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Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Blog

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~~Give yourself time to be sad, frustrated, and angry.  Give yourself time to heal, accept, and to grow.  Time doesn't erase anything, but it can provide you with enough space to be able to breathe again.  And then one day you wake up and your heart has a little bit of sunshine in it.  And day by day people offer you pieces of their hearts to help remake your own.  Allow yourself to be where you are at, to feel what you are feeling, and to experience everything that means.  And during this process, look and listen for that glimmer of hope.  It is there, I promise.  And it is waiting for you to see it.  Because one of the most beautiful things about humans is their  capacity to heal, grow, and survive.  Facing it.  that is how you get through.~~  Jessica Jensen


It really doesn't matter, you know, whether you are angry that you have to quit smoking or sad that your partner cheated on you or frustrated that your boss is giving you a hard time.  Life events can hurt.  Changes can be uncomfortable.  Situations can take you by surprise and knock you down.


And, oh my gosh, it hurts, doesn't it?  The pain can take your breath away and leave you feeling totally exposed...all the pain, all the fear, all the shame....


The difference is that smoking used to be our 'go-to'.  When hurt, angry, sad, confused, we would simply retreat from the world with our 'best friend'...a lit cigarette....and the negatives would just melt away for a little while.  Later, we would feel like we could once again face a hard, cold world....until the next time we couldn't.


Now, though, we've quit smoking.  So every situation that leaves us angry....every event that is less than our stellar moment....every uncertainty and every frustration....has no place to go.  WE have no place to go.  No more hiding behind smoke.  No more disappearing with our 'go-to'.  No more making ourselves feel better with a hit of nicotine.


Scary, huh?  And unfamiliar, as most of us have smoked for most of our adult lives.  How can we cope?  How can we feel better?  How can we manage?


Moment by moment, of course.  Breathing through the craves, grieving for what you feel you have lost, feeling the uncertainty of how you can function without smoking.  Time doesn't erase things, but it will give you space.  Space to heal.  Space to grow.  Space to accept.  Don't rush through your quit, please.  Give yourself that time to grow into who you were always meant to be.


And one day, you will feel that glimmer of hope in your heart.  And one day you may hear that glimmer of hope throughout your day.  And then one day you will see it.  The fog will lift and the smoke will clear and there it will be.  Hope for your glorious smoke free life!!  Once you see it, you won't want to let it go.  And if you keep your eyes on that hope, your thoughts will turn towards it and your heart will reach for it and everything you thought you were losing will melt away as hope spreads, bringing with it happiness, love, acceptance.


Facing it is how you get through.  Because one of the most beautiful things about humans is their capacity to heal, grow, and survive.  This is true for you, as well.  Please just give yourself that grace of time.  

~~Alcoholism or addiction is a disease because it fits the definition of disease.  It is progressive and chronic, and left untreated, it will kill.~~  Unknown


I attended a walk for suicide prevention awareness today which was sponsored by a local mental health agency.  I was the only community member to attend....and it wasn't even my community.  I drove 35 miles to get there.  But I'm glad I went.  I walked because I have family members who struggle with dark thoughts and I have friends who have lost loved ones to suicide.


On the drive home, I got to thinking about the stigma of mental health.  Now if the heart is 'diseased', everyone nods and says "What medication are you on?"  If the kidneys are 'diseased', there is dialysis and meds.  There is insulin for a diseased pancreas...if the appendix is 'diseased', take it out.  All medical stuff and no one doubts.


When the brain is 'diseased', people recoil.  They whisper.  They say things like 'mental problems' and 'crazy'.  Keep in mind, my friends, that the brain is an organ in the body just like the heart and the kidneys and the pancreas.  The brain is an organ that misfunctions.  That misfunction means that the brain needs to be treated by medical professionals in the same way that the heart needs to be treated and the kidneys need to be treated and the pancreas needs to be treated.


Addiction is a disease of the brain, too.  When addiction occurs, the brain no longer functions properly.  It is in distress.  And when the brain doesn't function properly, things begin to happen to that person.  Thoughts become irrational (I will die without a cigarette!), other body parts begin to also misfunction (the blood pressure rises, headaches occur, jitters happen, anxiety appears), and the brain screams "Danger!!  Need drug to function!!"


