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Hopefully you're just busy with work (or even better, fun), but I haven't seen you on here in a little while and I am missing your gentle thoughtfulness! Hope everything is ok.
I'm ok, just about - been through the emotional wringer a bit, but still standing.
Im so happy to hear from you! Thank you for checking in, it means a lot to me.
Yes, a mix of both fun and work. I was up in Seattle for a few days last weekend and earlier this week. My daughter and I were visiting my Stepson, her brother. I love so very much spending time with him. Hard to believe he will be 27 in July. We are so close and talk about everything under the sun. I’ve known him since he was 3, and me and his dad (who is my daughter’s father) split up when he was near 12 and my daughter was 3. His mom and I are good friends and became even better friends after my divorce from the guy that was her Ex first. Whew! I just realized that is a round about explanation of who is who! Anyway, my Stepson is a person I am grateful to have in my life. I’ve often wondered if he and my daughter are the sole reasons I got with their dad to begin with. Either way, they are the best things that came from my relationship with my Ex and I am eternally grateful for these kids he brought to my life. I’ll have to send you a photo of something I saw in Seattle as I think you will get a kick from it. Seattle was profoundly beautiful. I have been many places in this country and stand by there aren’t any cities more beautiful than Seattle and Portland in the Spring. Speaking of...I read somewhere you aspire to drive across these United States some day! I do hope you get to do that. If so, you will need to let me know. I’ve done that several times from East to West and also North to South. Fair warning: it is a bigger Nation than even many folks here realize. A fascinating one in so many ways too, not only geographically but culturally and socially. Such differences between regions! But yes, that would be a grand trip. I will say, I’ve seen several “work aways” for a variety of places here, and several on the Oregon Coast. Perhaps you would be interested in one of those, haha! You could also likely get work at the medical school in Portland similar to what you do there! That could be fun for a bit. Perhaps you could house sit for me and care for my critters whilst I travel. So many options!
Im so happy things are brighter again for your son. Remember, these times and days are seeds. Keep a little journal to have as a reminder for you to have if things turn rough again. Nothing too taxing, just a line or two of positive things you notice day to day while he is in this phase of treatment and recovery and discovery. It may be interesting and helpful for him someday too. Anyway, a thought of a way to hang onto hope when times are rougher. It helps with quitting smoking too to have note of positives you noticed, or a note of a day of challenges that you surpassed and not smoked. Something to look at on a future tough day.
I’ll add too that reading somewhere about that one particular therapist he has that seems to undermine his progress...well, that is appalling and immensely irresponsible. I think there must be a type of governing body to file a complaint with, perhaps through his competent therapist. I believe I would call them and kindly ask them to refer you to their evidence base of practices; request journal studies that are published in respectable British Medical Journals. This should alert them they are being monitored. I will hush on this now as I don’t want to overstep. It did make me livid to read of your experience and I have difficulty not speaking out about incompetent practices.
Yes, I think you should give the patches a go! I used them with good results. I used each phase about 2 weeks longer than recommended. It might be a bit rough going from gum or lozenges to them initially. I started with the patch and used the gum to supplement at the start. I only had 1-2 pieces a day for a couple of weeks, then very sporadically. I still have some though it is likely hard as a brick! I have had some in my bag all along. No harm. I promised myself I will have that before I buy smokes again. Some days are still one day at a time for me. Not all, but some. I am deeply affected by a variety of issues that plague our society and there are days I could let my addict voice talk me into smoking as things seem hopeless at times. I recognize the rationalization and carry on, usually with a plan for a walk or some form of nature escape. I guess my point is, there are things that the more we resist, the more they persist. Addiction can be one of those. I found embracing it and being honest with myself about the rationalizations and such is more helpful. There are some that actually make me laugh out loud at myself and that is always fun! Anyway...steady goes. Keep the faith in yourself. And know that across the pond, I have faith in you too!
