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Stress: the oldest excuse in the book!


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I wrote this on another forum today, but I thought it worth re-writing here, mostly because this is the biggest lesson I needed to learn to finally make my quit stick. I may need to re-read it in the days to come...

 

I hear a lot of people say that stress caused them to return to smoking. I get it. I used that reasoning in the past, too. But it was just an excuse to feed my addiction. I see that now.

 

If you think there will ever be an easy, stress-free time to quit, you are wrong. While we may experience periods of low stress, life will always throw curveballs at us. Illness happens. Death happens. Jobs are lost. New jobs are begun. Relationships hit the rocks. We move. We travel. We work. We live.

 

Life can be hard. But it's no excuse to start smoking again.

 

Believe me, I understand stress. I suffer from severe bipolar disorder. I was recently diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that can affect the heart and lungs. (I saw a cardiologist for the first time yesterday.) I am currently watching my dearest friend die from acute liver failure. (It's an extremely ugly way to go. She's suffering horribly. She's only 41 years old.)

 

I'm living through one of the most stressful periods in my life. And I'm doing it smoke free. I chose to quit during a stressful period, because I needed to learn that stress is no excuse to smoke. And right now, each day that I remain smoke free, I am solidifying this truth in my mind.

 

I am freeing myself. Finally. It's been an uphill climb, but every single step has been worth it.

 

Don't wait to quit. And don't give yourself an excuse to start again.

 

Smoking won't eliminate stress from our lives. It just won't. And it won't help us cope, either. Once we learn that, we are truly free.

Edited by abbynormal
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23 minutes ago, abbynormal said:

I hear a lot of people say that stress caused them to return to smoking. I get it. I used that reasoning in the past, too. But it was just an excuse to feed my addiction. I see that now.

Agree. Feb 10th i should've been 9 years free but on 9/24/12 i got stress/bad news lost direction and in fact i did feed the addiction by saying/doing the F-IT .. Its our crutch and a miserable cycle. Until we break the cycle we're controlled by it.

 

23 minutes ago, abbynormal said:

I'm living through one of the most stressful periods in my life. And I'm doing it smoke free. I chose to quit during a stressful period, because I needed to learn that stress is no excuse to smoke. And right now, each day that I remain smoke free, I am solidifying this truth in my mind.

Its a mental game

 

23 minutes ago, abbynormal said:

Smoking won't eliminate stress from our lives. It just won't. And it won't help us cope, either. Once we learn that, we are truly free.

Yup.. You get it

Edited by Whispers
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Thank you Abby for such an honest and open post. I'm sure you sharing this will help many more to come. You are doing great and should be so proud of yourself. And again, I'm really sorry about your friend ?

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Thank you for sharing Abby....I'm sure it will help lots of folks ....The first thing we did ,when we faced stress was reach for our crutch ...

We believed it helped us cope better ....it was in truth the exact opposite.....

You have come along way and got over that big hurdle ...

My thoughts to you and your your friend ......

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Thank you Abby for your post.

I am so sorry for your friend.

Smoking did nothing for us.

NOTHING.

Dealing with stress in a clear and clean way is the way forward and much easier without the stress of addiction.

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You're right Abby. We all have stress at some point during our quits so using stress as a reason to start smoking again is just an excuse. I used smoking to avoid dealing with the life issues that caused the stress. Smoking never reduced that stress - just allowed me to avoid dealing with life for a while. Once you've truly realized that smoking does not relieve stress, you have made a huge leap forward to achieving life long freedom from this addiction.

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On point Abby, on point.  Stress is there and will always be there but it is not an excuse for smoking -- that will only make things worse.  For the last two months I have gone thru some very stressful times from a death in the family, health issues, and housing issues (as well as some very strange family issues) and let me tell you I almost used the stress from all that to pick up a smoke again.  With grace I realized that smoking would not solve the stress -- not even make it feel a little bit better, so after a little more than a year quit I think I realized that even though I have to remain vigilant I believe I now have the upper hand in this quitting thing.  During the quit process we have to remember that curve balls are going to thrown at us!!!!

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Wow, Abby. Now you know that there is nothing you can't do because you've had so much thrown at you at once and are managing to get through it gracefully, no matter how painful it may be at times.  Thank you for your post which may very well help put things in perspective for someone who is struggling with starting or maintaining a quit; and thank you for being there for your friend when she needs you the most.  I wish you the very best with getting your health issues under control, and have no doubt that cigarettes no longer stand a chance against you.  

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On 3/5/2019 at 4:51 PM, Doreensfree said:

Thank you for sharing Abby....I'm sure it will help lots of folks ....The first thing we did ,when we faced stress was reach for our crutch ...

We believed it helped us cope better ....it was in truth the exact opposite.....

 

 

Usually when I was stressed I reached for a cigarette.

 

OK sorry bad joke I am out.

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On 3/5/2019 at 3:23 PM, abbynormal said:

I wrote this on another forum today, but I thought it worth re-writing here, mostly because this is the biggest lesson I needed to learn to finally make my quit stick. I may need to re-read it in the days to come...

 

I hear a lot of people say that stress caused them to return to smoking. I get it. I used that reasoning in the past, too. But it was just an excuse to feed my addiction. I see that now.

 

If you think there will ever be an easy, stress-free time to quit, you are wrong. While we may experience periods of low stress, life will always throw curveballs at us. Illness happens. Death happens. Jobs are lost. New jobs are begun. Relationships hit the rocks. We move. We travel. We work. We live.

