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Sootie Blog

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Sootie

ISN'T IT FUNNY?

Posted by Sootie May 28, 2019

Not funny  HA HA....but funny as in DEAR GOD YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING.........

I think almost everyone on this site is old enough to remember when cigarette commercials were on TV. The last televised cigarette ad ran at 11:50 p.m. during The Johnny Carson Show on January 1, 1971.

So it was with the thought..... DEAR GOD YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING......that I watched a television commercial for the JUUL.

SERIOUSLY? Why in the world is this allowed? With cigarettes it was a long process of admitting it might be addictive (1940's?) harmful (1950's?) adding the surgeon general's warning to all commercials (1960's?) and then finally removing the commercials completely in the 1970's.

There is already pretty good evidence that this JUUL IS addictive........nothing good can come from breathing anything into your lungs but air so yes.....probably harmful at some point. WHY are we going through this again???

INSANITY----doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.


If you believe government should be less intrusive in your life....you may be an American

If you believe government should have a bigger place in your life...you may be an American

If you think we should fight no foreign wars...you may be an American

If you believe we must be involved in foreign conflicts...you may be an American

If you vote the Democratic ticket...you may be an American

If you vote the Republican ticket...you may be an American

If you vote....you may be an American

If you don't vote...you may be an American

If you are in favor of heightened airport security...you may be an American

If you are against heightened airport security...you may be an American

If you are secure in the knowledge that you can hold any of the above opinions (and more) and speak them freely---YOU ARE AN AMERICAN!!!! 

GOD BLESS YOU.

GOD BLESS THOSE WHO DIED TO KEEP US FREE.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Sootie

AN HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE

Posted by Sootie May 21, 2019

It has been an honor and a privilege getting to know each and every one of you on this site. Despite our differences---as a matter of fact BECAUSE of our differences------ I have found this site to be interesting, stimulating, thought provoking and……..FUN. You are all special to me in your own unique ways.

 

It is always another honor and privilege to meet in person the EXERS and members of their families who come to our EX weekends. It is so heartwarming to me how everyone joins right in with the group. Everyone is talking and sharing and finding out things about others they did not know. When you have not met before, sometimes there are surprises in appearance (people apparently thought I would be TALL!!!!! if only........). We got to know a lot more about Mark and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Amanda Graham.

It is hard to explain how people who only "type" to one another and who meet only once a year (if that) are like members of a large loving family. But that is just exactly what it is like.

Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to get to know more of your very special selves

I was sad to say goodbye.

 

 

 


As ELDERS on EX, we cannot always respond to blogs in the exact words you would choose.  Want to know why? Because the words YOU would choose may not be the words someone ELSE would choose AND they are not OUR WORDS.

 

Please do not look at every comment as some sort of challenge.....elders comment because they are trying to help.

 

We have opinions on the things that are written on this site and we state them. Sometimes….we are blunt. Please do not think we don’t understand that you need love and support. We are giving you love and support in trying to help you quit this terrible addiction.

 

Please do not feel threatened when we state our opinions on quit methods……or state that someone who keeps relapsing is more likely to continue relapsing (this is actual research). We aren’t criticizing……we are stating fact.  We are trying to educate, we are trying to share our experiences, we are trying to help.

 

And please do not delete our carefully worded advice, comments and suggestions ……or, indeed, the entire blog. You don't really have a right to delete an entire discussion by the community just because you become upset.

 

And finally, please don't PM us and tell us not to respond to any blog of yours or any comment because you do not care for our "attitude".

 

Elders have feelings also.  We are not here for “amusement” as was suggested to me recently. We are only here to help others as we were helped….in diverse, purely personal, different but always caring ways.

 

When you criticize how we say something, delete our comments, get angry with our suggestions, please remember that we have feelings too.

 

And, when you tell us to leave you alone………………………..please do not complain when we do.

Sootie

THE GEESE ARE BACK

Posted by Sootie Mar 15, 2019

While working outside in the yard today....I saw the geese RETURNING from the South.......WINTER is unofficially over.

And I thought of this blog post that I pull out every once in awhile.......We've had lots of discussions lately about our gaggle of geese here at EX and our different roles of support. We are the V formation......we are the team. Each of us plays a role....sometimes different roles during our time here. I hope you "see" yourself in this blog----- whether honking from behind, leading the way, staying with an injured member or re-joining the flock....................

 

When you see geese flying South for the Winter…know that you are watching an incredible feat of teamwork, support, and power.

