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Passing Thoughts

Posted by Giulia Champion Jan 30, 2013

I was in a PM discussion with another member and the passage of communication turned my brain on in a way that I think might be productive/helpful to someone else on here.  So I’m passing it on in a blog - just to share thoughts.

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You know, I don't know at this stage of my life if mood swings are due to hormonal changes, biorhymic changes, numerologic wrong numbers or just life happening as it always has -  and did I not experience the same emotional angst when I was 5, 13, 18, 25, now?  I DO know however, that they have nothing whatsoever to do with quitting and cravings.  For I don't experience those any more.  Thank GOD!  And I'll say that again - Thank God.  Those days are the PITS.  And it's really great to be beyond that stage.
Personally, having seen life happen daily within this quit site, I have witnessed such incredible hurt and pain.  Some of it due to quitting, but most of it due to just - life happening.  When we quit we become more fragile, I think, is all it is.  And we're fragile enough.  Quitting takes us to a new vulnerability  for which many of us are unprepared.  Or under-prepared.   Or it may open up a fragile vulnerability that we know  not of.

I have always been a mood swinger.  I just accepted that as part of my makeup.  I think we have become a society which has become fragile.  Because we're allowed to be.  We've been taken care of by our parents for too many generations.  We have lost the capacity to become the parent in that sense.  To take care of ourselves, let alone our children.  We have lost self-reliance. And this is not a good thing.  This has morphed into names for emotional strugglings that are part of ALL of our lives.  Now we name it bi-polar disease.... or attention deficit disorder or.. .  Certainly there are extremes and falts (in the sense of cracks, fissures) in those psychological/physical/spiritual natures.  But I think we are just bi-polar people.  We are torn between conflicting desires and expressions and loves and hates.  And the hurts caused by those conflictions consume our spirit and sink us at times.  Sink us into depths of despair.  Where we become immobile emotionally and incapable of forward movement.  Incapable of ANY movement at times.

I think we ALL feel this tremendous amount of hurt and pain and hope and fragility.  Some hide it better than others.  Some suppress it better than others.  And maybe even some just don’t feel it at all.  God bless ‘em!   But when one relinquishes something that has sustained them in some bizarre chemically-related addictive way, it causes more emotional hurt.  Even though we know ridding ourselves of a habit - of an addiction - is GOOD for us.  Even though we KNOW it's the best for us. Even thought we KNOW it's what we should do.  Even though .... even though....  It's hard.  it's simply hard - to quit.  And quitting might make life a little harder for some of us who's lives are already hard enough.  If you are reading this and are NOT someone who finds life hard - PLEASE let us know.  Because we sure would like to stick you onto our mental happiness plate as an example and  reminder of “the possible.”

Your plate may be more full of desperation, of desperate sorrow, of desperate need, of desperate hurt, want and hope.  But I don't think so.  I think we've all experienced all of that in one way, one extreme or another.  And it's just how we go about dealing with it, that makes the difference between us.   I think we have to fight for the positives in our lives, because the negatives are right in front of our faces and so damn easy to see.  And the positives, the good, the joy, is in the shadowland.

Quitting smoking is finding the best within ourselves, acknowledging the beauty of our physical life, and strengthening our spiritual one,  by discipline and love.  For unconditional love takes discipline, and adherence, and perseverance.  And a gift-giving open heart.  And so does quitting.  

The answers are right in front of us.  All the time.  They are presented in - oh so many ways.  Especially on this site.  What does it take for us to see them?  But more importantly - what does it take for us to employ them?  In other words - what are you doing to quit,  and what are you doing to maintain your quit?  

Passing thoughts....
 

In case you missed this.

Ain't she pretty....

  
   
      
  
  
   

Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul

    By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | Associated Press – 9 hrs ago
  
   
        

  • Associated Press/Paul Sakuma, File - FILE - In a June 11, 2007 file photo, Helen Heinlo smokes outside of a coffee shop in Belmont, Calif. Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because …more 

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.

    

The Affordable Care Act — "Obamacare" to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.

    

For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

    

Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration. But older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.

    

Workers covered on the job would be able to avoid tobacco penalties by joining smoking cessation programs, because employer plans operate under different rules. But experts say that option is not guaranteed to smokers trying to purchase coverage individually.

    

Nearly one of every five U.S. adults smokes. That share is higher among lower-income people, who also are more likely to work in jobs that don't come with health insurance and would therefore depend on the new federal health care law. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung problems and cancer, contributing to nearly 450,000 deaths a year.

    

Insurers won't be allowed to charge more under the overhaul for people who are overweight, or have a health condition like a bad back or a heart that skips beats — but they can charge more if a person smokes.

    

Starting next Jan. 1, the federal health care law will make it possible for people who can't get coverage now to buy private policies, providing tax credits to keep the premiums affordable. Although the law prohibits insurance companies from turning away the sick, the penalties for smokers could have the same effect in many cases, keeping out potentially costly patients.

    

"We don't want to create barriers for people to get health care coverage," said California state Assemblyman Richard Pan, who is working on a law in his state that would limit insurers' ability to charge smokers more. The federal law allows states to limit or change the smoking penalty.

    

"We want people who are smoking to get smoking cessation treatment," added Pan, a pediatrician who represents the Sacramento area.

    

Obama administration officials declined to be interviewed for this article, but a former consumer protection regulator for the government is raising questions.

    

"If you are an insurer and there is a group of smokers you don't want in your pool, the ones you really don't want are the ones who have been smoking for 20 or 30 years," said Karen Pollitz, an expert on individual health insurance markets with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. "You would have the flexibility to discourage them."

    

Several provisions in the federal health care law work together to leave older smokers with a bleak set of financial options, said Pollitz, formerly deputy director of the Office of Consumer Support in the federal Health and Human Services Department.

    

First, the law allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers.

    

Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones.

    

And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.

    

Here's how the math would work:

    

Take a hypothetical 60-year-old smoker making $35,000 a year. Estimated premiums for coverage in the new private health insurance markets under Obama's law would total $10,172. That person would be eligible for a tax credit that brings the cost down to $3,325.

    

But the smoking penalty could add $5,086 to the cost. And since federal tax credits can't be used to offset the penalty, the smoker's total cost for health insurance would be $8,411, or 24 percent of income. That's considered unaffordable under the federal law. The numbers were estimated using the online Kaiser Health Reform Subsidy Calculator.

    

"The effect of the smoking (penalty) allowed under the law would be that lower-income smokers could not afford health insurance," said Richard Curtis, president of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions, a nonpartisan research group that called attention to the issue with a study about the potential impact in California.

    

In today's world, insurers can simply turn down a smoker. Under Obama's overhaul, would they actually charge the full 50 percent? After all, workplace anti-smoking programs that use penalties usually charge far less, maybe $75 or $100 a month.

    

Robert Laszewski, a consultant who previously worked in the insurance industry, says there's a good reason to charge the maximum.

    

"If you don't charge the 50 percent, your competitor is going to do it, and you are going to get a disproportionate share of the less-healthy older smokers," said Laszewski. "They are going to have to play defense."

    

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Online:

    

Kaiser Health Reform Subsidy Calculatorhttp://healthreform.kff.org/subsidycalculator.aspx

   
  
Giulia

WATCH THE SUCCESS HAPPEN

Posted by Giulia Champion Jan 9, 2013

I just sat here and was in the middle of writing someone a note on their page and I watched their quit counter turn to the next day.  Like an odometer on a car when it reaches the next thousand miles.  (We've all watched that, yes?)   And it was someone (probably long gone to bed) but who had hung on through great duress this day.  And I watched that counter turn to day 64 and thought WOW!!!!  Just WOW!  That's success ticking by.  Second by second, minute by glorioius minute, day by day.  And it occurred to me - if you're having a bad day, watch your clock.  Watch those struggle-beautiful-seconds and hang on until you see that day counter turn over.  It's BEAUTIFUL you guys.  It's really, REALLY beautiful.  Try it for yourselves.  Who knows.  It might just save yiour quit.

Giulia

REPLAY THE RELAPSE

Posted by Giulia Champion Jan 6, 2013

Replay the Relapse BEFORE you enact it..  Unfortunately I don't recall who wrote this.

"Those were my wifes stats had she not fallen. Why did she lose her quit.....it really doesn't matter. Could it have been avoided? Who knows. I posted the following for a good friend of mine earlier today and felt that everyone should read it. Here goes:
    Picture yourself a second or two after you stub out that quit-breaking cigarette. The one that you just had to have because the craving was so strong you couldn't hold out any longer, when that voice inside you was saying.. "Go on, life sucks, you may as well smoke a cig.. y'know for your nerves.." or the other one.. "you've got this beat now.. you are in control.. you can have one just now and again.. go on have one for old time's sake.." So you bum a cigarette, and smoke it and in 2 and 1/2 minutes, you stub it out.
    Now what. Your mouth feels like crap. Your lungs are tightening up. You managed to stifle the coughs .. but barely. You began to squint again because the smoke hurt your eyes. and your fingers and clothes smell again. You either want to throw up, grab some mouthwash, take a shower, or have another.. maybe buy a pack.
    But then you realize what you've just done. After all those times when you said you were going to quit, and then when you finally did, and your family and friends were so happy for you - but not exactly over the moon, because after all they've been hopeful before only to see you relapse - all that enthusiasm is now smashed to pieces on the floor. And all the pressure that drove you to grab that cigarette in the first place - it's all still there. Nothing has changed, except now you've added one more problem: you just blew it.
    And then you realize what you've really done. You had invested days, maybe weeks and months, in this quit. You had made a great decision, one of the few things you really and truly felt proud of in your life, and you just blew it. You just blew the quit that you swore to yourself was the last one. You were so positive, so motivated, and encouraged, you were really on top of it, ahead of the game for once, you had taken control of your life and it felt like a whole new beginning.. and you just blew it.
    You look at that stub in the ashtray. The grey ash and the brown edge to the burnt paper, and the tar stain on the end of filter. You remember the thousands of cigarettes you have stubbed out and think about the tar that came into your lungs as smoke. And you think if smoking that one cigarette was worth it. Nothing's better. You feel a little dizzy now as the nicotine hits your body, even a little nauseous - certainly don't feel the pleasure that you remember the adverts and billboards were promoting during your early years as a smoker. In fact it's hard to remember any time when you felt that pleasure.. just another tobacco company lie.. They helped you to become an addict the first time, but when you smoked that cigarette after you quit.. well that was a whole new decision. You made that one all by yourself - there's no pointing fingers now, you know that cigarettes kill, so when you lit that one cigarette, the choice to smoke was all yours - no-one else to blame. And you just blew it.
    It wasn't worth it.. time after time the slippers' and relapsers' lament how they feel like crap, how ashamed they are, how they have lost confidence and hope, how they hate themselves, how much it hurts, how depressed and they cry and hide and cry some more. And now you are one of them.. the quit losers. Lost in the wilderness, not quite a smoker.. yet and not sure you are a quitter, searching for some dignity, some self-respect out of this. All because of that one cigarette. Because you blew it.
    OK, time to come back.. thankfully this was a "Picture yourself..." so none of this really happened. You didn't smoke that cigarette, and your quit is intact. You take a deep breath and you can still fill your lungs without breaking down into a hacking cough. You can smile, because you are still in control. The craving passes and you can shake your head a little and give yourself a little pat on the back at your success. You remained true the promise you made to yourself on day one. Because none of this really happened.
    Did it ?"

