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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Ok, Saint Eve...
So, yeah. I ended up coming back late last night... as I was laying there looking up at Orion’s Belt it kind of hit me that if I didn’t come back then, I might not at all (not in a bad way!) so I figured I better get on the road and get back home. Man...what an amazing drive it was too. It’s been warm at night here finally and having the windows down, driving back over the Coast Range, nothing but my headlights on and the wind in the car and my music blaring...ahhh. Was almost as good as going down that darn slope I tell you! Gotta be mindful of the occasional deer that is out but it was late enough that all the smart ones were already bed down for the night. I LOVE night drives. They have the same resonance as night swimming, lol! Go figure...
So...yeah..escape. You know...as I look at the world around us, yes. Of course. There is all that wreckage and crumble and despair and struggle. Could add in much more, but do I need to? I mean, we all feel it, yes? But we all have choices, like you said, on how to handle all of that. I’m not one to stay down for long, and I thank the spirit world whatever that is, and my Mom for that. I’m gonna pay the price too as my daughter is becoming more like this every single day. Such a strong and fierce little soul she is. Mmmm. But I also know the price she will pay for being this way, as I pay it daily. But...would I trade being in this world and walking through it numbly in order to protect myself from it for carrying the weight of it? No. Because carrying the weight of it is fulfilling and joyful and giving and passionate and kind and, well...just plain LIVING in my opinion. Because even pain let’s us know we are alive, right? So, thank goodness we all get to choose what makes us or breaks us to a good extent as far as all that. Yes, it is a sense of adventure for sure. And longing and seeking... I’ve pretty much let go of the role smoking has played in it for me as far as escape and void and all that. I guess I’m still looking for a way to fill that space at times? That’s ok too.
So..remember when I had that slip in early March? Man. That messed with my head! And I could not get around the connection of that feeling with what I felt on Monday when I chickened out on going down the slope! It was this thing that I knew in the moment I would be ok if I just did it, but there was this little voice saying “no”. Same thing back then...little voice saying just keep going and ride the wave, then some other little voice saying “no, just smoke”. Well, it wasn’t the addict voice that kept me from going down the slope, but it came from a similar space in my head. A space that I identify with fear, or reluctance, or a crutch, or a fake semblance of safety and comfort. I’m trying to have this make sense, so bear with me... Anyway, something in me held me back and I regretted it, just like something in me made me smoke that time and I regretted it. So that parallel had me drive back out and conquer it this time. And now...I got one more thing inside of me that has built something positive and stronger and gives me energy to keep carrying the weight. Just had to do it. And I did! After I felt really silly not just having done it on Monday, but, I wouldn’t have learned as much from it if I had then, and I wouldn’t carry as much meaning with me now as I have. And...getting to go to the ocean twice in a few days?? Heck yes! What would I have been doing otherwise? Sitting around reading or puttering, or cleaning, or doing laundry, or pulling weeds, or...thinking about smoking? Well, all that didn’t go anywhere and it is still waiting right here for me. And today I’ll put it all off a bit more as I am bottling my Kombucha today! Yes! It is ready for a secondary ferment...just like me. Except I am on about my millionth of a ferment and keep hoping for that day I turn out into a nice fine wine that is ready to drink! Lol! There is gonna be a big problem one day though if there is someone or something that ever tries to bottle me...whoa, and woe be to that! Too busy living and loving and crying and giving and taking and making for all of that!
So...go find your hill or slope or run or swim or walk or sleep or dreams or whatever fills your soul. Cause if your waiting around for the world to bring it to you, or hiding from what the world will give you if you step out a bit...you’re gonna miss a lot. I’m gonna be selfish and take all of this life I can get before that old man time wears my butt out as I am insatiable with and for life. That...is mainly why I went back. Worth every little bruise and scrape and soreness. Just like all other things that have brought me joy....
I am rereading and catching up on your writings. Two days off the forum and so much happens!!! So yes, most of me is back, lol, thanks to You all.
I was looking at your piano lesson experience. Very cool you are doing that, btw. My poor mama threw up her hands about that for me when I was young as I skipped out on most my lessons. I hear ya about those old get togethers gone which kind of knocks one off kilter a tad. But so interesting this was your first not smoking experience with a close smoker friend. I am so glad you talked about this because I am doing that tonight.
