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6 Posts authored by: Angie-Lah

2708 days

Posted by Angie-Lah Dec 28, 2017

Hello friends  It's been a while. Again. I'm still smoke free. I found an online community that's more focused on my other issues, so I've been spending a lot of time there, but I still like to check in every now and then at home, so to speak  2708 days smoke free. 7.5 years. Sometimes it feels like I was never a smoker, like maybe that 10 years I spent as one was really the anomaly. There's a statement I used to see on here all the time and I feel like it applies to so many things, I don't know who to attribute it to, I didn't come up with it, but it's so perfectly true. ~I'd rather be a former smoker who occasionally desires a cigarette, than a smoker who constantly desires to quit.~


I never really experience the desire to smoke anymore. I still dream about it sometimes. Even second hand smoke gives me such terrible headaches still that I can't imagine going back to it. Hope all is well with everyone and I hope you all enjoy a smoke free holiday. Happy New Year <3



Posted by Angie-Lah Aug 23, 2017

I hardly ever dream about smoking, but when I do it's usually a pretty vivid dream. My dreams over the last few nights have been especially vivid. Probably has something to do with me coming up on a month of sobriety as well, I sleep better at night than I was the first few weeks. I dreamed the other night that I was at Dad's funeral service, but he was still alive. It was nearly lucid dreaming because dream me knew that he wasn't really alive, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that. It made me cry in the dream so I started to walk away from him before I would have to explain my tears. He asked me where I was going and I turned back and asked "Do you want me to stay with you?" He said, "Well, yea." (With that ~ duh ~ look he would give me sometimes when I asked something silly). I sat down and held his hand, and could barely catch my breath I was sobbing so hard. It upset me enough that it woke me from a dead sleep and I woke my husband up crying. It feels like a mixed blessing, because I feel that I got to hold his hand again, but it was also like re-experiencing his death all over again. I fell back asleep within a half hour or so and immediately fell into a dream where I was with family and friends and was smoking, and sneaking around to get to booze without my husband knowing about it. I hate dreaming about it, because it almost feels like I actually committed the deed, that's how vivid my dreams are now.


Doubling down on protecting my quit, feel especially vulnerable these days but I'm keeping in mind that smoking and drinking won't make anything I'm feeling any better. It may temporarily delay having to deal with it, but then I'll still have to deal with it, on top of losing all my progress. 7 years smoke free, nearly one month sober.



Posted by Angie-Lah Aug 10, 2017

I have a nifty little counter app on my phone that keeps track of the days it's been since I quit, and the average amount of money I've saved based on how much cigarettes were when I quit. Given that they've gone up dramatically since 2010, I'm pretty sure it's more than what it shows, but still! I've saved $14,700 since I quit smoking. Woo-hoo! (And on a side note, I hit 2 weeks of sobriety tomorrow). Happy almost weekend everyone



Posted by Angie-Lah Aug 1, 2017

Thank you all for the messages of congratulations on my 7 years. It wasn't always easy, but it has been 100% worth it. I've always been honest with this group, sometimes in a way I'm not even honest with my own family, and I see no reason to stop that tradition now. This last 8 months or so has been so rough for me. I won't rehash everything because I know you guys already know. I never turned back to cigarettes. Somehow the nicotine neural pathways of addiction were shut down and I've never felt a desire to ruin my quit or make my stress worse by relapsing.


I am here to offer a word to the wise about those neural pathways though. Sometimes, when we think we've shut down one path of addiction, another one opens itself. In the last 8 months or so (although I've always been a pretty hard partier, I come from a long line of them) my drinking has taken a turn for the worse. Any time we'd get bad news about Dad, I'd turn to the bottle to numb those feelings of trauma and impending loss. I held it together all the way up until after he passed away and then within a few days of his funeral, I spiraled. I lied to my husband about my drinking, I came up with clever ways to obtain alcohol without him knowing about it, and I let myself believe that I was in control of it. I wasn't, and I've sought out help for this. I won't allow another substance to take 10 years of my life in a constant struggle to reassert control.


It's been 7 years since I quit smoking, but as a nicotine addict, please know that it's oh so easy to allow your addictive personality to turn to something else. Something just as, if not worse.


Luckily for me, thanks to friends and family, I already have an incredible support system in place. Because I did spiral so quickly, I was able to seek out help before I did any permanent damage to myself and my relationships with others, and somehow miraculously no damage to my career or legal troubles. Others aren't so lucky and I hold on to the thought that this could have turned out so much worse.


