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2017

For those of you who are among the new Members of our Community or renewing your efforts to make 2018 your Year of FREEDOM here's another way of looking at your Quit!

 

Even the word speaks of what not to do! When we begin our Quit Journey we don't want craves. We don't want Addictive Thoughts. We don't want temptation. We don't want withdrawal symptoms. the list goes on and on...

 

But humans deal quite poorly with this frame of mind. 

 

What do you want? Make a list of what you want and expect from your Quit Journey. That is an action.

 

I wanted first and foremost better health, improved breathing, I also wanted more money, addiction freedom, making my own decisions, living my values, honoring my family, my God. We all have our own list - just get started - the list will come and in a short while quite easily!

 

Make a plan of how you will handle the triggers you are aware of. 

 

I changed the people, places and things I associated with my Addiction. I practiced saying, "I need to leave" for times I would be confronted with triggers. I sought out and opened up to people who supported me in my Quit Journey. I made a list of things to do that would keep me distracted during the 3-5 minutes that a craving lasts. I had 2 strategies: don't look for trouble and when it comes to find me have a way out.

 

Fill your mind with Quititude.

 

Yes, you will have all kinds of smoky thoughts. so there are two things I did. I purposely filled my mind with Quititude and I practiced letting the Addictive Thoughts pass in through and out of my Brain without attention. My attention was on Quititude instead.Meditation helped me here. 

 

Create Ceremony. and Ritual.

 

I had an ending addiction/beginning abundance ceremony that fit my belief system. There is a lot to be said for ceremony - it's awfully hard to crumble when your promises are sealed with ceremony! Riding the Freedom Train and making your Daily Pledge are ceremony. Posting every single day is ceremony. It has meaning that will lead you to your goal. 

Celebrations & Events

Daily Pledge

 

Change your Lifestyle.

 

Contrary to common opinion, changing lifestyle across the board is more doable than just one thing. From exercise to nutrition, from time spent with Family to how we spend our work breaks - I let it all contribute to my Quit Plan so that it wasn't +++ into an unachievable perfection but an enhancement of my #1 Goal: Abundant Smoke Free Living!

 

Take Action - not avoid the action of smoking - that's a white knuckle Quit and unsustainable!

Take Action - not reaction to an overwhelming compulsion to smoke but a proactive approach to LIFE!

 

Let 2018 be your YEAR of FREEDOM!

We have 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day. When you are new to quitting smoking or even contemplating quitting it feels like all of these thoughts are about cigarettes, smoking and how gooooood it would be to have just one right now! It doesn't matter that we rationally know that this is total bologna - the thoughts are there!

So if you have decided to make 2018 your Year of Freedom you may be struggling right now with these thoughts. 

Here's something else you can think about:

Positive Affirmations and Support

When I was new to my quit I copied these on my computer, printed them, cut then down to size and posted them all over my house, car, even at work. There's something there for anyone and everyone.

You can't stop those smoky thoughts but you can tilt the scales with thoughts that support your Quit!

Give it a try!

Yet another study confirms what we say over and over again here. NRTs, Chantix. and Bupropion will not work if you don't work your Recovery! It's like asking a Heroin Addict if he quit with Suboxone. 

If you decide with your Doctor to use these quit smoking tools, Great! But you and you alone can Quit Smoking and not with Willpower! 

BecomeanEX and BecomeanEX Community have very specific, doable, proven methods that will show you how to change your behaviors so you can Succeed. Read, read, read! The folks who embrace the BecomeanEX program and listen to those who have quit before them become the 6%ers for those who follow. 

Study: Medications Alone Don’t Help Smokers Quit 

You need knowledge, support, and lifestyle change. It's all right here!

Become an EX! You really can!

Christmas can be stressful and if you haven't Quit Smoking yet you may think that this sure as heck isn't the time to Quit! I get it!

But you can give yourself a marvelous Christmas Present just the same. 

eeeeeezeeeee

Decide on a Quit Date!

eeeeeezeeeee

It doesn't have to be the traditional January First New Year's Resolution thing - just decide right now on a fixed date. Then go to the Quit Plan part of BecomeanEX and start the prep for your New Life!

You can do this! We will be here for you! Make the commitment!

Restore true Peace and Joy in Living!

Merry Christmas to YOU!

