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crazymama_Lori Blog

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crazymama_Lori

Sink or Swim

Posted by crazymama_Lori Champion Sep 22, 2017

Well, I started off for a while here telling people to give it 6 months, it gets better. After a year or so, you even out. Well, then the comments came of if it takes 6 months, why bother. If it was that easy to quit, we'd have serial quitters all over the place.

 

The first 30 days suck. You have the physical, the mental all at once. Your daily life collides with not doing one thing, smoking. Well, think about it, you performed that act at least 15 to 40 and sometimes more times per day without even thinking about it. I can't tell you how many times I reached for that pack of cigarettes and it wasn't even there.

 

In the beginning, they kept telling me it gets easier, hang on, you can do this. I've come to the conclusion now that it only got easier when I finally was able to make it easier. I was able to finally realize that this is a problem, an addiction, whatever you want to call it, that I need to control. I need to understand that the act of smoking will pop up from time to time, but only because it was part of my life for so many years. I associated it with so many things that I did day in and day out. It popped up over holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, any other thing that I celebrated during my years.

 

I have friends that smoke and some that don't. It's just something they do that I don't do any longer. It doesn't define me as a person. It doesn't give me stature in life. It simply is not part of who I am anymore. Don't just jump in the pond and think you can automatically swim without learning first. Arm yourself with knowledge. Go the groups that they have here and read some articles there. Go to some of the member's profiles and read their blogs from the beginning of their time here. You will see very many similarities. You will begin to see yourself in those pages. Now, imagine yourself swimming......

 

When it comes to quitting anything anyone is dependent upon, addicted to, wouldn't it be wonderful to have a cookie-cutter solution to take it all away and never have it pop up again. A magical pill to make everything reset, take the cravings, the urges away never to return again. There is no such thing and there will never be such a thing as quitting is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We all, every single one of us, had a different reason to start smoking and to quit smoking. Statistics may say that most smokers started in adolescence due to peer pressure or acceptance. But to me, those are just numbers. I'm not a statistic. I'm an individual who has a problem with a substance. I used this substance for all kinds of personal reasons. As you have used or still are using this substance for your own reasons.

 

I used support to validate my feelings. To have someone tell me I'm okay, this is normal, it's just a stage, a step in the process. You're doing great. Yeah, I went through something like that similar to yours. I needed support because I needed people around me who understood exactly what I was going through. They've been through it, lived it. I had people around me that were of the thought of well, all you have to do is not smoke, don't buy any more, you'll be fine. That wasn't the case for me at all.

 

I have a few people I know who have been through in-patient rehab for drug addiction. They move through the motions. They show up to their meetings only to relapse a few months down the road. For these people, what happened? Where was the ball dropped? I can only speak for myself and my experience with quitting smoking is that if I didn't take those few seconds later in my quit when a craving came out of nowhere, was an all-consuming urge, if I wouldn't have taken a deep breath and simply said to myself, what exactly is bringing this on right at this moment in time, identified the problem and saw it for what it was and not acted on it, I'd be puffing away on a pack right now.

 

I don't want to be tied to a lighter, designated places to smoke, which way the flipping wind is blowing. I will never go back there again. I'm going to see that trigger for what it is and do something about it. What am I missing, what in my little addictive brain is telling me that that cigarette is going to solve “IT”? You see, those urges go away after a few moments. Next time you get one, distract yourself with something else, physically get up and move away from where you are, finding something else to do that requires some sort of attention, some detail you have to concentrate on and give it a few minutes. Went away, didn't it?

 

Now, let's take the flip side of that coin. You're about 2 weeks into your quit. Why isn't this going away? When is this ever going to end? You come to the site. You blog your frustration. You feel a little better, but it's building all over again. OMG, stop !!!! Get up, get your hands busy doing something. It may be working in your wood shop, cleaning out your frig, ripping out shelving paper, cleaning cupboards, something, anything. Get those hands and get your mind working. Take up a new hobby, go for a walk, buy yourself a coloring book. Youngatheart has a blog entitled 101 Things to Do Instead of Smoke, pick a few off that list or off of this one, Additions to The List of 101 Things to Do Instead of Smoke a Cigarette . There's all kinds of great ideas on there.

