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Bonnie Blog

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Bonnie

Get Happy

Posted by Bonnie Aug 8, 2020

Happiness chemicals and how to "hack" them, sent to me by my sister.  I would also add taking a bath, dancing, gardening and flowers, petting a cat, and MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Good info if you're a newbie and you're missing your neurotransmitters being stimulated by nicotine, and for all of us who are suffering from the stress of this pandemic, which has been dubbed "Pandemic Fatigue".   SMOKING CIGARETTES IS NOT LISTED.

 

 

 

"Get Happy" Ella Fitzgerald

Bonnie

Gratitude...

Posted by Bonnie Aug 2, 2020

Got this in my email inbox today; thought I would share.  Grateful for my EX community and grateful to be a nonsmoker!

Faced with demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize.

Faced with brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal.

Faced with despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope.

                                                      ~ROBERT EMMONS

Bonnie

My Song Today

Posted by Bonnie Jul 21, 2020

I'll be singing this today, thanks to Maki 's excellent post:

Dinah Washington "What a Difference a Day Makes"

Bonnie

Catfish

Posted by Bonnie Jul 14, 2020

I've been spending a lot of time on Facebook the past week or so.  Have had to delete quite a few catfish friend requests and I mark them as spam so they don't bother me again.  Well, I got the same friend request twice, so I guess Facebook has a glitch . Anyway, I made a post "The catfish are jumpin' today"  and a friend commented "Doobie Brothers".  Thought I would share the song she's referring to. 

 

I am loving all the music that is being posted here on EX.  It definitely brightens my mood and makes my smile.  I sing along if I know the words...my singing voice has much improved since I quit smoking!

Black Water - Doobie Brothers (with lyrics) - YouTube 

Bonnie

Don't want to smoke, but....

Posted by Bonnie Jun 22, 2020

Does anyone else besides me just want to eat, Eat, EAT???????  UGH!  Guess I'll go attack a bag of baby carrots...

It's 1 am where I am. Ravi Shankar would have been 100 years old today. This video brought me such joy; his sitar was an integral part of my young life.  Warning: a couple of ads may jar you out of the bliss but I got right back into it...love the interaction with his drum player.  Enjoy! From a time past...a time I'm glad I was a part of...PEACE!

Ravi Shanker at the Monterey Pop Festival, 1967

Bonnie

HILARIOUS!

Posted by Bonnie Apr 5, 2020

I know there's a "laughter" section on EX, but I always put things in my blog so I know where to find them.  Kinda like at home.  I put something in a place and then I think of a better place and...it's the "better" place that I rarely can remember.

 

These gave me more than my requisite belly-laugh for the day...The only thing is, what about ending up being an amazing cook with a drinking problem?  I really do think that's a third possibility

 

Have a Good Laugh!
• Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem.
• I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I'm cracking a safe.
• I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
• Still haven't decided where to go for Easter ----- The Living Room or The Bedroom
• PSA: every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
• Homeschooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting and 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.
• I don't think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we'd go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone
• This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog..... we laughed a lot.
• So, after this quarantine.....will the producers of My 600 Pound Life just find me or do I find them?
• Quarantine Day 5: Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.
• My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee it cleans the toilet.
• Day 5 of Homeschooling: One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.
• I'm so excited --- it's time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?
• I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to Puerto Backyard. I'm getting tired of Los Livingroom.
• Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.
• Day 6 of Homeschooling: My child just said "I hope I don't have the same teacher next year".... I'm offended.
• Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under.

NO STORMS LAST FOREVER: HOLD ON, BE BRAVE, HAVE FAITH...
and
Remember, We Have Each Other!

Bonnie

MY FRIENDS....

Posted by Bonnie Apr 1, 2020

Yes, you.  All of you.  Some in particular who helped me get to 815 Days of Freedom, but ALL of you who are here.  Love this site and love being an EX.  Here's a little music to hopefully brighten your day, from an Oldie but Goodie who is no longer with us.  One of a kind.  Special.  Unique.  Just like each and every one of YOU.

