Author Topic: Today I quit. Tomorrow, I'll quit again. (A journey through one man's recovery)  (Read 17027 times)

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Offline SRains918

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Can't thank you enough Irish.  Can't tell you how many times I've read through this.  It was the foundation and nourishment to my quit.
It is said that any fool can count the apples on a tree, only God can count the trees in an apple seed.
God bless you and keep you, for you have planted many, many seeds.
Man, I'm so glad to see this here. My little black heart skipped a beat when I saw it!!!

This was all sooooo important to me when I first quit and is something I kept going back to over and over and still do. I finally stole a bunch of it from Tapa and quoted it into MY intro just so it would be accessible (full credit, of course).

Thank you!!!
... "If you want to be quit you need the help of others. To stay quit you need to help others quit." - walterwhite .......... My HOF Speech .......... Day One 9/29/17 ... HOF 1/6/18 ... 2nd Floor 4/16/18 ... 3rd Floor 7/25/18 ... 1st Lap 9/28/18 ... 4th Floor 11/2/18 ... 1/2 Comma 2/10/19 ... 6th Floor 5/21/19 ... 7th Floor 8/29/19 ... 2nd Lap 9/29/19 ... 8th Floor 12/7/19 ... Now accepting applications for F.U.R.Y. Council 2.0 - text for details ...

Offline Athan

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Can't thank you enough Irish.  Can't tell you how many times I've read through this.  It was the foundation and nourishment to my quit.
It is said that any fool can count the apples on a tree, only God can count the trees in an apple seed.
God bless you and keep you, for you have planted many, many seeds.
"I hope you find a thousand reasons to quit today" Rawls
"I can't quit for you. I will quit with you" Ready
"There are two dogs in the fight, which one are you feeding?" SuperDave9000
"In the Navy we had morning muster. You never miss muster. You better be dead if you miss. If you are dying, you should have started crawling earlier, no excuse." Olcpo

The Science of Addiction
The Law of Addiction
The Road Called Recovery
My Intro and HOF Speech
Quitters I've met: Cbird, UncleRico, Gregor, KDip, Broccoli-saurus, Croakenhagen, BriagG, Koba, Kodiakdeath, Arrakisdq, McDave, Worktowin, SkolVikings, JGromo, GS9502, PaDutchman, Stillbrewing...
wildirish317
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Offline wildirish317

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May 04, 2018 @ 9:37 PM

The Value of Documenting Your Journey

I really was on a search for more on the topic of the law of addiction, in "Freedom from Nicotine" when I found this:

While "one day at a time" is an excellent victory yardstick, imagine the value of being able to look back and see what each day was like. Consider jotting down a few calendar notes or diary entries about what early recovery was like and the challenges overcome. Although not necessary to success, doing so could prove valuable later.

Why would anyone want to vividly recall the first few days of recovery, days which could reflect a blend of frustrations, anxieties, crave episodes, anger, bargaining and sadness? The same reason we need to remember, in as much detail as possible, daily life as an actively feeding nicotine addict.

We've all heard that "those who forget the past are destined to repeat it." It's hard to imagine a situation where it rings truer than with drug recovery and relapse. Humans tend to repress and inhibit negative emotional memories, and emotional experiences in general.146 Instead, we remember and replay the good, while forgetting the bad.

Imagine if it were otherwise. A vivid picture of all the pain, anxiety and hurt of all our yesterdays would be a heavy burden to bear. While your mind may quickly suppress memories of the challenges overcome, ink on paper or words typed into a computer are durable. The best way to protect against complacency isn't by forgetting what bondage or recovery was like, but by accurately recalling them.

It's wise to make a record of both the reasons you want to break free and what the first couple of weeks were like. Consider sending yourself an e-mail before bed. And here's an example of why.

Imagine hitting what feels like a recovery plateau, where you no longer sense improvement. Imagine feeling stuck and wondering if it's going to remain this way for good, as if a rose bud had stopped opening.

