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Sylvia_Deitz

My Quit

Posted by Sylvia_Deitz Jul 12, 2018

I haven't been here for a long time, but have been getting some emails lately from this group, so decided to come on the site again and let you all know my progress over the years.  I quit in 2008...almost 10 years ago.  I probably wouldn't have made it if it weren't for this site.  Whenever I would have a bad craving, I would come on here and blog or read someone else's.  Anyway, I was successful and just wanted you all to know that it is possible.  I know at the time when I first quit, I used to really envy the ones who had been quit a year or more, thinking how could I ever do it, but with the encouragement from this support group, I made it.  It will be 10 years Sept. 11.  Also, it helped to learn everything I could about what smoking really does to you physically and mentally and if you look at it logically, why would anyone want to do all that to their body? 

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I'm a soon to be 67 year old great grandmother of 4, grandmother to 5, mother to 3 and married to a wonderful Christian man. I've been smoking for 49 of those years with a few quits thrown in along the way. I quit the longest about 10 years ago for a year and 1/2, but along came a really traumatic happening in my life, so I reached for just one cigarette which by the way was still in my freezer...mistake #1! That led to another 10 years of addiction. I was experiencing extreme shortness of breath just doing simple things like making the bed, so I went through a bunch of heart tests which turned out all right. Then I had a pulmonary function test done which led to a diagnosis of emphysema and COPD. I guess subconsciously I was waiting to hear some deadly diagnosis to scare me into quitting for good. Well, it did scare me enough to make me quit cold turkey the next day because I decided I didn't want to die. The first few days of my quit I wandered if I had made the right decision since it was the hardest thing I have ever done but I found some support sites on the internet that really helped me a lot. I read for hours and days about this horrible addiction of ours and how to deal with it. I found out that knowledge is power. Another thing that helped so much was my faith in Jesus. I pictured Him sitting on my shoulder giving me strength to conquer the cravings. It also helped and continues to help me to encourage others who are new quitters. On Sept. 11, 10 I will have been quit for 2 years. That's my story of how I decided to quit smoking.




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Quitting smoking is a learning experience. Every time you overcome an urge you will have overcome another obstacle that threatened your status as an ex-smoker. As time goes by, you will run out of obstacles and you can comfortably go through life a happier and healthier person. All you need to remember and practice to stay an ex-smoker is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.

 

 


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WhyQuit.com - a free online quit smoking forum offering motivation, education, skills development, counseling and serious group support


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This is a blog post I saved from a long time ago, but I thought it might help some of you who think that one puff or one cigarette won't hurt.  I'm not sure who wrote it, but it was a big help to me back in the beginning of my quit.  I've made it smoke free now for 2 years and 3 months.

Picture yourself a second or two after you stub out that quit-breaking cigarette. The one that you just had to have because the craving was so strong you couldn't hold out any longer, when that voice inside you was saying.. "Go on, life sucks, you may as well smoke a cig.. y'know for your nerves.." or the other one.. "you've got this beat now.. you are in control.. you can have one just now and again.. go on have one for old time's sake.." So you bum a cigarette, and smoke it and in 2 and 1/2 minutes, you stub it out.

Now what. Your mouth feels like crap. Your lungs are tightening up. You managed to stifle the coughs .. but barely. You began to squint again because the smoke hurt your eyes. and your fingers and clothes smell again. You either want to throw up, grab some mouthwash, take a shower, or have another.. maybe buy a pack.

But then you realize what you've just done. After all those times when you said you were going to quit, and then when you finally did, and your family and friends were so happy for you - but not exactly over the moon, because after all they've been hopeful before only to see you relapse - all that enthusiasm is now smashed to pieces on the floor. And all the pressure that drove you to grab that cigarette in the first place - it's all still there. Nothing has changed, except now you've added one more problem: you just blew it.

And then you realize what you've really done. You had invested days, maybe weeks and months, in this quit. You had made a great decision, one of the few things you really and truly felt proud of in your life, and you just blew it. You just blew the quit that you swore to yourself was the last one. You were so positive, so motivated, and encouraged, you were really on top of it, ahead of the game for once, you had taken control of your life and it felt like a whole new beginning.. and you just blew it.

You look at that stub in the ashtray. The grey ash and the brown edge to the burnt paper, and the tar stain on the end of filter. You remember the thousands of cigarettes you have stubbed out and think about the tar that came into your lungs as smoke. And you think if smoking that one cigarette was worth it. Nothing's better. You feel a little dizzy now as the nicotine hits your body, even a little nauseous - certainly don't feel the pleasure that you remember the adverts and billboards were promoting during your early years as a smoker. In fact it's hard to remember any time when you felt that pleasure.. just another tobacco company lie.. They helped you to become an addict the first time, but when you smoked that cigarette after you quit.. well that was a whole new decision. You made that one all by yourself - there's no pointing fingers now, you know that cigarettes kill, so when you lit that one cigarette, the choice to smoke was all yours - no-one else to blame. And you just blew it.

