Reverting back does not prevail

Yesterday was a rough one for me. I hadn’t slept well the night prior and my mood was beyond foul. My depression had returned with a vengeance. On top of that, work was full of annoying, trivial issues that wouldn’t have gotten to me on a normal day but I was experiencing unnecessary anger. I tried to keep myself focused on positive thoughts to ease the irritation that continued to build.

As the day carried on I was craving a cigarette badly. I couldn’t stand that familiar feeling of hovering gloom; my skin felt like it was crawling. The desperation for relief was real and I was determined to get that cigarette to help calm me down.

I felt the same the rest of the day until I made my way home.

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Credit: Ehimetalor Unuabona

I made a mental note as I drove by the bodega near my house that I could buy a loosey, since I only wanted one cigarette versus a pack. The downside was the price went up from $.50 to $1, per loosey. I was genuinely contemplating it.

Once I made it home and thought it over, I told myself to wait before walking to the bodega. I had cooking and cleaning to do, so with my mind made up, I opted to do those things before heading out. I was determined to get everything done in order to leave. That was the deal I made with myself.

After completing my tasks I immediately jumped into my workouts.

By the time I finished, I made my honey lavender tea and felt a hell of a lot better. It was the best I felt that entire day.

After taking my shower, I settled in and got into bed. It was then that I realized I never went out to get my cigarette. Instead of reverting back to my old habits of smoking to escape, I went along with my new, healthier methods and they prevailed.

I need to remember for future matters that just because I was feeling desperate to ease the frustration doesn’t mean I have to throw myself back into old practices. I am moving forward with healthier approaches that are clearly proving to be helpful. Why subject myself to going backward? That’s pretty thoughtless.

Today I can say I am almost two weeks cigarette free.

Oh, and I didn’t waste a dollar!

 

Gratitude for the past

I have a lot of personal issues I am working through with a therapist due to an abundance of factors in my past. I try to tell myself to leave the negative portions of my

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Credit: Júnior Ferreira

past where it belongs, then thoughts of said moments make me slip into a downward spiral of depression and terrible choices. It wasn’t until recently that I made the decision

to put my foot down and not allow these things to control me. I had to remind myself whether the moments of my past were good or bad, it still led me to where I am in this moment and I should feel some gratitude for that.

Sure, I can feel a certain way about things and get help from my therapist on how to address my feelings in a healthier manner, but I can’t disregard those damaging moments altogether either. Instead of burying the bad, or hiding from it, I can use those moments as learning experiences for how to handle difficult situations in the future.

Why be a victim of the past when the future can be dominated?

 

 

Almost a Week

It has been almost a week since I’ve had a cigarette and I haven’t thought much about it. I haven’t had any cravings or withdrawals, I haven’t experienced any restlessness or mood swings (no more than usual), it has been pretty simple.

What’s been different this time around is I have been keeping myself distracted. Whether it’s doing additional cleaning, keeping my focus on writing/reading, or getting lost in the many ‘worlds’ of Instagram, the distractions have been an immense help. Another difference is I really wanted to stop this time. Before, I knew I had to let go, but I wasn’t ready to give it up, emotionally.

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Credit: Sara Kurfeß

In the past, I would tell myself I needed to stop smoking due to my declining health, to avoid the strong, lingering smell of tobacco on my hands or clothes, and the countless stories (and statistics) of the lives lost to this awful addiction. All of that should have been enough to get me to kick the habit, but it wasn’t.  Now that I’m in a better place and getting the critical help I need, I don’t have desires to use cigarettes as a crutch.

Is this me saying I have quit forever? I’m not sure. I can’t see into the future so I can’t say if I will or won’t relapse again (damn addictions), but I have a handle on it right now and all I can do is live in the present.

 

 

(PLUS, THEY ARE EXPENSIVE AF)

 

Torturous road trip with therapy

“Therapy would be good for you.” They said.

“Opening up will help.” They said.

“Talking to someone could be beneficial.” They said.

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As I sit back and think about it, logically, I can agree due to personal experiences. There were moments when therapy was helpful to younger me and it has the potential to help again. That is if I go through the process rather than persistently hiding things. All I have to do is work through the difficult moments of my past by discussing it and learn to move on. I need to use the tools given to me to dig myself out of this grave of misery. I can get to where I need to be, in time. I need to be open to helping myself.

Again, this is me thinking of it in a logical sense.

The other, more dominant, irrational way of thinking about it leads to a rage that makes me want to quit therapy already.

