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2016
Thomas3.20.2010

World Heart Day

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 29, 2016

Protect your Quit!

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Your heart will love you for it!

Hi Folks!

Thanks for all of your prayers and messages over the few days. I really do appreciate all of the Love and Support!

As you can see from the headline I am now at home still on 2 Liters Oxygen for awhile but slowly improving. 

It all started rather suddenly and I became short of breath and nonstop coughing till my ribs felt broken.I also had a raging fever that left my teeth chattering in my head and heat pouring off of me like a radiator!  I went to the ER and they admitted me with an Upper Respiratory Infection and COPD exacerbation. I knew that sooner or later it would come to this and Thank God I quit smoking because it has been later rather than sooner!

I tested negative for pneumonia but some other bug which I can't begin to pronounce let alone remember snuck into my lungs. This is because folks with COPD have frozen cilia that don't work. My bronchials got filled with goop and the germs decided to take a swim in the muck and worked their way down to my lungs. Not a very scientific description - nevertheless, accurate!

I was given antibiotic and my all time favorite - not! - prednizone by IV. Also had to have albuterol nebulizers and supplemental oxygen. In the hospital oxygen isn't all that inconvenient till you have to try to walk too the bathroom while stumbling around due to fever and avoid tripping over the cord!

While I'm recovering satisfactorily from the infection it will take awhile to determine how much permanent damage was done to my declining lung capacity. That's the worst of it. You can't get it back! What's lost is lost forever. 

I'm not complaining though! I've had a great run of 6 Years with minimal illness along the way especially considering that I also have asthma which makes the whole prognosis that much worse.

I feel really blessed to have Family and Friends that support me without judgment and I include all of you in that category. 

Thanks for being so patient while I was away. I thought I would be able to update you sooner but all I do is sleep restlessly - a side effect of the prednisone. Tired and wired!

Keep up the good work of recovery and most important of all - keep them away from your face!

You really don't want to do the hospital thing very often! The food is overrated! LOL!

Thomas3.20.2010

Hospital

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 26, 2016

Update coming soon...

Thomas3.20.2010

Closet Smokers....

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 24, 2016

Just so you realize - 

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They know!

Thomas3.20.2010

Think of your Family

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 24, 2016

Have you ever stopped to think about your children and grandchildren when you smoke?

This is a stunning testamony of how one daughter feels about her Mother's last days:

Why aren’t we talking about COPD?

This past March my mother passed away from complications associated with COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She had been a smoker all her life, and it finally caught up to her.

It made me wonder why we do not hear more about this horrible, fatal disease. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and there is no cure. The agony I watched my mother go through was heart wrenching, and tested me to my emotional limits.

It created a giant rift in our relationship and sometimes, I will admit, I resented her. I was angry with her. She had done this to herself! The addiction was so strong that even though the doctors gave her a year to live unless she stopped smoking, she continued to do so.

In the end, she was in hospice and in a nursing home. The last week or so of her life she was incoherent and didn’t recognize me when I came to visit. This pained me, because she had always been an independent woman and now she was in diapers and completely dependent on others. My only hope is that she did not realize what was happening to her.

The last few days of her life she just lay in bed, on morphine and other heavy medications. Slowly she started to lose the use of her extremities, and eventually she was completely immobile. The nurses and doctors told me that she could still hear me, and through my tears I would tell her stories that I remembered of us spending time together. I had to talk fairly loud so that she could hear me over her “death rattle,” which is common in end-stage COPD patients.

I was there by her side, along with a nurse and her long-time best friend as she gasped for her last breath of air. Unfortunately my little sister did not make it to the nursing home in time to be with her as she passed. Her passing came quicker than we realized, which I guess in some ways was a blessing.

I write this not just to tell a story, but hopefully to make people stop and think about the effects of smoking. It doesn’t just affect you. It affects your loved ones.

Please, if you are a smoker, make your next cigarette your last cigarette. It won’t be easy, but most things in life worth doing aren’t.

