All in all, Rome wasn't built in a day, eh? kk1k5x accountability thread - Page 4 - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:04 AM   #61 (permalink)
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That's good news about some paid work and your call with the professor. As regards the quitting smoking I tried cutting down first but it didn't work - I felt the same way is if I had quit entirely without the benefit of actually quitting. Some of my friends have used a prescription drug called Champix (or similar) and reckon it is marvellous for reducing the urge to smoke - it might be worth investigating. As I say you need to visit a doctor to get it in the UK and probably elsewhere. I know it's tough but it is so worth it.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:12 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Thanks, sao. I am looking into different options at the moment, because I need to ...well, I can't say 'figure it out' ... find a way of dealing with it. Make the cravings manageable. I literally got triggered today by doing nothing other than 'walking out of my room in the morning'. It continued like that through the day. Maybe today was necessary for me to realise how bad the situation really is and that's it's not going to be a walk in the park.

I had some nicotine gum from my past visit to the UK. I chewed one of those during the day and it did lessen the cravings for a while. Ultimately, I still made the choice to smoke once I came upon some cigarettes.

In a way I am glad that I didn't try to do this in extremely early sobriety. I feel that it might have derailed that undertaking. Now I know that smoking is a major trouble and I need to come up with a plan. Then follow it to the T.

End of Day 186. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:48 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Started this morning with a pang for cigarettes. And then applied my 'wait 30 minutes' approach. I would say the experience was pleasantly uncomfortable. I say 'pleasantly', because it was uncomfortable but manageable. It also went strongly against the habit I've formed, so I know it can help in breaking it.

This might sound stupid to someone who has quit smoking cold turkey, but I felt like I was unable to do that yesterday. It was too uncomfortable and it completely threw me off mentally. I never expected it to not be uncomfortable, but the levels I experienced would render me useless in terms of my work and I just can't have that. After some reading, I set a reduction schedule for myself, where I systematically decrease the amount of nicotine I ingest. The point isn't to keep smoking just for the sake of smoking, but getting those levels down to a point where I can take the discomfort enough so that I'd get through one whole day without cigarettes.

Considering my quantities from the recent past, I settled on a maximum of 30 cigarettes a day for the first week. I will also wait 30 minutes in the morning when the first craving hits and I will not smoke cigarettes after midnight. For the second week, it will be 27 cigarettes, 45 minutes in the morning and no smokes after 11.45 pm. And so on. Pushing the time will force me to deal with 'not smoking' in time segments that I can handle. The morning's are also especially important, because I need to be able to start my day in a way that's not dictated by cigarettes.
From my reading, people described success by starting to limit the hours they would allow themselves to have cigarettes. Since 'never' remained out of reach for me but 30 minutes was doable, I will build from there. In their experiences, people also described that having reduced the number of cigarettes to a fairly low one, the addiction became so ridiculous for them (because they were often deliberating 'when' and 'where' they would smoke their 3 or 4 allowance) that they gave it up completely.

As I'm writing this, I also must add that if this reads like 'rationalising' then please tell me. I haven't got any experience with trying to quit smoking, so maybe I'm deluding myself. All I know is that I need to find a way to get to one whole day without cigarettes - 'never' becomes easier after that, because then I can go one day at a time. Since the point really isn't to keep smoking, at some point I will try the one whole day again when I've gotten to a lower daily dose of nicotine.

I will also have to 'disconnect' coffee and cigarettes some weeks in. You would very rarely find me drinking coffee and not having cigarette. And if I feel like drinking coffee causes cigarette cravings that are overwhelming, I will simply quit drinking it if that makes cravings more manageable.

It's obvious that this topic is what's been on my mind today - nothing else to report, really.

End of Day 187. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:58 PM   #64 (permalink)
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I hope you can join us non smokers kk1k. Thee were many things I did with a cigarette but in time you create a new normal

D
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:28 AM   #65 (permalink)
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Kk, I have no experience of smoking, only one deep puff, as a child, on my fathers unattended, large cigar. I coughed, spluttered, and sore Iíd never Ďsmokeí again, and I didnít. Sadly, my childhood gulp of my fatherís unattended, whiskey tumbler, caused altering eyes, burning moth and a similar pledge. Sadly, years later as a teenager, I as introduced to sweetened alcoholic beverages, tiamaria, vodka and orange, Cointreau etc,......ah well, thatís behind me forever now, after I because hopelessly addicted. I will never drink again.

But, on the cigarette front, I can only relay my alcohol taper method. As you have, Iíd select a schedule based on a pre-determined, reducing number of drinks/smokes. I tried countless tapers that failed, the only two tapers that worked, were based on symptom led outcomes. My previous tapers a,ways involved far more drinks, than were necessary to stave off withdrawals.