  

The V formation used by geese provides "uplift" for each goose from the goose flying in front of it.....in this way the flight is 71% more efficient than if the goose flew alone. Isn't this true of us here? Each of us who have gone ahead provide "uplift" for those coming up behind us. I don't know our percentages, but I know that I was much more successful quitting because of the "uplift" I got on this site.

  

 When a goose falls out of formation, it quickly feels the drag and resistance from not having the help from the others. So many of us know that feeling....especially in the beginning. It is hard to leave the site for even a day because we need the others on here to help us. Those of us who have longer quits now need the site because of the friendships we've made. The drag and resistance on our lives without these friendships make us hurry back to the site.  

 

When the lead goose becomes tired, he falls back in the formation and another takes its place. I think we've all seen that no one person can always take the lead here on EX. It becomes a burden and tires that person to a point of losing focus. Someone must step up and take the lead so that others may rest.  

 

All of the geese honk to provide support and encouragement to the goose in front of them. Here we all are "honking" to each other in order to provide encouragement...to say----I am still here!...are you?....keep going!.....stay strong!  

 

When one goose is injured or wounded and falls to the ground, two others land with it and stay with it until it is ready to fly again or until it dies. You have only to go to look at the blogs about those who have suddenly "fallen to the ground." Not only two but many EXes will daily check on the person through blogs, emails and messages---- asking and encouraging the person to return---until all hope is gone that they will return.  

 

The lessons of the geese are the lessons of synergy.......the concept that when we all work together the end result is greater than if each of us acts independently.  

 

Thank you for your "uplift"------it has been my honor to fly with you.  

 

   
  
     
Sootie

THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD

Posted by Sootie Feb 27, 2019

Can't believe I am still craving a smoke after two weeks"

"Can't wait until I am quit one year"

"Wish these craves were over"

"Why can't I just be done"

"Wish I could say I had 900 days"

"Can't do it...it's just too hard"

"When will it be over?"

If this is you.......may I make an OUTLANDISH suggestion..................

ENJOY THE RIDE; THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD.

The journey is the reward is the mantra of many runners.  A true runner enjoys the run....not the finish. A true runner runs to run...not really to finish or place or really anything. The RUN ITSELF is the enjoyment! Yet, runs can be tough. Even if you are a trained runner. Why do they run? The journey is the reward.

The same is true of many things----------life itself. So many people rush through life..."wish I was 16, 21, married, kids out of the house, retired". Life goes too fast the way it is...enjoy the journey. The journey is the reward.

Quitting can be the same. Once I stopped fighting how I felt...I found the quit went so much better...actually started to enjoy it (promise!). When things got rough---I sort of "pulled out of myself" and looked at me like an experiment...kind of like..."hmmmm look at that---you crave a cigarette MORE when relaxing than when you are actually stressed.....interesting." Instead of fearing craves...I hit them the way runners hit the hills. You know they are coming. PREPARE and run them. Let the journey be the reward.

Just food for thought........wishing everyone here on EX a rewarding journey.


Sootie

NANCY

Posted by Sootie Feb 14, 2019

SkyGirl

Just wanted to let everyone know (maybe you received this also)....but I got a "share" from Nancy today on facebook.

I was so happy to hear from her.....was starting to get really worried.

She's apparently fine as it looks like she was enjoying Valentine's Day with her husband.

I know a lot of us were worried having heard nothing from her for such a long time.

Just thought I'd post for everyone who was worried.

Hope she stops in to the site soon.......maybe to VA Beach???

Sootie

DIFFERENT QUIT THINKING

Posted by Sootie Feb 8, 2019

This is a personal story. I realize we are all different and that every quit is also different. However, maybe, my story can help one of you.

I quit for a very long time at one point in my life----13 years.

That long quit of mine failed because it was doomed to fail right from the start. And this is why I want to share the story. If this is your “quit thinking”…….do everything you can to change that thinking right now…..or, sad to say, your quit will also not be forever.

The quit I am in now is forever. Yes….that sounds over confident…..but it’s true. The reason I can say that is I do not in any way, shape or form “want” to smoke a cigarette……ever. Not when work is at its most stressful, not when I am seriously worried about my kids, not when my Mother died. During my first long but unsuccessful quit……I constantly “wanted” a cigarette. I talked about them, I acted like a martyr, I envied smokers….and I eventually became one again.

FULL DISCLOSURE--- I do, occasionally, think about smoking….a very fleeting thought that makes me smile and sometimes laugh…..such a ridiculous thing to do. I don’t ever “want” a cigarette…..I don’t ever “want” to smoke.

