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stAn3 Blog

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stAn3

7/17/2018

Posted by stAn3 Jul 17, 2018

I am scared for my recovery. I have been having cravings today. Sometimes I’ve told myself that I will give up and go buy some cigarettes. I also made a commitment to myself today not to smoke today no matter what. Instead I made a commitment to slow down, feel the cravings, feel my feelings, and do something with them. So far so good. Not smoking, nicotine recovery is simple. It is not easy. Earlier today I asked myself why I resisted doing what I’ve seen work for others. Why have I looked for ways not not have to do it? Why don’t I just do it? I am just doing it today but it concerns me that my thinking can be so distorted by my addiction—looking for the loophole, desperate to find a way not to deal with my addiction. There’s no guarantee I won’t do so again in the future. I do see progress though. I started smoking again because I had to stay up and do papers for graduate school. I realized I don’t have to go to graduate school right now. I need to avoid situations that put me in a position to relapse. Every time I put my career above my health my career and health suffer. I can’t function if my body is not healthy. Thanks.

stAn3

I'm Back

Posted by stAn3 Jul 15, 2018

Things have changed a lot in my life since I last participated in the Ex Community on a regular basis. I found face-to-face support in friends who have stopped smoking. I got into my first romantic relationship in years and we broke up. I have moved to a new office at work to get away from my ex-girlfriend. I have decided to start graduate school this fall and recently changed my mind about doing that. I started smoking again for maybe a couple of weeks and now am smoke-free again.

 

Some things have not changed. This is why I am back. I continued in my pattern over the past three years of smoking, putting intense effort into quitting, losing the desire to smoke over the course of a few weeks, stopping the effort I put in to staying smoke-free, then relapsing a few months later. I am very good at stopping smoking. I am not good at maintaining my recovery from nicotine. Another thing has not changed. I always suffer physically and financially when I go back to smoking. It is always stressful. I always regret my decision. My latest relapse ended because I had to check myself into the ER for chest pain. After running some tests, they found that nothing was wrong with my heart. I have been through this before. It is all related to smoking. I am not posting about my trip to the hospital because I am ashamed or beating myself up. I am doing it to remind myself that it is real. I am grateful that the relapse lasted for a couple of weeks, and I am grateful that this event gave me the motivation to stop smoking again.

 

I am grateful that I am taking action to prevent another relapse. It scares me that my disease tells me, "Nothing is wrong. You can smoke again." It is scary to me that my mind tells me to go back to the source of my stress and guaranteed health problems. I feel hopeful because I am following the recommendations of my doctor by not smoking and using the patch to help with cravings. I am also taking the suggestion of my therapist to wait five minutes if I have a craving, to set a timer on my phone if I need to. I am remembering the things that worked in the past and I am doing them.

 

I am posting here because I need to pay attention to my cravings and take action to prevent a relapse. Not wanting to deal with the cravings is why I relapsed. Not being willing to take action is why I relapsed. I am slowing down today and doing something to address my nicotine addiction. After posting this, I will tell the people in my face-to-face support group that I have quit smoking. I will reach out for help. I was too proud to ask for help before. See, my ex-girlfriend was the person I turned to for support last time. I put all my eggs in one basket. Even though help was available from other people, I chose not to use it. Recovery begins for me when I swallow my pride and start reaching out for help.

 

Another contributing factor for my relapse was putting my job above everything else. I rationalized that I didn't have time to do what I needed to do for my recovery. I needed to be there for the patients. I rationalized that I needed to smoke to stay up all night and write papers for graduate school. This reservation, left unaddressed, led me to smoke. My relapse on nicotine has made me re-evaluate my priorities. If I can't do graduate school without smoking, I don't need to go to graduate school. If I am going to be effective at my job, I need to force myself to take time for myself. The number one priority must be my recovery--learning to handle stress without smoking, learning to meet all my responsibilities without smoking. Otherwise, I create more stress by adding smoking to the list of things I have to do, the list of things I have to spend money on. I add shame and self-loathing for smoking to the stress I already feel. I add anxiety about health problems and money problems caused by smoking to the stress I already feel. I add keeping my smoking a secret to the shame and stress I already feel.

