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crazymama_Lori Blog

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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. Glad to see new people signing up again. I'm looking forward to see that freedom train with a huge list of quitters to celebrate. Of course once we quit, it's a celebration all onto itself. If I counted right, I should have 300 days in on my birthday this month. If you don't believe there's a reason for everything, I think that's pretty neat it falls that way. 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.

 

We know is life is full of stress, frustration, in my case bewilderment. 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!

Lord have mercy, what a week. I had that wedding I attending and survived.... did not smoke. I had my furnace die on me and it's now 40 degrees in my house ….... did not smoke. I have a stepdaughter calling constantly for something for my mother-in-law …..... did not smoke. I have a boatload of work piling in and can't seem to get to it because the stepdaughter is constantly calling …..... did not smoke. A whole host of daily frustrations that go on around here....... did not smoke. Oh, I could have just gotten in my car and drive to a gas station somewhere in this town and bought a pack of cigarettes, light up and be back at ground zero. Is that 5 to 10 minutes of flame worth all that trouble? I think not. Why would I even entertain the thought of going back just to go through this again because I was upset/frustrated/depressed/sad/angry. Those things will never go away. They will always be there day in and day out because that's just life in general.

 

One thing we know is 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 sorrows 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.

 

We'd love to have you join us!

crazymama_Lori

My first 30 days

Posted by crazymama_Lori Nov 4, 2016

I've seen a lot of posts from people who have been failing before and just after they hit the 30-day mark. I'll give you my story and maybe you can relate to it for those of you that haven't heard it already. And this is a long one, so buckle up.

 

I started my dance with the devil at age 12. Overweight kid, alcoholic father, growing up in the '60s, stay-at-home mom. Didn't have a lot of friends when I was younger, preferred to stay with my mommy. Quite the introvert, but cigarettes changed that. Don on the green army jacket with a cigarette out of my mouth and I was a tough kid. Age 16, I was a full-blown nicotine addict. Back then it was kick the habit. Remember those god-awful Now cigarettes. Gee, those were supposed to be better for you because of the lower tar and nicotine. Mr. Big Tobacco really sold that one.

 

Just an excerpt from an article from the Reports from the Surgeon General:

The report highlighted the deleterious health consequences of tobacco use. Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General held cigarette smoking responsible for a 70 percent increase in the mortality rate of smokers over non-smokers. The report estimated that average smokers had a nine- to ten-fold risk of developing lung cancer compared to non-smokers: heavy smokers had at least a twenty-fold risk. The risk rose with the duration of smoking and diminished with the cessation of smoking. The report also named smoking as the most important cause of chronic bronchitis and pointed to a correlation between smoking and emphysema, and smoking and coronary heart disease. It noted that smoking during pregnancy reduced the average weight of newborns. On one issue the committee hedged: nicotine addiction. It insisted that the "tobacco habit should be characterized as an habituation rather than an addiction," in part because the addictive properties of nicotine were not yet fully understood, in part because of differences over the meaning of addiction.

 

The 1964 report on smoking and health had an impact on public attitudes and policy. A Gallup Survey conducted in 1958 found that only 44 percent of Americans believed smoking caused cancer, while 78 percent believed so by 1968. In the course of a decade, it had become common knowledge that smoking damaged health, and mounting evidence of health risks gave Terry's 1964 report public resonance. Yet, while the report proclaimed that "cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action," it remained silent on concrete remedies. That challenge fell to politicians. In 1965, Congress required all cigarette packages distributed in the United States to carry a health warning, and since 1970 this warning is made in the name of the Surgeon General. In 1969, cigarette advertising on television and radio was banned, effective September 1970.

 

We traveled through life without a care in the world because it was just seen as a habit back then, like biting your nails. Even though advertising was banned on television and radio, the print media was still banging their drum on the tobacco train. Then in the '80s the nicotine patch came out. Hmm what is this new thing. An addict, what in the world are they talking about. Certainly not me.

