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2018

~~Always remember your present situation is not your final destination.  The best is yet to come.~~  Unknown

 

You may not believe it now.  As you contemplate quitting or are struggling with your quit, you may not see it.  You may be doubting yourself.  You may be doubting the world. 

But the best is yet to come.  YOUR best is yet to come.  I know it.  I've lived it and continue to feel that wonderful sense of anticipation as my life moves forward.

When it finally dawns on you that your quit is good, you gain a sense of accomplishment.  You may still have left over thoughts of smoking.  You may have an occasional crave.  But you know....you KNOW....that your quit is a lifestyle change that you've earned and nothing is going to shake your commitment.

That's when you also realize that the best is yet to come.  When you realize the power of choice is greater than the chains of addiction.  When you understand that you control what goes into your body.  When you come into the person you were always meant to be.  When all these things are propelling you forward, you know that the best is yet to come.

All our unrealized potential suddenly comes into focus.  All the gifts we've always had that have been sitting unused and unknown suddenly peek through the dissolving cloud of smoke.  All the positive feelings of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence begin to put a smile on our face and joy to our heart.

Quitting smoking is a process and life itself is a journey filled with all we need to excel.  It's not all scary, all painful, all dark.  The fear, the hurt, and the shadows are only there to help us appreciate the joy, the contentment, and the light.  The balance of life is all about give and take, rest and movement.  Addiction robs us of balance.  Quitting brings it out.

I don't know what's ahead of me.  I'm positive there will be both joy and heartbreak.  Life is like that.  But I also know that the best is yet to come for me and I look forward to it each and every day.

May you also feel the joy of knowing you best is yet to come.  May you believe it.  May you understand all your untapped potential and may you turn towards your light.  Everything....everything!!.....you need for a good life is already inside of you.  Quitting is a giant step in bringing it out.  Much love today and always

 

Sheri

~~Some of the most comforting words in the universe are "me, too".  That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else's struggle, that you are not alone, and that others have been down that same road.~~  Unknown

 

We all say it here, don't we?  You're not alone.  We've gone through what you're now going through.  We understand.  And that may comfort you some.  You don't have to explain yourself because we know.  You don't have to try to fit in because you do fit in.  We know, we care, and you're not alone.

Sometimes, though, lines get blurred and suddenly the support that you've grown to rely on and enjoy becomes another obstacle.  When you are afraid of 'disappointing' us because you relapsed.  When you disappear rather than tell us that you 'failed'.  When you hesitate to tell us that you slipped.  When you don't want to ask questions because you don't want to appear less than competent. 

Read that quote again...."that moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else's struggle, that you are not alone, and that others have been down that same road.". 

Believe me, when I tell you "I've been there", I've been there.  Relapse, afraid to disappoint, disappeared....the whole shebang.  Others here, too.  We know what it feels like.  We know.

No question is too 'simple'.  No relapse will make us turn away.  No slip will make us shun you.  We know.

And I also know that your quit is YOUR quit.  You don't have to do it like I did.  You don't have to be like her or him or them.  Be like you and do it like only you can.  Your quit, your way.  You are in charge.  We support.  Educate.  Suggest.  Encourage.  Remind you that you are not alone.

I don't mean to talk for everyone here.  But I do know that the elders here were once like you.  New quitters with a bumpy road ahead of them.  At least, I had one   And I know every person here wants you to succeed. 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Go Easy

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 29, 2018

~~Go easy on yourself.  Whatever you do today, let it be enough.~~Buddha

 

Today, let go of the struggles.  Let go of the thought that you have to fight.  Let go of the anxiety and the fear and the thoughts that you can't go on.  Let go of the depression and the anger and the need to strive for perfection.  Let go.

 

Today, just be.  Just be.  Drink your coffee, take a stroll, rest.  Smile to yourself.  Hug yourself.  Sigh.  Wander.  Listen.  Relax. 

 

Today let that be enough.  Breathe.  If you feel a crave coming on, acknowledge it and let it go.  Know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  Feel the contentment just for today and let yesterday stay in yesterday.  Don't worry about tomorrow, it's not here yet and can't hurt you today. 

 

All you have is now.  So let it be enough.  Let go of the thought that you're supposed to be better, be more.  You are simply perfect as you are. Don't rush towards next week, next month, next year when things are bound to be better.  Don't long for last week, last month, or last year when things were better.  Let today be enough. 

 

Today is ok.  You are ok.  And that is enough. 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Why I'm Here

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 28, 2018

~~Empathy has no script.  There is no right way or wrong way to do it.  It's simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of "You're not alone".~~ Unknown

 

For the past 20+ years, I have worked with broken families.  I have been in their homes, I have removed their children, I have reunified them and I have worked to terminating parental rights.  I have listened, held, helped, referred, reasoned with, understood, railed against, and felt so much of what they felt.  I have been a child's only friend and I have been a parent's rock.  I've heard it all, I've seen most all, and I've been amazed, horrified, grateful, hopeful.  Only this past year has it devastated me.  The murder of a 3 year old...the suicide of a 7 year old...the leftover destruction of the siblings left behind.

So I came back here.  To listen.  To encourage.  To make sure that quitters who felt alone and helpless knew that they weren't.

