I was supposed to have had a date this Saturday night with the new guy. Supposed to being the important words in that last statement. He fell ill, and did not want to get me sick, so he called it off.
Now, even in my old age, my ego is fragile. The slightest hiccup in the road, and my negative self-talk gets on the bullhorn and shouts from the mountain.
Now, staying depressed is my go to in situations like this. I made other decisions though that moved me from survivor to someone who is thriving.
Surviving is crying in bed (check), spending too much money as a means of retail therapy (check), and lashing out at others (check).
Thriving is crushing 4 miles (running) for the first time in several years, being the loud mom at that baseball game. Thriving is telling the negative self-talk to shut the hell up. Thriving involves tacos and a margarita at the end of the night.
Even when you hit a setback, make the decision to overcome, kick ass, and take names.
Oh, and he was genuinely sick and we have a date scheduled for this week.
Let me explain this haiku. After being in social services for as long as I have, I am feeling the burnout right now. This is the first time in my career that I have started looking for employment outside of social services.
I have experienced this burnout many times and I know how to remedy it. It’s a work in progress.
I have gone almost two months without smoking. I am extremely proud of myself for going this long. That hasn’t happened in a long time. I used the patches to help me quit and I am almost finished with them. The first time I quit, about ten years ago, I had so much support from everyone. This time, I feel like everyone is trying to sabotage my efforts. I currently live with people that smokers whenever I come in the room. I will not be able to get the apartment I want until June, and I’m seriously considering finding another apartment.
I have been surrounded by cravings since I have quit smoking. Since coming back from Cambodia (more on that), I have been struggling all of the time. Here are the ways that I have been dealing with the cravings to smoke again.
Leave the room. When I am around someone that starts smoking. I simply leave the room. This might not be practical all of the time, but when you are able to, I suggest removing yourself from the situation.
When I want to have a cigarette, I think about wanting and I try to think about why I want to smoke. Most of the time, it’s compulsory. It’s because there is nothing in my hand and I’m bored. Don’t just try to ignore the craving. Think about the craving and find the remedy to your craving.
Find things to do with your hands and your time. If you’re bored, do something. If you’re stressed, find a stress reliever. Keep moving.
Start working out. Yes, I have gained weight since I quit smoking. I knew that would happen. Exercise will help with the weight gain and occupying my mind.
Clean. I went through everything and removed any to do with smoking. Soon after I quit, I found a lighter and a pack of cigarettes in my nightstand. That almost did me in. I threw everything away.
Go to a different gas station. I know, that one sounds odd, but just hear me out. When I smoked, I would walk into the gas station, and the cashier would have my cigarettes already on the counter. I know that I am not always strong and I would not be able to say no all of the time. I now go to another gas station where the cashiers don’t know me. No issues.
This is just a short list of how I’m trying to beat the cravings. I hope that this list helps someone going through the same things.
Today I got a phone call from a colleague with some questions. Totally normal. During the conversation we began talking about taking work phone calls on the weekends, after work hours, and on vacation days. Previous jobs had me on the phone, in the office, and in the field at all hours. This current job though is not one of those jobs. It is strictly 8-5. There is nothing life or death about this job. That is one of the things that initially drew me to it.
I quickly realized that she wasn’t looking for answers but wanting counseling. She wanted to process the stress and anxiety her job was causing her. I am no longer a counselor, but as a friend, I told her that the job had nothing to do with her stress. She was causing her anxiety. She took a breath and said, “I know but …” I then told her that she was still doing it.
Be careful of the stress that you create. Oh, and don’t call your counselor or ex-counselor friends looking for free counseling.