Freedom From Addiction – Life in Recovery is Amazing!

I am so sorry that I have not found the time to post on this blog for about 6 months. The time goes so quickly and I get caught up in life and then I blink and see that my last post here was in April 2016.

A lot of people ask me why I still bother trying to post on this website and my answer is that I just love it. I love the freedom from addiction and I want to share my love for life with other addicts that are in recovery or addicts that feel stuck where they are and perhaps have no hope.

A lot of the posts I have written have been quite dark, but the truth is that I have to share the darkness. A good example of this is how my path into addiction started, it is not a happy story but it must be told.

Today however I want to share about happiness, love and light.

This post is about Freedom from Addiction.

Freedom from addiction life in recovery

 

Freedom From Addiction

9 years ago I was in a terrible place. I was stuck in the cycle of addiction. I was in an abusive relationship and quite frankly I had no hope for my future.

On the 2nd August 2016 I was 8 years clean from drugs and alcohol. On the 1st October 2016 I was 1 year nicotine free.

Yes I totally did it, I quit smoking!

I usually always post on my websites when I have reached awesome milestones and this year I was just too busy with my life.

In a lot of ways that is sad, that I couldn’t find the time to share about such incredible achievements, but on the other side life is great and I am living it to the fullest.

There was a time when drugs and alcohol consumed me completely, yes also in recovery. Maybe I wasn’t taking the drugs or alcohol but in my thoughts they consumed me. The obsessions.

Then for a long time the thought of drugs and alcohol didn’t exactly consume me, but I lived with fear of relapse and I made recovery my whole life.

Recovery is still essential to me but instead of it consuming me and being my life it has become one aspect of my life.

There are many aspects to by being and recovery is one of them. In the same way that I am a mother and my my children mean the world to me, I am not 100% defined by this role of being a mother. It is part of who I am.

How Does It Feel Being Clean?

This is the true miracle for me. I feel amazing.

I can remember being so angry when I went out to eat in early recovery. As we all know one of the first things that happens when you go out to eat is the waiter arrives with a huge smile and asks you what you want to drink.

I would feel this bubble of anger rising and I wanted to scream “What the fuck do you think I want to drink? A stupid chocolate milkshake? No bring me booze you idiot!”.

Seriously I was angry, I was resentful and the worst part is that I couldn’t see how one day it would feel better. I refused to order anything to drink when I went out anywhere for months.

I would also watch what everyone else in the restaurant was drinking and if anyone left some alcohol on their table I would be shocked and it would disturb me. I mean who orders a beer and leaves a third of it behind? I would see people leaving a table with some wine left in the bottle and it would take everything in me not to shout at them and tell them to polish it off or to cork it and take it with them.

But you know what? Today I don’t notice what other people drink and I don’t care what they do with their drinks.

Today I do have that chocolate milkshake and I order it because I love it. They taste great. Or sometimes I order a hot chocolate with a flake in it and sometimes I have a red grapetizer.

The thought of booze doesn’t usually cross my mind.

Every now and then I suddenly have the thought that I want a drink/ drug or cigarette. It comes quickly and it feels strange but not uncomfortable at all. It is more like “oh how strange” and the moment is gone and forgotten.

It happened last night after supper. I thought I am going to make a cup of coffee and go smoke outside. Then I remembered I haven’t smoked in over a year! Thought gone.

I used to think that I wouldn’t want to live my life sober, I thought it would be boring and that I would have no fun at all.

The truth is that life is immensely enjoyable and rewarding.

The Gifts of Recovery

In treatment and in the 12 Step Program people talk about the gifts of recovery.

When I first got into recovery I struggled to see how I would be receiving any gifts of recovery.

A little later on in my recovery journey yes I started seeing and appreciating some gifts of recovery but I still had this niggly little feeling of is this is? Is this all there is, surely there is more?

Even two or three years into recovery there was a little feeling of being let down. There were times when things just felt too tame and mundane and I longed for a bit of something else.

Today I enjoy the “mundane-ness” of my life.

A good example of this is that my hubby and I have two young kids. It was my birthday in April and we had organized one a date night, a very rare occurrence in our life. On the Friday night we were going to go out to dinner and his mother was going to baby sit.

His father then called and invited us out to supper on the Saturday night for my birthday and we said we would go.

A little while later I turned to my husband and said maybe we should cancel our Friday night date otherwise we will be packing our weekend quite full with going out both nights. He agreed and we cancelled our Friday date.

A few minutes later I started laughing and I told my husband it is amazing how content and happy I am with life. How I can happily stay in on a Friday night.

Of course he thinks I am a little batty since he met me when I was already in recovery so he has no idea what I am talking about.

The thought of a 5 day New years outdoor Vortex festival creeps into my mind where I literally did not sleep those entire 5 days, I just partied…. and here I am not able to cope with going out for two (early) nights in a row.

If you only know me from my blog you may not understand how amusing this thought is.

If you ever partied with me you will fully understand the irony in this story.

One day I will share some war stories, some drunken and drugged craziness that happened and perhaps that will shed some light on this strange picture of domesticity of my life.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you too can find freedom from addiction, if you have any questions or just want to chat please leave a comment.

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Steps How to Quit Smoking: A Surefire Way To Be Nicotine Free!

I am so pleased to announce that I am 6 months free from smoking and I am so happy to share my steps how to quit smoking. I honestly never ever believed that I would be able to quit smoking.

After 22 years of smoking being a smoker has almost been part of my personality, part of who Lynne is. I think I can safely say (for now anyway) that I am now a non-smoker. Wow, this feels great.

What I find just as exciting is that I can now share with you all how I managed to achieve this and share my steps, hopefully you will join me in the non-smokers club.