 

Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends (Live) - YouTube 

 

Now, off to my garden.  Have a good day.  Thank GOD for technology that we can all stay in touch.

 

Love,

Bonnie, a NICOTINE ADDICT who has been Free and Healing for Two Years, Two Months, Twenty Five Days, 12 Hours and 9 Minutes (815 days), while extending my life expectancy 28 Days and 7 Hours, by avoiding the use of 8155 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $4,217.29.

Bonnie

You Just Can't Do It...

Posted by Bonnie Mar 5, 2020

Bonnie

777 Days!

Posted by Bonnie Feb 23, 2020

Seven is my favorite number. I live at Space 43 in my park; when I bought my little tin can, I considered it a good sign.  Today was a great day.  My best friend's family is selling her family home and I got a beautiful iron bed from her to put on my porch.  It is extremely heavy, solid iron, not like those day beds that are basically tubing.  Her son was kind enough to break it down, trailer it to my place and set it up.  I love being outside and always wanted a sleeping porch. Now I have one!  Some mosquito netting and I'll be good to go this summer.  When the Delta breeze kicks in around sunset, I can be outside, enjoying it! She also gave me the yellow "palm tree" outdoor lamp that you can barely see behind the headboard. These were both completely unexpected free gifts...

I fell in love with the bed when I first saw it, with its birds and ivy--just my style--but had no idea at the time it would become mine.  Life has been incredibly bountiful lately...

 

Two people in two different scenarios told me today I had a beautiful voice.  No one has ever told me that in my whole life.  When my aunt was dying and I was singing to her to ease her pain, my mother told me to be quiet, that I was singing off key.  That was a few decades ago, but it affected me... until my mother died.  And then I would only sing at home, or in church, or then sometimes with the singing group here at the park.  I stopped going to the singing group because it's the same night as my granddaughter's gymnastics class and she really appreciates me being there.  I do sing in church and sing as loudly as I want.  The young Worship Team leader, who is fairly new, said she always looked at me when she was in front of the congregation.  That made me feel good.  I love her choices of music and had a secret desire to join her up front.  We don't have a choir; there is just Mia with her guitar, one of two women playing the piano, one of two young men who play guitar, a drummer, and one of two mature women who sing with Mia.  I wanted to be one of those women, but didn't know how to go about asking.  Well, after the first of the year, an email went out asking for volunteers.  Sunday school teachers, greeters, and new members of the Worship Team (the music team).  I thought about it for a couple of weeks and decided to take the plunge.  I went to my first meeting this morning and am going to sing tomorrow at church.  I am excited and nervous.  The people who told me I had a beautiful voice have nothing to do with the music team.  But hearing that from two different sources sure did help my confidence and relieve my anxiety a bit.  I still will be nervous, but won't be thinking that I sing offkey (my mother was a little deaf, which may have made a difference to what she heard).

Anyway, life is quite good these days...I'm stepping out and doing things I've never done before and I sure am glad I quit smoking.  If my voice is a gift God gave me, then I certainly wasn't taking good care of it by sucking on cancer sticks.

All I want to do is enjoy tomorrow and not trip going up and down the stairs to the stage . Say a prayer for me, please!

Bonnie

Those straws

Posted by Bonnie Feb 18, 2020

had to go.  I had two of them, clear ones cut the length of a cigarette, one on each little table where I drink my coffee.  Those urges have FINALLY subsided, although I'm still watching Mad Men (on the last season).  So I put them away in a drawer where I keep some of my candles and the matches I use to light them.  Opening that drawer last night I got a weird feeling when I saw them.  Realized they looked like they could be used as an accessory for a white powdery drug.  Also the fact that my granddaughter usually comes over once a week after school and she might see them and wonder what they were for.  It was also a flashback to my "closet smoker" days, hiding all the "tools" (lighter, ashtray, matches, long butts--yes, I would keep those as the smokes I smoked were expensive) in a place where no one who visited could possibly find them (or smell them, in the case of the butts, which I kept in a cigarette pack).  Oh my, the memories....