...with those Slipping blogs because there are many on here who need to read them.  And I didn't allow comments because they're from another era on here and I wanted to keep them in tact.  Those Tales of Woe are the facts of failing to adhere to the Not One Puff Ever mindset, prescription...whatever you want to call it.

Many of those who participated in those dialogues are still here attempting to still get that point across.  Some are still trying to get the point.  I thought those dialogues were all in Relapse Traps, but found that they can't be read.  So, I decided to put them out here in blog form.  That way at least if anyone comes to my page to read my blogs, they'll see them.  And who knows.... it just might save a quit.

ckoalaco Permalink Reply by ckoalaco on October 10, 2008 at 7:17am
     Hi V, Christine and Giulia… Here’s my insight, for what it’s worth…
    You said “I know that the nicotine is out of your system in a matter of weeks but how long does it take to get out of your brain?”
    I think there is a HUGE difference between our body and our mind and until we learn to totally understand that and to totally accept that quitting smoking will remain very confusing to us. Look at it this way… Our bodies are purely physical. It is technical, scientific, logical and a bundle of living matter that is finite in its limitations. No matter how much we try to change our bodies, there is a limit to what we can do. For example, if I truly wanted for my heart to reside in my foot instead of in my torso There would be absolutely NO Way for me to accomplish this, no matter how hard I try.(I have no idea why I’d want this but go with me here, lol). Simple facts and scientific laws apply to physical matter. We can strengthen or weaken the physical body we have but we really don’t have the ability to completely change it. Simply put, although we can eat right and exercise to try to change out bodies, there are limits, to what our bodies can do. Our bodies seemed to be confined in their abilities, both in what they are and what they do.

    On the other hand… Although our minds exist as a bundle of living matter, it is only finite in its physical attributes. The mind has something that no other bundle physical of matter has. It can do things that are beyond scientific explanation – and often does, lol. In fact, it has been shown that the mind can even alter the body at certain levels… into, say healing that which science says cannot be healed. There is nothing finite about our mind with the exception of it’s physically. The mind’s abilities are absolutely limitless – at least so far no real limits have been found. Very honestly put, we have SO much more control over our minds than we do our bodies. The term mind over matter does have a solid foundation, guys.
    It’s like comparing a statement like 2+2=4 and is that half a glass of water half full or half empty?
    The withdraw we go through when we stop smoking takes two very distinct forms. There is the physical withdraw, which is finite, just like our physical bodies. We will experience physical and chemical symptoms as our bodies adjust to life without nicotine. But once that adjustment has been made the body’s makeup is no longer affected by that withdrawal. The scientific, 2+2=4 – we are limited to only one correct answer. It would be SO nice if this was all we had to deal with right?
    But then the mind slips into overdrive (if we let it). And since the abilities of our minds don’t have those logical, scientific confines set upon it the sky is the limit as to what it does. Here’s where the very unscientific, is that half a glass of water half full or half empty question comes in. Technically both answers are correct, which gives us a choice. We each get to choose what we want to do with our minds in this case.
    This is where we each differ in our quits. The simplistic fact is… some choose to put their minds into the glass is half empty mode and some choose to put theirs in the half full mode. And… some choose to teeter back and forth between the two.
    Exactly how does this apply to our quits? Here’s my theory… boy, I’ve been into theories lately haven’t I, lol. Anyway, I think that if you are an individual who chooses the glass half empty mindset, you start your quit struggling and you continue to struggle. You may successfully quit smoking for a long while but you’ve done it begrudgingly and have ended up becoming an unhappy ex-smoker full of discontent. An individual who has made the choice to maintain this mindset usually continues the romanticizing of smoking and, although they are fully capable of maintaining their quits at the same time, are at a high risk of relapse - because they allow themselves to feel that they are missing out on that which they love or deserve or want. These individuals will choose to focus their minds on the positive things that they believe SMOKING brought into their lives and have actually chosen to become just a smoker who’s no smoking.
    If you are an individual who chooses the glass half full mindset, you start your quit in much the same way… struggling, but life as an ex-smoker usually becomes very easy for you. You have successfully quit smoking and, since you’ve not done it begrudgingly you end up becoming a very happy and contented ex-smoker. An individual who has made the choice to maintain this mindset usually starts the romanticizing of their newfound freedom and not only are they fully capable of maintaining their quits, they will have a very low risk of relapse - because they choose to feel that they are whole and totally satisfied now that they have successfully removed that which was a hindrance within their lives. These individuals will choose to focus their minds on the positive things that they believe QUITTING has brought into their lives and have actually chosen to become a true non-smoker who’s mind is free from thinking that cigarettes are the cure-all to difficult situations.
    And, there are those who choose to teeter back and forth between the two. There are times you choose to set your mind in half empty mode and times where you choose to flip over to the half full mode. (insert above definitions here, lol). If this is the road you have chosen for your mind you will be incredibly strong within your quit at times, and not so much at other times. You will be at a high risk for relapse in the latter… and not so much in the former. The continuance of your quit will probably depend very much upon which mode you’ve set your mind in at the time a new crisis happens in your life.
    You said, “… what are my chances, I wonder how can some one quit for years and then start again. When does the desire to smoke go away?”
    Remember that you’re dealing with the mind - after the physical withdraw is over. And we do have complete have control over our minds. Sometimes we choose to suppress that control but, that is still making a choice. In reality, we choose to allow something bother us or to let that same thing slid off our backs. We choose to obsess over something or to let it go. We choose to hold a grudge or to learn from an experience. We choose to remain stagnant or to move on. We choose to like a situation, someone or something or to dislike that same situation, someone or something. We choose to “miss” our cigarettes or to be grateful they are gone.
    The reality is that each of us as individuals choose when the desire to smoke goes away for us. Some never loose that desire because they choose that for their life (half empty). Mine has been gone for a long time because I’ve chosen that for my life (half full). Do I ever have “thoughts” of smoking creep into my head (teetering, lol)? Absolutely! But I refuse to allow them to take up room in my mind and I push them out as quickly as they came. I instead choose to replace those thoughts with how grateful I am to be free and how blessed I am to have gotten rid of them before they got rid of me. I immediately push my mind back into half full mode for the life I have chosen. I do not allow those thoughts to continue – I do not let the destructive thoughts remain in my mind long enough for me to glamorize the act of smoking. They’re not allowed to stay long enough for me to picture myself smoking a cigarette, or to think of how it might taste, or to even remember what it was like for me when I was a smoker – at least not in the good light, lol. If it’s a thought that is the least bit positive about smoking, it simply must go!
    Do I have momentary slips in the control I exert over my mind? Yup. Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just go with that momentary slip of my mind and not correct it? You bet. I’ll bet it would even it be easier for me to choose to just suppress my control over my mind when those thoughts come – in essence, choose not to choose. But the choosing the easy way will not get me to where I seek to be. That is the just the plain and simple reality of my situation.
    Now, just so you all totally understand me, I haven’t always been this determined and secure. In fact, there were a lot of times that I let life just run me down. I used to choose the half empty track in all aspects of my life – shoot, that’s what I was raised with. But, that didn’t turn out to be very productive for me in dealing with life - or with quitting smoking. So I moved securely into the teetering choice, lol. I stayed there for a while but found that to not be working for me too well either, lol. It took a conscious choice with a concerted effort securely attached to it to get to where I am now – both in life and with my quit. But it was SO worth every minute of struggle, every hour of self discussion and every ounce of energy that it took to achieve this. I’m have become happy ex-smoker who, with every ounce of my being, feels blessed way beyond that which I deserve - and all because of the choices that I have made (finally!!) I kept trying and I finally got it right!!! I did what Giulia advised… I tried as hard as I could, I maintained as much discipline and perseverance as I could, I kept as much of a positive attitude as I could, I fought the demon tooth and nail for as long as I could and I kept learning. And if I fell flat on my face (and I did), I got up and did it again. It is a hard lesson learned but one that will not soon be forgotten for me, lol.
    Oh… a side note on the physical… all it takes in a quick re-introduction of nicotine into our bodies and it starts off the chain reaction. It immediately sets into motion the chemical reaction within our bodies that helped to hold us in the physical grasp of this addiction for so long. Just one puff in reality tells our body to go back into addiction mode and adjust accordingly. Not to mention what it does to our mindset...
    Just remember, you are NOT in this alone. I am absolutely positive that I would have fallen short yet again in my quitting smoking had it not been for the support that I was offered – the support for which I chose to utilize this time. I’m here because of the choices I made – and one of the bestest choices I made was to reach out for support instead of a cigarette this time.
    OK… I’ll shut up now.
    Giulia had asked for my long-winded take on the recent posts over here and, since she’s such a great friend I feel I must oblige. How’d I do G??
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Becky Permalink Reply by Becky on October 10, 2008 at 7:39am
     Well, long winded, but exactly on target.....teeehee!
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 10, 2008 at 10:27am
         You did...beyond my wildest dreams! lol. Thanks for reminding us all that perception is OUR choice. And if we want to lower the "risks of relapse," we'd better get our heads in the "half full" mode. We have the choice to be "unhappy ex-smoker full of discontent.," or happy quitters on the inside and out. (thank you Connie for that goodie).
    We are smokers who have quit, (good point Becky), but we don't have to be smokers who are just not smoking. It's all up to us.
    Thanks everybody for the great responses!
       *
V Permalink Reply by V on October 10, 2008 at 3:09pm
         I am so glad that this website has been formed for we all have this smoking issue at hand. The compassion and understanding is excellent, truely a support forum. The responses are down to earth and honest given with best wishes at heart, Thanks to all who made this website possible.
    V
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V Permalink Reply by V on October 10, 2008 at 10:29am
         Great way to express the mental anguish that ex-smokers go through. When life throws us rocks it is hard to stay in the gee," I think that this is not so bad mode" Staying positive in all life's struggles is wishful thinking at it's best. However, time and reflection is our only alli. Personally I always did great during a crisis but fell apart when the smoked cleared, so to speak. Thank you for a great perspective in a battle that is being fought by millions everyday.So it's after the crying we can move on.. Learning is our salvation to all the rocks we endure during a life time.
    V
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Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on October 10, 2008 at 3:33pm
         Man alive I'm just going to SMILE and say YEP....What ckoalaco said...exactly. I'm in almost complete control of if it sucks or if it doesn't. It goes for anything we do. I have had a terrible time at the amusement park and a fairly decent go at mowing the grass and of course I have had a blast a the park and really don't like cutting grass much at all unless of course crazy tractors are involved. LOL ATTITUDE! Today was an excellent example of that during the preliminary set up of my project. I uncovered all kinds of problems and issues and grief...like being under bid for time by a factor of 5.........but........a little attitude alignment and positive steering and what could have been a twisted and torturous day turned out NOT SO BAD...I'm tired as all he%% but never in jeapordy of loosing my cool let alone my quit. Now I'm ENLIGHTENED....LOL Heh heh heh....... :-)
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~ Kim ~ Permalink Reply by ~ Kim ~ on October 10, 2008 at 3:07pm
         The first time I remember quitting was somewhere in 30's after having smoked since I was 13. I remember quitting and I remember having that last smoke on my way to work. I remember the bags and bags of hard candy my boyfriend's mom and sister got for me (they didn't smoke). And I remember EXACTLY why I broke my quit 6 months later. And the only part that matters is that I broke my quit.
    FFWD to 12/15/04, the day before the Lumpectomy on my left breast. Yes people, I had cancer and I am, again, struggling with another quit. I had no problem with quitting because I was having a lump of cancer removed from my body. I was an ex-smoker plain and simple. Then, after chemo and radiation, I began to feel better and didn't see a problem with just bumming a couple smokes while I was out or around people who smoked. I rationalized it by figuring since I wasn't BUYING cigarettes it was ok to smoke - wtf is that, right?! I swear, the things we come up with!
    Anyway, soon I began to buy a pack and it would last me 3 days to a week. Then I was buying a pack every couple of days. Some nights I could smoke a whole pack during a night out. I began going through the "That's it, I quit" routine - over and over. I would make up my mind to quit and I would quit - over and over. Over and over - it just kept happening like that for the last couple of years.
    I am almost 4 years cancer free and I really DON'T want to smoke.
    What I've learned is that this Demon that many of you speak of is just like that lump I had removed. I only wish I could have that Demon removed as easily as the lump! I've learned that, despite the fact that I've had cancer (and beat it), smoking is a very strong addiction that has gotten bigger than me and my strength to fight it off. I have learned that in order to Stick To My Quit, like many of you have stated, "just one" or "as long as I'm not buying any" bullshit has to stop.
    And.......I have learned that being here is a fantastic support.
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Christine Permalink Reply by Christine on November 8, 2008 at 5:41am
         HELP!
    I am on this slippery slope as we speak. Had 4 days smoke free under my belt and then on Thursday bought a pack while talking to an ex boyfriend and smoked 3 during that phone conversation alone. Threw the rest out and recommitted. Did fine all day yesterday UNTIL driving home from work. That little voice said.. just buy a pack, smoke 1 and throw the rest out. It's just one. Well, I smoked 3 last night and 2 more this morning. And after each cig I felt like crap. Burning in my throat and chest and I feel like my lungs are screaming at me. What the heck is wrong with me??????? I'm recommitting today, I realize I have to turn this around RIGHT NOW! But I'm worried as hell... any sage words of advice??
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on November 8, 2008 at 9:10am
         Words of advice? They're all over the pages in this forum. But are you paying attention, is the question.
    What the heck is wrong with you? Nothing but the same thing that's the heck wrong with all of us addicts. "The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something." For us it is habitual AND compulsive, physiological and psychological.
    The word comes from the Latin addcere , addict-, to sentence. TO SENTENCE. Are we going to allow ourselves to be sentenced to a lifetime of dependency on inhaling smoke? Are you? Are you going to be guilty of aiding and abetting the Demon because you didn't say no to him?
    I was reading someone's post somewhere in Ex - can't remember who. But it had to to with not smoking just this one cigarette. This one. At this moment. They kept putting it off and putting it off. Just not smoking this one. And the days mounted up.
    You've got to stop listening to the little voice. To the Whisperer who is trying his best to make you fail and fall. The one who is constantly attempting to undermine your self worth. You don't have to accept the sentence. You just have to keep saying NO to the Whisper. Or, rather than put all this in the negative - you have to keep saying YES to the wise and wonderful part of you. Make that voice stronger than the Whisperer's. That's your Champion. Let the Champion in you speak so loudly that it drowns out the Whisperer!
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Lenna Permalink Reply by Lenna on November 8, 2008 at 1:04pm
      Christine... pay attention, you asked for help and saged words of wisdom and you got them, you got the best, you got the straight goods, you got Giulia! :) Don't waste your precious time on this earth "worrying like hell". Free up that space in your mind with posititve words that will help you accomplish this one goal. And that goal is to, no matter what life thows at you, NOT light up a smoke. Period. You can do this, and because you really want to, I believe you will. You're still here, and still on the path. Good for you.
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Christine Permalink Reply by Christine on November 8, 2008 at 2:31pm
         Thank you both.. you're both right

Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 30, 2008 at 5:09pm
      This was a response from Brian2day in a post started by Allison called Seriously I want to know... on Aug. 26, 2008
    "Here's an unbelievable tale. I had quit for 8 years after the birth of my son, and about 4 years into this great period of my life, I read an article somewhere that said if you were a non-smoker, and had to have a long flight over many times zones, if you smoked just one cigarette when you landed it would help you adjust to the time zone change. Remember this is 4 years into an 8 year quit period. Well, little did I know at the time of reading this that the addict (smoker) in me had filed this away, deep in my conciousness. 4 years passed, and I had to go to Russia to do a film shoot, and was told to stop in Germany on the way and pick up several cartons of Marlboros to use as barter to get people to help me out in tricky filming situations. I remember being in the duty free shop in Hamburg on my way to Moscow and remembering that article from 4 years passed----and when I landed I lit up, the just one, and was on my way to becoming a full blown smoker again in a few days." (Brian2day)
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 30, 2008 at 5:11pm
        This was a response from Becky in a post started by Allison called Seriously I want to know... on Aug. 26, 2008
    "I guess you pretty much know by now what the answer is. We are all addicts whether we want to believe it or not. The fact that we quit, doesn't mean that we can't slide back like any addict of any other drug. So, pretty much, for the rest of my life I have to be on guard. I can never have another cigarette in my lifetime. I had quit for two years before and had quit multiple times for several months, but the fact is, each time I thought I could have just ONE DARN CIGARETTE! I couldn't seem to get it! Boy, talk about stubborn stupidity! The worse thing is all my life I've been told to learn from my mistakes.....well it sure took a long time to learn from these mistakes. I've been smoke free now for over 16 months, but I still find that certain situations make me think about having a cigarette. I notice that when I'm at a gathering with many smokers is the biggest trigger. Now, I walk away when they light up. If you notice, when there are many smokers in the same room/area, they all light up about the same time. So, it's usually easy to walk away and get away from it. All I can say is BE ON GUARD FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Don't ever become complacent with your quit..." (Becky)
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Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on August 30, 2008 at 5:17pm
         AMEN! :-)
    Jim
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Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on August 30, 2008 at 6:06pm
       We can never, and lets get our minds around this concept, SHOULD NEVER, smoke again. Don't take it as "I'm an addict and I can't enjoy a casual smoke from time to time". That is addict thinking. It is setting ourselves up to chip away at the self image little by little. YOU ARE NOT SOME LESSER PERSON BECAUSE YOU ARE AN ADDICT. YOU ARE JUST AN ADDICT. That's all. No one is judging you and if they are then they are redirecting attention away from some fault or flaw of their own. I'm not saying that is the case here but just a perspective it can be seen from. Just as Brian stated above, we will stash away a single tidbit that can be used at a later date to make an excuse or justify using again. NEVER DOUBT IT! Not for one minute. Condition yourself for a long term commitment to knowledge of yourself. That is what it truly is. What I see and hear you folks saying is great and I agree completely and I say that we need to be aware of VERY SUBTLE seeming, seeds of doubt. They will undo our quits in the long term if we let them. I'm going for the long term permanent change. These are points we must attend to. Great comments. Thanks for bringing it up. :-)
    Jim
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 30, 2008 at 7:49pm
         This was a response from Edith in a post started by Allison called Seriously I want to know... on Aug. 26, 2008
    "...this is my fourth time quitting. One time I relapsed I was so upset, I was either going to smoke or drink and I chose smoking. Real dumb. What stops me now? I think it through. I think of the remorse that would hit me, having to quit all over again, people who have given me tons of support finding out and going back to the expense and the coughing. That's what helps me from not starting up again. This is also the longest I've quit. I can't think of anything that would trigger me to go back. Don't worry about the pitfalls because they may never happen. All I can worry about is right now. The past is gone, the future is not here; all I have it right now." (Edith)
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 31, 2008 at 7:27am
         This was a response from Sharon in a post started by Allison called Seriously I want to know... on Aug. 26, 2008
    "I went back to smoking after 6 years. Why? The best answer that I can give you is that I let my guard down and forgot.
    I did not consciously think that one would not hurt, I did not debate anything, I stopped and bought a pack of cigarettes. I did not filter this choice through anything, I had no qualms, I was not angry or sad or depressed. I forgot I was an addict. But I did soon remember." (Sharon)
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 1, 2008 at 8:00am
         This was a response from Mothergoose9 in Seriously I want to know... on Aug. 26, 2008
    "I blew a 20 year quit.....no, that's not a typo....it was 20 years!!! I mean after all, after 20 years 'just one' shouldn't be a problem, right?!! WRONG!!!! It started out having the occasional smoke with my older son....dumb I know, but at that point it seemed it was almost the only place we connected! It would be occasionally, then more frequently, yet with weeks or months in between. Although I didn't smoke full blown right away, it opened a door for me that I kicked wide open when life began to unravel. I had a major melt down spiritually and emotionally, and I turned immediately to smoking. In light of everything else that was going on, how I felt I was such a failure in almost every area of my life, smoking didn't seem like such a big deal.
    By the grace of God the pieces of my life were reassembled stronger than ever. So much healing took place in me, I was freed from so many of the lies and false expectations I had laboured under for years....and the final frontier to total wholeness and restoration was becoming truly free from this addiction. It has taken 3 or 4 quits since then to get it right. The difference? My mindset! All those 20 years, looking back I believe I was quit on the outside, but I was still a smoker on the inside! I never really closed the door on the possibility of smoking again, and when it all hit the fan, and I was at the weakest, most vulnerable point in my life, the addict in me struck, and I succumbed.
    But this time, I know I am free!!!!! I exposed all the lies, exhausted all the excuses and finally came to the decision that I wanted to be free, truly free, and as an addict that meant that smoking could never be an option for me again.....not for ANY reason, not under ANY circumstance!!! That decision has served me well....I will be 3 years FREE next month, and I am free both inside and out!!! :D
    Just remember....."JUST ONE" = "SQUARE ONE" EVERY TIME!!
    "IF I HAVE 'JUST ONE' I WILL BE BACK TO WHERE I STARTED. WHERE I STARTED WAS WISHING I WAS WHERE I AM TODAY!" [Mothergoose9 (Connie)]
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 1, 2008 at 8:02am
        This was a response from jackierushing in Seriously I want to know... on Aug. 26, 2008
    "... the ONLY THING I REPEAT THE ONLY THING that can "trigger" a relapse is ONE POWERFUL LITTLE PUFF!!!!!!! not stress/drinking/bad grade/death/divorce none of that you must decide to NTAP=NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF as this will lead you straight back to full blown addiction and anybody who does relapse will say i wish i never would have taken that first puff. i always look at it this way i culd have that cigarette but i know it will lead to 55 aday for the rest of my life till it cripples or kills me info i got from whyquit its a great cold turkey site im not saying go c/t/ but it has really good info on it hope this helps................I have been quit for 1 Year, 2 Days, 9 hours, 47 minutes and 7 seconds (368 days). I have saved $3,905.11 by not smoking 19,525 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Months, 6 Days, 19 hours and 5 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 8/23/2007 8:29 PM" (Jackierushing)
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 1, 2008 at 9:57pm
       This was a response from Karen in Seriously I want to know... on Aug. 27, 2008
    "I had 3 or maybe even close to 4 years smoke free. It was definitely my mind set as well. Throughout the entire time I was not smoking I was of the opinion that I was denying myself this wonderful, life sustaining, stress reducing object that, yes, was able to give me super human powers. I was going through a very stressful time and I knew that the one thing that would make my life so much better would be a cigarette. I bummed one from a co-worker and smoked it.... instantly my life became better. Ten minutes later I asked for a second. Life was getting even better. Of course it would since I was convinced in my mind that would be the case. Within half an hour of that first puff, I was buying a pack for myself. I think if I look at staying smoke free as a gift to myself rather than a gift taken away, I will fare much better this time." Karen
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sonja Permalink Reply by sonja on September 23, 2008 at 7:25am
     MY BIGGEST RELAPSE IS WHEN MY HUSBAND COMES HOME AFTER BEING OUT OF TOWN-HE SMOKES BUT IS REALLY WANTS ME TO QUIT-SO HE'S BEHIND ME. THIS WEEK-END WHEN I PICKED HIM UP I PICKED UP A CIG. DAMMIT-SO MY QUIT DATE WAS MONDAY AND NO SMOKING SINCE(ONLY 2 DAYS) BUT I CAN AND WILL NOT THIS COMING WEEK-END!
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 24, 2008 at 5:50pm
         Tomorrow the weekend begins! Stay tough.
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 24, 2008 at 5:53pm
         Ah yes, the Celebration Trap. I know it well. As well as that LAST pack each time. What a joke we are, aren't we? Not any more. Now we're doin' this thang!
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on September 24, 2008 at 6:42pm
        OK, so no more excuses. Here's an idea - why not set up an appointment for that lung x-ray. That'll be a good incentive to quit you quit and give you pause for more thought. Hmmmmm?
    No, you don't owe us your life, you owe your own wisdom and strength of spirit.
    Rah rah YOU!