It wasn't worth it.. time after time the slippers' and relapsers' lament how they feel like crap, how ashamed they are, how they have lost confidence and hope, how they hate themselves, how much it hurts, how depressed and they cry and hide and cry some more. And now you are one of them.. the quit losers. Lost in the wilderness, not quite a smoker.. yet and not sure you are a quitter, searching for some dignity, some self-respect out of this. All because of that one cigarette. Because you blew it.

OK, time to come back.. thankfully this was a "Picture yourself..." so none of this really happened. You didn't smoke that cigarette, and your quit is intact. You take a deep breath and you can still fill your lungs without breaking down into a hacking cough. You can smile, because you are still in control. The craving passes and you can shake your head a little and give yourself a little pat on the back at your success. You remained true the promise you made to yourself on day one. Because none of this really happened.

Did it ?

Sylvia_Deitz

You Too Can Do This

Posted by Sylvia_Deitz Jul 9, 2010

Hey, Everyone!  Sorry I haven't been on here for a long time.  Some of you might remember me.  I've been so absent because spring came and I had so much to do outside.  At some point thinking about smoking and anything to do with it just became an old memory.  I just wanted to check in and let you know that it's been almost 2 years since I quit smoking.  I want to show you newbies that it can be done.  You can go to my page and read my story.  This is the longest I've ever gone without giving in and starting again, so I'm pretty proud of myself.  I hardly ever think about it anymore.  You all can get where I am, too, with the help of this site and encouragement wherever you can get it.  A big help to me was all the info on   http://whyquit.com/ and of course all my friends on here.  Hang in there, everyone!  You can do it!  I smoked for almost 50 years and if I could quit, anyone can.  I always thought, "I don't know how to be an ex-smoker", but you know what?  You gradually learn how to live like the other half.  I have to admit it took at least a year before I quit thinking of smoking and could go days without the thought, but it did happen and it can happen for you! 

I thought with so many of you feeling sad and depressed this would be a good thing to read. It may help.

CIGARETTES: THE EMOTIONAL FILTER

A lot of times when people first quit smoking. They experience what many call " The Emotional Rollercoaster."
And it can make a person wonder, " What is going on? Why are their emotions up and down? Why do they sometimes get angry over things that usually seem so trivial?

I thought I would put up a post to give my perspective on what might be happening, besides the Emotional Loss ( http://www.msnusers.com/FreedomFromToba ... sage=92623 ) and the initial withdrawal process of quitting smoking.
If you're feeling this way. I just want to let you know that you're not alone with this. It happens to a lot of people quitting, so please don't think that you're different.

I know when we first quit smoking. That it can be something else sometimes. One minute you feel happy and the next thing you know, you're upset and you really don't know why. Some days feel like a miracle that you quit smoking and other days might just feel like a lot of work.

I promise you that the effort that you're putting into this quit, will NOT last forever. As long as you don't smoke again, you're going to find a comfort and calmness that you haven't felt since before you started smoking. These aren't empty words, they are a promise! I don't know of anyone that could quit smoking, if for the rest of their lives they had to deal with craves and the emotional rollercoaster that can sometimes happen when we first quit.

One of the lies that this addiction plays on us, is that it can make us think that smoking helped with our emotions. The truth is, nicotine hijacked our own natural neurotransmitters in our brain. It did so by mimicking them and then releasing large amounts of unearned dopamine.

One of the biggest problems this created, was that our brains needed to keep a balance. It had no control over nicotine because it was a foreign substance(poison). So it had no other choice, but to turn down it's own sensitivity to releasing dopamine. Our brains were literally being desensitized, creating a need for a cigarette just to "feel good" or more accurately, feel nicotine normal. We were essentially building a false sense of normalcy without even realizing it.

When we quit smoking, sometimes we can temporarily feel a bit desensitized, giving us the "Blues" or feelings of depression, with our brains offering up few rewards. Remember though, this IS smoking's fault, NOT quitting's. Smoking DID this to you. Quitting is only the healing process so that you can be YOU again. NOT Nicotine you. This is only temporary and a great way to combat this is to do some moderate exercise and practice deep breathing. This can manually stimulate those feel good chemicals. Also don't forget to pat yourself on the back often. After all, you are actually doing something that millions of smokers only dream of doing....Freeing yourselves from this addiction.

Another large problem that smoking created, was that when we smoked and experienced negative emotions such as stress, anger, sadness etc. A lot of times it caused a real physiological reaction that pulled nicotine from our bloodstream at an accelerated rate.

So when we were still smokers and were angry for example. Not only were we angry at something, but we were in the first stages of nicotine withdrawal. The smoker then usually smoked a cigarette to try and calm themselves down. The cigarette relieved the withdrawal and they "felt better". What also happened is that it gave the smoker a minute or two to "calm" themselves and a lot of times , after relieving withdrawal and "feeling better". The initial problem that was bothering the smoker no longer seemed as bad as it initially did.

