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Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13 Blog

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I had a moment to check my email, only to discover this site is now under a very confused group that seems to "think?" a site for addicts should carry the same expectations as a Tea Party where everyone puts on their brightest and best manners along with their Sunday outfits!
 
Addiction and breaking an addiction is never nice! In order to beat addiction you have to be honest and real with your feelings. Just the thought of quitting is stressful. Then there's withdrawal! Trying to watch every word and emotion during that time is impossible! It's like putting lipstick on a pig and expecting it to behave at the Royal Palace. It sounds nice --- but it's not realistic. 
The truth is, breaking the addition is hard! It's emotional, it's down right ugly and nasty at times!! As with any addiction, withdrawal is not a sweet, pleasant thing to behold. It's a journey of highs and lows. It's fraught with anger, fear, pain, snot-nose tears, depression, mourning  ---- Simply UGLY! Sometimes you need to scream, sometimes you need to cry, at times you just need an encouraging word --- but through it all, you need the wonderful teachers and mentors to educate you, pull you along by the hair if necessary or give you a swift kick if they see you giving up
 
July 29th will be my 4th nicotine free anniversary. Do you know why?
Because I had the best teachers, mentors and co-quitters to help me break the addiction. There were so many people on this site that helped me get to this 4 year mark. I've tried to make sure to let each of them know how much I appreciate them. At this time, in honor of his negative points for giving honest and real teachings and comments, I'm only going to bring up one of my great teachers and mentors -  jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007  jonescarp  I doubt I would be celebrating my 4th year quit if it weren't for this amazing and honest teacher/coach/mentor! He and the other Elders have helped so many of us reach the sweet point of quit where we can look back on the addiction and smile with pride that we have moved past it! That was prior to "Moderating the Moderator."
My question to mark Mark is simple. Do you want this site to be geared toward helping addicts break the habit or do you prefer a sweet little site for people that are already past the ugly addiction stage? I honestly believe, and from what I'm reading I am far from the only person that feels this way, this site is no longer for addicts looking to break the nicotine addiction. Advertising it as such is unfair to those looking for a serious quit site and you may be causing more harm than help. 
 
LOL --- And the even bigger question of the day --- Will this post make it to the board and how many ZINGS will I get if it does? 
With great love and thankfulness to my honest, tell it like it is, mentors out there!
Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13
PS-- It's another, not so sweet time of life. We are traveling to say our final goodbyes to my mother-in-law. Chances of me being back on to celebrate my anniversary are slim. Please celebrate for me this year. 
Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13