If smoking were only a 'habit', you would get rid of it in 21 days.  Habits are formed or broken within 21 days and then within 90 days, new habits become second nature.  Habits do not cause you to break down, habits do not cause your blood pressure to rise, and habits don't make you feel like you're going crazy.  Do not beat yourself up because you can't 'break this habit'.  Understand that you are recovering from a disease.  Different, isn't it?  You need to give your brain time to heal.  You need to understand that your brain is not functioning like a healthy brain should.  You need to educate yourself on what you can do to help this journey you are on.  A few suggestions:


1.  Don't believe everything you think.  Again, because your brain is 'diseased', it is not firing those synopses like it should.  If you have ever thought things like "I will go crazy without a cigarette" or even "I can't make it through the day without one", your brain is misfunctioning, isn't it?  You will not go crazy if you don't smoke.  You can make it through the day without one and you certainly won't die if you don't have one.  All the rantings of an unhealthy brain.


2.  Understand that you have to go through the recovery process.  Not around it, not over it.  There are no magic cures, no miracle drugs, no easy outs.  Accept it, brace yourself, and just get through it one moment at a time.  Not every minute is going to be horrible.  Not every day will be filled with angst.  But there will be times that you may struggle.  Refer back to suggestion 1.  Don't believe you can't do this.


3.  While you are recovering, start new, healthy habits.  It will distract you and delight you.  Paint, learn yoga, take hikes, train for 5ks, learn to dance, get that college degree, make amends with your neighbors, volunteer, put yourself out there in the world.  It's been waiting for you.


4.  When elders say things like "It's so much better on the other side of smoking" and "I feel so free", understand that they are talking with HEALTHY brains!!  That poor organ has been through the wringer and is now better.  Healed, functioning as it should, and making our lives so very much better by it's clear thinking!!!  Elders aren't exaggerating or lying.....they are healing.


5.  It's hard, so hard, to get through the day with a brain that is diseased.  It gets tired, it doesn't know how to fix things, it needs help.  And because the brain is the start of all other processes like moving and feeling and understanding and reasoning, when you are in active addiction, you cannot be your best.  You just can't.  Even when you think you are.  You may be functioning fine....but take that cigarette away.  When you smoke, you are functioning towards that next cigarette, not towards anything else.  That, my friends, is the evils of addiction...even a legal one.


So I went for that walk today for suicide prevention.  And tomorrow I may sign up for another mental health gathering.  Because we need to break that stigma.  Mental health isn't all in your's also in your brain, which makes it a physical health condition as well.  Take good care of your body, please.  Even that brain which no one seems to think about.  


Sending all of you best wishes for a very healthy brain!!

~~Wherever you are in your life right now, just remember there is more for you, there is more to you.  There are days coming that are going to show you why it was important to hold on throughout all the dark times.  You are going to surprise yourself.  Life is going to surprise you in all the right ways.  Keep going, sunshine.  It will all fall into place eventually. And if it doesn't, let it fall by the way side.  It was never yours to carry in the first place.~~  S. C. Lourie


Changes are hard enough by themselves but when you quit smoking, change means recovering from an addiction that became part of your daily life.  Or, if you need prettier words, change means breaking a habit that you established 20...30...40 years ago and did 5....10....20 times a day.


Seems daunting, doesn't it?  That's why I don't recommend looking at it that way.  Instead, remember it will fall into place just think about today.  Right now.  This present moment.  And when you are in this present moment, remind yourself that there is so much more to you than being a slave to nicotine.  Remind yourself that there is more in this moment for you than putting poison into your body.   And with those reminders, keep going.


Life is going to surprise you in all the right ways, I promise.  If you keep going and your remind yourself that there is more for you than being chained to when that next cigarette with happen, life will surprise you. If you keep going and remind yourself that there is more to you than being addicted to a substance that kills your cells...your lungs...your will surprise yourself.  You will grow stronger.  You will last longer.  You will feel better.  Because it all falls into place eventually.


And all those 'reasons' to smoke?  They will fall by the wayside.  Because you will see so much more clearly that there is no reason to turn to cigarettes.  No problem that big, no stress that uncomfortable, no heartbreak that devastating that you need to cope with a cigarette.  All those excuses, all those false scenarios, all those potential disasters will fade into nothingness because you won't need them anymore...because you won't need smoking anymore.


Please don't overwhelm yourself with thinking about quitting as a HUGE burden you have to go through.  Think about it as something that just now, you don't need to do....because there is so much more to you than that.   

~~The things you are passionate about are not random.  They are your calling.~~  Fabienne Fredrickson


My calling, I've come to understand, is helping people achieve their highest potential.  Helping them see that they are worthy of good things...that they deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion....that they matter in the world.  I'm good at it sometimes and sometimes not so good.  But in the end, people decide for themselves who they are and what they deserve in life.


