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Ladybug--7-3-12 Blog

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The Brain Thing

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Nov 10, 2020

This post from an awesome lady at the ‘ole Quitnet site helped me understand my personal experience in my early non-smoking recovery months.  I’m reposting it here in the hope that it will also help those struggling in their early days & months thereafter.  If we understand the whys (you are not crazy and you are not alone!) then we can hang on & continue onward smoke free.   It passes ... eventually.  Best Wishes in your healing & recovery.  


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From loretta4living on 10/21/2007   


I got a qmail asking me to explain what I learned about nicotine recovery during the Post Acute Withdrawal stage to you.   


First let me say this, as with ANYTHING anyone deals with in life, attitude and being able to keep one’s perspective makes a huge difference. The mind can be a powerful tool. That being said, nothing could be further from the truth than the premise that once the nicotine is out of your system in 72 hrs what you are experiencing is purely psychological. That is not true.   


How you choose to look at it and mentally handle it may make a world of difference but it doesn't make what is happening not be happening. A person can psyche themselves up to walk across a bed of hot coals, that doesn't mean the coals aren't hot. They are using the power of their mind to accomplish something. Stay with me here, I'll do my best to make this sound not too jumbled as I have been indulging a bit during tonight’s ALCS ball game.   


When we smoked. our body's bio and neuro chemistry had to compensate for the presence of nicotine. When I say bio chemistry I am referring to our endocrine system. That is our glandular system responsible for putting out hormones that regulate every organ and function in our bodies. These glands include, pituitary, hypothalamus, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries for women, testes for men...I'm sure I'm leaving out some here.  Anyway, ALL those glands send out hormones. Besides regulating our body's organs functions they impact, mood, concentration, sleep, body temperature, cognitive thought, memory, anxiety, depression, appetite, body weight etc.    


What I was saying about neuro chemistry I was referring to the many brain neurotransmitters. Which, once again, are chemicals responsible for a host of things. Dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, are some of these neurotransmitters. If you need specific info about what each of these do I'd have to get it to you at another time … like I said, been celebrating a bit here.   


But understand that now that the nicotine is out and these glands and neurotransmitters aren't having to compensate for the presence of nicotine and the thousands of other chemicals they are going through a re-balancing. A neuro adaptation. That takes time. Our bodies constantly strive to be in a state of homeostasis. That is a state of balance. The nicotine is out and it is scrambling to find its new balance.   


I am under the care of an endocrinologist. My blood work showed continual glandular hormone changes for the first 6 months of my quit. Okay … now some may say well once that is all over with, it's the triggers. That the triggers also are mental. No they're not all mental. Whenever we repeatedly use a substance that causes a release of the feel good, reward, brain chemical dopamine, our brains map what ALL was going on at the time of that release. What we were doing, what was going on around us, sights, sounds, smells. ALL of that was mapped onto what’s called neuro pathways. Those are like little roads in our brains. That is how triggers are created.   


The good news is when we engage in the same behaviors repeatedly and DON'T light up … those old neuro pathways physically shrivel up and new ones with new behaviors are formed. New memories replace them. I'm going to be completely honest here, IF I hadn't of researched some of this, gone in to talk with the endocrinologist and an addiction specialist, I would have been smoking because I did EVERYTHING humanly possible to mentally get over this addiction and I still went through things. Things that some people here said were mental.   


I didn't know what the hell I was doing wrong in my recovery that I was where I was at and feeling what I did. It was AFTER I learned this that I breathed a sigh of relief. I was actually normal and what I was feeling and experiencing was par for the course. My hope was restored.   


I often wondered how many people IF they too knew would have been able to hang on and let the recovery process happen. It is a process, a physical, physiological and psychological healing process. Give it the time it needs, which is individual for all, and you will recover.   




Show up each precious day with a positive attitude & be open to all its possibilities.  You are worth all the good things waiting for you.  You just are ...


