Just thought I’d check in. All in all, things are well in our little world. My new job is going well, though I really had to get in shape to perform it. Getting there as well. Since the loss of our son, we’ve been kind of in a shell of our own choosing. One that was both comforting and at the same time, confusing. We’ve given some thought to the upcoming holidays as these will be firsts for us without him. Those times when we must face things that were always comforting and yet now are different.
It’s in those kinds of moments that we can find wisdom. A way to cope with things that have changed. For us this year, we’ve decided to change our traditions. To do things on those special days a little differently simply to ease the burden that naturally comes with those firsts in our lives. As I thought of this, I realized that once again this was a problem I’d encountered before. A thing that had to be overcome in my past because you see, I was an addict. A slave to nicotine and with that slavery came the things that seemed to be normal to me, even as I created this normal with every endulgance into the addiction.
I created traditions that helped to feed my addiction with every passing day. Things that I expected to have happen such as the after dinner smoke or the coffee and cigarette on the deck in the mornings. The cigarette that gave me the confidence to walk down the road or drive. My days were filled with the traditions that I’d created as I continued defining myself by my belief in my addiction and the traditions that go with it.
And when I decided to quit, I found that for me finding ways to change those traditions was an important key to my freedom. For every time that I allowed myself a chance to smoke, I attached a kind of tradition to it. It was something that was expected in my mind not because it was written in some kind of cosmic stone but rather because that’s what I’d always done, and over time I had an expectation of this.
I found that by changing that expectation I was able to move more easily on from it and embrace something new because of it. Soon these new traditions WERE my traditions because my expectations of an event had changed. Sure it had to be learned but so too did the traditions I created in the first place. Like a holiday, the day itself is insignificant. It’s the expectation that we add to the day that makes it special, and because of this that expectation can be changed.
So never believe that your life is written in stone. Never think that what you expect to happen has to be your reality. We decide our traditions by the importance that we attach to them. To change that, all we have to do is change the expectation. Just a thought I had that I thought I’d share with all of you dedicated people.
If anyone asked me if quitting smoking was easy? I'll be saying HELL NO!!!! BUT if you asked me if quitting smoking was worth it? I'm saying HELL YES!!!! If you stop and think about how decades upon decades you smoked then it only stands to reason that it's bound to take time to relearn life without the smokes because every blessed thing we did was wrapped around them talking on the phone, before a meal, after a meal lighting up before starting the car for a drive, because your angry, stressed, sad, happy any emotion would do for that crutch like a job well done thankfully I finally wised up and made the decision to quit after 40 years of slavery of smoking at least 30 a day with at least a half dozen failed attempts at trying to quit with the help of this community I made it through and so can everyone because with the right Mindset we can do just about anything we put our minds to and quitting smoking is DOABLE and it's definetly the best gift that any of us will ever give ourselves which is the gift of LIFE!!!!!
Nothing to report really. Just sort of lingering (and perusing) the site when I can. Reached out to Quit 4 Life yesterday as an additional resource through my employer. Hanging onto music as an outlet.
I went out for a beer with a co-worker after work yesterday. Driving home later that night I had an absolutely INTENSE craving. This startled me; I'm at day 55 and clearly no longer in withdrawal. I couldn't understand where it came from.
Then it hit me: this was the first time I had gone out since I quit smoking. So this was the first time I got hit with the after-drinking trigger.
My number one trigger is driving. I have resisted that one at least 100 times, so that particular habit is broken (or at least fading). I haven't had to resist the after-drinking trigger before, so it was full-color. It will probably take me a few more times of pushing through that trigger before it fades to nothing.
I was pondering other situations where I got hit with a trigger "out of the blue"; like going to a certain store. I used to smoke in that parking lot (trees for shade). The first time I went back there after I had been quit maybe a week, was really tough. I was practically hyperventilating.
The lesson for me is to be aware. I don't know how many triggers I have out there, laying in wait, ready to pounce.
Test was done this morning after another episode of my neck swelling and shortness of breath. I was told with today being Friday, I probably will not get results until Monday. Praying for a positive outcome.
