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What color is your quit?

June 23, 2013 Comments (17)

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I've been examining my commitment to my final quit day coming up (8 more days). 

I'm holding it in my hand, feeling its shape, it's weight, looking for the weak places so I can make them as strong as possible beforehand, or at least be aware of those places so I can be ready for them and have a plan to deal with them.  I'm a visual person, so being able to hold on to a picture in my mind's eye might make it easier to hold on to this quit, I'm thinking.  Right now, my quit is yellow, because it only exists in my mind until I DO IT, and it consists entirely of hope.

I'm a visual person, a sensory person, so being able to picture, in my mind's eye what my quit looks like might make it easier to hold on to, I'm thinking.  In the past, the colors that have always resonated with me the most are red and blue (and sometimes purple...the combination of those two).  If I go back and look at my art over the years, these are almost always the prominent colors.  They're also the colors of art I'm most drawn to.

I tend to live my life in reds and blues. 

When I'm feeling the red, I'm full of life, jumping from one project to another, sometimes with very little sleep, starting projects with the energy of ten people behind me.  The amount of stuff I can get done when I am manic is pretty amazing, really.  Maybe not completely healthy...but still.  I take a kind of pride in it.  I feel my best when I am being uberproductive.  Red, to me, is all about power...fire...force.

When blue is the prominent color of my mood, I am at rest, which is a harder place for me to be.  I feel withdrawn, cool and a bit detatched from the world around me.  I can let whole weeks slip by me and yet time expands to make hours feel like days...and I am hard on myself when I feel that my energy has abandoned me.  I sleep a lot, read a lot, and do things that allow me to escape what feels to me like the drudgery of every day life.

My cycles of mania and depression are very long...I usually go a year or so in each place and then have a year or two of what I am told is normality.  And I think during these times I do feel like everyone else...I have days that are easier than others, days that are harder, and am able to sleep well and be consistent in my life.

What I see as my biggest hurdle to quitting smoking is my lack of consistency. 

I am an excellent big picture person.  If you want big ideas, I'm your gal.  The details, though, the little things that make those ideas actually come to fruition?  Yeah...they kind of bore me.  You'll need to look elsewhere.  I'm working on developing that and with each passing year I get a little better at it.

So I'm going to try and paint this quit in my hand green. 

Green, to me, is about growth.  It symbolizes rebirth, abundance, and stability.   Green is the color of the world under the redwoods where I live.  It is a color of emotional stability, of balance, of harmony.  If my quit is green, though, it looks something like the picture above.  I've lots of experience starting quits, but this forever quit has to be different.  So it's brand new.  Like that tiny plant.

One of the things I'm most worried about is the tenacity I will need to suceed.  I can power through weeks or even months working on a project if I am fired up enough about it, but it's difficult for me to find things in my life that I have been committed to over the long term. 

Except, maybe.......smoking! 

Yup...slowly committing suicide by putting that poison into my lungs is something I have strayed from on occasion, but always come back to.  Maybe I can flip this commitment on it's head, turn it over to be committed to the other side, but I'm so frightened that I'm just not tempermentally suited for it.  That's probably an excuse...I can feel that it is while I type it.  I know that breaking an addiction is really just a series of small choices...making the right choice for my health and my spirit over and over and over again.  Taken one at a time, it's easy to fend those urges off, like Thomas says to ride each one like a wave until it passes, to gain confidence with each time I delay past the urge, distract myself from even thinking about it.  But I'm having real trouble visualizing myself making that same choice every. single. time.

So EXperts...and others with lots of EXperience...it's just not realistic for me to stay in the moment indefinitely.  I know that is the best approach, day by day, but eventually, I'll need to pull back and look at the big picture.  And I have to be able to see those days stretching out behind me without cigarettes in order to look to the other horizon and see the remainder of my days being smoke free...FREE of nicotine. 

Just writing this down is giving me a good visual image to hang on to, but I'd like to hear your thoughts.  Colors are subjective, so maybe newbies and experts alike can tell us about the color of their quit.  Has it changed over the long term?  I am just starting out, and my quit really is like that tiny plant up there, but this is the new image I will hold in my head as I approach being an EXsmoker for LIFE, taking it into my very being, into my core, making it a part of what defines me:

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone..........xo~mlb

Comments (17)

yellow has always been my favorite color, it's bright and lifts my spirits, feel happy and content with yellows.

Phyllis-12-7-15 1308 days ago

I'm in the balck stage, because of my relaspe. It will be pink When I start over. it gives me a since warmth and embracing feeling. When Finaly stay free. It will blue , blue is fresh, to mean it means clean . the sky that wakens you every day and the ocean brings calmness to me.


Wishingstar_Renee 1308 days ago

with me it keeps changing... and its beautiful..like a rainbow

newlife5 1308 days ago

You are a beautiful writer and how much would I love to have coffee (or are you a tea gal? I'm both) with you and talk for hours....a lovely question...what color is my quit???

