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2017

Description

 

59 years old.  20 year smoker.  Recently diagnosed COPD. Choosing a Quality LIFE!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

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Brief Description

Welcome New Members    WHAT IS COPD? People with COPD have more than one of Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis and/or Emphysema which makes you cough a lot and very, very hard!  You have shortness of breath because you can't inhale or exhale properly!  Because you can't exhale completely, the CO and CO2 that is normally exhaled stay in your body as a toxin that enters the cells of the extremities and you lose arm and leg function.   Also, vision can be affected because of the toxicity. What's more, you are more prone to every viral and bacterial infection that comes along - easier to catch and more intense and prolonged symptoms. Each infection increases the cycle of damage and vulnerability. Ther is no cure but there is a lot that a patient can do to slow the progress of the disease.  Most important is Quit Smoking Now! It's very important to find a pulmonary rehab and join it so they can teach you how to clear those nasty CO toxins from your system! And stay active - all this can be very depressing but the depression adds to the immobility which adds to the debility etc, down, down, down!   All that has to be fought with upward action - POSITIVE THINKING and CONTROL the disease - don't let it control you!  There is a lot of HOPE and it starts with the QUIT! Smoking cessation is the only therapeutic intervention so far shown to reduce disease progression.


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Isaiah 43:2   “When you go through deep waters,  I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty,  you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression,  you will not be burned up;  the flames will not consume you.” (NLT)  Isaiah 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not grow faint.        2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV)  Psalm 34:5  “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (NIV)  Psalm 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (KJV)  Philippians 4:6-7  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (KJV)  2 Corinthians 1:3-4   Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (KJV) If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to  your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the  Holy Spirit to those who ask for him.  -- Luke 11:13    Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;  and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring  salvation to those who are waiting for him.  -- Hebrews 9:28    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up  anger.  -- Proverbs 15:1    Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and  the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is  yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over  all.  -- 1 Chronicles 29:11    Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact  you are doing.  -- 1 Thessalonians 5:11   Romans 8:1     “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (KJV)  Psalm 121:1-2  “I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV)  2 Corinthians 12:9a   “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (NIV)  Isaiah 41:10  “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (NLT)  Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)  2 Corinthians 5:17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV)     Psalm 103:12   “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”   Hebrews 10:25a  “Let us not give up meeting together, …but let us encourage one another.” (NIV) John 5:14b  “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (NIV)  2 Thessalonians 3:3  “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” (KJV)  Psalms 66:8-12  "Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praises be heard  who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.  For thou, O God, hast tseted us, thou hast tried us as silver is tried.  Thou didst bring us into the net,  thou didst lay affliction on our loins, thou didst let men ride over our heads,  we went through fire and through water, yet thou hast brought us forth to a spacious place."  Proverbs 3: 5-6  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,   On your intelligence, rely not.  In all your ways be mindful of Him,   And He will make straight your paths."


Location

nicotine's chemical properties are addictive. if you take that nicotine away from your body, it will miss it and you will experience physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.  these symptoms surface after three-five days of quitting smoking and linger for approximately two weeks. we list out some of these symptoms to help you prepare for these side-effects to smoking cessation. rest assured that these symptoms, while some are unpleasant, will only be transitionary and once you're rid of them, will leave you feeling much better after quitting smoking.  emotional withdrawal  some of the most common symptoms are... depression: you may feel low, sad and hopeless. hence it is important to surround yourself with people, preferably non smokers and friends who will support your decision to quit smoking.  angry: emotional upheaval can make you angry. others may not be aware of it, but you know what's happening to your body. the age-old remedy of counting till 10 isn't such a bad idea. stop, think, regain your calm and


