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I’m thrilled to be part of such a positive, supportive and vibrant group! It’s amazing to see the support you give each other. I’m Tammy and I will be the forum’s new moderator. You’ll notice some of my colleagues joining us from time to time as well. We’re here to support you and answer your questions along your journey, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Have a wonderful day!
Tuesday’s Pledge... much fun at pball yesterday. Some great games. Today is finish packing and head to Calgary for an evening departure. Not sure how often I’ll check in but rest assured this Ol Roughneck won’t be smoking. Keep swingin folks!!
Why? Hypnotherapy was something I tried many times. Books, tapes, one on one sessions and group sessions. The first time I saw the process was at an entertainment venue. Ravine. No other problem in my life seem to warrant that specific problem solving strategy. Partly because I felt powerless over tobacco at the same time I knew it was in my head. When Ravine offered a stop smoking suggestion as a thank you for coming on stage that got my attention. I think I was twenty. Even back then on some level I felt I was powerless over smoking. My mind could try and ignore the demands but at some point the need becomes pressing. Not everyone on stage was a smoker and he offered other suggestions but I have no memory at all what they were. Peace? Confidence? Anger management? I thought hypnotherapy might work because it did. For a bit. But it did not take much to break the spell. One or two smokes and that was it. That reality would still be true what ever method any one uses. Even at five years in if I allowed myself to have a morning smoke that cycle would start all over again. Back to square one. I think I was hoping that the hypnotherapy would be a magic wand. I would still like a magic wand and if you find one on sale, buy two!
My dear friends, results came back clear so it is a good day for me. Apparently I was more worried about it than I thought I was as I had a bit of a moment afterwards. And pretty much at that moment I got a text from my boss who was on me about not putting my appointment on the calendar. So disappointing that people can be so thoughtless. I'm sorry I didn't put it on the calendar but I had a bit on my mind and we discussed it Friday before we left work! She didn't even wait to find out the results, just went straight at me. I MAY have replied less professionally than I should have and will now have to deal with that but I was emotional at the time and quite frankly quite hurt. And of course I know better than to reply in the heat of the moment but sometimes she crosses the line and it just gets old.
ANYWAY...we should be focusing on the blessing I received today. Thank you all for your love and support.
BobbieB. I had such an insane week last week that I mostly just popped in, and popped back out. Congratulations on 700 days. That is a huge number. I am happy to be on this journey with you. You are a great mentor. Thank you so much for all your help. Many Many red balloons for you :)
Monday, Monday. Out the door early for last session of pball for a few weeks. Smoking will not ruin my day. Who else?
I had a good friend pass away on Friday evening. I immediately had the "I need a smoke" reaction when I found out. Thank god my husband was there with me, AND that I had no cigarettes or lighters or ashtrays or anything related to smoking around me!!! I only thought about it (smoking) for a minute - and the feeling went away. The empty feeling is sadness, not nicotine, and once I was clear with my brain about that, it got easier.
Half a lung. Twice now in my life I have had another human being tell me that they had a half a lung removed. This happened yesterday. She said it was ten years ago and she still smokes. "It's my thing." is what she said. I dropped the name of Alberta Quits and told her it is worth it. The absurd thing was that I was buying tobacco for my D.H. My panic at the cost at Costco did not pay off because the need became pressing. He normally gets his own now that I have quit so my panic at the price was just because I am not accustom to it. Gram for gram it cost the same where ever he buys it. The illusion that it is not so costly is maintained when a person buys smaller amounts and goes more often. We live out of town so now the price of gas is added in. The first time someone told me that she had a lung removed impacted me emotionally. I had asked her to come for a smoke with me. I did not know that she had just returned to work after surgery for lung cancer. I would never had asked her had I known. She was about the age of my daughter. This young co-worker. This lady yesterday was closer to my age. So I did not have the mother instinct that kicked in and made me so emotional. I felt guilty, and bad and protective over the work incident. Yet I smoked with many co-workers over the years. Madness. "No body in my family had ever had cancer until me." she said as I walked away with the toxic substance for my sweetie. I told him this story. He did not appreciate it. I talked about the cost of the tobacco. He justified it. I know he feels offended and judged when I say something. But I also know that there is a part of him that is impressed that I quit. He has seen the improvement in my strength a stamina. My fingers are crossed for that women at the till. I told her it was the best thing I ever did.