 

I think all of my prior quits lasted 5 days. In that span, I talked myself into this is too hard, I can't take this anymore, I'm too stressed, the list went on. Now I understand that's my addicted self just talking myself into feeding it what it craves. Interesting concept, life moved on before I ever smoked, why can't it move on now? Why is the hands of time stopped because I don't have a cigarette in my hand. And let me tell you, I was a big-time chain smoker. When I was conscious of my smoking, I could keep it down to a pack and a half a day. When I was just frazzled (self-inflicted, of course), we're talking 2 to 3 packs a day and then of course alcohol was mixed in there too for good measure.

 

Then the government decided to hike up the tax on cigarettes. Man, were those things getting expensive. Let's roll our own. What I was thinking there, I have no clue. The worst mistake of my life. That was short lived because guess what? I was having a hard time breathing. Of course, in my mind it was because of the pipe tobacco. It had nothing to do with smoking at that time for 40 years. The rationale is mind blowing to me now that I think about it. But again, enter the addictive mind. Give me what I need at whatever cost it takes. Give it to me and give it to me NOW.

 

Okay, well, finally I'll get to my first 30 days. I joined this site back in 2015. I lurked in the shadows. I'd log in and then not come back for 6 months or so. I was at that time doing the e-cigs, the drops, the wellbutrin, the cleansing pills, anything and everything that would just simply make this go away, make this easier because those 5 days in the past were not fun. I researched and researched different sites and different theories. I had a conversation with my doctor about it. Talking to ex-smokers about it in the community just didn't cut it because they were of the philosophy of just quit. I smoked my last cigarette and that was it. Oh, I went on Chantix or Wellbutrin and that helped. They mentioned nothing about weird things happening to your body like sudden prickling in your hands, feet, or face. These bizarre mood swings. Being a menopausal woman, I'm a champ at those. This all-encompassing depression. It sweeps over and just drags you down. I was never depressed before.

 

Then I started at times, wish I knew then what I know now, removing the crazy emotion and just watching at how long these mood swings, sensations, physical symptoms lasted. How sometimes in the beginning of the day it hits and then just disappears. They were almost like having a physical craving in the beginning (the first 2 weeks), then they just went away. Then I started hitting the books on the explanation for that. Why is that happening and why am I seeing it happen to others at approximately the same time. I had this link to another blog I wrote, but it just explained so much, at least to me, that I wasn't going crazy. There's actual science to all this. Here's the article: http://www.achoice2live.com/quitting-smoking-gets-easier/.

 

As I'm getting closer to my year anniversary, I can see the truth in this article. A lot of people call it NML (No Man's Land), but I personally think it's more than that. Yes, people think you should be over it by now, it shouldn't be that difficult after all this time. But I'm of the thinking that if you don't take the time to look into yourself and understand what you used smoking for, to bolster some insecurity, to replace a loved one, to give you hugs when no one else will, these self-soothing actions or emotions, you're going back to smoking in a heartbeat when one of many reasons you use smoking to replace happens. There's an exercise on here that helped me a great deal to identify when and why I smoked. It actually made me stop and think and put to pen and paper or keyboard to screen my smoking habits. I'm addicted to the nicotine. The smoking is an action I performed every day, multiple times a day. When you separate the two and not see them as one distinct thing, you're on the road to success.

 

Another thing that helped a great deal is going back in some of the Elder's blogs. An Elder is someone who has a year in of being smoke-free. They are around here. Some have their quit dates as part of their screen name. Go to their early blogs, way back in the beginning of their quit. Read their entries and you'll see yourself there. You'll see that everyone went through the same thing. This is a process that is for the rest of your life. When you get further along, you're going to find you think about it less, the thought sometimes never crosses your mind anymore, but it's always there when you are at your weakest. I call smoking the perpetual band-aid. When we are in need to cover up something we don't like or is hurt, we smoke. Let that settle in for a minute. You have an addictive mind and addictive tendencies and that's just what we do. Is it genetics? Is it a predisposed tendency? Is it something we learned because we were around someone who smoked? Is it just part of our brain chemistry? Those answers are remained to be answered.

