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2017

There’s a tree in our valley and it’s said that it’s one of the most photographed trees in the state. You see, it’s a huge cottonwood tree that had died and fallen long ago, but somehow as it rotted, it made a decision that it would not die. And so out of the logs sprouted several trees, growing strong and proud.

 

Another time I observed a small pine tree that was growing out of a giant boulder. The tree over time actually cracked that boulder and continued thriving in a place where no tree should be. Over and over in nature, we see signs of determination. Of a desire to achieve life. And we see some amazing results due to that desire to live.

 

That same determination lives within all of us. For humans, it’s an amazing part of us that comes from the very foundation of our beings because with humans, there’s a brain to direct that determination to focus on whatever we like.

 

I think that for humans, determination is the desire to win no matter what it takes. A belief that what we want to achieve can be achieved. If we can focus our mind, body and soul on a single project, then amazing things can happen. Like that cottonwood tree, we can create a new situation out of the old. We can shape our lives into what we want it to be. We can make our world into a shining symbol of life!

 

And what better way to do that then to focus all of our energies on the desire to be free. I think most of us are motivated to do positive things for ourselves. I mean, we strive to make things more harmonious in life and in order to do that, as much negative as possible must be removed from our lives, and of course quitting smoking fits into that category.

 

But how do we get there? How do we get all of our being to focus on a single problem? For me, the answer was seeing myself as a happy nonsmoker in my mind’s eye. I looked to the benefits of my quitting and stayed focused on those things. How my life would improve. How my health would improve. How wonderful it would be not to be enslaved. And I saw myself as a happy nonsmoker, free to enjoy my life without slavery. I always smiled when I created this image of myself.

 

Don’t get me wrong. Once I did quit, I still had to fight my way through just like everyone else, but I think it was easier for me because I made sure to keep my focus on the freedom and not what I was losing. I continued to focus on the end result rather than worrying so much that I might not get there.

 

Every morning I’d wake up and make sure I was in a good place before I ever got out of bed. This is because I think that it’s easier to change our thought patterns first thing in the morning. After we’ve been awake for a while, we tend to fall into the pattern already set, and I found it beneficial to ensure that my thoughts were where I wanted them to be. That my focus was on freedom rather than loss. That my mind longed for health rather than death.

 

And once I adjusting my thinking to what I wanted, I was ready to get up and face the new day, even if it was a hard day because it was ingrained in my mind that what I was doing was what I wanted to be doing.

 

Everyone is different. The suggestions I give can only be a guide. What works for some may not work for others but I do know what worked for me. The answer to our own success lives within all of us. For some it’s harder to find than it is for others, but it’s there.

 

I think the glimmering light might be a desire for freedom. If we can grasp that gem and hold on tight, it will grow into a fantastic quit! As always, be ready for a fight but remember that so long as you can maintain your focus, you will win. As long as every morning you can tap into a positive perspective, then you will win!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Angie-Lah

Dad the Prankster

Posted by Angie-Lah Jun 30, 2017

I hope you'll bear with me as I share another long, non-smoking related post. I will caveat the beginning of this with, lung cancer sucks. Quit smoking, find your reason why or it won't stick. Quit for you and stay strong.

 

One of the things talked about in memory of Dad yesterday was how much of a prankster he was. I knew this first hand.

 

When I was little, probably around 8, I was at my Grandmother's house for dinner. I'd been outside playing, probably in the dirt with a spoon cuz why not? Dinner was a relaxed affair so I wasn't inside when it was being cooked and just came inside when I got hungry.

 

When I went in, Dad told me he had deer meat and did I want some? I didn't ask what kind, jerky, stew, roast, steak; it didn't matter. I love deer meat so much I'll take it any way I can get it. I was never a hunter, I just always reaped the rewards of my father's efforts. I remember at around 4 or 5 selling the opportunity to neighborhood kids on Fort Campbell to come see the hanging deer for $1 a peek; I think dad was impressed by my entrepreneurial spirit as much as he was creeped out by a tiny tow headed girl inviting people over to see a dead deer.

