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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Hmmm... I just tried that link above. It still works though you have to click the “show this thread” button at the bottom of the picture of Trevi Fountain. You likely would have figured that out. Me I’m lucky to have done so. Serene.
Hey, thanks for all this Lori
Where do I start? The links work fine. That is where they did the cover for Abbey Road. If anything, that is the official name we use around here: 'Where they did the cover for Abbey Road'. Not as concise as your name, but we are generally not as smart... And yes, lovely serene pictures from across the globe. Thanks for sharing, I never thought there could be more beauty in emptiness than there is when these places are bustling.
The Dear John letter is a wonderful anthem for us all here also. Makes the point beautifully, and the more I read things as poignant as that, the closer I get to accepting what you told me days ago: I should see myself as a non-smoker now. Full stop. And that I should stop flirting with the idea of returning to a passionate one-night stand at some point, with a ten-pack of the finest cigarettes that money can buy.
I'll probably write more later if I can on my family life, but yeah, my wife is taking it better than me. For years, she didn't really get hooked. Even when she did, she never really moved on from having two-three each day. Don't know why it is, but some people cope better with keeping the addiction at arms length. Then you get cases like me: I've been in love with the sticks from the moment I first set my lips around one of them at 16. Apart from a brief spell vaping, I never went a day without them since. I dived in from that first day, wholeheartedly and lovingly, and I'm yet to be convinced that what I had with cigarettes was not the truest of loves. But I will get there, and your coaching and this website in general is helping me get there I think
So what exactly was your daughter going to do at this circus school? If that is obvious from what you have said already, I'm sorry for not getting the obvious. But I think whatever she is doing is generally less common over here?
I will write you a full update on mindfulness and how I'm doing with it to help ride my cravings. But for now I will say the following very scientific statement: yeah, I think it does help?
So, the cravings are still coming. Which is a bit disappointing considering I'm at nearly 4 weeks since my last smoke. But no ever said it was going to be easy, so I fight on. And I am dealing with these nuisances in one of two ways:
1) When I am tuned in, I can pick up the cravings from the onset, as they are picked up early by my internal radar. I have then been trying the mindfulness approach, which is a cool, hands-off response to the cravings, whereby I am a kind of inquisitive neutral onlooker to the threat that brews within. The cravings then tend to notice my indifference (which makes me think I am practicing mindfulness incorrectly, as my indifference should be hidden even to myself?); but once the indifference is noted, the cravings die suddenly. Which is cool with me. It is almost as if they are not interested if I am not troubled by them. So they politely and suddenly leave.
2) When I am not tuned in or distracted elsewhere, the cravings hit me and build up in intensity fairly quickly. A tightness builds up in my chest and I feel the perverse pangs of need that only a smoker understands. My breathing is affected also. The distress signals are finally noted by my brain, and I send out my biggest bombers to meet the alien threat. I am already however in danger of being overwhelmed by the monster that I now face, but deep-breathing seems to be enough at this advanced stage of quitting, to help me turn the tide and put this particular craving to bed. The loss of temporary control however leaves me flustered, and I have to remain on alert for any aftershocks that may hit me in the subsequent minutes and hours.
So yeah, this is where I'm at. I'm winning, but I haven't won yet. And I'm not entirely convinced I will be standing at the end of this bout. But mindfulness has now been added to my (limited) stockpile of arsenal in this war, so thank you for that Lori (and your course guy) - that really helps
So tell me, after you articulate it here, very eloquently and beautifully, does it seem to take the steam out of them for a bit?
This is a journey. I’m afraid there is not a short cut through the woods. But as one of the mods put it a ways back, it is as much about the journey as it is the end result. Trust the process Shak. We spent a lot of years and time learning to cope through smoking; so much of it we weren’t aware that this is what we were doing. We started at an early age using this drug, before our frontal lobes had time to develop normally and appropriately, and the effects of nicotine are vast and varied. Think about the teen with the tantrum. Most teens aren’t really overt in their tantrums as they are more “Emo” as they say. But if this is where our normal growth and development stopped due to nicotine taking over as a coping mechanism it makes some sense that we have an element of “arrested development “ so to speak and now we have a somewhat more developed pre-frontal cortex struggling to learn how to process and handle things on their own when they really didn’t learn to do so in the beginning. I’m kind of rambling...more later after I wrap some things up here.
You are doing beautifully my friend. Stay in the moment, drink some ice water slowly through a straw. Deep slow breaths. Music you can focus on. And your writing must certainly be quite cathartic. It surely is for us to read!! Did you know you are helping others with that?
Hey thanks for saying such lovely things Lori. It's more than I deserve, but thank you so much for your kindness (again).
Oh my...well you certainly know how to make one feel good even in the throes of near misery.
