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2017

Well, good morning everyone.  It's a blustery day here in the Midwest.  I'm excited to see the groundhog tomorrow.  that only means we have 6 more weeks of winter.  Whether it's going to be harsh or mild, I leave it up to the powers that be.

 

We have a combination of different theories, opinions and thoughts about the quitting process. We all agree on one thing and that is not one puff ever. Not one cigarette, not a half a cigarette, not one puff ever. Very early in my quit, if I would have taken just that one puff, in the first 2 weeks to a month, I would have been a full-fledged smoker again. Now I just know that I cannot ever have another cigarette again. Plain and simple. Earlier in my quit, I just made it as simple as possible, I'm not smoking today. That went on every single day until I reached about 150 days, 5 months. I've been quit for a year now and there are times, very seldom, that the thought enters my mind. I've learned that it's only a thought and nothing to be afraid of, to panic about and most importantly to act upon.

 

I feel that once you go through the physical withdrawal, the grief stage, come to terms that you've basically taught yourself through the years to react to bad things in your life by reaching for a cigarette instead of developing new ways to deal with the situation, you run the risk of returning back to smoking. I'm not going to use the word “addictive behavior.” Some don't associate smoking with an addiction or have a hard time grasping that concept. If that's the case, then so be it. But realize that that action of smoking was a learned behavior that you used to compensate for bad feelings, bad things that happened in your life, ways that you dealt with stress or even used as a reward. If it helps you to associate smoking with a behavior, behaviors can be unlearned and replaced with a positive one. That's the purpose of identifying your triggers and using a plan to counteract that and use those throughout your quit.

 

Over this year, I've identified many things that I personally know are my triggers, returning bad behaviors, returning habits that always drew me back to smoking. Slipping back into old ways of doing things. I think it's important to see those, to recognize those before things escalate. I've printed mine out and keep them stashed to refer to when I need them. I firmly believe as time ticks on, as new memories are made, as a conscious checklist is being performed and filed for future use, we go about life as all the nonsmokers of the world. The thought never enters our mind, but only because we have unlearned the behavior. We have taught ourselves new ways of dealing with life in general. We are our most influential teacher. Only you can develop your own plan for success, because this is your own playlist. You are the rising star.................

Please don't feel overwhelmed when you log on for the first time.  They have recently changed the format and we're still trying to get used to it.  Reminds me of when you get a change in your eyeglasses prescription.  It takes a few days to get everything in focus, but then you see so much clearer.  Or when you finally get a new position and your first day is looming ahead, you are in the guarded stage because you don't know what's to come.

 

And, ya know, quitting smoking is just like that.  I remember back a year or more ago when I finally came to the decision to quit.  I've had enough.  I can't breathe.  I don't like these daily headaches and dizzy spells.  I said over and over for months before that, "I've got to cut down.  I should really quit smoking."  I too was the road warrior.  They're not taking my cigarettes away from me.  Why I felt the need to cling on to them, I have no clue.  I didn't need them to make me look cool anymore.  For Pete's sake, I was 56 years old at the time.  I think the cool stage has left the building.

 

Most people ask me if I'm still quit and they just say, I can't quit right now.  I'm under too much stress.  My response back is always, but isn't life always stressful or is it just the way you perceive it to be that way.  I mean really, does that cigarette really take the stress away?  Does it really truly relax you?  Have you noticed that no more than 10 minutes later you're stressed out again?

 

Take the time on here and go through the steps of tracking your cigarettes, understanding what nicotine is and what is does to your brain.  I know you've heard about what it does to your body constantly on TV and social media, news print.  But really zone in on what it does in your brain, what makes you keep coming back for more, what makes it so hard to quit.  Once you get the grasp on that, it all falls into place.  Sure you're going to go through being super crabby, really tired, foggy, loss of concentration, really gassy, some have restless leg, sleep patterns that won't seem to get back on track.  But trust me, it doesn't last forever.  The physical symptoms are gone within 2 to 4 weeks and the fog lifts after about 4 months.  Compare that to how many years you've been smoking, that short of time is doable.

 

If you have to take a drive in your car those first few weeks and scream your full head off, then do it.  Take lots of walks, clean your house/apartment, wash your windows, ceiling fans, walls.  Just keep repeating to yourself, nope, nope, nope.  Hold off for ten minutes, distract yourself for ten minutes, betcha that craving went away.  Trust me, it doesn't last forever.  This isn't your final sentence.  This is the beginning of your life.  You'll be amazed how many things you've been missing out on.  In my case I've lived in my house for 28 years and there was a lilac tree across the street.  I never smelled it.  This summer was the first time and it was heaven.  

