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2017

I'M SITTING HERE WONDERING WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT???IT'S Been awhile since i was here so sat down to type and my mind went blank now here thinking what am i going to type?.......One thing i want to do is SHOUT OUT 195 DAYS SMOKE FREE HERE....And it sure feels good to be smoke free!!   AND YOU know what? ITS DOABLE..... yep i can say that because i did it and i know you can do it to.... Can't say it was always easy, had some hard days where the urge was strong.... but with all the ideas and things to read that the Elders gave me to read i had the extra support to get through them harder times with help and i know i'm going to get through the rest of the year because it makes me feel really good to know that i can be  smoke free......so if we need HELP we can get that help from the Elders they are here to Help 24 hours so follow me and we will all be smoke free together...YES WE CAN DO IT!!

susan.m

Do you know what day it is??!?

Posted by susan.m Mar 29, 2017

Bet you thought there would be a camel and some kind of Hump Day joke here.... go ahead, admit it.  MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE  will probably be in your head for a while now.  Let's change that....

 

It's Wednesday, so that means the cafe is OPEN!  Bring your positive thoughts, your gripes, your troubles, your love and support, your questions and your quititude - no matter what, just bring yourself!  Oh, and NO SMOKING ALLOWED!

 

The EX Cafe  Wed 03.29.17 

 

Ever wonder why some people have an easy time quitting while others just seem to go through hell? I’ve often wondered that myself. Though I’m in no way an expert, I do spend a lot of time analyzing my quit experience, trying to understand it as thoroughly as I can in the hopes that there might be something there for others.

 

I would call my quit one of the easier ones. Thing is, I still felt the cravings and urges just as much as the next guy and yet when I go back to my very first blogs while I was quitting, I find that I was handling it quite well.

 

The only thing I can think of that made my quit seem easier than others is preparation. I never took my preparation lightly and thought of my quit constantly during that time. Coming here and blogging helped me to stay focused during this very important time of a quit. I read all that I could.

 

Another thing I did was what I called “practice quits”. These were times during the day that I wouldn’t have a cigarette for longer and longer periods of time. Sometimes going as long as six hours.

 

For me, this was an important part of learning my quit simply because it gave me some idea of what was going to happen when I put out that last cigarette. The difference was that I knew I was going to be able to satisfy the addiction after denying it for a while, meaning it really wasn’t a “practice quit” but rather a learning experience for the future.

 

I also prepared mentally using images. I’ve always believed that at the very base of our thinking, the brain responds better to images rather than words. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to read as much as possible. It just means that for me, I used imagery as a means of dealing with this hard task in my life.

 

When I created Mt. Freedom in my mind's eye, it was a symbol of freedom. The summit signified the ending of a long journey. The banner of freedom that stood on the top of the mountain signified the freedom that I was longing to achieve.

 

The addict within was a part of myself and yet it wasn’t. It was my means of coping with the voices that divide our minds when we quit. I’d discovered these voices during one of my practice quits and as such, I was somewhat ready for them to appear when I did finally quit.

 

I pictured the addict within as a entity dressed in long, white robes. It had no face per se, but it could show expressions in the form of color. To me, this signified what I could learn from the addict within.

 

And after so much preparation, the day that I put out that last cigarette I realized that I had no fear! Just a burning desire to begin climbing the slopes of Mt. Freedom. To see that summit! But the only way I could ever see that summit was to take the first faltering steps on the path to freedom.

 

And so I put out that last cigarette and smiled as I saw myself at the trailhead of what I knew was going to be a hard and yet incredible ride! Every morning, I would wake and in my mind, I would look to the summit of Mt. Freedom. So far away at first and yet so easy to attain so long as I didn’t stray from the path.

 

Every morning I would look behind me down the slopes to see how far I’d come and then I’d trudge forward, the slippery slopes and boulder fields reminding me that life’s events have nothing to do with the journey of freedom. That freedom is a separate thing from all else that was happening. And I wanted it so badly!

 

I would converse with my addict within, eventually laughing at it every time it would send me a signal to smoke, for though I kept him with me, I never let him bother me to much!

 

We all have to take that first faltering step on the path to freedom to win. And we always have to find ways to teach our addict that we won’t give in to it’s tantrums. It’s just the nature of the quit. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. It’s really only as bad as we make it for our path lives inside of us.

 

I wish you the best in all you desire to achieve!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Quitting smoking is definitely difficult but it's also the best gift that any of us will ever give ourselves which is the gift of LIFE! So don't give up and throw your hands up in the air and go back to the slavery of the cancer sticks instead keep plowing forward and get through the roller coaster ups and downs of withdrawals and mood swings, continue to be willing, determined and totally committed to succeed and you can and will be successful one precious smoke free day at a time. Is it easy in the first few days, wks and possibly even months? HELL NO!  but is it worth it? HELL YES! Believe in yourself and know in your heart and soul that you are going to get through the rough patches and get to that good place where you'll wonder what took you so long to take back your life from the clutches of the cancer sticks! Read everything you can about quitting smoking and Remaining Quit because there's a wealth of information here to strengthen your resolve to kick the nicotine poison to the curb, if you stop & think about how many decades that you've smoked then it only stands to reason that it's going to take some time to relearn different ways of dealing with life's issues without the crutch of smoking but it's so worth whatever you need to go through to be FREE, you can and will be successful so keep moving forward! 

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Random Thoughts

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 27, 2017

Yesterday, I was fixing something in my garden that really should have been done last year. You see, last year I was given a bunch of bushes that weren’t in the best of shape. They’d been neglected for weeks. And so I decided that everything has a right to live, and wanted to give these guys a shot.

 

Well, the summer was rapidly turning to fall and I added mulch over everything to help protect the roots during our hard winters. As it has been warming up, weeds have been popping up everywhere! That’s when I realized I needed to put some landscape fabric down.

 

In a quit, if we just rush headlong into it without giving it much thought, it diminishes our ability to succeed. If we don’t give our quits the proper respect, our addiction tends to surprise us. We need to have our solid foundations in place to prevent the cracks that might develop in our quits.

 

If we don’t and we fail, the next time is even harder. Like the garden, when I failed to prepare the foundation properly, I had to pretty much start over. Removing the layers that were already there in order to build a more harmonious environment. In order to create a stronger foundation for success. I have confidence that rethinking things will improve the overall ability for this garden to succeed.

 

And so it is with our quits. Since for the most part we step into an unknown world when we first face our addictions, quits tend to evolve over time, making them stronger and clearing the weeds that can pop up at any time along the way.

 

If we take the time to evaluate each previous day and learn the lessons of how we survived that day, then we can add that knowledge to the next day, improving the foundation that we built with each new experience that we face along the way. We can use the previous day to evolve further into our quits.

 

Ignoring the lessons of the past can help us to lose sight of our futures. And in a quit, when we lose sight of the future, it becomes harder. When we stay stagnant in the present and forget about why we’re quitting, it becomes harder. But if we continue to adapt by using the lessons of the previous day, then we begin to once again look to the future where the rewards of quitting actually lie.

 

When we look at each trigger and urge, and learn what caused them, then we can use them to strengthen our foundations. And once the foundation is solid, it becomes easier to focus on the prize of freedom. It becomes easier to believe that we really can quit. It becomes easier to evolve into the new nonsmoking self.

 

If nothing else, our minds are made to adapt. But It becomes hard to adapt when a part of the mind doesn’t want change. When the mind has decided what normal is, especially when physical addiction comes into play as well.

 

The reality that we all know is that the physical part of the addiction ends in about three days. What becomes the issue is adapting into a nonsmoker. This is the part that takes time. The addicted mind creates pleasure whenever we feed the addiction. As far as the addicted mind is concerned, nothing needs to change. Everything is fine.

 

It’s up to us to see the positive in quitting. The addiction won’t do that for us. Rather than looking at discomfort, look to the positive of what you’re doing. Your becoming the beautiful butterfly that can soar into the heavens and flutter about happily, completely confident that everything is bright and so peaceful, seeing the beauty of life because they let themselves evolve and be free!! It’s there for the taking! Go for it!!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

What is normal?

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 26, 2017

Often, I find myself wondering why I make the decisions I do. What drives them? And what makes us make bad decisions? I know that I started creating my addictive personality as a teenager. At that young age, I felt invincible. And thought bad things only happened to other people.

 

I took up smoking at a very young age because I wanted to “fit in” with everyone else that was doing it. As if a cigarette alone would buy me friendship. What a silly thing to think! But at a young age, we all do things that might not be in our own best interest.

 

And once I made the decision to smoke when I was younger, I didn’t give it much thought after that. And so my addiction was built into me as my mind was still developing. Throughout my life, many of my decisions were based on this addictive personality that I created for myself.

 

I think a lot of us have done the same thing. Creating the addict within at an early age and somehow as we got older, it all seemed perfectly normal. As if I’d been BORN a smoker! I continued on with what I called my “habit” for thirty or forty years before I ever even entertained the thought of doing something different, and I think this has a lot to do with the fear I felt when I first thought of quitting this last time.

 

You see, I’d developed the addict within at a very early age. And while at that early age, I nurtured my “friend” that was always with me. I kept doing what I perceived as normal for so long, that I forgot what life was like without smoking.

 

Hence the panic attack when I first called the Colorado quitline. I remember calling them and when a very pleasant voice answered, I hung up! I was shaking and sweating and wondering what the heck I thought I was doing! After all, I knew that smoking was normal because as far as my addicted mind could see, I always had. It was just part of life.

 

Thankfully after calming down a bit, I did call the quitline back and had a very good conversation about triggers and urges, and what to do to begin to win the war with myself.

 

I guess my point here is that there are reasons that quitting is so hard that go beyond the physical aspect of it. It’s literally considered the “normal” part of our lives by the addicted mind. The addicted mind is very good at convincing us to continue to feed our addiction.

 

But it doesn’t have to be that way! We actually have to change our entire perception of what is normal in our lives when we quit. I think this is where the voices come from. Our very being doesn’t understand that what has been normal for so long no longer is, and our mind wants to understand what has changed.

 

There’s so much more on these thoughts, but they will have to be for another blog as I don’t want to write an entire book here.