Teachers come in all ages ... a reminder of this came from a 2nd grade elementary girl . . . Emma.  I volunteered in her classroom until Covid shut the school district down in mid March.  It was the first & only time I had the opportunity to mentor/work with her (but she was the first one who gave me a welcome hug on my Day One).   She taught me as I taught her.  


She came to school disgruntled not wanting to be there & clearly not interested in being “schooled” that day.  She had been told to quit playing a game on the computer by her Mom & to hurry up/get ready for school.  She was resentful, angry, and defiant when her teacher asked me to work with her on the current class assignment (but thankfully happy to be picked for one-on-one time).  


I understood her feeling.  I didn’t necessarily want to come to school that day either (lol). The office computer check-in kiosk even asked if I wanted to be there with the risk of Covid a reality in the school (this was the day before the school shut down).  After listening to her grievances we began her assignment of 3 different tasks.


(It was always important to me to check in & listen to the “kidlets” first with anything they wanted to share ... to really  “see them” before I began any task with them.  What’s more important than teaching the mechanics of how Velcro straps work on new shoes so Mark didn’t continue to step out of them OR to research interesting facts about ducks for Jeff who was enthralled with them OR to listen to Alan learning to adapt to new “step siblings” in his home.  Anything & everything these amazing kids chose to bring up was worth my time & attention.  If it was important to them it was to me too.)   


Emma quickly went from not wanting to come to school or doing any work to expressing her pleasure at “getting” the tasks & excited to do them.  Not only for the task accomplishment but for “turning herself around” she earned my accolades & a star awarded by me (a purple one she picked as her favorite color from my personal stash) which I pasted onto the back of her hand.  


Walking her back to her classroom she proudly handed her teacher her completed assignment and thrust her hand out to show off her star while talking animatedly of how & why she earned it.


It doesn’t matter how old we get . . . positive self-talk,  demonstrated appreciation by others, & actually being “seen” & “heard” is vital for every human being.  This is especially important when we are trying to quit smoking (or stay quit).  Put together a list of positive affirmations that speak to you & say them often.  Ban negative self-talk thinking & speech from your universe (& negative people as much as you can).  Keep a good attitude.  Share your milestones.  Share your hurdles.  Be seen here.  Say what you need.  This place can be a safe haven for you.  


You can do this quitting & stay quit “thing”.  It is within your power & grasp.  Believe it.  Reach out & grab onto it!  Hang on for dear life if that’s what it takes for you ... do you ... no judgement.  It will all be worth it.  I promise.  Best Wishes.


Educate Yourself

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Oct 19, 2020

Education was my personal ticket to freedom from smoking.


I encourage you to do your homework. Study up on nicotine & addiction & Big Tobacco as if you are studying for a test. Find the factual things that you can no longer ignore or stomach that collectively sends you over the cliff into your own personal “No Way, No More Smoking Land”. Work to change what smoking means to you.


See smoking for what it really is. It is control over our time, our focus, our money . . . our life. Even our activities & who we hung out with was influenced by our smoking. Get yourself free from the smoke screen & do whatever it takes for you to walk away from it … forever. Freedom from active nicotine addiction is so awesome!!!


Stay Free! Be Well!


Stay Quit . . . or Not

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Sep 28, 2020

Do you want to stay quit or do you want to be a smoker again?


When I quit smoking there were times when I just wanted to smoke.  Most of us felt this “want to” in our early days & even much later into our Stay Quits.  It may even occur years later.  It means you are a normal still recovering nicotine addict.

One of the things I asked myself during these temptation times was, “Do I want to go back to smoking again?” or “Do I want to stay quit?” because I knew those were my only two choices.  I knew I couldn’t have just one or even a few and then stay quit long term which was my goal.  


Eventually, maybe not that same day, maybe not in a week or even a month, chances were extremely high I would have another “just one or a few” again if I did smoke.  A relapse always starts with that first one when we give ourselves permission to smoke again after we are quit.  


So when you are tempted, maybe it would help if you ask yourself, “Do you want to stay quit?” or “Do you want to return to being a full fledged smoker again?”  It worked for me.  Remember . . . it always has to be NOPE.  Not One Puff Ever.  There is no gray area.  Tell yourself you are quit & want to stay quit.  It’s a choice.  Yours.  Best Wishes.


8 Years!

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Jul 3, 2020



Eight years ago I chose to stop smoking.


I educated myself about nicotine addiction.


I recognized that I was a nicotine addict.


I accepted that the only way out was to let my active addiction go dormant (& to never smoke again for it to stay that way forever).


I committed myself to the process ... the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.


I trusted that things would get better for me ... eventually ... if I just didn't smoke, so I kept my focus ahead.


I decided that since I already knew what it was like to live life as an active smoking addict that I wanted to finish the rest of my life smoke free.


And so I began ... 8 years ago today.


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One of the times I like to check back in is on my annual milestone in the hope that it may inspire someone who is quietly reading behind the screen feeling hopeless.  I understand.  That was me too.


If my time smoke free seems daunting to you (as it did to me in my early days) just remind yourself that if you have not smoked today then you have conquered the same day as me & everyone else who chose not to smoke today.  Today is the day that counts.


Self-talk is an important part of the process.  Remember to watch how you talk to yourself.  Use positive action words like I did writing this ... I chose, I educated, I recognized, I accepted, I committed, I trusted, I decided and I began.


Believe in yourself.  It is doable for you.  None of us who quit & are still quit are special snowflakes with super human powers.  We did the hard foundation building work at the beginning of our quits too & worked to change what smoking meant to us.  It gets easier.  Much, much easier.


I promise you that it is worth all the angst it takes to get to a new place of living in peace & gratitude from attaining and keeping a smoke free life.  I hope you choose it (and keep on choosing it) for yourself.  We all are worth a smoke free life.  Best Wishes.


A Life Template

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 5, 2020



Warning:  This is not like a “usual” blog of mine.


I’m actually using the Covid-19 as a template in my thinking for how the world and the human beings in it may react to the fallout from a nuclear attack, or other catastrophic world event.  The scenario being played out is frightening but enlightening unfortunately & all too realistic.


The word interesting is not appropo in this case.  Far from it.  None of us are looking down at what is happening; we are all in it to some degree or another which changes everything for us from observer to active participant in the Board Game of Covid-19.


A little rant.  I have four underlying medical conditions that affect my breathing at times already.  To get Covid-19 would more than likely be a death sentence for me.  I cannot “get” those who blatantly don’t care about the health of others and show their selfishness & disdain by refusing to wear a mask in public when it is not possible to social distance.  To do so is about others, not yourself.


The phrase “Survial of the Fittest” keeps scrolling through my mind as the reality for those that have & choose to use their connections & money to make sure they & theirs are okay.  It’s natural.  No problem but MY world includes others I don’t even know that I very much care about too.  I just do.  


My life is important but not more so than the life of anyone else.  Personally, I don’t want to be chosen to live over another human being regardless of their health or age or mental capacity.  I’m living in reality so I know there are always hard choices to be made by others in charge but I choose to keep my values, integrity, and myself in the process.  I am fortunate to be out of the official decision making loop.  Again, my life is not worth more than anyone elses.  It isn’t & I won’t allow it to become so as long as I am in control of my own choices.  I don’t have to be realistic in this instance.  


What does this have to do with smoking?  Not much except to say that smoking has never even crossed my mind.  I’m way past that for dealing with anything in my life.  It’s been easy.  Getting through this world crisis smoke free will strengthen your quit & take it to another level for you if you are early in your quit or struggling with it.  Stay on the smoke free path!  You can do it!


This post is just about saying how I’m feeling and more importantly to wish you all well and the strength, mental & physical health, and means to get through this “event” in our history.  It will pass … eventually … just like the trials & tribulations of going from being a smoker to being a non-smoker (or ex-smoker, or whatever you choose to call it for yourself) AND it can change us forever … just like stopping smoking has done for most of us.  How Covid-19 changes us personally is up to us.  I hope we all learn valuable lessons from it.  Observe, think about it & make good choices.  It matters.  


Take care everyone!


(PS:  Of course there have been some awesome, wonderful, inspiring responses happening too from many people.  This is not to discount any of those things.  I may write a positive blog re them to offset this one or maybe not lol.  This blog just “is what it is” … well wishes & a little bit of a rant lol.)


Be the Change

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Feb 12, 2020
A repost of mine from "elsewhere" ... October 2019.
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You returned to smoking?  You feel it’s impossible for you to Stay Quit?  Being quit for any length of time brings up “stuff” you can’t handle?  Nobody really understands because they have not been through what you’ve been through & survived to still be here smoke free?  How do you know? 


Quitting smoking is much more than “just” about quitting smoking.  It really is, that is if you allow it to be for yourself.  Staying quit may require that you open yourself up to old wounds you still carry that define you.  Staying quit may require you to deal with the people & things from your past that hurt you to your very core.  It can be a good thing although it does hurt & it’s very hard personal work. 


Perspective IS everything.  Maybe instead of looking at it as a “demon” you might want to consider it a grand opportunity to address the injustice(s) you experienced now as an adult.  Instead of becoming hard core maybe be selfish & just focus on yourself for a bit to open up, address, and heal the old “stuff” in your life.  It’s a process.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  


The events that happen to us in life may teach us a lesson.  I believe that, even though it is hard to understand the “whys” sometimes but I also believe we were not meant to always understand it but to have faith (maybe it changed us in some way to benefit others?).  I don't really know.   I do know that when we end up dealing with our trials & tribulations we learn that they do not necessarily have to continue to define us but instead set the stage for voluntary change within us.       


Quitting smoking is the perfect cauldron for our brewing “stuff”.  Instead of feeling defeated or wallowing in your past I hope you push forward & focus ahead and begin to do the unraveling of it for yourself.  It is worth the angst to come out the other side of it.  It truly is.  You can do it!    


I wear a bracelet (alongside my FitBit lol) that says “Be the Change” to remind myself that ACTION & EXAMPLE is more important than blow hard talk & self pity.  I wish you all who need it in your Stay Quit process … eventual peace.  “Be the Change”.

The End of A Quit

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Oct 2, 2019


My quit is over for me.  I no longer have to decide to stay smoke free, or reconsider it each & every day (or month or year).  The choice to not smoke was made by me a long time ago, it’s been kept by me for a while now, and being smoke free is my normal way of living.  


Yes, I took smoking again off the table for me as an option from Day One/Won.  Yes, I acknowledge that I will always be physically addicted to nicotine.  Yes, I know I can’t have “even” just one or I will put myself at risk of a return to full-fledged smoking hell again.


So what?!  I chose to quit smoking.  So I did it.  I’m quit.  The only requirement in order to Stay Quit is that I don’t smoke.  As long as I don’t smoke my addiction to nicotine lies dormant.  I don’t crave one and if I get a smoking “memory” it passes easily enough for me now & life goes on smoke free.  


Smoking is never a solution to anything.  It never has been & never will be for anyone. Smoking just adds a new problem to everything.  There will come a time in your smoke free life when you’ll need to just stop quitting & let everything having to do with the old smoking you go.     


I’ve arrived.  I am at peace and so very grateful for my smoke free life.  When you get there yourself you will be able to take the trainers off & just get on with the living of the rest of your life smoke free.  This is when the “End Journey” becomes the “New Journey” you get to actually design & live smoke free for yourself.  


It’s doable for everyone regardless of their circumstances or obstacles.  It truly is and it’s worth every bit of angst it takes to “arrive”.  Believe in yourself so you can achieve it too. Best Wishes.



Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Sep 30, 2019

More thoughts to ponder.  On Motivation …   


"A healthy fear of the consequences of smoking is an important part of the motivation to stop.  But there is another necessary component which people often neglect.  By stopping smoking, I greatly diminish my chances of getting cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and emphysema.  But I also create other benefits, in which I can take a genuine pleasure which goes far beyond the mere absence of fear.  I can smell the air on a beautiful day in the country.  I can feel more relaxed and clean.  I have a freedom I haven't known in years.  No matter what happens with my health or life in the future, these are consequences of stopping smoking I can take real pleasure in today."


"You create your own motivation.  If I am having a bad day, or feeling poorly motivated, I do not have to passively accept the situation.  I can actively take steps to reinforce my motivation.  I can remember how I felt as a smoker, and how badly I wanted to stop.  I can look for physical and psychological benefits I have gotten from stopping smoking.  I can be more honest when I start to rationalize and justify smoking.  I can think about how I want my life to be, and how I don't want it to be.  I can find a friend to talk to.  A day may start out hard, but there is always something I can do to make it better."


"The best motivation is a selfish motivation.  I need to see reasons to stay off smoking that don't involve anyone else.  I am the only one who is always here.  If I stop smoking to please my children, what happens if I get furious at them?  If my motivation is to get along with my spouse who hates smoking, what will happen if we get divorced?  One of my most important goals is to look for selfish reasons to stay off smoking.  Reasons that will matter to me even if no one else ever knows or cares that I've stopped."


"A "victim" mind-set undermines motivation.  "I can't smoke" makes it impossible to evaluate the pros and cons of smoking versus not smoking.  Smoking simply becomes the forbidden fruit -- romantic, attractive, unattainable.  A more responsible attitude, such as, "I can smoke.  I'm stopping of my own free will, and I can change my mind if I want to.", makes real motivation possible.  If I acknowledge that I have choices, I am free to evaluate those choices.  It is only the conviction that I am free to smoke or not smoke that enables me to weigh these two options, and form an opinion about which is more important."


From "Out of the Ashes" by Peter & Peggy Holmes


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What motivates (ed) you to not smoke?


For me … health, dental & financial concerns were not major factors or motivators for me to quit smoking (although health & dental reasons should have been and nobody I know likes burning their $$$ up in smoke).  I didn't quit for anybody else either.  In fact, I had the attitude that it was a "just for me reward" vice.  The annual  "Smoke Out Day" became a joke in my circle.  No day designation by someone else was going to "make" me stop smoking. 


The reason I quit … was to get back my CONTROL over my own life once I educated myself, recognized, and admitted to myself that I was a nicotine addict.  It made me angry.  That was my motivation not to smoke.  I also changed what smoking meant to me.  My reasons for staying quit now are numerous and still keeps accruing each & every smoke free day.  I keep gratitude front & center in my smobriety.


Is YOUR reason(s) good ones and will they hold up until the end of your life?  If not … I encourage you to find ones that will hold up no matter how you may feel at a later time, what you may think or tell yourself, or whatever happens to you in life so that you are not at risk of relapse.   




Difficulty ...

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Sep 13, 2019

Perspective IS important.  Some thoughts to ponder.

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On Difficulty to Quit ...


"Life is difficult.  It is a series of problems to be solved.  Contentment and self-esteem are not ends in themselves -- they are the by-products of facing challenges honestly and courageously.  I can run from the difficulty of my cravings and conflicts, or I can embrace and experience them for a much more satisfying life.  Today I will embrace the difficulty of not smoking as a small price to pay for a very worthwhile end."


"Stopping smoking has positives and negatives.  The positives are the wonderful physical and psychological benefits that come from not smoking.  The negatives are the difficult moments -- lots of them early on, fewer as time goes by -- that are part of being an ex-smoker.  If I don't accept the negatives, I won't get the benefits.  If I'm not willing to pay the price, I don't get the payoff.  I will either have both the good and the bad, or I'll have neither because I'll be smoking.  For now, I choose to embrace not smoking -- both the difficult moments and the wonderful rewards.  I accept it all, good and bad alike."


"Smoking is much harder than not smoking.  As a smoker I was obsessed with stopping smoking.  I thought about it all the time.  Not a day went by when I didn't say to myself, "This is crazy.  I've got to stop doing this to myself."  When I first stopped smoking, I was totally preoccupied with smoking for the first week or so.  But the amount of time I focus on it has been declining steadily, and it is quickly becoming a very minor issue in my life.  I think about smoking less and less all the time, and much less than when I was still smoking."


"There is no free lunch.  Anything worth having requires effort.  And this is especially true of stopping smoking.  To successfully control my addiction I need to accept moments of craving and make decisions to forego instant gratification for the greater long-term satisfaction.  I need to spend time occasionally in conflict, thinking about what's important to me and what kind of life I want to have.  I need to work at honesty and keep stopping smoking a high priority.  If I don't bemoan the intrinsic difficulty of stopping smoking -- I can welcome it as a worthwhile task, freely chosen."

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From "Out of the Ashes" by Peter & Peggy Holmes.





Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Sep 11, 2019

Do your homework!!!   


This is your life and the quality of it we are talking about here.  The American Lung Association is the ONLY responsible agency that has had it right from Day One in that there is NO safe E-Cig or Vaping use no matter what any other entity tries to sell to the public.  Be smart!


The latest news from the CDC today is a warning:


A repost of mine from less than 2 months ago is even more important than it was then and is worth a repeat here.  



Aside from the fact that lungs only love fresh, clean air, why is it acceptable to YOU to exchange one addiction method for another?  You don’t learn anything from smoking.  You learn from not smoking.  Using E-Cigs/Vaping IS smoking IMO.  (Doesn’t it require inhaling a substance into the lungs whether it emits smoke or visible vapor?  Does it even matter if the substance is labeled nicotine free?  Do you trust it?  It’s harmful to your lungs!)  


Why would I sanction using these devices?  Follow the money.  Look at who is manufacturing them.  We humans were given a brain so we can learn something.  Big Tobacco & other “entities” took us for a ride before so do we really want to go down that same path again?  The teenagers in the world are depending on us to get it right.


Notice the manufacturers don’t provide a Plan for usage of lower, measured, doses for gradual reduction of E-Cigs/Vaping to eventually eliminate them (it's up to the individual).  Noteworthy also is the fact that they have only claimed it to be an alternative to smoking not a cessation method.


Cessation communities should only “bless” alternatives whose goal is to eliminate an addiction.  To cite it being a better alternative to “smoking” is nonsense.   Manufacturers want to keep you hooked on buying their merchandise and at a higher volume than when you first start using their products.  


Again, don’t be fooled.  Cessation communities now include information (& make $$$ from their premium services) on quitting E-Cigs/Vaping.  Nobody should be surprised about this result, especially the professionals who sanctioned their usage previously (& still do) as a better “healthy” alternative to smoking.  Let’s ask your lungs their preference (which would be NONE).  


Our lungs don’t care that E-Cigs/Vaping is being mistakenly deemed as such & such percentage better for us.  It’s still being addicted to nicotine (do you even trust the labeling of these products?  If you use them as a alternative to NRT be sure to plan on how to stop using them.).  Time will tell the truth regarding the damage from them just like with cigarettes.  Popcorn lung anyone?  Don’t be their lab rat.


The ALA (American Lung Association) has it right.  As a volunteer certified facilitator to teach their 8 week smoking cessation course we have to sign a contract that we will not smoke for its duration which includes E-Cigs/Vaping. Lungs don’t know the difference.  Don’t let your standards down when helping people quit here.  (I recently saw an Elder suggest E-Cigs to help someone quit smoking.)   


Quitting smoking can be scary & cause much anxiety but if you are going to quit then go full out & don’t settle for less than the full prize … total freedom from active nicotine addiction and other “stuff”.  You & your lungs are worth it!


(As always, take what you can use & leave the rest.  My thoughts, my opinions, my post.)




Dr. Seuss

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Sep 8, 2019

You say you really want to quit smoking (or substitute the word vaping for smoking here as applicable; the same addiction & habit rules really DO apply no matter what others may tell you).  


You say you don’t want to make excuses for smoking but you just couldn’t handle x, y, or z problems so you chose to smoke because it helped you cope in the past and felt familiar and so … ya … understandable maybe, but still excuses.


You don’t like it when people give you advice that you don’t want to hear, feel that “they” just don’t understand you or what you are going through, and that they may come off as being self-righteous & even mean.


Has doing it the same old way helped you get quit or stay quit?   If you have it all figured out & feel that you can still do it “your way” then what is the point in even asking for help or sharing it with the community?  Communication IS a two way street which involves taking turns speaking but the change & growth I have personally found is in the hearing & listening to someone else other than myself.  


Being frustrated or angry at yourself or even lashing out at others, although understandable, will not get or keep you quit.  Making excuses or doing the same ‘ole things over & over again when life events happen to you, will not get or keep you quit.


The definition of support does not mean someone agreeing with every BS thinking or action you have taken & want to continue to take when you say you want to get yourself quit or to stay quit.  


In order to make any changes to yourself & your life, which includes smoking, you really do need to change your behaviors (smoking IS a habit & a behavior as well as being addictive) and then keep them up so that they become your new normal.  If you want to quit smoking you do have to actually quit smoking.  If you want to learn how to go through life events without smoking you really do have to not smoke through them.    


The only way to achieve any changes in your life is to quit talking about the “want to” and to actually “just begin”.  Forget about the “trying” to and focus on the “doing” of it.  That’s how we learn to not smoke … by doing it no matter how we feel, what we think or tell ourselves, or what happens to us.  


Nobody can do it for you.  You have to do it for yourself.  But then you are the one who will benefit from having made the changes so it sounds fair to me.  Your choices.  Your life. Your rewards.  Your consequences.  All yours.  


We all have our own life circumstances but it really is what we choose to make out of those circumstances that really defines us & creates our own life.  To paraphrase an old saying, “ The same boiling water that softens the potato also hardens the egg.  It's about what we choose to make out of our circumstances, not necessarily the circumstances themselves."  


It’s doable for you too.  It is.  Just make better choices and then keep making them.  Best Wishes.


The Robot

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Sep 8, 2019

Do you sometimes feel like you are on auto-pilot when you smoke (you are!)?


Do you feel like you are a robot to the Master nicotine (you are!)?


Do you feel like this most of the day (you most likely are depending upon how much you smoke!)?


Do you like feeling this way (who does!)?


Do you want to change it (say yes!)?


Do you feel that you can’t change it (believe that you can!)?


As smokers we live on “auto-pilot” having to feed our nicotine addiction every 30 minutes or so.  Name one other thing in your life that absolutely required your personal attention that often each & every day (excluding kids of course lol).  It not only called to us during our waking hours but often woke us up so we could pay ritual homage to our “need” for it.  


Did you smoke after a dental procedure when it was recommended not to afterwards so you wouldn’t get dry socket or it wouldn’t hamper your healing? Why have a bone or gum graft surgery or get an implant if you’re going to risk its success by smoking?  But we did it anyway.  (Smokers are at high risk for dental problems as it restricts the blood vessels in our mouth.)


We don’t always have a choice in what happens to us in life, good or bad, but the good news is smoking is one of those choices we have total control over. We can choose to change it for ourselves by doing whatever it takes for us to break the active addiction hold on our lives and kick it to the curb.  Get rid of the robot.


Your attitude when you quit smoking is important.  How we choose to think about the process can make a difference in its outcome or at least in the hardship we endure to stay quit.  Instead of looking at what you are changing/losing look at what you are gaining & are free to improve upon in your new smoke free life.