Barbara Clark, originally from South Florida, has lived in Tallahassee since 2001 when she moved here to attend Florida State University. She is currently employed as an archaeologist.

 

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2016/09/23/talking-copd/90948600/

Blessed today to be Smoke FREE!

N.O.P.E.!

Thomas3.20.2010

Diversity

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 21, 2016

Ours is a Diverse Community and that's an integral aspect of what makes it so effective in achieving SUCCESS!!! We don't always see eye to eye but we have RESPECT for each other!

 I don't always agree with "tough love" and I don't always agree with the soft gentle approach, either!

 Each contact I have with a new member is based on my own experience. I bring to the table my diagnosis of COPD (even when I don't mention it!), my SUCCESS, my personality! It can hardly be otherwise.

 It's for the Newbie to take what is useful to them and leave the rest from all the comments and advice they receive!

When taking into account what works and what needs a face lift the Elders are no more significant than any other member. We have our unique personalities, motivations, ways and means of EXtending support to others. We all have equal opportunity to add our own input.

 I've seen many, many, members come and go, some drifting in and out. It's only natural that we are drawn to some members more than others. And time online is a commodity.

 I most often center on folks with COPD and then on other members who I feel are open to the Fantastic Change which is necessary to become a true EX.

That's because my quits in the past have been for Months even Years but not sincere! I was just borrowing time, "cleaning out my lungs so I can smoke some more!" So I know the difference! I Know that's just not good enough!

You bring your own talents, experience and personality to your Comments! Each of us contributes something that may help that individual make the ultimate decision - to live addiction FREE!

 I would like to remind you so you don't get depressed that as you see folks come and go, remember that you have no idea how many mustard seeds you are planting on the way! Maybe that person will come back later or maybe somebody else read that Comment to So-and-So and took it to heart!

 I think we'd all be surprised at how many people are lurking, reading everything but choose to remain out of the limelight!

Finally, contribute what you have and respect that other contributor, too! We all make this Community a Great Place to be and most important SUCCESSFUL!

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Thomas3.20.2010

Deception and Denial

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 20, 2016

The first casualty of addiction is the truth. First I lied to myself about my addiction, then  I began to lie to others. Sometimes I even knew in my heart of hearts that I was lying.  Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth became natural.

 Deception toward others is nearly always rooted in the deception of oneself. In order to keep smoking, I developed a strong system of justification in which I came to believe there was no real problem. And as the addiction continued, my brain got progressively fuzzy and the line between truth and lie, false and real blurred. In the end it is this blurry perspective that became my  frame of reference and personal guide. I didn’t even realize it any more!

 Addicts live a lie.

So my life became one of fundamental dishonesty. Living and existing in the space of lies, denial and self-deception, it was nearly impossible for me to offer any kind of objective truth to friends, family or coworkers. Truth had lost it’s meaning and life became more about securing a cig and a lighter  - things I  believed I needed to survive because I had to have Nicotine!

The self-deception translated into the deception of others because I no longer had a firm concept of what is true. This is not an intentional act of defiance, nor is it intended to betray or injure. I simply no longer had any grasp on truth or reality; all of life was cloaked in dishonesty.

 In order for recovery to take place, the walls of denial must be shattered. An addict still living in denial, and unable to admit the truth of his or her condition, will not achieve smobriety.

N.O.P.E. was the rock that shattered my window pane of denial! It left zero room for excuses! I had to admit that when I chose not to keep my pledge that I wasn’t honoring myself! I wasn’t respecting myself! I wasn’t loving myself! I didn’t need Nicotine after all!

Sometimes people in early recovery continue to employ defense mechanisms that allow them to distort their reality. An example might be rationalizing that telling people that I intend to quit will not be supported. In reality we don’t want to deal with the guilt and shame of our behavior and to humble ourselves to our friends and family. We’re so used to numbing out guilt and shame with a Sickerette!

Are you being dishonest about your recovery efforts?

Identify ways that your resistance to be honest could jeopardize your recovery.