 

Anyway, have a fantastic smoke free day and understand that quitting is also normal. All we have to do is convince ourselves that this is really what’s normal!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

It takes:

  • Strength: to make a hard decision, even though supported by the experience, studies, common sense, you go against a strong, iron strong enemy: NICOTINE
  • Commitment: you stay quit amongst family, friends, acquaintances who are still smoking, and it is not easy to stay tall against all temptations
  • Sacrifice: at the beginning you are staying home on weekends, staying away from triggers, even if they represent fun; you are not taking long trips for a while, in order to make sure you can use some of your tools you have at home to protect your quit (walking crazy form a room to another, doing deep breathing exercises, doing activities to keep your hands occupied, meditating)
  • Flexibility: learn life without cigarettes, how to respond to the same situations without involving the old crutch
  • Adaptability: re-think friends, activities, family gatherings, in order to minimize exposure to re-lapse risks, while enjoying new interactions
  • Humility: keep our own unhappiness under control when facing family, health, life’s challenges when we know what our friends’ challenges are, bow our heads filled with negative thoughts, and extend our most positive support to those in bigger needs than ours
  • Self-control: not only teach ourselves to not react to temptations around us, but also to limit our negative ranting in time of constant fight with craves
  • Constant positive attitude: talk ourselves into being happy against the feeling of loss, seeing the bright side of getting healthy, and being free, despite being borderline depressed
  • Learn to love ourselves, while still hating us for waiting so long to do what is right for our health

And we all have it what it takes, we all made it here, somehow what we might miss naturally, we learn it from each other. The support system this group represents has given us everything we need to become this strong person against the adversity of Nicotine.

And for that I am profoundly thankful for all my EX friends!

I remember some time into my quit a smoking dream that I had. It was one where I actually smoked a few puffs off of a cigarette, (in the dream of course). In the dream I actually felt the rush of nicotine enter my body as the nicotine receptors woke up. I was so sure that I had blown my quit until I woke up.

 

When I woke, I was really happy to discover that I hadn’t relapsed, but the dream gave me a feeling of what it would be like to relapse. Of how horrible I’d feel if I ever gave into my addiction. It showed me that I really didn’t want the nicotine at all. This one dream actually helped me to get the rest of the way through no man’s land.

 

But I wonder, how did it reinforce my quit? I think the most obvious reason was the feeling of failure. When I smoked in that dream, it was like I’d just punched a hole right in the center of my being. I was enjoying the rush at first, until the reality of what I was doing washed over me.

 

And so came the joy that it hadn’t really happened when I woke up. I felt invigorated. Like I was given another chance! And I used that dream to reinforce my quit, as if my relapse was a reality. There are so many things that we face along the journey that can be used to create a stronger quit. When we find these little gems of life, we need to first recognize them and then keep them close to help us to continue on.

 

When we have a bad day on the road to freedom, we can deal with it in several ways. The most obvious is to begin smoking again, as if that would help. Life’s not going to quit happening when we quit smoking and as such when we find a stressful situation creating those crazy urges, we can use this as a tool. We can understand that stress is one of our triggers and teach ourselves that smoking in no way helps with the stress. We can take away the power that the addiction has over us during stressful situations and then we know down the road to look for this trigger so a crave doesn’t sneak up on us.

 

In my opinion, a crave is almost always tied to some life event. The trick is to understand what life event is giving the trigger power, whether that be a cup of coffee or a ride in a car. This is what I call “ripping the tentacles of addiction” out of our bodies one by one, and with each one that we remove the addict within has less and less to work with.

 

This is how we find freedom and peace. By taking away the things that cause our brains to send the signal to smoke. The only way to rid ourselves of this is to understand the cause of the discomfort and then to reinforce within our minds that smoking will not help the situation. Smoking will only do harm. The brain can be taught by repetition. By continuing to deny ourselves the thing that the brain wants us to do, it eventually accepts nonsmoking as a reality.

 

And one day there will be peace so long as you can stay on the path to freedom. One day down the road, you’ll wake up and know in your heart that you’re free. That the addiction has very little pull over you. Each day that is added to a quit teaches the mind. And once there’s acceptance, there’s peace and so much freedom!!!

 

Take that first step and if you already have then keep fighting! Keep teaching yourself how the world really is. That reality is a nonsmoking reality. That freedom is always worth fighting for!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

I have really been in a nostalgic mood today music wise - I am thinking I will be going thru some old music and listening this week-end.  I have a fairly broad range in my music taste - old, new, country, rock, etc.   This is an invitation for you to share some of your favorite music with the community.  Lots available to share for free on youtube.  I am starting out with an oldie - one of my favorites and it reminds me of a good friend - Radar Love!  I will be adding more - hope you will join in the fun!

 

 

 

 

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Those long days

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 24, 2017

When we first quit, our minds are filled with resolve and a kind of confidence that can only be created out of a kind of fear of failure. Then we put out that last cigarette and it seems like almost instantly, the confidence is gone. The resolve becomes almost a fleeting memory as the addict within begins demanding nicotine.

 

We plunge ourselves into an unfamiliar world. One where the very thing that we believed brought us comfort can no longer be used. Somehow, we just don’t understand this and the relentless screaming of the addiction makes it even harder to understand.

 

And yet most of us find a way to battle through that day. Most of us discover a will power that we never thought we possessed. And at the end of the day, most believe that yes, another smoke free day can be achieved the next day.

 

In a quit, it seems like one day builds on the next. If we have a good day, then there’s a very good chance that the next one will be tolerable. But when we have a bad day, that too seems to build upon the next day.

 

For some, I think they can see a glimpse of freedom on the second day. A new confidence that perhaps the war can be won. For others, the cloud of addiction remains, even as we trudge through the day and try to find a glimpse of that freedom that everyone seems to be talking about.

 

But still, most find a way to get through that day. And the days continue, one after another and we become aware of the fact that this war takes time to win. This moment can be a crossroad for us. When some realize that it doesn’t end in a week or a month, but rather several months, they lose their resolve. They lose sight of why they quit and begin to once again romance the cigarette.

 

This brings back the cravings seemingly just as strong as before. The internal argument begins again because we’re now once again listening to the lies of addiction. And as we all know, this is dangerous thinking.

 

There is no easy answer to get everyone to choose the right fork in the path. It all boils down to choices. We can choose to continue to listen to our addictions and give them strength or we can choose to distract ourselves from the smoking craves. We can say that this isn’t working or we can decide that no matter how hard it is, we will win!

 

Very few people win the first time they decide to quit the addiction. I think that’s because we have to learn how to disassociate our addiction from the rest of the world. We have to know that losing is not an option no matter what!

 

As I’ve said before. The key to winning lives within all of us. It boils down to the choices we make but the actual key is what causes us to make those choices. Some have to start over to understand how to always make the right choice. Others find a way to make the right choices until they are truly free. Everyone of us have to face these choices when we quit. What will your choices be? I do hope you choose freedom over slavery . . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Remember when the thought first entered your mind that you were going to quit? Do you remember what that thought was? For me, it was a multitude of thoughts. I mean, I was coughing for sometimes hours every morning and then it hit me. Now give me a little credit here. After all, I am an addict.

 

But my first thought of quitting came as my body warned me that I might not have much of a future if I didn’t do something about the cough. At last I managed to face a reality that was always there. I finally accepted that the best thing I could do for this cough was to quit smoking cigarettes! What a genius I was!

 

Then came the truly motivating thoughts. The ones where I started perceiving my future with and without cigarettes. In the end, I chose a life without cigarettes.

 

But the thing that amazed me was that I could ignore such an obvious symptom of smoking for so long. It taught me before I ever started prepping just how powerful this smoking addiction was. That’s why I took my prep so serious. I’d already realized that the enemy within was a formidable enemy, and that this enemy didn’t have my own best interests at heart. Actually, an enemy never does.

 

 So I spent a week thinking about quitting. Thing is, it took me that whole week to even believe that I really could quit, even as I coughed away. After a week, my mind finally accepted that yes, there was a quit attempt in my future.

 

And so in the beginning I realized the madness that was my addiction. I mention this for a reason. For all of the positive that was my quit, in the beginning I was just like you. Six years ago, I was the one first stepping onto the path of freedom. I was the one feeling cautiously optimistic, even as I feared the day of my quit, almost right up until I put out that last cigarette.

 

But when I did put out that last cigarette, the fear was gone! And what came next was expected because I’d prepped long and hard, determined to give myself the best foundation possible for my quit.

 

The first morning of my quit, I got up and slapped the old patch on. I wasn’t smiling but I wasn’t sad either. During my prep, I had cut down to five cigarettes a day and I remember being surprised at how strong the patches were, but I didn’t care. I’d chosen my path and my vision was filled with the future rather than my current discomfort. I would stick to my quit plan no matter what.

 

And this time I really did stick to that plan, making it my forever quit. It’s within all of us to find the key to our addictions. It’s within all of us to win a war with ourselves that can be nothing but wonderful!

 

There’s so much ahead of you, so long as you can scratch and fight through those first hard days. I can’t wait for all of you to see the wonders of freedom. To feel the pride in taking your life back, even if it’s only from ourselves.

 

I want you to feel the peace that comes when you finally make it to the rainbow. The prize that is peace and freedom.

 

It’s all there waiting for you if you can take that first step. Those first steps may be hard but they are steps to a bright and shiny future. Go for it! You know you deserve it and want it as much as I did so long ago when I took that first step. . . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Life has ups and downs with good days and bad days and the Seasons come and go even though here in the Maritime Provinces the calendar says that it's the 1st day of Spring, you wouldn't know itby looking out the window but once we quit smoking whether we have a day, a wk, a month, a yr or even 10 yrs once you are quit, stick with it no matter what because Quitting smoking was and is the wisest decision and the best gift that we'll ever do for ourselves so throwing it away isn't an option, protect it, nurture it and continue to move forward and stack up those precious smoke free days. Quitting smoking is definitely difficult to say the least but it's also very Doable and so very worth it all to be FREE!

