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2016

 

Well, Happy New Years Eve, everyone. This is my first New Years with you all. Last year I was lurking in the background at this time struggling to quit. Hope this next year brings us all good health and happiness. This is just my Saturday blog to direct you to some helpful sites on here for you newbies and for some of us oldies. Relearning life as a nonsmoker can be stressful at times and sometimes scary, but only if you allow it to be. If you find yourself going towards old habits, old ways of thinking, take those 5 to 10 minutes to breathe deep, relax, ask yourself what is causing you to feel this way, figure it out and move on. If you can't figure it out, no worries. Take yourself away from the area that you're in. Find something else to do that requires concentration or a shift of attention. Did you notice the sudden urge went away? Retrain your brain. Unlearn your behaviors. By obsessing about smoking is like a hampster on a wheel; you're going nowhere fast.

 

I may not be able to visit these sites myself personally on a daily basis. This is just a helpful suggestion for those of you new to this site. Give yourself a break once in a while. Be gentle with yourself. We all know life is full of stress, frustration, but you know what, that's just the way it is. It's important to learn how to react differently to the actions that we did for so many years, light up and puff our problems away. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups or just click this link https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

But don't miss the daily interactive discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say hello, offer love and support to your friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single day! Take a look and feel free to join us! ALL are welcome!

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

 

Sometimes we just need a laugh to get our minds back on track. Be sure to visit https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/laughter-is-the-best-medicine to bring a smile to your face daily or just a pleasant distraction. Sometimes that little hit of dopamine from laughter is the trick.

 

At times it helps to reaffirm our quit by pledging with others to not smoke for that day. Be sure to join others by going to: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/daily-pledge/ to virtually hold hands with other members and pledge not to smoke for that day. “That day” adds up to 30 days, 60 days, for the rest of your life.

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I started test driving smoking at age 12. I was the fat kid with glasses wanting so desperately to be accepted, liked, be popular, belong. I think with most addicts that's how it all starts. We all search for something to make us into somebody we wished we'd be. We don't learn until later in life that we have the inner strength to do that, to accomplish that ourselves. Some people never do.

 

We're a rare breed that we started recreationally and then developed into a full blown addict. We by far are not slipping off into the alleyways and scoring a bag. But some of us do sneak off around the house, sneaking a few puffs here and there because nobody will ever know. Like the functioning alcoholic sticking their whiskey in their soda can or coffee cup, nobody will never know. I remember when I was 16 when my addiction was finally becoming stronger going in the bathroom, opening the window, and spraying the air freshener. My dad smoked, nobody will ever know. Mom did as she found the burn marks on the windowsill.

 

I was a Benson and Hedges type of gal and then went on to smoking Virginia Slims. Then they came out with these lower tar and nicotine cigarettes and then these new filters at the end. Somehow that was to help people. I'm still trying to figure that one out, but hey, it was a good marketing technique at the time. I remember my first time trying to quit. Never did understand way back then in the '70s why it was so hard. My goodness, it was only a habit. I remember my doctor giving me a nicotine patch to wear back in the '80s. Why, it's only cigarettes I'm quitting. What do I have to wear that for?

 

Then we came out with these wonderful e-cigarettes. Nasty things. I always (so I thought) enjoyed the taste of a cigarette. All of those e-juices all tasted like Betadine smells. Anybody remember Mercurochrome? Stuff stained everything for days. You also could buy your cigarettes online for the longest time. I'd order between 4 to 6 cartons a month. Only cost me at the time $75 to $150 a month. Then came roll your own cigarettes. Smoking pipe tobacco, what was I thinking? But hey, it was cheaper than buying them. The state tax keeps going up and up and up. People would say, then why don't you just quit. Pffft, I don't want to quit right now. I'll quit when I'm ready. Yeah, right.