 

I digress. I was so excited by the chance at deer meat that I ran over for a bite without looking at what was on his plate. He already had a piece ready on the fork and I enthusiastically chomped down. I'd pay good money today to see how my face instantly changed. I immediately ran to the garbage spitting it out, gagging, yelling Daddy! Don't eat it! The meats spoiled!!

 

If you knew Dad you'd know at this point he's so tickled his whole body is shaking with laughter, his heads down, probably hand on his chest. He looked up at me with tears of mirth in his eye, wiping them with his signature back pocket handkerchief and choked out, no baby, the meats not spoiled, THAT'S CATFISH!

 

I freaking hate seafood. Unless its $50 a plate Chilean Sea Bass from Ruth's Chris, don't bring that crap anywhere near my face.

 

Like raisin cookies masquerading as chocolate chip, my trust issues began at this tender age.

 

I joke. My dad inspired the kind of love and loyalty that would decades later move my husband to take my maiden name. It is fun at gatherings with people that knew Dad, knew he had a daughter, and know her husband's last name is the family name and explain that: yes, this is KY, but no, I did not marry my brother. He took our name.

 

I still remember the day we told him. He looked at us in happy disbelief and immediately teared up. He's always considered Trent a third son. As far as I can recall, through my whole life, that was something else Dad was never stingy with. His tears. He was one of the most masculine men I've ever known and the paragon of what's considered manly, but unlike the stereotype he never hid his emotions. I loved taking the time to pick out father's day cards that had something relevant to us written on it because I knew he felt that love and would always show us. He missed my MBA graduation in May but when I showed up to the hospital in full cap and gown with the degree he cried. And it didn't make me feel good to know that the missing of that graduation made him cry, but it did make me feel good that I, and my accomplishments, meant so much to him.

I'll end this here because I could go on about him forever. I couldn't say these things yesterday because there's no way I would have made it through. I don't regret it though because I know he knew how much I loved him. I'll always have that for the rest of my life, the comfort of knowing that I was so loved and that even though I'm not religious, in my darkest moments, I can still feel him with us. I know he's watching over us and like his long stride when I was a child, he's patiently waiting on the rest of us to join him.

 

I love you Dad. Always have, still do, always will.

 

 

No matter how hard we try or how much preparation we do, once we finally quit there are times or perhaps even days when it feels like we’re walking in another place, or a different world. Our minds just can’t seem to focus and the distracted mind begins to become annoying.

 

And then, to make matters worse, we lash out at those who are the closest to us as if it’s their fault that we have to quit. I know I lost a couple of quit attempts  in the past because I just couldn’t stand myself! So in other words, I used my feelings of anger as my excuse to give into myself. The problem is that my anger was real. A reaction to losing my addiction, and as such I knew there could never be success until I could get past this obstacle.

 

After my last quit attempt, it was several years before I tried again. The fear of failure can be a powerful deterrent to one who wants to quit and yet can’t seem to find a way out of the fog that blinds us to the truth.

 

On my last quit attempt a bit over six years ago, I knew I was terrified the moment I seriously decided to quit. I knew that I had this anger trigger to deal with and that I had to find a way to get past it before my next quit, and I found that this was the foundation of my fear of quitting. That horrible unfocused anger that always seemed to hit me at just the wrong times.

 

I used what I called “practice quits” to help me to navigate this issue. The first time, I told myself that I wouldn’t smoke for an hour. To my surprise, this seemed way easier than I thought. I figured out that it would be easy, because I knew that at the end of that hour, I could smoke.

 

The next attempt was two hours and oh yes, there it was. That unfocused anger! I made a note of it and for the first time tried visualization the very next day. I decided that I’d practice a quit for four hours and when the anger came, I’d try to first focus on it. To learn its source. To try to understand it.

 

Sure enough, the anger was there after about two hours. Why couldn’t I have a cigarette? I mean I was just practicing. Right? My mind began the whirlwind of withdrawals and by the third hour, I was ready to kill someone or some thing!

