Friday, June 8, 2007

on relapse, recovery & frustration

I'm proud to say that I've officially quit smoking (for the 3rd time) for 6 days, cold turkey, no cheating. I had started back up again, during what I will nicely refer to "THE MONTH FROM HELL" a.k.a. April and I'm done, for good this time. I know this, because I'm doing it smarter this time. Every morning, I smoked as I drank my coffee while I drove to work. I completely cut that trigger out and now I get my coffee at work. Every time this week, when I felt like smoking, I thought about how gross it smelled, how nasty of a habit it was, how I would get wrinkly and yellow and not be able to exercise as much. I also thought about how I would lose my sense of smell and taste. And that would interfere with eating. And that, my friends, is no bueno.

As a counselor, I know that part of recovery is relapse. So I'm not mad at myself for starting back up when I did. I used it as a crutch, to help calm myself because I was going through a really hard time. I can admit this. But the hard times are over and except for a little bump here and there, life is pretty decent for me at the moment. Time to buck up and quit for good. Which I plan on doing.

I relate the whole relapse/recovery cycle to weight loss. Last year, I lost a lot of weight. Then I relapsed and gained it back. Now I'm losing again (so happy now!) and I'm liking these positive changes I'm making. I like me. And that's good.

This week was "bumpy." Stress at work, finding out that I can't take my second summer class due to lack of funds and that my job isn't reimbursing me 100%, losing my ATM card and overall exhaustion from not being able to sleep anymore has taken its toll on me. Plus I'm not smoking. Nicotine is almost withdrawn from my system, but I still feel a little out of sorts. I think about the positives of these stressors. Now I can get that second job I've been talking about, I'm getting a new ATM card in the mail, the work week is basically over for me and...well I won't get a full night's sleep until something gets done with my cyst.

I responded to excess stress this afternoon by doing my Pilates DVD in my underoos. I so CANNOT wait until I look like Pilates ladies on my DVD.

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