Because it's so important to me to give hope to the hopeless.  To bring light to those in darkness.  To provide something to those who think they have nothing.  My work with broken families makes me want to bring something good to those who live in less than good.

I don't care if anyone responds to what I write.  That's not why I write.  I do it so maybe one person nods and says "I get it."  I do it so one person may feel a moment of warmth...a glimmer of hope...a bit of peace.

I need to make some life changes.  It's time to leave my career field and work in lightness, hope, and love.  I've been tearing up too often lately to ignore the signs of burnout.  I take home with me the despair of these babies and the hopelessness of these parents.  It's time to let go and help in some other way.

But until those changes are made, I come here.  I know what it's like to quit.  I know the fear and the isolation and the helplessness.  So I try to share what I know now.  That you can quit.  That you do matter.  That we understand. 

It was a bad morning for me but that's because it was a bad morning for a family going through trauma.  So I came here to let you know why I come here.  I thought it might get you to know me just a little bit. 

 

Sheri

~~Fate whispers to the warrior, "You cannot withstand the storm" and the warrior whispers back, "I am the storm."  Unknown

 

Addiction is going to try to keep you a victim.  "You aren't strong enough", "You aren't brave enough", "You aren't clever enough to quit."

 

And you may think addiction is right.  Quitting's hard.  You feel crappy.  You can't hold on forever.  You don't think you're going to make it.

 

But then you do.  You get past that bad, bad moment without lighting up.  You may feel scraped raw.  You may feel exhausted.  You may even feel like you're bleeding inside.  But you did it.

 

A warrior isn't someone who stands tall and cuts down everything in site.  A warrior isn't someone who has one every battle with great determination and courage.  A warrior isn't even someone who doesn't know pain or failure or discouragement.

 

A warrior simply hangs on through it all.  A warrior may just close his eyes and hold on for dear life.  She may bite her nails and pull her hair out and rail against the storm.  But a warrior doesn't give up and a warrior doesn't give in.  A warrior just hangs on through it all.

 

A victim gives in.  Caves into her addiction while crying she can't do it anymore.  A victim feels helpless and weak and unable to make a decision about her quit.  A victim may blame life or work or family or stress or illness or depression.  In fact, a victim doesn't even have to justify smoking, a victim will simply smoke.  And then say "I am starting my quit date again."

 

Most of us have been victims at one time or another.  I certainly was!!  It wasn't until I decided I didn't like to be a victim of smoking that the warrior came out with a roar   I challenged my addiction to do its worst because I WOULD NOT SMOKE.  Ever again.  The addiction tried to fight back but I wasn't a victim anymore and I wasn't having it anymore.  I was done.

 

Well, that's my story but each of us have our own.  Some warriors ask for reinforcements.  Others whip up the peace within and hold steady throughout the addiction fighting.  But each and every person who quit smoking is a warrior and a victor!

 

You can continue to be a victim.  Addiction is ugly and tough and doesn't fight fair.  Or you can bring out your inner warrior and refuse to bow to smoking anymore.

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Its YOUR Quit

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 27, 2018

~~Break the rules.  Be a fighter.  Any dream is possible if you are brave enough to do it YOUR way.~~ AJ Lee

 

So you are determined to quit smoking.  You read EVERYTHING here and try it all.  After all, if he quit successfully and said to do "this", it must work.  And if she quit successfully and did "this AND this", it is the way to quit.

 

But nothing is working for you.  You 'fail'.  You are smoking again and you decide that you must be the exception and NOTHING will work for you.  You feel defeated, bewildered, ashamed.  Why can't you quit?

 

Could it be, maybe, that you didn't put any work into your quit?  Could it be that by reading and mimicking others' quits, you forgot to personalize YOUR own quit?  Could it be that you forgot the most important aspect of quitting....making it yours?

 

Just as we are all quitters, we are also all unique individuals.  I love colors, she loves black and white, he loves only blue.  I love music, she loves reading, he loves working out.  You can sit on the sidelines and try all these things or you can jump in with you OWN ideas on what you love.

 

So you can read about breathing deeply and you can read about sucking on a lemon and you can read about drinking tea rather than coffee OR you can make a list of the things you want to do in your own life to replace smoking.  Are you a social butterfly who loves people?  You may want to join a club, a team, or a gym.  Are you more of a loner?  You may want to try hiking, spending time in museums, or buy a hammock for the back yard. 

 

My point is simply be you.  Fight for your quit by doing things that are a reflection of who you are.  If you want to try our suggestions, by all means try!!  But make it yours.  Own your quit and know its the most personal journey you will ever be on.  Your emotions may bounce, your days may be extremely good and terribly dark, your mind may play tricks or help you find some peace.  It's all up to you  

 

So break the rules by doing your quit YOUR way!!  Explore and discover your inner warrior.  Find your creativity and bravely march to your own drummer.  It's an exciting time in your life, not just a scary one   I hope you enjoy your journey!!

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Take a Chance

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 26, 2018

~~Take chances, take a lot of them.  Because honestly, no matter where you end up and with whom, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Your mistakes make you who you are.  You learn and grow with each choice you make.  Everything is worth it.  Say how you feel, always.  Be who you are and be ok with it.~~  Unknown

 

Not quite ready to quit yet?  Maybe had a 'slip' or two?  Maybe wondering if you are one of those 'serial quitters'?  Maybe all those voices in your head are convincing you that you are a mess and can never quit successfully?

