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2016
crazymama_Lori

Once upon a time

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 31, 2016

I'll give you a little glimpse into my day yesterday and several things that resonated with me. In about 20 days or so, I'll have 300 days in, 65 more to go until a year. My estranged daughter was married yesterday. We were invited. Father walked her down the aisle. I was basically a guest. I wasn't involved in the planning, the decorating, the “getting ready” festivities only because I was never made aware of them. She chose to have her step sister and her soon to be sister-in-law partake in those things, not her mother and only sister. It broke my heart and now I've just come to accept the bad behavior and not argue about it. She's 31 years old. She has her own way of seeing things and can't seem to see them my way. That's just the way it is and it cannot be changed. I try to change it and she turns and attacks. I will not tolerate the behavior any longer because I don't have to. 280 days ago, I'd be puffing away on a cigarette and biting my tongue. Now, I don't smoke and am very forthright with my feelings. I don't need to hide behind the smoke anymore. I acknowledge my feelings now, ask myself if physically there is a way to change the situation. If not, I place that feeling in a drawer and shut it. I'm not going to let it bother me because I cannot change it.

 

A friend of my daughter's showed up whom I have known since her high school days and of which I have not seen in over a year. And at a tender age of 31, she's an alcoholic. Father died of alcoholism and she's showing the wear. Slipping off to her car because that's where the vodka bottle is. Walking very slowly so no one will notice the stagger. 280 days ago I'd be puffing over that because it bothers me. Now I just simply watch her and offer my hand and a hug to let her know that my door is always open if she ever feels the need to talk about things that might be bothering her. This behavior has the possibility of being changed, but only if she wants to change it. Hopefully her and I can have a long talk someday.

 

Now to get back to really the purpose of these revelations. The first one is when loneliness, hurtfulness, sadness, frustration hits, acknowledge those feelings. When we smoked, we used that to place the perpetual band-aid over the owee. We never really resolved anything because we were too busy chain-smoking the bad feeling away. Or we found ourselves really escalating the feeling so that we could justify running to the store to buy a pack of those band-aids to make everything better. Why, oh, why do we give those things such power? They never really gave us any joy. Personally I think they slowed us down somewhat. We always had to stop to have a smoke before completing anything. Is it just the ritual of breathing in deeply and then exhaling slowly? Why did it have to be with a cigarette when we can certainly do it without and a lot easier.

 

Change up your thinking. Make a list of insteads. After a meal INSTEAD of smoking, I will …....... We're all a creature of habit. Think of the route that you take to work everyday. Think of the daily tasks you do at your job everyday. We do them everyday out of habit, routine, it's just a ritual I go through every morning. It's hard to break out of bad routines if we continue doing them the same way everyday. It's a little awkward at first, but eventually it becomes second nature. You find yourself stopping to think of what you're doing at first, but eventually it becomes a new habit, a new routine. Smoking is the same way. We've done it for so many years and for so many times every single day that when we stop, we're confused.

 

In the beginning, you'll find yourself reaching for that phantom pack when you're frustrated or whatever emotion you used smoking for. Some it's anger, relaxation, sadness, the list goes on. Mine was thinking over something, calming myself down. What I do INSTEAD is writing out pros and cons to something I'm pondering about or doing deep breaths when I'm calming myself down. Now, in the beginning, I had to consciously think about doing those two things because I never did them before. I just lit up a cigarette and you can bet that in 10 minutes I'd do the same routine again and solving nothing in the process. Now being a nonsmoker, I solve that problem or figure out a solution in that 10 minutes and I can move on to something else. I don't have to come back to it in 10 minutes or an hour. It's taken care of.

 

Just remember we'll take care of you here. We're all kinds of different people from different walks of life striving towards the same goal, helping people navigate through becoming an ex-smoker. We sometimes have different ways of doing it, of helping someone through, but we all have the exact same goal, helping you quit and keeping you that way. So at the end of day, don't ever be afraid to ask a question, write a blog, expression an opinion, a feeling. We're all here to help you get to where we are today........ THIS IS DOABLE

Well, happy Saturday morning to all you fellow Ex'ers. Hope this finds everyone finer than frog's hair and ready to take on the day. For you newbies, hang in there. Give us 30 days and see how you feel. Keep a list of the things you've noticed about yourself, i.e. easier to breathe, more pep to your step, less wheezing, the list goes on. You will have increased sensitivity and frustration. Some do just fine. This is just such a personal, tailored thing. No one quit is exactly the same.

 

But one thing we know is life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to react differently to the actions that we did for so many years, light up and puff our sorrows away. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. 

