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smoking cessation class

Posted by constanceclum Oct 30, 2015

I forgot to mention in my previous blog that, on Wed., I went to my final class. I was the only one out of 4 that was there. I got a certificate stating I had completed the quit smart program. These classes didn't really teach me anything knew except that it's okay to use 2 different NRT's but did, along with everything else I am doing, increase my motivation and commitment. (I've tried to spell committment several different ways and none of them looked right so I'm done with it-not my comitment but trying to spell it , hee hee).


heck week

Posted by constanceclum Oct 30, 2015

Not much different than hell week for me. Between this site and really practicing my AA program I have a whole new level of calmness. I think that is helping as much as the NRT's at least with the psychological part. I get on this site first thing in the morning and then AA prayer and meditation. It really helps the rest of my day.

I did miss all of it yesterday though. I just let being busy with life's stuff interfere and I really noticed the difference. I caught up on blogs today though and loved the comments on my blog. I really got a chuckle out of Dale and Puff's pictures. Loved the dragon with the binkie.

One of the things I am trying to practice on a daily basis is to keep expectations low and acceptance high. By doing this I cannot give control to anyone, place, thing or situation to cause me to light a cigarette. (an excuse to light up). Also accepting that all is not going to go the way I want (traffic etc...) I am not getting my feather's ruffled as much. This also gives me a level of peace that I have not experienced before.

I have a job interview on Tues at home depot. I really need to make some extra money for this move coming up so please keep me in your prayers.

Love to all,



Hell week is over!!!

Posted by constanceclum Oct 28, 2015

I'm really happy about this accomplishment. It really hasn't been awful except for the void which I just fill with food. I appreciate all the comments on my last blog. Dale's suggestion of getting a "binkie" really intrigues me and I would love to see a picture of Puff with one! I'm loving laughing 1st thing in the morning with Terri's blogs and all of her comments. I also love the inspiration I get for the day from Mike and Marylin's blogs as well as the newcommer's blog's knowing they are going through the same issue's I am.

I have to admit that the way I am choosing to quit smoking using the patch and about 5 lozenges/day is keeping me comfortable yet still addicted. I also have some nasal spray which I hate (it is very uncomfortable, like inhaling pepper), but because it is prescription it is cheaper for me. I plan on getting off the patches in 2 mo. without increasing the others and be off all of it at 4-6 mo. The important thing to me is not to increase my addiction and NEVER allow myself even 1 puff. NOPE!!!

Have a great smoke free Wed. my friends. Peace!!!

I do okay (for the most part) during the day but am awake all night eating. It's starting to become exhausting. I use to wake up to smoke and I guess this is part of that awful habit. I haven't gained any weight yet but I'm already 20# overweight and I don't want to gain anymore than the 5-10# that I would naturally gain from a slower metabolism.

I think God is trying to tell me something. The topic of the  last 2 AA meetings I have been to has been on surrendering. I can easily apply this to smoking.  One of the definitions of surrender is "To give the control or use of (smoking) to someone else (God)" This needs, for me, to be done on a continual basis, at least for now. I need to also apply that to food.

I am doing okay with cravings but I do have this void. The feeling of missing something. I am filling it with food and I don't want to do that. I don't eat raw veggies so I'm at least trying to think of something healthy to eat at night. I'm allowing myself to eat a protein bar and/or greek yogurt before bed so it's not like I'm hungry. Uggghhhh!!!!!!!!!!.


Good morning everyone!

Posted by constanceclum Oct 26, 2015

I'm starting day 6 and feeling pretty good. Yesterday was my hardest day yet but I got through it. Meeting each challenge successfully helps get through the next one.

We with a neighbor cooked out yesterday. My husband and neighbor were both drunk and, of course, smoking. I stayed inside for the most part. Beautiful weather and a cookout and I'm stuck inside. But whatever it takes to avoid temptation is my mantra-for now anyway.

I refuse to look at anything as all bad though. The food was good and the Panthers won. Now it's a new week filled with hope and possibilities. I will continue to fill out job applications but, unlike Donna, I can only fill out 1-2/day. I admire her for being able to fill out 4 with interviews. I'm too restless to sit at the computer that much.

Today I am grateful for my cats. What a blessing to have them around when I am alone. I talk to them but they do not talk back. They allow me to pet them on my time but, otherwise, leave me alone as long as they have food down and the door cracked so they can get outside.

Take care my friends and enjoy your smoke free day!


day 5

Posted by constanceclum Oct 25, 2015

Yesterday did not work out as I had planned. By the time my car was detailed and I went to the store, it was too late to meet with my sponser or go to a meeting.  That is living life on life's terms. I did not find it necessary to smoke. I'm having more cravings this morning but, again, I will not smoke. I have been reading blogs and I'm so touched by how many people go through really hard situations and don't smoke. If you can do it, so can I. So far I am not having the severe irritability I usually go through and that has helped. I am also not  in a fog. I think this is really my time.