A Look Back

Posted by Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13 Mar 29, 2017
I had an important revelation this morning and felt the need to post. So here goes:
I am a stroke survivor. My stroke, at 50, was not related to smoking, however, like most near death experiences, it made me take a step back and re-evaluate what is really important in life. I learned to stop and smell the roses. To look at our beautiful and amazing world with new eyes. For a while, my front porch was my only real outlet to to the outside world.
I loved sitting on my front porch. It wasn't much. Just a concrete slab with a couple of chairs on it. Regardless, it allowed me the opportunity to sit outside and watch the birds and butterflies. See the flowers bloom and watch the ever changing shape of the clouds. I enjoyed meeting all the neighbors and their pets as they took their daily walks. The dogs seemed to realize I needed a friend and would often yank their leash to come to me. I made many friends out there and it became a habit for the dogs and their humans to come visit me. I even drew the curiosity of a hawk. I've never been sure, as I was honestly to frightened to move, if he was friendly or simply sizing me up for a possible meal Anyway, he spent a couple of months getting closer and closer to me. It became quite normal for him to land a couple of feet away and eat grubs. One day he even flew in with a huge snake (YIKES) to munch on. Maybe he was trying to share his feast with me. Who knows? I didn't stick around to find out!
Anyway, as you can tell, my porch was very important to me. It was my life line. it was my Oasis. 
Unfortunately, my porch was also my smoking area. So with a sad heart, I gave up my porch when I made the decision to stop smoking. I knew the importance of giving up that smoking trigger. But "knowing" the importance didn't make it any easier. I would look out the window at my beloved porch and mourn. I watched as the dogs and people would look for me and it surprised me at how many of these strangers ended up coming to the door just to check and make sure I was all right. I tried to return to my porch a couple of months after my quit...no luck, the trigger was immediate! I continued trying week after week. Then the weeks turned to months. Even after 6 months, sitting on my porch would trigger strong smoke urges. At one point, I wrote a blog on EX that stated, "It has caused me great sadness and at one point, not long ago, I decided that I wanted to sit outside and watch nature more than I wanted to be a non-smoker.Of course --- my EX friends and Elders jumped in to rescue me from temptation and I managed to continued on the non-smoking path rather than make my return as the a porch dweller that I so longed to be.
Looking back, I honestly can't remember when all that changed. I know it took a while (FOREVER in my world) and it happened so slowly that I didn't realize it was happening.  BOOM! One day it hit me! Not only was I was out there, I had been going out there for a while without a thought of smoking! I was no longer experiencing the smoking urges. The realization brought me great joy and pride that I had over-come what I thought was insurmountable. 
My message to you -- We all have triggers. The important thing is to recognize our triggers and walk away from them, no matter how hard, until it's safe.  Just as it happened with me, one day you too will wake up and realize you have made it through. You stuck to your commitment and you conquered the urge. You will realize that you are safe to have that cup of coffee that you once associated with a cigarette. You will be able to ride in the car without having a smoking urge. You will be able to sit though an entire movie without taking a smoke break or spend uninterrupted hours playing with your children. If you're struggling, just know that one day it will pass. Stick to it!
As far as my concrete slab oasis and the joy it brought me. Oh man! Like me, it's come a long way baby and my joy has not waned! What was once a concrete slab with a couple of chairs on it ---- is now a beautiful screened haven. It has a nice sitting area (WHITE with no ash smears or smell:) lots of plants (the vertical planter will have herbs in them by the end of the week) and ceiling fans to keep me cool in the Florida heat. I'm protected from the mosquito's and the wild cats that once marked my open oasis. I no longer have the nasty smell of nicotine embedded in my lovely cushions. Today, I think of myself as the porch. I started out a little pitiful but I stuck to my commitment, conquered the demon....and blossomed.  

Wow - I was surprised when an email popped up regarding Mags (@ Magstoyou) 2 year quit. Since I know she is closing in on 4 years, it threw me. Oh course I had to investigate and quickly realized the new system updates allow you to see post that you have commented on in the past. I LOVE this feature as well as several others I see, like being able to tag and mention people. 

 

First --- I love you Mags! You were/are my leader and I never doubted that as long as I followed behind you and stayed in your footsteps that I would succeed. You are very special to me and my quit! I am so proud of you, and the other Elders, that have stayed on the site as mentors.

 

Personally,  the comment posted by #batmom resonated with me. Once the everyday urge left .... I was happy and didn't want to continue thinking about it. For me and many others, staying active on the site keeps "SMOKING" at the forefront of the brain. It hinders us more than it helps us  

I sometimes equate leaving the EX site to growing up and leaving home.  I will always love my EX family, appreciate everything they did for me, and I miss them enough that I want to come back and visit from time to time. I just can't do it on a daily or regular basis.

 

I think that makes me appreciate, even more, the strength and sacrifice of the Elders. That includes the Elders that were paramount to my own personal quit (I hope I have let you know just how special you are to me) and those that came after me and stuck around.  

I'm not going to try to name everyone, but we ALL know who they are! They are the bedrock of EX. They give their free time, without pay, to mentor the thousands of people that come here for help. They do this tirelessly, through sickness and strife, because they are beautiful and unique souls. They are our teachers, our support system. They stuck so they could be there to teach, give pep talks, helpful hints, pick us up when we are down --- and sometimes give a swift lecture if that is what we need to kick our brains in gear and keep us from doing something stupid.  