 

Take a chance. Honestly.  Take a chance that everything you think about quitting is wrong and you CAN do it.  Take a chance that you ARE brave enough and strong enough and wise enough to quit.  Take a chance that your family and friends and neighbors are wrong and you will not go through life with a cigarette in your hand.

 

Take a chance that you know you better than those ugly little voices of gloom in your head.  Take a chance that you are ok with who you are and you don't have to become what you're not to quit.  Take a chance that your life will be oh, so much better without your addiction dictating your days.  

 

Take a chance that you really do believe you are worth it.  Worth the quit, worth the uncomfortables, worth the time.  Take the chance on you.

 

You learn and grow with each choice you make.  There is no failure.  There is no losing.  There is growing and strengthening and learning just how perfect you actually are.

 

Anyone can quit.  But no one can quit for you.  And no one can quit with your flair and unique perspective.  So it's time to take that chance.  Everything is worth it.

 

Sheri

~~Its not about how much you do but how much love you put into what you do that counts.~~ Mother Teresa

 

How much love do you put into your quitting?  I often read how impatient quitters are to get past it all....past the first few weeks, past the craves, past the thoughts, past the depression...just past it all.

 

What I don't read about are those patient, caring "I did this for me today" moments.  Did you spend an extra few minutes in bed today, enjoying the quiet?  Did you drink an extra cup of coffee flavored with your favorite creamer?  Did you pat yourself on the back for waking up and feeling better?  Did you schedule that manicure you wanted or buy those sports tickets?  Did you wish yourself luck in getting that promotion?  Did you appreciate being loved?

 

I don't think Mother Teresa was talking about quitting when she said this.  But how much love you put into everything counts.  Whether it's in a relationship, a career, a friendship, or your quit....put some love into it!!  Take the time and do it with love and compassion and care.  Because that counts.  Because in changing your focus to treating yourself with love, you'll be less likely to fail.  And you will carry that self-love with you in the future and to other areas of your life you may want to change.

 

It counts.  It counts because you count.  And when you realize that and love yourself enough to take real care of you, you feel better.  You look better.  And you can get through anything.  

 

So it isn't how much you read or how many tools you have in your quit toolbox or even how many responses you get to a post.  It's how much love you put into this quit that counts.  So read with love.  Develop tools with love.  And post how you're doing with love.  It all counts.

 

Sheri

~~Dear self, Stop for a moment.  Forgive yourself.  You've been a little too hard on yourself lately.  I know you're trying to grow into a new being but you have to be patient.  Everything of value takes time to build.  Stop feeling like something is wrong with you; you don't need to guilt trip yourself.  You've already faced the demons and now you're just trying to find the right path.  Be patient.  You will overcome this moment.~~  Sylvester McNutt

 

I've read so much here about people beating themselves up because of their quit or lack of quit or wanting to quit.  Everything from "I'm pathetic" to "I'm not strong" to "I'm very weak-willed".  I have heard how you never do anything right and how your life sucks and you don't even want to try anymore.

 

Please, please stop!!  Your poor heart is battered and bruised already.  Stop keeping the wounds fresh. 

 

First of all, much of that self-loathing simply comes from being addicted.  That's all.  Your addiction lies to you on a daily...even hourly...basis.    Your brain needs that chemical to function.  Or so it thinks   So it will tell you anything in order to get the 'fix'.  It doesn't mean you have to listen and it doesn't mean you have to believe what it tells you. 

 

Second, you are being wayyyyyy   to hard on yourself!!  You may have lost your quit.  You may be reluctant to quit at all.  That doesn't mean you are stupid or pathetic.  It means you need to educated yourself on addiction and you need the positive support that will assist you in your quit journey.  And if you decide not to quit?  You still need to treat yourself kindly.  Because the more you love yourself, the more you will one day decide you deserve to live free of an addiction that may kill you.

 

Whether you are 20 or 35 or 50 or 80, you matter to the world.  I hope that you understand that.  You matter.  The way you see yourself is sometimes how others will see you as well so see yourself as worthy.  See yourself kindly.  See yourself deserving of good things.  See yourself courageous.  See yourself strong.  See yourself as you are. 

 

We all have bad days but that doesn't mean we're bad.  We all have self-doubts but that doesn't mean we're weak.  We all have flaws but that doesn't mean we're flawed.  We are perfect just the way we are. 

 

So, please heal your battered and bruised heart with a little self-love. Be kind.  Be gentle.  Be patient.  You are worth it.

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Let It Go

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 23, 2018

~~How would your life be different if you learned to let go of the things that have already let go of you.  From relationships long gone to old grudges to regrets, to all the old 'could've' and 'should've', Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change.~~ Dr. Steve Maraboli

 

We tend to live in regret sometimes.  Especially when we finally not only quit smoking but also understand how much time we wasted in addiction.

Today, learn to let it go.  Let go of the regret.  Let go of the shame.  Let go of everything that no longer serves you.  And when you release these things, turn to life and let it have you.

