A rainbow scarf & my quest for zen

knitting

I thought I would write a little update on quitting smoking and binge eating sugar at the same time.

I’m off the fags, so that’s a big win. My lungs are starting to clear up and I’m feeling much better. This is week 3…It was hard for the first 5 days and then in the second week cravings seemed to come when stress hit but other than that I felt ok. Cravings are really weird. When you really sit with a craving and let it be there without acting on it or fighting with it, it dissipates in a matter of minutes. When the craving hits and you are busy doing other things and you don’t have time to sit and work through it is where the real challenge lies. You have to learn to remain present in the midst of acitivity and turmoil.

I also haven’t been drowning myself in vats of ice cream to substitute, yay for me. I wish I could say I’ve managed to do this because I have become enlightened and now only need fresh air, kale and water to survive. Alas this is not the case, the way I’ve managed to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat is by knitting. A suggestion given to me by the lovely SoberIsland. Proper knitting, with yarn and needles and everything !

Oh yes, I knit now. Honestly, if you told me two years ago that my future self would be a happily sober, herbal tea drinking, yoga doing, scarf knitting individual I would have laughed in your face and then probably would have slapped you for suggesting such an outrageous thing.

Knitting is the perfect hobby for this obsessive compulsive addict. I love the repetitiveness of it, it makes me feel safe and happy. I knew I was hooked when Friday rolled around and I felt proper panic because I didn’t have enough yarn for the weekend. You know what they say…once an addict… I suppose, strictly speaking I haven’t truly managed to deal with cross addictions because I’ve substituted smoking and eating sugar for knitting. Progress not perfection hey? As far as addictions go I think knitting is pretty innocuous. Never had a knitting hangover, can’t black out from it and I’ve never regretted what I knit the night before.

I finished my first scarf a couple of nights ago. I used rainbow yarn, (the closest I could get to unicorn yarn). I absolutely love it and I felt a great sense of accomplishment when it was finished. The only flaw (if this could be considered a flaw) is that it’s the longest scarf I’ve ever seen. It turns out didn’t know when to stop,  every night I kept telling myself just 3 more rows and before I knew it I had knit 6.

 

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35 thoughts on “A rainbow scarf & my quest for zen

  1. Love this, oh God, giving up smoking was is an ongoing battle. Harder than not drinking. I’m not smoking now, I’ve applied step 1 to it…and just for today. But when the stress hit I struggle but like drinking it’s never just 1. Thanks for the post , Enjoy your knitting S x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes smoking is a bugger to stop. It’s becasue it’s not mind altering that my brain think’s it’s ok. Since my mom got sick i realised that this stuff is going to make you sick it’s just a matter of when. So far so good. i like the just for today thing, it’s doable. xxx

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  2. “The closest I could get to unicorn yarn”. Ghegheghe… Congrats on quitting smoking! That is really cool. As is knitting. 🙂 I’ve learned the idustrial knitting on a machine but never applied myself to the real deal. From now on I will be looking at every coffee drinking non smoking non drinking ‘almost unicorn yarn’ long self knit scarf wearing UK tourist in Amsterdam and wonder if it is you. 🙂
    xx, Feeling

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  3. Yay! That’s funny- I was being a smartass when I suggested that, well, I was serious too but I didn’t think you would go there. I wish I could knit. I’ve tried- I get going then I flip it some how and mess it up every time. You’ve inspired me to get my needlepoint out as I’ve been smoking like a freight train these last few sober weeks. I know it helps to keep my hands busy.

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    • Best suggestion! I also didn’t think I would but there you go! I surprised myself and now I’m knitting scarves for the whole of England:) Thank you so much for the suggestion it has helped so much with the stopping smoking. I kept on going back to smoking becasue I picked up weight everythime I stopped. This time I havent picked up anything because I am too busy knitting to eat rubbish in the evenings and duing the day I’m too busy with work and kids. xxx

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  4. How great this blog is. It made me really smile out loud! I’m shit at knitting, although I suspect I’d be ok if I only applied myself. I totally identified with this however, even despite being a crap knitter, because I know how absorbed I become with other things (for me it’s art – drawing or editing photographs). Once I sit down to do either of those things, I completely lose track of everything else. Hours can go by without me eating, drinking…sometimes I even put off going to the toilet because I can’t bear to tear myself away from whatever it is. Well done too with the smokes. I gave up 10 years ago (though I can’t believe that) and have had a few falls from grace re. them…but, I know that I’ll never smoke again. I don’t get cravings at all now. Same with chocolate. I gave that up nearly 4 years ago, but your reference to ice cream made me think hmmmmm. There’s some in the freezer, but I’m trying desperately not to eat sugar so…. x

