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Thomas3.20.2010 Blog

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Forever Quit???

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 16, 2020

Is yours a Forever Quit? That's a looonnnnnng time - forever! I could have never reached a forever quit if I hadn't started out with an O.D.A.T. Quit! ODAT=One Day at a Time! When I first heard about Mindfulness I wondered how you get anything accomplished! Then I realized that the future is simply a series of "nows." I can set my goal - for whatever length of time and still set my daily goal as one step closer to that goal. 


So is yours an ODAT Quit, a Forever Quit, or both? Mine is both, even now!

As many of you know I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. In fact, I get very suicidal and need hospitalization to see me through the darkest days. That's why I disappear for weeks at a time. 

I was on sabbatical recently because of a deep depression following the loss of a young friend of mine to suicide. I am still recovering but now in more of a state of natural grief.

When I get into the funk I feel that nobody wants to hear/read anything I have to say and suspend blogging.

What I don't do is think of smoking! 

I have come a long way on my quit journey with 10 years plus quit. Yet I still work my quit journey each day at a time because as Giulia points out - even long term quitters have relapsed and I choose not to do that!

I call smoking the "little suicide" because of all the damage it does to folks. Smoking is dangerous and destructive. We all know this but because it is an addiction we act as though it weren't true. 

I was driven to quit smoking by COPD. When I first quit it was 6 days after being diagnosed with Stage 1 - now I have Stage 3 COPD and use oxygen therapy 24/7. Now, COPD contributes to my depression.

Had I not quit smoking when I did I most likely would not still be alive to share this thought with you. 

Folks with depression may think, I can't quit - it's too stressful! Yes, you can! You will face your own challenges during your quit journey but you can do this! Actually, quitting smoking will lead to less depression and anxiety. And it's important! You may need more support from your therapist and Doctor but you can do this.

"Persons with serious mental illnesses die up to 25 years earlier, often from tobacco related diseases." 

Embrace life, care for yourself, and stop looking at mental illness as an insurmountable barrier to quitting!

If I can do it so can you! 

Live Long and Prosper!


Return to Normal

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 29, 2020

We are often asked "When will I return to normal?" Although that's a common sentiment - I wondered the same thing - it misses the mark. "Don't look back - you're not headed that way!" Smoking Cessation will bring you to a New Normal. But in the rush to normal, use this time to consider which parts of 'normal' are worth rushing into. 


One of the most freeing things about the new normal is that you get to define how that looks! I changed some people, places and things in my life and I don't regret it. Some of my smoking buddies only shared one thing - addiction to nicotine. I had to let go of these relationships for awhile at least because I associated with some people only over tobacco. 


I had to changed my places at work, at home, even my car! I used to have my patio set up primarily for smoking. I did a complete overhall of it to be non-smoker friendly. I cleaned out and detailed my car making it nonsmoking only. At work I stopped going to the smoking areas and learned to hang with the nonsmokers - because that's what the goal is - Nonsmoker. 


I threw away my ashtrays, lighters, and matches - all my paraphernalia. It took me along time before I could play cards again. I replaced all of these objects with life fortifying objects.


Yes, I snatched at  my pocket for that missing pack of sickerettes. I hunted for lighters any number of times, I was compelled like a magnet to join my friends to the smoking areas. I felt nostalgia at times for the old normal. But I pursued my new normal. You see, commitment is the little choices we make every day that lead to the final results we're striving for.


There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in smoking cessation, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to quit smoking, you accept no excuses - only results! Make those small decisions about who, what, where you'll be and keep your eyes on the prize


You're worth it! Never quit quitting - No regrets!




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 28, 2020

I doubt very many of us have found smoking cessation easy. We learned how to quit smoking by relying on each other and then as we got our confidence by paying it forward. 

Here's something to remember - more folks have quit smoking than those who are still fighting the addiction. There is absolutely nothing different about the quitters and the wannabes! What we have chosen is to stay committed to ourselves. How many times did I say "nobody will notice if I cheat?" I lost count!

What made this quit journey successful for me is the daily pledge:

"I Thomas pledge that I will not smoke today for any reason whatsoever!" I had to honor that pledge, yes, to the Community but most important of all - to myself. 

I had plenty of days of wanting to throw in the towel and go back to nicotine. It was especially tempting when vaping became popular. But I honored my pledge and found something else to do which gave me something else to think about. 

It's important to note that anybody who comes near third hand smoke really does notice so you aren't sneaking around after all! They notice! Even if you changed clothes afterward, took a shower, brushed your teeth, applied perfume and ate an altoid. It smells! Your hair smells, your hands smell, even after all that covering up you do smell. 

Another tell-tale sign is your attitude - there's a big difference between a quitter and somebody who relapsed - honesty! You can be as honest as you like but if you're lying about smoking to yourself it shows! 

