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WHAT IF.......

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 30, 2010

WHAT IF I could just smoke without all the crap that comes along with it ... wouldn't that be awesome!

Of course, I would still be an addict!  Otherwise I wouldn't be glorifying some dead leaves wrapped in paper!

I'd still be spending some $150.00 a month and here I'm complaining about internet costs!

I'd still be losing time to go get my fix - at least an hour and a half every day!

I'd still make the smoke a priority over my work, my family, my friends, and MYSELF!

WHAT IF I had never smoked a cigarette in my life - a much better fantasy - if that's your thing!

Sorry Folks! I like reality a whole lot better!  I'm a Nicotine Junkie but I am NOT UNHAPPY about that because I choose to live a HAPPY SMOKE FREE LIFE and am a better person because of it!




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 29, 2010

I thought I was going to celebrate DAY 40 with a long springtime walk - but I forgot to consult with Mother Nature!  That's right - Snow!  If ever there was a four letter word in my vocabulary this is it for me! It's April 29th for heaven's sake!  Anyway, that's not what this blog is about - I just had a moment there!

I learned a lot of things in 40 days. Here's my list:

-  I learned to change my thinking about the combination of smoking with other activities I do ( like reading!)

-  I learned to quit for me - not my wife or kids or  doctor or anyone else but me!

-  I learned to be honest with myself and others about my addiction - no hiding, no secrets, no little white lies!

-  I learned to be specific when I ask for support since even people with the best of intentions can't read minds!

-  I learned to protect my quit by giving up breaks and distancing myself from certain smoking friends, for example.  Whatever it takes - having my wife put gasoline in the car for a while so I didn't go near the gas station, even giving up books for a while until I could learn to read safely - WHATEVER IT TAKES!

-  I learned that attitude and gratitude make a world of difference!

-  I learned to really give up the nico-fantasy and see the truth that waits underneath that smoky lie!

-  I learned to keep the serenity prayer close by!

-  I learned that we never stop growing if we let ourselves!

-  I learned that the friends at becomeanEX will always be there for me to inform, support, and guide my quit!  They know that the quit isn't about a month or even a year. It's about a lifetime!

Thank You, friends for teaching me these lessons and in the process of supporting my quit, helping me become a better, happier, healthier person!

So in spite of the Snow, I'm going to celebrate my 40 in a big way!  I think I'll treat myself to a great book!


Does the way we see ourselves effect how we speak or does how we speak effect the way we see ourselves? Yes and yes.  It's called psycho linguistics!  It is proving that when you change your mind, your brain becomes neurologically wired in a different way.  Like cussing - people who cuss see themselves differently than people who don't.  People who no longer cuss actually change how they think of themselves. That's just one example of how language changes our brains.  The need to  smoke exists only in the mind.  When we say craving or "i crave a cig" it brings back all kinds of brain connections both mental and physical.  To break the cycle we have to break the language pattern.  If i no longer say "crave"  the energy of that word is taken away.  So I had an inkling or a fuzzy moment or a drat but I don't say  that four (yea I know I can't count) letter word!  I don't say try ( another miscounted 4 letter word) or slip or luck.  They cease to be in my vocabulary and cease to have power!  

Now I put a substitution in place.  It's called an affirmation!  An affirmation is a thought that I choose to make a belief. N.O.P.E. is an affirmation. I choose health and life is an affirmation.  I don't do that anymore is an affirmation. Don't feed the monster is an affirmation.   When I read an affirmation I am engaging my eyes and brain.  When I hear an affirmation I am engaging my ears, my eyes and my brain.  When I read an affirmation out loud I am using many organs ( eyes, ears, throat, mouth etc) and my brain - a VERY effective way to rewire an unspoken thought!  Every day when I get up the first thing I do is read WITH MY VOICE the message next to my bed -- I, Thomas, pledge to myself to NOT ONE PUFF EVER NO MATTER WHAT beginning with today!  I credit this to having very few drats a day and of much less intensity than they might have been!  Today I don't remember even one drat moment!  I also see much more of the positive side of the QUIT than I might have because I BELIEVE I am having a positive quit (Why? Affirmations say that it's true!)   I absolutely know that this quit is for life because I KNOW that SMOKING IS NOT AN OPTION! There is no -  but...If you don't think this helps just give it a try for one day - for 1 day I'll try Thomas' crazy idea!  I'm sure that you will find that it makes a difference!  It sure won't make things worse!  

