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2017
Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Checking in

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Aug 31, 2017

Hello to all you wonderful people! Sorry I’ve been absent of late. Things got really hectic for a bit but mostly in good ways. First of all, we picked up three new houses that needed finishing ASAP! Financially, this is wonderful, but it does keep us running in circles trying to accommodate everyone quickly.

 

And then, just before we found out about all this work, my wife and I had committed to volunteer work for a hospice organization in our area. I thought this might be simple, but it includes a lot of very necessary training and a bit of medical testing before we can begin, but I guess that’s to be expected considering the work we’ll be doing.

 

In the end, we hope to help others cope in a time of need, and to help in whatever way we can to make the process as easy as possible in a time when support is needed.

 

I feel the same way when it comes to someone trying to quit smoking. It’s an incredibly hard time in a person’s life when they choose to give up the security blanket that was used for so long. Stress is the last thing we want when we quit smoking, and though life happens, it’s important to learn that life really doesn’t need a security blanket that in the end causes death.

 

All we can do as those “who have been there” is to try to warn you of the endless pitfalls that can derail a quit. Of the things that we did to achieve success in our own quits. To offer support in a time that’s just plain confusing! And the knowledge that we bring is that of those who have fought for their own freedom.

 

There are so many here to help us achieve our goal of ffreedom, so long as we can find the time to listen. I’ll be back soon, as soon as things calm down a bit to lend what little I can offer. In the meantime, stay focused on that freedom!

 

Listen to those that try to help you and before long, your addiction will be nothing but a memory of things past. Before long, your freedom will be the shining beacon that you knew was always there, if you could just reach for it!

 

I think of all of you all of the time. Of the power that’s created in this place just by a belief in freedom! In a belief that one day, we’ll find peace. It’s there, waiting for you if you can just hold on long enough to get to it!

 

I will be more active soon, because I miss all of you and the commitment that you bring to your lives every day. In fact, I’ll be around this weekend just to touch base with all of you wonderfully committed people!! Until then . . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

Dealing with My Anxiety

Posted by Showiestodin Aug 28, 2017

    This is only my situation, take what applies and leave the rest. I found that with my anxiety that if I keep building something up, making a mountain out of a molehill, then my anxiety rises till I'm in the hospital again thinking I'm having a, mild :

Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)

 

     Then only to find out it is anxiety. I would have to take strong pills to keep this from happening. Until I figured out all on my own that I can be in control of me. Granted it took time to learn how. But I did learn how. Now for the past couple of years, no anxiety med's and no anxiety to speak of. I have to keep myself in check during stress or certain situations. It is doable. I know because I'm doing it. I had to change my environment and I have to stay out of big crowds of people, but that was for me. Not saying that is what you need to do. Take what helps and leave the rest. 

 

     One thing I'd get all worked up about would be quitting smoking. Husband would take cigg's, money, cards and keys so I couldn't smoke.Talk about a high energy situation. But I learned how to cope with anxiety when I moved in with my mom. Such a sweet lady and super mom. So for the past 3 years I've been in a peaceful and loving environment. Sometimes a change is needed sometimes not. You have to figure out what stresses you out and find your happy spot while these things go on around you. Close your eyes concentrate on your heart beats and your breathing. Slow them down. Try to breath slow, eyes closed tune out what is going on. If you need to, excuse yourself to a safe place. Meditation type stuff, you can find a lot just google it meditation.

 

     Long enough, enough said. I sincerely hope this helps others dealing with anxiety.

 

To comment go to: Dealing with my Anxiety 

Daniela-3-11-2016

If feels like home

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Aug 27, 2017

Life got in the way and I have not stopped by to say hello, to see my old friends' comments, and to meet the new quitters for a little while now.

Having spent some time here over the week-end did more than reinforce what I already knew: I came home, to share hugs and love with my family, to learn some more about our quit journey, to enjoy "seeing" everyone, and meet the newer family members.

Thank you all for being home and prove all over again what a strong community, with wonderful people EX is!

And I took a picture of us today!

Daniela 533 DOF

Stac2

Scared

Posted by Stac2 Aug 27, 2017

Ok fam.  Officially scared.  Water and rain levels out of control here in Houston. Cannot sleep.  So scared house will flood.  Please pray we do not flood.  Thank you so much to my beloved EX family.  

 

Love to all,

Stacie

ShawnP

Changes to the Freedom Train

Posted by ShawnP Champion Aug 26, 2017

Starting next week, We are going to do a weekend train. crazymama_Lori will post Saturday and Sunday celebrations together. So, some of you might be celebrating a day earlier if your day falls on a Sunday. 