For years and most likely decades of smoking, we have used the cigarette as the "Great Stress Reliever." Cigarettes became so deeply intertwined into our lives and emotions, that we believed that we needed them to cope. We became brainwashed into thinking that cigarettes relieved our stress, our anxieties, our anger, our sadness. That they comforted us when we were feeling miserable.

And then one day.......We quit smoking.
At that moment we instantly ripped away "life's buffer", the middle man that "helped" us cope with all of our life's problems. Now it's just us and life. Now it's just us and our problems. Now it's just us and our emotions.
Even though this addiction was a horrible abusive relationship. When we divorce it, we can feel alone, a bit scared and unsure if we will be as happy as when we were as a smoker.

Now of course that belief is based on a false sense of normalcy and memories that this addiction created and in reality, all of the joy, happiness, sadness, anger etc. that we either felt or were able to overcome as smokers wasn't because of smoking. We did so DESPITE smoking. Smoking was only a compounded problem that we had to deal with so we could get on with life.

But with the belief that a lot of people quitting have in cigarettes from years of smoking. They can be hit with a double edge sword.
Because even though they quit smoking. Their subconscious hasn't....yet.

The mechanics of nicotine have conditioned the subconscious over many years of smoking to associate smoking when we feel anxiety. It doesn't really matter what causes it. The subconscious is only doing it's job and it doesn't differentiate anxiety from anger, stress, sadness, craves etc. So even though those memories are lies based from addiction. The subconscious is only looking out for us by saying, " If you smoke a cigarette, you'll feel better."

So imagine what happens when we first quit and are dealing with life's problems without cigarettes.
Here we are trying to quit smoking and we run into a problem and start feeling upset. Now with all those left over conditioned memories, our subconscious is telling us, " Smoke a cigarette and you'll feel better." and we're answering, "No, we quit smoking.", but a lot of times in the back of our mind, we might be believing what our subconscious is saying to us and we end up fighting ourselves not to smoke.

We can become frustrated.....We can become confused.
It's no wonder we can tend to get angrier at something that didn't seem like such a big deal before. It's no wonder we can feel depressed at times when first quitting.

For one, We don't have that "Middle Man", the pause button that we once had to give us a couple of minutes to reflect and two, we're feeling anxiety and we have all these left over memories telling us that if we smoke a cigarette, it will help relieve that anxiety.....BUT we can't, because we quit smoking.

It can be frustrating learning how to deal with emotions and problems without the "middle man". Especially, if you still believe in those false memories that a cigarette helped you to cope with your emotions.
This is why I think when a person first quits smoking, that sometimes it feels like there are a flood of emotions kicking in. In a way smoking suppressed our bad emotions to a certain extent, by actually taking away our focus of how we were feeling, because by relieving withdrawal, we thought that we were relieving these emotions.

No matter how we were feeling though, we always had to feed the beast and when we felt bad. The beast became hungrier. There was always that middle man to filter all of our experiences. When we take away that " middle man", we start to experience all emotions as us. There is no more filter to them and I think when we first quit we experience them, they feel at a more intense level. This is only temporary and will subside as we learn to live as us again and NOT nicotine us.
It's almost like having a dam in a river for many years and then one day just taking it away. The river is going to come rushing through, but once the initial flooding subsides, the river will calm itself and return to it's natural flow before that dam was put in.
Sylvia_Deitz

First 30 Days

Posted by Sylvia_Deitz Oct 20, 2009


This was posted by Edith back in January. I saved it and felt it would be good to repost it at this time with so many of you early in your quits.

This is one of the best blogs I've ever read since I've been coming to this website. It was written by a gal named Sherry on Sept. 18, 2008.

"OH, WHAT I HAVE GONE THROUGH TO GET TO DAY 30!"
"I wrote down how I felt everyday at night before I went to bed so here is the list! Maybe it will help you if your new into your quit or just about to start your quit! GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!! ( I quit COLD and everyone is different so I'm not saying you will go through the same things as me!) ITS A 28 DAY LONG LIST, SO IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO READ!! BUT I THINK ITS WORTH IT LOL!!