This friend and her daughter are coming over for dinner and a swim about 6. We have been through a lot together; originally met in AA. She doesn’t know I quit yet. I will be thinking gross cigarette thoughts. They won’t be here long cos her husband just had hip replacement surgery. I have her daughter to focus on whom I adore and have not seen in a long time. If she smokes in the pool, I will just do my laps and enjoy being able to breathe.
Love your words about songs that trigger so many memories. Aren’t you glad we got to embrace the rock of the 70’s-80 ‘s???. Good stuff. My music interests are all over the map....kind of like my brain....very diverse. I mostly listen to Christian music nowadays . (There is actually some pretty good Christian metal as well which I listen to at the gym). The lyrics take me to high places of love and comfort. I am elevated through praise in a way not unlike that picture you posted of sunset on the ocean. It is transforming for sure. I prefer quiet over music usually though at home. To me that is like music. Silence is a song for sure.
Hugs to you
Hey there lovely and wise and grounded Peggy!!
Oh yes...silence is a song for sure. I play that song often too. Love it when out in the woods or at the beach, none of which are silent, but I don’t have AirPods in then. Too much natural music. Nothing or nobody could write a song to match the sound of the waves and the feeling I get there consumed and holding myself back from just diving in and spending the rest of my days in that other world. It’s not time for that yet, but...someday.
So...maybe text your friend before she comes and say “oh, by the way, I’m sure you will be happy to see I’m a non smoker!” Then let her struggle with how she will handle it. I would set boundaries with your pool. That is your sacred space. Just tell her where the smoking area is now and let it go. Seriously. Keep your sacred space so you don’t have to think about it next time you swim alone.
Truth is...it will probably take me about 3 months to get that song down and to speed! Did you listen to it? So sweet and special... the piano part is very circular and not that hard. Just takes some work to get the hands doing it together, which for me, mostly involves letting go thinking about it and just feeling it. I’ve been taking lessons for a few years but don’t practice like I should all the time as I get distracted too and onto other things.
That sunset...that place...ahhh. I do know how very very lucky and blessed I am those things are so close for me and I treasure and honor them greatly for sure. Glad you found some solace there. Come on out and we will go there.
Have a good strong day my dear friend. Just embrace it and know it is ok to set boundaries for yourself.
You got that right about nuts to have 8 kids nowadays. Funny what your mom said about the pill!!! I remember my mom was all guilty about taking the pill when it came out....was probably a Catholic thing in those days but she hid it like it was a sin.
ok..maybe I need to walk some beaches as my heels are leather and I am not doing a pedicure. I did not know that!!! I love that feeling after a hike and your body tells you about the stretching that felt new!! I love the description of clawing up that hill....eeeeek...that sounds challenging but I would do it too. It is the descending a long steep incline I cannot seem to do anymore. I found out the hard way when I toured a cave. Ouch!! I don’t know what happened to me. I hiked down the Matterhorn!!!! None of the hills around here pose that problem. I do not hike the 2400 acres around me anymore because of the wild hog problem from the last 3 years. In the Fall my 2nd husband will b over to do some target practice and he will prob. give me a holstered gun. Not sure I want to carry it yet over to that acreage and get my dogs use to going over there. I do miss all the spots I found over there.
Yeah, can you believe the Covid19 party dude here in TX? Really sad. I do agree that the medical professionals should have been the ones to direct decisions. Sigh.
That is really great you are walking that much! Wow! Proud of you!!!I will mix it up more if I get out of sleep zone and when temps drop. With heat index we are at 106 degrees. The girls may have to get out red neck ice cubes tonight. My brother comes next weekend. He is the best. Helps me with so much stuff. We had the best talk today. I cannot believe his daughter and wife are going to six flags today in this heat!!!
So you are a knitter!! Crochet? I don’t know the difference but hmmmmmm, maybe I would like it. You can watch Outlanders when you crochet!!!
Hugs to you, friend. Enjoy a smoke free evening!!!
So how did the pool party go? Hope it was fun and came off without a hitch. Was your friend happy for you to be a non smoker?
So how far is it for you to get to the beach? Would Gulf side be closer? Yes...the beach does a good job of exfoliating the feet. Love it. Oh...and the tiny Sand Dollars. Will have to get a pic sent to you of them. Really have never seen any so tiny. Precious. Except all I could think was how they died so young, poor little things. Well, they now have their forever home with me as I couldn’t leave them behind.
