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February 2021 Ex-Smokers - Start Here!   Quit Buddies Unite

Started Jan-31 by Terry (abquitsmking); 29499 views.
Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Apr-11

Hi Suzy,

Oh, I am sorry to hear you’re feeling low. Things will turn around soon I’m sure. It can be hard to not smoke when one is struggling with a lot of extra stress for sure. But...maybe with a little support and encouragement those thoughts can be turned around a bit. Katie said something in another post that was so simple and yet so profound and matter of fact; about the ONLY reason we want to smoke is we are addicts and all the other reasons we think we do are, well, rubbish really. Look back at the last over a month now and see how much you’ve accomplished and embrace that lovely image of success and feel the strength from it. Knowing you’ve got all of us here to talk with and laugh with and vent with. Knowing there were days you thought for sure were the worst, and lo and behold, looking back, you really were stronger than you thought! I don’t want to underestimate the stress you have, and I know when it comes to our kids and their struggles, that stress is magnified. You have a lot going for you too with this quit for sure. Stay present with yourself and in the moment and believe in yourself and know that there is just one thing you have to do here to be 100% successful; don’t light up. Think about that...a 100% success rate every moment you don’t smoke! Woohoo! When you’re honest with yourself as far as knowing it wouldn’t change anything else except YOUR success, well, hopefully it gives you a bit of strength to carry on some more. 

Ive been thinking about your boat and how lovely it will be for you to get out on the water! I have a song on my playlist I think you might like. Listen to it and let me know your thoughts. I bet it makes you smile!

Anyway...hang tough. Will speak with you soon I hope! Here is a link to the song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpM8FjO4Vko

KatieKat84

From: KatieKat84

Apr-12

Hi Suzy,

Lovely to hear from you and so glad you’re still marching on in your quit.

I’m sorry you’re having a horrible time and feeling wobbly though :( It must be stressful and emotionally demanding dealing with the stuff following on from your son’s assessment. I’m here if you want to say more about it but totally understand if you’d rather not go into details.

It’s another (maddening) part of the nicotine trap that you can feel good in your quit one day and then weeks later find it really difficult. It’s like a race with hidden hills and it can leave you wrong-footed. Just know that every successful quit has these ups and downs, sometimes the drip-drip-drip of ‘I want to smoke’ thoughts can drive you mad, but as long as you don’t act on those thoughts, you win. This too shall pass.

It sounds like you’re doing brilliantly at hanging on to the rational thoughts and trusting in your decision to quit. Old Nic is such an opportunist really, as soon as we feel stressed or low he’s in there like a shot asking for his fix. Don’t let it panic you - only you get to decide whether to smoke or not. Tell old Nic where to go!

Must be hectic getting your place ready for people to stay. Is it a holiday home or your actual home your letting?

Ive been feeling a bit low myself this week. Not too sure why, just lacking oomph. My swim this morning really helped though, it was very quiet at the lido and semi snowing! I was so shivery afterwards it was hard to get dressed - I think I put half my clothes on inside out haha!

I did go out on the weekend - went for a river swim in Kent for a friend’s 40th. It was fun and so refreshing to have a change of scene!

Sending hugs and positive vibes your way,

Katie x 

Quit 4th March 2017

KatieKat84

From: KatieKat84

Apr-12

Hi Lore!

I saw your message to me in another thread but can’t find it again so I’m replying here (still manage to get a bit lost on this forum!)

I’m so pleased what I wrote about smoking being purely nicotine addiction struck a cord with you. It’s one of those things I think we can only grasp for a few seconds at a time when we first quit because the junky thinking is so strong in warping our thoughts. I reckon it’s a sign of how far you’ve come out of the trap that you can really see the addiction for what it is. Yay!

Sorry I hope that doesn’t sound patronising!

Yes it is supposedly spring here although there was a hint of sleet/snow this morning and the lido where I swim was sub 10 degrees (sorry I don’t know what that is in dollars). There was only one other person in the water when I arrived so the water was lovely and still, felt almost silky. All I could hear was the lifeguards murmuring and the gentle splash splash of the water - very calming, like a little secret world!

I think you mentioned swimming in the sea in Oregon? I bet that’s quite a different experience! Do you have to contend with big waves and currents? I do like the sense of freedom in the sea but I don’t feel too confident if conditions are choppy (or ‘boomy’ as I call them).