 

When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also for awhile we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups. OR just click this link

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

 But don't miss the Daily interactive Discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say Hello, offer Love and Support to your Friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single Day! Take a Look and feel Free to join us! ALL are Welcome!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/3533-love-yourself

 

We'd love to have you join us!

It's funny now to look at how people react to the developing me. I'm not going to say a new me because I'm always a work in progress. When I stop evolving, then it's time to lay down for the last time. But I thought I'd share what I noticed about my family, friends, acquaintances I haven't seen in a year.

 

I live in small town USA. Basically it's cliquey, gossipy, just an all around fun place to be for an snarky old lady like myself. I grew up in a larger city and moved here back in 1981 and met and married my husband in 1982. My husband has been one of those occasional smokers. He can start and stop anytime he wanted to (curse his soul)........ anyhooo, I've been a chain smoking steam engine ever since I was 16. Tried the first slow dance with nicotine at age 12. None of my existing friends, even high school friends that I've kept in contact with knew me as a nonsmoker. My children have always known me as a smoker as have my husband.

 

Oh, sure, they all wanted me to quit but I always gave them the classic response of when I'm ready, I'll quit. Well, after many failed attempts (don't think I ever made it past 5 days), they were all doubting Thomasas. Yeah, yeah, we've heard this before. Then the realization of 1 week turned into 30 days turned into 274 days, coming close to a year. They are I think at times still waiting for me to fail again. People who I know in town see me and are quite shocked to hear that I gave up drinking and smoking at the same time. The woman who always preached that she only had two vices in life and I'm not giving them up now.

 

Now, my older daughter who still drinks seems to find the need to now suddenly bring up that I've always seemed so aloof and now more so. She was a former smoker but really was like her father, smoked hither and yon and actually still does. She's the one claiming that I now need an antidepressant because I've cut everyone off. Well, no, I'm just simply going through my first year being a nonsmoker and every gathering you have involves alcohol. Now, I'm more comfortable around it, but I sure wasn't back when I started my quit. I find I don't have much tolerance for people that do stupid things while drinking. This perspective or attitude has just shown up over the last few months for her. I'm doing fine, I think. She just lost her drinking buddy.

 

Then we have my other daughter. Thank goodness I only have two, otherwise we'd be here all morning!!!! She is my smoker who gave up drinking but still is smoking. She did have a hard time when in the beginning I was withdrawn and sadgry and just basically pissed off at the world. God, mom, you should finally be over all of that. That finally came to an end when she accepted that she lost her smoking buddy. This is how it's going to be. I'm not going back to make you more comfortable.

 

Now, enters my husband. We actually have a better relationship now because we talk more. I could never smoke around him because it was really starting to bother him. The secondhand smoke for the last 35 years was taking its toll. He doesn't have to come into a house smelling like an ashtray. He's still dealing with my straight up attitude now. When I'm angry, I'm going to let you know about it and we're done. The only thing he had problems dealing with was the over sensitivity in the very beginning. The oh, poor me, blah, blah, blah. I'll be honest, I'll get those every once in a while. But I understand that's a trigger for me to smoke or drink and I've learned to address the problem head on now. Get over it and go about my day.

 

Friends who haven't seen me in over a year and are smokers will almost run the other way when they see me coming if they know that I've quit smoking. Basically in this town, the only real thing to do is hang out in a bar. Everything around here seems to be centered around alcohol. When you don't drink anymore and don't want to be around that, you do seem to lose touch with quite a few people. I'm not a preachy type of quitter. I'll give you advice when you ask for it face to face. Here if you find I'm just out of line or pushing the envelope too far, just tell me to back off. I respect that. No worries. I guess the point of this long-winded blog is that when you are traveling through the maze of quitting, discovering new things about yourself, about others around you, what trips you up, what lifts you up, just remember that you have the command of this ship. You are the captain navigating how difficult this journey will be. It's time to be a little selfish and worry about yourself. How you perceive life in general will be changing for you. If you were truly addicted like myself and really had a more emotional tie to smoking, you'll finally come to a realization of how much we used smoking and the gray curtain to hide things, to stuff things down, to mask what we were feeling or perhaps even what we didn't want to bring out. Embrace the day. Find something every day to smile about, laugh about, shake your head about. Life is all about choices and you can choose to be an Ex-smoker..........  

crazymama_Lori

Hard to believe

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 24, 2016

Who would have thought that I'd have a full-term quit under my belt, 9 months, wow. I remember back in 2010 when the smoking ban went into effect and trickled down into the smaller towns like ours. They already had it in the bigger towns surrounding us in the resteraunts. I never stayed long or even sometimes refused to go during the wintertime to establishments because they didn't have enclosed structures for smokers. I mean, seriously, how crazy is that? I don't have to worry about that anymore. I'm finally venturing out more, but that's for another day.

