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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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
CONGRATULATIONS on 6 weeks smoke-free Suzy!
6 WEEKS WOOHOO!
That’s a serious quit you’ve got under your belt. Keep going!
Quit 4th March 2017
Checking in to see how you are and hope all is well over there. I know you have a lot going on. You’re being cheered for, so just know, you’re not alone in your corner.
Take care and hope to speak soon
Dear Katie, Lore and Anthony,
I am so sorry - I smoked. Yesterday and today. It's been an awful few days with my son and I just forgot everything I knew about this addiction and caved in to it. It tasted disgusting and didn't help at all; in fact it made things worse because of the disappointment of throwing away six weeks just like that. Things were going so well, and it was literally a split-second decision in the supermarket. Even as I was buying them I was thinking, well, I don't actually have to smoke them. But of course I did.
The pack is finished now, and I'm not going to buy any more. Tomorrow is my new quit day, and I hope I'll remember what this feels like and not be so stupid this time. You've all been so kind and encouraging to me, and I'm desperately sorry to have let you down.
Just going over the the March thread now with the bad news, then I'm going to wash (I smell horrible) and go to bed. I'm so sorry. I will do it better next time.