 

Your success to quitting is in your head. It's not from a pill, patch, gum, strip, though those can be used as a tool. But your main tool is your brain, your willpower, your commitment. Are you willing to finally say no matter what happens, no matter what, I will do this. If never is not part of your vocabulary, if never scares the hell outta you, then simply say I will do this today. I will not have a cigarette today. I cannot tell you how many times I chanted either out loud or in my head, you can do this, you can do this. The fogginess was my hardest part. I felt so scatterbrained in the beginning. Drove me nuts. I simply had to start making lists to remember. When I felt super frustrated or angry, I cleaned something or did deep breathing or took a walk, a break. I acknowledged the feeling and I acted proactively about it. I didn't dwell on it. I didn't obsess about it. I acted on it.

 

I never did that before in my other quits. I dwelled on it and went and bought a pack a cigarettes because it was just easier that way. Take a few minutes and get to know yourself. Develop a game plan. You get to the point in the first 30 days where you find yourself wanting to run to that store, STOP. Say to yourself, what am I feeling right now? Okay, what can I do to fix this? Why is this upsetting me so much? When you are pondering different ways to solve the problem, didn't that impulse to go get those cigarettes pass? I'm sure it did. You don't have to have a Ph.D. To quit smoking. You don't have to be a psychologist. This isn't rocket science. This is all about your resolve to be committed, to be proactive, to treat yourself kindly and not act on your impulses. STOP, DROP and ROLL. Take just a few minutes before you act on those impulses. I'm about 2 ½ months away from being quit a year. Could I easily go and buy a pack and light up today? I most certainly can. I choose not to because I'm never going back to day one ever. How could you even be thinking about doing the same? You know that one leads to 20 or more. Let's be honest now. That's the reality check we need to reinforce to ourselves when in our weakest moments. It is truly worth it??????

crazymama_Lori

Once upon a time

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 31, 2016

I'll give you a little glimpse into my day yesterday and several things that resonated with me. In about 20 days or so, I'll have 300 days in, 65 more to go until a year. My estranged daughter was married yesterday. We were invited. Father walked her down the aisle. I was basically a guest. I wasn't involved in the planning, the decorating, the “getting ready” festivities only because I was never made aware of them. She chose to have her step sister and her soon to be sister-in-law partake in those things, not her mother and only sister. It broke my heart and now I've just come to accept the bad behavior and not argue about it. She's 31 years old. She has her own way of seeing things and can't seem to see them my way. That's just the way it is and it cannot be changed. I try to change it and she turns and attacks. I will not tolerate the behavior any longer because I don't have to. 280 days ago, I'd be puffing away on a cigarette and biting my tongue. Now, I don't smoke and am very forthright with my feelings. I don't need to hide behind the smoke anymore. I acknowledge my feelings now, ask myself if physically there is a way to change the situation. If not, I place that feeling in a drawer and shut it. I'm not going to let it bother me because I cannot change it.

 

A friend of my daughter's showed up whom I have known since her high school days and of which I have not seen in over a year. And at a tender age of 31, she's an alcoholic. Father died of alcoholism and she's showing the wear. Slipping off to her car because that's where the vodka bottle is. Walking very slowly so no one will notice the stagger. 280 days ago I'd be puffing over that because it bothers me. Now I just simply watch her and offer my hand and a hug to let her know that my door is always open if she ever feels the need to talk about things that might be bothering her. This behavior has the possibility of being changed, but only if she wants to change it. Hopefully her and I can have a long talk someday.

 

Now to get back to really the purpose of these revelations. The first one is when loneliness, hurtfulness, sadness, frustration hits, acknowledge those feelings. When we smoked, we used that to place the perpetual band-aid over the owee. We never really resolved anything because we were too busy chain-smoking the bad feeling away. Or we found ourselves really escalating the feeling so that we could justify running to the store to buy a pack of those band-aids to make everything better. Why, oh, why do we give those things such power? They never really gave us any joy. Personally I think they slowed us down somewhat. We always had to stop to have a smoke before completing anything. Is it just the ritual of breathing in deeply and then exhaling slowly? Why did it have to be with a cigarette when we can certainly do it without and a lot easier.

