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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Donald, you a stubborn contrarian????? I'm shocked, shocked that you would say such a thing!!!!
:funny: :funny: :funny: :funny:

I think that's a splendid story, in all seriousness, though. I think it's a great window into how this is a different process for each of us and the key is finding that thing that walks you away from the beast.

In my case, I made the decision to not be a smoker any more -- after the first 24 hours. (That day was just about getting through that day and I promised myself that if I could just go one day, then I'd let myself have one. And by the next day, after I actually survived an entire 24 hours without one of the stupid things, I realized that I COULD survive without them. So I decided I wasn't a smoker any more. When I talked to people, I never said I was quitting, I'd say I had quit. The quitting part isn't the process. It's the dealing with the having quit part that's the process. I stopped and then figured out what I needed to do to feel better. This was a huge psychological distinction to me. I'd quit -- that was the hard part. Now I just needed to get past the nastiness of detoxing.)

I made a list of all of the reasons that I quit (note: not why I should, but why I had), and a list of all of the reasons I loved smoking (that was a really interesting list and gave me some insights into why I did it and maybe some other things that would fulfill those particular needs).

I spent lots and lots of hours at the about.com smoking site -- very, very helpful. I'd read when I got a craving, and for me, turning the process into an analytical, outside-of-myself learning process about the psychology of addiction was really helpful. Got me out of the immediacy of the beast clamoring and gave me a little bit of distance from my emotional/physical cravings. One great acronym I got from there: NOPE. Not One Puff Ever. This has been strangely freeing for me, because it's given me no wiggle room. (And lord knows, if I've got wiggle room, I'll take it and then some!)

The Wellbutrin/patch combination really helped for me as well -- I approached it as if I was taking medicine to get me over an illness, so I went immediately to the pharmacy after getting the scrip from the doc and began taking it that day. I was getting well...

It helped to disconnect the oral fixation/addiction from the nicotine addiction since I had nicotine in my system all the time, took enough of the edge off that I didn't completely lose my marbles (though my husband might want to add I came close! ;) ), and also gave me my own framework like Donald describes. In my case, it was about telling myself that while I wanted a cigarette at that moment, I wasn't supposed to have one while wearing the patch (you can get really sick to your stomach with nicotine poisoning and I HATE being sick to my stomach). I had to wait for four hours until after I'd taken off the patch to have one. Four hours seemed like such a long time away -- I might as well leave the patch on and just deal with it.

And while the first week pretty much sucks, it really, really, really does get easier!!!! Faster than you'd think. I started smoking when I was about 15, quit for a couple of years in my 20's, but smoked steadily before and after that until a little over a month before my 45th birthday. That's lots and lots of years of habit as well as addiction. Now, as of tomorrow exactly 6 months later, I don't reach for them any more, I don't check to see if they're in my bag before I leave, I don't know where the lighters are in the house any more, and I can sit by my husband when he smokes in our yard and not go bonkers wanting one.

Every once in a while I get a twinge, but I am amazed at how infrequent and how ultimately unpowerful they are. (I'm still on the Wellbutrin so that may be helping with this, too -- am planning to stay on it for a year because it's definitely whacked back depression issues). (So has realizing that I've saved about $800 in six months -- by the end of the year, it will be about the cost of an extra acre of land where we want to move. I've just bought myself land with what I saved not smoking! WooHOO! :) )

Anyway, Shannon, I'm happy to help cheer you on! And get support where ever it makes sense to you -- it can make the difference. Good luck!

And beautiful Karen, you'll be ready when you're ready. I think that's the biggest piece of all -- knowing that it's time.

xoxoxo
Leigh

PS: It was Glen starting this thread that got me started on the first serious thought about quitting, which was a key step in this process for me. Thanks, Glen!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:23 am 
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Wow, Leigh!

What a magnificent story and inspiration. And especially such a well thought out method. I hope many ex-smokers that still carry and puff ;) will take what you've given and use it to be forever free.

The good things that come from quitting are wonderful.

Donald

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:44 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:45 pm
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Location: UK
Just wanting to add my support for those who have given up, are giving up, or are thinking about it :D!

I finally gave up many years ago now (15? Can't remember) after being a pretty heavy smoker (often 30 a day) and trying more than once (gave up for 9 months once and then went back).

