Had To Share This

Monday was one of those days where I needed some inspiration and motivation to deal with the multitude of things being thrown at me. I came across a YouTube video with Joel Olsteen and decided to take a listen to it. I wasn’t sure if the title applied to my current frustrations but I thought, ‘Why not?’ Turns out, it did apply directly and indirectly to my situation. I thought it was worth sharing with you guys.

Who gives you inspiration and motivation during those frustrating times???

5 Months, 8 Days, 14 Hours……….

20110807_43

since I lit up and smoked my last cigarette, according to my handy-dandy QuitIt app. If you’re a former smoker, you understand what the last few months of my life have been like.

It’s hard to believe as a 12-year-old, I thought smoking was oh-so-cool. Now, as a woman turning 45 this year, I regret lighting up that first cigarette. Let me clarify: I DID NOT smoke from 12 until 44. I didn’t  join in as a ‘real smoker’ until I was around 15 or 16. My friends did it. My parents were chain smokers. It was a part of my world for as long as I can remember.

Another thing I remember is getting car sick on long road trips with my parents as they smoked. Looking back, I don’t know why they didn’t crack or roll down the windows during those endless miles. My complaints weren’t met with the obvious reaction. Instead, we’d pull into the nearest rest area so I could get somewhat of a break, as they continued to smoke.

I also remember learning in school,  cigarettes would kill my parents. I rectified that situation by throwing away newly purchased cartons of cigarettes. Problem solved, right? Uh no! More like I ended up in trouble. I was worried about my parents but it was still a time where the Marlboro man was cool and smoking was just the thing to do. My parents weren’t concerned with the years worth of damage  smoking was doing to their health. In fact, my mom ended up on an oxygen machine during the last few years of her life. Ironically, the first time I went over to see her and the new oxygen machine, she was sitting in bed smoking!

I will admit, I was the adult smoker, puffing away, warning the younger generation of the perils of the nicotine addiction. One of my most ironic and sad memories relating to smoking is: A good friend of mine, who use to babysit my daughter, was outside, you guessed it, smoking, when I arrived. I did what any good smoker does and lit up a cigarette to join her. Tears streamed down her face as she delivered the bad news: her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. My heart sank and clenched with pain for my friend and her family, even as we both puffed and puffed away. Despite the news, neither one of us thought, it’s time to quit smoking.

Fast forward a few years. My daughter is in elementary school and has asked me to accompany her class on a field trip to one of our state parks. Sure, why not, I think. It’s Spring, the weather is perfect and I’d never been to this particular park. Yeah, lemme tell you. Little did I know her teacher and the teacher she partnered up with were evidently in training for an Olympic type of marathon! Initially, I did give it a good-hearted attempt to keep up with the teachers-determined-to-whip-me-into-shape. I even made sure to keep the stragglers caught up with us. That’s right, I was the BEAST! For the first five minutes.

Then my smoker’s lungs started kicking in. Sweat glands I didn’t know existed made their presence known. Luckily, I’d established with the teachers from hell  I was in charge of the stragglers, so it became easy to slow it on down and walk their pace. No longer was I encouraging them to keep up, I was begging THEM to s-l-o-w down! I can remember at one point where they gave up on me trying to catch up with them. Not only did we finish the walk in 2.5 miliseconds, we also had to wait another 20 something hours for the other classes to arrive at the meeting point. Okay, okay, so I’m exaggerating just a little.

It was at that point I knew I had to quit smoking. There was no reason for me to be in my 30’s and ready to keel over from what should have been an invigorating walk. My mind was made up and I quit. For over 2 years. At least, in the sense that I didn’t buy cigarettes. I didn’t smoke cigarettes. But I never stopped feigning for cigarettes. It was oh-so easy to start back up. I’ll just smoke when: fill-in-the-blank. And then as I became more comfortable with the different allowances to smoke, I was a full-time smoker again.

Now, I am back into the world of not smoking. Again. After another attempt back in August of last year. I went three weeks before I just had to smoke again. I have been wanting to post about  my non-smoking journey that began a few months ago but honestly, I was afraid that I would have given in again. I am trying, no not trying, I am succeeding at being a non-smoker. The first month really didn’t bother me. It’s been the second month going into the third that had me going absolutely bonkers! It was through a newsletter for people who have quit smoking that I read once you get to the third month and haven’t smoked, your chances for remaining a non-smoker increase tremendously. That is what I held onto for dear life as the days from 2 months into 3 months slowed down drastically.

