Still Working on the Webcam! Oh and BEADS!

I’m working on getting the webcam to look okay when I record, that way it doesn’t look really grainy. I figure that eventually it will start coming together. I tried my other camera out but it sounds like an old style modem when I play it back. I am not sure what that is all about!

I’ll get it figured out though. I am up to 37 beads in my jar! You know what that means? I haven’t smoked a tobacco product in 37 days! I still have cravings but they don’t last very long at all. They are pretty strong cravings but if I can keep myself busy for about three minutes, they go away. I know this because I played bomboozle on three-minute mode and by the time I am done blowing up some blobs, my craving is gone.

And now, I am off to try to get some more light in here! Hoping to have a video up by tomorrow afternoon (mountain time).

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I’ll be a Youtuber!

I know this isn’t logical, I really do, but I decided to do what I always wanted to do… well, at least since YouTube has been around, and make YouTube videos to journal/vlog. I mean, I know I won’t get paid, but who cares… I want to try to do something fun. My therapist wants me to explore my worth, explore what I deserve… mmm, okay. So, I figured I would do that through video blogging. I mean, I will still be writing down my thoughts too, I’m not leaving the blogging world, I just want something fun to do, something to look forward to.

I did one test on my camera LOL, I was a bit too close. But if this works, you’ll be able to see the video. Warning: I have ADD and tend to change sentence/ subject mid-thought!

This way, I can update all my blogs in a fun way, still get beading done in the “real life” instead of spending too much time writing… at least in my head that is how it’s working… and I will be happy to get to explore the vlogging world a little.

I do have anxiety about this though. I have a lot of anxiety. 1) I don’t like the fact that I am missing a lot of my teeth (not my fault) 2)… no, that’s about it. Well, not really, I also have anxiety about people looking at me. I know, it’s a not a healthy thing to obsess over… that’s one of reasons I am in therapy. It makes me all nervous and anxiety ridden to think that someone, somewhere, that I don’t know LOOKED at me. Massive anxiety attack right there. I like to walk around imagining I am in an invisibility bubble. No really, that’s how I cope.

Like I said, I know that’s not healthy… but, then too, I am in therapy, okay?

I figure, if I do this, it will help with anxiety and being a hermit/shut-in, and I can have fun with it too. I’m going to practice editing a video today to cut out all the rambling bits that I tend to do when I am talking. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Real Quick though… I am trying to do an “introduction video” about myself. My friend, Jane, suggested I could do a bunch of questions people ask. I have a list of 11 questions so far. I will reorder them before I do the video.

  1. How many kids do you have?
  2. Why are you vlogging?
  3. What do you hope to gain by doing this?
  4. What are your fears about doing these videos online?
  5. Do you still not smoke? Like, show everyone your necklace!
  6. Do you drink?
  7. What is your favorite drink?
  8. What is your favorite thing to do? (I think he meant “hobbies”)
  9. Do you crochet or knit?
  10. Do you like to read? You should do a thingy where you share what book you are reading and how you like it and what’s happening so far in the book and stuff like that. (OH! I like this idea!)
  11. You should talk about your allergies on your blog. Tell people what it’s like to live with that many allergies. (okay)

So, if you could add to the list, what would you ask? What would you want to see in an introduction video about me?

23 Days of Not Smoking!

Today is the 23rd day of not smoking. I have to say, I was warned about getting depressed when you quit. I never really thought about it when I quit before, but this time it is hitting me. I think it might have something to do with no income, no hope of income, hungry all the time, trying to make bracelets to sell, and all the other crap I am going through right now. But man, it is hitting me. I will be walking to the store today for some catnip so I can make catnip tea. <— Great tip for depression!

Catnip tea is wonderful for me. I don’t know if anyone else drinks it, but I LOVE IT! It all started some time ago when my kids and I were discussing drugs and drug use. We talked about meth, cocaine, heroine… I can’t remember them all. But we discussed them, their side effects, and looked at pictures of people who did drugs. This was for a homeschooling moment, I think it was partly health and partly culture (but I can’t remember how, it’s been awhile).

