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stAn3 Blog

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Six months

Posted by stAn3 Feb 2, 2019

I’m I recently got notified by the site that I have six months. That’s more time than I have had in years! I rarely think of smoking. The other day I thought of it because I was stressed. I was stressed because of work, and conflicts with co-workers. I remembered checking in everyday on this website and recalled that I no longer checked in here about my feelings. I decided to put my recovery toolbox to use. I prayed. I took a deep breath. I reached out to someone to talk about my feelings. The thought of smoking remained a passing thought. It did not become a strong craving. I got through it.


Thanks to the emails and for the people who message me to see if I’m okay. They remind to keep coming to this site.


i am confident today because I am not confused about the chronic nature of this addiction and my need to stay connected to this site. Before I wasn’t willing to work on not smoking for long term. I’d do intense work for a few weeks to break the habit. Stop doing any work. Then relapse a few months later. I’m not as focused as I was in the beginning but I still check this site and plan to keep doing it—especially when I notice the old thinking coming back. Recovery is an ongoing process.  It never ends. 



Posted by stAn3 Jan 6, 2019

I’m still smoke free. I sometimes think of smoking. I don’t have cravings. My job change was not as stressful as I anticipated. In fact. my stress is greatly reduced.

My ex and I have been in communication for the past three weeks. I am currently feeling some feelings about us not dating anymore. It is not something I thought about smoking to deal with. This is a blessing—freedom from my addiction.



Posted by stAn3 Dec 4, 2018

I got news about work. I am going to a different location. I feel triggered to smoke. I anticipate a lot of stress because of the change. I will miss my coworkers. I know it’s a good move. I’ve been wanting a change. I am scared because every big change for me in the past has led to relapse. I’m paying more attention this time to prevent a recurrence.


i am back in contact with my ex-girlfriend. I’m waiting to see how it turns out. I am acting different. She is acting different. I don’t know if I want to get back together or not. I don’t know how close I want to be to her. I feel like I’m playing myself sometimes. I can’t move on if I spend too much time with her. This move to a different location will help with that. We won’t see each other all the time because we’ll be working at different locations.


Glad to still be a member of the site. I will reach out more during this period of transition.



Posted by stAn3 Nov 19, 2018

I had a good day at work today. I feared I wouldn’t be able to handle it because I have been worn down by negativity. I did my job. I felt joy. I noticed how good I am at my job. I marveled at the fact that God was able to use me. I was set free of my self-pity. 


I processed what what to do about my resentments and decided to do nothing, except try to work with the new people that have been hired. I still feel the same way about some of my coworkers but I didn’t obsess over it for long today. I gave myself five minutes to be angry then let it go. For some reason, I am not as concerned about the outcome with this hiring decision. I am looking elsewhere for employment (meaning I am researching what’s out there) but I will not jump ship. I have hope that things will get better.


Today I didn’t have that strong pull to escape. I thought of smoking when I was around people smoking, but the thoughts are not strong enough for me to call them cravings.



