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2016

To Everyone who has just joined EX, who has tried to quit, who is lurking and wants to quit but is scared..

Here is my post on the day I planned to quit.  I had come to EX, unsure, uneducated about nicotine addiction, frightened and not really sure that I even wanted to quit.  Actually, I'd come a couple of weeks earlier.  I'd done the recommended reading.  I'd done the trigger exercises.  I'd done the "practice runs".  I was SO ready.

Yeah.  I thought so.

But my Big Day came and I screwed up.  Read it and look at how I blamed being SOO tired.  Read how my now dear friend Dale (jonescarp) called me out.  I thought he was being so mean to me!  He just didn't understand how quitting was so much harder for ME than for anyone else!  Yeah, right.  Dale, how'd you get so damn smart??

My failure was a real wake-up call.  

If I really intended to rid my life of smoking, then I was going to have to do three things:

Make a DECISION to quit.

COMMIT to that decision.

And HONOR that commitment.  No matter what life threw at me.  No matter how I felt.  No matter WHAT.

And so, three days after my failed Quit, on 09/27/12, I claimed my Forever Quit. 

It wasn't always easy.  But if I could do it...so can YOU.

xxxooo, SKY

 

 

Sky Girl   Comments (15)

  

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Well, so much for my big day.  I've been flying tons of extra hours this month and I've been getting more and more exhausted with each trip.  And this morning, of ALL mornings, I slept through FOUR separate alarms.  What finally woke me up was a call from the Crew Desk, screaming "WHERE ARE YOU?????"  I got a "DNF" in my work history, which stands for "did not fly".  I got three penalty points on my record.  And I got reamed by my supervisor.  They replaced me on the trip and wouldn't give me another trip to make up the time.  So I don't have a 28 hour layover in Seattle, I don't get to see my boyfriend after not seeing him for four weeks, I don't get to enjoy all the wonderful surprises he had planned to celebrate my quit, I had to call him and tell him not to fly to Seattle because I screwed up, which disappointed him greatly.  So, I was sitting in bed after all this, still in my nightgown, feeling like a total loser for messing up everything.  And what's the first thing I do to feel better?  I throw on some clothes and run to the 7/11 for a pack of cigarettes.  Then I sit in my car in the parking lot, crying my head off and...smoking.  I couldn't be more disappointed in myself.

   
   
       
   
    
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Comments (15)

  
   
     Sky Girl    

10 badges

   
  
  
   

And did it make me feel better?  No, it made me feel like even MORE of a loser.  

   
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Sky Girl 1492 days ago

   

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     yaya Feb 2010    

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Check your inbox

   
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yaya Feb 2010 1492 days ago

   

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     ItsTimeNow    

5 badges

   
  
  
   

Ahh' Babe, what a hard day!  I know that you will get back on this wagon and for real this time.  Don't be too disapointed in your self just use that energy to get through the next crisis!  

   

J.

   
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ItsTimeNow 1492 days ago

   

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     mygirls_2-14-14    

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I'm so sorry this happened,  jump right back in, you can do it!

   
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mygirls_2-14-14 1492 days ago

   

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     Thomas(3-20-2010)    

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Failure is only the opportunity to more 







intelligently begin again.








Henry Ford

   

You learned a lot! Now, you can use that knowledge to tear yourself down or you can use it to intelligently begin again! You are an intelligent Lady! I have every confidence that you will make the correct decision! We're talking about FREEDOM here - we're talking about LIFE - Happy, Healthy, BETTER in every way! It's yours for the taking....

   
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Thomas(3-20-2010) 1492 days ago

   

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     Patty-cake  (Quit 6-8-12)    

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I'm very sorry that this all happened as well. Like everyone said, don't beat yourself up. You really can do this. Easier said than done, but you gotta pick yourself up and do it again. You know you can. We are all here to support you. 

   
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Patty-cake (Quit 6-8-12) 1492 days ago

   

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     SmokedOut ♥QUIT♥ 04-14-2012    

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Sounds like a really bad day :-(You've already added that smoking didn't make you feel better---only Worse, soooo let it go, collect yourself, and get back here with us. You know you will never be a happy smoker so it's time to become a non-smoker. We will be here for you when you are ready.

   
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SmokedOut ♥QUIT♥ 04-14-2012 1492 days ago

   

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     oceanstar2    

7 badges

   
  
  
   

I'm sorry about your bad day!  Don't give up, you can do it!  

   
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oceanstar2 1492 days ago

   

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     jonescarp aka dale (1-2007)    

9 badges

   
  
  
   

well you had lots of opportunities to not go to the 711.

   

I'm absolutely positive quitting smoking made you oversleep.

   
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jonescarp aka dale (1-2007) 1492 days ago

   

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     cyn    

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cyn 1492 days ago

   

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     CindyMac    

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It takes a commitment that is unwavering. You must really want it for yourself -no matter what! What do I think? I'm here for you today, tomorrow or next week! There will come a day when there's nothing to do...and you still won't smoke. Like you- I picked a "packed" day- a huge schedule change-to start my quit. I understand your thinking-get it back- stronger than ever-for YOU!!! Don't feel bad...don't cry...Get back on the horse and Ride!

