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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I am enjoying following your days! Hope that’s ok It’s fabulous how you and Katie have made friends and support each other with life things, and motherhood, and thoughts of swimming and wildlife thieving and other such exchanges and support.
I have been reading this book, and for some reason, different things in it will make me think of certain folks on here. Usually there isn’t an apparent correlation or specific reason that I’m aware of, just a thought of someone. I’ll paste an excerpt here of a part that made me think of you. In a positive and hopeful way. Perhaps the wisdom to it...anyway, hope it finds you well! It is from the E book on the WhyQuit website, under a chapter titled “Pack Patience”.
“If we insist on seeing and measuring victory only in terms of "stopping forever," then on which day do we allow ourselves to celebrate? Why wait until dead to celebrate? Who's coming to that party? Instead, consider adopting a recovery philosophy that invites celebration each and every day.
And try not to see this recovery as being in competition with earlier attempts. Although I've remained 100 percent nicotine-free since May 15, 1999, if we both stay 100% free today, your day's worth of freedom will have been no longer, shorter, or less real than mine.
We'll also remain equals in being just one hit of nicotine away from relapse. And when our heads hit our pillows tonight we'll both have achieved a full and complete victory today.”
Of COURSE that's ok! You were one of the first people who messaged me this time, and I think of you as a sort of wise and benevolent fairy godmother who always seems to know the right thing to say.
Case in point: the excerpt from the WhyQuit book. I HAVE been comparing my quit to others' and my own previous attempts, feeling like a newbie again, and wondering if this quit really is going to be the one, so it's incredibly helpful to think of it in a different way - that everyone's smoke-free day is of equal value no matter how long they've been quit, and even more importantly that we are all just one hit away from relapse.
And I really love the line "when our heads hit our pillows tonight we'll both have achieved a full and complete victory today" - that is so very inspiring, and also a reminder to take this one day at a time. I do get scared at the idea of 'never' or 'forever'.
I'm just wondering, do you do Tarot readings? I only ask because someone I know used to do it professionally for a Premium Rate telephone company (and for fun at parties). She was really, spookily good at it, but she said that it had very little to do with the cards - they were just a vehicle for tuning in to the person. So as I say, I was just wondering :)
Yes, Katie is a real tower of strength to me at the moment - she also seems to know exactly the right thing to say at the right time. I hope she doesn't mind me saying this (Hi Katie!) but she really reminds me of my daughter - clever, nobody's fool, resilient, and above all kind.
Hope you're having a great day, Lore, and thank you for the support and encouragement. I'm in fine fettle today - an easy one, thank goodness, with sunshine and contentment in place of grey skies and angst. I wish they were all like that, but I'll be plodding on regardless.
Oh Suzy! So happy you found some good there. I take a lot of comfort in that too. Our world is chaos most of the time and we so easily get caught up in the past or future. We so easily lose sight of the one true thing we have which is the moment we are in. Yes, we are all only in this day, one at a time, and my smoke free day is worth nothing more or less than anyone else’s. The only competition you have love is yourself and this quit. Does someone running a race start with fear because they didn’t come in first the last race? No. They set their sights on the race they’re in and stay focused on the one they are running. So...here we are, running together. This race today. Tonight, yes, we will put our heads on our pillows, Victors! Yay!
Ahhh...Tarot. Funny you ask. I love the cards, though some used to scare me. I’m a Runes gal actually. For fun only. I also have an I Ching and those funny coins, but I’ve not fiddled with it for many years. It was too abstract for me and I do best with staying present. It has taken practice but has been best for anxiety to just...stay present.
Yes, Katie is a wonderful source of support for all of us! Love the stories of her daughter (Hi Katie!) and they bring back memories. Mine just turned 18 and I still fret over some of the things Katie is presently worried about. I recall very clearly when mine was her daughter’s age and having so much trepidation about the teen years. Katie...if you’re reading this... it is apparent you are a very good Mum! Don’t worry about what’s down the road. Trust yourself and follow your heart and she will be ok. You have to trust her too. Don’t spend any of the precious time you have now though worrying about it. Just keep doing your best and know each day you plant a little seed, water it some with some love, be her sunshine and support as you are and watch her grow. You are doing just as you ought, and doing just fine!
Nice you’ve had some reprieve of sunshine! I e got rain presently, which is beckoning me to nap. So...I will! Yes...we plod on regardless and that itself makes it all very grand. I wish I were as close to the beach as you!
Thanks for your message - they’re always so nice to receive :)
I’m sorry writing the history of your son’s difficulties made you sad - I can well imagine. I’ve been through a few assessments in my time, mostly for therapy, and it’s so hard being confronted with everything all at once but also because it’s essentially a form-filling exercise there’s nowhere for all the feelings it stirs up to go. At least you know it’s all towards getting him support, for things to change and improve.