Now imagine being able to look back and read your own progress notes. Like having a medical chart during a hospital stay, your record can provide accurate perspective of how far you've come. It can help calm concerns that recovery has stalled. Although at times nearly impossible to see, I assure you, recovery's rose bud continues to slowly unfold.

Consider it a present gift of future memory. Consider it free relapse insurance. A few memory jogging notes when starting out could become invaluable during challenge, lulls or once complacency arrives.


I did this, for my first two years. I still go back to it when I feel the need. It's like a soft leather chair. I find comfort there. If you are in the early stages of recovery, I urge you to do this. If you are in later stages, find someone who is in their early stages, help them through it, and document that process.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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September 19, 2017 @ 9:16 PM

Dip Dream #4 (I think). Day 573

No lead in to this one. Just a flash, a pinch between my cheek and gum, the squeeze forcing the juice out where I could taste it. The the aftermath. It was just a pinch. Does this ruin my quit?

Yeah, it does. You can't have just one.

Dream on, nic. I'm not coming back.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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July 26, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

I am Quit
Ginet wrote:
Day 393. My quit is strong today. Several people around me spent the day packing their lip, one dip after another. I heard addict speak like "I will quit when the price goes up to $6 bucks because that is way too much money". I heard a person wanting to buy an e-Cig cuz they decided its better than smoking cigarettes. I even saw a person post a Day One here.

I watched those people around me snap the can, grab a pinch and stuff their lips. Then adjust the chaw just right with their tongue. Some spit in a use beer can, one in a bottle, another in a trash can and yet another in the sink. I smiled because it wasn't me. I am not them. I am quit.

I listened to the statement about the price of the can. I know I am an addict. They do not. They don't know what I know. I know I would continue to pay ten dollars for a can if that was the price because I am an addict. I grinned because that wasn't me. I am not them. I am quit.

I was sad to hear that one person thought an e-cig was a good idea. Not understanding how it is only a different delivery system with other risks not yet fully known. They aren't educated like I am about this now. I was thankful that wasn't me. I am not them. I am quit.

I was excited to see the post of day one in May 2015. All the emotions came flooding back to me of my day one. The beginning of the rest of my life they called it. The best decision I will ever make another echoed. Welcome to the suck they typed.

That's when I accepted it. That is me. All of it is me. I did the same. I thought the same. I lived the same. The only difference is, I'm quit. Never forget that you are an addict.....in whatever form your education, hard work, and dedication to others may be......you are still that addict.”

~Lady G ~ LF


Thank you Lady G. I shared this quote with the August 2016 group as Sacksy and I conducted them to the HOF. They're all moderators now, so you can take pride in helping them shape their quit and step up to lead others.

I place this here because it strikes a chord with me. Back in the day, before KTC, (before it existed, actually) I was trying to come up with some way to reprogram my mind to that of a non-user. You remember a time before you used nicotine? That's what I'm talking about.

But you can never go back. Hard as you try, you can never go back.

We must go forward. We go forward as Quit.

We don't have "just one" because we are now Quit.

We've moved through life. At one point we were non-users. Then we became users. Then we became addicts. Now we are quit.

Stay quit.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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July 17, 2017 @ 6:06 PM

Maintaining a Sense of Humor day 509

Somewhere along my quit, I lost my sense of humor. Everything became serious, urgent, and either good or bad. My sense of humor went away, and I didn't even realize it. I fought more with Mrs. Irish. She couldn't express an opinion about any topic. If I didn't agree with her, I flew into a rage. If I agreed, I'd simply mumble an acknowledgement.

Such has been my life for the past few months.

This past weekend, it came to a head. I started catching myself as I was starting to rage and just say to myself "stop!". "It's not that important." "See the humor in this." It's then that realized I'd lost my sense of humor. Nothing was funny anymore. I used to be the guy that could see humor in any situation, but that slipped away during my quit. Actually, I let it slip away.

So how did I find it? Like everything else related to fighting an addiction, it takes concious effort, until it becomes a daily habit. I started looking for the humor in every situation that I encounter. When I start to get mad, I stop and think "this has got to be funny in some way" and then I find a way to put a funny spin on it. It helps that I can laugh at myself (although I stopped laughing at myself when I lost my sense of humor, so the two must be related).