 

Change up your thinking. Make a list of insteads. After a meal INSTEAD of smoking, I will …....... We're all a creature of habit. Think of the route that you take to work everyday. Think of the daily tasks you do at your job everyday. We do them everyday out of habit, routine, it's just a ritual I go through every morning. It's hard to break out of bad routines if we continue doing them the same way everyday. It's a little awkward at first, but eventually it becomes second nature. You find yourself stopping to think of what you're doing at first, but eventually it becomes a new habit, a new routine. Smoking is the same way. We've done it for so many years and for so many times every single day that when we stop, we're confused.

 

In the beginning, you'll find yourself reaching for that phantom pack when you're frustrated or whatever emotion you used smoking for. Some it's anger, relaxation, sadness, the list goes on. Mine was thinking over something, calming myself down. What I do INSTEAD is writing out pros and cons to something I'm pondering about or doing deep breaths when I'm calming myself down. Now, in the beginning, I had to consciously think about doing those two things because I never did them before. I just lit up a cigarette and you can bet that in 10 minutes I'd do the same routine again and solving nothing in the process. Now being a nonsmoker, I solve that problem or figure out a solution in that 10 minutes and I can move on to something else. I don't have to come back to it in 10 minutes or an hour. It's taken care of.

 

Just remember we'll take care of you here. We're all kinds of different people from different walks of life striving towards the same goal, helping people navigate through becoming an ex-smoker. We sometimes have different ways of doing it, of helping someone through, but we all have the exact same goal, helping you quit and keeping you that way. So at the end of day, don't ever be afraid to ask a question, write a blog, expression an opinion, a feeling. We're all here to help you get to where we are today........ THIS IS DOABLE

Well, happy Saturday morning to all you fellow Ex'ers. Hope this finds everyone finer than frog's hair and ready to take on the day. For you newbies, hang in there. Give us 30 days and see how you feel. Keep a list of the things you've noticed about yourself, i.e. easier to breathe, more pep to your step, less wheezing, the list goes on. You will have increased sensitivity and frustration. Some do just fine. This is just such a personal, tailored thing. No one quit is exactly the same.

 

But one thing we know is 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 sorrows 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

 

We'd love to have you join us!

It's funny now to look at how people react to the developing me. I'm not going to say a new me because I'm always a work in progress. When I stop evolving, then it's time to lay down for the last time. But I thought I'd share what I noticed about my family, friends, acquaintances I haven't seen in a year.

 

I live in small town USA. Basically it's cliquey, gossipy, just an all around fun place to be for an snarky old lady like myself. I grew up in a larger city and moved here back in 1981 and met and married my husband in 1982. My husband has been one of those occasional smokers. He can start and stop anytime he wanted to (curse his soul)........ anyhooo, I've been a chain smoking steam engine ever since I was 16. Tried the first slow dance with nicotine at age 12. None of my existing friends, even high school friends that I've kept in contact with knew me as a nonsmoker. My children have always known me as a smoker as have my husband.

 

Oh, sure, they all wanted me to quit but I always gave them the classic response of when I'm ready, I'll quit. Well, after many failed attempts (don't think I ever made it past 5 days), they were all doubting Thomasas. Yeah, yeah, we've heard this before. Then the realization of 1 week turned into 30 days turned into 274 days, coming close to a year. They are I think at times still waiting for me to fail again. People who I know in town see me and are quite shocked to hear that I gave up drinking and smoking at the same time. The woman who always preached that she only had two vices in life and I'm not giving them up now.

 

Now, my older daughter who still drinks seems to find the need to now suddenly bring up that I've always seemed so aloof and now more so. She was a former smoker but really was like her father, smoked hither and yon and actually still does. She's the one claiming that I now need an antidepressant because I've cut everyone off. Well, no, I'm just simply going through my first year being a nonsmoker and every gathering you have involves alcohol. Now, I'm more comfortable around it, but I sure wasn't back when I started my quit. I find I don't have much tolerance for people that do stupid things while drinking. This perspective or attitude has just shown up over the last few months for her. I'm doing fine, I think. She just lost her drinking buddy.

 

Then we have my other daughter. Thank goodness I only have two, otherwise we'd be here all morning!!!! She is my smoker who gave up drinking but still is smoking. She did have a hard time when in the beginning I was withdrawn and sadgry and just basically pissed off at the world. God, mom, you should finally be over all of that. That finally came to an end when she accepted that she lost her smoking buddy. This is how it's going to be. I'm not going back to make you more comfortable.

