If I die today, know I loved you
Know I loved you yesterday
If I die today, know I loved you
Know I loved you yesterday
Today marks the sixth day of no smoking. Holy cow what a miracle. How it happened was I had a quit date set for Friday, June 16th and that date had been set for several months. Well, on June 14th, that Wednesday, as life and God would have it, I ran out of both money and my personal cigarette stash. The Universe lined me up for the perfect quit day!
Day 1 was pretty easy. I am using the patch and very infrequently vaping a minor amount of milligrams of nicotine when my breakthrough cravings get really intense. I was very fired up to quit on the first day and so it felt like the time went fast and like it was easy to do.
Day 2 and 3 were rough. Lots of symptoms like headache, cravings and irritability. I learned a mind trick from my sister. It’s best to confront your subconscious with this non-smoking head on. Tell yourself, “Okay, basically I’m going to want and crave a cigarette for the next 90 days. So, that’s just going to be a fact. Now I am going to make a different choice. I am going to choose to not smoke and do something healthy instead. Each time I make this choice my muscle for non-smoking builds.” Let the 90 day countdown begin. After the first 90 days you will feel some relief. However, the battle really isn’t done until you reach the 5 year mark but you make marker point progress along the way. The first 90 days are the most difficult when it comes to withdrawal symptoms.
Day 4&5 I found out that sucking on lollipops can be a great distraction from cravings. What works for you? Also, I drink a lot more water than before and I find myself moving in more feminine ways. I’m getting in touch with more of my femininity now that I don’t stink all the time.
Day 6 I spent outside near water. It felt amazing to be outside. I’m pondering going through my non-smoking materials again just to get some new insights and more ideas and support. Perhaps tomorrow. I meditate regularly now. Thinking of switching from coffee to tea.
I’m happy to have quit and will record progress not perfection here. One day at a time. One lollipop at a time. One breath at a time.
Wishing you a smoke free life.
When I crashed my truck on I-5 in Redding, CA in early April, 1998, I was paralyzed by hallucinations, anxiety and utter fear. Little did I know at the time I was going through an acute psychotic break that would lead to my bipolar diagnosis. I crashed my car and ran into the hills parallel to the freeway. It was the middle of the night. By the grace of God I didn’t get hit by a semi-truck or injure anyone else. The emergency team was able to find me and get me to a psychiatric unit where I stayed for about three weeks. This was my first time at a Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES). I was in a daze and very confused. The doctors told me I was bipolar and that I had to take medication for the rest of my life. I was overwhelmed and didn’t want to hear that. I felt so terrible, however, I was willing to take the medication. I was 23 years old at the time, very fragile and frail. I weighed about 120 and am 5’9”.
I wasn’t eating as I had been extremely manic prior to the break. Prior to the break entailed about 10 days of excessive, obsessive phone calls to a guy I thought I was in love with. He didn’t even know me. The phone calls were to an answering machine and I must have made about 300 or more calls to it in a matter of days. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and neither did my family. I decided I was going to drive to find this guy even though I had no idea where he lived.
That’s when I started driving around and ended up crashing my car about two days later in Redding. My family had no idea where I was and neither did I. I was officially lost. I called my family but could not tell them where I was because my mental capacity was so low, I didn’t know. I was in and out of reality by now. At times, I was in a complete hallucination. It was the scariest time of my life. This was my rock bottom.
The psychotic break happened exactly three years after my grandfather had committed suicide. My Poppy (as I called my grandfather) and I were close as he was to all his grandchildren. His suicide affected me greatly. I was only 20 when he passed and it was a great shock and tragedy in my life. I had a difficult time processing my grief from this loss. I feel my psychotic break is tied to this loss somehow.
After my Poppy’s death, I started using speed as a way to cope. I used it for 6 months but I used it fast and hard. To get off the speed, I used marijuana. I smoked marijuana for years and years. It wasn’t until my best friend passed in 2012 that I finally decided to get off the marijuana. Currently, I do take prescription pain medication as prescribed by a doctor for my degenerative disc disease, chronic back pain and chronic pelvic pain. However, I have been sober (no alcohol or illicit drugs) since August 9, 2012.
I was in Alcoholics Anonymous in the early 2000’s however I found it hard to fit in there. I am a dual diagnosis patient and back then there were no group meetings for just us. There seems to be now and I should definitely check those out! It’s hard for other people to tell bipolar people to stop taking their medication especially because we need it to be healthy and thrive and that’s exactly what they told me! Also, there are issues we deal with in sobriety that normal sober people don’t deal with. For example: our moods are more extreme, sleeping is more of an issue, medications, therapists/psychiatrists, pain management, etc.
Being in recovery has changed my life. These past three years and the years I was in recovery in the early 2000’s are the definitive years of my life. I have learned more about myself, spirituality and how to help/serve others and the world. I’ve also grown closer to my Higher Power and Spirit during this time. I feel like I was blessed that day I crashed my truck. God could have killed me but by his Grace, He let me live. As a result, I had a child, finished school, and am coming to know Him in a new and better way. Each day I try to remember to thank God for another day; to just say Thank You. I’m grateful for life, for living and for being alive. I’m so grateful for my daughter, my family and friends. I treasure love, peace, happiness, joy, freedom and laughter.
