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  • MarylandQuitter

    "Caring For Our Recovery" by John R. Polito

    By MarylandQuitter

    There are three primary factors associated with relapse: (1) rewriting the law of addiction; (2) an excuse; and (3) a vague memory. It doesn't matter if it happens within two hours, two days, two weeks, two months, two years, or twenty, the factors remain the same and apply to all of us. https://www.quittrain.com/topic/7669-caring-for-our-quit-by-john-r-polito/?p=191537
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The calm before the storm?

So I am in kind of a haze, certain things going on personally which make me question a lot of things I thought I knew. Long story short, if I ever had any excuse (that being the operative word here) it would be now.   However I don't want to, and I certainly don't feel like.  In fact, I'm almost disappointed since I realize that smoking won't help puff the problem away. There were times when stress at work or home equated to stepping out and lighting up. Absolutely sure that it never resolved the problem, but those 5 minutes were about romanticizing the damn thing. And right now, I'm in a mode where I'm seeing everything in black and white. No grays. So no escaping stuff, most certainly not with the nico stick in hand.   Strange how life can drag you down, and that's where you recognize or find the hard truths, the kind that stick with you. Sometimes you gotta get dragged through the mud for the dirt to wash off.   Maybe this is an important step in my quit, maybe it's just an indication of things getting better or worse (black or white remember). All I know is I am not going to make plans or guesses, all I know, whatever comes I will fight it head on.  And I won't fail.

Tammy

Tammy

 

Celebrating my first week without cigarettes !!

Its been a hell of week But i survived   Nicotine gums are  like my new best friend   I could not have done without it   Thanks to all the people who have supported me   I believe the ability to think is blessed. If you can think about a situation, you can deal with it. The big struggle is to keep your head clear enough to think. -  Richard Pryor

redemption3

redemption3

 

Cacophony and Silence (Tormented)

It seems like there's a fight going on inside,
Words going stark raving mad to take flight.
I hesitate, but they want a deluge
To hide is something they absolutely refuse.

I ponder, wait and consider all angles
They run unchecked, unhinged, untangled.
Do I open the gates, I wonder
Would the flood tear my life asunder?

They just want to be free, not like freedom today
In the true sense, totally uninhibited
No judging, no boundaries, no questions
Free to choose their destiny, their directions.

So I let them flow, crimson like the Nile millenia ago
They gush out, jump, and rush head on into the world.
They clash against stoic wills and egos, against logic and emotions,
Some get smashed to pieces, some hit hard, some get ignored, and some unleash the demons.

I feel empty inside, like suddenly the colors are gone
the world is bathed in pristine white.
The silence is deafening, maybe I'm not used to peace
For I know that like everything, peace comes at a price.

Tammy

Tammy

 

Tensile and Taut

A very reflective weekend this one, on the back of a semi-hectic week at work. On Saturday, watched a play related to the 26th November 2008 attacks on Mumbai (today is the 10th anniversary of those horrific attacks).  The play was a monologue of the man behind the attacks - David Coleman Headley, an American Pakistani who orchestrated these attacks and conducted the recce which was used to plan and map out where they would take place. The actor (someone I know personally) potrayed that part so well that I wanted to hit him at one point in time during the play. But more than anger, it left me in a very reflective state of mind. I started thinking about how each and every action we do has a reaction, has an effect, even though at times we may not see it or even be a party to it. Our actions have far reaching consequences that we don't think about.  Relating this to smoking, I was wondering how many of those cigarette butts I threw are currently polluting the ocean...they are the biggest polluters of our oceans and planet today.   Sunday, I went for my first drive with an organisation I work with here in Mumbai, an NGO which collects leftover food from events, marriages, restaurants and distributes it among the less fortunate. This was a drive where we also taught the kids alphabets and numbers. Sitting at home, being able to order food from an app or cook whatever we want, makes us forget what hunger is, and what appreciation for what we have on our table is. This Sunday morning reminded me of that, and I was more thankful for what I have than crib about what I don't.   I'm still thinking, today, of how much money I blew up in "smoke" which could have been put to better use.  How a troubled childhood caused a man to grow up and be responsible for 170 deaths, how hunger can make people do things they normally wouldn't.   Sorry if this is sobering or pensive, but just wanted to share.

Tammy

Tammy

 

Week Two

I sailed through the first week but this week has been a lot harder.   On Day 9 I became obsessed with the "have I quit too late" thought. I had read a few personal stories where people had got a smoking related health problem after they had quit, and the seed of fear spiralled out of control in my mind. I don't really regret anything in my life but I do regret relapsing so many times.    I don't think I can ignore the damage smoking does or that it is a killer. I do think though I need to start focusing on the other benefits to quitting besides health. Fear and sadness at what could happen, or that other people are going through can end up being quite destructive. Positivity is a big part of any success.    The rest of the week has been pretty tough going and it's as though my brain has split into two. Quit half is full of knowledge and knows that quitting is the best thing I have ever done. When this half is in charge I am at my happiest. Smoker half clearly still has a lot of catching up to do as it is constantly trying to justify why I should go and buy a packet of cigarettes. The internal debates are relentless and it has become quite overwhelming.     I love the Joel Spitzer quote below. This week it definitely would have been easy to go back. I'm extra proud I have got through smoke free as it has been challenging. I've needed friends to reassure me and hold me up but I'm walking into the third week.    The factor that really shows the addiction is not how hard or how easy it is to quit. What really shows the addiction is how universally easy it is to go back - Joel Spitzer    