Commitment isn't about going 10 years without smoking! Had I promised myself 10 years of smobriety I doubt that I could do that! It's about not smoking this minute...and this minute...and this minute so that minutes stack up to hours, hours to days and days to years! 

Make a commitment to yourself today - just for today. And repeat your pledge tomorrow. That's how you make this quit journey doable.

Use all that energy of sneaking around to be 100% accountable - to yourself and you will achieve Freedom from Nicotine Addiction. We're here to help but the commitment has to come from you. 


I have been deeply depressed due to the Covid 19. I am letting fear rise up in me daily along with loneliness, helplessness, and despair. I have kept this to myself because I know it isn't uplifting or helpful. What I forgot is that we are all in this Quit Journey together.

Then I checked in today as I always do hoping I'll be inspired but somebody else's need. There it was lanerobin65! I just want to Thank you for taking the risk of coming into the light of our Community to express your need to quit! 

But I also want to let you know how you have helped me feel a bit less worthless, less hopeless, like I make a difference in this new world of isolation. 

For those who don't know me, I am 62 years old and just celebrated 10 years smoke free this month. I have done the hard work of searching and following that you are doing right now. I was desperate when I came to BecomeanEX. I had just been diagnosed with COPD and didn't know where to turn. Searching the web brought me here and I've made this Community my home ever since. 

But like so many folks with depression I climb inside a deep dark hole when I can't serve other people. I tend to disappear from this Community and feel like I have nothing to share - nothing to say.

What I can share is the importance of reaching out when you feel this way. I have lanerobin65 to Thank for that.

If you feel isolated and alone, like nobody can help you or even understand you, like smoking is your only comfort and trusted friend, remind yourself that now is the time to reach out - we do understand! We can help! We know the trials but also the path that leads to Freedom and whether you know it or not - you are worth it - to all of us! Keep reaching!



Free Reaching Hand Stock Vectors | StockUnlimited


Life on Life's Terms

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Feb 12, 2020

That's what it's all about!

Now, there was a time when I thought sickerettes helped me to come to terms with life. This Nico-lie like all of them can catch us up into thinking "I can't live without them." The truth is that smoking did provide us an excuse to take a few moments to think. Occasionally we may have felt inspired - but it wasn't the nicotine that gave us this insight - it was the time to our own thoughts. Now I'm not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak so I had to learn a new medium of "thinking breaks." That's where mindfulness meditation comes in and the fact is it doesn't take 8-10 minutes any more (unless I want it to!) 

Mindfulness is simply paying attention without judgment. To right now right here right inside my brain and body. It's like smoking cessation - simple, not easy! 

Ask yourself - what do I see, touch, smell, taste, and hear? 

Ask yourself the primary question - am I safe?

If you think about that, you are not safe smoking and no matter how bad the cravings become you are safe withdrawing!

Everything is going to feel like quick sand under you but even in quick sand the trick is to slow down and tread water. To be in this moment. To look around you and come to fit in your skin. Or as Brene Brown says "Show up!" Be who you are where you are right now. 

Live Life ( minute by minute ) on Life's Terms! It's doable (not easy!)



Sleazy Nico-Lies

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 8, 2020

What I dislike about the vaping industry is their Nico-Lies used blatantly to make money. Now I have nothing against money but I do have a problem with people who make up Corporations using Nico-Lies to keep people hooked on Nicotine. I'm not a fan of alcohol either but not everybody who drinks occasionally gets hooked. Social smokers are addicts and the damage is done from the first cigarette - or vape. 

Inhaling From Just One Cigarette Can Lead To Nicotine Addiction: Kids Show Signs Of Addiction Almost Immediately

Now the vaping industry wants you to believe that smoking is bad for mental health - True - but forgot to mention vaping is too!

Study Links Smoking to an Increased Risk of Depression and Schizophrenia | Vaping Post 

The info is accurate - I posted a similar article over the same study with CNN. But what did these folks leave out?

Study finds 'strong link' between vaping and depression

"A recent study concludes that people who use electronic cigarettes are twice as likely to report clinical depression as those who have never vaped. The correlation was particularly strong among younger people."


Now this makes sense when you get more familiar with Nicotine. It robs you of natural dopamine and replaces it with artificial dopamine. So when you withdraw from vaping -just like smoking - you are bereft of much needed dopamine. 


The function of dopamine is pleasure. Seeing a beautiful sunrise can produce dopamine but the sunrise means less if you are withdrawing from cigarettes or vaping. We have to relearn to stimulate the neurons of pleasure as we recuperate natural dopamine. 


If you want to succeed in withdrawal - do everything you can think of to give yourself dopamine. 

9 Ways To Boost Dopamine

Dopamine Boosting Foods Healthy Way.

Music ~ it's free dopamine!

Pleasure! Seek it - find it, naturally! 


(1) Always keep your Eyes on the Prize!

     Is your prize smoke-free? What are you doing right now to ensure success? I'm playing Sugar Crush!

(2) Look out for obstacles!