 

I am not having very many cravings today, and the cravings are not strong, but I am taking every craving seriously because I am afraid I will go back to smoking. My number one priority today is not to smoke.

 

Sorry for the long post, but I need to process what happened for myself. Posting here helps me process the cravings I am having and the crazy thinking that leads me to smoke. Thanks for reading. Thanks Becomeanex for giving me a place to treat my nicotine addiction. I welcome any feedback.

stAn3

Over 30 days smokefree...again

Posted by stAn3 Feb 11, 2018

I am used to not smoking. I don’t get strong cravings anymore. I am sticking close to my local support network and trying to avoid the situations that put me at risk for relapse. Primary trigger for me is stress. I am getting better at handling things at my new job. I am setting limits on how much I work. I am resting and doing fun stuff during free time. I hope you are all successful in not smoking.

 

For me a month is just the beginning. I am still on nicotine replacement. My brain is primed to smoke. It is much easier though. I will be extra careful when it is time to get off nicotine replacement. That seems to be a dangerous time for me. 

stAn3

Still alive and kickin

Posted by stAn3 Jan 17, 2018

I am still smoke free. I have been reaching out to people locally for support. I have been feeling blah the last couple of days but I’ve seemed to come out of it. I started to feel good this afternoon and peaceful. I’m glad I didn’t smoke to get rid of the blahs. I’m starting to develop a two-way supportive relationship with a girl at work. That helps.

stAn3

Update

Posted by stAn3 Jan 7, 2018

I am on day 3 smoke free. I haven’t thought of smoking. However, I know I will be confronted with people smoking and stress tomorrow when I return to work. I have 4 people in my local support group, 2 are at work. I have been hesitant to reach out to sponsor because I’ve relapsed so many times I’m the past, feel lile I’ve lost credibility. He has not said so, but it is in my head. I need to check in more with my sponsor about smoking. Realistically, I am not going to be able to use this website as my main means of support so I am purposely not getting into the habit of blogging everyday. I’m trying to save my check-ins for my local support group. This has worked best for me in the past.

 

i am nervous and doubtful but try not to pay much attention to those thoughts; just do it: don’t smoke one day at a time and take the daily actions not to smoke.

stAn3

I’m back

Posted by stAn3 Dec 17, 2017

I stopped participating in the community because I relapsed. I have been a member long enough that you probably already guessed that. I need to admit

 to the community that I relapsed so I feel comfortable coming here again for help. 

 

I felt hopeless after relapsing. I thought I did not have any reservations. I was wrong. I put my new job ahead of everything. I justified not using the community for support. I thought I could handle it. The stress got to me. Because I stopped doing the things that kept me smoke-free, I eventually gave into the urge to smoke. I couldn’t handle the cravings anymore on my own. I shouldn’t have been trying to deal with my addiction alone anyway.

 

Now I am more balanced. I set boundaries with myself on how much I work. I take breaks. It’s not negotiable. I have to put my recovery from addiction above work or I won’t be able to work. I’ll be sick or dead.

 

i have stopped smoking for the time being. I am on the patch. I have reached out to my 12-Step sponsor who is also an ex-smoker. I reached out to a member of my 12-Step home group. I have identified other people I can reach out to if I get the obsession to smoke.

 

My involvement here will be minimal from here on out. Local support and applying the 12 Steps to smoking is what works best for me, so I am putting my energy into building and using local support. I have learned a lot from this site. It has helped me stop smoking several times. But I have not been able to stop the cycle of relapse, so obviously, I need to do more than just participate in the becomeanex community.

stAn3

Week 9 Review

Posted by stAn3 Nov 25, 2017

I have been wanting to smoke everyday this week. I have chosen not to several times. I have not been taking good care of myself. I have skipped meals, not drank water, not gotten enough sleep, not dealt with stress. Today I am making a commitment to take care of myself so I don’t have cravings all the time. I’m not going to smoke. That’s number one. Now I need to do what I can to lessen the cravings.

stAn3

60 days!