Lilly

Lilly

 

Tranquil with a smattering of Tensile

Well, there are days when I feel like a hamster running in the wheel, huffing and puffing (figuratively, not literally), but getting nowhere.   Then there are days when the sun is shining, the colours are sharper, everyone I meet is smiling and everything is just right with the world. Then come the days of Grey. When it's neither dark nor light, the day is just there...like a blob of paint that falls on the floor.   I know I've got enough grit to get through the craves, and wherever I fall, there are amazing people (on this forum) that pick me up...but sometimes I'm tired of the vicious circle.  There is a term the French use:  l'appel du vide (Call of the void). This inexplicable feeling of jumping off a cliff, when you are standing at the edge, the sudden urge to steer into oncoming traffic. There are times when without any reason, my brain envisages me with a cigarette in my hand...and that moment I feel like my hand has a mind of it's own. I literally have to yank it off that thought...right now was one such moment.  The reason I say was is because typing this made that instinct go away.   So I live to fight another day. Would I term today Tranquil, Tensile or Tormented? I'd say tranquil with a smattering of tensile. 

Tammy

Tammy

 

Week One

Today I am celebrating my first week of freedom 😀   I have bought lots of great food and just plan on relaxing and enjoying the day (will obviously watch the Joel Spitzer videos for today at some point).   I thought about what reward I could give myself to mark this special day, then I realised I have already given myself the greatest gift of all .......... I quit smoking 😀  

Lilly

Lilly

 

Day 6

Day 6 is done.  As always I watched the Joel Spitzer videos for today and then was out for the rest of the day.   I am amazed by my stats. Look at all those cigarettes not smoked in 6 days 😮😮  I worked it out and I won't be setting alight £389.00 a month.   The benefits just keep coming 😀    

Lilly

Lilly

 

Day 5

I watched my Day 5 Joel Spitzer video today.   Had a few smoking thoughts but got through.    I am now in Day 6.

Lilly

Lilly

Day 4

Today I read my Day 4 material from Joel Spitzer as usual, but I also learnt something by myself.    The last three days were tough in places and if there was a day to throw in the towel it would have been yesterday. I woke up this morning and I realised I felt great.     If I had given up on this quit yesterday I wouldn't have experienced the great day I had today.    I am now in Day 5.

Lilly

Lilly

 

Day 3

Day 3 was difficult as I have been extremely emotional. I am not sure if I can explain my feelings in words but will try.    I was watching my Day 3 videos by Joel Spitzer and there was one that I had watched before. When I watched it the first time I felt sad but continued to smoke. When I watched it earlier it brought out feelings in me that I didn't even realise were there.    After watching it today I sobbed for hours for my own mum. I watched my mum die due to smoking and then I smoked my way through her death, her funeral and then during a very long period of grief.    Today I feel as though I am going through a second cycle of grief. My beautiful mum was taken from us because she was addicted to smoking. This thought has tortured me most of the day and my heart is breaking for her.    I'm seeing this addiction for what it really is and I'm angry. I'm keeping that anger for another day though as today I need to cry only for my mum.    I'm now in Day 4.

Lilly

Lilly

 

Hello my new world !!!!

This is one of those rare days where everything feels perfect and i do not even want to think about cigarettes anymore .   I have a million other things to think about   And i love this discussion group   I want to contribute something good to this forum    

redemption3

redemption3

 

Day 2

Day 2 is done but today I felt a little less upbeat than yesterday.    The ulcer in my mouth seems to have moved it's friends in. I can now feel a few ulcers which is making eating virtually impossible due to the pain. I'm drinking plenty but I think I really could do with a proper meal. I thought I would have some soup tonight but for some reason I didn't even enjoy it. I don't know if that's because of the ulcers, if my taste buds are changing or if it's the two tubes of Bonjela I have tucked in my cheeks.   In a perverse way I'm actually enjoying what withdrawal is bringing. This is the worst quit physically I have ever had but I stuck it out and another day is done.    I watched all the Joel Spitzer Day 2 videos today and gained more knowledge to keep me focused on the end goal.    I'm now in Day 3.