 

I asked myself very early in my quit why this was coming back and coming back. The closest I came to an explanation was http://www.achoice2live.com/quitting-smoking-gets-easier/ . That article also has many, many different topics covered. Another perspective, another way of looking at things. So to close out this blog. When you first quit, you're just like the little gingerbread man, "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man ."  Is that what we're doing as we're thinking of quitting? Some find it overwhelming to think of it as 30 days, 6 months on up. Just take it one day at a time. Wake up everyday and say to yourself, I'm not smoking today. Go to the pledge page, The Daily Pledge September 2017 every morning to state that fact. Every evening, go to the freedom train and proudly announce every day how many days you have overcome. Make that your new ritual. Gradually as the sand falls through the hourglass, it gets easier and easier. Instead of having a stranglehold on that cigarette, you find yourself helping others, cheering them on. Every day you're getting stronger and stronger. Give it the time it takes. Trust in the process..................

crazymama_Lori

You Said WHAT?

Posted by crazymama_Lori Champion Aug 20, 2017

I distinctly remember when I first joined. I read and read blogs. I even created a few of my own but never published them. I didn't trust in myself. I firmly didn't believe that this time will be the time that it stuck. This will be when the switch is tripped and I finally get the hang of this. I didn't feel comfortable opening up to people here on the site.

 

I searched and searched for sites. In my town, there is no quitters group, smokers anonymous or whatever they call them. Many of the sites out there will only allow you to join if you are doing it cold turkey. Well, that I knew I couldn't do. I tried my best and just couldn't do it.

 

I'll be honest, I came here and there were many I clicked with and a few that I didn't. But I realized that I was in a hypersensitive state and everything anyone said or did, I took to heart. I felt it as a personal attack and half the time I even read the response wrong. At times I overreacted and at other times I did not.

 

I mention this because I've seen this happen quite a few times on the site over the past year. If someone is being abusive or harassing, then report it to the admin so that he can investigate it. If someone makes a comment on your blog and you don't care for it, simply scroll past it. You'll find there will be many different comments following it. It's an opinion of one among well over 20,000 people on this site. We tend to be in tunnel vision at the beginning and don't see the group as a massive congregation. Think of when you were in school and there was always that certain someone that just irked you the wrong way, the same applies here. Take a deep breath and scroll past it.

 

I left all the comments to my blogs, the ones I don't care for along with the ones that have pushed me forward. I left them all there so that they could help someone else along the way. Another thing I've also noticed is at first when I read some comments and I was actually offended or hurt by it. Now that I go back and read them over again, I read them now with different eyes. I see what they were doing. If I would have deleted those comments, I wouldn't have had to chance to look back and reflect, learn and grow. I understand now what they were saying. Sometimes it may seem like it's the mood of the day or a snowball effect of something that happened on the site a few days earlier.

 

I have tended to create my blogs ahead of time on my computer. I add to it, delete from it constantly. It helps me to gather my thoughts, to categorize them, if you will. Prioritize at times when I'm struggling with something. Always remember the saying of take what you need and leave the rest. If you are unable to make your own journal at home and wish to do it here, all you have to do is restrict the comments at the bottom of the page. I hope that you choose not to do that, because there's so much knowledge to gather from the members as a whole. We can be your vitual cheerleaders. Here at EX, we're all just like a bowl of fruit. Some like bananas, some like apples, oranges, whatever. Just pick your favorites. Pass over the ones you don't care for.

I've often wondered if there was someone who monitored this site. Not just for content, but for correctness in the advice given. If there was a counselor or addictionist or social worker, a Ph.D. Someone who was fact checking advice being given. I come from a research driven occupation. I have to fact check at all times and verify information. I have to be the perpetual doubting Thomas in what I do.

 

That's what makes quitting smoking so difficult. There is no set timeline on you will go through this for a week and then progress to this for a week, kind of like a personal trainer who is trying to whip you into shape. This is such a personal progression. I think the reason for that is, is the emotional ties we have to smoking. My doctor told me that smokers are the pleasure junkies. We're always looking for the next hit of something that will take us to where we need to be. We've all heard it. I hate being tired when I quit. When is this fogginess ever going to go away. I can't seem to concentrate. Well, think about it. You've been zapping your brain for YEARS to get it going on a daily basis.

 

Nonsmokers, people who never had the desire or thought of even smoking, do have the same complaints EXCEPT they deal with it differently. They're not running to that one solution to solve the problem of the day. They're tired; they nap. They have a hard time concentrating; they divert their attention for a while and refocus, regroup. They feel foggy; they get some fresh air, exercise. You see you have to develop the thought patterns of a nonsmoker, a life without smoking. Get your dopamine fix in other ways. Research it, find one that fits your lifestyle.

 

Never take the easy road. Never throw in the towel. Take the time the figure out what is stirring up the thoughts of smoking again for you. Trust me, it's either something physical, hunger, lethargy or some memory that's being sparked that makes you instantly THINK of smoking. Again, think of all the zapping you've done through the years. I read a very good article the other day that can be applied to smoking and thoughts of smoking. Give it a read and see what you think: https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/01/20/why-ruminating-is-unhealthy-and-how-to-stop/

 

Blessings to all and hope this finds you all in good health,

 

Lori

I want to thank everyone here for their insight and tips and tricks on how to fight this battle with smoking and how to remain smokefree. I am proud to announce that I am still smokefree and fighting this battle with less of a deathgrip than I once had.