So you have 2400 Acres??? Holy Toledo! Man. That is a lot of space. No wonder you love it so...and have a Mule! Mercy. It must take forever to walk that! Mmmm. With trees and hills too? So...PM me that address of yours...I’m packing my bags! Lol! So nice Peggy. I’m happy for you as I know how you love the land and creatures. So is he bringing you a gun for the Boars if needed? We had those out on Ft Benning when I was there. And we had live rounds for the Platoon too. They can be really dangerous. I’d hate to have to kill anything...But...with those, it can come down to you or them. Be careful please. I would not take the dogs to back 40 with Boars around. Is the Ex a Hunter? I will confess...I grew up around Hunters and guns, and was in the Military and all that, but, I never felt a need to have one.
And you hiked the Matterhorn??? Girl. You got some sense of adventure too, yes? Nice. Would love to see it someday for sure. So...yeah. Just nice. Again I find myself happy for you and a tad envious too. I LOVE hiking. Just love the feeling of trail and sounds and the fleeting sight of creatures..stars at night. Quiet. Campfires. All the smells.... Better stop now or I’ll be headed back out to the coast now. Missing it actually and feeling like I should have just stayed. Did get the Kombucha bottled though! It’s pretty actually. I used Mango and some with Cayenne and Mango. Not much, just a smidge to give it a little heat. Sounded good in the moment, so we’ll see how it turns out in a few days!
Yeah...my Mom was a character for sure. So...feisty and energetic and wise. I miss her. She was definitely an inspiration...to quite a few actually. She would have students come back years later and thank her and tell her how she had made such a difference in their lives. She left me with sound advice on life and love for sure. All I gotta do is remember it... I’d have to look and see what year the pill became available. She didn’t have me until she was 43 though.
Wait...Six Flags is Open?? Mmmm. Well...life goes on. But yes, so sad about that 30 year old and the exposure party. Was it in the news a lot there? I only get The NY Times so it is hard to tell what is where. I don’t watch any TV news. At all. I think about this and I’ve heard folks say how stupid it was for that guy to do that. But...he is gone and I think when folks say things like that it does show they are frustrated with a situation or hearing something like that, but, they forget this young man left behind a family, and friends, and...wow. Really sad and mean things just don’t need to be said really. Hard to say where it is all going. I do think it has had an impact on my emotions for sure. Had a friend over this afternoon that is a Nurse at the Jail here in PDX. So, she works at the Justice Center downtown that is still pretty active with Protests nightly. It was interesting hearing her take on things and what it is like having to go in/out for work. So far though no COVID19 in the jail so she is glad about that.
Mmmm. My walks are my sanity now. It is different with my daughter doing her own thing and becoming so self reliant, etc. I’ve always been physically very active, and can’t imagine not being so. So...am grateful I get to be for sure. I live in a place that is overall pretty darn safe for a US city really, as long as one knows where not go when, etc, and I do know. Mostly...They just keep me busy and moving. My work schedule is so abnormal compared to most as essentially I have every other week off. So that leaves a fair amount of time to fill. I have some Volunteer stuff that has been on hold with Covid. Have been gearing up with Get Out The Vote too, so I stay busy enough...Still.... just gotta move a lot.
Man...another too long note. And 10:30, so...gotta go make my rounds. Beautiful night again. One more day off tomorrow. Which of course just brought another song to mind...so time to go get some energy out and if the Fates are kind some fulfillment in. Big hug coming your way on the wind tonight Friend. Always love these gentle Summer breezes with their bit of warmth. Makes me feel the energy sent out gets to where it is intended.
Nooooooooo.....I do not have 2400 acres, I have 24. Lol!! The rancher behind me and to the west has the 2400 acres. Raises beef cattle, sheep and gas wells....lol.
I am an insomniac tonight. My neighbor brought over this fab iced coffee and we sipped on it all day. Yowza. Nice talk. She needed get away time cos her husband’s son and new wife stay there 6 weeks every summer. They teach internationally.
yes...6 flags was open and yes, insane like DisneyWorld. The kid that died from the Covid party got a lot of local and National coverage. I only hope enough kids saw it and get a clue. Sigh.
I love that your area is safe to walk in at all hours. I don’t like to do that even with the dogs cus it’s pitch black unless the moon is bigger. I’m like you, I really don’t want to pack a gun. If hogs came in a pack they cud hurt my dogs and I wud freak. So think I will just stay on this side of the fence. Miss that tho.
