I like to write a blog on my special days and this is one - 4 months! I recall back at the beginning reading blogs about reaching 4 months and that it was a very important milestone. I also recall thinking how far off in the future that sounded!! Man, I blinked and it is here!
I was trying to think of something to say - other than THANK YOU to so many people here for helping me reach this point! I often give my standard advice when I write comments - how preparation made such a difference for me - reading blogs here, reading Allen Carr's book, and reading at www.quitsmokingonline.com. I prepared in order to get past my fear. After 40 years of smoking - to stop is a pretty scary prospect!! I remember about a week before my quit date reading a blog written by Sheryl. I just went and looked it up - "Sitting with your feelings"! The imagery in that story saved me during those first weeks! Anyway, when I went to Sheryl's page to look at the story - I discovered that Sheryl has 700 days today!!! WOW!! So - that is my "something to say" on my 4 month anniversary - congratualtions to Sheryl and be sure to read the blog she wrote on June 8th. (I'll cut and paste it here - hope it works - I'm always messing that up!!) She quotes from a book and then the words at the end are hers.....they touched me - I hope they touch someone else today!
The following story is taken from Victoria Moran's book, The Love-Powered Diet: Eating for Freedom, Health and Joy. Moran talks about sitting with feelings so that you don't overeat or eat unconsciously. I think the story also applies to learning to sit with cravings when a person is quitting smoking.
Long ago there lived a woman who believed that her house was possessed by demons. She called on the local priest to exorcise them. The priest performed the proper rites, but within a week the woman was again at the rectory gate. "My house is once more possessed," she cried. The priest performed the ritual a second time and instructed his parishioner to return home.
Not a day had passed before the woman beseeched him a third time to cleanse her house. This request the good father refused. "The terrors that alarm you," he told her, " are less within the walls of your house than within those of your mind. You must confront these spirits yourself."
"But won't you give me something to help, a vial of holy water or a sacred crucifix?" the woman pleaded.
"I will give you something," the priest replied. " I will give you a holy stool." He took from the corner a simple wooden hassock. It didn't look particularly holy, but the woman took it nonetheless. When she entered her house, demons abounded from cellar to loft.
"I am lost," she thought. "Even with this holy stool as a weapon, I could never fight them all." She sat on the stool to await her fate, but the instant she was comfortably seated, the demons disappeared. The woman was convinced from that day forward that the cleric's gift indeed bore divine power. The priest, however, knew that the demons departed simply because she had been willing to sit with them. And he missed his favorite footstool for the rest of his life.
When I began this quit, I was terrified of how quitting was going to make me feel. It didn't seem to me that I could deal with my emotions or the stress of my life without cigarettes. People on this site talked me down through the wisdom of their blogs and comments. I quit cold turkey, something I had long believed (falsely) that I couldn't do. Amazingly, I was able to sit with the cravings and not cave into them. I could wait them out. Over time, the cravings got weaker until now they have all but disappeared. What's left is a faint memory of smoking. So what I am telling you is to sit with the cravings and see what you learn. Perhaps your cravings will disappear like mine did,and like the woman's demons. You are more powerful than you think. SHERYL