Steps how to quit smoking now

10 Steps How To Quit Smoking Now

1 Decide on Your Reasons for Quitting Smoking

For me there were so many obvious reasons like my health, the financial cost of smoking, the fact it stinks… and these are similar for everyone. The deciding reason for me quitting smoking comes down to my children.

About 2 months before I quit smoking my daughter came to me (with a very proud) look on her face and told me she is going to grown big like me, wear my clothes, become a mommy and smoke. I felt so ashamed and so sad that moment. She wanted to be just like me. A smoker. This is what she looked up to. She was 3 years old at this time.

This was the exact moment I realized my smoking days were coming to a close.

3 Weeks later my daughter asked me to play a game with her. I told her yes, no problem, just give me 5 minutes. She then looked at me and said “Oh are you going for a smoke first?”. There was no accusation or unhappiness in her question at all…. but it suddenly hit me that I put smoking above everything in my life. Even my children. What am I saying to my child by my behavior when I have to have a smoke before I do anything with her? It says loud and clear that smoking is more important than her.

This was the exact moment I decided I would be quitting.

So my now 4 year old daughter and my 2 year old son are my reasons for quitting smoking. I want them to have their mommy put them first at all times. And if they do come second at times, I don’t want it to be because of cigarettes!  I don’t want my children to smoke and if they do, let it be because they choose to smoke, not because they are copying their mother.

2 Set A Quit Date

When I decided I was quitting I immediately spoke to my husband who was also a smoker and we agreed to quit and we set the date for 01 October 2015. This was a great feeling.

We had often spoken about the fact we should quit one day. My husband had attempted to quit smoking on a number of occasions and done quite well each time. I had never attempted to quit or even set a date before, or even agreed to quit for sure. It couldn’t have been easy or nice for my husband to quit when I was carrying on smoking.

Make your date for quitting whenever you want. Make sure you are mentally ready. If you don’t want to quit smoking you won’t succeed. Wait until you are really ready for it.

3 Tell People

Share with your friends and family that you are going to quit, tell them the date. The fact that I wrote a post about it on my website and then shared it on social media made it really hard for me to back out of my date to quit smoking!

4 No Nicotine Replacement or Cutting Down Before Hand

Until the day you quit smoke as much as you want, in fact smoke more! How addiction works is that unless you are physically consuming the thing you are addicted to, you are actually in the process of craving it. So to cut down is really just torturing yourself before you quit. Rather smoke, enjoy your cigarettes and mentally prepare yourself for the date you have set to quit.

The same goes with nicotine replacement. What is the point of quitting smoking and then giving yourself a little hit of the thing you are addicted to in another form? You will make it harder for yourself in the long run, I promise you this! So forget the patches, leave the gum and the vapes!

It really is a case of all or nothing here. Smoke or don’t smoke.

5 Read Fuck It The Ultimate Spiritual Way

This will help you so much with your mindset, this was a brilliant read and it not only helped me with quitting smoking, it also helped me change my life in so many other ways that I can’t even begin to describe. If I do try and explain all this book has done for me I will be writing a book in this article that will go off in a completely different tangent. So in the spirit of keeping it simple, read this book!

Here is my full review of Fuck It The Ultimate Spiritual Way.

fuck it the ultimate spiritual guide

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6 Read Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Quit Smoking

This book was also brilliant and I need to find the time to write a review on it for you, but for now just trust me when I say you have to read this!

As an addict and an alcoholic that is going to be 8 years clean this year I saw the value in this book in the first few pages. I could see this book was going to be great. This changed the way I looked at smoking. It made me face my unrealistic fears of quitting smoking. It made me see how quitting smoking would make me free.

I highly recommend you read this book. It will give you so much more insight into smoking addiction. This will make your chances of success so much higher. It will also make the whole quitting smoking  process easier on you.

Allen Carr's easy way to quit smoking

 

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7 Change Your Mindset

This is a big one and hopefully this will come about when you read Allen Carr’s book. Smoking is a trap, there is no way out unless you quit. You are chained to your cigarettes. Quitting smoking is not a loss for you, it is a gain.

The sooner you come to see this and hold onto this the better. Even though you may understand it logically, when you quit smoking it is not so easy to keep the positive mindset that you are free.

Don’t think “I can’t smoke, I mustn’t smoke”.

Think “I choose not to smoke”.

8 Do Anything BUT Smoke, Be Kind To Yourself

This addiction is strong. I told myself as long as I didn’t smoke (or drink/ take drugs) it was fine. Bring on the coffee, chips, Coke (cola not cocaine), sweets, cake…

And boy did I munch! I am now left with a sugar and caffeine addiction that I will be addressing soon, so watch out for that.

9 One Day/ Minute/ Moment at a Time

Stay in the moment, don’t think about the fact you will (hopefully) never smoke again. This will fill you with terror. Just decide that for the next 5 minutes you won’t smoke.

This is what I did. I told myself have a cup of coffee and if I still want to smoke I can drive to the shop and get some cigarettes. When the coffee was finished I told myself I am going to go for a walk on the beach and if I really want to smoke I can do it after my walk. Keep busy and just get to another point each time.

This truly works wonders.

10 One Puff is all it takes…

One puff of a cigarette and you will be smoking like a chimney again! Please trust me on this because it will happen. If you start thinking you can smoke the odd cigarette or have a puff of one now and then you are mistaken.

I still sometimes want to smoke and the thought of never smoking again (or drinking or taking drugs) fills me with fear and terror. I tell myself every day that I can smoke, I can drink and I can take drugs… but if I do I will be back where I started. I can one day do that, it just won’t be today.

Just for today I will not smoke, drink or use drugs.

I hope you have found these steps how to quit smoking helpful.  I hope this will help you quit smoking and keep you a non-smoker. If you have any questions or just want to chat please leave a comment.

