org site so maybe it'll aggregate here?)

 

Life has been throwing so many obstacles my way, but I feel like I can get through it without cigarettes. The cravings are still there, but I'm doing a good job of getting through. Since I last posted, my partner and I took on a foster kiddo whose had a really rough time, I've been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and I've had intense PCOS related health issues. Needless to say, it's been rough. I can't even dig into some ice cream to take the edge off (unless it's halo!). It helps that my partner stopped smoking too, and my step son has asked us both to stop because he's worried about us. I've been doubling down on my self-care regimen- regular meditation, exercise, sleep, drinking lots of water. I went and bought some nice hand lotion, so my fingers smell good (and not like nicotine!). 

 

But I went 5 years without smoking before I relapsed, so I know I can do this again. I am doing this  I've made it 17 days!

 

So I wrote some affirmations that helped me get through the first couple of days and I thought I'd share these here, in case anybody needs to read it like I did:

 

First Day Affirmation

I continue my healing journey, joyously.

This is a gift to myself, a gift of healing, of self-love, of kindness.

This week, it’s okay to survive, but my goal is to thrive, and this is a step towards thriving.

I will stay hydrated. I will soften around my inner criticism. I give myself a break. 

When an obstacle comes up, I will take a few deep breaths and recognize an opportunity to learn more about myself and the world around me.

I am human. I make mistakes, but I dedicate myself towards doing better and being better. 

I can do this.

I am doing this.

I am proud of myself.

 

Second Day Affirmation

Here I am, already two days into my healing journey. 

It’s a little rougher today, my body feels a little shaky and the headaches have started, but nevertheless, I know I can do it.
Now is the time to remember that I am doing this for me, for my health & wealth.
I’m giving myself the gift of healing, and that’s so powerful.
My body is hurting, but that’s because it’s working hard to heal the damage I’ve done to it.
I acknowledge and own my actions. I forgive myself and give my body the time and space it needs to get better. I support my progress.
I am human. I make mistakes, but I dedicate myself towards doing better and being better.
I can do this.
I am doing this.
I am proud of myself.

 

Third Day Affirmation

I acknowledge that I don’t feel great today. Truthfully, I’m anxious and scared.

But I know that these are just clouds and the storm will end, and I’ll have a clear sky again.

I feel sad, but I’m still taking care of myself. I can still take my meds, use my patch, and brush my teeth, go to work. When I am kind to myself, that builds my resilience and helps me weather this storm and other storms to come. Today, I will focus on gratitude and kindness, because those feelings feel good and warm my heart, despite how heavy it is. I’m thankful for my job, for my wonderful coworkers new & old, for gentle sir Nugget whose butt was waggling at a million miles an hour this morning, for my partners and all their love, I’m grateful for my earnest, endlessly sweet, goofy step son, for our new friend W and all the energy she brings to our household, for payday (hello Wednesday), for insurance. Okay, that feels good. I have so many reasons to be grateful and not a single one of them is a cigarette. It's okay to be here with these feelings, even when they're hard.

I dedicate myself towards doing better and being better.

I can do this.

I am doing this.

I am proud of myself.

 

So anyway... don't worry, I'll stick close  <3 It's good to be back on the wagon!

Well it happened. I started smoking again after almost 6 years as an ex-smoker. My mother passed away last week and I fell back into smoking almost immediately. I'm not here to beat myself up, but I'm here to get back on the wagon. It's only been a week off and I believe I have the ability to make healthy choices again. Part of my plan is to get on and make gratitude & intention posts to help focus on this gift I'm going to give to myself again. 

 

Today I start at 0. This is a fresh day and I know I can do this <3

 

I'm grateful for...

  • Supportive partners who want to see me succeed as an ex-smoker.
  • A peaceful breakfast before work. I ate quiche and drank coffee surrounded by my pots of flowers and new lilac bush. 
  • Being able to give my body and soul the gift of health.
  • 36 years with a wonderful mother who was proud of me every time I tried to quit. I'm proud that when she passed, I was smoke-free for almost 6 years. Here's to another 6 (and then some!!!)