A small victory - I pulled off a surprise housewarming for my daughter and her husband in their new house in Richmond on Saturday. About 20-30 people were there off and on. When one of my friends pulled up, she said, "Oh good, Arthur (her husband) has a smoking partner!" I said to her, "Sue, I haven't smoked for 260+ days!" Damn, that felt good. Really good. The housewarming went off without a hitch. They had no clue and weren't pissed that I planned a party at their house
I'm still working hard on my diabetes and am off another medication. That's one BP medication and one diabetes medication I've gone off of since I quit smoking, for those who are keeping score. I'm eating very low carb and exercising in the pool, and my numbers are coming into normal range, not diabetic range. Oh, I still have the stupid disease, but it's my b i t c h now instead of the other way around
Bravo to all the new quitters. It is so wonderful to see this community grow and grow and grow.
I seem to only blog the negative things in my life. There are SOO many things going on right now that ARE negative that I don't want to complain about them here. I know it won't help a thing to smoke but I really want to right now. What the heck, the rest of my life is in the toilet so why not go back to the demon? Because I am completely wholly committed
to never smoking again. I really want to unload some baggage but don't want to be the sad sack, whiny, b++++ that I seem to excel at lately. Maybe if something positive happens (yeah right) I'll blog that. It's already started to be yet another s***y day in paradise! I'm going to go cry somewhere alone and try not to punch holes in walls. Maybe I'll blog t about the hell going on at a later date. Until then I'll try to be positive and helpful to the EX community!
I hope everyone is doing well. I have not been on here in a while but I am still not smoking. Thank you all once again for all the support. I know I should be on here more often but life has really thrown a curve ball to me.. I’m surprised I’m not smoking 3 packs a day .. but if anything I can say that I have managed to keep my quit constant.. today I’m coming here asking for prayers for my oldest daughter Dana.. she is currently in the hospital with pneumonia. They are not sure what has caused this but we do know that she was vaping for a couple of months . She’s very sick . We have an infectious disease doctor working with us now and pulmonologist they are wanting to do a broncoscopy to be able to test tissues.. they are treating her currently with antibiotics, steroids, etc. she has an 11 mth old daughter who I’m helping take care of as well with the help of my other daughters.. we just really need prayers right now for all of us.. thank you again ..
Lots has been happening in my life and most of it pretty amazing.
I know I've talked about going to a new doctor. He and I have been working on things that my last doctor didn't seem to have a handle on, and man, is it a blessing to have a doctor you can put your trust into! Now that my stomach woes are gone, my surgeries are all over, and I'm back at the pool swimming three times a week, it's time to address my ****** diabetes. For the last 6 days, I've been tackling a low carb (almost keto) diet at his suggestion. A little background - I take three meds for my diabetes, one of which is a blood sugar lowering drug; the other two work with my pancreas to encourage it to function better. In 6 short days, I am off of the blood sugar lowering drug because I was having blood sugar lows consistently. Amazing. And the quit smoking weight is starting to come off.
I mentioned swimming. That's why I had my shoulder repaired (twice!). I've been working for a few years to get back in the pool and swim laps. I'm going slow and my goal is to work in the water for an hour. Not all of it is swimming, but I'm there.
I haven't even begun to think of smoking. Getting out of the house and doing things that I enjoy is helping. On the way home from the gym today, I remembered all the times I had swam, showered, and got into my car just to light up. Not today. I'm really enjoying not being the one that stinks, is outside by the back door at my place of employment, and is wasting money on cigs.
Sorry I've been scarce. I come out here and read often. I have to. You guys help keep me smober. As we now wait to see what Dorian has in store for us, if anything, I smile and am glad to be alive.
(The update is at the end of the thread for those who’d like to read it)
Just wanted to drop by and leave a message for all of you dedicated people. It’s always a good feeling to write to all of you because even though so many are in the hardest fight of their lives, there’s still a sense of belief in a brighter future if we can just beat our addiction. And as so many have learned through experience, we really can! All we need is that amazing determination that comes from deep inside of us and of course understanding.
When I chose to quit, I studied all I could because there’s a kind of power that comes from knowing our enemies when we must fight them. And yes, I saw my addiction as an enemy that lived inside of me. One that over the years had become quite good at manipulating me and to be honest, I was terrified of fighting this monster that I’d allowed to grow within me for all of those years.