 

Be sure to reach out to members if you're having problems.  Be sure to type in the word HELP or I'm struggling.  Trust me someone will be there to help you along the way because we've all been there/done that.  Let's help you get there

crazymama_Lori

Well, hello 365 days

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jan 24, 2017

Tomorrow is one year. Today is 365 days because of the leap year. I will be declared an elder and can happily enter the 6 percent club. Boy, has this been one hellofa ride. The smoking thoughts only surface up for me in bouts of anger/frustration. I actually embrace all the other emotions because I'm finally feeling them instead of hiding behind a cloud of gray smoke. December showed a lot of challenges for me personally and sailed through them. Back a year ago then, I would have been stressing out and chain smoking and my addictive brain would be saying, why me, why is this happening to me, blah, blah...... Now, it's simply, yeah ,well, it is what it is. A whole different mind-set.

 

Now, we get to work on this weight gain. The most important thing I've learned throughout this year is that I can do anything I set my mind to. Anything is possible. I believed that before, but usually, not always, the addictive thinking took over and tried to shut it down.

 

I'm so glad that I stuck with this and will not take this for granted. Smoking was a choice. A choice that I wish to no longer make. It is no longer a gripping need. Something that I believed that I had to do just to make me relax, relieve the tension, console myself, calm thyself. I no longer think that way. I developed other ways to do that now.

 

I'll be honest throughout this year that I've had thoughts of smoking. I went through the stage of “test driving” a cigarette. Test my limits to see if I've got this down. I realized that was crazy thinking after performing my STOP, DROP and ROLL. Those three words have got me through many of my firsts this past year. From experience of going through the first birthday parties, get-togethers, holidays, etc., the anticipation of the event was far worse than the event itself. But nonetheless I prepare myself beforehand for the worst case scenario. What are you going to do if this happens....... the “this happens” never did arise, but I was prepared for it.

 

I've learned to break the chains that tied me by switching up a few things that I've done year after year. I celebrate my holidays differently now and anniversaries differently of my parents' death. In prior years, I chain smoked my way through all of them. I'm sure this next year of being a nonsmoker will be a touch easier than last and will keep getting easier because I'm creating new memories. Some good and some bad, but they're all done without a cigarette in my hand. I've faced my bad times head on and dealt with them. Last month in particular was just horrendous, but I found my way through. I'm starting to learn now to let things go of which I can't physically change. I am only responsible for my own actions and not anybody else's.

 

So for you newbies out there, hang in there. Trust in yourself. Go through the stages of quitting. Reach out to members either through their message board or through their inbox. Ask for help, ask questions, ask for guidance. Use that search bar at the top right of your screen and look for things that you are curious about. Type in grief, smoking dreams, depression, anger. You'll find the answers there and some pretty good writers too. Quitting is only as hard as you want it to be. I'm the prime example of that, but look at where I'm at now. You can get here, the 6 percent club . It can be done. Reach those small milestones, 30 days, 50 days, 100 days, 200 days, 300 days and then a year. You can do this. You can get to 365 days, a 6 percenter. Just remember, I'll be waiting at the door for ya!!!

Description

 

  You have an abundance of support here.  We were all smokers at one point or another and know exactly what you are going through and will be going through.  Just remember that no question is a dumb question.  No feeling is a silly feeling.  

  Here's a short video to watch to get you started on discovering why https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyIJo7VCdPE

   

  Be sure to blog your cravings or your blues away. You'd be amazed how similar we all are here.  You'll be reviewing those from time to time through this process.  So it's important.  If you're not comfortable blogging on a public forum, then buy yourself a notebook and blog in there daily.  We're still here if you need a question answered or just want to share a moment with us.  No one judges here. Below are some links to some of my blogs that I feel are informative and may hit home for some of you.

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8580831/welcome-to-the-site-now-lets-get-to-work

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8367955/just-for-you-newbies-and-those-in-nml-no-mans-land

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8448635/hey-someone-forgot-to-recharge-this

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8567171/just-something-i-used-to-do

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8900101/i-also-could-go-back-very-easily

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8464599/the-more-you-know

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8450758/you-bring-a-smile-to-my-face

   

  http://community.becomeanex.org/pg/blog/read/8493677/strange-to-look-back-at-it-all-now

 
 
 
 

Brief Description

Never be afraid or embarrassed about your "smoking thoughts" while quitting, they're there to remind us how strong we truly can be.  Always remember, you will always WANT to smoke, but you have to CHOOSE not to.  We can't break the ties that bind us without first changing the cycle that created it.


