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Bonnie Blog

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One Year

Posted by Bonnie Jan 7, 2019

I made it...I really did...this is my "forever" quit and at 69 years of age, I can't tell you how many times I've "stopped smoking".  Dozens of times.  Closet smoker some of the time.  Smoked only at work some of the time.  Smoked only at home some of the time.  Rarely made it to three months, though I quit when I was 23 for quite a few years and then started again to lose weight for a lover who smoked thinking I could "quit again anytime".  Quit without a problem when I was pregnant with my two daughters but first thought after two difficult deliveries was "GIVE ME A CIGARETTE".

Joined Nicotine Anonymous and my shares helped others quit but I just couldn't get it together.  I actually married a man who didn't know I smoked.  Joined EX in 2009 and made good friends there who I'm still Facebook friends with...they quit and I kept relapsing.  I would have had 10 years..

Oh well.

What was different this time...

*I was really sick of the whole they say in another recovery program, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Didn't really enjoy it anymore, smoked because I had to. Even that first cigarette in the morning, the one we really "enjoy" because our bodies are in withdrawal, would just zap my energy and leave me feeling tired.  I started noticing that...

*Didn't want to die a smoker.  Old people who smoke looked really gross to me and no matter what I looked like or how I  fooled myself, I was an old woman who smoked.  I'm even older now, lol, but I don't smoke

*I was spending $5/day on organic cigarettes...I couldn't afford to spend that kind of money on something that doesn't contribute to my quality of life. 

*I loved the "new" EX and came back.  Made a couple of false starts but DIDN'T GIVE UP.

*I made quitting smoking THE TOP PRIORITY IN MY LIFE.  Nothing was going to be more important:  my weight, my relationships, nothing.  

*Cold turkey works for me.  I found a scrip for nicotine patches from 2015 yesterday.  Patches didn't work for me...they burned and itched and I would take one off and smoke.  Lozenges I tried, too, and gum.  Wellbutrin helps, but it helps me with depression, too, and so I take it if I need it.  I didn't take it when I quit smoking a year ago.

*A little thing, but I think it is significant: I had my last cigarette at night, to get a head start on withdrawing while I was sleeping.  Every other time I would stop smoking I would have my last cigarette in the morning, which meant I would get a last "fix" when I really "needed" one. I would suck on the last cig with my morning coffee like I was heading to the electric chair, romancing it, saying goodbye with dread for what I was going to be facing (God knows I had had plenty of DAY ONES, HELL WEEK, etc., etc., to know!)

*I came here and wrote about how I was feeling and doing...the good, the bad and the ugly.  The self-pity, the anxiety, the pain, the fear, the revelations--I wrote about it all and my EX friends listened and understood and supported me and lifted me up.  And when I felt that I didn't want to visit because I just didn't want to think about smoking at all, I did that, too.  And then came back because I missed the sense of community and the friends I had made here and all the wonderful wisdom from people who have gone before me and know how hard it is.  And the newer folks who were taking their first steps on this amazing challenging journey of self-discovery and growth. And when I couldn't type much because of a broken laptop I still came to LISTEN AND LEARN, and give a little input when I could. 


So...I've got a new laptop which I set up today--can't believe I did something techie without smoking a zillion cigarettes, but I didn't even think about it at the time.  I could buy another 3 laptops and a printer with the $ I saved not smoking.

I weigh the same as I did a year ago.

I have gone through a lot of "stuff" without smoking. Smoking doesn't help and a lot of times it made it so much worse because I would relapse and then feel bad about whatever was going on AND about going back to smoking.

I LIKE MYSELF A WHOLE LOT MORE...something I really didn't think about until recently.


Everyone's life journey is their own, and everyone's quit is their own.  Two things that really worked for me are the black pepper sunflower seeds (which I still like to snack on) and smoking "natural" cigarettes before quitting.  For me, the withdrawal from Marlboros was much, much more difficult than the withdrawal from American Spirits.  The emotional dependency was the same and had to be dealt with in both cases, but the physical withdrawal was easier with cigarettes that didn't contain a lot of additional least for me.


Right now I feel content.  It is really storming outside, the electricity even went out for awhile.  My tiny home is cozy and warm...oh my, I just realized I would probably smoking inside tonight with a couple windows cracked and then wonder if my hair smelled like smoke tomorrow at work (I have had my current job since March....haven't had a job as a nonsmoker since I taught English in Japan in my early 20's over FORTY years ago).