Posted by stAn3 Nov 23, 2017

I’ve been triggered every day this week, so I am especially grateful for reaching this milestone. I wanted to smoke but I chose not to. I used the recovery tools. I pledge not to smoke today, no matter what so I can get 61 days days of freedom. 

stAn3

Beginning of Week 9

Posted by stAn3 Nov 20, 2017

I got another week smoke-free. I have a little over two weeks nicotine free. I had thoughts of wanting to smoke everyday at work. When I’m at home I don’t think about it. I also get cravings after I drink coffee. I am not giving in to the thoughts of wanting to smoke. I am waiting it out. I want my brain to adjust to being nicotine-free. I have to give it time. I’m tired of the continuous cycle of relapse. 

 

Everyday I pray to God for another day smoke-free. I come here, even if I don’t post.

 

i don’t have any money right now. That’s a big help. But money stress is also a trigger. I get discouraged when expenses pile up that I don’t have the money for. I’m wanting the financial benefits of not smoking but I don’t see them right now. All my money is going to my care and medical bills. I do feel calmer without nicotine. I feel normal. That is big. I was anxious all the time when I smoked and my body hurt and I did not feel good about myself. Guilt and shame were my constant companions. I am coming up on 60 days smoke-free, and I want to meet that goal, then shoot for 90 days.

stAn3

I got 50 days

Posted by stAn3 Nov 13, 2017

I got 50 days for real this time. I have not relapsed. 

 

Missed the daily pledge this morning because I overslept. I made a personal commitment to myself not to smoke today. 

 

My caffeine addiction is causing cravings. I’m not taking care of myself with my diet. I’m still not smoking though. I don’t have to—no matter what.

stAn3

Feeling shaky

Posted by stAn3 Nov 10, 2017

I feel too distant from my nicotine recovery. I’m going to start taking the daily pledge again. No strong cravings but have thoughts of wanting to smoke. That’s how the relapses always started.

 

I’d ignore those thoughts and go on about my business. Then thoughts would turn into cravings.

 

Gotta do something different. I gotta keep up the maintenance.

 

TELLING ON MY DISEASE: Im doing something that makes me want to smoke. I am drinking caffeine which makes me depressed and I am skipping meals and eating only junk food.

stAn3

Checking in

Posted by stAn3 Nov 8, 2017

I am working on another day not smoking. I am in what they call No Man’s Land. I think about smoking a lot because I am around people smoking all day. I don’t really get cravings. I can’t remember the last time I got a craving. However a thought can turn into a craving real quick. I am still in danger of relapse. I haven’t been posting every day like I was but I have not stopped coming to the site and reading. I’m grateful for another day smoke-free feeling comfortable not really having to work hard to stay smoke free.

stAn3

Hump day

Posted by stAn3 Nov 1, 2017

Over the hump. I worked 12 hours, can home and cooked, and did not smoke. I had a couple of thoughts of smoking but did not give in. I feel at home at work. I handled the stress of feeling overwhelmed.

stAn3

Into Week 6

Posted by stAn3 Oct 30, 2017

Today is Day 37 not smoking. I’m the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing. But things are a lot easier now than on Day 1. I haven’t had any cravings today. I didn’t have any this weekend either. That is big considering I did something that use to trigger me big time: writing. I didn’t even think about smoking even though I was tense. To write, I simply write as much as I can, then take a break when I get writer’s block.

 

I am nervous about school. I know it will be very stressful. In the past, I used addictive activities to cope with stress. No doubt I will do the same thing this time. I try not to obsess about it. I won’t be in school until January, and I can only work my recovery program today.

stAn3

One month smokefree

Posted by stAn3 Oct 25, 2017

I had some smoking thoughts today. Probably because I was around people smoking. I thought I could connect better with my clients if I smoked. Then I thought, “No, it’s not work dying.” I prayed. Then later on I remembered when I first combatted this trigger. I remembered that when I smoked near others I was focused on smoking, not the person I was with. I connect more when I am not smoking because I am not worried about when I’ll get my next dose of nicotine.

I didn’t really think about it much after that. 

I’m at home now. I am tired. I am nervous. I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing at work. It is very unfamiliar. I also anticipate starting graduate school in a couple of months in addition to learning my new job. 

 

My addiction tells me to give up because I can’t stand the stress. It tells me I will relapse eventually anyway so why not relapse now. I’m aware of these thoughts but have made a commitment not to smoke today. I know how to deal with stress. I have been practicing. It is still uncomfortable though. As much as I want to run, I need to accept the discomfort and focus on doing what I need to go today.