 

Now, enters my husband. We actually have a better relationship now because we talk more. I could never smoke around him because it was really starting to bother him. The secondhand smoke for the last 35 years was taking its toll. He doesn't have to come into a house smelling like an ashtray. He's still dealing with my straight up attitude now. When I'm angry, I'm going to let you know about it and we're done. The only thing he had problems dealing with was the over sensitivity in the very beginning. The oh, poor me, blah, blah, blah. I'll be honest, I'll get those every once in a while. But I understand that's a trigger for me to smoke or drink and I've learned to address the problem head on now. Get over it and go about my day.

 

Friends who haven't seen me in over a year and are smokers will almost run the other way when they see me coming if they know that I've quit smoking. Basically in this town, the only real thing to do is hang out in a bar. Everything around here seems to be centered around alcohol. When you don't drink anymore and don't want to be around that, you do seem to lose touch with quite a few people. I'm not a preachy type of quitter. I'll give you advice when you ask for it face to face. Here if you find I'm just out of line or pushing the envelope too far, just tell me to back off. I respect that. No worries. I guess the point of this long-winded blog is that when you are traveling through the maze of quitting, discovering new things about yourself, about others around you, what trips you up, what lifts you up, just remember that you have the command of this ship. You are the captain navigating how difficult this journey will be. It's time to be a little selfish and worry about yourself. How you perceive life in general will be changing for you. If you were truly addicted like myself and really had a more emotional tie to smoking, you'll finally come to a realization of how much we used smoking and the gray curtain to hide things, to stuff things down, to mask what we were feeling or perhaps even what we didn't want to bring out. Embrace the day. Find something every day to smile about, laugh about, shake your head about. Life is all about choices and you can choose to be an Ex-smoker..........  

crazymama_Lori

Hard to believe

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 24, 2016

Who would have thought that I'd have a full-term quit under my belt, 9 months, wow. I remember back in 2010 when the smoking ban went into effect and trickled down into the smaller towns like ours. They already had it in the bigger towns surrounding us in the resteraunts. I never stayed long or even sometimes refused to go during the wintertime to establishments because they didn't have enclosed structures for smokers. I mean, seriously, how crazy is that? I don't have to worry about that anymore. I'm finally venturing out more, but that's for another day.

 

I remember flying and the very first thing I looked for was the smoking section. Doing the mad dash for it after getting off the plane. I'm not as rushed anymore with anything. I'm not scrambling for the extra pack of cigarettes, the lighter, gum for places where I couldn't smoke. That was always my prerequisite, if I can't smoke there, I'm not going. Now, I shake my head at that thinking. I watch the smokers running outside after they have their meal standing in a circle. Well, there goes 10 minutes that you could be conversing with someone, spending time with a loved one.

 

Always remember, and I'm speaking from experience as we all are, this is doable. It's an interesting journey. Some people have a very rough time at it emotionally. Some have to white knuckle it no matter what. Some look for that quick fix, some medication, some remedy that will make this easier. The real secret to quitting is to make the decision, making a comittment and sticking to it no matter what. I'm glad that I'm committed. I am never going back to day one when I see how far I've come, oh, hell naw. If you get in tune with why you smoke, if you take the time to replace the why with something else, you got this........... YOU GOT THIS!!!!!!!!  

crazymama_Lori

finer than frog's hair

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 22, 2016

Well, good morning, fellow Ex'ers. Good morning to all the Elders and to all the new quitters out there. This is doable even though in the beginning you scream that this isn't possible, it's too hard, I just can't do this. But take the time to do the suggested reading on here before your quit date. Learn as much as you can about how to quit sucessfully, what nicotine is and does to a person's body. The fun thing about this site is that we all have our own philosphy on quitting. Some like cold turkey. Some like the patch, gum, lozenges. Some like Chantix or Wellbutrin. But one thing we all agree on is to identify what you think personally are your triggers, things that make you most likely to smoke. That is what makes this your own, tailored plan and probably why it can be frustrating at times when you can't find precise answers. So take the time and identify your triggers, what you think makes you smoke.

