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Smoke Free and Loving It!

Posted by Aprildancer Jan 11, 2018

Smoke Free and Loving It!


Five years ago at the age of 54,  I finally confessed to my doctor that I smoked.  I lied to everyone for years - like almost forty years.  I was a closet smoker who smoked when I was stressed, smoked when I was excited and happy and smoked when I was bored.  I didn't need much of an excuse to go off and light up. 

My doctor prescribed Chantix for me and I took my time weaning myself off cigarettes.  After about three months I was totally done.  Chantix strongly urges using a support group and that brought me to this website.  I really appreciated the support and, often when I wanted to sneak out to the garage and smoke, I would instead visit the site.  I would read the wisdom of others and contribute my thoughts and would become inspired not to give up the quit.

Everyone knows its tough to quit and everyone has ideas on how to make it easier.  Embracing a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise helped.  It's amazing how much better you feel exercising when you aren't also smoking.  Finding other things to do when I would ordinarily go smoke made it easier.  Reading a book, writing something, organizing something, anything to preoccupy my thoughts.  And paying more attention to my spiritual life and prayer also gave me amazing strength and resolve. 

I love that I don't smoke.  I love that I don't reek of smoke and can look and feel so much better. I love that I don't get condescending looks from people when I smoked outside.  I love that I don't have to figure out when and where I can have my next cigarette.  Mostly I love that God gave me the strength to quit and doggone I did it!  I carry half a pack of left over cigarettes in my brief case. I like to know that they are there but that I am stronger. 

If you are quitting, if you have quit many times before, keep your eye on the prize.  Don't think of what you are giving up and, oh dear, how will I survive my day without that cigarette. Look ahead. Push on one day at a time.  You, too, will come out at the end and will love being smoke free!




Married 35 years, have kids, grandchild. Husband's business partner for 30 years. Ballroom dancer for 18 years. Active, healthy and a closet smoker.

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ballroom dancing, boating, water sports


business owner, cfo


Still Free

Posted by Aprildancer Sep 21, 2013

I am now coming up on three weeks of being smoke free.  Once in awhile a smoking trigger will go off but an alternative activity usually subdues it.  The triggers are becoming less frequent.  I'm thinking "gee, this would be a good time for a cigarette break" far less often. 

I've always worked out at a gym and  I leave my athletic shoes there.  Yesterday I took my shoes home with me.  Being smoke free, I'm feeling healthy and strong and was thinking about running. 

I try to think about all the positive freedoms in being a non-smoker, especially the freedom from being a closet smoker.  When a smoking trigger pops up, I bring these positives to mind. 

I posted previously that I had thoughts about having "just one" and that the first few drags would be pleasurable.  Lots of people disagreed and thought it would taste awful after being smoke free for a couple of weeks (at that time).  Those people are probably correct.  But it made me smile and think to myself "I guess I will never find out". 

Thanks for so much support and feedback.  It's wonderful to have this support!

April Dancer



Posted by Aprildancer Sep 15, 2013

This coming Tuesday it will be two weeks since I quit.  I have been in several situations where triggers have raised their ugly heads and played mind games with me.  But I have held fast and have thought of all the positive things I am gaining by not being a smoker, especially a closet smoker.  Sometimes I am so tempted to "just smoke one".  The first drag or two would probably be pleasurable.  The rest of it would cause me to feel guilty, hypocritical and like one who gives in far too easily.  Is it worth all that self recrimination?  NO.  I would rather feel healthy and proud of myself for NOT giving in. 

Today I made a hotel reservation in Denver.  All of our children live there, one married with a child, and two going to school there.  We visit there often for long weekends and always stay at the same hotel.  We stayed there because it has smoking rooms.  As a closet smoker who didn't smoke in front of her children, I really wanted that hotel room so I could go there to unwind and smoke.  (My husband is a smoker, too, but he smokes anywhere.  So the privacy of the room wasn't quite as important to him.)  Today I found a new hotel property to try.  And guess what...I didn't even inquire if they had smoking rooms.  (Sorry, honey, you'll have to take your smoke outside.)