I'm rambling now...and sleepy...and grateful for EX...and proud of myself.  But I will remain vigilant. Those nicotine receptors that I created in my brain with my addiction are still there, waiting to be fed.  If a craving or "desire" comes out of the blue, I will think of it as one of those starving receptors wanting to be fed and I won't give in.  If something unforeseen happens and my quit gets shaky, I won't hesitate to come here FIRST.  I NEVER WANT TO SMOKE AGAIN. N.O.P.E. and "I don't do that anymore" and all the tools that are available to me, I WILL USE.


My one concern these days is my relationship with my best friend, who is a heavy smoker and who has never tried to quit.  We don't see each other that often as our schedules are different, but the last few times her smoking really seemed to dominate our time together...when we smoked together of course it didn't matter, but now....only time will tell.  I love her and want to keep her as a friend, but her addiction just shows me how we can always justify smoking when we are in the throes of denial.  It is really, really sad that she doesn't seem to see how her health issues are all related to her smoking, but who can tell a practicing addict anything.  And who am I to judge: I've been there, too. I just hope someday she will see the truth.


That's it from me.  I just wanted to blog on my "big day", to capture my feelings and to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have helped me get here.  I did the work, but I couldn't have been successful without YOU.


Aloha nui, dear friends and fellow travelers,


365 DO


Quit Date

Posted by Bonnie Jan 5, 2019

So....I'm typing on my new nice!  It was easy to set up and I've already transferred my files from my old one...didn't take long (I shy from technical stuff typically and would have taken a zillion smoke breaks in the "old days", but I have so much more patience these days, even with myself).  I had a "quit counter" app on my old one that I checked to see if it showed the details of when I quit and it does:  11:00 pm on January 6, 2018.  So...when I put my FOREVER quit date down here on the "new" EX (dear friends, I've been a member since 2009...a little sad but true) I put "January 6th, 2018" because that's the day I quit (I am too literal sometimes ).   HOWEVER, I won't have a year SMOKEFREE until JANUARY 7TH, 2019.  Tried to change my quit date here on EX, but the program tells me my quit date is in the past (duh) and to pick another date in the future...NO WAY...I've done that too many times in the past, LOL!


And now I'm trying to "mention" Mark, the administrator, to ask if he could change it for me and I can't figure out how to tag him @mark as he doesn't come up in the list of "marks"...I'm done with tech stuff today...gonna save my movie treat until tomorrow, since I already ate my celebratory repast...


I learned in another program to be scrupulously honest...and so I am here.  I never lied about smoking or not smoking, but I did "hide" my smoking (what a joke, so much shame attached).


I did quit on January 6th, 2018, but my "quit date" is January 7, 2018... isn't it?  Or is it still January 6th because I quit at 11:00 pm?  Oh my goodness, I so overthink things sometimes...Just want it right moving forward...FOREVER...


25 to go...

Posted by Bonnie Dec 12, 2018

not a long post, still using my puter w/the broken keyboard. the holidaze are NOT my fave time of year for a lot of reasons but i've deep-cleaned, organized and decorated my tiny home because it looks so pretty and in the hopes that my daughters will be kind enough to let my grandchildren visit me..

I dream of moving away, away from the city and away from the children i raised pretty much on my own and who were my whole life for a long time but who don't seem to like me or even respect or acknowledge me these days.

but their behavior isn't worth blowing my quit...

Working retail at a mall when you're pushing 70 is not a walk in the park, especially during this joyous season of rampant consumerism, but i've been taking good care of myself--eating well & getting enough sleep--and I'm dang proud of myself 4 making it 9 months at this job and learning a lot about myself and other peeps in the process.  And being busy is good...

No words of wisdom, no sparkling revelations or words of wit..just me at 340 DOF



Posted by Bonnie Nov 4, 2018

I had a great day, since I finally had gotten a decent night's sleep. Ran a few errands in the morning, between 10 and 11 o'clock, and the traffic was already heavy and people were rushed--honking, swerving around other cars, going through yellow-red lights, etc. In 2017, Sacramento drivers were 'officially' the worst drivers in the US (My daughter had to take a driver's safety class for her county job)--just proved something I had thought for wonder our car insurance is so high...


