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polly2

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Posted by polly2 Jan 23, 2017

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I smoked for 39 years and have quit several hundred times, only to get caught up in the insanity of this dirty habit over and over again. Try to picture 426,000 cigarettes smoked. Ughhhh...It's not a pretty picture! I'm wondering if they would even fit in the room I'm sitting in right now! I'd rather look at pictures through my camera, thank you!

  I've come to realize that this is more of a mental addiction, than a physical one, that is firmly implanted in my subconscious. When cravings come, I negate them by thinking, "Smoking is not an option -- PERIOD!" That eliminates me from playing all the head games, which caused me to cave in every other time I quit. The support from this site is awesome! It has given me much to read, many ideas to strengthen my mental resolve, as well as a place to reach out for help. Helping others is often the best way to help ourselves! In the past, I focused on just getting through the physical cravings. My longest quit was for a year. I got caught in the "Just one won't hurt me trap!" God knows how many times I've done that! There is no such thing as one for me now!!

  I'm an outdoors kind of girl. My passion is water. I was sailing before I was even a thought! Today, I kayak as often as I can! Kayaking is awesome, because if you get in the right place at the right time, it's just you and the inherent beauties of Mother Nature! Somehow, smoking doesn't fit in too good -- LOL! Have you ever seen a picture of someone kayaking with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth? See what I mean?

  Half the fun for me is sneaking up on big Blue Herons (when I can find them). Usually I can get within 5-10 feet before they start to do their departure walk, which always ends in a huge wing-spanned flight. Watching them fly, while being so close, is absolutely breathtaking! By the way, their departure walk is hysterical to imitate -- very long legged and gawky -- sort of like a 10 foot person doing "Walk Like an Egyption," in slow motion!

  I'm also a writer. Short stories and poetry are my forte. I have a book in the making and I need to get it organized, edited and published. My 80 year old Mom is my Editor. Bless her heart, she does an awesome job! In addition, I am a sometimes Artist, although my artwork is really coming out more than not in my photography!

  "I see my life like a huge painted canvas. Deep, bright, muted, rich and varied colors with delicate designs fill it. It’s easy to get tangled in the small details, which can cause me to lose sight of the whole picture. I must always remember not to put too much clutter in my canvas, for when it loses its composition, then I too am lost. Good composition requires compatibility integrated with total harmony."

  This is one of my "Thoughts for the Day." It applies to smoking as well -- not getting too tangled in the details is another way of saying, "Don't analyze this too much with negative thought, JUST DO IT and put your mind to rest! Give your quit some well thought out composition!

  Thanks to all of you who have continually supported me and helped to pave the way for the rest of us! We're following in your footsteps. My wish for you is that we never, ever catch up with you!! Keep on keeping on!!

Your Become An EX Box

Tobacco companies continue to blatantly market their products to America's youth. Help stop Big Tobacco.
Join the fight to Stop Big Tobacco.

This is a tribute to the late Dan Fogelburg. I will always have a place deep in my heart for him. He "Shines in the Depth of My Darkness," and I hope he will for you too!"


OLD TOWN SACRAMENTO GOLD RUSH DAYS!

Hmm...seems to be some sort of message here...

Even in the darkest gloomiest places, there is always light. That light lies within us. It’s up to us to use it, abuse it or lose it. -- Polly

Nemo, where are youuuuuuuuuuu?

Ah, a beautiful sweet smelling rose! However, a rose does have thorns. So what does this have to do with smoking? Remember that as beautiful as you are as a non-smoker (and you are), there will always be a thorn here and there to prick you along the way. However, what is a rose without it thorns?

Saint Francis wrote: "It is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven." I'd like to add that we, at times, are our own worst enemies, especially with the complex negative thoughts that wrap, weave and swirl around in our minds. For this reason it's important to forgive ourselves! I know that I wouldn't treat a friend the way I have and still do treat myself at times. I forgive me!!

My little buddy, "Stevey Wonder Dawg!"

Hey Ma, lookit me!

Sometimes the world seems to be upside down, when we think it should be right side up. Not too pretty, is it now? LOL! It's all a part of our imperfect, yet unique selves. It's up to us and only us to learn how to do flips!!

Custom Countdowns & MySpace Layouts Photobucket

FISH FACTS

Smoke from burning tobacco can settle into home aquariums. Many of the poisons in secondhand smoke, including nicotine and ammonia, are highly toxic to goldfish. Also, tobacco under your fingernails or nictotine stained fingers can pollute aquarium water and poison your goldfish.

