A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day Two And Counting

Well, yesterday was my quit day. I stopped smoking at 1:20 AM Halloween morning. I sent out a prayer that this would be the last time that I go through this. Really it hasn't been so bad, but that is deceptive. ANY smoking is bad and I have to keep reinforcing this idea. I've changed my "I Can Quit Smoking" cards to "I Have Quit Smoking" and posted them in places where I can see them. To assert that I have quit is more final than to say I can quit. I have not gone through any major craves, but this doesn't surprise me because I've been stopping voluntarily repeatedly during the month which helped to keep the physical addiction at bay. It's the psychological craves that I worry about, but not too much because too much worry leads to stress and stress leads to temptation. I know I just have to stay vigilant and keep reinforcing the fact that I am no longer a smoker, ever. N.O.P.E. means "Not One Puff Ever" and that's what I'm going to practice saying to myself. Also, if I get into trouble I must go right away to the message boards and post. And finally, I should hang around the message boards, read them regularly and post support to others along the way.

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day and I had the pleasure of going to lunch with Bev, a friend I hadn't seen in several years. We greeted each other with a hug and a few moments later she gave me a quit present: a bag filled with mints and gum and suckers along with 5 inexpensive bracelets. She used the bracelets during her quit. When she got a crave she would focus on her bracelets (they are stretch bead bracelets) as a distraction till the crave passed. I'm wearing one now and it really helps. It reminds me that I'm done with smoking and it reminds me of her and her kindness. Another pleasant surprise was that her boyfriend gave her some extra money to pay for our lunches. I thought that was so sweet of him as he's never even met me. She took me to a restaurant/bar that I've never been to. It was very nice and I'd like to go back there sometime. Hopefully I will get to see her again and I can treat her to lunch. She told me about her family and her new job. She said they had had some painful times in the past couple of years, but now things were looking up and she was very happy. That's such a great thing, to meet someone who is so obviously happy. She said she might commission me to paint a portrait of her boyfriend's family for his birthday. I'm looking forward to getting photographs from her and working on it. I would also like to paint portraits of her children. I would do that for free because I like her and I need the practice and I love painting people's children.
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