Therefore, Iíd only set a fixed schedule for three days, afterwards, it would be symptoms led. Also, I tried hard to view the drink as a medicine dose, to combat withdrawals only. In addition, I tried to never take a drink dose, in places were I habitually drank, I.e. sofa, bedroom, whilst on laptop, desktop, tablet, bench in garden, by the stream, in the wood copse, walking my dogs (oh sigh). I tried to break the actual ingestion habit, but also the association with place habit. So bathroom. kitchen, etc.

Soooooo, you asked for thoughts, when I didnít successfully taper, Iíd have a schedule that gradually dropped a drink or so a day mWhen I succeeded, I started the schedule at the halfway mark quantity wise. Kk, would your body actually notice a drop fro. 30 to 26, I donít know because Iíve no experience. But drinking wise, I know my body wouldnít notice a drop from 30 to 27, BUT my mind would. So my taper dealt with my physical body symptoms mostly, and the mental ones, I tried to overide. Urge surfing is great for this.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:31 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Thanks, Dee, and thanks, Tatsy, for your ideas.

I actually don't have a good answer for whether my body would notice the dip. I assumed, based on some type of logic that it would. Rather, I assumed the associated psychological toll wouldn't be as bad for one reason or another, i.e. we can get used to anything. Now that you've given me your experience, I'm having my doubts.
I did use the 'push minutes' again this morning and this seems to be an okay intro. It just needs to get longer in duration. Since I never Really paid attention to my smoking, I have been noticing things these past few days. For instance, I smoke a lot more in the morning (especially with my coffees) as long as I'm in the 'getting ready' portion of my day. I smoke less during the day - since today wasn't a stressful one, I notice that my 'keeping busy' activities staved off the cravings when they hit. But in the evening, again, I tend to smoke more because of a wind-down and/or infrequent boredom. As in I'm done with the day but not yet asleep. So, it's the mornings 'getting ready', evenings with the 'boredom' and stress-related if there's any during the day.

I need an answer to all those things in order to be successful in my next attempt. Today I have been below my assigned 'limit', but not by a lot and it has been a quiet day.

I watched some sports on TV, cooked a little and in the evening I picked up a book I ordered many years ago. It's Sociological Theory and I'm reading it in preparation for some likely-to-happen compulsory courses when I go back to uni. I must be acquianted with these theoretical positions in order to speak the language of other people in that particular course.

There was also the case of a 'friendship quotes book' today. I was just looking at books on my shelf and noticed one that I didn't recognise. It was one of those tiny books filled with quotes about friendship. I didn't recognise it as my own and my mother knew nothing of it either. But it reminded me that an ex-gf of mine gave me one years ago. It was lying on some cupboard etc in my early sober days and when asked about it, I just could not deal with it. So I stashed it away. Which means it took me a while to find it this afternoon. Maybe it was nostalgia, maybe something else, but I wanted to read the inscription, because I knew it had one (which is why I didn't want it in my sight in the past). It read " 'cause you're THE BEST!" on the inside cover. There were also smiley-faces made on certain quotes in the book.

It didn't make me sad at all. I realised it as a part of my past. A snapshot of sorts of a person I was at that time, flaws and all. I can't ever really say I lost someone or something because of drinking - I gave all those things up myself or gave up on people by no longer holding my end in relationships. Which is why I needed to find that silly little book today. I needed to look at a 'snapshot' and be okay with it. And I was. Now it's just another book on the shelf, it's no longer a terrible blast from the past that makes me cringe by just being aware of its existence.

Sobriety and time spent being sober have these small miracles in store all the time. Something we thought we were unable to face when starting out, but finding ourselves facing it later on anyways.

End of Day 188. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:43 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Quote:
I need an answer to all those things in order to be successful in my next attempt.
Just as an observation,that sounds a little like the way some of us approached quitting drinking.

I spent years waiting for the right conditions. or right prerequisites, to quit drinking
.
When I did quit, I just quit.

I can't really see any special conditions that would make quitting smoking that much different.

disclaimer: I only smoked when I drank. I quit both for good at the same time.

D
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:33 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Well, without being snarky, you've got me there, Dee. When I read my post and your reply, I can tell you're right to point that out and I'm doing escapism. Currently there's a rift between thinking about quitting and actually quitting. Obviously, there was no real pushback a few days ago, because when I found some cigarettes, I simply walked to the balcony and smoked them.

I feel kind of useless at the moment, because I cannot seem to bring myself to even admitting that the only way to quit is to quit. Which is crap and deflating. My addicted brain sees smoking as some sort of 'bonus quit' in addition to drinking which was 'the real demon'. Hence, my resolve is shaky at best at the current moment.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:36 AM   #69 (permalink)
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I believe the survival instinct will kick in Kk1k (no pun intended)
Smokes will kill you just as dead as alcohol will - maybe even more likely.

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Old 11-18-2019, 06:59 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Hi, kk.

Just quit.

Yes, it's uncomfortable. All the mental gyrations and excuses are just that, though.

I cut down over a period of time but it was still uncomfortable to give them up when I actually did it, so I was just delaying the inevitable. They were my pacifier, my escape, my way to take a pause. So dealing with emotions and having no addiction to calm them was different and I felt a bit like being in freefall without my frustration-solver, my boredom relief, my anger buffer, my contemplative companion.