One puff will never be enough . Having none is worth so much more.
THE SILVER LINING
If today I felt like caving in ,
If I puffed what would I gain
If today I lost all hope to quit
Would "one" really satisfy my pain ?
What if I felt like I had to give up ,
And felt it was just too tough
What if I could have , just one little puff
Would “one" be really enough ?
What if today I could stand my ground
Go through this temporary pain
What if I refused to smoke
Would addiction surely be slain ?
What if I said "I’m not giving in"
Giving in would be such a pain .
What if today I could endure the clouds
To see the rainbow after the rain?
What if I felt that breeze of hope
And took each day one by one
What if I lived by not one puff
Then none would be more than enough
And the silver lining health .
I wrote this poem during my quit to remind myself that" just one " would never be enough. I likely also wrote it at a time I maybe wanted to give up my quit or maybe it was written on a day of strength . I saved however as a reminder for myself and hope it's ok to share here , (caps is only because of the title ) lol .I promise I'm not shouting but I am still shouting for joy . I'm quit , you are quit , and we are all quitting ! I hope maybe it might help someone out there struggling today . Dont smoke . You got this quit .
I would encourage you to write or journal , write a poem or write about your anxiety , your frustrations or fears about quitting . Seeing things in print can bring relief and be a great tool to work through a crave as well . As many have often done and was suggested to me early in my quit was to write a goodbye letter to addiction . Write it now or write it later . There are so many things we can do for ourselves to overcome addiction . Taking back our power and away from addiction is kinda cool and it's peaceful .
Repost: Key Points for Success
This is a long read but well worth it.
Key Points For Success - Excerpt from: Hooked But Not Helpless
By: Patricia Allison with Jack Host
From: demelza on 1/25/99
Find A Stop Smoking Program: A stop smoking class will give you a specific day to stop and the support of a group. Keeping in mind what you've learned in this book, use only the information in the program that seems logical, ignore the rest.
Do Not Try To Get Rid Of Desires To Smoke: The discomfort of wanting to smoke is temporary and will get rid of itself. When you have a desire to smoke work through the five steps (listed below).
Do Not Substitute Food: If you "smoke" food whenever you have a desire for a cigarette, you will not only gain weight, you will never break your addiction. Desires to smoke will continue to nag you until you finally break down and give in.
Stay Clear Of Feelings Of Deprivation: Telling yourself you can't smoke is a lie and will make you feel so miserable you will run back to smoking. Remember that you can smoke. You just can't do it the way you'd like to: now and then or without damaging your health.
Give Up The Illusion Of Having "Just One": One puff or one cigarette has never been enough for you and never will be enough. It will inevitably take you back to smoking your normal amount. The crux of beating a drug addiction is knowing this: it is the first one that does you in.
Choose Between Real Options: The only real options you have are these: going back to smoking with all the terrible consequences or staying off smoking with the many benefits. You don't have to like this reality, but you better accept it.
Focus On Benefits - Continually: Keep in mind the specific benefits you are gaining from being free from your addiction. Counter your compulsion to smoke by remembering what you want more: your breathing, your freedom, and your peace of mind.
Get Smart About Junkie Thinking: Every time you have a junkie thought, identify it and talk back to it. If you do, these irrational thoughts and plans will eventually lose their power over you.
Take Time Out When You Have A Desire To Smoke: During withdrawal or in any high risk situation, get away by yourself for a few minutes to review the five steps (listed below) and get your thinking back on track.
Be Uncomfortable - Graciously, And On Purpose: The discomfort caused by wanting to smoke is temporary and harmless, and it's your means to escape from slavery. The desire to smoke will gradually become less intense and less frequent until most of the time you will feel like a non-smoker.
Prepare For High-risk Situations: Most people who relapse do so within the first three months because they are not prepared for such things as traveling or emotional upsets. Stay alert and beware of overconfidence.
