Thursday, 24 November 2011

Damn you nicotine!

So I have to quit smoking AGAIN! This is ridiculous! Even I'm tired of hearing myself say "I quit smoking!" It's been an ongoing battle for, what feels like, forever! I've never had a good excuse for starting again. Just a freakin addict who is capable of justifying anything when I want to feed the monster inside me.

I need a plan. I need to examine what I've done in the past and decide what I am doing for my last quit. This time I need to determine what will "replace" cigarettes.



~Meditation in the morning to combat the anxiety attack that happens as soon as I realize I am not having that first cigarette.
~Meditation throughout the day when the "end all" cravings hit.
~Yoga to ground myself and to bring exercise back into my life.
~A journal to keep me focused on why I need to stay away from the poisonous crap.
~WATER! Oh so much water! Flush out those damn toxins!
~Deep breathing.
~Baths. As many as I need in the first few days.
~A good bye letter to nicotine. It's time to part ways.
~PATIENCE! Need to be gentle with myself. It's not just willpower. It's the fight of my life. Compassion and loving kindness for myself will go a long way.

And a quit date. I'm doing this cold turkey. The anxiety will subside and I believe all my other "attempts" have failed when I've tried to quit whatever "vessel" I've used to deliver the drug. Nicotine is the addiction.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It's been a long climb.

It's been hard for me to "heal". I suppose it's hard for everyone to heal. The word heal suggests work .. physically, mentally or emotionally. I knew at the beginning of my journey I was in for a long uphill climb, and just assumed the view from the top would be so astounding and so beautiful that I resolved to get there no matter what. So I took a step. Then I took another and another. A few times I've fallen or slid down, but always manage to find a source of inner strength and continue onward.

At the end of this past summer I climbed a popular mountain in my area. It's a decent hike and the view from the top is breathtaking. I really did feel like I was on top of the world. What I didn't count on or anticipate was the incredibly gorgeous views on the way up. Tops of mountains near or glimpses of valleys in between the mountains. Equally as stunning. 

Same with my personal journey. There have been glorious breaks with amazing lookout spots along the way. And the more focused I have been about getting to the top of my "personal mountain" the less I've noticed these wonderful, encouraging views. 

I struggled with my faith because I couldn't name it. Or wasn't able to comprehend not having a "thing" to believe in when the whole time I had faith in my spiritual practice. It was there the whole time. It's me. Mindfulness, meditation and loving kindness. Once I stopped and just took a look around it became clear. And now I believe wholeheartedly in the power of my spiritual practice. It gives me strength. It protects me. Once I had compassion for myself, my soul just opened up. I now meditate and listen to Dharma on a daily basis. Buddhism has been there all along and once I stopped fighting...well, I felt "home". 

I struggle with my anxiety. I have to get over my anxiety. I shouldn't let it control me as I do. I stopped and looked around at the view. My anxiety used to be masked by intense anger and rage. My anxiety and my fears were once transformed into a weapon against everyone else. I rarely experience deep anger. In fact, historical anger is so rare to me now that I feel physically ill when I experience that feeling. I've made huge progress. To let go of anger and understand my anxiety is incredibly significant. I know most of my anxiety and fears are still from childhood and that awareness alone should be celebrated.

I still have a long way up the mountain. But I have an appreciation for the moments of beauty along the way. What's the point of reaching the top if I haven't enjoyed, honored and loved myself through the process?


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

AHA moment!

A few things I've figured out this week.

My negativity is out of control because I choose to let it be that way. Simple.  When other people refuse to work on themselves and I allow those thoughts to interfere with my own healing that is my choice. Allowing myself to absorb someone else's negativity is in my control. Changing someone else's negative thought patterns is not in my control. Easy.

Yesterday was a brutal day in no smoking land. I had come close to buying one of those little prime time cigarillos.  Well, I had the plan worked out anyway.  But I went to the mall and bought a $70 purse instead. Can't really afford it, but the bank card said approved and yesterday that was good enough for me. And not smoking for a week, the purse is pretty much paid for. I've done that 13 and half times. JUSTIFIED!! ;)

Back to the epiphany. It just clicked a few minutes ago.

I've been miserable! It's the whole quit smoking thing. I'm unmotivated, lazy and effin whiny ... for roughly three months. My resentment is building up and anger is knockin on the back door. I feel a little distant from a lot of people too. I couldn't figure out why everything was so different for me last year. Well...I've got it!

(This is the part where I really need to pay attention and listen to myself closely!!!)

Last year I was focused on my healing. It really became a life or death situation and I immersed myself into change. My whole heart, mind, body and soul was in a great deal of distress so I did what was necessary and learned to love and nurture myself. While I was doing all this work and learning to be the "real" me, I had little to no time to concern myself with other people's crap. I wasn't as caught up in it.

