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7 Posts authored by: crazymama_Lori
crazymama_Lori

My Final Farewell

Posted by crazymama_Lori Mar 19, 2017

I want to thank each and every one of you that helped me over the year to get me to where I am today.  My time spent on this site has finally reached its end.  I will pop in from time to time to shoot you a link to something that helped me along the way to those that are twirling, going in circles.

 

For those of you struggling to maintain your quit or even trying to reach the year mark, please realize that quitting is a process.  It doesn't end overnight, after NML, after you reach a year.  It's imperative that you come to an agreement with yourself that you were once dependent on nicotine, you will be psychologically dependent on nicotine if you maintain that hold on it.  Cigarettes do not calm you, relax you, comfort you.  You only THINK they do.  You are the one giving them the power.  You are allowing them the power.  

 

Take the time to figure out the why, understand the why, take the why out of the equation.  It's the why that's screwing you up, the why I smoke.  Make a list of all the reasons why you smoke, why you light up.  Take the time to figure it out.  It won't take long, but put some effort into it.  Use the NRTs as a tool, an aid, something to only assist you in quitting smoking.  There is nothing created anywhere that will take the physical withdrawal away.  They will make it easier, but it's still there.  You need to go through that month to realize how your body has been affected.  The body is a wondrous thing.  It can rejuvenate itself.

 

Think of yourself as a crumbling wall.  As you continue to keep smoking, you're breaking apart bit by bit.  When you quit, each bit is being repaired slowly.  You may never be the complete wall as you were before, but there will be a pretty good resemblance of it.  Dig your heels in.  Finally decide for yourself that enough is enough.  No one likes to be controlled.  Conquer this one last important fight, this war, once and for all.  You are the conquistador.  Stop the merry-go-around, the see-saw of quitting.

crazymama_Lori

The Test Drive

Posted by crazymama_Lori Feb 20, 2017

Okay.  You're about 2 1/2 to 3 months into your quit.  You're feeling mighty confident.  You might still be going through some emotional up and downs, but not as bad as they were when you first started this.  You're starting to notice that the wheezing has gone away.  Some have more stamina.  Some complain of still being tired.  Some have noticed that their concentration has finally returned.  That fuzzy head feeling has gone away. You're feeling pretty confident these days.

 

You notice that you can be around smokers now.  It doesn't bother you as much as you thought it would.  Anticipation of the event far outweighs the reality.  You're reaching into the 6-month mark now and feeling even better.  I'm liking this whole new non-smoking thing going on.  You've learned a lot about yourself over these past few months.  Learned about what kicks up that craving or what I like to call a strong urge to just pick one up and give it a test.  I've gone this long.  A couple hits or drags isn't going to hurt.  I've gone this long.  Come on, it ain't going to hurt you.

 

That's what I call the test drive.  The uncontrollable urge to just see if it stuck or not.  If truly this time was the last time.  I won't go back to a pack again.  I don't want to go back through all that again.  Or it might take another twist of nobody listens to me.  Nobody includes me in anything anymore.  Why do I even bother?  STOP.  Isn't that what got you here in the first place?  Didn't you have this conversation with yourself many, many times before?  What did you use the last time when you went back to smoking?  What was your excuse that time?

 

The physical hold of this whole nicotine dependence is a piece of cake compared to the psychological hold it has.  How we used the cloak of smoke to envelope our deepest darkest emotions.  How it swirled around them and made them seem bearable at the time.  Take this time to learn how to love yourself once again, become comfortable with yourself again, truly believe that you have the power and the skills to cope with life again.  Smoking is not your answer, nor is it the question.  Smoking is just a word.  It's no longer an action to you anymore....... believe that.