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 7, 2008 at 9:26am
         (This was a post on another site that I grabbed a while back that helped me remind me:.)
    "Oh, I was so reminded of the last quit which was my longest...3 weeks and I did the same mind stuff, saying what would it hurt to just have one and so I bummed one off a repair person who was in my home. Then a day or two later, I told myself I would buy a pack and smoke two of them and throw the pack away. Well, then later when I started smoking the whole packs, I told myself that I had quit this time and I could do it again later. That was back in '91 and I haven't gotten up the courage to try again, but it is more on my mind these past few months to try again.
    So do remember all the tricks our mind plays on us. " ~~ Judy
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V Permalink Reply by V on October 9, 2008 at 1:19pm
         If I live to be 100 I will never truely understand this smoking problem it hits at all levels of life. I have seen so many folks go years without smoking and then they start again. I know that the nicotine is out of your system in a matter of weeks but how long does it take to get out of your brain? I have a family member who quit for 20 years and now is a two pack a day smoker. I have personally seen so many long term quitters bite the dust. This is so scarey what are my chances, I wonder how can some one quit for years and then start again. When does the desire to smoke go away. I too fight this monster I just wish someone could tell me what the odds are? Sometimes I feel like whats the point and why do I have this monkey still on my back . Just wondering out loud , Asking for some insight.
    V
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Becky Permalink Reply by Becky on October 10, 2008 at 3:16pm
       Hiya V,
    I don't know if anyone knows what the odds are.... I think it depends on the individual. I do believe that a lot of it has to do with a positive attitude towards life. My attitude has changed over the past year and I choose to look at life with a positive attitude, therefore, I look at my quit as a positive move on my part. I used to look at quitting as something I lost. This time, I'm looking at my quit as something I gained. I am free from the smell, free from yellow walls and ceilings, free from my clothes stinking, free from spending money on something that will kill me, and I'm free from the control it had over me. I don't miss it this time. Other times I tried, I missed it. This time is different. Yes, I get the cravings once in a while...but, it's a fleeting moment and I choose to make sure it's only a fleeting moment. I choose to not to smoke. I never understood that before. I always felt like I had to quit....like I was being forced to. I didn't feel that way this time. Bob's death made me realize that I had the POWER to CHOOSE and I did......not to smoke ever again. I put it in my mind that Smoking Was Not An Option! And it will never be an option again. I think you have to decided if quitting is what you truly want. If it is, then you need to look at what you will gain from quitting. Don't compare yourself to others that have quit and then started! Not everyone is alike and we all have different experiences in life. If you constantly wonder what the point is in quitting....you will always find an excuse to start up again. The point is........ YOUR LIFE!!
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 9, 2008 at 10:00pm
         Wow. Talk about overwhelming questions and dilemmas. Both of you have posed the unanswerable - to my mind. Because I too have those same questions. I'm three months short of a three year quit, and yet I know how easily it could be lost. Why? Because as V said, "how long does it take to get out of our brain?" And "What's the point?" Must we struggle forever? What are the odds? I haven't a clue. When does the desire to smoke go away? I haven't a clue about that either. But it seems to me the ultimate point is not about whether the desire goes away, it's about how we maintain our quit. Our determination obviously (based upon everything we've seen and read) waxes and wanes. And we know that taking just that one puff will lead to that "endless wanting of more" as you, Christine, said.
    I set up this group to try to bring some sanity to, not only the short term quitters who've had a few too many beers and are about to take that puff of annihialation, but to the long term quitters, like me, who need a maintenance program.
    It's all about keeping our quit for good. Not a few days or months or years, but for-ever.
    OK, so let's really look at this. I don't believe it's self-sabotage. And yet I can't believe it's simply a matter of new pleasure receptors being created in our brain due to the chemicals in cigarettes that keep us hooked and in slippage mode. What I do believe is that it's ALL PSYCHOLOGICAL. And I truly think that if we could plug into the mindset of Allen Carr this whole thing would be a piece of cake.
    But there's something else going on here. There must be. I'm sitting here typing away after a couple of glasses of wine thinking, yup, I'd sure like a cigarette. It sure would taste good. And the smart part of my brain (because we all have that smart part of our brain) is saying, yeah, it might taste good, but you know you'd have to inhale it REALLY gently, taking in a LOT of air (mostly air) in the process, else you'll get really dizzy. I can picture myself doing it. Easy. I'd take a gentle puff, and it would taste kinda weird and yet kinda wonderful at last (in a reminiscent kind of way). And then I'd want that reminiscent kind of way again, so I'd take another gentle puff, only not so gentle. And, etc., etc. and I'd eventually feel dizzy and nauseous. But FROM THAT MOMENT ON, from that first puff, that's ALL I'd be thinking about. Again. Cigarettes. The thought, the taste, the...., would fill my every waking moment.
    I'm past that stage. Thank GOD. I'm past the stage of cigarettes filling my thoughts every waking moment. The only time I think about cigarettes is when I'm on here. And I'm on here, ironically to keep me safe, and to help others get to my supposed safe place. HA!
    Ya know, you two - here's my brilliant answer to all of our dilemmas - after several glasses of wine before bed: you do what you can. You try as hard as you can, you maintain as much discipline and perseverance as you can, you keep as much of a positive attitude as you can, you fight the demon tooth and nail for as long as you can and you keep learning. And if you fall flat on your face, you get up and do it again.
    Because the bottom line of all of this is WHY we are putting ourselves through this agony. And that is because we know better. Simply that. We know better. We're not stupid. We have come to believe that smoking is killing us. We've been told it by the medical profession (and the attorney general HA!), and we have had enough friends and loved ones and relatives die from smoking related diseases, and we ourselves may have gotten to the point where our lives are endangered by this amazingly destructive, seemingly innocuous, little white rolled up piece of tobacco to actually get the message.
    So whether we're overwhelmed and bewildered, scared and wondering how to get this monkey forever off our backs - keep that bottom line in mind. Because THAT's what will keep us smoke free. That bottom line. We know better. And we want health. Because, believe me, if you don't have your health, you've got nothing. And you really don't want to wait until you gotten to the point where you can truly understand that in all it's aspects. Because by then, it's usually a little late. So use your God given wisdom and stop. Now.
    Hoping for LOT of FEEDBACK on this discussion...
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V Permalink Reply by V on October 10, 2008 at 10:52am
         Wonderful simply wonder. Quitter on the outside and a smoker on the inside, To admit we are addicts is hard. How can we be really addicts mind boggling to say the least. The truth is never the less is we are addicts and must accept this ugly fact about ourselves. Quitting is the road less traveled and the destination is joyful freedom.
    V
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Becky Permalink Reply by Becky on October 10, 2008 at 7:15am
         I think I can probably reiterate what everyone else is saying here, we can make excuses for anything. It's easy. Our addictive minds can rationalize any situation to get us to smoke again. We're stressed, we're celebrating, we're happy, we're drinking, or "I'll Just Have One"......the most famous of all. The fact is, no matter how much we want to believe that we are non-smokers......we have to face the fact that like an alcholic who can never have just one drink....we will always have the addiction of a smoker within us, and we can never, ever, "have just one." That little inner voice from the Nicodemon will always be with us, so we have to guard against it. We can never, ever be complacent with our quits. If we become complacent, we slack off on our guard. It is easy to forget after years of not smoking, what it was like to go through the quit, or why we have to guard our quits like it was day 1. So, we constantly have to be aware of this all the time....yes, we are happy that we have quit.....but we can never take it for granted...plain and simple. This is why I have said all along that we can't really consider ourselves non-smokers. We are smokers who quit......EX Smokers. There is a difference. Non-Smokers never had the addiction.....EX Smokers do have the addiction and always will. It's a matter of overcoming the addiction. AA will tell you that you will always have the addiction and that is why you can never have just one drink. Well, it's the same with us. Our addictive personalities will always be there. So, "We Can Never, Ever, Have Just One Puff." Like many of you I learned after quitting for one year, then two years, then three months, and so forth......that all it took was "Just One Puff". Bob, had stopped smoking many times but it always came back to him "Having That One Puff." He lost his life because of that ONE PUFF! That is what I remember now.....I could loose my life like he did. My family could loose me like they lost their father.
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Becky Permalink Reply by Becky on October 10, 2008 at 2:54pm
