today I realized that things have officially started to shift.
I love this development.
I’m still experiencing same and a few new symptoms. gotta love the bee-sting shocks. random and constant pain is my new normal. and I’m walking more slowly than ever.
I feel better emotionally than I have in a long time. if ever.
it comes from a variety of reasons.
I have the most awesome therapist.
I have accepted my MS diagnosis.
it is a blessing. it has readjusted my thinking.
and my priorities.
things that used to be a catastrophe are starting to roll off me. more easily. as opposed to the hunger they used to have. desperate to hang on.
being nice to myself for the first time…in forever.
I have amazing friends. well, they were always there. 🙂
gluten-free(ish) ain’t so daunting.
and, finally. I have stopped smoking. again. for good, I add. nine days now.
still laughing about my MS doctor raising his eyebrow at me while reading my intake paperwork,
“wait, you smoke 1/20th of a pack of cigarettes a day?”
“yes, I thought I should provide full disclosure.” I reply. very sheepishly.
“should I not have put that on a medical record?” I ask, admonishing myself already for being so honest. I don’t have to be that honest. come on!
but I do. I just spent eight months learning about being transparent. authentic. and open. I thought I was being all three in stating what is.
I have smoked on and off since I was 22. full-time for a good five years. and more than 1/20th of a pack a day.
my friend calls me a closet smoker. I guess I am. everyone is always surprised when they find out I smoke. (note>>>now I can say I used to smoke.) and I loved to smoke. oh, did I! even when I didn’t. I always knew I was going to smoke. I used to love the smell of cigarette smoke. I remember being in a parking lot in FL with my parents walking behind an unknown peep who was smoking as we were on our way somewhere…and I couldn’t stop inhaling the remnants of smoke I had picked up on my skin from this random smoker. I was seven. yes, I’m a strange one.
I quit for my first official time in 2003. followed by two years full-time off the nico-demon.
but relapsed a few times since then. in times of stress.
or perceived stress.
when we got married. which was when I had my first big pre-diag. MS relapse. one of my left-eye-control-nerves de-myelinated. frozen eye. (that wasn’t nearly as scary as my relapse this year. though pretty freaky!) back then I was more concerned about my black eye-patch not matching my white wedding dress. huh? (note to my hub’s fam&friends>>> this was not a direct result of marrying him!!)
when we bought our condo. that time was only six weeks. quitting was easy. peasy.
and then I returned to the nicotine on and off quite a bit in 2010-2011. plus a very brief dabble in 2009. after a boatload of stress. work. and other things I could not control. but I was able to stop smoking without missing it. dropped it. just like that.
this time it wasn’t so easy. I’m using nicotine gum this time. for the second time. I used to crave it after I quit in 2003. didn’t need it all the other times I quit.
I feel good not smoking anymore. my lungs sure appreciate not smoking. do I miss it? heck yes. but as numerous people have told me: I have to quit. MS lesions do not like me smoking.
I get it. I finally get it.
learned recently while listening to a Stuff You Should Know (love Josh and Chuckers!) podcast on nicotine that some people’s brains are pre-disposed (among other things) to loving nicotine. smoking triggers a huge reward system in the brain. feel good neurotransmitters. huh.
I must be one of those peeps. blast!!
fighting that too. but, this is an easy one. quitting should be easy. I can control it. this is one thing I can control.
I got a congratulations last week from the first person. ever. who realized what a huge feat it is to quit smoking. (though I know that all my smoking buddies know how hard it is to quit.)
picking life. taking care of what I can. and breathing.