Just a quick thought for the day. I'll come back to this.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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April 07, 2017 @ 9:44 PM

Time to Leave KTC? (meet the Nic Bitch’s sister) - day 408

If you want the wise man's answer to this question, you'll find it here.

I don’t fight cravings much anymore. In fact, in the past 100 days, I’d say I’ve had about 2. However, I do have urges to leave KTC, leave the 4 GroupMe’s to which I belong, and wander off on my own. In the past 100 days, I’d say I’ve had about 27.

So, 27 urges to bolt, vs. 2 urges to cave, vs. 71 urges to stay the same.

Most days, life is good. I wake up, walk the dogs, post roll, go to work, come home, walk the dogs, piddle around the house, cook, eat, watch TV, and go to bed. At two points during these days, I get the urge to put a pinch of Copenhagen between my cheek and gums. I think about that for a minute, the whole idea, the 38 years I spent doing just that, the abrasion in my cheeks, the swallowing of tobacco juice because I just don’t spit, the enslavement. Then it’s gone. I’m out of that cage. I’m not going back.

Other days, the other 27 out of the 100, I’m down. I log on to KTC and post roll. I visit some “newbie” sites, where quitters are struggling through the first 3, 5, 10, or 100 days, and I make comments. I meet resistance, which I usually do, but on these days, I let it get to me.

IDGAF, I think to myself, but I do. I care about these people, strangers who are sharing the same addiction. Still, I want to walk away. No one knows what I’m going through. These people are anxious. I’m depressed. They don’t know. They don’t care.

Then, I get a text. “You doing okay?” Jesus, how do they know?
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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February 24, 2017 @ 8:41 PM

1st Year Anniversary - “I got this!” Day 366

I’ve been interested, during most of my quit, on what makes a person cave. With all of the retreads I see posting a new Day 1 every day, it intrigues me. Also, it seems that retreads have a much more difficult time than first time quitters. We have people like Siren, who has had three or four tries at quitting, but never takes his quit seriously. Then we have people like Swanson Approves, who made it well past HOF, left KTC, then came back to post another Day 1, only to fade away before HOF this time.

Why does a person cave? Why is it that retreads rarely match the number of days quit as their original attempt?

I’ve been asking the wrong question. The answers to the above questions is “It doesn’t matter. Failure has all the excuses in the world.”[/size]

I should be asking “What makes a retread a successful quitter?” The answer to this question answers the question “What makes a successful quitter?” I’m going to attempt to answer this based on my knowledge of two quitters: Danojeno and suthern_gntlman. I’m sure both will be along to correct my inaccuracies.

Suthern_gntlman posted his first day one on April 29, 2015 with “Quitting for the upteenth time! This time is the last time!” But, it wasn’t.

On March 23, 2016, suthern_gntlman posted 330. The next day, he posted Day 1. Suthern_gntlman was a pretty consistent roll poster, not 100%, but he didn’t miss many days. He didn’t leave the site and then cave. Today, he posted 338. He’s surpassed his previous “attempt”. Why do I think he is now quit? Let’s see what’s different about our now quit brother:

Here is one of his responses to the three questions: “I've had problems with this site from day one. The vulgarity is a huge issue with me, not to mention having to make a promise. Because of this I don't think I was ever 100% all in. Posting roll every day, was a competition. I wasn't really posting roll to stay quit; I was posting roll because it was the thing to do.”

You can tell by this that he examined the past 330 days of his quit, and determined why he wasn’t quit yet, even though he thought he was. Let’s look at part of his response to the third question:
“Certainly this site/forum is a tool that I can use. My own personal question is how can I use this tool to better myself?
Posting roll has to be about more than just making sure I don't miss a day. I don't mean making promises I can't keep either, for I still have issues with that.
I'm talking about being more involved. I'm going to warn you though. If I get more involved, I'm going to be a pain the side for a lot of you guys/gals. The vulgarity really needs to stop
I will not be just posting in my group, but in other groups. My posts will not just be good job and way to go. I will be posting bible scripture and encouraging thoughts.
This is who I am and for me to truly be fully involved in this, I'm going to have to stay true to who I am. If this is going to be a problem, we can part ways and I will move on down the road.”
Is he doing the things he said he would do? From what I see, yes he is. One thing I want to point out is that you have to be yourself at KTC. You won’t like it here very long if you try to be someone you’re not.

