Until you make up your mind to stand by N.O.P.E. you're making excuses right into an early grave!
S.I.N.A.O. Smoking is not an option!
N.E.F. Never Ever Forget!
Until you make up your mind to stand by N.O.P.E. you're making excuses right into an early grave!
S.I.N.A.O. Smoking is not an option!
N.E.F. Never Ever Forget!
While you enjoy the daffodils, crocus and hyacinths we in Colorado are putting our snow shovels to work!
But no matter how you spend your Spring it can be tricky if you're in your first 2 Years of quitting! Seasonal triggers take time to relearn so even 6%ers must remain vigilant and look for every opportunity to grow!
As a Smoker I would have looked out the window, felt a little tightening around my chest and decided that "I need a cigarette!" About 4 Sickerettes later I'd gear up and head out to clean the foot of snow off my car and sidewalks!
Then I'd run in and decide, "I need to reward my hard work with a cigarette!" And 4 Sickerettes later I'd go out for round two!
That's double what I was used to smoking for a whole day! But how else is one to deal with stress?
Amazingly well, actually! Now my motivation is a hot cup of coffee, my reward is a hot cup of cocoa and my lungs Thank Me! I don't need to cope with stress because I no longer find events, (snow storms, for example) stressful! They can really be rather fun and festive!
Here's a Video I found about Springtime Triggers:
However you spend your Beautiful Spring Day today -
May it be Smoke FREE and full of God's Abundant Gift of LIFE!
When I first joined becomeanEX the Members told me that if I could just get through the First Week
I would feel way better! And I did!
They said that if I can hang in there for the rest of the Month
I'd feel Way Better! They were right!
EXperts said that if I could stick with it through No Man's Land (approximately 130 Days)
Everything about my Quit Journey would become Way Better!
They have been where I wanted to be! They knew!
Maintaining and managing my Quit for One Year, then Two (two Seasons of triggers) helped me feel way better than I ever have before!
But what really surprises me to this day is that I continue to learn and EXperience Recovery and every Year is WAY BETTER than the previous Year - this in spite of circumstances!
I attribute that to working my Recovery! The more you put into it - the more you get out of it!
It's as true today on my SIX YEAR ANNIVERSARY as it was on Day One! And it is soooooo worth it!
Keep working your Quit Journey! You will become WAY BETTER! It's true!
I am Becoming the Best Me I can BE - and isn't that what Life is truly about?
It’s your body, and no one has more incentive to take care of it than you do. You can’t depend on anyone else to take the reins when it comes to your health. The responsibility lies with you. Don’t be passive; be a squeaky wheel.
When I grew up I had the impression that Doctors were so knowledgeable that to question them would be ludicrous! This while my Doctor smoked Sickerettes in his office while seeing patients! Doctors are human! They have good days and bad days and their agenda for you may not match with yours! I’m not saying don’t listen! I’m saying listen carefully and question! It’s your body – your Life!
Self-advocacy means speaking up for yourself, making your own decisions about your life, learning how to get information so that you can understand things that are of interest to you, finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, solving problems, listening and learning, reaching out to others when you need help and friendship, and developing self-determination, the freedom to live as you choose and make decisions on your own. You know yourself better than anyone else knows you.
When you advocate for your health you are empowered to quit smoking, stay quit and take responsibility for your lifestyle choices such as nutrition and exercise (or lack thereof!) How can you keep smoking knowing all of the damage that every single Sickerette does to you? How can you even contemplate putting that Cancer Stick in your face, lighting it up, and sucking those deadly chemicals into your lungs?
The first step in self-advocacy is learning everything possible about your needs, abilities and disabilities, strengths and challenges. As you expand your knowledge about yourself, it is important to learn exactly what your rights are and where you can go for assistance, support, and information on asserting those rights.
Learning and practicing self-advocacy skills helps you make decisions that will ultimately impact the rest of your life. Anyone can be a successful self-advocate, regardless of significant challenges or complex needs. Having role models and peers to guide you along the way will provide valuable insight and lessons from those who have experienced similar things. There is a great Chinese proverb that says it all: “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” Watching other people successfully advocate for themselves helps everyone realize that people with all abilities can achieve success through self-advocacy.