When we got to the topic of marijuana, we were talking about Washington state and Colorado legalizing pot use. I told them, since I want to be honest with my children, that I never really understood all the hoopla about pot and why it’s illegal (we’ve researched… leaving politics off my blog!) and I also told them that if it were legal, I would either smoke it or get some of the oils or lotions that help with pain. I would totally go there! I also told them that I don’t smoke it ONLY because it is illegal… no other reason.

I smoked pot when I was 26 for severe migraines. The doctors gave me medicine for them but the medication knocked me out and I could not function. I had two little kids I was raising on my own and I needed to be conscious and able to sort of function. I smoked pot. It worked. One joint smoked and my migraines disappeared for MONTHS! So I didn’t smoke it daily, I smoked it when my migraines hit. I was having them daily before smoking pot. Then I figured out it was soy causing the headaches. I eliminated soy from my diet, no more migraines. No more need for pot either.

We discussed this a long time. My oldest son was curious if there was something that helps like pot and he researched and somehow ended up on a page about catnip. I made some into a tea and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it tasted. Okay, I lied… with enough honey, it tastes pretty good. By itself, not so much. But I was SO HAPPY! I felt great! And so now, I drink catnip tea for depression. It also makes it easier to breathe. I love catnip tea!

And this week, I am getting laundry caught up, dishes sorted through, and my bedroom cleaned. Since Marie moved in, we are sharing a room and I want the place cleaned up! I say that now, but considering I can only clean for about an hour or two a day before I hurt so bad I can’t function anymore, I am probably going to get half that done. I am working on it though. I am working through my pain. I am waiting for disability to figure something out. I am waiting for life to give me a break. I am waiting to win the lottery (it would help if I played)… I am just blah.

I know that spring is coming and I am not looking forward to it. The allergies going crazy, the sun coming out more, the heat coming back. This is not my favorite time of year… at all. I always get depressed this time of year. I am going to go make brownies.

Not Smoking Day 7

I finished the Tobacco Seminar. My quit day was February 14 because it was a Friday, right before the weekend.  I didn’t have appointments or anything else important going on so I could be a hermit.

I decided on an e-cig to help with the really bad cravings. Everyone else in the class seems to have a plan of things to help them quit and I was having a lot of issues going cold turkey. We learned that there is a nicotine inhaler to help you quit smoking. It’s basically, an e-cig. I have an e-cig and four cartridges. I can’t afford another prescription… so I picked the e-cig to help me with quitting, not to act as a replacement. I use it like they want you to use the nicotine inhaler (I read those directions).

I’m using it LESS than I thought I would. I thought I’d have killer cravings and puff off it a lot. But I am only taking 2-4 puffs (and I DO count them) somewhere between 4 and six times a day. Day three was my worst day with 3 to 6 puffs ten times that day. The rest fall within 2-4 puffs between 4 and six times a day. I am doing awesome!

Each morning, right after I wake up, pee, and make coffee; I go to my jar. My “fresh air” jar has one bead in it for each day that I have not smoked. I put the bead in the jar in the morning to remind me of what day I am on, remind me of how far I have come before I slip up and smoke again, and to remind me that there is something else that I can do to kill time and busy my hands. I can make beads. Today, I have seven beads in my jar. I feel so accomplished!

Here’s the kicker. If I mess up and smoke a real cigarette, cigar, or tobacco product, I will have to empty the jar and start over. Talk about motivation! I seriously thought about not doing it if I have a slip (only smoke 1 cig and then not do it again) but I really think I could see myself using that as an excuse to slip up. So… NO real cigs! I MUST NOT smoke or the jar gets emptied! And now, for your viewing pleasure… my jar of beads…

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My seven beads indicating one day of fresh air. I am so proud of myself right now 🙂

Setting My Quit Date to Quit Smoking

As a present to myself this Valentine’s Day (funny, I don’t celebrate it, but hey! What a great day!) I picked today to be my quit date to stop smoking.

This last class we went over our quit plan. We also went over short-term rewards and long-term rewards. My short-term Stop Smoking reward will be chocolate, a pizza party (beginning of next month), and getting to dye my hair. Dying my hair will probably be a little further out, like about two months, but I look forward to it! My long-term goal is going to be a book for myself called “365 Days of Fresh Air”. Each day (or close to it) I will journal my experience, draw, create, write a poem, or do something to mark the time passing; and at the end of the year (Next February 15) I will it into a book form, self-publish it, and buy a copy to keep and show off.

