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NewMe Blog

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Today marks 3 years since I last took one puff from a cigarette. When I read blogs posted by people who are struggling to get started or to maintain a commitment long enough to make it stick, I wish I could wave a magic wand and show you what the future will feel like if you can just stick to the advice long enough to know in your heart that you are going to succeed. Past the first few weeks when absolutely everything in your world is associated with smoking and you just can't imagine that changing. Past the 120 days where you finally managed to wrap your head around thinking about getting on with your life and concentrate on other things, when out of the blue the NicoDemon sneaks up and tries to convince you that just one won't hurt. It will, and we have seen plenty of people try to tempt fate and fail to prove that they might be the exception to the rule. Further on down the road, maybe starting to feel a bit more confident and Darn if you don't need to remain vigilant to deal with those seasonal urges that might blindside you. Raking the fall leaves, preparing a holiday meal, celebrating a birthday, the first outdoor party of spring, etc. Gosh, you might say, I might as well give up now. These cravings and triggers will never cease to haunt me and cause me misery. Wrong!

I am a very stubborn person. I can be a very slow learner (because I'm stubborn). My addiction was 10 times worse than yours!!! Just kidding. I did smoke for 44 years, 2 packs a day in the early years and then gradually got it down to 1 pack/day. Over the years, I felt like I tried every trick in the book to quit. Patches, gum, seminars, hypnosis, acupuncture, e-cig. Heck, I even read Allen Carr's book at least 4 times and still didn't get it. So what did finally work? For me, a heart attack served as inspiration to get serious about quitting. I suggest you do not wait until your health is compromised to get going. In my first year on this site, I saw 3 people associated with EX die from smoking-related illness, and several others hospitalized. Don't wait for that kind of motivation. It might be too late. The other thing that is that main thing that I attribute my success to is this wonderful, marvelous, stupendously helpful community here. I accidentally stumbled upon this site while looking for something different (which I am now convinced was a far inferior website full of advice given by people who had NOT been there, done that). Here, I found an incredible group of people that I instantly related to because I could tell they knew EXactly how I felt. Advice that I had seen before was suddenly presented in a way that actually led me to understand the evidence and science behind the advice. As I did the recommended reading, things began to click, and I started to have some "aha" moments. One that really sticks out in my mind to this day was "why did I feel like I was going to die if I didn't get a cigarette, when in fact the opposite was true?" The answer lies in the science, that nicotine attaches to receptors in the brain that mimic the ones you depend on for survival- the ones that tell you to eat, breathe, and drink water. For more of this type information, I recommend reading some of the suggested articles on whyquit.com. And so, in the beginning, I spent a LOT of time here reading and absorbing as much information as I could. There are plenty of amazing people here who are willing to hold your virtual hand and guide you to all the tips, techniques, understanding of the addiction as well as the cure (which really is as simple as NOPE), and give you all the support needed to guide you down the path to freedom.

So, why not have a little faith? Believe that a day will come when something stressful happens and the thought of smoking never even enters your mind. Imagine that you never again have to worry about missing some special moment with family or friends because you needed to sneak away for a fix. Imagine that you are able to save hundreds and then thousands of dollars which you can spend on something that adds joy or at least a little ease in your life. Believe that when some rare occurrence sparks a memory associated with smoking, you can simply think "I don't do that anymore" and poof-the association is gone. So why not believe that your life a few years down the road could be better in ways that you cannot imagine now? Listen to the Elders. They were once where you are, and found their way to freedom. Read blogs from "The Best of Ex". Seek out as much information and understanding as you can glean from the EXperts. When you feel vulnerable, do not think about going to the store to purchase a relapse pack. Come here and ask for support. You will get whatever you need to help you succeed. And one day you might just wake up and realize that you are very happy to be an EX!

 My feeble old brain still remembered that if Mark was having a birthday, then Marilyn was getting ready to celebrate one too. Sure enough, by my calculations, it looks like that should be happening today. I would post pictures of cake, party hats, balloons, etc. but I have not really checked into all the hoopla over copyright infringement, and do not care to spend time in jail because I wanted to tell Marilyn Happy Birthday. Just know, dear Marilyn.H.July.14.14. that you have helped more people succeed as quitters than all of us can count on all our fingers and toes!

Happy Birthday, sweet Marilyn!

Just wanted to say thanks for the prayers- it seems to have worked. I know this state is not out of the woods yet, but at my sister's in Houston the water has receded and she sounded much calmer today. And guess what? Here at my house in Austin- I SEE the SUN! I think it barely rained here at all today. Houston is still in some deep trouble, as are people all along the coast, but I see a couple of other reports here where things are not looking so grim today. Thanks, you guys! I think there's power in numbers.