Your local wool shop sounds heavenly! I do have a really nice one too and the lady who runs it helps me when I’ve made a hash of my project! But it’s just small, no comfy seats for sitting and knitting - I’d love that. I know what you mean about knitting being trickier than crochet. I’m left handed and I found a really good YouTube guy (with hairy thumbs - gaah!) to follow along with, made all the difference for me. I’ve really enjoyed making little clothes for my daughter and they’re so much quicker than adult stuff!

Are you making anything at the moment?

Take care and speak soon,

Katie

Quit 4th March 2017
 

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Apr-13

Hi Katie!

Nice to hear from you. I had to smile as I have that issue too with not being able to find something again. I have to remember to hit that little drop arrow at the top to “All” for posts and that helps some. 
You did not sound patronizing at all! Please don’t worry about that. You are so kind and helpful, I doubt you have it in you to be that way. I hope it is a sign I’ve come along. I have some moments that I wonder! joy It seems lately I’ve been just reminiscing about smoking more. I don’t think I’m in danger really, but will certainly keep my guard up. I do know I don’t want to go back to that constant struggle. It was too. I can’t remember really a having a smoke where I didn’t feel a thought of regret, a twinge of remorse, a thought of how I wanted to not smoke. Yet, it continued on for so long. It is really baffling isn’t it? That we did this? All those thoughts while actually smoking of how we wish we didn’t. It is so interesting how this addiction seemed to wrap itself around every fiber of our being really. Awful. I’m so glad to be free of it. I worked so hard to hide it too. So it can be a bit disheartening to catch myself reminiscing about smoking in any kind of romanticizing way. 
I think you wrote somewhere that you would have one after coming back from a run. I did that too! Ugh!! 
 

Oh, that swim you wrote about having today sounds so lovely! I found myself a bit carried away reading of it. I know exactly what you mean, the secret world. It is so good you take these moments for yourself. I really believe it necessary to allow us to be better mothers actually. Having those short periods to ourselves. We need that! 
I also saw somewhere you were a bit down recently too. You know, those periods have their beauty also. I think sometimes we fight them too hard instead of just being calm within ourselves and nurturing our spirits when we are this way. It’s like the waves and tides. Sometimes just letting the forces of nature be and knowing more “up” moments will come again is ok. Usually I look back and feel stronger and more wise in some way coming through those times. They help us believe in ourselves a bit and give us some inner knowledge of how we are ok. 
 

Yes, I go to the Oregon Coast pretty regularly this time of year now. It is about an hour and maybe 15 minutes drive for me. It’s so rugged and beautiful. I do swim there, and yes, it can be rough. Not always, and it depends where you are. Some spots are calmer than others with, not sure how to say it, deeper beaches? Meaning one can go out pretty far distance into the water before it gets deeper and rougher. Then there are places where it is always rougher. There is one spot that is a well known “hippie surfer beach” that is probably my favorite. I’ve tried surfing some, and am not very good! I keep trying occasionally though. Death wish maybe? joy Haha! It’s fun to try. One does need a wet or dry suit to stay in very long, even in the summer this far up the Pacific Coast. I also just love walking along the beach and looking in and playing in tide pools. I love all the little creatures there, starfish and anemones, all of it. One time I found a young Octopus in a tide pool. That was a very special day for me. Anyway...sorry to go on! I do love the Ocean. I have a great desire to spend time on the Coasts of other places, like where you are too. How wonderful to just explore and see the different coastline and creatures and plants and birds. Ahhh. Someday! In the meantime, I will have some cold water swims vicariously through you! 
 

