Still Working on the Webcam! Oh and BEADS!

I’m working on getting the webcam to look okay when I record, that way it doesn’t look really grainy. I figure that eventually it will start coming together. I tried my other camera out but it sounds like an old style modem when I play it back. I am not sure what that is all about!

I’ll get it figured out though. I am up to 37 beads in my jar! You know what that means? I haven’t smoked a tobacco product in 37 days! I still have cravings but they don’t last very long at all. They are pretty strong cravings but if I can keep myself busy for about three minutes, they go away. I know this because I played bomboozle on three-minute mode and by the time I am done blowing up some blobs, my craving is gone.

And now, I am off to try to get some more light in here! Hoping to have a video up by tomorrow afternoon (mountain time).

Not Smoking Day 7

I finished the Tobacco Seminar. My quit day was February 14 because it was a Friday, right before the weekend.  I didn’t have appointments or anything else important going on so I could be a hermit.

I decided on an e-cig to help with the really bad cravings. Everyone else in the class seems to have a plan of things to help them quit and I was having a lot of issues going cold turkey. We learned that there is a nicotine inhaler to help you quit smoking. It’s basically, an e-cig. I have an e-cig and four cartridges. I can’t afford another prescription… so I picked the e-cig to help me with quitting, not to act as a replacement. I use it like they want you to use the nicotine inhaler (I read those directions).

I’m using it LESS than I thought I would. I thought I’d have killer cravings and puff off it a lot. But I am only taking 2-4 puffs (and I DO count them) somewhere between 4 and six times a day. Day three was my worst day with 3 to 6 puffs ten times that day. The rest fall within 2-4 puffs between 4 and six times a day. I am doing awesome!

Each morning, right after I wake up, pee, and make coffee; I go to my jar. My “fresh air” jar has one bead in it for each day that I have not smoked. I put the bead in the jar in the morning to remind me of what day I am on, remind me of how far I have come before I slip up and smoke again, and to remind me that there is something else that I can do to kill time and busy my hands. I can make beads. Today, I have seven beads in my jar. I feel so accomplished!

Here’s the kicker. If I mess up and smoke a real cigarette, cigar, or tobacco product, I will have to empty the jar and start over. Talk about motivation! I seriously thought about not doing it if I have a slip (only smoke 1 cig and then not do it again) but I really think I could see myself using that as an excuse to slip up. So… NO real cigs! I MUST NOT smoke or the jar gets emptied! And now, for your viewing pleasure… my jar of beads…

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My seven beads indicating one day of fresh air. I am so proud of myself right now 🙂

Setting My Quit Date to Quit Smoking

As a present to myself this Valentine’s Day (funny, I don’t celebrate it, but hey! What a great day!) I picked today to be my quit date to stop smoking.

This last class we went over our quit plan. We also went over short-term rewards and long-term rewards. My short-term Stop Smoking reward will be chocolate, a pizza party (beginning of next month), and getting to dye my hair. Dying my hair will probably be a little further out, like about two months, but I look forward to it! My long-term goal is going to be a book for myself called “365 Days of Fresh Air”. Each day (or close to it) I will journal my experience, draw, create, write a poem, or do something to mark the time passing; and at the end of the year (Next February 15) I will it into a book form, self-publish it, and buy a copy to keep and show off.

As a reminder of how far I have come with quitting smoking, I will make a bead for every day I don’t smoke and put it in a mason jar. I got the idea from “switched At Birth” where Bay’s birth mom tells her about being an Alcoholic. She tells her about these chips she gets and keeps out in her living room, that help her visually see to help remind her of how far she has come. I don’t have chips but I do love making beads! So each day I will add a bead to my jar to help remind me how far I have come in my journey to not smoking. And since “quit smoking” and “not smoking” are so negative, I am renaming the whole concept for myself. It is now “breathing fresh air”.

I’ll update on how it goes. That is one of my ways of dealing with the stress. Journal more!

Exploring my Triggers

This week we are taking the thought log one step further. Last week we wrote down a thought log for each time we smoked. It included:

  1. Situation/ Trigger: example- argument with roommate
  2. Feelings: example- sad/depressed
  3. Automatic thought: example- “she hates me”
  4. Behavior: example- I smoked

This week, we are still doing 1-3, but we have two new columns:

  1. Is it true? List evidence to support your statement.
  2. Is it true? List evidence that does NOT support your statement.

Here are a few of mine so far:

Trigger: Friends went out to smoke

Feelings: Content

Automatic thought: “I should go smoke with them.”

Is it true? (Supporting evidence) Yes, I should go smoke with them. They are my friends and we always smoke together.