Posted by stAn3 Nov 17, 2018

I feel okay. I dread going to work tomorrow, yet I look forward to it as well. I enjoy working with the patients. I am angry, no, not trusting, of my supervisors or the company. I had a revolution a few days ago that there is nothing I can do to stop the chaos that is going on at my job right now. I blame my direct supervisor and the executive director and the corporate leadership for not fixing things. I am angry because so many of my co-workers are gone. I blame them for not making the job more attractive. I don't want to get to know the new people, and I don't want to work with the new people. There is one person at work who I absolutely can't stand. I am mad at my supervisor because he wants me to work with this person. I want this person gone and can't understand why this person is still working for the company. I expect the company to exploit my stepmother. If they do, I'm gone. The tension from waiting to see how this plays out is killing me. I get angry over every mistake this person makes. I get angry because the leadership doesn't seem to be as angry as me about this person's poor performance. I have lost hope that things will get better. Yet I still have to go to work there anyway. I have a decision to make about whether I want to stay or go. My options are not good, like jumping out of the frying pan into the skillet, but I am tired to the stress that comes from all the chaos, and I feel put upon by management because, not only do I not have the support I need to do my job, I'm expected to do other people's jobs as well. I keep doing the other people's jobs because I want the clients not to suffer but I feel like a punk, like a martyr. On top of that, I didn't get my promised bonus or pay raise. I'm trying to give the company as little as possible now (doing my job and nothing more) instead of looking out for the best interests of the company. I feel betrayed. There is a loss of trust. I knew when I came to work for this company that is was messed up, but I trusted my direct supervisor, so I took the job. Now I don't have that trust. I don't trust his judgment. Because I don't trust his judgment, I don't feel like I have any reason to stay there. I have a history of changing jobs right about this time (when I get used to the job). I've spoken to my sponsor about it and he said to do a pros/cons list before taking action. I struggle to find the motivation to stay even though I know it's the best thing for me financially, and I know the other treatment centers aren't much better. I need to talk to my supervisor but don't know how to go about it. Writing about it makes me feel a little bit better. The pressure of all these feelings has been making me want to escape. I've even thought about smoking. Instead I've been escaping in other ways. I generally just don't feel good about myself or my life. I think my depression is affecting me. I don't feel the overwhelming sadness but my thinking is negative and I don't feel motivated. I'm also more irritable and snappy.


So just to recap: I'm disappointed because I didn't get my bonus and feeling really paranoid about it, like they aren't going to give it to me. I'm also angry about it because I made plans based on anticipating that bonus. I'm struggling to make it until next payday when I thought I would be spending that bonus money. I am paranoid, thinking the accountant is holding back my bonus because she is friends with my ex-girlfriend and doesn't like me.

I want my stepmom to get a job, but I'm afraid they won't give it to her. I'm afraid it won't happen because they hired her before, then told her she didn't get the job. I also see them hiring her at a lower position than what she is qualified for. If they do that, I will be forced to quit. Family comes before any job. I can't stay at a place that hurts my stepmother.

I want her to get the job because I think she can fix all the chaos and drama, but I've recently realized that the problem is much deeper than anything she can fix. It is a company-wide problem. Even if she gets the job that I want her to have, my job will still be difficult. I am being self-centered, self-seeking, dishonest, and manipulative. Also I lack trust. I'm having a hard time letting go of the outcome that I want. It's all about me and my comfort and not what's best for all involved. Because I see that it is impossible for me to get what I want, I am throwing a fit. I want to retaliate against the company by quitting. I also anticipate endless months of the same bull that I have been going through for the past several months. I need to talk to my sponsor more about this. It's obvious quitting my job is not the right thing to do at this time (maybe later if things get worse) but I need to talk to somebody about how I feel regarding the work conditions because it will negatively affect my work with the patients if I keep these feelings bottled up inside of me.


If you've read all of this: Thanks!  I am grateful to be smoke-free. I've relapsed more than once because of wanting to escape the stress of this job. I can't do it anymore. No matter what, smoking is not going to fix anything. It would only make things worse. I'm glad to be a part of the becomeanex community. I look forward to the time when I won't be as triggered by stress. It only comes with not smoking, one day at a time.



Posted by stAn3 Oct 28, 2018

The last 24 hours have been weird. I was in triggering situations and, of course, I wanted to smoke at some point today. I’m around people smoking all day when I’m at work. It doesn’t really phase me, but last night I was out with friends who pulled out cigarettes and smoked. I forgot my charger so my phone died, couldn’t reach out for support. They also drank. I’m in recovery so I don’t like being around people drinking. This morning I helped a family friend move. She’s a smoker and everything smelled like smoke. I still didn’t have my phone. Instead of reaching out to people, I prayed. I reaffirmed my decision not to smoke, no matter what. The craving passed. It helped that I was with my dad. He’s a former smoker. I figured I could talk to him about it if necessary. I didn’t have to. After I prayed it went away. Last night taught me that it is my decision to stay smoke-free, and it is my decision to not drink when cigarettes or alcohol are around. I simply have to remind myself of my commitment to recovery and use the recovery tools at my disposal. Sometimes your phone dies unexpectedly and you can’t call someone. You gotta take your recovery with you everywhere. I’m going to try to make sure I keep my phone charged. I don’t want a repeat of the last 24 hours. I figure it’s better to reach out for support than try to do recovery alone. Nevertheless it feels good to know I can survive a triggering situation without instant access to the members of my support group. I didn’t use the phone dying last night as an excuse to smoke or relapse on alcohol. No matter what means no matter what. I’m grateful for my recovery and the fact that I’m embracing the philosophy of N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever.



