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Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Blog

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I often wonder why we don't give ourselves time to heal during our quit journey.  When we are sick, we give ourselves time to heal.  When we break a bone or sprain something, we give ourselves time to heal.  And when we lose a loved one, we grieve and give ourselves time to heal.

But when it comes to quitting, we get impatient.  When are the craves going to leave?  Why do I feel so anxious?  Why don't I feel better?  When does it get better?  How do I stop these feelings?  When, what, why, how?

Stop for a moment and really think.

Picture all the cells in your body working frantically to heal the damage you did when you were smoking.  Getting rid of all those deadly chemicals, restoring the oxygen in your blood, strengthening your bones and skin and teeth and muscles. 

Then picture your brain.  All the sudden deprived of the very substance that kept it happy and relaxed for decades.  DECADES!!  The pathways in your brain were grooved out so well that other parts didn't have to work at all.  Now?  The neurotransmitters are firing into blank space and also frantically searching for the nicotine it needs to continue to function as it had in the past.

Ok, your body is attempting to heal, your brain is attempting to function.....now picture yourself as you have been for years.  Coffee...cigarette.  After meals....cigarette.  After cleaning house....cigarette.  Driving....cigarette.  Workout....cigarette.  Work.....break and cigarette.  Walking...cigarette.  Everything in the world that you did, you did knowing you would smoke after.  Everything.  That next cigarette was there when you needed it.  Now you don't smoke and you don't know how to live a smoke free life!!  What do you do instead?  What will feel as calming...as relaxing....as a cigarette?  Truthfully, nothing can replace it exactly.   After all, you were addicted.  But you can learn how to function as a non-smoker.  You can learn what true calmness is.  How to relax in a healthy way.  How to enjoy things without killing yourself while doing it. 

But it all takes time.  It takes deliberate concentration.  It takes focus.  And it takes a willingness to be extremely uncomfortable at times.  You may be, you may not be.  You get to decide.  But you can't rush recovery.  There is no finish line, no final action, no stopping point.  Recovery is a journey.  But is a journey filled with light, health, pride, and joy.  Give yourself time to get through the icky to reach the good.  Because it's there, waiting for you.  Time helps you heal and time will help give you a smoke free life. 

I love to see people quit smoking   And I try to help.  Mostly by letting you know it's doable, it's joyful, and it doesn't have to be a horrible journey.

But advice?  I have a hard time giving practical advice to quitters.  So rather than just brushing that off, I decided to figure out why I can't give 'quit smoking' advice.

And the truth is........

It's so obvious.  To quit smoking, you pull up your big girl panties and just do it.  No magic formulas, no putting it off on someone else, no miracle cures.  You have to put them down and then never pick them up again.

Sounds harsh, huh?  That's where I usually come in.  Because pulling up those panties and doing it isn't harsh at all.  It's the outward motions (or non-motions) of a quit.

Then there is the inward journey....and that is where you find your courage, your strength, your joys, and your wonder.  Life without smoking is simply......breathtakingly stunning.  The sights, the smells, the freedom.  All the negatives of the outward journey fade as the beautiful inward journey spreads into all aspects of your world.

So you may have to go through the difficult motions of quitting.  The possible headaches and physical signs of withdrawal.  The loss of a habit you've had for 20-30-50 years.  The changing your lifestyle by not having your morning coffee or suddenly buying a lot of lollipops.  The cravings you need to ride out.  All the these outward behaviors and changes may be full of struggles but they fade.  I promise they fade.

And then the inward journey blossoms.  And it's full of everything good and sweet and surprising and delightful.  You find yourself.  You look at the world differently because you look at yourself differently.  With pride and confidence and satisfaction because you've done the impossible.  The fears and doubts and anxiety trickle away with the craves.  The negatives become only faint memories. 

In all honesty, I can't tell you anything you don't already know.  To quit smoking, you have to put them down.  Your thoughts, your behaviors, and your attitudes will determine your quit.  It's all up to you.

I can tell you that you can, indeed, quit.  And that it only gets better.  And that you will never, ever regret doing it.  I promise.

I read somewhere "You are unrepeatable".

Isn't that something?  One of a kind....unique......unrepeatable.

In other words, you bring to the world something that no one else can.  Something that is only in you and not found anywhere else on earth.

Why am I writing about this here?

Because if you are smoking, you are led by your addiction which means you are unable to give the world your all.  Addiction, you see, robs us of the ability to truly live.  Addiction dictates our movements, robs us of time, and steals our health, whether we feel those effects or not.