Is it true? (NOT supporting evidence) No, I don’t HAVE to go smoke with them. They are still my friends. I could take coffee with me and drink that instead of smoking. Or I could just stay instead and wait for them to come back inside.

Trigger: Doing bills

Feelings: Sad, frustrated, depressed

Automatic thought: “I am broke”

Is it true? (Supporting evidence) Yes, I have no job, no hope of getting a job because I can’t work, no one will hire me after all the applications I turned in, disability hasn’t called me back, I can’t pay my bills, Google Adsense disabled my account, I have no hope of making an income (of any size) online now, and I depending on others to help me until disability goes through (which could be YEARS).

Is it true? (NOT supporting evidence) Currently, I have $15 to pay towards rent. So, TECHNICALLY, I am not broke. I am still looking into Fiverr, so there is still hope to make income online. My electric is paid for about five or six months so, that is one bill I don’t have to pay. The people who are helping me are all very understanding and patient people who are willing to write letters to the disability board, if needed. The fact that I am not homeless, living in my van with two kids, shows how blessed I am for having a support network like this.

Trigger: My ex called and told me about his job hunt, then went into a spiel about how I need to get a job, he can’t support me forever (child support?), and listed everything he thinks I would be able to do (that I can’t do 90% of the things listed).

Feelings: Absolutely felt like crap, just horrible about myself, felt totally awful. I actually cried.

Automatic thought: “I am worthless”

Is it true? (Supporting evidence) I can’t do 90% of the things listed. I have no health insurance, I can’t afford health insurance, I can’t get on Medicaid either, I am a drain on society, my family, my friends… Wow, this is too painful. I could go on and on… but I don’t to.

Is it true? (NOT supporting evidence) I CAN do 10% of the things he suggested, even though I tried those already… I am CAPABLE of doing SOMETHING, no matter how small. I am writing books, making children’s books, checking out Fiverr, and working on artwork to sell also. I am waiting for my rejection letter from Medicaid so I can sign up for the Share Pay program at the hospital. I am making payments of $1 each month at CHC so I CAN have medical care. I am NOT a drain on my family and friends. We are there for each other. I help them out as much as I can. I have been there for them in the past and they are here for me now. I am ONLY on SNAP (food stamps) and once I get disability, I will probably not need them anymore. I can take a small amount of my income once I am on disability, and give food to the community food pantry each month to pay it forward for my time on SNAP. There are other ways I can give to my community also. I can donate to the Pregnancy Center, the Battered Women’s Shelter, the hospital, the Community Health Center, etc. I have always been a productive member of society and paid my taxes for 20 something years. This is me using the benefits I paid for all those years. This is what it is there for. Now… get to crocheting! You can do it! or WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! Don’t let that man get into your head! You are better than this!

This Week I Challenge Myself

I am three cats short of crazy cat lady. Later today, I will reach my goal! My friend, Desiree, is moving in with her mom because her mom has cancer and needs some extra help. The only thing is, she can’t take her cats unless they put them in the old chicken coop outside. I have a soft spot in my heart for these cats since we raised them from two weeks old. The momma cat died and we became momma.

I just can’t see putting them out in the cold coop. I know, they will have heat, shelter, food, and water… But, I just can’t see it happening. So I am taking them in. which means I will have to make double batches of cat food! But at lest they will be inside. Right? Right!

Yesterday was the tobacco seminar. We started exploring our reactions just before our triggers for smoking. This week, we’ll try the AAA method of not smoking. We don’t have to skip every single cigarette. We’re just challenging each other. The three A’s are: Avoid, Alter, Alternate.

Avoid is obvious. We try to avoid the trigger. While that doesn’t work for every trigger, there some we can avoid. My big one is smoking with friends. So I’ll try avoiding one trigger “friends are smoking so must I” times. I’ll stay instead and crochet a few rows on the scarf I am making. At this point, I should be able to crochet a blanket to cover a house! It worked yesterday for avoiding a stress trigger so, I am happy with that Smile

Alter is where you alter your activity so it doesn’t trigger your habit. If you smoke while you are drinking coffee, switch to juice. Forget that! I’ll just add flavored creamer to my coffee. I am still thinking of times I can alter or things I can alter. I did think of one but I haven’t done it yet. I always smoke on my balcony. So, this week, I am going out on the balcony with a cup of coffee, not smoking, and just enjoying the fresh air.

Alternative is where you substitute your smoking with a different activity. I am already getting pretty good at that one. I skipped three cigarettes yesterday by crocheting instead.

This is a good challenge for me because it makes me feel like I have something to work for, something to look forward to.

I am off for now to get my other blogs done for today and to start organizing for our new kitties.

See, I am crazy! I am now Crazy Cat Lady!