You Don't Have To Change Your Life: Drinking coffee, having a glass of wine or eating spicy foods will not make you smoke. They can make you want to smoke. So your job is to treat the desires to smoke rather than avoid them. Change your thinking, not your daily activities.
Use Dreams Constructively: Dreams about smoking are very common and do not mean you are doomed to relapse. The anxiety you feel in a dream when you realize you're smoking will teach you that, although you can smoke, you will never be happy with it.
Remember, There's No Cure For Addiction: You will never be a non-smoker. A non-smoker is someone who has never had a problem with smoking, has never struggled to take control of that problem, and never has worry about losing control. You're an ex-smoker, and although you can be a confident and relaxed ex-smoker, you are always susceptible to relapse.
Expect To Have A Three-month Flare Up: Many ex-smokers relapse toward the end of the third month because their health has improved and the side effects of smoking have disappeared. Don't imagine that time has cured your addiction. One puff and you will be back to smoking compulsively.
Do Not Nag Or Preach At Other Smokers: You're only one puff away from a pack a day yourself. Take care of your own recovery and watch out for the influence of other smokers around you. Don't glamorize smoking: remember what it was really like to have to smoke all day every day.
Get Extra Help If You Need It: Attend a self-help group or see a counselor to worth through feelings you've been drugging away all these years. Letting go of these feelings from the past and learning new ways to cope with the present will help you become a happier, more comfortable ex-smoker.
Confronting Your Addiction (Five Steps)
1. I Am Having A Desire To Smoke Right Now: Every time you have a desire to smoke, face it. The desire is going to come over you whether you like it or not. It's normal. That's what makes you a smoker. But you don't have to be afraid of the desire. It's not bigger than you. It can't hurt you. You don't have to get rid of it, hide from it, or pretend it isn't there. Let it run its course. It will fade away. You may worry that you'll never feel normal again. However, you can be certain that as long as you don't give in to the addiction, your desire to smoke will inevitable diminish, becoming less frequent and less intense until most of the time you feel like a non-smoker. And although you want a cigarette, remember what you don't want. You don't want to get sick from smoking or to have to go on smoking for the rest of your life.
I Can Smoke. I Am Not Deprived: Nobody's taking your cigarettes away from you. You don't have to give up smoking, and even if you do stop, you can go back to smoking any time you choose. What you can't be, however, is a happy comfortable smoker.
2. One Puff And I'll Go Back To Smoking 30 To 40 Cigarettes A Day, Every Day: Don't trick yourself into believing you can have just one puff when the going gets difficult. Using your drug to get through withdrawal from your drug doesn't make sense. One puff will always call for another puff, and sooner or later you'll be back to smoking them all.
3. Right Now I Have A Choice To Make For Myself: Either give in to this temporary discomfort and go back to the constant misery of smoking, or accept this temporary discomfort and walk through it for these benefits
4. ... Now ... list your own five benefits here.
For Example: better breathing no more chest pains healthier heart peace of mind more self-respect
Name the five most important benefits for YOU, beginning with your top priority. One way to make sure these are your reasons for stopping is to ask yourself whether you're willingly accepting the discomfort of going through withdrawal.
5. You only have the above two options ... so now make your choice ...
At this moment I CHOOSE TO WILLINGLY ACCEPT THIS TEMPORARY DISCOMFORT because I want ________(fill in this blank with your reasons to quit)________!!
Always end your thinking process by naming at least three major benefits. When you have a craving to smoke, don't let it make a fool of you. Use these FIVE STEPS, along with your list of benefits, every time the desire to smoke comes up.
Recognize what's happening: you're having a desire to smoke. And you can smoke; you're not deprived. Then, remind yourself that one puff will take you straight back to the slavery of smoking.
Finally, make your choice. Don't whine and complain because you can't have it your way - smoking without consequences. You have to pay a price; you can't have cigarettes and your health, too. Remember that you are choosing between TEMPORARY DISCOMFORT and ONGOING MISERY. You can succumb to your desire and give in to your addiction for relief from temporary stress OR you can resist the urge for the sake of long-term happiness and health.
By using these steps to face your addiction, you will train your mind to respond to the desire to smoke in a new you. Instead of automatically giving in to your desires, like a robot, you will confront the desire and make a choice.