Oh...too funny! The left-handed-hairy-thumb-crochet guy! (Oh dear, I do hope he doesn’t read this sweat_smile) Isn’t it fabulous all that is at our finger tips these days for learning, like through YouTube? We are so lucky! I am lucky too that I have that little yarn store near me. Though one has not been able to go and sit in there and hang out since the onset of the pandemic. I do hope that day returns. I also will miss many things about lockdown. I’ve grown quite used to the pace and much less traffic. That is changing quickly here. I also read a NY Times article today about your country opening up! The had this beautiful picture of a restaurant decorating all the front with flowers. It was so pretty! Not sure what city it was, I think somewhere in London. 
Right now I’m working on a couple of crochet things. I’m usually going on a small shawl pattern that I love that is a long, shallow triangular pattern. I know it by heart and can just start one up and have a lot of people always requesting one. It is such a wearable piece. Has a 4 row repeat increasing until it is about half as long as you want, then a 2 row decreasing side. I learned it from YouTube actually. Have made so many of them. I’m also making my daughter a lovely Granny Square Afghan at her request. She wanted one of the traditional, vintage looking afghans and picked colors for it. I make a square or two a day, they go so fast. I’m still finishing a blanket for one of the Nurses I work with who had a baby. It’s a fun star shaped pattern that I’ve done a few times for different babies. I’ve made one for me too. I have way more shawls than I know what do with! Most pretty trendy and fun, some just regular old cuddly “granny shawls “. That is such a meditative stitch! I just finished my first ever “Virus Shawl”. That was actually a fun thing to make. I figured I should make at least one during the pandemic, lol! I know that pattern is ancient and nobody knows it’s true origins, but, still, with a name like that, how could I not? 
That is wonderful you make things for your daughter! How easy it would be to make a little one too to match one of her plushies or dolls. So fun! Gosh...with all these things there are to do in this life with our hands, how and why did we ever waste any time smoking??? Well, at least we don’t anymore. 
 

Ok Katie, I see I’ve written a small nattering novella and should sign off now. It is a lovely, calm, warmer night here and I’m goi g to go out for a walk. I hope you have a beautiful Tuesday morning!

Speak soon! blush

KatieKat84

From: KatieKat84

Apr-13

Hi Suzy,

Congratulations on 5 weeks! :) 

I know things are hard right now but dig in, you’re racking up the weeks and things will get easier.

Don’t be afraid to come on here and rant!

Thinking of you and sending hugs,

Katie x

Quit 4th March 2017

Suzy2018

From: Suzy2018

Apr-13

Hi Katie,

I'm writing to you first because I'm thinking you'll be going to bed sooner than Lore will, and I really wanted to thank you both for your care and support.  I've had a horrible few days, one way and another, and you've made all the difference.  I've read your messages (and have felt bad that I haven't had the time to reply till now, but trying not to beat myself up about that - I know you'll both understand!) but honestly, without your encouragement I think I would have thought sod it, and smoked - and I would be SO annoyed with myself now. 

Instead, I've got myself back on a more even keel - I hope - and even went to the gym this morning. Loved it too - there's a really nice group of oldies who go at 9.15am, and it really took my mind off everything.  I will be stiff tomorrow (already am!) but I've booked in for more all the same.  Things are still pretty awful but I do believe they'd be worse if I was choking myself with tobacco as well. 

I'm really sorry you're feeling a bit low.   You give so much energy and care to other people, and I hope you look after yourself properly too.   If I could give you a big hug, I would!  I'm sending a virtual one, and really glad that the swimming is so revitalising for you.   However, I have to say that your advertising has really gone down the pan:  "so shivery afterwards it was hard to get dressed"???  Hmmm.

On the other hand, you've really helped with getting my resolve back where it should be with "as long as you don’t act on those thoughts, you win" and "only you get to decide whether to smoke or not" - they both really work for me.   And thanks for the 5-week congratulations yesterday - I feel really touched that you remember these things!

Thanks Katie.  I really hope you've had a good day and that you're feeling a bit better.  You are very obviously a kind, generous soul, and I feel very lucky that our paths have crossed.

Suzy x

  • Edited April 13, 2021 3:48 pm  by  Suzy2018
KatieKat84

From: KatieKat84

Apr-13

Hi Lore,

Thanks for your novella-message! :) 

It’s so interesting to hear where you are in your quit. I think I was pretty similar around that time - some romancing thoughts but also knowing I wouldn’t actually smoke. I do think all the good things we associate with smoking are an illusion created by the nicotine addiction, but an illusion of pleasure, relaxation or whatever can be as powerful as the real feeling. In some ways we just have to accept we won’t experience those enjoyable illusions. What do you miss when you romanticise smoking?

What’s changed for me over time is being able to see that if cigarettes didn’t contain nicotine but were otherwise unchanged, no one would go near them even if they did still make us feel relaxed, not bored or whatever. 

I think after 2 years I felt properly confident in my quit and that I wouldn’t go back. That said after my daughter was born I had a lot of anxiety and some romancing thoughts crept up, but I knew I didn’t want to be breathing smoke all over the bub.

