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We tend to think of anger as a wild, negative emotion, but research finds that anger also has its positive side. When we quit smoking we can feel what seems like extreme anger until our physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects find balance. For those of us who learned that anger is an inappropriate emotion it can become a deal breaker.....

...Or we can put anger to use for our Nicotine Recovery!

 Anger is a motivating force like all emotions. (Emotion literally means to put in motion.) Anger can make us push on towards our goals in the face of problems and barriers. Who doesn't need that during their Recovery? When we see something as beneficial, we want it more when we’re angry. So, when used right, constructive anger can make you feel strong and powerful and help push you on to get what you want.

 It may sound like an odd thing to say, but angry people have something in common with happy people. That’s because both tend to be more optimistic. Anger is empowering!

What about our loved ones, you say? I know I was concerned that my anger would be too much for them. Anger expressed appropriately is actually good for relationships! When you hide your anger, your loved one doesn’t know they’ve done something wrong. And so they keep doing it. And that doesn’t do your relationships any good. The expression of anger, if justifiable and aimed at finding a solution rather than just venting, can actually benefit and strengthen relationships.

Expressing anger when loved ones smoke around you or even just leave their pack of sickerettes on the counter in front of you knowing that you're withdrawing from the strongest addiction of all, is a good example. Don't you want the support of your family member or friend by keeping their smokes to themselves? Speak up or it probably won't change. They may not even realize that this is extremely annoying, at best!

Anger can also provide insight into our own faults, if we allow it. We can examine and choose our values and boundaries only when we're in touch with our anger. Then we

to do to improve our lives. Anger can motivate self-change.

Anger can be a legitimate way to get what you want. Anger is likely to work best when it’s

justified, if you appear powerful and when the other side’s options are limited. In the right circumstances, then, it’s possible to both get mad and get even.

So how do we do anger safely when we (I know I did) smoked our anger down inside us for years? 

The likely features of constructive anger are:

  • that the person who caused the anger is present,
  • that it is justified and proportionate to the wrongdoing,
  • and it is expressed as the first step in trying to solve a problem rather than just venting bad feeling.

Used right, anger can be a handy tool. But use with caution as people find anger the most difficult of all the emotions to control, especially when they're used to smoking it away!

[Source: The Upside of Anger: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad - PsyBlog ]

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Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 24, 2019

Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.

Winston Churchill - 1874-1965 - Former British Prime Minister

People often come here with a fight to win attitude. I know I did! But I learned from the blogs that when we take this strategy we are fighting ourselves and who can beat themself without beating themself up? So it may seem like an enigma but strength is not the skill. Intelligence doesn't really matter either as smoking cessation is not rocket science. Yes, it helps to understand addiction and especially Nicotine Addiction  but it's not very complicated. 

Essentially there's only one rule, The Law of Addiction:

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

It's simple not easy. It takes perseverance not intelligence or strength. Don't struggle with your quit self - remember that in this instance you made a decision. Now honor that decision no matter what! When you get tempted just remind yourself, "I don't do that anymore." Then turn away to something else. 

You CAN do This!




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 20, 2019

Words are important. They have not just meaning - they color our existence. The study of words about addiction is a branch of Neuro-linguistics.

Neurolinguistics is based on concepts and models developed by some of the greatest minds in the world of psychotherapy like Milton Erickson, Gregory Bateson, and Virginia Satir. This method examines the fundamental dynamics between the mind (neuro) and language (linguistic); as well as, how their interaction affects the body and behavior (programming). It targets how people:

  1. communicate externally and internally
  2. process, store, and recall information
  3. alter their communication to achieve the results and goals they want

Addicts who have not entered Nicotine Recovery may enter into mistaken beliefs and mistaken neurolinguistics alongside it. I know, sounds weird but true. Here is a list of common errors:

  • Distortions such as focusing on the perceived benefits and ignoring the negative side effects of smoking
  • Generalizations - for example thinking that everybody I know smokes or vapes
  • ModalitiesWords which dictate or imply what is possible, right or necessary; such as, “must”, “should”, or “can’t.” For example, a person thinks he shouldn’t be smoking or another person says she can’t stop smoking.

