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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Oh good, I’m glad the novella didn’t bore you to tears!
I love that “rock pool micro worlds”. Aren’t they though? Just brimming with life going on whilst the tide is out and then it comes in and so much of that world can change until the next tide. Such a beautiful process! Yes! That Octopus was young and very tempting, but I didn’t bother him much. I think it was a bit stressed as I know the don’t like being just out in the open and vulnerable. I’m sure he was outta there with relief when the next tide came. I did see that show and just loved it. The cinematography was stunning wasn’t it? Actually, when you first started speaking of your cold water swims I thought of that gentleman and how he told of conditioning himself to the cold water temperature over a period of time in that place. It was such a touching story and I did cry a bit at the end. I know it is the circle of life and all. It was just so touching on different levels. Knowing that experience was such a gift for him and how precious a relationship that was built and so brief in the grand scheme.
Haha, well, yes, I like to surf, and I’m sure it is quite comical for anyone watching! There are some things in life that just don’t matter if one is good at, and I know I will never be, and I accept that and I think it makes it more fun for me.
So I’ve been thinking, about your question; what is it exactly that I think I am missing when I am romanticising about smoking? Well, I think what you said makes sense, the illusion of pleasure. Sometimes I think it made me feel like my mind was connecting briefly in a more physical way. I mean, I think that rush of nicotine and that brief “ahhh” feeling. I think it was nothing more than getting my fix, but because I was so depend on it physically, it gave me the illusion of my mind calming with the physical feeling of that first hit. It’s so awful really Katie, isn’t it? I know I get that same connection and relief and, “release” if you will, now when I run. You know that feeling when you first start out and your breath isn’t in sync yet and it feels hard and your mind is all a flurry and then, once you hit a certain pace or time or something, you get that feeling of your breathing calming and getting in sync and your mind calms and clears and even though your still running your body kind of relaxes and just gets a flow to it and you can feel the movement relax you and you keep going for a while, just gliding now? That moment you feel that click of synchronization inside. I think I thought I got that in my first drag or two. Perhaps I did in some way, from the drug and being an addict. I guess maybe sometimes I think about how quick and easy it was to get that and now it takes some work to get it from running. That sounds awful, I know. Don’t get me wrong as I would not trade what I am physically capable of now as an Ex smoker to have that back. No way. It’s just I think I sometimes think about how much “easier” it would be to get that feeling quickly without the work. Again, that thought is brief, and I am full aware I don’t really want to get my fix that way anymore. Maybe some moments I’m just lazy and want it quickly is all. I’ll think about it some more, but I do think it is along those lines of just wanting the “ahhh” feeling quickly. The trade off though? Oh heck no. Nope.
Yes...all my crochet projects. And my yarn addiction! Why is it we feel we never have enough? I have enough wool in so many colors and sizes to last a very very long time, yet, I will still see a particular hank and just have to have it! Is this part of an addictive personality? I know lots of knitters and crocheters who are the same way who have never smoked! Your little bunny sounds precious! Ahhh...yes...the half finished blankets. Don’t we all have at least one of those? I find I am either very motivated and consumed with a project like that and obsessed with getting it done quickly, or, like you, get bored half through and it then becomes a chore to get it done. I have actually given half finished projects away with all the yarn to complete them. Isn’t that terrible?
Ok Katie...Goodson hear from you. I’m going to ponder some angles and questions you brought up. It’s good for me to process really, in a realistic way and not just the superficial “crave” and ride the wave kind of way. More on that too maybe, lol!
Thank you Katie for being here! You’ve brought a ray of sunshine to the forum for sure!
Hello Dear Suzy!
I was very happy to read from you and see you’re carrying on. You are a strong woman! Yay! So you know...I hear a good deal of positive and commitment in your voice, and it is wonderful to hear! We all know this is a struggle at times. But it is also a journey and an adventure and can really be a hopeful and positive thing. Well, sometimes anyway? Also, glad to hear you don’t find me being honest a...I don’t know...scary thing. At first I was worried about still thinking about smoking. Not so much anymore. It just is what it is. There are many things in my life I meet with resistance. Outwardly so. But for this, I do believe the more I resist, the more the nagging persists. It does work for me to just accept the thoughts, acknowledge, wave a little “oh, hello there” at times, and carry on. I didn’t believe my shrink when those were his instructions, but he has proven smarter than me with this. Yes, we all want the “peace”, the Holy Grail of freedom from any thoughts of nicotine. I think some here quite a few years out have that, I’ve read. I might too some day. I just know that I don’t completely right now. I am far enough into this now though that I can really truly say I do t want to go back. So I hang onto that. Anyway, I’m nattering on. Maybe I can think about it some and come up with a more concise way of putting it. But...maybe not! Haha!