 

I can do this! I promise myself I will...

  • Forgive myself
  • Be kind to my body as it experiences cravings
  • Drink lots of water
  • Take naps when I need them
  • Not smoke!
OxfordComa

OxfordComa Archived Profile

Posted by OxfordComa Jan 23, 2017

Description

 

My name is Kirstin, but I play roller derby for the CoMo Derby Dames by the name of Oxford Coma (Ox for short). On June 1st, 2014, I quit smoking. I quit for a number of reasons: to improve my rapidly declining health, to save money, to be a better derby player. 

This journey is a wonderful one <3


Brief Description

I can do anything and I can do this.


Website

No website in profile.


Location

midwest


Interests

writing, blogging, music, painting, hula hooping, running, walking, hiking, swimming, canoeing, roller derby, roller skating, inline skating


Skills

No skills in profile.


OxfordComa

Long-time no-see!

Posted by OxfordComa Sep 14, 2016

Hello, exers! It's been awhile since I blogged. I'm happily smoke-free and enjoying the world. Not enjoying ragweed season, though, let me tell you! So glad I don't smoke anymore... I can't even believe I ever made it through ragweed season as a smoker. No wonder I was sick all the time! I've had a couple dark days here and there this year... I've been out of skating due to a broken foot (scooter accident, of all things) then a concussion (roller derby, proudly), then my very first and fierce bout of all-over poison ivy (at 34, jeez!)  and I've had some serious low times. But I've been cleared to start skating again, so I'm pretty stoked about that. There have been a couple moments here and there when I thought "Man, I could really use a cigarette". But I didn 't! No smoking for me, McGee.

 

The dreams haven't gone away- I think they are my brain's way of warding me away from smoking, because I feel so awful and ****** when I wake up and I think I've smoked, that it forces me to think about why it makes me feel ****** again, and then I can take a moment to sit and be thankful for the fact that it was just a nightmare and I'm still making good choices. 

 

Taking stock of your life. Deep breaths. Being present. These are so much better for me than smoking. My life has been changed so completely by quiting. I am so glad I started meditating with my quit, finding ways to incorporate mindfulness practices into my life when I can. Now I see how much I used smoking as a way to avoid being present, how I used it to avoid addressing health issues and emotional issues in my life, and how much it took away from living my best life. I'm not perfect, I still make poor choices here and there, but nothing that has framed the structure of how I live so completely. I had no idea how much smoking had altered how I live and perceive the world. I'm so thankful for my lungs, even during ragweed season. Maybe especially during ragweed season.

 

Hope everybody is surviving and thriving, smoke-free (or working their way to it)! I know now that I'm worth it and I promise you that you're worth it, too. Everybody deserves the gift of being smoke-free. We all have to work for it, but it's so worth every moment, even the hard ones. 

 

love & sunshine,

Ox

 

I can't believe I've made it this far, one month down until my 2 year mark! I look forward to many more quitiversaries. I was going to skate a 5K to celebrate on June 4th (3 days after my actual quit date) but my team got approved to do an outdoor game that day, so I'm celebrating with my roller derby family. I couldn't ask for a better 2nd quitiversary. I can't wait to celebrate! I'm already celebrating, in my heart.

Thank you so much for all the kind comments and messages y'all have been sending me. You don't know how much you've brightened my days. <3

My weird smoking dreams have mostly gone away, but I did have one a couple nights ago. For a brief moment after I woke up, I was so angry at myself for smoking right before my 2 year anniversary- then my neurons must have started firing and I was like "Oh, JUST A DREAM THANK GOODNESS!!" Our brains are funny things, I tell you what.

Anyway, I hope all y'all are having a good Monday! May we all be healthy, wealthy, and wise <3

OxfordComa

Refresh, renew, new starts!

