Monthly Archives: June 2012

DRESS SHOPPING – UGH!

I hate shopping. It requires two things guaranteed to make me crabby: trying on clothes and looking in a full-length mirror. Both are pure torture. Ugh!

 No longer able to deny the addition of my 25 lb muffin top or my upcoming 35th high school class reunion, I walk into the fashion outlet feeling fat and disproportionate, and packing, amongst other things, a very large attitude.

I seek camouflage in the form of a light, casual summer dress, and bring an armful of options into the ridiculously small, stuffy fitting room.

I disrobe and look in the mirror. And . . . gasp.

“Just breathe.” I whimper to the skinny girl within, as I stick my tongue out at the sweating, menopausal woman reflecting back at me.

“I swear something’s wrong with this mirror” I groan and hear a snicker from somewhere off in the distance.

I put the first dress on backwards. I struggle to pull it off my clammy self and in the midst of the struggle I get a muscle cramp . . . in – my – RIBCAGE! I have to bend over and just stand that way for a minute until it passes. Really? Are you kidding me?

The piped-in music starts playing some loud and unkind blend of rock and rap and it feels like someone’s poking me in the eardrums with a stick. Good grief, I’m getting old.

I try on several more dresses to no avail and the incredibly small airless room begins to close in.

“Just breathe.” I chant.

I put on one dress that is so ill-fitting that it gets stuck somewhere between mid-muffin top and my monstrous mug and requires a concentrated effort to get off without damaging the dress or dislocating an arm.

An hour later, I emerge from the fitting room wringing wet and exhausted.

I nod at the attendant who looks at me questionably as she counts my damp, wrinkled rejected dresses and takes the plastic, blue, number-of-items ticket from my sweaty hand.

Although I am emotionally, physically, and financially spent, I leave the store triumphant, because I have somehow discovered the proverbial needle in a haystack; a cute new dress that will serve my needs well. It’s colorful and casual camouflage!

 Yay me!

Shoes and accessories?

That’s for another day! It should be shopping that’s easier on my ego though. I don’t know . . . do feet gain weight?

Sheesh, do I need bigger shoes?!

Categories: Holidays/Birthdays, Humor, Physical Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

ISOLATION

I thought today might be the day

when I open the door and leave my cage

Last night I dreamt I took the step

then I woke up in a panic, knowing I’m not ready yet.

Don’t ask me why

cuz I don’t understand

I’ve always stood on solid ground

now I’m knee-deep in the sand.

I opened the window and was stunned by the cold

Summer had ended but I was never told

The leaves had fallen, as did my tears

Seems I missed out on my favorite time of year.

Where did I go?

Cuz I don’t understand

I’ve always known just who I was

now I’m not sure who I am.

But I’d make a bet

I’ll get there yet

I’ll . . . find . . . my . . . way.

Just . . . not . . . today.

Categories: Bipolar/Depression, Poetry | 21 Comments

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Friday is my birthday and I’m turning FOUR YEARS OLD! Yay me!

HUH?

That’s right. I no longer celebrate the number of years since my birth. I now celebrate the number of years since my rebirth; the years I’ve been nicotine free.

 

I smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day for over 30 years; it’s no wonder no one believed that I could quit. If I was awake, I had a cig in my mouth. Every move I made, place I went, and thought I had, was based around taking my next puff. And no matter how long or hard I sucked, I couldn’t seem to get enough.

 

It was exhausting.

People say you have to want to quit, to be successful at it. But I was pretty comfortable in my addiction, until the day I caught a bad cold and learned I had emphysema. I didn’t want to quit. I had to.

 

I decided that if I was going to war with this addiction, I needed to prepare for battle. So I did my research and armed myself.  

 

I requested information from the American Cancer Society and joined their phone counseling program. I was advised to set a quit date and chose my birthday.


Then, I told people about my plan. The guy at the store where I bought my cigs actually laughed.

I learned about visualization and how to imagine possible weak moments, so I would know what to do and could combat them when they actually happened.

 

I also learned about the voice of addiction. You know those thoughts that have you toying with the idea of smoking just one cig? The thought that says you can quit tomorrow instead? That thought is your addiction talking. Ignore it. That voice still whispers in my ear on occasion, but I silence it.

“Sorry, dude, shut up.”


I started on the medication Zyban which is taken WHILE you quit and can help reduce withdrawal symptoms.    Amazingly, my cigs started tasting mucky and I put them out sooner. 

 

The night before quitting, I cleaned the ashtrays, scoured away the smoky smells, destroyed all remaining cigarettes, and stocked my refrigerator with TONS of healthy food.

 

Some previously purchased tools included a pair of walking shoes, my first athletic bra, and an MP3 player. I awoke that first morning and reached for the cigarette on my nightstand. It wasn’t there. 

“Oh, *%&$! It’s gonna be a loooong day!” I whined.

Then I got up, laced up, and went for a walk.

This obnoxious, but well-intentioned four year old has a list of THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO DO while you’re trying to quit smoking:

DON’T OVER-THINK IT! Don’t try to imagine the rest of your life without cigarettes, or even the rest of your week. Just take it one day at a time.    

