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What it is about the commitment to quitting that you're not willing to accept?  Because THAT’s really why you are a serial quitter.  There is something about the journey that you simply are yet unwilling to accept.  MOO (my opinion only).


And if you want your freedom from this addiction, you have to accept ALL that the journey entails.  Sorry.  But true.

Attitude can make a great deal of difference in your perception of the journey, and hence your ability to overcome the various obstacles.  But you have to accept, that in order to move past the discomfort level to the point of no return, putting a cigarette in you mouth has to become a non-option, whatever your attitude.

So in-depth self-analysis is necessary.  Again I ask, what is it about the commitment to quit that you are unwilling to accept?  Is it the discomfort?  If so, then understand that the immediate discomfort will lessen as time goes by.  Will it be over entirely?  In my 11 year experience of maintaining a quit - the answer is NO.  You are going to have days along the journey, maybe several in a row, maybe even a whole month where you’re being pestered by your addicted brain.  So what?  If you’ve accepted the journey “So WHAT!” can be your only response IF you want to move past the constant re-plays.  Else then there will always be a "Well, but..." in your thinking and another day one instead of a Day Won!


So in order to succeed at this, you need to  #1) determine what it is about the commitment that you’re unwilling to accept and  #2) discover the key to your acceptance.  Wholehearted, in-your-cells, in-your-bones acceptance.  Unequivocal acceptance.  Not intellectual acceptance.  Emotional acceptance.  When you truly "get it" you'll understand exactly what I mean by that.  

I can speak of this because I’m going through just that kind of a period where I have been wanting a cigarette like crazy. I don’t need (at this stage of my quit), to try to figure out WHY I’m having these cravings.  I just accept them, and understand that it’s simply part of my journey.  And you know what?  It’s not fun.  (Though the good part is, it keeps me very aware of what newbies go through in their early stages.)  I don’t LIKE this gnawing in my gut that reminds me of Day One.  But again I say SO WHAT?!  I’m not about to go to the store and buy a pack of cigarettes. That’s simply not an option in my world any more.  If it is in yours, and you don’t want to be a serial quitter - then you need to figure out how to make smoking a non-option in YOUR world.


I know there is a major head game being played with you serial quitters.  The difference between the successful quitter and the serial quitter is that we don’t allow the head games to impact our commitment to our quit and our maintenance of it.  We may have the same, or similar,  triggered responses, the same gnawing in our guts when cravings arise - we just acknowledge them, accept them as part of the journey and turn our attention in a different direction.


And a VERY GOOD direction to turn one’s attention to when going through a fragile quit time is to get on here and READ and READ and READ.  Because reading reinforces the commitment.  And so does responding on other’s blogs/conversations.  Giving support is almost as important to a quit as receiving it.  Those of you who have been here for years understand exactly what I mean by that.


All you serial quitters here know why you need to stop smoking, know that it’s not good for our bodies, not the wisest choice. Until you accept the commitment - no matter what - you will be on that gerbil wheel all your life.  Condemned by your own lack of commitment, to begin another Day One over and over and over.  Until the time may come when it’s past the point of no return regarding your health options.


Please don’t wait ‘til then. Yes, quitting is hard.  But remaining quit is easier once you get to a certain point.  You simply MUST be willing to hang in until that point occurs.  Getting a diagnosis that limits your living options and quality of life is the least happy scenario.


Please quit.  Please hold onto it.  Please learn that you CAN be free.




Blood Sister

Posted by Giulia Champion Mar 10, 2017

Image result for little girls best friends photos


In my youth a few of my girlfriends and I went through a ritual. Because we were best of friends we became "blood sisters." And that meant you had to prick your finger so that it bled, and then hold it against your "blood sister's" finger. A co-mingling of blood. Long before there was the word AIDS in our vocabulary. It was a proving ground. Do you love me enough? Are we going to go through whatever we have to go through together and share all our secrets on our journey through life? Are you gonna be there for me?