 

I remember for the longest time you could buy a carton of cigarettes for $35. I always said when they get to 50 bucks a carton, I'm quitting. Well, they did. When they get to $60 a carton, I'm quitting. I think I finally got with the program when I paid $60.53 without tax. Now the price is unbelievable. Even those raunchy cheaper brands are 6-something a pack. The last time I bought a pack of cigarettes was around this time last year and it was $7.00 with a mini lighter. That began the process of “cutting down.” What I was thinking there, I have no clue. To think I thought I was doing so well when I was only smoking 2 packs a week, but then we both know that the following week crept up to 3, and then next 4 and you know what happens then.

 

When I write about this almost a year later, it seems so silly to me now. How I had that stranglehold on that cigarette. How I never wanted to give it up. How I could never imagine myself not smoking. If I ever had one vice in life, it will be smoking. If I'm going to die of something, it will be with a cigarette in my hand. Remember? Does it make any sense to you now? Yes, when I get really, really upset about something (I'm encompassing upset with depressed, sad, angry, frustrated, lonely, etc.) and it comes out of the blue, one of those excuse me, what?? moments, my mind goes back to the tried and true for a split instant but then I stop it. It's like a spinning jack on the floor. Bam, my hand goes down and it stops. I know what it's doing and it's not going there.

 

I don't have everything figured out. I'm sure there's going to be a boatload of situations yet to come in this upcoming new year that I have to deal with. I know there will be a few pitfalls that are going to show up. But I'm going to learn from all of you here. I'm going to listen to all of you here. I'm going to know that you all will be here if I'm struggling. I'm going to know that no problem is a small insignificant problem. It's a problem that will be heard. I want to wish all of you a very happy new year. I'm very happy to announce that I will be a year free as of January 25th. The evolution of this smoker has come full circle and it's because of all of you.......... thank you.

There are different philosphies on this site about this subject. My take on it is that once you accept that you are an addict to nicotine, you will always be an addict to nicotine and this addiction will never go away, you will be sucessful. In time you learn to see its signs, you learn your weak spots, your main triggers, things that draw you back to smoking. Smoking is just one aspect to this disease. I truly don't know if you could ever really call this a disease because there's no cure for it. There's all kinds of different theories. One that I found from the National TASC site is: It is a complex brain disease characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and use despite devastating consequences - behaviors that stem from drug-induced changes in brain structure and function." Five million smokers annually smoke themselves to death.

 

Another good article that I've seen posted on here several times, but never hurts to reinforce is: http://whyquit.com/pr/041210.html. This contains the above stated quote. This also contains many links to different types of publication for you to read over. Everybody uses a different method to quit smoking, but the main one is never to take another puff. Not do not ever have a cigarette. Never take another puff. It really tastes awful. How we ever thought it tasted good is beyond me. It tastes like an ashtray smells, really it does.

 

Treat this quit with the respect it deserves. It can be lost at any time, but only if you allow it to. Don't be frightened when a long-standing member here fails. We're all human, but we have to remember to always take that five minutes to STOP, DROP and ROLL. Before reaching for the pack that someone had laying there, before grabbing that cigarette that's being offered to you, STOP. Think about what is pushing your buttons at that moment. DROP that cigarette. ROLL that feeling right off your back and out of your mind. Remember that moment. Remember your solution. Rejoice in your triumph. Life moves on. We can't put the brakes on it. Go with the flow. It's good to be free.

crazymama_Lori

Good morning Ex land

Posted by crazymama_Lori Dec 24, 2016

Good morning, fellow Ex'ers. Just my Saturday blog to check out a few sites on here for you newbies and for us oldies but goodies on here. Sometimes a little reminder doesn't hurt. Posting this uber early this morning as I have lots and lots of things to do today. By the way, Merry Christmas to you all. This will be my first christmas as a nonsmoker. Man, has this been quite the month. First the IRS contacted me about my 2014 taxes. My error. Time to pay the piper. Bills are somehow getting crossed in the mail. Have to call about that. Medical bills not getting sent into insurance. Not sure what's going on about that. Now, last year, I would have been huffing and puffing over that. And I literally do mean puffing, blowing smoke like crazy. Now it's like, I'll call them in the morning and find out what's going on. Something must have been crossed somewhere. Things don't phase me like they did last year. Namaste, right?

