The Art of Natural Dressage

Dragon Slaying
Page 5 of 8

Author:  Donald Redux [ Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Glen Grobler wrote:
Good point, Donald. I think it is my habit in control and not me in control. Well, as long as I don't give up on giving up I'll eventually get there!


Cheers, Donald R.

Author:  Donald Redux [ Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Donald Redux wrote:
Glen Grobler wrote:
Good point, Donald. I think it is my habit in control and not me in control. Well, as long as I don't give up on giving up I'll eventually get there!


Cheers, Donald R.

And it's an interesting point you make. One I used to make myself when I lectured on this subject of substance abuse (what I consider it).

That there is another entity involved. Not just YOU, but the substance. We used to say, many years ago, when someone was addicted, that they had a "habit."

Well, that habit is as real, when it comes to struggling to make the decision to use or not to use, as YOU are. It's exactly like a person, another person, inside you battling for control.

You decide or it decides. Bottom line. Who is control, you or it?

This is pretty much what most smokers, or those with other "habits," come down to unless they find it easy to quit.

When it's hard to quit, you have an opponent.

Every time you smoke the opponent has made the decision over you, instead of you.

Love and hugs to you, Donald R.

Author:  Leigh [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Okay, Glen, Karen, my fellow sinners...

Today I dragged my dainty butt (hah!) and that of my husband (double hah!) down to the doctor's for the first time in, well, let's just say far longer than I care to admit...

A host of delights await us, including all of the horrible things the medical profession does to people who have reached a "certain age..." :sweat: (We had a lively debate on the way home over the relative horrificness of the speculum vs. the proctology exam...both trying to forget the ominous "colonoscopy" word that was floating in our brains...) :razz:

But...the big news: tomorrow I fill a prescription for the Nicoderm patch and Wellbutrin, which the doc says he finds has the best way to beat the smokes dragon.

And my hubby does too...

So, we're back in the fight!


How are your respective battles going?

(And who knows, perhaps an antidepressant IS what the doctor ordered to get me out of my seemingly endless funk these days-- Leigh, smokeless and perky, all at the same time!! :) I'll have to slap myself!!)

Author:  jessplum [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

hi there, i have only just noticed this post. well done. i have not read it all, i am all "read-out" but i would love to say first, congratulations to you!!! i quit while pregnant with my first son. then i took it back up, then i quit with my seccond son!

i found that i really didnt do well when i thought about the amount of years i had been smoking for. i tried to make myself believe that i had never smoked. but i looooooooved smoking!!!

you know the only way i quit was by deciding in my head that i would never pick one up again. i had to convince myself of that and truely believe it. i think that the first time i quit i did it for my child, but something in me had not really let it go. like i still carried the "feel of the smoke" with me.

then one day, i just up and decided that i would spend four weeks smoking less and less. i would do it gradually. i cut my cigarrets in half and timed myself. i planned it on paper. i would go for 1 week with half cigarettes every hour. then i would go the next with two hours. then i cut my cigarretes and left just 1/3, and did the two hour thing. i found that after three weeks it started to get easier, and i was able to go four hours. then, i decided to put the last cigarette in safe place, and i comitted to never pick it up!! ever ever ever!!! not even one socially!! and this commitment to myself is what did it. because then i coule put it out of my head completely and move on.

so keep it up, and if you fall down, get up and brush off the dust!!! my favorite things to say are "eat an elephant one bite at a time" and a really good one from a kids movie "nemo" is "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" no matter how often you feel like you have had a momentary failure, it is only a fail if you let it stop you!!!

well done and keep it up!!! :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

Author:  Mouschi [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Good timing!

I'm down to 1/4 of a cigarette every hour and a half to two hours. BUT - I just opened the last pack I had. So. I like the sound of dragon slaying.

I've also been living with the information from the post "Locus of Control" - how it should be possible for me to influence or control outcomes of my own in this instance. Sounds childish but I've never thought about childhood matters coloring my ability (or lack :blush: ) to make smoking an un-habit.

Good luck Leigh! Need an e-buddy for ranting or raving?


Author:  Birgit [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

I don't know much about smoking in particular (other than that it is very hard to quit) but have learned a lot about other drugs and how to kick the habit. One thing that seems to be important is to not only give up one thing, but to fill the (emotional?) hole with something positive to have long-term success (after the physical withdrawal period is over). I know that some people will replace smoking with eating, which can be just as this something where finding a really strong positive reinforcer might work? I'm trying to think a little outside of the box here, depending on personality, a nap, doing something good for another person, planting a flower, taking a bath, taking a walk, meditation. One could have a long list of possible reinforcements to pick from, depending on the situation. I know you will all get there. Don't ever stop trying. :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f:

Author:  Karen [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Yes, my doctor says that it doesn't matter if you fail, only that you try again. And again. And again.