I am grateful to have a God in my life for strength, comfort and so many other things. He will get me through  the next 4 to 6 mo. 1 day at a time.

And the good news? Foodball today. I hope I can stay up long enough to watch the Panthers tonight. They are on a roll.

Have a great day my fellow Exer's no matter how you spend it.


Day 4

Posted by constanceclum Oct 24, 2015

Things are going well. More than well-pretty fantastic actually. I am doing everything I can to help myself in so many different ways and I am seeing the results. 

We are having another beautiful Fall day here. My car is being detailed and after that I will go to the grocery store. This evening I will meet with my AA sponser and then a meeting. After I'm finished with this blog it will be prayer and meditation time.

Like Marilyn I am grateful to have a roof over my head. I complain about my apartment all the time. It is small and gloomy, very hard to clean. But it has kept me from homelessness and definitely served a purpose. I have learned humbleness living in a place that is more suited for young people just getting started and do not stay here 5and 1/2 yrs like I have. Now the property is being sold and it's time to move on. Even though we will pay more money in rent (quite a bit) to live in a safe area so I will need a part-time job, I know if I "let go and let God", we will be taken care of.

I know I can get through this without smoking. In fact smoking will not help any of it on so many levels.

Bye for now sweet friends


Day 3

Posted by constanceclum Oct 23, 2015

Good morning everyone. I just read all blogs and comments so I am in the right frame of mind for today. Yesterday was slightly harder than day 1 but I got through it without smoking. I am determined that, no matter what, it's NOPE for me today.

I am grateful today that at pulmonary rehab yesterday, my oxygen level was 97 compared to 93-94 when I am smoking. I was able to increase workload and time and actually got physically tired before short of breath. I am able to take a deep breath without coughing up a lung. These things have happened with just going 2 days without a cigarette.

I hope the last paragraph encourages everyone who is planning to quit. Even if you do not have sysptoms from smoking, it is damaging your health and, in time, you will start to see the effects. I am 57 and have severe copd. My mother died of copd @ 58. My message is you never know when you will get a life-threatening disease from smoking so don't take chances with your life.



Day 2

Posted by constanceclum Oct 22, 2015

So far I am staying pretty comfortable. I really appreciate all the comments on my blog yesterday. Where else could I go to complain about insomnia and get so much good advice. I want to say I slept so much better last night. I woke up a few times, did not smoke and went back to sleep pretty quickly. 

I really appreciated Marilyn's blog this morning. All the blessings we have. I remember hearing my Pastor say "Even those who have little have a lot" For me this is true and I want to spend some time each morning focusing on that. For today, of course, I am so grateful for this site. Where else could we go to blog as much as necessary about our initial problems with quitting smoking and have the same elders giving each and every member all their experience, strength and hope (it's amazing that they don't seem to tire of it) and read the blogs of the elders on how to live life on life's term (another AA term) without smoking.

I pray that all our members dealing with some pretty hard issues will have healings and doors opened for them. I pray that I will keep seeing the newcomers come back and that all of us will have 1 more day free from smoking.



Day 1

Posted by constanceclum Oct 21, 2015

So far I am feeling pretty comfortable. I already spoke with my coach @ Quitline NC and that started my morning on a good note. Also talked with my AA sponser and am now on here.

My worse problem is insomnia which I have had for about 2 mo. except for a few nights here and there. I have a mild sleeping pill which I have stopped using because it is not working. I'm really hoping by not smoking I will sleep better. I get so aggravated with tossing and turning that I got in the habit of getting up and smoking and I think my body got use to it.

My 2nd class of my cessation class is tonight and I certainly don't want to be the only student who smoked today. Plus there are no cigs here. And I have all the resp. therapists in pulm. rehab rooting for me. Plus you guys. I couldn't ask for more support.

Well I'm off to re-read Dale's page so have a great day everyone.



Good morning everyone!

Posted by constanceclum Oct 20, 2015

Well tomorrow is the big day and since mostly I am excited with some negative feelings (anxiety, fear of failure). I've decided to kick the bad one's out of my head and keep the excitement.

I know I put too much emphasis on NRT's. Especially because in the past, I have made the 2 mo. mark twice, well past the physical cravings. It is my thinking that has to change. I have totally obsessed over cigarettes and it becomes exhausting and I wind up giving in. I know this will fade at about 4-6 mo. and that is what I will need to continue to tell myself when I get that obsession to smoke. I know that when I stay busy and am out of the house, I do not even think about smoking.