 

I will tell those of you beginning this journey, there will come a time when you finally stop thinking about smoking, wanting that cigarette constantly. There will come a time where you find yourself saying I'm so glad I don't do that anymore and mean it. Just the other day I decided to treat myself to lunch and was sitting at a drive-thru and this woman in front of me was smoking. The cigarette smoke was wafting out her window. The only two thoughts that came to my head was “oh, somebody must be smoking” and “boy, I'm so glad I don't do that anymore.” Now, a year ago, I'd be gripping the steering wheel thinking, I've got to have one; boy, I could really go for one; why do they have to be smoking in front of me, blah, blah, blah.

 

I'm very glad that I took the time to figure out when I lit up, what the reason was for it, what I thought it was replacing. I never knew what anxiety was and how to deal with it until I quit. I realized my triggers, my smouldering points. I knew if I wanted this to stick, I needed to think of ways to overcome this anxiety or manage it somehow. Even now at 500 days, sometimes especially during the times when I'm so tired and I need to get work done, I think about it would be just so much easier to just buy a pack and keep going. Just throw in the towel, give up and just go back to what I've always done. I was never tired when I smoked. I have insomnia at times. And I remember back when I used to chain smoke at least 2 to 2 ½ packs in one day just to keep going, gotta get the work cranked out.

 

They have just increased the price of cigarettes again in some states range from $1 to $2 a pack more. I remember a long time ago when a pack was only 50 cents. Don't let the vapers fool you into thinking that's the way to quit, that it's the cheaper alternative. Remember that it's the nicotine you're addicted to, you crave, you want. The cigarette companies just like to throw in all those wonderful chemicals to the mix, as do the e-juice companies. Here's a good article to read: http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/e-cigarettes-and-lung-health.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/. Be sure to go to a trusted site or a known and established organization when researching things. The internet can be a tricky place with lots and lots of articles of what I call fluff. Simply articles to boost sales of their products.

 

So in conclusion, to all of you that have helped me along the way, thank you. For those of you that are just starting, don't give up. Go to some of the oldtimers on here that have a few years under their belt, heck even go to my profile, click on content and sort by date created; oldest first. Read some of their earlier blogs, when they first started this journey. You will find many similarities to what you are going through and what they have went through. There's certain stages that you go through during the course of about a year. We all go through them at different times. Eventually you do plateau off and reach the smooth sailing. There's a few bumps in the road, but those bumps are just life. Life does continue to throw you some curve balls. Just remember smoking never solved any problems and is never going to make problems go away. The only thing that can do it is YOU. Believe in yourself, trust yourself, love yourself. Quitting and maintaining your quit is doable. ... Blessings, my friends

crazymama_Lori

On the road to 500

Posted by crazymama_Lori Champion May 2, 2017

It's been a wild ride, this whole quit smoking train. The ups and the downs and the twists and turns. We can only go off of what other people have experienced and reported to somewhat understand what is going on and the similarities we all go through. The main theme throughout and what everyone agrees on is you have to educate yourself on the quitting process and put together what I call your game plan.

 

The first couple of months when you begin your quit is when some white knuckle it. You are hanging onto that cigarette with all of your might and just don't want to let go of it. But then again, my friends, we have clung on to that magical thing to solve our problems of the day. We looked to it for comfort, reward, calming device. It's a personal thing that we use smoking for. Everyone has their own reasons for continuing and also for going back.

 

You finally reach the plateau of around 130 to 190 days and you look around thinking so where do I go from here? There, the ride is over and I'll somehow be over it. That is so far from the truth. So many that I've seen on here panic at the thought of when the crave or urge to smoke suddenly comes over them out of nowhere. My goodness, I should be done with this already. The truth is, is that it never does go away. The psychological hold is something that will linger for quite awhile.

 

Do you notice that certain songs or smells will spark a memory, something from your past that made you feel good or made you smile? The brain is a facinating thing. It stores things. It's a virtual file cabinet of information, unique to each individual. Hence why smoking is not a one-size-fits-all “habit.” You have periods during the first year where you will smell smoke clear out of the blue or sometimes even see it. You will find yourself reaching for the phantom pack or performing the hand motion almost subconsciously. Have you ever while daydreaming while driving finding yourself traveling on autopilot to a familiar destination or a place where you've been going for years? Welcome to the filing cabinet.