Posted by OxfordComa Mar 29, 2016

Hola, friends!

Springtime at the heart of the midwest is pretty awesome. I'm so thankful to have smoke-free lungs as the pollen starts coating my truck and the trees start blooming. This time, two years ago, I was barely able to breathe. I was sick all the time. I was put on probation at work because I'd missed so many days due to illness. Now? I was able to plant two new flower beds this weekend! My chickens are enjoying the nice weather. My cats have started stalking birds in the windows again. I'm a little sniffly and tired, but I'm doing so much better! 

Hope you're breathing a little easier. Hope you have the opportunity to stop and smell the daffodils. 

Hey y'all! It's been awhile since I've checked in. Since we last chatted, I've written a book (literally!) and skated miles and miles. 

 

This week has been one of my more challenging weeks, lately. After 40 years of marriage, my parents have decided to get a divorce. They gathered my wife, brother, & I into the living room and told us together. When we were driving away, I felt that familiar urge. I want a cigarette. I want it, bad, man. I'm doing a good job of holding it off. I did some yoga, went for a run at the gym. I wasn't able to derby this week because of an epic (and well earned) bruise on my knee from scrimmage, but keeping active is helping me work through some of the feelings without going back to smoking. 

 

Every time I think about smoking, I think about a post one of you (I'm sorry, my memory is terrible) made. It was about a particularly challenging point in their life but the author reiterated that smoking or not smoking wouldn't change what they were dealing with- and that message is really poignent for me. If I start smoking again, it's not going to fix my parent's marriage and it won't turn back time. It will effect my finances, health, and well being negatively. So is that puff worth it? HELL TO THE NO. 

Smoking will only hurt me more than I already do. I'm working on accepting change and protecting my quit. Afterall, I've made it this far! When we're skating our 5 minute laps, there's a point at about 2-3 minutes where I think "Ug, god, I'm going to die this is the wooooooooooooorst" and I have to stop myself and reframe: I already got this far into my laps, why in the world would I negate the past 2 minues by quitting? Keep going and build on that steam. I'm going to keep going and build on that steam. 

 

If you're reading this and you're thinking about how hard it's been, or you're mourning that the cravings don't go away completely, remember all of the hard work you've put into protecting your quit and working on your health. Smoking will only hurt you, physically and emotionally. The healing process is hard, but it is so worth it! We are worth it. We are SO worth it! It's true, for some of us the cravings still happen, but by building healthy habits, we can work through them and improve our lives. That's pretty freaking cool. That's what I'm trying to do, one day at a time. 



I so appreciate this community. Sometimes just blogging helps me reframe everything. Thanks for being around y'all. <3 I won't stay away so long this time ;)

OxfordComa

Pinterest...

Posted by OxfordComa Sep 17, 2015

Do any of you have quitspirational pinterest boards? I'd love to share! I have a million boards with different flavors of inspiration, but my quitspiration definitely could use some new pins!

 

Mine is: https://www.pinterest.com/kirstikins/quit-smoking-resources-and-inspiration/

What's yours?

I'm having a mildly rough week. I did finally get into the doctor, and she referred me to the pulmonary clinic at the hospital, so next week I'll get to learn more about how much damage I've done to my lungs. I am scared to go in. I'm scared to see how much I've hurt myself. I'll do it because I want to live my healthiest life. But this adulting **** is hard business. 

 

And also, I got into a minor scooter accident on Saturday. My knee is in a lot of pain. I haven't been able to skate or run, or really do much of anything. So I'm missing my endorphins, missing my friends, and feeling pretty bummed about not being able to skate in our last hometeam game of the season. This is the first time an injury has prevented me from playing derby. 