The simple things in life make me happy. I’m finding that forgiveness is a key ingredient in life and that it goes a long way for me. I’m making less and less time for unnecessary people and drama in my life and more and more time for light-hearted, high vibrational people who are on my wavelength. Life is short, live it to the fullest with intentional consciousness about what you are creating and why. I am creating my life of love, purpose, joy and inspiration; step-by-step I am becoming who I want to be with the help of my Spirit and Creator guiding me along the way. I also have some wonderful co-creator friends and my Higher Power helping me. I believe in angels, Spirit Guides, Ascended Masters, Archangels, totem animals, Goddesses, mermaids, magic, mediumship, fairies, and more! The world is more magical when I do believe and accept the help of these benevolent creatures/beings!
What makes me believe? Well, as I was about to crash my truck, I saw AA Azrael on the side of the road. I believe this archangel was there that night for many reasons. He was there to safely get me to the side of the road, to stop traffic while my car crashed and to help the emergency crew find me. He also comforted me. Since seeing him, I have believed strongly in the archangels and have had a deep connection with them and other beings. Open yourself up to believing and they will enter your life, especially when you need them most.
A great AA saying! Here.
On my way to giving up cigarettes I think of this a lot. Lately I’ve been giving up one cigarette here and there to cut back. The cigarette I give up gives me time to reflect: why do I want this cigarette? What does this do for me? How does waiting for the cigarette affect me? What tools can I use while waiting? Can I go without two cigarettes in a row? What are my triggers? When do I most crave cigarettes and why?
So I’m looking at my patterns with cigarettes and my relationship with them. I’m also reading my literature and preparing to quit again. This process feels like it’s taking forever but I know it will be worth it. The more I can consider myself a non-smoker, the better. The more prepared I am to quit, the better. The more tools I get into my toolbox for handling stress, triggers and withdrawal, the better.
These are some of the pre-quitting activities you can do at home while you’re considering quitting (see above). It’s a great way to cut back and prepare to quit. I’m only smoking a half a pack a day now but would like to cut back even more before I quit. I do have patches and lozenges on hand for when I am ready to quit. That’s another thing. If you don’t have quit aides, now would be the time to choose which ones you want to use by researching the various aides and picking what’s right for you. I recommend seeing your doctor and discussing what’s best for you. Often your doctor will make a recommendation and most insurances will cover the cost of smoking aides if prescribed by your doctor! If you have the aides on hand, you are all set up to quit when you’re ready.
Keep at it folks, I’m not sure how this will all work out but I’m for sure going to keep the faith and keep trying. Oh, another method I’m using these days is I’m talking to EVERY ex-smoker I can and asking them how they quit. I’m using their advice and methods and taking their suggestions into account in my road to quitting. I would highly recommend asking the ex-smokers around you and in your life how they quit. What was it like? How did they quit? What did they do? What did it feel like? How were the cravings and how did they handle them? I do like a mini-interview with every ex-smoker that will allow me to. I even did one with the security guard on my way to a smoking cessation class! He shared some great advice on leaning on your higher power and giving it all to Source. He also said he made a promise to himself and his higher power one day that he would quit for good and after he made that promise, he never went back to smoking or drinking! Sometimes, having that spiritual connection/awakening really works. What will work for you? Like I said, keep at it. Your health, family and you are totally worth it and you already know that!
I love you for starting to quit smoking. You’re a champ in my book. I truly know how difficult it is. Just know you’re farther along than you think. You are on the road to recovery, the right path to be on!
Peanuts and Peace.
STEP 3: MADE A DECISION TO TURN OUR WILL AND OUR LIVES OVER TO THE CARE OF GOD AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM.
“We had to have God’s help.
This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.
When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed, we had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.
We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him: “God, I offer myself to Thee- to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!” We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.”
PAGE 62-63 OF THE BIG BOOK OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
I’ve been working the 40-day program of May Cause Miracles with Gabrielle Bernstein and recently picked up a copy of Miracles Now to assist with the process. The process has been slow going for me. Resistance has been my friend and companion along this journey. I scrambled through the first week and then lost the book somewhere in my apartment. I found it about a month later and am beginning to pick up where I left off soon. The book takes you through a weekly process of Day One- witnessing or, paying attention to something new. Then, on Day Two- surrender and the willingness to change. Day Three is about choosing loving perspective and starting to say no to fear. Day Four focuses on gratitude. Day Five is all about Forgiveness. Day Six is the Miracle Mindset. Finally on Day Seven, it’s self reflection and preparation. This is how to create miracles in your life and it is a way to live engulfed in self growth and discovery. The topics vary from week to week and progress in difficulty and build upon each other. We start Week One with Becoming Miracle Minded and end in Week Six with Working Miracles. I love this book very much. It has challenged me on my deepest core level and pushed me to grow in ways I didn’t think possible. I’m currently in the middle of the second week and my journal is already a quarter full! I may have to use two for this one! The Miracles Now deck inspires me along the way. It goes perfectly with the inner work I’m doing. Actually the deck was created to go along with her book, Miracles Now. If I’m brave enough, I may give that one a read next. Gabby is so inspiring and transforming in her thinking and writing. Please do check her out if you haven’t already! GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN
The Third Step Prayer
God, I offer myself to Thee-
To build with me
and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!