The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:50 am 
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Thanks, Birgit! Lovely ideas! Love the thought of a smell ritual...I will play with that this weekend. Maybe a "how many things can I smell, and how deeply"

I'd forgotten about the nicorette inhalers, Karen -- but I think I probably shouldn't do them because I'm doing the patch...

I'm rounding into the evening of day 2 smokeless -- it's not been an easy day, in some ways, but being Leigh (hah! :razz: ) I'm finding it interesting to try and dissect what the triggers are, what helps with them, etc.

I've never thought this hard about smoking and why I do -- no, DID it. Durn it! :)

And I'm finding that the about.com forum I mentioned above has been really, really helpful today. Haven't posted there yet, but am soaking in the various voices.

(Truly horrible story from one person today -- she's quit for a few weeks, and walked into her office today and one of her co-workers had left a pack of cigarettes with an anonymous note that said "Come back -- we miss smoking with you!" on her desk. I literally gasped when I read this -- and then thought it was an amazing metaphor for how cigarettes try to seduce us...)

Then I found some completely gruesome pictures of people dying from lung cancer, and some of two young men who'd had their jaws removed after using chewing tobacco (which my husband does) and it scared the hell out of me. :ieks: Seriously horrible.

It's interesting though -- before, when I've tried to quit, I've had to stave off panic about never having another cigarette -- this time, while pushing back at the dragon cravings takes energy, I've not hit panic.

I actually think the work I did cutting way down this summer helped --- it made me realize that I could take this a day, or an hour, or even a minute at a time and control when I lit one. In the past, every time I've decided to quit. I hit panic instantly and lit one immediately.

I bought Allen Carr's book last summer and read it -- I actually made it one day after finishing it until about 5 pm (the first exception to the "I'm quitting and therefore lighting up" pattern) and truly had a breakdown. Sobbing, hyperventilating, the whole bit.

But I think it set my feet on the path...it was the first step, the cutting down was the second step. I'll go back and reread what he had to say about cravings!

I'm supposed to have some major oral surgery some time in the next few months (bone grafts and then implants and such -- long story as to how I got here, that I won't go into), and it's going to cost me a bundle. Stats show that smokers have huge failure rate with such surgery, and I'm not going to do this without having set myself up as best I can for it to work -- they're trying to build bone in a difficult direction, so it's not going to be an easy surgery.

So -- I've got an "I have to" attached with this one. Which I think I needed!

And, pretty cool -- one and a half days and my lungs feel clearer (much less hacking today), and my throat feels better...wow.

And I'm thinking this is unfun enough that I really don't want to have to do it again!

And I'll go with you!

And Mouschi, how are you faring? I highly recommend the about.com forum -- I think I'm scared to take on the responsibility of being the "talker down" for someone else! ;) -- but that forum is really great. Really nice, supportive people...reminds me of AND!

:)
:kiss:
Leigh

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"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:17 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
:yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah:
The dragon is crumbling, he's getting exposed for who he really is.
I think support from other people is soooo important and I'm glad you found that website for support. :) I'm so amazed that you can see some positive results after only 2 days. I wish weight loss was that fast. :yes:
Have a happy Valentine's day and make sure you get to smell some lovely flowers. :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :)
Cheers,
Birgit


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
Leigh,

I've not quite quit yet --- still being conscious of every light-up (yick) -- The only time I've had more than a few days success was with hypnosis - but that week my soulmate horse went to the vet school and I fell apart. I'm thinking of trying it again.

Thanks for the link! -- I wasn't asking for support - I was offering rant support to spare those in earshot -- but I think you are doing great! (and the rest of you who are quit - yay!)


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:28 am 
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Mouschi wrote:
Leigh,

I've not quite quit yet --- still being conscious of every light-up (yick) -- The only time I've had more than a few days success was with hypnosis - but that week my soulmate horse went to the vet school and I fell apart. I'm thinking of trying it again.