 

I remember flying and the very first thing I looked for was the smoking section. Doing the mad dash for it after getting off the plane. I'm not as rushed anymore with anything. I'm not scrambling for the extra pack of cigarettes, the lighter, gum for places where I couldn't smoke. That was always my prerequisite, if I can't smoke there, I'm not going. Now, I shake my head at that thinking. I watch the smokers running outside after they have their meal standing in a circle. Well, there goes 10 minutes that you could be conversing with someone, spending time with a loved one.

 

Always remember, and I'm speaking from experience as we all are, this is doable. It's an interesting journey. Some people have a very rough time at it emotionally. Some have to white knuckle it no matter what. Some look for that quick fix, some medication, some remedy that will make this easier. The real secret to quitting is to make the decision, making a comittment and sticking to it no matter what. I'm glad that I'm committed. I am never going back to day one when I see how far I've come, oh, hell naw. If you get in tune with why you smoke, if you take the time to replace the why with something else, you got this........... YOU GOT THIS!!!!!!!!  

crazymama_Lori

finer than frog's hair

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 22, 2016

Well, good morning, fellow Ex'ers. Good morning to all the Elders and to all the new quitters out there. This is doable even though in the beginning you scream that this isn't possible, it's too hard, I just can't do this. But take the time to do the suggested reading on here before your quit date. Learn as much as you can about how to quit sucessfully, what nicotine is and does to a person's body. The fun thing about this site is that we all have our own philosphy on quitting. Some like cold turkey. Some like the patch, gum, lozenges. Some like Chantix or Wellbutrin. But one thing we all agree on is to identify what you think personally are your triggers, things that make you most likely to smoke. That is what makes this your own, tailored plan and probably why it can be frustrating at times when you can't find precise answers. So take the time and identify your triggers, what you think makes you smoke.

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. 

 

When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also for awhile we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups. OR just click this link

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

 But don't miss the Daily interactive Discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say Hello, offer Love and Support to your Friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single Day! Take a Look and feel Free to join us! ALL are Welcome!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/3533-love-yourself

 

We'd love to have you join us!

crazymama_Lori

Calling all Elders

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 19, 2016

I've got a question for you wonderful people.  I've noticed over the past month or so (I'm now almost 9 months into my quit) that some family members are expressing concern because I'm not very active in things.  I'm pretty secure in my quit and still have moments hither and yon where I simply am not feeling up to being around people.  Not often, but every so often.  I think I'm more analytical now because I think it's more important to understand why I did things the way I used to and then just move along.  Did any of you ever have that experience with family members?  Some thinking that you need medication to make this go easier or make you less withdrawn?  Most of my family never knew me as a nonsmoker/nondrinker before ever.  Just curious if any of you ever ran into this.  Any insight would be appreciated.

crazymama_Lori

Faces of Addiction

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 15, 2016

I think it's interesting to see when people started smoking, when they came to the realization to stop smoking and their reasons for doing so. Most started smoking because they thought it made them look cool in adolescence. Somehow it gave them confidence and power, toughness. Others started smoking because they believed it relieved their stress. Others started smoking because they really enjoyed the taste of a cigarette and the smell of it. I was the latter.

 

There are many reasons to stop smoking, COPD, emphazema, circulation problems, the list goes on. Some stop because their significant other wants them to stop. They somehow feel that their physical presence or impression to others are now looked upon badly. Their loved ones have noticed some debillitating aspect showing up that they are concerned about and want them to stop. Mine was the mixture of increased headaches and dizzy spells and shortness of breath when doing any type of physical activity. Some people simply stop for a time or try to quit because their insurance rates could be or will be increased or to passify someone in their lives and then they just go back to it.

 

I know in my case all the previous very short stints of quitting, anger was my biggest trigger. Sometime I would simply find anything or everything to be angry about and just run to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes, because my addictive mind told me that it would make everything better. That will calm you down. Realizing some of those triggers are very important even in an 8 ½ month quit like mine. Just the other day I had roofers, complainers, barking dogs, three people wanting something from me all at the same time and wanting it NOW. I could have very easily went to the store and bought a pack of cigarettes and started puffing away like a steam engine. BUT what would that help, what would that change, what would that make anything easier or better for me?