It was a badge of closeness and honor and commitment. And yeah, guts too. Because it took guts to prick your finger enough to make it bleed - with whatever implement you chose when you were - what 7 or 8 or.... Even now as an adult, how readily would you prick your finger to make a commitment of the like?


I have a very vague recollection of some tv show? about an Indian becoming blood brothers with a white man. Perhaps they took a big knife and slit a hefty chunk of their forearm and placed it against the other’s. I don’t know. I don’t know where the “blood sister” thing came from but I suspect from something not dissimilar.


Gee - I haven't thought about that in YEARS. But something I read here spurred that thought on a while back. I don’t know if others of you had this kind of ritual. If so I’d love to hear of it. Obviously it was more of a “girl” thing than a “guy” thing. But maybe you “guys” had a similar ritual. The “how many beers can you drink” or ...whatever.  It was a rite of passage either way.  And so is quitting.


What’s my point? My point is that you need to become a “blood sister” or “blood brother” with your quit.

Do you love yourself enough to make the commitment? Are you gonna be there for yourself through the trials to come. We’ll be here for you, for sure. But YOU need to be there for you. What will your badge of honor and commitment be to yourself?  What is that best part of you that is here on this site because IT knows what you need,  even though the least part of you  fights it tooth and nail all along the way?  Find that best part of you and bring it to the fore and when you do, CLING TO IT.


You need to become blood bothers and sisters with yourselves now. You need to be willing to bleed a little in that commitment. It’s a commitment that costs. Fact. Quitting costs. So does smoking. But the latter costs a whole lot more.


Are you listening?



Best of Ex Advisory Board

Posted by Giulia Champion Mar 7, 2017

Since the Best of Ex is now a prominent widget on the Home page here, I’ve been in discussion with Mark and wanted to get some feedback from you all.


My concept for the original group was to post those blogs that have universal and lasting truths, that speak deeply and instruct wisely. Those blogs to which people continue to refer oe’r and o’er. Those bogs that touch the core of the quitter.


Over time I’ve notice some general blogs being placed there, perhaps by a new member who didn’t quite understand what the group was meant for.


Since it’s now in a prominent position on the site, it’s been suggested to create Best of Ex Advisory Board.  A small group of people, (perhaps 5?), who are obviously dedicated to the site and intend to remain as steady supporters. This board could change periodically, so that the same people were not permanently in place.


Members would present those blogs/content suggestions that they would like to be included in the Best of EX (either their own or someone else’s) and the board would vote upon it (anonymously).


For example several people I noted of late mentioned certain blogs would be good to put in the Best of Ex. Rather than ME being the arbitrator, and rather than anybody just being allowed to post content willy nilly, it makes sense to have a Board to keep the Best, the BEST.


So my questions to you are:

1. Do you like the idea of a Board to begin with?

2. If so, how many people do you think should be on it?

3. Do you think it should be a rotating board, i.e. all members change periodically?


All ideas and suggestions are welcome. We all want the Best of Ex to be the very best it can be. There are many wonderful posts on BecomeAnEx, but not every one can be accorded the Best of EX label.


What are your thoughts?


Thank You

Posted by Giulia Champion Mar 1, 2017

I had wanted to put out a blog for my 11th  year quit celebration that might uplift and promote the newly quit, but too much stuff going on to - well shall we just say the "muse" wasn't with me today.  But I do want to thank all of you who took the time to give your congratulations.  Means a lot.


If I have learned anything during the past 11 years of not smoking, it is that milestones never stop feeling good when they're achieved, that they are worth striving for and worth recognizing.  Because each milestone encourages the next.  And it is those very milestones, when placed one upon the next, that add up to a forever quit.  


If you've got one, never let it go.  If you're striving for one - believe that it's possible.  If you've fallen for the excuses and false whisperings - see them for what they are, learn from them and move on to accepting the commitment - no matter what.  For that is the only way that you will be forever free.  


I wish you health

much more than wealth

I wish you free

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