That's when I get drained.  Drained of energy, drained of enthusiasm, drained of skills.  Because when a dad I'm working with decides that he doesn't deserve a good paying job....when a mom I'm working with decides she doesn't deserve to be treated with respect...when a student I'm working with decides he isn't worthy of an breaks my heart.  When people are hateful to each other, when someone is dismissed as unimportant, when I'm told to just stick to my hurts.


Yet it's my calling and I will continue to try.  My own problem comes in when I forget to take a break.  When I forget to enjoy life.  When I forget that I need to take good care of myself.  So I get drained, teary, and distant.


Yet I still show up here every now and then to remind you that quitting smoking is the very best thing you can ever do for yourself.  I show up because I don't want you to die a horrible smoke related death.  I show up here because you truly can quit.  I show up here because I used to be you and people like me showed up here for me.


Please don't think I'm uncaring.  Please don't think I'm being blasé or cold.  Please don't think I don't understand how you feel.  Quitting had squeezed out every emotion I've ever had about myself and most of them weren't good or nice or positive.  But I persisted and I hope you persist as well.


My point now that I've rattled on is that I recognize I'm not on my game here lately.  My thoughts are somewhat scattered, my posts are a bit unfocused, and I'm not talking to my friends here as I like to.  I am, in fact, burnt out in life right now.  But my bills need to be paid and my families need to be supervised and my students need to be taught and my son needs to be raised so I put one foot in front of the other.


The difference, however, is that I am also taking that 10 minutes to steal away and bask in the sunshine.  I'm taking another five to read that book I love.  I'm taking 30 minutes to do my yoga.  I'm bringing all that I love back to life little by little.


I don't feel like I have to take a vacation to rejuvenate.  I simply need to remember to bring all that I love with me throughout the day.  And one of the things I love is being here.  So have patience with me while I make adjustments to my thoughts, my actions, and my words.  


Love to you all here!  Thank you for bringing me into the light!!  No smoking (not even thinking about it), just awareness, patience, adjustments, replenishment.  Life will be fine once more.

~~Strength doesn't come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.~~  Rikki Rogers


Have you been on the quitting merry-go-round for a while?  You quit for a few days, slip for a day or two, quit, know.  Or did you quit for 180 days (like me) and then give it all up because of stress?  Or maybe your quit date comes and goes without you stopping at all.


So what's it gonna take for you to stop smoking?


Maybe you are waiting until the stress in your life is over....or at least better.  Most stress is how we respond to situations, events, and things in our lives, it isn't life itself.  Stress will always be there when you quit smoking because your addicted brain is pushing that lie.


Maybe you are fearful of that bad news....COPD, emphysema, cancer.  Yep, you'll surely have to quit once you get that diagnosis.  Sorry to tell you that I know too many people who have that diagnosis...and are still smoking.  It's again addiction that will keep you tied to that cigarette, not events around you.


Maybe you are too depressed right now.  Too lonely.  Just not feeling like you can do it.  Maybe you are waiting for that one cure or those magic words or that one thing that will make quitting a bit easier to do.  


The one and only thing standing in between you and your quit  While you are waiting for that miracle cure, you are really just chained to your addiction.  That's all.  Because the miracle of your quit is you.  You are the cure, you are the magic.  


Quitting comes from you and only you.  And when you truly realize and recognize that fact, you will be better able to do it.  No one can do it for you.  No one can hand it to you.  No one can take away any struggles or pains or stress that comes from quitting.  


But you can.  So what's it gonna take for you to quit?  How long are you going to continue to day?  How many more days will you long for freedom but continue to smoke?  How much longer are you going to damage your lungs, your heart, your arteries, your gums, your brain?  


Understanding that you alone are responsible for your quit will help you take that next step.  Realizing that there is no easy way to quit except to just do it will help you take that next step.  Accepting that you can if you truly want to will help you take that next step.  In short, everything you need to quit is right there in you.  


Strength does indeed come from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.  So go ahead...what's it gonna take?

~~You do not have to find yourself.  You just have to remember who you are.~~  Topez


People often begin their quits in a state of fear.  Some use negative language like "I can't do this" or "It's too hard".  Others go into their quit not understanding addiction, not knowing what to do.  Helpless.  Hopeless.  Confused.  


Maybe it's time to remember who you are.  You....that one person who always makes people feel better.  You...that one who always researches everything before deciding anything.  You....that one who brings fun into each and every day no matter what's going on. You...the one who battled inner demons and won.  You.