Thomas3.20.2010

Meaning

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 19, 2017

Sometimes I have felt hope sliding away. I just didn't care much to do the right thing. I asked myself, "What's the point? Nice guys finish last." My mind was filled with pollution. I was an Addict and so what?!

There's something kind of smart aleck about an attitude such as that. An Addict would maybe think it's cool. 

Well, it's a good front for the despair, lack of hope, the laziness underneath!

It's easy to not give a darn. It's also immature!

Real courage, real guts comes from a Life worth living. That's hard work sometimes!

It takes perseverance, responsibility, soul searching to value the Life that was given me. 

That's where Viktor Frankl comes in. 

For those of you who don't know who Viktor Frankl is - he was a Psychoanalyst who came up with a new branch of Existentialism called Logotherapy. Then in 1942 he was taken by the Germans in WWII and thrown into a concentration camp. His wife and parents were taken too and perished. Frankl suffered as much as any human can imagine and  by miracle he survived to tell about it. Frankl lived until 1997. 

When I get down I read Frankl. Who else knows - there's nothing you can come up with that beats it - knows what it means to live - to survive?

Frankl's most well known book is called Man's Search for Meaning. It takes a few hours to read it even if you read slow. 

If you wonder why you should bother caring about life pick up this book. He'll set you straight. 

We all have a responsibility to stop killing ourselves with Sickerettes.

Whatever it takes, however you can, never ever Quit on your Quit! It's about Living in Freedom!

Thomas3.20.2010

Crave Antidotes

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 15, 2017

When you are in a crave it may seem like it will last forever. Once you have hooked into that Nico-thought, you can get swept away in the feelings of addiction and it's much harder to unhook - but it is doable.

Often we interpret the feeling of nicotine withdrawal as stress and by immediately addressing this stress in alternative ways we can curb the crave and redirect our thinking for the  - I know you don't believe it - 3 minutes the crave lasts. 

Here are some escape hatches to use in that minute when you notice the crave:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/09/06/stress-relief-that-works_n_3842511.html 

Whatever it takes just keep in mind that thoughts - no matter how compelling - are not commands! You can decide to let the thoughts travel on and also decide what your next thought will be. 

A good place to begin is with your breathing. It takes practice. Practice several times a day when you find your mind wandering. Stop and remind yourself that you are in control of your thoughts and choose your next thought. It's really quite simple and easy. But you need to practice between times you need it so when the time comes you just go there automatically.

And remind yourself - I am in control. Nicotine has no power over me!

N.O.P.E.!

Thomas3.20.2010

A Happy Birthday!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 14, 2017

I recognize that I've been a bit (OK a lot) morose lately but today I will say not one more word about that!

Today I turn 60 years old. I have lived many wonderful, adventurous, exciting, fulfilling years. I have had the fortune to meet the love of my life and to have 2 extraordinary sons with her. And these last two years have fulfilled my deepest dream - to become a grandfather of 2 absolutely delightful granddaughters.

 

But my biggest accomplishment - the best decision of my life - was to put an end to addiction in my life! When I knew that I was going to quit smoking I didn't know that. I thought it was the better of 2 very bad decisions - smoke myself into an early grave or suffer deprivation of my one pleasurable vice and suffer the constant stress of wanting one - just one - to help me cope with tough times. Black and white thinking! Or better said black and blacker thinking.

 

I was so wrong! My Addicted Mind had lied to me for so many years that I no longer even had an inkling of the truth!

 

By following the simple plan of BecomeanEX I did what we all have to do fundamentally - I did not take one puff ever no matter what! I showed up and read. I educated myself on Nicotine Addiction and Recovery and applied what I learned. I allowed myself to hear Allen Carr's The Easy Way and quitsmokingonline.com. I worked not just my smobriety - I worked my Recovery!

 

And I allowed myself perhaps for the first time in a very, very long time to become vulnerable. Not much but some. I exposed my true self from around the edges of research and quoted affirmations - from other people's words and generalizations. Dare I let these total strangers get to know me - Thomas - the doubter? What the heck! It's only the internet so why not? 

 

So what does this have to do with Nicotine Addiction? I will only speak for myself here so take what you need and leave the rest. I was an addict who smoked in order to belong while hiding my true self from others. We could share superficialities while we shared our fix. I was wrapped up in nico- lies that hid me not only from others but even from myself. I could hardly tell you who I am. That was Thomas the Addict.

