I Need To Climb That Mountain First

It was exactly one year ago today that I made one of the most courageous decisions of my life. I should be shouting from the rooftops today that I am one year smoke free but instead I am sitting here beating myself up (as usual) as I write this because at some point in mid July after being smoke free for 6 whole months, I gave into my urge to smoke and gave myself yet another reason to feel like a failure. 

A great many of you have probably already heard this story many times over the past year so bear with me as I tell it one more time for those of you who haven’t heard it before. It was a year ago today that I lay in bed on day fourteen of 2020 (you know, that time when we still thought 2020 was gonna be a great year). I  was recuperating from a concussion that had occurred the day after New Year’s Day from a fainting episode (see I already knew better than to think 2020 was gonna be a great year).  By now, smoking was becoming less and less enjoyable to me as I continued to battle the ongoing symptoms of my concussion and just knowing that the last thing I had done before the concussion occurred was smoke a cigarette (well only half to be exact since I had to put it out quickly as I was feeling like I may faint) it was also beginning to cause me several symptoms of PTSD as well every time I attempted to light up.

I know from everyone’s words of encouragement and supportive dialogue back in July when I told you that I started smoking again that I should not be beating myself up today or any other day for that matter and that I should also not be seeing it as yet another failure in my life but my depressive mind just won’t see it any other way. 

I was quite proud of myself when I quit that day and for several months that followed I hardly missed it at all but like with most addictions or addictive behaviours, sometimes we may have to try many times before we can actually get it right. 

By the time July rolled around I was in a very dark place and the cravings were overwhelming me and so I gave in or as my inner critic would tell me, I gave up. You see, smoking is, in it’s own sick way very soothing for me and it helps to relax me when I’m feeling conflicted or anxious but still I can’t help but feel like I have not only failed myself but my husband and children too every time I light up.

I think about quitting every day and just about every time I have a cigarette.  The effects that come from smoking are back to where they were a year ago and you would think that would be a good enough reason to quit, but unlike a year ago I’m just not in a place right now that I feel I could be successful if I tried.

At least I know that when I’m good and ready to that I can always try again since I’ve already done it before (and more than once). But for now I just have too many other mountains I’m trying to climb first and the thought of not having that pack of cigarettes in my pocket as I attempt to climb to the top of that mountain is like forgetting to put on your helmet or tie on your harness as you start to climb.

Thank you for continuing to follow my journey and for not giving up on me as I attempt to climb that mountain.  

#climbingmountains #addictions #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #dontsufferinsilence #yourmentalhealthmatters #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #panicattacks #selfcare #suicideawareness #endthestigmatogether #innercritic #bekindtoyourself

Our Own Walk

About a month prior to the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic I had registered my family to participate in a Walk for CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) in support of #MOBYSSinmotion; a confidential mobile Walk-in-Clinic for Youth and a wonderful resource for our young people who may be facing crisis right now.

CMHA has played an important role in my life over the last 6 years and I had donated some proceeds from my book sales last year as a thank you for the services they provide to both adults and youth in Canada which was why I wanted to participate in the event and why I didn’t want today to go unnoticed so I found a picture perfect place for us to enjoy a beautiful hike on our own in honour of the walk/run/bike event since it was of course cancelled. 

Oh and I should also mention that it was 5 months ago today since I had my last cigarette!

#cmha #cmhayorksimcoe #MOBYSS #hiking #waterfalls #felkersfalls #waterfallsinontatio #niagaraescarpment #ontarioisourstodiscover #thegreatoutdoors #mentalwellness #selfcare #ichooseme #youarenotalone #youareenough #ouryouthmatter #wereallinthistogether #strongertogether #summerofrich #summerofrichcoronastyle #family #familymatters #nosmoking #wheredidmommyssmilego

Who’s Counting?

It’s been 4 Months, 121 Days, 2,907 Hours, 174,240 Minutes and 10,454,400 Seconds (give or take!) since I smoked my last cigarette; but who’s counting? 🚬🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️🙋‍♀️

#thelongestfourmonthsever #concussion #quitsmoking #coldturkey #smokefree #covid19 #coronavirus #mentalhealth #physicalhealth #youareenough #istillcraveiteveryday #holdingmyselfaccountable

One Hundred Days

It’s been ONE HUNDRED days since I smoked my last cigarette. By my own calculations (I’ve never been great at math) that’s approximately 1200 cigarettes I haven’t smoked and approximately 725 dollars in savings. 