One of those situations where what's done is done, and now about all you can do is ask for another round of prayers. We were worried about intense flooding here in Austin, but so far it seems to be not quite so bad as anticipated. I've been able to drive to work and back, although the rain has been coming down steadily for more than 48 hours here. But my sister and brother -in-law are also stuck in their house in Houston, and pretty darn scared right now. They do have a 2 story house across the street from them, and I hope they will seek refuge there if necessary. I still haven't checked on my cousins in other parts of Houston. This storm is a monster, and I don't think the authorities urged people to evacuate.OK. That's all. Thought a few more voices in the mix couldn't hurt, and there's not much else I can do at this point.

NewMe

2 Year Progress Report

Posted by NewMe Aug 21, 2017

Two years ago, I stumbled onto this site while looking for another "wannabe helpful" stop smoking site recommended by my insurance. I don't believe I have fessed up to this before. I had already paid for and completed the Allen Carr online course to quit smoking. (I also owned 3 different versions of his printed book.) Didn't work. That year, I had also paid not one, but two hypnotherapists for sessions, believing the problem for me was more psychological than physical for me, and if I could just dig deep enough into my subconscious to root out the problem, then I could quit. Not to mention the numerous failed attempts using patches, gum, lozenges, etc. dating all the way back to early adulthood. I believed myself to be "special" in the sense that it was just harder for me to quit than it was for others. I was in fairly deep denial about smoking having an effect on my health, despite a recent report stating I had suffered a heart attack at some point (and went on about business as usual apparently, cuz this was the first I heard about it), had a year-round runny nose, declining stamina, wheezing, and a truly frightening cough every winter. 

What I found here was nothing short of a miracle. Here were people who acted, felt, and believed the same as me in the past. Here were people who found a way to truly beat this addiction. And guess what? Because they know that they could never have succeeded without a helping hand from those that went before them, they feel a sense of obligation to pay it forward. Not grudgingly. Not sitting in judgment.  A genuine sense of giving knowledge to others in order to make the world a better place. No "aid" can quit for you. Nobody can convince you to quit but you, and nobody can do the work for you. But if you come here with an open mind, do the suggested reading, heed the advice given here, and stay connected to this community until you know you got this, then it is my honest belief that will EXponentially increase your odds for a successful quit. I know it sounds like something you've heard a million times before, and could not believe. If I can do it so can you. I could surely be a poster child for failed attempts.

Newbies: read as much as you can. When you find someone you relate to, read their old blogs. Do your homework, Say NOPE, I don't do that anymore. one step at a time will get you where you want to go.

To Elders, Quit Buddies, and even those who came in behind me- I feel I owe an incredible debt of gratitude for showing me the way to do this, for all the support offered here, all the wisdom imparted, and the opportunity to just come here sometimes and enjoy a laugh or a bit of entertainment. As long as this community exists, I will tell people the very best way to learn about quitting smoking is right here.

In the early days, they tell you to watch out for the first time you realize you went all day without thinking about smoking. Well, for a very long time one of my biggest triggers or obstacles was unstructured time off work. I am on staycation this week, and realized that I have zero compulsion to smoke. The new normal feels pretty good! (Lest you think I am bragging, I also recently had such a horrible day at work that the thought of "what the heck, I really want a cigarette" did come to mind and remind me that we must always remain vigilant. I was able to think of all the great advice here, and remind myself that smoking would do nothing to improve the situation.)

NewMe

NewMe Archived Profile

Posted by NewMe Jan 23, 2017

Description

 

 


Brief Description

59 yr. old female- now 60


Website

No website in profile.


Location

tx


Interests

dogs, gardening, photography


Skills

dabble in many, master of none


NewMe

Thanks for making my day

Posted by NewMe Jan 3, 2017

OK, I'm taking the lazy way out and issuing a blanket thanks to all who posted on my board for my 500-day milestone. I'd had a busy holiday weekend at work, plus feeling slightly under the weather. Not to mention sleep deprivation because people in the hood shoot off fireworks all night long throughout the weekend, and my dog is terrified and does not really believe me when I tell her they can't hurt us inside the house. Add up all these factors, and I managed to forget all about my 500-day celebration. So when I opened up Ex and saw how many people wrote to congratulate me, well that just made my day. And then some. You guys are awesome.