Marilyn 980 DOF 

crazymama_Lori

My Final Farewell

Posted by crazymama_Lori Mar 19, 2017

I want to thank each and every one of you that helped me over the year to get me to where I am today.  My time spent on this site has finally reached its end.  I will pop in from time to time to shoot you a link to something that helped me along the way to those that are twirling, going in circles.

 

For those of you struggling to maintain your quit or even trying to reach the year mark, please realize that quitting is a process.  It doesn't end overnight, after NML, after you reach a year.  It's imperative that you come to an agreement with yourself that you were once dependent on nicotine, you will be psychologically dependent on nicotine if you maintain that hold on it.  Cigarettes do not calm you, relax you, comfort you.  You only THINK they do.  You are the one giving them the power.  You are allowing them the power.  

 

Take the time to figure out the why, understand the why, take the why out of the equation.  It's the why that's screwing you up, the why I smoke.  Make a list of all the reasons why you smoke, why you light up.  Take the time to figure it out.  It won't take long, but put some effort into it.  Use the NRTs as a tool, an aid, something to only assist you in quitting smoking.  There is nothing created anywhere that will take the physical withdrawal away.  They will make it easier, but it's still there.  You need to go through that month to realize how your body has been affected.  The body is a wondrous thing.  It can rejuvenate itself.

 

Think of yourself as a crumbling wall.  As you continue to keep smoking, you're breaking apart bit by bit.  When you quit, each bit is being repaired slowly.  You may never be the complete wall as you were before, but there will be a pretty good resemblance of it.  Dig your heels in.  Finally decide for yourself that enough is enough.  No one likes to be controlled.  Conquer this one last important fight, this war, once and for all.  You are the conquistador.  Stop the merry-go-around, the see-saw of quitting.

200 wonderful days

Posted by carloprivitera Mar 19, 2017

Yes ... I made it to 200 days!

The first 100 days have been really tough and I went through them only because I had this wonderful community helping me every day ...

During the second 100 days I discovered that I needed some space. I needed to do not think about smoking and about cigarettes and totally relaxed my mind and so I took a long break from this website.

 

I'd like to come back as soon as possible to start helping others as most of you helped me.

Right now I'm stronger every day but not strong enough: a had some big crisis in the last weeks mainly because of physical and personal issues but I have been able to do not smoke and now I'm again really solid.

 

One day at the time and I'll be back here to give back all what I got ...

 

Thank you very much for these amazing 200 days!!!

 

Carlo

I finally got a decent nights sleep last night yay! I'll get hubby to pick up our oldest Grandson Adam around 9 o'clock then later on this afternoon we'll get Mason our youngest Grandson for the next couple of nights and hubby will take him to school for me and we'll get a hug from our Granddaughter Emma today, they're all growing way too fast but thankfully we get to enjoy them plus since quitting smoking we don't smell like a stinky old ashtray anymore. I really hope that each of you reading this will have the best day possible and if any of you are struggling please take a deep breath, chin up, hang on tight and keep moving forward and stacking up those precious smoke free days because it really is going to get easier and easier as time goes on but unfortunately you must go through the ups and downs of withdrawals and mood swings and whatever else first but you will get to that good place in your quit but in the meantime keep your mind as well as your hands occupied and continue to believe in yourself, stay willing, determined and totally committed to succeed and you can and will be successful one precious smoke free day at a time, I can tell you from EXperience that as long as you hang tough that life does get better and better without the crutch and it's wonderful to be FREE to be able to go anywhere, anytime, whenever, wherever and however without wondering where to sneak off to suck on a disgusting cancer stick!

Marilyn 979 DOF and counting! 

There Is A Huge Political Division In Our Country

Over Points Of View.

There Are Just Some Things People May Never Agree On.

Some Say Honesty Is The Best Policy.

Others Believe They Can Encourage Without Criticism.

There Are Two Forms Of Criticism.

Constructive And Destructive.

We Try To Use Constructive Here.

The Overly Emotional May Not Have The Ability To Tell The Difference.

Just Sayin'

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Harmony???

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 18, 2017

When we quit, there are various reasons for quitting. I mentioned the other day that mine was love for myself and for others. But when we quit, we really do turn our world upside down. It’s really hard on those first days to feel any sense of peace. Of harmony within us.

 

I think it has a lot to do with the internal argument that begins in an addict’s head when they choose to beat their addiction. One part of our brain has to remain vigilant as the other side of our brain tries to get us to start our addiction again.

 

This is why I used visualization so much during my quit. It somehow helped to ease the feelings I was having or rather, give me the upper hand when the internal argument seemed so annoying!

 

As an example, I created the perfect place to relax when I was feeling down. It’s a lake at the base of a huge snow capped mountain. There’s a huge pine tree on the shore with soft pine needles beneath it. The clouds are white and puffy as they flow along on the sweet smelling breeze that caresses my face. I walk to the shore of the lake and sit on the soft grass on the shore, and I dip my feet into the cool, mountain fresh water. And there’s always a smile on my face.

 

If you can create a place of peace, it can serve as a distraction from the craves. The key is to create every minute detail, keeping the mind engaged in something comfortable rather than the reality that is our lives on those first hard days.

 

I saw Mt. Freedom. A tall, formidable mountain that signified my journey. I saw myself climbing this mountain for months, always looking to the summit. Longing to be on that summit, for the summit signified my freedom from addiction.

 

I carried the addict within up the mountain with me, knowing that it’s always better to be with my enemy so it doesn’t sneak up on me. When the addict within tried to get me to smoke, I could laugh at it and continue on my climb to the summit.

 

After a few days, I could turn around and see how far I’d gone on the journey of life. And I could look ahead to the perils that exist in the future. The snow and boulder fields that must be traversed signifying the dangers that could exist along the way.

 

My visions were always improving as I continued my journey. These mental exercises were good for me because they channeled my mind into the positive even while my world seemed so hard. It helped me to keep the mind, body and soul in agreement on the one thing that I needed. To reach that summit and proudly wave the banner of freedom high over my head!

 

It was an incredible journey to say the least. This is something that helped me along the way in my journey for freedom. Perhaps it’s something you can use or perhaps not but I thought I’d offer this little thing to you for those who might find a little peace from trying it.

 

There are as many ways to quit as there are people. We’re all different and so are our quits. The main thing is that we do find some means to find harmony. No matter how you do it, I hope you find yours even in the midst of those long, hard first days of a quit. . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

We all have issues going on in our lives whether it's health, money, family problems or something else or all of the above, I used to think that a cigarette would help calm me down so I could figure out what to do but looking back now all I did was waste my time and money plus probably gave myself a headache because smoking doesn't help in any situation that we're in. Once I got some time under my belt with my quit a light bulb came on and I finally realized that there's life after cigarettes and I really loved the New Found Freedom so I started pushing Vigilance for all of us Exers because life without the crutch is awesome and I don't want any of us to become complacent and relapse during a weak moment so let's enjoy our Freedom while remaining vigilant and each evening we can smile because of another Day WON! N.O.P.E  -  Not One Puff Ever will give us a beautiful Smoke Free Life because going backwards to another Day One would totally Suck Big Time ! God Forbid that anyone relapse but if it happens please take a deep breath and start your quit again and believe in yourself, be willing, determined and totally committed to succeed then you will be successful one Precious Smoke Free Day At A Time! We're all here for you and your Quit so let us know if you are having a rough patch so we can talk you through it because S. I.N.A.O - Smoking Is Not An Option!

Marilyn 978 DOF 

Although it’s hard to go through the initial days of our quits, it’s important to remember why we did it. For me, it was because of a horrible cough that I had developed in the morning. And as I smoked cigarette after cigarette, I continued coughing.

 

This got me thinking. Wow! Maybe I’m not as invincible as my addiction had told me. Maybe there really are consequences to what I’m doing. Maybe this cough is a warning that I should heed.

 

But for months, I didn’t. After a while, I was actually able to ignore the cough altogether. This is what addiction does. It changes our very thought patterns and convinces us that we’re OK even when we know we’re not.

 

After a while I stopped with the selfish thinking and started thinking about my future and how I wanted to perceive it. I thought of the people I loved and how a slow, agonizing death would look to them. I thought of how sad they would be for me that I couldn’t seem to find an end to my addiction. In my mind’s eye, the looks I got from the ones I loved in the future were looks of pity and of sorrow.

 

I realized that this addiction wasn’t just about me. It was about everyone I interact with. It was about what I wanted my future to look like. It was about throwing out the lies of my addiction and seeing reality instead and I’ll tell you. Sometimes reality can be tough when we take the time to see it!

 

And so I understood that I was going to quit not just for me, but for all those around me who my addiction effects. I understood which of the futures I’d pictured that I wanted to see. And yes, for a love of myself and those that I loved, I chose to take that first step.

 

Don’t think I wasn’t like you when I first seriously thought of quitting. Actually, I was terrified, but I was also now filled with resolve. I was filled with the reality that I was quitting for a group of people even if they didn’t know it. To me, that’s all that mattered, or so I thought!

 

When we finally take that first step, it’s daunting to say the least. Our addiction fights us like a petulant child, screaming at us and demanding that things go back to normal. Normal? What the hell is normal now?

 

This is when it becomes very easy to forget that we first love ourselves and not our addictions. That there were reasons for quitting. Very valid reasons that the child of addiction will do it’s best to make us forget. Mine was a desire for a brighter future with those that I love, And I kept this close to my heart every time that addict within screamed at me. This helped me to find a way through those first hard days.

 

In the end I did find that future that I longed to see a little over six years ago. In fact, I’m now living that future because I was willing to fight for it! I know so many of you here are ready to fight. Never forget your reasons for deciding to lose your addictions. Never forget that only you can change your future.

 

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A banner of freedom on the summit. All you have to do is believe in yourself and know the future that you want to see. And if that future is without cigarettes, then that future will indeed be wonderful. All you have to do is get through the first hard weeks. Never demean your love of a clean, healthy future that you want to see. You’re better than that!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

susan.m

Triple Digit Club

Posted by susan.m Mar 17, 2017

It's been 103 days since I quit, and 102 days since I became an EX. That means that for each of the last 102 days, TerrieQuit has made contact with me.

