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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!

Good to see many newbies showing up here again. Please stick with us. This is probably the only site I've been on or observed that is easy to navigate and is so responsive to people in need. The old saying goes around here of take what you need and leave the rest. Sometimes some responses to blogs seems harsh or abrasive. Just remember sometimes we all need a kick in the pants, but don't you dare leave us. You will go through many, many different cycles while quitting and being overly sensitive is just one of them. You don't appreciate someone's comments, let them know about it. Don't you leave us, ya hear?

 

You will go through the hole in the pit of your stomach feeling. Some people go through some really bizarre crying jags. It's okay, because you're grieving. Believe it or not, you're divorcing your best friend and it's leaving a hole somewhere in your life. I'm of the school of taking just five or ten minutes when a craving hits you to figure out why you want that cigarette so bad. Some will fight it and say they have no clue why. If you really take a minute, I'm sure you can figure it out. All you have to do is grab a piece of paper, a napkin, jot down exactly what you're feeling at that moment. Are you anxious, tired, hungry, bored, angry, tense, lonely? Others will have the on again, off again cycle. They get only so far and they jump ship and go back to their old friend. It keeps happening and happening. There's an easy answer to that, my friend. There is something at that moment in time that drove you to that cancer stick. Something that you used it for to hide an emotion, hide a feeling, stuff back some bad stuff in your life. This is a fairly easy concept to grasp for anything in your life. If it keeps happening over and over again, you never really thought of a plan when it happened the first time to stop it from coming around again. Get your game plan together.

 

Not everyone goes through the same stages as everyone else. If addiction was so cut and dry, you go through this for 10 days, this for 20, this for 30, if someone could have given me a precise timeline of exactly what's going to happen exactly when, I'd be sailing through this whole quitting ordeal. Once you come to the acceptance of this will be with you for the rest of your life, it will pop up from time to time, sometimes unexpectedly because something in your memory is triggering it, whatcha gonna do? How are you planning to handle that when it comes up? Have you thought of that at all? I'm by no means an elder, but it always amazes me how 3, 4, 5 plus year quits get lost along the way and we go right back to smoking again. It's a powerful thing if you give it the power. Remember that day one. Put that memory in a box in your mind, because you just might need it someday. Do you honestly want to go back there again?

 

We all have physical withdrawal for 2 to 3 weeks. Then we have the retraining process, 130 days to even 200 days for some. Get through 30 days and give it 6 months. Before long you'll get to the 300-day mark and a year is just right around the corner. You made it a year and you created new memories over anniversaries, birthdays, family gatherings, etc. You'll find they are easier the second year because you have those new memories. Sometimes our anticipation of the event in the first place in the first year far outweighs what they in reality are all about.

 

Addiction is a funny thing. Ours is probably one of the hardest ones because it kills slowly but surely. Some quit because they ended up with a smoke-related disease. Some want to quit before they do. It is doable. It can be achieved. Come along for the ride and let us help you along the way. We've all been there and know exactly what you're going through. Go to the members tab and click on Active members, those are the people that are online at the time. Send them a message to their inbox or their message board. Trust me we'll respond to you. Ask away, ask for advice, help, anything you need, we're here. Think of it as the first day of spring and you get to open up the windows for the very first time after a very long and hard winter. Oh, it's so good to be free. Happy Hump Day, everyone !!!!!  

crazymama_Lori

Good morning Ex land

Posted by crazymama_Lori Nov 26, 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. I remember very clearly fighting to quit back in December. I tried everything because I wanted this done and wanted this done now. I remember the panic of the thought of quitting smoking. Heck, I've tried it many times before. It was almost like trying on shoes. If it didn't feel right, I just didn't buy it or do it. It was easier to just keep on smoking instead of learning why this is so hard. Of course it got easier once I realized that this is a lifelong thing. This will never go away. I just need to manage it and control it.

 

In my case, my father was an alcoholic and a very heavy smoker. He never quit until he lost his leg back in the '90s. My mother was a borderline alcoholic and a heavy smoker, but I have no memory of that as she quit when I was young. There's so many theories about what makes some people suceptible to smoking and others do not, as with alcohol. It's the wonderful world of how the brain works. Maybe someday they will have an answer to addiction. Like there is this little part of your brain that didn't grow right when you were young and is inflammed, or you caught this infection when you were very young and it caused you to be a smoker, here, take this pill and it will never come back again. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Why are some so easily swayed and others are not? Why are there people that can just smoke on the weekend and we're biting our nails and crawling the walls just to make it through a day? Is it genetics that we are more suceptible to smoking or is it just learned behavior? Simple answer to that one is we're addicts. But what makes us more prone to it? Is it because we were born with a shortage of dopamine receptors? There's so many theories out there that you could drive yourself insane chasing that answer.

 

Very early in my quit, I was chasing that answer. I was like a dog chasing my tail. But in actuality was it my addictive self just trying to find an excuse, create a reason to give up? I've always been a heavy thinker. Perhaps overthinking at times, but that's how I deal with my life. I have this thirst for knowledge and reasoning. It's probably an occupational hazard. The old saying of everything happens for a reason. 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. 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.