DOG FACTS

Cancer causing agents can be found in a dog's hair and urine for months after being around secondhand smoke. dogs whose owners smoke are twice as liekly to develop cancer. Long-nosed dogs tent to get nasal and sinus cancer, while short-nosed dogs tent to get lung cancer.

CAT FACTS

 

Secondhand smoke gets on a cat's fur. When a cat cleans itself, it gets a large dose of the chemicals in the smoke. Cats who are exposed to secondhand smoke are three times as likely to develop lymphoma, a deadly cancer.

 

BIRD FACTS

Birds have extremely sensitive lungs. Being around secondhand smoke may cause birds to have serious lung problems, including lung cancer.


PLEASE VISIT MY ENTIRE PHOTO GALLERY BY CLICKING ON THE REDBUBBLE BANNER BELOW. THANKS!

Get creative on redbubble.com


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polly2

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by polly2 Nov 27, 2008
Sun drenched, cracked and hardened soil supported her frail body as she sat. Tears gently streamed down her face as insects landed on her face. Staring into the distance, as if caught in a daydream, the insects made no impact on her whatsoever. In the background, sounds of children wailing could be heard. Stomach bloated and legs that could no longer carry her, gave her a reason for her tears, which seemed to be endless.

Riddled with HIV, starving with nothing to eat, she was thinking about her two children. Her husband has already died from this horrible disease and she knew that she was soon to follow. Praying for her children, she asked God for food. Every single morsel of food that she had been rationed out was now being given to them. Her reason to remain on Earth in the flesh was to give her children everything she could before it was time for her to leave. Fear of dying was not a factor.


OK...That is just a quick write for us all to be reminded of how thankful we should be, not just today, but every day! Each and everyone of us here has a computer or access to a computer. We all have roofs over our heads as far as I know. Unlike the woman above we can walk, we have clean water, we can eat our fill of food, we have toilets to sit on, we have air-conditioning and/or heat. What a comparison, huh?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It helps me to remain humble and realize how blessed I am. Furthermore, it makes me think of what is important in life. Love and learning are my two main reasons for my being!

So, today I wish each and everyone of you a holiday that is full of gratitude for being a non-smoker or soon to become a non-smoker! Just think, we are giving ourselves life. Also, just like the woman above who is giving her children life, we too are making an impact on our loved ones, our pets and even the atmosphere as non-smokers.