Thank you again for reaching out. The hug you sent came at a perfect time and was embraced fully. It did make my day. Here is one back to you too!
Hope to speak soon!
As promised...here in my Stepson’s neighborhood in Seattle, this is what I ran across. Of course I thought of you and Katie! It was very fun to see.
It was a perfect day when I saw this, all blooms and sun and fresh smells. I wanted badly to enter it and transform myself into a Super Hero. I knew that wouldn’t happen, but it did make me spin tales of adventure in my mind!
Hahaha Lore I love this! Just the idea of you stumbling upon a UK telephone box in Seattle and thinking of me and Suzy :) So funny!
Right?? I loved it! And how could I not think of you two??
Do they still have them like this there? It’s quite nice!
Yes we do still have lots of them and that looks like a genuine one - maybe it teleported over there?!
Oh Lore - thank you for the hug, and for your messages. I've only just seen them now as I've had my niece staying - she's quite a traveller and hardly ever in the UK, so I didn't want to miss any of it.
Your explanation of the family tree was perfectly clear, and how lovely that you are so close to your stepson. Maybe I'll meet him and your daughter when I come to visit - oh yes, you've done it now - I am already making plans . Seriously, of COURSE I'll let you know if we ever do get to your neck of the woods. I hope we do, but I do feel a bit as if everything is on hold at the moment until my son is more stable. I also do need to live my life and have fun, though, and so does Mike (who never wanted children but is a wonderful stepdad all the same).
I'm glad you share my views about the therapist - I have felt furious, but at the same time not sure if I was being overly emotional or controlling. I do think she meant well, but was completely out of her depth, and really confused him.
At the moment, he is feeling good and has even joined a gym, which is a first. He has another appointment with his psychiatrist this evening so we'll see what happens there, but I'm trying not to get too bound up in it all - it is what it is, and there's not much I can do except be there and listen. I've spent 10 years trying to fix things, and am coming round to the idea that it's impossible for me to do it for him, and probably isn't mine to fix in the first place. I hope that doesn't sound harsh, but I'm feeling much calmer - even a bit liberated - and your phrase "there are things that the more we resist, the more they persist" really resonated with me!
With smoking thoughts, the most absurd rationalisation I've had lately is "I don't feel as if I've said a proper 'goodbye' to cigarettes". It'd be like deciding to go back to an abusive ex-partner for a nice night out - completely ridiculous (although I did indeed do that with an abusive ex-partner, and got stuck for another four years - I DEFINITELY don't want that to happen with smoking!!).
Thank you for the picture of the phone box. We don't have so many of them like that here any more - they're often chrome, glass and plastic these days, and I'm not sure I'd even know how to use one! As for transforming yourself into a superhero, there's no need for that - you already are one, in my book.
Hi Suzy and welcome back!
Im glad you got some time with your niece. I bet that lifted your spirits immensely! Yay! Sounds like she loves the life I dream of...nomadic. Honestly if it were up to me I’d sell this house in Portland and go on off and do just that, be a Nomad. Odd jobs maybe here and there. I could likely get a job and work virtually actually. I have a couple of friends that do that now, but they stay in the US and travel. One works from Hawaii 3 months she is there, then 3 months here, etc. So maybe there is hope for me yet! I want so badly to do this one Work Away I saw near London. Helping an older couple. I’ve put in for next May off, so we will see where that takes me!
Yes, of course you are reluctant to make big travel plans right now. Not just your Son, but there still is this nasty virus creating havoc with travel and economies, etc. Things will work out. My partner now never wanted his own kids either, but like your Mike, he has been an amazing parental figure for my daughter. We have been together since she was almost 5 and she is 18 now. Her being older brings it’s own challenges to our relationship (with him for me and her). We will see how things play out. He has no desire to travel and I’ve no desire to stay . Of course I’d come back a couple of times a year for a few weeks likely (maybe?). So, our paths, yours and mine, just may cross either here or there! And we will definitely have some fun either place for sure. Actually, there was a member on here last Fall who stopped in, he is 15 years out, and he told of a gathering and picnic that he and several other members who had all met on here had. Sounds like they had a heck of a time kicking back together and have stayed in touch.
