Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Smoking Diary- updated daily until I have a grip

Day 1 - New Years Day. I wait until David goes downstairs and chainsmoke two cigarettes. When he gets back and asks whats up, I tell him there is half a pack left and I feel like finishing it before I quit. We share each cigarette till they are gone. Then we straighten out butts from the ashtray and grab a few puffs on them. When they are done, we salvage what tobacco we can and roll our own. Yuch! I think thats cured me.

Day 2- I wake up and surprisingly feel very little urge to smoke. When I do, I take a few drags from the electronic cigarette. Im not real fussy about the taste. I thought the Marlborough flavor would be best but now Im thinking, as I want to quit smoking, having the taste of it in my mouth is just gross, like licking an ashtray. Should have gone with the mint! It's doing the job tho, I passed the first big test, driving the car without a smoke.

Day 3- Today goes easy. I dont even use the gizmo. I feel alot of tension in my jaw and face that is irritating. Im so used to stopping and having a smoke before I begin any chores such as the dishes,I keep feeling like I'm missing something. I feel very scattered and can't focus on anything for more than a few minutes. Trying to have a sensible conversation is nearly impossible.

Day 4- Still feeling ok, I go to work all day in the clinic. I am happy to notice that I did not cough once all day.I usually cough during every massage, its been a real embarassment for me. I normally dont smoke once I'm at work until I'm done for the day, so today is not a big stretch for me. My big test comes on the way home.

We get an unexpected blizzard that makes the roads super slippery. Geographically, I have to climb a hill and decend the other side to get to where I live. Each main road I drive by is blocked by buses and trucks that have spun out and are blocking the way. I keep driving east hoping to find a clear way home. Spotting a side road that looks good, I take a chance and vear off the main road. Big mistake. A few blocks up, I end up in a quagmire of vehicles all stuck in the snow on every corner. Twenty minutes or so to get one or more on their way and go one block and get stuck with another foursome at the next intersection. This is turning into a long,scary night. I just want to get home, I have to pee, Im hungry, my feet are wet and cold and now I REALLY want a smoke! I break down and have a few puffs on the gizmo. It does the trick and three hours later Im finally home.

Day 5- Today Im super emotional. Not sure if its the withdrawels, my menopause crazy hormones ( Im having a zillion hot flashes the last few days), or the fact its my
5oth birthday today and no one seems to care or notice. Im really missing my Mom of all people. She has been dead for half my life now, but today I really want to see her and give her a hug. Its my nieces 16th birthday today as well. Wish I was there to celebrate with her. I dont really feel like smoking but am on an emotional rollercoaster, I pray this ride ends before tomorrow.

Day 6- Today is Dave's turn to be sullen and cranky. I can't blame him after my melt-down yesterday. My mood is much better today but the munchies have hit. I think its from watching David, he is scarfing down anything edible thats in his path. The urge to smoke is the the strongest today so far. Everytime it hits me I stop and take a few very deep breathes, so far so good. I cant wait for this to all pass.

Day 7- Today I'm antsy. Antsy. Antsy. Antsy. I try to work on the boat, but every time I get going on it, David has some distraction for me and off I go. I give up after the third try. I seriously need to get my focus back, Im not getting much accomplished!

Day 8- I don't have the urge to smoke per say, but the withdrawal symptoms are very annoying. I'm edgy, irritable, cranky, sad, lethargic, spaced-out, and the muscles in my arms feel like coiled springs that want to reach out and punch something. I bought some vitamins tonight( C, calcium, multi and B complex) to help with all of this.

Im happy to say that so far I seem to be maintaining my weight. Weight gain is the main reason I went back to smoking in the first place. If I can motivate my butt out of bed tomorrow, I would like to go sign up for some Bikrams yoga classes.

They are done in a room that is 40 degrees celcius and about 100 percent humidity. Guaranteed to make you sweat and a total workout and stretch for every muscle in your body. The last time I tried one of their classes, I spent three quarters of the class lying on the floor trying to not have a heart attack from all the heat. This is making me leary to try again, but I think the workout and sweat would be a great detox.

Day 9- David is a mess. He pulled something in his back the other day and last night badly sprained his ankle when he wiped out on the icy docks. We basically spent the whole day in bed with him propped up on ice packs and me doing the fetch and carry.

I didnt make it to the yoga class so I pulled out a yoga cd I had kicking around and worked out to that at midnight. It was good, really loosened up my back and joints in general.I'm down one pound since January first. Not an impressive weight loss but awesome considering I havent smoked in eight days and havent done a whole lot physically. I'm trying to be concious of what I eat,adding more whole grains and eating a whole lot less sugar.

Ive discovered the BEST DESSERT EVER!!! If you even remotely like rice pudding, you have to give this recipe a try,its amazing.

Black Rice Pudding - makes 4 servings

1 cup sticky ( glutinous) black rice -rinse several times till water runs clear then cover with water and leave to soak overnight.

In the morning ,drain and rinse again, and cover with
3 cups of water and 1/4 tsp salt.
Crush a cinnamon stick and put it and 6 cloves (can also add some crushed cardamon pods if you have them)into a gauze bag tied with cotton and add it to the rice. Bring to a boil then simmer 45 mins with lid on.

Stir in 1/2 cup of brown sugar(I used rock sugar found in an asian grocery store), 1 15oz can of unsweetend coconut milk, 1/4 tsp salt and a couple of handfuls of raisens. Stir well, until sugar is melted. Remove guaze bag and discard.
Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for another 30 minutes

At this point the rice should be somewhat chewy and there will still be some water in the pot. Add 1 tsp of cornstarch to a small amount of water in a small jar, shake well and pour into rice. Stir for 5 mins until rice thickens abit.