 

So I'm feeling a little down and a little scared, and kind of like I've failed my team. For the past couple days, I come home from work, put my leg up and ice it, and watch netflix. I was having a moment last night where I thought, "If I was still smoking, I would smoke right now. I'm sad and bored which are two of my biggest triggers." But I didn't smoke! I still have that one under my belt. That feels pretty awesome. My body will heal, and it's healing faster because I don't smoke. That's pretty effing cool.

 

It's all about the reframe. Instead of being sad about not being able to smoke, I'm a little bit happier because despite what's going on, I know that I'm still smoke-free. Heck yeah. 473 days and counting.

 

 

This is one of my favorite quotes! One of the most important ways I've protected my quit is through play and self-care. I used my passion for Roller Derby to fuel my passion for health. When I'm stress, I try to find time to turn on my music and get lost inside a hula hoop. Moving my body, through walking, hula hooping, running, and roller derby, have been so significant to me! When I'm done, I feel like I'm glowing in ways that smoking never could.

 

Does movement help you? What makes you glow inside? Where do you find joy and laughter?



[Bonus joke for a morning giggle: what do squirrels and cigarettes have in common? They're both fine until you put them in your mouth and light them on fire.]

 

Hope everybody is having a wonderful, smoke-free Friday <3

I responded to a blog about this topic and felt that I needed to flesh this out in a blog.

 

There is a lot of back and forth about quit dates in the blogging community here. This post is for those who have slipped up, regardless of where they stand on the quit-date issue.

 

If you have slipped, you don't have to start smoking again. Ignore the quit-date debate, because this isn't about that. This is about *you* and we have resources that you can use to help you get back on the wagon. 

 

We EXers are using a community service that is hosted by Legacy, who is working in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic (who sets the standard for peer reviewed interventions in tobacco cessation). If you have slipped, following the advice and resources specifically linked from www.becomeanex.org is following sound, and scientifically backed advice. You are welcome to use any resource that helps you, but this website has solid, well researched advice.

 

You can find this advice by typing in "www.becomeanex.org" into the URL bar.

 

If you're logged in, it will take you directly to your quit plan. Once there, it will show you your quit date on the right side of the screen. Right under your quit date is a burgandy button that says "I've slipped up". 

 

This will bring you to a page that has the following text:

"So you've slipped up. Don't worry. It happens to the best of us. The important thing is to not use it as an excuse to give up quitting completely. You've already done a ton of work, and this is just a small setback.

Here are some steps to get you back on track:

If you've started smoking again and need more time to prepare to quit, just reset your quit date.

Don't beat yourself up. And most importantly, don't give up. You can do this."

Best of luck! I hope you find the way that works for you. 

If you ever need to talk, I'm around. Just send me a PM. 

-Kirstin

 

Hope y'all are having a great morning!

Two of my friends are in the process of quitting or trying to quit. Two major employers in my town just started requiring tobacco testing for employement so there is impetus to quit for better jobs. I've passed them both the becomeanex.org info, because this (and y'all) have been a really integral part of my quit. I've been trying to offer help and support to them and it got me thinking about the beginning of my quit, only a little over a year ago. (A year ago? It feels like yesterday, or a million years ago! What is a year, even?)

So I wanted to compile a list of all the things that I think were really helpful for me so far:

1) The community portion of becomeanex.org
2) Having a non-nicotine vape for social situations (just for the couple weeks) 
3) Drinking tons of ice water
4) Doing long, deep breaths through the cravings
5) Nice smelling hand lotions
6) Not dieting or adding other restrictions. Oh, I should blog about that later. Focusing on the quit was what I needed to do.
7) Bribing myself (and letting others bribe me). For ex: My derby friend made me a special cake for getting through my first week. She bought me a pitcher of margaritas for my first month. 
8) Encouraging notes, cards, and private messages in other forums, from friends. I got one card from my best friend who lives two hours away, and it was so thoughtful, I had it up at work for 6 months. Everytime I looked at it, I rememebered her message and I just felt warm and happy.
 

What helped/helps you, Exers and soon-to-be exers? How do you self-sooth and heal after smoking?