My thanks goes to all of you! I am very, very grateful to have so many friends and to be on this journey with you! Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of love, light, laughter, friendship and great food! Keep on keepin' on and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
As many of you know, I recently relapsed. Prior to relapsing, I had a slip. After I slipped, I felt my foundation cracking beneath me. Determined to find answers, I took a week to really look deep within myself and figure out what was causing all of this. I thought it might be helpful to look at, as well as to add your ideas to my list, on how to get back on track! Thanks to each and every single one of you who has showered me with love, hugs, laughter, as well as being sounding boards!
1. For the first 3-5 days our body’s blood sugars drop. This can make us feel much worse. Drink lots of juice or eat 3 oranges a day (healthier), to not only get a good dose of Vitamin C, but to also restore your blood sugars back to normal. Also, you can buy Glucose tablets at most pharmacy’s and they will accomplish the same results – eat about 4 per day.
2. Forgive yourself and remember that you are human. Humans were meant to make mistakes. We learn from them! Learning the hard way is the best lesson ever. It is harder to quit the second time around so don’t beat up upon yourself! Instead, dust yourself off and get back up on your horse! Relapses are not failures unless we don’t try to quit again.
3. Keep a journal and write about two things. First how you feel physically, mentally and spiritually. Secondly, write down why you are grateful to be a non-smoker. You can write in it while you sip your coffee, which will keep your mind busy! This journal can come in very handy as a reference, if you feel shaky further into your quit. Sometimes, as we get further and further away from HELL week, we forget just how tough it can be. Flipping back to our writings during HELL week is an awesome way to remember.
4. Pray to the God of your understanding if you have one. Pray for those you love. Pray for those who are less fortunate than you in 3rd world countries, starving, homeless, diseased and thirsty for clean water. Also pray for those who are in war-torn countries, for those who are homeless, for those who are suffering from natural disasters, diseases and for those who are losing their homes. Finally pray for yourself. Ask your God to take away your desire to smoke. You may even want to write your prayer in your journal. It is said that when you think things and then write them down, that you are giving yourself a double dose!!
5. Make a daily pledge every single day. It will help you to be true to yourself and others!
6. Eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy snacks in between. We all know that when we quit smoking that our metabolism drops. Many of us also cut down on caffeine, which also raises our metabolism. Here are some foods that boost your metabolism:
a. Grapefruit
b. lean protein (energy drinks are great)
c. hot peppers
d. green tea
e. celery (you actually burn calories to break it down)
f. oatmeal
g. broccoli
h. spinach
i. coffee
j. whole grains
k. low-fat yogurt
l. salmon, tuna, and sardines
m. chicken noodle soup
n. apples and pears
o. water
p. whey protein
q. almonds
r. peanut butter
s. berries
t. cayenne pepper
u. beans
7. Also, eat lots of fiber as well. I found that I was getting constipated and added bran cereal to my diet. Also, apples, broccoli and pears are an excellent source of fiber!
8. Exercise, especially weight lifting, will help to increase your metabolism. Walking is a great way to stave of cravings, especially if you are outdoors – deep breathe!!
9. Meditate or repeat affirmations. Keep all affirmations positive. My affirmation/mantra used to be, “Smoking is not an option.” However, after doing further research, I learned that the NOT in that sentence is a big NO! Saying statements that have negative connotations purportedly do quite the opposite than your original intent. I now use, “I am a happy, healthy ex-smoker.” Some others, by Louis Hay are: “I relax and recognize my self worth.” “Life is easy and Joyful.” “I am willing to change and to grow. I now create a safe new future.” Also, there is a free meditation on www.meditainment.com that is a guided, relaxation meditation. You can do it while sitting at your computer. It only takes 10 minutes and it will clear your head, if you just let yourself relax and go with it!!!
10. Make some quit buddies here and check in with them every single day! If you can e-mail back and forth or chat with them online! It really helps!! Get their phone numbers and e-mails and call them if you need to!
11. I highly recommend www.quitsmokingonline.com . This site shows us how to observe cravings, as well as how to stop fighting them. Also do some reading on www.whyquit.com. There are so many good articles and videos there. You can also watch the video on my page. It will make you think twice, no doubt!!
12. If you feel like smoking, get online immediately and ask for help. There is almost always somebody online who can help you. Also, you may want to find out the phone number for a quit smoking hotline in your state. I was one never to reach out for help and that is NOT a good thing!
13. Put Vic’s Vapor rub in your nostrils!! Yes, I know it sounds horrible, but it does make you feel better. Also, arm yourself with cinnamon or peppermint altoids, jolly ranchers, gum, breathsavers, black licorice, cinnamon sticks to suck and inhale on, cut straws to keep your hands busy and to put in your mouth, shelled pistachios or sunflower seeds, etc.
14. Start sending people funny pictures. Laughter is the best medicine! Some great sites are www.ihasahotdog.com , www.ihasacheeseburger.com, www.bfreaky.com, www.photobucket.com . If you need help on how to use html, just ask anyone who is posting pictures!
15. Help others who are just beginning to quit. Not only will it help you, but you will also find great joy in knowing that you could possibly be helping someone to save their lives!
16. Baby steps and one day at a time are very important. Don’t focus on the future and the fact that you will never smoke again. That is overwhelming…Instead, tell yourself, “I am a healthy, happy non smoker today!” Don’t try to do too much at once. Instead prioritize and do what you can. You can always add more to your list as time goes on! Never overwhelm yourself.
17. Pick up a hobby or continue doing a hobby that you love! Keep your mind as busy as possible.
18. Go to www.youtube.com and do a search on quit smoking. You will find a whole slew of videos there that will make you think twice about lighting up.
19. Balance is tough. It’s impossible to achieve balance at all times, due to external forces that tend to interrupt our lives. However, harmony is very achievable! Fill your day with gratitude, humility, kindness and love.
20. Use the serenity prayer. We have the courage to change the things we cannot accept!!
21. Keep your guard up at all times. PROTECT your quit with ever ounce and fiber of your being!
PHEW…I think I am done, but I’m sure that I’ll think of more things as soon as I post this!!
I can’t thank those of you who have reached out to me and helped me enough! We are all one heck of a great team! Be proud of yourselves and pat yourselves on the back for your accomplishments!! We are all WORTHY of this precious gift called LIFE!! Keep on keepin’ on!!!
polly2

The clock is ticking!!

Posted by polly2 Nov 1, 2008
Hey all!