Go into you quits, my friends, remembering who you are.  You are strong.  You are talented.  You are capable.  You are courageous.  You are creative.  You are intelligent.


Use every positive thing about you to create a quit that fits.  You can be compassionate and nurture yourself for a while.  You can be fun and jump rope or hula hoop those craves away.  You can be a researcher and know, truly know, what you're getting into.  You can build a support system so strong relapse will slink away in shame.  You can become that warrior so magnificent that your addiction will surrender to you.  You can design a plan so powerful that every fear you had about quitting will simply melt away.


Who are you?  I don't have to know you personally to know that without a doubt, you can quit smoking.  That you have enough wise and intelligence and skills and kindness to break free of it.  I know you do.


So start your quit with everything that's good in you.  Start it with your strengths.  Start it with your wisdom.  Start it by creating the quit that fits you.  You, my friends, are always in control.  You just haven't realized it yet.  Get creative.  Remember who you are and use everything you've got to get the quit you want.  No more hesitation.  No more blind panic.  No more collapsing into the smoking world once more.


You can make this quit anything you want it to be.  Let it be a good reflection of who you are.


A New Normal

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 30, 2019

~~Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them.  They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits.  We can make our new normal any way we want.~~  Kristin Armstrong


So I was reminded yesterday that I've been teaching GED classes at the jail for a year now.  A year of working 6 out of 7 days a week.  A year of shifting home chores with two jobs while juggling time with my children and grandchildren and finding time to do nothing.  Morning yoga with answering text messages from families at one job while teaching slope-intercept at the other.


I was tired a lot this year.  Sometimes resentful (yep, I'm not perfect ).  Often busy.  Confused.  Exhausted.  Exhilarated.  Swamped and overwhelmed.


But you know what?  I'm not like that anymore.  I'm once again organized, spontaneous, flexible, content.  I can easily move through my days with a minimum of exhaustion and a good attitude.  I moved into my new normal without even realizing it.


See, that's what happens when you stop fighting change.  That's what happens when you stop seeing life as a battle and start just putting one foot in front of the other.  That's what happens when you take it one minute at a time.  There is a period of chaos, a period of adjustment, and then a shift in your world that makes things ok again.


Quitting smoking is like that as well.  A change in lifestyle, a change in thinking, a change in behavior.  Then chaos for a while maybe as you try to adjust to new habits, get rid of old habits.  You find that life doesn't slow down or stop during these periods of change so simply ride it moment at a time if need be.  After the chaos, there is adjustment.  Deliberate actions that keep you on the right path.  Many breathes, a lot of bubble blowing, some crazy dance moves to keep you happy, and most of all, being present in the here and now so you don't slide back into addictive behaviors.


One day, BOOM!!  Your new normal is shining like sunlight over the water.  And you think about how much you like the new you, the new habits, the new life.  And you feel proud and capable and satisfied with all you've accomplished.  And most of all you know that this new normal means you CAN get through tough times without killing yourself with a cigarette.  That you can get through heartbreak and bad news and anxiety and depression and fights with your partner and a bad boss without addiction.  And life suddenly doesn't look all that frightening and maybe....just are looking forward to more new adventures.  Life is what we make of it....and you have made it good.  Well done!!


One More Day

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 27, 2019

~~And on Tuesdays you must look at yourself in the mirror and say "I am worthy.  I need to be here.  And I am grateful that I am.  There is beauty in my life and I will find it.  There is strength in my soul and I will trust it.  There is purpose in my path and I will unravel it.  There is magic in who I am and I will believe in it."  And then go climb your mountains for today.  And go find some spectacular views.~~  S.C. Lourie/Butterfliesandpebbles


It's hard sometimes not to get dragged into the muddled thoughts in your own head.  It can be hard to reject those negative opinions you have of yourself.  And it's oh, so easy to turn back to smoking so you can finally stop feeling like every moment is a struggle.


But then you lose, right?  By giving up or giving in, you are in reality telling yourself that smoking means more to you than your life does.  That the 'struggle' to remain smoke free is too hard for you.  That the addiction is too strong.  That your life isn't worth the pains to quit smoking.


I disagree.  I don't even have to know you to strongly, loudly disagree!!  Because you mean something to someone here on earth.  Now those of us who have never gone through the agony of losing someone close to us may not understand the huge, gaping hole that is forever left by our loved one dying.  It doesn't get better and it doesn't mend.  We just get used to the pain.  So, getting back to you, you mean something to someone here.  Someone's heart will break if they lost you.  You won't be here to see it, of course, but secretly in your heart, you know how devastating it would be to those who love you if they lost you.  And to lose you to smoking?????  Their heartbreak would be intensified by their anger...towards Big Tobacco, towards cigarettes, because you refused to quit.


