addiction, binaural beats, consciousness, evolving, healing

Epiphany

The dictionary definition of  Epiphany has multiple meanings. The definition I am talking about is, ” a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.” This morning when I awoke, I decided to do something different than my usual consuming unending amounts of caffeine, cigarettes and reading the first thing in the morning . I am sick of it, I feel so trapped. I was thinking do something different, use the information you have. Smoking cigarettes is the bane of my existence. It is an uphill battle I have fought since 15 years old. I quit every year for 90 days, then something happens in life that feels overwhelming or I feel better physically because I am not smoking and return to it. Smoking cigarettes is the quickest way to deliver dopamine. It is faster than eating. I am aware this is why I am locked in this cycle.

In November 2017, I quit smoking again. I did it with nicotine gum and patches which I have done several times in the past too. Quitting cold turkey I experience a longer quit time but the shock of just quitting is so miserable for me and everyone around me. I started smoking again the end of February while visiting Europe where everyone smokes, I probably should too. I did not attempt to quit upon returning home because of the big move I was making the end of March from my birth state to Nevada. I also have brought up with counselors I have worked with on quitting smoking but their advice is usually not to quit till I get through something. Let me tell you I am always going through something or my kids are, that I can always justify smoking again. This morning I decided to listen to binaural beats for quitting smoking. I have been listening to binaural beats when I have been meditating or when I’m writing for creativity. I understand that these beats are interacting with my brain waves to help create what I am looking for. I looked at the clock this morning when I had my first cigarette, I told myself to not have one for an hour. I read online about a meditation I can use while listening to these binaural beats to quit smoking. The meditation was to focus on what chakra center the desire to smoke is coming from, I identified the heart chakra as the center of my desire. I know the heart chakra is about my identity. while listening to these sounds on my earphones, thoughts of my 15 year old self came up. The rebellious one, the poet, the depressed teenager came into my view.

As I sat outside and listened to these beats  meditating, I found myself breaking down in total tears streaming down my face. I was thinking of how I parent my children when they are struggling. I was thinking of my friend who came to tell me of his opioid addiction. I was thinking of how different I treat other people suffering than how I would treat myself. I know if my child was struggling I would not beat them up nor my friend who needs support. In this meditation I could see my past failed attempts to quit, I was able to see the judgement I have used with myself. Fear was actually the motive for quitting. The problem with using fear as a motivation is, it never sticks. I was also able to see how I replaced the cigarette addiction with food. It’s a vicious circle. So when I saw my rebellious inner child full of depression today meditating, I reached out to her and told her I would help her grow up. I am going to use the same support I would give my children or my friend who was suffering by offering solutions, being there to cheerlead, coming up with a plan. Instead of judging myself, condemning or trying to substitute.

In my attempts to quit smoking  in the past I did cry a lot, out of pure misery. I did not feel connected to this inner girl though ever in those tears. It was just a mission I was on with my will and fear. I decided if I have to listen to these beats non stop, I will. I will only allow myself so many cigarettes a day, which I have never done but that friend who was struggling with opioids did this and has been successful to wean himself off and stay off.  I am going to heal and empower that little girl inside who feels so broken and helpless. We hear information about healing our inner child. To see her and reach out to her was quite mind blowing. Truly saving yourself because you can parent that girl and rid the messages that lock her into defeat. Our heart chakra is our identity, I think it’s empowering to ask, “who am I?” I don’t want to be this helpless girl I beat up. I don’t want to go through another failed attempt. I think it’s vital to understand ourselves if we are wanting change in our lives. I think it’s important to do something different instead of thinking the same and doing the same but wanting a different result. That is the definition of insanity. I identify with that now.

I am taking into consideration the need to help my dopamine. I went for a walk this morning. I am going to take supplements to help and support my neurotransmitters in a different way. I know healthy food is the key to repairing my physical body. Smoking is a slow suicide. I think everyone who smokes knows that. I feel like I gave myself a reason to quit this morning in this epiphany of parenting myself in a loving way. I think it might be the first time I am “excited” to quit but more than that I feel I found the root of my problem.