 

Give yourself a break once in a while. Be gentle with yourself. We all know life is full of stress, frustration, but you know what, that's just the way it is. It's important to learn how to react differently to the actions that we did for so many years, light up and puff our problems away. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups or just click this link https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

But don't miss the daily interactive discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say hello, offer love and support to your friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single day! Take a look and feel free to join us! ALL are welcome!

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

 

Sometimes we just need a laugh to get our minds back on track. Be sure to visit https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/laughter-is-the-best-medicine to bring a smile to your face daily or just a pleasant distraction. Sometimes that little hit of dopamine from laughter is the trick.

 

At times it helps to reaffirm our quit by pledging with others to not smoke for that day. Be sure to join others by going to: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/daily-pledge/ to virtually hold hands with other members and pledge not to smoke for that day. That day adds up to 30 days, 60 days, for the rest of your life.

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I've noticed in my first year that when things come up for the first time as a non-smoker, that I go through all the stages again a week prior. I have the anger, the frustration, the self-persecution which brings on depression/sadness, all these emotions rolled up in one that in the past drew me back to smoking. They had me running back to smoking again. This time I recognize what the addictive brain is doing. Some of you call this as bad habits returning, signs of spiraling down. But there is a difference in how you handle it.

 

The anticipation of the event usually outweighs the actual outcome. With the holidays approaching, many of you are going through them for the first time, myself included. I've learned throughout this year now that the signs/stages reappeared again in the same way for the fourth time, that it is my addictive thinking kicking in. I realized that because I acknowledged it the second time it happened. Ah-ha, this is exactly what I felt like the last time.

 

I'm not saying to over think your quit, but pay attention to it. Some people don't have the strong emotional ties to smoking. I write these blogs because I did have very strong emotional ties and am learning to recognize them and deal with them accordingly. I write blogs like these to help others to sit back and think about what they used smoking for and see the patterns they made. We can't break the ties that bind us without first breaking the cycle that created it.  

crazymama_Lori

Ho-ho and just say no

Posted by crazymama_Lori Dec 20, 2016

First of all, I want to wish all of you here on Ex a very joyous holiday. This site is a mixture of so many different types of individuals all with one goal in mind; to quit and stay quit from smoking. We each have our own stories from being medical professionals fighting this addiction to a person fighting to figure out where the next meal is coming from. The anonymity on this site is the appeal that it had for me to join. It wasn't canned theories from researchers. It wasn't quoting statistics. It was just a bunch of people doing the same thing.

 

I remember years and years ago when I was first married scraping up enough money to buy a carton of cigarettes every week. I remember selling things just to buy cigarettes. Those were the most important things to me. Back in the '70s it was just a habit. I remember being in a bar and having to buy a pack of cigarettes from those vending machines and it was $2.75 and then $5.00. Counting out those quarters, clink, clink, clink. Little did I know that habit was going to dictate to me where, when and how I was going to complete something.

 

Now, I realize that I have the control in this relationship with my addiction. I am the true warrior wielding my sword against its chains. I am the one who dictates where, when and how I'm doing something. The balance of power has been shifting. My tension is lessening. I've learned to be more patient now. Things will get done. I know when I was puffing away things never seemed to get done fast enough. Now that I don't do that anymore, I can see why. I spent most of my time stewing about things not getting done while wasting my time puffing away on a cigarette. Let that sink in.

 

So in closing, no matter where you are in your quit, slow down, take one day at a time. Instead of rushing life in front of you, look at life around you. Appreciate the little things in your life. Never take for granted anything, because in a blink of an eye it's gone. Find something each day to smile about, laugh about. Bring joy to your life every day because you, my friends, deserve it.

crazymama_Lori

Remember these?