So that brings us to the next subject, which is that the New Year brings with it a bunch of newbies who come here seeking to find their way to a smoke-free life. And I will just have to say that you have found possibly the best place anywhere for gathering advice and support that can help you to become a non-smoker. I was just like many others here. I had tried and failed to quit many, many times. But if you read the suggested materials that explain the nature of nicotine addiction, what it does to your mind and body, and how to get through those first few weeks no matter what happens, you just might find that something miraculous happens. You might just prove to yourself that you were not the exception to the rule. That it is not harder for you to quit than it was for any of us here. That you might one day wake up and realize there's a pretty good chance you are actually gonna make it work this time. That's a pretty good feeling, and one I really believed for many years that I could never attain. But you can. Stick around. Do the reading that is recommended. Ask questions. Read blogs. Make a decision to try on a new attitude. This is the place to make it all happen. A  place where you can find all the information and support you need to break the addiction, and start fresh. 

NewMe

Merry Christmas to all

Posted by NewMe Dec 25, 2016

Just a quick note of gratitude here. For some reason, I have had an enormously stressful and hectic month here. And I cannot tell a lie. There was more than once that the thought of smoking crossed my mind. Like the time where, in the middle of getting $800 worth of plumbing repairs done, the plumbers and I went to Home Depot for new shower fixtures and the cat jumped through the hole in the wall, and waited very patiently and quietly under the bathtub until the repairs were done, the wall boarded back up, and the plumbers had time to drive to where they lived about 20 minutes away. Or the numerous times our boss at work made us all want to quit our jobs because we were so angry about how he talked to us. So, yup, there was more than once I thought to myself, "Boy, I sure would like a cigarette about now. But thanks to spending somewhere close to 5oo days here reading and learning, I knew a smoke would not solve any of my problems, and for sure would not improve my health. So I took some deep breaths and moved on.So, today, I would just like to wish all of you a wonderful holiday filled with peace, love, and gratitude.

Image result for christmas ecards   Image result for christmas ecards

Well, I think my counter clock says I've been here for 463 days, and I don't recall a day going by that Marilyn didn't get up bright and early to encourage, cajole, inspire, and maybe share something funny to make us laugh. So I would like to be the first of many to wish her a stupendous, splendiferous, magnificent, fun-filled birthday, with cake and lots of love and appreciation thrown in. Hope it's a good one for you, Marilyn. And Thanks for all you do here to inspire others!

NewMe

Day 365 for me!

Posted by NewMe Aug 20, 2016

As I noticed my 1-year anniversary approaching, my brain started nagging me to pull a Pulitzer Prize winning blog out of somewhere. After all, I’d learned some great things reading here, and with a full year under my belt, I should be able to impart some tried and true methods and techniques for reaching the mountaintop. I kept remembering one blog I had read when I was in the infancy of my quit. The author had set his sights on the goal of reaching one year, and likened the journey to climbing to a mountain peak. He talked about how important it was to keep your eye on the prize and to maintain a positive attitude. As I read his blog, I could hear the great MLK in my head, saying “I have a dream” and “Let freedom ring”. Clear as day. Inspirational. And forgive me for quoting Hillary, but I know that for me, it took a village for me to quit smoking. In the beginning, I was wallowing in pity parties because quitting is HARD and really SUCKS! But I am a wimp and knew I didn’t want to add to my misery by attracting any of that Tough Love. Lucky for me, someone else would always come along and ask that question that was just beyond the tip of my tongue. Express that bad attitude and get an Excellent response on how to develop a positive attitude. Find an answer to a question I had not quite put words to just yet. Always providing plenty of information that helped me to persevere and forge ahead.

I find it amazing how much information I have soaked up by coming here to read daily. And that information has changed me. I also don’t know if this year was unusual in the number of smoking-related deaths and serious illnesses reported here, but that has sure taken the wind out of my previous river of denial.

This site is absolutely amazing, and I feel it is an example of adversity bringing out the best in people. Quitting is definitely hard without proper guidance, and this community feels that and gives back in spades by lending a helping hand to anyone who wants to join in. To all that have helped me in this journey, I can’t thank you enough. Thank you to everyone who asked the tough questions. Thank you to those brave enough to roar about their angst, while I whimpered quietly at home, but gained great strides from the answers you got. A world of gratitude to all who stick around to guide others down the path to freedom.

And to all you newbies: be a sponge. Come here often and soak up all that you need. Take what you like, and leave the rest. But please stick around and find success. You will be so glad that you did. 