Danojeno was one of the first people on KTC to really reach out to me. This was before I even knew what a retread is. He’d been quit for a year when we first exchanged texts. I’d been quit for four days. He was rock steady, and helped me get through moving my daughter and son-in-law to their new house (via text) . I had strong cravings that day.

On August 29, 2014, Danojeno posted day 62. He quit on his own, fought the battle for two months, looked for help, and found it here. He seemed to be an active member of the October 2014 group, averaging 3.2 post per day. He made it to day 246 before a “planned cave” in Las Vegas on March 1, 2015. He immediately posted Day 1 on March 2nd.

His answers to the three questions were not as introspective as suthrn_gntlman’s.

“My failure was directly linked to being complacent and not reaching out. That's what this place is all about. It's not JUST about posting roll. It is about being involved in your group. I pledge to be much more involved in actively making contact with other quitters in this group and others I so fucked-uppedly turned my back on in my hours of darkness. Let this be a loud fucking warning. I have been here before and trust me, it is so much worse a 2nd time around, I can't even explain the misery. That said, though I'm an addict, I AM stronger than these chemicals and will prove myself worthy every single day.”

However, there is a tone of repentance and determination to change in this post. Is he doing the things he said he would do? He went from 3.2 posts per day prior to his cave to 24.2 posts per day since then. I would say yes.

So, what does a person have to do to stay quit? Post roll every day? Post 3 or 4 times a day? Spend a lot of time in chat? I will offer that these are indicators of a strong quit, but in and of themselves, just doing them for the sake of doing them does not make a strong quit. A strong quit takes determination. You have to make your quit as important as anything else in your life. If you really want to stay quit, make it as important as life itself.

You wouldn’t stand on the tracks in front of an oncoming train. You need to develop that same thought towards using nicotine. When your quit is as important as eating, you don’t even think about posting roll when you get up in the morning; you just do it. You browse through the new quit groups every day or every few days, just to see what’s going on. You become interested in others’ quit because quitting is important to you. It’s like reading Sports Illustrated, HGTV, or some other enthusiast magazine.

Another thing that makes a strong quit is becoming a part of this family we call KTC. Like all families, there are members we can’t stand, members that drive us crazy, members that we pity, members that we envy, and members that we want to be with every day. Our common family bond is our addiction, which is stronger than some blood families have. We have a place that we can always call home. Good, bad, and ugly, I feel at home here.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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December 19, 2016 @ 8:54 PM

Dip Dream #3 - The Betrayal day 299

Really? Day 299 I have a dip dream? WTF?

It's a warm sunny day, I'm in my convertible with the top down, sitting outside a convenience store. I'd just put a pinch between my cheek and gum. WTF?

There was no lead up to this moment, no opportunity to use the tools I have at my disposal, no decision. The decision was already made. I caved. Now what? I can't hide this. I can't undo it. What's done is done. Almost 300 days wiped clean. I was chasing Suthern Gntlman's 330 days before he caved. I failed. I woke up to one of the worst feelings of my life.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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November 05, 2016 @ 7:46 PM

The Continuing Fight With PAWs day 255

This was a brutal episode (didn't lead to a brutal cave though, haha). It came on Friday afternoon, snuck up on me. I work with Autodesk products, and if you know anything about them, you know that they can raise your level of irritability in record time. So, I'm building a 3d model of a piping system, and I can't get the damned program to put a valve in a pipe. It keeps putting it on the floor, directly below the pipe, which is 20 feet in the air. I'm screaming obscenities at my computer. It's 4:00 on Friday afternoon. My week, essentially, is over.

