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This community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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Your replies are not backward, you are just prioritising in a way that makes total sense to me.
Yes, you are right, those moments are pretty fleeting when we look carefully and stalk these urges, like the hunters we are now trying to be. We are both at an advanced stage in quitting, so it is understandable that our urges are no longer frequent and intense. And there is truth in what your course guy says: it is the fear of these urges, and our mishandling of them, that keeps us so preoccupied and so frightened and so in awe of the quitting process. And perhaps by de-mystifying the cravings, we can gain the upper hand in this long and arduous war?
Yes, I think it does demystify them a bit to be a spectator instead of letting myself be drawn into the drama of participating. You’re funny Shak...calling him my course guy. I’ll add him in to my repertoire of men in my closet, haha.
The reason that site resonates with me is my withdrawal has been so mental. I’ve only had a couple of truly physical craves that cause a edgy nervous feeling and tightness in my gut. I know when it comes down to it quitting is mostly mental. Especially for me as I am using the patch so am still getting nicotine, albeit the stepped down version. I did notice quite a bit the first few days that I stepped down the dose on the patch. Have managed to keep weight stable which I’m happy about too. At 5 feet tall I cannot afford too many extra pounds. It just doesn’t spread out the same as on a taller person. In my next life the plan is to be a 6 foot Redhead. Still a woman, but tall. Then I can eat a lot more ice cream.
I love the analogy of us now being the Hunters. My dad and brothers were hunters. Out of necessity mainly. It was interesting watching my father get older and all the kids being grown and him not needing to be the provider as much. He really grew into a dislike for hunting. Which is probably good as 2 of his kids went on to be vegetarian. I digress again.
I love what you wrote about it being a lovely day for your family. Is your wife enjoying being a non smoker? Is it easier for her than you do you think?
We don’t have VE Day here. Heck, at work last year I pointed out that it was D-Day and all the younguns looked at me with this blank kind of stare and one of them had the courage to ask “what’s that?” Yup. Same Populist crowd that feels they are being screwed by the system. Never mind all the Elders that went to bat for things...I am fairly patriotic and get annoyed at those that confuse patriotism with their rights. Funny cause I’m also considered quite leftist and people can’t seem to understand that you can definitely be both. Now how the hell did I get here? Oh, must have just had my after dinner smoke in the form of writing. Yay!
I’m going to go on YouTube and check out that band you mentioned...have the feeling they are a bit punk. Am I right?
Oh, not punk at all. I like them. I think you did say something about Emo Indie. I’ll watch more of them. Oh, this reminds me...I’m not in any social media like FB or Twitter or anything but I did somehow land on a Twitter page earlier on in the pandemic and it had pictures of various places around the world that were normally very crowded. It was surreal and quite peaceful in it’s way. One of the ones was of The Abbey Road crosswalk I think. Is that the official name?
See if this still works. The crosswalk is quite far down. I didn’t read all the jibber jabber, just enjoyed the pictures. Life is easier that way!
Ahhh...I bet you love reading to your children. That was one of my favorite things when my daughter was small. On occasion she will still come lay by me and we will read together. A few months ago she said “I miss sleeping with you momma”. It was very sweet. She was 17 in February. She got into a highly competitive summer program at the National Circus School in Montreal. I was very excited both for her accomplishment and that I would spend a week or so in Montreal this summer. Alas, the program has fallen victim to COVID19 cancellation.
Yup. You are a Muse. I’ve been rambling again.
Ive got to work tomorrow so will wrap it up and go get my dishes and other things done. It is supposed to be sunny and mid 80s next few days here. My favorite time of year, Spring in Portland.
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).