After watching both Michael Patterson's video (see his blog from yesterday), as well as watching video's that Donna put up in her blog from yesterday, I just couldn't smoke anymore last night. What really resonated with me was how selfish addictions are. We jump through hoops to get our fix, while hurting those we love -- some with 2nd hand smoke and others who worry or who eventually may have to watch us die. If I was to get lung cancer, it would probably kill my Mom. She puts on a pretty good face, but she worries much more than she admits.

I have to go to a meeting this morning so won't be back online until about 12 - 12:30 Pacific Standard Time. So many of you have gathered together to support me and I just can't begin to express my gratitude and thanks! Barbara, I'm ready to hop on the Peace Train!! Can we go to a a town called New Freedom via Take This Way Road today? I have lots of friends there who I would like to join!!

Wishing you all a very happy morning full of light, laughter and love! Thanks again for all you have done to help me get back to where I need to be!! BIG SMILES HERE!! Keep on keepin' on!!!
polly2

Relapse

Posted by polly2 Oct 1, 2008

Hey Ya'll,

Unfortunately this morning I found a full pack of cigarettes in a drawer. I had no idea they were there. I just left them there and before I knew it my mind was consumed with thoughts of smoking them...Sadly, that became my reality. There is absolutely no excuse for my actions.

Believe me, I will be jumping back on the bandwagon and resetting my clock...Sorry to dissapoint you all. I need to examine what was going on with me before this happened. Yet another learning lesson...

polly2

Every Day is a Gift!!

Posted by polly2 Sep 3, 2008

Those of you who are my friends know that I am a writer, in the process of finishing a book. Here's one of my thoughts for the day, that applies to us all. If we put out negative energy, then we'll attract that into our lives. It's so important to remain positive when we stop smoking cigarettes!!! Keep on keepin' on!!!

"Every day is a precious gift, but only you can determine what is inside of your individually wrapped package."

When I first joined BecomeanEX, there were 4,000+ members. As I am writing this, there are now 7,122! We are growing in great leaps and bounds. The beauty of this site is that it is not about me. It's about the power of a collective WE! Together, we have grown and continue to grow as each new day dawns! This is an exciting time for all of us and so it should be! We are helping one another to save lives as well as re-learning to live our lives the way our Creator would have us be! How awesome is that?

 

On Sunday, I spent the day at one of my favorite state parks - Lake Folsom, CA. Water always brings great peace, serenity and calm. I also talk to everyone I meet. Learning is essential to me. I have an inherent curiosity to adventure, explore, wander and wonder! Every person that I come into contact with, will more than likely teach me something new. Why? Why is because I ask them questions about them and our immediate surroundings. This can often lead to great observations, discussions and new ways of sensing, thinking, finding, seeing, hearing and SMELLING (increased by leaps and bounds)!

 

While I was racing around the beach with my buddy, Stevey (my dog), we happened upon a woman who was making her way to the water. As we approached her, I immediately smelled cigarette smoke. It smelled good, but I dismissed it at just that, without giving it time for further thought. However, I was glad that she had put out her cigarette before we came face to face!

 

I had my dark sunglasses on, so I was able to really get a good, hard look at her. What I saw was a face ravaged with the haggard look of an old smoker. How old she was, I really don't know. My guess is that she is much younger than she appeared. Her voice was deep, thick and gravelly from being a long time smoker. As I looked at her, I felt saddened. Yet, I felt a sense of gratitude welling in me, knowing that this could have been any one of us.

 

We had an interesting talk and I found out that there is actually a long, lost town under the lake. I further confirmed that when I chatted with a horseback riding park ranger later in the day. I have dug remnants of the past up since I was a child. History fascinates me. Joyful as I was about finding out this new information, I still felt sad. As we parted, I looked down at the beach. Sure enough, there was her butt lying smack on top of the sand; a double time pollutant. As much as I wanted to pick it up and pitch in a can, I didn't touch it (I would have used a plastic bag), but there were no trash cans in my immediate sight and I did not want to carry its stench. As we left both her and her butt, I was further saddened, knowing that she has a time stamp on her life.

 

A few mornings ago, I read Kelli's post about one cigarette being addictive and her anger at the tobacco industry. Here is part of what Kelli wrote:

 

"According to this article I found on MSNBC, all it took was 1, YES 1, cigarette to become addicted!"

 

"For some people, one cigarette is all it takes to become hooked on nicotine, while others are repelled by it. "

 

"This is what I don't get. If I was a dope dealer, walking around with a drug so powerful you could get addicted with just one deal, I would be slammed into prison so fast my head would be swimming."