My deduction from traffic being even worse than usual: HAPPY HOLIDAZE have begun! 


Got a call from my boss around 12:30.  She left a message practically begging me to come in and work a 3-7 pm shift--someone had called in sick and so far no replacement. I called back to say "NO" and talked to a coworker (no direct line to the manager--employees have to use the same phone number as customers, can't even leave a voicemail to reply to a call at home...really exasperating) and asked him if they were busy. His reply "Crazy busy." Confirmed what I already knew...and I'm scheduled to work Monday-Friday next week, first week ever in my  new 'career' as a Bookseller to work 5 days in a row. Thank God I put my foot down and said 4 hours was my max...and they're wasting they're time calling me to pick up extra shifts...I'm already at my max..

The taste of coffee and writing about work just brought about a 'cig thought'. That's all it is at this point but I don't like it.  I am NOT going to put a nasfy nic device anywhere near my face...many of my last relapses were brought on by stress and it's just NOT going to happen this time...365 days are right around the corner and I'm going to make it, by the GrAce  of God, my own determination and the help of my EX family...even if I have to blog 7 times a day (be forewarned).


Which brings me to the good news (well not maybe for you,lol).  Typ7ng 8n my broken 'puter has been a real pqin and tho ive gotten pretty good at it, it takes way too long to write anything.   so... ivhought a new one a NICE one, a RED oNE AND A PRINTER TOO.  ON SALE.  both arrive 4his week and with m5 newly res7rrected PATIENCE i'm pretty sure ill b able to set 4hem up.  


I calculated last night that with the $ i saved from stopping smoking i could have bought THREE such laptops and THREE printers. So...




gotta run..don't want to b late 2 church sermon is 8n Dysfunctional Families and i can hardly wait. no time to reread this or edit it so....bye fo3 u all!



302 DOF



Posted by Bonnie Nov 3, 2018

I finally got a decent night's sleep after 11 days of 3-5 hours a night. The sleep aid my neighbor recommended worked and I also put on my sleep mask and earplugs (thanks Giulia for the reminder) and wore them for most of the night. YAY!  I now have my toolkit for the time change hocus pocus that happens tonight..


It's all good...HOWEVER, as I was waking up, still in bed, hadn't even looked at the clock yet, THE THOUGHT OF A CANCER STICK FLITTED THROUGH MY MIND....HUH?


Can't remember the last time a thought of a morning cig crossed my mind...not for months. It really surprised me, lasted probably ONE SECOND and was gone, but there it was...a nicotine receptor in my brain flashing its little, weak signal, saying "feed me."


I'd like to think that because I didn't feed that nasty evil little thing that it is dead. But that thought sure came out of left field and surprised me. Addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful.


Ever vigilant, 


301 DOF






Posted by Bonnie Nov 2, 2018 I know when the day counter changes here on least for me or those on Daylight Savings Time..hope they get rid of the silly thing next an HSP (highly sensitive person) the change in time really 4hroughs me off...and with the huge eremely b3igbt full moon that woke me up each night it sank below my roofline and glowes into my room right onto my bed, and the craziness at work and the chang3s in my family, I hqven't had more than 4 hours sleep a night for over a week...madness...started back on Buspar-my anti-anxiety drug of choice as it is non-addictive a few days ago...otherwise I'm so hypervigilant it affects my driving...pure madness.And work is so crazy stressful it would be impoosible to perform my job.


Of course in the old days I'd be blowing this quit for sure, but I'm exercising good self-care: eating well, staying away from the carbs, taking my vitamins, using lots of lavender lotion and oil (aromatherapy really works for an HSP) and amazingly I,m doing quite well and don't feel THAT strung out.Maybe 'cause in my former life I'd be smokig a bu


"Happy Holidays"

Posted by Bonnie Oct 28, 2018

are starting early for me this year.  That is sung in a highly sarcastic tone with a fake smile on my face. 

(My laptop almost stopped working altogether, but fortunately I figured out how to jerryrig it...can't move it because the hinge is broken and not fixable but I've got it propped securely on my desk and can type more quickly on the online keyboard. Thank God because I may bite the bullet and purchase a new one during Christmas sale time but in the meantime I'm gonna need to communicate wi4h me EX family to get me to my year milestone.