Posted by stAn3 Oct 20, 2018

I can’t remember the last time I felt the need to check in with you guys to keep from smoking. I still try to get on the site everyday. I don’t want to get too far away from this site. I’ve always slipped up during the maintenance phase of recovery, after I’ve broken the habit. I don’t crave cigarettes. I think at the end of the day, “Wow! I haven’t thought about smoking today. When was the last time I thought about smoking?” I’m grateful to be home, as the guy from would say. I appreciate my becomeanex family. I’m glad to see other people staying smoke free as well.



Posted by stAn3 Oct 12, 2018

I am stressed about work. I got an ungodly amount of work to do. I used to smoke to escape the stress. I thought about smoking briefly then I remembered that I have options when I get anxious. I took a deep breath, then started working. This is a rare occurrence and I’ll get through it. I’m grateful to be smoke free and nicotIne free. I’m grateful to be still coming to this site.



Posted by stAn3 Oct 8, 2018

I’m still smoke-free. It’s been a couple of days since I visited the site. I don’t want to stay away too long. I had a thought of smoking today. It wasn’t strong enough to call a craving. I got a little over two weeks nicotine-free so I am not out of the danger zone yet. I know I am still prone to relapse. I’m grateful not to be struggling like I was. I got over the hump!  



Posted by stAn3 Oct 4, 2018

I am still smoke free. I’m still struggling with cravings but not as much. I noticed a pattern: it’s worst in the mornings. I think if I drink my coffee in the morning, it will help a lot. I also need to keep going to the gym. I still have some cold symptoms but they are minimal.


I’m glad to be smoke free. I look forward to things getting better as time goes on.


Pray for me

Posted by stAn3 Oct 3, 2018

I am still struggling. I don’t like feeling fuzzy headed. I have been wanting to smoke to improve concentration. I refuse to do it. I know I don’t need nicotine. I remember a time when I functioned without nicotine and did not even think of smoking. Furthermore I don’t want to smoke. I don’t want to smother myself to improve concentration. It won’t improve concentration. After smoking the first one, I’ll be distracted by the urge to smoke the next one. I will also be angry because I’m wasting money on smokes. I will also feel guilty for letting everyone down. Most of all though. I don’t want to put those poisonous chemicals in my body. It does more than making it harder for me to breathe. It makes me tired. I need to sleep more. It makes me anxious. I makes me numb (the beginnings of neuropathy). It causes pain. I get paranoid thinking I have blood clots or am having a heart attack or stroke. I hate the way cigarette smoke smells. I hate cigarette butts. I hate the way my hands and clothes smell when I smoke. My teeth and gums are damaged by smoking.


I’m grateful to be here at this site. I keep putting off smoking. I keep reaching out. I know the feeling I’m feeling right now will go away.


i will return to work, finish paperwork, then journal. I think i will have another smoke free day because I’m working my recovery.



Posted by stAn3 Oct 1, 2018

I had strong cravings today. I shared about it at my 12 Step meeting. I’m sharing here too. I don’t want to drift away from the site.