Thanks for the link! -- I wasn't asking for support - I was offering rant support to spare those in earshot -- but I think you are doing great! (and the rest of you who are quit - yay!)


Oh, you are such a sweetheart! Thank you!!!!!! I'll take all the help I can get, with gratitude!

:)

Well, I'm 2 days and some hours in and while it's been interesting to see how utterly ruled my life has been by cigarettes (I work from home, so I've chimneyed freely for years -- sheesh!). But I'm finding it do-able.

I feel like I'm living with a two year old! I just spend the day saying, "no, you can't do that."
:lol:

I'm singing the Uncle Bonsai song to myself:

"Don't put it in your mouth
You don't know where it's been
Don't assume it's candy for a minute
Don't take it from the ground
Or from a strange old man
Other kids have vanished when they did it

Don't bring it in the house
Because it's not a toy
Don't you ever point it at your sister
Go put it in your room
I'll wash your mouth with soap
Then I'll put you two in separate comers..."

(more at http://www.yellowtailrecords.com/ub/pbwrapper.htm if anybody here is an Uncle Bonsai fan...I personally have never been the same since I heard "Isaac's Lament" about the canceling of The Love Boat...) :twisted:

But do it Mouschi! If I can, and all that -- it's been over 20 years since I've gone three days without a cigarette. :ieks: I truly don't know how that happened...and I have never, ever been someone famous for her will power. (The few times in my life I've decided to diet, for example, meant that I was stuffing food in my mouth literally moments later!)

Thanks so much for your generous offer of support. And even if you're kicking the idea around, check out that forum. Pretty amazing place, and I'm finding myself visiting there several times a day right now -- whenever I feel tempted to the point of discomfort.

And, Birgit -- thank you too!! I so appreciate your lovely cheering section -- and the flowers...I think I can smell them from here! ;)

Hugs,
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:01 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Leigh,
I so much admire and appreciate your transparency in sharing your experience, and I love your analogy of talking to a 2-year-old. You are such an inspiration to all of us, not just the smokers, because looking our dragon, whatever it may be, straight in the eye is absolutely essential. :yes: 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
I second loving the method of talking to yourself as a 2 year old -- that's ONE thing I have never tried. It might be the key!!!

Good for you Leigh!! One *no* at a time ...... :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:56 am
Posts: 247
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
A week since a posting here. How's it going Leigh? Thinking of you and your journey here.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:54 pm 
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Hey Annaliese, thanks so much for checking in!

I'm well into week two and am doing just fine.

Had a couple of rough spots last week as I was detoxing a bit -- a system revolt or two, but that seems to have mellowed. :) I'm feeling physcially better than I have in a while -- lots more energy.

At this point, while I still have an instinctive "oh, I'll have a cigarette now" that pops up a few times a day, the cravings aren't a big deal. (I'm sure the meds route helps with this.)

The wildest thing has been dealing with emotional stuff -- I've been feeling extremely volatile, and truly physically "gripped" by my emotions in a way that I really don't usually get. I was reading an article about this online and the author pointed out that when you smoke for a long period of time, you reach for a cigarette pretty much every time you have a big emotion -- so in the midst of the emotion, you get a hit of dopamine.

It shifts and masks the emotions in some weird ways -- so it feels like my body is trying to literally recalibrate how it copes with big emotions. It's a triip!

So at this point in the game, I think a nicotine patch and Wellbutrin -- and lots and lots of reading about quitting techniques (how to see the addiction as something outside of yourself, defining yourself as a nonsmoker, etc.) are a great way to do this -- certainly not without pain, but really manageable! It also helps to have a hard and fast reason to need to quit so the 'oh, tomorrow' instinct to prevaricate doesn't have any room to feed itself...

Thanks again for asking!

:kiss:

Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:59 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
Leigh, I'm so glad that you are doing well and physically feeling better. I hope it will get easier with every day. :f: :f: :f: :f: :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:17 am 
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Thank you, Birgit!!!