 

Here is yet another quote from Kelli's blog from yesterday:

 

"In just one year, cigarettes leave about 12,000 kids motherless. That's 33 mothers a day."

 

Here we are, America, one of the supposed super powers of Earth. Yet our government continues to allow tobacco companies to kill us. Carbon monoxide, arsenic, butane, ammonia, and acetone are just to name a few. Imagine putting your head down and inhaling your tail pipe. What about slipping a little arsenic in your drink to literally end your day? Perhaps smokers should huff some butane instead of using it to fire up a smoke. Why use ammonia to clean our homes? We can take some swigs and clean ourselves out of life. Instead of using acetone to remove fingernail polish, why not just use it to remove ourselves?

 

Over 438,000 Americans (18.1 percent of all deaths) die because of smoking each year. Secondhand smoke kills about 50,000 of them. ...

 

From www.action.ascan.org :

 

How far will Big Tobacco go?

 

Think it is far- fetched that the tobacco industry would use a Crayon box to market cigarettes? We don't think so. Tobacco companies continue to blatantly market their products to America's youth, with everything from fruit- and alcohol-flavored cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, and cigars to makeup gift bags and cell phone "bling"giveaways. Why? Because they are well aware of what entices kids and know 90% of all smokers start before the age of 18.

 

Will Your U.S. Senators Choose Children or Big Tobacco

 

After a historic victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate now has the opportunity to pass S. 625, FDA regulation of tobacco. However, the Senate must make this bill a priority and act quickly if members are going to vote on it before they adjourn again in late September.

 

Call 1.888.NOW.I.CAN and tell your U.S. Senators to choose children over Big Tobacco by urging quick passage of this life-saving legislation.

 

We are all here as a collective WE for a reason. Wiping these horrible toxins out of our own human landfills and regaining our life expectancy, our lung capacity, our overall health, our individual sense of self worth and being, our freedom, the thickness of our wallets and our appearance are just some of the benefits of becoming a non-smoker.

 

Yet, our government continues to allow tobacco companies to addict ourselves, our children and poison innocent bystanders as well. Our government is founded by "we the people." What are we doing about it? After writing back to Kelli today, I realized that perhaps I should have mentioned becomeanEX to the lady I had talked to on the beach.

 

I came to realize this morning that as guilty as I felt about one woman, how guilty do I feel about a nation that succumbs to these giant tobacco companies? Not so good is the answer...One comment from me, however, won't do much to change this. Yet, 7,000+ comments from WE and our supporters (family and friends) could possibly make it an issue, which in my opinion, needs to be addressed. There's no harm in trying! If you have it in your heart, please call your senators, send the Presidential candidate's e-mails and pass this on. Thanks in advance!

 

I will be writing my concerns today, to both Presidential Candidates and I hope you, your family and friends will join me as a collective WE. The e-mail addresses are as follows and I have typed a standard letter that you are free to copy, paste and add to as well:

 

Barack Obama:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/contact2

 

John McCain:

 

http://www.johnmccain.com/Contact/

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Senator :

 

As President, will you work with Congress to enact legislation (specifically, S. 625/H.R. 1108) to rein in the most egregious manufacturing and marketing practices of the tobacco industry, and will you substantially increase the federal tobacco tax to help improve public health, save lives, and protect children from a lifetime of smoking? Your efforts in this matter would be greatly applauded.

 

Sincerely,

 

Special thanks for Kelli who took the time to do research to help me write this! You ROCK Kelli!

Wow, what an incredible journey this has been! When I think back to my very first day here, I’m reminded of EX commercials. I was a perfect candidate for a starring role! My brain was catapulted into a dense fog, my nicodemonic thoughts were in full swing, galloping incessantly through my mind, and I felt like someone had put me through the wash without the soap and then forgot to put me in the dryer.

Every time I stopped smoking before, in my 39 years of addiction, I relied only upon myself, never seeking support or help from others. Each time my mind was quickly invaded by those sickly, compelling nicodemonic thoughts. “Just one won’t hurt me. I need a cigarette. I’m so stressed out, I can’t stand it. I can’t help myself, it smells too good.” That’s just a tiny fraction of how my mind obsessed at full speed, causing me to cave. UGHHH…the insanity of it all…

When I came here, the very first day, I reached out for help. Help came in the form of all of you, boosting me up with positive thoughts, checking in on me on a daily basis, giving me constant encouragement, compassion and understanding. You knew very well what I was going through and managed to help me find the courage and strength to take a different approach. One of the very first statements that I latched onto was the saying, “Smoking is not an option.”

