Monday, February 23, 2009

4 Days and Counting

Wow! Thank you so much for the outpouring of support and encouragement that you have all provided. It is amazing to know that I will have the prayers and support of so many people out there that I don't even know in my quest to better my lifestyle. Your continued support and prayers will definitely be key because as the days and the hours wind down, I'm starting to panic a little. I never realized how much of a crutch this has been for me.

I had a long, stressful, brain-spraining day of school work today. A major assignment due, and a big test due today. Anytime the stress got to be too much, I would take a break and "escape reality" by smoking a cigarette. What am I going to do to "take a break" when I don't have that anymore? I can't leave the house and take a walk unless I plan to take all four girls with me. Usually all I need is five minutes and a walk around the block with all of them would literally take 45 minutes.

Two days at a ski getaway is easy enough to handle when I am with non-smokers and don't want to gross them out with the smell of cigarette smoke on my clothes. But what about when I am back home in my own environment and dealing with the triggers that cause me to want to smoke. What then?

What do I do first thing in the morning when I am gearing myself up for the day and the inevitable stress that getting all my kids ready for the day entails?

When the weather is nice, I enjoy doing my studies on the patio and having an occasional smoke while I read my books. Do I have to avoid my patio in an effort to not have the desire to smoke?

I know I can do it. All the comments from everyone who used to smoke tell me that I can. But it's hard to believe that I can actually get to the point Barb is at and honestly not crave that. A foreign concept to me.

I am committed to doing this for me and my kids. I just hope they forgive me for being crabby for awhile.

I'm going to get fat, though. I just know it. I think I have an oral fixation so if I don't smoke, I will eat. And I just bought a whole bunch of new clothes that fit my skinny frame! What a waste of money!

Maybe the money I save from smoking cigarettes can fund my new "post smokers" body, eh? ;-)

Thanks for your continued support. I think I am really going to need it!!!

8 comments:

Dawn said...

Not having ever been where you are, I can only go back to what Barb said - when she felt the need those first few days, she just prayed over and over, "Help me, Jesus, Help me, Jesus, Help me Jesus!"

Please don't worry about losing the skinny body!

Barb said...

You have to have faith in yourself, Kristen. You've proven to yourself in the last year or so that you're a lot stronger than you thought you were. This is just one more step in the right direction.

My mother was right in her comment on the previous post - take it one hour at a time. Every single hour you get through without a cigarette is a victory.

And Michelle was right too - it's so hard to get through the first three days that it would be a shame to put it all to waste by backsliding and smoking a cigarette. If you put nicotine into your body again, you start the withdrawal process over again and that's the part that's not much fun. :-)

To me, that's why it's so sad, and futile, that people who are trying to quit "cheat." They're defeating themselves every time they have to start over.

Your mother is right too. I'm not kidding - the first three days are very hard because your body goes through a lot as it stops craving nicotine. I just kind of zoned out - I sat quietly and read, and when the craving hit, I prayed myself through it. Very simple prayer, because my head was cloudy. "Jesus. Help me, help me, help me." Over and over again until the craving passed. It worked.

My one tiny little crutch was peppermints. Boy, I ate a lot of peppermint candies. And there's still a bowl of them on my end table in the living room. LOL

If you gain weight, it will be because food tastes good again when your sense of smell returns. You'll get over the needing to put something in your mouth. I didn't think that part was very hard at all. But a little extra weight isn't nearly as devastating to your health as tar and nicotine is. You'd be shocked if you Googled smoking and how if affects your body. I couldn't believe what it does to your heart.

You can do this. And I for one can tell you that it will be one of the proudest days of your life when you realize, "I did it! I stopped smoking!"

I'm still in shock that Rob and I are former smokers. I have no idea when the thrill will wear off. :-)

I'm sorry this comment turned into a book, but I'm just so excited for you. I know you can do this. Mostly it makes me happy to know how good you're going to feel about yourself when you succeed and can call yourself a former smoker.

Sammy said...

I know exactly what it's like to worry like you are. To think about every "what if?" in the future. So much of quitting is learning how to control those thoughts. Right now, don't worry about what you will do when you're out on the patio. Worry about that when you're actually there. Try not to let your mind get away from you, try not to think too far into the future. You'll make yourself crazy. Just take it one moment at a time. Say to yourself, "Right now I am not going to have a cigarette." Worry about 5 minutes from now when it's here. Just think about the present moment and how you are not going to smoke in this moment.

