Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Wow...Talk About Lucky....

I ran into my friend Lisa the other day, and did she have a scary story to tell me. Her and her husband Dean decided last weekend to go boating. So they're driving along in their truck, when all of a sudden Lisa tells Dean that she smells smoke. Well, neither of them smoke, so it's obviously coming from outside. Lisa looks out the back window and realizes that it's the boat that's smoking. Not only is it smoking....there's a full blown fire. So they pull over. Lisa is frantically trying to flag someone down while Dean is trying to rip the boat liner off without getting burnt. Finally a couple pulls over...and luckily they have a fire extinguisher in their camper. They got the fire out fairly quickly, and they were okay...except for being rather shaken, and downright confused about what the hell just happened.

Something was looking out for Lisa and Dean that day for sure. Not only did they have a gerry can full of gas in the back of the truck....the fire was located right above the boat's gas tank. That boat liner saved their lives, in all likelihood. If it hadn't have been there....BOOM! Blown to smithereens on the highway!
You know what caused the fire? A cigarette. That's right...a cigarette caused a fire in a boat belonging to non-smokers. The cops figure that someone in a passing vehicle flicked a butt out their window and it landed on the boat liner.

That freaks me out. How many times did I flick a butt out the window on a road trip? Too many times to count. I never even considered that it could set someone else's vehicle on fire. I worried more about the forests. I used my ashtray on road trips in the summer, when danger of forest fires is highest, but the rest of the time I flicked 'em out the window. See, junkies don't think of how their smoking affects others. This situation just goes to prove that point. How many of us ever considered that the butt we just flicked could destroy some stranger's boat...and if not for a piece of vinyl, come close to killing them?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I Had To Post For Support....

...at the Q today. After that double whammy, I was really rattled. I guess I needed to connect with some people who knew exactly what I was dealing with. I just wish that I hadn't felt the need to stipulate that I didn't want anyone coming along and kicking my ass. I actually had to say that I didn't plan to smoke, so I didn't want any so called "tough love". Back when I first quit, I'm practically certain that that stipulation wouldn't have been necessary. It really helped, though. I valued what everyone had to say...except for one. She went on about how both her grown sons had ADHD, and they hadn't brought her a second of joy...and if they showed up it would stress her out big time, but she wouldn't smoke. I wanted to go off on the ignorant cow sooooooo soooo SOOOO flipping bad, but I was good and sat on my hands for a few minutes. I should've fired off a retort, then hit the undo button. Ahhh, whatever. I just followed one of the laws of the Q...I took what I needed and left that one stupid, selfish, ignorant post in the dust. I was really offended though. I also have 2 children with ADHD...and they've both brought me much joy. Anyone who could say such a rotten thing about their own children needs a bitchslap or three, if you ask me. I'm sorry, but that just completely pissed me off.

This Was A Really Hard Day

This day started off like any other, then along about 9 am, it rapidly went to hell in a handbasket. The clinic called to tell us that there was a cancellation for the visiting pediatrician that we've been waiting months to see...only thing was, we had to be there within 15 minutes. So Mickey called the school and had them tell Kaitlyn to meet me at the clinic, while I flew around the house getting dressed and trying to brush my hair at the same time.

We've had suspicions for a while that Kaitlyn may have ADHD. Long story short, after a crapload of paperwork and questions, the doctor confirmed it. I feel like a huge ass because I already have a kid with this condition, and I didn't see it in her. The fact that it presents much differently in girls and that they often go undiagnosed until their teens is little consolation.

Immediately after that appointment, we had to take our 11 yr old cat to the vet. She's had a tumour in her breast for a little over a year, and when it was first checked, it was benign. Over the last 2 months it's almost tripled in size and she's lost a little weight. Long story short, it's cancer. It could still be operable...problem is, there's no guarantee they could get it all. It's pretty large. Also, she's developed a heart murmur that wasn't there last spring. Surgery at this point is very risky, and her chances don't look too good. It's pretty much a race to see which will kill her first...the cancer or her heart.

I think my head may explode. The ADHD I can deal with...Jared was diagosed in 2000, so I know what I need to do. I've dealt with this a long time. The guilt I feel for overlooking it for so long may strangle me yet, but I'm confident that I can pull myself together and go about helping my daughter. I'm having a little more trouble with the news about my cat. I've had Keisha since the twins were 2 months old...the longest I've ever had a pet. She's curled under the desk, sleeping peacefully...and I'm a basket case. *sigh* I've never really had to deal with death before. Sure, I've lost pets before...but not like this. They either ran away, or got hit by cars when I was pretty young. I don't know what to do. The vet said that she's not necessarily done, but the chances are pretty slim. With a tumour this size, chances are it's already metastasized somewhere. Even if we could get rid of all the cancer, there's still the heart condition to consider. Mickey thinks that we should just make her as comfortable as possible and let her live out the rest of her life at home with her humans until she gets to the point of suffering. Right now, she's still a happy, reasonably healthy cat...she just happens to have a massive growth in her mammaries. As for me...on one hand, I'd like to do everything I can to save her, but I don't exactly have $700+ dollars just laying around. The vet gave her a chance, yeah....but not a very good one. The other part of me is with Mick...surgery is really risky, there's no guarantee she'd survive it, and even if she did, there's no guarantee that they can get all the cancer. I'd rather have her home and continue to take care of her and love her til the time comes to say goodbye, rather than have her prodded, pierced and sliced up to no avail...and taking the chance of having her die among strangers.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Guess Things Are Back to Normal...