 

This ability to become my true Self, to accept my true Self, to respect my true Self, to dare to love my true Self was the most precious gift of my Quit Journey - so far. To be humanly imperfect and vulnerable and yet acceptable, at least passable, among my peers.

 

Nicotine Freedom gave myself back to me. By taking away that smoke cloud and twisted addictive lying and deceit I was faced with the most fundamental truth of all - Invention is the Mother of Necessity! I had to learn to give up my immature lies about myself and face reality in a way I hadn't when I first started smoking. I had to learn to know myself for who I am and to grow into my Self - God's creation - a believer in Salvation. It's almost like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. And I had to learn to take off the many masks I hid behind little by little in this safe Community and not only show strength, knowledge, understanding as well as empathy, caring, and compassion - I had to show my darker side - weakness, doubt, fear, self loathing, vulnerability. 

 

I had to grow into the man that I am today. I am here for you , for me, for all that releases us from the bondage of addiction. I can hold my head high and look people in the eyes with true honesty without judgment. I can celebrate all that has been good and bad in these 60 years. I can celebrate this day, this moment in all it's reality and imperfections. I can celebrate this moment of sharing with you - my friends - in honesty who I really am right now! No more lies, no more hiding, just me with you celebrating 21900 days on this Earth and 2826 days of Freedom to be myself - Free of Nicotine!

 

There are no words to capture my gratitude to Legacy and the EX Community for their support in my quest for Freedom! You know who you are - from my oldest friends on the first day I blogged to my newest - who provide me with so much to learn from them. There's no better way to learn than from teaching. That's a core value I've had for as long as I've known. And it still holds true!

 

Thank You for being my Friends!

Thomas3.20.2010

At the End of the Day

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 13, 2017

At the end of the day it's up to you!

You can consult your Doctor. 

You can call the Quit Line.

You can read The Easy Way by Allen Carr.

You can put on your patches, chew your gum and take your chantix - all at once even.

You can get hypnotised, acupunctured, reikied, and shrunk.

You can come here and tell us how much you love to smoke, how much harder it is for you than anybody else who ever smoked, how hard it is to withdraw, to resist, to get your dopamine, to exercise, to live with the stress....

And at the end of the day it still comes down to you!

You have to make the unshakable decision every single minute of every single day of your Quit -

Not One Puff Ever!

Smoking is simply not at option!

I don't do that anymore! 

Not in public, or drunk, or behind closed doors, or in my car where nobody's watching, or just this once because....

We can lead you to FREEDOM but you decide to drink - or not!

Smoking is killing me sloooooooowly - and I quit almost 8 years ago!

Your choice!

Killing Me Softly with His Song
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him, to listen for a while
And there he was, this young boy, a stranger to my eyes
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd
I felt he'd found my letters and read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly, with his words
Thomas3.20.2010

Living

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 11, 2017

How many of us have laughingly said, "Well, I have to die sooner or later! I might as well go out enjoying myself!" as we lit up another one? "Let's have another Cancer Nail. What the heck?" Black humor, indeed.

But I found this particular Nico-Lie much more difficult to refute in my mind. You see, I quit smoking 6 Days after being diagnosed with COPD - a progressive, incurable, smoking related illness.

Beating the Odds!

So in my mind, "Why shut the barn door after the cows are out?" as we used to say in Kansas. 

But I did Quit and in just 6 Days. 

So how did I defeat the Nico-Lie?

You can't ignore or deny it - it will gnaw at you in it's secret lair deep within your subconscious. You have to look it straight up and call a spade a spade!

You can't fight it! The more you fight with your own personal Nico-Lies the more attention and therefore Power you give to it!

At the time my need to resist it was stronger than my ability to see another way; the fear of not resisting it was stronger than my Faith of having support to walk past it.

I realize that non-resistance is a big challenge but it leads to acceptance which leads to release. I  then had the ability to see the lie pass through my head like just another thought so insignificant that I barely took notice of it!

To me at the time it felt like a sort of surrender - making myself even more vulnerable to the Lie.

But on the contrary, when I took the leap of Faith - accepting that yes, I did have that thought and yet letting it float it's twisted way into and out of my mind just like most of the other 70,000 thoughts of the day - gave me back my Power to determine what is significant in my Life and what I value. This my own most painfully believable Nico-Lie became insignificant.