 

SO GLAD I DON'T

DO THAT

ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful, glorious, stupendous, kick-up-your-heels for joy if you can, dance down the street, sing with the birds, shout at the sky, SMOKEFREE Day!

 

Bonnie   ~772 DoF

Bonnie

Mad Men

Posted by Bonnie Feb 10, 2020

Is my most recent addiction.  I discovered "binge series watching" when I had shingles last year and since I've never been much of a TV watcher, except for old movies, there is a bunch of stuff out there waiting for me to get addicted to.  "Grey's Anatomy" got me through shingles and I haven't found any other series as gripping until "Mad Men".  Never been to New York, didn't know anything about the advertising field, and I enjoy all the background details: the clothes, the décor, the way history is woven into the story, the fact that it all takes place pre-high tech...I'm hooked!

 

And boy, DO THEY SMOKE!  Almost EVERYONE smokes.  ALL THE TIME. EVERYWHERE.  Pregnant women smoking (and drinking).  Smoking in restaurants, smoking at the family dinner table.  Last night a main male character held a baby up and had a cig dangling from his mouth.  Now that was rather shocking to observe from today's viewpoint.  It made me realize that some things HAVE improved in this world .  

 

It also made me realize that, subliminally, the show may have contributed to those urges I've been having.  Even though rationally and consciously I've been thinking "yuck!" while watching the show, the addict in me is probably saying "yummy!  let's go do it, too!"  When I first started my quit, I would stay away from old movies that made smoking look glamorous.  There is SO MUCH smoking in "Mad Men" that it's a turn-off, at least that's what I thought.

 

I plan to finish watching it--have a couple of seasons to go--but I'm happy to report that I had no smoking urges over the weekend, even though I did indulge (in "Mad Men").  I'm thinking of it now like being around a bunch of smokers in real life: you may feel secure in your quit, but you must remain ever vigilant.

 

Let's all have a safe and healthy week of FREEDOM FROM NICOTINE!

Bonnie

764 DOF

Bonnie

Peter Max had it right!

Posted by Bonnie Feb 6, 2020

I know I've posted the bottom poster here before, but just found the top one on the 'net.  Both were part of an American Cancer Society campaign on college campuses in 1969-70.  I was smoking in those days, but wish I had seen (and bought) both or either of these.  Quit smoking in 1971 and picked up again five years later to lose weight for a man, thinking I could quit again "anytime".  Silly woman!  I'm going to figure out how I can copy the top one...I would love to have it in my home somewhere, even with the paperclips...

Bonnie

Ain't gonna lie....

Posted by Bonnie Feb 5, 2020

I've been having a lot of whatever you call them after two years smokefree...not a craving, not an urge, not anything as horrible as physical withdrawal was, but I've been having more than I want to have...those "thoughts"....DANG!  The addictive brain has been altered permanently...I can certainly vouch for that these days.  I have always known that I was very emotionally addicted to cigs...every relapse was triggered by some emotional trauma (or perceived trauma).  From the very beginning, I coped with my emotions with nicotine, that's actually why I started smoking...which meant I didn't really deal with my emotions at all.  I learned how to do that over the past two years (with a LOT of help from my EX family) and here, now, after a relatively smooth ride through year two....here they come, those thoughts, those damn thoughts...and why, why are they coming NOW?

I'll tell you why.  Couple reasons...First of all and it's really a head-shaker but after 70+ years on this earth I know myself a little bit and when things GET GOOD, I mean where there hasn't been some kind of crisis for a couple months (I used to tell myself that if my family didn't have a crisis for 3 months, I could quit smoking for good...LOL!!!! Well, that was a guarantee I could keep smoking back then!), I start looking over my shoulder and deep-down, start preparing for what is to come. My history tells me that if it's been good for a little while, it's not going to be good for very much longer.  