Days
#1- NOT HAPPY TODAY but was excited to start this quit!
2. Going to pull my hair out, this is not going to be easy.
3. Felt not so bad today but the cravings really sucked, My mind kept telling me to just have a couple of drags it will make you feel better. (I know better then that)
4. Went through the whole day with only cravings and no longing (if that make any sense)
5. Still lots of cravings and I felt very emotional all day
6. Started to wonder if its all worth it today
7. ITS WORTH IT!! (My 4 year old son told me he is proud of me today)
8. Felt very up beat and full of energy. I think I'm going to try to be more active with my son to help keep my mind off of this no smoking stuff..
9. Was around a smoker today (I did want one, but I didn't cave) It wasnt even like I was craving one it was just that I wanted one!!
10. Started listing how far I have gone with out a smoke on facebook today, the response has been overwhelming! So many people now know and I will have to answer to everyone if I fail!!
11. Cravings are only every now and then but I found myself thinking about it all day today.
12. Had a dream last night about taking a couple of drags. (I felt all dirty and ashamed for the whole day, even though it was just a dream)
13. Spent some time over at a friends house today, they all smoke there. I was so scared I didnt even want to go but I know I cant hide from my friends so I got some gum and had a great time! (they where all very supportive and full of questions on how I did it) It made me feel really good about what I was doing!
14. I woke up this morning and when to the store to get milk and well at the cash out I asked for my normal pack of smokes that I would buy at this store all the time... (without even thinking about it) I then told the casher, no thanks to the smokes.
15. I felt so strong yesterday saying NO, then I had an issue with my boyfriend and I was going to brake down. I cried and cried and through it all I kept saying "I just want a smoke it will make me feel better!!" (friends wouldn't let me)
16. I'm up, I'm down, I'm all over the place!!! I'm going nuts!! Why am I doing this to myself!!! My boyfriend told me today that my teeth are looking whiter now!! I'm happy about that cuz that was one of my reasons why I wanted to stop! GETTING WHITER TEETH!!!
17. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is driving me NUTS!! Every little thing is getting on my nerves and I feel like I am going to SNAP!!! I thought this was going to get easier the further along I made it!! WTF
18. Lost it on the one I love the most last night but I was so messed up... Good thing he was understanding! Its crazy how one day I feel so good and the next I don't. Today I only had a couple of cravings and didn't think about it all the time!
19. I really just want to smoke, well that's what my mind is telling me anyways. All day today I just wanted one and tonight it got even worse! I don't know how much longer I can keep telling myself that I can do this!
20. Talked to a friend today she told me about a site to try out but I don't know... Smelt a women in the store today and OMG she smelt so good!! I wanted a smoke so bad just from the smell of her!
21. I think I'm honestly starting to brake now.... Today was so hard, this is not getting easier and my mind is going nuts! Started to spit up a bit of crap today... YUCK!!!
22. Its crazy, during the day I don't want to smoke but at night, maybe cuz I'm not doing much, I REALLY want one. Its so bad now that I have asked a friend to night to bring me one. Thank goodness she said no! I would have smoked it!
23. I feel so good that I have made it this far yet I want to give in! One side says just go get some smokes and the other says, oh but you have made it this far!! Starting to really feel like this is not the right time for me but I cant give in I have come so far already! Smelt another person today and this time it smelt NASTY!! (but I still wanted it) STARTING TO HATE THE SMELL OF SMOKE!!!
24. Realized I needed some help with this today and a friend told me about a site called become an ex so I joined it and I read some posts. (it really made me feel better) I ate an egg, cheese and ham sandwich today and I noticed how well I could taste everything!! I didn't even put any thing on it for more flavor! I CAN TASTE BETTER NOW!!
25. Wrote my first blog on become an ex today and it felt good! I don't feel so good though, had another dream last night... I think my mind is trying to get me to give in! And the cravings have been so very bad for the past I guess 3 days! I have had this Glade candle for a long time now and any time I lit it before I would have to go and stand right over it to smell it, I just thought that they didn't work as well as everyone says!! WELL I was WRONG!!! Today I was in the kitchen cooking and I had it lit in the living room and I could smell it from about 15 feet and even over the smell of the food!! I CAN NOW SMELL BETTER!!
26. Since I have joined become an ex 2 days ago I have felt better, I think all I needed was to know that there are other people going through what I have gone through... I made my first friend on there today... sounds silly writing this but its feels soo good. I know now that I can do this with the help of other members and I have a totaly different view of this whole quit thing thanks to become an ex and the blogs I have read! I even started a group on Facebook called BECOME AN EX (smoker) to get the word out there to my friends and others about the site become an ex!! I asked Ex members to join but so far not much luck...
27. I am in pain today, in my chest and throat! I don't know what it is but I hope its nothing. I feel like I smoked 10 packs of smokes.... NOT GOOD. Starting to think that asking members on Ex to join in on my Facebook group was a bad idea... no one is responding to my posts about it... I just thought they would want to tell there friends about EX as much as I do!
28. No more pain today so far I feel great! I sang a song to my son this morning and it felt so nice, I felt so clear in my throat and it was so much easier to sing, I didn't gasp quick to get the air I needed for the next word or anything!
29. Today was good. I haven't had many cravings and I have felt so overwhelmed by the amount of responses to my post! People are really making me feel that this is worth it! Joining Ex is helping me change my life!!
30. Today was the big day!! 30 DAYS!! I felt so great this morning, I got up and went to the store to get ham to I could make eggs and ham, I also got a cresaunt to have with it! I sat and ate and felt to great... the food tasted sooo good and I was so happy that I have made it this far!! I enjoyed the day so much, telling everyone I could just to hear that "Great job" or "Well done" and I would feed off of it... feeling more and more like I have done what so many people thought I could never do... (more so myself, to be honest. I never thought I would make it this far!!)
I hope this helps.. I know it helped me to keep track of how I was feeling. I just noticed well reading this back to myself that since I have joined EX I haven't had many cravings at all... Not enough to have to right them down anyways!! Best of luck to everyone!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!"

