Quitting Smoking One Day at a Time...

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Saturday, October 11, 2008


I cannot believe that its been eleven months off cigarettes! Go Chantix and fellow bloggers and blogging! I never would have imaged it...eleven months off of that crap Nocodemon! Nicotine is an addictive substance that it had me strung out for thirty years! I am really grateful to be off of it; one day at a time. I just need to remember that I am a puff away from a pack a day and if I pick up I never know when I will be able to put them down. Kinda like those Wheat Thin Crackers I picked up from the store last week! I am done eating them now an do not plan on buying another box anytime soon!

For those of you who have ever read my blog, the number eleven is super symbolic of change in my life and has been ever since I woke up out of the fog of drugs back in 1987! Nmber eleven has been sending me messages for a long time! Since this is the eleventh month of my quit, I am feeling nostalgic!! Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to hitting a year on my actual quit date (11/11/09) but I am going to reminise a bit today because I am in the 1th month and yeah, eleven is special to me!

Today when I woke up as well as last night, I am wondering what new direction my life is headed. This time last year was one of the WORST times in my life....really! I would never have chosen to quit smoking during such a stressful period....it was just time! During these last eleven months, I have been pushed to do things I never thought I would do! Because of this I have a true belief in a higher power, all I could think was that I was being directed to someplace in life that I was not sure of. All I could do was keep the faith and just deal with the experience. Believe me, it wasn't easy!

Right when I first started trying to I quit smoking , I knew I could not stay at my job any longer and kick tailed it into high gear to get another one. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was talking about cutting positions while I was busy trying to find one! Then, when I was busy looking for a new job, there was a hiring freeze and I couldn't get a new job or even a transfer to save my life! It ended up working out. I got a new job when the freeze ended which was one day before school started! This experience was super stressful because there were pending legal issues along with the job stuff. At his point, I realized that waiting for change to happen is often more stressful than the actual change! I am so glad that that part of my life is on the right track.

Even thought last year was filled with nothing but change or "Reinvention" as I like to call it, I did some things I never really expected to do. I had to privilege and honor to study under professor Skip Gates at Harvard University. That experience had a very profound effect on my life and taught me to never sell myself short and I can do ANYTHING I want to do! I am following up on my plans for move into a different area of education, most likely social philanthropy. There are so many great programs for people who want to make a difference and change the world! That would be me. I never planned on staying a classroom teacher until I retired even thought I think it is a noble career. I am currently shopping graduate school programs and I will let you guys know what I find! There are a ton of fellowship opportunities and I learned that if you do not apply, you can not get accepted or denied!

Another huge change for me was this summer I went to a "Fitcamp" and was trained by Isabeau Miller from the "Biggest Loser" I wanted to train with someone who KNOWS how hard it is to change your life when it comes to weight loss and exercise and had dealt with the struggle aspect personally. I have had trainers who were pretty much athletes their entire life and I think they have a really hard time understanding the mindset of obesity. I wanted to work with someone who was not physically "perfect" but doing everything that could be done to change the physical as well as emotional self and knows that every day is a challenge and a choice! I got the privilege to work out and train with a ton of amazing people who wanted more for themselves and their lives! The power of having eight or ten people with the same mindset is a really powerful thing! Jimmy Moore and his wife Christine who run a blog called Livin' La Vida Low Carb videotaped the entire journey of all of the fitcamp attendees and posted the videos on Youtube. It was a hard but necessary two weeks for everyone and I learned so much that I cannot even explain how it changed me! I would love to see more people be able to have this experience and a career in philanthropy would allow me to focus on seeing these types of programs get funding. I love that Jimmy provided scholarships for people who really wanted to make changes in their lives. That is the kind of stuff I hope to be able to do one day!
Anyway, while all of these changes were occurring, (there were a TON more I just won't bore you with them) I kept plugging along, reading other people's blogs like Maggie, Mamaflo, Lynda and Brandie and Stan. I would read blogs, post blogs and just not light up. Even when I wanted to smoke with my entire being, I just didn't or I would just delay it until I no longer wanted one. Its funny, when I first started blogging with these people, I seemingly had nothing really in common with them except that we all were trying to quit smoking! We were all different people from different regions....or so I though! Stan and I actually live in the same state, same valley and go to many of the same places (although not together!) The girls I blog with have families and different lifestyles but we are like a little community....and I have to say thank you guys for being so supportive! There are others too that I have met in the last eleven months of this journey....if I did not mention you personally, sorry! (Some of you have blogs in other places, private blogs or different circumstances) just know I really appreciate all the people who have been there for me during my quit!

Gotta run, I am off to celebrate with a mani/pedi!



Christie O. said...

congrats on being 11 months smoke free!! how awesome is that!! and wow, you're right about the 11s. you're one year quit date is 11/11!!! that's so interesting! anyway, congrats, girl. you've come a long way.

maggie's mind said...

Congrats to you, Diva, and here's to another awesome 11 months, one day at a time. You rock. :)

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Chris said...

Your 11 months is fantastic Diva! I found this blog incredibly inspiring this morning. Being right in the middle of a "life deconstruction" exercise right now and needing to quit, thinking that it's not the right time - maybe it is.
I'm going to print and keep this posting.
Love always Chris x

MamaFlo said...

I'm a little late Diva (been cruising) but wanted to wish you a BIG CONGRATULATIONS on your continued Quit!!!! YEA for YOU!!!!!!!

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