         Thank you Christine. I wanted people to understand that our lives are at stake here. Bob, didn't think that it would ever happen to him even though his brother died of cancer from smoking. He found every excuse in the book to continue. We tend to find an excuse for anything if we want to stay in denial of what we are doing to ourselves or to get what we want. Like Mike Patterson says, we can either get what we want or do what is right. That goes for anything...not just smoking. I've often thought that our culture has developed an attitude of doing whatever we want without considering how it affects our lives in the long term or someone else's life, Lately I've come to realize how sellfish I was with my smoking...that is a hard thing to admit. When I look back, I made sure my children had what they needed, but I always made sure I had my cigarettes and sometimes would tell my children we couldn't afford something they wanted. How sellfish is that? I regret those choices. Addiction makes us lie to ourselves and others, it makes us sellfish, and it hurts those we love. I'm so glad that you have decided not to use your depression as an excuse to smoke. That in itself is an accomplishment and you should feel Proud that you have come to that conclusion. Huggggggggs!
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 28, 2008 at 8:45am
         Hey Jennifer, God bless ya for stickin' with this. Just proves there is something so strong within you that wants to be free of this addiction. And that inner desire haunting you will be part of what will get you to the other side. But first you have to jump in the nasty oil slicked seas. We build this quitting thing up in our minds until it's HUMONGOUS. Its not, really. But we make it so.
    If you haven't checked out this website, do: Quit Smoking Online. It's a free course and the psychology of it I found really helpful.
    "It is YOU who generate the pleasurable-relaxed safe feelings you experience when you smoke and..... it is YOU who have associated them totally with the act of smoking.
    After you became addicted to smoking, the process became automatic.
    What this means is that every time you smoke or more importantly, even think of having a cigarette, you unconsciously release these feelings.
    This, in turn, causes the release of certain chemical secretions in your brain and nervous system which cause you to experience that ' certain feeling' you get when you smoke.
    It is YOU by your mental intention to smoke that causes the release of these brain chemicals - not the cigarette.
    We have unconsciously transferred pleasurable feelings of peace, relaxation and safety that we have allowed ourselves to experience to the daily act of smoking."
    Just some of the interesting material on there. Keep reading stuff (like the Allen Carr book) and keep reinforcing the positive reasons to quit, not the scary ones. Sit back, take deep breaths and experiment in ways to calm your troubled soul, to calm the rising fear. We can't reinforce more the fact that one has to take this a day at at time. Thinking in terms of forever is too big for many of us. You need to accept the discomfort of cravings, is all. You fight the battle by accepting the cravings, not fighting them. Kind of weird, isn't it? Embrace them to be free.
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polly Permalink Reply by polly on July 28, 2008 at 10:08am
         Jennifer, there are so very many people here who relapse time and time again. However, many of them eventually end up being successful! Never, ever be afraid to let us down or beat yourself up. The key is for you to look at your thoughts that led you to smoke and evaluate them. For example, how could I haven handled this without smoking? Smoking won't solve your stress. I agree with you about the word quitting. In Allen Carr's book, "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking," he says that instead of saying quiting, look at it as regaining your life and health back! Try to keep thoughts, such as "Smoking is not an option," in your mind, along with "There is no such thing as one cigarette for me!" These thoughts can help take the little whispers in your head that are telling you to smoke. I believe you CAN do this Jennifer. You have to believe that too!! Take care and know that we are all here to help in anyway we can!!
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Laura Permalink Reply by Laura on July 28, 2008 at 2:08pm
        Wow, am I ever glad I found this discussion! I've been feeling like a complete loser for the last couple of days: I managed to quit cold for 3 days, and on the 3rd day, found out my in-laws were paying a surprise visit THE NEXT DAY! I was so p'o'd, and my husband said "well, maybe we picked a bad week to quit." that's all it took. So for 3 days I detoxed my body and let one little deal blow it all.
    It's been great to read your stories, and great to get ideas from all of you. Mostly it's great to not feel alone and bitterly disappointed!
    My new quit date is August 4th, and while I still want to go cold, I do have back up lozenges, just in case....
    Laura
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Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on July 28, 2008 at 4:26pm
         Now for me in the past, I have pulled that exact scenario more than once, I was not in the mindset that I was an Ex-Smoker, or Ex-User. I was in the mindset that I was a smoker that just wasn't smoking and really all I needed was a GOOD excuse to justify picking up a smoke, or a carton, and continue on smoking away. I am an addict. That is the way my mind thinks. I can do that with any substance and as a matter of fact any activity that I associate with comfort, pleasure, self esteme boosts, ego boosts, and etc. Anything that will make dopamine in my brain I am suceptible to become addicted to. So I need to be aware of that. I also need to understand that it is not a reason to get down on myself for being weak, or lacking in a strong will. Here is a prime example of that. I, in my drinking days, fully understood what a horrible deal it was to drink and drive and most of all get caught doing that. So I used to walk about 4 1/4 miles to the bar up the road and drink away. Now that is not a weak willed or physically weak person. That is addiction HARD AT WORK! So I'm wired a bit different. Once I got it through my goofy head that I could put that kind of effort into things that are good for me and found out that it was just a matter of my attitude I literally switched my addiction to iced tea and now oxygen. It works for me. I also trust in my Higher Power to get me along. It works but it is very personal. YOU MUST DECIDE THAT YOU ARE A NON-SMOKER and make it real. It sucks, as you are well aware, for a little while, and then it's just you the ADDICT getting on with being FREE. YOU CAN DO IT! I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I AM ONE OF THE WORST YOU CAN IMAGINE, THAT IS STILL ALIVE, AND I'VE DONE IT! QUITTING IS EASY, STAYING QUIT IS HARD! BUT IT IS SOOOOOOOO WORTH IT.
    Come on with us...... :-) You are welcome and you are worth it! Every week is a GREAT week to quit and stay quit. That way you can irritate the inlaws all the time IN YOUR HOUSE! Not that doing that is good for your relationship but if it keeps you from smoking I say do it! LOL NOOOOOO! Just Kidding! But please do quit smoking.........CAUSE ITS REALLY REALLLY REALLLY BAD FOR YOU!
    LIGHTEN UP not LIGHT UP!
    RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM! YOU DESERVE IT!
    God bless you,
    Jim
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Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on August 4, 2008 at 4:53am
         Preach on Jim! If you wanna change your life, change your mind.
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THERESA Permalink Reply by THERESA on August 21, 2008 at 8:03am
         I quit for 28 days, then I found out my hubby ( he's in the Marine corp ) he had to go away for school for 6 weeks, so I told myself I'd only some for the first week just to help me cope.... long story short I haven't put them down and he's coming home this week-end ( August 23 or 24 ) , I've been to ashamed to even visit this site... I was feeling so much better then I blew it !!!! I need this site so much and the loving and yes sometimes the tough love also, my new quit day is Sept.1.... my grandson's 2 b-day. I've started going to counseling, I know there will always be some type to stress that comes up, and I want to learn better ways to deal with it other than going back to old BAD habits, so everyone who reads this PLEASE pray for me and also help me to learn to forgive myself for not seeing it thru, because it DIDN"T make it any easier just harder to breath, GOD BLESS ALL
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on August 21, 2008 at 8:25am
         "Only have some for the first week," Now that's a dumb as saying "I'll just have one." Come on girl, you knew better than that! And you KNOW better than that.. You don't give up cigarettes by having a few or one - ever.
    Your husband went through basic training to get where he is today. It wasn't a whole lot of fun, took deprivation and effort. Think of yourself in Basic Smokefree Training. You climbed the wall and fell flat on your back in the mud. Take a lesson from him: wash yourself off and get out to that wall again. You don't need prayers, you need stick-to-it-iveness. Be a Marine's wife. Be tough.
    The quickest way to forgive yourself is to let go of the failed attempt and jump back in. Don't waste time and emotions looking behind you. Look ahead.
    Tough loving you,
    part of your cheering section
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Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on August 21, 2008 at 9:37am
         What you REALLY need to see is that you don't have a BAD HABIT. You are ADDICTED to NICOTINE. That is why a relapse is NOT EVER "a few until he comes back" or "for the first week" or a thousand other EXCUSES TO USE! Think about it. Your Life could very well depend on it. The quality of you life definitely depends on it. Don't beat yourself up. It won't do any good and usually helps to "allow" you in your mind to continue using. You don't WANT to do that do you? Figure out for yourself and I mean deep down inside that you are going to quit using the nicotine you are ADDICTED to and then quit FOREVER! I'm praying for you. :-)
    God Bless,
    Jim
        *
V Permalink Reply by V on August 21, 2008 at 4:22pm
         Theresa
    28 days thats good, remember when you couldn't make 3. Quitting is a learning thing be kind to yourself and this time make it 29, after all we can only quit one day at a time. Next time that ugly monster rears his ugly head , and you know he will, tell your self that you can only smoke on your wedding day so there. Delay Delay Delay.
    Good Luck
    V
       *
V Permalink Reply by V on August 27, 2008 at 8:51am
       You have a great spirit. Dealing with a long term illness is hard. Now add quitting a long term addiction on top of everything eles can make a person never want to get up. The secret is to be your own Boss. When the blues hit tell yourself " Hey I don't have time to deal with this stuff." Talk yourself into I am the boss here and nothing will stop me from making my goals nor will nothing make me smoke, When you get tough with that smoking devil he runs away. You are in charge of you and your the greatest and strongest person in your life. We will win this battle it's one day at a time. Keep up the great work and never stop quitting.