...over at the Q. Or what passes for normal, anyway. LOL Flames have always flared up there...it's a bunch of nicotine addicts kicking on an internet site, after all. Over the last few months, I've noticed most of the shit is caused by the same 3-4 people. As I said before, there's nothing wrong with telling it like it is, or calling people on their lame excuses, but these 3-4 people are absolutely cavalier with people's feelings. They don't hesitate to ridicule and dismiss people as not being serious about quitting. Those horrible threads yesterday were all started by the same attention-whoring old woman, were quickly joined by the usual suspects...then the animosity seemed to spread like wildfire. :~(

I'm kind of a hardass about smoking now. I have to be. But I just can't imagine being that way to someone already in the throes of guilt and shame. People aren't going to listen to what you're saying if you're pointing at them and laughing while you say it. I think it's better to try to help someone figure out why she screwed up, than to laugh at her and call her a loser. This is why I stay out of chat rooms, and only visit 2 forum boards. I used to hang out in chat a lot, and lurk on quite a few boards, and I got quite the insight into the pack mentality. It was pretty scary to see some of the stupid shit people would fight about. It was even scarier to see the dogpile effect...one or 2 ppl would start the fur flying with someone, then the next thing you know, 6 other ppl are ganging up.. I got sick of it...it quickly lost its appeal. That's why I liked the Q...sure, there were flames, but they burned out really quickly...and it was basically limited to once or twice a week;. The Monday Gadget Debate and the Wednesday War Zone. The rest of the week was pretty good. Now, every time I go there, I see the same people making really rude, cutting comments to new quitters...and even to older ones. There's this one guy that just blows my mind. If someone with a long quit is struggling with an urge, he shows up and tells them that they can't be serious about their quit if they feel like smoking now...and even questions whether they've been quit as long as they say. This asshole has less than a year quit, but feels free to belittle the quits of people with 2-3 years behind them.

They can also be supportive, sure...to those that they deem worthy. The ones who struggle and slip, though...omg, its nasty. With any luck, the "perfect quitters" will move on. What gets me is that if they are as strong in their quits as they claim to be, why are they posting at the Q every single day? I think its for the attention, myself. They sure don't seem to want to help the average joe, just the exceptional "put em down & don't look back" quitter. I don't even think helping has anything to do with why they're there.

Friday, May 06, 2005

WTF Has Happened to my Q??


There are some really nasty-ass ppl inhabiting the QuitNet these days. :~s I've got no problem whatsoever with telling it like it is, but really....do they have to be so fricking insulting about it?! People fuck up all the time when they quit...I know I sure didn't quit on my first attempt. When that happens, constructive help is what is needed to get back up...they don't need a bunch of idiots cyber-kicking them when they're down. There are a few over there that truly make me want to gag on my screen.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in saying "There, there dear....it's okay that you smoked." I will never tell anyone that smoking is okay. I will try to give them coping suggestions. I'll tell them to keep plugging away. I'll even tell them that smoking is no accident, but a choice they made. But I sure as hell will not ridicule someone because they gave in to their addiction. I will not call them weak. I will not call their integrity or strength of character into question. And I sure as hell will not start a new post to make fun of ppl who slip up in general. That shit is just tacky and wrong...but it goes on a lot over there now. :~( All the posters I remember from when I first quit...the ones who always had a kind and helpful word...are gone now, for the most part. I only see one or two post with any regularity. I try to get over there and help where I can, but it's daunting when everywhere you look, arrogant bastards are ripping new assholes for everyone that screws up. There's a post going on as I type this that at last look, garnered over 50 replies....it's the cruelest thing I've ever seen in regards to ppl that slip. The really sad part? Only about 10 out of that 50 are posts chastising the original poster...the rest are in like a dirty shirt. Fucking pack mentality...."it's okay to be a cruel piece of shit as long as everyone is doing it." GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! This sucks!

That place saved my life...it really and truly did. I hate to see this crap going on over there with more and more regularity. I mean, flamewars have always happened...it's an internet message board, fcol! It just seems to have snowballed over the last year or so. I had to stay away for a couple of months at one point. Even now, I mostly just lurk...answering a help post here or congratsing someone there...but I rarely start a new post. My opinion doesn't seem really popular over there. Got something against "live and let live", I guess.

Ohhh..make that 76 replies. :~(
WTF is Admin when you need them?

Later on....

Well, the offensive thread was eventually pulled...but was followed up by about 3-4 others. God, I can't believe some of these people! They seem to feel it's appropriate to absolutely slam people who struggle with their quit...then the freaks try to dress it up as humour and tough love. It's not exactly funny when you're in the group that's the butt of the joke, and its not love when you're being told that you're a loser and a weakling. Been there done that.

For a couple of hours this afternoon, I couldn't get into the Q. I actually thought for a bit that the site admin got so sick of pulling individual threads that they just pulled the plug on the whole damn site! LMAO I wouldn't have blamed them a bit if they did.