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Toxic Relationships in Addiction

Hi to you all and I am so sorry I haven’t been very active with writing lately, it has been a rocky start to this year and I have made a lot of changes to my life that are very exciting. If you want to read about the biggest change you can check out my post about why I want to be a mommy blogger on my baby website.

Today I want to share my knowledge and experience with toxic relationships in addiction. If you are looking for help for a loved one, please check out this post!

For me there are two sides to this topic that are very important. The first one is that if you are an addict all your relationships are toxic or damaged. This is what this post will address, specifically love relationships.




The other aspect of this topic is Sex and Love Addiction, this is something I will go into on another post. For now I will just say that I personally believe that every addict/ alcoholic should look into sex and love addiction simply because like I said every relationship of an addict in active addiction is either severely toxic or damaged.

Toxic Relationships in Addiction

Toxic Relationships in Addiction

So why do I say that every relationship of an addict in active addiction is either toxic or severely damaged? It is simple really, think about it…. you’re flying high as a kite on drugs right? Who wants to be in your company? You are drunk as a skunk, mumbling incoherently and you think the person listening to you is in a healthy state of mind?

Not a chance! If you are in active addiction or alcoholism then none of the people you are hanging out with is in a good mental state.

I am now referring to every relationship you have and every person has a number of different relationships. There are the relationship between yourself and your employer, your parents, your children, your lover or spouse, your friends… even the person that works at the corner shop that you go to regularly. You may not know that person very well and it may be a very sort of vague relationship but it is there. Anyone and everyone that you come into contact with can be considered a relationship.

And if you are an active addict or an alcoholic you can bet that every single relationship is toxic or damaged!




Here is a great example of how an addict recently damaged a relationship with me. There is a man that works in our complex, he does all the gardens in our complex. I don’t know his name, but I greet him every time I see him. I nod in his direction and smile. He does our garden every Tuesday. So we have had a relationship of sorts, a pleasant relationship.

However on Sunday while I was home alone with my 4 year old daughter there was a knock on our door. I looked out the window and saw it was this man. I opened the door without thinking about it. I mean I know the guy right?

I immediately saw he was high on drugs. He was edgy and mumbling and asking me for money, giving some story about how he was supposed to be paid but something went  wrong and can I please give him 50 bucks. I said no immediately, I mean this is actually a dangerous situation. I know, I have been on drugs. He then said but he will give it back to me on Monday. I told him  he has misunderstood me, there is no money on this property.

My daughter then jumps up and shouts she has money. You know, one of those ridiculous moments? He starts looking around me at my daughter, with a hopeful look on his face. I told him she is confused, she has no money here and I give my daughter a death look to try and shut her up.

I never knew he had a problem. He works during the week and has no reason to be here on a Sunday knocking on my door. This relationship is now completely damaged and I feel unsafe having a drug addict working around my property. I am at home alone during the day and this man knows this. I have my children at home alone with me in the afternoon and he knows this too doesn’t he?

So now a perfectly good relationship has been damaged by drugs. I am going to have to have a talk to the people that run the complex and tell them I am not happy with this man working here and this is a horrible and uncomfortable situation for me.

Why Can’t Addicts Have Healthy Relationships?

They just can’t. Eventually every relationship will become tarnished by the addicts behavior as I have clearly illustrated in the point above. To an addict every person is good for one thing only. What they can do for the addict. Can they provide funding for their habit? Can they give the addict a place to stay when they have been evicted? Can they cover for the addict’s lies and manipulation?

Ok so I am making addicts sound like the devil himself…. umm yeah well that’s how it really is. The addict thinks of nothing and nobody except him or herself and his or her drugs and using. This is the nature of addiction. It is a selfish and ugly problem to have.




What About Love Relationships in Addiction?

Unfortunately this is the same and it gets even uglier here. If you are an addict and you are in a relationship with someone I will bet that your partner is one or more of the following:

  • A drug addict
  • An alcoholic
  • An addict of some form (gambling, sex, love, porn, food, self harm…)
  • An abuser
  • A codependent

There is just no way that your partner is a normal, sane and mentally healthy person. This just does not happen. Healthy people attract and form relationships with healthy people. Unhealthy people attract unhealthy people like flies to shit. This is just a rule of the universe and there is nothing that will change this rule.

drug addicts and toxic relationships

There is only one way to start forming healthy and loving relationships and that is to get clean and to work a program of recovery. If you are in a relationship with someone and you are an addict you will most likely have to let that person go in order to get yourself into a healthy state of mind.

What About Getting into a Relationship When You Get Clean?

Tread with caution here please! This is a very dangerous road. If you are thinking you can get clean and after 2 weeks start getting into a relationship let me set you straight right now. The fastest way to relapse is to have sex or start a relationship with someone!

I’m now 7 years clean and I have watched everyone around me fall from grace and the number one reason has been sex and relationships!

Think very carefully about your life and remember it is literally a situation of life and death. If you relapse you could die. I have seen it happen plenty of times and it is awful.

My advice here is to wait until you are 2 years clean to get into a meaningful relationship with anyone. And yes, you should keep all sexual relations confined to a meaningful relationship!

It is important to work on yourself and to heal yourself before attempting to rock the boat with all the emotions that go with a relationship. If you are an addict chances are that you have never managed to have a healthy meaningful relationship with anyone. You may be 50 years old but you are more clueless about relationships than a 12 year old that is about to have his first kiss! You need to learn how to love yourself and only then can you think about learning how to care for and nurture another person.

And of course sex just opens up another huge can of worms too doesn’t it? Chances are you haven’t even had sex sober right? Sex is another whole topic that I am not going to go into now, but don’t worry I will be getting to this interesting topic at some stage!

So How Can This All Be Fixed?

So if you’ve browsed around my website before you might have read my post about whether addiction can be cured, if not then I suggest you read that.

