Pops

Update to:  How clean are your tools in your quit kit?

Blog Post created by Pops on Jun 5, 2017

Good morning EXer family!  

I can't really promise that this will be a very well written blog update.  However, I can tell you that it will be as honest as I am capable of being with you and myself as well.  As most of you know....I recently returned to the EX comuninty reaching out for help while I was choking on an excessive amount of "humble pie."  I chose to share with you some of what I specifically remember about my mindset when I picked up a cigarette again, and entered into a very very dangerous time of my life.

I hope that me writing about that experience doesn't appear to others as me being grandiose, or trying to make light of my failed attempt to maintain a "forever quit."

Instead, I am trying to be accountable, and answer what several friends have asked me to do by writing this experience.  As much as I enjoy for people to think of me as a source of friendship, support, and knowledge...know this, I am in serious point of embarassment with all that has happened.  It is my hope that I too will look back on this as a great learning experience.  You can rest assured that this blog as well as the original will now become a "lifelong" tool in my tool kit!

I think what I am going to do here, is to ask you to read my original blog, and I will chime in with my current feelings on that point with this different font color for ease following along....okay, here goes...

 

Hi EXer Family!!!!!

Well it sure is nice to be able to sit down in front of the tablet and blog about a success story that came as a direct result of my listening to the message and not the mess of what this wonderful site is all about....

I will start off by saying that way back in the beginning of my earlier quits, I was told to build up a tool box for my quit, and to have it close by for those occasions when the ugly demon of nicotine addiction raised its' ugly head and started pounding on the inside of my brain telling me that this was all a mistake, and that I was making a big deal out of nothing...that just one cigarette wouldn't kill me, and that what the heck, I wouldn't even have to tell anybody about it anyway...just go ahead and light one up....go ahead do it...you haven't smoked for a long long time now....you know you deserve it....go ahead....

 

Well that feeling was certainly in my head around October of 2017

Whoa there family.....when those sort of thoughts come a calling...and they will if you are anything like the addict that I am...then the only defense that I have to combat that....is a firm resolve that my quit kit has plenty of tools to vanquish the thought....

 

I couldn't have cared less as to where my quit kit was at the time....heck I was so angry with other things that were going on in my life...I didn't want to hear anything about not smoking....In a sense, I had already relapsed in my head, all that was left was to physically go and buy the smokes....I was easily dismissing my doctors warning of my death, as an exaggeration.  (Denial ???)

So let's take a look @ some of my personal favorite tools that I fortified my tool kit with.....

First:  I finally knew deep down inside, that no matter what, if I continued to smoke...I was going to die a whole lot sooner than I would if I did NOT smoke.....(it goes without saying, this time....I "knew this to be my truth")

Second:  I researched and became familiar with the lifecycle of an urge to smoke....meaning now I realized that it would die.  I knew that I gave birth to the urge when I started to think about smoking another puff, and that it was now living inside of my head, and it would continue to live until I began to think about something else....What power I now have!  I can actually "KILL" the urge by thinking about something else....

Third:  I realized that the time span, or interval between urges would increase after each time I successfully did NOT smoke...until eventually I would rarely ever even think about smoking again....

Fourth:  I accepted that if I did cave in and smoke one single puff, or cigarette...then yes I could (maybe) continue to not smoke as I was before...but now....the interval between urges would revert back to the same intervals that I was experiencing on the very first day that I quit!  Hence the term back to Day One, instead of Another Day Won...as Marilyn.H.July.14.14. uses so many times in her comments.

 

Even though knowing that I could return and resume my quit ultimately became my lifeline back here...I think knowing that when I was bent on smoking...almost served to work against me...???  At this point, I need to learn not to think about being able to get back, but instead, how can I help to see that it is easier to never leave in the first place?  At 22 days back now....I am actively searching for that answer, and am open for suggestions here.  (So much for me being a great source of information...lol) note to self...that is my ego working against me....

Fifth:  Know my triggers...I like the acronym of H.A.L.T. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired...If any of these elements are beginning to take shape in my lifestyle, then my quit is teetering on thin ice....I need to employ corrective measures immediately...the same as a diabetic who has low blood sugar levels always carries around a candy bar to help out in an emergency....Hungry? then eat something silly...simple enough....Angry? Go for a walk, remove yourself from the situation...cool down...remember "but for the grace of God...there go I..." try to have a little empathy...maybe they are just having a bad day and mean nothing personal....cool off. Lonely, call a friend, come to the site. Reach out to someone and tell a corny joke, get some laughter going...lighten the mood....Tired?  go to sleep...rest...if you are up too many hours....tell someone that you require downtime....

Last weekend, my work place had an extremely important mission that needed to be performed over the weekend.  I won't go into details other than to tell you that there was quite a large amount of responsibility resting on my shoulders and a lot was being expected of me.  I was actually working about 30 hours over the weekend....

After all was said and done...the mission was a shining success and all deadlines and obstacles were handled as planned.

 

I wasn't so much exhausted, as I was ANGRY...my son wasn't doing what I felt that he should be doing @ the time, and work was piling up with rediculous deadlines, and my bike was in the garage for the winter...oh poor me...can't the world see how much pain I'm in?!!!  What happened to my empathy for others?  Where was that?  Instead, I was making it about me....pretty self centered now that I look back on it.

 

I knew that I was exhausted and needed downtime to recoup, so I asked for a days leave for today so I could decompress and return tomorrow.  Leave was granted and I am blogging away smiling from ear to ear that my quit is intact.  

I actually considered smoking a couple of times during the weekend, however I recognized that it was simply the addiction trying to pry it's way back into my bloodstream....sneaky as it is....I am now fortified with a clean tool box to combat the addiction.

When was the last time that you visited your quit kit?  Have you asked yourself what each tool in it is for, and do you remember how to use it?  Do you have any doubts of it's validity in your lifestyle today?  Do you have up to date tools?  Maybe your lifestyle has changed somewhat, but the addiction is always the same, and it is always lurking.....so let's get busy and clean out our tool kits.

 

Instead of my getting right back in here...I stayed out there smoking from October of 2017, until April of 2018.  Make no mistake about it....the nicotine is still just as deadly and addicting, and I soon was back to smoking 2 packs per day, and was waking up all through the night, craving another fix.  Then I would hack and cough for at least ten minutes trying to breathe again without wheezing....pathetic right? Well, Shawn & Jennifer, and a couple of my old reliable friends here and there would call me on my stuff, and remind me that the doctor warned me that I would die, if I continued to smoke...and then one evening as I was reaching over to the coffee table to grab another smoke...I thought to myself, "screw this...it's time that I got off my butt and resumed my life again!"  So, I went to the kitchen counter and grabbed another two packs of death and proceeded to the bathroom and just dumped out three full packs of smokes, and watched them drown and leave my life.  Never to be seen again...That was April 19th at 9:00....I have been active here everyday since.  I am now reexamining my tool kit.  Dusting off some tools that I failed to use before, and am rereading old blogs, and new ones as well.

 

It hurt my pride to contact Giulia and remind her to take my name off the Elders List, but it was something that needed to be done.  I guess it is all part of the healing process.  So now I'd like to especailly thank all of you for welcoming me back.  Day by day, I am constantly learning, both from my past experiences, and yours as well.  Enjoy your smokefree day, and please don't let your anger get the best of you....remember, it is whole lot easier to stay, and never leave...then it is to comeback....

xoxoxoxoPops with 22 Days of Freedom!!!!!

Be well my loving family....xoxoxoxo Pops with 378 Days of Freedom!!!!! 

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