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Kate18 last won the day on January 13

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About Kate18

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  • Birthday 04/01/1950

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    Dreaming of creating a mini-farm somewhere

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  1. NOPE Read through my list of the many reasons to quit. Got to keep my motivation strong. Ready with cookies to stimulate those endorphins when a craving for nicotine hits. (Carrots just don't do it for me.)
  2. My father was on hospice with smoking-caused emphysema for about four months. My weekly visits with him never lasted more than an hour at a time. I was a closet smoker. I'd make excuses to leave. I couldn't stand another minute without smoking.
  3. It does boil down to commitment, I agree. I get where the folks who are struggling to keep a commitment. I felt as though I had two warring personalities, one that wanted to keep the commitment, the other easily overpowering it with the promise of easing the panic that something terrible was going to happen to my kids, or that I'd make a fatal mistake at work and lose my job. All that panic the result of craving nicotine, but my commitment wilted in the face of the anxiety. I can't count the times I threw away cigarettes and lighters, said, "that's it!" and hours, days, or weeks later I blithely and without a specific trigger trotted off to the store for cigarettes. I don't know what was wrong with me. There has to be motivation to state, "I'm committed," and ongoing motivation to keep that commitment. I tried vitamins, Tony Robbins, a book, "What to say when you talk to yourself," nicotine replacement, self-hypnosis/suggestion, meditation...I can't remember what else. It was all in the service of trying to stay committed. It was as though I was only reaching one aspect of my personality, with the addicted aspect unaffected. When I was successful for days or weeks, I don't really know where I found the motivation to stay abstinent for those periods of time, but made it only hours other times. I agree, it does boil down to commitment. It's been staying motivated that has been lacking for me to keep that commitment. I feel committed now because the specter of encroaching blindness looms on my horizon. In the mind of a person who keeps the commitment, is there perhaps a consciously or subconsciously held picture/sounds/feelings that are more powerful than addiction?
  4. Yesterday I allowed myself foods (including some rather high in sodium--forbidden because they worsen glaucoma) -- in order to stimulate the pleasure center of the brain and counteract the void left by ceasing to feed my brain with nicotine. I especially like hot dogs, which, unfortunately, are a class-1 carcinogen. Won't repeat that one, but I enjoyed them immensely with some rice and vegetables. It worked to stop the cravings. I made it with little difficulty to evening. It isn't a permanent solution, but for a few days I'll indulge. I just had a cookie left over from yesterday with my coffee. I joined the 24 Hour Fitness gym across the street from my neighborhood. My first induction/training session is Monday. I want to see how much nicotine-craving can be countered by exercise, and how long the effect lasts. Anyone have success with easing cravings with exercise? The amount of it? How often do you have to exercise to stave off craving? I'm thinking it could be useful to learn to properly punch a punching bag at the gym. When I visualize that I'm punching the bag as a surrogate for a cigarette or the tobacco industry, or the dark side of myself that wants to smoke--quite a satisfying image.
  5. This morning I awoke and my first thoughts were about coffee and a cigarette. Incredibly, I started rationalizing that maybe the worsening of my eyesight in my right eye was from something like eye strain, something temporary. I stepped back 20 feet from the eye sight testing chart I bought on Amazon and taped onto my door and tested my eyes. 20/70 at best with my right eye. No change with left eye. The results of the chart triggered a cascade of reasons I quit for. I felt some relief that I could feel good about the improvements in my health that might be possible when I stay quit. All the while I smoked in the past, I said to myself that, "my father was "healthy" and smoked since he was in his late teens"--and he was around 80-85 at the time. He got prostate cancer somewhere in there, but survived. The irrational addictive thought was, "If I get cancer after 50 years of smoking, it' won't be a tragedy, it'll be a miracle!" (I'd be 120 years old.) What an idiot. My father had quit the moment he had the diagnosis and the doctor said, "quit or die." It wasn't until later that he was diagnosed with emphysema. I used to visit him