 

Every. Single. Day.

 

Not just me, many of us on this site. She not only checks in, she checks ON and contributes tremendously to the successful quits of our members. She's also setting a fantastic example of how a relapse should be handled. Along that line, today marks her entrance into the TDC.

 

Happy 100 days, Terrie!  I'm so happy to hold the door open for you!  

 

diamond01

Second round

Posted by diamond01 Mar 16, 2017

Hi, today should be 74 but I had to take a day off I blew that, just one puff went to a half of pack, so I started all over with my patches, and I fill so good this time around, the crying, and the roller coaster, are gone, I now feel like I have control over it now. I am just staying away from everyone that smokes, and attitude has a lot to do with it, the first time I was so foused on my quit I couldn't think of anything else, but this time is different maybe because i have a different look on it, I don't want to smoke, I am a non smoker, and I like saying that, and I feel good about my self for coming this far and thanks to all of your help I am going to make it. Helen.

When we choose to regain our freedom, we commit to a journey. A journey that takes time and is filled with discovery! A journey that may not be perfect, but there’s a goal in mind at the end of the journey. One filled with light and peace. One filled with unimaginable freedom. One filled with life and love.

 

Really it’s a hard journey at times, filled with confusion and sometimes fear. But it’s also filled with a feeling of accomplishment. A feeling of believing in ourselves, because that’s the only way we’ll see the end of this journey. By first loving ourselves and second by believing that we really can stay on the path to freedom.

 

When we first quit, our biggest fear is that we won’t have what it takes to complete the journey. We find it so hard to turn off the internal argument and it drives us crazy at times. We feel like the world is so different now. And understanding that difference is a key to success.

 

In reality, the world hasn’t changed at all. It’s us that has changed. And these changes are powerful both now and in our futures. But first we have to find a way to stay true to ourselves. We have to find a way to see our new world as a positive world when at times all we can see is negative.

 

We see how hard it is without our crutch rather than seeing the benefits of what we’re doing. Changing our thinking can be a challenge, but it can be done. Every person who has a successful quit has done just that!

 

At first we know that we’re doing what we want to do. After all, we know that cigarettes have no real benefit to us. Usually, we somehow find a way to get through the first hard days but then the second week rolls around and we don’t seem to be feeling any better. This is a tricky time for a quit.

 

I mean, what the hell? We just spent three days getting this physical addiction out of our bodies and added some days on top of that. Why don’t we feel better? In my opinion, this is where it gets hard. White knuckling through that first week was something we were prepared for, but for some reason even though we were told, we never realized the journey would take time! We focused so much on the first hard days that we forgot to prepare for the rest of the journey!

 

And so when the next week rolls around, we think “Why hasn’t this gotten better?”

 

The truth is that in that first week, we really begin the journey. In that second week, we start to pull the real tentacles of addiction out of our bodies. Because those tentacles are implanted within our minds, and over the years we willingly let them grow, telling our inner self that this one bad action is OK, even though we always knew it wasn’t.

 

And so begins the part of the journey where the mental part lives. We no longer physically crave the cigarette and yet we feel like we do. Some have called the tentacles memories. I agree with that.

 

But how can we possibly change those thoughts? How can we teach ourselves that we no longer smoke when the mind has been told for so long that this is right? There is no easy answer to this. If there was, every addict would be free.

 

All I can say is that we have to focus on the rainbow rather than the darkness that a storm can bring. We have to find a way to see the wondrous future that we’re creating rather than dwell on our past of smoking. That’s why I say that the key to quitting lives inside of every addict.

 

Once we find the benefits of quitting to outweigh the discomfort of losing an addition, we feel better. Once we peer into the smoke free future and see happiness rather than loss, we feel better. Once we know that the “old friend” is really the enemy, we feel better.

 

Getting to that point is the hard part. And that’s why we’re here. To remind you of the future you long to see. To show you by example that the freedom that comes from losing an addiction is incredible! To tell you of the peace that awaits you just around the corner, so long as you can get through the tough part. To help you to see the rainbow instead of the storm.

 

It’s all so very beautiful. All you have to do is stay on the path and never, ever give up! I know I make it sound easy and in a way it is because the key is already inside of you! Go for it! You won’t regret it! I look forward to seeing you in the very place that you want to be!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

susan.m

The Cafe is OPEN!

Posted by susan.m Mar 15, 2017

Good morning!!  It's Wednesday, so the cafe is OPEN!  Find us in Celebrations and Events, or use this link:The Ex Cafe  Wed 03.15.2017 

 

See you there!

Susan

Our friend Trudy tjanddj is sending her love, as she has not been on EX much lately.  As most of us know, her son is awaiting to start a new round of therapy with a promising result.  But there are a lot of tests that have to be had, and he has not feeling his best lately.  They are going through some difficult times and can use all our love, and prayers...

susan.m

Diary of a Madwoman

Posted by susan.m Mar 13, 2017

For any of you starting your quit journey, does the thought of the first week intimidate you?  Will it be filled with constant internal discussions and battles?  Will it be hard, trying and exhausting? Probably.  It is all of that and then some – and worth every second.   Here’s a glimpse at my first week quit – the following are excerpts from my journal.

 

Thursday, 12/1/16:  This is it.  I am going to finally quit smoking.  I will try to quit.  No, that’s not right.  I am going to quit.  Tomorrow is my day.  No, wait…… I can’t – I will be at the legion on Sunday cooking all day for the vets, and…….. Beer.  Yeah, I can’t quit tomorrow because there will be beer on Sunday.  That’s a recipe for disaster.  OK. I will quit after the legion.  No, on Monday morning.  No, no – Sunday night after the legion so that I have hours under my belt when I wake up Monday.  Deal.  I am going to quit. 

 

Do I tell Mike?  What about the kids?  My friends?  Why do I feel embarrassed?  I might cry. What in the world?!?  I hate to cry.  My heart is beating SO fast right now!  What if I fail?  What if I am mean?  Should I really do this?  WAIT!!!! This is a really bad idea.  STOP overthinking this.  I am going to quit.  But I might still be embarrassed, which I just don’t understand.  I am going to quit smoking.   It’s over.

 

WAIT!  I don’t have a patch, or lozenges, or … HEY!  I know… I will vape!   Yeah… I will… NO.  That’s not quitting.  I have to go 72 hours without nicotine to get it out of my system.  DUH.  No cheating, if I am going to quit, I have to really quit.  Ok.  Cold Turkey.  Mike did it three years ago, and I am stronger than he is.  Most of the time.  Well.  Not really, but I can still quit.  Fake it ‘til you make it.  OK.  I am going to quit smoking.

 

Fast forward three days.  December 4th 2016 8:42 pm – last cigarette.  Throw away all ashtrays, lighters and cigarettes –no sign of smoking anywhere.  This is now a non-smoking household. 

 

Monday morning, 12/5/16.  I DON’T SMOKE!  This is so exciting!!  Yay me!  I don’t even WANT one.  Ha – maybe this is going to be easy.  <snicker>

 

Coffee….. Oh boy.  How’s that going to go?  Ahhhh – no issues.  Fantastic.  Uh, oh… will I ever “go to the bathroom” again?  If I don’t go, that could kill me.  WAIT!!!  Which is less painful?  To die from smoking or from not pooping?  Imagine the epitaph.  Maybe this was not such a good idea.  Maybe I should just smoke – nope, I threw them all away.   Crushed them, too.   Dammit.  10 minutes later…...  Much better now – morning potty is not an issue.  Whew! 

 

Time to head to the office.  No smoking in the car now, which is fine.  If going to the bathroom without my first smoke of the day is not a problem, driving to work won’t be either.  I am back in control.  Turn up the radio – it’s a beautiful day!  I quit smoking!

 

Day 2.  Oh my – there are a lot of smokers at work.  I can smell them all.  I am like a predator with a heightened sense of smell.  I think there is a smoker in the building next door.  I can smell him or her.  How did I ever enjoy that?  God, it’s gross.  I am going to stay in my office and avoid all the people.  I really don’t like them right now anyway, and the smokers stink.  Thank goodness I brought my trident gum.  I need to look on the internet for some distractions.  Google is my friend…… I will find some websites that will help distract me.

 

Quit.com is cool.  Lots of info there.  Why Quit is also good – very interesting stuff.  Become an EX – I like that name a lot.  Let’s sign up for that one.  My creativity is dead, but I have to tell someone what I am feeling here.  I think I will BLOG!  BOOM – comments.  WOW!  Giulia… what a lovely name.   Italian, right?  I wonder how often she has to spell that for people.  Isn’t that also a car?  Jonescarp.  What an odd name.  C2Q.  Silverstar.  Is there some “don’t use your name” secret code here?  Oh, Jackie – a real name!  Terrie – isn’t she nice!   Mike.n.atlanta – how clever.  Ok – why not…. I will stay with Become an Ex.  I need the support.  I am a real renegade and registered with my given name.   Sigh…. I might be a bit crispy.  Better make sure my blogs stay happy. Maybe even a little funny.  We need to laugh so we don’t cry.   Ummm… who’s “we?”  Lord, I am clearly losing it.  Fake it ‘til you make it.

 

Day Three.  Day Four (no more nicotine!).  I am tired.  I am so tired.  I am too tired to smoke even if one was in front of me.  And I am a big fat liar.  I am not through this yet.  My legs are jumpy and sometimes I feel like my skin is crawling.  I am drinking so much water. That’s what they tell me in the comments on my daily blogs.  I have to blog – if I don’t, I might scream.  Or smoke.  Blog, Susan.  Keep blogging.

 

Mike and the kids are so supportive, but I think I growl instead of speak.  If I smile when I do it, it doesn’t count, right?  I am going to bed.  I might just move into the bed.  Who needs to adult, anyway?

 

Day 5.  Ok, better.  Back to the legion for meetings after work.  I actually WANT to leave the house.  It’s so nice to see people.  I only think about smoking once every 7.78899666 minutes.  That’s real progress.

 

Day 6 and 7 – nicotine haze is easing, and I feel like myself again.  Cravings come, but they GO, too – they never stay long.  People tell you this but you don’t understand it until you experience it.  There is no way I would jeopardize my quit now, because I don’t want to do this week again.  It is almost hard to believe that I used to smoke.

