Reply to Elevtheria ♥
Thanks so much for your blog, I am still here, lurking, I pop in every day, just not posting anymore, over making a fool of myself, failed quit attempt after failed quit attempt.
I had quietly set a new date for yesterday but on Monday I found out that my precious wee kitten had contracted a virus, $250 later and the vet told us it was fatal and there was nothing they could do for her. I was so devastated, although she was only 10 months old and we've only had her since April, she was my baby girl... she slept with me every night, followed me everywhere and was always wanting to play or just snuggle. I had to make the heart-breaking decision to have her put to sleep yesterday. So I convinced hubby that this week was not a good time to quit and am on yet another 30g packet of tobacco, with yet another date set. Wasn't planning on blogging until I had some decent stats to report but had to reply to your post.
Anyway, thanks to everyone else that commented on Elevtheria’s post and I’m sorry for not being here to support you all.
Ah yip, feeling pretty stupid right now. I did it AGAIN!!!
I go through these phases of not feeling ready to quit, panicking, rethinking, feeling empowered and capable, quitting, doing good/okay/not so good/baaaad then relapse, feel like an idiot, believing I will never do it, not ready, panicking, rethinking, feeling empowered and capable … and on and on it goes… through all of this there is one constant… a desperate want to quit smoking! It’s there, deep in my heart even when I’m craving, so WHY do I give in so easily??? Why can’t I tough it out like everybody else?
I got up this morning and stood in the rain getting wet to smoke a cigarette that I didn’t want!??? Am I unbalanced???
I know that getting angry with myself is not helping, berating myself and repeating “I’m useless” over and over in my head is not going to make me quit. I just want to murder that awful, stupid person who takes over when that doomsday trigger is pulled in my head, where does the real me go?
The FUNNIEST thing is that today I’m just as upset as I was yesterday when I believed I was so upset because I needed a cigarette. Today I’m upset because I have the cigarettes that I needed so badly yesterday. DUMB.
I know I don’t have to say sorry to you guys but I do for me…I have to say sorry for always letting you and me down. If there’s one thing you can count on though, it’s that I will bloody well keep trying.
Have had a really hard time this morning but when I try to express how I feel, it all sounds pretty pathetic really. I feel dumb for struggling so much, like I know better and have the most empowering reasons and support network. I seem to lose focus so easily.
At least for now I managed to get through a tough craving session. So while I’m prone to worrying about what is to come, all I really need to focus on is this moment.
“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.”
- Thomas S. Monson
Blog No: 200!!! Day 1.
Feeling good. I think I feel less sluggish (drugged!) and my breathing is certainly a whole lot better already, without that first chest-closing cigarette of the day and the others that follow. I still can’t breathe with my chest open (shoulders back and boobs out lol) but can definitely notice an improvement.
There have been a few mood swings but nothing major, a couple of growly angry outbursts but with someone who’s working on an anger problem we can’t attribute that directly to quitting! Overall, once I got past the initial “Argh! Can’t have a cigarette” realisation upon opening my eyes this morning, I am feeling calm and capable. Last night as I went to bed I was really looking forward to not smoking, despite the inevitable panic that had descended upon me. I want to remember that.
Since my counselling earlier this year I’ve been stepping out of my shell and have started just talking to people, I’ve discovered that I’m actually quite conversable and I really like the interaction! Today I thought with a smile about how I will no longer have to worry about whether I stink of stale smoke ☺
I don’t have a plan for my trying afternoons yet but I do have a patch on today, I think I have gotten past all the anti-NRT hype (darn Joel Spitzer who has never ever smoked a cigarette) that was influencing my thoughts on using it, and am more focused on doing whatever is going to work for me. NRT helped me achieve four months 100% smokefree last year so I’m going to let go of my desire to be a cold turkey.
I have really been looking forward to painting my nails today, but have just had such a busy morning with play group and then Duplo and tea parties at home I haven’t had a chance! For those who don’t know me who might read this, I developed a nail polish infatuation when I quit last year, I painted my nails as a distraction once and loved it so much it became a thing for me, a new bottle of polish was a reward I could focus on (I now have a very long wish list, so many future rewards await me!). Because my polishes were rewards for smokefree milestones, I have never let myself paint my nails when I’ve relapsed, so for many weeks now I have had 41 bottles of glorious colour shimmering temptingly at me, urging me to quit! Today brings my first Woohoo moment!
Funny that Emmy girl should mention this morning the bloggers who always write novels. *Heiro raises hand* Guilty!!! ☺ I always think it’s amazing when someone takes the time to read them, so Thanks if you’re one of those someones ♥
How I’m feeling post ciggie, night before Quit Day
I feel sick and light headed (this faint feeling has been happening all day). My heart is beating very fast. I feel as though I am breathing toxic fumes from my mouth. I am cloaked in smoke. My chest is tight and my breathing shallow, my shoulders pulled in. My throat and chest feel hot, burned.