 

If you haven't signed up for the freedom train you can do so here. What's your EX Quit Date? or you can also send me a message and i will add you. Also, if there are any changes with your quit date, please update your profile. I try to check your profiles to make sure that i have the correct dates. Thanks and hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Stac2

Checking In

Posted by Stac2 Aug 26, 2017

Hello sweet EX family.  Thank you for all the support and prayers during this hurricane.  Boy have I missed y'all!  I couldn't figure out where to write blogs for the longest time but I think I just figured it out so hopefully this will post.  I love and miss everyone!  Hubby and I are hunkered down.  Currently under tornado watch which is scary.  But we are safe.  And no matter what this hurricane will not tempt me to pick up a cigarette.  That was an old coping mechanism that frankly didn't work bc the nicotine kept me jittery anyway! Newbies! Hey! If I can weather one of the biggest storms to ever hit the US without a sickorette, you can put down those sickorettes! The freedom is so worth it!  I promise! 

 

Love and hugs to all, 

Stac

And we all need a smile:

 

Meet the Naughtiest Dogs of 2014 – these cracked me up! It could partially be my lack of sleep right now but please enjoy (sorry for the few inappropriate ones)

Angie-Lah

Dreams

Posted by Angie-Lah Aug 23, 2017

I hardly ever dream about smoking, but when I do it's usually a pretty vivid dream. My dreams over the last few nights have been especially vivid. Probably has something to do with me coming up on a month of sobriety as well, I sleep better at night than I was the first few weeks. I dreamed the other night that I was at Dad's funeral service, but he was still alive. It was nearly lucid dreaming because dream me knew that he wasn't really alive, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that. It made me cry in the dream so I started to walk away from him before I would have to explain my tears. He asked me where I was going and I turned back and asked "Do you want me to stay with you?" He said, "Well, yea." (With that ~ duh ~ look he would give me sometimes when I asked something silly). I sat down and held his hand, and could barely catch my breath I was sobbing so hard. It upset me enough that it woke me from a dead sleep and I woke my husband up crying. It feels like a mixed blessing, because I feel that I got to hold his hand again, but it was also like re-experiencing his death all over again. I fell back asleep within a half hour or so and immediately fell into a dream where I was with family and friends and was smoking, and sneaking around to get to booze without my husband knowing about it. I hate dreaming about it, because it almost feels like I actually committed the deed, that's how vivid my dreams are now.

 

Doubling down on protecting my quit, feel especially vulnerable these days but I'm keeping in mind that smoking and drinking won't make anything I'm feeling any better. It may temporarily delay having to deal with it, but then I'll still have to deal with it, on top of losing all my progress. 7 years smoke free, nearly one month sober.

cpsono

Having a hard time

Posted by cpsono Aug 13, 2017

i just checked my days quit and I'm at 809.  Quite an accomplishment, I think by anyone's standards.  I thought that by the time I got to this point, I would have it "licked" and never think about smoking again.  Not the case right now.  I retired from work about 3 weeks ago and I'm having a hard time adjusting--feeling some sadness and loss and I am talking to a therapist.  I'm having some cravings/thoughts about smoking again, somehow believing that smoking will make things better/make me happier than I am right now if I start smoking again.  I don't want to give up my quit. I'm a member of this community for over 2 years and this is the most frightened I've been of starting again.  I need your help, elders and newbies!    

Angie-Lah

$14,700!!

Posted by Angie-Lah Aug 10, 2017

I have a nifty little counter app on my phone that keeps track of the days it's been since I quit, and the average amount of money I've saved based on how much cigarettes were when I quit. Given that they've gone up dramatically since 2010, I'm pretty sure it's more than what it shows, but still! I've saved $14,700 since I quit smoking. Woo-hoo! (And on a side note, I hit 2 weeks of sobriety tomorrow). Happy almost weekend everyone

Your eyes are opened after you quit smoking.

Lessons are now learned, no longer ignored.

Finding yourself may mean detachment from the toxic.

Smoking moderates truth into a false acceptance.

They can't change. It's what they are.

 One of the things that happen to us when we first quit and for a while after is that we can get irritable, to say the least. We also seem to analyse everything as we continue on the quest for freedom. Our minds are trying to grasp a new reality and wonders if it’s really the reality we want to see.

 

Hopefully, we remain diligent on those first days. In my case, I was very diligent on those first days. I knew I was a little irritable and like most, I analysed constantly, longing to understand why I just turned my whole world upside down.

 

Most people seem to do fine the first day or even the first week. I think this is because we’re prepared for a wild ride on those first days and as such, we accept it for what it is. Losing an addiction.

 

But in the second week and beyond for even a few months, many people seem to lose their quit. In my case and perhaps in the case of others, the second week took just as much attention as the first week. Sure, I was feeling a little better and felt like I had a better footing then I did the week before. But during this precious time in our quits, though the nicotine has left our bodies, we still have to be wary and aware of how we feel.

 

In my past quit attempts that were always short lived, it was during the second week that I lost my quit. Before my last quit over six years ago, I analysed these previous attempts and realized something that should have been staring me right in the face.