My suggestion here is to make yourself a promise, that you will wait until you are 2 years clean and working a program of recovery before you get romantically involved with anyone. I know it sounds like a tall order but really the time flies.

You need that time for yourself, to heal and to make changes to your life. You need to grow strong and learn how to love yourself before you can choose a good partner. Trust me, I know this.

I have been in relationships with abusers, with sex and love addicts, drug addicts and seriously mentally sick men. The pain of being in a relationship like this is so intense that I don’t think I can even get it across to you. If you are in a relationship like this, you know what I am talking about.

I am now married to a wonderful man, that loves me and takes care of me and our children. I promise you something, if you can get inside my head and see what I can see now you will understand that a 2 year wait is well worth it. I wouldn’t even call it a sacrifice, it is an investment.

So get yourself into a treatment center or get yourself to a 12 Step meeting and get started with your journey to recovery.

If you have any questions or any feedback please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

You're not crazy, you're codependent

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30 Days After Quitting Smoking: Yes it can be done!

I want to scream it from the rooftops, 30 days after quitting smoking and I am still going strong.

30 Days after quitting smokingThe truth is that I never honestly thought I would be able to quit smoking.

I had a scary vision of being one of those old people with emphysema that have cigarette breaks from their oxygen! I know it is bad isn’t it?

Just this week in one of the popular magazines published in South Africa, the YOU,  is an article about Darren Scott (a local celebrity) who has now gotten cancer again for the 4th time. A few weeks ago (13 October 2015) he had an operation to remove the malignant growth and a third of his left lung. He has only now decided to quit smoking.

Sounds crazy right, but that is what addiction does to you. Your own safety is ignored.




So how do I feel 30 days after quitting smoking?

Today, right at this moment I feel great. But it has not been an easy ride from my last post at 2 weeks after quitting smoking until now. In fact it has been terribly hard.

I sort of assumed things would get easier as time goes by. I especially had the 3 week mark in my mind as being a time when things would be easier. What a shock I got when I hit the 3 week milestone and it was the rockiest patch I had hit, it was honestly worse than day 1.

Apparently at 3 weeks is when your body is free from nicotine so I thought the physical cravings would be gone and everything would be a little smoother.

While on my rocky roller coaster ride I searched online for information and I came across what is known as the three threes: 3 days, 3 weeks and 3 months being peaks of uncomfortable times with quitting smoking. Why hadn’t I heard of this and been prepared for it?

How I understand it is that day 3 is the peak of physical cravings, week 3 is the peak of psychological cravings and month 3 is what is known as the “blahs”. I am still not 100% sure what they mean by the blahs but I am sure I will find out soon enough and then I will let you know what happens.

I can sure tell you what happened at 3 weeks. The psychological cravings were incredibly strong, so strong they were physical. I could not concentrate and all I wanted to do was go to the shop and buy some smokes. I had to eat a lot of chips during this time.

quitting smoking

So I’m sure you want to know what stopped me from smoking?

  1. I had made it 3 weeks already, to just throw all that away would be such a waste!
  2. My hubby was waiting for me to smoke, so he could start smoking again and blame me. Yes, he even told me so. One thing about me, is I am one really stubborn woman. If he was going to smoke it was going to be because HE failed, not ME.

So I can probably thank my hubby for that, it kept me strong. I can also thank him for not smoking, because in all honesty I was waiting and hoping he would fail so I could smoke and blame him!

Coughing up… who knows what?

My lungs are starting to cleanse themselves. I am coughing up some really disgusting stuff.

When you are a smoker all the poisons and stuff clogging up your lungs can’t get out. Once you stop smoking it all comes up. When I cough I can hear the wetness and spit up green and yellow phlegm. Yes it really is charming, but it is also hitting home what damage I have done to myself. I can see all the revolting things now.

Sorry but I had to share this with you!




Stomach Problems after Quitting Smoking

Stomach problems after quitting smokingPreviously I reported back that I had constipation problems, now I have no problem going. In fact I am easily going 2 – 3 times a day. I don’t have a runny tummy just going very often.

So there is no nice way to say this so I am just going to spit it out…

The problem I have is with gas, yes I said it. Luckily for me I work from home so I don’t have any embarrassing problems during the day. I’m also fortunate to have a child still in nappies, there have been some close to embarrassing incidents and I have just pretended to go change my sons nappy. Yes pinning it on the baby might not be nice, but I have to work with what I have here.

I have read up online about this and stomach problems after quitting smoking is very common. It is incredible how much smoking affects the stomach and the digestive system! Hopefully things will sort themselves out soon, my hubby is starting to get annoyed with me. For some strange reason this is only happening to me and he has no problems! It is sometimes just not fair, or maybe it is. He has just started a new job this week. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, least of all my lovely hubby.

At least I can just sit and fart in the comfort of my own home, all alone!

Acne After Quitting Smoking

I usually have quite good skin, yes I do get the odd pimple every now and then. Even in my teens when other kids had some serious problems mine were minimal. Right now however I am having a little problem. I have little bumps all over my face, little pimples in the making ready to make an appearance. I even a few pimples on my chest and shoulder.

This is very unusual for me so I searched online and yes, it is a common result of quitting smoking. This is yet another result of all the toxins in my body coming out. My body is detoxing and this is another charming effect it is having on my life!

The Goal is now 6 months!

Yes I have now done some research and the general consensus appears to be that at 6 months the cravings and withdrawals are just about gone. It really is disappointing because I thought it would be much sooner that than, like how about now? 30 days is a long time to be without a smoke!

The 6 month mark just seems so far away. Yes I know I can get there, but do I really want to keep going with these uncomfortable feelings?

Honestly yes I do. I want to be a non smoker, I want to be nicotine free. I want to be free from all mood and mind altering substances, free from anything that I am addicted to.

Am I a Non Smoker yet?

