I have rarely been on in the last week or so & when I was it was from the library. They only let you stay on for 30 minutes. Extremely bad virus on my pc & the computer guy doesn't think it's worth saving.. Don't tell anyone but I'm using my work computer.
Anyway...have been reading some blogs & my subject is "Cold Turkey". It is my opinion that cold turkey means no nicotine replacement at all. Some have said they quit cold turkey but had the lozenges, e-cig or inhaler or what other nrt they use available for the rough spots.
Scared of change…is that your problem. Not really scared of quitting but frightened to death of who you may become. You’ve grown so comfortable in your shell you don’t think you can handle life without the weed. You say “But I have my friends, my favorite haunts, my routine…I don’t know how to be a different person.”
I’ve said before that quitting isn’t all about quitting cigarettes. If you quit, the new you will follow & you’ll realize that is who you wanted to be all along. It's remarkable what we can do & who we can become when we rid ourselves of that little junkie between our ears. I’m just sayin…
“Why is it my job?” She thought. “Why can’t I just go home to my garden & my animals & uninterrupted sleep? Just do as I please without having to care for another human soul.” She knew why…as long as the dragon prowled the Earth she would never know peace or contentment.
She sought no acclaim for herself. Her only desire is to defend those who lack the strength to fight him alone. She's met him many times. He's a huge scaly monster with the breath of a thousand smoldering cigarette butts, his nasty teeth like rows of weathered gravestones. She's been unable to rid the world of this killer beast but she had made him run. The NicoDragon is her prey but she must always be alert lest she become his.
Giulia has tracked him to this range of mountains in the East. Legends of werewolves & vampires faze her not at all. She has faced the dragon & knew him to be real. Up the mountain she climbed, his scent getting stronger the higher she traveled.
He watched from the door of the cave as she made her ascent and felt a shiver, not from fear but in anticipation of the battle that was sure to come. He had faced many & few had escaped with their lives. She was different. She had the strength of many. The times he faced her were some of the toughest he had encountered but he always left himself an out to fight another day. Today did not feel right to him as he thought of what joy it would be to have her in his cavern with all of his slaves. To break her would show any mortal the power at his command. So no…today is not the day. He made sure he was noticed as he left the cave & flew out of sight. Her time would come soon enough.
She was scanning upward & watched as he circled the mountain, disappearing into the distance. She wondered if he saw her. Did he know she was so close? Of course he did. This was how it usually happened. Rarely did he fight face to face. He would run & as always she would find the cave & descend to the innermost cavern. This one was huge & many were there. A smokey haze hung over the entire population & kept them from their feelings. In that haze she saw the eyes of the dragon’s minions perched on the wall. They were helpless against her & kept their distance but still murmured the lies of the dragon that kept their souls enslaved. Of the thousands only one hundred would believe her there to help. Of those hundred only six women walked down the mountain with her. None of them had a home to return to. Giulia had made such an impression on them, they all decided to help her in this quest to rid the world of the dragon.
Their training was brutal. Ridding a body of the poison is easy but ridding the mind of poison is difficult. Guilia was up to the task & taught them all the tricks she knew. There would be times when they were alone & the things she told them needed to be remembered. Along with the training, she gave them all bows with lozenge tipped arrows, broadswords with Chantix blades plus a small flask of NOPE. “We use this on the ones we rescue but if we can just get a little inside the dragon he will die.” Giulia told them. The training lasted a full year & Giulia felt they were all up to the job of taking out the dragon once & for all.
All they had to do was listen to the stories in the villages they traveled through. Missing family, sick family & the foul stench…they were on the right track. Once again a mountain stood before her. She always assumed he was watching but she carried on as if she had the upper hand. She had them all dip their weapons in the NOPE. The band of women stretched out & began the climb looking for an opening that would lead them to the battle. It was settled in some boulders above the tree line. It would have been missed by anyone other than these ‘Women of Strength’. They all entered together & made their way until they came to seven other tunnels. Each chose a tunnel promising the others to return if they ran into trouble. The tunnels were full of little demons trying to get into their heads. Telling them the dragon would give them all they needed, satisfy all of their longings, take care of them the rest of their days. The dragon had planned it that way but threats of a sprinkling of NOPE would send them all scurrying to cover, quivering as cowards do. All of the tunnels were the same length & all led to the same place. Thanks to Giulia's training each of the women entered the main cavern at the same time unharmed.