 

In that second or third week, or even into months, the emotion level is still high. The constant argument with ourselves is still happening. And at times the nagging urges keep attacking us. And in a way because we’re starting to get used to all of this, we don’t notice it as much.

 

And then the slightest little problem can seem monumental because of the stress that we kind of forgot we were feeling. I know in my past quits and in that second week, the slightest little thing could set me off and the first thought that ran through my mind in my frustrated anger was, “To hell with this! This sucks! I need a cigarette!”

 

And I would cave! One time all it took was forgetting my keys in the house. As I walked back in, the anger would grow over this simple little thing until I’d give in so that I could “calm” myself.

 

Since then, I’ve learned from my past experiences and that knowledge helped me to win this last time around. I understood that the battle would be a long one. I understood that I was always in danger of a relapse, even as I began to feel better.

 

When a little bump appeared in the day, I’d simply take a deep breath, understand that it was the mental addiction talking and I’d always count to twenty. Nine times out of ten, if you want to feel better, and you give yourself a few moments before reacting, then the problem once again becomes what it was in the first place. A small problem that can easily be overcome.

 

I think at times we become our own worst enemy in a quit if we let it get to that point. So all I can say is on those first precious weeks, look for the little bumps in life and don’t let them sway your resolve. Take the time to recover from rapid emotions because they may have nothing to do with what’s actually happening.

 

The little things are only as bad as we let them be. Be wary at first and before long the emotions fade and the peace that comes with freedom comes to the forefront. There really is an end to addiction. All we have to do is get there . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Respect Begets Respect

      When people point you in different direction, don't attack them for trying to redirect your thinking.  There's no need to leave comments on other posts about how you felt you were treated badly. That further distances you from your goal and is similar to going around mommy by getting daddy's permission and pitting one parent against the other.

 

      No one who has been here long term is out to disparage anyone.

 

      Deleting your content shows a lack of respect for those who took the time to respond and attempt to help you. Your prior interaction (history) is the only way you and we can see your progress and know what's been said so we know better how to help you.

      Occasionally, mistakes in assessment or responses may be made or misinterpreted. You control your feelings not us. As Diane Joy says, "Take what you need and leave the rest."

 

   "Grow a backbone. A wishbone won't cut it."

(paraphrased from Tommy.)

 

   No one can make you fail but you.

hattonc

Started Again

Posted by hattonc Aug 9, 2017

I had over 3 months free from smoking an I have managed to pick this horrible habit all over agsin .. I quit for 2 years . Than started agsin last February '16. Then quit agsin this past may.. I was doin so well .. even exercising... there have been major changes in my life an I'm not adjusting well.. I lost my mother in February.. also been through a very stressful relationship that is ending .. I'm living by myself for the first time.. I could go on an on ... I'm not making excuses all I know is I was a nervous smoker an I woukd always turn to a cigarette.. but honestly now when I smoke they make me sick.. why am I doin this to myself? I hate it an I don't want to do it !  I wish there were meetings locally to attend for smokers like they do for  alcoholics and drug addictions.. this really is a horrible addiction.. I want to quit an stay quit .., it's really depressing me....

When we first decide to quit smoking and when we do actually quit smoking, so often the perception is of loss. Of losing a companion. I think the reality is that during this period of our quits, we compare the present to the past.

 

We know that somehow it seemed that whenever we had a problem in our lives, that the cigarette made that problem more tolerable. That it would calm our anger. That it would help us to solve a problem or find the energy to complete a given task.

 

Over time, we reinforce these false beliefs because it helps us to understand why we’re doing something so negative to ourselves every day. And eventually, our minds accept these fallacies as reality.

 

And so when we quit, we start to think about our time of smoking and compare it to the present, and when we do this somehow it seems that the old life of smoking was better than the life of freedom. We begin to cast doubt on our ability to survive day to day challenges without a cigarette. And this opens a crack in our resolve that in the end could derail a quit if we let it.

 

If we latch on to how life used to be, we end up losing the resolve that we fought so hard to create. We begin to rationalize why we should give in and this creates the divided mind that so many experience.

 

We begin to argue with ourselves. One side demanding a cigarette while the other side tries to convince us not to give into what we know is wrong. I had many a day like this. At least while I allowed it. This is when the mantras can help. N.O.P.E. can become the dominating thought in our minds if we choose to let it be.

 

The key is to let go of the past, because it simply was a world we used to live in. Realizing that the cigarettes never actually helped with anything comes naturally as time goes on. As we live our problems and emotions without cigarettes, we begin to see through the lies of our addiction.

 

And when that happens, we’re well on our way to success. Never believe that your life or perception of that life is static. It can be changed, just as we changed it for the worst when we first started smoking. When we first started making up good reasons to continue to smoke.