As a reminder of how far I have come with quitting smoking, I will make a bead for every day I don’t smoke and put it in a mason jar. I got the idea from “switched At Birth” where Bay’s birth mom tells her about being an Alcoholic. She tells her about these chips she gets and keeps out in her living room, that help her visually see to help remind her of how far she has come. I don’t have chips but I do love making beads! So each day I will add a bead to my jar to help remind me how far I have come in my journey to not smoking. And since “quit smoking” and “not smoking” are so negative, I am renaming the whole concept for myself. It is now “breathing fresh air”.

I’ll update on how it goes. That is one of my ways of dealing with the stress. Journal more!

Exploring my Triggers

This week we are taking the thought log one step further. Last week we wrote down a thought log for each time we smoked. It included:

  1. Situation/ Trigger: example- argument with roommate
  2. Feelings: example- sad/depressed
  3. Automatic thought: example- “she hates me”
  4. Behavior: example- I smoked

This week, we are still doing 1-3, but we have two new columns:

  1. Is it true? List evidence to support your statement.
  2. Is it true? List evidence that does NOT support your statement.

Here are a few of mine so far:

Trigger: Friends went out to smoke

Feelings: Content

Automatic thought: “I should go smoke with them.”

Is it true? (Supporting evidence) Yes, I should go smoke with them. They are my friends and we always smoke together.

Is it true? (NOT supporting evidence) No, I don’t HAVE to go smoke with them. They are still my friends. I could take coffee with me and drink that instead of smoking. Or I could just stay instead and wait for them to come back inside.

Trigger: Doing bills

Feelings: Sad, frustrated, depressed

Automatic thought: “I am broke”

Is it true? (Supporting evidence) Yes, I have no job, no hope of getting a job because I can’t work, no one will hire me after all the applications I turned in, disability hasn’t called me back, I can’t pay my bills, Google Adsense disabled my account, I have no hope of making an income (of any size) online now, and I depending on others to help me until disability goes through (which could be YEARS).

Is it true? (NOT supporting evidence) Currently, I have $15 to pay towards rent. So, TECHNICALLY, I am not broke. I am still looking into Fiverr, so there is still hope to make income online. My electric is paid for about five or six months so, that is one bill I don’t have to pay. The people who are helping me are all very understanding and patient people who are willing to write letters to the disability board, if needed. The fact that I am not homeless, living in my van with two kids, shows how blessed I am for having a support network like this.

Trigger: My ex called and told me about his job hunt, then went into a spiel about how I need to get a job, he can’t support me forever (child support?), and listed everything he thinks I would be able to do (that I can’t do 90% of the things listed).

Feelings: Absolutely felt like crap, just horrible about myself, felt totally awful. I actually cried.

Automatic thought: “I am worthless”

Is it true? (Supporting evidence) I can’t do 90% of the things listed. I have no health insurance, I can’t afford health insurance, I can’t get on Medicaid either, I am a drain on society, my family, my friends… Wow, this is too painful. I could go on and on… but I don’t to.

Is it true? (NOT supporting evidence) I CAN do 10% of the things he suggested, even though I tried those already… I am CAPABLE of doing SOMETHING, no matter how small. I am writing books, making children’s books, checking out Fiverr, and working on artwork to sell also. I am waiting for my rejection letter from Medicaid so I can sign up for the Share Pay program at the hospital. I am making payments of $1 each month at CHC so I CAN have medical care. I am NOT a drain on my family and friends. We are there for each other. I help them out as much as I can. I have been there for them in the past and they are here for me now. I am ONLY on SNAP (food stamps) and once I get disability, I will probably not need them anymore. I can take a small amount of my income once I am on disability, and give food to the community food pantry each month to pay it forward for my time on SNAP. There are other ways I can give to my community also. I can donate to the Pregnancy Center, the Battered Women’s Shelter, the hospital, the Community Health Center, etc. I have always been a productive member of society and paid my taxes for 20 something years. This is me using the benefits I paid for all those years. This is what it is there for. Now… get to crocheting! You can do it! or WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! Don’t let that man get into your head! You are better than this!