My life is good right now.  Finances have always been a huge factor in my life and it was really SCARY to quit my part-time incredibly stressful minimum wage job, but it got to the point where physically and mentally I just had to quit.  Knew I wasn't going to make it through another holiday season of retail madness.  So...I quit my job...Well, now I know that I "retired".  Due to the Great Recession, I wasn't afforded the opportunity to voluntarily retire from a job and have been at loose ends since then.  Caregiver, volunteer, preschool worker (where my leg got broken), on disability...blah, blah, blah, sad story, had to sell my home of 26 years where I poured all my creative energy, first escrow fell through, more sad story, blah, blah, blah, but I had my cigs to see me through and God knows I needed something.  So...fast forward to today...Things are good.  I've owned my little trailer for almost 5 years...hard to believe...never even did the touchup painting that needed to be done after I moved in because I had the fear that if I got everything "just so" I would lose this place like I lost my beloved "big house" after I finally had the funds to remodel the kitchen and finally get a dishwasher, etc.  Amazing the wounds that experiences can burn into your brain, your heart, your soul...But if you smoke to deal with the pain, you never really get over it.  THIS IS WHAT I LEARNED THE FIRST YEAR OF MY QUIT.  So...I bore the pain, the pain of the past, the stress of the present, the worry about the future.  It didn't kill me. I had the help of my friends here, and I didn't pick up.  I moved on, I gained self-respect, and I put my "big girl panties on" (at 70, finally!) and started dealing with what I could and turning the rest over to GOD.  Plain and simple.  Simple but not easy.

So...I quit my job and couldn't face looking for another...Really, look for jobs on Craigslist and careerbuilder.com and send out my resume?  Not this time.  This time I'm gonna turn the whole darn thing over and just enjoy the present.  Seriously.  Got a little savings...I can always sell my "coach" and buy a car I can live in and get me another pitbull (I miss having a dog).  And travel...miss that...always an option..there's ALWAYS an option.  and as long as I felt HOPE and didn't feel HOPELESS (just realized that relapsing on cigs always made me feel so awfully HOPELESS), life was good.  I had my health and with most people I know my age having so many health issues or already gone, oh my goodness, I had something to be grateful for every day.  Every morning that I woke up.  And I wasn't smoking to "deal" with life.

Oh, I'm so rambling...Blogging is journaling, right?  And now that I have my laptop back (it wasn't in good shape for a couple months) I'm so happy just to type away...So...I turned my whole situation over to God.  Left Barnes and Noble on Friday, Sept. 13th (Friday the 13th has been a lucky day for me), and it actually took me a long time to recover.  I had been there a year and a half.  My sister with retail experience told me she was really proud of me to have lasted that long.  Had to deal with the fear of financial insecurity big time.  But my faith never wavered and I just rested and prayed and stayed positive.  Had a great holiday season.  Relationships with both my daughters better than they have ever been since I can remember.  Grandson got a darling rescue dog that I got to take care of the first week he was home while his family was at work and school.  Get to pick my granddaughter up at school on Tuesdays and go to gymnastics with her.  Have the energy to be more involved with my church (am going to sing with the Worship Team starting this month...big deal for me to sign up).  The finances aren't great, but they're better than I predicted.  I've committed to my tiny home and have a lot of projects planned...even ideas to make some $ (always loved being self-employed more than working for someone else...usually had a business AND a job with a paycheck at the same time, until I got divorced).

So..things are good...and I want to smoke.  First reason?  Because things are going well.  My background has programmed me to be highly anxious when things go well.  Why?  Because one of these days the other shoe's gonna drop and the s*** is gonna hit the fan.  Guaranteed. Happened ALL THE TIME growing up.  And if you know anything about the cycle of abuse...well, the good times are great, but it's gonna get bad any day now...and that's what I dealt with in my marriage to my girls' dad. So...it's in my programming and I'm aware of it and it's kinda the pits but I can deal with it...if I feel that anxiety it's because THINGS ARE GOING WELL.  IT DOESN"T MEAN THAT THINGS ARE GONNA TANK SOON...THAT'S THE PAST...NOT THE PRESENT, NOT THE FUTURE.  Got it, Bonnie?  Good!  Good girl! No reason to smoke.  YOU DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE!