When we quit, we not only gain better health, more time, and a stronger bank account.  We gain the freedom to do or be or say or try anything in the  world we want to do or be or say or try!  Our true selves emerge from behind the smoke and we allow ourselves to blossom into who we were always meant to be.

You are unrepeatable. You are needed. 

I hope this gives you.....hope  

 

 

 

No one knows you're here, right?  You are reading, looking, wondering.....can I be here, too?  Can I become an ex? 

Since you are silent, no one can reach you.  Maybe this is your way of protecting yourself just in case you chose not to quit.  Maybe you think you will fail so you want no one to know.

Maybe your sense of doom is so great that you simply come here to hope that one day, you'll get it.  You will perhaps one day just be able to set them down and walk away......

The secret of quitting is you just have to do it.  Don't wait.  Don't hope for a 'better' day.  Don't wait until you get the doctor's report.

Just do it.  Now.  And know that failure is an option, not a requirement.  You are in control of your quit.  You are in control of the outcome.  You don't have to fail.  You don't have to have a miserable "quit attempt". 

Just do it.  Walk away.  And be absolutely firm in your commitment to your quit.  There will be no turning back, no slips, no failure.  Smoking isn't who you are, its just something you used to do.  Don't make it hard, don't make it impossible.  Reach out here....don't be silent.  Ask questions, voice concerns, seek knowledge.

But most of all, know in your head and in your heart that you are in control of your quit.  You are stronger than you know, braver than you think.  You can do this.....whether you want to or not.  You can do this.

And I know because I was you 1340 days ago.  We were all you at one time or another.  And we learned that we just have to do it.  So we are here to help you do it, too.

You can. Just do it.

Slow It Down

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Feb 2, 2017

Don't rush your quit.  Sometimes a quitter wants to feel better immediately and wants the cravings to end within days.  Quitting is a journey that doesn't ever really end, although the negatives slowly drift away and the positives become your focus.

Life is short anyway, so why rush through it?  Take the time to get to know yourself...your non-smoking self.  Develop your talents, clean out that junk drawer, spend the day with your darling grandchild.  Don't rush just because you don't want to feel the discomfort of your quit.  Remember, once you quit smoking you are not allowing your addiction to have control of you anymore.  So don't run from your recovery!

Yes, you are going to have some uncomfortable moments.  They may jump out at you at the most surprising times and take you off guard.  Remember that you are in charge!!  You are in control!!  Acknowledge that thought and then move on.  You do not have to dwell in a craving.  You do not have to live in the misery of withdrawal.  They will ease in time.  So please give yourself that time.

I have learned to live in the moment rather than looking ahead or behind.  I have learned to slow down and enjoy each day rather than looking forward to a day in the murky future that may be better.  I have learned that life comes with discomfort, pain, joy, and every emotion in between and I will get through them all. 

May your quit be your beginning.  May it be your joy.  May you feel pride and strength and wonder.  And may you take the time to feel them all.

Happy  Thursday, quitters!!

Beginnings

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Feb 1, 2017

We sometimes think of quitting as an end to something.  Giving up something we've done, letting go of a firmly implanted habit, or simply closing the door to smoking.  In other words, we are quitting.

Could you maybe think of it in another way?  Rather than quitting, you are starting something new.  A healing.  A beginning.  A lifetime of better health.  More money.  More time.  You are beginning to take back what smoking has taken from you.

 

For those still in the thinking stage.....think of all the gains!  Think of your body thanking you!  Think of your family being proud (not to mention healthier!).  Think of the pride you'll have in yourself.  Think of the excitement of not being controlled by a substance.  A deadly substance.  Think of the wonder you'll feel as you are no longer tied to an addiction that dictated what you did, when you did it, and how it isolated you from the rest of the world. 

 

For you who are newly quit...you are beginning a remarkably powerful journey of beginnings.  One of hope, one of joy.

One of the best things that you will ever accomplish.  You will discover yourself.  You will emerge stronger, wiser, and so much more in love with life.  You will struggle at times but you struggled while smoking as well.  Life moments happen, both good and not so good.  We adjust, we get through, and we go on.

 

Welcome, dear quitters, to the best decision you've ever made!!  You are beginning the most exciting journey of your life.  Enjoy it and don't look back.  You've got this.