most Sundays for an hour in the last few years of his life. I watched the disease take hold ever stronger and suffocate him. He was 91 when he passed away 10 months ago, his body like a skeleton with skin stretched over them -- emphysema made it difficult for him to eat anything in his last year. Somewhere in my mind I was thinking, "I'll quit before any cancer or other disease becomes a problem." The darkening color of my toes in the winter--they'd be better in the summer--it was just the cold weather. The pressure in my chest when I climbed stairs--just need to start walking. The varicose veins that cause my legs to swell--vascular surgery. The way my facial skin has aged, taking me from looking 40 into my 50s, to looking early 70s in my 60s. In my addictive haze, I rationalized that I could stop or reverse anything that assailed me. How crazy is our thinking when we smoke, mine, anyway. Dr Abraham Twersky wrote a book called Addictive Thinking. He wrote about how an addict skews cause and effect, attributing a problem or problems to anything but the addictive substance. In these early days of quitting, when I'm still craving, I'll have to reread it to reinforce my understanding of the lies of the part of my mind that wants nicotine.
  6. It is not a typo, unfortunately. I lapsed and had given up. I had no confidence in myself to keep a pledge to not smoke and was never going to come back to QT. I've been impulse driven. The insidious thought that one more pack won't really matter had me going from pack to pack. I'd resigned to being a smoker. Seeing the video, and recognizing the truth of what Davos says--a lot of it from Anthony Robbins, I think--reminds me of how change can happen and gives me a glimmer of hope again. I like Davos's suggestion of saying out loud--and I think "out loud" is a key factor-- that "what I really want is ......." She suggested air, what I really want is air. In essence, I think it's, "what I want is a hit of dopamine, a sense of elation or relaxation without it being prompted by a hit of nicotine." I'm making this up as I go through my day today. I'm buying a few cookies when I get to work. I'm practicing what she said. For today, it's "what I really want is the small sugar rush when I eat a cookie on my break." I'll figure out tonight what I can do tomorrow. I just ordered a sustainable farming book on Amazon, "How to Grow More Vegetables (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land with Less Water Than You Can Imagine." Jeavons, John. The reality of my ever having a mini-farm again (I had one years ago) is dim--I'm 69 and have to work until I drop. But the dream makes me happy. I'm hopeful that studying the book will give me hours of pleasure--dopamine, that is. Other than the above, I don't know how to make this time quitting different. At least I'm out of the mindset that I was always going to be a smoker. I had quit trying. I realized two days ago that my eyesight in one of my eyes went from 20/40 to about 20/60 within the space of four months. Scared me. This morning I went online to review quit-smoking sites and motivational, self-improvement quotes. I found this video and what Davos says makes sense. After so many failures, I'm afraid of failing again. But if I don't try again, I am doomed to a nightmarish life.
  7. Came across this TEDx Talk this morning. It resonates with me and thought maybe someone else who is struggling might find it helpful. It has given me hope.
  8. Last night, long after I should have been asleep, I paced a few times in my home, craving sugar. Craving a cigarette, actually, but I told myself a hit of sugar would fix the craving. I have no junk food. I went to bed. Back up. I changed from my sleeping clothes to my street clothes, grabbed my purse and keys and headed for my car and the convenience store for cigarettes. I'd been watching a Jordan Peterson lecture earlier. He said that life is painful, messy,, and chaotic, and that to avoid as much pain and suffering as possible, one has to have an aim, a worthwhile goal. It is not the attainment of the goal that is important, it is the working toward the goal or aim. Once you get there, you have to set another. The point he made that stuck with me as I headed out the front door, was that any action that was not on the trajectory toward that worthwhile aim is a wrong action and guaranteed to cause pain. I'd made myself a schematic with one line pointing toward the aim of a productive life, and another line slanting downward toward disease, misery, and shortened years. Peterson's words and the visual of the schematic overrode the urge to smoke, and I went back inside and went to bed. Up again 15 minutes later, back in street clothes, going out to buy chocolate cake at the 24 hour grocery. Peterson's words echoed again, and back to bed. Tried to relax and fall asleep, I flashed on having bought a fudge