I know I posted this in some discussions, but I want the new quitters to be sure and read this. I guess there are a lot of smokers who don't even know what emphysema is. I thought everyone knew about it, but after reading this I guess not. It is a progressive disease similar to cancer, but your lungs turn into scar tissue from all the abuse which caused you to lose the elasticity that enables you to breathe.
WE MUST HAVE EARLY DETECTION
Author: Jeanette Vielhaber
Abstract Number: 1049

When I went to the ER on the night of January 29, 1994, I was diagnosed with Emphysema. I finally had a name to go with how I felt. And, I felt bad, with an fev1 of 33%. I had seen my doctor regularly before this. Chronic Bronchitis had been my constant companion and nobody said this would lead to Emphysema. And, even if they had, I would not have known what they meant. There was nothing in the media then to educate me. Nobody said each exacerbation would scar my lungs. I had been told I should stop smoking and I had tried at least twenty times. I did not know that my habit was an addiction and like all addictions needed intervention. That night in ER was my intervention.

For several years before this trip to ER, I complained of being short of breath. In 1990, while on vacation, I was unable to walk up an incline and I was 59 years old. A trip to Colorado in 1991 caused me to barely be able to function. I didn’t know why and I was really scared. Now, I rarely am able to travel. Even a trip to the mall has to be planned like a safari. A lot of hopes and dreams literally went up in smoke.

Today, doctors have tools that can diagnose this killer and everybody who smokes should be observed as a potential patient of Emphysema. Even those who don’t smoke should have access to a spirometry evaluation. Young people, who are so vulnerable, should have more warning than the words on a cigarette package. We need the media to join us in explaining, in detail, what COPD is. Every magazine, every news program and every school should be educating our families and friends. Many of us don’t look sick so the general public still has no fear. If you did not see my oxygen tank that is part of me, you would never realize that I am in the end stages of this disease.

To me, emphysema is no longer a word on a cigarette package. To me, it spells death.
Sylvia_Deitz

Only on Day One

Posted by Sylvia_Deitz Oct 12, 2009
ONLY ON DAY ONE
Author Unknown
I've posted this before, but there are so many new quitters I felt they needed this.

So many times people say that they're on day one and it's an understated, quiet, anti-climatic humble statement. They seem almost apologetic to the crowd. They are only on day one, how insignificant.
Well, let me tell you something ... Day one is the most important day of the entire quit! Without Day One, there is no quit!
It's absolutely the MOST important day! And it should be shouted from the rooftops! It should be heralded with trumpets blaring! Day One is cause for greater celebration than Day 100!
Oh, Day 100 is wonderful. Success is stamped all over Day 100, but without Day One, there is no Day 100. Without Day One there is nothing.
So here is to Day One and all those who were brave enough to enter it and embrace it and allow it to be their reality. Congratulations to you for being willing to enter Hell Week!
I see Hell Week as a challenging, long, suffering, miserable week and here these people are ... Ready - Willing - And Able to walk up to it and say "I'm here!"
Without that, you have no quit. Without that willingness to walk up to Hell Week and offer yourself like some sacrificial lamb on a rock slab, you have nothing. You are the bravest of any day, on Day One! You are the most challenged on Day One. That is the hardest day of the entire quit. Because that is the day that you took your whole world and did the impossible. You turned it around 180 degrees! You turned night into day. You made the sun into the moon. You took everything that seemed normal and right and tossed it into the wind and said "give me abnormal and wrong!"
Ever since Day One, I have been inviting abnormal and wrong into my life. And I have never felt so alive in all of my days on this earth.
If I could do it all over again, I would jump into Day One screaming and cheering with banners and ribbons flowing from my arms. And I would wear a big hat that proudly stated "DAY ONE" on it! Because something happened that I never bargained for. Facing the fear and allowing Day One to enter my life was the first of many more wonderful challenges. And it was as if somebody handed me a key (a master key!) and said "Here, this opens more doors, discover yourself!"
Welcome to Hell. It is the most wonderful place! Because past this lies Freedom. I'd walk this walk 100 more times if I had to. It's that beautiful.
Sylvia_Deitz

First 30 Days

Posted by Sylvia_Deitz Oct 1, 2009
This was posted by Edith back in January. I saved it and felt it would be good to repost it at this time with so many of you early in your quits.

This is one of the best blogs I've ever read since I've been coming to this website. It was written by a gal named Sherry on Sept. 18, 2008.
"OH, WHAT I HAVE GONE THROUGH TO GET TO DAY 30!"
"I wrote down how I felt everyday at night before I went to bed so here is the list! Maybe it will help you if your new into your quit or just about to start your quit! GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!! ( I quit COLD and everyone is different so I'm not saying you will go through the same things as me!) ITS A 28 DAY LONG LIST, SO IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO READ!! BUT I THINK ITS WORTH IT LOL!!

