Diary of a Nicotine Addict: Dancing

May 20th marked one year without a cigarette.  Whoopee.

I wanted to celebrate by having a couple – so my battle is not even close to being won.  Maybe battling with the Bitch is a mistake. She has proven to be the strongest and meanest one of us, many times over.

I came across this quote last week while preparing my sister’s eulogy:

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.  – Psalms 30:11.

I have dealt with my addiction (a.k.a. The Bitch) all wrong.

I translated the verse (into jodi-speak) in my head: Thou hast turned for me my mourning (stopped dwelling on the NOT having), into dancing (expressing and celebrating life): thou hast put off my sackcloth (kicked me off the pity pot), and girded me with gladness (surrounded me with gratitude).

Girl Wearing Boxing Glove
photo credit: kk+ via photo pin cc

I need to DANCE with the Bitch, not fight her.
Train for strength, watch the enemy, and protect myself. The Mohammad Ali kind of dancing.

Diary of a Nicotine Addict: Month 11

I could tell you that my life is one big happy party because I quit smoking eleven months ago. But why start lying to you now? That would be like using a pencil to write diary entries so I could change things to be how I wanted. And wouldn’t that be cool? But I digress…

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The Bitch has been restless. (In case you missed earlier posts, “The Bitch” is my term for addiction.)  Being totally aware of my approaching 1-year anniversary, Ms. Bitch has been throwing opportunities at me to buy, borrow, or steal a cigarette. She is very good at this. And because her wicked ways have worked so many times on me, she is relentless. She’s hanging around patiently waiting for stress and weakness to bring me down.

Not to worry – I have beefed up security and will issue a “high-alert” warning to my reinforcements.

No, I am not trying to be flippant or funny (this time). I really do have reinforcements. One friend supplied me with enough sugar-free candy the day I quit to last a long time. I still have some in my office.  My BFF sent me a care package of assorted sugar-free lollipops, so I can do the “Kojak thing” when I need to. (If you don’t know what the Kojak thing is, you may be too young to be reading blogs on the Internet. Especially ones written by insane addicts. Just sayin’)

Fellow bloggers & readers cheer me on. The “Diary of an Addict” blog series has the most read posts this year at Not Pretending (to be sane). I hope that these posts sometimes help others keep their Bitches at bay. It helps me to write about it and be accountable for my behavior. I finally learned I couldn’t fight The Bitch alone.

I have a wonderful family scattered all over this United States praying for me to kick The F*^&$@! Bitch’s ass. Maybe not in those exact words…   I admit asking God to send my Guardian Angel down to kick The F*^&$@! Bitch’s ass for me. In those exact words, BTW.)

God is pretty used to me by now, so no sense pretending   😉

Diary of a Nicotine Addict: Month 5

October 20th, 2011 – 5 months clean

Dear Diary,
I am losing my mind. I can’t get cigarettes out of my stupid head.

Addiction Poster
The Bitch

Lately I think about smoking often throughout the day. The Bitch (my addiction), has been relentless and I feel my stamina eroding. Month 2 was not this bad. I started feeling sorry for myself a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m becoming resentful and bitter. Such fun to be around me.

I have been down this road before and I recognize the self-destructive thoughts and behaviors that come before a relapse. No matter how stubborn I am, no amount of “will-power” is going to save me. The only reason I have not bought a pack of Virginia Slims Menthol this week is not wanting to smoke around my granddaughter – she would not only nag me, but tattle on me as well. There are also a lot of folks rooting for me that I don’t want to disappoint.

I could enjoy one and I’d be able to focus… One with my morning cup of coffee to clear my head… Just a couple drags won’t be a big deal… No one will have to know…

In the substance abuse world, those thoughts are called “romancing the drug” and I have been brought down by their lies before. I can fight back with the STOP technique and remain fairly sane.

What I fear the most are the darker thoughts that come when my defenses are weak and something upsets me: To Hell with this… I can’t fight this anymore… No one gives a shit about what I do, unless they don’t like it…

The official term for this is “having the fuck-its”. (My doctor uses this term so it must be official)  It is the most dangerous emotional state of mind for anyone to be in, but it can mean life or death to an addict.

If you arrive at the fuck-its take action immediately! Stop thinking and call a friend, get out of the house, take a break from work. Stay home in your jammies and read a good book or watch soaps. Pamper yourself. Sleep. Meditate. Pray. If you’re hyperactive (like I am) take advantage and clean your house, cupboards, something. Anything but give up!

I know this is easy to say, and nearly impossible to do, when you are pissed off at everything and tired of fighting with yourself and your addiction. I have personal experience with the fuck-its. I relapsed back into a pack-a-day habit after being clean for 10-years. 10 years!

I am not trying to frighten or lecture here. Only want to pass on what I’ve learned in case it could help someone else. And of course to vent, whine and dis The Bitch while I’m at it.

😉