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. 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

 

We'd love to have you join us!

crazymama_Lori

Calling all Elders

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 19, 2016

I've got a question for you wonderful people.  I've noticed over the past month or so (I'm now almost 9 months into my quit) that some family members are expressing concern because I'm not very active in things.  I'm pretty secure in my quit and still have moments hither and yon where I simply am not feeling up to being around people.  Not often, but every so often.  I think I'm more analytical now because I think it's more important to understand why I did things the way I used to and then just move along.  Did any of you ever have that experience with family members?  Some thinking that you need medication to make this go easier or make you less withdrawn?  Most of my family never knew me as a nonsmoker/nondrinker before ever.  Just curious if any of you ever ran into this.  Any insight would be appreciated.

crazymama_Lori

Faces of Addiction

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 15, 2016

I think it's interesting to see when people started smoking, when they came to the realization to stop smoking and their reasons for doing so. Most started smoking because they thought it made them look cool in adolescence. Somehow it gave them confidence and power, toughness. Others started smoking because they believed it relieved their stress. Others started smoking because they really enjoyed the taste of a cigarette and the smell of it. I was the latter.

 

There are many reasons to stop smoking, COPD, emphazema, circulation problems, the list goes on. Some stop because their significant other wants them to stop. They somehow feel that their physical presence or impression to others are now looked upon badly. Their loved ones have noticed some debillitating aspect showing up that they are concerned about and want them to stop. Mine was the mixture of increased headaches and dizzy spells and shortness of breath when doing any type of physical activity. Some people simply stop for a time or try to quit because their insurance rates could be or will be increased or to passify someone in their lives and then they just go back to it.

 

I know in my case all the previous very short stints of quitting, anger was my biggest trigger. Sometime I would simply find anything or everything to be angry about and just run to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes, because my addictive mind told me that it would make everything better. That will calm you down. Realizing some of those triggers are very important even in an 8 ½ month quit like mine. Just the other day I had roofers, complainers, barking dogs, three people wanting something from me all at the same time and wanting it NOW. I could have very easily went to the store and bought a pack of cigarettes and started puffing away like a steam engine. BUT what would that help, what would that change, what would that make anything easier or better for me?

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. 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

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I'm just so glad that I took the time to write down my triggers, research on the internet why I'm reacting or why other people are reacting to the same emotional rollercoaster this is. I've got quite a few things on the fire right now and they are giving me anxiety. I understand why they are there, but it's there nonetheless. For some unknown reason I gave the mighty white tube my strength and security in my life. If I was smoking I could face just about anything. All insecurities were off the table. Add a little alcohol in there, watch out. Now I just have me, myself and I. That's it. But really, is it that bad? Did I not have the strength and fortitude that was there all along with or without that cigarette in hand? Why in the back of my mind did I think that was my encouragement, my inner cheerleader to push me forward, to give me that helping hand? We all used smoking for various things in our lives. This is probably the most straightforward article I've found that really makes you think twice: http://www.tobaccofreemaine.org/quit_tobacco/staying_tobacco_free.php. That identifies quite a few triggers that you may not have even realized.

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. 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

 

We'd love to have you join us!

I've always had trouble with insomnia off and on throughout my life.  But I'm just wanting some feedback here.  I come here every day to gain more and more insight into what keeps people quit, why they lose their quit, why they fight their quit to help me understand when I have times like these.

We all go through pretty much the same stages but at different times and at different levels.  The first 2 months are fighting the everyday changing our routines and breaking our patterns of when we quit.  The next 2 to 4 months are trying to understand why we are making smoking so important or discovering ways to replace that.  At 6 months some have the thought of what I like to call the test driving phase.  Where we feel comfortable enough in our quits that we think that one won't hurt.  Trust me I've thought about it, but I won't go there.