I’ve been paying attention to the actual act of smoking, noticing how hard it actually is to inhale smoke, and the immediate effect it has on my breathing. How much time is wasted smoking, the inconvenience of trying to fit in a fix before going somewhere, doing something. So many interruptions! I am literally chained. Hating every cigarette but wanting another as soon as the hit from the last one has worn off.
Then there are the feelings and emotions that go with smoking, the need, the panic at the thought of having to go without, the shame, the guilt and regret. The always present desire to quit, rid myself of all of this. Then fear! Imprisoned by my addiction, but determined to break free.
Feel free to roll your eyes!
Afternoons have become the hardest for me, with everything going on in your typical “young family” household at this hour, we then add exhaustion, hormones and slight mental instability to the equation and we end up with pure meltdown material! So, with that said and me being skilful at manipulating hubby into buying smokes for me, I didn’t make it through yet another Day 1! (Here’s where the eye rolling may occur).
After a night of kicking myself, I had my meeting with the Smokechange lady this morning. She told me I have a great “self-awareness” and I know my smoking addiction well, I clearly know my triggers and I know what I need to do. She didn’t try to give me any stats or sad stories, she just listened to me rabbit on (yay I managed not to cry!) and said that she would support me on my journey. So, still with no clue and even though she couldn’t give me “the answer” I am left feeling invigorated.
I’ve been so down on myself for repeatedly slipping up and relapsing. Frustrated beyond every sense of the word that I have been unable to just DO IT! I dismissed my planning and preparation because it hadn’t worked. I pooh-poohed all my tools because they didn’t help. I insulted myself because no matter what I tried I couldn’t make it work.
Well. I have set my Quit Date for the 2 December (not even going to sit here and um and ah about whether or not I should really disclose this) and I am going to put it all together and make it work.
Hopefully by this point you’ve stopped rolling your eyes (guess it would’ve been hard to read this if you hadn’t already stopped) and are feeling a little optimistic that perhaps I have found my elusive mojo and shiny balls of steel! Yes today I am feeling the ROAR!!! *Beats chest with fists*
Day 1 : Strategies for Not Smoking...
* CHANGE THE WAY I'M THINKING
* Back myself!
* Stop. Pause. BREATHE.
* Focus on the present moment, be MINDFUL
* ONE moment, hour, day at a time
* Remember IT WILL PASS
* Be grateful
* Be aware of emotional thoughts, listen to rational thoughts
* EXPECT to SUCCEED!
* Make it a good day
* Change routines, create new habits
* Drink water
* Do something else, DISTRACT, get BUSY!
* Deep breathe
* HALT : Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired ?
* Take some ME time!
* Read the blogs, post a blog, support others by commenting
* Put on some music
* Go out somewhere or go for a walk
* Have a healthy snack
* Something off my "Things to do instead" list
* Find a project to start
* Go through my Quit Kit
* Treat myself to something nice
* NRT on standby
It has only been an hour or so and already I am feeling the pinch, my head is screaming at me! So I re-hashed my quit plan (again) because the darn thing must have still had some holes in it, yes that must be why it’s never worked! Well I think now you could pin a tail on it. Then I wondered if perhaps it might hold more weight if I printed it. Except that our printer doesn’t work. So I’m blogging it instead. Have a sneaking suspicion though that the problem’s not with the plan, but with something in my head. Well. Tomorrow morning a person from “Smokechange” is coming to see me, I am a bit nervous as she doesn’t sound like a “warm fuzzies” type. I just hope this can make a difference for me this time.
Blog No: 196. I didn't make it.
My very first attempt at quitting smoking was in February 2008 when I found out I was pregnant. Having always said “I’ll quit when I get pregnant” I really wanted to do the best for my baby. So I read Alan Carr’s book in a day, smoked when he told me to and extinguished my last cigarette at the end of the book as instructed. I think I lasted all of about two hours!
There were a few more meagre attempts throughout my pregnancy, all unsuccessful. When my son was born and we stayed in the maternity unit for 4 days I didn’t smoke at all, I was too ashamed to join the very few smoking mothers outside and so I didn’t. All up I lasted 6 days but as hubby was still smoking, I eventually succumbed to temptation and restarted without much thought.
From then on I hid my smoking from all but a few. I don’t remember if there were more attempts over the next 18 months, certainly nothing significant, but when I found out I was pregnant with our second child, I was once again serious about being smokefree for this baby.