 

This was a time when I learned a few very important lessons. The first thing I figured out was that I wasn’t angry with others. I was angry with myself for ever getting in this situation in the first place! I was angry that smoking had to come with consequences. I was angry that I had to quit. And somehow, this anger seemed to project itself at anything that moved. But the revelation for me was that my anger had nothing to do with anyone but myself.

 

And if I was going to succeed in this quit, I had to forgive my past. I had to teach myself to look to the future, rather than allowing anger because of my past. And I figured out that I needed to change my thought patterns so that I could get past this thing that I knew would be an excuse when I put out that last cigarette. After my four hours, I lit up a smoke and of course calmed, allowing me to think of what I’d learned. For me, the anger was no longer unfocused. I could now tie this anger to a specific event, and as such through understanding I knew I could control this anger so long as I wanted to.

 

And so I learned each morning to assess how I was doing emotionally, before I ever got out of bed. If I was feeling sad or angry, I would consciously create a peaceful place, right down to feeling the soft, gentle breeze on my face. I built my calm spot within my mind during my preparation and by the time I quit, I had a firm grip on that crazy anger.

 

There were so many more things that I had to learn to climb out of the fog that was my addiction, but this was one of the main ones that I had to learn. My point is that if you know of something that will make you fail in a quit, take a little time to analyze it. Figure out what can be done to fix it before you have the stress of quitting piled on top of everything else.

 

In my opinion, there can be no better strengthener to a quit than knowing what to expect. We can’t know everything until we start, but the more we understand of ourselves in the beginning, the better the outcome.

 

And if you’ve already quit, it’s not to late to learn about yourself. It’s never to late to improve. Just keep fighting and never be afraid to ask for advice when you’re in the fog. That’s what we’re here for. To help to make what seems insane sane again. To help you to know what to expect. But most importantly, to walk the path with you so that perhaps the strength of the many can help to protect your quit.

 

The rest is all up to you. Go for it! There’s so much waiting for you once you take that first step.

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

 

I was in my garden and noticed something new to me. It was the amazing fragrance of the flowers! And I realized that this was something new to me because I could never smell those flowers when I smoked and actually for several years after.

 

It got me to reflect on the things I was missing all those years that I smoked. I mean, I always knew that as I stared at the majestic peaks above our little valley and smoked, I was never really seeing them because I was to busy concentrating on my smoking. I thought I was enjoying their beauty but the reality is that I wasn’t focused on it at all. I was only focused on feeding my addiction.

 

And the same was true of all of the concentration I was achieving when I smoked while trying to solve a problem. I thought I was thinking of the problem but the reality is that I was thinking more about how I was feeding my addiction.

 

And all those wonderful “rewards” that I gave myself by smoking after a completed task was again just me thinking about a cigarette when I was finished with my task.

 

I think when we manage to strip the cigarette from every part of our daily lives that we discover a world that’s quite different from the one we perceived before. But it’s also a world we don’t realize exists while we continue to feed our addictions.

 

When I quit, it wasn’t to discover these things, simply because I’d never known that they were missing from my life. It was over concern of what the smoking was doing to me. Sure, I understood that I was a slave to my addiction, but I just couldn’t see through the shroud of addiction to what a free life is really like.

 

I think that’s why so many of us here try to tell people behind us on the journey what it will be like when it’s completed. Because it’s a knowledge that we’ve hidden from ourselves in order to continue to feed the addiction. But when we choose to take that first faltering step on the road to freedom, we sometimes wonder what the world will look like when we achieve the final goal.

 

And I’m here to tell you, it’s nothing short of amazing! To be able to really look at those mountains when I choose to. To be able to find that a deep breath of good clean air is a better reward for finishing a given task than smoking ever was. To feel the harmony within ourselves as we slowly pull those tentacles of addiction out of ourselves one by one in order to be free.

 

And to discover the sweet fragrance of the flowers that symbolize so much more than just a pleasant smell. To me, smelling those flowers is yet another unexpected reward for staying true to myself. There  really is so much to look forward to when we take the plunge. It’s just really hard to see at first which is part of what makes those first days so hard.

