This community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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Ahhh Jerthie, thank you. It is nice to know my ramblings and thoughts are helpful. You really are doing ok. I remember being where you are so clearly. In that contemplative stage of it. It’s hard because you do have desire. That’s evident. One day I’m gonna come on here and find that you’ve taken the plunge. Shed that last thread and tether of fear and let yourself soar! And you will soar! Like a sweet young bird fledging from the nest, on out into the world of possibilities. Heck, you’re gonna soar above all those surfers out on the waves!! And you know what? You will be ok.
It’s funny cause I’m a bit of a danger girl. Not a “hold my beer and watch this!” quite kind of danger girl, but certainly a do things most of my friends won’t do with me kind of girl. I love a challenge, both mental and physical. I’ve found that the things that I thought are a physical challenge usually turn out to be some part mental challenge. Once I found that key ( a long time ago) I allowed myself to do many things that people said I couldn’t or shouldn’t. The funny part is, I couldn’t bring myself to quit smoking!! There was a missing piece somewhere holding me back. Fear. One day one of dear friends asked me point blank, why? She wasn’t a smoker and could not understand how I would allow myself to do some crazy things but couldn’t allow myself to stop smoking. It was so interesting that she worded it that way. Allow myself. Nobody had ever used that term before. Allow. She actually was the first one to tell me I was afraid to quit. Of course I blew that idea off! What did she know? She hadn’t smoked a cigarette in her entire life! She couldn’t possibly begin to understand the romance I had with it. But she did understand fear. She had her own of course, as we all do.
So I got a copy of Carr’s book and set my sights on the “easy way”. Now I’m not gonna diss on that book because it has tremendous value and many folks credit it with their quit. For me it wasn’t enough. What I did discover is that willpower alone for me was not enough. Frustrated further, I went to my Doctor. Now she was a wise woman, though I didn’t credit her with that at the time. She also had never smoked a cigarette in her life so how could she possibly relate? She put me on Wellbutrin. It helped. For a little while. The thing is she had told me something. She said “You are a jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece. You need to find the missing piece that is not letting you quit smoking”. What the heck did that mean? Well that gave my addict voice a lot of fuel for the fire for a few more years! I could not on a conscious level come up with what the missing piece was, so naturally I continued to smoke.
But what my friend had said about fear, and what my Doc had said about the missing piece stuck with me. This lead to a few years of playing a game with myself. Of course I made up all kinds of rules, usually as I went. This day I’d allow myself only the smokes I really wanted. Then another day I’d allow myself only 3. Then I’d only allow myself to smoke if I were angry. Then I’d only allow myself to smoke one before bed. On and on, you see where I’m going. I played those games off and on. In between I’d give up for a while, too frustrated to make new rules that my addict piece relished rationalizing away. This really went on for a few years!
Slowly I began to accept what my friend said was true. I was afraid. True she had never smoked, but I really began to ponder that piece. Then even more slowly I put that together with what my Doc said. About the missing piece. I realized me not wanting to admit it was my fear of letting it go that was the missing piece. I was like you. I had about 80% real desire I’d say. I needed 20% more. So I accepted that. Chewed on it for a while. Started to dig in and think about all the things I had done that I was afraid to do but did them anyway. You know what? I was still alive! I had done a lot of things I was really afraid of and survived. I started to believe in myself a little bit more. You see, one can be very confident appearing on the outside and folks believe all these things about a person. But on the inside? That same person can be the least confident person to themselves in the world! How do I know? Cause that’s me. I’ve known that a very long time. That’s why I did some of the things I did! That’s why I sought the challenges I did! I was seeking confidence. But that’s probably another analysis and story for another forum . Anyway, I did finally piece together that the missing piece I needed was basically to face my fear of quitting. Yup. It was that simple. In some ways a bit of a let down really. No magic. No silver bullets. Kind of like when Dorothy looks behind the curtain and sees who the great Oz really is kind of let down.
It wasn’t until a little bit into my quit that I discovered the magic Jerthie. And I faltered. Those that have been on here a while know I faltered. But I had enough taste of the true empowerment that I got back up. I had found those feelings I got with facing the fear and quitting and the empowerment that ensued just too precious. Nothing I’ve done had given me the exhilaration and clarity that quitting smoking had given me. I’ve done and still do some pretty crazy things. None of them have taken the true grit and intestinal fortitude that resolving to quit smoking took. That is the magic. It’s truly magical that I had that in me all along.