Leigh wrote:
Quote:
I think it's a great window into how this is a different process for each of us and the key is finding that thing that walks you away from the beast.

You've hit the nail on the head there Leigh (as usual :D)! I tried the Allen Carr book mentioned earlier in this thread, recommended by someone for whom it worked, and it absolutely did not work for me. One thing I don't respond well to is being forbidden to do something (even by myself :D), and thinking I have no choice. The book that helped me to get in the right frame of mind (which I think is probably the key to changing most behaviour?) was "How To Stop Smoking And Stay Stopped For Good" by Gillian Riley. It's hard to summarise its approach, but one of its key points is keeping in touch with your choices. Donald wrote:
Quote:
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.

Yes :yes:! This was an important part for me - keeping a pack of cigarettes there and available at all times. I would hold the packet and remind myself that I could smoke if I wanted to, review the implications of doing so and the benefits of not, and make a decision whether to or not - many times a day at first.

The approach discussed in the Gillian Riley book is something I have come back to since in relation to other things in life - I still read the book from time to time, even though I have long since slayed the smoking dragon. I gained far more from the book than stopping smoking. I would recommend reading it to anyone who is considering giving up. It may strike a chord with you, or it may not - if it doesn't, discard it and look for something else. Everyone is different.

When I did start to give up, it was not nearly as awful as I had imagined. My addiction was almost wholly psychological - I experienced no physical withdrawal symptoms other than an occasional odd sensation in my mouth. Another Donald quote:
Quote:
For you see, it's not the tobacco I think, nor the companies that make the poison, but ourselves. Always.
Certainly true for me!

Anyway, congratulations to you Leigh, and good luck to anyone considering giving up! You will find a way that suits you, and you will give up when the time is right for you :f: :f: .

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:39 am 
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Hey all:

Just wanted to note that today I officially hit one entire year as a non smoker.

I wanted to thank everyone here for their support and Glen for starting this thread -- you got me heading down this road.

Thank you!!!

It's been fabulous to be out from underneath the beast.

For the longest time, I had trouble imagining my life without cigarettes -- now I'm having trouble remembering my life with them. (I suppose hitting my head has helped with that... :funny: )

Here's to everyone who wants to slay the dragon -- as the old adage says, "if I can, anyone can..."

All the best,
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 13, 2010 6:50 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
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:yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :giveflower: :giveflower: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :sun: :sun: :sun:
That is HUGE. Congratulations, Leigh. I hope you are celebrating big!
:^: :d: :horse2: I'll eat a piece of chocolate in your honor. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:15 am 
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Wow, is it one year already?! About two weeks ago I thought about that and wondered how you were doing. So great that you got rid of the dragon.

CONGRATULATIONS! :f: :cheer: :f: :cheer: :f: :cheer: :f: :cheer: :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:45 am 
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:^: :beer: :muscle:

Wow, so many "Congratulations" to you, Leigh! Talk about setting the bar high - Sigh! I'm still puffing away ... :blush:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Good for you Leigh!!! I agree that it only seems to be a few months - maybe I should take that to heart since, like Glen, I am still smoking.

Anniversary blessings to you!! :f: for the clean air you are protecting :smile:


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:21 pm 
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I only smoked for ten years. About a pack and a half per day.

The following ten years after the first ten I was quitting and smoked about a pack and half per day.

Then one day I caught on that I'd been quitting for the last ten years.

Now I'm a guy that can make a commitment and stick too it, so what passed through my mind when I thought about my ten years of being committed to quitting, was that it was highly likely if I didn't stop right now some day in the distant future, on my death bed, I'd still be "quitting."

Yeah, I'm tough, that's what I am, tough. :roll: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny: :funny:

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:26 am 
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I just had to drag this up to say ----- I am 2 months as a non smoker.
And, funny enough, I have no clue how I've done it with little craving. I was listening to a talk on neuroscience and the science of choice ... well -- I apparently learned a lesson I missed as a two year old. NO! NO! I decided to be very angry at the tobacco companies. Anyway .... it worked. I am very grateful. I never had much faith in myself. I think that's changing.