Oh...I love the story of you sneaking to the staff cottage and wrapping your hair in a towel! I did that! Often when I smoked. Had a “smoking coat” too. But I really hated the smell on my hair and knew others would pick up on it. Do you suppose that worked? I thought it did. Then I’d wash my face, brush my teeth, etc., etc...all while at my own house! Oh boy. Yup. Regular old adulterous relationship I had going with those smokes. Yes. Thank goodness we do not have to do that anymore, so, cheers to us!
So, I’m not sure if we have a paint called “Magnolia”, but I can picture the color and it’s lovely. We have Magnolia trees, I have one out front, and the blossoms are the color you describe. And the scent! Oh, heaven! Do you have Magnolia trees there? I will have to go around and take some pictures. Actually now as soon as I wrote that, I realize we have several different kinds and colors. The one I’m thinking of is the same as where your family is in Georgia. Ahhhh....I loved Summer nights there! Would cool off enough to be out still in shorts and a t-shirt and there were so many Magnolia Grandiflora the scent would almost hang thickly, filling the air, so fresh and slightly lemony. Blossoms so big it would take both my hands to cup one of them. Cicadas singing on the breeze, Fireflies flashing here and there...oh. So Dreamy. Well, then...down there, one of those 3 inch cockroaches would FLY on by and suddenly my beautiful dream turned into a nightmare, lol! Well, not really, but, honestly? I don’t like those. They call them Palmetto Bugs, but, a cockroach is a cockroach. We don’t have those kind here in the Pacific Northwest. But we don’t have Firelies either. Those I miss. So maybe wouldn’t be a bad trade off. No real thunderstorms here either. Ok...now...how did I get here from paint??? Oh my.
I have to say...I am quite envious of your lifestyle. Summer in a camper van. Did you drive about the countryside? And how is it that I’ve not met anyone from England yet that has been to Ireland? Ok...here is a dumb question. I’m just gonna ask. Is there a Ferry to take to get there? I ask because I have gone to Victoria, BC quite a bit from Seattle on the Ferry and it takes about 3 hours. I’m not sure the actual water distance Ireland would be for you. I guess I should look that up and not ask the silly questions. Anyway. Ok, next dumb question. Could you take your boat over to there? With Wodney? And yes...a Whippet makes much more sense on a boat than a pony! It is a very sweet song though, and a favorite of mine that we used to sing at overnights during my daughter’s Middle School years. One of the teachers always brought his guitar and we sing around the fire at night. It was a total hippie school so my daughter, though she is only 18, knows songs like “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” and “Eve Of Destruction “. Of course, I always used to sneak off and have a smoke after the kids were all tucked in. Ugh. Well. Days gone by now. Honestly, I have a bit of fear of being totally “cured” as I don’t want to become complacent really and fall again into the arms of the beast. Well, nicodemon anyway. A Beast I might could handle falling into the arms of and enjoy it a little!
Oh dear...You are probably wondering just what I might be smoking about now with all of this rambling! Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just a bit high on life and our incredible Spring weather we’ve been having. And thoughts of traveling around on your boat! Fabulous! Wow. I dream of that life.
Im going to take a nice night walk and maybe come back and write some more, hopefully more sensibly. If not, I will check on you tomorrow. I’m proud of you!
Talk soon! Xx
Things are pretty much as awful as they've ever been, but I still don't smoke. I honestly don't understand it, it's just weird, but I'm trying not to question it too much and just be grateful for it.
My son is not in a good way. I don't want to say too much on here - I doubt very much he'd ever read it but I want to respect his privacy - but I do feel the need to vent and shout and cry! He is such a lovely, kind person - when he's well, you really couldn't meet anyone nicer - but he's taken his diagnosis very hard, and is blaming everyone (especially Mike, who has only ever tried to help him).
It's really, really tough for him, and for us too. At least, though, he is getting proper help and meds now, instead of being fobbed off with anti-depressants. This has been going on at some level for about ten years, but I think our help, well-meaning as it was, might actually have prevented things from getting bad enough for him to qualify for real, proper help. At least now he is on the radar for professional support. It's really uncomfortable, but at least it's a change. Otherwise it felt like things would just go on and on, and eventually we'd die and not be able to help any more, and then what?