Posted by crazymama_Lori Dec 19, 2016

I remember way, way back on the poloroid cameras where you had to rub developer over the picture.

And then these came out and it was the best thing since sliced bread

Then they decided to make the ones that develop over time

Now they just use their cell phones........  just a blast from the past for you all.  It's 11 below zero on the temperature this morning without the windchill, but I'm not smoking over it !!!

Good morning, fellow Ex'ers. Just my Saturday blog to check out a few sites on here for you newbies and for us oldies but goodies on here. Sometimes a little reminder doesn't hurt. I think of the journey of quitting as going through the five stages of grief. It's the process one goes through when they go through a divorce, lose a loved one, throw out the last pack of cigarettes. The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one or thing we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling.

 

Now, let's take this apart and look at it with quitting. Denial, I don't have a problem. Oh, I can quit any time I want to. It's just a habit. I'm not addicted. Anger, why is this so hard? Why is everyone upsetting me? Why is this taking so long? When is this ever going to stop? Bargaining, oh, just one is not going to hurt. I have this test this week, I can't quit right now. I'm under too much stress right at this moment to quit. Depression, no one understands what I'm going through. Why can't everyone just leave me alone. No one loves me anymore otherwise they wouldn't be treating me like this. Acceptance, this will be with me for the rest of my life. I know I can overcome this. I know what to do when it rears its ugly head. I am addicted to nicotine.

 

This has been posted on here multiple times. Use the search bar and just put in grief and results will pop up with various articles all with the same thought in mind. Here are just a few: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Storm_3.1.14-blog/2015/04/14/the-grief-cycle-youre-not-going-crazy, https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/SarahP-blog/2016/06/08/no-mans-land-weekly-blog-good-grief. Use that search bar for things that you have questions about or things you are feeling. There's a pretty good chance, I'd say 99.99 percent, that someone at some time had the exact same feelings as you. May not be at the exact time in their quit as yours, but we all go through it at one time or another. It's just simply part of the process.

 

Give yourself a break once in a while. Be gentle with yourself. We all know life is full of stress, frustration, but you know what, that's just the way it is. It's important to learn how to react differently to the actions that we did for so many years, light up and puff our problems away. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups or just click this link https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

But don't miss the daily interactive discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say hello, offer love and support to your friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single day! Take a look and feel free to join us! ALL are welcome!

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

 

Sometimes we just need a laugh to get our minds back on track. Be sure to visit https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/laughter-is-the-best-medicine to bring a smile to your face daily or just a pleasant distraction. Sometimes that little hit of dopamine from laughter is the trick.

 

At times it helps to reaffirm our quit by pledging with others to not smoke for that day. Be sure to join others by going to: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/daily-pledge/ to virtually hold hands with other members and pledge not to smoke for that day. That day adds up to 30 days, 60 days, for the rest of your life.

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I wrote this on someone's blog this morning and it inspired me to continue. I had the ups and downs. A lot of back and forth.  It took me 195 days to finally feel normal again, but that's when I was 130 days nicotine free.  I was on the patch for 2 months.  I still have ups and downs but that's finally experiencing the reality of life without that gray smoke swirling around me.

 

A glimpse into my life yesterday. I receive a call from my daughter at 7:30 in the morning in tears, Mom, I was in an accident. This is her second season of winter driving. We've had a lot of snow and very cold temperatures. Hit a patch of black ice, went off the road into a 6 foot drop-off and into the ditch. Not hurt, but shaken up. That would have sent me over the edge and I'd be puffing away. Phone calls back and forth with the insurance agency, with the towing company, with the fiance. Dogs not cooperating, but that's nothing new around here. A simple shut of the door while the phone is hanging off my ear for most of the day. Get the car towed and the place that will do the body work is a total jerk. That would have sent me over the edge. The day in general would have sent me over the edge starting at 7:30 in the morning.