Interests

meditation books nutrition exercise maximize body utility living life abundantly


Skills

listening and  teaching!     pursed lip breathing      do you folks want to know what to tell a copder when they are out of breath? first, you have to understand the problem a little. take a breath in and don't exhale, take another breath in, and another.... see what i mean? it feels like you can't breathe in, when the truth is that you aren't breathing out enough! so the trick is to breathe out the most effectively possible. one great way to breathe out is called pursed lip breathing. it's what you do when you blow out a candle or blow dandelion seeds around the yard!  here's a description of pursed lip breathing:   pursed lip breathing is one of the simplest ways to control shortness of breath. it provides a quick and easy way to slow your pace of breathing, making each breath more effective. what does pursed lip breathing do?  pursed lip breathing: improves ventilation releases trapped air in the lungs keeps the airways open longer and decreases the work of breathing prolongs exhalation to slow the breathi


I have had a very overwhelming Month here so I took a blogcation for awhile even though I knew this Milestone was coming.

IIn one Month - pneumonia, lost a job chance, got another, signed up for volunteer work, planned Penelope's first Birthday Party, shopping for a new Dr., new President, all with depression and anxiety!

Before when I was a smoker, any one of these things, even the pneumonia, would have been a trigger but together - I woouldn't have had a chance!

As an EXer - Yes, it's still overwhelming but, guess what, I really never thought of smoking even once! It never even crossed my mind!

FREEDOM!

I've got enough on my plate without adding Addiction to the mole!

It was hard to stay quit at first, it was still hard for quite longer than I expected! But it is doable and you can become an EX too!

Sometimes Life happens but we don't have to add to our problems with Nicotine! And that's all it does - create problems galore! 

Enjoy your Smoke FREE World! It's so worth it!

Thomas3.20.2010

Responsibility

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 16, 2017

Terrie reminds us that responsibility for our Quit belongs to us!

What a great message!

It's not circumstances that make us smoke!

Or people that trigger us into feeling mad, sad, anxious....

They don't make us smoke!

Recovery means Living Life on Life's Terms!

Only one thing can make us smoke 

And there's only one person who can keep us Smoke FREE!

ME!

Triggers are never responsible for being triggers!

We're responsible for staying away from triggers until we figure out how to deal with them!

That might be a verrrrry long time - or forever!

But that's my responsibility, my decision, my consequences!

Only Nico-Lies tell us that we have to be here, do this, talk to them....

It may be challenging but we can organize our lives around smoking

or we can organize a Smoke FREE Lifestye!

I have a choice! You do have a choice!

We can decide to live Smoke FREE!

 “I only smoke occasionally.”

“I’ll never do that again.”

“I used to be addicted, but now I can smoke just one cigarette.”

“I’m not smoking again!” [while I reeked of tobacco!]

Lies are a natural and virtually automatic way of life for Nicotine Addicts. I’ve used every single one of these NIco-Lies and many more! As a result of denial and diseased thinking, I lied to my loved ones, to the world to avoid embarrassment, and to myself to keep on smoking. I lied about the big things and the small things – to feel important, to avoid rejection or judgment, to keep up appearances – until I had created a fantasy life that was far more tolerable than my current reality.

The dishonesty, though it hurt the people I cared most about (my Wife, my Sons), served a purpose in my life. If I stopped lying, I’d have to quit smoking and face the shameful pile of hurt I’ve inflicted on the people I love. That’s quite a load to bear! It was much easier to hide my emotions, keep up the double life and continue smoking.

 

But lungs don’t lie! Nor heart, or DNA…. My rude awakening was a diagnosis of COPD! I quit smoking – and lying – 6 Days later!

 

Just as food fuels the body, lies drive Addictive thoughts and behavior. For me, relief from the need to lie is the most attractive aspect of Addiction Recovery. It brings me closer to Self Acceptance. It removes the barrier I had erected between me and my Creator!

Without honesty, there is no sustainable Recovery.  It requires a courageous effort but through rigorous honesty, I reaped a reward that at one time likely seemed utterly impossible: coming to know and love not only myself but others, warts and all. I became a better Thomas than even my fantasy – the Real Me!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovYPQl93zro

 

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Thomas3.20.2010

Pay Day Loan

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 12, 2017

We all have seen those commercials.