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. 

 

When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also for awhile we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups. OR just click this link

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

 But don't miss the Daily interactive Discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say Hello, offer Love and Support to your Friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single Day! Take a Look and feel Free to join us! ALL are Welcome!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/3533-love-yourself

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I'm just so glad that I took the time to write down my triggers, research on the internet why I'm reacting or why other people are reacting to the same emotional rollercoaster this is. I've got quite a few things on the fire right now and they are giving me anxiety. I understand why they are there, but it's there nonetheless. For some unknown reason I gave the mighty white tube my strength and security in my life. If I was smoking I could face just about anything. All insecurities were off the table. Add a little alcohol in there, watch out. Now I just have me, myself and I. That's it. But really, is it that bad? Did I not have the strength and fortitude that was there all along with or without that cigarette in hand? Why in the back of my mind did I think that was my encouragement, my inner cheerleader to push me forward, to give me that helping hand? We all used smoking for various things in our lives. This is probably the most straightforward article I've found that really makes you think twice: http://www.tobaccofreemaine.org/quit_tobacco/staying_tobacco_free.php. That identifies quite a few triggers that you may not have even realized.

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. 

 

When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also for awhile we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups. OR just click this link

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

 But don't miss the Daily interactive Discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say Hello, offer Love and Support to your Friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single Day! Take a Look and feel Free to join us! ALL are Welcome!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/3533-love-yourself

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I've always had trouble with insomnia off and on throughout my life.  But I'm just wanting some feedback here.  I come here every day to gain more and more insight into what keeps people quit, why they lose their quit, why they fight their quit to help me understand when I have times like these.

We all go through pretty much the same stages but at different times and at different levels.  The first 2 months are fighting the everyday changing our routines and breaking our patterns of when we quit.  The next 2 to 4 months are trying to understand why we are making smoking so important or discovering ways to replace that.  At 6 months some have the thought of what I like to call the test driving phase.  Where we feel comfortable enough in our quits that we think that one won't hurt.  Trust me I've thought about it, but I won't go there.

The problem I'm having now, and probably due to lack of sleep, weight gain, but I have seen it in a few members on here at around my stage, day 245 to 260, I'm at 254, where it's frustrating that the struggle is still there.  Just last night my youngest (the drama queen) was over and was frustrating me.  Or really I allowed her to frustrate me instead of using my deep breathing, removing myself, gather my thoughts, and go back to it.  Instead I just came in the house, sat down at the kitchen table and said to her fiance, you know, after 8 and a half months, you would think it would be easier.  It just seems like a constant battle.  That conversation inside my head after that lasted for a few hours with some really, really strong desires to smoke.

You know, I know that winter is coming.  I know that this is my first fall.  I didn't stop smoking until the end of January and was fighting to quit all through that two months, December and beginning of January.  I know I'm lacking in sleep.  I don't like taking naps because then I'm up all night again.  Melatonin gives me very aggressive dreams.  Benadryl only knocks me out for a few hours.  I know this is only a stage, but someone explain to me exactly why at around these many days am I struggling so hard?  It's not only me but I've seen it happen with others.  Why at days 250 to a year that you struggle?  Why?  Does anyone have a direct answer or even a resemblance of one?  I'm not looking for some cryptic, riddle response.  Has anyone really came to the answer of why or is it one of those personal things again which never gives my any answer?  Does anyone know?

Well, it's that time again. It's close to daylight savings time. The days are getting shorter. There's a crisp feeling to the air outside. Another season is starting to roll out again. For us newbies and midbies (out of NML but not quite to a year), it's just another first. First time going through another season as a nonsmoker. We never know how to handle it but we sure anticipate the worst. The anticipation is your brain, your addictive brain, telling you that there's no way you'll be able to handle it on your own. Oh, gosh, no. You needed me last year around this time, you'll surely need me this time.

 

Anticipation is the thought of things that haven't even happened yet. A prediction of things to come. Sometimes they happen; sometimes they don't. Just take a minute and recognize that trigger. Figure out what you're using it for. If you're going to exercise something, exercise that brain. Okay. I used smoking during this event, time of season, family gathering for _______ fill in the blank. Whatever you filled in the blank with, think about it now, what are you going to REPLACE that with and then use it.

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. 

 

When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also for awhile we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups. OR just click this link

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

 But don't miss the Daily interactive Discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say Hello, offer Love and Support to your Friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single Day! Take a Look and feel Free to join us! ALL are Welcome!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/3533-love-yourself

 

We'd love to have you join us!