It is a rainbow...xo


joyeuxencore_11-5-12 1308 days ago

Newlife beat me to it and re-minded me of one of my favorte songs...

Thats why I love you! We used to be able to post videos in blogs...it was great!...

Anyway...link it is...listening to this song makes me smile for the colors of your quit as they shine and glow! xo


joyeuxencore_11-5-12 1308 days ago

ha ha that is exactly the song i was thinking of too.. knock knock you owe me a coke!

newlife5 1308 days ago

I think my quit has to also be green - for summer's leaves washed clean after a rain, for tender new buds opening in the brighter sunshine of spring.  It symbolizes new awakenings to me - and this quit has been exactly that for me.

It might help you also to think about something a psych taught me when I couldn't seem to control myself after a bad car accident, and kept trying to do things that were harmful to my recovery (think vacccuming with a broken sternum!).  He suggested before I take on a task, to always ask myself, "Is this in my long term best interest?"  That helped to ground me, and put the decision square back on MY shoulders.  It was not the ACCIDENT preventing me from doing something....it made ME in control, somehow.  Amazing what a difference your mindset can make!


Quit 7/4/12

Youngatheart.7.4.12 1308 days ago

I just showed this video to my girls the other day!  They already have cultivated a taste for one of my favorite albums growing up, "She's So Unusual."  I love Cyndi because she is such a trailblazer...she is a woman who never is content to go with conventional ideas about beauty...and yet she is so beautiful!!!  Thanks for the lovely responses, everyone........xo~mlb

motherlovebone 1308 days ago

And I love the idea of a rainbow...can't believe that didn't even occur to me.  Maybe the mental trick I need to keep my quit fresh during and after NML is to recognize that it will change.........

motherlovebone 1308 days ago

... for I am : giving, growing and gleaming each day of my journey, I started out as a seed and I am continuing to blossom daily♥

LindaN_7-14-10 1308 days ago

I recently took part in an all day retreat called Soul Painting! It was a day of yoga, meditation, minfulness and creativity? I think it would be right up your alley! I was in the middle of NML when I did this and it certainly showed in my painting! It ranged from dark to light and the group facilitator pointed out that it was "the colors of the Caribbean"! That painting was done from a pretty unconscious place but if I have to choose, I would imagine the color of the waves off the shore in Maui!

Nyima_1.6.13 1308 days ago

Mine has no color.  It is clear, transparant.  I can see all colors through it, but it itself has none.  It also shimmers in the light.  It is a prism.  A jewel of infinite value.  And ever changing. 

Normal (as my new GP just said)  is a setting on our spin dryers.  Love this blog.  I am not at all a visual person and it's wonderful to catch a glimps of a mind that has that capacity.  Just don't let it play excuse tricks on you. 

(Giulia - 7 yrs +)


Giulia 1308 days ago

Green is the heart shakra and opens up horizontally your front and back to vulnerability and love then as you let the energy open up through the heart it EXpands vertically  to your head (blue going into purple) - giving it a new perspective and down through your feelings (yellow passing into your creativity (orange) and finally through your very roots of identity (red.) It's all right there in it's totality - past, present, future! Rewriting the past in support of your present choice and opening your future to your own possibility.

Thomas3.20.2010 1308 days ago

When I first started reading this, MLB, my first thought was green, green, I know my quit's green. I started my quit in spring, growth, plants, flowers, new beginnings, this literally is the spring of my life, the color of this quit, the only one that's every mattered.

I agree that its not realistic to stay in the moment indefinitely, I had a hard time with that concept. What I didn't realize was that I only needed to be that way for a while, until the addiction loosened its hold over me. I'm still vigilant, but I don't need to constantly bat away smoking urges anymore. You won't have to either, once you get to a certain point. I think as long as you stay in the moment during the first part of your quit, eventually it becomes automatic and you have learned a new way to be and that is what being an EX is all about. I can't wait for you to quit, I am so excited for you. I can't wait to see what you're going to blog about! Have a gorgeous day.

Cory-quit-3-10-13 1307 days ago

A little old but I like the topic... I haven't really put a color to my quit but an image, of birds. The other day I drew an open bird cage with birds flying out on my wrist. It is something I'd like to do - get a tattoo. Tattoos are forever and so is my quit, as a constant reminder of NOPE and of my new freedom. I love being free and I don't want back into that cage!

Crunkgrinder 1306 days ago

Genius, I want to borrow your idea and hold onto it. Do you mind? My new quit date is Monday, July 1. 

jensteff 1304 days ago

ALL the ideas on this site are for EVERYONE, Jen.  ; )  If my meandering musings give you something to hold on to, I'm tickled!  I'm just a beginner, though...as long as you keep that in mind.  xo~mlb

motherlovebone 1304 days ago

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42 year old wife, mother of three, preschool administrator/teacher

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