Days
#1- NOT HAPPY TODAY but was excited to start this quit!
2. Going to pull my hair out, this is not going to be easy.
3. Felt not so bad today but the cravings really sucked, My mind kept telling me to just have a couple of drags it will make you feel better. (I know better then that)
4. Went through the whole day with only cravings and no longing (if that make any sense)
5. Still lots of cravings and I felt very emotional all day
6. Started to wonder if its all worth it today
7. ITS WORTH IT!! (My 4 year old son told me he is proud of me today)
8. Felt very up beat and full of energy. I think I'm going to try to be more active with my son to help keep my mind off of this no smoking stuff..
9. Was around a smoker today (I did want one, but I didn't cave) It wasnt even like I was craving one it was just that I wanted one!!
10. Started listing how far I have gone with out a smoke on facebook today, the response has been overwhelming! So many people now know and I will have to answer to everyone if I fail!!
11. Cravings are only every now and then but I found myself thinking about it all day today.
12. Had a dream last night about taking a couple of drags. (I felt all dirty and ashamed for the whole day, even though it was just a dream)
13. Spent some time over at a friends house today, they all smoke there. I was so scared I didnt even want to go but I know I cant hide from my friends so I got some gum and had a great time! (they where all very supportive and full of questions on how I did it) It made me feel really good about what I was doing!
14. I woke up this morning and when to the store to get milk and well at the cash out I asked for my normal pack of smokes that I would buy at this store all the time... (without even thinking about it) I then told the casher, no thanks to the smokes.
15. I felt so strong yesterday saying NO, then I had an issue with my boyfriend and I was going to brake down. I cried and cried and through it all I kept saying "I just want a smoke it will make me feel better!!" (friends wouldn't let me)
16. I'm up, I'm down, I'm all over the place!!! I'm going nuts!! Why am I doing this to myself!!! My boyfriend told me today that my teeth are looking whiter now!! I'm happy about that cuz that was one of my reasons why I wanted to stop! GETTING WHITER TEETH!!!
17. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is driving me NUTS!! Every little thing is getting on my nerves and I feel like I am going to SNAP!!! I thought this was going to get easier the further along I made it!! WTF
18. Lost it on the one I love the most last night but I was so messed up... Good thing he was understanding! Its crazy how one day I feel so good and the next I don't. Today I only had a couple of cravings and didn't think about it all the time!
19. I really just want to smoke, well that's what my mind is telling me anyways. All day today I just wanted one and tonight it got even worse! I don't know how much longer I can keep telling myself that I can do this!
20. Talked to a friend today she told me about a site to try out but I don't know... Smelt a women in the store today and OMG she smelt so good!! I wanted a smoke so bad just from the smell of her!
21. I think I'm honestly starting to brake now.... Today was so hard, this is not getting easier and my mind is going nuts! Started to spit up a bit of crap today... YUCK!!!
22. Its crazy, during the day I don't want to smoke but at night, maybe cuz I'm not doing much, I REALLY want one. Its so bad now that I have asked a friend to night to bring me one. Thank goodness she said no! I would have smoked it!
23. I feel so good that I have made it this far yet I want to give in! One side says just go get some smokes and the other says, oh but you have made it this far!! Starting to really feel like this is not the right time for me but I cant give in I have come so far already! Smelt another person today and this time it smelt NASTY!! (but I still wanted it) STARTING TO HATE THE SMELL OF SMOKE!!!
24. Realized I needed some help with this today and a friend told me about a site called become an ex so I joined it and I read some posts. (it really made me feel better) I ate an egg, cheese and ham sandwich today and I noticed how well I could taste everything!! I didn't even put any thing on it for more flavor! I CAN TASTE BETTER NOW!!
25. Wrote my first blog on become an ex today and it felt good! I don't feel so good though, had another dream last night... I think my mind is trying to get me to give in! And the cravings have been so very bad for the past I guess 3 days! I have had this Glade candle for a long time now and any time I lit it before I would have to go and stand right over it to smell it, I just thought that they didn't work as well as everyone says!! WELL I was WRONG!!! Today I was in the kitchen cooking and I had it lit in the living room and I could smell it from about 15 feet and even over the smell of the food!! I CAN NOW SMELL BETTER!!
26. Since I have joined become an ex 2 days ago I have felt better, I think all I needed was to know that there are other people going through what I have gone through... I made my first friend on there today... sounds silly writing this but its feels soo good. I know now that I can do this with the help of other members and I have a totaly different view of this whole quit thing thanks to become an ex and the blogs I have read! I even started a group on Facebook called BECOME AN EX (smoker) to get the word out there to my friends and others about the site become an ex!! I asked Ex members to join but so far not much luck...
27. I am in pain today, in my chest and throat! I don't know what it is but I hope its nothing. I feel like I smoked 10 packs of smokes.... NOT GOOD. Starting to think that asking members on Ex to join in on my Facebook group was a bad idea... no one is responding to my posts about it... I just thought they would want to tell there friends about EX as much as I do!
28. No more pain today so far I feel great! I sang a song to my son this morning and it felt so nice, I felt so clear in my throat and it was so much easier to sing, I didn't gasp quick to get the air I needed for the next word or anything!
29. Today was good. I haven't had many cravings and I have felt so overwhelmed by the amount of responses to my post! People are really making me feel that this is worth it! Joining Ex is helping me change my life!!
30. Today was the big day!! 30 DAYS!! I felt so great this morning, I got up and went to the store to get ham to I could make eggs and ham, I also got a cresaunt to have with it! I sat and ate and felt to great... the food tasted sooo good and I was so happy that I have made it this far!! I enjoyed the day so much, telling everyone I could just to hear that "Great job" or "Well done" and I would feed off of it... feeling more and more like I have done what so many people thought I could never do... (more so myself, to be honest. I never thought I would make it this far!!)
I hope this helps.. I know it helped me to keep track of how I was feeling. I just noticed well reading this back to myself that since I have joined EX I haven't had many cravings at all... Not enough to have to right them down anyways!! Best of luck to everyone!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!"
I found this article by Jim Christopher on a COPD site and it really spoke to me, because I feel this is how I've managed to make it a year without lighting up. I hope some of you will find this as interesting as I did.