 

That was (mostly) my first week.  While some of it was tongue in cheek, ALL of it is true.  Every time you read the word “WAIT” in the above, it was my addiction talking.  It pushed back, and it pushed back hard.  After all, my addiction was well cared for and well fed for 30 years.

 

I put out my last cigarette at 8:40 pm on December 4th, 2016.  There was no fanfare.  Trumpets didn’t blare, angels didn’t sing, and my husband simply said “you can do this, baby."  That was more than enough because the key all along was in me; I dug deep and found my commitment.

 

It’s ok to not know what you will experience.  It is not ok to continue to smoke and slowly kill yourself because you are too afraid of your first week.  That just is not ok, because the first week never killed anyone – smoking kills people every hour of every day.  Let that sink in.

 

Yes, there were lots of moments where I wasn’t as nice as I could have been, or as ladylike as I should have been, but through it all there was humor, dedication, amazement and pride.  I am proud of myself and for any of you who have quit for one hour, one day, one week, month, year or decade, you should be proud too.

 

Don’t try.  Do.  Don’t give it a shot, give it your all.  Don’t wonder if you can, think about how you will.  It’s all up to you.  The commitment, the answers, and the grit – it’s all in you.

 

 

 

Daniela-3-11-2016

Flying of Surfing?

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Mar 12, 2017

Image result for inspiring quotes

 

And do the same with the cravings, if not, just surf them,

You don't know how?  Ask Thomas3.20.2010

Thinking this is so intimidating, desired, hard to obtain name, and now that I get it, makes me feel old, somehow?  One is never really happy, are we?  Of course I am, how many of us starting here actually make it to the 6%, thanks Giulia for adding me to the list?

 

This is just meant to be the shortest note, just to say how wonderful it feels to be surrounded by people who gave me a  chance from the very beginning, and supported me along the way!

 

Do things change when you become an "elder", they sure do, there is a huge sense of responsibility that comes with it, one of pride for making it here, but mostly of huge gratitude for the people who helped me get here!

 

And it really does not matter the platform we are using today, or we used a year ago, those who want to help, and change people lives for the better are here, with the same words of encouragement (even new ones), the same scientific facts about our common addiction, the same tools to make us commit as a team, the same technical abilities they share with us for making easier to communicate, the same love and tenderness sharing their past, or current challenges, to make us feel we belong here!

 

And once we really feel we do, we feel part of this community, weather or not we are here every day, we shall remain forever EX.

 

Violet_Quit

TORNADO IN MY HEAD?

Posted by Violet_Quit Mar 11, 2017

This past week seemed like I was in a Tornado.....Yep guess thats what I would call it. I'm 175 days smoke free.I been doing pretty good but  this past week I'm not so straight  thinking....My mind is going in circles....you know I should be doing fine and dandy..ha ha  But NO YOU KNOW WHAT WHY shouldn't I be fine and dandy......I'm smoke free now i should feel great !! Now don't get me wrong i am very thankful for being smoke free. BUT THEN WHATS WRONG.....Why is everything going in circles? I don't  smoke anymore everything should be fine and dandy. But you all ways have them little Reminders: You can't forget it no way no how like DR'S LIST........My DR'S list are just down right crazy...YOU Think when did this happen,when did the smoking cause all these problems..You know you don't think of anything Happening until it kind of just comes out and bites you....Like the smoke monster are whatever  you call him......anyways He is BAD...BAD.....BAD!! SO if he didn't reach you yet , Don't wait with thinking you need to think real hard and QUIT SMOKING NOW!!  QUIT!! QUIT!! QUIT!!  And i know SMOKING NOT A OPTION.....N O P E                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         VIOLET

You Quiate Your Quit

That's About The Whole Of It

Happy, Sad, A Dud, Or Glad

You Quiate Your Quit

 

Keep It On The Top Awhile

You Must Honor It

Respect It Or You'll Slip

You Quiate Your Quit

 

When Risky Is Your Choice

You Give Nic A Voice

Life Might Throw You In A Pit

But You Quiate Your Quit

 

Friends Won't Understand

They Can't Hold Your Hand

Some Expect That You Will Slip

But, You Quiate Your Quit.

 

As The Years Go Past

Quits Get Easier

You Can Choose To Make Yours Last

You Quiate Your Quit

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

The beginning

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 11, 2017

Remember that first day that you decided to quit smoking? I remember the fear that I felt when I thought of this. Someone on this site mentioned having panic attacks, and I said I never had one while quitting and was right, however when I first thought about quitting I think I came as close to a panic attack as one could without having a full blown one.

 

I was sweaty, visibly shaking, my head was pounding and my footing was unsteady, and all of these physical things happened just from thinking about quitting! I was amazed, and the only thing I could do to calm myself was recommit to smoking.

 

I lit up a cigarette, but the thought of quitting never left my mind for some reason. I eventually calmed and again started thinking about quitting. I mean, I had enough reasons to quit after all. I was coughing sometimes for an hour every morning, even as I smoked those first morning cigarettes.

 

This initial reaction told me that I was very badly addicted and that I had some learning to do. I used my past to figure this part out for you see, I once had hepatitis C, before the days of Harvoni where the treatment of it was two drugs that had horrible side effects, and the course of treatment was six months.

 

I drew from that life lesson to help me with this one. The same fear existed before I started these treatments as the fear I felt when I thought of quitting. That’s when I realized that change was what I was afraid of. Fear of the unknown.

 

And so I started working on this fear. I already knew how important support was when entering a new world, or rather changing the world I now lived in to something better. I knew I needed support. That’s when I found EX, and I knew that as far as support went, that was all I would need.

 

As I learned more, I realized that there was no magic cure for quitting. That no matter what, there was a period of discomfort that I would have to go through. For this I would need incredible resolve. Support could help me with a lot, but I knew that this was an internal battle that would have to be won by me. No one else could do it!

 

And so I studied. I learned about addiction. I tried “practice quits” so I’d be ready to fight off the craves. I read all I could about addiction as I continued practicing to quit. And one thing I know for sure was when I put out that last cigarette, I was no longer afraid! In fact, I was excited to begin the journey.

 

I used the patch which gave me some confidence, and I’d used them before so I was ready for craves that do appear even when wearing the patch. Not to say those first days were easy, but I was on the right path and I knew it! I never lost sight of the future that I was fighting for.

 

I never stopped dreaming of the freedom that always seemed just around the corner. Even when I felt the discomforts that the screaming child of addiction created within me, I still marched on, seeing the beauty that was getting ever closer with each passing day.

 

As the days turned into weeks and I realized that I might make it, my excitement grew, and my mental picture of the freedom that was awaiting me grew with it. I realized that I could now see through the cloud of my addiction and past the lies of addiction to my new reality. I wanted that reality so badly that nothing would stop me!

 

And now I stand on the summit of Mt. Freedom, looking down those long, hard slopes. I can see so many toiling on their own climbs. And when I can I throw ropes down the slope to try to make the ascent easier for those who follow, I do.

 

There’s so much wonder at the end of the journey. Things are just brighter and cleaner. Freedom feels as good as I dreamed it would. And the peace within the mind is such a wonderful calm. There’s so much in the future for you if you can just stay focused on the prize! We’re not wasting our time when we quit smoking. Where taking our lives back!

 

Looking forward to the smiles in your futures! All you have to do is stick to the path and never, ever give in to yourself!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Daniela-3-11-2016

One year today

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Mar 11, 2017

And a few of my experiences and words of support for the newbies:

  1. quitting is not by far as difficult as you think it would before you actually quit
  2. your mind is the one responsible for the quality of the quit: it can make it a breeze, or one of the more dreaded experiences of your life; talk yourself into how easy it is and it will be just that
  3. educate yourself about the addiction to nicotine, and the psychological dependency on smoking; it might make the difference between sticking with the right decision, or falling back in the old patterns and bringing back a whole array of negative feelings of self-worth, making it more difficult every time to quit again
  4. life is full of challenges for all of us, smokers or EX smokers; having a cigarette does not make it any easier to work through life challenges, it just makes it more expensive
  5. the thought of smoking never really goes away; it comes back regularly, but it is just a thought not a command to action; it is up to you to recognize it as such, and take another action/activity instead and let the thought of smoking fade away
  6. and for those who have not quit yet, please do it, counting the days of freedom in its own is such a beautiful present you can give yourself every day

Thank you to this community for nudging me along the way, I would not be here today, if not for you all!

Daniela

dwwms

Time to Quit For Good

Posted by dwwms Mar 10, 2017

Well, the last time I was here was back in 2010 - I failed at that attempt and have added another 7 years of smoking. I cannot believe it's been that long. I've been smoking 40 years now. I think I kept putting off trying again because having tried many times before, I was afraid of failure again. I cannot let that or anything else stop me this time.

My quit date is my upcoming 58th birthday - March 22. I'm trying to cover all my bases. Talked with the doctor, he prescribed nicotine lozenges (previous attempts seemed most successful when using nicotine replacement). He also suggested Welbutrin, if needed. My last attempt was with Chantix and that didn't work out well - apparently I'm one of those who have bad feelings / experiences from taking Chantix. I've told friends and family - my wife is very supportive as are friends - it's kind of funny now, seems I'm one of the last ones still smoking. And I'm coming back here because it's nice to have a community of those who are going through the same thing or have been there.

My main impetus for quitting this time is my own health. Year before last, a CT scan of my lungs showed mild signs of emphysema (COPD), so this notion that somehow I could smoke without consequences unraveled. Of course, it was just the nicotine talking to begin with. I take daily walks with my dog of 2 to 3 miles and have noticed over the last several months, I'm getting out of breath easier and easier. I love hiking and cannot imagine not being able to go when I want. Of course, there are other reasons as well (my wife, the expense, the burden of the addiction...)

It's nice to know I have a place to go for support cause I know the going is gonna get tough. Not only the community but the wealth or resources found on this site. Thanks.