I’m afraid that is hindsight speaking Jerthie. The magic came with hindsight. You have it too. One day you’re gonna take that 80%, cut those tethers, set your resolve that you can’t wait for the other 20% because you want to soar anyway, you’re gonna take that fear square on. Then you are gonna see that really, anything really is possible.
How are you doing tonight? I'm sitting here listening to my jazz, a bit bored, sick of watching FOX, sucking on my pouches. Thought I would say hi to my favorite Delphi buddy.
Had a good day. Up at 6am and walked 3.5 miles. Came home and started my latest project refinishing our kitchen countertops. I am installing some cool tile backsplashes tomorrow. I enjoy working with my hands. Bought some new Apple earbuds and have been dancing all day.
I want to let you know how much I really appreciate your responses to my posts. It makes me feel great to know that I can make a difference in people's lives with my ramblings. I write from my heart and really love touching others. The feedback that I get from everyone keeps me grounded in my journey to freedom.
I waked to a lake today where I used to take my dog for walks. I had to put him to sleep last week. How I miss him and cried like a baby remembering the wonderful times we had together. I choke up every time I think about him (like now).
I just needed to talk to someone like you tonight.
Thought you might be interested in reading something that I wrote to Denium last night. He is a good person who had made a huge difference in lots of us who are struggling to beat this thing.
I have been meaning to reach out to you for quite some time. I've enjoyed your many posts on this site and I really appreciate folks like yourself who are committed to others who are fighting for their freedom from smoking. I have been at war with my addiction to nicotine most of my adult life. It's been a long time coming, having tried numerous methods to quit only to surrender in the short term to my addiction. I have fought and won over other serious addictive maladies but by far this has been my biggest challenge. I am currently smoke free for only two months but know in my heart that this is my time to finally end the insanity. I've been visiting Delphi for over two years, but not until the past few weeks do I feel that I have a solid chance to truly eliminate cigarettes from my life.
I really enjoy reading and posting here. I not only benefit from everybody's stories but really love to share mine too. I gain strength in offering support and encouregment to my friends on this site. It is important to know that there are people who understand.
I am grateful for people like yourself who care about others enough to spend time and energy to help. Benevolence is so rare today in our society that seems to have lost the way to enlightenment of the soul. What happened? Nobody seems to care about their fellow man anymore. You are about others. That is an admirable trait and you touch people in a wonderful way with your conversations. Thank you from all of us.
I too care about others and lately have been pumping people up with supportive and positive replies. Getting lots of great feedback for my efforts. You know what I mean. It makes me feel good to help and keeps me grounded in my journey to freedom.
Looking forward to reading your insights and affirmations in the future.
My latest is “Dance with this gift called life”.
I hope this post finds you well.
Good morning Andrew!
Thank you for the lovely note and for sharing what you wrote to Denim. It is a beautiful message and I love the acknowledgment. It’s true that benevolence has seemed to gone astray in our society. Not entirely though as evidenced by your presence here. You have been so humble and honest and inspiring.
I’m so sorry to hear about your beloved friend and mate, your dog. What was his name? I understand the attachment to our furry friends (children really) very well. I’ve loved animals so much my whole life. I’m sure it feels really lonely for you without him. And these adjustment periods without our other “friend” the smoke can be really challenging too.
It sounds like the walk you took was lovely. Is that the first time you did that walk without him by your side? How bittersweet to carry him in your heart with you on it again. I’m sure you felt the continued connection.
It’s wonderful you are good and creative with your hands! I’ve always wanted to be more so with the kind of thing you are doing with the tile. My Daddy was a Carpenter. I love anytime I walk into or a near a place and there is the smell of fresh cut wood. Brings up so many wonderful feelings and memories.
Do you like the earbuds? I use mine a lot. Lately I’ve been into some Latin music. There is an artist who’s voice I’ve fallen absolutely in love with. You should check her out. Her name is Mon Laferte. One song in particular that I get really lost in is called “Primaveral”. Do you use a music platform like Spotify or something? It would be easy to find there or even YouTube.
Music. Where would we be without it?? I’d be lost. It doesn’t matter to me that I can’t fully understand the lyrics in that song, I understand the feeling and passion and energy. Sometimes I think not understanding the lyrics makes the song more passionate in some ways.
I hope the project is goin well! It’s probably about lunchtime for you. I’m having a slow start to the day after not sleeping well in the heat last night. Got up and went for a walk with that beautiful moon. It still crosses my mind how I used to do that and smoke. It’s better without though now. My other senses really enjoy it more.