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    • Thank you. I love ‘smiling out loud’ how beautifully put. I want to get back into drawing. The thing is I have very high expectations about drawing so this adds pressure. I thought I would start with something mindless and progress onto the drawing when I’m ready. I wont be able to give up chocolate completely! Wow! How did you do that? x

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      • I went cold turkey and just hoped for the best. I was told that eating chocolate (especially, but most sugar really) would make me really sick, and I hate being really sick…so I decided I’d rather give it up completely. I’ve never been tempted to eat it. I was very addicted to chocolate, more than anything else so still consider it a danger food. X

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  5. I LOVE THIS! You go, girl. I learned to knit when I was little and knit friends a bunch of socks in my twenties, and then kinda quit. I heard people talk about how they would knit at bedtime in order to get sleepy and thought, wow, it REVs me up. And now I can imagine how that revving is actually helpful in an addiction/distraction way. A compulsion outlet! I also like your reaffirmation — which we can never have enough of — of the fact that cravings melt away in time, usually a very short time. I agree with the distinction you make between having the time to sit with them and being occupied/busy. Those times I struggled most with a craving were the ones where I felt absolutely trapped in the uncomfortable situation, usually away from home (near or far), in a noisy/hot/otherwise stressful place, and/or just after interacting with a family member who mysteriously stresses me out. Thanks for the post and happy scarving………

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    • Socks must be hard to do? I haven’t dared try anything tha requires any mental input. So far I’m sticking to scarves:) It’s totally a compulsion outlet & boy, I need it. Yes, those times when it looks on the surface as if we can’t away from the stress. THAT is where I need help. xxxx

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  6. “Knitting is the perfect hobby for this obsessive compulsive addict. I love the repetitiveness of it, it makes me feel safe and happy. I knew I was hooked when Friday rolled around and I felt proper panic because I didn’t have enough yarn for the weekend. You know what they say…once an addict… I suppose, strictly speaking I haven’t truly managed to deal with cross addictions because I’ve substituted smoking and eating sugar for knitting. Progress not perfection hey? As far as addictions go I think knitting is pretty innocuous. Never had a knitting hangover, can’t black out from it and I’ve never regretted what I knit the night before”
    Thanks HFC, I have been a bit scared in my sudden addiction to bloody cross-stitch. I am cross-stitching two stupid chickens at the moment and just can’t stop. I have separated all the threads into named little drawers and sometimes can’t put out the light for the stitching. This made me feel closer to normal than I have in a while (at least not alone)
    Thanks so much xx
    Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this! I was laughing at the tea drinking, knitting image there. I think most of us would be shocked to hear how our “new” lives have been working out. Our old selves would have scoffed at us! Which is a great indicator of change. I am so excited for you! I am still looking for that kind of thing to do. Hell, maybe I will take up knitting! I would have to learn. My neighbour does it like a champ. Amazing skills she has. But I think there is something therapeutic for sure in knitting – you are zoning out sort of, your hands are busy, and there is an end (even that long scarf of yours!). So very cool!

    Congrats on the no smokes and keeping down the sugar monster – not easy!

    Liked by 3 people

    • ‘You pretty much have to change everything’, I get that saying now….it’s building a new identity from the ground up. Its pretty cool that we get to be several diffrent people in our lives. Have you heard that quote by Joan Didion? – “I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be…” xxx

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  8. This is hilarious! I’m so happy to be laughing out loud after sleeping in on a Sunday. Thank you!
    Your making me seriously consider this knitting thing. I am deep into the sugar, despite my attempts to go cold turkey, and if it works for smoking …
    You are so right about seeing our future selves. Who knew? When I read my old journal entries, I was so caught up in what people thought of me. I never think that way now. How freeing!
    Knitting seems really difficult, but I’ll watch a quick youtube video before I invest in some needles. My husband will be laughing his ass off. He married a fun party girl, and now he has to readjust to a knitting hippy wannabe.
    💕

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  9. Hey, congrats on getting off the smokes, I’m proud of you, that’s not easy! Knitting is so therapeutic, I used to do it when I was younger. I once managed to knit a tshirt style jumper and was so proud of it but it was some cheapo wool that made me crackle and get static shocks from anything metal I went near so it didn’t end well. Your scarf sounds awesome, rainbow unicorn style, I love it 😀 I’m also way out of hand with the chocolate at the moment. Cross-addiction is a bugger! Keep on keeping on Hurrah, you’re doing great stuff x

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  10. Great job! Knitting as a substitute for other addictions is much better – as you say, innocuous! That’s awesome. Um… Pics of this awesome rainbow scarf with the post?? Please? Congrats on getting off the cigs and at the same time not drowning yourself in sugar. Keep up the great work 🙂 Maybe I should start knitting……

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  11. Knitting is the best sober hobby! I knit and crochet. It’s fun, addictive and totally healthy. Not to mention you get great hand made creations, some not so great. Hands busy, mind working, what’s not to love.

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