 

To all the Elders out there, Thank You! Thank you for all you did to help me and all you do to help others. ♥

Marilyn (marmac) 3 Years, 7 Months, 3 Weeks - Money Saved $14,019.67

Description

 

I found out the hard way that life is fleeting. Now, I enjoy and appreciate every moment of my 2nd life. I have a zest for life, a love for self as well as others, and take great pleasure in the little things that I use to take for granted. The stroke took some things from me...but it also made me realize that I am a strong and determined woman that is blessed with loving family and friends. Life is Good!

                                                   I've endured this discomfort before

and survived it,

and so I can survive it today.

I've felt these feelings before and sat with them,

and so I can sit with them today.

I've felt like giving in before and held onto hope,

and so I can continue to hold on today.

I made it through yesterday, and so,

I can also make it through today.

I can do it.

I will do it.

I am doing it.

I am strong and I am capable. I will not give up.

 

 


Brief Description

image



Website

No website in profile.


Location

jacksonville, fl


Interests

http://media.wix.com/ugd/74fa87_2010cc5496521431188f905b7234a829.pdf


Skills

http://www.whyquit.com/whyquit/linksaaddiction.html - nicotine addiction 101


Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13

Day 1269

Posted by Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13 Jan 20, 2017

Hello all. Hope all are well and maintaining their quit. 3 year, 5 months, 2 weeks and 6 days later, I'm still going strong--smoking wise that is. Unfortunately, my health and the health of my loved ones not so much. My life has been doctors, test, doctors, test-- No fun in between the last few months. 

Just realized how different this blog is from my norm. Sorry that I sound like a downer itstead of upbeat, I'm just going through a lot at the moment. But -- Give me a minute and I'll take a deep breath and remember ---- Today is a beautiful day and should be lived with hope, joy and love.

Just wanted to let everyone know I'm still on the train. 

Marilyn

Wishing each of you a happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with family, friends, love and turkey.  Now for a little turkey advice.

Do This:

Image result for turkey smoking

 

Not This:

Image result for turkey smoking

 

Even if you have to do this:

Image result for turkey smoking

 

But always remember:

Image result for turkey smoking

 

So call out for help when you need it. 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, 

Marilyn

Smoke Free 3 Years, 3 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days...and counting 

Hey, just noticed--- Tomorrow will be all 3's 

We were blessed in Jacksonville, FL., at least at our house. Others closer to the beaches didn't fare as well. However, it wasn't the Cat 4 direct hit that could have happened so I still consider it a blessing. 

 

GA and SC friends PLEASE check in when you are able. You are in my prayers. 

 

Marilyn

I was out of town for her big "3" on 8/5/16 but now that I'm back, I want to take a minute to celebrate and honor this wonderful woman that does so much for everyone. 

  Early in our quit, she became my Sista from another Mista. She has walked beside me at times, behind me PUSHING me at times ~ but most the time ~ she has been far ahead and dragging me along for the ride. I didn't know her before my quit but she quickly became a very important part of it. I now know that "Quitting" wouldn't have been near as much fun without her in my life. The honor of meeting her in person made me realize that she is everything (and more) in real life that she portrays online. What can I say ~ I love this kind soul and all she brings to the world. 
   
  When I think of Sharon, I think of strength. I think of kindness and spirituality. I think of her fun and spunk and   the laughter she   brings to all of us. And I think of her dedication to others. 
   Long ago, prior to our 1 year  quit celebration, we had a discussion about Elders and what it means to be an Elder. We talked about our favorite Elders and the time and dedication they put into this site. We discussed how they worked so tirelessly, without pay mind you, to help others quit and stay quit. We were told that "technically" you become an Elder at 1 year. I'm not sure I prescribe to that! You see, at the 1 year mark I went back to home life and spent less and less time on Ex. Sharon,  on the other hand,  gave even more of her time to the group. Despite everything else going on in her life; she became a teacher, a mentor, and inspiration. She became a true "Elder" and I think that's an  honorary  title that only the most dedicated of the site should wear. I may have more "quit" time under my belt but I don't consider myself an Elder. I'm not here to help and inspire our new people. I'm not here to send the congratulations that are so well deserved. I'm simply a person that quit and drops in every now and then to say hello. To my sista Sharon and all the true Elders --- I send my thanks and my admiration.  
   
