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2017
crazymama_Lori

The Easy Way

Posted by crazymama_Lori 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 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.........

 

Ah, yes, the beginning, way back to when I started this journey. That is etched into my mind as a tab of remembrance. Something to refer back to when I'm feeling weak and vulnerable. Information that I can flip back to easily when it all gets to be too much.

 

One thing I have learned is that I need to slow down and not pile so much on my plate. I need to learn to walk instead of running full steam ahead into things I'm trying to accomplish or things I'm trying to attain. A year ago I was going in circles chasing my tail. When is this going to end, when is this ever going to stop, why is this taking so long. I was basically treating quitting smoking as something that can be cured. Here are these pills for 10 days. Take them all and this will go away. I read and read and read and it seemed as though nothing was sinking in, but I stuck with it. There's got to be something to what they're saying.

 

I think around 2 months into it is when the relearning process began. I really starting thinking about the when, wheres and whys. You see, what makes this site great is that we all have different theories, different methods, different ways to the quitting process. We all agree that not one puff ever is the way to go. You and I are not the occasional smoker; otherwise we wouldn't be on this site. Smoking would never be a problem for us. We're not the kind of smoker that enjoys a smoke with their evening cocktail and then that's all they ever have. There are people out there that are just like that; we're just not one of them.

 

I do not see things as black and white. It's this way and it's the best way and the only way. I welcome other opinions and theories, other ways of attacking this crazy thing we call smoking addiction. Some believe it's only the hand to mouth ritual that we perform coupled with the nicotine that is the problem. I believe that it's more far-reaching than that, but that's my theory, my belief and I'm entitled to that. I believe that we use smoking as a crutch, a security blanket, a protector. Some believe I'm over thinking the whole process and advocating and making this harder than it should be. But there are people out there that read this and say, yes, exactly, you're right.

 

So wherever you are in the process, poke around the site and visit other people's profiles and click on content. That's where you will find their blogs and any information they have shared with the community at large. Read over some of the things they have written. Click on activity and see what they have posted on other people's posts. You can use your browser's back button to go back and forth between the pages. I learned most of my encouragement and really enlightenment from those posts. There were some that I came across that I didn't agree with, but that's okay. You take what you need and you leave the rest. Simply ignore it and move on. This journey you are taking is a very personal thing. We can teach you the basics but it's up to you to develop the plan. So get going and start relearning your life. This is just the beginning.

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. 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!

 

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!

I remember the days when I was on "GO" and was proceeding around the board hoping to make it to Boardwark, all around the bends and turns people kept telling me give it time, it will get easier, just hang in there.  I'll be honest, I just rolled my eyes and said, yeah, but when.  I'm sure nobody is having as rough of a time as I am.  This is way too hard.

 

Well, I welcome you to go to anyone's profile who is an elder (has one year of being a nonsmoker), go to their content, filter by date created: oldest first.  There you will see their beginnings.  There you will see how similar we all are, that we really know what we're talking about.  Look and see at what stage they were at when things were getting better, 100 days, 130 days.  Be an investigator and see that you are no longer the only one that's going through this.  Blog about how hard quitting smoking is, how miserable, how great you are.  

 

I can't tell you how many times I've went back and read over my first few blogs to reassure myself that taking the easy road and just simply going back to smoking because it would take everything away just won't work for me anymore.  That's not who I am anymore.  I don't need them anymore.  They do not dictate my life anymore.  They don't have the hold they once had.  I remember talking to people who said well, I just quit one day and haven't picked one up since.  No other information, tips, tricks.  Just quit.  Well, it can't be that bad then.  Then began my off again/on again romance with Mr. Whitestick.

 

Well, we have now been broke up for 374 days, one year and 9 days, and I don't miss it one bit.  I occassionally say well, a cigarette would go good right now but to me now that's the same of saying well, a nice big bowl of ice cream would be good right now.  It's just a thought.  Just something that popped in my head at the time.  It goes away just as soon as it arrived.  You will get here.  You will relearn all the rituals you created over the years.  Instead of lighting up when you first wake up, have some mints by your bed and pop one.  Instead of drinking coffee sitting down and having a cigarette, stand up. Do the same thing every single day for a period of a few weeks.  Trust me, after that time, you'll find yourself not even thinking about it.  Think of when the date changes, some of us (me included) have a heck of a time in the first month of the year writing the new year down.  After we've done it quite a few times, it becomes second nature.  Trust me, quitting smoking is just like that.  You can do this.  It is possible.  It is obtainable.  It is possible.  So you go get 'em, tiger.  I know you will do just fine