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Cling to your Quit

Posted by Giulia Champion Aug 16, 2016

Nothing makes me quite as sad as removing someone from the Elder’s List who has relapsed.  Probably not nearly as sad as it makes the person who forfeited their long-term quit.  I received a PM today from a member who fessed up.  They asked me to share their “cautionary tale,” and were honorable enough to ask to be removed from the Elder’s List.  This is a person who has fought HARD time and again for their quit.  They had a much longer-term quit, lapsed, reset their quit clock and finally got back on the Elder’s List.  That’s perseverance!  

You know WHY they relapsed?  Because they needed some comfort and they thought their ‘old friend,’ the cigarette, would give it to them.  Of course they didn’t really believe that.  Because they know better.  They know from experience it’s just cold addicted comfort.  It doesn’t mend the situation, doesn’t fix the heart ache doesn’t wrap it’s arms around you.  It just re-ignites that awful desperate need, the slavery.  And inevitably it makes for another Day One.  Because anyone who has tasted freedom can’t help but want a repeat.  That need, too, is great.  When the need to remain free is stronger than the need to smoke, relapsing will be a thing of the past.

Something I wrote a while back which I’ve just altered slightly:  I have one leg on the rock of commitment, the other on the rock of perseverance.  In my arms I cradle my quit and continue to nurture it as I shout to the world -  Not One Puff Ever!  I honor myself with the gift of freedom and embrace it for all I’m worth.

Will you say the same?

Cling to your quits, kids, ferociously!  Keep honoring the best in you.  




When you ACCEPT this journey

Posted by Giulia Champion Aug 8, 2016

When you accept this journey you accept all that comes with it.  The good, the bad, the ugly, the wishful thinking, the pining, the loss, the change, the renewal, the reversal, the continuance.
Those of us who have been there, done that, “GET IT.”  We understand what you’re going through.  Because WE went through it too.
We went through the terror of the few days prior to quitting,  the day of, the day after, and that horrendous craving we had out of the blue, for no reason whatsoever, after we'd already been quit for 5 months, or 10 years.  
Believe me when I say it is easier to remain free than it is to quit.   And it’s especially easier to remain free than to quit AGAIN.  For those of us who have quit more than once, that’s the truth.  You can only pump yourself up so many times.  Eventually the excitement of the journey wears thin and it isn't so much fun second, third and fourth time around.
So do it THIS time around.  Accept the journey, get on with it,  and get over it.  Be FREE of it by DOING it.  And if you HAVE quit - stay that way!


Addicted Bees

Posted by Giulia Champion Aug 6, 2016

Just happened upon this article.  Even bees become nicotine junkies.  (Bold with underlining is mine.)



Addiction Science Can Help Us Understand the Bee Crisis


September 01, 2015


The collapse of bee colonies around the world has received much publicity lately. It is a trend with alarming implications given bees’ crucial role in pollinating many agricultural crops, and some researchers have attributed it, at least in part, to widespread use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. These are chemically related to nicotine, and they are thought to challenge the health of bee colonies by impairing bees’ ability to learn and navigate as well as impairing their motor functioning. Recent research now suggests that bees may be preferentially drawn to foods laced with these pesticides as a result of reward mechanisms. It is a fascinating lesson in how knowledge gleaned from one area of science—in this case addiction science—can inform our understanding of a global ecological crisis.

       Image of a bee on a flower     CC0 Public Domain   

In a letter published in Nature in May, a team of British researchers reported that honeybees and bumblebees actually preferred sucrose solutions that contained common neonicotinoid pesticides over sucrose solutions without the pesticides. Taste preference was not the reason—the pesticides were found to have no effect on bees’ gustatory or sucrose-sensitive neurons, so they could not taste the presence of the pesticides and the pesticides had no impact on their ability to detect sugar. Thus the authors suggest the bees’ preference for foods containing these pesticides likely arises from the action of the pesticides at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the bees’ brains.


Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are found throughout the bee brain, including in areas called “mushroom bodies” essential for memory and learning. When administered chronically, neonicotinoid chemicals are known from previous research to impair olfactory learning and memory in some bees. In this study, bees preferred the neonicotinoid-laced nectar but ate less food overall; bees faced with a choice between untainted nectar and nectar with a high concentration of neonicotinoid chemicals still preferred the latter, even though a high proportion died. The authors of the study suggest that these chemicals not only affect the foraging bees collecting nectar but are also brought back to the hive to affect the entire colony.


We are all too familiar with the disruptive effects of nicotine in human beings. Smokers may have terrible difficulty giving up cigarettes even though they consciously know that tar and other chemicals in tobacco smoke are harming their health and potentially shortening their lives. The Nature study suggests that preference for a health-damaging substance as a result of brain reward mechanisms may be a phenomenon with relevance to other important areas than human health.


More research will be needed to establish this connection, of course. Although the USDA and other organizations have linked neonicotinoid pesticides to colony collapse, and some of these chemicals were temporarily banned in Europe pending further study, the extent of their role remains a matter of controversy. Also, the finding on bees’ preference for pesticide-laced foods will need replication and further examination. But it suggests a surprising way that addiction science might prove relevant to understanding animal behavior outside the laboratory, behavior that has major impact on our economy and food supply.


This page was last updated September 2015

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