 

 But rest assured. If you can take that first step on the path of freedom and if you don’t lose your footing, then you too will discover the many wonders of a life of freedom. You too will find the peace that we all feel as the cigarette becomes nothing but a memory of the past. You too will discover the wonders of life that were always there. We were just to busy with addiction to notice them.

 

Stay true to yourself and before long, you too will be smelling the wonderful fragrance that’s not only the smell of the flowers, but is also the smell of success. And I can guarantee you, success smells sweet indeed!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Angie-Lah

Radio Silence

Posted by Angie-Lah Jun 27, 2017

I just want to thank all of you for your kind words to me after my father's passing. I've been in radio silence the last few days dealing with the grief. The veteran cemetery doesn't have a service open until Jun 29th so the pending funeral has dragged out our grieving process. I'm better today than I was yesterday, and I'll be better tomorrow than I am today. The next two days of visitation and funeral will be rough but I'll get through it. Thank you all again. This community is nothing short of amazing.

 

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

The swamp

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jun 25, 2017

 Remember those days when it always seemed like quitting was a footnote? When it was always in the back of the mind but could never find secure footing to get us to act on that crazy thought of quitting?

 

I sure do! For me, it took years before I finally took my own heart's advice and quit. And the way I see it now, that was lost time for this wonderful future that I created. I mean now, after finding my freedom, I sometimes lament the time that I could have had. I mean, I totally enjoy every aspect of my freedom now that I have it, but at times I wonder how things might be had I quit sooner.

 

But then that actually doesn’t matter. What “could have been” is no longer in my vocabulary because at times, we have to appreciate what we’ve actually accomplished. We have to be proud of how it all came out in the end. And to be honest, had I tried to quit before I did it probably wouldn’t have been successful.

 

You see, in order to climb out of the swamp of addiction, we have to have the mind, heart and soul working together to create the perfect future that we long to see. The commitment has to be deep in order to succeed. But never think that you can’t succeed!

 

We just have to find a way out of the quicksand in order to make it before our addiction truly smothers us as we drown in the damage that we’ve done to our own lungs! To me, addiction really can feel like quicksand, with each day taking us deeper and deeper into it until we’re completely under it if we don’t find a way out.

 

I know when I smoked, I felt helpless. Like I was being pulled down, deeper and deeper into my addiction. I was always frantically looking for the vine on the shore of the quicksand that I could grab onto. Something to help me to pull out of this horrible muck!

 

And yet as I sank, it happened so gradually that it somehow felt normal, even as it continued to pull me to my impending death. But then one day I saw the vine! A single thought that could see through the swamps mist to the thing that could pull me out of the muck of addiction.

 

And it was my future! For the first time, I saw beyond the muck that I was sitting in. I saw a chance to pull myself out of the shifting sands of my addiction. But I also knew I had to be careful. I knew that I had to see how wonderful life would be if I could just get out of this constantly sucking muck!

 

I grabbed the vine and held tightly, as I realized that there really was hope! That so long as I held onto the lifeline of my quit, that one day I could find the freedom that I longed for. That so long as I held on tightly to my lifeline that I really could climb out of this crippling quicksand.

 

As badly as I wanted to be free, I was very careful with this chance at freedom. I learned all that I could so that I wouldn’t get sucked into the muck again. And slowly, I felt the weight of the muck fall off of me as with each passing day, I was more and more freed from my own demise.

 

And as I rose out of the muck of my addiction, I saw through the mist of my addiction that had confused me for so long. I saw my freedom and then at last, one day I really was free!!

 

I saw myself walking through the misty swamp to my freedom! It came slowly and almost imperceptibly. Each piece of my quit falling into place just as I’d planned and before long, I was on solid ground, happily musing about what could have been had I not taken a moment to look around and find that vine.

 

It’s within all of us to climb out of the muck of our addictions. All it takes is the firm belief in ourselves and knowing in our hearts that freedom is so much more important than calmly letting ourselves be sucked further and further into that addiction.

 

Look to the future, when you can step out of the swamp onto the solid footing that is your

future so long as you can find a way to grab that life saving vine! The answer is there inside of you, waiting to be found. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you on the shores of the swamp, smiling in pride for what you’ve achieved!