I was again thinking about those first hard days of losing addiction. An exercise I do on a regular basis because thinking of those first days just makes my quit stronger. By visualizing the past, I see the many lessons learned along the way when I lost my addiction.

 

I remember the days right after my quit when the sweet lies of my addiction were still incredibly pronounced and in the foreground. You know, those voices saying, “Why can’t I have a cigarette? What’s the harm of just one? Oh, come on you know you want one and just think how calm your world will be when you smoke. Just think of how wonderful it would be to return to the land of peace.”

 

Sometimes we listen to these lies and long for a past that in itself was a lie. Sometimes we allow ourselves to add power to the voices. A power that doesn’t help us at all and the way we add that power is by agreeing with the lies. This in itself can crush a fairly successful attempt.

 

That’s why it’s so important to always say no. That’s why it’s important to see through the lies of our own addiction and to constantly remind ourselves that these things really are lies. Really we know, just as we always have why we can’t have a cigarette. We know that just one cigarette will send us back to slavery in a single puff. And though the endless internal voice will calm itself if we give in, there’s really no peace. The only real way to find peace is to stay on top of the quit and take the time to find that peace.

 

I think what happens a lot of times is that on top of these voices endlessly whispering it’s sweet lies to us, we tend to blame everything that happens to us on our quit. The simplest things can set us off, and when the old blood pressure rises, so too does the desire to smoke.

 

If someone irritates us, the first thought that pops in the mind is, “I need a cigarette!”

 

Just because the thought pops in there doesn’t mean that we actually have to have one. When we trip over a rock and become instantly angry, we tend to blame the whole thing on quitting. When someone gets in an argument with us, again it only happened because we’re quitting.

 

It’s almost like our rationality leaves us for a while when we quit. We have to always understand that we did just turn our world upside down when we quit and that the aggressive feelings and irritability that naturally comes from quitting seems to become stronger and stronger.

 

We get angry at some event in life and all of the sudden we start listening to the endless lies in the background. And because of the troubling life event we start to listen to it. We start to romance it, sometimes even thinking that all of life’s little problems will go away if we just have one more cigarette to calm things.

 

And in a lot of cases, we relapse and when we do, we see the lies that we were believing. The lies that derailed our quits and as such we feel terrible!

 

Never fall for the tricks of our own minds. The addiction tries to keep us in an endless state of living only in the present. It seems to rob us of the ability to peer into the future, and that’s where the reward lies. By living in the present we fail to see the benefits of our quits, because we have to be able to see back so we know how far we’ve come and we need to see ahead so that we can see the future we’re trying to create.

 

There is no simple answer to all of this. We have to experience these things as part of losing our addictions. What we can do is understand what’s happening to us so that we can dismiss it. We know life’s problems are going to be there. And we know we’re going to get irritable. We know that the sweet lies of addiction will be there. All we have to do is either learn to ignore them or face them.

 

That’s why I called my addiction the addict within. So when these things started happening to me, I could converse with the addiction itself. When I felt a crave coming on I could think to myself, “Oh no you don’t! You may act like my friend, but I know better.”

 

When I felt the irritability building within me and those lies becoming stronger I could yell, “Shut up! You’re not going to do this to me! I’m better than that!”

 

The key to a  successful quit lives inside all of us. We have to understand our addiction in order to beat it. And just as so many others have, you too can find the path to freedom! You too can learn how much better life is without addiction!

 

There’s freedom waiting for you at the end of this tough journey. And there’s peace. Not the peace the addiction tells you will be there if you smoke, but real peace that can only come from complete freedom! Keep your thoughts on the future and in no time, you’ll be living that future!

 

Have a wonderful smoke free weekend!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Jaded

Do it for you!

Posted by Jaded Mar 9, 2017

Wow does time fly. Didn't realize how long it's been until I received an email about my past blog post. I do hope that my words have helped others, even if it were only one person. That's one person who is smoke free. I am happy to say that it will soon be my 9 year anniversary of being smoke free!! 

 

Unfortunately along the way, I lost my mother who had battled COPD for the past 8 of those years. She did quit smoking, however the damage had already been done. I wish she would have had the resources that are readily available to help smokers quit that we now have today. Maybe she to would have quit before the damage was so severe. 

 

If I can help anyone please feel free to send me a message. And remember, you can do it anything if you really want it. 

smorgy8513

Coffee????

Posted by smorgy8513 Mar 9, 2017

Is the Cafe open this morning?

I NEED COFFEE!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Are you ready?

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 9, 2017

I was just thinking about those days before my quit. There seemed to be a lot of things happening in my little world. Once I’d made the decision to quit. Once I’d convinced myself that I really did want my freedom, I started reading. I went through a lot of the exercises here at EX, and through the Colorado quitline.

 

When I first called the quitline and talked to a counsellor there, we agreed for me to start working on my triggers. I chose delaying a cigarette for one hour when I first woke up because we’d determined that one of my strongest triggers was when I first woke up in the morning. They also had me set up a quit date on their web site.

 

And so the next day began the first day of my preparation. I woke up and delayed that cigarette. It seemed hard and yet in a way it wasn’t, for you see, I knew I could have a cigarette when I was finished with that hour. I got through that small test, and was glad that I did it, mainly because I knew that it was the first step on a journey of life. A journey of freedom. An amazing journey into myself.

 

The next morning I started using a cigarette tracker, and tried to stay pretty normal as far as my habit goes. I still called it a habit then rather than the addiction that I now know it was. I realized that I was a thirty cigarette a day smoker. I had a horrible smokers cough in the mornings and now I knew why! I had no idea how much smoke I’d been pouring into my lungs every day.

 

I continued my journey the next day. I decided to take out my next trigger. Smoking while driving. This was the first life lesson that I was to learn, because it was hard to separate driving from smoking. From there I started looking at other triggers and told myself that I had to wait ten minutes after an urge before I could smoke.

 

Over time, I was going two hours a day without a cigarette. I started doing “practice quits” where I would go as long a four hours without a cigarette. By the time I quit, I’d reduced my smoking to five cigarettes a day.

 

I stayed focused on the fact that I was quitting the entire time I was prepping and I knew just how important this step was if I was going to succeed. I know I changed my quit date a few times, but by the time I took that first faltering step on the path to freedom, I knew I was ready!

 

We all have to find our own way of quitting. It’s a very personal thing after all. We can take advice and use it if it benefits us, but in the end we have to understand our addictions before we can beat them. If I hadn’t prepped for a while before my quit, I don’t know if I’d have made it.

 

So all I can say is that if you haven’t started your quit yet, preparation is a key to success. It’s the foundation on which we build the rest of our lives. And so long as we have a strong foundation and understand the addiction that we must fight, then we have all of the weapons that we might need when we actually start the journey.

 

It’s a war, to say the least. A war that is won one battle at a time. And each battle fought and won is another piece of knowledge to add to the foundation of our quit as we build the house of freedom.

 

When I quit for the last time, I was ready. My mind, heart and soul were in agreement to quit and though there was some fear of failure, when my final quit date came, I was ready. In fact, I was looking forward to it.

 

Not that the first days were easy! Like everyone, the first days were tough, but with the strength of preparation, I got through. Never turn your back on yourself! Take those steps that must be taken and then put out that last cigarette and march on into your shiny new future of freedom!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Why?

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 8, 2017

Why is it so hard?

 

I remember when I quit, that thought would pop into my head on occasion. I knew I wanted to quit when I put out my last cigarette, and I truly believed that I didn’t want to smoke again. In fact, I even smiled when I put out that last cigarette.

 

The mind didn’t really begin its temper tantrum until the next morning. But as I poured my coffee, the voices started. For me, it was easy enough to ignore them at first but eventually they became loud enough that they were starting to bug me!

 

And so I listened. At first, the best description that I can come up with is that they were dissociated thoughts. That they were meaningless. But why was it every time I was idle that this endless whisper was going on in my head. I mean, the little impulses and signals that the brain was sending me, I could understand. But what’s up with these voices?

 

A gave them a listen and realized that it was my mind trying to sort out a new world. A place that I’d never been before. And with that action came confusion. I realized that these seemingly random thoughts weren’t random at all! There was an actual purpose to the background noise.

 

I considered my brain to be like a blank slate, because I hadn’t lived smoke free for most of my life. And since I was experiencing a world that wasn’t built on addiction, things were just different. I saw the voice as a screaming child. A child that doesn’t understand why things had to change. A child that was trying to sort through the fact that I’d been lying to it all of this time and that I cannot lie to myself anymore. This child eventually became known to me as the addict within.

 

And so I found at least a little understanding. Just like a child, I’d have to teach my mind a new reality. And just like a child, it is rebellious and doesn’t want to change. But the child does learn, even as it rebels. The child does change, and the thing is that change is deep within us.

 

So the next time those crazy voices start up, just remember that it’s normal for the mind to want to understand change. It’s normal for our addiction to fight with us at every turn. It’s really the same struggles that we’ve all gone through.

 

Remember that in this place, we understand the screaming child. We understand that the fight is for freedom from ourselves. We understand the desire to be free and so many of us know how it feels to be free!

 

I look forward to seeing each and every one of you find that freedom. After all, it’s what we’re here for . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Deception

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 7, 2017

When we first started smoking, we created a foundation for our addiction. And that foundation was based on lies. Those first cigarettes tasted horrible and yet we found ways to tell ourselves that they were actually wonderful.

 

As we continued on building a foundation of deception it became slowly more believable. You know, the thoughts of how we looked to others when we smoked. Thoughts of how relaxing the cigarette is. Thoughts of having a friend when we’re bored or driving, just to keep the old mind occupied.

 

When we find ourselves wanting a cigarette, rather than wonder why we want it so bad, we simply ignore the fact that we’re addicted and head out for that wonderful smoke. This is what allows us to build on our foundation of deception. We ignore reality because for some reason a reality smoke free just doesn’t sound right.

 

And then one day, we see through the deception that we’ve created. We see that what we were thinking was all wrong. That in reality we have a choice. But how do we get out of a deception created by our own minds?

 

This is what makes quitting so hard. We’ve perceived a reality of lies for so long that the lies seemed normal. But somehow, so many have seen through this deception and found a desire to change. When that happens, we tend to peer into the future. To wonder what life would really be like without the old ball and chain.