It's such freedom not to think about smoking or the accommodations I required in order to be able to smoke.  It's freedom not to become agitated when those accommodations couldn't be met and I was forced to wait for my opportunity to light up.  I'm grateful for the freedom to relax and enjoy every family visit and not worry about when I was going to be able to "sneak a smoke".  There really is a freedom in being a non-smoker!

April Dancer

I have been cigarette free for 4 days now.  I am viewing myself as a non-smoker.  That means I don't have to worry about or manipulate any circumstances in order to provide for myself a private break to smoke a cigarrette.  I can socialize with family more and  I can participate in more church sponsored events.  Since I was a closet smoker, these situations never allowed for "secret break times"so I shied away from some things.  I can now stay in any hotel, not just ones that offer smoking rooms.  I can enjoy an airport and not spend time desperately trying to find out where smoking is allowed and do I have enough time to go there and then get through security.

I always worked out at the gym and at home, but the irony of being a trim and healthy fifty-something always caused me guilt because of my smoking and what it was doing to my health.  A workout at the gym sandwiched between two cigarette breaks just isn't right!  I didn't feel that guilt this week.  I am healthy and, Lord willing, will now stay healthy and active.

I almost think I am less stressed by not smoking.  I think I would stress about situations and try to plan when and where I might have a cigarette in private.  I don't think about that now.  I just go about my tasks, either at work or at home, and just try to enjoy my time.  When those cravings start playing mind games with me, I put my distractions into play.  That means I'm popping jelly bellies or grapes. Or I relax and read or do something physical. 

I am looking forward to the time when even thinking about smoking becomes a non-issue.  I'm not deluding myself into thinking that it will be gone forever.  But I'm praying it becomes less prominent in my thoughts. 

So, to all those trying or anticipating trying, check out everything offered on this website.  The support and great and the readings have been really helpful.  Get your mind totally convinced that, YES, you want to be a non-smoker.  Do some homework and be prepared for the journey.  Then take your walk, one foot in front of the other until your destination has been reached!

April Dancer


Dirty Secret

Posted by Aprildancer Sep 3, 2013

I never intended to be a smoker. What I did forty years ago to "be cool" has stayed with me. Oh, it isn't a flagrant in your face habit. No, it's an insidious closet habit. Only a handful of people even know I smoke. They, of course, are fellow smokers. I never smoked in front of my children and I smoked only in the most private of public places. I lied on every medical form, always answering "no" to the smoking question. I always carried breath mints and perfume so as not to give my habit away.  I have lived with a dirty secret.

Two years ago I finally came clean with my doctor and requested a scrip for Chantix.  Coward that I was, it took me two years to bring the scrip to the pharmacy.  Just carrying it around in my purse made me feel like I was doing something about my habit. When I brought it  in to the pharmacy, it couldn't be filled because it was, of course, expired. Then it took me two weeks to call the doctor and request a new scrip. Once that was accomplished, I don't know how long it was before I actually embarked on the Chantix adventure.

I followed my own schedule with the Chantix. I smoked my normal ten to twelve cigarettes a day during the first week. Then I started to substitute  some of my break times with other distractions. For about three weeks I reduced my breaks by 50%, smoking only five cigarettes a day.  Boy, did I look forward to those five a day!

I received and filled the follow up scrip for the Chantix. After about three days on that, I was ready to let it go! Today was my first NO CIGARETTE Day.  The only time I took a break from smoking was during my first two pregnancies ~twenty-six years ago.  So the entire idea of not being able to sneak away and smoke a cigarette is quite foreign to me.  

So far so good. I haven't choked my husband or fired any employees. Weirdly, I actually feel quite calm and even composed.  I'm drinking more water, popping jelly beans or grapes into my mouth when I'm bored,and spending more time in prayer.  I'm smart enough to know that I can't do this in my own strength. I'm trying to view myself as a fit and healthy non-smoker. 

This is certainly the most I've ever confessed about my dirty secret.  If I were a smoker I would need a cigarette about now. I guess I'll go pop a few grapes.