Namaste🙏🏻

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addiction, consciousness, evolving, friendship, healing

Friend or Foe?

When we decide to consciously evolve in our lives many times that means friendships end. Sometimes you drift apart, other times it’s an ugly dramatic ending. I am realizing that they weren’t even friendships then or what I want in qualities of friends in this time in my life, anyways. They were formed when I was young and out of the dysfunction of my family of origin. They are connections from the past formed in a place and time I no longer live in physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally. When I was young I was quiet, I let people pick on me and a people pleaser. I didn’t understand boundaries or how to be healthy. When we change it doesn’t mean others do. Physically aging happens to all humans, maturing or evolving does not.

There is this thing about being friends because of time in our society and how long we have been friends. In my growth I realize time means nothing. Friendships are built in the now, on time spent together, trust, honesty and loyalty. If your friend betrayed you but you keep the title of friendship because of time, is that a friend? Not in my book anymore.

Being middle aged is a trip. There are so many people locked in addictions and dysfunctions. When we are young it’s normal to party, we don’t see the future at that point and we all think we will grow out of it. For many the party never ends. The party becomes a middle aged hell of addiction. The problem with that is that when people are actively using they don’t have control, the substance does. How can you trust your “friend”, when they aren’t in control? It’s very sad to watch the train wreck and deal with all the behaviors of their out of control lives, they refuse to acknowledge or change. They also want you on the roller coaster with them because of time. Somehow you owe them? You don’t. That’s the narcissism of addiction and the outlook of that person that everyone owes them. “You are here for me”, says the addict. It’s also looking at your watch when you want to call to see if they will be sober or not. That feels like parenting at this point in my life, not friendship. When they are raging at you in their substance abuse, do they even remember or do they just act like it didn’t happen? Ugh! No thanks!

Let’s talk about competition, I am so over and past “friends ” who want to compete with me. They want to sleep with my current guy or have slept with my exes. They want my life because of the work I’ve invested on myself to grow out of things they are stuck in, if they can’t have my life they want to be a sidekick. No way. I understand this is not friendship, it’s the anti of that definition. It is such an immature outlook to compete. I truly would rather spend time alone than in these relationships. We are all different in our gifts to the world. Competition does not honor that. What is developmentally normal in high school is not in middle age but many still live this way. If your circle of friends isn’t celebrating loudly and supporting your good news but competing, get a new circle!

One of my counselors worked with me on the issue of , I couldn’t care for myself if I was caring about the other person more. It’s true. It’s also true no matter how much love I give it doesn’t mean it will change anything or anyone. People change because they are ready and willing to either voluntarily or because of consequences.

I believe it’s really normal to outgrow relationships if you are working on creating a higher consciousness. It’s okay. It happens in marriages and intimate relationships all the time. It also happens in friendships. It’s also freeing to know you have a high standard, the things that were once okay in your “friendships”, are not anymore because you love yourself to much to get hurt in those ways.

Namaste🙏🏻

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addiction, astrology, consciousness, evolving, grief, healing, love, suicide survivor

Full moon in Scorpio, what needs to die to live?

This morning I awoke at 4:20 a.m. to do some moon-bathing. It was mind blowing to see the sun come up with the full moon together in the sky this morning. The energy we receive from the moon is different than the energy we receive from the sun and without risk of overexposure. The moon is energizing. The full moon in Scorpio is here to clean emotions and renew vision.

Scorpio is a water sign and water deals with our emotions. Scorpio is the sign of death and rebirth. The symbol is a scorpion but it also a bald eagle for its ability to see clearly through a situation instinctually. Scorpio helps us see what needs to die emotionally to give life. Scorpio is the still, deep waters of intuition in the water signs.