That’s where we come in! Blog, blog, blog! As true Friends and Allies in Recovery  without a doubt we’ll confront distortions and help you find your truth!

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Thomas3.20.2010

STOP!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 19, 2016

.....biting your own tail!

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For that is what Addiction is!

Following your Compulsion for imagined pleasure

Deprives you of True Pleasure

At your own EXpense!

Thomas3.20.2010

Riding the Wave!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 18, 2016

Surfing wallpaper

Life is very Good for me right now and I've been running with it!

Spending time with Miss Penny lifts me up and gives me extra energy for all of Life's demands! 

Before when things were going good I would smoke the time away at parties and social events just like I smoked when I was stressed.

Now I can hold my beautiful Granddaughter without shame! She deserves a Grandpa that smells good and doesn't poison her with my stinky Second Hand and Third Hand Smoke!

My Wife deserves a Husband that is engaged in the present like never before!

I deserve this wonderful feeling of knowing that I'm living Life on ife's terms - both in Happy, Good Times and in challenging moments as well. Smoke FREE is truly Abundant Addiction FREE Life!

Ride the Wave!

Thomas3.20.2010

The Power of Belief

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 14, 2016

What you believe makes all the difference whether it's in the power of nicotine or in the power of your Quit!

Think for a minute about that statement. The Brain is an incredible instrument in your Addiction but also in your Quit!

If you are given a Sickerette that you believe has Nicotine, you will react as if it does whether that's true or not! 

If you think that your cravings and withdrawal will be difficult and impossible to overcome then your body will act as if it is true. 

BUT if you believe that quitting is very doable and the symptoms of quitting are rather mild like having a sick day from the flu that is exactly what will happen!

It's all in your Brain!

And that is something you have control over! Why make things difficult when they don't have to be? You want an easier quit? Believe that you will and it will happen just as you expect!

Use the single most effective, efficient and FREE tool in your Quit Box - the space between your ears!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3786977/Is-smokers-hard-quit-Belief-nicotine-s-powers-increase-addiction.html

Hands down - Quit Smoking!

http://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2016-09-12/should-you-quit-smoking-or-lose-weight-first

Don't kid yourself that losing weight is more of a priority. Even obesity experts agree on this one!

(1 ) Hang out in the Blogs

Read and write Blogs and Comments and make Friends who value you and your Quit Journey. Surround yourself with folks who don’t smoke and encourage you not to smoke.

(2) Change things around in your home.

Make old smoking places look and feel  different. Stay away from areas at work or around town where you used to smoke.  Clean and detail you car.

(3) Get rid of smoking paraphernalia

Throw those ashtrays you got on vacation into the trash. Toss the lighters even the pretty silver ones. Ditch that little purse you kept your cigs in. Jettison any and all gobbledy **** such as matches, candles, whatever that you presently associate with smoking.

And just to seal the deal come here every day and go to the New Daily Pledge Group and promise Yourself that you won’t smoke so much as one puff No Matter What!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/4523-september-be-serious-about-your-quit-say-nope-and-make-a-daily-pledge

(1) Hang out in your old smoking places

We have had the habit for Years! So why not? When you get up  - go out on that first smoke of the day balcony, sit in your old smoking chair, put your coffee in the same place and make yourself nuts. By now you'll wonder why you have to be deprived of this small luxury that helps you face another day! But that's OK. Your incredible Willpower will overcome the compulsion. 

(2) Go on smoke breaks to keep your buddies company

After all, why should you give up your old smoking pals just because you quit? Isn't that a bit elitist and stuck up? They may offer you a cigarette but they're just being considerate, right? I know you will have the strength to say No every time, won't you?

(3) Go out with the crowd on Saturday Night and drink away

Logically, alcohol is simply another trigger that has to be confronted. Why should you give up alcohol when you're already giving up Nicotine? Your good friends, even those who smoke, will look out for you, right?

And if that doesn't get you where you really want to go....