Truth pierced my Addicted Mind and shined through me! Yes, we will all die sooner or later. Yet we were still commanded to be Stewards of our bodies, minds and souls by our Creator. Defying my Heavenly Father was sinful not enjoyable. {I speak here only for myself - my truth - so take what you like and please leave the rest!)

Not what the heck? What the Heaven!!!

And

I had better ways to spend my attention! Ways that I chose because I can when I put my mind to it!

Like Thanking the Almighty for showing me the Light of Truth and setting me FREE!

 

Thomas3.20.2010

Learning

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 10, 2017

Nicotine Use is learned.

First we learned how to light up and puff eventually without choking. We learned how to inhale and get that dopamine as fast as possible. We also learned other little tricks along the way. How to beg, borrow, steal, or buy (in my case very underage), how to light up when we had no obvious means - a lighter, how to hide the smokes from our parents, teachers and other adults who might object, how to cover up the smell of tobacco, where we could smoke without getting caught, with whom we could share our Addiction, how to make excuses when we were caught, how to lie to ourselves and others about our true thoughts and feelings.

Second we learned to think differently about Nicotine Use. I remember as a little boy wishing that the adults wouldn't smoke around me, wishing they would quit even while knowing that they wouldn't. I told myself that when I became an adult there's no way that I would smoke - Yuk!  Even before I smoked I began listening to the Nico-Lies - implanting them in my head. How I would seem so much older, more mature, cool, rebellious, belonging. I learned to think simultaneously that I could quit smoking any time and that I could never, would never choose to live without Nicotine. I had made a 180 about adult smoking - even around children.

And last our feelings learned to change. Every time we felt festive, comradery, relaxation, daring, anger, frustration, stress, .....anything we were inextricably drawn to the biggest Nico-Lie of all - I need a Smoke! All feelings came down to that and then we told ourselves that that hit of dopamine somehow made us feel better! So any mere sign of emotion made us think of a Sickerette! Why work through my anger, sorrow, frustration or stress when a smoke would "cure" it? We learned to stunt our feelings when we became addicted.

We even learned to create a hard shell around our Core Values. Oh they were there, underneath all that relearning because values aren't so easily relearned! But they can be covered up under layer of layer of relearning behaviors, thoughts and feelings hiding - waiting to be Freed from the prison of Addiction!

Those values are what gave each of us the ability in spite of decades of learning Addiction to search for a way out of the prison. They brought us here!

This is why we say no pill, patch, lozenge, whatnot will rescue us - We have to rescue ourselves with relearning. Because what was learned can be relearned. Not unlearned but relearned!

We can relearn behaviors, thoughts, and feelings and tap into our Core Values. 

That's what BecomeanEX is all about! That is what Recovery is all about! That's why we're here!

Learn to become an EX!

Thomas3.20.2010

Twisted

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 8, 2017

Are you still a believer that Sickerettes relieve stress?

Perhaps you may wake up after reading this true tale of how that concept was created!

We sometimes underestimate the ability of Greed to lead to wickedness.

I don't like having been used. It won't happen again. 

How about you?

The ‘Father of Stress’ Was a Tobacco Industry Shill - Motherboard 

Let's make a very long list for Folks to draw on!

I'll start with My Number One:

(1) Protecting my Grandchildren from Second and Third Hand Smoke.

Hop On....

When I decided to Quit Smoking I told myself, “Buck up, Thomas! You’re going to be miserable but you have to do this no matter what!” I was doing the white knuckle quit! And guess what? I was miserable!

Then I joined BecomeanEX and started to read the Blogs by a guy named James, The Happy Quitter! I couldn’t believe my eyes!  Happy?  Quitting? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

James said that he decided to be a Happy Quitter and behold, his cravings were easier, didn’t last as long and his whole Quit was much more doable!

So who wouldn’t want that?

I began to realize with practice that thoughts are just thoughts. We have between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day. And as so many of us have pointed out  -

“Thoughts are not Commands!”

I also learned that feelings are a choice.  We can make choices about how to feel when we know why we feel our feelings. I had unwittingly decided to be miserable because I was told that I would be miserable!

Could I decide to be happy?

So where do you get started?