The problem I'm having now, and probably due to lack of sleep, weight gain, but I have seen it in a few members on here at around my stage, day 245 to 260, I'm at 254, where it's frustrating that the struggle is still there.  Just last night my youngest (the drama queen) was over and was frustrating me.  Or really I allowed her to frustrate me instead of using my deep breathing, removing myself, gather my thoughts, and go back to it.  Instead I just came in the house, sat down at the kitchen table and said to her fiance, you know, after 8 and a half months, you would think it would be easier.  It just seems like a constant battle.  That conversation inside my head after that lasted for a few hours with some really, really strong desires to smoke.

You know, I know that winter is coming.  I know that this is my first fall.  I didn't stop smoking until the end of January and was fighting to quit all through that two months, December and beginning of January.  I know I'm lacking in sleep.  I don't like taking naps because then I'm up all night again.  Melatonin gives me very aggressive dreams.  Benadryl only knocks me out for a few hours.  I know this is only a stage, but someone explain to me exactly why at around these many days am I struggling so hard?  It's not only me but I've seen it happen with others.  Why at days 250 to a year that you struggle?  Why?  Does anyone have a direct answer or even a resemblance of one?  I'm not looking for some cryptic, riddle response.  Has anyone really came to the answer of why or is it one of those personal things again which never gives my any answer?  Does anyone know?

Well, it's that time again. It's close to daylight savings time. The days are getting shorter. There's a crisp feeling to the air outside. Another season is starting to roll out again. For us newbies and midbies (out of NML but not quite to a year), it's just another first. First time going through another season as a nonsmoker. We never know how to handle it but we sure anticipate the worst. The anticipation is your brain, your addictive brain, telling you that there's no way you'll be able to handle it on your own. Oh, gosh, no. You needed me last year around this time, you'll surely need me this time.

 

Anticipation is the thought of things that haven't even happened yet. A prediction of things to come. Sometimes they happen; sometimes they don't. Just take a minute and recognize that trigger. Figure out what you're using it for. If you're going to exercise something, exercise that brain. Okay. I used smoking during this event, time of season, family gathering for _______ fill in the blank. Whatever you filled in the blank with, think about it now, what are you going to REPLACE that with and then use it.

 

Just remember, those triggers are everywhere and will pop up from time to time. It's called life and life doesn't stop when you stop smoking. Life is full of stress, frustration. It's important to learn how to act differently to the reactions that we did for so many years. 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

 

We'd love to have you join us!

This is what I decided six years ago, five years ago and every year thereafter until I started noticing increasing dizzy spells or what I so fondly call them head rushes. I started noticing heart palpations. I'm a woman. We don't have the classic signs of heart attacks.

 

I remember the old saying, well, if you gotta die of something, it might as well be something I enjoy doing. I swore I was never going to give up the two things left that I enjoy doing, drinking and smoking. By god, I clung to those two things with all my might. Then the minor health problems started creeping up, the shortness of breath, the wheezing and the list goes on.

 

Ever wonder why you waited so long? Why does it take a debilitating illness or even a hint of one to make us want to finally quit smoking? Some believe we have emotional ties to smoking. Some think it's a physical thing, something in our brains. Some even think it's genetics. My father was a heavy smoker. My mother was. Back in the '60s, everyone smoked. Watch an old movie sometime, you're bound to see a smoker somewhere at sometime.

 

What brings us to the mighty white cancer stick? We know it's bad for us. We've read enough and seen enough on media to convince us. What do we see that that white stick can do for us that we can't do for ourselves? Only you and you alone can answer that question. I don't buy the excuse of I don't know why I went back to smoking. I don't know why. Oh, yes, you do. You're just not looking hard enough. Habits can be broken. Addictions can be overcome. Only you can finally make that decision of I'm done. I'm just not doing this anymore. If you can't figure it out, then at the time you're craving a cigarette, think to yourself, am I angry, frustrated, what is driving me to that cigarette that I can't solve myself? Put some effort into this!!!!

 

Only you can make the commitment of I'm never picking up another cigarette. If you can't do the words, and they are only words, you know, of NEVER, then just simply think of it I'm not picking up another cigarette for today. I'm more of a long range planner type of gal. I'm one of those 5-year plan type of people. I see far down the road. I like to think of myself on top of a crest of hill and getting ready to sail down. But only YOU can make that determination for yourself. If it's easier to take it one day at a time, do it. But do come to the decision of I'M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE...........