:kiss:

Leigh

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"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:03 am 
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Posts: 247
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Yay! Go Leigh!! :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Hey everyone:

I was searching for an old topic and scrolled down and found this, which prompted me to write that as of this coming week, it will be six months sans smokes in my world. :cheers:

Every once in a while I get a pop of a "ooh, wouldn't it be loverly" craving...but these are not all that frequent at this point and pass pretty durn quickly.

If anyone is still sitting on the fence and needs a bit of a prod -- it is possible! If I (also known as "she who has no self control") can do this, anyone can...just got to make the decision and stick by it. First week is by far the worst. First 24 hours as the beast does everything it can to convince you you'll die without it is by FAR the worst. It gets better after that. Really!

And yes, I find that my 45 year old metabolism has slowed a little, but I'm also discovering that I'm really loving moving in a way I haven't in a while, have more energy than I've had in a long time, and am going after healthier foods. (The pre-processed heavy salt and such stuff food isn't tasting as good to me -- I never really liked this kind of food as a kid and I'm finding myself not liking it again -- too unsubtle for my taste buds now as they're regrouping post nicotine So I'm eating better than I have in a loooonnnng time.)

Anybody need a cheering section; I'm here!

xoxo
Leigh

xoxoxo
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:50 am
Posts: 321
Leigh, Thanks for resurrecting this topic. Giving up smoking is something that I have been thinking about doing for the past few months (turning 40 last month was a trigger, I think). I have definitely been sitting on the fence and not really committing to taking the first step. You, and everyone else in this thread, are an inspiration!

I may just have to set a date for quitting and stick to it. Might even call the NHS Helpline that they have for quitting, as they offer quite a lot of support, so I'm told.

Will let you know!

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The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. - Khalil Gibran


Last edited by shannan on Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:25 pm 
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Leigh, I'm sooooOOOOOO happy for you!!!

I still haven't slayed my own dragon...sigh... :blush:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:11 am 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Karen wrote:
Leigh, I'm sooooOOOOOO happy for you!!!

I still haven't slayed my own dragon...sigh... :blush:



That you have set that goal is a mortal wound to the dragon.

I was a smoker for 10 years. A quitter for 10 more, 20 in all.

I could have done it sooner had I known what I found out about myself in that last day in 1976.

I discovered there was no help, no tricks, no 'method,' that worked on me.

Leaving me only ONE thing.

Giving myself permission to smoke if I really wanted to.

That pack of cigarettes lay on the living room coffee table for six months. And when I wanted a laugh I'd stop by and try to talk myself into going ahead and smoking.

I defeated myself, so to speak.

Since I knew I had two voices, at least, in this matter, I simply let them fight it out.

"Go ahead," I said standing there gazing at the unopened pack. "Go ahead and smoke it if you want it, but want it, not think you want it. Be sure you do."


Now everyone is not me, but I know there is a perverse entity in nearly everyone (maybe everyone, indeed) that can be called on to do the fighting.

At times I would find myself arguing in this way, (Caps mean I'm yelling) "GO AHEAD STUPID, stop being a hero, you know you want it. SMOKE IT, NOW."

And I'd have to sit down I was laughing at myself so hard.

And don't tell me I wasn't addicted. Nearly 30 years later I was still having the occasional dream, a "real," type dream where I did not know I was asleep and dreaming, and I was a smoker again.

Two sisters, my students, who I taught riding to and helped by horses, had a father that was a psychiatrist. We became friends over the years, he and I. His specialty? Addiction.

Know what he told me?

"Take up heroin, I can help you kick that, but tobacco, forget it. Never been successful working with smokers."

Being a psychiatrist, and rather good I think, he had me figured out. Set a barrier so high it appeared to be unbeatable.

Yeah, he had me figured out.

For you see I am stubborn. Tell me I cannot do something (that others have done, especially) and then jump back.

Just some random thoughts. Hopefully they will inspire someone to take up the fight with themselves.

For you see, it's not the tobacco I think, nor the companies that make the poison, but ourselves. Always.

Donald

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~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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