Missing my "old" life...

dal
dal

9:40 PM - May 22, 2003 #1

Hello all. I'm looking for some threads/advice to help me out. I'll be bronze tomorrow but I've been
"dreaming" of my life as it used to be....and missing it. My problem is that I have stopped doing things I used to do for fear of starting smoking again and/or not having any fun doing them. These include golf, a VERY occassional night out, & poker nights. I am married with 3yr old daughter & 9 week old son so I don't have much time for these activities anyway.

Thank you in advance for any info...I need to get knowledgeable about this subject as I know knowledge is power.
Quote
Share

SweetLorraine (Gold)
SweetLorraine (Gold)

9:55 PM - May 22, 2003 #2

Hi Dal,

Welcome to Freedom BTW. There is nothing you can't do without smoking except smoking. triggers, should I avoid them? should take you a discussion of this very topic. The occassional night out should not be avoided, just prepared for.

Personally I found that facing one trigger at a time was easier if I had a choice for example drinking and poker playing might each be a trigger so I wouldn't try to combine them on the first pass, but face them separately conquering each in turn. This builds up your quit muscles too, so that when life sneaks up and hands you a whole bunch of triggers like a trip to the emergency room, then you can handle them with greater aplomb.

You will always have the choice of how to handle triggers as long as you remember, just for today not a single puff, no matter what.

yqf

Lorraine Gold Club
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

10:07 PM - May 22, 2003 #3

Dal, with 165,000 archieved messages and a few hundred recycled lessons by Joel, it's no wonder that a lesson or two gets missed by all but one of the primary lessons here at Freedom is that we don't need to give up any aspect of our life when quitting except smoking nicotine and other creative means of nicotine delivery. Wow, wish you'd posted this earlier as many here would have quickly urged you to engage life.

At this late date you may still have a few un-reconditioned subconscious feeding cues so be prepared, Dal, for possibly three minutes of challenge but you can handle it! We do caution members of the danger of being around smoking while consuming alcohol early in their quit but even those triggers need to be confronted unless happy and content without doing so.

Dal, I too was afraid of confronting a few of my triggers and avoided one for over a year (touching a cigarette even during the first quit smoking clinic I presented). I also put off going to the after work pub and being with the guys for far longer than I probably should have. Like you, I kept thinking I was depriving myself but fear of relapse kept me away. It may sound strange but it wasn't nearly as big a deal as I'd made out in my mind. I also decided that the pub's always hovering cloud of smoke was no longer for me as I'd punished these lungs long enough and it just didn't seem right. I miss being with the guys but I don't miss the smoke or the smells!

Please post back to this thread, Dal, and let us know how things go. John
Quote
Share

smokefreeJD Gold
smokefreeJD Gold

10:07 PM - May 22, 2003 #4


You really miss a life that's dirty, smelly, dangerous... and not to mention you were a slave operating hour to hour wondering how you were going to get your next fix? Personally I don't see how you can miss it.

I hate to burst your bubble... but you're way too far from that ahhhhh feeling you used to get from smoking. Nope, you'll be hacking and coughing if you light up again. And don't forget that one = all, so don't kid yourself into thinking you can just smoke less than you used to. Here's a few topics for you to read, and remember that you really should factor your kids into your decision if you decide to go back to your old life...

caring for your quit
fixating on a cigarette
I am different, I'll never be comfortable
"I think I have decided to go back to smoking"
the relapse of a "social smoker"
there is no legitimate reason to relapse

Jill
Kicking Butt for 7 Months 2 Weeks 3 Days.
Quote
Share

StepperM
StepperM

10:10 PM - May 22, 2003 #5

Hi Dal,
I think Lorraine said it all. You need to do the things you used to do so you can reprogram your brain to do it without smoking (if that makes sense).
Hang in there and NTAP

Freegirl
I have been free from nicotine for 1 Month 2 Weeks 1 Day 12 Hours 11 Minutes 2 Seconds!
Quote
Share

Jeanne Gold
Jeanne Gold

10:23 PM - May 22, 2003 #6

Hi Dal,

Nice to meet you. I saw how you said you were dreaming of your life the way it used to be and missing it, so I just wanted to encourage you to do what makes you happy. But before you go back to smoking to recapture your previous level of happiness, please make sure that smoking is what you are really missing.