If you want it very thick, let it sit for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. You can reheat it in the microwave, otherwise it is also good right out of the pot. Serve with milk, soy milk or coconut milk ( You can also sprinkle shredded coconut for a nice contrast in color to the black rice)

Make lots as I guarantee you will want seconds and thirds. It looks odd and is a process to make but well worth it. Bon Appetit!

Day 10- We attended a shamanic drumming and dreaming circle tonight. Basically what happens is our teacher plays a steady rythym on a native style round drum for 15 minutes. This steady beat causes the brain to produce theta waves which are the brain waves you have when daydreaming. While he is drumming, we lie on the floor and have something like a daydream where you go on a journey to ask your spiritual guides for answers. I usually have no problem having very vivid, detailed visions that are very profound. Tonight wasn't like that. I struggled to get anything and what I did get was disjointed and fragmented.

When we were discussing our experiences after, I mentioned that I thought the reason I had such a hard time was because I had just quit smoking and my thoughts have been quite scrambled and unfocused in general lately. My teacher pointed out that tobacco was considered to be the mother plant that nourishes all the other plants energeticaly. It is revered by the Native people and used as an offering in important ceremonies and prayers. It was never meant to be smoked on an everyday basis and exploited by the tobacco companies.

I think I need to do a ceremony to honour tobacco and ask forgiveness for abusing it. Maybe then it will loosen its grip on me and give me back my focus.

Day 11- Worked all day at the clinic. Had lots of clients I hadnt seen in 7-8 months come in today. It was fun to catch up with them. They are all proud and excited for me quitting . Me Too! I'm proud of David too. I know this is hard for him and the fact that we havent ripped each others head off yet, is a testement to his good humour.

Day 12- Did absolutely nothing today.Just stayed in bed all day doing nothing. I still crave cigs and I'm wondering if its the nicotene in the gizmo.

Day 13- Finally a burst of energy. I take advantage of it and clean the whole house and spend 6 hours running errands. Got a Chapters certificate for my birthday
( thanks Stu!!) and spent a wonderful hour or so cruising all the books. As much as computers have taken over my life, I still miss sitting down with a good book.

I meant to make it to the gym, but was so wiped out from all the shopping, I just went home. The urge to smoke was the worst tonight since this all started. Why ??? Its been almost two weeks, let go of me , you filthy,stinky habit.....please for the love of god, just go already.

Day 26- Ya, so still not smoking. I get one or two super strong cravings a day. They overwhelm me but pass quickly. I am totally cold turkey these days, haven't used the gizmo in weeks. Still feeling somewhat edgy, although the insomnia has passed and I'm able to sleep 8 hours again, thank god.

The good news is I haven't gained any weight at all, in fact Ive lost 2 pounds. I want to make a bigger effort in that direction. I'd like to lose 30 pounds before summer starts. Just Need TO GET OFF MY ASS!! I feel like I'm super-glued to the bed these days, dont know what thats about?? My craving for sugar has pretty much disappearred as has my bad cough. I hardly ever cough at all anymore, when I smoked it was 24 hours a day. Hallaluyah!

This quitting smoking has brought a lot of changes into my life. Like a snowball rolling downhill, each change begets another. David and I have parted ways. Ive been packing all week and sorting out the storage of all my belongings. I'm trying to simplify my life as best I can. Its hard to let go of 50 years of memories and collectables. My diet has changed, my lungs have really changed, I'm looking forward to see what this new year and lifestyle will bring to pass. I feel like a butterfly emerging from one form and transforming into another. Its a new world and new horizens to discover.


rob said...

congratulations on your fiftieth! and the seventh day off the cancer weed, I`m proud of you and you should feel a great sense of achievement! so you use the gizmo now and again! you`l get fed up with it in the end! Big test is when you are with company that smokes and they try to tempt you! just say "No thanks! I don`t smoke anymore" and mean it! its that easy! and don`t have the next cigarette :o))you have done it before! so you know all that anyway

Jamie said...

Oh, excellent job and Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday! Keep it up ~ we're pulling for you out here in cyberland! You can do it!

cyberangel said...

Thanks for your good wishes, much appreciated.I wont be tempted by a cigarette just hating the withdrawal symtoms. The edginess and inability to concentrate for more than two seconds is annoying.However the ability to breathe deeply and not have a coughing spasm is awesome. That wins for me!

Anonymous said...

hey happy b'day and good for you for quiting! Tony is 22 days in to trying but is still 1/2 cig a day, he was quite interested in the mechanical smokes...I am happy not to smell smoke on him :) lol I don't know if you knew I quit about 5 years ago so irritable and crazy is okay for awhile...I recommend you enjoy it!

I really enjoyed your description of the yoga class and looking forward to hearing how it goes. janit

bowiechick said...

Keep at it Rhianna! A belated happy birthday too! If weight loss is all your looking for with yoga then do Bikrams. I am not down with it though and lots of injuries happen there. Plus they only do a certain amount of poses too. I go to one over by Richmond Costco. This is a wonderful place and you would absolutely love it. I think I've tried to take you previously. Thursdays is a good night if you're just starting out. Plus they are much cheaper than most places. I'd go here every night if I could.


cyberangel said...

Thanks Tana, I will check it out. Not a big fan of Bikrams either but need a good sweat and a stretch to help with the detox.

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