 

And if you need a little help finding the vine, or even pulling yourself up, we’re here to help you because we all deserve freedom! I look forward to watching you blossom into that wonderful peace that is felt with freedom! It’s something we all deserve so long as we can just try . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Life happens whether we smoke or not so let's be sure and choose NOT on a daily basis because believe it or not life as an Ex Smoker is pretty great but you must stick with your quit and find out how great it is for yourself. 

      

 When we think about addiction, we see weakness. We see a kind of insecurity, and pretty much the whole time we’re addicted, we see the reality of it all and teach ourselves to brush it off. To pretend that it doesn’t exist. After all, we all want to feel that we’re in control of our lives, right?

 

But how did it all start? How did we find ourselves in this strange world of our own creations? Perhaps it was an accident. Something that we never intended to have happen, and yet it did. But the reality is that it was no accident. We actually had to work to become addicted. I mean, does anyone ever have a memory of how delicious that first cigarette was? Does anyone have a memory of wanting to devote our lives to smoking?

 

Of course not! After all, the one thing our addictions all have in common was that our bodies tried to tell us from day one to stay away from those cigarettes. Our bodies hacked and wheezed and made us want to get every last bit of that noxious smoke out of our bodies the moment we inhaled it. I mean YUCK!!

 

And yet we smoked the next one, and the next, training our minds and bodies that this was pleasure as our nicotine receptors began to awaken. Before long, without even realizing it, we became true addicts! And no, it was no accident, it just seemed like a convenient excuse to explain what we did to ourselves.

 

And then day after day, we taught ourselves that what we were doing was OK. That the risks that came with this addiction only happened to everyone else. That life would be meaningless without this wonderful new thing that we’ve chosen to do for ourselves. We built the lies one day at a time and soon, the tentacles of addiction were intertwined into every part of our beings. Everything became about cigarettes. No thought could complete without thinking how it might affect our wonderful little habit.

 

That’s how we got here, but life can be quite different if we choose to see through the lies that we created for ourselves. I think a big part of the key is to understand that we’re not victims. So long as we choose to see quitting smoking as a monumental task that we don’t deserve to face, we see ourselves as victims.

 

Every morning that we wake and feel anguish that we must live this unfair life without cigarettes rather than understanding the wondrous future we’re creating, we fail ourselves. We again decide that we’re victims. That we don’t deserve this huge new problem in our lives.

 

When we quit, that thought has to change. We can no longer see ourselves as a victim in our lives. We have to know that it was us who got ourselves into this mess and we can only get out of it by ourselves. We have to know there’s no magic bullet to save us from ourselves.

 

Losing an addiction is a process, but one that has so many wonderful rewards. During my quit, I always tried to see my future without cigarettes. When I could see myself in my mind's eye, smiling without a cigarette, then I knew I was ready. I had created the mental image of freedom in my mind and I knew that this was key to success.

 

So never believe that you’re a victim in a quit. Never believe for an instant that you can’t win the war with yourself. The key lives inside of all of us and it’s different for everyone, but it’s definitely there! All you have to do is seek it out!

 

Always look to the future. That’s where your freedom lies. There’s a wonderful new world waiting for you just over the horizon. All you have to do is take that first step into your future! It’s not easy but it’s more than worth it!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Hi There!

 

I am just checking in.  Today is my day 38.  Not necessarily a special number or day except that I haven't smoked so that makes it special.  I haven't had a chance to check in lately but I wanted to say that I really like the quitting smoking apps I have on my phone.  I have 2 of them.  One of them is called Smoke Free and the other is called Easy Quit Stop Smoking. They are both FREE which is a plus. In the first few days and weeks I would check them hourly and daily and it shows your progress.  How many cigarettes you haven't smoked or how many days you haven't smoked.  How your body is healing as you have more and more quit time.  It's motivation.  It's something to look at when you have a craving to see how far you've come and why you don't want to start over.  I'm sure most of you know all about these but if someone doesn't, it's good to know.