 

Life can be hard. But it's no excuse to start smoking again.

 

Believe me, I understand stress. I suffer from severe bipolar disorder. I was recently diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that can affect the heart and lungs. (I saw a cardiologist for the first time yesterday.) I am currently watching my dearest friend die from acute liver failure. (It's an extremely ugly way to go. She's suffering horribly. She's only 41 years old.)

 

I'm living through one of the most stressful periods in my life. And I'm doing it smoke free. I chose to quit during a stressful period, because I needed to learn that stress is no excuse to smoke. And right now, each day that I remain smoke free, I am solidifying this truth in my mind.

 

I am freeing myself. Finally. It's been an uphill climb, but every single step has been worth it.

 

Don't wait to quit. And don't give yourself an excuse to start again.

 

Smoking won't eliminate stress from our lives. It just won't. And it won't help us cope, either. Once we learn that, we are truly free.

 

 

This is such a great post,Abby.  We are lucky you are sharing your quit with us.

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2 hours ago, Sazerac said:

This is such a great post,Abby.  We are lucky you are sharing your quit with us.

 

Thank you, Sazerac! I'm lucky to be here. And I'm grateful to have finally found the determination to get on the Quit Train--and STAY ON!

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On 3/6/2019 at 5:16 AM, Lilly said:

I'm in awe of you. I can't even handle stress regardless of smoking or not. 

 

Sounds like you have got this well and truly figured out and will never smoke again. 

 

 

Lilly,

 

I want to address your comment because I know you are struggling. I honestly don't handle stress all that well! I break down. I have panic attacks. I sometimes lash out at those around me. I even lash out at myself. I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder on top of my bipolar disorder, so every little thing feels like a MAJOR crisis. But what I FINALLY figured out is this:

 

Smoking doesn't help. Not even a little bit.

 

Smoking ADDS to my stress by compounding my current health issues and putting me in danger of new (and worse) ones.

 

Smoking adds stress by costing me money I don't have, so I can't afford the basic necessities.

 

Smoking adds stress by making me cough every time I laugh.

 

Smoking adds stress by putting me into a constant state of nicotine withdrawal.

 

Smoking adds stress by causing me to have to hide my disgusting habit from others.

 

Smoking adds stress by forcing me to face my mortality with each and every puff.

 

You see, I finally figured out that I am more afraid of dying than I am of living.

 

I don't possess any secret knowkedge. I don't have superpowers. I just want to live the best life I can, one day at a time. And smoking just doesn't fit into that equation.

 

 

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I want to thank you ALL for the positive thoughts and prayers for my friend. I'm a little late in doing so, and I apologize for that. But each one of you who offered your kind words did much to soothe my sad heart. ❤

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3 minutes ago, abbynormal said:

Lilly,

 

I want to address your comment because I know you are struggling. I honestly don't handle stress all that well! I break down. I have panic attacks. I sometimes lash out at those around me. I even lash out at myself. I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder on top of my bipolar disorder, so every little thing feels like a MAJOR crisis. But what I FINALLY figured out is this:

 

Smoking doesn't help. Not even a little bit.

 

Smoking ADDS to my stress by compounding my current health issues and putting me in danger of new (and worse) ones.

 

Smoking adds stress by costing me money I don't have, so I can't afford the basic necessities.

 

Smoking adds stress by making me cough every time I laugh.

 

Smoking adds stress by putting me into a constant state of nicotine withdrawal.

 

Smoking adds stress by causing me to have to hide my disgusting habit from others.

 

Smoking adds stress by forcing me to face my mortality with each and every puff.

 

You see, I finally figured out that I am more afraid of dying than I am of living.

 

I don't possess any secret knowkedge. I don't have superpowers. I just want to live the best life I can, one day at a time. And smoking just doesn't fit into that equation.

 

 

 

LOVE this Abby, I have no doubt that this post you just made is going to help many, many people. 

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53 minutes ago, abbynormal said:

Lilly,

 

I want to address your comment because I know you are struggling. I honestly don't handle stress all that well! I break down. I have panic attacks. I sometimes lash out at those around me. I even lash out at myself. I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder on top of my bipolar disorder, so every little thing feels like a MAJOR crisis. But what I FINALLY figured out is this:

 

Smoking doesn't help. Not even a little bit.

 

Smoking ADDS to my stress by compounding my current health issues and putting me in danger of new (and worse) ones.

 

Smoking adds stress by costing me money I don't have, so I can't afford the basic necessities.

 

Smoking adds stress by making me cough every time I laugh.

 

Smoking adds stress by putting me into a constant state of nicotine withdrawal.

 

Smoking adds stress by causing me to have to hide my disgusting habit from others.

 

Smoking adds stress by forcing me to face my mortality with each and every puff.

 

You see, I finally figured out that I am more afraid of dying than I am of living.

 

I don't possess any secret knowkedge. I don't have superpowers. I just want to live the best life I can, one day at a time. And smoking just doesn't fit into that equation.

 

 

 

There comes a moment in each of our quits when through whatever process we have gone through individually we just finally get it!

This is your moment Abby! You have arrived at your permanent quit :) 

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you abbynormal for this post. I had noted it in my journal (this was before I joined the forum) because I'm not good at dealing with stress and that was always my excuse for smoking again. You've proven no matter what, stress can be handled without smoking. I will keep coming back to this thread. 

 

I'm sorry about your friend and the difficult health issues you continue to face yourself. But you can be proud you're doing it without smoking and that you're helping more people than you realize by sharing your quit story. 

 

 

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