    V

Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 24, 2008 at 9:09am
         READ THIS AND LEARN. AND READ IT AGAIN. AND AGAIN. AND AGAIN.
    This is Greg's story. He gave me permission to put it in here. I wasn't sure in which section to place it because it covers such a broad scope: The Stress Trap, the Drinking Trap, the Anger Trap. Boy, life is like walking through a
    mine field, ain't it?
    I created this Group in the hopes of preventing you (and me) from blowing ourselves up. But so many of us seem to be suicide bombers here. We not only take ourselves out, but those who love us.
    So read this story and believe that this could be you. All these stories should add up in your mind to one basic principle: You must keep your guard up at all times. You can never let your defenses down. And you can never take just one puff.
    GREG'S STORY
    June 29, 2008
    Hi,
    I just joined this group because I'm in my 25th day and get a little concerned about the long term part of staying quit and want to use every tip I can so I won't relapse. I have not had any alcohol since I quit. I was going to last weekend but realized it would probably ruin everything. Drinking coffee is hard enough but I'm getting used to that. The good thing is I really don't miss the alcohol.
    July 14
    I've been delaying the fact that I needed to add this post. I quit on June 4th and smoked again on July 11th. I threw 37 days of hard work down the drain because I gave in to a temptation in an atmosphere I shouldn't have let myself be in. I really feel like crap about it but need to realize I'm one of many that didn't succeed on their first attempt. I tried before but nothing like this one. I never applied myself full force in the past. The positive part is that I went 37 days and am learning what I need to do to be successful. I can name lots of reasons why I gave in but the bottom line is no one made me do it, I simply made the wrong choice. To me it has nothing to do with whether I used an NRT or went cold turkey. I will say that I did the right thing and avoided alcohol (major trigger for me) my whole quit until that day, but I should have kept it up. I had even went to a July 4th Barbque/party and made it through ok. For anyone on the site who is starting out, no matter how confident and good you feel and how long it's been- don't let your guard down. You've seen that posted here over and over. Lots of people here told me that and my over confidence is what failed me. I am going to start over, even do the ex-plan again and will start my quit counter again at day 1. I'm willing to go through the pain of quitting again in order to get rid of this habit for good.
    July 23
    My last blog was concerning that I blew a 37 day quit on July 11 because of an extremely stressful situation I got myself in. You can't imagine how stupid I still feel about this. It was all due to me having a heated argument with my wife and I happened to start drinking 1 lousy can of beer. My mind must have been looking for an excuse to smoke, I don't know. Before I knew it, I was smoking as much as I did before. That's a no-brainer to anyone on this site. 1 puff = 1 pack quickly. All I had to do is breathe deep and simply walk away from that situation but didn't. I've been reading so many blogs and discussions on here since I smoked and there are a ton of people in a lot more stressful situations than I was in and made it through. But now I have to look "onward and upward". My new quit date is August 5. I am leaving in a few days for a trip and have decided to wait until I get back. Since July 11, I've steadily been on this site reading, bought the Allen Carr stop smoking book and have been reading a lot on whyquit.com. I am going with the patch again (full term this time) and plan on blogging and reaching out a lot more than I did the first time. I really need to zero in on handling stress and over eating. During my 37 days of not smoking, I felt like I couldn't eat enough food and
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Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 24, 2008 at 9:31am
      Thanks for posting this Guilia. There are so many triggers out there & different ones for all of us.
    In your second paragraph you seem to be making an apology. Rest assured this group you've created is serving it's purpose & the more triggers we expose for everyone the better. Some of us have faltered but it looks like they're bringing their experience back to share with us. They don't seem to be gone long. I would still like for all of us to check on this group's members & even your friends for recent activity. If you see that someone has been missing for a week send them a message or a note on their page. They will be grateful that someone cares.
       *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 24, 2008 at 9:47am
      Yes. Good idea. Thanks Mike.
        *
Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on July 24, 2008 at 9:51am
    I'm even checking in on the other guys at work that are not on here and trying to help. It helps me to stay focused for sure. I'm not getting much in the way of cravings at all any more. So I'm paying even more attention to my quit. Right now I don't want to forget HOW BAD SMOKING SUCKS! I'm not planning on changing anything I'm doing right now. Everyday several times a day I'm here checking out what everyone is doing, reminding myself that this is a battle for my life. Slips happen, falls happen, get right back up and I don't even care if you dust yourself off..LOL...Just quit again...and again.....an analyze...and do what you have to do to STOP FOR GOOD. Literally.
    God bless and holler at me if you need to.....anyone :-)
    Jim
       *
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 24, 2008 at 10:04am
       Great attitude Jim. Do what ya gotta to do.
    It's hard to check on everyone but if we all do a little a lot will be done.
       *
christineD Permalink Reply by christineD on July 26, 2008 at 8:49am
     Giulia - I started smoking when I was 12, quit when I was 36 for 2 years, and then like you as an actress, got a job where my character chain smoked - I told the Director I was a non-smoker, but she remembered my smoking days and convinced me I could do the role and then quit again...WRONG!!
    So at 44 I stop again then got involved in a theatre business with a partner who smoked occasionally, one night after a successful deal (and involving a fair bit of alcohol) she bought a pack of cigs. and offered me one... another 2 years down the drain.
    so at 50 I go to live in an Ashram (long story) and of course don't smoke or drink - 2 years later, leave and enter the world again very disillusioned and the first thing I did was buy a pack of cigs....
    Now at 58 I am quitting again and for some reason this is harder - I have many alibis this time like my husband smokes, smoking is allowed in our house, my father just died suddenly - you name them I've got 'em, and I am also very aware that this is not about the alibis.
    I like the line "I must protect my quit at all costs"....as it appears to me that the personality that gets hooked on smoking often puts other things before their own welfare in many areas of their lives.
    This, I think is the hardest thing - to say to yourself and actually mean it... "I am good, I deserve to be healthy, I deserve to be free of pain and addiction, I deserve laughter and great happiness"
    So with this in mind - having relapsed this week - I start again.
        *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 26, 2008 at 10:00am
         Gee, Christine, that's kind of a heartbreaking story you've just told. So you've fallen into the actress trap, the Celebration Trap, the Drinking Trap, the Poor Me Trap. What, you plan to test them all out before you get a successful quit for life goin? LOL. You know I'm teasing, right?
    It's not that you can't quit, you've obviously done that very well several times. It's just that you can't stay quit. I'll tell you what I've tried to do. I've tried to reinforce alarm bells in my head by staying connected to a support group. So I'm on this site, not only 'to give support, but to remind myself of the dangers that lie around every corner. As long as there is still the desire within me to smoke, as long as I still want one, I know I'm vulnerable. I know I can lose this beautiful freedom in the blink of an eye or the single inhale of one cigarette.
    One of the reasons I set up this group was - not only for those who relapse on a continual basis - but for people like me who have strong long-term quits under their belts. Every time I read a story of a magnificent quit blown, it puts in another alarm bell in my mind.
    You DO deserve laughter and health. God bless ya for starting all over again. You're right, it's not about the alibis. It's about closing the smoking door for good.
    I'm so sorry to hear about your dad.
    Wanting you to be free....
    Giulia
        *
Jennifer Permalink Reply by Jennifer on July 27, 2008 at 11:53pm
        My first puff was at 8 years old when I caught my brother smoking. From then I smoked here and there with my brother and guess ecame a psychological thing of when I am stressed sit down with a friend or brother and have a smoke/talk session. As a teenager egan smoking more. My first quite was June of 1993 when my grandfather killed himself. My mom made the comment "I am here cleaning up your grandfather's blood because he was selfish and killed himself to comme home finding you selfishly killing yourself with cigarettes. That hit home. I didnt smoke for 5 years until my soon to be husand started talking with me about smoking. It started off as a joke...let's see what it is like to have one cigarette with eachother (not able to believe the other used to smoke)..then it was he wanted to try American cigarettes..then it was our friends smoke..etc etc. Right back into the habit.
    Now 9 years later and talking for 3 years about quitting I decided once again in June to quit smoking for good this time. This month has been a stressful month for me...the harder I tried to fight to quit the more cravings I had. I went 3 days then cracked under pressure...got back up and decided to quit again. With the tension building and me cracking...I started disappearing fast from this site. Told myself not to come on here because if I fail I am letting down all these wonderful people here trying to help me...I egan setting myself up for failure and telling myself I cant make it so dont waste other peoples time. Plus just trying to get through eachday was hard and was more difficult coming on seeing othershaving this strength I dont see in me anymore. People kept leaing me messages and I struggled to even open them. I appreciate so many looking for me on a regular basis and was surprised how many people left messages who didnt even know me..trying to help me find answers even though I am a stranger.
    Today was my nervous breakdown day and sat on my porch crying as I smoked cigarette after cigarette. At my son's appt I guess they could see me breaking down because she told me several times "you need to find a way to take a break-relax"...when I began laughing while crying not understanding why I broke down and smoked while dwelling on what am I going to do about this and that.
    I then came online tonight...and the first message was "how long since you smoked?" I felt like a wave hit me. The more I thought about it my cravings (even during stress) were less when I was on here reading about traps. Reading other peoples stories...just couldnt imagine me being one strong enough to accomplish this like them. Now I am beginning a smoke free life again. I want to start tomorrow again tomorrow...think the word quit sets up as failure. Read somewhere not sure here or somewhere else that when our bodies think the word quit it triggers into fighting that. Our bodies do not register quit...it said instead to think smoke free life..or fresh air life. I think I need to stop thinking of losing something and what I am gaining....so here is to a fresh air life.
    I would like to encourage anyone that thinks they should do this on their own to avoid embarassment of possible struggle or failure to keep on this site. Dont run and hide out of fear of falling because it is only a matter of time before you will. The more you read here and the more you have accountability for your actions the more you strive to conquer. I think that is the key to a smoke free life ACCOUNTABILITY...the "I dont want to have to tell anyone I messed up" might help in staying free or just read the same blogs over and over about other accomplishments and remind yourself if they can do it so can you.
    Here I am writing this and fear is creeping in telling me "are you sure you can do this, are you ready...because you just crashed today..." and I try to remind myself..if I leave this message now it will hold me accountable tomorrow. People will ask me if I am staying faithful to my new life...it is up to me to make sure I can say "YES, I am smoke-free".
       *
Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on July 28, 2008 at 3:33am
         Wow.........very interesting ideas. I like it! You are definitely right. There is no loss and only gain so QUITTING might be a bad idea. How about ENHANCED BREATHING or something else with a POSITIVE connotation. Good idea! Go with it and DO NOT SMOKE ANY MORE CIGARETTES! I Struggled with a hell of lot more than these smokes for decades and slipped and slided and downright pulled a Woodstock belly slide in the mud on purpose. LOL More than once! All the time beating the crap out myself. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP. A very wise man once told me that HEALING MEANS LEARNING TO FORGIVE YOURSELF........AGAIN........AND AGAIN...........AND AGAIN..........and again.......and again............LOL DO what you need to do and stay here with us........you will ENHANCE YOUR BREATHING GREATLY!
    God bless,
    Jim
        *
christineD Permalink Reply by christineD on July 28, 2008 at 9:07am
         Jennifer and Jim - you are so right. I relate to you Jennifer - I hid from the site for 2 weeks, but am back on and am doing separations again. My quit date is Aug 19th - Talk about loops, talk about Groundhog's Day....the repetitive behavior so many of us 'suffer' from MUST STOP!!! I have spent my life (a bit like Jim) sliding, beating myself up, starting again, sliding, beating myself up - I now realize what a pattern that is, and my Ego is more comfortable coming from a place of survival than living. I remember Louise Hay saying once - to get out of the survival mechanism as the brain/mind/Ego will only recognize (like the Universe) that you want to keep surviving - so it will keep manufacturing situations that you need to survive - because it only wants to help you, and that is obviously what you want - to keep having situations to survive!
    I used to know all these things I studied with a Guru for 10 years, "WE ARE WHAT WE FOCUS ON" "THOUGHT EXPANDS INTO MATTER" etc...and when you focus on "I must quit", then you become stuck in a Groundhog's Day of constantly smoking to support the "I must Quit" focus.
    However, having fallen deep into the Matrix to have that last steak, I am now remembering what it was like to wake up in the morning, meditate, chant for other people, do yoga - feel clear in the head and the soul, AND HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY.
    This does not mean I am doing any of these things right now :) - but I am starting to focus on what it felt like to be clear and clean...so right now I am focusing on the feeling of actually liking myself and remembering that I owe it to myself - no-one else- to feel good and happy.
    I have started a morning mantra again "I always love that I live" I always love that I breathe fresh air", and I am going to see how I go with that. I'll keep you posted!
    And yes Jim - forgiving yourself deeply and truly is the path to self love and acceptance.
    I see only good for us all, all love and support to you both and to me and to everyone else on this journey.
    I love this site!!!