DON’T ANTICIPATE THE WORST! I envisioned myself draped on the sofa crying desperately for one more puff, while being slammed with wave after wave of cravings.

They say that cravings last no more than 20 minutes, but I’ve never had one last longer than the time it takes to get a tasty snack or lace up my walking shoes.

 

SOMETIMES, DON’T LISTEN. I’ve been told that heroin users who try to quit using have a higher success rate than smokers do. Now WHY ON EARTH would you tell me THAT?! I’m sure it was said in the spirit of support, but that’s why we smokers don’t even try to quit. We think it will be pure torture.

I expected this:

But it never happened.

DON’T EXAGGERATE! You’re not solving the problem of world hunger or curing cancer . . . you are choosing to stop an addictive behavior.   Nothing more.   Just make up your mind, put on your big person panties, and do it. And don’t look back. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF! You can do ANYTHING! Be your own superhero. Afterwards, you’ll live in a healthier world that you created for yourself and you’ll be amazed at your newfound confidence.

 

So HOW AM I DOING FOUR YEARS LATER? Well, my smoking dreams have long ceased, as have my daily cravings; and my idle hands have discovered more productive activities. There are many days, and sometimes even weeks, when a cigarette never even crosses my mind. I would’ve never thought that possible.

 

There have been those of you with questions for me. Many a wrinkled, weathered face has coughed, gagged, huffed and puffed as they inquired with concern about possible weight gain. Quite familiar with this excuse, I peer through the haze and smell of the ashtray . . . and smile at the irony.

 

“Yep, I’ve gained some weight. So what. “

 

So what if I’m a bit chubbier due to my incessant new habit of popping grapes and consuming large amounts of cheese; I’ll tackle that or adjust it . . .  all in good time. At least now I’ll have the breath, the energy, and the time, to work it off and to work it out.

 

Sometimes those first few baby steps can be a bit wobbly.

But I’m standing stronger these days.

 After all, I’m a big girl now. I’m turning four.

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

(For information on quitting smoking, visit any of these sites, see notices in your newspaper, or call for free programs provided by your local hospital. Also available: hypnosis, acupuncture, the nicotine patch, smoking cessation programs, or support groups).

National organizations and Web sites

Guide to Quitting Smoking: AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETYwww.cancer.org/Healthy/…/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/index

QuitNet
Web site: www.quitnet.com Offers free, cutting edge services to people trying to quit tobacco

Nicotine Anonymous Toll-free number: 1-877-879-6422 (1-877-TRY-NICA)
Web site: www.nicotine-anonymous.org For free information on their 12-step program, meeting schedules, printed materials, or information on how to start a group in your area

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health
Toll-free number: 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
Free quit support line: 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW)
TTY: 1-800-332-8615
Web site: www.cdc.gov/tobacco Free information on smoking and health; phone hotline for people who want to quit

National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER) for cancer information
Toll-free tobacco quit line: 1–877–448–7848 (1–877–44U–QUIT)
Web site: www.cancer.gov
Direct tobacco Web site: www.smokefree.gov Quitting information, cessation guides, and counseling is offered, as well as state telephone-based quit programs

American Lung Association
Toll-free number: 1-800-548-8252
Web site: www.lungusa.org Printed quit materials are available, some in Spanish. Offers the tobacco cessation program “Freedom from Smoking Online” for a small fee at www.ffsonline.org

 

Categories: Addiction, Holidays/Birthdays, Humor, Inspiration/Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

DAD, I REMEMBER

Dad, I remember . . . as a child jumping at the chance to bring you your morning coffee.  I would slowly tiptoe across the room, trying intently not to spill a drop.  Your smile was my greatest reward for arriving with at least half of a cup remaining.

Dad, I remember . . . all of us kids wrestling with you. We’d pile on top of you in a jubilant heap of arms and legs. Mom waited in the wings for the inevitable injury and would shake her head in astonishment as she watched yet another tearful child receive her hugs, recover, and quickly rejoin the pack.

Dad, I remember . . . the time you took me fishing.  We arose with the sun and shared the lake with the misty silence and the early morning chill.  I hardly noticed the small pool of water in the bottom of the boat that seeped into the hole of my tennis shoe. With quiet anticipation, I focused on the red and white striped bobber at the end of my fishing line. If I moved my eyes I’d miss the fish. With realization, I looked at you . . . this was so much more.

ROW BOAT ON LAKE

Dad, I remember . . . having dinner with you in the morning after your midnight shift at the plant. Your tired face notwithstanding, you were my first crush on a man in uniform.

Dad, I remember . . . dancing with you on my wedding day and resting my head on your shoulder.   The safety of your arms brought me comfort like a warm, soft blanket, and took me to a magical place that daughters dream of.

ME & DAD

When I was just a child, you were so many things to me.

Now, as a woman, I thank you for those memories, and for being the person that I needed you to be.

You are still my comfort, my safety, and the best man I know.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

DAD

I love you.

Categories: Family, Holidays/Birthdays, Love, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

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