by Jim Christopher

I suspect halting an addiction to cigarettes (and other drugs, for that matter) happens most effectively, solidly, enduringly when an individual experiences (develops) a gut-level revulsion (aversion) for same in this respect: he or she emotionally and intellectually catapults (or gradually pushes) cigarette smoking into the same arena as "immediate flight" stuff, e.g., yanking one's hand away from a roaring fire or escaping as fast as humanly possible from a collapsing edifice. After yanking or escaping, most folks fear/respect this stuff and are loathe to repeat same. This "separate-issue-numero-uno-priority" approach is how yours truly stopped boozing over thirty years ago and stopped smoking over fifteen years ago.

Susan stopped by my office - as she does from time to time - to pick up some materials for the SOS all-addictions recovery support meeting that she chairs one night a week. She'd expressed concern regarding some of the folks in recovery relapsing due to what they'd referred to as "the f__k-its!" I've also heard the relinquishing of one's recovery priority (aka relapse) referred to as "oh-what-the-hell-my-life-sucks-anyway-so-I-might-as-well-smoke-cigarettes,-drink-booze (if applicable) etc...."

We agreed that if a recovering person has really bought the idea both cognitively and viscerally, i.e., acknowledged, accepted, prioritized as a separate issue from all else in life, that one cannot smoke cigarettes (drink booze, etc.) and get away with it, then one will maintain one's addiction arrest and not likely relapse. If one sees (feels) the following as an individual arrested-addiction truth: "Whatever else is happening in my life - even if I momentarily experience the self-esteem of a slug, even if I doubt myself severely at times - I still value and cling to my nicotine-addiction arrest as my precious (pain-avoidance) achievement so that ‘oh-what-the-hell-my-life-sucks-anyway,' i.e., ‘the f__k-its!' are experienced as separate issues from reaching for a cigarette, thrusting my hand into a roaring fire, rushing into a collapsing edifice, skipping into the path of an oncoming freight train, and drinking Drano®, leaping from a mountain top, etc.

Substance addiction is deadly serious, we agreed, and although life can be filled with both humor and heartache, we can feel confident - not complacent with our powerfully arrested addictions in the face of come-what-may. Smoking (for an ex-smoker) only exacerbates come-what-may.

I'm one day early, but thought I'd get this up while I have time. Well, people, it's been one heck of a year for me! I've managed to get through one whole year of not even one puff. It's a real milestone for me! From the time I first put up my quit meter, this was the day I was dreaming of! Now I'm aiming for 2 years. The first few months were pretty darn difficult, but I just took it one day at a time and sure didn't want to have to start all over, so I kept chugging along overcoming each crave and I made an hour turn into a year. I'm living proof that it can be done! I did it cold turkey. Although I gained 10 pounds, I managed to lose most of it. I knew I had to quit because after 50 years of smoking, I got the news that I had emphysema. I had set a quit date, but someone said, "why not now?" and I thought about it and said, "why not? The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll be free." Believe me, it's the most wonderful feeling to not be chained to cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays! It was such a feeling of freedom when I could sit in an airport recently and not be dying for a smoke…wondering if I had time to go out and smoke before time to board. I didn't even have the slightest urge. My greatest wish is that you all will experience the freedom that I've come to know!
Sylvia_Deitz

Thank You, All

Posted by Sylvia_Deitz Aug 28, 2009
I left this as a comment on my other blog, but figured very few would see it, so I'll just put it on this other blog.