 

I have learned in these almost 11 months that life continues to tick on. The hours and minutes pass by. What happens, it has nothing to do with smoking.  Smoking will not make this situation any better. Smoking will not erase the day and put everything right on its axis. Smoking will not relax me. Now, a year ago this time, I would have thought that was the only thing in my life that would. I gave smoking this magical power, it had the magical wand to make things right again. It amazes me how a mind of an addict works. I respect this addiction and know it can return full force at any time. I have my one-size-fits-all solution. I developed one finally after about six months. I was one of those fighters. I didn't want to give this up. I was determined to make this as difficult as possible. Why, I couldn't tell you. One thing I do know, I'm not smoking and it doesn't control me any longer because I made that choice. I was the one that made it possible and so can you !!!!!

Another new year is coming upon us again. My how time flies. To think last year around this time I was standing by my back porch with the door open smoking my 2 to 3 cigarettes I allowed myself every day. Being in a continuous withdrawal but in my mind I was doing good. I tried so hard to do this cold turkey. My dealing with the physical symptoms and the mind games was too much for me to deal with all at once. For a few months prior I was trying wellbutrin, e-cigs, drops, inhalers, nothing was helping. Of course one thing I didn't follow through on was tracking my cigarettes to figure out the times I was smoking the most and the reason for it. Never really took the time to fill out that little section about what I'm going to do instead of smoking. Kind of got the hang of that about a month and a half later. Guess I'm a late bloomer.

 

Now after being quit now for almost 11 months, I've learned how important it is not to take this quit for granted. Not to become complacent. There's a boatload of blogs about that very subject. The search that I did in the search bar for complacent pulled up nine pages about the subject. Complacent means pleased with one's self often without awareness of some potential danger. Sometimes as time moves on we think that we've mastered the quit game and don't have to worry about it. We've got all the bases covered. I've been quit this long, I can handle anything.

 

Danger, danger, STOP, DROP and ROLL. The minute you let your guard down, the minute you don't recognize the addictive thinking, habits, signs popping up, you're treading deep water. The thoughts of smoking diminish over time. There's days that you don't even think about it one bit. But trust me, somewhere, sometime, something is going to pop up and you have to have a plan. A general overall plan. A one-size-fits-all solution. I've had quite a few of those pop up over these 11 months. What I do is simply tell myself either out loud or to myself, you'll be fine, let it pass, you'll be fine. In about five to ten minutes, it passes.

 

I've lost many of a quit year after year due to anger, being frustrated over something, someone or something just is not working like it should. I truly believe sometimes I worked myself up into a tizzy just to give myself an excuse to smoke. I can't say a reason because to have a reason is to have a purpose. There is no purpose to smoking. We're just finding an excuse to feed our addictive self. That little bit of a personality trait that we all have. Physically we are no longer addicted to nicotine, but the emotional dance lingers on. It likes to do a little tap dance once in a while, but I'll be fine, let it pass, I'll be fine..............  

crazymama_Lori

Holla ExLand

Posted by crazymama_Lori Dec 10, 2016

Good morning, fellow Ex'ers. Just my Saturday blog to check out a few sites on here for you newbies and for us oldies but goodies on here. Sometimes a little reminder doesn't hurt. This has been the most frustrating week of my life. Sure I could have driven up to the store and bought a pack of cigarettes and puffed away on them, but I didn't. Just like very early in my quit when I had it in my head that this is getting too hard, if only someone would say to me in 130 days this will all go away completely and you'll never have it again ever in your life. Poof, here's the magic date and it will all disappear. Well, I hate to tell you, that day never comes, but it gets easier, it goes smoother. There's actually some days that smoking never even enters your mind, your thought processes. Here's a good article to read that involves this subject: https://www.verywell.com/will-i-miss-smoking-forever-2824756

 