 

Another thing that I've noticed in my year plus quit is somewhere around 400 to 430 days the cycling finally ended. The crying jags, bouts of depression, bouts of anger, extreme frustration. I'm wondering if it's because I find myself now saying I'm just really irritated right now instead of saying I'm having a nicotine fit or I could really go for a cigarette right now and that's WHY I'm irritated. It doesn't pop in my head anymore. I just found myself the other day saying, well, that's not true. It has nothing to do with smoking at all. It's not part of who I am any longer.

 

I'm on my second go-around of milestones in my life, experiencing birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and such for the second time as a nonsmoker. I can tell you all that it's much easier this time. The first time was the anticipation of the event which made dealing with it so much harder. Now it's just a birthday, holiday, anniversary. It has no association with smoking. Nothing in my life has an association with smoking. I removed the association. I stopped putting two and two together. That is just something that I used to do. It's not part of who I am any longer. It no longer has to define me. It no longer has to label me. It no longer has to control me.

 

So for you newbies out there, use the search box on this site and look up things, arm yourself with knowledge, gather your arsenal to fight this for the next 6 months. Take the time to figure out what you've used smoking for. Go through the steps they have outlined on the site, especially tracking your cigarettes. Understand what you use smoking to replace and develop a game plan to substitute something in its place. Create a permanent file in that filing cabinet. You can do this, really you can.

Back in 2015, in November, I vowed I would quit smoking when my last child left the nest.  She was my drama queen, my stressor.  She's always had troubles with anxiety ever since she was small.  She finally went on anti-depressants and began to calm down when she reached 18.  It was a long road for that girl.  Back in 2015 I had the alcohol licked and didn't use that as an excuse anymore for dealing with my stress.  The only thing left was my cigarettes.  I clung on to those with all of my might.  In my mind at the time, that was keeping my sanity.

 

I began cold turkey and was crawling the walls.  Just too much going on all at one time.  I knew if I wanted this to stick I needed to concentrate on one thing and work on the reasons first why I smoked.  During most of the month in January I tracked those cigarettes.  It gave me a summary at the end when I was most likely to smoke, what was triggering me the most.  One thing I never filled out at that time was how I planned to separate from them.  I was of the thought that 3 to 4 weeks this will all be gone.  Make it through NML and it will all be gone.  Somehow someway this will all disappear.  It's only smoking.........

 

The emotional ties and ritualistic behavior is what makes quitting smoking so difficult.  My life at one time evolved around smoking.  For most of my time so far here on earth, since I was 12, I used smoking to replace "things" for me.  The biggest "replacement" was a stress reliever.  When I was angry, frustrated, worried, I thought smoking calmed me down. How many times I've said, OMG, I need a cigarette right now, I have to have a cigarette to calm down.  I think I realized that more clearly one day about 2 or so months into my quit and my youngest called me because she was fighting with her fiance.  Stressed to the max.  I got frustrated, got off the phone and the first thought was I need a cigarette.  I got up and did something else and the thought passed.  That was elation for me later.  I thought to myself, see you can do this.  Those things never did anything for you.

 

So in closing, listen to the elders when they tell you this gets easier.  This will never go away; it just gets easier.  I remember writing to you all last year around this time, A flick of the wrist, the slightest of hand, it's all an illusion.  Life pretty well stayed the same but I just look at it differently now.  My daughter moved back home but it's only temporary until she gets back on her feet.  She's grown, I've grown, we've both grown.  It's calmer here now.  I used to use this time every single year to mourn my mother's death.  I changed things last year and planted a tree in her honor.  Her body is gone but her soul lives forever.  Whenever spring arrives, it will bloom again.  That one red cardinal will come back and land on that tree every single morning until the snow flies again.  We can't stop life; we can only appreciate what it teaches us......   

So many new members joining again. It amazes me how many join the site and then just stop. I think they don't last because they don't take the time to read and learn. I researched all different types of programs for quitting smoking. There was the herbal method, the hypnosis, the e-cigarette, the drops. I can't even begin to tell you how much money I've spent over the years just to quit smoking. But you see, that's what I did wrong. I was quitting a habit. Something I was doing every single day sometimes without even thinking about it or even needing it. Years ago they would pound into your head it was the tar that was killing people. So they made these funky air filters and created these ultra light cigarettes. Basically smoking air, but with a few thousand chemicals and the drug thrown in there for good measure.