In my opinion……your thinking HAS to be that cigarettes are nothing. Your thinking  HAS to be that smoking was a mistake…….a mistake you wish you had never made. A mistake which you are SO HAPPY you are no longer making.

You have to enjoy being a non smoker…..not feel sorry for yourself that you ”can’t smoke”. You cannot just “mouth” the words…….you have to internalize the feeling…….people who smoke don’t “get” to smoke….they “have” to smoke.

Once you realize how foolishly ridiculous smoking is……no excuse will ever have any weight with you. Your quit will be safe in your keeping……because you will have DIFFERENT QUIT THINKING.

Stay Strong

Sootie

DEBATE

Posted by Sootie Feb 4, 2019

With regard to recent discussions we have had on differing opinions...............disagreeing with someone is not  "fighting". Everyone wants to say---"I don't like fighting" or "I don't want to fight". 

When we comment or feel differently from one another it is not fighting, it's not unkind, it's not ego, it's not rude.

It's debate---- which when conducted correctly has nothing to do with fighting. It is expressing and defending a particular stand or opinion in a manner that lays out the facts of your "side" and explains your logic and reasons for reaching your conclusion.

It is nothing to fear

It should never make enemies

It stretches your intellect to have to think through WHY you feel a certain way

My very best friend (here in three dimensional world) and I often disagree on many, many points----and we love each other. We will go for breakfast and still be in the restaurant at lunch time debating and arguing points.  It's energizing!

My very best friends here in the "unreal internet world" and I do not always agree on everything either. But you will never see Giulia or pir8fan and I deciding to leave the site, delete each others comments or do anything but present our opinions and consider each others (even if we reject them). We continue to "talk" to one another and find exchanging ideas is the best part of this site.....again, whether we agree or not.

I think part of the problems that ensue these days (not just here on EX but everywhere) is that people are not taught debate or really any way to logically examine their opinion on something. They also are not taught that others can have different opinions and not be a threat to you.

In this great "age of diversity"----I think we are much LESS able to entertain the opposite opinion.  People also don't seem to be able to change their opinion nor do they seem able to say I'm sorry.

My Dad taught me calm, rational debate. He also taught me to think and feel free to change my opinion if the other side's argument made more sense.

My Mom taught me that "if you can't make a mistake---you can't make anything. Apologize when you do...be sincere...move on."

I truly.......TRULY.....look forward to your thoughts.....ALL of them.

Otherwise....why are we here?

Sootie Blog

Moving On (a little off topic--sorry)

Sootie

PERCEPTIONS

Posted by Sootie Feb 2, 2019

 

Sometimes----things in life are all in the way you decide to interpret them....................

For EXAMPLE----today is Groundhog's Day-----

>If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow....we will have six more weeks of Winter.

>If Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow....we will have an early Spring....it will arrive in about six weeks.

 

 

Is there anyone on here who has smoked for one (1) year? I would doubt it but---if there is...OK

 

Is there anyone on here who has smoked for two (2) years? Again, I would bet not but...maybe. It is certainly possible.

 

My guess is that MOST if not EVERYONE on here has smoked 5+ years and the "+" is probably closer to 15, 20, 25 and up.

 

So, here's my honest observation.....don't expect everything to be over in 3 days, 14 days, 90 days or even 365!!!!  We smoked for a very long time...for some, a lifetime. Why do we poor, silly addicts think that we can rid ourselves of all of that in a matter of days?

 

I would blame it on the “times”---the instantaneous computer generation. Most of the people who work for me……..they want an answer with a “click”! I often find myself needing to say to them……."May I have some time to think this over?" They, invariably, look at me like---"WOW! Who left her in charge?" Thinking things over, taking some time, realizing that most things worth doing TAKE TIME……those ideas are sadly fading. But, I can’t blame it on the “times” because I have found that quitting smoking has always been like this. Everyone seems to forget just how long they smoked……years and years. Shouldn’t the quit be given at least six months???

 

So newbies---enter in with your eyes open. Quitting is not terrible, gruesome or awful----quitting is not impossible----but it does take some work and some time.

 

Are you tough enough to put in the work and the time so that you can be smoke free?

Yes----yes you are.

Stay Strong.

Sootie

LIFEGUARDS

Posted by Sootie Jan 15, 2019

Did I ever tell you that I was a life guard? I guess I still could be a life guard….but I no longer have my active certification.