Put in those earbuds and dance Andrew!
Thank you Lore!!! What you just wrote... I know this to be true. And it is exactly how I feel! To see my complicated feelings put into words helps me so much! I love it!!! I love how you articulated exactly how I feel!!! I too have done gutsy things in life that most people don't do... But quitting nicotine? That takes GUTS. I too think I will soar higher than I could even imagine if I were successful at breaking the addiction. It would be the most badass thing I could ever do! But there is fear. A lot of fear.
You see. I have been nicotine free on and off. Sometimes for years in my 30s. I could go years with only having one with a drink here and there. Or I could quit for 6 months then pick it up again for 3 months. Then quit again for another 6 months and on and on. And then I found the lozenges which ended my affair with the smokes. But sadly enough, I became addicted to them and they basically consume me in the exact same way that cigarettes did. I get anxious without them. I crave for them every 2 hours. I still feel the sad pangs of failure and slavery... Only now to a lozenge.
I've already had 2 today and it is only 10am. I am already thinking about when I can have another one. I remember smoking cigarettes and smoking half cigarettes in attempts to quit or butting one out only to pick it up off the ground and light it up again. Feeling of failure, despair and slavery all rolled into one. And what is awful. Truly awful. Wanting to quit but not knowing how but knowing it can happen but when? When will I finally end the cycle?
In all honesty I don't think I will gain the weight I have talked about. I have never gained even a pound whenever I would quit. The real reason? It is as you said Lore... FEAR. Can I do it? How will I do it? How will I feel? Will I go back to it afterwards in the end?
So that is where I am at now. 6 to 8 lozenges a day. Knowing with all honesty I am not as afraid of gaining weight as I am of... Saying my final good bye. I need to know deep down inside that quitting is a happier life than remaining. And I too know that you do not feel the magic you speak of until you are a month or two onto your quit. The beginning is not all magic. Will power needs to be there too!
Thank you Lore for your wonderful share!!! And on I go with my day. Will continue to keep you all posted!
I know 3 things to be absolute truth in life Jerthie. Of course they all have a story that helped me to learn them the hard way.
1: IF is the biggest word in the world.
2: Nothing happens unless you make it happen.
3: Fair is a noun, and though there is a definition for it to be an adjective and an adverb, do not expect this to be the case in life.
In life, fair is a noun, it is a place where ones goes to eat cotton candy and go on rides.
I hope you dance a little bit today!
I totally hear you - Fear was my worst enemy when it came to quitting smoking. The mere thought would terrify me. How would I cope? How can I possible go even one day without my smokes? What would I do without them? What do I do instead of smoke?
Then I realized, fear of ........what ? I created the fear. It was an irrational fear. One that didn't really exist except in my own mind. Well, in that case, if I created the fear, I can change that so call fear into power.
My dog's name was Rascal. And what a rascal he was. He was a very independent Jack Russel but really loyal and listened to my commands. Was the only dog I have ever had in my life. He was my soul mate. I miss him cudgeling up to me like a baby.
Not having children of my own I loved him as I would have loved my own children. I am still going through the grief process. It's tough. Do I want to relieve these feelings with a cigarette? Absolutely not.
Music is my savior, as a teenager I taught myself how to play several instruments. I settled on piano, guitar, banjo, harmonica. Played in several bands, country rock, hard rock, bluegrass and sang in the church choir. Today I listen to all kinds of music no less than 6 hours a day on Utube. I absolutely love it, sends shivers up my spine and at times motivates me to dance. People think I am crazy as I dance in the grocery store, when I am doing my daily walks and at home when nobody is looking.
Still going strong with my commitment to staying smoke-free however like Jertihe, I am dependent on my NRT, nicotine pouches. I still crave the smoke but repeat my mantra "I just don't smoke anymore" PERIOD. That works for me.
Hope this post is finding you well. Talk to you later.
Love it Anne.
Yes! Transform it into power!
Didn’t you also realise when you stopped the fear wasn’t as big as we made it out to be in our minds? You always hit the nail on the head when you speak to how things are in our minds and how we have the ability to change those thoughts around into something different and constructive.
Feel like I’ve not seen you here for a bit. Did you have a vacation?
Yup - just like most things, the fear was completely unwarranted and way over rated.....lol What a joy that turned out to be. Its like turning the tide on the bully - once you face it, it shrivels.
I check in here every day. I don't always have time to post but I do check in every single day. Keeps me grounded in my conviction to stay a non-smoker.