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Watching Marie Kondo - Tidying Up & Craving

Craving a smoke badly. Not Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Thought about posting an SOS, but I asked myself, "Am I really that close to flipping mindsets and going out to buy cigarettes?" Nah. It's too cold outside. It's dark. I've eaten a light, healthy dinner. I walked about a mile today with my dog, so I feel pleasantly invigorated. Don't want to pollute my lungs or hand over any savings to tobacco magnates.  I was watching a series on Netflix about people tidying up their homes with Marie Kondo. As the families in each episode go through their "stuff" and decide what to keep or part with, I began remembering my former home and how much I have lost. The sadness made me teary for a few moments, but then I sat up straight and shook it off. I returned to present-oriented and forward-thinking. Shifting my focus triggered a powerful craving. This is the point where I would have celebrated the transition from gloom to acceptance by going outside to have a smoke.  And now I'm remembering my own post today about a bright line. Gloom is on the other side of the bright line. I am on this side, the right side. The bright line is inviolable.  Deep breaths. Craving is weakening. Another episode of exerting willpower, and now I can relax again. Not taking a chance of recurring cravings today, though. It's only 6:00-ish (pm), but I will go to bed early. I dreamed once, recently, that I was arguing about smoking with someone. I didn't want to, but he was strong and demanding. Other than that, no dreams about smoking or craving in my sleep.  One's willpower ebbs as the day progresses and by evening temptations can feel impossible to resist. A few dark chocolate chips for a dopamine hit. A mango. Then brush teeth and to sleep.

MindHacker

MindHacker

 

Feeling Proud

I am feeling very proud that I've started the new year as a non-smoker. This is my longest quit ever and I look forward to the additional days, weeks, months and eventual years of success. Even though I get a craving now and then, I am able to hold strong in my determination to have Not One Puff Ever (NOPE).    Thank you to Quit Train and all the other quitters who help me get off to a strong, successful quit.   Happy, successful New Year to us all!   Deanna

DragonsFancy

DragonsFancy

 

The journey only continued for some...

I've umm'ed and ahh'ed about writing another blog entry, I don't like to be rushed I guess. I thought I was in  a new year and heading for my 4th year quit but on perusing the site, transpires I'm heading for my 5th lol. Smoking is an enigma to me now but those who knew my habit 2+ packs a day for years can't believe I have stayed quit *cough, this site* and new friends can't imagine me as a smoker! The latter is a compliment for sure.   However when I quit it was with two others. My Mum and my then boyfriend, now just one of my best friends. Both relapsed. Chris, my friend, smokes heavily again and has done for 4 years, no quit in sight. Sadly my Mum damaged herself too heavily and last May, 1 day before her 70th birthday, I stood at her bedside after the awful news she wouldn't make it - to talk her over to the other side. Our relationship had been fairly strained but I'm pleased we had marginally reconnected for a few months before she died of multiple organ failure - drinking and smoking were at the heart of it all, quite literally. I have the most awful memories and photographic evidence of me holding her hand and cuddling in as I was telling her to look for our loved ones...when we should have been preparing for her birthday.    If you have children and are on the fence then please consider that it isn't just you who suffers. Get educated and be real.    The quit itself is effortless now. I remember at times that I would have smoked here and smile that it means absolutely nothing, it simply a memory. My children are level 4 and 5 (red and green belt) at mixed martial arts where I used the money from quitting to put them in a club to train. I should really go to that gym I pay for more, oops, but I can still run faaarrrr better than I ever could as a smoker, even with the gaps in training haha. The quit bought me strength, joy and healthier finances....I have never looked back. I completely retrained myself with a new career and am happily teaching both Reiki healing and Tarot Cards that I trained in.    My point is the quit bought me nothing but good and joy. Those who didn't commit have a painful story attached.    Love to all. Marti. xx

Marti

Marti

 

Counting backward

New delaying tactic... counting backward from 50, each number on inhalation or exhalation. Soon the tension will get too strong and an alarm in my head will sound. It'll be time to go to sleep, because if I stay up, I'm afraid I'll impulsively grab my purse and head to the gas station for cigarettes. I'd think that was impossible at this point, more than two weeks smoke-free,  but if there's anything uncounted relapses have taught me, it's that I should never underestimate my tendency to overestimate my self control.

MindHacker

MindHacker

 