Felt very strong swimming tonight in almost too warm water. Last night had shortness of breath and cud not swim and night before kick in the chest feeling. The consensus is, it is my lungs regenerating. Makes sense. Just weird it took this many weeks to start.
How is the quit going? Are you in the streets again tonight? Stay safe wherever you are.
Just got home. Mmmmm. So many analogies to draw on tonight... I’m a bit sleepy at this point to write much, but...just wow. There is definitely some wonderful and beautiful art around town and I wish it would get the coverage that the ugly stuff does as I do believe it far outweighs the ugly. Like most things in life...at least hanging onto that belief of the good keeps one going. The last few nights I’ve been actually looking for people smoking cigarettes. So few! Seriously. But PDX is the the kind of place generally that folks wouldn’t do that in a crowd. Wasn’t watching to bum one as that’s not my style. Just don’t see it like you used to. Was thinking about it tonight as I wandered around by myself away from the crowd for a while. Just in a distant kind of way. Such a beautiful night, cool and breezy.
Anyway, yeah, home safely, didn’t get dragged into an unmarked van tonight, didn’t smoke. No Naked Athena tonight. Sitting on my deck and just hearing the helicopters and thinking I’ll let them lull me to sleep now. More soon. Just noticed haven’t written anything in a week. Didn’t get down to John tonight but will go in the morning.
Get some sleep friend....
So Peggy dear, did you end up getting some sleep? Hope so!
Hey Lore...Guess I slept. Strange day. Extreme overcast and a cap of humidity which may interfere with swimming.
So my neighbor Laura had a guy die from Covid from high school she dated. Close friend of family and they have been to dinner with her and her husband. Stroke during treatment. Age 64. Really too close. No issues.
There is a protest in our smaller town tonight....about what I don’t know. All this too close.
Got lost in the dark clouds tonight which hung in the sky, some creating a straight line on the horizon. Sunset still shone thru but never a wind or a touch of rain. Pruned some Vitex and buzzed around between laps. My bedroom is clean clean and actually changed sheets. I need the sound of the rain.
Felt like Bridget Jones minus the cigarette. I definitely don’t want it. The water was cooler than I expected....ahhhhhh. After the outdoor cruise and swim Bridget has faded into the background and Peggy has returned with a faint smell of gas I always spill on myself. Lol
We must continue to speak words of love, hope, peace,, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I am finding I have to pull away more and more to focus and center on these things. Better than speaking death....already enough of that. Thank you for your comment of being grounded. I don’t feel that way a lot. Grateful tonight tho to have used movement to settle what was amiss. Hi to John and Calvin. We are chilling out and dreaming of rain.
Yes...I wholeheartedly agree with you on speaking about the kinder and gentler things that we are capable of. I’m a believer in the “energy begets energy” theory. Largely what one puts out, they get back. Of course there is always the undeserved things that happen, to all of us at times. That’s when it is time to reflect, regroup, grab bootlaces, all of that. Life is full and beautiful and exciting and worth living regardless if I have some deep meaning or understanding to apply in a given moment. Some moments...all there is is to pick up one of my fur babies and run my fingers through the soft fur and hear the gentle steady purr as they nuzzle under my neck...and you know what? That’s enough. Of course I hope to be a part of bringing about positive changes for those around me, and I try. But I’m like you I can’t go full steam ahead day after day and rail against the machine. I need balance. And respite. And quiet and nature and stars and on and on! So much good and beautiful stuff. Life is too short. Yes, I totally understand and have need for balance.
I love your description of the evening there. I think you are far enough inland from, Hanna is it? Will you get some rain or storms off it? Also...I love Vytex!! It grows here too and butterflies love it! So do the hummingbirds. Mmmm. Nice.
I have to refresh on Bridget Jones. Name rings a bell, as a book, right? Movie? I’m not sure the link with smoking so will look it up and get back to you on it. Seeing smoking in movies and such doesn’t bother me. Thankfully.
Am glad to hear you don’t smoke anymore with a habit of spilling gas on yourself!! That stuff is scary to me...I‘ ve seen people smoking at gas stations and even if they are up by the store part which is a bit from the pumps it freaks me out. Just don’t see the two as mixing well and it makes me nervous.
Well, Peggy...you are grounded. Maybe more than you know or feel at times.