I'm in the midst also of trying again. Also by cutting down.

Leigh, if I had been a bit stronger the first time I took was a nice feeling and it seemed quite easy to quit. At least physically. I even quit with the patches once. Don't ask me why I started again. I don't even know. :blush:

But now I am allergic to the glue on the patches. They work while I have them on, quite good in fact...but the spot is itchy and when I take them off I get a nice red welt in it's place that itches for several days.

Oh! Oh! try wearing a patch at night. Just once. Just for the fun of it. You will have the most wonderful technicolor dreams....

Anyway...the next time I tried the Wellbutrin, it didn't work at all. Don't know why.

So I am now trying simply will power. Cutting down. Cutting down.

Yuck. It is the only thing in my life I wish I could do over. Go back to my youth and have the chance to make a different decision.

I refuse to replace the smoking with food. I'm already too healthy. So as I try to quit, I have to also not over eat to fill that void. The Welbutrin helps immensely with that.

But it is nearly spring. It is a time of new beginnings. I hope to be successful this time as well.

Be strong Leigh! I'm trying too.

Author:  Glen Grobler [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

:sad: Good for you, Karen and Leigh. My efforts have taken a back seat for now. I'm too busy moving house and sorting out all sorts of wierd details that are popping up like weeds. I'll get back to my dragon soon, but for now he'll have to be content with leaving me a message ...

Author:  Leigh [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Hey everybody! Thanks so much for all of your cheering -- man, what a lovely group!

Well, I have managed (with the help of the patches -- I guess the Wellbutrin won't kick in for a little while yet) to go an entire 24 plus hours sans cigarette.

This is a huge deal for me -- it's been years -- decades, even -- since the last time I managed to do this.

Am fighting a fair amount of cravings, but so far, I'm managing to stave them off.

It's interesting -- I'm realizing how much of my addiction is a psychological one -- I'm still getting nicotine, so that's not what I'm's the sensations, I guess -- the dopamine pop, the stepping out, the little moment of reflecting and withdrawing that happens when I stop to have a smoke. I miss the inhaling! (Isn't that ironic -- since it kills your ability to inhale.)

Found a helpful forum through -- ... uitsmoking -- a virtual nicotine anonymous, essentially.
Mouschi -- you might find this helpful, too! So far, I've just been reading, but I may actually join and post there.

One helpful hint (for me, at least) was this definition of when cravings were likely to hit (and it amused me as a horsey reference): HALT. Translated to when you're Hungry, Angry, Lonely (or bored), or Tired.

I think that's true. And of course, the only other time a craving is likely to hit is when I'm conscious...


So far, the biggest thing that's helping me is finding things to do that really pull my focus. If I get into something fully, an hour or two can go by and I don't think about them. If I'm sitting on the edges of things, not having to concentrate, I'm at the "can I have one now?" phase pretty much moment by moment. I was laughing (bitterly, but laughing ;) ) last night as I was reading that cravings only tend to last about 5 minutes...this may well be true, but when they're coming every 5 minutes and 30 seconds, it's pretty exhausting! 8)

Also found a fun little tool:
that spits out, based on what you enter, how long it's been since you had a smoke, how many you've not smoked, and how much money you've saved.

Karen, I did have some cool dreams last night -- I don't tend to remember my dreams (the despair of all of the dreamwork people I went to grad school with) -- something long and involved with Stardust, my vet/farrier, my new doctor, and some other guy I knew well in my dream but doesn't, I don't think, exist in my real life. It was very meaningful! At least in the moment... ;)

And I'm discovering after just one day of not sucking on the vile things (am trying to convince myself that they're vile!) that my sense of smell has snapped back into action. Wow! I can smell the stale smoke in our house now -- couldn't a day ago, and friends who visit have assured us that house doesn't strongly smell of smoke -- perhaps they were just being kind, as I can smell it, bigtime. And it smells yucky! (Though I'm still jonesing for the flavor of our minds play tricks on us, don't they??)

Anyhoo --

As I write this, I've gone one day, six hours, two minutes, and 39 seconds since a smoke. (I'm amused by the seconds delineation..). I've not smoked 25 cigarettes that I would have smoked, and saved myself $5.25.