And what about you?  Quit dismissing the fact that your life matters!!  You have mountains you want to climb and dreams you want to reach for and goals you want to achieve.  They matter, my friend.  YOU matter.  And you make a difference by being here on earth.  To your family.  To your friends.  To us.  


Smoking takes everything away.  From you.  From those who love you.  Time.  Being present.  Making memories.  Laughter.  Light.  Warmth.  Smoking takes it all and simply disappears when it gets you ill or kills you.  Gone.  It doesn't hang around to say "Sorry".  It doesn't hold your daughter's hand while she cries at your funeral.  It doesn't reimburse the expenses for long hospital stays or chemotherapy or breathing treatments.  


So how about just hanging on to your quit one more day?  How about saying "I'm worth it" one more time?  How about breathing through one more crave?  Because, just for now, you know quitting will bring you the freedom to love, to life, to have another chance.  One more day may mean a forever quit.  


This isn't meant to be a sad post.  This isn't doom and gloom.  This is all about life...your life.  And fulfilling your dreams, loving those who love you, and knowing that you've been put here on earth for a purpose.  The universe itself needs your presence.  So hold on just one more day.



Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 25, 2019

~~Thank you for being a friend.~~  Andrew Gold


This wonderful site has been home to me for about 10 years on and off...although my precious quit happened on June 4, 2013.  Over six years after even more years of serial quitting, avoiding, ignoring, and failing.


You've been there for me and it's time to say thank you.  Thank you for never giving up on someone who had given up on herself.  Thank you for supporting, for listening, for advising.  For humoring me, for laughing with me, for being my sunshine when my own world was dark.


I've been in a good place in my life for the past 6 years.  It took a lot of work, a lot of honesty, and a lot of self-reflection to grow, to change, and to find myself through all the pain.


But I did it.  With your help, I did it.  And because you were such a big part of my growth and ultimate quit, I came back here on and off to help others if I could. I think I've written hundreds of posts.  I comment, I try to be supportive and kind.  Again, because you were there for me, I wanted to pay it forward.


So I just wanted to say thank you.  Strudel, Sootie,jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007, pir8fan, Thomas3.20.2010, Youngatheart.7.4.12, maynell, Breakinthechains, TomW5.15.17, Daniela-3-11-2016, Marilyn.H.July.14.14., Barbscloud, indingrl.01.06.2011, BonnieBee.quit.2.8.15, Giulia, elvan, sweetplt, JACKIE1-25-15 , Mandolinrain, OldBones-Larry , Rick_M,  and so many, many more....thanks for being a friend.


And those no longer here.....Linda, Daisy, Neen, Dawn, Terri, Betty, BeeJay....I miss you.  Thanks for being a friend.


To those who have allowed me to comment on their posts without doubting my intentions, thank you.  To those who make sure to comment on my posts, no matter how intense...thank you.  For those who read without commenting, I hope I helped.  If only for a moment, I hope you caught a glimpse of how it can be.


Sincere thanks to each and every one of you...and those I forgot to mention.  If you have ever doubted for an instant if what you do matters, doubt no more because you have touched my heart and brought some sunshine to my life.  Truly.  You will never be forgotten and I know that God is smiling down on you for helping one of His children get on the right path.  


Quitting isn't an event, we all know.  It's a journey.  And just as all journeys, it is much better when you have people walk with you for awhile.  You've walked with me.  You've made me laugh.  You've cleared the way.  You've saved a life.


I'm impressed by you, I'm inspired by you, I'm in awe of you.  Most of all, I'm thankful for you.  Much, much love to each of you.

~~Laugh so hard that even sorrow smiles at you.  Fight so strong that even fate accepts defeat.  Love so true that even hatred walks out of the way.  And live life so well that even death loves to see you exist.~~    Unknown


Hey, are you one of those people who shrinks from having fun because you don't want to draw attention to yourself?  Or maybe you pull into yourself rather than risk looking foolish?  How about anger?  Do you hide from that nasty old emotion, thinking that anger is a bad emotion that might make you look out of control?


Taking it a bit further.....did you use smoking to shy away from life?  You weren't 'perfect' enough.  You had 'flaws'.  You didn't know how to 'fit in'.  And so you smoked.  You smoked when you were angry....just to calm yourself.  You smoked to celebrate, you smoked when lonely, you smoked one understood you.