So, that is unscientific conjecture on my part. It is perhaps a rationally irrational conclusion from what is known about brain development and handling of emotions, etc. Many folks here expound on the awareness of emotions and some challenges in dealing with them since they have quit. Not just the angst of craves, but the raw feeling and awareness of seemingly new emotions that have arisen since they’ve quit. Some have surmised that they feel this new level of emotions because in the past they have been masked by nicotine. Maybe, maybe not. I can’t speak to that from my experience. But with that other site it is spoken to quite a bit how we have learned to view smoking as pleasure and how it has in our minds become a positive association. Putting two and two together it was my conclusion that it may make sense since most of us started when we were not fully developed intellectually and emotionally. So that is my thought on possible “arrested development” so to speak, and perhaps why we have such a difficult time detaching at this point in our lives from nicotine. Again..,just some conjecture and perhaps only babble on my part and possibly (likely?) no scientific basis available.
The other possibility is quitting just sucks and it takes a long time to get over it. We live in a fairly “instant” world nowadays. Generally our level of patience is not too high, in particular if we are awaiting a positive result and feeling that is not coming to us in what we expect should be an acceptable time frame. So now we are back to letting nature take her course and have nothing more to soothe us than support from each other and those that have gone before us while we await the release of final recovery and healing. I suspect this is the most likely thing, and it really does just take some time and patience and self acceptance of where we are. Perhaps if we do resist less and surf more we are better off. It is what it is, and will be what it will be. The catch is: smoking won’t change that except to have us start the process over.
You are doing just as you should be. Just keep doing. Smoking has never really done and never will really do anything for us. We just taught ourselves wrong.
No insult intended when I say we are like teens having tantrums with our craves. I surely hope nobody takes it that way at all! I think we made poor choices when we were younger and started smoking is all. We can learn to make better choices now. And we are! Yay!
So this is where we grab our bootlaces and march on. It doesn’t really matter what was anyway. It only matters what is.
Maybe the less we think about it the better!
Ahhh...my distracted brain found the one with the question I knew I had left unanswered. I feel badly for whoever is going to need to provide any care for me in my old age if I happen to lose ALL of my marbles. It is difficult enough for me to keep track of my thoughts even whilst living under my own illusion of my marbles are retained!!
She is heavily into the Circus Arts with her first love being Trapeze. Yes, my daughter likes to “fly”. She may also get some secret joy to adding to her mom’s collection of already many silver hairs in doing so. She also is quite adept at something called “Lyra” and acrobatics. Her main goal in life at the tender young age of 17 is to be a performer with Cirque du Soleil. I plan on being there to see her.
Wow, that sounds such an unusual goal that your daughter has decided to pursue. How did she get into that and realise she had a talent for it? Is it that her talent for acrobatics made her want to soar even further, and she was led eventually to the magical world of being a trapeze performer? It sounds thrilling and dangerous, you do well to watch and encourage it, as I don't think I'd quite have the same strength to do that for my children.
Had a quieter time on here as have been tied up with a really tired spell for most of yesterday. Unsure if that was smoking related, but that could have been partly to blame? And today I've had communication problems over on my side, which I'm still trying to find a workaround for. This is incredibly frustrating and these frustrations are usually smoke-worthy. But I have a lot of strength behind this quit somehow, so don't think I will break today and the fight will continue.
Good morning Shak!
How are your cravings doing? Is the mindfulness helping?
Im finding myself quite distracted the past couple of days, definitely not with the desire to smoke, but definitely with desire for fulfillment. Restless describes it some but surely not completely. Perhaps it is lockdown contributions as well, though I am not so affected by those as the things one cannot do here I didn’t do much of anyway. Perhaps restless because I did miss my fabulous trip to places I’ve never been and now feel a very strong, almost overwhelming desire to venture to other places I have not gone. The trip was with my partner’s sister-in—law who is heavy into tech industry and works for a company that sends her all over the world. She asked if I wanted to come on this one and I was to have a week in Vienna mostly on my own while she worked her very long days. After we were going to Brno and Prague together and she want scheduled to work for that time. I was so looking forward to my week in Vienna by myself. I had many fantasies on how to fill my time. It was such a feeling! It’s funny as my daughter seems as much disappointed as me. She would have stayed here, but she really wanted her mom to have this adventure. There is a large cemetery there I had planned to spend an entire day at which has several famous composers buried within. I love cemeteries; particularly old ones. The oldest I’ve been to here I believe is in Savannah, Georgia, a south eastern state just above Florida. It is fabulous in so many ways with it’s Live Oak Trees and Spanish Moss. It is oddly, perhaps, one of the most romantic places I’ve been in the SE U.S. If you not heard of it you should look it up. Somehow I just transported myself back here to the US and where I am so so so aching to be right now is in Europe....