Under this full moon like retrogrades we use this time to heal and be aware of what needs to die or be realized emotionally to live fully in the next phase. I immediately felt my father this morning as I was outside where my dad lives. He was always outdoors by a homemade fire at home, even when not camping, backpacking or sleeping under the stars. Every time I’ve seen him after his death it’s outside under a tree. His suicide or death-day is almost here May 6, four years ago. This morning I realized there is still pain there. It is a different pain than what I have experienced already, more of a release I believe. More of a desire to have closure. To honor my dad for the amazing things he taught me and forgiveness for what he did taking his life from so many people that loved him. However I am truly realizing in his pain he was unable to see his value. That is where I can release him is that he is free. Sometimes we go through hardship to grow beyond what we would if we didn’t experience that hardship.

Suicide is a bitch slap. You are not ready. You aren’t prepared and it is very different than natural death or someone passing with illness. It takes you through cycles of grief it feels endlessly. I love him and am thankful for his teachings with nature. I miss him. I feel like I’m moving into acceptance in the grief cycle. Acceptance is the desire as we climb the grief ladder and the last stage.

This pink Scorpio moon really is here to heal. You have tonight as an opportunity to bathe or take walks, sleep under this full moon. I will sleep under it tonight if the wind ceases. It recharges us and heals us if we are open and allow it to.

Namaste 🙏🏻🌕

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addiction, Quitting smoking

56 days sober

This is my 25th year smoking. I quit cigarettes  cold turkey on Jan, 3 of this year. I am on day 56. I was living in downtown Denver in a blonde brick high rise , I had a tiny balcony  on the twelfth floor that I would sit on a modern white plastic chair Smoking cigarettes. This was about 5:30 in the morning, 19 degrees outside,  you could see every breathe, it was so cold. I would sit under three coats and two blankets , hat, gloves. It was my homeless look. That morning as I started to cough as I did frequently, I noticed I was coughing in unison with my downstairs homeless friend Kevin who lived at the 7-11 under our building. Kevin is very sick , he is still smoking in his 60’s and it was that moment , I had to look at my junkie behavior with these death sticks. I looked up emphysema symptoms on the google, while doing that search I found a website whyquit.com.

It was a website dedicated to nicotine addiction. Over three hundred videos are on you tube and countless articles for reading on nicotine addiction . They believe addiction is healed in understanding addiction, they believe only in cold turkey quitting, as a nicotine addict you have to agree to never take another puff, one day at a time. Sometimes a second or minute at a time. It was that morning I crushed the rest of my cigarettes and threw them away.  I drew a hot bath with Epsom salts and watched you tube videos  on my addiction and how it was killing me for the next hour in my bath. I made a decision In my bath sweating, crying and feeling the full weight of my addiction on me ,that this addiction had to go. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like shit. The only solution  that I would commit to not taking another puff , ever.

What I have learned about nicotine  addiction really has kept me from smoking when I want too. Smoking is an addiction not a bad habit. The thing I am finding through the process of quitting is that as a smoker whenever I was upset, sad, happy . I smoked away my emotions. On day three of this quit I wanted to kill someone. I was so angry!!!! I work with the public that is not okay!!!!  The thing I was learning was that when I got upset smoking,  I would go smoke. It would make me pause, think, get some dopamine and help with  the situation I was about to deal with. Now, not having that smoke break, time out or dopamine and the anger comes, it can be overwhelming. I found out I still need to take breaks and go for a walk or take a break and breathe and feel the emotions.

I have cried more since I have quit smoking than I can remember ever doing in my life. The bathtub which has become my safe and happy place during this quit unleashes the tears. I have spent many baths crying. I think that this is healing and it is me getting out years of pain that I have smoked instead of felt. It feels bizarre because there isn’t necessarily a trigger or current reason to be crying that much. I am allowing myself to feel and respond which is new behavior instead of lighting up.