Let the joy, freedom, and peace flood your heart.  Just for today let go and feel all the good of the universe.  Allow life to show you it's beauty.  And enjoy each minute of today.

When you leave the past in the past where it belongs, you feel lighter.  More hopeful.  Happier.  So just for today, let it go.  Place it gently down with love and let it be. 

And let life have you.  Just for today.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Knock, Knock

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 22, 2018

Sometimes you just gotta laugh   Let go of the seriousness of life, let go of the stress.  Let go of the thought that you have to always put your nose to the grindstone. 

Even during the early days of your quit, I hope you know how much laughter can help ease things.  You may not be a funny, 'ha-ha' person.  Maybe you are dry humored.  Maybe you are simply witty.  Maybe you are amused by cat videos (aren't they just the best?!!).  But however your humor is designed, use it!!  Laugh at your cravings, laugh through them!  You'll be amazed at how much better you feel  

What kind of humor do you have?

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Believe In You

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 22, 2018

~~Believe in yourself.~~

 

Have you ever noticed that most of us are very negative when it comes to our quits?  From the time we start thinking that it's time to put 'em down, our thoughts tend to go to "I'm afraid I'll fail" and "I don't know if I can".  We think 'It's hard", "I can't stand it", and "I don't know if I can".

 

Quitting in itself isn't hard.  Just don't buy any.  It's changing the way we do things, it's finding ways to get through the craves, it's understanding that uncomfortable feelings mean we're winning.

 

Believe in yourself, my friends.  Believe that you can quit successfully and believe that you can make the changes you need to make in order to succeed.  Just like you did with other challenges in your life!  You know, the heartbreak you suffered...the trauma you got through...the abuse you lived through.  You did it and you survived!!  Quitting has nothing on you  

 

Once you start believing in yourself, then it's time to get positive!  Get excited!  You are doing something so unbelievably good for you   You are taking steps to regain your life!!  That is exciting!  You are about to show the world...and yourself....that you are strong, courageous, and fearless!!  You can.  Of course you can!!  People quit every day so why not you?!!

 

I totally believe you can do this.  I totally believe you can quit forever.  And I see the strength in you that you may not be paying attention to.  I know you're brave.  You can't go through life without courage.  So when you waver in your belief in yourself, let me know because I will be happy to remind you how badass you actually can be  

 

Seriously there are so many positive to quitting smoking.  You regain your life, you save so much money, people will want to be around you more, you will have so much more time to spend with family, you will gain confidence in yourself.....make a list!!  Quitting is worth it  

 

I totally believe you can do this.  Now it's time for you to believe in you, too.

 

Sheri 

~~I have found that when you love life, life will love you back.~~  Arthur Rubinstein

 

The thing about life is that it's unpredictable.  There are hills and valleys and darkness and light.  And just when you think you have things all figured out, an unexpected twist in life will have you reeling once again.

 

Isn't it great????  I just love life   Yes, I've had my share of loss, unfulfilled hopes, undeserved blows...etc....but that's life in all it's true glory!  And getting through the hard and the bad and the unexpected and the grief and the loss allows us to revel in the joy and the light and the hope and the blessings.  

 

I think quitting is one of those paths that allows us to explore and discover the buried treasure within us.  I didn't know I was creative until I stopped smoking.  I didn't know I loved color and music and life itself until I got rid of the addiction that clouded my judgment and cast shadows on my world.

 

Because addiction takes over everything about you.  When you aren't actually smoking, you are finding a lighter or plotting your next smoke break or buying just one more pack or chewing gum to hide the smell on your breath....you know.  It's there, always lurking and urging us to have 'just one more'.

 

Quitting and I mean really quitting gives us the opportunity to bring out all that was hidden.  All those buried skills and talents and creative sides of us that have been waiting to be released.  Truly!  You simply will be delighted at all the good stuff you are   Your singing voice may become clearer, your love of cooking will take on a whole new meaning, or you may simply find you enjoy basking in the summer sun!

 

Life.  You gotta love it.  Because we are only here for a short time and never get that 'do over'.  So grab it and use every drop of talent and skill you have to live the very best life that you can.  Smoking is not a part of that.  Happy week-end, all!!!  It's a glorious day

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Yes, You Can

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 20, 2018

~~Fear is a thief and a liar.  It whispers, "You're not good enough", that you're not safe.  It dictates what you can and cannot do.....But only if you allow it to.~~  Unknown

 

There is a certain amount of fear and trepidation when we decide to quit smoking.  For some of us, anyway.  Fear that we will fail.  Fear in that we don't know what will happen.  Fear in the 'how will I handle things' moments.  Fear as it pushes us out of our comfort zone.

 

Fear can paralyze.  It can freeze us in our tracks.  It stops us.  From thinking past it.  From continuing on anyway.  But only if we allow it to.

 

Because when you think past the fear, it subsides.  Truly it does.  If you are fearful of failing, when you think about it you can come to the conclusion that you will not fail.  If you are fearful of those 'how will I handle things' moments, thinking it through will give you options of various ways to handle those things, whether it be handling cravings, depression, stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, anger....you know, all those things everyone on earth also handles   

 

Fear is a thief and a liar.  Don't let it paralyze you.  Don't let it stop you.  Don't allow it to have the best of you.  Don't allow it to have any of you.  Not when it comes to quitting.  Because there is nothing....NOTHING....bad about quitting!!  It gives you your life back.  It gives you more time.  More money.  Better health.  Better relationships.  Self-confidence.  Pride.  Quitting is like a gift of life that only you can give yourself.  Don't allow fear to take it away.