Oh, my Gosh! You guys are all so comforting in this time of sorrow for me! I had no idea so many of you would leave comments! Thanks you all so much for your sweet caring for what I'm going through! I'm feeling a little better today, thanks to you all and each day that passes helps. I know Missy's so much better off than being here and suffering. She did have a good long life for a cat. I have one other cat that is 2 years older than Missy. She's 18 and going strong. She's actually Missy's grandmother. I imagine I'll have to go through this again before too long. At least I still have her and my son who lives in our guest house has 3, so we're not lacking for cats around here. Thanks again for being there for me!
Sylvia_Deitz

I Lost My Beloved Cat

Posted by Sylvia_Deitz Aug 27, 2009

Hi Everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been around much lately. We got back from vacation last week, but a couple of days after we got back I realized that my cat was acting strange and not eating or drinking, so we took her to the vet and after a thorough exam, she said at her age of 16, it would cost too much to buy her just a little more time, so I had to make the decision to have her euthanized. Needless to say, I've been suffering so much grief. I really loved Missy! She was my constant companion for all those years, so you can imagine how much I miss her. I've been telling all of you not to smoke no matter what...even if someone dies. Well, I feel as bad as if she were a human, but I haven't really wanted to smoke...just feeling the pain of the loss. When I was a smoker I never could have done that. I would have smoked several packs by now, but thank God I have as much time in my quit as to be strong enough to deal with this and not smoke. 15 more days will be 1 year! I did enjoy the trip to visit my kids and I got through seeing and smelling my son with his cigarettes. He was good about not smoking close to me, but the times we were in his house were pretty hard on me, because just the smell makes me sick. Well, I just wanted to catch you up on what's been going on with me.

Hi.... Well, I tried to send this as an email to all my friends, but it wouldn't send because I have more than 100 friends, so this is me saying "Howdy", since I just haven't had time lately to get to all of your pages. I just wanted you all to know how proud I am of all of you! Most of you are still going strong with your quits and that's super amazing! For those of you who have relapsed or just haven't been successful, I'm sure you're going to make it again. It just takes determination! You've just got to remember when that big emotional thing happens, you are not better off by lighting up. You only make your emotional situation worse! Remember...we are all addicts and we just have to be strong or we'll be headed for an early grave and I'm sure you don't want that anymore than I do. I'm doing everything I can to remain smoke free and I wish all of you the best! Thank you for sharing on my page and on some of the groups I'm in! I love to hear from all of you, my friends!
RJ posted this back in Sept. of 08. I saved it, because it was a big help to me during those early days when the craves were so intense.

All my life I was conditioned to either stand and fight or turn and run when faced with challenge. If you’re a newbie, then chances are there is another habit trigger waiting around the corner that will soon generate a short yet powerful anxiety attack that we call a crave. The habit trigger could be an emotion, time, event or place where, or during which, you used to suck warm nicotine laden air into crying lungs in order to replenish your blood’s rapidly falling nicotine level.

The good news is that most habit triggers are reconditioned and discarded by our subconscious mind with just a single encounter. The good news is that the triggered crave will only last a few minutes. The good news is that the anxiety power of our crave generator is fizzling fast, and with each encountered crave there is one less trigger to recondition. The good news is that the reward of total and complete comfort is just down the road. The bad news is that if you’re a newbie then there is probably another crave just around the corner. But is it bad?

So what approach do you use? Do you duck or run when you sense one coming or do you turn and fight? Is your game plan working to your satisfaction? Our objective here is simple - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF, but our natural instincts on how best to achieve our objective may not be the easiest path to travel. Can we hide from our craves or will they find us anyway? Can we runaway from them or will they catch us? It’s the same with going toe to toe in battle, isn’t it? Can we beat-up our craves and make them surrender or cry "uncle"? Can we scare them away? I think not. Encountering all of our triggers and craves is a very necessary part of recovering and normalizing every aspect of our daily lives. It’s true healing!

Tobacco’s deadly cargo is clearly a killer but what about our craves? Can a crave that lasts a couple of minutes kill you? Will it cut you, make you bleed, or send you to the emergency room? Can it physically harm you? If not, then why do you fear it so? How much of the anxiety associated with your quit is self induced? Why are you agonizing over the anticipated arrival of your next crave? When it finally arrives will you immediately begin feeding your mind additional anxieties that only fuel the fire?

The anxiety of a crave for nicotine is very real and it’s ok to reach out and feel it but most of you have never done so. Not once! Instead, what you feel is a tremendously inflated experience driven by fear, fueled by anticipation, and tense due to a history of prior relapse. Just once, stop running, drop your guard, take slow deep deliberate breaths and then reach out to TOUCH your crave. It won’t injure you! It’s ok to be afraid but be brave for just one moment! Wrap your arms around your crave. Clear your mind for just one moment so that you can feel the true anxiety of your healing. Make sure that you feel your tummy rising as you take slow deep deliberate breaths into the bottom of both lungs. Clear your mind of all chatter, worries, fears and thoughts so that you can sense and appreciate exactly what this crave is like.

Touch it, hug it, feel it, sense it! You won’t make the anxiety one bit more intense than it otherwise would have been. You’re witnessing part of the most beautiful healing that your body and life may ever experience. Yes, there is anxiety there but for the very first time it’s not being fed and fueled by you. Feel it’s strength slowing begin decaying. Take pride in your healing. It can’t hurt you, only you can do that! Enjoy your recovery don’t fear it! Embrace your craves! Enjoy your journey home! There is a very special person waiting at the other end!

John Gold a multi year quitter at whyquit gets this credit, it helped me.