   
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CindyMac 1492 days ago

   

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     stonecipher    

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I think you need to get more sleep. If you slept through 4 alarms you obviously were not well-rested enough to fly again. Don't you have to be alert and aware in your job?  I don't think it's a job you can just sleepwalk your way through your shift. So, you screwed up.  You had a horrible day, and now that you know smoking didn't help, you have all the more ammo to fight with when you quit "for real". :)

   

Hang in there, we'll be here.

   
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stonecipher 1492 days ago

   

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     Owlfeather    

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You are not going to like me after this, but here goes.  I think you subconsiously sabotaged yourself .  I recognize it because I did it for years and years.  Always, always some reason I could not, simply could not do without smoking.  You were not ready to commit to N.O.P.E.  NO MATTER WHAT.  That means NO MATTER WHAT, NOT ONE PUFF EVER.  It is so easy to commit to quit while you  are still smoking.  You did not have to go to the store.  You could have rolled over, and gotten some much needed sleep instead. OR YOU COULD HAVE COME HERE AND BLOGGED HELP!!!!!!! Before you went to the store.  That's why you joined a support group right?  To help you stay smoke free?  Use us.  You did not choose to quit.  You must DECIDE.  Decide means Final by the way.  I want to see you stop smoking in such a big way.  I can see such a butterfly there suffocating under that smoke.  DECIDE.  NOT ONE PUFF EVER.  NO MATTER WHAT. 

   
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Owlfeather 1492 days ago

   

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     Youngatheart (7.4.12)    

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Listen to Owlfeather.  She is a very wise

SkyGirl

Sky Girl = Broken Record

Posted by SkyGirl Oct 24, 2016

1)  Smoking a cigarette does NOT calm you down, ease your stress, make you happier or more able to cope.  All that smoking a cigarette does is increase the level of nicotine in your body, which holds off the effects of withdrawal that started when you finished your last cigarette.

2)  You do not enjoy smoking.  What you are enjoying is NOT feeling a low level of nicotine in your body.

3)  Educating yourself about nicotine addiction gives you a HUGE advantage in successfully quitting.

4)  The way you THINK about quitting is absolutely KEY. 

It is important that you banish the concepts of "trying", "attempting", "hoping it works", "wish me good luck". 

It is important that you read enough about quitting until your thinking does a complete 180 degree turn from "giving up something", "sacrificing something I love", "doing without", "getting through this" into "FREEDOM". 

Freedom from what?  From a life that is ruled by an addiction, freedom to enjoy better health, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from worrying when and where you can have your next cigarette, freedom from the panic when you realize you are out of cigarettes, freedom from smelling like an ashtray, freedom from hiding and making excuses. 

(And don't forget to think about all the free time you will gain, the money you will save, and the self-esteem that will rocket upwards when you quit.)

So get that thinking flipped around so you are ready to quit successfully!

5) You CAN quit.  Your addiction is no stronger and no harder to beat than anyone else's.   If we can quit, then you can quit.  We can ALL quit.

6)  Yes, the first few days of quitting are not very pleasant.  In fact, they suck. Completely suck. 

But if you prepare in advance for how to handle those first days, you will make the whole process go a lot easier for yourself. 

Listen to the advice of those who have already achieved what you came here to achieve. 

Then FOLLOW that advice.  Don't just read it in the blogs and think, "hmm, yeah, that sounds good".

You must actually do the things that have been PROVEN to help make you a successful quitter.

7)  Be HAPPY.  This is one of the best decisions you will ever make for yourself.  Be excited to do this.  And be VERY, VERY proud of yourself.  We are.  And we will be here to help you all the way...

xxxooo,  Sky 

SkyGirl

Preparing For Your Quit

Posted by SkyGirl Oct 17, 2016

Many people decide to quit cigarettes on the spur of the moment.  They may have been thinking that they WANT to quit for a long time, but the actual moment is a knee-jerk response to smoking too much the night before or some other trigger that makes them toss the pack in the trash and declare, "That's it.  I'm done with cigarettes!".  And then they feel really good about it...until the first craving hits them and they can't figure out how to get through it.  So they say, "Ohhhh, this is TOO hard.  I can't do it!".  And then they smoke.

  

They did not PREPARE for their Quit.  And as Miguel de Cervantes said, "Forewarned, Forearmed, To Be Prepared is Half the Victory!".  (Good old Miguel wrote "Don Quixote"  Here's a pic of him.  Isn't he cute?)

  

And he wasn't just a pretty face!  He was right about this. 

  

Forewarned?  It means gather knowledge about your enemy (nicotine), it means learn all that you can about addiction, about quitting, about what works and what doesn't work. It means listen to the folks who have already quit successfully here on EX and take their advice seriously.  Do the reading.  Do the Tracking and Separation exercises here on EX.  Understand your addiction BEFORE you attempt to quit.

  

Forearmed?  It means spending time thinking about, and choosing, how you will handle cravings.  These are the weapons with which you will be forearmed (a fancy way of saying "armed beforehand", get it?)  To do this, I suggest you start with two separate lists. 

