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Sink or Swim

Posted by crazymama_Lori Sep 22, 2017

Well, I started off for a while here telling people to give it 6 months, it gets better. After a year or so, you even out. Well, then the comments came of if it takes 6 months, why bother. If it was that easy to quit, we'd have serial quitters all over the place.


The first 30 days suck. You have the physical, the mental all at once. Your daily life collides with not doing one thing, smoking. Well, think about it, you performed that act at least 15 to 40 and sometimes more times per day without even thinking about it. I can't tell you how many times I reached for that pack of cigarettes and it wasn't even there.


In the beginning, they kept telling me it gets easier, hang on, you can do this. I've come to the conclusion now that it only got easier when I finally was able to make it easier. I was able to finally realize that this is a problem, an addiction, whatever you want to call it, that I need to control. I need to understand that the act of smoking will pop up from time to time, but only because it was part of my life for so many years. I associated it with so many things that I did day in and day out. It popped up over holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, any other thing that I celebrated during my years.


I have friends that smoke and some that don't. It's just something they do that I don't do any longer. It doesn't define me as a person. It doesn't give me stature in life. It simply is not part of who I am anymore. Don't just jump in the pond and think you can automatically swim without learning first. Arm yourself with knowledge. Go the groups that they have here and read some articles there. Go to some of the member's profiles and read their blogs from the beginning of their time here. You will see very many similarities. You will begin to see yourself in those pages. Now, imagine yourself swimming......


When it comes to quitting anything anyone is dependent upon, addicted to, wouldn't it be wonderful to have a cookie-cutter solution to take it all away and never have it pop up again. A magical pill to make everything reset, take the cravings, the urges away never to return again. There is no such thing and there will never be such a thing as quitting is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We all, every single one of us, had a different reason to start smoking and to quit smoking. Statistics may say that most smokers started in adolescence due to peer pressure or acceptance. But to me, those are just numbers. I'm not a statistic. I'm an individual who has a problem with a substance. I used this substance for all kinds of personal reasons. As you have used or still are using this substance for your own reasons.


I used support to validate my feelings. To have someone tell me I'm okay, this is normal, it's just a stage, a step in the process. You're doing great. Yeah, I went through something like that similar to yours. I needed support because I needed people around me who understood exactly what I was going through. They've been through it, lived it. I had people around me that were of the thought of well, all you have to do is not smoke, don't buy any more, you'll be fine. That wasn't the case for me at all.


I have a few people I know who have been through in-patient rehab for drug addiction. They move through the motions. They show up to their meetings only to relapse a few months down the road. For these people, what happened? Where was the ball dropped? I can only speak for myself and my experience with quitting smoking is that if I didn't take those few seconds later in my quit when a craving came out of nowhere, was an all-consuming urge, if I wouldn't have taken a deep breath and simply said to myself, what exactly is bringing this on right at this moment in time, identified the problem and saw it for what it was and not acted on it, I'd be puffing away on a pack right now.


I don't want to be tied to a lighter, designated places to smoke, which way the flipping wind is blowing. I will never go back there again. I'm going to see that trigger for what it is and do something about it. What am I missing, what in my little addictive brain is telling me that that cigarette is going to solve “IT”? You see, those urges go away after a few moments. Next time you get one, distract yourself with something else, physically get up and move away from where you are, finding something else to do that requires some sort of attention, some detail you have to concentrate on and give it a few minutes. Went away, didn't it?


Now, let's take the flip side of that coin. You're about 2 weeks into your quit. Why isn't this going away? When is this ever going to end? You come to the site. You blog your frustration. You feel a little better, but it's building all over again. OMG, stop !!!! Get up, get your hands busy doing something. It may be working in your wood shop, cleaning out your frig, ripping out shelving paper, cleaning cupboards, something, anything. Get those hands and get your mind working. Take up a new hobby, go for a walk, buy yourself a coloring book. Youngatheart has a blog entitled 101 Things to Do Instead of Smoke, pick a few off that list or off of this one, Additions to The List of 101 Things to Do Instead of Smoke a Cigarette . There's all kinds of great ideas on there.


I asked myself very early in my quit why this was coming back and coming back. The closest I came to an explanation was . That article also has many, many different topics covered. Another perspective, another way of looking at things. So to close out this blog. When you first quit, you're just like the little gingerbread man, "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man ."  Is that what we're doing as we're thinking of quitting? Some find it overwhelming to think of it as 30 days, 6 months on up. Just take it one day at a time. Wake up everyday and say to yourself, I'm not smoking today. Go to the pledge page, The Daily Pledge September 2017 every morning to state that fact. Every evening, go to the freedom train and proudly announce every day how many days you have overcome. Make that your new ritual. Gradually as the sand falls through the hourglass, it gets easier and easier. Instead of having a stranglehold on that cigarette, you find yourself helping others, cheering them on. Every day you're getting stronger and stronger. Give it the time it takes. Trust in the process..................