I bet you are picturing yourself simutaneously holding a good poker hand and a cigarette, or a bad poker hand and a cigarette. You can probably see yourself rewarding a good golf swing with a cigarette or suffering a really bad swing with a cigarette. You see these things with a cigarette because you have not yet given your mind a picture of these things without a cigarette involved. The way to replace the picture in your mind with a picture of you doing things you enjoy without smoking is to do these things without smoking, even if it feels awkward at first. The second time you do them it won't be so awkward. Eventually, you will be amazed at how awkward it seems to see someone else smoking while doing these things.

It is my guess that you are missing activities that you once enjoyed, but that you aren't truly missing smoking. Are you really missing the constant pull of the addiction, the constant state of near panic? Do you miss making your children watch you commit slow suicide? Do you really miss the stench, the expense, the embarrassment of being a smoker? What about that deep, secret fear you used to live with, the one that made you wonder if you would get to see your children graduate from high school, do you miss that as well? Remember when you used to see a nasty, graphic picture of what smoking has done to someone and you would have to immediately dismiss the picture from your mind and let denial protect you from thoughts that might be uncomfortable while you were trying to get your nicotine feedings injested? Are these the things you really missed?

Do you now dislike the calmness that is starting to become normal for you? Do you really hate being able to smell and taste and feel now? What about your kids? Are you just hoping against hope that you will be able to one day soon look them in the eye and tell them, "I just missed smoking so badly, I had to relapse. So sorry, kiddoes, but you know you'll never rank more important to me than my drug does!"

Now, before you make the decision to relapse, please make sure you are truly missing smoking. Otherwise, you will have just blown your quit because you were craving a game of golf or some fresh air, and wouldn't that be the pits!

Keep the quit. Love the quit!

~Jeanne
7+ months and totally in love with my quit!!
Quote
Share

Golddabler1
Golddabler1

10:40 PM - May 22, 2003 #7

HI dal
Thanks for your honesty in your post as it means you can find answers,knowledge is power but only when applied.I feel lucky because in my first week i visited a bar where i started smoking and where i suffered many previous relapses and it really helped beating that trigger, but i would,nt say everybody should do it the same way,don,t drink if you feel it will ruin your quit.Before i went out i said to myself this is where it started and this is where it ends.If you are going to face a trigger you need to be positive about it so that you are stronger than nicotine.I have to warn you that every trigger is different,because several weeks later i met an old friend and went out for a drink and found it more difficult but i made it.What i,m saying is you need to approach one trigger at a time,for instance if you go for a game of golf did you used to smoke on the golf course or is it the 19th hole thats bothering you,or perhaps its a smoking buddy that you play golf with,Identify your triggers before you meet them, if possible[because some sneak up on you by surprise].I used to play golf before i smoked and my memories are of a 17 year old doing 36 holes in one day in the fresh air and being pretty fit,life must go on but you must change your associations rather than your life.So i think you have 3 triggers to face at a game of golf,1st the false association that smoking calms you down especially if your games going well,2nd you don,t need to keep an old smoking buddy company by smoking you only need to be there,3rd if the 19th hole really bothers you call it a day after the game with a pat on the back for 2 triggers under your belt.Remember no one can make you smoke and if you think smoking would do anything for you i suggest that you re-educate yourself about false associations of pleasure.You were a slave to nicotine and its great to have freedom,appreciate your freedom and don,t let it ruin your smokefree life.
Rickdabler 2 months 1 week 6 days 11hrs 40mins happily nicotine free.
Quote
Share

SammymnGOLD
SammymnGOLD

11:11 PM - May 22, 2003 #8

Hi Dal:

I wanted to chime in on your post. First, please pull out your original reasons for quitting and read them. Then reread them. Dal, you are romanticizing smoking and you need to buck up and get real. You would have never gone through the difficulty attendant to withdrawal had you really been enamored of smoking. What you're "remembering" was NOT what it was really like. You're only thinking of the "good ones." Well, you have to take all the bad ones too: the ones that made you leave your kids to their own devices so you could have one, the ones you had in the car between trips, the ones you snuck out to have, the ones that made you leave your non-smoking friends house early, the ones that made you sick the next morning, the ones that made you an outcast, the ones that burned a hole in your favorite shirt, the ones that made you reek, the ones you swore were your last as you agonized over your desire to be free.

Wake up Dal. It's not there for you. It's here. Life is infinitely easier without the smokes, the difficulty, inconvenience, angst, etc... You already made the decision, don't revisit it. Get on with your life, golf, run, go out and play, but remain committed.

You have done so well so far. Just keep at it, get over this little hump, and you'll be fine.

I'm cheering for you.