Something strange happened to me on Thursday. I went to my daughter’s school to throw a party for her 4th birthday. Everything went beautifully until it was time to sing and have cake. I put all the candles in the cake and reached for my bag to get a lighter and realized I don’t have one, yes non smokers don’t usually have lighters or matches! I had packed everything for her party and never thought about how I would light her birthday candles. It felt really odd.

am I a non smokerWhen can I call myself a non smoker? If feels strange thinking of myself as a non smoker, I have been a smoker for 22 long years and it is like it is a part of my personality. I’m not sure how I can be a non smoker, it feels weird just thinking about it.

The definition of a non smoker is simply someone that does not smoke. Ok I suppose I fit in that category, but it makes me feel kinda sad.

I know this sounds strange, but only a smoker will understand. Outside every building is a little club of smokers. You don’t need to actually know anyone there, simply the fact that you are a fellow smoker puts you in the club. There is a strange camaraderie amongst smokers, especially in winter when they are all huddled together outside in the freezing cold. I don’t fit in that anymore, I feel a huge sense of loss.

At our Narcotics Anonymous meeting everyone goes outside for a smoke during the break and I just kinda hang around on the outskirts being creepy. I don’t know what to do with myself. Plus the cigarettes actually still smell nice to me.




Are Things Getting Easier Yet?

This is a big YES from me.

I am a now a happier non smoker than I was before. There was a time when I was angry, resentful, anxious and jittery. That has all passed thankfully.

The feeling that there is a huge big hole in my life is getting smaller and smaller as time goes by. Sometimes I can make it till mid morning before I remember that I was a smoker and now I am not.

The cravings are not as strong and they are further apart. When the cravings come I remember that this too shall pass. And it does.

Some days are good and others are not so good. This is to be expected.

I take each day as it comes, one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time.

My next few posts I will be sharing information on how to quit smoking, techniques to help you through it and some information on different methods for quitting smoking, so stay tuned!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my progress so far, I would love to hear from you, especially the smokers and ex smokers!

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2 Weeks After Quitting Smoking – Progress Update

So it is now 2 weeks after quitting smoking. It has been another roller coaster of a ride.

The experience so far has been better than expected in a lot of ways and in other ways worse then I expected. I’ll take you through day by day what has been happening since my last update at 5 days after quitting.

6 Days After Quitting Smoking

Ok I am going to admit something, it was a close call here. I very nearly smoked. I texted my husband in the morning to say I was struggling and he never responded. This of course made me angry and resentful, it made me think hey I have a great excuse to smoke now! My hubby doesn’t care that I am struggling.

I texted him again a while later to tell him I can’t do this. I am going to smoke. I was nearly heading out the door to go buy some smokes when he calls me and tells me he is proud of me and that I have done so well. He reminds me why we are quitting smoking: our children.

Damn he’s good. I can’t smoke now. So I am angry and resentful again.




7 Days After Quitting Smoking

7 days after quitting smokingI realize where I went wrong on day 6. I started wondering if I should or shouldn’t smoke. It is when I am unsure of myself and start to think I should smoke that the addict gremlin gets in my head. It is like a hamster on a wheel and it just goes round and round and round. I can’t get off.

Today I am tired of this hamster wheel. I don’t know how much longer I can last with it. I decide I don’t want to smoke.

8 Days After Quitting Smoking

8 days after quitting smokingI am starting to notice the benefits of not smoking. I am finding it easy to wake up, I am awake before my alarm goes off and not the “oh shit I’m awake, its morning” kind of wake up I usually have. It is a happy, fresh and awake sort of wake up. I feel ready for the day.

My morning cough is gone.

Let’s not get too excited though, I am still miserable as can be. I still want to smoke and this hamster wheel is still going! When will it stop?

It is worse during the week. On the weekends my kids are keeping me busy and my hubby is home. During the week days I am all alone… well me and my hamster.

9 Days After Quitting Smoking

I weighed myself this morning and guess what! In just over a week I have gained 6kgs. Yes I have been nibbling on things, all the time non-stop. I feel like I am going to vomit chocolate eclairs (you know those yummy little toffee sweets?).

I’m still safe thanks to losing lots of weight recently (explained in my previous post) so I still have 2 kgs until I am in danger of going over my normal weight. But still I can sort of feel my thighs rubbing together although that might be my imagination? Yeah I might be going crazy. The fact is I still can’t think straight.

My thoughts go something like this:

So let’s have a cup of coffee (YAY and a smoke! I love coffee while smoking). No, no I don’t want to smoke. (Oh I am so sad I could cry!). Ok let’s get some work done. (YAY and then have a smoke!). NO, then get some more work done. (YAY and then have a smoke?). No, no smoking at all. (Fuck this, I’m an adult. If I want to smoke I can smoke. Everyone smokes. And if they don’t they sure as hell want to). No I don’t want to smoke. (Yes, oh yes you do!!). I can’t concentrate on my work, let’s have some breakfast instead. (YAY, nothing like a smoke after some chow!). NO, NO, NO stop it, get out of my head. Ok I need to make some phone calls. (YAY I love smoking while talking on the phone!).

And so it goes on… yes all day. This really is insane. Is this how smoking really rules everything I do all day and night? Please can someone shoot this hamster?

10 days after quitting smoking

10 Days After Quitting Smoking

Last night I dreamed that I had a smoke. Yes a “using” dream. It’s quite funny because I have never dreamed about smoking before. I remember after quitting drugs and alcohol I had using dreams for quite a long time.

The day went fast and easily, my kids and hubby kept me busy. I told my husband how much easier I find it on the weekends and nights when everyone is home with me. He looked at me and rolled his eyes and said he struggles in the evenings and weekends but when he is busy at work he finds it much easier.