So I'm trying to take comfort from that. And I'm glad I don't smoke, even though it DOES feel like it might help sometimes. The other thing that helps is my daughter - she of the smoked slammon shout-fest. She was a thoroughly bolshy teenager, but wow - the support and care for us now is almost unbelievable. Random presents through the post, texts reminding us that we're good parents. She's got a really demanding job too, and I don't know how she finds the time, but she does. Without her and Mike I think I would have crumbled. So I have a lot to be thankful for, and I still have hope for my son too. And - wahaayyyy - I don't smoke. Miracles do happen.
Yes, the cold-water PR went thoroughly off the boil , and no amount of cosy phrases like "safely hunkered down in the water" can delete that image of you being too cold - too COLD - to put your clothes on! But I will try to think of you smiling instead of shivering, I really will. As to whether the sea looks inviting, well that depends almost entirely on whether the sun is shining and how windy it is. A grey, steely, windswept sea is nice to look at, but I wouldn't want to go in. An azure millpond under a cloudless sky - well, maybe. And I WILL have a paddle soon - literally putting my toe in the water. Things have been on hold for so many months down here, but now the holidaymakers are back, the beer gardens are open, and we spend all our Saturdays cleaning the flat between guests - so I am starting to feel almost summery. It will be very nice to have a non-smoking summer.
We actually have someone else doing the cleaning tomorrow, as we're booked to take the boat from Exeter Canal Basin down to the Turf Locks, which is the boundary between the canal and the estuary - a 7.30am start! We will have to stay there a while until the mast is put back up and the estuary is opened to 'leisure craft', but there's a nice pub there, and lots of friendly boaty people, so we should be all right. It's also hard to get cars there, so we'll be doing some cycling.
I'm glad your husband is taking good care of you. I do remember, intellectually at least, how tiring it was to have small children, but the day-to-day reality is something else. I think I was exhausted and tearful quite often, and there were three years between my two. I can't begin to imagine how it might be to have two kids under two (or twins, or triplets! How?). The beaker story made me smile a lot, and no wonder you were feeling a nap coming on.
I hope you feel thoroughly well-rested today, and talk soon. And thank you. I don't think the problems are over by any means, but you really do help.
It is so great to read that you don't want to go back to smoking. That you have The Thoughts, but you still don't want to go back there. I think that's honest, practical, and really helpful for me. I can't imagine not ever having smoking thoughts - although I hope it WILL happen - so the idea that you can have them and still not actually want to smoke is a very comforting thing.
I had a smoking coat too! It really did stink. I also used to wash my face and put new make-up on before going back to work - it was frankly amazing that I had any time for actual lunch at all. The things we put ourselves through, and all for a drug that doesn't even get you high. It is, really, insanity.
Magnolia trees are beautiful - gorgeous, frail, wonderful, beautiful things - but magnolia paint is not. Magnolia paint is what you do when you've given up on life, when you can't be bothered to make a decision. Magnolia paint is a default thing, magnolia paint is just a bit sad. But it does go with everything. I want bright things now, though, I want colour, I want wild - hey, I may even want Beastly
As for Palmetto bugs, I am not sure that a cockroach IS a cockroach. My mum used to say to me that there's nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. I think I would like a Palmetto bug more than a cockroach, even if they're the same. What do you reckon?
Thanks for being proud of me. I do feel proud of the not smoking, but it's very hard not to wonder where I went wrong with my son. Rationally, I know this could happen to anyone, but emotionally I feel that I must be responsible, that I can't have looked after him properly. I do believe that I did, but when something like this happens you start questioning everything.
Oh, my heart is with you. I can hear the painful feelings about your son in your writing. It must be so hard to see him suffer, and I can’t imagine how sad and conflicted you must feel. I do see though, you said that this diagnosis is new and he is just starting some treatment. Take heart with this. Things will simmer down now that these things are in motion and you all are on the path of getting the care your son needs. It is human nature, to have all this hindsight and questioning. You questioning and thinking about all of this has meaning; it means you are a good Mum. An indifferent one would not be so questioning and hard on herself. Of course you need to process things and work through many questions. My guess is your son has a lot to process and work through also, even more so than before and the uprise in his lashing out and anger and blame is a natural response and part of him learning to accept. He is grasping for an understanding I’m sure, as you are too. Get the treatment going and know it takes some time for many medications to take effect and there may need to be adjustments made, etc. Don’t worry yourself about finding answers and explanations right now as to “why” . The answers may not come, perhaps not ever, and perhaps it just is what it is. Any answers won’t change what needs to be happening right now. Just focus on finding some calm and balance while his care gets going.
