Challenging week

I'm posting today even though it isn't an obvious marker (111 days, 16 weeks tomorrow at 6.pm) as I'm having a challenging week in many respects. My paid workload is going through the roof, I've taken on an 'online personal trainer' - based in Arizona; I live in UK - and am aching from head to foot. I'm feeling a bit despondent with my running programme and I have made too many evening social arrangements, and they continue over the weekend. On top of that my father's and my partner's father's demise in recent months is strong in my mind the last couple of days. I'm also finding it a bit of a strain whizzing up to Yorkshire for a three day visit each month to visit my mother. I've had a couple of hospital appointments to attend this week and my school governor duties come along in flurries; the flurry started this week through into next. Lurking behind all this is a desire to smoke. I'm telling myself I just want some time out and having a cigarette (although I truly know it would not be just one) would do the trick.

The message in the paragraph above is shouting to me loud and clear: I need to ease up on myself or something will crack. Next week is much calmer in commitments, but it just goes to show that buckling with pressure - albeit much of it self-generated - creates a vulnerability within me that's unwelcome.

Blah. I need to learn the lesson and get on with it. Just feeling a bit :(:eek:​.

14 Replies

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  • 111 not an obvious marker? With the Ashes coming up?

    It's a Nelson, mate!

    :D

    Well done, good sir. We all need to let off steam once in a while. Hope you feel better for it.

    You're a runner? I took it up last year after I quit. Not seriously, but I enjoy pounding the pavement a few nights a week and do a ParkRun most Saturday's...

    Steve

  • Okay Steve - a neat marker. I wonder what body part I've mythically lost. Nothing vital I hope.

    As long as my letting off steam does not impact on other's quits. But it is reality - we do have crunch points.

    I use the term loosely being a runner. I've let it drop for nearly 2 weeks as I find the 20 minute run without a walking break the most challenging. It's a huge step in the programme from running for 10 mins, walk 3 mins, run 10 a big step.

  • Hi walkabout, you know you can get through this stress, smoking will not change anything but will make you feel so bad, we need to walk into that penthouse together.

  • Yes I know Spanish. I don't know, some people just seem to be sailing at this point. And I'm not. I know we are all different, however......

  • Hi Walkabout....im just a couple of weeks behind you in quit time but, like you i can identify that im struggling emotionally where others appear to have turned some corner that i just cant find....in one of ur other posts u mentioned about your feelings recently on a beach seeing others walking and having a cig....i had a similar experience 2 weeks ago when we took the kids to the theme parks in Queensland..a great time had by all, but in my mind its like for me it just wasnt as great as it would have been if i were a smoker....my husband described it as missing the icing on the cake...

    We both stopped on 30th March but he is so happy to be off the fags...he doesn't get my melancholy but the obvious differences are that he is significantly younger than me, started smoking later and has smoked less years..he is one of those highly motivated, go getters, full of beans and ideas and loves the gym etc...these people are renowned for having higher levels of dopamine anyway so when they stop smoking they just seem to crank up their other pleasure reward sytems and hey presto...brains been tricked, doesnt miss the nicotine connection..

    If you had started exercising and in last few weeks cut down, then to your brain thats like stopping smoking AGAIN...the exercise however little will have had a significant affect on your brains chemical balance you were keeping your brain happy and now your not but your conscious brain associates that feeling with not smoking...eat chocolate, go walking/running and try some herbal supps for mood lifting via dopamine release...i have just started taking something called NuroBalance 2nd day on them and i feel much better about not smoking...i feel strong again, and i laughed uncontrollably at my hubands jokes last night...i havent done that for months!!which of course makes my husband laugh because he thinks its all psychosomatic and that im too easily influenced by the power of suggestion...He wanted to share them after my happy evening lol..but i told him no way as he is already happy re his smoking quit and i didnt want him releasing excess dopamine because he might start indulging in high risk taking behaviours...lol..(.sorry its the nurse in me, everything comes down to science!)

    regards and keep muddling through this bit, that corner to turn cant be far away now..mel

  • The flow of your posts, Melli, does make me smile..................it's like listening to a melody that you like, that takes you on a journey from a place you know you are to somewhere else completely off the wall.....................smoking - emotions - theme park - icing on cakes.........................excess dopamines - high risk behaviours. Lovely. Well you certainly haven't lost your mojo in your writing!

    Interesting stuff here, and the differences in our natures as a result of our chemical make up. Although I tend towards a sort of frenetic-anxiety nature I do believe I have low serotonin as I need a course of antidepressants about every 4 years now; it has become more frequent as I have gotten older. So, currently I'm taking venlafaxine. But even with that and champix, you can see from some of my posts that this non-smoking at times really gets to me, like this week.Whereas, like your husband, others seem to sail through. I know I won't be sailing through anything, and have to deal with my demons as and when the raise their ugly heads.

    I haven't been doing as much exercise over the last two weeks, mainly the running due to my having hit a wall (not literally! :rolleyes:) . I'll have a look for the NuroBalance, see whether we have it here.

    What high-risk behaviours are we talking here?1?

  • Hey hi Walkabout..umn...serotonin, another of my favourites....however, .the trouble with seratonin is that aound 80 % of it is produced in the gut...and thats where it is utilised...it cannot cross the blood brain barrier, hence the 10 - 20 % made in the brain, is used in the brain...We can measure by bloodworks the levels in our gut, but not whats in our brain , hence it is accepted amongst researchers that we have no way of knowing if the two correlate at all.....also with what we do know about levels, there is no agreed concensus as to whether low seratonin levels cause depression, or whether people with depression develop low levels...and there is currently a lot of speculation and research into serotonin being much less significant than we initially thought....