Both are quite significant achievements don’t ya think?  Both are definitely noteworthy right? Then why is it still so hard? Why is it that I just want to smoke one more cigarette even though I can see (and feel) all the incredible benefits from not smoking. And if there is to be a #summerofrich this year (an abridged version would do!!) that means that physically there will be no mountain I cannot climb and just hearing one of my daughters tell me that I am now that much less vulnerable to the risks associated with Covid-19 if I were to (G-d forbid) contract it should be reason enough to never want to smoke another cigarette ever again, but mentally of course, mentally, I hear a much different story in my head.

Cigarettes had become a crutch for me over the last 6 years, a way to release stress, manage an anxiety attack, quiet the thoughts in my head (I never hesitated to step outside at 2am for a cigarette to help “quiet the thoughts” when I couldn’t sleep) or calm the panic but what would happen if I were to give into my triggers or mental cravings right now?

Would it take away the overwhelm or change the situation we are living in or make everything better? Or would it simply just give those nasty, vicious voices dancing around in my head another reason to make me feel like a complete failure and a worthless human being?

So my question is; if timing is everything then was my choice to quit smoking ONE HUNDRED days ago one which was made with “infinite possibilities” or some kind of “meaningful coincidence”? 

#smokefree #onehundreddays #onedayatatime #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #2020sucks #iquit #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #covid19 #itstheclimb #lawofattraction #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #selfcare #ichooseme 

Things Change, People Can Too

Two years ago this coming July I wrote a blog titled “Distress Centers, Demi Lovato & Doug Ford” that I wanted to share with you again today because I feel like it is quite relevant to our life right now. A lot has changed since I first wrote this blog including my reference to being a smoker for over 30 years because as you all know by now, I no longer am! 

Something else that has changed since writing this blog on July 29, 2018 was my great dislike at the time for our then newly elected Premier of Ontario; Doug Ford, but over the last six weeks he has really grown on me ALOT as he continues everyday to prove to the people of Ontario (and Canada) what the true definition of a leader and a mensch are.

He has stepped up to the plate and  gone above and beyond what’s in his actual job description and shows his genuine concern and compassion “for the people”.  I can’t say for sure I will continue to feel the same way about him after the crisis is finally over but for now I don’t think we could ask for a better man (or woman) for the job.

Something else that this particular blog touches upon is addiction, our mental health and asking for help. Our mental health is imperative right now and figuring out ways to ensure that we take the very best care of both our bodies and minds. 

I fear that more and more people are going to come through this Pandemic with new or worsening addiction and mental health issues, both young and old. And being in quarantine many may not realize that if they are feeling vulnerable, alone or scared that help is just a text or phone call away. 

But taking that first step to reach out to someone can feel next to impossible for many, but will also be the greatest thing that you do for yourself so if you are feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed and need to talk to someone, Kids Help Phone and 310-COPE are just two of many helplines that are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; they are the definition of an essential service!

https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/distress-centers-demi-lovato-doug-ford

#dougford #demilovato #kidshelpphone #helplines #ourpremier #essentialservices #addiction #mentalillness #mentalhealth #selfcare #ichooseme #youarenotalone #checkonyourlovedones #startaconversation #dontsufferinsilence #masksoff #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #endthestigmatogether 

The Big 5-0

Fifty days smoke-free today! 50 is a pretty big number don’t ya think? But I’m not gonna lie, the road to get here has not been an easy one. There has been an exorbitant amount of overwhelm in my life over the last 50 days. Many days I’ve wanted to “quit” quitting smoking, many days I’ve walked by second hand smoke and inhaled it, only dreaming of lighting up myself but the cravings are getting less and less each day and so too are my triggers.

Addiction of any kind is difficult to maneuver and is a constant battle; kudos to everyone who conquers their quest every single day. I don’t know if there will ever be a day where I don’t think about smoking but for today I choose to crush my cravings and not give into temptation!

So for today can I get a Woot Woot or a high five please!! 👐🤜🤛🙌✊

#fiftydays #nextgoalonehundreddays #smokefree #crushyourcravings #iquit #youareenough #ichooseme #addictions #highfive #wootwoot

Day 40

Day 40 smoke-free; I think a victory lap is definitely in order today!