This particular Friday, Mrs. Irish and I are watching our grandson, Phin overnight. Phin is two days younger than my quit. He's just started crawling, and a boatload of fun. I know I'm irritable, so I make sure to watch myself around Phin. For the most part, Phin is enjoyable, but he's a baby, and babies have crying spells. I take them in stride, and don't let them bother me. This is pretty easy to do with Phin, because he's so fun when he's not crying, and he doesn't cry much.

The problem is, when you suppress your anger in one area, it pops up in another. Last night, it happened to be the KTC GroupMe's that I belong to. I started to take my anger out on them, but left the groups instead. I can't leave them all. I created the June 2016 GroupMe. The only way I can leave that group is to end it. Talk about digging a deep quit hole, this is about half of the depth of mine. The GroupMe for my quit month sits squarely on my shoulders. That's another way you guys support me and my quit. As long as you're in the GroupMe, I have to be there.

So today, I had a lot of plans. I started my day by taking my car to the dealership to get the air bag replaced. My car had one of the dreaded Takata air bags that sends shrapnel into the occupant should it deploy. I feel safer now. After that, we ate lunch and took Phin back to his parents, then off to the furniture store to pick up a bed frame that Mrs. Irish ordered. The bed frame included a head board, which didn't fit into the back of our Honda CRV. So we drive a couple of blocks to the UHaul and get a cargo van to get the thing home. My temper, for the most part, has been pretty mild through this.

We get home and I start putting the bed frame together while Mrs. Irish runs to the store to get some groceries. She gets home an hour later, and I'm still putting the bed frame together, and starting to get irritable. It's time to walk the dogs, and I still want to go to Cabela's because I have an employee discount coupon, and I want to put a new speaker cover in my car, along with a new cowl cover (that plastic piece that sits at the base of the windshield and channels rain water safely to the sides of the car). I can see that these things are not going to get done tonight, maybe not even this weekend. It's time to walk the dogs.

During the dog walk, Derby, who I'm walking, reaches down and snatches a napkin or Kleenex or something. I yell at him to drop it, and then smack him on the snout and scream at him. Finally, I pry his mouth open and scrape the paper out of his mouth. Mrs. Irish asks me wtf is wrong with me. Did something happen that's put me in this mood? Then it occurs to me, PAWs.

I look it up. It's in my signature for a reason.

"As you continue to recover the good stretches will get longer and longer. But the bad periods of post-acute withdrawal can be just as intense and last just as long."

"There is no obvious trigger for most episodes. You will wake up one day feeling irritable and have low energy."

"You'll also have lots of bad days. On those days, don't try to do too much."

I'm trying to do too much. Cabela's can wait. My car can wait. I'm just going to relax.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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October 24, 2016 @ 10:18 AM

Dip Dream #2 - Day 242

I convinced myself to try to test the Law of Addiction and have one pinch between my cheek and gum. I bought a log of Skoal. First, I rarely used Skoal during my 38 years of tobacco use. Second, I have never bought a log in my life. The dream ended with me looking at the top can of the log, just studying it.

I have to constantly guard against testing the Law of Addiction. I've never been quit this long. I take it on faith, this Law of Addiction, that one dip will lead me to using again; just as putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger will lead to my death. I don't need to test these things.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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July 08, 2016 @ 6:11 PM

Getting to - "Not thinking about it anymore" - day 134ish

I've read several posts, on several quit groups, where people say they've stopped posting roll because they only think about nic when they post roll. They don't want to think about nicotine anymore.

I think about nicotine every time I visit this site. In fact, I visit this site because I want to think about nicotine. I am an obsessive personality, and I'm currently obsessed with nicotine. That's why I've researched it so much, and shared most of this research in my intro thread. They say that PAWs lasts for two years. They say that, after five years, relapse is rare. After 38 years of tobacco use, 5 years is a small period of time.

There you go. I want to keep that bitch in front of me, where I can see it until my chance of relapse is rare. I've had too many times in the past 100 days that, if I didn't start the day by finding that bitch and keeping her in front of me, she would've snuck up behind me and crawled up my ass.