Website


Location

wisconsin


Interests

forever quit, 1/25/16


Skills

No skills in profile.


crazymama_Lori

Good morning Ex land

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jan 21, 2017

Holy-Moly, what a week this was. Monday was freezing rain. Nothing was moving. Several power outages due to falling trees and downed power lines. Work is finally picking up for me. December and January are always slow months due to the holidays and no court. I'm what they call a scopist and I work for court reporters. When I lived in Phoenix way back in the very early '80s, I was going to be a court reporter. I was going to be trained as a scopist by our court reporter when I worked in traffic court in Waukesha back in the '70s. I turned it down. And then 20 years later, I graduated from my training and have been doing this ever since. Absolutely love my job. Hate being an independent contractor because I never seem to get that estimated tax right in line, but I come close.

 

For over 20 years, I sat in my office and chain smoked while working away. My keyboard snowed when turned over. My tray that held the keyboard to my desk had ashes stuck in the back. Now it's basically crumbs and the tray is ever so clean. It's so nice not to have that perpetual yellow ET finger. I'm so looking forward to spring so I can paint my office. My bookcase filled with my smelly reference books will have to survive as is. It would cost thousands of dollars to replace all of those. It's just a reminder to me of yesteryear. Oh, and did I mention in about 4 days I'll be quit for a year...... hard to believe.

 

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 reactdifferently 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!

crazymama_Lori

read blog in comments

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jan 18, 2017

it loves fighting with me this morning

crazymama_Lori

Conversation with Peggy

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jan 17, 2017

Nothing is in America anymore.  Broken English is the thing of the present.  After repeating myself to four different people, I finally got the problem resolved.

Now, mind you, last year around this time, I would have been huffing and puffing and getting so irritated by all this repeat, repeat and probably would have hung up.  By the fourth person, I think I was singing my problem to them.  I think I scared them because my problem was resolved pronto.

So to you, Peggy, bless your heart with the rest of your commarades.

To my favorite Ex peoples, stay smoke free out there......... Time to go ice skating

crazymama_Lori

Good morning Ex land

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jan 14, 2017

I remember the beginning very well. I went from the blubbering idiot to the raging psycho all in the matter of one minute.  The blubbering idiot never comes around anymore.  And if it does, it only stays for a short time.  Now the raging psycho likes to sit a spell and wreak havoc all ova the place.  I'm still working on that.  I have a lot of pent up anger that I need to resolve.  I never thought of myself as having a hair-trigger anger problem, but I guess I do. Out of all of the emotions that came swirling around the drain as I exited NML, anger stuck around the longest. The rest of the entourage, sadness, self-pity, etc., seemed to have died off eventually. They do show their head once in a while but I know that those emotions are what dragged me into the addictive thinking. We're getting that parsed out slowly but surely.  But I am liking this whole new patience thing going on.  I'll just take it in sections, it's all good. It's been almost a year, but I'll figure it out. Maybe I'll have an ephany one day. Who knows.

 

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!

January 8, 2016, Day 8 - Just real anxious for my sleep patterns to finally return back to somewhat normality. Read a post from a fellow smoker who is also quitting along with me about seeing these next 2 weeks as an ocean storm. the cravings are the waves that are coming in hard and quick, but go back out again only to come crashing back. After week 2 the calming starts and after the month mark, it's clear sailing.  An interesting article to read, just ignore the advertisements: http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/withdrawal1.htm

My other observation is when I "fell off the wagon" the other day, after smoking my legs felt so damn heavy. I just thought to myself no wonder why I felt so tired all the time. the upswing is I'm getting a whole lot of things accomplished around here keeping busy. I'm more emotional today, but I'm sure that has to do with the lack of sleep or broken sleep I've been having. it's so nice to finally be able to lay down and not wheeze and to actually make it up the basement steps without being winded. Just remember if I can do this, you can too !!!!!