I hope I'm not judged too harshly for this. It was hard to admit this because everyone in my family has always joked that drinkers that quit are "weak." I think if I told any of my casual friends or co-workers that I had a drinking problem, they'd be astounded. I've always been somewhat of a perfectionist; an MBA, a good career, great performance reviews. Drinkers come in all walks of life. I'm not ashamed of it anymore because I know that I'm not weak. Weak would be staying in denial and hurting the people around me by valuing the alcohol more than I value them. I recognize that addiction is a disease, and I'm going to excise it just like I did with nicotine. I hope that you'll wish me luck, and I wish all of our newbies just quitting smoking the best of luck as well. My word of advice for the day is always be on guard. Against just one cigarette, against the ease in which you could slip into another habit, and against the possibility that you may be deluding yourself. Always be on guard.


Thank you all for your support through the years. Much love <3




Dad the Prankster

Posted by Angie-Lah Jun 30, 2017

I hope you'll bear with me as I share another long, non-smoking related post. I will caveat the beginning of this with, lung cancer sucks. Quit smoking, find your reason why or it won't stick. Quit for you and stay strong.


One of the things talked about in memory of Dad yesterday was how much of a prankster he was. I knew this first hand.


When I was little, probably around 8, I was at my Grandmother's house for dinner. I'd been outside playing, probably in the dirt with a spoon cuz why not? Dinner was a relaxed affair so I wasn't inside when it was being cooked and just came inside when I got hungry.


When I went in, Dad told me he had deer meat and did I want some? I didn't ask what kind, jerky, stew, roast, steak; it didn't matter. I love deer meat so much I'll take it any way I can get it. I was never a hunter, I just always reaped the rewards of my father's efforts. I remember at around 4 or 5 selling the opportunity to neighborhood kids on Fort Campbell to come see the hanging deer for $1 a peek; I think dad was impressed by my entrepreneurial spirit as much as he was creeped out by a tiny tow headed girl inviting people over to see a dead deer.


I digress. I was so excited by the chance at deer meat that I ran over for a bite without looking at what was on his plate. He already had a piece ready on the fork and I enthusiastically chomped down. I'd pay good money today to see how my face instantly changed. I immediately ran to the garbage spitting it out, gagging, yelling Daddy! Don't eat it! The meats spoiled!!


If you knew Dad you'd know at this point he's so tickled his whole body is shaking with laughter, his heads down, probably hand on his chest. He looked up at me with tears of mirth in his eye, wiping them with his signature back pocket handkerchief and choked out, no baby, the meats not spoiled, THAT'S CATFISH!


I freaking hate seafood. Unless its $50 a plate Chilean Sea Bass from Ruth's Chris, don't bring that crap anywhere near my face.


Like raisin cookies masquerading as chocolate chip, my trust issues began at this tender age.


I joke. My dad inspired the kind of love and loyalty that would decades later move my husband to take my maiden name. It is fun at gatherings with people that knew Dad, knew he had a daughter, and know her husband's last name is the family name and explain that: yes, this is KY, but no, I did not marry my brother. He took our name.


I still remember the day we told him. He looked at us in happy disbelief and immediately teared up. He's always considered Trent a third son. As far as I can recall, through my whole life, that was something else Dad was never stingy with. His tears. He was one of the most masculine men I've ever known and the paragon of what's considered manly, but unlike the stereotype he never hid his emotions. I loved taking the time to pick out father's day cards that had something relevant to us written on it because I knew he felt that love and would always show us. He missed my MBA graduation in May but when I showed up to the hospital in full cap and gown with the degree he cried. And it didn't make me feel good to know that the missing of that graduation made him cry, but it did make me feel good that I, and my accomplishments, meant so much to him.

I'll end this here because I could go on about him forever. I couldn't say these things yesterday because there's no way I would have made it through. I don't regret it though because I know he knew how much I loved him. I'll always have that for the rest of my life, the comfort of knowing that I was so loved and that even though I'm not religious, in my darkest moments, I can still feel him with us. I know he's watching over us and like his long stride when I was a child, he's patiently waiting on the rest of us to join him.


I love you Dad. Always have, still do, always will.



Radio Silence

Posted by Angie-Lah Jun 27, 2017

I just want to thank all of you for your kind words to me after my father's passing. I've been in radio silence the last few days dealing with the grief. The veteran cemetery doesn't have a service open until Jun 29th so the pending funeral has dragged out our grieving process. I'm better today than I was yesterday, and I'll be better tomorrow than I am today. The next two days of visitation and funeral will be rough but I'll get through it. Thank you all again. This community is nothing short of amazing.


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