Lilly

Lilly

 

Day 1

The first day is done and I am giving myself a massive pat on the back and having my own little celebration.    I'm really proud that I got through today. Mentally wasn't too bad and physically it was bearable. Only negative is I have a really big ulcer in my mouth which is so painful and no amount of Bonjela will help.    Joel Spitzer has put together videos to watch during the first week which are on the link below. I watched all the Day 1 section today and learnt so much, plus it was a great way to keep busy.    I'm now in Day 2.   https://whyquit.com/joel/index-guide.html      

Lilly

Lilly

 

This Has To Be My Quit Song

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me   By Rachel Platten 

Lilly

Lilly

 

Continuous Relapsing

I have been in a constant cycle of quit/relapse/quit/relapse for such a long time and it's exhausting.    If you are in that relapse cycle too and really want to quit, educate yourself properly by watching the Joel Spitzer videos on this forum, head over to the WhyQuit website to watch even more and spend lots of time here for support, encouragement and distraction.   A good starting point if you are planning to quit is on the link below.    https://whyquit.com/joel/dayzero.htm      

Lilly

Lilly

 

Week Two Hurdle Cleared

I posted a celebration and mentioned some things I'd lost because I quit smoking, but I also want to mention what I've gained … the QuitTrain Community. Every has been so very supportive and I know that I can come hang out any time I need support or want to be supportive. THANK YOU ALL!   I'm celebrating my losses... My last thought before heading home is no longer "do I need to stop for smokes?" I no longer park in the back lot where the smoking area is; I park in the front lot. I don't have to stand in the cold or rain to enjoy a smoke. OR THIS FREAKY WARM WIND!!!! Sorry I still have issues. I don't worry about not spending money so I always have enough for cigarettes. I don't worry about how I smell. The hand sanitizer in my car is for sanitizing--not smellatizing. I don't need to ask where the smoking area is. Travel time no longer includes a smoke on arrival.  

DragonsFancy

DragonsFancy

 

Learning

Everyone tells me how important it is to increase my quitting education. Today I learned that I have reduced my chance of a heart attack. I wouldn't have believed that last night when it felt like I was having one. It's also good to know my energy levels will start to increase--all I did yesterday (all day) was yawn. I am, however, enjoying the occasional dizziness, but I was recently put on blood pressure meds and should probably get it checked.  

DragonsFancy

DragonsFancy

 

Hanging In

I'm still hanging on. My biggest challenge so far was morning break--I was so tempted. I spent the time reading the SOS posts. I laughed when I recognized several I had been thinking at that very moment.  Now lunch time is almost over and I have QuitTrain and solitaire to thank.

DragonsFancy

DragonsFancy

 

Friends

I have several circles of friends.  I divide them up.  Maintain relations with each of them . We are all in varying stages of life, big kids, little kids, no kids, stress, remorse, and contentment.  I never really thought about how I categorize(d) my friends.  Perhaps it was mentioned in passing many years ago in between banter with the bartender.  I see it -so much more clearly now that I observe my young child's social interactions.  I observe through a microscope and telescope.  Both are equally helpful.    It is amazing how I can still be an outcast in social situations.  The varying social situations I often find myself in.  Nearly two years ago, I was the only smoker.  So I thought.  Secret smokers are everywhere!  I always felt on edge, wanting to leave the discussion or party just to go home and smoke in the privacy of my own patio.   Being a secret smoker sucked.  I felt isolated.    I have a new set of friends.  I've kept the old.  It is safe now for me to socialize with my old friends that still smoke.  Safe because I am not a smoker.  I stay inside and they spend more time outside.  Again,  I feel isolated.     They are safe because I am not a cheater.  I'm inside alone with their card hands face down on the table.     I'm honest.     I'm a non-smoking, non-cheating crappy card player.     

Lust4Life

Lust4Life

 

Riffing on H. A. L. T

I have read about the acronym, H A L T, in recovery paraphernalia and have used it to a great degree of success in changing my patterns from a nicotine addict to a Free person.     Having a Crave ? H. A. L. T.   Are you Hungry - Thirsty - need a deep breath of Oxygen ? Angry - Happy - Emotional ? Lonesome - Bored ? Tired ?     In many, many instances, when I would reach for a smoke, my poor body was actually trying to alert me that it needed attention in some way. My addiction silenced these natural signals.     I still catch myself these days...no, it is no longer a crave, it is my body hollering for water or food or something it really needs ! Now, groovin' in my new freedom, when these signals come up, my first thought may still be, 'Oh cigarette, dammit' However, it is followed immediately by, 'No, not smokes...you're Hungry, baby !' or, you're thirsty or, you need to go sit outside and take a big gulp of oxygen and figure out what your body or spirit requires.     The piracy that nicotine practiced is still mind-boggling to me. Allowing nicotine to take over my basic human needs of sustenance and comfort was a grave error on my part. I am grateful my body is so forgiving . I am grateful to be free. Free and learning how to read my body's signals and remembering how to take good care of it.     So, next time you have what you assume to be a Nic fit, have a think...what is your body really telling you ? It won't be hard to figure out.   For me it has been obvious and I have to wonder, how could I have neglected my body for so long ? It is a miracle it survived.

Sazerac

Sazerac

About us

QuitTrain®, a quit smoking support community, was created by former smokers who have a deep desire to help people quit smoking and to help keep those quits intact.  This place should be a safe haven to escape the daily grind and focus on protecting our quits.  We don't believe that there is a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to quitting smoking.  Each of us has our own unique set of circumstances which contributes to how we go about quitting and more importantly, how we keep our quits.

 

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