Don't give up!!! Whoever still smokes - I am with you - sending you strength of purpose -- whatever it takes whenever you're ready --- if science is right and we are all connected -- we can all help.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:06 am 
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BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!
:yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :yeah: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :giveflower: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :f: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :muscle: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun:


:whew:

;)

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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:28 am 
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Great, Karen, Bravo!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Sending lots of positive energy to you to continue being so strong and positive about it! :f: :f: :f:


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:17 pm 
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Thank you Romy -- I feel good!

And Leigh -- I bow to your superlative skills with smilies .. with gracious thanksgiving. Really -- thanks for your good example as well. Isn't it a relief?


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Fascinating.

Thought provoking.

When I finally ceased using, as opposed to "quitting," the latter going on for half my using, 10 out of the twenty years I smoked, I did it by saying "Yes."

Now least one think that I said "yes," to quitting, no that isn't what happened, but in thinking about others' experiences as relayed here in this forum, I think I've figured something out about beating addictions that may circumvent childhood messages from caregivers that would sabotage success.

Most of us, myself included, no matter what our culture of origin, had parents or other caregivers that reacted to the toddler's "no no," with punishment. The circumventing of this critical developmental step, where we learn to first have personal power, is the source of many problems I think.

In this instance, dealing with an addiction, we can't say "no," and feel powerful enough to mean it and commit to it.

(By the way, I think this applies to the revolutionary idea that is so central to AND in developing our relationship with our horse - we give it, within safe boundaries, a chance to say "no," and not have it punished, but in fact honored).

So what did I actually say to end my smoking? "Yesno."

I said it like this, to a pack of cigarettes laying unopened on my coffee table where I'd pass it many times a day: "You want one, so go ahead and have it." "Pick it up and peel that wrapper, open the top, pull out that cigarette, put it between your lips and and snap open your zippo and strike the light and take a nice big lung filling satisfying puff, then let the smoke stream out in the lovely cloud." (You following me so far and getting the idea?)

Now I have an aversion to emotional sales appeals. I feel it's an invasion of my privacy to even start to go in that direction, and when I used to watch TV, I'd get up and turn it off - yes that was before remotes.

So there I am trying to get compliance from myself by giving myself permission to smoke, even making it look good, even appealing to those things that were common routines - we love routine and habit - so came the second part.

"No thanks, I have to get out to the barn now."

I practiced saying no, until it was the habit that replaced the using behavior.

I beat the message of my childhood that denied my right to say no and mean it by circumventing it, not unlike a child, by the way. They will find their ways....LOL and that's healthy.

When you say no, you empower yourself as you were meant to be powerful. The right to make choices is fundamental to good mental health I believe.

Bonnie has been doing this lately. "No, I DON'T want a kiss right now." "No, I will not hold still while you look at the scratch on my nose." "No, I will not stay by you while mommy is down in the paddock."

And do I punish her? Fat chance.

And guess what? She wants to spend MORE time with me when it's her choice.

I notice too that instead of standing facing me from in front, she now stands alongside me and looks in the direction I'm looking. We sniff the air together, and listen together. Oh how I wish I could swivel my ears like that.

I wonder if Boomer Gold would like to use this in his upcoming blog column? The mentally healthy horse and mentally healthy human. I hear he's looking for a really good subject for launching a new blog with his pal, Mother MareTM.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Slaying
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Donald Redux wrote:
[...] I think I've figured something out about beating addictions that may circumvent childhood messages from caregivers that would sabotage success.
Aha!

Oh I love reading stuff like this! :D
Everything falls into right-ness to me when we combine AND for horses with AND for people. I admit I've only just started exploring both but my Mentor introduced me to a kind of human "AND" years before I found this forum. I find it ironic now because he literally told me his goal and it is almost exactly what is written in the AND philosophy... (only for people)


Back to topic: very fascinating. The idea of learning to empower ourselves after being raised in sometimes a rather harsh society. Something I'm learning for myself as well as other I know.

I have to say a big congrats to everyone in this thread who have become non-smokers. I am not one myself but have had close friends who do smoke and er.."not continuing" has just gone terribly for them. I have only seen one yet that was successful. :ieks: It's terribly hard, so congrats to all those who have slayed the dragon. :applause:


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