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2019

For the last 48 hours, the act of smoking has crossed my mind at least two or three times.  Even though it is a smidgeon of thought, do I shrug it off and say oh well?  Don't know where that came from and keep it moving?  Yes, I do BUT I also know that it is time for me to go into protect quit mode, real quick.  I guess a smidgeon is huge for me because I rarely think about a stinking cigarette or even desire for one.  Breathe.  Don't know where the thought came from.  Right out of the blue.  Wow, I heard it could happen and it has. lol.  Not stressed about anything.  hmmm?  Maybe a few anxious moments Sunday, our church is going through a major change but nothing extraordinary. Change of seasons?  hmm?.  Been through 3 plus season changes.  Hmm? Not absolutely sure.  But I am sure of one thing, Just because the thought of smoking crosses my mind does not mean I have to act on it.  It has been more than 4 years since my quit date.  I know how to suck it up and keep it going and not be fooled by my addiction.  NOPE and  I am in protect quit mode right now. Period. That is why I am here talking about it. What do my EX friends have to say? 

No, I am not going to smoke.  No, I am not going to the store to buy any. NOPE no matter what!   I am just doing what I have always done.  Come to EX first.  I will never quit on my quit. I will never ever forget NEF where I started and what it has taken me to get where I am.   All my energy, all my inner strength, all my prayers, loss of sleep, all the pain of thinking about a cigarette.  Wondering when it would end and what it took to be free. No! I will never give it up or give in no matter what, by any means necessary.  Therefore I am not blowing it off and think that I am above the law.  NOPE.  Yes, I have kicked the demon to the curb and run right over it several times.  I am not looking back but will continue to stomp on its head if I have to. 

Mantra time!  No matter what, who, when, where, how.  I will not put one in my hand.  Not on my lips, not on my tongue, not in my lungs,  Not in my clothes, not up to my nose. Not in my throat, I will not choke. Breathe.  NOPE no matter what has kept me free and will keep me free.  Suprised I have to deal with this today. However, by any means necessary, I will not smoke.  I am being reminded that no matter where I am with my quit I am not above the law of addiction. I could relapse if I did not use my tools.  Wow smh.

The secret to quitting, I decided, was never to smoke again.  Ever. Close the door on it totally and forever.  Not just "I hope", but not to open that door ever again.  So all I had to do was not to smoke.

 

And I decided I could do that.  I didn't try to figure out the rest of my life, I didn't cement my plan into stone, I didn't even announce to anyone I was quitting.  I quietly shut the door and refused to open it ever again.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13    2/1/19

The Most Effective Way to Quit 

 

 

Close the door to smoking, do not hold on to it as an option.  Be willing to close the door and never open it again.  NOPE. 

Early on my EX journey, I came upon a few EXer’s who had fallen.  Some had been on this journey longer than I.  Why did they fall?  I walked past them not understanding what happened.    I also noticed when one fell another would come along and trip.  I just couldn’t quite” get it”.  I became frightened with thoughts that I was doing all these things to quit smoking and this could happen to me.  I was baffled in the beginning but learned I could trip or fall if I did not read and pay attention to the signs (triggers) on this journey.   The sign that reads, "One Puff  Away To Relapse".

Your journey may be in one those seasons we talk about.  No matter where you are in your quit you have to be vigilant and guard it (read the signs) and do what is necessary to stay smoke-free.  If it means avoiding people, places, and things that may cause us to be vulnerable, do it.  The signs may not be visible in the beginning because we think we have become stronger than the addiction. Don't be so fooled.  We feel we have gotten the addiction under control and we are okay with certain situations. Maybe, but for some, it can be taking your quit for granted.  It may not happen the first time in those situations but over time it can build up and because of the fog, you don’t stop and read the signs.  We have to recognize that we are only one puff away to relapse.  This addiction is as real as crack, heroin, meth, cocaine so you have to protect your quit.

I understand that we live in a world that people smoke but sometimes we have to do whatever is necessary to avoid those people, places and things before it’s too late.  Hindsight is 20/20. If you are breathing second-hand smoke on a regular basis you are not reading the sign to a possible relapse.   We cannot subconsciously test ourselves or we may be smoking before we know it.  So don’t set yourself up for failure because you think you are strong.   Smoking cessation isn’t always about strength. Sometimes it is knowing where you are weak so you can set boundaries to protect your quit no matter what, who, when, where, or how.  In the end, we are responsible for it.

So no matter how many days you are smoke-free, you are still “one puff” away from relapse because the nicotine addiction is real.  Quitting smoking is a continuous work with no stop sign or date.  It is forever. It just gets easier with time. So if you are new or old to EX work your quit and most importantly, protect it. Stay close.  “Don’t quit on your quit. NOPE no matter what.  SINAO.  Smoking is not an option.