There lay the filthy beast in the center of all his slaves. They were moaning, barely moving around but posed no threat. The demons above were a different story. Their shrieks were almost unbearable & a huge distraction from the dragon. He rose quickly as the women were slashing the demons left & right. Any contact with the NOPE covered weapons reduced them to a puff of ashes. The dragon turned & immediately had one of the women in his jaws. A snap of his head & she was no more. The others were not expecting this & hesitated only enough for him to dispatch two more. They quickly went to work firing arrows at his head trying to get one in his mouth. They saw his teeth click together & spark, igniting the noxious vapor he emitted from his core. The arrows were cinders before they reached their target. Giulia had gone to work with her sword, protected by her shield of NOPE. The three women had the dragon on his heels firing arrow after arrow allowing Giulia to climb the beast’s back. A quick flick of the tail caught her off guard and she landed in the middle of the slaves. Another of her soldiers has gone down as she crawls under the dragon’s belly searching for a vulnerable spot. Looking up she finds to her horror he holds her remaining soldiers in his claws. They shrivel as he draws the soul from their bodies & tosses them into the pile. Turning his attention to Giulia he is too late to stop her climb up his back. She no longer cares for her wellbeing, only the task at hand. He took to the air to shake her. She held as long as she could while swinging her blade. But down she came & hit the cavern floor with a thud. The dragon was on her quickly & as he stretched to his full height to deliver the kill blow his scales separated. Giulia noticed & drove her sword home. Between the scales her point carried the dragon’s poison. He fell around her but before he became the pile of ashes he brought terror into her heart. “You have been a worthy foe but I have always kept a secret. I am not the only one. My brothers are many & you will never claim us all.” With that Giulia put her blade to beast’s throat & he burst into a cloud of gray.
Once again of all the souls in the cave only six would have her aid. She'll miss her lost companions but they will return. They were so close to being what they needed to be. Her search for the dragon's brothers will continue but now she had a new aim, gathering as many of her kind as she can for the battles to come…more ‘Women of Strength’. Will you join the fight?
I hate going to the doctor & missing work. Really I just hated going to the doctor. But I figured she knocked out a bout of bronchitis pretty quick the previous November so she could do it again.
I’m waiting in the little room for what seemed an hour. The doctor finally arrives & we exchange pleasantries. What’s your problem? How long has it been going on this time. I would have at least 2 bouts with this every year. Taking off my shirt I’m dreading the coldness of her stethoscope, breathe deep, deeper. Okay. Looks like the bronchitis again but I want to take a chest X-Ray.
This is probably the most feared word other than cancer to a smoker or an ex-smoker. Okay, this is the day that I never wanted to happen. Put on a robe, follow a nurse down a maze of halls for what seems like miles, everyone knows you smoked for all those years. They know you’re going for X-Ray. Dead man walking. You feel as if the others are looking at you with pity. The X-Ray didn’t take long & I was soon back in my little room trying to get my mind off this thing. What was I going to tell my family? Who would take care of them? I’m not even a grandfather yet. I’ve got two little girls I want to watch grow up. Who’s gonna put up lights & decorate the yard & house for them at Christmas? Who was gonna hide eggs at Easter? Why was I so stupid to keep smoking those things? Even after watching family & friends die at the hands of tobacco I continued to slowly kill myself. I had always been so cavalier about it. Hey, I gotta die of something. The moment of truth & I’m cowering like an abused animal because of the news I know the doctor will give me.
She finally returns & taking forever to close the door. Couldn’t she have made all those notes before she came in?
Well Mike we’ve looked at your X-Ray & see that…oh man here it is, how am I going to explain how stupid I was…everything looks good & your chest is clear. We’re gonna give you these & need you to do this.
I can’t explain the sheer joy & relief that washed over me in that room. Just knowing that the worst was coming. After all, I had smoked for 35 years so I deserved to go down like this. I went home that day a changed man. Sometimes if I get a little cocky I think back to that day in the doctor’s office & remember the dread that ate at my very soul. I’ve not been sick except for maybe a cold a year & they never lasted long at all. I’ve decorated & put lights on the house for every Christmas since. I’ve hidden eggs for every Easter since. There will be many more to come I know. All I have to do is remember that day to keep me from ever smoking again. All the time I have now is free. I’m going to do the most with it that I can.
If we tell people they had no choice when they smoked because this is an addiction have we done them any favors? (It’s not your fault, you had no choice you’re an addict) Or have we removed all responsibility from the smokers shoulder? Have we given them another excuse for relapse?
Would love some opinions on this, I have more to add.
A while back I asked for prayers for my SIL Julie because of her cancer diagnosis. I come here today so happy to say thank you. Things are going so well for Julie & we feel she's gonna have a clean bill of health very soon. She is working again & back to her old self.
Thank you all so much for the prayers & well wishes!