Hmm…Smoking is not an option. If it’s not an option, then how could I begin to rationalize it, justify it or make excuses, which made no sense at all? Those excuses kicked my butt every time. Now I knew why. I came to realize that this is very much a mental addiction. It made perfect sense to battle those negative thoughts with positive thoughts in order to overcome the negative chatter, which consistently stormed through my mind, one after another. It was now my turn to start kicking butt!

Each and every day I learned new positive ways to think about this, such as:

 

      
  • NO = Not One.
  •   
  • NOPE = Not one puff ever.
  •   
  • Cravings won’t kill me, but smoking will.
  •   
  • There is no such thing as trying to stop; instead just do it (NIKE).
  •   
  • I am a happy, healthy, confident non-smoker.

 

As those positive thoughts counteracted my negative thoughts, eventually I found myself laughing, yes laughing. I was laughing at the Nicodemon who led me to believe that smoking relaxed me and gave me energy. What’s up with that? Relaxing energy? I’ve never heard of that before, except in my mind…

I've also learned that it is very important to reach out for help when you need it, especially if you feel like you are going to relapse. There are so many people here who care and who will go way out of their way to help you through the rough spots! Equally important, once you get as little as day one under your belt, you can help others as well. I've found it essential to give back what had been so freely given to me! Giving back strengthens your own commitment, but there is also great joy in helping people who are possibly saving their lives!!

So, I reached out as much as I could, never expecting anything back, with the exception of knowing that I was doing the right thing for both myself and others. The fact is though, that it does come back to those of us who reach out to help others. I’ve made awesome friendships, met people from all over the world, and I have found a sense of FREEDOM, which I have never had before. I get a lot of posts and I feel a huge sense of gratification when I see someone who is kicking butt, knowing that I may have helped them in some way, shape or form!!

I’m a big picture kind of person. When I look at the big picture, what I see is that those of us who smoke are just like human landfills full of toxic chemicals. Cravings are actually a good thing! It means that we are releasing our toxic chemicals and regaining our health. It’s our body’s way of telling us that it is healing.

In addition, when I think about all of the suffering that there is in this world, cravings are nothing in comparison. Think about those who are starving, homeless, or literally running for their lives. How about 3rd world countries, whose people live without electricity, sewers, water, proper nutrition, disease etc.? What about those young children who are witnessing war at their very own door steps or parent’s who are grieving for their lost children? What about the victims of natural disasters? How about those who walk around attached to an oxygen tank or who die within months of being diagnosed with lung cancer? What is a craving compared to that?

For the first three weeks I wore a rubber band. Initially I wore a small, wimpy one. Soon after, I traded it in for a thicker, sturdier one. I gave that hummer a pretty good snap when a craving hit. That snap reminded me that cravings don’t hurt and the rubber band gave me a good little stinging THWACCK back into reality.

No longer do I have to hide behind bushes, feel the embarrassment of smoking, smell like rotten stench, go way out of my way to plan my day around smoking, smell up my car, give off second hand smoke to innocent people and animals who happen to stand, sit or perch close by me, empty my wallet, yellow my fingernails and teeth and give myself a death sentence. When I was a teenager, I used to hang halfway out of my bedroom window to smoke, among many other sneaky tactics.

In addition, I am WORTHY of this and so are all of you! I’m not “trying to quit.” I am a non-smoker! The word ‘trying’ doesn’t usually lead to success. Rather than quitting, I am instead giving myself a healthy and longer life!

Have I sailed through this like a Schooner heeling over with full sails, a stiff breeze and no storms at break neck speed? Heck no! It’s been more like rowing a heavy wooden boat into a powerful, crashing surf. Once I got past the initial surf, it became easier. However, I still have to row up and over occasional waves, which can often rise up out of the blue. Once again, when I put it all into perspective, I have given so little time and effort, to get to where I am, in comparison to those 39 years that I smoked. Each day is different and a brand new beginning! Riding crave waves is all a part of the plan. After all, I only smoked 426,000 cigarettes or more. UGHHHHHHH…

I can’t thank you all enough for helping me to take my blinders off so that I could look square into the nicodmeon’s beady, little eyes and defy my addiction! You all ROCK and you KICK BUTT too!! This site is all about WE, not me. It truly works if you work it!! Your life is not worth risking, rather you are worthy of life!! Keep on keeping on!

polly2

3 weeks and counting!