   Fly high little sista!
   image
   I love you bunches,
   Marilyn
   happy anniversary - Google Search
   congratulations image - Google Search:
   
   image
   image

Wow! It seems like just yesterday that I started this journey. I will never forget those first couple of months at war. It was hard. I would even list it among the top 25 hardiest things I've ever did in my life. Many times I thought of giving in but I didn't! I made the choice to persevere! I listened to the elders and took it minute by minute, day by day, and as they promised, I eventually stopped thinking about it on a regular basis. Now ~ weeks go by without a thought to smoking. Even at the 3 year mark, I still have days the nicodemon jumps out of the shadows to tempt me. You see, I enjoyed smoking. No, I mean that I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed smoking! Reality tells me that like a heroin addict, I enjoyed it at all cost. I was an addict! PERIOD! Reality also tells me that if I picked a cigarette up today, 3 years later, and tried it--the addiction would kick right back in and I would want more. Sad but true. For me, and for most, there is no such thing as "just one puff!"

   
   Staying smoke free is a strong * conscience*  decision! It takes will power. It's a decision that only YOU can control the outcome of. Y ou will find many excuses along the way as to why you could/do pick up a cigarette.   There will always be trials, tribulation and stresses along this amazing journey called life. But there is nothing more beautiful than the journey and I don't want it to end any sooner than it has to. Neither do I want to waste a single minute of life because I'm busy thinking of a cigarette. And you know we do! We start living our life around when and where we can have our next one!! We avoid going places and doing things if we can't smoke. Sometimes, especially if we are with a non-smoker, we avoid a kiss. We avoid the touch of a loved one or holding a sweet child! We avoid going on a date or a vacation if smoking isn't an option. Life is too short for that my friend!
   
   This I promise -- despite the many references to "SLIPPING" --- I promise you that you will NEVER  accidentally SLIP and have a lite cigarette pop into your mouth and start smoking itself!! NEVER will that happen! It's IMPOSSIBLE so come to terms with the fact that Y OU and only YOU will decide to smoke. If you do--it WILL be a conscious decision! There will be multiple steps that you will have to think about and complete in order to smoke a cigarette. At any time during that process you have the option to just say NO! It's that simple. Think about this:
   1. You have to get a cigarette. Regardless if you have to borrow one or buy a pack--you have to think about it and ask for it. 
   2. Open pack and take out a cigarette. 
   3. Light the cigarette.
   4. Put it to your mouth
   5. Inhale
   6. Exhale
   Repeat Action--Repeat Action--Repeat Action-- Repeat Action--Repeat Action--Repeat Action (Get the drift???) YOU have to think about these actions. They WILL NOT just happen without YOUR consent!!! 
   
   Now - Why quit? Well of course -- for your health and for the health of those around you. But after a while, you will discover other benefits that you didn't think about. Notice that I listed my dollars saved with my 3 year mark. That's because money has been a huge motivator for me. For those that have read my blogs, you know how much I am enjoying going on vacations and seeing all the places that I simply couldn't afford to do--until I started using that smoking money as vacation money. And have I told you about my children and grandchildren? No, got a couple of years? ;) Do you know how nice it is to hold and kiss those sweet kids without their allergies kicking in or me causing them to stink? Do you know how wonderful it is to spend time just with them rather than having to walk outside for a cigarette every 45 min to an hour? Do you know how nice it is to only need to shower once a day  and have a fresh mouth so I can kiss my non-smoker husband whenever the moment strikes. Do you know how nice it is to climb into sheets that don't smell of stale cigarette smoke every night and to put on clothes that don't stink of it? That stale smell embedded into my skin and clothes was something I didn't notice when I smoked. Boy, I can smell it when I'm around a smoker now!! So many really great things happen when you quit smoking. Just do it! Just QUIT!
   
   I was blessed to have some amazing elders that helped me through with their words of encouragement and wisdom. I was also blessed to have a group of amazing peers that walked with me through this journey. Some of those peers didn't survive the battle with nicotine and fell by the wayside :( I pray those that fell during the battle were able to pick themselves up and try again. To each of you that helped me on the battlefield ---  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!
   