 

There is life on the other side of fear.  Joy, peace, acceptance, and possibilities.  All you have to do is push past it and walk into the light.  Yes, you can  

 

Sheri

~~If you're not willing to learn, no one can help you.  If you're determined to learn, no one can stop you.~~  Unknown

 

I so often read here elders encouraging new quitters to "read, read, read".  Educating yourself about your addiction and gaining knowledge about recovery can assist you in keeping your quit throughout your lifetime.  But often new quitters read and don't really absorb the message.  And sometimes new quitters read and think, "Why don't I get it???"  And if you are at all like I was, you wonder why everyone else can quit and you 'failed' once again.

 

You can't read and expect the words to quit for you.  You can't read and expect the author to quit for you.  You can't read and expect it to magically happen.

 

Quitting takes commitment.  Quitting takes effort.  And quitting takes integrity.  For instance, if you go into your quit saying, "I hope this one is my forever quit", you aren't committed.  Maybe you're wavering between "I want this" and "I'm not sure I can".  

 

If I can 'teach' you one thing, it is that when you decide to quit smoking, know in your heart and in your mind that you have just committed to never smoking another cigarette no matter what.  Because that's what quitting means.  No slips, no fails, no falls.  That is the basis of your forever quit.  Not smoking.  Ever.  Again.

 

And once you get that into your head, the rest is more about finding other things to do that you love as much as you once 'loved' smoking.  A crave?  Turn towards something else rather than back towards smoking.  A stressful day?  Turn towards something rather than back towards smoking.  A devastating loss?  Turn towards something rather than back towards smoking.  Because you don't do that any more.  

 

And you get to create what you turn towards!  How fun is that?!!  You can:

Dance, Paint, Sing, Work Out, Garden, Photography, Run, Yoga, Talk with a friend, Learn a foreign language, Take a Class, Volunteer, Spend time with family, Bake, Clean house, Work on your motorcycle, Travel, Camping, Take a hike, Rock climb, Read a good book, Write a book, Create something, Paint the inside of your closets, Sew, Start a club, Join a club, Skip, Join a gym, Plan a trip, Color your hair, get a GED, Trace your family tree, Sip tea, Drink coffee, eat a butterscotch, climb a tree, plant a tree, swim, snorkel, scuba dive, sky dive, rearrange your furniture, have a yard sale.....and so on and so on......

 

If you aren't willing to learn what to do to keep your quit, no one can help you.  If you are determined to keep your quit, no one (or nothing!) can stop you.  It's really that easy  

 

Sheri 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Beliefs

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 18, 2018

~~Shame is the most powerful master emotion.  It's the fear that we're not good enough.~~  Brene Brown

 

How many years have you been dabbling with quitting?  How many times have you started, then fallen, then started again?  How many promises have you made yourself that you just didn't keep?  Maybe by now you feel defeated.  Helpless.  Ashamed.

 

All those harsh, negative self-judgments can truly eat away at our confidence.  Even more, they can truly make us feel like we're not good enough.  Not good enough to quit smoking.  Not good enough to have the freedom ex-smokers seem to enjoy.  Not good enough to even ask for help because we will just blow it again.

 

False reality.  That's all it is.  All those dark, hurtful emotions are a false way of looking at yourself.  Part of it is your addiction talking.  After all, if you consider yourself a failure, you might as well just keep smoking, right?  Part of it is life experiences that can damage the very core of how we see ourselves.  The combination of the two can keep us locked to an addiction that will kill us.

 

(I always encourage those who have had trauma to seek professional help to work through it.  Ignoring it won't work forever.  Self-medicating through drugs, alcohol, risky behaviors won't work either.  A professional can steer you through the muck until you are steady again.  Professionals can even assist you in your quit journey!  The more support you have and the more shoulders you have to lean on when you need to, the more successful you will be )

 

As for those feelings of defeat and shame....well, you deserve better.  You are unrepeatable, you know.  Unique and priceless and the universe is a better place for having you in it.  You may not believe it now.  Of course you don't!  But let those thoughts play through your mind.  What if....what if you were truly a gift to this world?  What if you touched people's hearts in a way that no one else could?  What if you are perfect just the way you are?   What if...what if you were to love yourself?

 

May you one day believe the best about you  

 

Sheri

~~Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow.~~  Mary Ann Radmacher

 

Not everyone sees themselves a warrior, bravely stomping their way through their quit.  In fact, in quitting you can feel quite weak.  But if you are feeling weak and still not smoking, well, that's courage!  If you feel like you want to curl up in a ball and sob your way through your day and you're still not smoking, you are that warrior!

 

You don't have to be a giant like Goliath or a superhero like Batman or even a general like Patton to quit smoking.  Quitting isn't just for the larger than life.  In fact, most of us have had our sob our eyes out, eat all of Aisle 8 at Wal-Mart, feel like giving up moments.  And we dodged a bullet, squeaked by, and limped our way through those moments never realizing how much courage, fortitude, and strength it took to just live through those moments!