As I learned, I realized that my internal monster wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought. It was really a set of impulses sent from the brain that I allowed myself to react on for so long that I quit thinking about it. I realized that the addiction to nicotine was merely the catalyst of my addiction. The rest was all created my own mind. I realized that much of the fear I felt was simply two things. A reaction to my brain impulses that I’d learned to attach to my life as well as the thoughts that went with it. I realized that I’d have to learn how to control those thoughts as I fought my addiction.
I used a lot of tools to help me to do this, including what I called practice quits where I’d quit smoking for several hours and I’d observe how my addiction was creating these thoughts within me. The only difference to an actual quit was that at the end of that time, I knew I’d be able to smoke again. This helped to take much of the mystery out of my addiction and the more I learned, the more confident I became to the point that I began looking forward to my quit.
This understanding made it easier for me because it took away the fear of those first hard days and also helped me to understand that in reality, after the first days I’d simply be fighting my own thoughts without the baggage of the addiction to torture me. I chose to use the patches because I wanted to allow my mind some time to get out of the way of my own freedom. Even then, I continued to study my addiction. Each time I stepped down, I made a mental note of what it felt like with the understanding that when I take off the last patch, I’d be ready to continue without one.
All I can say is that my success came from understanding my addiction and my freedom came from a burning desire to see it. If you’ve already started your quit, keep learning! It’s never too late to understand what’s happening to you and if you haven’t quit yet then take a little time to understand your addiction and how it interacts with you because once you really understand it, you’ll no longer fear it and once the fear dissipates it leaves our mind room to form a cohesive plan. No matter what method you use, the most important thing is that you actually quit. There’s an incredible world out there. I look forward to the day that you not only see it, but feel it.
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!
I’ve begun working this new job and so far, though it’s hard to get going again, it’s been quite good for me. My mind has been too busy to create those scenarios that I always create because of my brains desire to protect itself from trauma. Also I don’t have much time afterward because I need to sleep sometime, leaving me just the right amount of time to see my wife and our dog.
I did just work a total of 36 hours with only four hours of sleep as I get used to working nights but like anything, the mind will eventually work things out if we give it a little time. Switching to a vampire's schedule can be difficult, but I have experience with that from my past job of running inventories. Some that started at midnight.
I’m waiting for a couple of weeks before I restart therapy for PTSD as I need to get my mind and body acclimated to this new kind of living, but I haven’t given up on doing the therapy starting in a couple of weeks. All in all, doing well and looking forward to the future again instead of just automatically fearing it. I hope all is well for all of you!
I reached the one month mark. It is, perhaps, a time of celebration, but I prefer cautious optimism.
This is a danger zone for me. I am quit enough that I don't feel as though I need to stay so close to this site for support. I also know from past experience that I am not really ready to stand on my own, either. Smoking is not just an addiction to a chemical. It is a habit. A habit I reinforced with every single puff on every single cigarette. I know I am over the withdrawal from nicotine. I know am NOT over the deeply ingrained habit of picking up a cigarette.
A major part of my written quit plan was to check in every day in order to anchor myself to my commitment.
Failing to check in every day, and not blogging every day, and not sticking to my Plan is the reason past quits have crumbled.
So here I am, needing to come back to the basics and remind myself of what works.
Quitting sounds like it should be passive - just don't smoke. But it isn't; it is a process and an activity that requires practice. Lots and lots of practice.
Woohoo, I made it to day three everyone! The support from the group has been a great help! When I am craving I use the text message program, I come look at the comments here and interact, I read up on quitting info and look at the Quit Smoking app to see how many hours I am into it and what milestones I have achieved. I have been using hard candy, pens and straws to help with the cravings as well and A LOT of deep breathing. Soooo much deep breathing, lol! I am still doing the thing where I will search for my vape pen, so I have been trying to just grab a regular pen as a sub or the straw. It's not much different than quitting regular smoking except that there are more places that I had to break the habit of using in. You can get away with vaping EVERYWHERE and at least with regular cigarettes you have to go outside and it is way harder to sneak since they smell so damn bad. (my husband would ALWAYS know if I snuck cigs, even after I washed up etc). Well, I'm going to keep checking in and going strong! There have been some weak moments where I came close to giving in and having support has made the difference this time around! Thanks all!