 

Anyway, 767 cigarettes NOT smoked!  I have not polluted my body and my lungs with that many cigarettes!  I find that so awesome.  Just another way of looking at it that makes me feel good when I get those cravings.  I still crave but less often.  And also I think some of them are just thoughts as opposed to actual cravings.  So I try to dismiss them as I don't do them anymore.  I also remember I'm one puff away from a pack a day!

 

I may not look at my apps as often as I used to but when I do look and I am really happy at what I see and how far I've come in just 38 days.  

 

Have a good night and thank you for reading my little blog.  

Ain't No Honey Here

I bee a pimp and I steal your life

I'll kill you, your kids and your wife.

I may look soft but I'll take your breath

I'll give you mis'ry, I'll bee your death.

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

The garden

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jun 18, 2017

 I’ve been kind of absent as of late, but everything’s fine! Just got busy at work and on my yard because summer finally arrived in our mountain valley and when that happens one can’t waste any time with the short growing season and all. But everything is coming out beautifully! Even better than I thought it would last year.

 

And I have to tell you. After thirty years plus of smoking and then facing the reality that I was an addict over six years ago, I’ve found myself doing more than just creating the garden. Now, I find myself just looking at it in surprise! I’m seeing what has evolved over the six plus years that we’ve lived here, on our little spot.

 

You see, shortly after I moved here, I quit smoking. And as such I see the evolution of my little yard as a kind of freedom garden. It’s grown with me as I fought off my own addiction. As I became healthier, so too did the yard grow and flourish into a kind of beauty that I never expected.

 

And it started so long ago, with the first seeds planted and the first bits of water to make them sprout. Piece by piece, day by day I built a little more and gradually it became a thing of harmony and beauty, all because I planted those first seeds so long ago.

 

 And just as my garden grew, so too did my quit. Through the years, I found more health in life. I found a kind of peace that I never would have known had I chosen to keep smoking. And rather than smoking, I use that time to enjoy the future that I created in the past, way back when I made the wonderful choice to quit smoking. I’m now living the story that I longed for way back then.

 

Perhaps you’re in that place right near the beginning of your quit, where everything seems so darn confusing. That place where we first face the reality of our own addictions. That place where we know that what we’re doing is wrong, even as we continue to smoke. That our addiction is wrong and that it somehow doesn’t quite fit the story that we want to see as our future.

 

The fear is intense! I know. I’ve been there! But if we can see through the cloud of our addictions to what is the reality of our futures, than we can become free! We can become the very thing that we long to be. We can take the first faltering steps into a new and wonderful future, creating a different future then it would be without making the choice to find our own freedom.

 

Freedom’s never easy. And it’s not free. We have to fight to get there. We have to long for freedom more than anything else. We have to commit for the long haul! And if we can commit to ourselves. If we can believe that the world can be entirely different than it is now, then we can win!

 

There’s so much wonder in life and it’s so darn beautiful! Go for it! You can do it and before long, it’ll be you creating that beautiful garden of life. It’ll be you seeing the world free of the cloud of addiction. It’ll be you looking at the beautiful garden that you created and wondering why you never saw the possibilities before.

 

Your future awaits you. All you have to do is make it what you want it to be . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

We've smoked so long we've settled for smoking and either never found,

or simply lost sight of special parts of ourselves.

Quitting Opens Up The Opportunity To Find What's Beautiful

 

      About a week and a half ago, our neighbors put up a for sale sign. I've never been in their home and I've been curious as to what the inside looks like ever since the sign went up. They are both veterinarians and have a daughter. They are the ones that chased the coyote and made it let go of Hoggie the first year I moved back here.

      Last night I googled their address and there are now pictures. I know their taste may not be your or my taste but it sure opened my eyes as to what we don't see and what we can see.

The outside looks pretty bleak

 

But, look at the inside.  :-)

 

 

 

 

PS My younger brother and my dad helped set those lodge poles and do a lot of the framing for the original owner builder in 1994 who owned a welding company.