Sheri

(I don't know how many days I have any more.  But I will be at four years 6/4/17)

~~Your light is seen, your heart is known, your soul is cherished by more people than you might imagine.  If you knew how many others have been touched in wonderful ways by you, you would be astonished.  If you knew how many people feel so much for you, you would be shocked  You are far more wonderful than you think you are.  Rest with that.  Rest easy with that.  Breathe again.  You are doing fine.  More than fine.  Better than fine.  You're doing great.  So relax.  And love yourself today.~~ Neale Donald Walsch

Myabe tonight should be the time to thank those here who help you on your journey.  Maybe it's time to let others know how you feel.  Maybe it's time those special people actually get to hear that they are special.

Not because I want to "single out".....not because some here are better than others....not even because some pour their heart and soul into this site.

But because it's the right thing to do, even if I do it alone.  Because people should hear how good they are while they are here rather than praising them after they are gone.  Because we need to move past our own needs to look at others and say simply "thank you for shining your light here".

Giulia was the first so many years to speak to me here on Ex....thank you.

Rick was steady, dependable, funny, and we are friends still today...thanks, Superman.

Thomas who seems to spread his joy everywhere and to everyone....thanks, my friend.

Dale who can make anyone smile no matter how bad they are feeling and who is always catching us before we fall....thank you.

Sootie and Kathy and Teresa who are loyal, calm, and reflect everything good about this site...thank you.

BeeJay...omgosh, there aren't words, dear friend!!  Thanks doesn't do it.  My quit is definitely your fault :)

Tommy....love you to the moon and back, of course.  Thank you for never giving up.

Some of you I met later but the impact is still there.  Shawn, Wendy, Marilyn, Terrie, Terry, Jacqui....brilliance here on Ex.  Jackie, I think we are kindred spirits but I still am in awe of your talents.  Diane Joy, your faith inspires us all.  Mike and Mike, you never waiver in your support of quitters.  I'm sure I forgot some of the creative souls here who keep our quits fresh and alive.  I don't mean to but I'm older than I was and it's been a long, exhausting month.  I apologize in advance for those I didn't name...doesn't mean you aren't in my heart.  

Thank those who mean something to you.  Thank those who don't give up on you.  Thank those who bring joy to your soul and light to your life.  Feel free to thank them before the moment passes and you leave things unsaid. 

In Case

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Dec 23, 2016

~~In case you forgot to remind yourself this moring, your butt is perfect.  Your smile lights up the room.  Your mind is insanely cool.  You are way more than enough.  And you are doing an amazing job at life.~~  Unknown

Good morning!!  Just in case you forgot to remind yourself, you've got this!!  You can handle it.  You can let it go.  You can release it and you can enjoy it!!

I hope you all have a remarkable, extraordinary day!!  May you also have a Merry Christmas!!  Be kind to yourself as well as others and enjoy yourself...you'll be glad you did :)

Hugs to all!

Being Human

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Dec 22, 2016

~~In life we do things.  Some we wish we had never done.  Some we wish we could replay a million times in our heads.  But they all make us who we are, and in the end they shape every detail about us.  If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn't be  the person we are.  So just live, make mistakes, have wonderful memories.  But never, ever second guess who you are, where you have been, and most  importantly where it is you're going.~~  Unknown

After a particularily bad day, regardless of the reason(s) why, I hurt inside.  There was a time when a cigarette would make me forget the pain..the hurts, the anger, the whatevers.  

So I get it.  I get it.  You don't want to feel stress, to feel anger, to feel pain when you are so very used to not having to feel anything. 

But do you get it?  Cigarettes didn't take away the stress or the emotions.  You simply got your 'fix'.  You fed your addiction.  Until the next time, anyway.  And there is always a next time with addiction.

So I hurt today.  It was a crushing, heartbreaking day.  And I welcome that.  Because it's part of life and I am truly living.  Not getting a fix.  Not feeding an addiction.  I am living. 

I am simply being human, dealing with all that comes with the honor.  And sometimes I just have to sit and wait for time to pass for my emotions to heal.  And sometimes I do something fun to take my mind off of things. And sometimes I cry.  But I feel.....and for that I am eternally grateful.  I have emotions....and I am living my life rather than watching it pass me by.

I get it.  But I hope you do as well.

Believe it or not, I am NOT just a fluffy, sugary ray of blinding sunshine. (Kidding, all!!)  I am also realistic, sharp, and direct.  (Not kidding, all!)