I’m i came to the site tonight too. I needed to read the posts about depression. I’m scared I’ll never get my brain back again. I feel fuzzy headed because of my depression. I remember there was s time I didn’t crave nicotine when I was depressed. Depression is just an excuse to relapse. I am scared though. I never can remember what it’s like until I’m depressed. I remember the general pattern is that it gets worse over the course of winter. I guess I’m afraid I am in for some pain I can’t avoid. The reality is that I have a choice. I can exercise and use my mood light. There’s tools to deal with depression. I just don’t want to experience it.



Posted by stAn3 Oct 1, 2018

I made a week with no nicotine. Now going into week two. I don’t get many cravings. I sometimes feel the subtle pull toward smoking but it is easily dismissed. I don’t entertain the thought. I made it to 10/01 without smoking. My depression symptoms did not become an excuse to smoke. I felt funny but not nearly as bad as I remember feeling a couple of years ago at this time.


I made it through

Posted by stAn3 Sep 27, 2018

I fell asleep last night (passed out exhausted) so I didn’t get to post. I made it through my first stressful event not smoking and not usIng nicotine. I chose not to go back to nicotine replacement. I want to end the cycle of relapse.


I am processing the feelings I posted. It’s heavy stuff. Something must be changing in me. Because I am participating in my community in a positive way. By doing that, I am changing how I view my community. Before my hate was so strong, I couldn’t do it. It’s normal to respond to injustice with hate. It is also self destructive. My goal is to be of maximum service so I must overcome my righteous anger and find compassion for people who hurt others. We are all human and subject to make mistakes.


Another all nighter

Posted by stAn3 Sep 25, 2018

I’m staying up all night tonight in order to get work done. I see no other option. I will not smoke. I’ll sleep tomorrow after work. No matter what happens at work, it’s not an excuse to smoke. I seem to have learned that lesson. I want to break free of this cycle of relapse.


I wish I could concentrate better. I can’t. I wish I could do stuff besides working all the time. I can’t. I watched that Michael Moore film Friday and I want to emigrate from America. I want to emigrate so I don’t have to pay federal taxes. I am back to my natural state of wanting nothing to do with society, total rejection of our culture. I run usually, dreaming of the day I will leave America and never come back. Instead, I am getting more involved in local government. I would love nothing more than to leave my hometown and never return but I would feel guilty leaving my family behind. I also know that no matter where I go, people are people. I can’t escape hatred for blacks. I can’t escape greed. I can’t escape human nature or my disdain for people in general. I’m just not a people person. Never will be. I do want physical safety and economic security and a feeling of choice in my life. I will never feel safe where I’m from. I won’t have a choice in how I live until I pay my debts. Right now I feel like I’m forced to work for our corporate overlords and will reap no benefits for my labor. I think what I want is a community that will love and accept me and understand me. It is possible to find that community. It involves finding a community I can love, understand, and respect. I have no idea how to get there other than skipping out on $70000 in debt. I won’t do that. It’s stealing. There is no way for me to feel any kind of brotherhood or acceptance where I live. It’s a problem with no answer. I must live here for the foreseeable future. I hate it here. I must find a way not to be miserable and angry, hating and looking down on everybody. I assume there is a way, but I can’t think of any. I simply try to keep an open mind and focus on the things I like about my life and remind myself of the possibilities as long as I control what I can control: don’t waste money on smoking or nicotine products, go to work and do my job, meet all the requirements to get full licensure, pay my debts, take my antidepressant medication, use my light therapy, watch TV and make music during my down time, come to becomeanex and reach out to others when things get rough, live life one day at a time. Separate things I want from things I absolutely need to survive. Be grateful for having everything I absolutely need to survive.


I know this stuff has nothing to do with smoking but I need to get it out. I gotta focus on what the real issues are, not the cigs. These feelings of anger, indignation, powerlessness, fear, stress, and hopelessness are driving me to distraction, keeping me from being productive, setting up a vicious cycle where I get behind on work and want to smoke because I feel overwhelmed.


There is a solution to how I feel: work as much as I can, make as much money as I can, pay these debts off as fast as I can, move to a community where I’m around likeminded individuals. I’ve got to keep moving forward and not get discouraged.