#smokefree #iquit #nosmoking #fortydays #timeflies #victorylap #selfcare #ichooseme #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #youareenough

30 Days Smoke Free

Tomorrow will be exactly 1 month (Jan 14, 2020) since I quit smoking (time sure flies when you’re having fun!). That’s over 300 cigarettes I haven’t smoked, that’s nearly 250 dollars I’ve saved and that’s a whole lot of Self-Love!
Having the ability to feel Self-Love is something I struggle with daily as you’ve probably noticed by now.

To feel Self-Love takes a lot of ongoing and continual upkeep of a person’s body, mind and soul in order to help maintain a more fulfilling life. Simply put, it’s not something money can buy you because Self-Love isn’t a feeling of instant gratification you desire in order to fulfill a pleasure in the here and now. 

Well seeing as tomorrow just so happens to also be Valentine’s Day maybe it’s a sign from Cupid, maybe he is willing to guide me toward true Self-Love but maybe in the meantime he can guide me toward some of that instant gratification! Afterall, 30 days smoke free surely deserves a gift in the here and now too; wouldn’t you agree? ❤💖🛍💍👡 

#selflove #selfcare #selfworth #ichooseme #smokefree #iquit #addictions #nosmoking #instantgratification #thirtydays #valentinesday #empowerment #giveagiftoflove #bekindtoyourself #cupid #fromtheheart #bowandarrow 

What Is HS?

WHAT IS HS?

A year ago today (it came up on my memory wall) I told you about a chronic recurrent skin condition that I have been battling with for about 3 years now (see blog; Antibiotics: To Take Or Not To Take). Its name is as painful to pronounce as the condition itself and when a flair up occurs it is beyond debilitating. 

Last summer I went to see a specialist who happens to be the only one of her kind in the city who specializes in Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS for short). Months prior to seeing the specialist I had been put on an antibiotic indefinitely which I was not comfortable with but it seemed like the only solution until my appointment with the specialist.

Once I finally met with the specialist she then prescribed me yet another medication that she said would be more tolerable as a long term option. 
We discussed future treatments in case the medication didn’t work, treatments which could include surgery or a very well known drug which treats many autoimmune diseases that would need to be injected into my body weekly for the rest of my life.

As you can well imagine, none of her options sounded too appealing to me. We also had a very candid discussion about many of the underlying causes behind this chronic (and basically) non- curable condition. Included in that list of causes are inflammation in the body and mood disorders, both of which have been the bane of my existence for almost 6 years now. It is also very likely to affect people (this condition in general affects more women than men) who are overweight and who smoke. Well lucky me, I was basically 4 for 4. 

I have another follow up appointment in a couple of months but I have not had a single flair up in 2 months since I began my quest to find all natural remedies for my Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis symptoms. I have lost weight and quit smoking in that same 2 month period and I am living pain free as well; all thanks to a couple of scoops of magic each and every day. And the best part is I don’t need to take medication anymore to keep the flair ups at bay. 

There may be no cure for HS or many of the other daily issues that consume my life but for now I am grateful to have found these products that are helping me focus on finding my way towards living my best life both mentally and physically. 

https://www.myvalentus.com/kfluxgold 

#myvalentus #valentus #miracle #HidradenitisSuppurativa #magiccocoa #happycoffee #immuneboost #youareenough #noshame #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone 

A Cup of Magic

The other night I cracked open a can of diet coke from the fridge. It had been well over a week since I’d even had the urge to do so and I actually felt the back of my throat start to burn as I drank it. Just 2 short months ago I literally drank diet coke for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a midnight snack; I mean if I could have taken it intravenously I would have but now thanks to the delicious cup of hot cocoa (which also comes in coffee) I’ve been drinking every morning for almost 2 months my craving, my desire, my need, my want for diet coke is completely gone. I’m even starting to believe that this magic cup of hot chocolate may be the reason that I wanted to quit smoking too! Can you imagine how the back of my throat would feel today inhaling a cigarette, 21 days smoke-free!

https://www.myvalentus.com/kfluxgold

#magic #valentus #cocoa #happycoffee #nomoredietcoke #smokefree #twentyonedays #twentypoundsgone #cravingsgone #painfree #trim #immuneboost

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