Delaying, Hovering over a Relapse

When I was in the Forum this am, read Chrysalis's entry on relapse. Today was my first shopping day since I quit on 12/12/18 Traveled 20 miles south and I paid for my dog's boarding at the kennel, got gas for the car, and went grocery shopping. Normally, when I got gas (Costco), I'd get a hot dog and soda and smoke a cigarette. When I'd finish grocery shopping, I'd smoke a cigarette. Then when I got home, I'd take the dog out for a quick walk and then have a cigarette. Then I'd put away the groceries and have a cigarette. Grocery day was often cooking day (for lunches during the week, at work), so I'd start soup cooking and have a cigarette. Today there were no cigarettes, but there were many thoughts of cigarettes. I missed smoking, oh how I miss smoking.  I am romancing the cigarette. I SEE that it is a romance between some sociopathic tobacco ceo and me, and as long as I turned over my money to him/them, I'd get more drug and feel comforted. But romance is about FEELing, not seeing. Today I was feeling that quiet seduction. A sweet romance would involve loving letters penned on lovely paper and signed with passion. The closest thing to a letter is the empty cigarette packet on which is printed, I've seen some of the documentaries about the industry, from how tobacco is grown to how people are seduced into trying a cigarette, then kept addicted. (Swinging back now, no longer hovering over relapse.) Do I owe something to smokers who are still trapped? Do I have a responsibility to them to stay quit? Is it possible that one of the young people (all smokers) I used to work with, we'll chance-meet, and maybe s/he'll offer me a cigarette. I'll say, "no thanks, I finally quit." Who knows, maybe it will help that person quit. Or there could be some other event, and because I no longer smoke, it could affect the outcome in a better way than if I were still a smoker? A lot of ifs. The "IF" I don't want tonight is "If only I hadn't relapsed."  Deep breath, inhale, exhale. I don't know about responsibility to unknown other people, but I do have a responsibility to my children and theirs.  For the rest of today, I will not romance the cigarette. When an emotion arises, I'll switch to a visual mode and see the reality of the cigarette industry. Whew. Long craving has fizzled. I'm tired out.   

MindHacker

MindHacker

 

Quiet corner for a private SOS

It's after 8 pm. I can see myself in my mind's eye, grabbing my purse and heading out the door to the gas station to get cigarettes. A sigh of relief when I get back, sit on the patio, and light one up. On the other hand.... I'm no longer insensitive to the actual taste of a cigarette. It would be unpleasant. I'm no longer accustomed to having nicotine in my brain, so I'd be dizzy, and I don't like that feeling. I'd have wasted $9.00. In future dollar terms, that's near $90. And that's the cost of living (more, actually) for a day in the future. I'd have added to the harm already done to my teeth and gums, and the veins in my legs. I'd return to the gray face and premature wrinkles. I'd have lost the 12 day stretch I achieved. I'd have lost the fragile sense of being able to trust myself again. Sigh. It's not worth it. Skip the smoke. Drink a glass of water, walk the dog, and go to sleep.

MindHacker

MindHacker

 

Depression.....

Everyone gets depressed sometime...….   I seem to be depressed all of the time, but I have this most wonderful mask that I made that hides it from everyone - we all have one - the one that we call our 'everyday face'.   My everyday face normally has a wide smile on it, one with crooked yellowing teeth that is just a silly grin, but it hided the real me that I almost never show to anyone.  Those closest to me are the only ones that see my real face more often than not, but even then, I have another mask that I try to keep in place to stop them from sharing as much of my pain as I can, because I love them deeply.   I'm here today because it's Christmas and just 3 years and 3 days since my mother died.   I had gone sick from work to live with her during her last 3 months of life.  She had dystonia from when she was 52 years old, which caused the muscles in her neck and one side of her back to pull her over until she was walking with her head down by her knees.  She needed elbow crutches to walk and a wheelchair if she needed to walk more than about 20 yards, but she remained a very strong woman until her death.   Those three months were the worst part of my life, but I kept one or other of my masks in place throughout it until the very end, when I could not hold them stable any more.  And after she finally died I just collapsed and kept myself numb for months...….   oh god, this is so very, very hard, but so very necessary for me to face up to right now.  Need to stop for a while.

Oldybutmouldy

Oldybutmouldy

 

Of Superheroes and Smoking

So yes, I know the first question that might pop up in your head is wait, what? Superheroes and smoking?   What kinda connection is that?   Well, I'm a huge nerd/geek/fangirl (whatever other fancy term you may want to use) and a big big follower of the comic book/superhero universe. And though I love both DC (Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Green Arrow etc) and Marvel (Ironman, Spiderman, Dr. Strange, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thanos, Loki etc) the one guy that stands above all for me is Batman.   Why him you may ask? Because Batman is amongst that rare breed of superheroes, who doesn't necessarily have any superpower, per se. He's not faster than a speeding bullet, webs don't shoot out of his hands, he doesn't have the strength of a God. In fact, he's a lot more human than any other superhero I know. What he has is grit and determination, to train better, have better gadgets, use technology and science to overcome superhuman challenges, and yes of course he's rich :p Point being, Batman grapples with his own self every single day, when confronted with the question: Why does he fight? Why not leave it to the others who have a lot of extra things going for them. Why put his mind and body through incessant beatings, efforts and still see himself come up short sometimes against people with higher abilities, and then why doesn’t he give up, but enter the foray again? And the answer he gets is because he can. Because it is possible to try and make his city (Gotham) safer. Because he can fight back, even if not win each time. Because the body may heal, but not acting when he could have, that scar the mind cannot get rid off. Day after day, he chooses to fight and each time he chooses not to bow down to his own fears, he wins.   That's where each of our battles with smoking come in. Nicotine addiction is a relentless foe. I have read so many posts here about people coming so close to smoking. Some in week 3, some in month 5, some even after a year or more. It sneaks up on you in your weakest moments, and makes you believe that lighting up will solve everything that is going on with you. And each of us fights that addiction, day in day out, incessantly.  Each one of us is a superhero. We’ve all got our weaknesses, our problems, but each one of us chooses to fight them rather than give in to the craving of smoking. It’s the easier bit, giving in. But keeping on fighting, now that is the stuff of legends. So kudos to each and every one of you. As Alfred Pennyworth (Batman’s Butler and confidante) once reminded him: Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.

Tammy

Tammy

 

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

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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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