Love, Sarah (10 3/4 months).
Quote
Share

MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

11:28 PM - May 22, 2003 #9

Hey Dal,

You have to confront the triggers in order to vanquish them if you want your old life back. Don't be afraid - be educated. When I had been quit for about 2 months my husband and I took our annual outing to the Florida Keys for mini-lobster season. One of the best parts of the week was doing the "Duval Crawl" which is basically bar-hopping from one popular nightspot to another in Key West. Of course in the past I'd have the house specialty in one hand and a cigarette in the other. This was by far the hardest trigger I had to overcome, especially because there was a lot of alcohol in my system. I told my husband that under NO circumstances was he to let me bum a cigarette, even if I begged, and to keep his pack with him at all times. Long story short--I made it through the weekend, and so proud of myself. And looking back on it, it wasn't really that uncomfortable. I wasn't in withdrawal at that point, I just "missed something." Unfortunately we can't make the trip this year, but the next time we go, I won't have to worry about whether or not I'm going to cave. I know I won't.

Check this one out for more reading: "Boy, do I miss smoking!"

You can do it! Don't let the junky thoughts dictate your life! And also, as John mentioned, please post back & let us know how you are!
Quote
Share

OBob Gold
OBob Gold

2:53 AM - May 23, 2003 #10

Hi Dal,

I'm pretty sure that the belief that we must somehow change other aspects of our life in order to remain quit is one of the biggest reasons that people decide to go back to smoking at some point. They blame their quit for depriving them of the things in life they enjoy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, the first few times you do something after quitting, there will be triggers involved, and you'll need to persevere through some challenges. (and the longer you put off dealing with those challenges, the more daunting they can SEEM).

But, the truth is that quitting - far from depriving you of the things in life you enjoy - ENABLES you to enjoy more of the things you enjoy.... by improving your health, increasing your longevity, and in a more immediate and tangible way, allowing you to focus your energy directly on the stuff you enjoy.... undistracted by the need to regularly feed a very demanding addiction.... or by the discomfort of being unable to feed it in some circumstances (flying?).

As an exampler of being able to enjoy my life more fully in the absence of nicotine, it amazed me how many people noticed that I no longer had to interrupt good conversations at the pub in order to go outside and smoke ever 20 minutes. It's also pretty important to me now, as I'm visiting my friend at the hospital, that I don't spend the entire time there jonesing for a smoke; but, rather, I can focus on being there through a tough time for him.

Fear is very real with quitting. Here is a post I wrote on it for a friend. She was at an earlier stage in her quit, but with respect to confronting triggers associated with the good parts of your life, and, in doing so, recapturing those aspects of your life from your addiction, you're not so far apart.

The Monster Under the Bed

Somebody gave me similar advice about confronting these triggers earlier in my quit. I took it to heart. Here are some posts that chronicle the progress.... from the early difficulty of my first trip to the pub, to the ultimate comfort at being able to go there whenever I wanted, unmolested by a nagging need to feed, and the final realization, as I extinguished some of the more difficult triggers, that the understanding of my addiction I had gained at Freedom -- that I could do anything I used to do, and that I would always be one puff away from a sentence of once again being forced to incorporate regular self-poisoning into every aspect of my life -- had set me free... Hope they provide some insight into how the difficult moments can be dealt with, and how, in doing so, we not only recapture our "old life", but vastly IMPROVE our "old life".

YQB,

Bob

And on the seventh day
First time to the pub

A before/after shot of my first trip to Vegas as an ex-smoker... (I've been several times since, and I rarely even think about it anymore).
It Gets Better
Left Las Vegas
(
Message 6 and Message 13 in this thread are an interesting sidebar in the mental process I went through to combat these triggers head-on. Last Line of Defense (or Trump Card) talks about what happens when rational thinking is difficult)

Comfort
Things were getting much easier at this point.

I'm an ADDICT! HooRAY!
By this point, I had wiped out many triggers, and gained in confidence. This evening, while it involved some challenge, served as a real source of solidifying moment for my quit.