 

 

 

I mean, think about it, the patch wasn't available to the consumer until the early '80s. I remember trying that back then. It was marketed for “kicking the habit”. Did absolutely nothing for me, but then I didn't have any knowledge about addiction. How nicotine works in the brain. How we use smoking to replace things. Why it is so difficult to stop. No one gave me any reading materials or even directed me to any resources. Back then the internet was pretty sketchy and very slow. I called the 1-800 line that they gave in the little trial box they gave me at the doctor's office and it was a recorded message. I failed and I failed until finally in the '90s they decided to have more and more information about this thing called addiction. Pfft, that can't be me, I only smoked. That's for alcoholics and for drug addicts. That can't apply to me at all.

 

 

 

I researched and researched and found this site and read the materials they had on here while I was still smoking and failing on quitting and smoking and failing. Well, you know what, I never faithfully tracked my cigarettes AND completed the section about beating my triggers. My triggers would show up and boom, I was right back to smoking again. I can't tell you how many times I started and stopped in the month of December and most of January until I finally got the hang of it. They've got steps listed on here for a reason. You can't just magically decide one day, I'm joining this site and magically I'll quit smoking. There's work to be done here.

 

 

 

There's the first 30 days where you're crawling the walls, don't want to go anywhere, isolating yourself. The next 30 days you're angry, you're sad, you're sadgry (angry and sad all at once). You're tired and can't seem to sleep. You're pacing the floors. When is this ever going to end !!!!!! Then the lightbulb comes on and you start to reflect inside. You figure out some of your personal demons or issues. You start helping people. You still ponder in this time, and we've all done it and I have no clue why, if I try just one, it won't stick. I won't go back. Ah, yes, that happens before the first year. Well, that's just our addictive brains giving it that one last shot, one last time. We've all been there. The smart ones just smile and grumble nice try and go about their day. The unsure ones will obssess about it and remain having a stranglehold on that fleeting thought. The uncommitted ones will give in.

 

 

 

You see you have to commit to never ever smoke again because it will always be there. They stare at you in grocery stores, liquor stores, gas stations. They do that little can-can dance when you're checking out. I remember in those first 30 days just simply staring at those things. I would purposely go to another checkout lane so that I didn't have to look at them. I remember the first time they threw a carton in front of me thinking that was what I was in there for. It was like hot lava. Oh, no, I quit. Ah, the look in their eyes like yeah, right. 40 days later, hey, Lori, how's the no smoking going? Absolutely great, have almost a month and a half in. Instead of the tobacco section loving me, the bakery section became my best friend for a few months.

 

 

 

But to wrap up here, I remember when they would tell me it would get easier. I would roll my eyes and not believe them. I would grumble to myself, yeah, when. They would tell me to make it through NML (130 days or so), it will get easier. I'm a late bloomer. It took me until day 195 to finally feel normal, back to my old self. This you cannot rush. This you cannot take a pill and it will be gone in 10 days. This you have to take your time and learn from it, experience it, nuture it, beat the heck out of it. You have to learn that you are driving this bus. You are in control. You are your worst enemy. You are the one who will make or break this. If you really want this, you are willing to commit, you are going to stick by it no matter what it takes, you, my friend, will be an EX-smoker. It's just something you used to do.......

Ready....... here, let's go over to this side over here.  The success to quitting is  YOU.  Only you can make you quit.  Not a patch, not a pill, not a lozenge, not gum.  If you believe that those things will make you quit and keep you quit, I'll guarantee you that you will go back to smoking the minute something frustrates you, angers you, upsets you, depresses you.

 

Just this morning the dogs were not cooperating with me.  Barking their full head off.  I don't need that over these next couple days because I'm tied to my computer doing daily copy for my job.  I have a specified time period I have to get work completed.  I don't have time to screw around with them today.  

 

Now, I can take the easy way out, run to the store and buy a pack of cigarettes because I'm frustrated, but I know that that's not going to make them stop barking.  That will not make me calm for the rest of the day so I can concentrate on my time sensitive material.  A Xanax might, but a cigarette won't.  There was my trigger, frustration, anger.  But you know what, it doesn't bother me now.  I've proven to myself that that cigarette doesn't make this all magically go away.  I, me, myself, makes this easier, makes this go away.

 

Do me a favor, will you?   Instead of impulsively running to go get a cigarette because you're bored, depressed, angry, upset, etc., STOP, deep breath in for 8 seconds, hold for 5, deep breath out for 6 to 8 seconds, rinse and repeat.  Now, get up and do something else.  YOU can do this......... psst, it's all YOU

I've seen this time and time again.  Granted I have not researched smokers for 10 or 15 years.  I am not a psychologist, doctor, research analyst.  I am simply a nonsmoker trying to help others with their quit and stay quit.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  I will tell you that I have spent a huge part of 3 years reading everything I can to understand why the brain works the way it does in the addictive mind.  Why people are drawn back, what causes them to relapse.  There's so much information out there on the web that can be found about why the brain works the way it does.  Going to the library or reading the encyclopedia to find information is slowly drifting away.  We're in the electronic age.  Everything is on Kindle or PDF, downloaded in an electronic format.