Why does it matter?  I usually come here and offer glimpses of what you can do for yourself.  Quitting brings joy, confidence, and many other positives that you are only seeing glimmers of as a smoker.  The colors, the aromas, the tastes that the world has to offer is overwhelming to someone who used to see, smell, and taste everything through a haze of smoke and chemicals.

Can I be more direct?  Sure.  Can I be realistic? Sure. 

You are either going to quit smoking or you're not.  It's really that simple.  When you quit, you are going to leave all the excuses behind.  You are going to stop blaming and fault finding and stressing yourself into smoking again.  You are going to stop romancing the "losing my best friend" stuff and you are going to stop whining that no one understands what you are going through.

You will quit.

You will start looking at all you have to gain rather than what you have to lose.  You are going to start new habits and find new coping skills when life gets tough.  You are going to come here and say "help" rather than slink off and smoke.  You are going to know that nothing....NOTHING...will make you smoke although you have no clue what else to do. 

Bottom line is that it is all on you.  Your choice.  Your decision.  Your life.  So decide and honor your decision. 

Ok...so it is a bit hard for me not to be a little fluffy.  Not to remind you that you deserve so much more than being labelled 'a smoker'.  And life is so much more than that next puff.  But I'll stop fluffing and simply say that if you are going to quit, you will not ever find a reason to smoke.  Because there are none.

I can say all this because I was you...the whiney, excuse ridden smoker who couldn't see putting them down for good....until I did.  So I know.  I know.  And others know, too.  You are not alone.

~~One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.  We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizen instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.~~  Dale Carnegie

Kinda true about smokers, don't you think?  We can only live up to a certain point, then we have to stop living while we have that one more.  We can't live too much or we won't be able to find the "smoking area" or the time to have a quick one or the money to buy one more carton.

I know I didn't really start living until I quit smoking.  Even then, it took effort to live.  Because my mind was still searching for that hit of nicotine.  I slept quite a bit during the intitial stages.  And then I ate quite a bit even longer. 

It took effort to see the bright things.  It took effort to enjoy a walk.  It took effort to find fun in yoga.  It took effort to laugh freely.  Everything took effort.  I think mainly because smoking saps the energy and poisons the body......and my body had been poisoned for years.

So I took time out to allow my body as well as my mind to heal.  I learned patience.  I learned calm.  And I learned that I was ok with so much learning :) 

Over 3 1/2 years later, I am truly, honestly, delightfully living.  My health is better.  My weight (for those who worry) is better.  My enjoyment of life is....well, I am so grateful and so happy I quit smoking to be able to create a life I love.  I'm blessed.

You are blessed as well.  You found this site.  You have information at your fingertips.  You have support and encouragement and wisdom all in one site.  Even more....you have you.  Be your own hero......be your own best friend....be who you were truly meant to be.  Not a smoker.  Not an addict.  Not a bystander of life.  Throw off the shackles and live freely!!  Create, explore, discover life as if you were seeing it for the first time.  The smoke has cleared and the chains broken.  It's your time to live.  Be grateful and be blessed to have the chance to see what life is like without your addiction dictating your every move.

I can't say that Mr. Carnegie is right.  Some of us do truly live.  Some of us to love life.  Some of us do enjoy the roses blooming by our windows.  We see clearly that life is a gift. 

~~She decided to see how her life would change if she dropped the assumption she needed fixing.~~  Unknown

Hmm....what about you?  As you quit smoking, do you find yourself feeling like you need someone to show you the way?  Do you think you need the magic formula for happiness?  What about a miracle to make your quit less....agonizing?

What if, instead, you begin to think that you are exactly where you need to be.  What if you begin to believe that craving a cigarette after you quit is simply left over memories of smoking which will fade in time?  What if you begin to imagine yourself healthier....happier....richer....?

Trust me, you don't need to be fixed.  Your precious, extraordinary quit is happening exactly as it should be happening.  As you move forward without cigarettes, your mind is simply trying to keep you in the 10 or 20 or 40 year routine that you have lived until now.  Simply...gently...give yourself time to heal, kindness to ease your path, and love to nourish your new journey.

Release the assumption that you can't do it.  Let go of the beliefs that you need a cigarette.  Drop the thoughts that keep you tied to your addiction.  Begin creating health.  Begin developing new routines.  Begin to believe that you deserve a life of joy and beauty and hope and freedom.  Because you do.

It's all in your mind, so believe you can.