Patty Permalink Reply by Patty on June 18, 2008 at 5:51am
         Most of my quits that are less then a month fail cause of rage... I will have a fight with the spouse and then i will run to the gas station and get a pack...sometime i will start the fight just knowing that i will end up smoking! I am learning to not let my emotions get me back into the niotine trap!
    8 years ago i had quit for two years...Was doing Great ! Started a new job and met a girl that i became best friends with. Well her husband was in a band and she had invited My husband and I out to watch the band one night. After drinking a few, I asked her for a smoke and my husband saw this and Said.... "You Know that thats a mistake?" I said Yeah i know and lit it anywayz.... Then he asked for one too (he was 2 yrs quit too) and then we became smokers again!
    I know know that I HAVE to stay away from that ONE cigarrette!!!
       *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 18, 2008 at 8:43pm
    Thanks for your post, Patty. Wow. Yeah. Anger and drinking. Two major relapse traps. It's all about staying away from that ONE, isn't it?!!!!
       *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 30, 2008 at 9:59am
         (This was posted by Reshad on June 30, 2008:)
    It's easy to slip back in...
    I had quit for almost 8 years and I ended up slipping, It was a gradual thing, "oh I'll just have one today with this drink", then it turned into 2 and pretty soon I was a full blown smoker, buying my own ciggs and now I am/was up to a pack a day, I guess my point to this blog is that to remember you can never quit, all of us out there are just not smoking right now, if you keep that in mind you should be able to stay away from ciggs... it's a black hole that can suck you up at any time, Stay on your guard...
       *
V Permalink Reply by V on July 3, 2008 at 4:36pm
         I am so glad I read these posted replies. I started slipping because of pain. One would think that after being near deaths door the last thing that person would want would be a cig. When I realized what I was doing I stopped. Thank goodness I never smoked more than one or two a day gee how stupid of me. I am now smoke free for almost two years. Lesson learned think think what are you doing and why. Some times we dont know why. The Golden Rule Not One Puff Ever. Proud to be a non smoker
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Carlie Permalink Reply by Carlie on July 3, 2008 at 5:29pm
         I found this earlier today, and posted on it - I thought it was a really good topic...
    Gosh - 2 years; glad you are staying a quitter !!! There are SO many lessons to be learned...and anything that keeps us smoke-free, is a lesson well-learned !!!!
    Day 3 and counting !!!!
          *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 4, 2008 at 3:03pm
        Thanks to you V, I'm starting a new Trap called the Pain Trap. Congratulations on the length of your quit. Keep it close.
        *
Carlie Permalink Reply by Carlie on July 3, 2008 at 12:11pm
         I thought it would be a good idea to bring this post up top again...it's really relevant !!!
    I'm on Day 3, and doing fine (boy - am I surprised!) My husband made a comment the other night, that as long as one of my kids don't show up, I have a chance of succeeding !! I realized he was right !!! I have 2 grown kids - each with their own set of problems. I had quit for 9 months one time, when my daughter showed up, needed some "help" and after staying with us for 1 week, I was smoking again. Darn near needed therapy !!!
    When I had quit for a whole year one time, my son and his girlfriend showed up at my door - needing help. Only took me 3 days to start smoking that time - his girlfriend was a wacko !!!
    I wasn't aware of my triggers well enough to know what set me off - much less fight it off !!! I'm definately going to be more aware and vigilant this time !!!!
       *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 3, 2008 at 8:20pm
         Great lessons learned. But beyond ALL of that you have to learn to say NO, no matter what, no matter children, no matter tension, no matter grief, no matter boredom, no matter anger, no matter celebrations, no matter fond memories, no matter being drunk, no matter "I don't know why I picked one up." It's about making a decision to say NO - NO MATTER WHAT. And THAT is what will keep you smoke free FOREVER. A 100% commitment. - no matter what. Have you got it?
       *
Carlie Permalink Reply by Carlie on July 4, 2008 at 11:22am
      Ha - love you, girl.....YES - I've got it !!!!
    To all those "no matters".....I quit drinking 16 years ago - not a drop since; no matter what !!! I am treating this nicotine addiction the same way...no matter what !!!
    I sure appreciate what you say...and ALL the support I get here !!!! ...Thanks....
    Day 4 and counting...and LOVIN' IT !!!!
        *
Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on July 5, 2008 at 4:15am
         Hello all,
    I'll mind my manners and tounge over here if you folks don't mind. :-) It is very simple for me, I'm an addict, period! If I touch it I will use it without control, period. Start and stop, stop and start are cop-out rationalizations for me that fool me into believing I ever had control to begin with. It simply is not true! When that slams home to my addict psyche I am good to go. NEVER AGAIN. My Higher Power says NEVER AGAIN! If I do I'll be right back where I started. Period! Strait, tough, and simple. I'm lucky I can control the pickup truck........LOL
    Day 13 and accumulating like snow in Buffalo!
    Jim
          *
Mel Permalink Reply by Mel on July 5, 2008 at 8:15am
       I know i'm a little late getting here,but oh well...I tried quitting by using Chantix,it actually worked,I was 25 days into it and wanted nothing to do with a cig.That lasted 2 weeks then i started slacking on the pills and finally quit taking them thinking i was good to go,WRONG! I slowly started smoking again untill i was back up to 2 packs a day.So I tried starting them over but I had every side effect possible,I finally quit taking them because the nightmares(not dreams) were out of control and i was sleep walking.This past April i heard about a hypnotist who helped several of my friends quit,so for $60.00 i thought it couldn't hurt to try.On April 2nd I went to see him, he takes up to 15 people in the room and I was there for an hour.I walked out not thinking about ever smoking again.A whole week went by and i was just amazed.My husband smokes and so do some of our friends,everyone continued smoking in my house and around me,I thought I was fine,WRONG!Like a little kid,I snuck a cig of my husband and hid in the backyard and only made it through a couple of hits before i felt sick and dizzy.But later that day I did it again,then I just gave in and began smoking AGAIN.The Hypnotist said everyone gets a second chance if we should need it,so I took him up on the offer.He came back to the area April 16th,I have been smokefree since.Although I did change a few things this time,my husband and friends smoke outside,i even go out with them now,but to have to be trapped in a confined area was too much for me.I have C.O.P.D and my husband knows how sick I can get so he was all for me quitting,and I don't pressure him,he he he...but he doesn't smoke as much now that he smokes outside.I just wanted to share my story with those who may have been in the same sinking boat, we can use any life saver we think will work rather then go down without a fight!
            *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 5, 2008 at 9:21pm
       Jim - straight, tough and simple. That's it. We're addicts. We have one, we've lost control. We have one - it's over. We have one - we have a pack. There is no such thing as one. Like the old Lays ads "bet ya can't eat just one..." no, we can't.
    Mel - coming up on three months...that's great. Sounds like you are NOT going down with the ship. I admire you're stick-to-itiveness. You've a winner's attitude. NEVER EVER GIVE IN AGAIN and you will be Captain of your vessel.
    Debbie, I'm just so dang proud of ya! Keep it sweet.
    And thanks to all of you for sharing your stories here.
           *
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 7, 2008 at 9:13am
    Great post jackie! READ, READ, READ is right! Congrats on your lovely smoke free time. Cheers!
        *
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 7, 2008 at 9:14am
    
    Congratulations on the smoke free year Jackie! Cold turkey is best in my opinion but not all can do it that way.
    My story is similar to yours. I had "tried" quitting several times but none lasted more than a few hours so I've always considered this my first quit. I had to come to a point where knew that I had a problem & was not only killing myself but also harming those around me. There were several times during my quit that I went to pay for gas & asked for my brand of smokes. Several times they were rung up before I had the chance to tell them "Hey I don't smoke." They would just have to take it off my bill or credit my card. I'm proud to say that I haven't even had one little puff in the last three years, nine months, six days, 12 hours, 9 minutes and 49 seconds...50...51...52...53...
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Gwood004 Permalink Reply by Gwood004 on July 9, 2008 at 8:43pm
       I really enjoyed this post and the epiphany you relayed at the conclusion of it. Relapse is not an act of failure, rather it can be a part of healing and enlightenment. Thanks for sharing your tale of relapse.