Cash in your hand until Pay Day - at 300% apr. interest or more!

Then next month you're short again. Repeat!

Smoking that puff is the same thing!

You want that little rush of dopamine for whatever reason

and within minutes, not only do you no longer feel better, you feel even worse

and talk yourself into another hit!

You never get ahead! Just more problems!

But we're smarter than that, right? We have other skills to get the help we need. Real Help!

Not

One

Puff

Ever!

Smoke FREE is the only way to BE!

Thomas3.20.2010

Life on Life's Terms!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 12, 2017

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“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius

I'm sitting at the bottom of the abyss again. I'm beyond caring. Still I put one foot in front of another because what I do know is this despair is going on in my brain. It's a very small part of me and it won't last. It never does.

But for today I feel yuck! I know how to! I do it often. So I'm just going to "fake it tillI make it" and Let God do the rest! My therapist said it's probably the steroids I've been taking for the pneumonia I had. I hear but I can't listen. 

One day at a time. Tomorrow is another day Today is just not going to be a good one.

*sigh*

Smoke FREE!

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$1,000,000,000,000.

The little red thing is a human being. The stacks of bills are $100 bills.

$1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion dollars)

THAT is what smoking costs the World Economy killing "about 6 million people each year - with deaths expected to rise by more than a third by 2030, according to a report from the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute."  

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/01/10/smoking-costs-the-world-economy-1-trillion-per-year-world-health-organization-says/?utm_term=.e37fa4948e10

You don't have to contribute to these costs!

Smoke free means more money in your pocket!

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I first wrote about my alter personality back in 2013 and I still feel this way!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Thomas3.20.2010-blog/2013/01/08/just-call-me-charlie-brown

What I left out is this one:

“I got this! Yea, I hang out with my smoking friends in their man caves or on their smoke breaks. Yea, I have my secret stash because – FOR ME – it’s the way to succeed! Yes, I take an occasional puff – to remind me how much I don’t want to smoke!” But I’m different!

And it still doesn’t change the Science of Addiction!

 "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."

YOU are unique! But Nicotine Addiction like all Addictions is very mundanely predictable.

The Law of Addiction is not an opinion. It’s how the Human Brain works when exposed to an Addictive substance.

The case of Nicotine Addiction is well researched. Scientists know exactly what happens to our Brains when we Addicts are exposed to even one Sickerette, even Second and Third Hand Smoke!

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-secondhand-smoke-affects-brain

Nicotine Recovery also has been well researched. We know what works and we know what doesn’t work in our behavior. We understand the Tobacco Addiction Cycle. It’s not unique – it’s human vs. chemical.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928221/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056024/

https://www.drugfree.org/news-service/one-cigarette-can-cause-lasting-changes-in-brain/

I’m not asking folks to believe what I believe, to think as I think, to do what I do because I said so!

Look at the Facts!

Then decide for yourself! I only ask you to engage the Executive Control in your Brain which can only work when you are not being stimulated by Nicotine.

I believe in YOU! I will never give up on YOU!

You can BecomeanEX - Addiction FREE!

But you can’t fool Mother Nature!

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At 100 Days quit I already recognized the Gifts to Body, Mind and Spirit:

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Thomas3.20.2010-blog/2012/03/28/gifts-for-body-mind-and-spirit

Now, 6 Years later I can see it another way –

Put your Body, Mind and Spirit into your Quit Launch and make it more doable and easi-er!

When we quit our Bodies rebel due to withdrawal.