Let me set your mind at rest.  First of all, no one truly understands ANYONE.  We are all unique personalities and our moments in life are only felt by us.  We can try to share those feelings with others, but they are ours cherish, to rehash, to ponder, to feel.  Second, no one in life is perfect.  We all stumble through life doing the best we can.  We make mistakes, we anger people, we love, we miss opportunities, we....just live.  


Even better, did you know that smoking doesn't change anything?  It doesn't make you prettier or happier or more charming.  The opposite, in fact.  Smoking ages you and isolates you and is simply just.....sad.


So, my friends, the bottom line is this.  Life is waiting for you.  You can choose to let your addiction waste what time you have left on earth...….or you can live life so well that even death loves to see you exist.  You can shine your flaws that make you who you are.  You can belly laugh while everyone else is silently wishing they could let go and belly laugh, too.  You can get angry and let whomever you are angry with know all about it.  Trust me, it feels GREAT!!  You can laugh at your mistakes, love passionately, apologize sincerely, forgive everyone, and present.  Live.  Let go of the fears, let go of the anxiety, let go of everything that doesn't serve you well.  


You are no different than anyone else who is hesitant to live, but you are unique in that only you can bring the life to your life.  Take good care of those shy parts of you, those hurt parts of you, those broken parts of you and let those other parts of you that have been tucked away in the shadows..well...let them loose.  Let them free.  Let them be happy, let them be bold, let them awaken all those parts of you that are dying to be free. 


Don't think smoking helps you live, please.  Don't think it does anything positive for you.  It truly, truly kills off the best parts of you by keeping you inhaling poisons rather than going out there full force and living your life with gratitude and joy.  Look at all you've been given....look at all you have to offer....and choose life.  It's waiting.  Then live your best life possible.  No apologies. No excuses.  No half-hearted attempts.  Grab life by the hand and simply have the time of your life.  

~~Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.~~  Unknown


I know you're out there.  Those quitters who haven't quite got the hang of quitting......those serial quitters who try and try but don't seem to take to their quits....those quiet little wishers who wished they were doers.  


Don't you dare give up on yourselves!!  Don't you dare allow that evil little voice of addiction convince you that you 'can't'.  Don't you dare think you are different than all the other quitters and it's impossible for you.


Each and every quitter throughout all time has thought those exact same things at one point or another.  Well, I suppose I can't speak for everyone, so let's modify that to "most quitters have had those thoughts at one time or another".  Recovery from any addiction is wrought with negative emotions, thoughts, and even actions.  But recovery is also....possible.


Don't give up hope.  Anyone who is serious about quitting smoking can, in fact, quit.  You may not understand it at first.  You may have a few false starts shaky times.  You may feel defeated.  You may feel lost.  


But your quit is there.  I know that with all my heart.  Your quit is there inside you waiting for you to bring it out into the world.  Waiting for you to care for it, to nurture it, to protect it.  


I think out of all the things we try to explain about quitting and all the tips and all the advice and all the information, we sometimes don't emphasis the fact that if you persist, you will get there.  You will have your 'ah-ha!!!" moment or you will awaken that quit in you and boom!!!!  Done.  It's there and you will not let it go for anything in the world.  And you will know it with all your heart and all your soul and with everything in you that you have arrived at your quit.  


So don't turn away from it.  Don't let those feelings of defeat make you give up.  Don't let that nasty little voice of addiction crush you.  Do. Not. Give. Up.


Your butterfly moments are up ahead.  Keep the hope, keep the faith, and learn to fly   Of course you can!!


I Remember

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 17, 2019

~~Whenever I feel weak, I remember those who make me strong.  And whenever I start to doubt myself, I remember those who believe in me.~~  Unknown


I remember my ex-husband leaving me with three little ones under the age of 5.  I was terrified.  But my children meant the world to me and I wasn't going to show them my fear.


I remember starting college at the age of 27.  I was terrified.  But my children relied on me for everything and I needed to make a good living so a college degree meant income.


I remember going out with DCF and seeing my first removal.  Children being removed from their mom. Five children.   A deputy had to carry the 10 year old out of the home, kicking and screaming for his momma.  I was devastated.  But that family needed me to guide them, support them, and reunite them so I had to be strong.


I remember my step-dad's memorial service.  He had died a terrible cancer death and I was in shock because I hadn't known it was that bad.  I lost the only person in my family who truly liked me.  But Jacob was only a few weeks old and I had three other children who lost their grandpa.  I needed to make sure they were ok.