YQB,

Bob
Quote
Share

jdinkcmoGOLD
jdinkcmoGOLD

5:50 AM - May 23, 2003 #11

Dal, don't forget that one = all. So if smoking is what you're missing, it's your choice. Hiding from golf or other recreational stuff with pals because you're not smoking? Look those triggers in the eye and stare them down. Let us know you've done it, because the bronze limo will be slowing up for you pretty soon and I'm personally saving you a seat. your quit sis, JD

Judy has been nic free for: 4 Months 5 Days 14 Hours 39 Minutes and has NOT smoked 5742 smelly cigs, for a grand $$$ savings of $961.86 plus life of Freedom extended by: 2 Weeks 5 Days 22 Hours 30 Minutes.
Quote
Share

Tubes GOLD
Tubes GOLD

1:30 PM - May 23, 2003 #12

Hey Dal:

One of the first triggers I dealt with was right after a meal. My stomach was full but
my lungs were saying..."Where's the smoke?.....Send down the smoke!" I suppose
I could have avoided eating but then I would not have survived this long! (hee hee)

Fo rme, I did not want the fear to take over my life and force me into decisions I
did not want to make. The fear of quitting kept me smoking for a long time. I was
so afraid of what would happen to me if I quit smoking. How would I enjoy a meal,
a drink.....life itself?

I have a suggestion.....how about concentrating on what you will be able to do now
that you are an ex-smoker? Like seeing your children graduate from college?
Watching them walk down the aisle with their future spouses? Or how about
playing footbal with your son WITHOUT having to stop to catch your breath?

Just a few thoughts....

Tubes
Nicotine Free 3 Months 2 Weeks 6 Days 6 Hours 28 Minutes 46 Seconds.
2950 LESS Nicotine Delivery Devices
$789.20 MORE in my Pocket
2 Wks 6 Days 11 Hrs 42 Mins 53 Secs MORE in The Saddle, In The Wind
Quote
Share

dal
dal

10:34 PM - May 23, 2003 #13

Thank you all very much for your support and advice!

I quit smoking on Feb 23 and my son was born March 13. Hence, I haven't had the time to do some of my usual "fun" activities like golf & poker. But now that kiddo is getting close to sleeping through the night (knock on wood) and a reliable schedule starting to take shape, thoughts of getting some "funtime" in have returned. I seems that maybe my schedule delayed me facing these triggers head-on earlier, as I didn't have any time for them! I guess the time has come to face them down! Looks like I've got some work ahead of me, but I can do it without a doubt because I LOVE my quit (bronze today...cool). Again, thanks to all for your support....it makes a world of difference having Freedom to lean on in times of need!

Dal
Quote
Share

MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

10:51 PM - May 23, 2003 #14

Dal, congratulations on Bronze! I was starting to get concerned. But heck, with a new baby, who would expect you to sit in front of your computer all day!

You have a brand-new life now, with your new son, and a new ex-smoker's comfort. Enjoy it!

YQS,
MareBear
Quote
Share

Jeanne Gold
Jeanne Gold

11:19 PM - May 23, 2003 #15

Hey Dal,

Congratulations on your bronzing!!! Glad to see that you don't really miss smoking afterall. You just seem have a really big case of CABIN SICKNESS!!!

If your new baby could talk, he would tell you, "Thank you for not holding me with hands covered in that thick stench, and I appreciate your kissing me without nasty ashtray mouth."

Keep loving the quit!

~Jeanne
7+ months and totally in love with my quit!
Quote
Share

jdinkcmoGOLD
jdinkcmoGOLD

11:21 PM - May 23, 2003 #16

Hey Dal, congrats on your bronzing. It's a great ride and we're happy to have you aboard the bronze limo. Get out there and do some fun social stuff, enjoying your ability to stare down those triggers. yqs, JD

Judy has been nic free for: 4 Months 6 Days 8 Hours 9 Minutes and has NOT smoked 5775 smelly cigs, for a grand $$$ savings of $967.36 plus life of Freedom extended by: 2 Weeks 6 Days 1 Hour 15 Minutes.
Quote
Share

ComicForces GOLD
ComicForces GOLD

11:27 PM - May 23, 2003 #17

Congrats on Bronze… Congrats on your new baby too - and the fact that your schedule and "fun activities" have been thrown off a little is just practice for when/if it happens again.

I'm so glad to hear you say you're in love with your quit.

BRONZE! YAY!

CF
3 months 2 days
Quote
Share

StepperM
StepperM

11:39 PM - May 23, 2003 #18

Way to Go Bronze, Dal!!!
Freedom is terrific!

Freegirl
I have been free from nicotine for 1 Month 2 Weeks 2 Days 13 Hours 39 Minutes 26 Seconds!
Quote
Share

Lexy
Lexy

1:33 AM - May 24, 2003 #19

I am new here, but I am PROUD OF YOU ANYWAY! WAY TO GO!
Quote
Share