Right here at BecomeanEX we see people every day facing Life on Life’s terms with Self-Love and Self-Advocacy. They don’t let others direct their lives and hide under a Smoke Cloud! They boldly speak up for what’s right for them! Recovery is all about that – taking responsibility for my Health and Happiness!
Speaking up can be tough. It’s very scary at times, particularly when you’re just starting out, or if you’re surrounded by a bunch of experts who think they know best. As with everything, the more you do it, the easier it gets. You are the number one expert in your own life, and the more you speak out, the more confidence you’ll have when you share your expertise.
Most of us can benefit from working hard to build our advocacy skills, even if we already have a great deal of self-determination and confidence. Addiction teaches us to renege our Self Determination – Recovery teaches us to Re-claim our Lives in all aspects!
Make some noise for YOU! As long as you do it respectfully, your Support Team (Family, Friends, Doctors, Bosses, etc….) will appreciate it!
These past several days have been Days of Transition. For me Transition is seriously challenging – even good change!
In the long run I will have better transportation, a better job, and a better lifestyle. In the short term, I’m faced with uncertainty, stress, and anxiety. But perspective is everything!
In March I chose to take on a second job, pay off some medical debts, and think about even changing careers! Then my car broke down! When I look at it one way it’s good news! My car could have broken down just after switching jobs – with a higher interest rate! I could have broken down on the first Week at my new job and been tagged unreliable! I could have been left with no certification which would limit my career options!
But God was looking after me! He is anyway whether I acknowledge it or not! But by recognizing that it’s all in His Hands – what’s to worry about?
Knowing is easy. Acceptance means getting to the other side. I get to acceptance by realizing that I am powerless to change certain things – my car is broken beyond repair. There are aspects of my job that are making me miserable. There’s no attitude adjustment left to give it!
That doesn’t leave me hopeless or helpless but simply unable to control these outcomes. “Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today. When I am disturbed it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” AA Big Book p. 417
Whatever I choose not to accept is likely to continue bugging me until I get right with it. I do get to decide! While things are not how I want them to be, then perhaps it is how they’re supposed to be…
So I will make this job – or maybe career transition. I will make this car transition. I will come out on the better end of all of this! And I choose to do it with a minimum of stress and worry by accepting the natural boundaries of what I can and cannot change and trusting in my Higher Power to have my back while I go through it.
Any of this sound familiar? Smoking Cessation – true Recovery – was probably the Biggest lifestyle change I ever faced! I had to learn to accept that I have a Smoking related illness. I had to learn to accept that I would go through uncomfortable Withdrawals for a short time. I had to accept that I was even more psychologically addicted than physically! I had to learn to accept that I would change – a lot!
Quitting may be a time full of doubt, stress, and anxiety for the first few weeks but you do have a choice about how much - by learning to accept Life on Life’s terms. In the long run I came out better than ever – not just physically which is remarkable enough! But in every single way I have become a more mature experienced person.
Experience teaches us, guides us, and offers us wisdom. Just as acceptance is always optional, so too is making sense of life’s lessons. Choosing to live in the present without regret and as little resentment as possible affords us greater opportunity to gain wisdom and incite.
I went from “IT is what it is!” to “It is what it is meant to be!”
In a few Months I’ll have a newer car and a better job. In a few short Months you could have the FREEDOM you really crave! Circumstances no longer overwhelm me because I have learned from my Quit Journey!
“I did then what I knew to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” – Maya Angelou
- for those of us who couldn't make it!
Smoking Cessation is all about Living LIFE Abundantly! Since quitting smoking almost 6 Years ago I have added Mindfulness to my quit smoking tool box. Here's a Guided Meditation I wrote last Year for all of those who want to relearn to Live FREE!
Find yourself in a comfortable position, allowing yourself to sink into the surface below you. Gradually allow your eyes to relax and close.
Turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe in, allowing the breath to go all the way down to your belly for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 7 counts and breathe out ever so slowly to a count of 8. Repeat this 4/7/8 pattern of breathing two more times. Let your breath return to a slow calm pattern.
Now imagine yourself in a safe, comfortable place outside. You walk along a path among the trees. Feel the rhythm of your footsteps, the swing of your arms as they brush your sides. Smell the flowers in bloom along the side of your pathway. Listen to the birds singing in the tree branches. Notice the squirrels playing around the base of this tree, the branches of that one.
As you walk a little further you notice a small lake. There’s a bench where you can sit down. As you settle onto the bench, take a nice refreshing deep breath and smell the water. Watch the shimmer of the waves on the surface of the lake.
Now that you are getting the oxygen you need, realize that your only job right now is to keep yourself as comfortable as possible while the craving passes. Fighting against the craving only makes it stronger, so right now, accept that you are feeling anxious and you want a cigarette but you can choose to focus on calming your thoughts to relieve the anxiety of the crave and the compulsion to smoke.
Repeat the following phrases:
I am feeling a craving right now, but I am okay. This feeling will pass, and no harm will come to me. I am safe, even though I feel anxious. I will soon be calm, even though I want a cigarette right now. I will get through this. I am making myself as comfortable as possible while I wait for the craving to cease. I can help myself to become gradually more calm and relaxed until this feeling passes.
Continue with even breathing and calm thoughts.
On the inhale tell yourself "I am becoming more and more calm,"
On the exhale tell yourself "I am feeling more and more relaxed."
Notice how your muscles are relaxing. As you drink in fresh air, allow it to spread throughout your body. If there are some particular muscles that feel tense, gently direct your focused breathing to that muscle group allowing the oxygen to relieve the stress there….And then exhale any remaining stress and tension…
Now sit quietly enjoying the beauty of the lake and the trees around you. Feel the warmth of the Sun and a cool breeze gently touching your skin. Take yourself back in time. Try recalling what it was like before getting hooked, the beauty of going days, weeks, and months without once wanting to smoke. Can you remember the calm and quiet mind you once called home? If not, you are not alone! But you can imagine it now!
How will you feel 2 Years from now….or 5?
Imagine looking in a mirror and seeing fewer wrinkles as your Collagen repairs. Your complexion is clear and rosy. The whites of your eyes have ceased to be bloodshot. Your teeth and tongue feel and taste clean. Take a close look at your fingernails, all pink and healthy again – not stained and yellow. Your hair is shiny and soft.
Feel your regular strong heartbeat, your deep, clean breath, even your bloodflow is more regular and natural as it carries vitamins and minerals to every cell of your body. Your whole body is working in harmony as it is meant to be.
And your mind is FREE of the stress of wanting, needing a cigarette. You rarely even think of them and when you do, it’s in celebration of your conquest over addiction. Your whole environment becomes cleaner, healthier, more life affirming!
Bring in as many details of your smoke FREE World as you can….
Now, as the meditation comes to a close, slowly bring your awareness back into the room. Bring with you whatever sensations of relaxation…comfort…peace…calm, whatever’s there…knowing that you can repeat this exercise at any appropriate time and place of your choosing…
And when you’re ready, open your eyes.
Isn’t that how it goes? The point is things don’t always turn out well but we can make the best of them!
Anyway, my job requires me to recertify every 5 Years and that meant a trip to Denver about 1 ½ hours South of here two days in a row. “No problem”, said my boss. “You and 2 other people can car pool. “ I was thinking, “Thank Goodness! My car is 20 Years old!”
Not so fast! One person wanted to go separately because her parents live in Denver. Understandable – I can hitch a ride with the other young Lady. Except ….yesterday morning a half hour before time to leave I get a text (young folks don’t know how to call anybody!) that she is too sick to go!
So I check the oil, hop in my car and pray! And yesterday went great! I made it to my destination right on time and got home 12 hours later!
Today, I also had a great day – passed my test, got my certificate and headed home early. 8~)
Just 20 miles from home my car began to shake, rattle and roll (and it wasn’t from the music!) I take the next exit, pull into a gas station and try to determine what to do next. I know that most guys relate to cars – I don’t!