Posted by polly2 Jul 12, 2008

WAHOOOOOO!! Today is an awesome milestone for me -- 3 weeks. The thought, "Smoking is not an option," has worked incredible wonders for me. I haven't been tempted to go to the store and have not thought about smoking. If I do think about cigarettes (not smoking), it totally grosses me out! This is not to say that I haven't had cravings. Yet, I see those cravings as deadly toxins being removed from my 39 year old human landfill! I calculated that I smoked about 420,000 cigarettes. Wow, that's a lot of toxic waste -- makes me half sick to think about it...

I live in the valley in Northern California. Oddly enough, when I quit smoking the sky started. The smoke has been really bad, but it's nothing in comparison to the people who are losing homes and the firefighters who are working 72 hours at a pop.

If I had been smoking through all of this, I wouldn't have given a second thought to sitting outside and lighting up and getting a double whammy. Now, I have no desire to be outside and breathe in fire smoke. Our air quality has been severe for the past week.

When I look at that last paragraph, I see a person who didn't care about herself, namely me. That's how nasty this addiction is. It plants deceptive, insidious thoughts in our minds, which constantly trick us into believing that smoking is a good thing, while it quietly kills us.

Heck, it relaxed me and gave me energy. <---OXYMORON -- relaxed energy? C'mon on now -- LOL!

I'm happy to be here today smoke free and restoring my body!! I am gratefully indebted to this site, as well as so many of you who have supported me on my daily journey!! Thanks to all of you for helping me find a new lease on life!!

polly2

How did I get here?

Posted by polly2 Jul 4, 2008

Oh my, it's two weeks today -- WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! A small, yet huge milestone, which will lead to bigger ones with the passage of time! When I first stopped smoking, I felt like I was roaming around, blind and unconscious, on another planet. However, given a few days, I once again felt Earth's gravity slowly pulling me back to the real world!

I spent as much time as I could right here; reading posts, answering posts and most importantly reaching out for help. We are all in this together. Our experiences feed off of one another. The support here is immense! I did my best to laugh at how disconnected I felt. Early on a friend, Leslie, planted a seed, "Smoking is not an option!" That soon became my stout mental defense, which negated all of my conjured up head games and the insidious, irrational thoughts that invaded my mind. It still does!

I look at cravings as my body's way of releasing all the bad crap that I sucked down and put in it, with 39 years of denial. No longer could I think that smoking relieved my stress, gave me energy, relaxed me, etc. It's sort of an oxymoron if you look at it. It gave me energy but relaxed me? Hmm...not so sure that those two mental head games flow together that well! LOL! Let's get real here!

I switched things around and mixed them all up. Smoking outside was where you'd find me at least 20 times a day. Coffee in the morning, with birds chirping around me, my dog sniffing for yard intruders and the sunrise of a new day, was my forte and also my worst trigger. Diet coke was another huge trigger for me.

I have Epstein Barr Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue -- it's very much like Mononucleosis. Before I stopped, I convinced myself that I needed caffeine and cigarettes to keep me going. The truth of the matter was that both smoking and caffeine were making my condition worse. I had to take a good, long, hard look at that. It made no sense at all and I knew I had to stop.

Even my dog, "Stevey Wonder Dawg," tried telling me to stop smoking! He wouldn't sit next to me when I had a cigarette and I too, wouldn't get near him due to second hand smoke. It's pretty powerful when your dog lets you know that he hates your habit/addiction!! Stevey is a snuggle bug too!

Picture me kayaking with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth and smoke getting into my eyes as I paddled; been there done that too many times! LOL! Yet another contradiction. Nothing like ramming into the shore with old cigarette butts beneath your feet, with a putrid stench -- UGHHHHHHHHHH -- not the best image for someone who loves nature as I do!

Ali, a friend here does counseling for addicts. She told me that they put rubber bands on their wrists and snapped them whenever their urges cropped up. I started out with a little whimpy rubber band. Now I have a big fat one on. THWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK! Ouch, that can hurt! I'm not into self destruction (I was when I was smoking), but I can tell you that if you give yourself a good hard snap, you'll realize that cravings really don't hurt. They are more annoying than anything! Thank you Ali!

Cinnamon sticks are awesome to inhale, 3 cups of green tea per day should increase your metabolism, 4 glucose tablets a day can raise your blood sugar (it drops when we stop smoking, therefore making our cravings worse), oranges are excellent for the vitamin C we need and the natural sugar inside, vitamin B complex 3 times a day for the first 3 days can help your metabolism (I'm no doctor -- you may want to pose that question to she/he), water helps to wash it away and can ease hunger pangs, a dab of baking soda will neutralize the taste in your mouth and does help with cravings, and breath mints do wonders too!

