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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!



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


An on-line community is just like IRL in many ways.  Not everybody on it will be everyone’s “cup of tea”.  Advice given may not be seen as great or even good for the individual it’s directed at (and it does seem that way sometimes even to others reading it).


Words matter.  Specific words used have different meanings & connotations and of course are then interpreted by those reading it.  Your interpretations are based on your own personal experiences, perspectives, and even mood that day.  (I try giving the persons “intent” the benefit of the doubt.)


Some people also just have different opinions entirely on how best to go about doing something or dealing with issues than you and this is no exception when quitting smoking.  There are some that are so dug in as to how they did it themselves that they have extreme tunnel vision and don’t see alternatives to their way.  They are not open to modify their advice to an individual person’s situation they are trying to “help”.  To them their advice is always clear, black & white, and right.  


There are a few things I don’t tolerate in 3D and most certainly have less tolerance for them on-line.  Disrespect and passive aggressiveness are some of my irritants as are helplessness, negativity & defeatist attitudes if ongoing.      

But that being said, here’s the thing.  An on-line community is just like a buffet.  You don’t have to like everyone.  You don’t have to listen to or follow the advice of everyone.  You have choices.


You can just skip that dish on the buffet table offering & move on to the next dish that has something more to offer you to your own taste.  Remember why you are here ... to get quit, to stay quit, or to help others do the same. Anything else is optional and can be freely discarded.     


Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the variety of people buffets.  I have found listening to others ideas & suggestions on a topic/issue can be very valuable. People think differently than you, value things differently, say things differently, mean things differently, and come up with things you never even thought about much less seriously considered as an option.  We can learn from each other if we keep an open mind.  


I encourage you not to quickly discard advice you don’t like because it may just be the key you need to unlock your successful quit/stay quit.  Listening to others POV or experience may be important.  Be slow to eliminate them from your plate because that’s how we all grow out of our own opinions & perceptions AND it can be not only a good thing but just the thing you need to hear to help you out.  


Trying something new might work out for you better than doing your same ‘ole things over & over again.  This is especially true in a quit.


Bon Appe’tit!


Have you stopped “smoking”?


When you take a “hit” or "puff" off a marijuana “cigarette” are you smoking?


When you Vape or inhale on a E-Cig “cigarette” are you smoking?


Here’s the thing. It really doesn’t matter what you call it … smoking or vaping or inhaling or taking a “hit” or a "puff" … your lungs only need & function best when taking in fresh, clean air into them. If you choose to smoke/inhale/vape/puff on any substances, I hope they do not include any addictive substances like nicotine in their mix. I am & will always be totally on the side of our lungs which does not like or need any of that “stuff”.


Living in a state where marijuana is completely legal for recreational use (plus of course for medicinal purposes & growing plants) I will say that there are other ways to use it if this is your choice besides smoking it. I hope you choose the alternatives to bypass your lungs. Your lungs will thank you. The oils, topicals, edibles DO have a beneficial purpose IMO (although I personally have not medicinally used them … yet lol.)


If you choose to Vape or use an E-Cig (with or without nicotine) is the reason because you just don’t want to quit smoking or believe that you can? In order to quit smoking you really DO have to quit smoking. I hope you don't exchange one addiction for another. Believe in yourself. It’s doable. Don’t settle for less than total freedom from all the “stuff”.


I’m still in healing & recovery mode. I owe it to my myself & my lungs to continue to reap ALL the benefits from my quit. I hope you choose to do so too. Best Wishes.