You can do it. Nasty habit, that. You'll be so very glad to be rid of it.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:47 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your input.

I have nothing to report today. The days seem to get bleaker and bleaker, and I more depressed and demotivated.

End of Day 189. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:07 AM   #72 (permalink)
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kk, I hope you find a way out of your funk. Not drinking is a fantastic achievement.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:04 AM   #73 (permalink)
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189 days is great kk! Quitting smoking will not be as hard in the long run. I would seriously book a slot with your doctor and subject to his/her approval get some Varenicline (called Champix in the UK) A couple of people I know say they were brilliant for taking away the urge to smoke. I don't think I am breaking any medical advice guidelines because they are prescription only here in the UK and if they are not where you are then do get a doctor's OK first.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:01 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Today was uneventful. I'm going through a low-point at the current time, so I don't set a particularly high standard for what I do or don't get done in any given day.
Today's positive was the evening, where out of frustration, boredom and a general sense of utter uselessness, I started translating the book. Not as if I shouldn't do that anyways, but it hasn't come up on the agenda until tonight. I translated 2 pages in what was probably 3 hours. Given that the book is around 500 pages, that's a grand total of ...*beep boop beep* 750 hours of work. The money for which I have indeed already spent (not splurged, but spent). I'm not going to take issue with the last part, as only a fraction of it went lost in pursuit of 'the bad stuff'.

I guess tomorrow, barring the receipt of any surprise 'paid' work, I will just truck on with the book. Maybe I'll shave off another 2 pages from the total, right? The invisible ceiling for this thing (as enthusiastically set by yours truly) is the 1st of August 2020. That's actually roughly 2 pages every day starting now. Anyways - with this book, I've done more math than translating, so there's ...that.

At least I've confirmed for myself that even if I feel like ****, I don't think about alcohol. Thoughts of it just aren't there, because through some miracle, an understanding of just how much more horrible bad things get with alcohol has cristallised in my brain and so the ol' thought factory simply ignores booze.
Wish I could say the same of cigarettes. Sao, I don't think Champix is for me - not only because I read horror stories of how it negatively affects some people's mental states (and creates thoughts of suicide!), but mostly so. I have a tendency for the depressive although I've been relatively content the past 3 months. However, when it does get bad, it takes everything in me to keep things afloat and not retreat under a blanket indefinitely. I'm keeping my head above water, but there are moments when I would have to add the word 'barely' to that sentence for the sake of full disclosure.

End of Day 190. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:54 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Yeah it can have side effects though it did not affect my friend in that way, it disrupted his sleep a bit though.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:32 PM   #76 (permalink)
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I had a lot of work today. Translated 3 pages from the book and then got some paid work that will also carry over to tomorrow. Great to be able to earn a little.

It's 2.30am here, so I best keep it short.

End of Day 191. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:40 PM   #77 (permalink)
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I am content with I managed to acheive today. Translated about 12 pages for work. It would have been about half that if one of my mother's acquaintances hadn't contacted me about some translation work. That type of request happens, but not very often. Also, that's money in the bank as soon as the translation is complete, which is great for me. "cash-strapped" as I have been lately.
I still have a page to go for regular work, which has to be done by 10 am tomorrow. This means that I will have plenty of time for sleep, too. There was talk of a longer translation maybe coming in, we'll see. That would take up the entire weekend, but I'd be very content with the extra income from it.

Since today has been almost entirely about work, I don't have much else to report. Oh, I did make some pork chops in the oven. Really simple stuff, but they turned out really good. The culinary highlight of my day.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

End of Day 192. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:53 AM   #78 (permalink)
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That's good news on the earnings front kk, I hope you get more.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:36 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Thanks Sao

Today was okay. I got a bit more work for today still and finally sent in the invoice. With the random request from yesterday and the work I managed to get and complete between Wed noon and early afternoon today, I did alright for the week all things considered.

Also got an update on the recent data project which my friend is helping me out with. I should get the complete dataset next week and that'll be really interesting to read.
The PhD application is giving me problems a little bit. It seems kinda all over the place at the moment, so I need to zero in and work out the kinks this weekend, hopefully.
With paid work taking up all of my time for the past 48 hours, it would be quite smart of me to try and catch up with the book translation over the weekend, because I sincerely hope there will me more paid work come Monday.

Other than that, I am settling in for a late evening of TV shows (Ray Donovan started again, Sao - do you know this one? It's really good. On its seventh season now). As a treat for work, I bought materials for a good pizza. I'm going with jalapenos this time, hope it has a proper balance of spicy and tasty. I was also able to pay back some of the credit card red left by my travels. Consistent work would help a lot with that moving forward.

End of Day 193. I did not drink today.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:43 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Everything seems copacetic ok

I have watched Ray Donovan but I'm only up to S5. Liev Schreiber is excellent. So is Jon Voight even though I am not a fan of his.
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