brownie mix on sale to have on hand in case I was struggling with nicotine cravings. A substitution serotonin-generator for smoking powerful enough to break through cravings. Back out of bed, baked the brownies as I watched more Jordan Peterson, ate a brownie. Now relaxed and craving for both smoking and sugar gone. Awoke at 4:30 am at the insistence of my small dog, Sofia, who urgently wanted to go outside to pee and was hungry. Took her outside for a moment, gave her a small portion of her daily food, and crawled back to bed. Dreamed that I had been forced to return to work at my previous employer's. It was a high-pressure, low-paid, dirty job, sorting donations in a thrift store. I succumbed to smoking, sneaking outside, afraid they'd smell the smoke and I'd be in trouble. Awoke to the sound of the chimes of my alarm clock, feeling heavy from lack of enough sleep and saddened that I'd lapsed. The dream was so real, full color, the grass of the courtyard green, and I could feel the cold metal of the glass door frame as I tried to hold it open a crack as I smoked so that I could get back inside. After waking, it took some seconds to separate the dream from reality and a few minutes to dispel the low feeling that I'd failed again. Cheerier now, and ready for a new day. Peterson said in the same lecture,--citing Jung, I believe--that we are less in control of our behavior than we'd like to believe. After the trouble I've experienced staying quit, I feel the impact of his words. I believe it likely that I will lapse again because--in bipolar cycling--my perception of reality changes. Most of the time, I know the value of being quit. During the short but inevitable segment of despair that recurs every six weeks to three months, nihilism takes over and I become hostile to the nonsmoking voice in my head and take revenge by starting in again. I am hoping that I will gain enough wisdom from Peterson's lectures that maybe I can thwart self-destructive behavior and sustain a commitment. And that vigorous exercise will uplift my mood. Day at a time; craving at a time.
  9. Thanks to both of you, Martian5 and Reciprocity. I made myself a poster this morning and posted it prominently on my refrigerator. I feel a bit foolish sharing it, but what the heck. The "Daily Dozen" at the bottom of the page refers to Dr. Michael Greger's Daily Dozen free app to keep track of his recommended foods each day. After getting the news about my eyes a few weeks ago (mild cataracts and early-stage glaucoma), and now the rise in blood pressure, I am back to a whole plant foods diet that I began a few months ago. I found Greger while searching around Youtube for videos of Rip Esselstyn and the whole foods diet he promotes. Both Greger's and Esselstyn's stories are interesting, as are the results they say are achieved by ditching animal and processed foods, such as normalizing blood pressure, reversing heart disease, returning to a healthy weight, etc. Both back their recommendations on clinical evidence reported in thousands of articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals. We'll see. My blood pressure is too high, I am now 21 lb overweight since changing to a sedentary job last year, and I am in a fight to protect my vision. Smoking does not solve any of those problems. Never has, never will, and I'll keep drilling that point into my thick skull until it's anchored for good. High blood pressure april 29 2019.pdf
  10. Yesterday had dr appt. Blood pressure was 140/90, up from 120/60 three months ago, up from my normal 112/62. I felt a knot of fear in my stomach when she told me. According to the American Stroke Association, that is stage 2 hypertension and in stroke range. (Other organizations have their own ideas of how they define stages.) Later in the day my 5 year old granddaughter came over. We went to the park and I taught her how to fly a kite. I thought to myself, "it is unthinkable to keep smoking when it could kill me or cause a stroke, and rob my granddaughter of having her grandmother in her life." I don't know why I have such trouble staying quit. It's possible that it's affected by being bipolar and going from elation to despair in cycles. Terrible lack of self-discipline and poor impulse control. I told the psychiatrist who monitors my meds that I want to start meeting with her to learn how to strengthen impulse control and stop this destructive way of being. I want a productive life, not just existence with smoking-caused diseases as my future. I'm glad the QT is here, online, and I apologize for the lack of commitment and follow through. Truly, I am trying to get this right.
  11. NOPE Unhappy health news (not devastating) yesterday (BP, stage 2 hypertension, stroke territory). Feeling scared about it and at the same time encouraged enough about staying quit to post NOPE.

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