 

In the end so long as we stay strong, there really is a new and different life to look forward to. There really is the peace that we all talk about. And the freedom is a real thing that is felt every day in the life of a person who has let the past go.

 

So stay focused on that smoke free future! You won’t be sorry!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

jennioptimist

Help... Already... !

Posted by jennioptimist Aug 6, 2017

Had my last cigarette last night at 7 pm... Felt super happy that today would start my journey to freedom from nicotine. But now that I am awake for a few hours and normally would have smoked at least 2 by now, I feel the withdrawal setting in and its telling my brain STUPID things... I wont smoke, I wont. But I have a headache, feel like crying, and feel so powerless like I always do against this horrible addiction... Just need encouragement today. Can feel its going to be an hour by hour kind of day  

Day 25

Posted by Showiestodin Aug 4, 2017

    Here I am at my day 25. I didn't think I'd make it 2 days now here I am at 25 DOF !!! I am trying to learn how to make/have/keep friendships here, all at the same time trying to be my authentic self. I want to stay true to me. I also want to be a good influence and a positive supportive person for all of you, my friends.

 

    I am not dwelling on bad things. That's just to negative, for me. I need to stay happy and positive. I find it comforting and I gain strength from this state of mind. That is a great thing in my position. My mental health is very important to me. If I don't stay upbeat, I'm afraid I will break down again or slip back into depression or worse - Both. 

 

    I do have the sensation inside my body of wanting, needing nicotine. I have to either read or write myself through it here, or get up change of scenery, anything other than entertain that idea of smoking. Maybe it is just that sometimes I'll feel like I'm having withdrawal symptoms all over again as if I just quit yesterday. Other times throughout the day I don't remember I ever smoked. I totally forget about cigarettes. I do understand that I smoked a long time. It takes time to unlearn that habit and to form new ones in place of my old dangerously unhealthy one. But all in all, at the end of the day - It Is Worth It !!!  I am worth it !!!! 

ShawnP

Help Wanted

Posted by ShawnP Champion Aug 3, 2017

I am looking for a couple volunteers to post Freedom Train on Sat and Sun. The requirements are that you can copy/paste, post pictures and have a solid quit. Message me if you are interested.

UPDATE: we have a Sunday person. We are still in need of a Saturday one.

 

Angie-Lah

Replacement

Posted by Angie-Lah Aug 1, 2017

Thank you all for the messages of congratulations on my 7 years. It wasn't always easy, but it has been 100% worth it. I've always been honest with this group, sometimes in a way I'm not even honest with my own family, and I see no reason to stop that tradition now. This last 8 months or so has been so rough for me. I won't rehash everything because I know you guys already know. I never turned back to cigarettes. Somehow the nicotine neural pathways of addiction were shut down and I've never felt a desire to ruin my quit or make my stress worse by relapsing.

 

I am here to offer a word to the wise about those neural pathways though. Sometimes, when we think we've shut down one path of addiction, another one opens itself. In the last 8 months or so (although I've always been a pretty hard partier, I come from a long line of them) my drinking has taken a turn for the worse. Any time we'd get bad news about Dad, I'd turn to the bottle to numb those feelings of trauma and impending loss. I held it together all the way up until after he passed away and then within a few days of his funeral, I spiraled. I lied to my husband about my drinking, I came up with clever ways to obtain alcohol without him knowing about it, and I let myself believe that I was in control of it. I wasn't, and I've sought out help for this. I won't allow another substance to take 10 years of my life in a constant struggle to reassert control.

 

It's been 7 years since I quit smoking, but as a nicotine addict, please know that it's oh so easy to allow your addictive personality to turn to something else. Something just as, if not worse.

 

Luckily for me, thanks to friends and family, I already have an incredible support system in place. Because I did spiral so quickly, I was able to seek out help before I did any permanent damage to myself and my relationships with others, and somehow miraculously no damage to my career or legal troubles. Others aren't so lucky and I hold on to the thought that this could have turned out so much worse.

 

I hope I'm not judged too harshly for this. It was hard to admit this because everyone in my family has always joked that drinkers that quit are "weak." I think if I told any of my casual friends or co-workers that I had a drinking problem, they'd be astounded. I've always been somewhat of a perfectionist; an MBA, a good career, great performance reviews. Drinkers come in all walks of life. I'm not ashamed of it anymore because I know that I'm not weak. Weak would be staying in denial and hurting the people around me by valuing the alcohol more than I value them. I recognize that addiction is a disease, and I'm going to excise it just like I did with nicotine. I hope that you'll wish me luck, and I wish all of our newbies just quitting smoking the best of luck as well. My word of advice for the day is always be on guard. Against just one cigarette, against the ease in which you could slip into another habit, and against the possibility that you may be deluding yourself. Always be on guard.

 

Thank you all for your support through the years. Much love <3

 

Angela

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