I am not someone who opens up easily. Anything and everything that has ever caused me minimal or considerable amounts of emotional harm has been stored away in a vault. The vault is like my protection and it remains sealed in the back of my mind until I need to throw something else in. Not only is therapy making me open the vault to re-live the awful moments, but it’s also making me feel them, too.

feelings

I hate feeling. I find it works better not to feel.

That’s the problem. It isn’t healthy.

This is something I need to do, but I don’t know if I can handle it. This is 15-20 years of thoughts or memories I intended to keep stashed away. Right now, logic prevails. I just hope irrationality is okay with giving up the wheel on this torturous road trip that’s in store.

New Year, Improving Me

It has been all over twitter, in my text messages, even my family members began to ask the question probed at the end of the year and into the new: What is your New Year’s Resolution(s)?

On and off for years, I would make a list or have one specific goal in mind. I would stick with it for a good portion of the year, while other times I would last two weeks before admitting defeat. I feel like there’s always this pressure to do something different or change in some way and if you don’t succeed then there goes the opportunity. “Better luck next year!” is the phrase I would tell myself and then attempt to start fresh the following January 1st.

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Photo Credit: Zac Durant

For some, it’s simple to stick to their list/goals because they’re determined to see things through. But for someone like myself, I lose momentum as quickly as it’s gained. Perhaps it has something to do with my issues relating to my depression and anxiety? I have no idea, but I intend to find out while working with my new therapist.

In the meantime, I know there are some aspects in my life I need to repair in order to better myself. Rather than making some list/goals I know I won’t complete, I figure I can do one thing that doesn’t guarantee defeat. I can just try.

This isn’t a ‘New Year, New Me’ post. It always turns out being ‘New Year, Same Me’. It’s time to make small baby steps to ease into necessary improvements without the insane pressures of needing to do something drastic.

This year I am doing something I haven’t done and I’m optimistic that this will be helpful. ‘New Year, Improving Me. Gradually.’ I’m just going to take my time and go at the pace I’m comfortable with.

I have to stay in my lane.

This is the year to get reacquainted with oneself.

Here I am.

Trying.

Rollercoaster of Bullshit

Right now I am feeling everything and nothing. From rage to total detachment; I have no idea what I’m feeling or not. The confusion I experience with this is suffocating me tighter than if a snake was wrapping itself around my neck, squeezing until the lights go out. It sounds ridiculous, right? Now, imagine going through this on a regular basis- I mean, really, how does someone not know how they are feeling? What kind of mind fuckery is that?

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Credit: Akira Hojo

I am over all this up and down, rollercoaster of emotion bullshit, but these were the cards I was dealt and now I have to fucking deal with it.

There is no such thing as “normal”, I’m aware of that, yet it is something I crave. I want to be able to wake up and have an understanding for why it is I feel the way I feel. I want to be able to do something I love without being weighed down by the mass of dismay that keeps me shackled to a bed. I want to have a real reason for the darkness.

I hate this goddamn depression and all the additional problems that arise with it. To end this dismal post, I don’t believe in suicide. (note: no need to worry about me on that front). It’s not the answer for me, and it will never be, but I fucking understand it.

 

**If you need help, or if someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Lines are open 24 hours, every day, for free and confidential help.**

Cutting Corners Doesn’t Work

Not only did I cave with smoking cigarettes to the point I was on the verge of buying two packs a week, but my drinking had increased significantly, too. It’s annoying as hell because I know for a fact that a cigarette and a drink are just a quick fix to bigger issues and there are healthier ways to manage stress/depression/anxiety, so why do I continue to go back to the things that only hurt me in the long run?

I could dive in to the innumerable amount of information around the web, or in the books, and post a research paper on why, but I am going to keep this blunt: I am either too lazy or too mentally weak to continue in the effort to push through to do things in a healthier manner.

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Source: Jordan Whitfield

It gets to a point where I am sick and tired of all the work and I want my results when I want them with no more waiting. Truth of the matter is things don’t work that way. I know that from my own experiences and witnessing it happen with other people that I know.

I cannot continue to make these shameful excuses to help me sleep at night while I’m cutting corners. That being said, I haven’t had a cigarette in almost 48 hours, same with booze. I’m not perfect but as long as I make the effort I should be fine.

If you want something done correctly it takes time to do it right. It doesn’t matter if you’re building a house, becoming a doctor, working on your mental health, trying to lose weight or build muscle; things take time if you want it done correctly.

I need to learn more patience because all this haste is setting me back. Starting all over again, time after time, is worse than making gradual improvements, but that’s just me and those are my thoughts.