OK, Now What?  Oh yeah, hanging out with my best friend.  The almost-chain smoker.  Supporting her while she is in charge of all the material possessions at her family residence, since her mom has passed and her stepdad has been moved to assisted living due to Alzheimer's. Lots of family history here, not my story, but we are close friends (lived next door to each other for 24 years) for a reason and were smoking buddies for decades.  Sitting at her kitchen table, drinking coffee and smoking tons of cigs for hours...so grateful for the friendship during those years we were both single moms raising our kids. So...now we're still friends but she still smokes and I don't.  And she smokes a lot.  Never tried to quit.  And we're spending a lot of time together.  At her mom's house.  Emotional for her.  I want to be supportive.  I can still drink the coffee.  But I don't smoke.  But I'm getting those "feelings" as we sit at her mother's kitchen table, drinking coffee, she's showing me old photographs, etc.  And I can't eat my sunflower seeds in the shells anymore because of my aging teeth.  So...what do I do?  Somehow at home I think of a straw.  And I find a straw. A plastic straw just the right length.  Think I must have kept it for my grandgirl.  I put it to my lips and inhale and voila!  Problem solved!  THANK YOU, GOD!  I put that straw in my purse and when I head up to my friend's mom's house to help her again I have my straw and I whip it out when we sit down again and she starts the chain-smoking routine (with the door open).  Problem solved.  Simple. Weird. Grateful. SMOKEFREE.  New crutch: plastic straw the length of a cigarette.  It works for me.  After two years?  Don't care.  It works. And I can hang it from my mouth like all the hardcore smokers do but that I never did. In fact, got it in my mouth right now.  Uh oh, a new addiction.  Don't care.  Maybe better start hoarding plastic straws before they become illegal.

Bonnie ~760 DOF (some of them hardwon)

Bonnie

Oh my, what a surprise

Posted by Bonnie Jan 12, 2020

Hit 2 years nicotine-free 5 days ago. Since my laptop is being repaired, I wasn't following my normal routine of logging onto Ex, checking my Quit app, even remembering my quit date, tho I remember now I picked the 7th because 7 is one of my favorite numbers (the other is  13). I have had soooooo many start dates . Anyway, because I was basically offline and it was not my first smober anniversary which was a BIG deal, day came and went with little significance. Like a good friend told me, the second year would be easier than the first. And she was right.

HOWEVER, for the last three evenings I have wanted to smoke. Not constantly, but more than one "thought" each evening.  What a surprise! I just kind of shook my head and observed the phenomena. Three nights in a row. That nicodemon is cunning, powerful and..oh I forget the last word. Baffling? That could be it. Because the truth is, depression, anxiety,  anger and hopelessness would get me to relapse over and over, but today life is good. I had a great Christmas day (which included the ex) with both my daughters and all the grandkids. My relationship with both of them is better than it's ever been (this has taken a lot of prayer, patience and letting go of a lot of baggage on my part). I am content with my present, hopeful for the future and accepting of the past. I accomplished technical tasks to secure my laptop to mail that amazed me..in my smoking days I would have been a frustrated, impatient mess. I am doing stuff on my phone in the meantime I was too stubborn to learn how to do before, like figuring out how to get on Ex, access my email accounts, etc. I am not inclined towards technology, even though I worked at Intel for 9 years and left as an IT systems engineer (Ha ha), but even old dogs can learn new tricks and I have to say I'm quite proud of myself. The weather was gorgeous today and I spent all day outside working in my yard, which is one of my favorite things to do. Came in, put on some music, cooked a healthy dinner talked to a close friend on the phone did some planning for next week...all in all s lovely day...and Bam there it was..the thought...the sneaky damn thought of an addictive brain.  Wow. It can hit when the s*** hits the fan and it can hit when life is incredibly sweet. Be forewarned, dear people. Once an addict, always an addict.

Thanks for being here.

Bonnie @734 DOF