This process explains how people get stuck in a language both internal and external that supports their addiction. In recovery we can confront the truth of these beliefs and can also choose language that supports our successful quit journey. 

Using phrases like "sickerettes", "quit journey", "day WON!", "I don't do that anymore", among many others, all promote recovery and/or deny addiction errors. 

This alone is reason enough to spend time day and evening at BecomeanEX. You will be retraining your vocabulary for success!

Here is just one EXample: Become 

Stick around here We have both overt and subtle ways of helping your recovery from nicotine in all of it's forms.

Image result for black eye


Remember the Tareyton Commercials? They had it backwards...

Image result for i'd rather fight than quit


Those people may be just like me - fighting not to cough in public, fighting for each breath of air, living with CO2 trapped in my lungs poisoning me each and every day for the rest of my life, 


Today is a Great Day to quit! 



Make Love Not War!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 14, 2019

When we first quit smoking we feel so much like we have to prepare for the battle of and for our lives. Honestly, what we have to prepare for is the battle for our hearts and minds.

So it's not about weapons to fight with. It's about tools to build new lives with.

It's not about making the Nico-Demon our Enemy.

Nicotine is the real enemy and Nico-Demon is the little addicted two year old that we need to love with all our hearts and minds. That's because Nico-Demon is ME! I choose not hate a part of myself. I love even that poor addicted brain that got hooked without intention. 

Nicotine came into my life and changed me forever. Now I know. Now I love me and love life and choose to stay very far away from all nicotine in all of it's forms.

Nicotine - The Nerve Poison

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Who am I?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 13, 2019

I was born with a certain genetic coding that began my definition of me. After birth, and even in the womb, my parents began their input into defining me until I could define myself. Later, siblings, family members, playmates, and my community added their clarifications on the given definition. Very quickly, as a toddler I began to make choices and those choices - whether I was an astronaut or a caveman today, whether I played with GI Joe or lincoln logs, all shaped me in ways I didn't consciously set out to become - yet that is the process....

And along came sickerettes stolen out of my Mother's purse when she was busy with chores. Smoking changed me - it  would later make me an Addict. I thought it would help me break the secret code of "adult." It didn't - I still couldn't understand adult choices. So I went back to playing and studying and watching and choosing who I want to be and become. I never once decided to become an Addict. 

At 30, I chose to smoke. I wanted to share in the camaraderie of my buddies. I thought I could stay free from the addictive part by smoking less than the other guys and abstaining from time to time. But I was hooked and I changed - not by choice but many of my decisions were robbed by sickerettes. 

Nicotine controlled people I hung around (fewer nonsmokers - more addicts), places (full of smoke clouds), and things such as my special Santana lighter and my ever present Marlboro hard red pack. I was literally defining myself within the confines of my addiction. It became a part of virtually every thought - consciously and unconsciously. 

Now I have 9 1/2 years quit and a smoking related illness - COPD. COPD is now a part of every decision I make - where I work, who I'm with, what I do each day. I carry my oxygen concentrator and related cords everywhere I go. I limit my activity to what I can tolerate. My disability puts parameters around my decisions and thus, my definition of Thomas. I didn't choose it but I did choose to smoke that first sickerette. 

But my Recovery also defines Thomas. Without recovery I would most likely not be writing this blog - for example. I might have smoked myself into a grave by now. Who knows?

Only one entity knows - not me - my Higher Power. He knows. He leads me down the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. He leads me to write this blog and to hope that one addict can relate and decide to choose freedom before they get a smoking related illness. I hope that person is you!

Take what is useful and leave the rest. I speak only for myself - this is my journey on the way to Thomas today. I don't know what tomorrow will look like.



Unity is Our Strength

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 10, 2019

Some folks come here for advice and then rebel at the advice they get. For me, that's very confusing. If you are here to somehow justify your Nicotine Addiction - I'm sorry but your in the wrong place. The goal we have in common - all we have in common - is our Nicotine Addiction Recovery. 

When you hear that it can't be done by cutting down and staying at a level of say "only 4-5 a day" feel free to give it your best. We know that this is a failed effort because we tried that. 

