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Summer again!

Posted by Bree19 Sep 25, 2017

Thinking about warnings from the Wise Ones about seasonal changes which may be unexpected triggers for the first couple of years or so.   


I quit on 27 February – hottest month of summer here until mid-March which is when autumn supposedly starts….but it never does.  We have no autumn.  March continues to be hot, humid and only bearable in the pool. 


We don’t have your gorgeous colour changes in nature.  Mid to end-April the temperatures drop from 36degrees down to anything between 0 to 15 degrees, depending what part of the country you’re in. And the leaves just turn brown and fall off the trees.    Up here it’s sunny in the daytime but freezing, electric blanket cold at night.  In the Cape it rains right throughout winter – I know for sure; lived there for 10 brilliant years.  The Free State in the centre of the country can only be called arctic.


So by August everyone’s had enough of winter and JUST when you start grumbling, up climb the temps slowly for a couple of weeks and BAM!  Summer’s back from mid-September to end April.  The only way we recognise spring, is when we smell Jasmine – but that also only lasts a couple of weeks.  Ain’t Africa grand!?


So, although I’ve been quit only 7 months, I’ve lived through supposedly 4 season changes and more importantly my quit has survived 4 seasons. 


Tonight…yay!... the first thunderstorms of summer!  It’s such an exciting feeling when you see the first lightning and the thunder starts rolling in from Johannesburg’s side.  After the storm tonight we’ve had steady rain falling for a couple of hours.  Now the lightning and thunder moves on up the country, leaving behind the fresh-smelling breeze wafting through the doors and windows.  Magic.  Summer’s back!  And I'm smoke free!


I’m so lucky the seasons flashed by without having any effect on my quit.  But Christmas AND New Year are 3 months away but really, the way time flies by, just around the corner and this is going to be my first really big test.   Friends, family, entertaining, being entertained, food, drink, music, pool parties – oh I’m going to have to be so vigilant and protective of my quit.   


I’m going to revisit my toolkit and re-read all bookmarked blogs – and just read and plan ahead to be ready for the smoky onslaught.  (Might even make it to the end of A Carr’s book, finally!)   


A LOT of our friends and some of my family are regular life-long smokers.  Everyone knows I’ve quit and wouldn’t offer me any – but the packs lie around unattended on tables and I KNOW those crappy little sticks still know my name. 


Me thinks I should make like a newbie and prepare again the way I did in Feb.  Cut those straws, buy some gum, read, read, read.  Now is not the time to be complacent. 


Who’s joining me to prepare and strengthen ourselves and our quits through the coming holidays?!!


200  Days!

Posted by Bree19 Sep 15, 2017

It's very late here (nearly 2am) and I MUST go to bed.  But not before I give a shout out to every wise one (OK Elders) who helped me get this far.  I might not blog every day but I read every day - every word that's new that day.  It's helped to steady me when I felt wonky, or encourage me when I felt helpless and always a lot of smiling in between.  For me, the humour is so important.  


If you are reasonably new to this site it's the best advice I can give.  Read everything every day - new blogs and all comments - it will surprise you when you find a comment written to someone else but sounding like it's just what you needed to hear at that particular moment.


Mjust also mention that not everyone who helped me is a Wise One yet.  People who quit after me also teach me something everyday and I am so grateful for know I have some people looking over my shoulder and cheering me on.


Thanks for celebrating my success/milestone with me today!  Onward to 300!!

Hugs and love to everyone.



Write a little every day

Posted by Bree19 Sep 7, 2017

Thank you EVERYONE for your helpful, positive responses on my previous blog.  Instead of making me cry, you inspired me to go visit Kat - such a bad head cold, poor pregnant petal - (Mommy and chocolate nearly cured her!)


Anyhooo...they live a little outside Pretoria - in a 6 unit complex surrounded by open land, farms, riding schools, small holdings, sheep, cows (COWS!).  Not my happiest moment when they left civilisation and moved 17 Kms further away from me.  15Km of paved potholes ending with a 2 Km DIRT ROAD (no less).  Much too outdoorsy for me  - all that fresh air!!  But I took an extra Urbanol, bit my lower lip,  put my foot down and had a lovely (very fast) trip out to, what you all refer to as, the great outdoors.


But see, I KNEW I should have stayed at home.  Driving back 2 hours later an orange strangely shaped light came on.  NEVER seen it before - My Toyota RunX does not ever give me any grief.  So, heart in my throat I once again raced home - yes I used the mobile to phone the AA (Automobile Assoc.) while speeding - sorry.  I was scared.  The heating thingy on the dashboard shot up to red, then dropped back to normal, there was a loud humming sound from the engine ALL the way home.  It was 5pm traffic.  I pulled in at the Engen Garage (filling station) - Not one brain cell between them.  Threw a U-ie and aimed for home.


NOTE:  Didn't occur to me to go inside for a pack of cigs!!!


Derek and the AA were waiting when I got home.  There was no water in the radio thingy or something.  Kettles were boiled, lots of to-ing and fro-ing.  Baby got fixed and has enough water now.  Husband (bless him) forgot to do his car maintenance thing this past weekend with oil and water and such.  So he's forgiven, car is good, I'm going for either wool or a haircut tomorrow...AND I STILL WON'T SMOKE!

Hugs to all


Ps.  How lame is it that I'm HAPPY HAPPY America's Got Talent Season 12 is here?!