When I was smoking, stress kept my nerves tight as a live wire - always in fight/flight mode! Now I am feeling stress in a very different way!  Each episode is important but I don't anticipate it with a constant vigilance and I don't fiddle with it afterwards trying to decide if I could have done things better!  Que sera sera (for those who never heard of Doris Day it means whatever will be will be!)  and what's done is done!I learned what I could from that event and move on!  I believe that this has to do with smoking!  I remember getting up and checking my cig supply, getting off work and figuring if I have enough for tomorrow, etc, - always in a state of anticipation.  When I was smoking that "dealing with stress"  cig, I was toying with how I could deal with things differently.   It's sort of jumping into the future or living in the past and somehow missing the present.  Dealing with stress in the present makes it a lot less burdensome and MORE EFFECTIVE!


Just pop a pill!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 20, 2010

I teach conversational Spanish and English.  The whole time I've taught  ( 30 years) I've seen some students succeed in record time (1 year!)  and others wash out and I know the difference comes down to this:  You can come to me and pay exorbitant prices for private lessons and 6 months later not learn a thing IF you think I can magically bestow on you the ability to become bilingual; or you can pour yourself into it and come out pretty decent even in that short time if you truly want it bad enough and have  tenacity.  I can't MAKE you or your kid bilingual - won't happen!  I can give you what it takes so that you can become bilingual and have done it for 100s of people.  BTW if you know some magical pill that grants you this ability shhh!(I like my work!) 

I've seen the same thing here with some (not all) but some folks who think that buying NRTs is buying their quit!  Won't happen! Same principle!  NRTs are a tool to help you learn how to quit - they are NOT the "suffer - free" quit!  If you use NRTs to give you the space to figure out your quit - right on!  If you use NRTs so you don't have to feel the quit - guess what - it doesn't work that way and will never work!  To succeed you have to own your quit!,i.e. you have to decide to quit and do the work yourself with tenacity!  NRT does NOT equal short cut - no such thing!


Just turned 30!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 19, 2010

What a month this has been!  Highs and Lows like the stock exchange!  But Bullish on Thomas!  Yes I am finding out who I always was under that smoky addiction!  I have my not so admirable moments but for the most part I 'm finding out about a guy I who has good intentions and a lot of character!  Funny how addiction smothers the good with the bad not leaving much for me - with friends like that.....

That's what that old fantasy cigarette was like!  I thought it was my best friend - turned out it was a wolf in sheep's clothing! I thought I loved that come hither smell - turned out that it was stinkin thinkin! I thought I loved that ahhhh taste - turned out I was consuming arsenic - literally! I thought I was relaxing and relieving stress - turned out I was stealing life from myself like Dorian Grey!  I thought I was staying in shape by not being overweight - turned out I was killing myself from the inside out with every puff! I thought I was getting high on dopamine - turned out that I wasn't getting high on LIFE! Oh that wonderful fabulous smoky life before I quit! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 9, 2010

I've always had a saying "If you think that you don't have a choice, then you REALLY don't!"  Well, in the past I've always looked at this statement as a method to invite me to think outside the box (Do people still say that?). BUT what if you stand that phrase on its head?  I mean that when I have a craving this QUIT - My mantra is Smoking is not an option for me! I don't have a choice!  By BELIEVING this simple statement I am  literally SAVING MY LIFE!  Thus there is no doubt in my mind that it is absolutely true!  

I'm enjoying 21 DAYS of LIBERATING SMOKE FREE Living!!!!!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 8, 2010

"You know, lady, you don't actually smoke. The cigarette does all the smoking, you are just the sucker!" I'd rather be a QUITTER than a SUCKER!

Thank you friends for letting me know that I can face down my triggers and just go for it!  Yesterday I celebrated Easter in part by taking the time to read some 50 pages of a very good book!  Now for folks who don't know me that is a very marvelous thing! You see, I had linked in my brain reading + cig=pleasure.  This was a hard-wire in my brain!  So when I quit smoking, I found myself going from 3-5 books a week to practically 0!   I would try to pick up my book and WOW! I supercraved a cig!  I switched books - same thing!  Oh my goodness!  Believe it or not - this issue almost took me down!  I had to come to the conclusion that living is more important than reading! OUCH!  But my friends at EX kept encouraging me to try reading again!  WHOA! I was petrified!  But I found out that they were right - I had to rewire my brain's equation.  It now says reading+fresh air=pleasure.  Making that substiitution really is possible!  Now I am FREE - smoke-free to enjoy my new me in some treasured ways!  

The last 2 weeks have been 1 continuous rollercoaster but the folks on this site have always been here with good advice, good education, and lots of helping hands and once in a while a good kick in the behind!  THANK YOU Every bit of it is useful to me and I do listen and ponder what you have to say!  You people have made me a stronger QUITTER but you have also helped me make myself into a better person!  And for that I am truly grateful!


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