When you hear that you will change and you decide that you don't need to change to quit give it a shot! With true Recovery you will change. We know we tried to not change. 

When you hear that it's better to accept becoming an EX than to fight, you have every right to fight all you want. But fighting leads to relapse or acceptance; we were there, believe me or not.

The advice always comes with the caveat of "take what you need and leave the rest!" 

So we are so diverse, so individual, why does this work?

Because addiction is addiction is addiction. That is what we have in common  whether you're from Hays, Ks. or New Delhi, India. 

So listen and learn or hear and resist. Just know that we're here to support your journey into Addiction Freedom which isn't about deprivation but abundance!

We provide an abundance of comfort, support, knowledge, experience, advice, information, and love.

"Come together, right now, over me!" - John Lennon

LLAP! No matter what!

Re: Rant: Didn't You Come Here Asking for Help?


Self Soothing

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 9, 2019

When I feel overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, depression, and recently anger, I have learned to self-sooth. I'm actually taking a class called dialectical behavior therapy to learn even more skills that will help me take control of my thoughts and feelings. 

Use your 5 Senses:

Name 5 things you see (perhaps all the color blue, for example.)

Name 4 things you hear

Name 3 things you touch

Name 2 things you smell

Name 1 things you taste


You can add a bright color. I have a little security blanket about 4 inches square that is bright purple.

You can add music.

You can add a token and stroke it

You can add essential oils to smell

You can add an altoid or clove or anything that is intensely tasteful.


I follow up with capturing the rest of this moment.

Worry and fear are generally about what might happen but right now is not happening.(Remember, it might not, also!)

Right now I am physically fine! My thoughts focus on this fact and relax and then my feelings calm.


This minute I'm just fine! ....And this minute....and this minute. Hey, I'm fine for now! Why ruin this moment with worries that might not happen? I know I will cross each bridge as I come to it - one at a time - not a flood of demands at once. 

My senses stop the flood. My mindfulness releases the waters. The flood becomes a trickle that I can decide to pay attention to when I have time - not now.


I choose a time I call my "worry time." I bring up the worst case scenario and then find alternatives to each one that are just as likely or doable. When the alarm goes off - the worry has to stop. With practice it works. 


Yesterday I had my toenail removed. Soothing helped me get through it! ICK! The skills you use will benefit you for a lifetime in many situations!

Smoking cessation is doable. It's worth it because you're worth it! 



When Does It Stop?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 8, 2019

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Maya Angelou - 1928-2014 - Poet-Singer-Memorist-Civil Rights Activist

While the rest of the nation was grieving for Dayton and El Paso, running with fear in Times' Square and Valley Fair Mall, Utah in ubiquitous anxiety over mass shooters, and praying for divine intervention, ICE teams raided a Koch Brothers' food processing plant in the tiny town of Morton, Mississippi (pop. 3423) and ripped out 680 undocumented workers on the first day of school! Surely, we think, the government made plans for the innocent children who were in school and just lost access to their parents - NYET! The United States Government wants to treat these entire families with maximum cruelty while giving the Koch Brothers a free pass for having immigrants working for them!


I have judiciously avoided politics on this website but I am literally screaming, my blood boiling over, at the hypocrisy! Who will raid the Koch Brothers and rip them from their families? Nobody! I don't know how much more of this hatred I can take but I know this, I will not smoke!




Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 7, 2019

Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us more effectively. Look for the learning. 

Louisa May Alcott

In times of grieving many of us think that this is a reason for giving up on our quit.

May I suggest that it's the time to use that catalyst of change, which all grief has, to propel oneself into recovery?

There is a fundamental difference between smobriety and recovery. Both entail quitting smoking but nicotine recovery is so much more than putting down the sickerettes. It's that journey that we speak so often here as the best thing that ever happened to us. 

So how do you get onto the road of recovery? Willingness. Just allow yourself to EX!

It's like floating on the surface of water. You let go and trust the process and just float. 

But how do you float in the midst of the waves of life? Surf the waves - don't resist, don't struggle, just surf.

The Push and Pull

John Lennon said it best - Let It be!