The self care you provide for you right now is so important. And going through this tough stuff and not smoking, well, yes....of course I’m proud of you!
Anyway...I do hope I’ve not overstepped boundaries. Take heart and breathe and know that you have a start now. Things will go up from here. Be patient and kind with yourself too. Let the making it through without smoking speak to you and be proud of yourself too.
Big hugs coming over The Pond for you Suzy. You are stronger than you know.
Good morning Suzy,
Well, not much left of morning, but since I just woke again and am having my first coffee I’m going to call it that. I’m not a regular sleep schedule person. Not advocating for that, as I am always envious of those that can maintain a schedule and it likely is better for one to do so. Just not my style. I’m more a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl with most things and my sleep is not excluded from that. Went to bed around midnight, woke around 4:30 and went out to walk for a couple of hours, then read for a while, then back to sleep till a bit ago. Was thinking about your questioning whether a cockroach is a cockroach. I understand what your Mum was saying and try to embrace and accept that with creatures and life in general. I think what she was saying is, to most folks, a cockroach is looked upon with disdain. If one views a cockroach as something bad, then, to them it is bad. In reality though, it is still what it is, simply a cockroach living it’s life and existing which is not bad. It just is. Bear with me here... caffeine infusion is going slowly, lol! So, to me, a cockroach is a cockroach, but not something I view with disdain. It is just a little life scurrying on about it’s business. I could probably natter on about this for quite some time. But the end point would be, that I agree with your Mum. There is no real reason that one (me?) enjoys catching Fireflies in my hands and holding them and looking at them closely, and does not enjoy doing the same with a Palmetto bug other than my own misconceived notions. So, I’ve made a pact with myself that if I am ever in the South again, and a Palmetto bug glides out of a tree and lands near me, I will try to hold it and get a closer look. I do think I owe that to myself. All other gentle readers think I’m nuts maybe. But life is short and we do owe ourselves these moments to slow down and embrace things that cross our paths rather than to just storm down the path ignoring or crushing things that are on the same path wit us. Eve my buddy on here laughs at me as I wrote once how on one of my walks after a rain I got sidetracked moving snails off the sidewalk and street as I was worried they would be crushed and I really did not want to see them smushed if I happened back that way.
So, why all this senseless natter? Well, one reason, is I do at times still think about a smoke with my morning coffee and when I first quit I would come here instead and write about other things that crossed my mind instead and it was helpful. Apparently it still is. The second reason though is, you have been on my mind and I am hoping you find some small thing on your path today that allows you to embrace a moment and let your mind rest and wander. It really is a liberating thing for us addicts to learn and allow ourselves to do. Before, we filled all those neuronal connections with obsession of obtaining our fix. Poor neurons, the only thing they found stimulation with was nicotine. Now though, we realize there is a whole great World of wonderful things to be thought about and viewed freely without that constant, nagging, selfish, addict voice becoming increasingly louder and louder until we satisfy it with a hit. Yeah. That’s really all it was and will always be. That voice is endlessly greedy and one is never enough of course. Better to leave it where it is with us now while it is thinking it only needs one. Soon as we wake it, one will never be enough. So, in recovery, I think about how it is there only wanting “one” and I can leave it at that. I can’t however, let it go back to the endless greedy desire and constant poking and nagging as it truly is insatiable. Best to acknowledge and let it just want one and let it go on its way. It seems to quiet more quickly this way, me thinking it only wants or needs just one, and one is easy not to give. That today is doable.
None of this made much sense but good news is my coffee is down and my day is opening to move forward. Hopefully your day is nice. You mentioned somewhere going on your boat this weekend. I hope you notice something bright on your journey. So much easier to do when we are not obsessed with smoking.
Thanks for your message and for sharing about your son. I’m so sorry to hear how hard things are for him and for you and Mike at the moment, and that there are recriminations on top of everything. That must be so painful for you to think about, to keep going over everything and questioning yourself.
I’m so glad your daughter has been able to support and reassure you. For what it’s worth I think you are a wonderfully open-hearted, kind and compassionate person - and all whilst quitting smoking too!
It sounds like your son is adjusting to a whole new reality and maybe lashing out at those closest to him. It seems really hopeful now that he’s moving forward with this new diagnosis and treatment that things will shift with time.
Please don’t beat yourself up worrying that the support you provided him in the past stopped him from getting treatment! It sounds like now is just the right time for him to begin making these changes and any care you have provided as loving parents can only be a good thing.