Quitting Smoking is definitely difficult but at some point in life we all must quit and for me after 40 yrs of slavery to the disgusting Cancer Sticks I decided that I didn't want to be 6 feet under when I quit. With the right mindset anyone can quit smoking but you must believe in yourself, be willing, determined and totally committed to go through whatever cravings and withdrawals, mood swings and the ups and downs of the roller coaster but I know and so do all the ex smokers that you can and will be successful but you must want it more than anything else on the face of this earth and you'll get through the rough patches and come out the other side smiling so stick with your quit and relearn different ways of dealing with life's issues without the crutch of smoking because you can, believe it and bite the bullet because there's life after cigarettes and it's super fantastic. 

Lady86

Good morning (update)

Posted by Lady86 Jun 13, 2017

Hello and good morning my fellow EXers. Everything is well on my end I'm still protecting my quit and adding to my quit kit. I'd be lying if I said there isn't moments of "missing" it or having a struggle through some frustrations. It is getting less frequent of a thought. All that matters is in the end I say not today!! Gardening is really helping. I haven't let my guard down I know I'm still vulnerable. I don't remember who said it but a lady on here said sometimes the only reminder of smoking is being on here which is unfortunate but can be true hence my absence for a bit. It's nothing personal at all!!! I'm very thankful for this site and the wonderful people on it. Best wishes and happy thoughts to all 

Melissa  83 DOF    

Once you believe that you can quit and you remain willing, determined and totally committed to kick the nicotine poison to the curb you can and will be successful one precious smoke free day at a time, I remember the rough patches very well but I also promised myself the night before I quit smoking that I would never pick up another cigarette as long as I live no matter what was happening in my life and around my 30 day mark, I thought I was going to go stark raving mad because I was ready to throw my quit away but I don't  break  promises to anyone including myself so I came on site and someone helped me through. Stick with your quit, hang on tight to the best gift that any of us will ever give ourselves which is the gift of LIFE and our lives are literally depending on us to remain quit! 

bonnie.s

It's not nice to stare

Posted by bonnie.s Jun 9, 2017

Yesterday while coming up a ramp to merge onto a major highway I was stopped by a female flagger.  Oh great, I thought, construction!  Now I'm one to mind my manners and I learned young that staring is not polite.  Yesterday I was not polite!  At first I looked ahead as I sat there for what seemed forever.  I started getting impatient, thinking when is this lady going to let me go, I've places to be.  Then it happened!  Out the corner of my eye I saw her light up.  I look.  No.  I stare!  She was really woofing it down.  Puff after puff without coming up for air.  I remember thinking what a bad fit she was having and how long it must have been since she had had her last.  Yes, I could relate to that ugly image.  I remembered the satisfaction of that first long drag.  How it would bring instant relief to all my woes.  What I didn't remember is just how ugly that feeling is.  I thought back to the jitters, dizziness, feelings of anger, lack of concentration on anything other than getting my fix.  I thought about how when my break time would come, how I would knock anyone over in my way as I headed for the nearest designated smoking area.  I WAS sick!  She (the flagger lady) IS sick!  Not only is she sick but she's so very unattractive.  I mean really!  Why did no one ever tell me how unattractive I looked puffing away like that, killing myself!  My stomach was in knots by the time she waved me past.  I feel bad for her.  She's killing herself in the most ugly manner. 

Motivation

Posted by Alice23 Jun 8, 2017

When I first quit, and I would visit this site, I was always motivated by those people who had months and years of quitting to report.

 

I would see someone with 6 months in and think "oh man, if I can quit for 6 months, I can quit for life!"  or if someone had a year or 3 or 7 -  I would just yearn to be able to say that I had a year or more in.  I would look at those posts, sometimes ashamed of all the quits I wrecked.  If I had stayed quit when I was 27 - I would have years and years under my belt.  ( but there wasn't the internet that long ago to report it hahahah). 

 

My point is this.  Here I am ...over 6 years quit - I am in that spot I longed to be in when I first started coming to this site. 

 

 

This blog today - is to encourage and motivate you.  It might seem like a long way off - that year anniversary - that 6 month or 6 week anniversary.  Those days and months and years are going to pass anyway .....sail along as a NON smoker!

