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2015

I came to EX because I wanted to quit smoking.   Not for just a while.  FOREVER.  I wasn't sure I was ready.  I wasn't sure I had what it would take...  I wasn't even sure I WANTED to quit.  Because being a smoker was part of my identity; my life revolved around when I could smoke, where I could smoke, how many cigarettes I had left, where I could buy another pack...(I KNOW this sounds familiar to many of you!)

But I came to EX and I opened my mind...  I listened (even to the things I didn't want to hear...)

  
   I recognized that many of the people here had already achieved the exact thing that I wanted to achieve:    happily living a life without nicotine.
  
     
  
   So I read what they told me to read.  I read Allen Carr's book.     I did the Tracking and the Delaying exercises.  I went to the other sites that were recommended.  I was scared and not sure, but I DID all the things that all these successful EXers had to tell me...   And I set a date.  A Quit Date.  A day that I would do whatever it took to start living my life without being a slave to my nicotine addiction.
  
     
  
   I was a STUDENT and I learned how I could stop being a nicotine addict.  It wasn't easy.  But I spent a LOT of time here on EX and got to know people and accepted the support and friendship they were so happy to give to me. 
  
     
  
   It was like a lightbulb went on in my head on the day that I GOT it.  Poof! 
  
     
  
   I understood COMMITMENT instead of "trying", "attempting", "hoping". 
  
     
  
   I understood taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY instead of wishing for "luck", and blaming "stress", "weakness" or "being around smokers". 
  
     
  
   I understood seeing quitting as FREEDOM instead of seeing it as "sacrifice", "giving up", "suffering through" or "losing" something. 
  
     
  
   I understood that the feeling of so-called "enjoyment" and "need" was no more than my physical addiction calling out to me...and that I didn't have to listen to it! 
  
     
  
   When I quit, it wasn't "EASY".  Sorry, Allen Carr, it wasn't.  But I had a whole new way of thinking about it and that made it EASIER. 
  
     
  
   I've been here for a while now.  I have about three years of  freedom from nicotine.  I still can't belive it's been that long when I see it in writing.  But I have more than that.   I have the knowledge, the understanding, the thinking, the confidence and the TOOLS to know that I will never ever smoke again.  
  
     
  
   And I have all that because I LISTENED to the people here and I FOLLOWED their advice.   
  
     
  
   To all the new folks who have just joined us here:  Whether you stumbled in here by accident while browsing or if you researched carefully in order to find a great stop-smoking site...it doesn't matter.   
  
     
  
   Because    your addiction to nicotine is no stronger nor harder to beat than our addiction was.  You CAN quit.  If we could do it, so can YOU.   
  
     
  
   Leave all your assumptions at the door.  Be a student here on EX.  You won't ever regret it.  We promise 
  
     
  
   XXXOOO, Sky 
SkyGirl

The Five "D"s

Posted by SkyGirl Sep 26, 2015

Hi, everyone!   Before you smoke...

   THE FIVE "D"s
  
   DETERMINE:   Determine what's going on in your head.  Are you bored? Upset? Sad? (This part of The Five "D"s is similar to "HALT".)    WHY am I thinking that smoking right now is a good idea? What do I think will be improved if I choose to smoke right now?
  
   DELAY:    Delay your response to your craving by making yourself take the time to actually imagine the ramifications of picking up a cigarette right now.  Don't light up right NOW.  Take a little time to consider the whole idea of lighting up at this point.  How many days of freedom will you be giving up?  How will you feel about yourself after you smoke right now?  Just a few minutes of delaying can be the difference between keeping your Quit or throwing away your Quit.  (And, by the way, nobody "loses" their Quit.  No, indeed.  Example: You don't go out to walk your dog and, while you are bending down to pick up your dog's mess, your Quit just turns left and meanders off down the wrong street!  You don't go to the grocery store and, while you are checking out the price of cauliflower, your Quit just wanders away down the canned soup aisle!  Quits don't get "lost"; they get  thrown away because you didn't use the tools you have been taught/given that would help you keep your Quit intact during rough moments.) 
  