I chose to “fake it till you make it!”

I stopped being miserable long enough to imagine what it might be like to be a Happy Quitter.

Then a put a smile on my face even when I didn’t feel like smiling!

 I read more inspirational Blogs from Dale’s unique jokes to Marilyn's inspirational stories.

I simply made happiness a goal and tried!

 Then I looked for glimmers of happiness throughout each day, paid attention and acknowledged that it was happening with gratitude!

I  practiced!

And not right off but soon, I became a Happy Quitter!

I believe it made my whole Quit Journey more doable, I know it was more fun!

Being a Quitter isn’t about self-sacrifice and deprivation! It’s about becoming a New You and best of all, you get to decide who that person is!

I choose to be a Happy Quitter!

Do you talk yourself into smoking or do you talk yourself into quitting? We say all kinds of things to ourselves but do we listen? We have 60,000 - 80,000 thoughts a day. Some of these thoughts we deem as important from I like that new sparkling water to it's cloudy today; from I'm happy to be with my Grand Daughters to I probably should put the Christmas Tree up soon. 

From the moment we begin to think of quitting smoking until we join BecomeanEX and then that dread filled day : Our Quit Day and for the first few Weeks following we have lots and lots of thoughts related to smoking and quitting.

So here's the question - 

Are you talking yourself into smoking or are you talking yourself into Quitting? Are you listening? Are you hooking into this idea of quitting with both fists? Are you selling yourself on the Fact, yes, I said Fact, that this is the BEST Idea you have Ever had? Have you made every effort to convince Yourself that You Can Do This? Have you been listening?

You know all of that time you spent smoking? 2 hours and up every single Day! Have you told yourself that a small portion - less than half - of that time can be spent here with Folks who will help you get what you think (sometimes) that you want - to Quit Smoking. We can educate, present alternatives, give support, help you deal but only if and when you come here and share your Quit Journey with us!

Are you listening?

Thomas3.20.2010

Bust Out!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 2, 2017

Bust Out of this dark addiction which has grabbed and taken possession of you!

Bust IN - to your true God given Self - your full potential - your own specialness that only can come to fruition in a state of Addiction Freedom!

You can't even imagine the marvelous, incredible You under all that smoke!

All of us who have lived and breathed N.O.P.E., who have not only been smober over time but have gone through the personal, unique growth of Recovery - recovering ourselves know a truth that cannot be conveyed in words. 

We want that for you! To unveil that beautiful honest 100% You just waiting for you to say YES! to LIFE!

It's high. It's low. It's happy, sad, angry, joyful, frustrating, peaceful, calm, loving, ...

It's the whole range of experiences, thoughts and feelings we smoked away - ready, right now, waiting, right now, for you to open your mind, heart, and yes, Soul to.

Grab it! Life is too short! Don't smoke it up!

Thomas3.20.2010

Gratitude List

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 30, 2017

Folks who have depression know that in the middle of the goo just thinking of one thing to be grateful for becomes incredibly difficult. That's the funk of the mind. 

My cousin was murdered the day before Thanksgiving so that wonderful Holiday that reminds us to count our blessings right before we get into the Christmas wish lists didn't happen for me this Year. Instead I went through the shock, pain, dismay, overwhelming confusion of realizing that Angelica is gone to a better place. I suppose some day I will be grateful that she no longer suffers but right now it's too soon. 

I am grateful, though!

I am grateful to the Lord, grateful that there is a Lord! Grateful for His pure and unconditional LOVE and gift of Life! Grateful for His mercy and forgiveness which never ceases!

I am grateful for as many of you pointed out my Family - my Wife, my Sons, their Wives, my precious Grand Daughters who know no violence in any way - only love poured on more love!

I am grateful for my Home, my car, my job, my ability to work!

I'm grateful like never before for what does work right in my body - what a miracle the human body is! I'm grateful for life - for my Life - for living.

I'm grateful for the miracle of modern medicine - with all of it's flaws it still does a darn good job of helping me get through each day - rough around the edges but alive and breathing - to some extent.

And I'm grateful for my EX Community who know just the right things to love and support me when I'm too weak and tired and frustrated and disappointed and well, depressed to love and support myself! Thank You! Every single one of you makes me a better person just knowing that you are there for me! I owe you my everlasting Thanks!

I am grateful!

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