The journey began with my trainer and I going through my pantry and identifying each item and showing each one to Jade. Then we put the items back on the shelf in alphabetical order and placed a marker at the end of each starting letter. We would start at the end of one shelf and call the letter out and the item by name such as 'G' green beans and Jade would go to the G section and I would slide my hand down the shelf and when I got to the green beans he would nudge my leg. I thought that was a clever way to organize my pantry but still did not see how that was going to help me in the store to find what I needed.
I kept my chin up and loaded up in the vehicle with Jade in tow and my list in braille. Ya know that is hard to learn! haha
As we entered the store my trainer asked the clerk what was the order of the shelves, example did they start with A from the center of the midway or did they loop. Our store loops meaning that you start with the first aisle on your left hand side and that is the beginning of the alphabet and you come back down the aisle on the right and it will bring you back to the midway at the end of the alphabet.
Produce was easy, I could tell by feel what I had in my hand, I would hold it down for Jade to smell and tell him the item name. So far so good, I had peaches, apples, onions, blackberries, lettuce and tomatoes. Then we went to the back of the store for milk, cheese, yogurt, fruit juice, eggs. We proceeded to the canned vegetables, where I thought for sure I would really mess up but using the same method we had at home in the pantry we got green beans, corn, butter beans, sweet peas, black eye peas and carrots. We got coffee, tea, graham cracker, club crackers and saltine crackers. Jade was handling like pro.
I was so nervous I was actually shaking when my trainer said we were going to get fresh meat next. I thought 'oh yeah, this is going to be where the mess hits the fan'. A dog and raw meat what a combination!! But NO, My Jade was a true champion, he guided me to the ground beef, pork chops, ribs, chicken, bacon, and sausage, with no more than a very regal sniff and gentle nudge.
I was so proud of him and myself.
I hit this challenge head on just like when I quit. It wasn't easy in the beginning and the longer I stay quit the easier it is getting. My quit journey has not been an easy one with all the stresses I have faced along the way surgery, stroke, losing my vision. But each step of the way I have attributed to this group, it is each and every one of you that encouraged me to stay quit and protect it at all costs. You all have given the strength to push forward and upward. I know that if I had quit before my health was already in such a downward spiral I would have been able to continue doing what I love the most seeing and holding my great grandchildren. To all the new quitters out there remember there is always someone here that is willing to help you fight that craving, let you cry on their shoulder, or just to scream it out, someone always has a hand out to you to pull you through those tough times. Review your reasons for wanting to quit often and ever strive to reach that goal of just one more day without nicotine.
I love this quit thing. Laurie