A lifeguard literally GUARDS THE LIVES of people who are swimming.

Yeah---it’s usually a kid. I was a kid when I did it. Usually, you don’t give too much thought to them…..you may say hi….exchange some words….”nice day, how’s the family”…….nothing much. You’re not really giving them a serious look.

UNTIL ------you are drowning.

When you yell HELP---I AM DROWNING----many people “may” help…….but a life guard must help. Then---that “kid” becomes a very important person in your hopefully continuing life.

Did you know that I can actually save a man three times my size (the water buoyancy helps!).

Did you know that I have to pass a test where I swim with all my clothes…shoes and all…. and raise a dead weight from the bottom of the pool?

I have to be able to swim two miles non- stop.

AND----did you know that I am actually taught to put a choke hold or literally punch or slap someone if it means saving their life? Yes. People who are drowning are not always using common sense. They are panicked.  They are scared. They think it is the end. So----sometimes, to save them, to GUARD THEIR LIVES, you need to be pretty tough.

I only had to ever be that tough once. It was pretty scary for me to act that way. I am sure it was very scary for them. But, in the end,  we were both thankful that I did what I was there to do.

 

You may not think this is the same thing……but it is. We come here to GUARD LIVES…… to save people from drowning in the addiction of smoking.  Just like that kid in the life guard chair…….we aren’t  all seeing it this seriously every  minute we are on the site. We exchange recipes and jokes and family information.  BUT----when someone “says” HELP! I’m DROWNING……the true life guards on this site take the words seriously. Sometimes, in GUARDING, in saving, we get tough. We don’t want to hurt you. We don’t mean to hurt you. We mean to save you. Sometimes…..that hurts.

Sootie

JUST A SHORT NOTE.......

Posted by Sootie Jan 8, 2019

And a SINCERE prayer....................

For those of you who perhaps are not friends with her on facebook....I saw tonight that our dear SMORGY has fallen and is in the hospital. She had just BEEN in the hospital right at Christmas time. I do not have a lot of details.........but SMORGY is the sweetest person I ever had the honor of meeting. She has been battling cancer for some time now. I am so sad to think of this additional set back.

Whether you know Sharon or not.......I ask that you keep her in your prayers tonight. And if anyone is in touch with her personally, tell her everyone at EX always remembers and always loves her.

Sootie

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS???

Posted by Sootie Jan 1, 2019

Whether you are calling them resolutions or intentions or goals or promises........................................

Did anyone make one and what are they?

I'll start off............

Mundane but necessary-----I resolved to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes.  I used to do this and lately have become lax about it. I KNOW it makes me feel better when I do it.....I just need to get to it. So-----that is mine.

WHAT'S YOURS?????????????????

Sootie

ONCE UPON A TIME.......

Posted by Sootie Dec 31, 2018

..............NINE YEARS AGO......................there lived a knight in shining armor in the Kingdom of Southwest Florida. The knight was kind, gentle, brave, caring and helpful.......but, unfortunately,  he was a smoker.

The laws of the Kingdom were changing....being a smoker was no longer going to be allowed for knights. This made the knight very angry. He felt his freedom was being taken away......and, he had always been SUCH a good knight!!!! But, since he WAS a good knight, he did quit smoking. On the eve of the new year 2010, he smoked his last cigarette and rode off on his trusty steed.

The knight arrived at the village of EX and told all there of how much he hated the fact that he had to quit smoking. Something was being taken away from him....he was angry, depressed and annoyed. But the little village of EX had a special magic about it-----the magic of commitment, the magic of support, the magic of understanding AND the magic of collateral kindness.

As the knight spent more time in the village----slaying dragons, rescuing maids and felling villains----he came to understand that the REAL FREEDOM was never taken away from him at all. The REAL FREEDOM is the freedom from the addiction of smoking and that had been his all along----he simply had to CHOOSE IT!!!!

Becoming tired of being a knight (the dragon slaying was tedious, the villains too easily felled and since women's lib the maids weren't anxious to be saved) he turned his trusty steed into a shiny train and became a CONDUCTOR!!!! Almost everyone here at EX rode on his train often. It was a train of friendship, fun and freedom and it served our community well for many, many years.

Sadly, this good man is now no longer very active here on EX……..health and other issues have robbed us of his daily presence. But we remember him fondly on this his NINTH ANNIVERSARY OF FREEDOM!!!!!

pir8fan   My good friend----I wish you more and more and more days of health and happiness.........and I think there may be a FEW more people who also want to wish you a very special day......enjoy it!