But I still couldn’t manage it and struggled to quit throughout my pregnancy. Then my Mum passed away when I was 30 weeks pregnant, her death directly related to smoking, and the need for me to quit suddenly seemed absolutely vital. And yet, despite many more attempts, I just could not get through more than a few hours or days.
Then in April 2011 I joined the Quitline blogs and found an amazing community online, people who had the same thoughts, feelings and failings, as me. I was inspired to see that these people were succeeding, sharing and supporting others in their quests to be smokefree. Desperate to be free and in need of support, heironymus was born and I blogged my way through many of my subsequent quit attempts. Each one ultimately unsuccessful, despite being able to rack up smokefree stats in the weeks and months, and despite everything I had learnt from my new friends and my past attempts.
My Mum had quit smoking about a year before she died and I remember her telling me that it had taken her five years to get there. (Truth told we are not sure that she wasn’t still sneaking the odd one here and there but towards the end it would have been physically impossible for her to inhale smoke).
I have been struggling with this for nearly six years and some days I start to believe that smoking will kill me, just like it did my Mum, because I just can’t seem to make it stick. Here I am now pregnant with my third child and intent on rehashing past failures! I have been asking myself, what’s wrong with you!?
This morning I realised I have to take heart in the fact that I am trying to overcome this now, probably 20 years before Mum did. I don’t want to smoke anymore so surely I cannot be battling with this for another 20 years? And with every attempt, every hour smokefree, maybe I gain smidgen more of what it takes to do this.
I guess you’re all wondering why post such a negative blog about my years of botched attempts but I hope on some level it might show my supporters that I really am serious about quitting, even though it mustn’t seem like it. Right now I feel like a lost cause, and I often wonder why you all haven’t given up on me! But, as pathetic as I feel, I will not give up on me and I know that you guys won’t either.
Thank you my friends once again for your unfathomable support and thanks for wading your way through this sorry tale. I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it work this time, but I promise that one of these days I WILL get there. I won’t stop until I do!
I believed, and magic happened ☺
I knew that if I posted that blog I wouldn’t be buying another packet of smokes. There’s some trick psychology about naming a quit date out loud to important people that spurs you on ☺ It’s not so much the posting of the ramble as it is the moving comments that are left in response. I am always deeply touched by the replies you guys leave for me and just can’t say enough how grateful I am for your unending support, THANK YOU!
So, thanks to a little blogging magic, here I am pushing my way along through Day 1! I’ve been here so many times and yet the waves of “ARGH! WAH! Cigarette!“ are still just as overwhelming. And frustrating! I’ve spent most of the morning just reading through the blogs, going over my quit plan and taking a picture of me wearing my red shoes ☺ Every time I get up from the computer I wonder what to do? Of course there are lots of things I should be doing but I keep coming back to the laptop. The plan is to get out of the house as soon as Master 2 has woken from his nap!
I keep reminding myself that this will pass, in a few days’ time it won’t be as all-consuming, all the time. I forget what it was like to be smokefree but the list of benefits on my quit plan all look really appealing ☺ So I’ll just focus on those and on the OPI Christmas collection ☺
Ok, well, I tried the whole solo journey thing and concluded it’s totally overrated! I don’t actually know what possessed me to think I could do this alone? Ok, I do… it was shame. After yet another relapse I was worried about how I was coming across like a flake, always letting everyone here down, and what people must be thinking… seriously, how could I have fallen off the wagon once again?
But I couldn’t manage even a few days without my fix of blogotine, and after a while lurking in the background, I realised that by not utilising the support here and forsaking the true friendship of other bloggers, I was letting myself down. I should be worrying about me and what I need! I have to get over being embarrassed by my history and accept my blogs as chapters of my journey. It might be a long and tiresome saga but I have to believe that one day heironymus will write her happy ending.
So I’m blogging again, because I need to and I have missed being a part of this community SO much! And also because I suck at going solo! I don’t know how many quit days never happened, how many date changes there have been, just in these past 5 weeks. My last quit date was Monday but come crunch time I promptly reset it to Thursday, tomorrow. This has to stop! I’ve had my head in the sand and have been smoking like it doesn’t matter, but reality often seeps through and I am struck with these overwhelming feelings of remorse. And yet today I’m panicking and thinking about just one more “one last packet”! (This “one last packet” does not seem to exist!).
I don’t want to do this anymore! Not only do I really NEED to be smokefree, but I want this for all the right reasons and ultimately I want this for ME. It makes me angry that I’m struggling and I hate that I can’t sort my head out, I have this feeling of “what’s WRONG with me?”!!! So, I’ve spent a good many hours today trying to blog, then trying to bring myself to post, because experience tells me it will help… magic will happen, my long-lost mojo will return and I WILL quit tomorrow!