The list of physical symptoms is well documented:

http://www.healthline.com/health/smoking/nicotine-withdrawal#Symptoms2

But you can put your Body on the Quit side:

(1)    Treat the symptoms naturally

http://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/9-simple-and-effective-home-remedies-that-will-help-you-quit-smoking-246333.html

(2)    Help your Body with detox

http://www.simpleorganiclife.org/want-to-quit-smoking-these-7-healthy-foods-detox-nicotine-fast-1796298278.html

(3)    Increase Dopamine to relieve symptoms

https://bebrainfit.com/increase-dopamine/

Psychological Symptoms are often overlooked and can be a lot harder to address if we aren’t aware of them:

(1)  Someone who smokes while enjoying their morning cup of coffee or breakfast may find that he/she lights up each morning without even thinking about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf01Ti6bH8U

(2)  Smoking may also elicit feelings of love, relaxation, or peace if they are used to lighting up during certain situations or while interacting with certain people.

http://www.vogue.com/13394173/love-stories-quitting-smoking-cigarettes/

(3)    The initial process of stress, anxiety and depression can feel overwhelming. Acknowledging these feelings starts the process of addressing them.

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2009/04/08/smokers-cant-blow-off-stress/

We don’t have to be victims of these effects, we can put our Brains to use in favor of Quitting:

(1)    Use the tools under the heading:

How to Quit: Relearn Habit

https://www.becomeanex.org/relearn-habit.php

(2)    Follow the plan under  the heading:

How to Quit: Relearn Support

https://www.becomeanex.org/relearn-support.php#

(3)    Actually there are many things you can do to lighten your load:

http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/features/10-ways-reduce-stress-while-you-quit

Smoking is an assault on our Spirituality and Values:

(1)    We forfeit honesty:

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Thomas3.20.2010-blog/2016/09/20/deception-and-denial

(2)    We devalue our Lives:

http://naturalsociety.com/the-detrimental-effects-of-smoking/

(3)    We endanger the ones we Love:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/secondhand-smoke

We mitigate this damage first by facing it and then by stopping it:

(1)    Reclaim your honesty

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Thomas3.20.2010-blog/2017/01/02/self-love-overcomes-nicotine-addiction

(2)    Live your values – not your thoughts:

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Thomas3.20.2010-blog/2015/05/11/defuse-your-addictive-thoughts

(3)    Protect your Loved Ones

http://www.movoto.com/blog/real-estate-tips/third-hand-smoke/

There are a lot of ideas here and that’s all they are – ideas to help you think about your Quit Journey.

But don’t make it complicated:

There’s really only one thing you have to do to launch your Quit Journey:

Keep Them Away from your Face! N.O.P.E.!  S.I.N.A.O.! Just for today!

All the rest will happen with time!

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Make it Easy to Quit Smoking!

And visa versa -

Don't make it hard to Quit -

Make it  hard to Smoke!

That's why I told my Friends! That's why I threw away ashtrays, lighters, matches, pipes, everything smoking related!

That's why I rewarded myself with Self Care when I quit. It's why my Wife put gasoline in my car instead of me and I stayed out of gas stations and quick stores. 

But that was me!

Ask yourself what you can do to make your quit easier and smoking impossible - to you!

To me smokng is impossible because I have COPD!

Don't wait until then! Make it impossble now! Make it totally contrary to your values - not doable!

Because Quitting certainly is doable!

More people have Quit Smoking than smoke - you can be next!

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Thomas3.20.2010

Smoke Free Today!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 3, 2017
   On some days your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance. The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives giving up or relying on Me. . I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment giving you all that you need for this day. Trust Me.
   Corinthians 14:4 Jeremiah 31:25
    
   Dear Lord help me to realize without You in my life I have nothing. Thank you.

Why did I smoke before I was addicted to Nicotine? Acceptance! A way to cover up my Vulnerability, Self Doubt, lack of Self Esteem.  I had to get away from what I was feeling, to numb the pain, the emptiness, the disillusionment. I had to hide the True me in a smoke cloud!

But Addiction came with a trade-off whether I knew it or not! I lost sight of my true Creator-based Essence - the experience of absolute Freedom and Joy of being my Authentic Self. Due to all the things I had been through in my life, it became hidden from view. It was still there beneath layers of self doubt, resentment and frustration, accumulated through the disappointments and traumas of a lifetime. It hadn’t gone anywhere; I simply became distracted, so accustomed to looking outside of myself for completion that I forgot where to find it.