One thing I’ve definitely learnt since I started engaging with therapy is just what a complex and intricately balanced system a family is. Even a small change in one person’s role or relationship has a ripple effect through the whole family. So something as major as your son’s new diagnosis is going to be like a tidal wave. Things will resettle into a new way of being but that will take time.
I don’t know if any of this is helpful but I’m thinking of you.
It’s such a Good Thing that you are sticking to your quit in all this. It sounds like you have really grasped that smoking does not help a bad situation. This is the truth!
I hope everything has gone well with your boat move today. So am I right in thinking you motored on the water down to the estuary? Was this the first time you’ve been on the water in the boat? Hope you had a nice pub lunch somewhere sunny :)
I’m feeling a bit brighter and had a nice day with hub and bub. In the park my daughter noticed daisies for the first time and ran around excitedly counting them (there were always ten as that’s how her counting works at the moment). Oh and with a little climbing and paddling my husband managed to retrieve the water beaker from the duck pond!
AND the snooker world championships started today so things are really looking up:)
Take care Suzy and speak soon,
Quit 4th March 2017
How was your weekend? I’m just settling into my bed. Feels like the weekend has gone past quickly but it’s been nice, especially the weather - proper warm sunshine :)
I really liked your description of when you hit your rhythm in running and feel like you’re gliding along. I used to get that a lot with running, nowadays less so but I do get it with swimming. Especially when the water is calm and quiet and the sunshine is making lovely patterns on the bottom of the lido. I get sort of mesmerised and just zone out and it feel like the less effort I make the faster I go! It’s lovely to feel that connection between mind and body isn’t it?
And yes I know what you mean about that similar ‘aaahh’ feeling that came with that first puff of the cigarette. I think the parallels of those feelings are not a coincidence - it’s like the addiction is really a hijacking of the reward pathways that naturally exist in our brains. Usually those pathways make us do things that we need to survive like eat and exercise. Once we’re hooked on nicotine it taps into all these essential systems in our brains and we feel like we can’t live without it even though we know intellectually the opposite is true.
You mentioned the quick and easy fix that smoking once gave you. I know just what you mean but don’t forget it’s hard work being an addict too! We were essentially slaves to that horrible stuff. Like remember all that effort to hide the smell? Or having to go out at inconvenient times to get tobacco? Running or swimming would never demand that level of commitment from us ;)
But yes haha I confess I am addicted to yarn too! I never heard a skein called a hank but now I’m wondering if that’s where hanker comes from! (And I confess I’m never too confident about pronouncing skein - skeen? skane? scone??) Maybe a ball of yarn is safest. I have a whole basket full and live in fear of moths aargh.
Back to smoking - you mentioned thinking about the addiction at a more profound level than just crave/ride the wave. That got me to thinking - maybe the crave/wave *is* nicotine addiction at its most profound. All the other stuff like what we think it does for us is our brains filling in the gaps to try to make sense of being an addict. Those things feel more complex and important but they’re all secondary to the basic addiction.
It’s such a topsy turvy thing. Makes it so hard to get out of the maze but I’m so glad we’ve got free - here’s to never going back in there!
Cheers Lore and speak soon,
Quit 4th March 2017
Nice to hear from you. Also, happy to hear you had some sunshine and warmth. We did to. It was 28.8° C here yesterday and about the same today! Wow. In April. Full on sun for the last several day too and is expected to last through Friday here yet. So yes, I did enjoy my weekend and did some gardening and walking and reading and hanging with my daughter etc. I work tomorrow, though usually don’t on Mondays, then am off through Friday so am planning a trip to the Coast this week. I really need it. The salt air and sounds and water and solitude clear my head and soul like nothing else can really.
So, I would pronounce “skein” as “Skane”. A hank is unwound, the kind that when unfolded makes a large circle, like straight from the dyer. The term skein I would use for pre-wound that has center or outer pull. A “cake” is what a hank is wound into with a winder, or a ball if wound by hand. Do you have access to Cedar blocks? Like the kind you might put in a closet or in drawers? Those should deter moths, and they smell nice too. Or you can make your own with some cedar essential oil and sprinkle on some cotton and put it in a cloth tea bag.
I love the things you ponder and pout out and write about with addiction and smoking. They make me think. So I will ponder some things and reply to some of your thoughts soon! It’s bedtime for me as I have to be up early and since I’m a night owl I do have to force myself to bed at a decent time in work nights.
I hope your week is wonderful! Back to you soon. Xx