 

There so much information that can be found on this site by using the magnifying glass, the search feature.  Wonderful articles written by Dale and Giulia who have spent an enormous amount of time sharing their wisdom with you.  Nobody wants to read the scientific articles with using words that most do not understand without at least some level of medical knowledge.  Again, there is no right or wrong way to quit smoking.  There are websites out there you can join that only believe in cold turkey.  You slip up, you are kicked out.  That would have never worked for me because I am the type of person that doesn't like the do it my way or the highway type of attitude.  For some that's the only way to do it.  For me, it would have never worked.  I tried to quit cold turkey.  The longest I made it was 10 days, My 10-day fail, but boy did I ever change that.  

 

You see, there are the happy quitters and the "other" quitters.  I never found that I had increased energy.  My sleeping never went back to normal.  I'm not elated that I quit.  I just simply conquered something that was controlling me.  Telling me it was my way or the highway.  I'll admit, I like the smell of smoke.  I don't like the smell of smoke on a person.  I like the smell of a freshly lit match.  I don't like the smell of an ashtray.  But you see with me, I see these statements of I like the smell of a lilac tree.  I don't like the smell of those old Avon sachets that they used to have in the liliac scent.  To me those things are saying the same thing.  They are only statements of my likes and dislikes.  I don't see me saying I like the smell of smoke is going to have me running out and lighting up again.  I just like the smell.  It reminds me of my father when he was alive.  When I first quit, I panicked at the thought of enjoying the smell.  But I've learned it's only a thought; it's not an action.  You get my drift, right?  

 

I'm not a super calm, happy person by nature.  I'm in awe of those people that finds good in everything.  I am a Type A personality all the way.  I have to excel at what I do.  I'm a workaholic.  I don't have a lot of patience sometimes.  I see a wrong or something I find offensive, I speak up about it.  I'm the bull in the china shop.  I have a very strong personality.  I have very strong morals.  That's probably why smoking worked for me.  My little addictive self told me it was calming me, consoling me, telling me I'll fight the fight with you.  Stop the Ride, I want to get off !!!!!!!!!  or I'm tired 

 

I think I actually saw the nicotine addiction/dependence more clearly when I was researching addiction in general.  I read blogs of people addicted to heroin and oxycodone and trying to get clean.  All the advice, some good, some really crazy.  But I saw a similarity of what they thought that drug was doing for them and what drew them back.  For oxycodone, it's physically out of your system in three days.  From then on is all the understanding of what made them go there in the first place.  Conversely, alcohol is out of your system in two to four days when you're an alcoholic.  Again from then on is the understanding of what made them go there in the first place.  For nicotine dependence, nicotine is out of your system in two weeks.  From then on is the understanding of what made them go there in the first place.  Do you see a pattern forming here?

 

Think about it, if you weren't addicted, then tell me why it's so hard to quit and for some to stay quit for a length of time.  Isn't this food for thought.  Plain and simple, a cigarette, that little white stick, is your habit.  The hand to mouth action that you perform every single day for almost 20 to 40 times a day.  We have the capacity to relearn a habit and break it.  If not break it, replace it with something else.  Oh, there's some naysayers that will say, well, then I'll just buy an e-cig with 0 percent nicotine and I'll beat this.  But aren't you reinforcing the hand to mouth habit?  Here is an article by the American Lung Association concerning this latest fix-all solution, E-cigarettes and Lung Health | American Lung Association.  I don't know if any of you have tried those, but they're just plain old nasty.  By taking that route, you are still performing the hand to mouth motion and thus retaining the association with smoking.  So how is the habit being broken?  Another interesting article from Harvard University E-cigarettes: Good news, bad news - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publications.  Further into the article is a study they performed using different testing groups:  

Studies about e-cigarettes and smoking behavior show conflicting results. E-cigarettes were mildly helpful in kicking the habit in one clinical trial. In other studies, e-cigarette use did not increase quit rates, or was even associated with a higher risk of continuing to smoke. A recent review concluded that real-world use of e-cigarettes is associated with lower quit rates.