The other thing is when you stop an addiction the grief process begins. Anger is   second on the grief scale. One thing that has really helped me was to compare my quitting smoking to my dad dying. I can miss him, I can be angry but it doesn’t bring him back. I can go through all these emotions of grief with smoking and it doesn’t mean that I will smoke again. It helped me understand emotionally I can feel devastated just like I did with dad’s death but I have to handle it and bury it without smoking when I feel emotions. I feel them. It doesn’t kill me.

Working out has helped me so much with the anger , moods, and overall frustration of withdrawal and psychological addiction to nicotine. I have a 🥊 punching bag that I absolutely love to destroy while hitting as part of my workout and we recently moved right across the street from city park, which was so divine in timing with quitting cigarettes. We moved 5 days after I quit smoking which really helped with the routines around smoking. We also moved so close to the park I can run everyday. My dogs are in love with this decision as well. I have always worked out even as a smoker. The thing I notice is how much it helps me emotionally to get into the fresh air and run. The beauty that surrounds me even in the middle of a city. Everyday I run I feel my lungs improving along with my stamina.

I have gained weight. That is super normal because nicotine is an appetite suppressant as well as a stimulant. Smokers burn 200 more calories a day than non smokers. This is because every time you light up it makes your heat beat faster. Nicotine also tells the body it’s full before it is. Some people who quit smoking gain a ton of weight. That is because they are replacing food with the cravings.  I think it’s imperative to breathe during the first three days quitting instead of eating candy or food during a craving.

You can drink juice to keep your blood sugar up as nicotine affects the blood sugar. Deep breathing with the nicotine cravings is what helped me this time quitting. With addiction I think it’s easy to replace one with another. I don’t want have to loose 50 pounds because I quit smoking and replaced that addiction with a food addiction. A lot of people feel it’s better to do that than to continue smoking but I feel it’s just as dangerous to get addicted to sugar after quitting. Breathing calms and exercise is essential. I do and did mad amounts of yoga during this time. Sometimes I would be in a yoga pose and I would scream, I wanted a cigarette so bad. I found that gave me a lot of relief. Yoga helps because the pose is painful just like the experience with quitting smoking. It helps to reinforce the experience with the pose and the gains through the pain.

I have found myself depressed lately as the latest on the long list of symptoms of quitting smoking. Nicotine has been my drug since I was 15 years old. Nicotine gives me dopamine. That makes me happy. I no longer am getting that dopamine. I have to work at it by working out. Nicotine is also a stimulant so it gets you going. Not having that makes me feel tired and not as motivated. One thing I have to focus on in my depression is acceptance that this should be hard.

I have smoked longer than I haven’t. I have done so many things with my cigarettes I consider them my friend! Doing things without them will be difficult because it’s all new behavior. I think it is the resistance in our thinking that we shouldn’t be feeling or experiencing what we are. This is like learning how to ride a bike, learning how to walk. The hardest thing for me is giving myself permission to suck. Addicts are very hard on themselves. I am a total perfectionist. For me to come to a place where I allow myself to gain 7 pounds to achieve this goal of quitting smoking  was a lesson. I taught myself how to accept myself through that. I worked out hard everyday, I cried several times a day. I freaked out on my poor boyfriend often. It was a day at a time. My whole life has centered around my sobriety to nicotine this past six weeks.

I have barely spoken to friends. Telephone and cigarettes are like peanut butter and jelly. I have stayed away from phone calls to make my life easier during this quit. I text more.

I try everyday to do my gratitude list when I am at my wits end . I tell myself everything positive that had happened during my quit. I am grateful for not smelling like an ashtray. Disgusting! I am grateful my circulation is better I used to be cold and uncomfortable. I have to accept that I have to do other things to get the dopamine I got from smoking that aids in my natural depression.

In closing, whyquit.com has a Facebook support group at:img_2790

Statistics show addiction is overcome with support and community. This support group has been helpful in my quit, when I have been struggling and having hard days with the quit to go online where everyone is going through this process of quitting or has gone through it.

Have you quit smoking? Comment on what worked for you.

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

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