I hope this doesn't sound bossy. And I know all these things are so much easier said than done. But I know you can do this. And you are going to feel so amazing when you find that cigarettes no longer control your life. It's freeing. Really!

Sherry said...

I'm praying for your Kristen. You can do it.

Melissa said...

Kristen,

I'll keep coming back and saying the same things over and over, but only because I remember what it was like to be where you're at right now.

Right now, you are SO worried about what it will be like when you quit. Your mind is wrapped up in what you are going to lose, but that's not the way to think about this.

Look at the things you will gain. You will no longer smell like a nasty cigarette; your KIDS will no longer smell like a nasty cigarette. I won't even go into the health benefits, but within three days, you won't have any more nicotine in your body. That, in and of itself, is the biggest benefit.

Look up the health benefits on the internet. Lower blood pressure, less risk of heart attack, and your kids won't be at risk for diseases from second-hand smoke (LIKE THEY ARE RIGHT NOW).

Find a reason to quit that works for you. Whether it's that you don't want to smell like a cigarette, that you don't want your kids to smell like that, or that you want to be there to hold your kids' children...any reason works as long as it keeps you from smoking.

As for what can you do in the time you used to smoke? Read a book, braid a kid's hair, kiss your child, flirt with a neighbor, take a nature walk with the kids.

BTW, smoking really doesn't decrease your stress. Lighting a smoke and inhaling automatically increases your heart rate and raises your blood pressure, neither of which helps make you calm.

When you hit a situation where you once would have lit up, try taking a few deep, slow breaths. That will help. Oh, and every time you hit a new situation where you think you want to smoke and you don't smoke, your brain is creating a new neural pathway so that the next time you're in that situation, smoking is NOT your first thought. :) That is SO cool, IMO!


I'm sorry to write a book, but it seems like you need the encouragement. (((Kristen)))

I quit using smoke away once, then went back to smoking and went cold turkey the second time. In my opinion, cold turkey was easier. After the first three days, the physical work is over, but the mental work takes some time. I hope that my comments help give you something that helps with the mental work.

Mary said...

Kristen,

I too smoke, but haven't made it something I talk about on my blog. I wish I had a dollar for everytime I've tried to quit. At one time I enjoyed it, but now I hate it. It's not easy. I know people who have done it though and if they can, we can.

I've been trying again. Maybe if I follow your blog, you and others will give me the inspiration and support that I need.

I hope you have a wonderful time when you are away with your friends. If you're having lots of fun, you won't think much about smoking.

If I'm in a no smoking environment, I can do without, but when I come home those triggers are there and it's difficult. I suggest chewing on carrot sticks instead of puffing on a cigarette. It does help and carrot sticks aren't something that will cause you to gain weight. I tried this once and it worked very well, but then my father passed away and that was the end of the quitting.

Foods, drink and certain places do trigger a smoker's need to light up. It takes a lot of will power. I will be praying for you and following along in my attempt to become a non smoker.

Congratulations, my friend.

Blessings,
Mary

Gretchen said...

You can do this, Kristen. You can! We're all behind you!

groovyoldlady said...

You can DO this, Kristen. It will be hard, but God WILL help you!

2 tips: I don't smoke, but I do take short "retreats" during my day with a cup of tea. There are so many types of tea - you could even experiment! Instead of fretting over quitting smoking, you could try to wrap your mind around experimenting with tea! And tea won't make you fat. The constant sipping is soothing and will keep you from chowing down. Plus, most types of tea are quite good for you!

Secondly, many moons ago my in-laws quite smoking. Then they taught a Sunday School class in their church to help others quit. Most of the tips were from the American Lung Association - and those were quite helpful - but they said the most effective tip was this: Buy an 8x10 print of a picture of Jesus. Mount it on corrugated cardboard and hang it in a prominant place in your home. Better yet, buy several and hang them in your usual smoking spots. The photo is a visual reminder that God IS with you and will help you.

BUT, here's the rub: IF you break your commitment and sneak a drag after your quit date, you must poke a hole in Jesus' picture's mouth and stick a cigarette in it. After all, you ARE the temple of the Holy Spirit!

Most of the folks in their class were able to quit because of the horror of having to "make Jesus smoke" as it were.