I can imagine you feeling torn with all there is to process with your son and feeling like you also need to carry on with your life. Of course you do. What you said doesn’t sound harsh to me at all. I watched my Mom give up so much and sacrifice so much for my brothers. She ended up not having much of a life for herself due to it. We were quite close and when she was in her mid 80’s she gave me some very sound advice on all of it from her perspective in hindsight. She only lived to 88 and died rather suddenly and I’ve always been sad for her in some ways. Anyway, sorry to natter, but point being, yes...you absolutely must live your life too. The balance will come with things with your son. This is all rather new still and things will settle out and you all will find your footing and live your lives as you should; supportive of each other and fulfilling your own needs and desires too.
Hmmm. Proper goodbye to cigarettes, eh? Tread carefully with those thoughts. I think you spelled it out when you spoke to the other abusive person and ended up there 4 years longer. They are in your rear view mirror now. Perhaps just a little wave behind you will suffice.
Honestly I relate to the head games we play with ourselves though. I can talk to myself in my head about a romantic interlude with a cigarette most days. Ponder how it would feel and still at times think I’d like it. Well, I like lots of things that (and who) aren’t good for me and I get by ok without them too. I do think you should consider the patch before you buy more smokes. It helped me tremendously. I even put one back on for a few days when I had been off for a few months because a very stressful situation arose with a visiting relative. It worked and when she left I stopped the patch again. I didn’t smoke which was my goal. Stay in the moment. Write a bit of something each day. Perhaps I will start a new thread where folks can just pop on with a word or two about the day and the how, where, why, etc of how it played out for them without the smokes. Might be interesting...stay tuned.
Oh that phone booth! It was fantastic! It had a little sign inside about it being an authentic one from the UK and how it got Seattle, and I meant to take a picture of that too so I could remember exactly, but got sidetracked and don’t have a photo of that. You’re funny...already a Super Hero. Mmm. I wish at times. Now perhaps a bit more like Maleficent than anybody. Stick to myself, commune with creatures...Balthazar guarding the gates and all that...hahaha! Anyway, I thought twice about transforming in that booth as it was rather open to view from top to bottom! Maybe only for transformations that occur after dark!
Ok Suzy...stay well and kind to yourself, and we will speak soon!
I just wrote to Suzy that it did have a sign inside attesting to it’s authenticity and explaining how it got there. I meant to take a picture and didn’t and now I can’t remember except it saying it was “genuine”. It was also locked .
I have a friend here who is from the UK, and he brings antiques over and sells them. Like shipping containers full. I will have to ask him if he has a guilty hand in this, haha! He is in Portland though, so likely not.
How are you? Is your Spring shaping up to be lovely?? Does this mean your water is warming also and not as refreshing to you? Also, does your daughter swim? I’m a big believer in starting them very young with that. My folks were those that threw you in before you could walk and let you figure it out. None of us drowned so I guess it turned out ok!
Hope all is well! Speak soon!
Let me know if you get to that Workaway! What is it, and why does that particular one appeal? How exciting that we might get to meet one day! I have a good friend now that I met on here in 2008 (that's how long it's taken me to get sensible). This forum is amazing, in all sorts of ways.
Yes, I will be careful with the smoking thoughts - I love the idea of a wave in the rear view mirror . I really need to be on here more, I think - life is busy, but staying quit is really important !!
I've got the patches ready. Don't quite know when I'm going to make the switch - it scares me a bit - but I'm going to pick a week where I haven't got much on so I can curl up under a duvet and watch nature programmes (THE most therapeutic thing there is, in my opinion, especially if there's some chocolate involved too). So I do have a plan, of sorts.
You take care too, and speak soon. xx