 

I'm cheering you on!

 

Alice

ARE SOMEONE ELSE'S EXCUSES.

 When we quit, for some crazy reason almost everyone considers it to be a negative goal. We look at our lives as they are with addiction and never even notice the positive when we think of becoming non smokers.

 

For some, it’s almost looked at as something similar to an invasive surgery, or getting teeth pulled or some other procedure that we all dread. And as such, we tend to look to the quit day as something horrible on the horizon, rather than a life saving goal. We see what we’re losing and forget to see what we’re gaining. Perhaps it’s just a part of addiction or perhaps it’s something deeper within us.

 

I know that very few ever WANT to quit smoking. Rather, it’s considered a burden that must be gone through. It’s as if our addiction just throws logic out the window! And to an extent it does, I think.

 

To me, the problem is that we spend so much time lying to ourselves in order to convince ourselves that what we’re doing is OK. We create this shroud around the truth and the longer we smoke, the thicker the shroud becomes, blinding us of the realities of what we’re doing to ourselves. And yet we all know that we need to quit the entire time that we smoke!

 

In my days of preparation, I always intentionally kept my focus on the positive side. I worked to remove the shroud of addiction that I’d worked so hard to create. I spent my days learning to create change. To see life without cigarettes as a positive rather than a negative. And I knew I had achieved this when I began looking forward to my quit date, rather than dreading it.

 

I knew when I didn’t even finish that last cigarette and had a smile on my face that I’d found a way to peer through my own shroud of addiction to the reality that I was about to create and that what I saw on that last day was first the benefits of the quit and then the fact that I actually WANTED to quit.

 

And compared to some, it was an easy quit for me. That’s why I know that the answer to every quit lives inside of us. That with enough work, we can find that gem of peace that’s always there, and yet hidden in the background.

 

The reality is always the same. Smoking kills, slowly robbing us of our future. Smoking enslaves us and forces us to live our lives always concerned about when we can smoke the next one. Smoking steals away our pride and makes us feel like a kind of failure every day that we continue to smoke.

 

These are the realities that the addiction doesn’t want us to see. The facts are actually pretty simple. There’s so much freedom waiting for anyone who can walk the path. There’s so much more time to do those things that we love to do without the cigarettes and everything is just so much brighter and - well - clean!

 

It’s after we quit that the shroud of addiction is truly lifted from our minds, but we can peer through that cloud if we really try. We can see the wonders that could be ours so long as we stay on this path. We can see the happiness and feeling of accomplishment that we created by putting out that last cigarette.

 

How we got here isn’t as important as the fact that we’re willing to fix it. That we’re willing to take our lives into our own hands and look to a future filled with freedom and light rather than trudging along as we always have.  

 

The power to quit is within you and it’s a choice. We can either see life as a miserable and dark thing without cigarettes or we can see it as a life filled with freedom and peace. A life that we’d all want if we can see the through the shroud to the reality that is our addiction.

 

I hope you choose life, peace a freedom. The alternative is a choice that’s just too hard to think about . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Last weekend and again this weekend I tried to stay smoke-free without the lozenges. I smoked both times. I have no excuses for smoking. At this point, I am face to face with my nicotine addiction. I realize the lozenges are keeping the addiction alive. I don't want to keep taking them. But if I try to abstain from using the lozenges I go back to smoking. I want to be free from acting on this addiction. Don't have any answers.

 

By the way withdrawal is not the issue. I'm not having significant withdrawal symptoms. It's all psychological. 

Use Them For Good Health.

Well so very excited to say day 3 went better I do I d myself forgetting about smoking more regularly through the day cravings of course were there but it was a bit easier thank all of you for the support and advise it is truly a blessing and I look forward to coming every day after work and reading and blogging it is a great support line w great people thank you for accepting me.

Day 3

Posted by OBLENESS74 Jun 3, 2017

Just wanted to check in with everyone and let you all know that I am doing great except trying to sleep sleep sleep because I feel a cold coming on ((blah))!!!!!

On to Day 2

Posted by OBLENESS74 Jun 2, 2017

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