crazymama_Lori

Fool's Gold

Posted by crazymama_Lori Feb 18, 2017

Sometimes the word "addict" can be too strong for a person, a simple word.  Sometimes with some people the choice of reliance or dependency is more fitting.  But nevertheless, it is what it is.  We here are not the occasional smoker.  We cannot just simply stop at one cigarette or one puff.  We have to smoke the whole thing and then rummage around for more.  If you want to use the word habit, vice, it all comes swirling down to the same thing.  The eventual comment of oh, I'm not that bad.  I can quit anytime I want to.  The realization of nicotine dependency, you need nicotine, you crave nicotine, you want nicotine, a cigarette was only the way to get it.  You might fool yourself into thinking oh, I'm only having two or three a day.  My come back would be why?  Why are you having those two or three a day?  Why are you hanging on to those so closely?  What are those replacing for you that you cannot simply give them up?  Think back of when your children had their favorite stuffed animal or a blanket that they carried around and wouldn't let it go.  Even though it was missing a leg or had reduced down to a small corner, they weren't giving that up.  Why?  It gave them comfort.  It gave them security.  Is that what that cigarette is doing for you now? 

 

Now, going back to the subject at hand.  The added illusion nowadays are e-cigs.  Big tobacco companies are jumping on the band wagon and marketing these as the way to stop smoking.  The connection of smoking and nicotine is now separated.  They never did tell you in their campaign it's the nicotine that is the problem.  It's the nicotine that makes you run back for more, the drug that they can legally stick in the form of e-juice.  But, you know, these will get you to quit smoking.  You'll be addicted to the e-juice now, but you're no longer smoking cigarettes.  Let the games begin......

 

Nicotine is a natural product of tobacco, occurring in the leaves in a range of 0.5 to 7.5% depending on variety. Nicotine also naturally occurs in smaller amounts in plants from the family Solanaceae (such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant).  Isn't that a kicker?  Potatoes, who knew.

 

Then we now have The "Natural American Spirit" cigarette, marketed here as "100% Chemical Additive-Free Tobacco." American Spirit cigarettes contain 36 percent free-base nicotine, compared with 9.6 percent in a Marlboro, 2.7 percent in a Camel, and 6.2 percent in a Winston.  36 percent, wow.  Again the illusion again back in the '70s when they came out with the Now brand that was marketed to have 0.5 mg of nicotine per cigarette.  These were professed to be better for you.  Cough syrup in the olden days were made with cannabis and cocaine.  They were professed to be non-habit forming.

 

Then we come around full circle to the pharmaceutical industry.  Chantix, generic Chantix, Wellbutrin, Zyban.  Coverage by the insurance company is a crap shoot.  Some will cover them and others will not.  I personally think they should market these as only helping with the withdrawal symptoms, but does not address the psychological element.  Some are under the illusion that these products will magically stop your need for smoking and it will magically go away.  Listen to one of their commercials.  They give such false hope.  They allude you into thinking that without these products you could never quit and stay quit.  I've seen on here even throughout the year that some have forgotten to take their pill, their lozenge, their patch, their gum after going through the motions for a good 4 months, then relapse and blame it on not taking their NRT or medication.  Those things did not make you go back to smoking because you forgot to take them.  You made yourself go back to smoking because you didn't stop yourself and think.  Sometimes it's just the illusion of fool's gold. We'll make you think this is doing all the work.  Here's a list of 22 smoking cessation products out right now and their ratings:  Compare 22 Smoking Cessation Medications | Drugs.com.  Each have comments to them.  These products only help with the physical withdrawal, to lessen it some, but they do not take them completely away.

 

Nothing will take away your urge to smoke.  Only you can take away your urge to smoke.  You take away your urge to smoke by understanding the reason for why you smoke in certain circumstances.  I've done my homework.  I know now when that urge comes upon me why it's popping up and I can stop it dead in its tracks.  When I first quit, I believed everything drove that urge.  There's only a few things now in retrospect that drives that urge.    When my few things pop up now, I know what to do to drop it, halt it because I've learned the signs.  Your signs might be anxiety, loneliness, anger, frustration, sadness, boredom, excessive worry.  Everyone, smoker or not, have those exact same things.  We just react to them differently.  We cope with life in general differently.  But as humans we are capable of learning or relearning certain behavior.  Cognitive thinking to change the outcome of certain situations.  Our minds are powerful things.  Our inner resolve, our commitment, our willpower is strong.  Always remember, my friends, you can do anything you put your mind to, anything..........  

crazymama_Lori

Jack in the Box

Posted by crazymama_Lori Feb 17, 2017

Just a little something I wrote back almost a year ago.  Seems like we all start off at the same jumping off point, don't we?  ........