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be


And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be


And when the broken-hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be


For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer
Let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Yeah, there will be an answer
Let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be


And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow
Let it be


I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer
Let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer
Let it be


Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be


These are troubled - even violent times, not so different from the 60s in the social turmoil. Let Love win!

Sometimes I can feel the hatred and anger for my very existence. Let Love win!

I often feel unsafe in so many ways and fear for my family. Let Love win!


If you love yourself you will decide not to smoke no matter what! Let Love win!

Give yourself a hug today and stay Smoke FREE! Love is the way!

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  John 14:15


Be Safe!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 4, 2019

The United States is being attacked from the inside out! 

I pray for each and every one of you that you have a safe and blessed Sunday!

Love not hate!


Brought to Tears

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 3, 2019

When I feel that we're losing somebody in the struggle to gain smobriety and nicotine recovery I am brought to tears!

Here I sit on 24/7 oxygen (I should be at work but no dice!) I just finished my nebulizer treatment that takes 10 minutes out of my day every four hours. I took my steroids that are eating up my bones and making me so jittery I need more medicine just to be able to type this. I suffer every day from COPD Stage III knowing what waits for me is COPD Stage IV when III is bad enough! 

I have anxiety, depression and lifelong ptsd. I know about mental illness. If you search in the window above you will inevitably find my articles like this one:

25 YEARS! What a Waste!

I mourn the lost ones and trust in God that seeds are planted along the way!

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The water is my tears!


The Attic of my Mind

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 3, 2019

In this attic - memories - lots of memories. Some are sad, or angering or even frightful. Others, most, are happy, joyful, nostalgic. It may seem like junk for you but to me they are treasures and I try not to think about what will happen to all of this stuff when I pass on.

After getting over the unpleasantness of the first few disgusting sickerettes, I began to enjoy smoking. I often have good memories and associations with the times when I smoked. This pine cone reminds me of  times smoking with friends while sitting on the grass at the park, this Farrah Faucet poster brings back  hanging out with friends chatting about girls over some Kools, this cracked cup  makes me reminisce about coffee with my God Mother rounding off her famous mexican guisados or flan with a  "natural" Camel. Memories everywhere in this attic- too many to see at once.

Each memory robbed of the beauty of the moment because of the ever present pack of smokes. I see this stuff and the beautiful, exquisite details of memories and then I see - the smoke rings, the heaping ashtrays, the pack with it's personalized lighter. 

Researchers say nicotine, the addictive component in cigarettes, "tricks" the brain into creating memory associations between environmental cues and smoking behavior. All of those memories bring back the "memory" of smoking. I can see the pack in my mind's eye, then the coughin' nail itself, I remember that lighter with the fondest of flashbacks. It's human nature.

But the treasure isn't in the green "fresh" Kools of my youth or the hard red "practical" Marlboro's. I refuse to let sickerettes rob me of my nostalgia, The treasures are the moments of sharing - connecting heart-to-heart with others. 

Did you notice that my "smoking memories" are all associated with people - with places - and things? If I hadn't changed those 3 very important stimulants of memory, strung like beads on my favorite Mardi Gras decor, and purposefully, one by one, lifted the smoke cloud off of the treasures, they might have been broken forever in my need to live addiction free. 

I didn't do this hard work of cleaning and organizing this attic of memories in the beginning or even after the first year or the second. I established myself firmly in the "never again" category first! Just like we can't go back to those times we are so fond of, we can't recapture those connections with people, places, and things,by continuing to light up! What we can do eventually is to conjure up the walks in the park, the buddy times, the best food in the world from the brightest light of our childhoods and neutralize the power of the smokes. 

Sickerettes didn't make those connections - we did! I take each item in my memory out, examine it, laugh a little, cry a little, polish it off and find a special place in this attic to restore it. I think of my youth, midlife, and loss of innocence and I see the sickerettes but I don't allow them to tarnish my memories - mine!

What counts are the connections - the love, friendship, kinship, sense of belonging! Smoking is not required. It was there then but I just don't do that any more and I can put those dead leaves in their place - the past forever separate from what really counts!

What a marvelous, adventurous journey into recovery!


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