Last week was EXTREMELY stressful, but with positive outcomes. I didn't call off or walk off my job and had my best 

'sales' day ever while processing a sales transaction every 2.45 minutes...yes you have to be FAST as well as sell store memberships. The day after my day from hell, I got an apology from one manager and had a good conversation with the one manager who knows how to treat his staff. Thank God he is there.




Looks like I will be taking my older daughter and two teenage grandsons to dinner this coming Thursday. The boys are too big to fit in my Mustang, so Chloe will be driving (a nice SUV that she really needed that I lent her the down payment and cosigned for). She paid me back as promised and hasn't missed a payment in 3 1/2 years. We had a major falli g out two years ago and are currently estranged...Pray that our get-together is the beginning of a healthy loving



Yesterday I ended up spending most of the day at my younger daughter's house helping her put my granddaughter's room together, a nice day and the room turned out really well. Found out at the very end of the evening that my girls' father will probably be coming down for Christmas. That's where the sarcastic "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" comes in...they all get together for a fine old time and old "Nonnie" (me) gets left out in's happened many, many times over the years since our divorce (holidays weren't called out in our papers) and I would never know what was happening til the last minute because of weather or whatever. It really, really sucks and has been the excuse for at least one relapse (my longest to date) and more pity parties than I can count...He also walked out on the girls and me for the last time in early December...It was awful...this will be the first Christmas I will be smokefree since then and that was 34 years ago.


So...dear friends and fellow nicotine-fighters, I will be asking for your support, encouragement and prayers during this upcoming joyous season of good cheer and loving kindness. I am not looking forward to it, especially the work portion of




* I made it through a huge milestone last week.

* I am not around anyone who smokes.

* I have a decent relationship with one daughter, working on the second and my grandkids all love me.

* My health is good, I have a roof over my head, food to eat and adequate income.

* I fixed my computer enough so I can communicate with the best quit-smoking-and-stay quit support group EVER

* I have 290+ days SMOKEFREE and I sure as heck AM NOT GOING TO BLOW THIS QUIT





Now I better publish this before I hit the wrong key    Love you all and thanks for being here...


Full moon...

Posted by Bonnie Oct 23, 2018 that's it...haven't been keeping track...glad a coworker clued me in as a full moon often disrupts my sleep.

This week has been heck at work and it's only Tuesday...would prolly be venting a lot more here but a broken 'puter prevents me from being my normal rather prolific self. HOWEVER....

Although life looks rather sucky right now and I don't see my way out of the dung pile and working retail at an understaffed, poorly managed mall store (malls are one of my least favorite places to be) and the upcoming feeding frenzy they call 'Happy Holidays' has me very concerned.... 


In my old 'chronic relapser' days after a nutso day like today I would have bought a  pack and a lighter on the way home from work, regretted my decision but lit up anyway...smoked a couple or five and hated myself in the morning.

But TODAY I stopped by the store and bought Nyquil instead, hoping it will solve the sinus-headache-at-4:30-in-the morning-and-not-back-to-sleep-til-7-problem I had last night. I'll wake up in the morning, hopefully refreshed after a good night's sleep, make it through the day without falling down, having a car accident or a meltdown at work.

BUT....Even if any of those things happen I WILL NOT SMOKE

Bonnie 290 DOF


eight months and a day...

Posted by Bonnie Sep 8, 2018

still have a broken keyboard/laptop so this will be short but wanted to let you good people know how I'm doing and that you still are an integral part of my quit. I can't see what i'm  typing lol. have been logging  on here to stay in touch. have had some smoking thoughts recently but after reading newbie struggles i am so thankful i'm an Ex. I know i must be last relapse was at 10 months...

Still at Barnes and Noble cashiering...crazy busy but i can deal with 4 hour  shifts...legs holding good...and i try to spread a little kindness and cheer every day. Boss called me a "rock star" yesterday...LOL. don't know bout that but i'm damn proud of my 69-yr-old self Now just can't get too cocky...Dear God, keep me humble...

XoXOXo and prayers for Pops


two hundred days

Posted by Bonnie Jul 26, 2018

using the onscreen keyboard is painfully slow but since i  HAVE MORE PATIENCE these days i wanted to document my progress on this wonderful journey.