I remember wondering if I should take the job as supervisor at work.  That would mean supervising 14 others and being the leader for all of Walton County FFN.  I hesitated.  My children, however, knew I could do it.  They believed so I believed.


I remember talking to a 6 year old who had seen his 8 year old brother hanging from a belt in their closet.  He couldn't remember his name.  He had so much to work through and the therapist told me he would probably need therapy on and off during certain times in his life for the rest of his life.  I played with him, I listened to him, and I was there for him.  It was all I knew to do.


There are times in your life where smoking a cigarette is all you know how to do.  Life is complex, messy, and painful.  But it is at those times when we realize that we are made stronger by those who love us and those who need us and those who believe in us.  So rather than turning to what you know, turn to those who know you.  You'll find they ease your heart, they ease your fears, and they make you once again believe in yourself.  


And if you don't have those special people for whatever reason, then come here.  You have elvan, you have Youngatheart.7.4.12, you have Giulia, you have jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007, you have constance2, you have JACKIE1-25-15, you have Strudel, you have Thomas3.20.2010, you have indingrl.01.06.2011, you have Ralph1955, you have Mandolinrain, you have Marilyn.H.July.14.14., you have IrishRose, you have Barbscloud, you have TomW5.15.17, sweetplt, Daniela-3-11-2016, and many others!!….so many people here willing to believe in you and keep you strong.


Thanks to all those above (and those I didn't mention because I have to get back to work!) who worked so very hard to keep me strong during the early days of my quit.  Much love to you!!



Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 17, 2019

~~Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.~~  Unknown


You have it in your mind that quitting is 'too hard'.  You believe that you 'can't do it'.  You tell us that we 'don't understand what you're going through'.  Finally, you just fade away because we are 'too judgmental and mean'.


Addiction won.  You are still hooked.  You are still putting toxins and poisons into your body.  You are still at that mindset that smoking makes you feel better.


It's an illusion.  A perfect illusion manufactured by your brain to keep you 'feeling good'.  Now if you understand anything about brain chemistry, you know that the brain works overtime trying to find ways to keep you happy.  Those feel good neurotransmitters tell the brain that whatever is causing them happiness needs to continue.  The brain does not immediately scream "Danger!!  Danger!!!"  Because it is happy.  Nicotine stimulates those 'feel good' neurotransmitters to kick in...and then the brain says "Hey, this is wonderful!!  Keep it coming!!"


All those other thoughts...the thoughts of illness and death, the thoughts of wrinkled skin, bad teeth, horrible odors.....take second seat to those other thoughts of "this feels good!!!"  The brain shies away from feeling sad or depressed or negative.  The brain is programed to make us feel good.


But it's an illusion.  Because what you're doing is so very, very dangerous in every way.  You are putting poisons into your body.  You are sucking in chemicals that are meant to kill.  You are risking not only your life but the lives of those around you.  


Please see it for what it is....not what your brain is telling you.  Given time, your brain will come to its senses and agree that smoking is hazardous.  Until then, it is up to you to actively tell yourself that.  


This is what addiction is, my friends.  An illusion....a lie....a brain disfunction.  And when you understand that, you CAN overcome it.  You CAN work through it.  You CAN quit.  


Life is meant to be lived.  And  life is so much more than you will ever know as a smoker.  YOU are so much more than you will ever be as a smoker.  Give quitting a chance. Give yourself a chance to live smoke free.

~~This letter is to you.  The you that's had a rough week.  The you that seems to be under constant storm clouds.  The you that feels invisible.  The you that doesn't know how much longer you can hold on.  The you that has lost faith.  The you that always blames yourself for everything that goes wrong.  To you.  You are incredible.  You make this world a little bit more wonderful.  You have so much potential and so many things left to do.  You have time.  Better things are coming your way, so please hang in there.  You can do it.~~   Unknown


Betcha thought I am going to give you a rah-rah post.  You can quit!!  Just give it time!!  It'll be ok!!


Oh, no...furthest thing from my mind today.  Because there are kids out there who have no one who loves them at all.  There are seniors slowly dying from acute loneliness in nursing homes.  There are trauma victims who need support as they navigate through pain and humiliation.  There are families who live in shame.  There are people hoping for a friend. 


This world desperately needs you.  It needs your compassion, your strength, your wisdom, your talents.  It needs your smile and your gentle touch and your understanding and your very being.  It needs your voice, your outrage, your leadership, your heart.


And let me add, dear quitters, that the very best way to distract yourself from craving a cigarette is to put yourself out there for others.  Get involved.  Volunteer.  Care.  And know deep in your soul that you may be the very miracle that someone else has been waiting for.  You may be the friend they need.  The saving grace they hoped for.  The difference they needed to remain on this earth.