Am patting myself on the head. (I need the correct C/T rewards! So far, the peanuts I've been shoving in my mouth aren't cutting it -- I need a seriously good jackpot treat...maybe chocolate covered cherries...???)

Thanks for listening to me babble!


Author:  Romy [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Great, Leigh!! :)

it's the sensations, I guess -- the dopamine pop, the stepping out, the little moment of reflecting and withdrawing that happens when I stop to have a smoke. I miss the inhaling!

If it´s not the nicotine, then what about doing the same ritual, only that you don´t smoke a real cigarette but pretend to do so by using a little stick or a pencil? Same time like you would smoke a cigarette, same actions - only that there is no nicotine involved. That´s what I sometimes do when I feel like smoking. For me it´s almost the same. I do enjoy deeply inhaling from my pencil and then slowly blowing it out with relish. ;) :green:

Here is a little treat for you: Image and a :pet: I know that you can do it!

Author:  Leigh [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Romy, thank you for the treat and the hug and the great "pretend cigarette" idea -- I just had a lovely nail file smoke...

And while it's not quite the same (hah!) it actually did help, and met some of the ritual/sensation needs, and it cut through the craving.


Now I'm going to experiment with what has the best flavor...pens, pencils, sticks, nail files...something with mentol! I need something with menthol!

In all seriousness, this did help. Thanks!


PS Edit:
My smart comment about menthol got me wondering, and yup, this is part of the reason I'm missing the inhaling, I think:

From a Harvard study on mentholated cigarettes:

"The HSPH authors cite an analysis of tobacco industry documents which described internal industry research on the use and effects of menthol, confirming the influence of menthol on perceptions of cigarette smoke strength or "impact" and suggesting a number of physiological effects including menthol's characteristic "cooling" effect, stimulation of nerves in the mouth and throat, anesthetic effect on the lung, enhanced absorption of other smoke constituents and altered respiratory patterns, including deeper inhalation." ... 82005.html

I've been missing the cooling, my mouth and throat have been a big part of the physical cravings, as well as the deep

Thought I'd share this in case there were other menthol cig smokers whacking away at their dragons! :hap: :hap: :hap:

Author:  annaliese [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Hey Leigh - Good job! And already feeling good effects along with the tough ones. Seems like if menthol is part of the equation there must be ways to incorporate that into any non-smoking rituals you create. Open the box. Tap out a drop. Think for a moment, "Look at me! I am not smoking!" Fell the coolness of the drop spread as it melts in your mouth. Then go find a nice fat pencil, pen, file, etc! I think they make mentholy tooth picks...

You physical performers - smoking and working your bodies like that - one of the many outrageous things about the group of which I believe you are part!!

Author:  Leigh [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Oh, Annaliese, thank you!

This is a great idea -- and actually also spurred a thought -- I'm wonderingif mentholated cough drops may be a weaning tool for me...I really do love that coolness in the lungs thing...

And yeah, physical performers and smoking...most people I know in the field do or did -- some found sanity earlier than others -- there's an interesting psychological layering here, I think -- was reading an article last night about reasons people smoke, and the author had some intriguing thoughts about social rebellion/outsider status -- certainly part of my momentum when starting -- but I also think it's a weird way for those of us who are in our bodies in a particular way to challenge ourselves, tempt the fates, etc. There's a sense of having such a strong body that nothing can really harm it (which does start to go away mid life, especially when you're not training it the way you used to! ;)). And probably some self-sabotage built in there, somewhere, too...

But thank you -- you and Romy both are helping me to see that I need to create different rituals, not necessarily try to live without rituals -- at least to start. This is so helpful!


Author:  Birgit [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Hi Leigh,
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
so glad you are working on this. For my occasional food addiction binges I have discovered these sugar-free Ricola lemon-mint coughdrops, that I found even more satisfying than menthol, just another flavor to savor. :)
As your sense of smell is coming back maybe some kind of nice smell ritual would work well, starting with stronger ones like citrus rind, cucumber, strawberries, fresh crusty bread, stronger smelling cheeses, some herbal teas...I'm meditiating on these even as I write... :smile: :) :D

Author:  Karen [ Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dragon Slaying

Leigh, they DO have nicorette inhalers! looks like a cigarette holder.

And seriously, if you are out shopping and happen to be near a book store, pick up Allen Carr's, The Easy Way to Quit Smoking.

It will help with the cravings by shifting your perception about them. It's rather cool actually.

Darn...I better catch up to you...


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