I need to stay close to this site. I love reading blogs and comments. I plan to get a job (part-time) which will help fill up time. In the meantime I play fb games which is a distraction. I know I can do this if I am willing. My 12 step program is all about willingness and I need to have that with quitting. I need to accept that there will be discomfort but not as bad as the copd flare-ups I've had. Deep breathing works well with cravings. I just know that I have to get through the 1st few weeks of severe cravings and NRT's help with that too. I can't get through the second month without getting through the 1st. I tell myself all the time that it's psychological more than physical and that seems to be the truth for me. I still haven't been able to break through that wall.

Anyway, I'm not going to focus on past failure's. This is my time. I'm getting all the help a person can get.

Thanks everyone for keeping the EX door open for relapsers.



quit date-Wed.

Posted by constanceclum Oct 19, 2015

I do not do well with the preparation part. This w/e I have been totally obsessed with smoking even with the patch on. I decided to just take it off and do something different. I am going to use the nasal spray as that will be what my insurance will cover. I have used the patch several times and have always given up. Since insanity is trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different result, I think it is time to try something new. Reports are out (numerous) that it is okay to use more than one NRT at a time and the smoking cessation class I am taking advocates it. It is based out of Duke University who has done multiple studies on this. Early signs of too much nicotine is nausea and headache and, if I decide to do both, I will be cautious of those symptoms.

I have been reading blogs daily. I don't always blog but will blog more when my quit date actually gets here.

I have already been having depression symptoms as I'm not stabilized on meds. I am not getting much help from my new Psychiatrist so I guess I will have to go to behavioral health E.R. I had to stop 1 med due to side effects and she is not replacing it stating "she needs to get to know me better by reading my chart" That was a mo. ago. My symptoms are heavy fatigue, legs feeling like they weigh a hundred pounds and it kills my motivation.

I'm hoping for a great Mon. for all of you EXer's



Good morning all!!

Posted by constanceclum Oct 13, 2015

I really slept in today and, after a month of not sleeping well, I needed it.

I'm not sure what to think after my job interview. I know I interviewed well but I noticed all the cashiers are very young. Maybe they will think I'm too old to keep up over the holidays. No matter. God does not close one door without opening a window as my mother use to say.

I notice there are lots of newly quit smokers and soon to quit now. My quit date is 10/21, right around the corner. So we will all be going through the same issues and can really be supportive of each other while at the same time taking all the advice we can from the elders.

Today is pulm rehab and later a meeting. I think it will be a good day and I'm hoping all of you will have one too.



Good morning everyone!

Posted by constanceclum Oct 12, 2015

I'm so excited today, I have a job interview. I haven't worked in about  6-7 yrs. It's a nonstressful cashier position (except for the season, it will be busy) and I will only work about 20 hrs./wk. I am hoping not to isolate, which increases my depression, this winter. Plus the extra money will help with our move. Even if I don't get the job, I'm excited about the interview (and nervous)

9 days to my quit date. I'm excited about that too. Even though pulm. rehab is so helpful, I still cough and am short of breath. I feel sometimes like I must really not like myself to keep putting myself through this.

I love getting on here and reading the blogs and messages everyday. Keeps me so motivated

Love all my friends on here. Hope you all have a great day!



Good morning everyone!

Posted by constanceclum Oct 10, 2015

Nothing noteworthy here. I continue to cut back on cigs while wearing the patch. Of course the anxiety hits as I get closer to my quit date but always subsides when I get on here.

I was reading the book that comes with my "Quit Smart" cessation program and the back page shows online support groups. This site was #1. I was pleased because I know this is the best site especially due to the people here.

It's rainy and cooler here today in NC but it's our friends and family in SC that worries me as they are getting hit hard again today. Please remember them in your prayers and they are needing many donations, especially water.

I'm wishing all of you a great w/e!




Posted by constanceclum Oct 8, 2015

You would think I would hide my head in shame from this site by now but I'm way too stubborn for that. Now if I could put that stubborness to good use toward quitting smoking I would be in good shape!

I'm feeling optimistic again as I started my new smoking cessation program yesterday. It is called "Quit Smart" and was started by the Dr. @ Duke University who has run their smoking cessation program since 1977. Sort of like our Dr. Hayes. It advocates starting the patch 2 weeks prior to your quit date which, with some work, kind of automatically causes a person to cut down on smoking. After doing studies they have proven that this is safe for most people. They do not suggest it for people who are pregnant or have severe heart disease. They also advocate using NRT's for up to 6 mo. if necessary. It has a 66% success rate which is way higher than other programs.

I told the others in the class about EX. I hope they choose to utilize it.

I have missed all of you and hope, again, for your prayers!