Stress, ah, yes, the stress. That has always been my downfall in all my other short-lived quits. I somehow always talked myself into a tizzy almost just to make the excuse of I can't do this. Off to the store I go to purchase the tried and true. You see, I taught myself all of those years to convince myself that cigarettes solved the problem. I can't quit right now. I'm too stressed. I can't quit right now because there's too much going on right now. Well, here's a reality check: That's just life. Life as we live it is all about perceptions. If we react to something happening in our life in a negative manner, we will produce a negative result, plain and simple.
As I am writing this, I'm going through being overwhelmed. I quite frankly bit off more than I can chew. I'm facing impending deadlines and I'm not planning ahead. Organizing my time as I should to get things done. I'm an adult. I know how to do this. Why am I procrasting? Why am I causing this stress in life? I have to ability to say no. I have the ability to parse out things in my life. I need to start taking a few days off in a week or even a day to regroup and relax. I tend to be a work alcoholic and usually work from the time I get up to the time I go to bed.
The moral of this rambling conversation with you all is that we all need to learn to take a deep breath a few times, gaze out a window and see the beauty in the world. Make a mental or physical list of everything that needs to get done and prioritize things. Put things in their respective drawers and gradually get thing done and closed out. This applies to those of you beginning your quits. I think we all have a tendency to run in a circle in the first 60 days or so. We have a ton of things going on, emotionally and physically. Things are hitting us left and right. We're creating a new life for ourselves and trying so desperately to move in the same aisle as the rest of our friends and family by not doing a simple thing, smoking.
At first it's a conscious choice. We have to stop and think to perform something different instead of the ritual we've always done for years and years. You get up out of bed. The first thing you do is make coffee and light up. You wait for the coffee to get done and you light up again while drinking your first cup. Well, now you've quit smoking. This is where identifying your triggers comes in. Triggers are things that cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist. Your event or situation is lighting up a cigarette. I'm a firm believer that if you do not look at the times in your life which you know are the times when you light up, when they pop up months or even years later, the urge or craving to smoke will hit you like a ton of bricks.
Now, granted, no one will be able to identify every single one, every single trigger. That's almost an impossible feat. But if you think back on the times when you did try to quit and failed, what was the “thing” that made you come back? What was the “event” that had you running to the store to buy a pack? What was the “situation” that got you so stressed, upset, angry that it tipped the scales? I had one of those out-of-the-blue events happen to me a few weeks ago with the lightening bugs. Little things like that will pop up from nowhere. Try not to obsess or worry about them. It's only a memory being tripped that you once “associated” with smoking.
I write a lot of these when I'm having something I'm grappling with, something I'm trying to parse out or understand that's happening in my life. I use these writings to at times talk me down or put things back into perspective when stinkin' thinkin' comes creeping back. It's only a short period of time and usually at my weakest point. I'm either tired, lately overwhelmed, spinning my tires. I use these writings to put things in my drawers so that I can prioritize and gradually shut them all out one at a time. Sometimes by breaking things down into smaller pieces instead of a whole makes things easier to deal with.
So bottom line is try to trust the process when you're quitting. Make a list of things you want to get done around your humble abode. Prioritize them and gradually get them done. You'll now have a lot more time on your hands. Some of you may not have a lot of energy. I know I slept a lot going through those first couple of months. I don't know if it was because of my brain healing itself or it was just an avoidance. It doesn't matter to me now because I'm through that. It mattered a lot when I was going through it, but I trusted in my elders here when they told me it's just part of it. Keep going, they said. It will get so much easier. And you know what, they were right..........