     Those chocolate bars and bombs can sneak up on you! So can those people, places and things that remind you of smoking! Avoid them at your quit's peril!

(3) Look for opportunities!

     Unexpected double candies can save your day! And so can those sweet treats you give yourself to reinforce your quit!

(4) Practice makes best!  

     There may be no such thing as perfect but you can keep stacking those levels and in quitting that translates in hours, days, weeks, months, and years! This could be your Smoke Free Year! 


You decide! Play to win and you will!


Crazy Days

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 19, 2019

Only at a certain company that I won't mention can you get a promotion while on the verge of getting fired. That's right I am now a "professional" but if I can't straighten out my ADA it'll quickly be past tense. I have an appointment with my Doctor to fill out paperwork for ADA on Dec 23 and then we'll see what happens. 

I have no idea how this will all sort out but I have made up my mind to be satisfied with whatever God has in hand for me. Prayers are welcome. Meanwhile I'm setting this on the back burner of my mind and praising the Lord as his Birthday approaches. This is above my paygrade anyway! 

Happy Holidays to all! 

Live Long and Prosper!

HO! Ho! Ho!


Life Challenges

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 10, 2019

Sometimes life seems too hard. I have just been released from the hospital and may have lost my job in the process. I am doing everything I can to not freak out but it is Christmas and not a great time to look for a job. 


Recovery from addiction is much the same. We have to live life on life's terms even when it's hard. If you think you can't go on for the rest of the day then stay smober for the next 10 minutes, and the 10 minutes after that, and...You can do it!


I dont know what life will bring me but I do know that one way or another it will sort itself out! So will your recovery. Just take it poco a pocito - baby steps. Trust in your higher power and do your best for this next 10 minutes.


Live long and prosper!

Light Smoking Can Still Damage Lungs, Warns Research | NewsGram 

 I was one of those "light smokers!" Now I have severe COPD - 24/7 oxygen therapy and 9 + Years smoke Free! Don't do this to yourself with the Nico-Lie "I don't smoke that much!

Beating the Odds!

Today is a great day to Breathe FREE!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!!


As all those wonderful aromas fill your house celebrate that tobacco isn't one of them! 

 Many of us have had experiences where a certain smell floods our brain with memories of a distinct event or location. Our sense of smell is linked closer with memory than any of our other senses. The reason is likely due to brain anatomy. Incoming smells are first processed by the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory: the amygdala and hippocampus. This may explain why the smell of something can so immediately trigger a detailed memory or intense emotion. 


Lots of us have reported phantom smoke smells. Replace them with smoke FREE memories!

I smell turkey, cranberries, pumpkin, ...yum! Can't wait to eat!


I was a serial quitter for the entire 20 years I smoked. The longest I quit was one year - just to pick up again while intoxicated. I didn't treasure my Quit at all. I quit because I mistakenly thought that there is a correlation between how much somebody smokes and the consequences. What I didn't know is that just one Sickerette is one too many!

One Cigarette Can't Hurt? Think Again | Live Science 


I also didn't realize that by giving myself permission to smoke - under certain circumstances - "I'm angry," "I tired and stressed," "I really, really want one," "I want to fit in," "I'm sad," "By golly, I deserve a vice!,"....whatever - we can always come up with an excuse to smoke even after weeks, months or years of smobriety! 


There is no such thing as one! AND that one is enough to change your DNA, to trigger cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and so much more. Not 20, not 100, not thousands - just one! And that one will inevitably lead to more - maybe not today but soon! And I was right back to my normal 10 a day.

 A Single Cigarette Can Raise the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease | (2010 - now not so new!)


I social smoked, closet smoked, smoked "just one", and "quit" again and again and again!


So how did I stop the cycle? I educated myself about nicotine, dopamine, and addiction. It's all here! Read, read, and read some more. No excuses, no "just one" and you will succeed! The decision is yours to make!


The 6% refers to how many people who start to quit smoking actually make it to one Year Smoke FREE! If you don't like those statistics - remember nobody and nothing can make you smoke - except you! That means when you make an unbreakable decision to be in the 6% - you will!


The 2% refers to how many people relapse after 2 Years of smobriety! Now, there is no reason why you must become one of the 2% because you are the master of your Quit Journey!


Let's get you from Day One to days WON to 6% one day at a time. But Don't stop there! Let's make sure that you are never in the 2%! You can do this!


Today is a great day to LIVE Addiction FREE!


Live Long and Prosper! The decision is yours!


Brighten your Day!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 12, 2019

Quitting Nicotine is challenging - no question! Being nice to yourself becomes a necessity! Here we have tools which help. One of my favorite is called Positive Affirmations and Support. Check it out! We have ongoing contributions and affirmations are always fresh and very helpful on those good and bad days - any day - every day! Drop by and share!

LLAP! [Live Long and Prosper!]

Image result for every day in every way i am getting better and better

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