Fast forward...quitting smoking brings up a new wave of emotions and feelings I hadn't quite finished dealing with during the first year of sobriety. Mostly my insecurities (and childhood crap..but mostly it's the insecurities). I have some core issues with abandonment and being alone. Although, I have been alone and proven to myself I am strong enough to get through anything, the whole idea does still rear anxiety and a lot of it. Crippling anxiety. And when it hits I dwell in negative land. I become unmotivated. Then more anxiety. Repeat.

So...obviously it will pass. I do know (and feel) this. I need to remind myself of a couple of things. First, people who do not want to heal, change or even improve their lives are hurting themselves. Do not let them bring me down. Second, people who live in a negative bubble are miserable and only trying to share their pain. Do not accept it. Leave it with them. Third, remember that I have so much strength inside me. Combined with my courage and perseverance I really do feel I can accomplish anything. It's time to make healing my first priority. And, like before, have an open mind, soft heart and remember everything happens for a reason.


Monday, 19 September 2011

3 months!!!

I have 3 months smoke free! I'm pretty excited and proud of myself. I also have 15 extra pounds...not as exciting. Those are leaving pretty damn quick. Today is the day I remain attentive to my food intake and make sensitive choices. Water over pop. Fruit over sugar. Veggies instead of chips. It's a good start and I know I can stick to it for one day. Just today.

Funny how everything in my life goes back to "one day at a time". Addict to the core, I guess. I'd love to be addicted to meditating, sensible eating and proper exercise. To be addicted to balance! Hehe

This whole "new me" thing isn't easy. It seemed to be at first, but I was still smoking. It's AMAZING how much smoking covers everything. Not only is nicotine a powerful, physically addicting's also a wonderful tool used to stuff emotions/feelings/memories. It's an insanely hard habit to kick.

I believe it gets better. Trust the process, right?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Ready to Puuuurrrrrge!

First off...85 days smoke free. Not feeling overly confident that it's "kicked" this time...just grateful for each day I go without smoking.

I finally got my file from the Ministry of Family and Child services, actually I've had it for about a month. It's been an emotional roller coaster for me since. One day I'm feeling okay and not giving it a thought or an ounce of my energy and then I'm knocked on my ass by the huge wave of emotion that consumes me when I think about it. My therapist had suggested I burn the file after I read through the pages...purging of my past. It's been on my mind a lot lately. I can fully understand the connection my childhood has to my current stresses and I feel a pushy feeling inside me. Like it's time?

The contents of the file really explain my issues with my mother. The abandonment especially. And the "tools" (or lack thereof) I've used for "coping" for the last twenty years. Anger, guilt and manipulation were her specialties...seems I learned from the master. ;) However, unlike her, I have become aware in my sobriety these don't actually work for me. They don't get my needs met. They hindered my healing. I had to unlearn what I had learned.There are still times I experience my negative thought patterns and I think it's time to "let go". Scary! As dysfunctional as this is going to childhood is what I know. It's familiar. It's my excuse and my reasoning. Letting go is unknown.

Freedom is finally worth overcoming the fear.

Now...I just got to go start a fire!

Who knows, I might even write that damn letter. You know the one (get your feelings out, tell her how you really feel. you don't have to give her the letter) - that letter. That thought isn't as uncomfortable as it has been in the past. I can even (almost) see the words I would put on the paper.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

18 months!!!

I've been freaking sober for 18 months!

It really is a huge accomplishment. The  change in the quality of life is astounding. I can't even begin to count the ways. I'm so proud to have finally see what I was doing to myself and everyone around me, to have the courage (and brains!) to walk away from all that and deal with all my stuff.

I'm certain I'll see that kind of difference without the cigs too. Not quite the same...always knew/remembered what i was doing  while smoking...but there are some similarities.

The "addiction gets priority" is true with smoking. I don't miss that. The last $8 was always mine. We couldn't leave to go anywhere until I had my cigarette.  The sneaking away to fit in my cigarette all those times I broke quits and was a temporary closet smoker.

When you really stop and look at's just as life sucking and pathetic as any other drug/alcohol addiction.

Yesterday I spent most of the day anxiety free. One day that will be the norm and I'll be free of the two major, poisonous addictions in my life. What a fantastic day that will be!!!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Every day is an adventure.

I'm referring to my mind. It's a zoo in there! I'm certain I will, once again (somewhat), level out...but for now ...

I'm back to meditating. I'm not sure if that is a safe or even accurate thing to say as I've only meditated twice in three days. But it's a gigantic improvement and certainly a step taken. 

I've also started reading through the Buddhism course I signed up for a few weeks back. Lesson 2 was hard to concentrate on. It explained the different types of Buddhism and which is practiced where. Once I finished reading about the origin, and about Buddha himself, I lost all focus. I'll have to go back and reread it one day. But for today, I'll move on to lesson 3. 

I'm thankful yesterday is behind me. It was a rough one. No smoking though. Yay! My rational mind laughs at the idea of smoking to relieve any sort of mental and emotional discomfort. But when those moments hit, there is NO sign of my rational mind anywhere. It's temporary. I'm really hoping it's short temporary. 

At any rate....40 days smokefree. <3