The Big No-Smokiversary

07 Sep

I really meant to do a big anniversary day celebration post on Wednesday… I woke up raring to go and somehow by the time I finished my breakfast I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to be celebrating a major accomplishment and moved on to other business (which I will get to momentarily). Each day this week I wake up thinking that I really need to get something acknowledging the “big day” written but my week just got away with me and now here I am… on Saturday afternoon, staring down the end of the week. I am not going to be able to sleep tonight unless I get this shit done!

So YAY!!! I make it a fucking year! I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 368 days! I am very excited by and proud of this accomplishment and I feel much better for having done it. A year later I can happily report that I can now walk up the stairs in my home without running out of breath. I no longer have a smoker’s cough and the associated surplus of phlegm. I no longer stink like an ashtray. My husband and son both hug me without cringing at the smell of cigarettes. Oh! And I have saved almost $3000 (although I have no idea where that went)!!!! So yeah, that is all pretty damned rad.

The ugly part of this is that I put on about 25 pounds and although I lost some of it when I started Weight Watchers last spring, I have put almost all of that back on over the summer. I am still wrestling with the edema issues that started when I quit smoking, and all in all, my self-esteem is close to an all time low. I have been finding it difficult to pat myself on the back because these things are clouding my victory over nicotine. I won a battle, but I am still facing the rest of the war.

I think I already explained why I quit WW but in the case that I didn’t this is why: I couldn’t afford the monthly fee. I know it is only $15, but when you live on a tiny fixed income that is a lot of money. I was making it work for a while but it was a stretch and I started getting resentful of the money I was spending and because I am who I am, I started not following the plan out of crazy person spite. I decided that since the only thing that was keeping me on WW was the tools, mainly the food scanner app, and MyFitnessPal now has their own scanner, I would go back to that free program. But I didn’t really go back to it because I have spent the summer as I always do… depressed and swimming in a sea of “should be doing but I am totally overwhelmed so I will just hang out here on the sidelines where it is less dangerous and wallow in my depression”.

I should be easier on myself. This has been a really overwhelming year, particularly the last three months. You have heard it all so I am not going to list the reasons I have been overwhelmed… the point is that as much as I have been trying to be more kind and generous with others, it seems I have gotten more cruel and selfish with myself… which is all pretty fucking silly if you ask me.

Fall has always been a season of excitement and hope and new beginnings for me. I am not sure why that is but I feel full of possibilities and greatness when the trees are shedding their leaves and the temperature begins to dip. This is the season I feel most alive. And winter is almost as awesome. How fucked up is it that I am inspired by gloom and rain?!?!? I am seriously laughing out loud right now (which is making my dog and cat very uncomfortable… they just ran from the room as if I were sharpening a knife and licking my lips while laughing at them).

Anyway, because this is the season I tend to get shit done in and I desperately need to get my shit together, I am starting back on the dietary and lifestyle changes I have been trying to implement, and I am going to continue to make exercise and every day part of my life (even if it is just walking on some days). But unlike when I quit smoking, I think I am going to need a little help. It is the lack of smoking that has made me realize that I really do use food like a drug when I am upset or stressed out. This realization has made me understand that I should probably talk to a professional about it. I don’t do meds, but sometimes we just need a little help figuring out how to move forward.

I just got an email from my doctor’s office reminding me that it is time for me to have my yearly blood work done; e.g. cholesterol levels, thyroid hormone levels, fasting blood sugar, vitamin D levels… I think this is a good starting point as these are pretty key indicators of overall health and nutrition. It will be interesting to compare to where I was last year. While I am at the doctor I am going to ask for a referral to a nutritionist, therapist, and to orthopedics for this ankle bullshit and I am going to just look at this as a fresh start. Just like fall.

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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in So this happened today...


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Riding the waves of dual-diagnosis as a parent.

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