 

Nicotine by nature is in tobacco that's put into that white tube along with all those wonderful chemicals thrown in for good measure that you are addicted to.  It's the nicotine that makes you warm and fuzzy.  Not the cigarette; it's what is in it that does.  It's the nicotine that gives you the rush, the hit of dopamine, the good feeling.  There's other ways of doing that, 10 Ways to Increase Dopamine to Boost Your Productivity - Endless Events.  Expand your mind to find other outlets.  Believe it or not, you don't need that cigarette to do anything for you.  You're just allowing it to make you think that it does.........

crazymama_Lori

The Easy Way

Posted by crazymama_Lori Champion Feb 21, 2017

Just your local PITA looking for answers and solutions.  I'll share with you all what I do every single morning.

 

Here's what I have my preferences set at.  This eliminates many, many notifications.   under notification preferences, I have yes, and yes.  under inbox notifications I only have email and have it set at daily summary

 

My personal landing is set at News.  When I click on My Ex Feed, there it gives me News and Updates.  There it shows me questions, blogs, latest posts, etc.  If I click on latest blogs, it shows me all of the blogs whether they're by you or stuck in conversations or daily pledge or wherever.  if it's a blog, it's shown here no matter where it's stuck in.  If I want to see documents, discussions and everything else, I just click on the headings above and view them individually under each of their categories or I can click on ALL on the right and it will show everything in one spot.  Here you use the pull down menu on Filter by tag.  You can sort them by date created newest first, oldest first.  By default, it sorts them by latest activity first (when comments are made).

 

Now, the fun part, the magical bell.......  Most of you are seeing this as an in-box, one that is used in an e-mail program.  It's not.  It's a notification center.  It lets you know of someone mentioning you, giving you badge, private messaging you, responding to something you may be following (which we'll cover later).

 

When you first open up your "inbox," first thing to do is check this box:  Unread Only.  As time goes on, you will notice that this will greatly reduce once you have tweaked certain things.

If you want to clear out your inbox, hit mark all read and, poof these will disappear.  To view them all again, uncheck the unread only.  Here you can use the filter pull down menu to sort by messages, notifications, mentions (the fun @ symbol).

 

Now we move on to Following which is causing all of those appearing in your inbox.  Have you ever noticed that when you comment on the freedom train or the daily pledge, you're getting a gazillon notifications?  Well, it's because you're following that blog or discussion.  To correct that problem, double click on the blog to open up the original discussion/blog.  Over on the right-hand side, click on actions and unclick the following in.  As you see here, the inbox is checked and that's why you're receiving all of those notifications.

 

This new site has grown on me over the month.  It's a different way of thinking.  If you want to have more interactions or just be more personable, you can use the status update and tag your certain someone or just post a general update about yourself........ Now, Mr. Mark, Mark, is there a way to place a Status Update tab next to Events under All content so that everyone can see all the status updates?  I think that just might alleviate some concerns

 

 

Hope this helps some of you.  Sometimes seeing things instead of typing them out are easier.  I like the easy way

crazymama_Lori

Back in 2015

Posted by crazymama_Lori Champion Feb 18, 2017

I joined and rejoined this site I don't know how many times starting in 2015.  I'd sign up with one e-mail address and then rejoin with another.  I'd peek in and then decided I wasn't ready yet.  Reminds me of someone on the diving board for the first time waiting to jump in.  It's there, you're at the edge, but to take the last step takes forever.

 

I must have researched different ways of quitting smoking for at least 3 years before actually jumping off that spring board.  I read and read and read.  I came here and read the blogs.  Read the articles.  Had absolutely no clue how to get around the site back then.  Didn't want to blog in the beginning even before I actually committed myself to quit because I didn't want to admit to failure.  Because prior to January of last year, I failed a lot.

 

It was like learning to drive stick all over again.  I'd start, pop the clutch and I'd die out.  I think what really made sense to me and what really got me to finally stick with it is that I went back on the Elders' blogs and went back to the very beginning of when they started.  Read what they wrote and then moved on to someone else.  Read what they wrote and move on again.  Funny how similar everyone was in the beginning.  I was so thankful that I had those to read at that time because that really gave me the glimmer of hope to continue, to stick with it.

 

Even at this stage, nearing 400 days in 10 days, I still go back to my older blogs.  I refer back to them to reassure myself how far I have come, to enforce the fight and strength.  I too have weak moments from time to time.  My biggest trigger has always been and will always be anger and frustration.  Every single time I went back to smoking was because of that.  Every single time.  I have learned to simply see it for what it is and just let it pass.  Let it be.  Let it go.  I've taught myself that.  I had to teach myself that because otherwise I'd be puffing away right now.  I accept that as part of my personality.  I don't see it as a fault or something I have to change.  I see it as something I have to adapt to.

