Formerly known as the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum, this community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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Meredith (GettinFree) said:
Nonetheless, there's this added shred of will or presence or something that wasn't there before.
I know exactly what you mean and you are right, life is sooooooooo much simpler. No more cough,(people always asked if I was coming down with a cold) no rattling in the chest, no sinus congestion, no getting nervous when I'm down to the last couple packs, no more stink. Knowing all of this and loving my freedom, but still knowing I am one puff away from total addiction again. Some very strange stuff is happening with us, Meredith.
May we live in interesting times...
(Side note, I just ate the meal that would have me uncomfortably full, and I'm barely drowsy. So that at least is consistent with common experience. Until tonight I was convinced that nicotine never suppressed my appetite; quite the contrary, I could have sworn it made me hungrier. Not having actually felt hunger in a month, I thought, corroborated that.)
Anyway, since this is my place (mostly) for Saying All The Things, I haven't talked about why I smoked. I think it's relevant to what I'm dealing with lately, possibly all of it, if Allen Carr and that Leo guy are to be believed and once you're done with the physical dependence, you should be, Leo's word, "golden." (Yeah, I'm not really buying it either.)
I started smoking to be a cool rebel. There, I said it: I've always wanted to be a Bad Girl™. Mom said something about UC-Berkeley one time and I asked what she meant and she referred to boys in skirts and immediately that was my dream school. As an 8-year-old in Southern Indiana, I could barely even imagine it. So the second I was out of Mom's house and settled in the dorms (not at Berkeley but that's a whole 'nother psychoanalysis), on went the boots and spark went the lighter.
Two years ago, I was doing this Landmark program and I was the only smoker, at least the only one who did it openly. It glaringly highlighted how I used cigarettes to be different, and in this day and age how it distanced me from people. All that Work and all that time and effort, and money besides, and there I was still putting up a wall -- and still inclined to blame the people on the other side for it.
AND cigarettes were a delightful buzz that put up another wall, between me and the intensity of my emotions. Of course, I've only seen that in the last month...
In some ways it really seems like smoking was kind of like training wheels.
I started college without a whole lot of social skills, and besides starting out as a social smoker, smoking very firmly put me in with the crowd that I wanted to be in with. It numbed out some of the drama queen (*some*), and eventually I developed some ability to interact successfully with people and not treat them like poo, and the absence of cigarettes can't take that away.
Between being numb and keeping people a little distant, I got some space to start to come to terms with who I am and where that fits in with all ya'll. Not that I have it down, by any stretch; I still have tons of awkward moments where I say the wrong thing or misinterpret others' words/actions or don't know what to say or, my go-to, knowing I should say something and not saying it. Not to mention making my bad day a stranger's bad day. But I have got some skill now at remembering I impact others, and it turns out that the, um, quirks of my upbringing made me a really good listener, and the absence of cigarettes can't take that away.
Too, I've developed some skill at being with my emotions and having them without being completely ruled by them and without (to degrees of success) taking them out on other people. Props to my best boss ever, who catalyzed the visualization of my depression monster, Bernard, who I now regard as my beloved companion. I have feelings and I have space for them, and the absence of cigarettes can't take that away.
I don't need the training wheels anymore, I know I don't need the training wheels anymore, I've made personal growth a major part of my life and think I'd be used to this by now, and yet I find myself daunted at the prospect of living life this fully.
"And whether or not completely aware of it, you did say yes."
Yes, I did. Time to level up.
Yep, I get it , Meredith. A totally true and insightful post.
I'd been avoiding doing September's invoicing because I didn't want to put a number to how little piecework I'd gotten done. It seems like it's getting a little better here at a month -- until about ten days ago I would just wander aimlessly around the house -- but yeah, just can't seem to get a dang thing done.
I've been trying to adjust my sleep times to allow more time for work, but that's never something I've been good at. (Thankfully the really-wacky sleeping has faded and we're basically back down to the lifelong issues!)
I've skipped exercise to work, and just end up spending the extra two hours reading fiction or sleeping or, well, here.
I had yesterday all planned out how I was gonna finish this job, and I *still* have about an hour's work left on it. And here I am, not doing it....
I was exactly the same
it took me around 2 months to get moving afain
i read for hours and slept and just sat there like a zombie
i had promised myself that no matter what I would not smoke
it has and continues to be, a journey
no regrets though at 9 months free
relax and trust the process
It's actually a good thing that I haven't been journaling (well, sort of). It's been because I've actually had the wherewithal to get some life taken care of. And two Landmark courses back to back...hey, it's just how I roll.
I also finally announced I'd quit on Facebook and among all the well-intentioned misunderstanding and well-intentioned understanding -- thankfully I have plenty of ex-smokers in my network to balance out the, um, others -- I got hipped to this Neurosculpting thing. (Can't link; you'll have to Google it.) The doing, so to speak, is a guided meditation that makes it safe for your brain to be open to new ideas, and then develops imagery of your urges and a process for removing them, for good. Obviously the urges are myriad so I'll be doing this several times in the coming months...
I find it hilarious that my urges are visualized as little blobs of flan that I put in the big trash bin that goes to the curb. (It actually makes a lot of sense if you know that I don't like flan and I tried to like it again just two days ago.)
It's a pisser though that this morning has been kind of right back to an utter lack of productivity. I feel like it might be having messed with my head last night, doing this meditation, but who knows.
And I wanted, too, to acknowledge how far I've come:
Congratulations on two months smoke free! I hope you did something special to celebrate your achievement and that you had a great day.
Denim! Thank you so much for remembering and writing! Haven't been able to post from my computer for some reason, and for some reason it only just occurred to try my phone. ;D
But anyway, thank you so much!! Let's just keep on NOPE'n!!