So I google mechanic, make the call and a very nice lady told me not to dare drive – there’s probably no way I’ll make it! Then she suggested that I call my insurance company for roadside assistance. An hour later, here comes the tow truck and the driver convinces me to tow to his preferred autoshop.
Well, who knows? Do I trust the insurance gal in another state or do I trust the local guy who’s probably being paid to recommend a mechanic? Either way it’s a big gamble!
My Wife came to pick me up and now I’m home with no vehicle – either for a few hours, a few days, or for – well, at least this car - ever!
Now I could freak out about my bad luck for breaking down and stress out thinking I just can’t get through this without a Sickerette (or 2 or 20)
OR I can see a few very blessed facts!
- I DIDN’T break down in Denver
- I WAS only 20 miles from home
- I WASN’T on the side of the interstate (in danger)
- I DID get a free tow
- It IS a 20 Year old car that has been golden for the 15 Years I’ve owned it!
- Most Important of all - I DO have my certification!
Had I smoked, I would still have a very old car in the shop. Smoking wouldn’t have changed anything! And you know what? It was a very good day! And I’ll cross the bridge of tomorrow when it gets here! I can smile, relax, and get some much needed rest! THAT is the gift that my Quit Journey has given to me!
LIFE is Great – Smoke FREE! I live Life on Life’s terms!
Thoughts and Feelings take time to learn to change!
Your Actions can change today!
N.O.P.E. No smoking no matter what feelings and thoughts you have! [What will you do instead?]
Once you get the Nicotine out of your System you can work on those bothersome feelings and thoughts.
You smoked - how many decades? - It takes time to relearn Life without Sickerettes!
“Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on. `I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least - at least I mean what I say - that's the same thing, you know.'”
- Lewis Carroll
So does saying what you mean equal meaning what you say? Or do you have 2 voices going on in your head?
We all have EXperienced it. That Voice that says "just one won't hurt!" Some of us refer to it as the Nico-Demon, but I realize that the nico-demon is really just ME! So why would I try to fight myself?
I prefer to recognize that other Voice within. There's a Voice that says, "I really should quit one of these days..." Maybe it's barely a whisper but it was enough to get you to visit this site! So admit it's there! Tune into that Voice for a while!
Do you hear it saying, "Wow! I didn't realize I smoke 20+cigs a day! I really didn't enjoyALL of them! That morning cough might just be more than just a cold in the Winter and just allergies all Summer!You know what? I wonder what $7 a day adds up to in a Month?"
That's the Voice! I call this Voice the God Given FREEDOM Loving Voice!Why not just turn the volume up on that Voice a bit? Why not let those messages about how "smoking not only harms myself but my loved ones; it not only pollutes my lungs, it pollutes my Home and Car; Oh yea, 7X30=$210/Month! Holy Smokes!!!!; my Health Insurance and Life Insurance rates owuld go down too!; it's kinda stressful coming up with all that money every day and BTW, I wonder how much time I spend just hanging out smoking? Let's see... 8 minutesX20= 160 minutes=TWO HOURS and 40 minutes a DAY!; No wonder I feel stressed out!" Turn the Volume up!
And while you're at it, turn the Nico-Voice Volume down! No, I'm not going to meltdown, divorce my spouse, yell at my kids, lose my job - just because I quit smoking! No, I'm not going to sleep for 10 years or lay awake for months, gain 100 lbs, wreck my car - just because I quit smoking! REALLY! So just turn the Volume on those messages down!
Pretty soon, the only Voice you'll hear is the Healthy Happy FREEDOM Loving Voice! That other Voice won't even enter your train of thought! And when it does occasionally get louder again - it still won't be as loud as your Smoke FREE Voice! That's because Smokers don't get to smoke - They have to Smoke! And Quitters never regret having chosen FREEDOM! Make the Nico-Voice the whisper! Pretty soon it will stop bugging you! And your FREEDOM Loving Voice will stop bugging you too -because it truly is your God-given Voice!
You will say what you mean instead of mean what you say!