It’s completely understandable the thought that you could ‘get away’ with smoking would pop into your head, and so brilliant you were able to just acknowledge that thought for what it is and go for a shower instead. I think once I realised that nothing could actually *make* me smoke then I felt less uptight about having thoughts about smoking. However much old Nic might shout and stamp his foot, you have the final say - a great big NOPE!
Also remember on the really hard days when craves feel strongest you’re making extra strides in your quit - rewiring all those old brain pathways that we created as smokers.
Ah I saw you and Lore (hi Lore!) wrote some really lovely things about me in your messages <blushes> There’s such a nice supportive group going on here and I’m so glad to be a part of it. And even though I’m on here to give back and help others quit smoking, I’m really getting a lot of support back too - especially words of encouragement from you other mummies.
Thanks Lore for sharing that you also used to worry about your daughter’s teenage years - I’ll trust that I’ll know what’s best (or in the top three!) when we cross that bridge.
And thank you Suzy for what you said about my daughter’s nursery - on a good day I do know those things but it helps to have someone else remind me. I definitely love reconnecting with her on Wednesdays - our girls day together. She stroked two dogs in the park today and couldn’t stop giggling. Ahh simple pleasures...
September swimming in the sea sounds perfect - it will have warmed up over the summer. I think it was pretty chilly in the Hebrides - luckily there’s plenty of porridge round there for warming up after.
Does your boat have a name? And does it need stuff doing?
How many days are you on now? I’m losing count :)
Keep going, you’re doing brilliantly!
Quit 4th March 2017
I really did find good there Lore, and thank you. I've definitely been beating myself up about the past and worrying about the future, and it really is lovely and calming to realise that today - no matter how long ago we quit - really IS a full and complete victory. I don't need to wait to be a non-smoker - I already am.
I don't know much about runes - please tell me more if you can? As for Tarot, what was it that scared you? I'm really hope this doesn't seem like an interrogation, but I'm really interested in all of this! My mum used to read tea leaves, but stopped because it scared her - I was young at the time and she never explained why. She also used to rescue injured birds and nurse them in the bathroom with warm milk and a drop of brandy in a teaspoon. At the time this all seemed quite normal, but I very much doubt that the RSPB recommends brandy for birds, even in moderation?! She did, though, save quite a few - including a crow, I'm only just remembering now! Maybe he or she was the great-great-great etc grandparent of Stone - a fanciful thought, I know, but a lovely one all the same.
You're right about staying present. It's the simplest thing to do, and the hardest too. I found it so much easier when I had a dog - he was a gorgeous border collie called Chester, and just watching him sniffing around and not worrying about anything at all was the best therapy ever. He's been gone 13 years now, and I really want a dog again - it's difficult, though, because we move around a lot for work. One day, though, we WILL have a whippet called Wodney. He may vewy well be a wescue whippet - I hope so - and I will take him wunning even when it's waining (Mike and I almost have speech impediments now, so weal is dear Wodders)
But I am rambling! Thanks for being there, Lore, and I hope you've had a good day too.
I am hysterics reading this, thank you!
About to run out to the store as I’m making something for dinner that has many names, one of which is “toad in a hole” and it requires bread and I’ve just discovered I have only one small crust! I will reply properly later this evening though.
You are up late! Are you a night owl? I most certainly am...I guarantee this today as I just woke from a nap. Oh boy! Thank goodness for Netflix!
No need for blushes - you are everything Lore and I said and more, and you have helped me so much.
Thanks too for the understanding of what things might be like from my son's point of view. He's been very upset this evening. I think he's frightened of having some kind of verdict delivered from on high, by someone who doesn't really know him and has only spent an hour or so going through a tick-box exercise - who wouldn't be scared of that? And you're right, difficult feelings are stirred up and there's nowhere for them to go. I do feel that he's really vulnerable at the moment and I have no idea what I can do to help, apart from remind him that he is really loved - which I have and he is.
He's also just started EMDR therapy, and the early sessions seem to be all about going over what's wrong rather than starting to address it. I am definitely finding this difficult. I might be a bit emotional sometimes, but I'm really quite practical too. I'm used to being able to fix everything, pretty much, and the idea - or maybe the reality - that I might not be able to fix this, the most important thing in my life - is really, really hard. Mike is amazed I'm not smoking, and frankly so am I. But for the first time ever, I really don't believe it would help. I think that's probably progress.
The boat is called Seahorse, and needs LOADS doing. Mike is as happy as a pig in the proverbial, and the postman is starting to worry about me - "he's been on Ebay again then".
Good evening Suzy,
Your evening, my morning still. So...it’s funny to think about, time differences. It’s the same moment for each of us but yet by the clock we are hours apart. Not sure why my mind wanders to these odd things!