I’m still struggling with the addiction part at times but not so much that I am willing to taint my non-smoking lips and lungs! The app does tell me how much money I’ve saved as well as how my body is healing. Like most smokers who quit,  I have packed on the pounds.  I can’t even say it’s because food tastes so much better. It’s because I want to SMOKE! The next phase of kicking the habit is to turn my eating habits around. I knew I would gain weight and gave myself a time period to substitute one oral fixation for another. Temporarily, that is!  And so the determination continues into another day I can add to my time of kicking the habit. I’m off into the next journey of kicking the jiggly off my belly!

Any addictions you quit? How many times did it take you? What are some words of advice and encouragement you can give the rest of us?

Unspoken Pain

The other day, while I was at the office, “R” told me about the memorial service of a man who’d committed suicide. It always hurts my heart when I hear about someone committing suicide. I think about the person who made and followed through with the permanent decision to end their life. I think about family members and friends who are left behind. It’s during those times I feel the true power of helplessness. When I wish I had the power to embrace the world and rid it of its pain and disappointments.

It turns out I know the man who ended his life. I recalled the last couple of times I’d seen him. I scoured my memory to see if I had glimpsed a clue and didn’t realize it. I wondered how his wife and children were doing. I thought about all of the gossip surrounding the reasons as to why he ended his life. And I hurt so bad. For him. For his kids. For his wife. For everyone who knows him and suffers a great loss.

When I decided to do this post, I didn’t know National Suicide Prevention Week is from September 9th -15th but I want to share some information with you. I hope you will pass this information on. You never know when someone might be thinking about ending his or her own life.

National Events

Sunday, September 9th-Show Off Your Awareness Ribbon

The purple and turquoise Suicide Prevention Ribbon symbolizes suicide awareness and prevention and serves as a reminder that suicide is an issue we need to talk about. Download a ribbon avatar and make it your profile picture on Facebook and Twitter during National Suicide Prevention Week.

Monday, September 10th-Celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day

Tell your co-workers, friends, and family that preventing suicide is important by wearing turquoise and purple in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day.

Tuesday, September 11th-Get the Digits Day

Save the Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in your phone and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You never know when someone may need the number.

Wednesday, September 12th-Learn the Warning Signs

Every 15 minutes someone takes their life. Spend 1 minute learning the warning signs and learn how to prevent suicide.

Thursday, September 13th-Make a “Reasons to Call” Sign

There are a million reasons to call the Lifeline. We asked people to make a sign telling others why they should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or why they have called themselves. Get inspired by viewing the 200 signs on the Lifeline’s Facebook page—and please make and upload your own.

Friday, September 14th-Join a Twitter Chat

We all have a role to play in suicide prevention. Find out what you can do in your community, workplace, or circle by attending the 800272TALK’s first-ever Twitter chat. Time TBD.

 Saturday, September 15th-Make a My Lifeline Video

Help prevent suicide by making your own My Lifeline explaining why you have called the Lifeline—or a video telling other people why they should call when they are struggling. Learn more about making a video here.

Here are some signs to look for in someone who may be suicidal:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, there is help. There are people who care and will help you.

Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Favorite Thing Friday Link-Up

We will always have seasons of struggles and testing. 
There are times when everything we attempt to do will seem to go wrong. 
Regardless of our prayers and consecration, adversity will come. 

We can’t pray away God’s seasons. The Lord has a purpose in not allowing us to be fruitful all the time.
 These periods destroy our pride in our own ability and reinforce our dependency on the sufficiency of our God. 

~T.D. Jakes~

Sometimes, as we are going through trying and tough times, it’s hard to believe or even see there is an end to the struggling. Let alone, to understand the lesson or the blessing which are unseen. When I read this, it was a wonderful reminder for me.

SippyCupChroniclesFavoriteThingFriday

Mary, Mary singing "Can’t Give Up Now"

%d bloggers like this: