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Stop the Cravings

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 27, 2019


Two ingredients to a quit that are 100% guaranteed to eventually stop the cravings (or at least no longer have them rule over our life) and a potential third one is offered for your consideration.




Don’t smoke & eventually you will not crave to smoke or have incessant thoughts to do so.   Keep smoking and you’ll continue to have cravings every 30 mins or so.  Simple (I didn’t say easy).


#2 TIME.


Every single one of us starts at Day One and goes through whatever it takes to keep moving forward smoke free.  It’s not harder for you than it was for most of us.  You are NOT unique in that way.  Neither were we special “snowflakes”.  Choose it for yourself & then give yourself the time to find the peace & gratefulness in it.  That time varies for each of us.  




I’m adding a third to this “simple” formula because I’m seeing more & more people abusing their chosen NRT aid & wondering why they are craving.  Overuse of self-administered nicotine products will cause more cravings (ie mist spray, gum, lozenges). Think.  It’s no different from when we smoked.  We would have one which then would cause us to want another one 20 or 30 mins later.  


Self-administering individual doses of nicotine in another form (NRT) whenever we want one does the same.  It may tamp down your “need” but only because you “fed” your addiction.  You then want another “hit” later.  Understandable.  


Be sure to use NRT self-administered doses of nicotine appropriately as directed and then follow a planned reduction schedule to eventually get yourself off them.  Total freedom from nicotine should be your goal.  Don’t sell yourself short of this goal.


DON”T SMOKE (#1), give yourself the gift of smoke free TIME (#2), and if used, STOP THE NRT (#3) eventually to reach THE Ultimate Freedom from active nicotine addiction.  It’s a

truly wonderful place to be!



Memorial Day

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 26, 2019

     From a former service member to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country … Thank you.  You will never be forgotten.  R.I.P.


Corridor Signs

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 20, 2019



Visualization was one of the tools in my “Tool Box” that I used in my early quit days to make the right choice when the Nic O. Demon was incessantly messing with my brain.  It’s important not to let smoking thoughts roll around in your head for long (to quickly kick them out each & every time).  


I eventually learned to swiftly dismiss these thoughts without spending a lot of time thinking about them with a simple hand gesture upward & to the right (although probably not what you may be thinking! lol).  It involved using corridor signs.  I’m sharing it in the hope that it may help someone.   


I pictured myself literally walking down the corridor of a Multi-Use Medical Center.  When I stopped at one corridor that splits off into different hallways to the left & right as possibilities instead of just straight ahead I automatically looked up at the signage hanging above to see which direction I needed to keep walking in to reach the destination I wanted in my life.


I saw these corridors as CHOICES I could make in my Stay Quit AND future life.  The Radiology Department to get a CT Scan/MRI/X-rays to get the status for a suspected or ongoing medical condition was STRAIGHT AHEAD as was the Pulmonary/Respiratory Department for a follow-up appointment for asthma/COPD & other breathing issues.  If nothing changed I knew I would continue to be headed straight ahead in this direction.  


The corridor to the LEFT would take me to the Lab for diagnostic tests.  The Physical Therapy/Rehab Depts for ongoing therapy was further down this same path.  It also led to the Business Office where I could pay in person for ongoing, extensive medical care bills to keep my account up to date since incurred expenses seemed to be gaining momentum.  


I could also choose to take an immediate RIGHT to head to my Primary Care Physician’s office for a routine well adult visit.  A RIGHT turn would give me hope for continued healing & recovery.  A RIGHT turn embraced everything right & beneficial about staying quit. I chose to take a RIGHT turn because I knew that no matter how long we smoked that it was never too late to stay quit to accrue some benefit(s) from it.  


All corridors were possibilities or choices I could make for myself.  The different choices led to different consequences and different outcomes in my life.  A simple hand gesture upward & to the right kept me on track without thinking about smoking for any length of time.  It can for you too.  Don’t be afraid to change the direction YOU are heading in to impact & make a better ending for yourself.   


Which corridor will YOU choose to take?  Choose wisely.


It’s never too late to quit smoking or to choose to stay quit no matter your age, how long you smoked, or your current medical conditions without receiving some benefit(s) from it.  Health declines for most people with age some of which we cannot control but we all know there is a huge difference because of a person’s smoking status (or you’ve been living under a rock!) and this IS something we have total control over.  


How many of us told ourselves or heard the “old” saying when we smoked, “Well, we all have to die of something.  At least I’ll do it my way & die happy.” Raising my hand.  The difference is it’s no longer true for me ... or funny either.  It’s just a stupid cliche.  Of course it matters.  


You absolutely can influence (even halt) the progression of some medical condition(s) if you don’t smoke (think COPD).  You may not even acquire some conditions (heavy smoking is one of the causes of DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis) and you may even be able to eliminate some (like high blood pressure).  Keep smoking and its the same ‘ole same progression downward with time.  “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”  Another well known cliche but so very true.  


As different as your life may be as a smoker from a non-smoker now there may be a HUGE difference at the end of your life if you remain a smoker.  You may become dependent upon the environments you find yourself in (hospital, assisted care, even your home) and the people who support you.  Will they be willing to get & give you your drug of choice (cigs/nicotine).  You may be dependent upon when, where & how much time you are even given to smoke.  


Do you think it will be pleasant to be actively addicted if you have no control over what it takes to be able to smoke?  Do you think it will be easy going through nicotine withdrawal every 30 mins or so of your every waking moments if you can’t smoke while dealing with the other changes you are going through physically, emotionally, and mentally?  


Wouldn’t it be much easier transitioning through your life changes if you had the old “ball and chain” of addiction off your back?  Think about it.  We will all be quit in the end.  Wouldn’t you rather pick the how & when and circumstances of your own quit rather than live the "it is what it is" in this situation?  


Choose to quit NOW to get that “monkey off your back”.  Choose to stay quit to continue to accrue more benefits from not smoking.  Give yourself a chance to make a better ending for yourself.  It's never too late!


Should I Tell

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 12, 2019


Should I tell someone if their way of thinking … of quitting … is detrimental to their quit?  Or should I just let them learn (hopefully) & watch them try to do it their own way, sometimes over & over again?


I believe each persons’ quit is … well, theirs.  I also believe in sharing my journey in the hopes that it may help someone in theirs just a “smidgen”.  I don’t believe in telling someone what they should or must do but I will offer my thoughts, resources, experience & insight in the hope that it may help them.


Quitting smoking for most is life changing.  How could it not be since it was a huge part of our life for many years?  All that time & money spent smoking too.  A waste surely but it also got me to where I am today as … ME.  I honestly would not have analyzed myself to the same degree that I have done after I quit smoking so in that respect it was beneficial for me.


Sure, I have regrets that I smoked & have consequences from choosing to do so but I’ve forgiven myself and left my regrets behind me.  I don’t wallow in the past.  A well known motto I’ve embraced for myself is, “It is what it is.”  


We are all accountable for our past choices but it is not necessary to live in regret or stay in guilt for what we did to ourselves & others as an active nicotine addict.  I encourage you to leave all that behind you & keep it where it belongs … in your past.    


No matter where we are in life we can make a difference to someone.  I recently heard this from a very wise terminally ill person who chooses to live each day in pure JOY (paraphrasing),  “One day we will all die, but in all those other days we will not, so make each & every one of those other days count.”  “Do not simply exist.  Choose to INHALE & thrive AND share.”  (***)  


You can make a difference for someone willing to listen & learn so, YES, you should tell them your thoughts if you feel it may help them.  Use your example, experience, trials & tribulations you have had & still do now, and let others know about them, so they can perhaps make better choices & endings for themselves.  


Choose to Tell.


(*** This paragraph is dedicated to the “Other Days” of those on this site who wrote they felt forgotten on Mother’s Day.  You DO matter & will always make a difference to someone.  Personally, I try to always count my blessings before my trials & tribulations because it helps me keep gratitude front & center in my life.  Hugs.)


I know you can pinpoint WHEN you started smoking but have you taken the time to analyze & understand WHY you started smoking?  Is there anything that could get you to not only think about smoking again but to actually do it? Have you answered these questions & others in your Stay Quit?


I believe its important to address not only the WHY in retrospect but to really explore the WHAT IF’s in your future.  It can be helpful, enlightening, and even essential for us in our healing & recovery to try to foresee any pitfalls we may encounter in our quest for a lifetime of smobriety.


Its true that if we still want one we may still be at risk of smoking one but what made us want one in the first place?  It wasn’t the physical addiction since we were “virgins”.  Is the reason now no longer an issue for us or could it become one again if our life circumstances change (or if we haven’t changed ourselves)?  


Have you thoroughly educated yourself about nicotine addiction so you are on solid ground for the rest of your life?  Do you still think you enjoyed smoking or have you worked hard to change that falsehood within yourself?  If you relapsed previously & went back to smoking have you addressed the reason for it so you don’t repeat it?  


Is there anything that may happen to you or a loved one in the future that would threaten your smobriety?  Would you ever reach a point where you just didn’t care about staying smoke free any more (or about anything for that matter)?  Is it important to you to have a smoke free ending to your life?  I encourage you to seriously think about any possible risk situations for yourself.     


I thought out different scenarios for myself.  I had already taken smoking as an option off the table from Day One but I had one weakness/loop hole which I had to “plug”.  I worked hard to successfully eliminate it or, should I say to be more accurate, to address it and then put up my warning guard rails around it.


The Personal Relapse Insurance Policy I chose to put in place remains important to my lifetime sobriety.  I feel confident that I will no longer smoke but if I need it I have it up & “running” at all times.  The mental warning system I chose will loudly shout out to me if I ever cross the line I have set for myself in my thinking (which is where any relapse begins).


Do you have a Personal Relapse Insurance Policy?  I hope you consider getting one in place that will work for you to keep your Stay Quit safe(r).


(Celebrating 2500 Days Quit today!  You can do it too!)


I'm Quit

Posted by Ladybug--7-3-12 May 4, 2019


I see many people say that they are quitting smoking when they have actually already quit.


NO you are not still quitting smoking when you haven’t smoked for an hour, a day, a week, a month, or whenever. You ARE quit (THE EVENT).  Now you are working on your Stay Quit (THE ONGOING PROCESS).  


As hard as the launch or get quit was, it’s done, and the real steadfast work has begun in the Stay Quit phase.  Give yourself credit for being quit already even if it has “just” been an hour because you are building on that smoke free time.  Smoking is no longer an option.


It may seem like a simple point (or even ridiculous to some) but your self-talk is so very important.  Instead of telling yourself & others when asked, “I’m quitting smoking” say “I HAVE QUIT SMOKING!”.  There is a difference.  You have already done it.  You never have to quit again if you don’t smoke again. Pat yourself on the back … and then move on in your Stay Quit and focus ahead on your smoke free life.


Congrats for making a great choice!  You ARE quit!  Repeat.  You ARE quit! Stay that way!