I hope you choose self-esteem, empowerment & control rather than remaining an active addict and continuing to choose instant gratification & auto pilot smoking (& living).


Smoke free is a wonderful way to live!


REAL Reward

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Aug 30, 2019

I used to see smoking as a reward … as earned ME time.  The difference is I now see smoking as the addiction it really is and NOT in any way is it a reward.  It never was & it never will be for anyone.  Cigarette rewards are not REAL rewards.


I decided that I was worth better rewards than smoking.

I educated myself about nicotine addiction to change the way I saw smoking. It is a manufactured reward I needed to feed (over & over again) only because it is an addiction to nicotine.  No more, no less.


It was important for me to change what cigarettes meant to me in order to change ME & my perspective.  Education on nicotine addiction was my ticket to Freedom.  I latched onto anything & everything I could read about nicotine and addiction & Big Tobacco and found some amazing resources ( being one of them).


I no longer could close my eyes to what Big Tobacco put in cigarettes to make us inhale deeper when we smoked.

I no longer could close my eyes to what Big Tobacco put in cigarettes to soothe our throats with menthol so we wouldn’t cough up a lung.

I no longer could close my eyes to … etc. etc. etc.

No more closed eyes for me.


Educating myself opened my eyes & I could no longer toss away my denial thoughts of being an addict.  I realized what I had become and what Big Tobacco had done to not only me but millions upon millions of people all in the name of $$$ for themselves.


Get angry at Big Tobacco.

Get angry at your addiction.

Get angry at yourself for allowing it to happen.

AND then begin to do something about it.

Go after the REAL reward for yourself … SMOBRIETY.


Quitting is not always easy but it really is simple.  It was doable for me and it can be for you too.  Educate yourself to change what smoking means to you, and then take your power back from Big Tobacco.  


AND … Don’t trade one addiction for another either by using E-Cigs/Vaping. They are NOT smoking cessation devices (no matter what others may try to tell you & that you want to believe).  You really do need to quit smoking to quit smoking.  Your lungs only love fresh, clean air inhaled into them.  


Time to really reward yourself!



Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 Aug 6, 2019


Quit anniversaries have passed & been celebrated quite a few times now for me.  Many who celebrate their anniversaries after many years of smobriety state that they have even forgotten that they used to smoke.  If true, good for them.


I remember myself as a smoker.  Time has certainly changed things up and has changed ME but I still remember how it was to be entangled in active nicotine addiction.  I remember how I felt, how I thought, how I was daily paying homage to cigarettes and what it took to get myself free from it.  


Is it a curse to remember I used to smoke?  Maybe but maybe not.  I don’t think of it every day or every week or even every month but there are reminders or “flashbacks” of it still for me at times.  I may be doing something, may be somewhere, may be thinking about something or even just get a whiff of blooming flowers with the change of seasons that can bring back a memory of my past smoking behavior.  It’s not a craving.  It’s a memory.


I don’t want to erase my memories.  I occasionally get a memory of times in childhood … and I smile.  I even have some very specific memories of myself at a very very early age.  They are a part of me.


I don’t want to erase all my smoking memories.  When an occasion causes me to remember myself as someone who used to smoke … I also smile.  I use it to pause to remember & appreciate that I am smoke free now.  I see a smoking memory as a precious gift which reinforces my smoke free choice no matter how much time has passed.  It keeps my gratitude front & center.  These memories are also a part of me.  


Smoking was such a huge part of us so why wouldn’t it be a part of our memory DNA?  It’s realistic & perfectly normal to still get glimpses or memories of our smoking past sometimes even after being quit for some time. Our old smoking life includes both good & bad memories just like our childhood memories.  Our past is still a part of us.  To deny our memories is to deny a part of ourselves.


It’s OK to remember.  It’s a gift for many of us not a curse or even a predictor of a bad outcome.  It’s really okay.  You are normal.  Remember, kick the thought out (don’t romance it), and then just keep moving forward smoke free. Smile!  Keep enjoying your Freedom!