  Marilyn

Easy reading slideshow dedicated to my Sista Sharon but important to all of you.  

http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/ss/slideshow-lung-cancer-overview?ecd=socpd_fb_1822_ss_cm146

UNTIL -- drum roll please -- my 3 year anniversary as a non-smoker!

Man, the time has flown by! I'm still celebrating every day of my freedom like it was 2013 and I was a newby with only 2 Weeks and 2 Days under my belt. 

Wishing each of you a happy quit. Make sure you celebrate yourself  today and every day for a job well done! 

Never forget---One moment at a time. One day at a time. It soon adds up to many days and those days turn to weeks--and then years.  Never doubt the power you have over your life and your ability to master the war with nicotine.  Go forth and make it a postive journey. 

Marilyn

7/31/13

   On Independence Day or  Fourth of  July, whichever you prefer, we Americans celebrate our freedom as a nation.  I am thankful for the opportunities this great land provides. I'm thankful for all the men and women that have served in our military--- and I'm proud to call myself an  American! I'm not so fond of our  politicians, but I'm thankful that as an American, I CAN make that public statement!
   
   Do you know what else I'm proud of? I'm proud that regardless of our citizenship --- EACH of us can celebrate and declare this as our Independence Day from nicotine. EACH of us can celebrate our FREEDOM! 
   
   July is an extra special month for me. It's the month I found my freedom from nicotine. So as I celebrate my great country, I will also be celebrating my Independence  from cigarettes and looking toward the end of the month when I can celebrate my 3rd year as a non-smoker. 
   
   Happy Independence Day to each of you!  Have fun, stay safe, and stay nicotine free!
   Marilyn
   Quit Date 7/31/13 --- 2 Years, 11 Months --- 1066 Days 
   
   image
   

Very few will tell you quitting is easy. Even fewer will tell you staying quit is easy.

What does it take to beat the nicotine habit?  It takes a lot of want, a lot of willpower and a lot of self-discipline. It takes accepting responsibility for your actions and understanding that YOU and only YOU decide the outcome! Now add a healthy belief in yourself, a dash of humor, a positive attitude and a stubborn streak a mile long! Those qualities make a combination for success. 

Sounds pretty easy---right???  NO! For most of us, it's not easy. But I'm proof that YOU can succeed! I didn’t start my quit as a lasting quit. I was going to quit for “maybe” a month. Just long enough to get the doctor, my husband and my family off my back. I had every intention of saying “I TRIED” and restarting at the end of the month. I had thought up a long list of excuses to give when I started back.

What happened? I found this site and started reading the blogs. The more I read, especially the Elders blogs, the more excuses I found to stop for MYSELF. And along the way---my mindset changed from making this a temporary quit to making it a FOREVER quit!  Myself is a powerful word when it comes to success! You have to quit for YOU! Quitting for someone that you love is a beautiful thing but you need to want this for you even more. You need it to become about you as well as your loved ones. When you do, the attitude tends to change from making a sacrifice to setting a personal goal that you want to win! Personally, I decided I wanted to go for the gold and declare victory!

How did I get to where I am? I started reading all the informational material the site provided. I started paying attention to recommendations for success from those that had managed to succeed where others failed. I set my goals and timelines out on paper. I treated my quit as an important goal in life. I educated myself and read every page of information that was provided. I worked and studied just as hard to meet my quit goal as I did other important goals in my life. I decided to make my quit a positive and adjusted my attitude to match. I discovered that some of those crazy sounding tips, like sticking your head in the freezer, actually DO work! I admit, I thought someone was smoking a little more than cigarettes when they came up with a few of the suggestions. Imagine my surprise when, out of desperation, I decided to give them a try and found the methods were point on ;) I also wrote out my personal reasons for quitting and what I personally found the most rewarding. For me, it was all about the money, honey! Knowing that, I started my quit out by depositing every penny, that I would have spent on cigarettes, in a jar so I could see and count the $$$ when my resolve was low. After a while, I would dig into the jar and reward myself with a little treat, like a pedicure. After I became more secure in my quit, I didn’t feel the need for the instant reward for a job well done. That’s when I started thinking LONG TERM gratification! My money saved jar became my vacation jar and I’ve had the joy of going places and doing things that I just didn’t have money for when I was sending my dollars up in smoke. See my blogs for some of my fun adventures! The lasting memories and joy of travel have kept my quit going strong.  So how much have I saved for vacations during my 1000 days as a former pack a day smoker?  ***** $10,501.47*****