Once you stop romancing the thought of smoking just one cigarette again, that action of lighting up and pulling in the smoke, slowing letting it out, once you accept that it's only a thought you have now and not an action, you'll learn to not panic when it enters your mind. My thought, embrace it and see it for what it is. It's only a thought. Let's face it, we all have crazy thoughts, irrational thoughts once in a while. We just simply choose to not act on them. Yes, smoking is a choice, but to not smoke is another choice. This is not an either/or type of negotiation. It's not a thought of well, I'll only have one once in a while. I will guarantee you that in a few months you will be back to being a full-time smoker in no time. You're still feeding that need. I will bet that when something stressful in your life comes about, you're going to be puffing away. You're still refueling those receptors in your brain. If you continue down that road, you're only seeing smoking as a habit and not an addiction to nicotine.

 

Ask yourself why are you the one who lights up when no one else in your family feels the need. I'm taking the word “smoking” out of the equation in this conversation. Smoking is the action we do repeatedly. Nicotine is what keeps drawing us back. The simple answer to that is you are addicted to the nicotine in the cigarette that keeps you coming back and coming back. The weekend warriors are not addicts because they have no need whatsoever during the week to pull out a cigarette. They don't have to because they have learned other ways to cope with life in general. We somehow throughout the years have lost that ability, but it can be relearned.

 

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!

crazymama_Lori

Yada, Yada, Yada

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jan 5, 2017

Ah, yes, the addictive brain. It works overtime sometimes. It tells you that no one listens to you. Everyone misconstrues what you're talking about. Nobody wants to be around you anymore. No one cares. Maybe it's just me that's angry all the time. Why can't everyone just cooperate and do what they're supposed to do. The dialogue goes on and on and on.

 

I don't hear that much anymore, but I sure did the first 6 months of my quit. It was like the carrot in front of the greyhound at the track just replaying over and over and over. I remember that conversation from years ago. That voice always made me slip up. Had me running back to the store to get a pack because that solved everything. I'll deal with it tomorrow. Let me just have it today. I can't do it right now.

 

I remember vividly my first 30 days. I was crawling the walls. I was foggy, couldn't concentrate, tired all the time, yelling at everything and everybody. I had this tension that I just couldn't get rid of. I ripped up so much wallpaper and shelving paper in this house. I cleaned windows, ceiling fans, ripped apart my home office, washed curtains. I went through cupboards and rearranged things. The first 2 weeks I didn't have any work which helped a great deal because I could distract myself constantly.

 

I think the most frustrating part of quitting was the concentration for the first 6 months. My job is not physical but requires a lot of head work, research, grammar, sentence structure, conflict resolution. In the beginning I had to do a lot of things twice because I was missing so much. Then I learned to slow down and keep track of what I was doing. I had to revamp the way I worked to keep on top of it. I adapted.

 

Quitting smoking is just that. We have to learn to adapt to our new way of life. Learn new coping skills. Try different things. Move things around. Change things up. You smoked on your porch; rearrange it. You drank coffee with a cigarette; drink with the opposite hand. You stood; sit down. You smoked in your car driving; hide the ashtray or put it in the freezer. Take a different route to work or back home. Switch things up. Create new memories that don't involve smoking. Have fun with it, be adventurous, just take it one day at a time. You can do this; you really can !!!!!

crazymama_Lori

Happy Tuesday post

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jan 3, 2017

Remember these?

Or even these when you had to go to an actual shoe store

 

This stained and burned like the dickins

 

But this is something you can learn to forget

Second day of the new year, welcome to the first chapter of your new year. You have 364 blank pages to write on, what will your entries be? You see, we all have control over our lives, over our actions. We can choose to be victims and surcumb to our old habits, our self-destructive ways or we can choose to be proactive and do something about it and then stick with it.

 

My biggest trigger and still is actually is anger/frustration. It took me months to get the hang of stepping away from the situation/person that was frustrating me, regroup, take a few deep breaths, and then return to what I was doing. Now, let us put that into perspective of our smoking habits. Isn't that what we did every time we lit up? Weren't we just simply removing ourselves from the situation? The only difference is that now that we've quit smoking, we've used other tools to calm ourselves.

 

As most of you know, I'm always on the search for more information to share and different philosophies and theories concerning smoking. I found this article interesting: http://www.hebiofeedback.co.uk/hebf-latest/do-you-find-smoking-relaxing-here-are-5-reasons-why/

 

I can attest that I am calmer now. Life stresses just roll off my back now. I've learned throughout this year that sometimes I just can't change the world to my liking. Like the saying goes here take what you need and leave the rest. Remember that you are not alone in this fight. We are all here to help you along the way. Whether you are only quit for a week, a month, a year, we all hold each other hands and have each others back. Together, my friends, we are doing this!!!!!!!!!