~~If you can honor the story that got you to today, if you can honor the strength you showed in keeping to the trail, if you can pay homage to the tragedies that revealed how deep and loving you really are, if you can look back and see the beauty of your soul growing throughout all the difficult moments when it felt you were locked in an invisible  prison, a beautiful life you will feel all around you now, the sacredness of your breath, the fact that you have so much behind you because you kept on going.  Tell me your story without your head hanging in shame.   Tell me your story with your head held high.  Because you became the hero you needed.  Nobody else.  You got yourself to today.  For that alone, you should be so proud.~~  SC Lourie

Somehow I think this says it all and I shouldn't even add to it.  But I will....just a bit.  You got yourself to today.  You brought yourself to this site.  I hope you understand that it is within your power to quit smoking.  For good. 

And during the early days of your precious quit, I hope you understand how very vital it is to treat yourself with the same loving care you would treat a loved one...a friend....your fur baby....as your body detoxs and begins to heal itself. 

Don't overthink it.  Don't talk yourself out of it.  Hang in there and hang tough.  All you have to do it to get through it a moment at a time. 

You became the hero you needed.  And you are here today.  Be so very proud of yourself.  And maybe....just maybe....you will tell us your story with your head held high.

I Am Quieted

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Dec 14, 2016

~~How strangely do we diminish a thing as we try to express it in words.~~   Maurice Maeterlinck 

I am a talker.  I love words, I love expressing myself, and I love trying to assist others in expressing themselves as well.

But then I came across this quote.  It quieted me.  I have so many of those moments….the ones you keep to yourself because there simply aren’t words to express it.

I love that smokers come here and find the courage to write a blog about their experiences.  To post their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.  That takes courage to share parts of the self that may be rejected, ridiculed, or dismissed.  As their quit journey is filled with unexpected dips, twists, and turns, so do their posts reflect their joys, triumphs, and stumbles.

But so many quitters don’t share.  So many quitters don’t express.  So many quitters never explain.

And that, too, takes courage.  To live those moments of fear, uncertainty, or hesitation without voicing it.  To experience those moments of sheer pleasure, breathtaking joy, or stunning delight without sharing it because sharing would somehow diminish the event or the emotions.  Thesequitters possess poise and a sense of self that carries them through life with strength and grace.

We are uniquely who we are.  Our journeys are individual, yet our lives intertwine.  All I can say is be who you are and don’t feel as if you must be a certain way or do a certain thing as you maneuver through your quit .  Just live the way you are meant to live and know that there is someone in the world who understands that.  I applaud you.  Quit your way. 

 I like trying new things.  Taking a 1000 mile challenge, learning how to paint a picture, speaking in front of 75 people.....new to me means being able to step outside my comfort zone and grabbing life.  To me there is nothing like feeling like I am really living.

No quote for me here today, not even in my head.  So this is new as well as I try to write a post without inspiration myself.

I am 55 miles away from meeting my 1000 mile challenge.  Walking intentional miles and I have completed 945 of them.  Super excited to meet that goal by the end of the year.  Next year I am looking at signing up for a kindness challenge as well.  And becoming a certified yoga instructor.

I left worrying about my quit behind me.....over 1270 days ago.  Because I had a plan.  I had ways of distracting myself when cravings hit.  I had ways of being excited about upcoming events and situations and adventures to take the sting out of not smoking. 

And I found, to my great delight, that it worked for me.  I never focused on how miserable I was because....I wasn't all that miserable.  Pangs here and there, of course, but nothing that wasn't overshadowed by the excitement of meeting my goals or the thrill of learning something new.  The more I added to my life, the less I missed what I took away from it. 

So when I read about quitters asking when the cravings are going to end, I wonder what they are doing to end them.  Do you have distractions?  Do you have your own coping skills?  Do you get excited over upcoming events or trying something new or developing your talents?  Do you step outside that old familiar comfort zone that geared everything you did around your addiction?  Because that will certainly help!  Get rid of those dusty routines...those tried and true methods which keep your addiction alive and kicking.....and create a life for yourself that brings in all you love.  Talents, perhaps, hobbies, friends, career goals....whatever brings a song to your soul.  Do those things with a passion and do them with joy.

Cravings are supposed to happen.  It means that you are breaking the cycle of addiction.  It does not mean you are supposed to smoke....it means you are supposed to celebrate the freedom.  Well, just my opinion, of course....and it worked for me.