Thank you for what you said about not trying to fight low mood and just accepting where I am. That really helped me today as I had been wearing myself out trying to force a better mood. Just chilling out with it all has been much better today.

Ooh I love the sound of peering into the rock pool micro worlds! How amazing you once found an octopus. Did you see that film on Netflix called something like My Octopus Teacher?

That’s cool you like surfing (or trying to!) My husband is the same. I had a go once on our honeymoon in Japan - they were just tiny waves luckily and the water was lovely and warm.

So nice hearing about your many crochet projects :) It’s great when you have a pattern off by heart like your shawl, you don’t have to faff around with patterns and mistakes! Lovely you’re doing an Afghan blanket for your daughter. I’ve got two half-finished blankets I started when I was pregnant then got bored ha. I’m knitting a Miffy rabbit for my daughter at the moment. I made the head today and now the ears are emerging - it’s so cute! 

In fact I’m going to do some more now.

Speak soon and hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday.

Katie x

Quit 4th March 2017

Suzy2018

From: Suzy2018

Apr-13

Dear Lore,

THANK you for being so lovely, and for the song too  - it DID make me smile, and I may even use the lyrics to persuade Mike of the benefits of Wodney.  A whippet is much smaller than a pony after all, and also has more fibreglass-friendly feet.  "Just think of the damage a pony's hooves could do,"  I will say - and the whippet will be mine relaxed

I am very behind with messages, but I loved reading about your scarves!  I THINK I can picture the shape and the drape of them, but please send a photo if you can.  How interesting, too, how the colours affect you.  I think we're all susceptible to that, but I don't think many people notice.  Mike is a big fan of magnolia paint (not sure if it's called that in the States, but it's a pale creamy beige, designed to be inoffensive - which may be precisely why I hate it, but then again he does all the decorating and it makes it a lot easier for him, so I can't complain).  However, when we moved into our new place we decided to go for white walls and bright colours in everything else, and I absolutely love it.  When I walk in it feels like home - relaxing AND energising, which I know doesn't make any sense at all, but that's how it feels.     

The other wonderful thing is that we've decided not to rent it out to holidaymakers this year.   We have two flats, and normally we would rent both out and move into our campervan for the summer, so as to have enough money to get through the winter.  But because it's been such a difficult year - not Covid really; more my son struggling so much) we've decided to stay put, and I am so glad!  We bought some houseplants, knowing that we can be here to look after them, and that makes it feel so much more homely too.  I'm very much a novice with plants, but none of them have died so far and some of them even have new leaves - I'm guessing that's a good sign?

Thanks too for being honest about smoking thoughts.  I know we all want to be miraculously 'cured', but I'm sure the reality is that we will always be ex-smokers rather than never-smokers, and will have to deal with the odd thought, or even full-on craving sometimes.  A small price to pay, really, when you think of the huge benefits of staying quit.

You also made me smile about your closet smoking.  When we were doing domestic service full-time - and all wealthy households seem to want non-smoking staff even if they smoke themselves (!) - I used to go back to the staff cottage in my lunchbreak, wrap my hair in a towel and put a blanket round myself, and then go and hide behind a bush for my furtive smoke.  It really, really, wasn't worth it, but somehow I still felt compelled to do it - even though I knew I'd be worrying all afternoon about whether anyone could smell it on me.  How thoroughly ridiculous and pointless, and thank goodness I don't have to do that any more.

Anyway, I'm rambling, but what I'm trying to say is thank you, and I WILL hang tough.  A 100% success rate every moment I don't smoke is wonderful!

Suzy x

Suzy2018

From: Suzy2018

Apr-13

Hi Katie,

I saw My Octopus Teacher - absolutely wonderful!

x  

Suzy2018

From: Suzy2018

Apr-13

Dear Anthony,

I'm so sorry, but you've been through a hell of a lot lately, and I really do know how hard it can be when those smoking thoughts come up.  I think it's especially hard for you when there are cigarettes so readily available. 

I'm glad you're planning to get back on the horse after a good sleep.  I really want you to have all those lovely things you talked about, like being able to walk up that hill behind your house without having to catch your breath.  The great thing is that you know you can do it if you choose to - for weeks, you've managed fine without poisoning yourself, so you know it's not only possible, but can also be nice.   I'm rooting for you, and I know everyone else will be too.

Suzy x

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