Sue Permalink Reply by Sue on May 9, 2008 at 1:51pm
         Once upon a time I had a 20 day quit....then fell into the missing smoking trap.So, I had one and here we are how many years later and still smoking.Looking back on it I think that maybe if I'de turned to a friends and talked about it instead of convincing myself that a smoke would fill the void, I'de have realized that I was really looking for emotional comfort, not a nic fix. It's strange how I can confuse the two being a cigarette doesn't offer any comfort whatsoever in any way shape or form .....it just drags you back into a vicious cycle again...
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Dian Permalink Reply by Dian on May 9, 2008 at 3:04pm
       Yep, quit and started quit and started, got pregnant twice, quit and stayed quit for a year or two then my dad crossed......... but I did quit again in 2003 and started again in 2004 now it's 2008 and it's my 3rd day quitting..... I really want it to be my last.
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ManOfSteele Permalink Reply by ManOfSteele on May 9, 2008 at 6:35pm
      Dian .... you quit to give life and it worked .......
    Now just give yourself LIFE ..... and be free forever from this crap !!
    I got your back !!
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Pete Gustin Permalink Reply by Pete Gustin on June 2, 2008 at 5:59pm
         That is So me. I keep thinking one won't hurt.
    Oh but it will and it does.
    At least we're still in there trying....
    peteg
       *
polly Permalink Reply by polly on July 5, 2008 at 9:30am
      Hiya Pete! To counteract the thoughts that you can have just one you can think any of these thoughts to put your mind to rest.:
    NOPE = Not one puff EVER!
    Smoking is not an option <-----------this is the thought that I use and it really works well!
    NO = not one
    There is no such thing as trying -- NIKE -- JUST DO IT!!
    Stopping smoking won't kill me
    There are more, but I think that the top 3 are the most powerful!! This is definitely a mental addiction. Our minds have been so entrenched with our daily habit that our subconscious gives us thoughts signaling us that we can't live without cigarettes and just one won't hurt, etc. Once you establish a firm thought in your mind, then you other thoughts can interfere. If you tell your mind "smoking is not an option," then you are eliminating all excuses, justifcations and rationalizations! It really works!!! Hope this helps you!!! Have an awesome day Pete!! :)
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Keith Permalink Reply by Keith on June 7, 2008 at 4:29pm
       The first time I quit was like 6 years ago after about ten years of smoking. It lasted like 6 months and I started getting cravings out of the blue--or at least which seemed out of the blue which--and I was able to ignore them for a couple of weeks until one day, while driving home from somewhere, I stopped at the old gas station I had bought cigarettes at every day for the past few years and bought a pack. There probably was a trigger in there somewhere, but I don't remember what it was.
    Between then and now, I quit for scattered weeks here and there, but looking back, those efforts weren't really sincere.
    This time, I made it another 6 months, when I slipped up from the stress during exam week. I only had one cigarette that week, but then at the department's end of the semester party, I had a few cigarettes under the guise of "just celebrating." I made it another week, but the seed was planted. I bought a pack about a week ago, and I've been smoking about a third of a pack a day. It's two-thirds less than I was smoking before, but still. My new quit date is tomorrow. I think I'm going to have to avoid going out with my friends for the next few months, unfortunately; at least where alcohol is involved.
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 9, 2008 at 8:11am
         Thanks for posting your tale here, Keith.
    Uh, yeah, I'd have to agree with you that you're gonna have to avoid hanging with your friends for a bit until you get back in control of the Monster. It's such a powerful force. A third of a pack leads to two-thirds of a pack, leads to a pack.... Been there. I know.
    Hoping for a strong quit sincerity from you. Post in the Daily Pledge Group. That can help firm up your commitment.
    Cheers!
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Dian Permalink Reply by Dian on June 10, 2008 at 5:52am
         started when I was a teenager. Quit for pregnancy and that would last a few years. Quit 4 years ago for about a year. This time around I quit with never smoking again in mind. I slipped about 2 weeks ago and smoked and you know what I learned. I really really don't like the smell of smoke on me or my hands or my hair and I really really don't like people seeing me smoke period so I decided there and then never ever will a cigarette touch my lips again. It's been over 1 month for me and I feel pretty dang good. I come here for support and to support others like me.
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Brenda Permalink Reply by Brenda on June 12, 2008 at 7:45pm
      My story sounds pretty stupid but it is real..I had decided to quit 1-1/2 years ago and my husband agreed to quit too.we were smoking roll you owns(very stinky and smelly,and I had to roll them all for both of us) I used nic gum for help and he used the patch. he quit for about 3 months...and started smoking again .he had to roll his own.....eventually he started buying "the good ciggarettes" .as soon as he did my cravings got big and real. we were not getting along very well either..and I got angy ..angry that for all those years I had to roll both of our cigs and smoke the nasty ones, but as soon as I quit he got the good ones (boy was I so stupid!!!)so I got in his truck and took one out and smoked it.. I had made it 10 months smoke free and I was so proud of myself and I felt good and my self confidence was up and I threw it all away for a "good ciggarette"needless to say my self confidence dropped I didnt feel proud anymore. and when my husband saw me smoking that "good one" he smiled.....what a screwed up situation....well here I am now smoke free for 82 hrs (my husband is also smoke free for about the same time.).however___no matter what happens___ I am not going to let anything screw this up for me this time no-one not even myself! not one puff ever...
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 13, 2008 at 10:05am
      Good post. I am now gonna start a new discussion under Relapse Traps and called it The Anger Trap. And we have YOU to thank for it. So THANKS.
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 13, 2008 at 8:20pm
        This post has been moved to "The Anger Trap" on this group.

I just discovered this can't be read in Relapse Traps.  So I'm going to try to blog it out here.

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Slipping and Sliding - Tales of Trouble

Replies to This Discussion

ManOfSteele Permalink Reply by ManOfSteele on May 8, 2008 at 6:23pm
    
    I tried so many times with little success...

    one time my best friend Mike and I smoked one whole pack one right after the other to make us sick of smoking ... well I think it just helped me become more of a chain smoker ..... I went out and bought another pack right afterwards ...lol

    I can remember a hypnosis clinic where some guy was hypnotising 300 or so people in less than 3 hours ....lol at the 1 1/2 break everyone is in the hallway lighting up ...you could barely see.... I did not smoke the whole night from like 9pm on ....until the next morning....

    SO back then EVERYTHING was a trigger and I let myself use any and all excuses !

    All my bad experiences I think did show me what I needed to do to eventually have a successful quit and that basically came down to never allowing ANY excuses to EVER take a puff again.

    hope this might help someone ...
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on May 8, 2008 at 9:25pm
    
    What a RIOT! LOVED the fact that after the hypnosis session you all went out for a smoke break in the hallway! Hillarious!
    Actually hypnosis helped me for about 2 seconds too.

    Thanks so much for your response, Ray. Yes, it's all about not allowing any excuses ever. You just have to keep saying NO. You may think that Nancy Reagan's promotion of this concept was not to your liking. But that's exactly what you have to do to stay quit. It's as simple and as complicated as that. Just say NO. And mean it.
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Lenna Permalink Reply by Lenna on June 4, 2008 at 10:39am
    
    You got it, don't you!!!! Allowing ANY excuse to take pick up a cigarette.

    I quite for 6 years, met a man, and he smoked. After a year, I did finally bum "just one".

    That was 8 years ago. I married and divorced the man, but still have the smokes!

    I blamed him for being the reason I smoked. I really have begun to look at this very
    differently now.

    I"M the reason I still smoke!!!

    I'm working quite hard on the mental aspect of this addiction, and this site is very helpfull, I have NEVER
    joined an online group before.

    So thank you all for being here and sharing, and I plan to work the becoming an EX program and soon
    to pick that "Quit Date"
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Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 10, 2008 at 8:35am
    
    Amazing, isn't it. We can quit for SIX YEARS and then just bum ONE and we're back to being full time smokers again. That's the power of this addiction. We need alarm bells that go off in our heads when we near the dangerous reefs of "just one" thinking. I've worked very hard for the past two years to ensure that there are such alarm bells in my head. It's reading stories like these that keep me from the reefs. Thanks.

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Janet Permalink Reply by Janet on July 3, 2008 at 12:39pm
    
    Wish the best for you. I'm struggling here myself. Quit for a few days and went right back to it. I'm going to give it a try again this weekend. I have been on zyban for almost a month but it doesn't seem to be helping.
    Good luck
    Janet
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Kellie Permalink Reply by Kellie on October 19, 2008 at 10:54am
    
    I had quit for about 2 weeks short of a year. No more cravings. Felt really good. I was so proud that I had kicked it. I was under a great deal of stress in the 4th year of Vet Med school and national boards were coming. They put me on Zyban for anxiety issues. Within 7 days, I was jonesing like crazy. I had not felt like that since the first two weeks of quitting and it was back. I gave in; telling myself it was to avoid losing my mind. I have spent the past 10 months trying to quit again. I wish I had never started again and it is frustrating me horrible that I can't get past the first week.
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Lenna Permalink Reply by Lenna on October 19, 2008 at 12:08pm
    
    The biggest part of this addiction is the mental obsession. I had quit for about 7 years. Now here I am, on DAY 7. I feel great, but I absoulty know that the longer I go, the harder it will be. My mind will start playing tricks on me. I'm prepared for it this time, and therefore am stronger mentally. When I am stressed, I will look at the stress and see what I can do to relieve it in healthy ways. When I'm angry, I will immediately look at that anger and see if its justified, or just some childish agenda violation issue, that my addiction would love me to go out and smoke on! Not this time! Not ever again. A ciggarette is never going to be the answer to any mental or emotional stress. There are tools to learn how to handle my reaction to life, instead of just reacting to life. WHEW!
    This is me on day 7 :) LOL....
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Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 20, 2008 at 5:23am
    
    I am so proud of you Lenna & this new attitude of yours. You can do anything sweet lady.
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Raj Permalink Reply by Raj on July 4, 2008 at 1:41pm
    
    I'm second. One will lead to more. There will always be some sort of excuse to smoke. I'm with most of you. Don't allow any excuses. Just do not light up!!!! I regret the backslide and have to quit all over again. I tell you what. I felt too good . Can't become a slave to the 3 inched bandit again. NO excuses....Quitting for Good!!!!

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