 

This is a pivotal moment in our lives and once we really decide that we want to change our reality into something more rational, the quit begins.

 

Sure it’s hard at first. Why wouldn’t it be? We get the double whammy of a physical withdrawal along with a divided mind. Because we’ve deceived ourselves for so long, it seems like our world is turned upside down at first.

 

We have to create a new foundation to stand on and what takes time is accepting a new reality. The mind endlessly reminds us of what used to be normal. And yet the rational side of us argues with the addicted side that no, our addiction is not normal. Smoking is not normal.

 

We have to literally demand that what we used to call normal isn’t anymore. That’s why it takes time to rip the tentacles of addiction out of ourselves. But eventually as our minds begin to calm, we discover the deception that we lived for so long. We have to forgive ourselves that deception and move on into the rational world that we create the moment we put out that last cigarette.

 

Go for it! Cast away your deception and turn it into something wonderful! It may take a little time, but there’s so much peace to look forward to. The mind becomes so much clearer when we quit living a lie and begin to live a reality.

 

And eventually we really do become free of ourselves and the addiction we built over all those long years. Freedom awaits you! Make that your new reality. Make freedom your mantra and always look forward to that wonderful day when the cloud of addiction is lifted and life becomes what it should be. The normal that was always there. That’s where the peace comes from. Reality!!

 

And speaking of reality, I’m off to work!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!


Chuck

I was asked that the other day at the trailhead. Someone had been there for several days and wasn't sure theyy wanted a camel and supplies.
I had to answer truthfully and told them there is a cost.
The backpack of supplies, the pack of supplies on the camel, even the camel rental itself have a cost. All the supplies at the Oasis have a cost. The guides along the trail that will point you in the proper direction have a cost.
What is that cost?
Just pay it foreward and help others. We all need help on this journey, therefore we all pay it foreward and help everyone.
Travel smart and safely my friends.
The journey is long, so remember that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with just one step.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Life lessons

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 6, 2017

I was just remembering back many long years ago to when my father died. You see, he died of complications to throat cancer due to smoking. I remember when they first did surgery on his throat to try to remove the large tumor that was lodged there. He smoked right up to the moment he entered the hospital. I remember the look he gave that last cigarette of his as he flicked it almost violently away from him.

 

He was angry and confused and wondering what the rest of his life was going to look like. I have to mention here that the rest of this story isn’t pretty but it is one that needs to be told. All of us three kids and his wife waited for the surgery to be over. It took several hours and I remember constantly going outside to smoke cigarettes, never even thinking of what those things were doing to me, but us kids believed that they were keeping us as calm as we could be.

 

When the surgery was over and we saw him for the first time, it was heart wrenching. Half of his face was gone! His throat looked thin and there were huge bandages all over his neck. He was hooked up to the thousand things that people are always hooked up to when this type of surgery takes place.

 

I ended up spending a few weeks with him in the hospital. His wound was infected and needed drainage all of the time. I never left his side during this part of his recovery. I remember when the surgeon walked in to check him out and he saw the cigarettes in my pocket. He screamed, “What the hell is the matter with you!” Pointing to the cigarettes in my pocket he said, “You do realize that these are what did this to your father don’t you?!”

 

I just stood there staring at him for a moment before leaving the room until he was finished with my father. I actually went down and had a cigarette to be honest.

 

In the end, he did get out of the hospital, however he could barely talk because they had to remove part of his tongue and he couldn’t eat except through a tube because they had to remove a flap that normally holds things out of the lungs when one eats or drinks.

 

But he got along. All he wanted was time to teach his wife, (my stepmother), how to survive without him. To make a long story short, he survived a year before the cancer entered his liver. We finished the last couple of months with him in hospice.

 

What amazed me was that even after all of this happening, I continued smoking. My addiction was incredibly strong. I eventually did manage to quit for about a year but relapsed after the loss of my first wife.  (Not a valid excuse, I know).

 

I continued smoking for several more years before I reached my final quit. But I guess my point with this blog is to first show what can happen when we keep smoking and second to show just how strong the addiction can be. Looking back, it amazes me that I didn’t even think about quitting while my father was dying. Even during the hospice care time, we’d go out on the back patio and smoke constantly.

 

That’s how strong my addiction really was and I know that if I can quit, any of you can!

 

Thinking back, I remember the lies I would tell myself. That after my experiences, I deserved smoking. That bad things only happened to other people. That my addiction was different than everyone else’s. And so I gave power to my addiction, never even giving the future a second thought and eventually, the thought of quitting never entered my mind until the day that it finally did.

 

Six years ago I finally put those things down once and for all. About a year ago I was diagnosed with mild COPD. Was I upset about it? Not really for you see I had almost five years of freedom with no ill effects because I quit when I did.

 

Secondly, I can’t even imagine how bad my COPD would be right now had I not decided to quit. So there’s that. And then of course my favorite thing to talk about. You know, the peace and freedom that comes from quitting. The ability to be proud of what I did and forgive myself my past mistakes.

 

Am I sorry I didn’t quit sooner? Of course I am but again, I have forgiven myself for my past and now just look to the future. You know. The one that’s so bright! The one that’s so free!

 

We must forgive our past before we can move onto the future. We cannot change our past but we can certainly change our futures. What we do in the present determines what our lives will look like in the future. And what I did six years ago when I quit proves to me that everything I thought would happen did.

 

My future really is much brighter than it could’ve been. I’m way healthier than I would have been had I decided to keep smoking. And yes, the freedom and beauty of this new world that I live in because of what I chose to do six years ago is amazing! Never give up. It’s just not worth it. Follow your heart and not your addiction and soon you too will be on the other side looking back.

 

If I can do this then so can you! Go for it! There really is so much waiting for you! It’s your life and future that we’re talking about. Get on that horse and ride into freedom!!! You deserve it!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Perception

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 5, 2017

Quitting smoking can be a strange exercise at times. And a big part of it is changing our perception of things. When we first decide to quit, there’s a bit of fear as we peer into a future without cigarettes. We know that they’re harming us, but they just seem to taste so good! And the darn things help us to relax and to concentrate.

 

Sadly, these are the wrong perceptions of things, and we all know the realities. No, cigarettes don’t actually taste good. In fact, the reality is that they taste awful. And they don’t help us to relax. Rather, they create anxiety. And better concentration? If you consider concentrating on feeding the addiction a help, then I guess.

 

My point is that our addictions can be so strong that we don’t seem to be able to see reality. As if a dark cloud is placed in front of our eyes, we perceive a different reality. An addicted reality. A reality that keeps us safe from losing our addiction. I think that’s one of the reasons that it takes some so long to take that first step.

 

When I quit, I spent a lot of time preparing. You know, doing the reading, soul searching and learning my triggers. I spent a lot of time denying myself my own triggers during my prep time and I cut way down on the number of cigarettes that I smoke. I changed my quit date several times, awaiting the right moment, as if there ever is one!

 

At last I felt I was ready and I’ll tell you how I knew. Before I quit, my entire perception of smoking  had changed. I think a big part of preparation is clearing the cloud of addiction so that we can see things as they really are. That we’re not losing a thing and gaining everything!

 

Once we can perceive ourselves in the future without cigarettes and feel a kind of happiness when perceiving those days in our future, then we’re as ready as we can be. But that’s not the end of the story, as anyone who has quit knows.

 

Even though we’ve cleared the cloud of addiction enough to see the reality that exists behind it, we still have to free ourselves from the addiction. I think by having the right mental picture when we quit that it gives us the ammunition we need to get started, but we’re nowhere near done yet.

 

What it takes is living those first days without cigarettes, slowly ripping those tentacles of addiction from our bodies. We have to learn to perceive things differently. We have to learn that the first reaction to crisis is no longer reaching for a cigarette or as we begin certain tasks, we no longer think we need a cigarette.

 

Our perception never really changes until we train our minds to see things differently. And we have to actively create this change in our perception. That’s why N.O.P.E. works so well. It reminds us that we’re in training to learn a new perception of the world.

 

But once we do see past the cloud and see ourselves as nonsmokers. I mean really see ourselves as such, then the peace begins. It starts out slowly, and then it snowballs in how wonderful it feels.

 

There’s so much beauty in the world that we miss because of feeding ourselves cigarettes but thankfully, once we allow the peace into our world and start to experience the freedom that follows, that beauty returns.

 

The world just looks different on the other side of addiction. Somehow it looks brighter and cleaner. It becomes a world that we want to wake up and see, rather than waking up just to feed an addiction.

 

So if you want to see that new life of freedom, the first step is to change how you see smoking, and see it for what it really is. You CAN do this!! There’s so much more in this world waiting for you if you can just clear the cloud to see it!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

Sometimes when we start that journey to freedom, it’s easy to forget how we got there. Those times when our rational thinking is turned upside down. When nothing seems to make sense.

 

It’s the nature of beating an addiction. It all starts with a single thought. A crack in the wall we built between our rational world and addiction. I remember the day when I stuck my finger into that crack, trying to widen it so I could see what’s on the other side of addiction.

 

I found it to be a silly thought at first, before I actually believed it could be a possibility. A future that I could create for myself that’s different from the one I’d been living. The more I thought about it, the more the fear manifested itself. I was terrified by the time I decided to make my dream a reality.

 

It’s this fear that holds so many up from taking that first step on the path to freedom, I think. I changed my quit date several times, trying to find the perfect moment to quit. I managed to keep sight of the actual dream each time I changed that date.

At last I knew, as so many here would tell me, that there is never going to be a perfect day to quit, and so I at last allowed myself to take the plunge! When I did, I was ready. I felt no fear as I took that first step.

 

But it was like I’d awakened something inside of me. Something ugly and powerful. Something that brought doubt into my world. Something that was telling me that quitting is insanity! How could I have ever believed that I was ready for this?

 

Somehow, I fought through that first day, the constant argument screaming at me to end this madness and light up that cigarette. That a single cigarette could return me from the madness that I’d created with my decision to quit. What was I thinking?