~Over 2000 sickorettes not smoked

~$1000 saved

~i weigh the same today as i did on Day 1.

~no longer need anti-anxiety med (certainly did need it while learning my new job).

~work in a fast-paced, highly fluid, physically-demanding environment and am doing ok. i enjoy my team and am accepted and liked by coworkers  and management. l feel good when i leave work. Don't need that "stress-

relieving ' smoke. Amazing I'm doing a job i never thought  i could  do---at 69 yrs old!

~i like myself more. Not in the rather arrogant (actually self-defensive) way of my closet-smoking days, but more a quiet self-assurance borne from  self-respect. Feels good!

~Greater tolerance/Less judgement of others and self. Less social anxiety, more acceptance. Less frustration, more perseverance.

~Depression replaced by gratitude and hope.


I've been working on my spiritual life as well as my quit...they seem to go hand-in-hand at least for me....both are lifelong endeavors....


Well it's taken me a half-hour to write this and i must move on.....

thank you from the bottom of my heart.....couldn't have done it

without you! XOXOXOXOXOXO





beyond NML

Posted by Bonnie Jul 7, 2018

I'm there. laptop broken but figured out A way 2 use it without the main keyboard. life has been challenging but havent thought about cigs at all til i smelled them on someone today and my reaction was negative. i did break down last nite and go to the local convenience store....i'd been thinking bout it 4 two days and finally couldnt resist the impulse. the sunflowers seeds, the wonderful melon just weren't doing it for me. So....I crumbled..had enough  change, so bought the BIG pack of red licorice and ate the whole box.  didnt feel  guilty  at all ....




It really doesn't matter

Posted by Bonnie Jun 6, 2018

How you do it...just DO IT!!!

Bear Playing Tetherball



Posted by Bonnie May 23, 2018

So...I missed the bonfire this past weekend but still wanted to find out how many cigarettes I could have thrown in the fire. I tried to find the link that ShawnP so kindly posted to figure that out, but I couldn't find it. 

Went back to the Quit Counter I put on my laptop desktop and opened it up...OKAY! 


Today I have 137 days and smoked 10 cigs a day back in "the old days"...

Gee, I needed an app to figure out how many cigarettes I haven't smoked????????????


I don't think I'll ever need anything but my own brain to figure that out.....

I learned how to multiply by 10 a long, long time ago




Maybe this old brain of mine IS on the mend! 


Have a great SMOKEFREE day, my friends! 



Posted by Bonnie May 22, 2018

After getting a hot stone pedicure this morning (yes, I splurged a bit, but my feet/legs deserved it after working a

7.5 hour shift yesterday and the back massage chair was lovely, I had no idea how sore I was!)...

then a nice lunch out before the crowds,

this is the afternoon I have planned....If I was a cat I'd be purring right now...

The billpaying, floorwashing, laundry, and yardwork

can wait 'til tomorrow!

Have a great SMOKEFREE day!


Monday, Monday

Posted by Bonnie May 21, 2018

Had a great staycation without much media (except old Westerns on antennae TV).  Yes, I missed the royal wedding...wasn't going to get up at 1 am on Saturday morning and watch it live, but I did see some video clips on the 'net.  Got my patio furniture set up, bought some veggie plants to try this summer, and even got out my little Weber bbque.  The weather is just gorgeous here and yes, I did hang out by the pool to catch some rays and soaked in the jacuzzi.  Today is my long day at work--please pray for me as 7 hours on my feet is a lot.  I'm bringing my tennis shoes just in case--we're not allowed to wear them on the sales floor but if it comes to crying "Uncle" or putting them on and finishing my shift I'll put them on for the last few hours.  


I only had one smoking memory, and that was after my second glass of wine on Friday evening.  Youngatheart.7.4.12 's weekend warnings to skip the alcohol early in your quit are wise words...I want to lose a few pounds to help my back and knees and am not going to imbibe again until the Fourth of July.  Other than that I DIDN'T THINK OF SMOKING AT ALL OVER THE WEEKEND, even with all the physical "chores" I was accomplishing and the historical "ciggie breaks" I would take in the past between them.


I AM SO GRATEFUL AND HAPPY!!!!  Thank you for helping me so much with your support, encouragement and words of wisdom.  I am facing the day ahead unafraid--I really don't think I will smoke today


Love you all,


135 DOF