 

Because it is when we feel our weakest where true strength lies.  And I think we should acknowledge that strength and celebrate that courage because it shows how very much we love ourselves.  Enough to go through hell.  Enough to skate around murkiness.  Enough to quit smoking no matter what!

 

So if you have struggled during your quit, pat yourself on the back....you made it through!!  If you cried, now cry in gratitude...you made it through!  If you ate every Twinkie in Piggly Wiggly, loosen your belt....you made it through!!

 

The human spirit is made of strength, courage, and wisdom.  Treat yourself like the treasure you are and don't be ashamed of feelings of weakness.  You are doing beautifully if you are not smoking   Celebrate you!!

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Belated Thanks

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 16, 2018

~~You're what making a difference looks like.  Thank you so much!~~  Unknown

 

I haven't celebrated my milestones here in quite a while.  My choice, of course, but that meant that I couldn't thank you like I should have.  All of you who have touched my world and made life more.  More joyous, more bearable, more delightful.  So, if you don't mind.......

 

I am celebrating 1868 days of smoke free living.  I have regained 181 days of my life and I have not smoked 37, 362 cigarettes.  I have saved $9, 340.

 

There is no way I can list everyone who supported, encouraged, tolerated , and guided my quit.  But there are a few who saved my life as much as my quit.  Bee_Jay, what a powerful yet gentle friend you are!!  I adore you and thank you for always caring, even when I was at my worst.  Rick_M , you are the best kind of support!  When you believe in people, you give them the courage to believe in themselves and I am so honored to be considered your friend.   pir8fan, you put up with my indecisions, my poor decisions, and everything in between.  Much love!  Giulia, as the first person to ever talk to me here on ex, I wouldn't have stayed without you.  My eternal gratitude.  jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007, you never gave up on me, you made me laugh, and most of all you made so much bearable.  Forever appreciative.  Thomas, I can't find your "@" name but your patience and knowledge and quiet confidence in me meant the world to me. Thomas3.20.2010  So many more, of course, and I am truly blessed to have each of you touch my life.

 

Quitting is solitary as no one can do it for you.  But quitting is all about connections because when you are weak, someone is there to lean on, to hold your hand, and to lift you up.  You don't have to do it alone.  The wisdom, compassion, and joy that others can rain into your quit nurture and light your way.  We are in this together  

grātiās tibi agō,

Sheri

~~Sometimes quiet people do have a lot to say....they're just being careful about who they open up to.~~  Susan Gale

 

I know you are here reading posts.  You are here looking for education, for support (even silent), for help.  Because you want to quit smoking.  Just like those who come here and make friends, shine their light, or become 'regulars' on the site.  Some people call you a 'lurker'.  Those who come here but say nothing.  I call you a reader.

 

Maybe you read because you just want to quit.  You don't need to make friends.  You don't need to share your story.  But you want to quit.  And I applaud you!  All the help and education and tools you need really are here.  So take what you need and run with it!!

 

Maybe you read because you are terrified of computers or putting yourself out on the internet.  You don't know how to press the right button or hit the right highlight or just find the right keyboard keys.  Relax and try it out!!  You really can't break the internet or the site.  And the ex administrators are a big help if you need them!  Sharing your story actually can help us help you quit.  The more we understand you as a person, the more we can assist you gain the tools you need to keep your wonderful quit healthy and strong.

 

Finally, maybe you read because you got the news that you have cancer....or COPD....or emphysema....or any one of a host of smoke related illnesses.  And you just need to quit forever.  No frills, no dipping your toes in the quit pool.  But you just need to get it done.  And you can't share that personal information because you haven't yet even processed it.  You picked the right site to give you the tools you need to stick your quit.

 

Regardless of the reason you are a reader rather than a writer, I'm so glad you are here!!  I am so glad you are taking control of your life!!  I am so glad that you are serious about educating about yourself about quitting!!  You don't have to speak here to get noticed.  I know you're here because I used to read, too. 

 

Reading helps.  You can learn about triggers, tools, coping, and addiction.  You can get information and support and knowledge.  You can find comfort and warmth and a sense of peace that you are understood here.  So welcome.  You are noticed   

 

Sheri  

~~At any given moment, you have the power to change the story that is your life.~~  Unknown

 

You may not think so right now.  You may be feeling that your addiction has totally taken over your life, even though you have quit smoking.  The thoughts you think, the cravings you battle, the loss you feel may seem like your total life revolves around NOT having that next cigarette.

 

But you can change that, you know.  You can change that.  You have that power.  Just as you believe this agony may never end, you can believe that you are free.  That you are better.  That you are in charge of your quit.

 

You see, all that effort you exert at battling those cravings and fighting those thoughts you can put into creating new habits and thinking positive thoughts.  Make sense?  When a crave hits you, let that be the reminder that you need to.....do some deep breathing, sip on some water, suck on a butterscotch, or sing at the top of your lungs.  When those thoughts of smoking creep in, let that be a reminder to do some deep breathing (a change of focus helps change thoughts), laugh at yourself and allow the thoughts to drift away, blow bubbles, phone a friend.