Don't forget to keep that emergency pack around just in case things get rough and something aweful gives you no option except to smoke. You'll be able to quit again when things get better....

in the grave!

Thomas3.20.2010

Mixed Emotions!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Sep 11, 2016

When I was young I never understood how you can be Happy, Sad, Peaceful, Angry, Afraid, Confident all in the same day.

Today is a great example!

We all know that today in National 9/11 Patriot's Day!

But it is also National Grandparents' Day!

And it's Sharon's Birthday!

And it's the Day we celebrate Louise with 3 Years and Joyce with 200 Days Quit! 

Congratulations!

And I personally celebrate 2367 Smoke FREE Days because Today is the most important Day of my Quit Journey!

So I feel many opposite things simultaneously and they ALL fit it my heart together!

I will give Miss Penny an extra squeezy hug today not just for Grandparents' Day but for Patriot's Dayas wel!

Best of all, I can feel what I feel because I have learned to Live Life on Life's terms without the smoke cloud of Addiction!

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Maybe I'm just an eternal optimist - maybe, just maybe, every single time I run toward the football, Lucy will swoop it out of place and I'll fall with a klunck right smack on my back! And maybe just maybe I'll spend hours believing in people more than they even believe in themselves - EXplaining to them patiently once again how I became a 6%er and that they can, too - just to have them come back at me with, "You don't understand! I'm not like you, it's harder for me, I relapsed too many times, I never "tried' to quit before, I smoked more years than you, I'm a closet smoker, I'm a chain smoker,..........I'm different!" And then they swoop that football right out from under me and -klunck/smack - here we go again!

But I just don't give up! I believe! I believe in you, Newbie! i know - even if you are determined to prove me wrong - that if you really want to quit and do your homework, you don't really have to quit 6 - 8 times - you can do it the very first time! 

I know that each of us is an individual with our own personal quit history but it doesn't change the Law of Addiction! The Law of Addiction doesn't even know or care who you are! It's an equal opportunity law, like the Law of Gravity! The Law of Addiction says "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance." It applies whether you've been hooked for 2 weeks or 50 years and everything in between! It applies to the social smoker just as it does the closet smoker and the chain smoker. It applies to the 15 year old and the 60 year old. It applies to the healthy and the ill, to men and women, straight and gay, religious and atheist, all of us equally! Bottom line - the only way to quit smoking is to Not take One Puff Ever!!!! N.O.P.E.!

N.O.P.E. is not just a mantra - although it is, it's not just a slogan, although it is. N.O.P.E. is a way of LIFE! LIFE is what we're all about - your LIFE! No less! LIFE free from Addiction! LIFE healthy and happy and unhooked from a deadly, albeit legal, EXtremely Addictive Drug! N.O.P.E. is the foootball that you, Lucy, er Newbie hold in your hands - that you jerk away from the successful punt again just to prove that you're Special!

Lucy, YOU ARE SPECIAL! That is the very reason I believe in you and I'll continue to run, klunck and smack myself around trying to prove it to you! Because, maybe, just maybe, one of these days you'll keep that ball lined up and you and I together can SUCCEED!

Never Quit the Quit! I won't quit believing in you!

Life that is!

It's just plain nuts at times! 

My whole week has been bonkers but due to the fact that I have 6+ Years Smoke FREE and continue to work my Recovery I never once thought of smoking! And it's a good thing because smoking would have made the whole mess even messier!

Here's some good advice I found reading the news today:

http://www.aol.co.uk/living/2016/09/02/quit-smoking-cold-turkey-nicotine-patches/

But whether you decide to use NRTs or pharmaceuticals or whatever or go Smart Turkey just remember that you and only you can do the mental work of making a Successful Quit Journey! 

Life will continue to be crazy but you will live it to the utmost when you get out from under that smoke cloud of illusion and delusion!

Best to ALL and remember, no matter what happens in your LIfe - God has a plan for you and it is for Good - not for destruction! Just ride the roller coaster and enjoy the ride!