I feel bad for him struggling today, then I remember that I have 5 hard days all alone to get through to his 2 days on the weekend. Then I get irritated because I feel he has it easier than me and its not fair. Oooh this anger is hard to predict!




11 Days After Quitting Smoking

My morning smokers cough (umm ok my all day smokers cough) has gone. I was constantly coughing. It was so bad my neighbor was always asking me if I am ok.

Today something amazing happened. I hardly thought about smoking at all. In fact we went to my husband’s father for a braai and at about 11am my hubby told me how much he is struggling. Until that time I had not once thought about smoking or had a craving. Oh my gosh, what an achievement. This is a huge break through and I am so grateful.

This was my best day yet, I sailed through it and even though I had a few slight cravings later in the day I managed just fine.

12 Days After Quitting Smoking

So what goes up must come down right? It’s Monday and I am all alone and the hamster wants to get on the wheel again and make up for lost time. I can feel it starting to fight with me.

I am happy and at peace though. I told my hamster to do its damnest. I am not interested, today might be bad but I will have more days like yesterday, I will ride it out. This is implementing step 3 and it worked! Seems my hamster lost some steam after that.

Until this moment I have been convinced that at some stage I will give in and smoke. It is almost like I am just trying to see how long I can hold out for before I give in.

Today I feel like I can be a non-smoker. Another milestone has been achieved!

13 Days After Quitting Smoking

Yes I had cravings today, but they are mild and just irritating. They are not the all consuming cravings of the first week. When the hamster arrives I just tell it to bugger off and it is gone.

 

14 Days After Quitting Smoking

Geez I can’t believe it, I have made 2 weeks without smoking and I am not dying. I don’t even know what to share with you today.

There is just nothing going on here except the odd craving and I just carry on with my day. Yes it still feels like there is something missing, certain brief moments like when I get up in the morning and have my coffee, straight after putting the kids to bed and of course after sex!

So what are the results of quitting smoking after 2 weeks?

  • Sleeping better
  • Waking up fresh and ready for the day
  • Smokers cough has completely disappeared
  • Anger, anxiety and restlessness has improved
  • Cravings and obsessions are more manageable

I hope to share some more awesome results with you all soon.




I can see something very clearly now, there is only one way to stop cigarette cravings and that is to stop smoking!

While I was smoking I was always craving a cigarette. Smoking ruled my life. Everything I did was compartmentalized into cigarette breaks.

If I was working I would tell myself I will do the filing and then have a smoke. Perhaps busy in the kitchen? I will do the dishes, have a smoke and then start making supper. Absolutely everything was ruled by smoking!

Now that I have stopped smoking I am not craving as much as when I did smoke.

stop cigarette cravings

A few weeks before I quit smoking my 3 year daughter asked me to come draw with her. I replied “Yes, I will come in a few minutes” and so she asked me “Oh, are you going to have a cigarette before you come draw with me?”. Wow, did she hit the nail on the head!

It was at this moment I could clearly see how I put smoking above everything else in my life. It was also at this moment I could clearly see how my daughter already understood that my smoking was more important than her, more important than little moments drawing together.

It was also this moment that I made the decision to quit smoking and set the date to quit.

So I thank my 3 year old daughter for showing me the way and for giving me the strength and courage I needed to quit smoking. I hope to continue to be a non-smoker so that I can be a better mother to my children.

why I quit smoking

I hope to continue with this success story, to inspire other smokers to quit and to let you know exactly what the journey is like.

When do Cigarette Cravings Stop?

I have heard that Nicotine is completely clear from your body at 3 weeks and at this time physical cravings stop. However the mental obsession will still very much be there for a long time to come. If this is the case I only have to make another 7 days until my body is completely Nictone free!

Are you a smoker? Have you managed to quit smoking? Please leave a comment if you need any help or want to share you experience!

 

 

 

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5 Days After Quitting Smoking

It is now 5 days after quitting smoking and it has been an interesting journey so far. I’m going to let it all hang out here today and tell you exactly what is going on for me.

So please excuse the potty mouth and the way I say things. It won’t all be pretty, but this journey has not been pretty!

If you are considering quitting smoking and want to know what it feels like, here is the uncensored truth!
First day of quitting smoking

So the first thing I want to say is Oh My God, I haven’t had a cigarette in 5 days!

I just can’t believe it. After 22 years of smoking a box of cigarettes a day I have made 5 days without smoking a cigarette. I honestly never thought I would be able to make it this far.

First Day of Quitting Smoking

So my first day of quitting smoking was really hard. I was angry, I could not concentrate and I felt completely dissociated. I felt like I was not in control of my body, it was like I was outside of my body and watching from somewhere else. Somewhere far, far away.

I didn’t enjoy this feeling at all. Another problem was that it was a Thursday, a work day! I could not concentrate and I was jumpy all day.

Every now and then for no reason I screamed “Fuck It!”.

Strangely enough this helped quite a lot, so I highly recommend you try this!

second day of quitting smoking

By lunch time I made a decision, I was not going to even attempt working any more. I needed to be busy, but with my hands. I left my laptop and started cleaning (yes strange things happened!) and then preparing supper for my family. Peeling vegetables was strangely soothing.

The day got a lot easier when my hubby came home from work. He quit smoking with me and it was easier to be distracted with him and the kids at home.

That night was terribly hard though. I think children are programmed to know when something hectic is going on, they pick up on something and react in the worst possible way!

I have bipolar and I have had trouble sleeping all my life. For this reason I am on Seroquel at night. It helps me fall asleep and it helps me stay asleep. This makes life just so much smoother. If I am going through a tough time I chat to my doctor and he lets me increase my meds for a little while.

So it made sense for me to double my meds for a few nights. I had visions of lying in bed, awake all night craving cigarettes and I couldn’t think of anything worse than that.