Trust me when I tell you this, in about six months you will feel differently. The thought of smoking disappears as quickly as it appears. Once you have it in your head that you will always want to smoke, it's just that you don't do that anymore. But do me a favor, for you on again/off again folks, just jot down in a notebook exactly when you want that cigarette. It could be when you're hungry, tired, bored. It could be when you're angry, sad, frustrated over something. It could be a certain person that seems to trip you up. Believe me when I tell you that the next time it sticks its ugly head out, I'll bet you it was one of those reasons you wrote down in that notebook. Then pull out that toolbox, your strategies for not smoking, your game plan, your play book. This recovery as with any recovery from addiction can be obtained by staying committed, having acceptance, stay the course, ride out the rough waves and stick with it, you'll do just fine. Just resolve yourself to accept that that's just something that you don't do anymore. It's always going to be there, but you've learned to deal with it and dismiss those thoughts.

 

Give yourself a break once in a while. Be gentle with yourself. We all know life is full of stress, frustration, but you know what, that's just the way it is. It's important to learn how to react differently to the actions that we did for so many years, light up and puff our problems away. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups or just click this link https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

But don't miss the daily interactive discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say hello, offer love and support to your friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single day! Take a look and feel free to join us! ALL are welcome!

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

 

Sometimes we just need a laugh to get our minds back on track. Be sure to visit https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/laughter-is-the-best-medicine to bring a smile to your face daily or just a pleasant distraction. Sometimes that little hit of dopamine from laughter is the trick.

 

At times it helps to reaffirm our quit by pledging with others to not smoke for that day. Be sure to join others by going to: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/daily-pledge/ to virtually hold hands with other members and pledge not to smoke for that day. That day adds up to 30 days, 60 days, for the rest of your life days.

 

We'd love to have you join us!

There's so many good articles on this site concerning relapses, slip-ups, whatever you want to call it. I call it going back to an old friend. You see we all used smoking for different reasons. Some used it for comfort. Just to have that gray cloud envelope us as we are dealing with personal issues or a traumatic event. Some will rock back and forth for comfort or using shivering as a release of tensions, anger. The mind sometimes will go back to what it knows in times of stress if we don't teach it other ways of coping or take the time to identify what it is that draws us back in.

 

I'm not saying you have to sit on a mountain top and ponder the universe and life's meaning. But as you are struggling with the idea to smoke or not to smoke, instead of fixating on that cigarette, fixate on what it is that is drawing you to it. The answer is there. If you take a few minutes to look, you're going to find it. A very good article on this site is written by Giulia, https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/relapse-prevention. There's several posts on there that one can read about how easy it is to fall back into what we know so well. Another one that I found helpful for myself is: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/thread/1815-replay-the-relapse. This has stories from members about their relapses and their triumphs. Another good article to read is https://www.sharecare.com/health/quit-smoking/start-smoking-again-after-quit. I think Dr. Oz (who personally I think looks like spock) has a very good take on a relapse, slip-up.

 

I'm just going to bring up my riding the bike analogy. Think back of how many times you fell off that thing until you finally got the hang of it. Banged up knees, skinned up elbows never stopped any of us. We were right back at it to get it right. Smoking is the same thing. It's something we did 30 to 60 to however many times a day over and over. Sometimes not even needing to smoke. We just did it. You find yourself in a weak moment and don't want to blog, use that search bar on the right-hand side of your screen. Type in a word or a feeling you're having. There's going to be an answer. Somewhere at some time someone on here has been through it. Stick with us. We'll get you to where you need to be.

Having scrolled through the blogs, I saw a couple of you wondering what it would be like to just have one.  Bargaining with ourselves that just one won't make a difference.  There's so many different takes on that, which makes quitting so frustrating.  This article shows the varying degrees of opinions, but I personally see only one major consensus.  See what you think:  https://www.sharecare.com/health/quit-smoking/just-one-cigarette-recovering-smoker.