Some of you may recall that my sister June died of cancer in 2010. Her son Brandon has now called to inform us that his dad has been diagnosed with lung cancer. When will we quit doing this to ourselves? Our families & friends are the only ones that care for us…not the tobacco companies that we’ve all paid homage to for these so many years. I’m not gonna rant on here.
For those of you on the fence, you serial quitters, the ones who refuse to take responsibility, & those of you who think this a game…spare me your excuses. This IS a matter of life or death. Grow a spine & save your life!
Keep on keepin on,
P.S. - I don't post this for sympathy. Have sympathy for those that feel they're not strong enough to do what you have done.
4000 days doesn’t seem like a long time from where I sit. Maybe because I just want to be as far away from that day one as I can get. But I can tell you this…4000 days doesn’t come easy. You’ve got to make it through “Hell week” & “No Man’s Land”. You have to face the triggers of at least 4 seasons & you still will not have faced them all. If you make it to two years you have around an 80% chance of staying quit for life. And yet there are those who’ve lost 10, 15 & 20 year quits. I’ll not be so arrogant as to say it can’t happen to me. What I will say is that I will not smoke today. Take the pledge.
I can’t say that I’ve suffered more personal losses than anyone else here. It just seems like it to me. I know only of those lost that are dear to my heart. It’s never an easy thing to lose the ones we love. No matter how long we have to prepare for the day they slip into the darkness we’re still not ready when it happens. Your loved ones won’t be ready either.
For those who think me overly dramatic when I say this is a matter of life or death, just ask my mother & father, sister June, brother Levin, Aunt Nancy & my grandmother, sister in law Sue, Uncle Pete & Uncle Harold, or my friends Ronnie & Willard, JL, Mac & Butch. Dale’s Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Ed & cousin Curt. Ex Nancy’s grandmother, neighbor Karen, uncle & sister in law or her neighbors husband. Connie’s stepfather JP & Uncle Chuck. Kris’s Mom. Jessie’s Dad only 2 days before her high school graduation. Ryan’s mom when he was only 17, Teresa’s friend Paul, her sister in law & uncle, Laura’s (Michwoman) Mother, Patty-Cake’s Grandfather, uncle & brother in law, Joyeuxencore’s dad & grandfather, Misty@Dawn’s dad, grandfather & ex-husband or Tigerladie’s dad, Harvey D’s wife, Giulia’s friend Kiel, Sharon’s Mom & Dad, Jennifer’s Mother, Moody’s stepdad & Ann B’s Mom. Wait a minute…you can’t ask any of these people…they’ve all died from lung cancer & other smoking related illnesses.
These are all loved ones & friends that we will see no more. Don’t let this be you to your children & loved ones. Make a commitment…I’m just sayin.
Keep on keepin on,
P.S.- Here’s a little something to chew on. Of the members I listed above, how many are still active here? We’re all gung ho to encourage & praise our active members. How bout we reach out to those friends of ours we haven’t seen around in a while. Maybe they’re good in their quit & still living smoke free…but then maybe we didn’t reach out enough when they were here & they felt no one cared.
If you think smoking is just a bad habit it’s time to wake up. It’s time to come to terms with the full blown catastrophe that smoking is. YOU ARE AN ADDICT! Smoking doesn’t ‘play around’ while it slowly destroys your life & you shouldn’t play around if you’re planning to quit.
It’s time to get real about your quit. These people can help.
I came here today to pay tribute to one that none of you know.
Here was a lady who was tired of smoking & the toll it had demanded on every part of her life. Her husband was a non-smoker & had loved her through her 40-50 years of puffing her life away. She was scared in the beginning & unsure of how she would make it happen. She joined a site much like EX & began the journey that we all hope will be uninterrupted by a slip or failure altogether. She learned as much as she could & posted & read & supported others every day. There were days when she didn’t show. I reached out & found her hanging on by the skin of her teeth. Though still weak & unsure she would remain smoke free to spite the demon. In time she became the strongest supporter of anyone in trouble. She was such an inspiration to all of us there & never was one as respected as Mary.
Last Saturday, May 23 was Mary’s 10th smoke free anniversary. I feel it even more special than my own because Mary also turned 81 years old this year. Yes…she began her quit at 71 years old. A time when many of us would say “what the hell” or what’s the use”. She decided she would live the rest of her life smoke free no matter the difficulties that were sure to come. You had to admire anyone who would take this on at her age.
So to any of you that feel quitting impossible because of the things going on in your life, it’s just not the right time, I’ve been smoking too long, it’s so much harder for me or any of the other multitude of EXCUSES, I’m not buying it. I know someone who has debunked all of your logic so pardon me if I don’t get all touchy feely when you’re having a rough day.