Sweet November

This month has a few observances that touch my life. Can you guess which ones?**

NOVEMBER 2013

American Diabetes Month American Diabetes Association

Native American Heritage Month Indian Health Service (HQ)

Diabetic Eye Disease Month Prevent Blindness America

Great American Smokeout Month American Cancer Society

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association

National Child Mental Health Month c/o New York University Child Study Center

National Epilepsy Awareness Month Epilepsy Foundation of America

National Family Caregivers Month National Family Caregivers Association

National Healthy Skin Month American Academy of Dermatology

National Home Care Month National Association for Home Care & Hospice

National Hospice Month National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Prematurity Awareness Month March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

November 17 – 23 (week before Thanksgiving) American Education Week National Education Association

November 13 World Kindness Day

November 14 (always Nov 14) World Diabetes Day International Diabetes Federation

November 15 (always Nov 15) National Philanthropy Day Association of Fundraising Professionals

November 15 (always Nov 15) America Recycles Day National Recycling Coalition, Inc.

November 21 (third Thursday) Great American Smokeout American Cancer Society

November 23 International Survivors of Suicide Day American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

** If you have read more than a few posts, then you practically know everything about me – so take a guess 😉

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Diary of a Nicotine Addict: Why We Can’t Quit

Author’s note: I’m usually trying to be humorous, or sarcastic, but tonight I am trying to pass on information that I discovered during my journey with nicotine addiction. I am still learning!

SmokingOneFullWithSurgeonGeneral

I can go weeks without ever thinking about cigarettes. Then plans get messed up,  a medical emergency happens, or I can’t find something important and dammit, I want to smoke. Like that is going to help my plans, my health, or my brain. After nearly two years of being smoke free you would expect me to no longer be addicted to nicotine.  You are wrong.

Sure, my body is rid of the nicotine and other chemicals from inhaling cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, my brain won’t let go completely. Nicotine in my blood-stream would reach my brain and “light up” sensors that made me feel good. My brain remembers this (or the sensors do). I’m not even thinking about smoking, but my brain has those sensory memories stored somewhere. Waiting.

When we are stressed, our mind works overtime to find a way to get us back to a non-stressed state. Why doesn’t my mind find a different solution? Like a cup of tea or a nice long bath? Probably because I never used those things to calm down. I would always light up a cigarette.  I thought that inhaling the nicotine calmed me down, when in reality, nicotine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. I only felt calmer because I satisfied my craving for nicotine.

That’s how they get you. The Tobacco industry. Their products supply you with nicotine, your brain starts to need the nicotine and you end up smoking to satisfy those greedy neurotransmitters begging for another nicotine fix. If that isn’t bad enough, the cigarette you just had is setting you up for the next one. Because the sensation of withdrawal is uncomfortable, and the only way to stop it is another cigarette.

No wonder the industry can make billions of dollars – and we can’t stop smoking.

Non-addicts believe that if you just used some will-power, you could quit. HA!  You can’t break addiction with will-power. Why? Because the brain, neurology and psychology are inter-twined around your addiction. The Bitch owns you. You need professional help, but you don’t want to ask for any, because the thought of you never smoking again terrifies you.

I heard that heroin addicts have less trouble getting the monkey off their back, than smokers. Don’t believe that? I didn’t either – until I asked a recovering heroin addict. She opened her purse and showed me her cigarettes. So, I guess that meant yes.

Scary.

Here Comes February (already??)

February 1st is National Wear Red Day.

I miss this every year because I don’t remember until I switch my calendar over to February, and by then I’m already dressed and at work. I hate it when things fall on the first day of the month.  Thank goodness Groundhog’s Day is on the 2nd. I really hate to miss that one.
This is why I am trying to spread the word now. So people can “get their red on” and support the awareness campaign about heart disease in women. And since we are on the topic of February, Actually I am discussing the topic and you are reading it – which is really cool!  But I digress…

Aside from the 1st & 2nd, other important observances for February are:

Other things in February you should know about:

Feb 11th – 17th: National Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Feb 14th: National Condom Awareness Day. Are we supposed to send out condoms instead of romantic heart covered cards & candy now?   I feel a rant coming on…

Feb 22nd: World Thinking Day. (Girl Scouts)

Feb 24th – Mar 2nd: National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

OK, so now you know to wear red on Friday, February 1st. My mission is accomplished 🙂

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For a more complete listing go to: National Wellness Institute