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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Hey Meredith, be happy you can go on your back porch. I can't go out there yet, as that was my place just for smoking. I kid you not the squirrels having been climbing the screens looking for me. My poor plants have mostly died too. I want to enjoy my porch again, but I can only visualize smoking when I even glance towards it. Pathetic.
All those crappy thoughts you're having......just wait until month 3. Grow out your nails so you can hang on tight.
Killed the beast 7/9/19
I dunno about pathetic...I was sitting out there with a whiskey ginger watching the sunset, and not having a smoke in my hand was like an alternate reality, and not the good kind. I still can't fall asleep unless I go sit on the porch right before bed. We wired our brains that porch=smoke, and now we're trying to rewire the whole thing and ooooomg weird and a host of other adjectives, too. And I think it helps that my back porch is also the path to my garage/car, so there's brain patterns other than just smoking.
For whatever it may be worth, my Carr-inspired mindset is "bring it on," that I want to bring all that discomfort to me so I can retrain my brain and get it over with -- esp while I'm still super wary. What I fear is next year, two years, three years, when I've almost forgotten all about how much I hated being so trapped, and then a pattern I hadn't already dealt with comes up and bites me on the nose. I know it'll happen, but I'm super interested in trying to minimize it.
With any luck, I'll be able to remember all of that in the throes of Month 3. Given how "Week 3" lasted pretty much from day 16 to day 29, I have to admit I'm daunted. 'Cause yeah, it doesn't look easy. Maybe I'll get acrylics for the strength to hang on.
Ooo, that's actually a really good idea. Say a little rhyme, light a little candle, get them taken off when the hell is over...
Oh yeah, and this
(Omglol, I totally didn't realize there were Christian overtones in that song....hope you don't mind me borrowing.)
While half the point is to whine to the only people who could possibly understand, I notice that I don't think I've said one thing about actual positive changes or experiences, save the lack of desire to bum a cig at the bus stop the other day. So:
I don't wheeze as I'm falling asleep.
My nose isn't completely congested by bedtime, even if I don't neti pot in the morning.
I hadn't cried over being inspired for a loooong time before last Saturday.
I don't get a stitch in my side if I do a couple Jazzercise routines at high impact.
My expenses this month will be merely ridiculous, not completely insane.
Some personal power is coming back...actually that's funny, seeing as how I'd started smoking before Doing the Work. Nonetheless, there's this added shred of will or presence or something that wasn't there before.
Life is just that much simpler without having to worry about running out of cigarettes.
CONGRATULATIONS SUGAR BISCUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm SO proud of you! You're right when you say, "Life is much simpler without worrying about running out of cigs". Ain't THAT the truth. Thank you for being such a star in my life. You shine bright like a diamond babe! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
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.