 

At any given moment, you do have the power to change your story.  Isn't that wonderful?  You aren't 'stuck', you aren't a 'failure', and you don't have to be miserable.  You ARE a miracle.  A treasure.  And so deserve to focus on a life you love rather than one you struggle through. 

Hope this helps!

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Fast Forward

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 14, 2018

~~There is no need to be perfect to inspire others.  Let others get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.~~  Unknown 

 

I shared so much of my life on ex over the years.  The heartbreaks, sorrow, confusion....maybe, perhaps, looking for validation or maybe hoping someone could fix it or maybe just spilling my guts as life pushed my buttons.  Back when I had smoker mentality, I always felt lost and like I didn't get life.

 

Fast forward five years and here I am.  A dear friend of mine is dying of kidney disease.  She made a conscious decision to stop dialysis and die with dignity.  We are now having such fun together during the time she has left!  We talk, we laugh, we support each other, we...well, we live!  My thoughts are all about her and making sure she knows how much better the world is because she is in it.

 

So here I am back at Ex but not, this time, to seek validation or hoping for an easy fix or even just spilling my guts.  This time I am here to say that quitting smoking  was a process that enlightened and strengthened me.  I can take care of myself now even when I have no control over events or situations.  Quitting gifts you with confidence, courage, and a kind of poise that allows you to flow through life with the knowledge that you will make it through no matter what is going on.

 

Yes, there is sorrow.  Yes, there is loss.  Life has highs and lows whether you smoke or not.  But when I smoked, I felt...weaker.  As a quitter, I am so much more able.  Able to handle things, able to get through, able to see things more clearly.

 

We talk about life, my friend and I.  We talk about death as well.  And we laugh at ourselves a lot  

I hope you may also find you are much more able to flow through life.....

 

Namaste,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Was Tired

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 13, 2018

~~If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up.~~  Unknown

 

These words helped me five years ago.  I was tired.  I was tired of feeling like a failure.  I was tired of smoking, tired of quitting, tired of cycling in between highs and lows.  I was tired of being controlled by my addiction.  I was just tired.

 

My family, my friends, my co-workers all tiptoed around me because they so knew I could quit while knowing I didn't want to.  They couldn't tell me that because I would have denied, denied, denied!!  Part of the addict in me, I now know.

 

So I was tired.  I was isolated.  I was miserable.

 

I had to stop giving up.  Quitting meant never having another cigarette NO MATTER WHAT.  Craving?  No cigarette.  Anxiety?  No cigarette.  Stress?  No cigarette.  World blown to bits?  No cigarette.  Never again no matter what.  

 

At that moment of realization, I knew that I would rather have life take me than ever smoke again.  Not because I was suddenly 'cured'.  Not because I magically broke the addiction.  But because I was tired of starting over.  My decision to quit meant that even it my quit was messy, dirty, ugly, agonizing....I would surrender to the agony instead of smoking.

 

I stopped giving up on myself.  And that made all the difference.  May you know the power and the joy and the freedom of not giving up on yourself as well.  I wish you for the very best life has to offer  

 

Blessings,

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Illusions

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 12, 2018

~~Today's Mantra:  I forgive myself for buying into the illusion that I am lacking in any way.~~  Unknown

 

Did you ever wonder why you can't seem to stick a quit when no one else seems to have that problem?  Maybe you think that there's something wrong with you.  Maybe you think you're odd or sad or different.  Maybe you feel like a failure.

It's time to stop.  Right now, really stop.  Because that kind of thinking is just wrong.  It may be your addiction talking.  It may be echoes of family members speaking their ignorance.  It may be a combination of different things.  Whatever it is, it is so not the truth.

The truth is....you are perfect just as you are!  You are unique and special and wonderful!  The world needs you here, bringing your own light into an otherwise dim day.  Sound outrageous maybe?  I do have a flair for the dramatic   But this is true.

You were not put on this earth to die a smoker.  You were not offered life just so you can feel bad about yourself and shrink into a nicotine cloud.  You were not put into this world to feel like a failure.

Do not buy into those illusions any longer.  You have capabilities you beyond your wildest dreams!  You can do so much more than you ever thought possible!  You just need to believe in yourself.

Quitting has its difficult moments.  Addiction isn't pretty.  But you have it in you to quit!  Truth.  You need to break free of addiction thinking and really remember that you are in control of your life, your behaviors, your thoughts.

May today be a start for you.  Stripping away those negative illusions and bringing forth the brave, wise, beautiful person that you were always meant to be  

Namaste,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Master the Day

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 11, 2018

~~You're not going to master your life in one day.  Just relax.  Master the day.  Then just keep doing that every day.~~ Unknown

 

Wouldn't it be great if we could stop smoking and decide that we mastered our addiction to the point that all those uncomfortable, icky feelings went away within days...even hours?  And that the cravings eased and we cheerfully went about living as if we were never smokers? 

But you know life doesn't work like that.  Practically, recovery is a journey that can't be rushed.  Shouldn't be rushed.  It's a journey about self-discovery, emerging strengths, and blossoming love of self.  You can't rush that.  Trials and tribulations allow us to grow in wisdom, courage, strength, and even compassion.  If life was all comfort and ease, we would lose so much of what makes us unique.