  

The first list is "Things I will DO when I am Craving".  This should be small simple tasks or activities, such as take out the trash, play solitaire, start a load of laundry, do 15 jumping jacks, trim your toenails, go yell at the people who work for you (ok, maybe not THAT), a crossword puzzle book, write a real postcard to someone, rearrange your desk, call your mother, take the dog for an extra walk, clean out your kitchen junk drawer, play Solitare...you get the idea, right? 

  

The second list is "Things I will Put into My Mouth INSTEAD of Cigarettes".  These are oral substitutes.  Flavors and textures that will distract your senses from a craving, and keep your mouth busy until the craving passes.  The obvious things are gum, hard candies and mints.  But think outside the box, too.  Other items on this list could be licorice sticks, whole cloves, olives, flakes of red pepper, Cheerios (one at a time, like a baby does), teeny cubes of cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on your tongue, pistachios, butter rum Lifesavers, swigs of bottled water, a Tootsie Roll Pop, sticks of fresh zucchini, cherry tomatoes, a spoonful of peanut butter...have I got you thinking?  Not only does this direct your taste buds from the memory of what smoking tastes like, but it also can help with breaking the habit of the hand-to-mouth motion.

  

Now, assemble your "weapons" against the cravings.  Buy or find the items on these lists that will allow you to put these ideas into actual practice when a craving hits.  Find a suitable totebag or box.  This is your "Quit Kit"  (This may seem like overkill, or even silly, to some new Quitters.  But, dying from smoking is pretty darn serious and you need an arsenal to beat your addiction.)  Don't forget to include your two lists in your Kit.  During the first days of your Quit, and for as long as necessary, keep your Quit Kit near you.  And utilize it when the urge to smoke hits you.  When a craving comes over you, you can just, oh, say, grab a handful of breadsticks and go run around the block while you munch on them.  Or how about crack open a can of coconut water and go paint your fingernails?  Or eat six black olives while dancing around the coffee table, humming ABBA songs?  Crazy, but effective.

  

Finally, don't forget the most super-secret effective Crave Buster EVER:  Bite into a whole lemon, peel and all.  Nothing will kill a crave faster.  I promise.

  

The point is this, folks; IF you prepare properly for your Quit, you are more likely to succeed.  Don't just sit there and feel reeeeaallly bad when a crave comes over you!  Take ACTION until the crave ebbs away.

  

"Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory".  It works.  And if I can quit, YOU can quit, too!

  

xxxooo,  Sky

  
     
   
   
SkyGirl

Mad! I was so MAD!

Posted by SkyGirl Oct 5, 2016

Today, I went out to sit on my patio.  I don't often do that.  Why?  Because when I was a smoker, the patio was my private smoking haven under an extended roof that protected me from rain and snow.

I had it all arranged just the way I wanted it so that I could sit out there for HOURS and smoke one cigarette right after another...and another...and another...

I had a comfortable big wooden rocking chair with comfy seat and back pads.  I had a round side table, always covered with a tablecloth that could be washed when stray ashes dirtied it. I had my favorite 1960's aqua glass ashtray.  Sometimes I switched that out for one of my other cool mid-century, kidney-shaped, dripped-glaze ashtrays.  I had a lamp on my table so I could read when it was dark.  I had a chrome wastebasket with a foot pedal-controlled lid, close enough that I could dump my ashtray full of smelly butts without having to leave my rocking chair.  I had a magazine stand, stocked with reading material, within arm's length.  I had an oscillating fan a few feet away to blow the smoke away from my neighbor's balcony (I thought that I was SOOOO considerate to provide that for them!).  And finally, I had a small electric heater under the side table, pointed at my feet to keep me warm in the winter.  What a set-up!  I only had to go inside the condo to eat and sleep.  I spent HOURS out on my patio.

When I quit, I dismantled the entire set-up out there.  It had too many associations with smoking.  I had learned that one of the most important things you have to do is to break those associations, not only with things like coffee, driving, talking on the phone...but also with physical surroundings and daily activities.  

It's a very effective tool to do things like: sitting in a different chair to watch TV, getting up from the dinner table to take a short walk outside immediately after eating, to take a shower in the evening instead of your usual morning routine, to play different music in the car, to brush your teeth at random times during the day.  You may not realize how many unconscious associations with smoking that you have in your daily habits.

But, back to why I was SO mad!  When I went out on my patio today, it was only to sweep the autumn leaves off.  But I immediately spied a cigarette butt.  It probably came from the guy two floors up who smokes.  Or maybe from one of the guys who drives the lawnmower past my patio.  Or...heck, I don't care WHERE it came from!  I only know it was there, sitting in all its nastiness on MY patio.  Mad.  I was SO mad.  

And then it struck me.  How many times had I tossed cigarette butts on other people's sidewalks, out my car window,  in parking lots, outside buildings before I entered them and in all kinds of random places that would be considered littering at best and causing a fire hazard at worst?  Lots of times.  Thousands of times.  And never thought one single moment about how wrong it was.  

I plead guilty.  And to all those people, known and unknown to me, I humbly apologize for infringing upon your spaces with my nasty, thoughtless addiction.  

I am so thankful to be free now.

xxxooo,   Sky