 

Still, that evening I felt a little better. I was using the patch and believed that somehow this was giving me what I needed to keep some semblance of sanity. As I began to doze off for the night, little jolts kept running through me. I grabbed onto one of those jolts and realized that there was something there. That my mind was trying to grasp something in this crazy world that I’d created.

 

This was when I first created the concept of the addict within, I think. It was a small thought at first that seemed to grow within me as I slept. The next morning I woke up and I have to admit that the first thing I thought of was putting on a fresh patch, since I’d chosen not to wear them at night.

 

Once that was done and I settled down for my coffee, the endless background voice started up in my head once again. I saw it as the dark and evil entity that it is in my mind’s eye. I visualized myself standing up to it, even as I felt the fear of doing it. I told it that it would not win and I pictured it laughing at me. Funny how a mental image can give a person strength. The laughter of my enemy, the addict within gave me a boost of resolve.

 

I decided right then to get to know this creature that was tormenting me. To understand what it wanted and by knowing that, how to calm it. Of course what it wanted was a cigarette, but I knew I wasn’t going to do that so I simply yelled at it to shut up. It didn’t, but somehow I felt better. In my mind I had identified my enemy. I had found where the constant chatter came from and I now had a name for it. The addict within.

 

To make a long story short, I took the time to learn all about the addict within in the only way we can. Through experience. When I’d feel a crave trying to sneak up on me I’d think, “Oh no you don’t!” and somehow, this would help to calm me.

 

When the voices of the divided mind started, I’d tell my addiction to shut up! Of course it generally didn’t but it made me feel better to be able to attack my addiction and it helped me to remember that I was an addict and as such my addict within and myself were going to work together to end this issue.

 

By focusing on the addiction, I began to understand it. And with understanding comes peace. When my mind began arguing with itself, I smiled and told the addict within to calm down. Eventually the addict within did calm down. The voices became quieter and quieter until they simply disappeared from me entirely.

 

It’s a tough road to travel when we quit, and we all have to find our own best way to do it but in the end, we learn so much about ourselves. In the end, we feel peace. In the end we just feel so free!!

 

Always look ahead to where your freedom lies. Look at it as a destination. Stick to your travel plans and in the end you too will be free!! Oh, so wonderfully free!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!

susan.m

The Biggest Lie

Posted by susan.m Mar 4, 2017

As I approach another fantastic milestone in my quit journey, I am finding that I am able to clearly see what I could not when I still smoked.

 

The biggest lie that I told myself was that I was not addicted to smoking.  I can barely say that now without laughing - because it is truly the biggest lie of my life.

 

 

I based my assessment on the fact that I did not smoke as soon as I got up in the morning.  Surely if I were addicted I would have to run for my cigarettes when I woke up like my life depended on it, right?  I based it on the fact that I never really craved cigarettes.  If I were addicted, I would constantly have the tell-tale shakes of an addict, because that's what addiction looks like, right?   I decided that because I could go hours without smoking if I needed to that it was not an addiction - no addict could go 6 or 8 hours calmly without smoking, right?  

 

Oh, was I ever smug.  I choked on my smugness - my addiction loved that I fell for the lies.  Worse yet, I felt sorry for those poor souls who were truly addicted to nicotine, because I was not.  What a freaking LIE. 

 

No, I didn't crave nicotine when I got up - my autonomic nervous system knew that I would feed my addiction when I poured that first cup of coffee.  My addiction knew that any break from smoking, regardless of the number of hours, was temporary.  No need to trigger a craving - it was a sure thing that I would light up again.  Smoking habits kept my addiction from showing... I kept it swept under the rug.  No more.  In the south we like to say that we wear our crazy proudly.  Guess what?  I wear my addiction proudly because I am one of those poor souls for whom I felt so sorry.  

 

The biggest lie is no more. 

 

I was an addict.  I am an addict.  I will always be an addict.  

 

Tell the truth about your addiction.  See it for what it is.  Know that you are stronger, know that you are in control, and know that you can beat it.  Freedom from the chains of addiction is hard fought and won with honesty.  

 

Because of my honesty, I know that I am a one-time quitter.  I will never smoke again because I honest to God do not have it in me to quit a second time.  Despite this, or perhaps because if it, I protect my quit ferociously because I am an addict.  I know how easily I could fall.  I will never lie to myself about my addition again.  

 

Will you?

Your ground crew, (US),  are waiting to wave you in and provide

the service you need and refuel you with no nicotane fuel.

I took this from the back deck yesterday.

The Snow Covered Mountains Are 54 Miles Away As A Crow Flies.

Click on the picture to see it larger.

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Strange days

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 2, 2017

When a person first quits, it almost seems like the entire world has been turned upside down. It seems like such an easy thing to think about. Putting out that last cigarette and moving on. If only it could be that way!

 

Unfortunately, it can’t be that way. Oh no! Instead we have to spend that first day in turmoil and a kind of fear that we might not make it. We have to fight endlessly to find ourselves on the other side of a single day. And at times, we wonder if we’ll even make it.

 

On those first days in our mind’s eye, we still think that cigarettes taste good. We still believe that they calm us. We still believe that we’re losing something precious in our lives and yet somehow, we make it through maybe not ready to face the next day, but willing to.

 

We hit that second day and at some point we begin to wonder what we got ourselves into. I mean, this is hard! The thoughts of how wonderful a cigarette would be seems to race through the mind as a constant and endless thought, which makes it really hard to see the reality of what we’re actually doing.

 

And then day three comes along. We wake up, slightly more confident and again willing to fight through another day. At times we doubt what we’re doing. The fear of losing the quit pops into the mind. The desire for a cigarette is still strong, but we still know that we need to get through this day if we’re ever going to find the peace we desire.

 

There’s a lot that happens within us on those first days. And yet, though we don’t realize it yet, on these first hard days we build a foundation for our future. We begin to create the new person that we so long to see.

 

Every time we beat a crave, it gives us the knowledge of how to deal with the next one. And slowly as the first days turn into weeks, our minds calm. We begin to see through the cloud of smoke that we looked through for a good part of our lives and  instead of seeing the misery, we start to see reality.

 

We start to see that everything we thought we’d gain when we quit is a reality. This point in a quit comes at a different time for everyone, I think. But when we’ve calmed the screaming addict within enough to hear reality, we begin to feel better.

 

When we actually think of our futures rather than the current discomfort, we begin to feel better. When we can see ourselves smiling without a cigarette hanging out of our mouths, we begin to feel better.

 

Sure those first day are hard. Sure, it takes what seems like a monumental effort to get through them. But in the end we all realize once and for all that we’re no longer addicts. We’re recovering addicts and that’s a big difference!

 

All I can say is that the sooner you get started will be the sooner that you can feel the peace. And since it’s so hard to see at first, we’ll all be here to remind you of just how wonderful the future is going to be if you can just get through those first strange days.

 

I look forward to seeing all of you on the other side of addiction. And I’ll always keep reminding you of what a wonderful life it is when it’s truly free! Of the peace that will be in that future. Of the  thousands of gems that we pick up on the road to freedom. But those gems are for another blog. Go for it!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

         When we are smokers, we don't spend a lot of time thinking about  smoking, unless we are in a situation where we can't smoke.  :-)

Smoking becomes our auto response to life.

         I remember going to my daughters plays and wondering when each act would end so I could go outside to smoke. Was I unknowingly discombobulated?

 

         What about you? Are you ready to step outside the world of smoking?

 

         It's a big change to become an ex-smoker but we are here to guide you through the process so COME ON IN!

What To Expect In The First Four Months 

No matter what stage we’re in during our quits, we always seem to miss the wonderful parts of it. That’s easy to do because we’re so busy arguing with ourselves and that argument starts the moment we put out that last cigarette.

 

Almost instantly, we want another one! What the heck is going on? Well, the most obvious answer is that we’re addicts. Plain and simple, we’re seriously addicted to something that is so much against us. At times, it’s hard to accept that we really are addicts. We look to the stigma that comes with that word, and I think for a lot of us, it takes a little time to admit the reality that we’re living.

 

But in the end, it’s one of the most important admissions we can make to ourselves. Until we understand the reality of our addiction, we can’t see it in its true light and as such we can’t fight it effectively. We can’t forgive ourselves before we first understand what we’re forgiving!

 

And forgiving our past mistakes in my opinion is a key to moving on to a bright future that awaits us. Once we understand that we are addicts, we can move on to figuring out how to fix it.

 

I always named my addiction the “addict within”. This was just my way to understand the constant argument that was going on in my mind. The endless voices, telling me that I want a cigarette while at the same time another part is telling me that I don’t.

 

And once I had a name for my addiction, I could converse with myself more easily. I could laugh at the antics of my addiction every time I felt a crave. I could yell at my addiction every time I got tired of the whole quit. But most importantly, I could look inside of myself to the reality of my addiction.

 

I could learn from my enemy and understand that the voices are simply my divided brain, learning how to find freedom. We all have a kind of addict within. That voice that argues every time we turn down the signal to smoke.

 

Of course it’s a normal part of beating an addiction. An impulse that somehow translates into a voice. We’re not going crazy. We’re just improving our lives is all.

 

So the next time you hear that voice, recognize it. See it for what it really is. The voice that we built over a long period of time. And then one by one, the tentacles of addiction that we have built into ourselves over the many long years can be ripped out of our being.

 

Every time we beat another crave, we rip out another one of those tentacles. Every time we smile during our quits, we rip out another tentacle. Every thing we learn what we need to propel us onward rips out another tentacle.

 

And eventually, there are no more to rip out. All we have left are hollow memories of a past addiction. And the need to be careful for just a little longer.

 

People have fought wars for freedom. And when we quit we fight a war for life! For our futures!

 

We taught ourselves our addiction and it’s within every one of us to rid ourselves of it. All we have to do is forgive ourselves for our past and look to the future! There’s so much out there waiting for you if you can just take that first step and then stay on the path. It’s really up to you. No one can do it for you.

 

Take that first faltering step and soon you’ll be on the other side of this and in most cases, you’ll wonder just what all the fuss was about . . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Spring into March 2017 with a Daily Commitment! 

Hope to see you there!    ~Terrie~

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