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I'll be heading up north very early tomorow morning.  I have work yet to be completed and running around to the bank and getting gas.  Traveling with an active beagle is an outer life experience since she loves hitting that button to make the window go up and down on the passenger side.  Don't mind it much in the summer, but the wintertime is another story. Hope every one remains smoke free over the holidays.  this will be my first Thanksgiving as a Ex-smoker.  Last year around this time I was a chain smoking fool.  Have a great day today and a blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow.  I'm thankful that I finally found my way and you can too !!!!!!!! 

crazymama_Lori

300 days

Posted by crazymama_Lori Nov 20, 2016

Well, folks, only 65 more days to go and I'll be a 6 percenter. Never thought I'd make it this far. To all of you starting out, give yourself 30 days. If that's too long, then give yourself 7 days at a time. After 30 days, you'll think you have this beat but then the frustration looms overhead because you want to know exactly how long this is going to take. They will tell you that it gets easier with time. I know in my case that answer was never good enough because I wanted to know exactly. Exactly when is this going to be over, when is this going away, when is this going to stop. I did my dance with the devil for 190 some days and we were whooping it up. The ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, the back and forth, the push and pull. Now, me and the devil or the devil and I (for you grammar *****) are doing a few slow side to side motion now. You know, those who have no clue how to dance but just want it to look good. My little devil friend is losing his power, his hold, his strength. But I know he'll hang around just in case and I accept that now.

 

I'll let you in on a little secret. Once you accept that you are an addict to nicotine, once you accept that this will never go away but becomes much more manageable, you are on your road to lifelong recovery. You have to accept that you are an addict, because you see, we cannot just stop at one. One puff is never enough. We have to smoke the whole cigarette and then it's another and another and, poof, the whole pack is gone. Then our little addictive brain kicks in and just waits for another life's dilemma to show up or a perceived dilemma to show up and we're off and running again. The first year is trying. I still have two more months to go until my year mark. You'll be amazed how much you used smoking for masking feelings and how many things you associate with it. Sometimes our anticipation of an event far surpasses the actual event itself. Once we get through it, we think wow, that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. You see we smoked like chimneys when we had to do something we didn't want to or were nervous about, mad about, but you can make that cycle stop. You have the power to make that cycle stop.

 

Smoking is an individual thing. We all use it for different things. You know what sets you off. You know what it takes for you to light up one. I've seen a few of you on here that somehow magically find a cigarette from somewhere and call it a relapse, a slip up, a whoops. But you know what, you consciously lit up that cigarette. You chose to light up that cigarette instead of giving yourself that five minutes. I wish there was an exact science to this. I read your struggles and feel for you. I wish I could give you an answer. In my case, it took 195 days, approximately 6 months, to finally get back to the swing of things. My major problem was feeling so damn foggy all the time. My concentration was waning. I still have times like that, but it is what it is. It doesn't bother me much anymore. I made that cycle stop. I have the power to make that stop.

 

Things in life that would happen would frustrate me or anger me, upset me in general, sometimes self inflicted just to give me an excuse, would send me over the top and have me running to the store for a pack. If you're starting off, throw everything away, lighters, empty out and clean out all ashtrays and put them out of your sight, place them in the garage, the attic. No more smoking in your house. If you have a significant other that smokes, then agree on a place for them to smoke and then just don't go in there. The first 30 days, if I smelled smoke, that would trip me off. Try putting Vicks under your nose so you don't have to smell it. Suck on a menthyl cough drop. Try cutting up straws the length of a cigarette or buy yourself cinnamon sticks and have that between your fingers when you drive or doing something that you normally smoke at.

 

You have to retrain yourself. Remember this is a thing you did ritualistically for a very long period of your life. Many times we didn't even think about smoking and just grabbed for the pack. I did that many times in my first 60 days. I'd just go and reach for it and it was not there. Go back in my blogs, read them, do you see yourself yet? Go back in some of the other elders on here and read their older blogs, Marilyn, Terrie, Nancy. It's amazing how similar we all are. How we go through somewhat the same phases, the self-realization, the same roller coaster. Addiction is a funny little thing. It just never goes away. It's that itch that you just can't scratch. You scratch it, it comes back twice as bad. Remember your mom used to say, if you keep touching that, it won't heal. Just don't go there. Come here instead. If you don't want to blog, then read, hear the words that people are saying. You can do this. It's doable. It becomes too much, then simply remove yourself from that space and find something else to do. It passes. It goes away. Learn meditation, deep breathing exercises. Terrie has one on her page. And once you get there, it's a glorious thing. It really is. Stick with us. Believe in yourself. You can make this possible. You are your own legacy.  

crazymama_Lori

Come Saturday morning

Posted by crazymama_Lori Nov 19, 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. Whew, what a week I've had. Feel like I'm writing my Christmas letter here. Been working 16 to 18 hours a day. Been over a year since I've had this much work all at one time. So this was a first for me not sitting here chain smoking because I was stressed to the gills. Puffing away thinking there's not enough hours in a day to get everything done. Just amazes me now how I thought that smoking was going to take away that stress. Thinking back in that first 30 days just thinking to myself, this is too hard, I'm too stressed right now to quit, I have to smoke right now to get this all done. Well, surprise, surprise, I am proof that I truly didn't need to. I just wanted to.

 

I remember way back then the Elders were telling me that it will get better. Give it time. It will be easier. I'd just shout out when, just tell me when. You see, us smokers, we want it and want it all now. Not six months from now and not working and striving to our goal. We need to start taking each small victory and turning to the next challenge. Sure, I did find myself saying this week, boy, could I ever go for a cigarette right now. But you know what, that thought stayed with me for as long as it took to say it. I said it, I acknowledged it as simply the thought that it was, and I went back to my work again. If you stay committed, 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.

 

There's nothing wrong with thinking those crazy thoughts once in a while. It's not like we're going to run to the store and start puffing up a storm again. It's just really a saying now. Kind of like this is going to drive me to drink. Just a phrase, no biggy. Give yourself a break once in a while. Be gentle with yourself. We all know life is full of stress, frustration. 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 for awhile 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.

 

We'd love to have you join us!