So how about, just for today, you relax.  Don't wish for time to fly.  Don't rush.  Don't agonize.  Just relax.  Breathe.  And smile to yourself.  You've got this right now and that's enough. 

Take today and make it yours.  You are strong today.  You are courageous today.  You can make it through today.  You will be ok today.  Breathe through it.  You can choose what thoughts you invent in so choose wisely today.  Just today. 

Master the day  

 

Namaste,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Clarification

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 10, 2018

I apologize for writing two blogs in such a short period of time but I thought it was important for me to do a follow up for those who may not be in a positive place right now.

One of my sons battles depression and has for most of his life.  I also have a friend who sees life through a negative, self-protective point of view. 

I know not everyone can find joy in their quit.  I know not everyone will find joy in their day.  And I truly knew that there are some who find the world dark, scary, or otherwise disturbing.  All I can say is that you need to continue to be you.  Does it mean you can't quit smoking?  Of course not!  Anyone can quit.

In one of my groups I taught, we were discussing emotions and bringing up memories that evoked those emotions.  One of my ladies told me that intellectually, she heard my definition of happiness but internally she could understand it as she never felt that emotion.

I don't mean for anyone here on Ex to feel less than.  You are who you are and I am so very, very glad that you are here!!  You can be grumpy, angry, depressed, anxious, sad, hesitant....anything you are.  Just be you!  Because the you you are can quit smoking, regardless of how you view the world. 

I just had to clear that up.  Each one of you deserves support, encouragement, and to be heard.  I hope you know that but I wanted to make sure  

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Be More Than

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 10, 2018

~~Don't fall for what this silly world says about you.~~  Unknown

 

And the world says a lot.  It labels you a smoker.  It labels you a failure.  It labels you a serial quitter. 

Well, I say that's just so silly!  And I challenge you to be more than what they say....because you ARE so much more!!  You're a warrior, battling an addiction.  You're an adventurer, delving into a new, smoke free world.  You're an artist, creating a smoke free world. 

I hear some of you say that you don't have a supportive family or spouse or anyone who thinks you can 'actually quit smoking this time'.  Just as you are letting go of smoking, let go of those who reflect the negative you are trying to rid yourself of.  You are more than what they think.

You are better than any negative thought of others.  You are better than your own negative thoughts. 

No one deserves to be a smoker.  No one deserves to struggle with addiction.  No one deserves illness from all this.  No one deserves bad.

So stop listening to this silly talk from a world that simply may not understand recovery.  Just stop.

Gather all your positive support and listen to that.  Gather all your courage and listen to "I can!"  Gather all the light that makes you shine and keep it close, surrounding yourself with a glow so strong that those negative thoughts cannot get through.

You don't deserve to be a smoker.  You don't deserve to be unhappy.  I hope you really, really understand that you can let go of all that because you are so much more than that!! 

Peace and Light to you

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Hope

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 9, 2018

~~I hope there are days where you fall in love with being alive.~~  Unknown

 

I hope that today you decide to quit smoking.  Before you are diagnosed with CPOD, cancer, or heart disease.

I hope that today you decide to embrace your quit rather than fight it.  Before you decide you failed and pick up another one.

I hope that today you decide to be the exception.  Before you decide you're just a smoker who can't quit.

I hope that today you decide you love yourself enough to keep your quit strong.  Before you have that 'slip'.

I hope that today you find some joy in your newly non-smoking world.  Before you decide its 'too hard' and weaken your resolve.

 

I hope that just for today you smile and find peace at being an ex.  It only gets better. 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Be Gentle

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 8, 2018

~~Be gentle.  You are meeting parts of yourself you have been at war with.~~  Unknown

 

Quitting is so much more than just not smoking.  While your body is trying to heal itself, it is also struggling with wanting that addictive substance again.  The habits you had....smoking after a meal, smoking with your morning coffee, etc....are still there as you struggle to find healthier habits.  The emotions you could stuff as you puffed away are now all over the place...anger, depression, anxiety, fear.  All normal emotions that seem so large as you try to find a balance without smoking.

And to top it all off, you just want the cravings to stop.  You want to be 'normal'.  You want to move on.

Recovery, friends, is a process just as life itself is a process.  So stop trying to rush through to normal.  First of all, there is no 'normal'.  Second, take the time to need to heal.  To find yourself.  To be ok, one day or one hour or one minute at a time.

The real you is in there somewhere.  Underneath the addict.  Behind the shadows of the smoke.  Tucked away from the world that can be harsh.  So take this time in your quit to bring out the you that you were always meant to be.  Find your strengths.  Bring out your curious.  Explore.  Discover.  Delight.

Recovery can be difficult but you can ease that somewhat through focusing on yourself and all the good you are.  All the talents you have.  All the stuff you forgot as smoking took over who you are. 

Be gentle on yourself as you recover.  Ride the waves of an addiction that is slowly losing its grip on you and allow it to trickle into the past.  Little by little, bit by bit it will fade.  Let it go.  Don't hold on to it, hold on instead to the you who is emerging.  Healthier.  Happier.  Confident. 

You can quit.  Of course you can!!  Be gentle.