Im so sorry about all of the stress with your son. Poor fella. I bet he is overwhelmed by it all. The way you spoke to him meeting with someone for an hour or so and them summing him up and placing a label of sorts in that small time when they don’t really know him. Maybe Katie put it that way. Anyway...I’ve been thinking about this and it weighs heavy on my heart in ways. I think we have to have some level of trust in Mental Health professionals the same we do the ones who deal with our physical health. It’s so much harder to do though as the physical body is so tangible really, so unlike our psyches. I wish I had some kind words that would soothe you and your son. Take heart as much as you can that you both are taking steps to define health for him. Ultimately, you both will come through this space with such a deeper understanding of each other. Still....our children’s pain is our own. My heart is with you for what little comfort that can bring, I do hope it brings some. I’m very happy you found your way back here as this is very good for you to have this space of support as it is for all of us. We all grow from being there for each other and this space makes the world kinder.
So, your Mum. (I love that by the way, Mum. Seems softer than our Mom for some reason). Did you ever ask her why the Bourbon (or was it whiskey?) for the birds? And some thrived, eh? Interesting. I’ve raised a fair amount of wildlife over the years too. It seems injured things and my path cross a fair amount. I’ve never used alcohol. I did learn that rabbits are about the only creature that will actually die of fright, which I thought was interesting. Your Crow friend is interesting too. I had one of those a couple of years ago that used to keep me company while I gardened. I got him onto dry cat food. Figured it was mostly dried meat and grain so not so bad considering they eat carrion. Anyway, after some time, he brought me a gift; a dead mouse. I wrote about it in another thread some time back. Now I wonder, was it a gift or was he thinking I’d help it somehow? Hmmm. I do love Crows. We have Ravens here too, which are larger and a bit different, more solitary and don’t gather in a murder. I’m always curious about the wildlife in other places and will read about what you have there. Foxes, I know. Do you have Coyotes? We have plenty of urbanized Coyotes. I see them on walks at night. Pretty little things they are, quite skittish of people which to me makes them very wise indeed!
Ok...no clue how I got onto all that as I meant to write about Runes. I don’t put too much stock into these things, but Runes fascinate me because of their history. I don’t know what I’m doing with them mostly and I think it takes some time to learn. Most of this knowledge I believe to be in all of us, deep in there. Our world makes it challenging to tune into most of the time, but we all have inherent wisdom. Most fascinating to me of all is human’s seemingly inherent need to see or know the future. Why do you suppose this is so ingrained across cultures? A dear friend of mine is into Tarot. You asked why some cards frighten me. Well, frankly, the pictures look scary on some! But I’m fearful of any kind of foreboding thing. I think it brings cause for us to bring things to fruition that may not have been, maybe. I guess it could work the other way as well and perhaps give the chance to avoid tragedy too. But where does that leave the moment I’m in? Hmmm.
I think the thing I miss at times with smoking was how my mind would get all carried off on tangents while I snuck off alone, escaping behind the veil. I’m finding though that it is still capable and I can still escape by myself and allow it to wander in more healthy ways. Strangely, it seems to wander and fly more freely now without the smoke. This could be a very dangerous thing, lol! It was bad before! Oh boy. Ok have written much natter ado about nothing and still not given much reply on Runes. I’m just very intrigued by most things considered Pagan I guess. There is perhaps a lot we don’t know about Earth’s energy. It doesn’t scare me like it does some folks and I find great beauty in man being small specks in the great scheme. Ok. I gotta stop. Getting way off track so far that I don’t even know where I am,haha! Must mean it is time to walk and clear my head!
Hang on in there today. Embrace your recovery with peace and know you have more strength than you will ever know.
How has your day been?
It’s so brilliant you’re staying a non-smoker despite lots of stress triggers. It’s definitely progress and shows how committed you are to your quit that you’re not looking for an excuse to smoke. Smoking really would not help and would only bring you down - but you know that! ;)
I can only imagine how difficult it must be to see your son having a hard time and like you’re helpless to ‘fix’ everything. But I’m sure you’re making a huge difference just being there for him and supporting him to engage with therapy.
I don’t know much about EMDR therapy but I think it’s got a pretty good evidence base that it’s effective hasn’t it? I really hope it will be helpful for your son. There’s often that initial hump to get over when you start a new therapy before it begins to give something back. And as much as I like the reassurance of evidence-based approaches, within that there’s so much to do with finding what works for yourself as an individual. I’m rambling a bit but what I’m getting as is mental health is a really tough one and I really sympathise with your son and with you. Have faith that things can change.
Today is my birthday and I’ve had a lovely low key day. My daughter was at nursery and my husband and I had the day off work and chilled out together. I’ve had a couple of outdoor chats with friends, plenty of cake and now watching snooker :)
My profile pic on here was taken on my birthday three weeks into my quit 4 years ago. I went walking and swimming in Dover - I remember feeling glad I wasn’t having to struggle with lighting cigarettes in the wind!
Your boat sounds like a fun project. Seahorse is a lovely name - and really quite logical for a boat! When will you be taking to the high seas?
Hope you’ve had a good day Suzy.
4th March 2017