At this point, I would like to add that every person is different and every quit is different. It is your responsibility to read through all the information and decide what feels right and works for YOU! The goal is to build a strong, positive foundation for your personal quit. One that makes you want to succeed. One that makes you feel a sense of gratification when you meet your goal. And yes, I think finding a way to reward yourself is important. If you read a blog that offends you or doesn’t feel right, move along to the next! As one wise elder puts it, “Keep what you need and leave the rest!” You will find those words have become a mantra for the rest of us. Never let another person’s views or bitchiness change what you feel is right. Including mine. Although my opinions are always right! Just ask my husband ;-/

** From Marilyn’s dictionary of Bitchiness:  adjective bitchiness (informal) malicious; snide: a bitchy put-down. A naturally occurring behavior or characteristic during the cycle of breaking a nicotine addiction.  

 

Never Give Up. Never Give In. Keep it Positive and Go for the Win.

Marilyn

 

Additional Lesson: Willpower, also known as self-discipline, self-control, or determination, is your ability to control your behavior, emotions, and attention. Willpower involves the ability to resist impulses and put off immediate gratification in order to reach goals, the ability to override unwanted thoughts, feelings, or impulses, and the ability to self-regulate. The level of one’s willpower can determine one’s ability to save for financial stability, make positive physical and mental health choices, and avoid substance use or abuse. You can move towards your goals and build willpower by continuously trying to forego immediate gratification for delayed gratification. This practice will build your ability to control your own impulses, much like exercise builds muscle overtime.

Hello friends. My how time has flown by. Just dropping in to say hello and let you know I'm still celebrating my freedom from smoking. Hope this finds each of you well.

PS---I'm still doing the Cha-Ching Money Dance!  $10,356.11 to date!!! And I'm still using my saved money for fun and mini vacations. My last adventure----Snorkeling with Manatee's in the wild!!!  So much more fun than watching that money go up in cigarette smoke! 

Marilyn

Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13

Day 861

Posted by Marilyn_marmac_07-31-13 Dec 9, 2015

861 days! Wow, how time flys! Seems like just yestersday I was struggling to become a quitter!

   Hello friends! Hope all is well in the world of EX and everyone is staying true to their personal commitments. For me, I'm still honoring the commitment I made to self.  Life stays busy. I'm enjoying having my grands close and spending as much time as possible with them and doing all the things I missed doing following my stroke. In addition, I'm spending as much time as possible helping my dear friend that has end of life cancer. He has now exceeded the 18 months he was given, but the cancer and chemo have ravaged both him and his wife, my dearest friend. They have been blessed with a few true, proven friends that help as we can. For those of you that were here last Christmas, you may remember that Christmas is their favorite holiday and they go all out with yard and house decorations. It generally takes 4+ weeks to get all the decorations up and running. They have huge, moving yard decorations and  nativity scene. Everything from a life size metal helicopter, carousal, sleigh and reindeer on a landing strip, huge oak trees decorated all the up the base and into the first set of limbs--just incredible and beautiful! They also have  thousands and thousands of lights. A group of us got together last year and decorated and we did the same this year as well.  We also have a Go Fund Me account setup and holding a 50/50 raffle tonight. Another group of friends are planning a bike run. And of course, we will be taking down and packing away all the decorations as well. 
   
   I'm writing this so the newbies can see, life will always have pain and stress--but you don't have to give in to it! I will also say that most of the fund raising events have been held or will be held in bars with a lot of smokers, but again, the decision not to smoke is MY decision and "I" am the ONLY person responsible for honoring and keeping that commitment.  Think about it and keep "YOUR" commitment to self. 
   
   I probably won't be back on before the New Year so I will go ahead and wish each of you safe and happy holidays. 
   
   Marilyn