Our minds are more powerful than we give them credit for. We feed our subconscious with continuous denial everytime we smoke. Our subconscious knows no right or wrong; it just knows what we believe to be true. I've come to the conclusion that in order to be successful at this, I have to change my subconscious. How? I feed it good healthy thoughts now! I immediately cut off any irrational thoughts with "smoking is not an option."

NO = Not one

There is no such thing as one cigarette.

Smoking is not an option.

Stopping smoking won't kill me.

I am a happy, confident and relaxed non-smoker.

If you tell yourself you're going to try, you're basically giving yourself a loophole. Trying is not the same as doing. So, here's a new thought for you:

NIKE -- Just do it!!

It's awesome to have freedom from this addiction. No more insane mental thoughts like, "I'm trying," "God I really need a smoke," "This is driving me crazy," "No one will know if I just smoke one," "one cigarette won't hurt," "this is too hard," etc. Those thoughts used to whirl around my mind in an obssessive pattern every other time I quit. I don't have room or time for them now!! I'm not giving the nicodemon free rent space in my head!

Anger at others or stress can often cause a relapse. The fact is that we are the ones putting cigarettes in our mouths and lighting them up. No one else did that for us. Putting blame on other people or things, just rationalizes our own behaviour and makes us feel better when we cave. Then of course comes the guilt of being a loser, which further implants negativity in our heads. The key is not to think that you are a loser. It's better to look at the hows and whys of it all and start all over. This time around you will bee better equipped with even more right thinking. Stinking thinking will get you nowhere in life...

Helping others is one of the best things to do! Not only does it make you feel good, but it also deepens your own resolve. We all understand what its like to have cravings and how we as individuals get through them. The paybacks of helping others are so rewarding!! New people here need to know that what they are feeling is totally normal. They also need to know what the rest of us do to stay non-smokers. We is a whole lot better than me! We're not alone here! How beautiful is that?

I'm going to end this with one of my thoughts for the day:

Life has become a never ending circular flow for me. By following the traditions of Native American philosophy, I have come to recognize the values of circular momentum. After all, we live on a circular planet, gaze at a circular moon and circular, distant planets, as well as receive our precious light from a circular sun. What goes around comes around. If I put hard work, love, focus, determination, and positive action into my circle, I continue to feed it. It is then that I repeatedly reap the benefits of my circular momentum, which becomes my essence, my true inner being and my self-existence. Disturbances, some major and some minor, try their best to enter into my circle, only to interrupt my flow. However, it's entirely up to me to conquer those disturbances, in order to keep my circular momentum going. It is here, in my own unique and individual circle, where I find harmony. This balance is exactly what I need to continue my daily walk, as part of the continuous flow, in my individualistic journey through life.

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement, support, friendship, guidance and strength! I'm doing my best to "Pay it Forward!"

polly2

The Goodness of Life

Posted by polly2 Jun 28, 2008

Nature...so mystically divine! Every miniscule particle (many of which we cannot see) up to the largest of all objects are totally and completely unique! That's truly mind blowing! Everything works together in some form or another (constructive or destructive), giving us the end result that we see. Some people go through life, as if it were a race, never stopping to notice how blessed they are to be in such beautiful surroundings. This video gave me a whopping grin, from ear to ear! I hope it makes you smile too! Enjoy!! :)

The Goodness of Life

polly2

Day 2

Posted by polly2 Jun 23, 2008
This has been quite an experience for me! I sort of feel like the guy on the EX commercial who misses his mouth trying to sip coffee! However, I know that feeling a bit out of sorts is a good thing called withdrawal! This site has really helped me stay focused, encouraged and good about being a non-smoker! Every time I have quit before, I've gone solo and obviously have failed. It's been very effective for me to reach out for help as well as to try my best to help others. I know that there is no such thing as one cigarette for me -- for that matter one puff too. That's another way I failed in the past too. It's amazing how powerful our minds can be! Thanks to all of you for your support -- its so helpful and encouraging!!

Hey all,

Congratulations for those of you who have quit! I just stopped this morning -- got through my coffee (the biggest challenge)! I'm looking for buddies to support me, encourage me and to help hold me accountable to stay quit! I've quit probably a hundred times or more, once for a year, but this time it's different -- health reasons. I'd like to hear more of what you all have done to stay an ex!

Thanks,

Polly