   DISTRACT:    Distract yourself from the sensation of a craving by doing something else for at least ten (10) minutes.  Do ANYTHING that will make your brain think about something other than the craving.  (This doesn't have to be calculus, for heaven's sake!  My favorite distraction was to bite into whole lemons.  My second favorite distraction was to clean my toilets.  No, I don't   like cleaning toilets.  I HATE cleaning toilets.  But the smell of the toilet bowl cleaner and the act of scrubbing/flushing was enough to get me through a bad crave.  Find your own favorite distraction.) 
  
   DISTANCE:    Distance yourself from temptation.  Remove yourself from your current situation.  At the least, CHANGE your current situation if you can't physically leave the scene of the craving.  (Now, the obvious thing is to NOT HAVE ANY CIGARETTES where you can get your paws on them.  And I'm always surprised at the number of EXers who keep a pack around "just in case".  In case WHAT? But that's an entirely different blog, I guess. Back to how to distance yourself from temptation...  Temptation comes in a lot of different forms for different people.  All you need to know in order to successfully distance yourself is to be able to recognize the danger signs in your thinking.  If you can do that, then you can either RUN AWAY ((that's figuratively for most of us! Hah!)) or immediately FLIP YOUR THINKING around so that you are at least emotionally distancing yourself from the idea of smoking.)  
  
   DECIDE:    Make a conscious decision about what you are going to do.  Am I willing to take on the consequences that smoking right now will create?  Am I being honest with myself about how I will actually FEEL after I smoke right now?  Is smoking right now more important to me that the pride I feel about my x days of freedom? Am I willing to give up all that I have accomplished and gone through to get to where I am today?  (This is the Moment Of Truth in a craving.  You must THINK hard.  You must DECIDE if this is the action you really want to take.  Don't let the nicotine addiction make this decision for you!) 
  
Copy and print out   The Five "D"s. Keep it with you in your purse, wallet or pocket.  When you have a craving, take it out and work your way down these five steps.  Make yourself imagine what happens AFTER you give in to this craving.  Don't live   in this moment of intense craving.  There are lots of ways to live   through this moment of intense craving. It won't be easy, but you can do it.  And think how proud of yourself you will be tomorrow when you look back on today and know that you took   personal responsibility for keeping your Quit!  (Especially since you can blog about it and gets lots of cool, encouraging, loving comments!!!) Congratulations! 
  
xxxooo,    Sky 
  Well, holy cow, I'm finally back...  It's been an unprecedented summer of flying.  
   
  This merger of Continental and United has not been finalized in a joint contract (even after four years!) and I have had so little control over my schedule because of that.   I've been flying non-stop since the Nashville get-together and I know that I've missed SO much here on EX.  
   
  I had invited the Old Lady Caravan (Nancy, DJ and Ellen) to spend a weekend here in Reston with me (and I even bought a Groupon for Brunch for Four!) but my schedule got away from me, and it just never happened.  Damn.  
   
  I also had plans to fly out and spend a couple of days with Giulia in Tennessee this summer... Nope, didn't happen.  I feel so sad about this.
   
  This summer I've NO control over what the Crew Desk wants me to do.  I mean, Jeff and I /were supposed to get married on September 15th (the 21st anniversary of our love-at-first-sight meeting!), but I couldn't even find time to come home to Oregon to do THAT!  
   
  But...let me take a deep cleansing breath here... summer is over. Yes.  And while I still have to get through the final days of September... October will definitely slooooooow down. 
   
  I finally get to go HOME on October 5th and I'm SO SO SO excited that Teresa (Smoked Out) and her hubby are driving out to spend two days with us in Garibaldi, OR.  We'll be taking them fishing, crab catching, clam digging, beach bonfiring (is that a word?), kayaking, etc,  I wanted to take them to a dairy to milk cows...but Teresa said they'd already done that...really?
   
  Anyway...I just want to let you all know that I'm still here and that EX saved my life!   I don't think that any of us could have quit and stayed quit without the amazing support that we all find here.  I love EX.
   
  Have any of you seen all those mushy posts people put on Facebook about friends who care about each other but don't connect for a long time and, yet, are still as close as ever, no matter what?  THAT is exactly how I feel about my friends here on EX.  
   
  You all helped me save my life.  And I will always find a way back here to help others save theirs...
   
  xxxooo,  Sky