You do indeed make this world a little more wonderful....and now it is time to pass it forward.  Drop of some large-print books to a nursing home and talk to the residents.  Become a foster parent and be that anchor for a child in need.  Cut someone's grass who struggles to get it done.  Buy a board game and donate it to a local agency that works with families in need. 


There are so many opportunities to shine your light.  If you've ever doubted that you've mattered in this world, look into the eyes of a lonely person who has just made a friend.  Look into the eyes of a child who has been given his first birthday party.  Look into the eyes of a senior who has been asked to 'remember when...'.  Yes, you matter!!  Yes, you are needed!!  Yes, you are that miracle that someone somewhere is praying for.


So rather than nail-bite your way through the first months of your quit, give of yourself instead.  Rather than agonize over those craving moments, make a child smile.  Rather than wonder when it's going to get better, make it better for someone else.  You will feel the benefits, too.  And you will know the miracle of making connections. 


And if any of you....any one of you....are the you above, let me just reiterate YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!!  I read these posts and I secretly applaud you and I wish you nothing but the very best in life   Because you deserve it.  Now, go out and let someone else know that they are incredible, too.




~~Addiction:  Fighting to save yourself from yourself.~~  Unknown


It started with love.  My quit journey, that is.  One day as we were shopping, I told my son I needed a pack of cigarettes.  He gently reminded me, "You don't 'need' them, mom.  You want them."  End of conversation....yet it stuck with me.  Changing my words, changing my thoughts about smoking.  


Small, even petty differences you may think.  But in changing my thinking about what I was doing, I was actually bringing the focus to what I was doing.  Instead of mindlessly smoking, I began to think of each and every moment when I thought I 'needed' one.  I began thinking about each and every moment I was isolated from my family because I 'needed' one.  I began, in fact, to realize that my entire day always centered around 'needing' a cigarette.


I didn't want to be chained to a 'need' that would ultimately kill me in one way or another.  So I shifted my thinking about 'needing' a cigarette to understanding addiction.  I never wanted to think I was addicted to anything...I was a single mother--strong, competent, capable.  Addicted?  Me?  I truly was.  Not only could I not put them down....I didn't want to.

I liked relaxing with one.  I liked that feeling I got with my first inhale.  I even liked the peaceful solitude.


But isn't that just like an addict?  Not seeing what I was actually, really doing.  I wasn't relaxing....I was getting that fix of nicotine that my body needed to function.  And that first inhale was that first fix.  And peaceful solitude?  That was just so no one could distract me from enjoying my addiction.


For me, it all started with my son pointing out that I didn't need it...I wanted it.  It snowballed from there as I focused on the realities of smoking rather than the beautiful lies addiction painted for me.  Reality.  Sticking a lit tube of paper in my mouth and inhaling.  Reality.  Not being able to get through the day without one...or without wanting one if I didn't have one.  Reality.  Pushing away family just to go light up.  "I'll just be a minute" isn't true.  "I'm choosing to put chemicals and toxins in my lungs rather than spending time with you" is true.  


Now some of you may be at a loss in how to quit because nothing seems to be working for you.  Slow it down, maybe, and focus on what you're doing...and what you're telling yourself as you do it.  If you say smoking relaxes you, you're lying to yourself.  Getting that hit of nicotine is what calms the brain down...and sooner or later it will take more and more nicotine to help you 'relax'.  If you say you enjoy smoking, you're lying to yourself.  You are actually enjoying the addictive chemicals and what they do to your brain.  (If addiction felt, tasted, seemed horrible, nobody would do it.)


Reality is what will help your recovery.  Seeing smoking for what it is, not for how addiction makes you feel.  Do not let your whole life be run by a little tube of paper filled with toxins and poisons.  Addiction robs you of the ability to reach for all the true joys of life.  You may not understand that may not even like what I'm saying right now ("she doesn't know me or my life")….but I can promise you that life starts with recovery.  It's glorious on the other side of smoking and no one has ever regretted quitting.


A few thoughts to leave you with:


~~Addiction is the only disease that tells you that you don't have a disease.~~  Jason ZW Powers, MD

~~We inhale the very thing that kills us just so we can feel more alive.~~  Chrissy Penney

~~Every time you light a cigarette, you are saying that your life isn't worth living.~~  Unknown


See smoking for what it truly is, not what you've always thought it to be.  Open your eyes, open your mind, and open the door to recovery.  Your life depends on it.