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I had  some thoughts after reading through other people's blogs as they were struggling through difficult situations in life, and maybe the thoughts of smoking reared their ugly heads again. At times I wish I had blogged or at least kept some sort of journal, so I might have a more definite timeline. But I know I definitely went through a fair stretch of time where I was feeling anxious all the time, and as a smoker, I had never considered myself to have any problems with anxiety. And from the reading on this site, I chalked up the extreme anxiety to what people refer to as learning to cope with life without hiding behind a cloud of smoke. I'm not sure naming the anxiety made it go away any quicker, but it felt good to identify the cause. Soooo...today's thought as I was brushing my teeth... had to do with most of us (I know there are a few others) on this site probably fit into a category that could be termed "seniors". And even though we may have been hiding from our emotions behind a cloud of smoke, we've all been around the block a few times. After we finished smoking, we eventually had to deal with life's ups and downs, like it or not. And we have developed coping skills. (sure, we smoked first, but then we probably got to work solving the problem). I had a friend awhile back who would often say "I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday".  And neither did we. Don't know if this will help with anyone's anxiety, but that's my thought for today. = )

Good evening all you wonderful people! I need to try to make this brief, because as a Master Procrastinator, I have much to get done still tonight. I am writing because this coming Sunday, I will celebrate 6 months without a smoke. Pretty incredible to me. However, I will not have computer access that day. as I will be somewhere on a beach in Mexico. Darn the luck! It is a belated 60th birthday present for me (my sister is paying for part of the trip), and it just happens to fall the same week as my 6 month smobriety. So- I Will be thinking of you guys. And sorry Nancy- I plan to drink 1 or 2 margaritas daily (but I will be with an AVID tobacco hater who would not let me relapse). So, before I leave town, I just wanted to get this in-so nobody will be wondering why I don't show up for the freedom train this weekend. Again, thanks to each and every one of you who have kept me from ever entertaining the notion of giving up on this quit. I frequently tell people -if they ask how I quit- that I found a support group that made all the difference in the world in getting me to a place where I could do this, and start a fresh life. I do acknowlege that it is me that had to own the quit - but I also know I would never have stuck with it without the support and education I have received here. So, thanks to all of you for being here!

NewMe

Happy Chinese New Year

Posted by NewMe Feb 11, 2016

 

Last blog timed out. Must type quickly. I missed writing about this on Monday because I was too busy with my own distractions. Anyhow, my blog disappeared, but I was saying I am a Sheep/goat in the Chinese horoscope. Always disappointed me because I thought that meant I was a follower, rather than a nice strong person with a mind of my own. But, around here, I am happy to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before me.  BAAAAAH. . .  So Happy Chinese New Year to all, and if you choose to do so, you could distract yourself by looking up your horoscope prediction for this year of the Red Monkey.  BAAAAH...

NewMe

Belated Distraction

Posted by NewMe Feb 11, 2016

I was going to write something Monday, but I had too many of my own destractions around here to get to it. So, forgive me if anyone posted anything about this, and I missed it. Monday was the Chinese New Year.

       

I can never remember my sign for sure, and have to look it up again. It is because I am a sheep/goat. I think I was always disappointed to be a sheep- thinking that meant I was a follower, rather than a person with a strong mind of my own. However, as it pertains to the fine people around here, I am happy to learn from and follow in the footsteps of those who came before me. Anyhow, I'll leave it up to you to distract yourself by looking up your own auspicious astrological prediction for this Year of the Red Monkey. Happy Chinese New Year!

NewMe

Good thing crying Is allowed

Posted by NewMe Jan 30, 2016

Well, knowing that in the past, I caved and quit on a quit due to stress- I had somehow managed for months to avoid any Major stressors. Good thing-because I am solid in the knowlege that smoking does not help any situation. And I need that today, because I am certainly having a lot of smoking memories. I will not smoke. I have paced and cried a bit, and gnawed some sugarless gum. My dog Lucy and I were out for our daily walk in the hood yesterday, and two much bigger dogs that usually bark their heads off at us, were roaming loose. And one attacked Lucy. She couldn't get into the regular vet, but had to stay overnight at the emergency vet for surgery. I should mention, the wound-altho deep, was only about an inch or so long. But did have her long hair in the wound, and did I mention I'm VERY squemish. I called in sick to work today, and have her home now. Breaks my heart- the big conehead (which she managed to hold directly in front of the rear view mirror on the long drive home. Luckily, not much traffic out. By now, I reckon I would have smoked at Least one extra pack of cigs over this ordeal. Now, I'm just here to whine. And cry a little bit. That's it. Not gonna smoke, but very aware of smoking memories today.