 

I'm surprised to not see as many bloggers, discussion writers on here.  I hope you feel comfortable enough someday to write about yourself, tell us about your journey.  We have cheerleaders on here.  We have people that will give you research articles to read about either your smoking-related illness or something you're going through.  We have a whole boatload of people here that just simply want to help you, move you towards your goal.  But we can't help you if you don't speak up and speak out.  But hey, my name is Lori, I smoked for 43 years before I quit on 1/25/2016.  The longest I ever went without a cigarette before then was a whole whopping 7 days.  Every single time I failed.  So there must be something to this site that made it stick.  Let us help you find that for you.............

Ever remember seeing that when buying a hat or gloves and you put them on and they're either too large or too small. Quitting smoking is just like that.  One way does not fit all.

 

We all have different theories about big tobacco has increased the nicotine content in cigarettes and that's why they are so addicting.  It's the drug companies are behind the push for NRTs.  Some believe that you are to simply put them down and never pick them up again and quit cold turkey.  Some swear by the latest things out there on the market, let it be strips, nasal sprays, whatever.

 

Well, I'm going to tell you that this is not fun.  It's not a pleasant experience, but it will not last forever.  Opiates take 3 days to be removed from your body.  Nicotine takes anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks.  A great article that I always referred to when I was physically battling this was :  Smoking Withdrawal & Relapse - Cessation Treatment - Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine.  I kept the link on my computer way back then because I'd refer back to it to make me stop and think.

 

Some people believe that overthinking your triggers is not necessary.  I say in the beginning of your quit, it's imperative.  It only takes about three seconds.  Wham, craving hits you, STOP, am I hungry, tired, lonely, angry?  Am I doing something that I've always associated smoking with or I've always smoked doing it?  Write it down.  Later on in the day, look at that list.  Now, think to yourself, what can I do instead.  There two great articles on here, 101 Things to Do Instead of Smoke and Additions to The List of 100 Things to Do Instead of Smoke a Cigarette.  Some really good suggestions in there.  

 

Now, in my case, I woke up, stuck a cigarette in my mouth and that continued for the rest of the day.  The first two weeks when I quit, I chewed gum like it was going out of style.  I changed my morning routine.  You see we all have rituals that we perform every single day.  We drive a certain way to work.  We brew our coffee first thing after getting up or taking a shower the first thing upon arising.  It's like autopilot that we perform these things.  We don't even think about them.  Now when you quit smoking, you associate some of those rituals with a cigarette.  I'd say for about a month you have to retrain yourself to perform different rituals to remove the smoking memory (association) with the thing that you are doing.

 

It just takes a little willpower and a lot of conscious effort to change things up.  You can make this quit your last quit.  Do some research.  Learn about what's going to and is happening to your body.  Learn about what nicotine does.  Just plain take the time to learn of nicotine dependence if addiction is too strong of a word.  If the substance wasn't addicting, it wouldn't be so hard to stop............ 

You feel quite apprehensive as you near your quit date.  The panic sets in.  You think to yourself, am I going to be able to do it this time?  Your mind swirls in all different directions.  What if this happens, what if that happens, what will I do then......  Take a breath.  Take your time and move through the steps under the My Quit Plan.  Arm yourself with knowledge instead of taking the plunge not knowing what's coming next.  Move through those steps that are laid out as in Relearn the Habit, Relearn Addiction, Relearn Support.  Print the steps if you need to.  Here's a cute little video to watch that shows that you're not alone:  Quitting Smoking is a Journey - YouTube.  All those apprehensive feelings are perfectly normal, but it's okay.  We got you..........

 

 

I've decided that I will just blog because that way I know where it's going to land.  When I use the discussion feature, it asks me where to post it to and the only real choice is conversations, but yet it tells me it has only 25 followers.  I'm on the fence if I want to stay here or find somewhere else to go where it's more personable, more intimate, easier to navigate.  I look for the new members to help them along and there's no one out there.  With the old site you were directed to one place and one place only and that was to blog.  I can see where newer members or even those less computer savvy try to post a discussion and it asks where to post it and they get lost and just cancel it.  We're defeating the purpose here of a support site. Too many things are getting lost in the shuffle.  Too many people are waiting in the wings.

 

If you are new here, just post a blog and you will get all kinds of responses.  leave it as your personal blog because you will be referring back to it from time to time and you'll be sharing it with everyone.  When I am having a rough day or just a down period, I go back to my earlier blogs and reread how I was then and how I am now.  Blogs are such a useful tool when you are feeling insecure or having doubt in the strength of your quit.  When you hit NML (No man's land), you'll have so many ups and downs, twists and turns.  If you find yourself frustrated about why something isn't posting, why am I getting this and not getting that, ask, use the search feature on here by using the magnifying glass.

 

Believe me, we're here for you.  It's just that we're scattered all over the place.........