Stick with it.  It's so worth it.  Believe it or not, at some stage of your quit you will barter back and forth that one won't hurt.  Just a few drags off a smoke won't hurt.  Now, think back of when you were in the cutting back stage...... how did that work out for ya?

hard to believe that I finally made it this far.  Hard to believe that cravings are nonexistent.  Hard to believe that I finally got with the program and learned to let some things go and worked hard on the rest.  I'm always looking for more reading material.  I found this article interesting for you newbies out there:  https://www.verywell.com/nothing-works-unless-you-do-2825067

Another holiday is right around the corner. Most of us on here will be going through it for the first time. For some it can be a joyous time and others it can be stressful. Sometimes the anticipation of a gathering can be far more stressful that what the event brings. One thing I can say that this site has taught me is to live one day at a time. I've taught myself to put those negative feelings in a drawer when they pop up mentally. Some things just can't be fixed. You just have to come to the conclusion of it is what it is.

I've been dealing with my own issues here as of late with my own family for the past couple of days, but I'm certainly not smoking over it. Sometimes our addictive self can illuminate and exaggerate problems more than what in reality they are. I woke up this morning and logged onto facebook and saw this quote and it truly hit home for me. Perhaps it might hit home for some of you also.   

Good morning, fellow Ex'ers. Just my Saturday blog to check out a few sites on here for you newbies and for us oldies but goodies on here. Sometimes a little reminder doesn't hurt. I think of the beginning of any quit as learning how to ride a bike. We were scared to have someone let go of that bike as we were pedaling along. I'll fall. I'll hurt myself. Let's compare that to smoking. We're scared to quit smoking. We've done it for X many years. How could I even imagine myself going through a whole day without smoking. I know I'll fail. I have failed in the past. Then we eventually got the hang of riding that bike, maintaining our balance as we pedaled along. Sure we fell down once or twice but we got right back on it again. As time went on, we became pros at riding a bike and celebrating as we did it with no hands. Weeeeeeeee.

 

This reminds me of a few of you that have quit and then smoked. Quit again and then smoked. Rest assured that one day a light comes on and it stretches to 30 days to 60 days to 200 days. I personally think that light that comes on is our determination finally kicking in. Our firm resolve that that's it. I'm done with this. Why am I giving this stupid white stick of poison the power and not myself having the power. Finally, unbelievable, we're doing this. Look, Mom, no hands, Weeeeeeeeeeee. This recovery as with any recovery from addition can be obtained by staying committed, having acceptance, stay the course, ride out the rough waves and stick with it, you'll do just fine. Just resolve yourself to accept that that's just something that you don't do anymore. It's always going to be there, but you just don't do that anymore.

 

Give yourself a break once in a while. Be gentle with yourself. We all know life is full of stress, frustration, but you know what, that's just the way it is. It's important to learn how to react differently to the actions that we did for so many years, light up and puff our problems away. It's also important to look on the positive side instead of the negative. Check out Positive Affirmations for Success: You can take what you want and leave the rest. And you can always find and contribute your own. When you click the Group Button just to the right of the Blog button and when that window comes up look for the featured group button we are the first group listed   Also we are on the Home Page under Featured Groups or just click this link https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/positive-affirmations-and-support

 

But don't miss the daily interactive discussion called Love Yourself. Whether you're dropping in to say hello, offer love and support to your friends or need a place where you will truly feel listened to, we are there - every single day! Take a look and feel free to join us! ALL are welcome!

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

 

Sometimes we just need a laugh to get our minds back on track. Be sure to visit https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/laughter-is-the-best-medicine to bring a smile to your face daily or just a pleasant distraction. Sometimes that little hit of dopamine from laughter is the trick.

 

At times it helps to reaffirm our quit by pledging with others to not smoke for that day. Be sure to join others by going to: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/daily-pledge/ to virtually hold hands with other members and pledge not to smoke for that day. That day adds up to 30 days, 60 days, for the rest of your life days.

 

We'd love to have you join us!