Monday was probably the toughest day so far, even though it began with my sassy rendition of You Don't Own Me. The day went way downhill from there. Until Monday, I hadn't had to cope with unexpected anger and stress while trying not to smoke. I managed it, but just barely.
First, there was a surprise state survey at work. That's normal, but always stressful. I stayed about 2 hours later than usual, and was frantically trying to help gather what they need to conduct their survey. I did find myself saying, "No, I don't do that anymore" repeatedly, as those images of a smoke break invaded my thoughts.
Then, I come home, and my dear youngest, a 13 year-old boy undergoing tumultuous hormonal changes, apparently, was sullen, rude, and downright mean. I was the allegedly stable adult in the room, but I didn't behave like one. My ability to cope at that point was pretty depleted, and I cried. Ugly cried. I couldn't stop. It took 15 minutes in the bathroom (washing face, blowing nose, counting to 10, counting to 10 again, etc.) and a 30-minute walk with the dogs to bring myself under control.
Again, I found myself saying, "No, I don't do that anymore" when everything in me wanted to use all this as an excuse to cave into old ways of comforting myself. A false comfort, no doubt, but still.
After the walk, I forced myself to go into my room alone and do 15 minutes of pilates and stretching and 10 minutes of meditation.
The theme of the meditation was letting go of the past and living in the present moment. Hmmm. I wanted OUT of the present moment, because it wasn't feeling so great. But, it also reminded me that I'm trying to let go of the past: past habits, past thinking patterns, past behaviors. In the present moment, I do not smoke. So, it ended up reinforcing the quit. Yay, meditation.
Somehow, I coped and made it through to this morning, Tuesday, which marks week one WON (as long as I actually make it all the way through today, but I will). That surveyor will be with us until early Thursday, but I think I can handle it.
I will handle it for many reasons, not the least of which is that I'm looking forward to Friday and my first quit reward: a day off, an appointment at my favorite salon in the morning, a late afternoon massage, and dinner with my husband afterward. You bet I'm going to make it until Friday!
Thanks again for all your support. I love knowing that I can come here to read, reflect, learn, interact, and write. It's a blessing, a boost, and, I believe, the reason this quit is going far better for me than previous ones.
Have a beautiful, smoke-free Tuesday!
P.S. I don't know if anyone notices or even really cares (I probably wouldn't notice, either), but each of my blog posts has a banner photo. From the beginning, I've chosen banner photos from our travels, hikes, and walks. I choose them to remind me that I want to be able to do that comfortably again: travel and enjoy nature, without the physical and other limitations that being a smoker imposes. I was very close to not being able to really hike. My breathing couldn't support it. And I used to love to travel. But, the more addicted I became, the more I allowed it to control my travel. 8-plus hours without a smoke? No way. Being in shape to endlessly walk and explore new cities? Not really. So, the photos remind me of another reason I want to quit. This particular photo is of buildings on a picture-perfect peninsula in Italy. I was fortunate to visit this town twice. When I was there, I'd walk down to this peninsula early in the morning, order a cappuccino at an outdoor restaurant, and write in my journal as I sat by the lake, watching the ferry come and go to the island in the middle. I could see the island from where I sat each morning, and the beautiful Catholic church that rises from its center. It began life as an ancient basilica in the 5th century. Those were peaceful mornings, and I'd love to go back someday and experience them again.