And because I lost touch with my True Self I stopped Loving Myself! I didn’t even know what it meant to Love Myself or where to begin!

Then August 5, 2013 I met somebody - here at this site!

Sharon a.k.a Smorgy8513

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/people/smorgy8513

I didn’t know that my Life was about to change! Like all new relationships this one grew tentatively and I discovered not only her – I discovered me!

Sharon took my hand and showed me what it means to search for Self Compassion. She helped me to form the correct questions that led to the right answers that led me into a stronger Quit Journey than I ever imagined possible!

Sharon did something amazing! She led by EXample into a place of Vulnerability! Oh, what an awesome concept! I quake at the thought of it!

She showed me that Self Love starts with Self Acceptance. In order to Love Yourself, you must embrace the parts of yourself that you reject. Resentment, jealousy, anger, shame; it is by loving these parts of yourself that you will become Free of them.

True strength came to me when I discovered the power of Vulnerability.

Vulnerability is something I would avoid at all costs. It is the worst place I would want to put myself in, and certainly not something I would actively seek!

Sharon made herself Vulnerable and taught me to do the same.

She led me to Self Compassion. I finally became my own Best Friend!

She demonstrated that there is great power to be found in Vulnerability; the power of Truth. When you are Vulnerable, you are being Real. You are showing yourself exactly as you are.

When you dare to be Vulnerable, you step outside your comfort zone, into the unknown. You let go of control, you confront the fear of rejection, and you put your own Truth above the need to please others. Vulnerability is the ultimate act of Self Love, it is the key to breaking addiction, codependency and releasing the flimsy crutch of outside approval.

In fact, Love of Self is the only way to permanently heal any Addiction. If we don’t learn Self Love we will simply shift from one Addiction to another. Cutting away the leaves of a habit is not the solution; new foliage will grow back soon enough. If you want to be free of Addiction, you have to heal the root. Go inwards and fill the emptiness with Love. Then your Addictions will fall away by themselves, for there will be no hole left for them to fill.

This is the Gift that Sharon offered me!

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13

Today I honor Sharon and the Gift of Self Love that she handed me!

There are no words sufficient to express my Gratitude!

Thank You, my Friend, for showing me the Power of Self Love!

Please join us and learn more about Self Love:

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/3533-love-yourself

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Thomas3.20.2010

Reset Monday

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 2, 2017

If you didn't like how last Year, last Month, last Week, or even Yesterday went for you then you have the ability to start over again. Today is a New Day! 

You can make the Commitment, take the Pledge, and stay Focused and Determined throughout the day!

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/4532-happy-new-year-keep-it-happy-guard-your-quit-with-a-daily-pledge

You can decide right now that today you will Live Smoke FREE!

Then as challenges come up you can acknowledge the feelings and thoughts but choose to honor your Pledge!

It's all there - right in your Brain - the prison and the escape! 

Today is a Great Day to Become an EX!

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Addiction hijacks our Brains!

It's the essence of our Recovery to re-claim our Brains!

We do that by recognizing and utilizing our Executive Control Functions purposely.

Science explains executive function like this:

Executive functions are self-regulating and control functions that direct and organize behavior. These include planning, decision making, directed goal selection, self-inhibiting, self-monitoring, self-evaluating, flexible problem-solving, initiation, and self-awareness (Zoltan, 1996).

Stop letting your Addiction rule your behavior! 

You will have feelings and thoughts that motivate you to smoke - that's the nature of Addiction's effect on our Brains. But you also can decide to executively override those thoughts and feelings. We all have neuroplasticity - the ability to choose. 

Today, this moment, any moment you can still your mind and reset your Brain. That's the proven fact behind Meditation. It works.

Meditation is defined:

"The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.”

Do it! What do you have to lose? 

Your Addiction!