Depressing depression

Posted by Bree19 Sep 4, 2017

Well hello there everyone!


I so regret not being able to blog regularly about living through my quit (189 days and counting.)  I can’t say something about it every day or once a week like others do.  It would have given me a record for the future to look back on my journey (highs and lows) as well as simply creating a permanent journal of what was going on in my life at certain points.  It makes me sad having lost an opportunity.  But then most things make me sad.  I also stopped writing/journaling 2 years ago – gave it a new try when I originally quit this year, but journaled twice and not again.


Blogging here also gives me a safe place to vent, cry, cheer, celebrate, have mood swings and discuss this depression that’s simply not shifting.  And I know this is a safe place.  And the best place.  And I know all of you have my back and you’re the last people who will ever judge – I’ve only ever had positive support from everyone.  So I don’t understand what makes me so reticent about sharing my experiences and thoughts.  I’m on here every day twice to see what’s happening so I know I’m not the only one with depression or other MUCH more serious physical problems.  I’m blessed with a strong quit, no cravings, my health (‘s far’s I know) and life should be a bowl of cherries.


But I’m spiralling day after day.  I haven’t left the house except to the doctor for an ear infection and I still go to weigh day on Tuesday afternoons (don’t know why – I’m not following the programme or losing anything!) – and doing those few things only happen with serious anxiety and panic and dizziness.  So I can’t drive alone which used to be one of my favourite things to do.  Since being retrenched and selling our 2nd car, I really miss the daily commute to and from work and yet I now get irrational at the thought of having to go for a hair appointment or anything else.  My throat closes up, I hyperventilate, shake, get the chills and obviously go light headed.


My lack of feeling any kind of joy or anticipation or pleasure also makes going out quite unnecessary in my eyes.   There’s nothing out there to cheer me up so why bother?  I’ve lost interest in most everything.  Even the novelty of quitting is waaay behind me.  It’s done.  I’m a non-smoker intending to stay that way for my grandbaby so there’s nothing to say about quitting.  I stopped 27 February, I didn’t waver or pay heed to any smoky thoughts;  I despised the world week 1 and 2.  Those weeks passed and I still don’t know what a craving feels like.


None of this is new or unfamiliar. No reason to feel sorry for me – I’ve had depression/anxiety/panic/anhedonia for 32 years.  I have all the “tools”, medication, breathing, distraction, getting busy (washing dishes and changing bed linen calms me right down), but that moment I have to go through the front door to the car, is just terrifying.  Mostly I cancel appointments 2-3 times before I actually get myself to go.  When I have NO choice, I force myself but cry all the way to wherever we’re going.  Coming home afterwards calms me right down and I laugh at myself and the idiotic reactions I had when we left the house.  I can happily handle Derek making 5 stops before we reach home – we’re heading HOME, not AWAY anymore, so I feel safer and safer the closer we get.


I won’t sit outside on the patio or go anywhere in the garden anymore.  I’ve stopped walking for exercise because I have to go out the front door.  I am becoming more and more sedentary and I can feel my bionic knees wobbling a bit and not being as strong as they were.  My exercises indoors are not enough to keep them “oiled” and working well.  Yes, I’ve even tried dancing.  I mostly make sure there’s always music playing.  Music is a huge help when I get lonely.  That’s all fine and dandy as long as I remain safely in the house.  Outside is simply unsafe and whatever it is I imagine will happen to me will only happen outside not inside.  So inside is where I remain.  I’ve lost contact with every friend I’ve ever had – not just through my own ridiculous condition – South Africans tend to flee the country every time Zuma does something stupid – most of my friends are in Perth, Adelaide, UK, Vancouver, Switzerland, America…and no matter how hard people try to stay in touch, new lives blossom wherever they find themselves and they slowly lose touch with previous friends in South Africa (it’s not only me they stop contacting but other friends as well – I’m really not being paranoid about it).


There’s the brilliant news that I’m to become a Glamma in March and I’m itching to crochet and knit.  I’ve downloaded & printed dozens of patterns but… wool is at the shop.  So I’m in the process of psyching myself up for an afternoon including a haircut at my SIL’s salon, a visit to Kat and a stop at the wool shop on the way home.   SIL is furthest away then closer to home is Kat and closest is wool shop.  I think I have it sorted out so except for the first stop, I keep making my way home not away.  The only “away” is Salon.  But Renate already knows I may not turn up for my hair cut – thank goodness for angelic sisters in law – but you never know I may surprise us all.


This is why I don’t blog.  I go down side roads and get caught up in chattering.


So, ending on a positive note – today I heard a cat crying and I HAD to check if it was any of mine.  I checked outside and all my cats were sleeping in or under favourite trees so no harm there….and realised.... I’m outside!  I hovered a bit aiming to go back in then the thought of maybe telling you all something good, made me walk around the house and garden twice.  I ended on the patio at the side and sat looking at what needs doing, planting, moving.  It was wonderful.  No uneven heart beats or chests closing up, no dizzy head or ringing in my ears.  Just a normal person sitting on her patio contemplating a possible trip to the nursery this weekend – BUT NO PROMISES!


This one REALLY was too long!   Thanks for reading.  Thanks for being there, always.  Thanks for understanding I’m not crazy, just deeply dippy.


Enjoy Labour Day!

Bree xoxoxoxox


Ps.  I KNOW I should be blogging about not smoking.  But I've quit and lived through it and it's over so I have no insights to share!   REALLY not Best of Ex material!!