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