Saturday, July 31, 2010

Relational Turmoil

So what do women tend to do when a schmuck breaks their heart? 

We internalize.  We think it's us, not them.  I've had some relational turmoil in my recent past.  I have some friends who are experiencing relational turmoil right now.  I dare say that my relational turmoil is over.  Not saying that I don't have relational problems, but I'm fairly certain that the turmoil part is over.

I'm seeing many friends go through various things right now, and it's not easy for me to watch, either.  I try not to judge and I try to be supportive of whatever path they choose for their lives. 

One friend and I were laughing at me recently because I was bad-mouthing her ex and ten minutes later I was telling her that if she wanted to work on getting him back, I'd be totally there for her.  Is that wrong?  Maybe.  Do I really think he's good for her?  I don't know.  I never really saw them together.  I know few facts.  Fact: They had been together a long time.  Fact: They had kids together.  Fact: There must have been some good at some point because I don't believe she would have stayed with him as long as she did.

I have another friend who was suffering from a drug addiction.  She was with a man who also had the same addiction (I believe they "tried" the drugs together and became addicted together).  He was constantly lying to her that he had quit.  Then he blamed all of their relationship problems on her addiction. He was constantly complaining about her job, but at least she was employed.  As you guessed, he was not.  He was repeatedly tearing her down verbally at every opportunity, even to the point of saying she must be a disgrace to her family.  I'm not really sure what's going on with her right now because I haven't communicated with her recently, but I hope she's holding out and staying away from him.

I read a book recently that I would highly recommend to those two friends.  It's called "So the Bastard Broke Your Heart, Now What?"  The author of the book, Tasha Cunningham, founded the website (for those who prefer to not read a book).  Knowing how we tend to internalize negativity when a guy breaks our heart, I think most women should read this book. The bonus, it's got some good stuff in it for those of us who have found our soulmate, too.  It reminds us that we shouldn't view our future with our soulmate on the foibles of our past relationships.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Health Care Reform

There's an article in my home town newspaper regarding one of the new health care mandates.  This particular article is about breast-feeding moms and how businesses must provide a place for nursing mothers to pump.

The gentleman who wrote the article (and his editor) messed up on the headline, which is misleading in the statement that all businesses must provide this, but further in the article, we discover that it pertains to businesses with 50+ employees.  Fortunately, that excludes my business.

I so often get sucked in by the comments made by my wonderfully, educated, enlightened neighbors.

Interestingly enough, I can't find the 2000 page text document so that I can read the details myself.  I did find the government's website.  I don't feel warm and fuzzy that it will give me all the details I need.  I find myself concerned and wondering how many businesses are going to be penalized for not complying with items in this bill that they were unaware of.

Am I becoming a conspiracy theorist?  I don't believe so.  But I am concerned about how much the government feels they have the right to control my life...whether it's my business life or my personal life.

Does anyone know where I can find the 2000 page text?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

8.5 and counting

My 8-week anniversary was last Monday. It has now been eight and a half weeks since I held a cigarette tenderly between my fingers and inhaled toxic fumes into my lungs.

This is my third "real" attempt at quitting my nicotine habit. Of course, there were many times when I faked the attempt. The smokers know what I'm talking about. Those times when I would tell people that I was trying to quit (even though I wasn't) or the times that I would claim I was cutting back (even though I wasn't).

My first real attempt was seven years ago. I had a period of about three months where I tried several different quitting options available to me. I tried the gum but it tasted nasty. I tried the patches but it gave me anxiety attacks. I was put on Wellbutrin to help with the anxiety of trying to quit, but the Wellbutrin made me numb emotionally. Nothing made me sad on the Wellbutrin. Nothing made me happy either.

My second real attempt was five years ago. I paid my money to go to a hypnosis seminar. At the end of the seminar, everyone threw away their cigarettes as they left the auditorium. I kept mine. But I didn't smoke them. I saved them. Just-in-case. Everything was great, though, and I didn't smoke any of them...for the first three weeks. Just after my 3-week anniversary, I began getting extreme migraine headaches. I was having hot flashes and cold flashes. I was having problems sleeping. I was having problems functioning. I actually missed some work because I couldn't function well enough to survive the one hour commute. The migraine medicine prescribed didn't touch these headaches. I endured this pain. My family endured this pain. And then I became a closet smoker...for about 3-weeks. My boyfriend was praising my quitting to his family. The Catholic-guilt welled up inside me, and I had to fess up to him. Then I stopped hiding it.

I've used my headaches as an excuse to not quit for a long time. Too long.

I went to the doctor's in April and got a prescription for Chantix. My doctor expressed little confidence that the Chantix would help me because I smoked less than a pack a day and wasn't enrolled in a support group. Apparently, having the support of my family and friends wouldn't be enough, in her eyes. She hasn't met my family and friends!

We addicts are a pitiful bunch. We'll tell ourselves (and others) all sorts of lies to justify continuing our addiction. I would look at examples of people who never smoked a day in their life and died of lung cancer, then put them next to someone who smoked two packs a day and lived cancer-free until they were 100. Then, I would justify my addiction to cigarettes and nicotine as a predisposition to needing them to sustain my life as it was. Fairly healthy. No smoker's cough. Only called in sick when I had the migraines, which, of course, were from not smoking.

As an addict, I was very sick. There comes a time, though, when you have to acknowledge that your addiction is bigger than you and you need help. I sometimes wonder about those struggling with other addictions. Are their journeys similar to mine?

I've been cigarette-free for over two months now. I've been Chantix-free for over two weeks now. I smoked for more than 20 years. Most of the time, I don't even think about cigarettes. When I do, I wonder how I found the time to smoke and how I paid for the cigarettes. My food really does taste better. I can now smell other smokers and am glad to no longer smell like that. I don't hold it against them. I still have family and friends who smoke. And when they're ready to quit, I'll be there to support and encourage them, the way they were there for me.

Do you struggle with quitting? Or do you have a success story to share?
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