Are we the Type A personality?

Blog Post created by crazymama_Lori on Mar 10, 2016

 

Now that I don't have a cigarette in my hand, I've realized how tightly wrapped I am.  Read a post on here a while back that said us smokers never have patience for anything, we want it and and we want it now; we want it to happen and happen right now.  How very true that is.  The whole relearning concept is enlightening.  

Back when I was in the "workforce," actually going to a workplace all day (I'm self-employed now), I used smoking as relaxation ever since I was 16 years old.  Smoking on breaks, lunch, when getting off of work.  When I was in the "cutting back" phase, I was still using it that way and it was no wonder why that approach never worked.  I was still using it as relaxation.  Coffee was never my trigger.  I think that was the only one on that list that wasn't.  I used smoking for frustration, anger, relief, sadness, relaxation, boredom.  Okay, life in general.

Now that I have to relearn everything again, I deep breathe, rationalize, talk myself through it, think of why is this popping up.  Read a post on here yesterday actually about a young woman not being able to identify and replace any of those triggers.  My first thought was just think of it as relearning how to walk.  It's something we do unconsciously.  But when we're unable to, we have to think about it to relearn it.  That's just where I am right now at this minute........ baby steps, keep calm, keep going

This is something I wrote back in December when there were so many relapses and what they call stinkin' thinkin'.  I could have posted a link to it, but it wouldn't have the cool banner..............

 

There's so many good articles on this site concerning relapses, slip-ups, whatever you want to call it. I call it going back to an old friend. You see we all used smoking for different reasons. Some used it for comfort. Just to have that gray cloud envelope us as we are dealing with personal issues or a traumatic event. Some will rock back and forth for comfort or using shivering as a release of tensions, anger. The mind sometimes will go back to what it knows in times of stress if we don't teach it other ways of coping or take the time to identify what it is that draws us back in.

 

I'm not saying you have to sit on a mountain top and ponder the universe and life's meaning. But as you are struggling with the idea to smoke or not to smoke, instead of fixating on that cigarette, fixate on what it is that is drawing you to it. The answer is there. If you take a few minutes to look, you're going to find it. A very good article on this site is written by Giulia, REPLAY THE RELAPSE. There's several posts on there that one can read about how easy it is to fall back into what we know so well. Another one that I found helpful for myself is: Relapse Prevention. This has stories from members about their relapses and their triumphs. Another good article to read is What should I do if I start smoking again after I quit? - Quit Smoking - Sharecare . I think Dr. Oz (who personally I think looks like spock) has a very good take on a relapse, slip-up.  This article shows three opinons about the subject.

 

I'm just going to bring up my riding the bike analogy. Think back of how many times you fell off that thing until you finally got the hang of it. Banged up knees, skinned up elbows never stopped any of us. We were right back at it to get it right. Smoking is the same thing. It's something we did 30 to 60 to however many times a day over and over. Sometimes not even needing to smoke. We just did it. You find yourself in a weak moment and don't want to blog, use that search bar on the right-hand side of your screen. Type in a word or a feeling you're having. There's going to be an answer. Somewhere at some time someone on here has been through it. Stick with us. We'll get you to where you need to be.

How many times have we said that to ourselves in the past or maybe you're even saying it to yourself now.  Believe it or not smoking does not relieve your stress.  Have you ever noticed after about a half-hour to an hour you're right back to where you were in the first place, just running out to get your relaxation again?  Hmmm, might not really be relaxing you after all.  Here's a good article I found that explains the illusion.   The Mental Effects of Nicotine Use and Tobacco Addiction 

stumbled across this article yesterday while searching for something else.  Some love him.  Some hate him.  Some just think that he's a dog and pony show, but interesting how basically they all say the same thing, isn't it?  Seven Steps to Breaking Your Addiction | Dr. Phil 

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