    ....oohh and dont rush out to get nurobalance if you are currently on venlafaxine as it will be contraindicated in that it contains plant extract that also increases serotonin levels as well as dopamine...too high levels of serotonin are very dangerous and can be fatal.(sorry but it is not uncommon in our ICU>>>), however if you are not on any meds at the moment, they would be excellent to try as they have had some positive results with mild to moderate depression....

    Haha..the high risk behaviors from high levels of dopamine...gambling that gets out of control or unhealthy addiction to anything that might replace smoking...too much happy going on in the brain, leading to over confidence, over ambition, over motivated...and it can all end in tears.....

    well back to the issue at hand...if you fear that your life situation may lead you to resorting to a smoke......think of this first....

    It is for sure not the cig we want at this stage in the game, but nor is it the release from withdrawl symptoms, as that has gone by the by..at this stage its much deeper, it has become emotional...if we smoke nicotine , it will attach to the receptors and allow dopamine the surge which our brain over many years has imprinted on memories in the subconscious......

    dopamine made pain feel less, it made grief more bareable, it made anger more controllable, stress more workable....it made the good stuff even better and the crap stuff a little less crap.....but that was ( i believe)the power of dopamine...not nicotine and not a ciggy.....

    In stressful situations we naturally release endorphines to help us cope with the anxiety, this is why exercise is great when we are stressed as it also helps endorphin release which in turn makes us feel better...I am learning how to hack my happy chemicals, of which dopamine, serotonin and endorphins are part of ......

    god when i read back over my text i realise how bordering boring i sound, i have written and then deleted many on this site since i found you all a week ago, but i will leave this one for you as you seemed to tolerate the last one ok..lol..anything to keep your mind of your worries..

    regards, mel

  • Hope i didnt put you in a coma with too boring messages..:eek:.. how are you coping now..things any better/ worse/same....im missing your dialogue, let us know how youre doing walkabout...i love your messages...your connection inspires me to muddle on when i feel its difficult....:)

  • No you didn't. It's just been one - another - of those weeks. I read your post above and said to myself I'll come back to this.Fascinating information - and I wish I had your skill for retention and recall. I didn't know this about serotonin.

    So, if there are some of us, and I know there are some good people on here who are doing their best to kick this habit, who have this chemical susceptibility that leads them back into smoking, because of over anxiety, depression, discomfort, what do you reckon? it's not with intent that they succumb, and then come back, and succumb. They want to do this. This is important stuff that you're touching on. for me and others. I know it's not the physical addiction to nicotine; that goes pretty quickly for me. The emotional remains, and the chemical from what you're describing, and I can believe it as feasible, from a lay person perspective.

    i have to say I am having difficult weeks now. Last week was awful and this week isn't much better. But I'm coming up to 4 months. I can feel that everything may collapse and it is scarey, especially when I read posts where people are carrying on, the ones who get through to the penthouse, and 18 months, 24 months.....

    So I've lapsed a bit in my posts because it is proving hard now, 4 months in, and I don't want to winge.

    Please do keep your posts up. They're not boring me at all. But I need a little time to get my small brain around some of the concepts. and this one of yours above is an important one. My work load is through the roof as well which doesn't help.

    I hope you're doing good with the new non-smoker status. How's your mojo?

  • dopamine made pain feel less, it made grief more bareable, it made anger more controllable, stress more workable....it made the good stuff even better and the crap stuff a little less crap.....but that was ( i believe)the power of dopamine...not nicotine and not a ciggy.....

    Experimenting with quotes...did it work?

    Melli, I too find your posts really interesting, keep it up! However, the bit I've tried to quote above...wow, if dopamine was making some of the bad times less bad, I'm almost glad I had smokes to help me out at certain times in my life! But I'm more pleased that I'm going to tackle future lows in a different way - smoke-free and head held high :)

    Also, nice to meet you Melli - I seem to have missed welcoming several newcomers while I was away!

    Walkabout - I so sympathise - I suffer from Doing-Too-Much syndrome, too. Some of it's unavoidable, but let's practice saying No to other stuff sometimes, too! Also, On-line personal trainer?! How does that work?

  • The quote worked!

  • Okay. hello and welcome back Incy;you on your jaunt. A bit jealous but never mind. The quotes worked. Melli's posts are very important for some of us, some of us who are struggling some way in. And may be explaining why some of us find things so difficult some way in. The doing too much, yes i'm guilty of that. But people do cope with doing too much and not smoking. It's these crunch points for some of us that are so important. i'm well off the champix now and it is hard.

  • The quote did work. The online trainer - I'm being tight over gym membership etc. I'll give you info tomorrow, Too tired now

  • Thankyou Karri...i love that article, have read it several times now..its printed off in my bag....

    .it is such a joy to have all my ideas and beliefs confirmed in someone elses scientific manner...albeit a few years old now.....

    I have been anecdotally researching the psychology of quitting smoking for several years...i had become amongst those that know me.."the expert quitter" and have each time made the choice back to smoking after several months to override of the one thing i seemed not to have mastered......it is what i understand as the deep recall sadness....the deep connecting memories of how having a ciggy at said moment would make it feel better, or even better, because being a long term smoker there are no ther memories...

    I started to understand about the chemical changes in our brains a few years ago and the more i understood it the more i felt i wanted to find a way of dealing with it, rectifying it....and i waited until i had the answers i needed and a plan of action to combat this sadness, before i planned this which i hopefully my final quit....its almost like my thirst for the neurological truht and understanding and the desire to repair the damage in my brain chemestry has become my pleasure, my ambition and driving force and that is supplying me with Happy goodies like dopamine and seratonin...if i could get to the gym i could add endorphines to my mix and the last happy chemical of the quartet is Oxytocin which releases with nurturing, mothering and delivering affection...so being extra attentive to the kids and hubby has rewards for everyone...Lol..:)

    thanks again..xx

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