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Shifting Directions and Quitting A Few Addictions

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You are all going to think that the cold has gotten to me.

Since I first started packing to go to Alaska, in the middle of flippin’ winter, and leave my stormy beach life in Washington State, many things have…shifted within me. I came here to take care of my mom (and dad, somewhat) while she recovers from hip replacement. I may stay longer to help my younger brother if the docs decide to repair his back. This is where I need to be for now, but it feels different somehow.

As most of you know, I’ve been carrying on some kind of long distance…something? with my brother-in-law’s brother, who I knew when I was 15, and have spent exactly 1 day with since then. We’ve been making plans for a few summer activities when I get back from Alaska. The main thing is that we’re having fun getting to know each other and we smile and laugh a lot. So that’s a big shift for this solitary gypsy/cave woman who has been in the depths of grieving for almost 5 years. Okay, a gigantic shift.

Reuniting with my long lost girlfriend, Leslee, caused a profound shift in my thinking. Her recent brush with death was tough to hear, but her renewed energy for life had a seriously positive impact on me. You know how sometimes 7 people can say the same thing, or give the same advice, but you don’t really take it in until you hear it from the 8th person? I think that’s what happened with Leslee. I think that she offered similar grief advice that I’ve heard or read from others, but she was just the right person, who said just the right words, at just the right time and they clicked into place in my pea-brain.

Other shifts: Day 14 in Alaska, Day 8 since mom came home from hospital, Day 5 since I QUIT SMOKING AFTER 35 YEARS, Day 4 since I QUIT COFFEE AFTER 24 YEARS, Day 3 since I stopped eating evil things to make up for smokes and coffee:>)

So, there’s some pretty big shifts (I deleted all the perfect cuss words that fit so well into this sentence). Mom and Kevin are the only ones that I told. They have been my mini, but mighty, cheerย leading squad (great visual). Mom told dad tonight, but he was pretty quiet about it.

I’m as shocked as you are. I don’t know, I just wanted to keep it close for a few days. It wasn’t something I planned at all; no big X for quit day on the calendar. No pills or patches or magic potions. I was just about to open my last pack, when I decided I’d quit. I smoked that pack over a couple days, then I quit. The next day I quit coffee. I’ve had no headaches or…any other withdrawal symptoms

Yes, my dad’s frequent lectures, mom’s heartfelt pleading and having to sit out in the freaking cold to smoke may have all contributed to my decision. However, my visit with Leslee, my cousins and my grandchildren also contributed. As did my word (and plans) for 2014: HOPE.

If this is going to be a year filled with hope, then I could have hope for health and happiness and maybe even hope for a partner to share it all with. I did write that. Am I sure? Hell no, just minutes ago I thought I was going to be alone the rest of my life. Really. And that was okay then—a minute ago. Maybe not now. Oh, well, stranger things have happened:>)

Peace Out,

Patti, who has no more secrets (damn!)

P.S. My writing is not on hold, but has also shifted in another direction. As I watch several of my writer-friends publishing, or getting very close to publishing, I can only look on and cheer and wonder if I’ll ever get back on track. I will. I know I will…

Author: Patti Hall

Writer, daughter, sister, mom, niece, grani, and friend. Works-in-progress; 3 children's books, some poetry and a memoir series, "Souvenirs from My Heart." Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the beach, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy. I am a widow (2009), lost my sis in 2012, my aunt and a precious grandson in 2013.

38 thoughts on “Shifting Directions and Quitting A Few Addictions

  1. I gave up cigarettes — one of the hardest things I ever did and I still miss them, years later. But give up coffee? Life would lose its savor ๐Ÿ™‚ You really ARE turning your life around, just like they always say on TV ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Wow – this is such an awesome post – I am so proud of you for quitting coffee and smoking and eating evil things. This is such an incredible accomplishment. Wow – I am in awe. I truly am.

  3. We just left Washington state (cold) and you are now in Alaska (colder, coldest). Congratulations on all your BIG shifts!

  4. Sounds like a great start to a new year – good luck!

  5. You are the best and an inspiration to me.

  6. I’m so happy for you and all your great shifts and great beginning! You are so right about that right moment! And what a coincidence, Patti I stopped smoking and it’s been 18 days…and to think, I began in Alaska…near Eagle River. I’ll add myself to your cheerleaders squad…I’ve got my hubby and my youngest who encourage me!

  7. Awesome shifts! It’s going to me an interesting year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hope is such a full and awe inspiring word – its a journey all on its own! I love you to tears and look forward to being a part of your life for many years to come, keep sharing its not only good for you but it feeds us all……hugs and warm little girl tickles!

  9. You definitely will. But for now, focus on what you need to do for the now. I’m so proud of you for quitting smoking!!!! That is something to sit on your laurels about!!!!

  10. Congratulations on so many positives. I’m especially cheered that you accept you may not be alone any longer and that’s great. Yes by the way, you will get back on track. Not always easy and sometimes a slow process but I’m sure you’ll do it.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  11. I thought giving up Coffeemate Creamer was bad enough! Good for you!

  12. Maybe this is your track, your story. Loss, period of initiation into the underworld, and renewal. It’s what we’re all after. Keep telling me the story.
    Thanks, Patti,
    Elaine

    • I’m also loving your story. I have been remiss and not left comments on every story, my computer wants to freeze if I try to do too much.
      My Phoenix story has happened repeatedly throughout my life, just like the Phoenix, which is why I took on that name in 2005. I wore my Phoenix earrings New Years Eve:>)
      Thank you, Elaine!
      Patti

  13. So happy for you Patti!
    HOPE!!!

  14. Here’s to New Beginnings (is that redundant?)

    You are doing an awesome job. I need to give up, or at least cut back, eating evil foods. Before they eat me alive. As soon as I’m home from vacation.

  15. Go, Patti, Go!! Rah! Rah! Amazing you don’t have headaches after quitting coffee, but also a blessing. (I got downright suicidal once after going on a latte binge in Washington, DC and then coming home to nothing but herbal tea.) I was an on-and-off smoker for years and finally went off, sort of. Basically, if I think about it, I tell myself that I’m just not smoking right now. I hate to deny myself anything so I don’t say I quit. I just say I’m not smoking, and I haven’t had a cigarette for many years now. I plan to keep it that way, but it’s one day at a time ๐Ÿ™‚ I like these shifts in your life. It feels like things are coming together for you and all you have to do is be you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I like that way of thinking. When I have a rough second, that’s what I tell myself, “Just not right now.” I can buy a carton and smoke my brains out, tomorrow, just not right now. Thanks for being on my cheer team, Marie.
      xo Patti

      • Yup. I know it unnerves my husband that I haven’t committed to quitting, but my strategy has worked so far. In fact, I can’t remember exactly when I had a cigarette. But I do remember it was one that I had bummed off a friend. By that point, it had been so long since I’d smoked, that I could barely finished the thing. It did make me feel ill and I was glad ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Big hug!

      • Hugs to you to and good job, no matter how you did/do it, you don’t smoke!!!!!

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