I went to bed nice and dozy, ready to end the first 24 hours… and then both my kids woke up. We got them to sleep, went back to bed and yes if you are a parent you know exactly what happened! The little buggers woke up again, and again and again. Literally all night.

It is one thing being woken up all night when you are tired and miserable and craving a cigarette, but when you are on meds that make you sleepy it is something else entirely. I think I made the most noise that night out of everyone in the family and the person I really felt sorry for was my husband! Well no, not at the time, I didn’t give a shit to be honest. I was blotto on my meds and thinking only of myself.

In the morning when I got up I felt bad and sorry for him because I honestly behaved worse than the children the whole night!

Second Day of Quitting Smoking

I found day 2 a little easier than the first day. I had already made a decision that if I found trying to work too hard I would go for taking some time off, instead of risking smoking. I worked for about 2 hours before I felt terrible. I called a friend and we went out for a few hours.

As it turned out she is an ex smoker, she quit 9 years ago so that certainly helped me and she showed loads of support. She also didn’t mind me in my zombie-like, dissociated state which I appreciated. Going out for most of the day was a good decision, it really took my mind off the smoking.

The evening was a little bit rocky. There was an AA rally in our area on the weekend which I went to on Friday night, but I forgot about the “smoking club”! You know how all the smokers hang around outside and chat? Well now I wasn’t one of them anymore. I arrived and I didn’t know where I fitted anymore. I felt like I had lost a best friend. As I walked in a few of my smoking buddies greeted me and I didn’t slow down. I shouted that I quit smoking and I couldn’t stop till I was inside.

It worked. I got inside to the meeting without having a smoke! After the meeting when I would normally stay and have a cup of coffee and a smoke I made a run for my car instead. I wanted to smoke more than anything, the feeling was starting to get really uncomfortable now!

Third Day of Quitting Smoking

My hubby turned to me and asked me why I just shivered… I explained to him that I was struggling with the feeling of craving. I start to crave a cigarette and then I feel like there is a huge empty hole in me. I am determined to not smoke so my addict mind tells me that is fine, how about some cocaine? A shot of Tequila? No? Ok then what about some tik (speed) or a little joint?

That is when the shiver goes down my back. I can’t handle this feeling. I know this feeling, I have been here and I hate it. Maybe I should just have a fucking smoke? Am I risking my whole recovery here over a cigarette? Am I at risk or is it just my nicotine addict trying to trick me?

I start wondering where I could buy drugs in this area, I have never used here… I know where the bottle stores are, that is easy. Will it be easier hiding drugs or alcohol from my husband? I have no idea because I met him when I was a few years clean and I have not relapsed.

What the fuck am I thinking about? No ways am I going to use drugs or drink. I will not smoke either. I am stronger than this.

I grabbed my daughter and I went back to the AA rally. We ran past the smokers outside and into safety. I shared with some people how I was struggling with not smoking and it was making me really edgy.

The funny thing is that the cravings are less than before, they are shorter and there is more time in between carvings, but when they hit they HIT. I feel like I am just sitting happily minding my own business and suddenly a craving comes and gives me a massive punch in the side of my face. Then it is gone and I am left wondering what the fuck just hit me?

I can make all this go away, I can buy a box of smokes and it will be gone!

You can read about my drug and alcohol addiction days in the ebook I wrote – The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn.

4 Days after Quitting Smoking

My hubby tells me that he is struggling. He tells me that if I start smoking again so will he (is that a pleading look of hope in his eyes? Does he want me to start smoking?). I start giggling, I know this manipulative addict. It lives in me too.

I tell him I won’t be responsible for him smoking. If he wants to carry on smoking he can do that, or he can carry on with the quitting journey. His choices have nothing to do with what I do.

He doesn’t look impressed with me at all. I’m not feeling great either.

I start wondering if he starts smoking can I get away with smoking and placing the blame on him? And yes I have just laughed at him for trying this!

So this craving comes and smacks me again. I go to the shops and buy “some” snacks to keep me busy. I vowed not to do this.

I have memories of sitting in a hot car with my mom and my sisters after school. My mom is eating Fruit Pastilles sweets. They are sticky from the heat and it makes me feel sick to the stomach. My mom gave up smoking and all I remember from this time are sticky sweets… lots of them.

So my “few” snacks are: 1 pack of Red Velvet Cake Fingers, 4 rolls of Rollos and 4 packs of Chocolate Sponge Fingers. This is going to last me a LONG time. Just a few little things to take my mind off smoking.

4 days after quitting smoking

5 Days after Quitting Smoking

It is Monday, so now we are back to needing to work. I am behind with everything because I barely worked on Thursday or Friday. I need to get back to the real world. Life can’t come to a complete stop while I get over my smoking addiction.

Maybe I can just have a little puff? Maybe there is a stompie (cigarette butt) in the garden and I can get just one drag out of it?

I turn on my laptop and make another cup of coffee. It is my 4th cup this morning and I am starting to feel shaky. I open a pack of Chocolate Sponge Fingers. Yes, it is 8am and too early for cakes BUT remember I used to have a line of cocaine first thing in the morning. What’s one little piece of cake, right?

I check my emails and I get whacked with another craving so I pop another Chocolate Sponge Finger in my mouth and carry on working. A few minutes of successful work goes by. Another craving hits and I instinctively reach for another cake. What the fuck? There are none left!

Some asshole must have nibbling on my snacks and I am pissed off. I go to the cupboard to grab another pack. Yeah you guessed it, there are none left. It is only 9am and I am not in the right space of mind to do anything except pound the walls. I do a little bit of pacing around and it doesn’t help at all. I feel like I could climb the walls.

I slowly start calming down and I look back at my desk. I’m not sure why I thought some “asshole” (ie my loving, wonderful husband) ate all my cakes. The evidence is all there, the empty wrappers are all over my desk. Damn I am becoming my mom with those disgusting sweets!

