Monday, 5 May 2014

Congratulations And Well Done To Me....................

Today should be a stars and banners and fireworks celebration day, but it is not. Before I even think of posting about our weekend and why it does not feel like a stars and fireworks kinda day, I have to do this post and congratulate myself. Today a year ago at almost exactly 17h00 I had my last cigarette. For most people it is not a big deal - for me it is a huuuuuuge big deal. Even those close to me, like Chad and Mark do not even know what a huge big deal this has been for me. I don't pat myself on the shoulder often enough, in fact I never do, but today I am going to. I am very proud of myself for giving up smoking and not touching a cigarette for a whole year, even though the temptation has been there all the time. The cravings have been hell and still are - so strong that I can still taste and feel the satisfaction of that last cigarette. 'So here is well done and I am so proud of you Dianne, for doing something you never believed that you could ever achieve, despite the grief, the tears, the struggle to live without Clint, the stress of life in general, living with grief and sadness and "oh what the hell, is it all worth it" - you did it.'

Granted I slept through the past year and struggled and fought against the idea that giving up smoking is good for you. I have the worst case of GORD or GERD, not sure whether it is GORD or GERD. GORD is the term used in the Nexiam Literature, which I read for the first time the other day. Food tastes awful and I am still waiting for that surge of energy that everyone boasts about. Granted the smoking/giving up smoking experts are mostly those that were not even born when I started smoking, but they have all the answers. Like everything in life, everyone is different and everyone reacts differently to circumstances and things. I must say I have gone off coffee completely, which should be a good thing, but because coffee has also been such a huge part of my life, I still drink it despite the taste. The one good thing about giving up smoking and disliking coffee is that I have become a total Rooibos and Chamomile Tea addict. I have been drinking Rooibos tea since I was pregnant with Chad and I gave both Chad and Clint Rooibos tea from when they were babies, but it was only since giving up smoking that I discovered my love for Freshpak Rooibos and Chamomile tea and Chamomile tea with Rooibos, two different teas with a slight difference in taste. Without my Chamomile tea I don't believe that I would have survived this smoke free journey. It calms me down and relaxes me when I am angry and agitated.

Unfortunately Now The Opposite Is True - I have A Problem With Caffeine

If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone who wanted to give up smoking, it would be to, not ever give in to that one temptation. "I just need one cigarette to get me through the day" Don't do it!!! As I type this I am craving a cigarette big big time - if I had a cigarette here, I would light up and smoke it, that is how bad the craving is and if I have one draw or one cigarette, it would be over for me and every single day for the past year, I made a decision to be bigger than that one little cigarette and it was not easy. The second piece of advice I would give, is not so much advice, as fact. Just like an alcohol addiction or a drug or gambling addiction - once a smoker always a smoker and you can fall off the wagon at any time just like other addicts and you have to live with that everyday of your life and over come the temptation. Who would have thought I would become a preacher for the smoking addicts.

My New Addiction

So yes, some good has come of this, except who am I kidding the tea is the only good thing, I have loads of other addictions:- sweets, chocolates; food; potato chips, the list goes on. They all taste disgusting - Is it Gerd or is it from not smoking - I don't know, but I keep having more and more in the hope that the, especially, chocolate tastes better next time - it doesn't. My hips don't lie, I keep having more and more chocolate, so no health benefit there. Any tips you have to make this smoke free journey easier are most welcome - except that it is mind over matter. Yes it is mind over matter, but to get your mind over it is a huge matter. Mark keeps saying it is all in the mind, yes he gave up smoking 14 or 15 years ago, but he only smoked for 10 or 12 years - try smoking for longer than you haven't smoked, my whole adult life and most of my teenage years I smoked, so all I know is smoking. Plus Mark gave up because he hated it - I loved love smoking; I was a chain smoker for more than 30 years. I had a cigarette right before I fell asleep at night and maybe two or three after that in case I could not fall asleep - yes, how stupid is that. As my eyes opened in the morning I lit a cigarette. I woke up during the night with cravings and smoked. I smoked in case I would not be able to smoke, I smoked in case I ran out of cigarettes, I smoked because last week I ran out of cigarettes. I had a cigarette in one hand, a cigarette in another hand, a cigarette in the ashtray and a cigarette in my mouth - I was THAT bad. On a good day, I would have five cigarettes from the time I woke up at 4.45 until I went to shower at 5.45/6 am.  I was a chain smoker of note, so yes giving up for a year is, and always will be, a big deal for me.

Tea Is Liquid Wisdom
Yes, tea is liquid wisdom and it has helped me through this difficult battle, made all the more difficult, because living with my child's death is so difficult and Clinty is not here to share in this major achievement of mine and because I never gave up when he asked me nagged me to give up smoking. All his life he nagged me to and I never believed that I could - now I have and that is another thing I cannot share with him.

And that is why today cannot be a stars and balloons and fireworks celebration, just a pat on the back for doing what I thought was not achievable.

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