Not thinking about nicotine is for people who've never used nicotine. We threw that option away with the first dip or drag on a cigarette. We are addicts, and cannot become un-addicted.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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July 01, 2016 @ 1:16 PM

Living with PAWs - day 128

Mood swings
Anxiety
Irritability
Tiredness
Variable energy
Low enthusiasm
Variable concentration
Disturbed sleep

Mrs. Irish and I started off on our daily walk with the dogs this morning. I had set two sprinklers out in the yard last evening, and ran them for a couple of hours because our grass is getting dry. The sod is less than a year old, and we are concerned that it may die if it gets too dry.

Mrs. Irish asked if the sprinklers had covered the entire yard, and I blew up. Our morning routine consists of a series of rituals that result in me leaving for work between 7:05 and 7:10. There is no room to add any tasks. Now I'm faced with repositioning the sprinklers and turning them on. I respond in an angry manner and, Mrs. Irish being who she is, took me to task.

She pointed out several occasions over the past couple of weeks where I have reacted in anger to normal life events. I hit my head on a lamp frame and let loose a long string of f-bombs, far too many than the event warranted, for example. Some of the things she told me about, I don't recall. I began to think maybe I'm losing my mind. I thought about NewTexican, and his enrollment in anger management classes.

Is this all due to quitting nicotine? Should I go back to nicotine to return to a normal life? (See how sneaky the nic bitch can be? I even had a dip dream last night.) I was totally freaked out. Then I remembered PAWs. Hell, it's in my signature. I click the link and there are the symptoms, plain as day. Anxious, irritable, tired, low enthusiasm, variable concentration, yes, that's how I feel. Damn. So, what do I do about it?

I click on the link that leads me to the PAWs web page.. Here, I find the beginning of my answer. I say beginning because these are general guidelines, and I have to figure out how to apply them to me, here and now. This is what I find:
"Give yourself lots of little breaks over the next two years. Tell yourself "what I am doing is enough." Be good to yourself. That is what most addicts can't do, and that's what you must learn in recovery. Recovery is the opposite of addiction.

Sometimes you'll have little energy or enthusiasm for anything. Understand this and don't over book your life. Give yourself permission to focus on your recovery."


And:

"Being able to relax will help you through post-acute withdrawal. When you're tense you tend to dwell on your symptoms and make them worse. When you're relaxed it's easier to not get caught up in them. You aren't as triggered by your symptoms which means you're less likely to relapse."

What I am doing is enough. Don't over-book myself. Learn to relax.

That's my plan.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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May 11, 2016 @ 1:38 PM

Answering the three questions – Reprise

I am now at day 77. Two months ago, I posted some thoughts in here about how cavers should go about answering the three questions. These thoughts were based on what I had learned about addiction and caving to that point. Not having caved, I can't, and don't ever want to, speak from experience. That's a major reason why I'm so interested in the subject of addiction and relapse. It's too late for me to prevent the addiction, but I can prevent relapse, if I learn how to do it.

So what have I learned recently about caving (relapse)?

Relapse is a process, it's not an event.

It's actually a three step process, consisting of the following:

Emotional relapse.
Mental relapse.
Physical relapse.


In emotional relapse, you're not thinking about using. But your emotions and behaviors are setting you up for a possible relapse in the future.

The signs of emotional relapse are:

Anxiety
Intolerance
Anger
Defensiveness
Mood swings
Isolation
Not asking for help
Not going to meetings (or not posting on KTC)
Poor eating habits
Poor sleep habits

These signs sound familiar? Go back a few posts and read about post acute withdrawal symptoms. Seriously, learn to relax. Make sure you have others you can share this with. Recognizes these symptoms for what they are. You are moving in the direction of a cave.

If you don't get yourself turned away from caving during your emotional relapse, you will move into mental relapse.

In mental relapse there's a war going on in your mind. Part of you wants to use, but part of you doesn't. In the early phase of mental relapse you're just idly thinking about using. But in the later phase you're definitely thinking about using.

