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GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or even just thinking of quitting, please join us! We kindly ask that politics be left outside.  

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A message to ALL quitters (and would-be quitters): You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit. We won't give you a bad time or nag you. We consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

popeye photo:  popeye.jpgStrength comes in many forms and manifests itself in all sorts of ways. There's sheer physical strength, obviously...something I'm sorry to say that I'm slightly lacking in right now after my umpteenth bout with the snow shovel in the face of a long and super extra snowy winter.

[Note: it was snowing hard when I drafted this last week, and---hey, lookie there, it's SNOWING NOW TOO.
AGAIN.
::: sigh :::
Did I mention the 8-9" of snow we got YESTERDAY?]

Anyway, my shoulder's feeling much better than it did after I cleared that icy slush we had a couple storms back, but my right wrist is really feeling it after I had to toss shovel-fulls of lighter, fluffier snow way over my shoulder and head height last weekend and again last night and this morning. I realize I haven't done quite enough weight-bearing exercise lately to maintain enough upper body strength to do this without some kind of warm-up, or at least a break in between. Ah well. There are other kinds of strength, right?

Actually, yes.  

Most people who contemplate and attempt behavior modification---particularly the kind that involves deeply ingrained behavior with a physical component as well, like addiction---must draw upon their reserves of mental and emotional strength as well.

Now, that doesn't mean it's a purely mental effort, nor does it mean you must grit it out and stoically endure the process without complaint. Strength doesn't mean you can't ask for help, rant and rave, have moments of self-doubt or whiny self-pity or a thousand other less-than-admirable reactions. It doesn't mean you have to stop being human, or flawed, or have moments of weakness.

It simply means that you acknowledge how things are, how you're reacting to them, how you might change that reaction to have a better result, and then mustering up the inner strength and courage to ask for help, try something new if the old thing isn't working, figure out productive responses, and to start all over again, if need be.

It actually takes a lot of inner strength to admit to messing up, or to acknowledge when a careful plan tanks. It takes even more strength to let something like that play out in front of others (whether in person or in a public forum like this), and to dust yourself off and give it another shot. I hope those who know GUS know this isn't going to be a place with a lot of finger-pointy lecturing or preachy admonishment...after all, most of us have fallen off the wagon a time or two ourselves, before it stuck.

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Y'know, I think sometimes that too many people focus on the "failure" aspect of a failed effort, and not enough on the EFFORT part. Where are the kudos and self-congratulations, people? You're already ahead of a lot of folks who never even try what you're attempting. You had to be brave enough and tough enough to give it a shot.  

And your efforts---even if they were unsuccessful at first---are only going to make you more resolved, more informed, and, yes, even stronger the next time 'round. If you've had a failed quit, or feel like you're wavering, take a step back and remind yourself that you're stronger than you realize.

                                 

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