I just got back from three nights and four days (or three and a half?) at Anglin Lake, staying in one of the Land of The Loon Resort cabins soaking in Northern Saskatchewan life. I got one of those funguses that grow on tree trunks that looks like a shelf. The Dene burn it for a smudge, so I am drying it out on the car dashboard for future use! :D
While I was up there I didn't smoke ANY tobacco OR marijuana. It was really nice to get a break from pot, I was surprised how little I even thought about it. Sometimes when I can't have any for a while I get really antsy and anxious. But I was okay. And the no smoking has been going on for quite a while actually. I started patches and lozenges again nearly three weeks ago and did have a couple puffs off of pipe tobacco cigarettes (grody!) every morning for the first week just to get me going, but now the first thing I have in the morning is a nicotine lozenge and the itchy sensation of transdermal nicotine sinking into my shoulder. In three weeks I am going off the patches completely, and then a week after that I am going to switch from nicotine lozenges to altoids.
The other exciting thing that happened was I actually got in the drivers seat and drove twice while I was up north. I drove my mom and I from our cabin to the store at Christopher Lake. And then when we came back from PA from a shopping trip I drove into the site from the highway, dodging the worst holes in the worst 10 km of roadway I have ever seen! For those who don't know, I have never passed my drivers test. I only ever took it three times, back when I was 16 and 17. And then I just kind of gave up. No one liked driving with me so I hardly ever got practice, except for my six hours with the driver's ed instructor. But since then I have matured and mom got on anti-anxiety medication, so it's actually worked out pretty good. Anyway, I am 33 now and still don't have a driver's license, just a learners. But after driving up there, I have decided I am seriously going to practice a lot and take my test before November 11. Because there won't be snow on the ground and also just because remembrance day was the first date in november that popped into my head. I should have picked Guy Fawkes day instead or something though, Novembrance Day as a deadline for my road test is kind of silly.
Having a driver's license would be a HUGE change for me, and would give me a lot more freedom and independence, especially in Saskatoon, a sprawling north american prairie city where you pretty much have to have a car to do anything beyond the bus routes. Our public transportation system is pretty sad. Buses only go until 12:15am, and 9:15pm on Sundays, even worse!
I am not ready to say goodbye to pot, it's been a long time friend and I still like it. I think the only reason I want to quit it is for other people, and I think that's the wrong reason. I should quit because I want to quit, and not because other people think I should quit. I think I need to be more responsible with it, but cutting it out of my life entirely seems harsh.
But the lack of tobacco in my life has been really sweet. Food tastes better, my fingers aren't yellow, I don't smell, my cough has mostly gone away, I have less phlegm in my throat, I'm not spending beaucoup de money on something I burn away, well, except for pot. It's good. And for some reason using the patch and the lozenge has really been working well for me this time around. I can only think of one difference.
The lozenges now also come in mini lozenges. This might not sound like a big difference, but now I get 4mg of nicotine in ten minutes, instead of the 35-45 minutes it took the big 4mg lozenges to dissolve. And because they dissolve so fast, I can use a more reasonable amount of them throughout the day because my mouth can't eat or drink caffinated drinks while I am sucking on a lozenge and it just takes too much of my time.
I don't have cravings for cigarettes anymore, I know it will be weird when I am around my smoking friends, so far I have stayed inside when they go outside to smoke and that helps. I know it will be a trigger to be around someone who could potentially give me a cigarette, but I am really REALLY resolved not to ask for one. And being clean of cigarettes for so long is something I really want to maintain, just because the first three days are so hard.
I don't miss smoking. When I want to breathe smoke I can just have a joint, and besides, breathing smoke is kind of creepy. I remember when I went to the Body Worlds exhibit, the fact that I could tell which people were smokers in their lives really freaked me out. BLACK LUNGS! No trace of pink, just black black black.
And I was tired of being anxious every time I heard a breakthrough cancer treatment was YEARS down the road still, just in case my smoking would finally trigger all that bad stuff it does and I would need that breakthrough cancer treatment and it wouldn't be available for me.
So anyway. Things are finally shifting in my life. I feel relieved that this quit has been smoother and easier, I am excited about practicing and becoming a better, competent driver and getting a piece of paper that says I am legally allowed to drive without anyone else in the car, just me and Mister or me alone or me and a friend or three. And I wrote down some other goals too while I was up north. I am going to write my whole Mars webseries, get my business off the ground, try to get a grant to go to Germany and make a video (but I have to think of a project still! Eeek!), and something else. I wrote it down anyway, so I haven't totally forgotten, or if I have I will soon be reminded. I also wrote down deadlines for each goal, and steps to take to make each one happen.
I lost four sizes in the last year. FOUR SIZES!!!! That's what having a rotten gallbladder will do for you! I hardly eat fat anymore, and I have way less soda, and I have also got a job where I walk for at least six hours a week. So I am way more physically fit, although I am still technically plus sized. I'd be happy to stay at a size fourteen for a while, I like that I still have a roundness to my tummy and cushy boobs and a bigger bum. I don't think I want to be a size twelve.
My pants were all way too big for me. Only one of them fit, so I went to the Old Navy 17 dollar jeans sale and got three pairs of jeans. Which is pretty much the only kind of pants I wear. I'm glad this time I have not lost weight due to mania, because A: that kind of weight loss is way too fast and comes back pretty quick, and losing and gaining in a short space of time isn't very healthy, and B: Mania sucks and psychosis has ruined my life twice and I'd rather it didn't happen again.
I am giving up looking for a girlfriend right now. I don't think there is anyone suitable in Saskatoon, or if there is I don't know it yet. I'd really like to be with someone, but it's not happening and I don't feel like going hunting in the two gay bars here. That was something I was more into in my early 20's. And my mom is right anyway, you shouldn't marry anyone you meet in a bar. Besides, I am weird, I need someone who wants a weirdo. And I dunno, I don't get the feeling the lesbians are clamouring after me here, there are a whole bunch of strikes against me. Or it feels that way. I need a certain something that isn't here. And I don't even have a good dating history in Saskatoon for people to get references from as to my abilities of a girlfriend. I only have one ex who lives here. And she doesn't know any of my friends or social circle, so no one can ask her what I am like. And I don't think she would give a good answer either. If I had to get a girlfriend reference from any of my exes, I think I would pick Amber Dawn, I was with her the longest, except for Ivana, but she lived in Toronto, so it was different. But Amber Dawn lives in Vancouver.
I feel like I am moving into a new phase of my life. I'm really not sure what is going to happen to me, but except for my money troubles, things are going really positively for me. I wish I had more financial security, like a guaranteed income, but I am starting a business and that does poke along the first year in stops and starts. My big flaw is that I am still learning how to do sales calls, and I feel really awkward about trying to chase down some clients. This next week I am going to work on my website and get it more ship shape. I am also going to create my reel to upload, which I really think I need if I want to prove to people that I can edit.
I am going to Saskatoon Tribal Council on Tuesday to see if they can pay for me to have some driving lessons with a professional instructor before my exam. And I have resolved to practice way way more often. I'm nervous about being in traffic, so far I have driven with not much traffic around, but I will work up to it.
I don't know what else to say today. My trip was great. Caring for my grandparents the whole time was intense though. And worrying about my grandma's back.
We went canoeing, which was also fun and something I hadn't done in years and years. I accidentally dumped my mum out though when we hit land. Her shoes are still wet!