The signs of mental relapse are:

Thinking about people, places, and things you used with
Glamorizing your past use
Lying
Hanging out with old using friends
Fantasizing about using
Thinking about relapsing
Planning your relapse around other people's schedules

It gets harder to make the right choices as the pull of addiction gets stronger. If you don't catch yourself here, you will cave.

When you get the craving, play it through in your mind. Get past the cave and imagine what life then looks like. Remember posting day 1. Remember the suck. Remember how you felt when you initially tossed your can and posted day 1. That's where you will be. It will be like you never quit, because you didn't quit, you stopped.

Reach out. This is the time to open your contacts list and text or call someone and let them know what's going on with you.

Distract yourself. Go for a walk. Get on KTC and go to the Wildcard section and play "This or That", "One Word Post", or "Count to a Million".

Get through the next 30 minutes. Promise yourself to wait 30 minutes before using or buying nicotine, and then wait.

Remember one day at a time. Promise yourself you will get through today. Then go on KTC and post a promise to get through today. Post and ghost, if you have to. Just make that promise.

Do something that relaxes you (assuming this is not alcohol or drugs).

If you don't do something like mentioned above, and get yourself turned around during the mental relapse, you will find yourself in the car on the way to get nicotine. At this point, you will cave.

So, how does this change my advice on answering the three questions? The answers to the three questions lie much earlier in the caving process than I originally suspected. "What happened?" should describe the mental relapse. "Why did it happen?" should examine how the caver moves from emotional relapse into mental relapse. What will change? What will the caver change to recognize when he/she is in emotional relapse and GTFO? Nothing changes, if nothing changes.

“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo

Offline wildirish317

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May 05, 2016 @ 12:36 PM

How to Survive Post-Acute Withdrawal

I feel much better than I did yesterday. I'm still in the funk, but coming out. More from the linked page of yesterday, with my comments interspersed.

Be patient. You can't hurry recovery. But you can get through it one day at a time. If you resent post-acute withdrawal, or try to bulldoze your way through it, you will become exhausted. And when you're exhausted you will think of using to escape. One day at a time. We see this a lot.

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms are a sign that your brain is recovering. Therefore don't resent them. But remember, even after one year, you are still only half way there. (Two focking years. 'facepalm'')

Go with the flow. Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable. But the more you resent them the worse they'll seem. You'll have lots of good days over the next two years. Enjoy them. You'll also have lots of bad days. On those days, don't try to do too much. Take care of yourself, focus on your recovery, and you'll get through this.

Practice self-care. Give yourself lots of little breaks over the next two years. Tell yourself "what I am doing is enough." Be good to yourself. That is what most addicts can't do, and that's what you must learn in recovery. Recovery is the opposite of addiction.

Sometimes you'll have little energy or enthusiasm for anything. Understand this and don't over book your life. Give yourself permission to focus on your recovery. This is key. We used nicotine to help us push ourselves. Now we have to learn not to push - and let it happen.

Post-acute withdrawal can be a trigger for relapse. You'll go for weeks without any withdrawal symptoms, and then one day you'll wake up and your withdrawal will hit you like a ton of bricks. You'll have slept badly. You'll be in a bad mood. Your energy will be low. And if you're not prepared for it, if you think that post-acute withdrawal only lasts for a few months, or if you think that you'll be different and it won't be as bad for you, then you'll get caught off guard. But if you know what to expect you can do this.

Being able to relax will help you through post-acute withdrawal. When you're tense you tend to dwell on your symptoms and make them worse. When you're relaxed it's easier to not get caught up in them. You aren't as triggered by your symptoms which means you're less likely to relapse.

Remember, every relapse, no matter how small undoes the gains your brain has made during recovery. Without abstinence everything will fall apart. With abstinence everything is possible. (Reference: www.AddictionsAndRecovery.org)

I hear a lot of cavers say they reached a "fuck it" point when they caved. I always wondered what "fuck it" is and how someone would find themselves there. Maybe this is it. PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms). Be on guard for this shite. It can be powerful, and the nic bitch follows in on its heels, waiting for you to get to "fuck it".
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else, everything". - Danny Trejo