5 days after quitting smoking

Ok really not all bad, she quit smoking and is still a non-smoker.

I lost 7 kgs in July when my tonsils were taken out and I had a long stretch of bad health. I am now 55kgs and my perfect weight is 60kgs. I can certainly eat a few cakes without feeling like a failure, actually I can eat 5kgs of cakes before I have a problem.

Can I Quit Smoking without gaining Weight?

Who knows, I have only been 5 days without a cigarette! The people I know that have quit found that eating really helped with cravings. Of course this can lead to weight gain which might be problematic for a lot of people.

I am very fortunate, I am not one of those people that put on weight easily and if I do put on a bit of weight I can lose it quite quickly without too much effort. Because of this I am also not too concerned about my weight.

That said I have eaten so much in the last 24 hours that I feel sick. I feel bloated and terrible. I don’t advise this route if you can help it. It makes me feel better in the moment, yes it takes the craving away. BUT I can’t pop a piece of cake in my mouth every time I have a craving. Perhaps chewing gum, peppermints or biltong (beef jerky) would be a much better alternative to cake?

Can I quit smoking without gaining weightThe truth is why worry about a little weight gain when you are thinking of quitting smoking. Smoking is dangerous and will kill you. Once you have quit smoking you can lose the extra weight right? When you die from smoking… well, you’re dead so nothing more to worry about. I think a few extra kgs is nothing to worry about in the bigger scheme of things.

So what does a cigarette craving feel like?

I get a sudden feeling of euphoria, a feeling that suddenly says “hey Lynne, something fucking A is on the way! It’s a …. cigarette!”.

I get a deja vu feeling, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and often I get a shiver down my spine.

The next thing to come is the empty feeling, the loss of smoking, such disappointment. Nothing but a cigarette (or drugs/ alcohol) can fill that emptiness. I feel angry and annoyed. It is whirlwind of emotions and feelings. A lot of it is very physical too.

At times these cravings are like a roller coaster, coming fast and furious without relenting. Other times it is like being in a little boat on a pond. There are ripples of cravings coming but they are gentle and easy to ride out.

What does a cigarette craving like like

The hard part for me is that I never know what type of day will come tomorrow. What I have seen the last 5 days is there is no pattern with it getting easier by the day. It is up and down and all over the place.

All I do know is I want these uncomfortable feelings to go away! I can feel my nicotine addict chipping away at my determination.

I know this update doesn’t sound great, but 5 days is a huge achievement for me and for any other smoker! I hope this is just the start of my journey and I can share more success with you soon.

Have you quit smoking? I would love to hear about your experience.

Check out my progress at 2 weeks and at 30 days!

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My Smoking Addiction: Time To Quit!

My psychological addiction to smoking is incredible. I am filled with fear and a complete panic when I just contemplate quitting smoking.

I started smoking when I was 14 years old and I had heard everyone (including my mother that was a smoker) telling me that it is highly addictive and I must not try it. Who listens to that anyway? Of course I won’t become addicted, it just won’t happen to me right?

But it did. I started off smoking like most teenagers do, in groups to be cool. I remember clearly the day I first had a cigarette on my own. I remember that little voice in the back of my head telling me that hey this can’t be good, this is all wrong. That was the day I became a nicotene addict. It was not even a year down the line before I was hooked on a packet of cigarettes a day.

psychological addiction to smoking

Is Marijuana the Gateway Drug or is Nicotine?

People are always saying that Marijuana is the gateway drug, the one that leads people off the beaten path to harder drugs. I’m not so sure about that. I wonder if perhaps cigarettes and alcohol is actually the problem? Both are reasonably socially accepted. Yes smoking is frowned upon by many, but nobody is going to arrest you or completely shun you for smoking a cigarette or drinking a glass of wine now are they?

Fear of Quitting Smoking

I read a book a while back, called Alan Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking. It was a great read and it covers all the fears smokers have. I am terrified of not having my cigarettes. I have been smoking for 22 years and can’t imagine my life without my cigarettes. I keep thinking how my life will be worse without smoking. This of course makes no sense whatsoever does it?

I mean come on, I am blowing money daily on cigarettes, I stink, I am always trying to run away from my children to sneak outside to poison my body. Exactly in what way is my life going to be worse without cigarettes? Will I maybe miss that morning smoking cough?

Logically I cannot think of a reason to keep smoking. Everything is pointing me to quit but I just cannot get over the psychological addiction of smoking. The physical cravings will be bad I am sure, but the mental pain scares me.

The truth is I feel like an idiot, I feel like it is too much to quit smoking. Not even giving up drinking and drugs was this scary for me.

Perhaps that is part of the problem. This was my first drug and I have given up everything else, so maybe it makes me want to hold on tighter to the only addiction I have left?

How to Quit Smoking?

My husband also smokes and he has tried the nicotine patches, changing to smoking cigars instead of cigarettes and getting prescribed medication from our doctor. He believes the way to quit is through nicotine replacement therapy.

My husband has been great with trying to quit and he has managed a few times to stop smoking for a period of time. Unfortunately he has never managed to stay stopped.

I have never truly made an effort ever to quit smoking. I believe that it can be done through applying the 12 Step Program and without any nicotine substitutes. I have applied Step 1 to my smoking very easily, there is certainly no denial left about the fact that I am addicted to cigarettes and that it has caused damages in my life. I have made the decision to stop and I must now just do it.

The Decision to Quit Smoking

Yes I have decided to quit smoking. My husband and I are quitting at the end of September. I hope we are successful and I hope to be able to share my experience with this and what goes on in my head during this time.

So please check back for my success story in a few weeks and feel free to give me some feedback as I go along, I am sure I will be needing plenty of motivational and inspiring comments to keep me amped for this scary journey!

 

 

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