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2018

Good day EXers!!

 

When I think back to my quit experience, I see so many things that I couldn’t see before, during the time that I was living it. I think addiction can make it hard to see some things while we’re still addicted because stepping out of ourselves and seeing ourselves as we really are goes against everything we tell ourselves to remain addicted.

 

But one thing that stuck out the most for me was the ups and downs that we must face when we choose to lose our addictions. Those first hard days seemed like a breeze to me, simply because I was already expecting them to be bad and I knew I had to fight hard at first.

 

To me, it felt like I had a complete handle on my quit that first week. I was proud of my achievement of the previous week and felt confident that I was going to win this thing. Of course, it’s rarely that easy to lose an addiction and I of course was no exception.

 

About halfway through that second week, I woke up feeling terrible! My mind couldn’t focus and I felt like I was living one long, endless urge. I was angry at myself for seemingly going backwards and like so many of us, I thought of the cigarette as a comfort. Soon, that cigarette was all I could think of, and it was driving me crazy!

 

All I can say is that I did make it through that day by blogging and using all of the tools I had placed in my toolbox before I started on the journey, and I remember vowing to myself not to let that happen again if I could help it.

 

On that hard day I learned something that I carried with me throughout my journey. What I learned was that no day is static. No day is written in stone. The reality is that each day is like a blank canvas, waiting for the color to be added by our own actions and thoughts. I realized that I could color that canvas drab and grey or I could color it red with anger or more importantly, I could color it with bright and beautiful colors, creating a wonderful landscape for the day.

 

And so, from that day forward whenever I woke, I would assess how I was feeling. For me, I discovered that there’s a very powerful moment in those first moments of wakefulness. And so when I woke if I felt sad or like the whole thing is just hopeless or that perhaps I should just give up, I’d create a peaceful place of my own choosing, painting the canvas within my mind in warmth and serenity. I would lay there for as long as necessary, until I felt a calm come over me.

 

Then I would open my eyes to begin another wonderful smoke free day! This is why I always say that the power to quit lies within each one of us. All we really have to do is take the time to find the right tools that work for us and once we do quit, be prepared to modify things if they must be modified.

 

Our attitude and perception is the one thing that can make or break a quit. If we see our quit as a monumental burdon, then we weaken our resolve. If we only see others that still “get” to smoke and don’t change that perception then eventually we’ll fall into the trap of our own making and relapse. But if we feel sorry for those who still smoke, it changes our whole perception of how we thought we felt and strengthens us to push on to the next wonderful day.

 

The main thing to remember is that a quit isn’t a permanent situation for most. There is a day when you suddenly realize that you’re free. And when that day comes, you’ll be glad that you took every step that you did, and like me, you’ll look back at all that you learned and realize that everything we had to learn to beat our addiction will help us for the rest of our lives!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

 

 

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

That first summer

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jun 28, 2018

Good day Exer’s!!

 

Summertime is a time that has always been associated with fun, and with a desire to get out there and do things while we can bask in the warmth that summer brings. We go to picnics and enjoy a hike, or some time on the beach, depending on where we live.

 

But for those who are in the middle of losing an addiction, it can seem just plain horrible! This is largely due to how our cigarettes were so interwoven into our lives. Every experience is a new experience to those who have quit because all these things that we loved so much, we always did while smoking.

 

It’s the memories of smoking that must be overcome, as Dale pointed out to me so long ago. And the only way to achieve that is to create new memories without cigarettes. When I first started my quit, I always called those memories the tentacles of addiction. These sinewy things that can slither inside of every aspect of our lives.

 

And as I created each new non-smoking memory, I saw it as me pulling out these tentacles one by one, and replacing them with a new memory so that I could move onto the next. I did this because I’ve always been a very visual person and as such, I learned early on that I could use my visualization techniques to my advantage.

 

That’s why I created Mt. Freedom and the addict within. Two tangible things that I could wrap my mind around in those times when I felt weak or unsure of my ability to stay on the path to freedom. I would see myself climbing this formidable mountain and as I climbed, I kept the addict within close by so it couldn’t try to fool me.

 

When the addict within would throw a temper tantrum, demanding that I smoke, I would calm it like the child it was for you see, the child of addiction never understood what that addiction was doing to me. It only understood that it was so much easier to just keep smoking. That to the addict within, things were normal so long as there is nicotine and horrible when there’s not.

 

And when the addict within screamed at me, I would talk to it like the toddler that it was. A thing that just couldn’t understand what was best for the both of us. After all, we were one and the same. The addict within was simply a name for the addiction I was working to remove from myself. A way to focus my energy and yes, my unexplained anger at something inside, rather than lashing out at others who have no idea what’s going on inside.

 

Boy, do I ramble at times! I guess my point is that when we’re new to a quit, summer time is actually new as well because we have to relearn how to enjoy our summer without those nasty cigarettes. And we have to stay safe while we’re doing it. Sometimes that’s no easy task.

 

I can’t quit for you, however I can tell you what it’s like when you do. At first the journey seems almost endless, but over time, it becomes wonderful! In fact, I think very few of us who actively smoke remember much of how life was before we were addicts. I know I didn’t.

 

That’s why after the long hard journey becomes reality, we’re completely surprised at how wonderful we feel. We’re completely surprised at how much easier life seems. We’re completely surprised that life is just plain fun again.

 

Enjoy your summer my friends, but be wary until the day comes when you no longer have to be. I think that time comes at different times for each of us but when it does, the smile on your face will reflect the happiness in your soul. Your mind will feel so calm and able to focus like never before because it’s clearer without the addict within always screaming for the next cigarette.

 

You’re on your way to a new and incredible life the moment you put out that last cigarette. I look forward to hearing of that wonderful smile of freedom on each and every person who tries to achieve it. It’s within all of us to win. All we have to do is grasp for our goal and hold on tightly until the day that we wake up and realize that wow! We really are free!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Checking in

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jun 25, 2018

Hello all,

 

Sorry I’ve been absent as of late. Things are going fine. I just had to get caught up on all of the things I put off while my daughter was missing and of course get the gardens in order. Now that this is done, it’s time to start a string of houses that we have pending right now. The money’s always nice but the problem is I first have to work to get it!

 

Spring always reminds me of new life, or rather a new beginning and summer is a time to see the growth take place after the renewing of spring. I always think of my quit in the spring. I still remember the original trials that we must face at first but what really sticks in my mind is the renewal of my life when I quit smoking.

 

As a smoker, I was completely consumed by my addiction. If I wasn’t smoking, then I was thinking about the next time that I could. Now when I could smoke, well, you’ve heard of the chimney, right? That was me. A totally addicted person doing what addicts do. Spending the day feeding my addiction.

 

When the light of reality finally crept into my mind; you know, the part where you find yourself on the outside looking in and seeing a child that needs to know something. A child slowly grasping the reality of addiction.

 

I really wasn’t surprised when I realized I was an addict. I mean, somewhere buried deep within our addiction is the reality of what it really is. And to be honest, the reality of addiction is just plain ugly!

 

For me, it was a shock at first for in making my addiction as strong as possible, I learned to ignore reality simply because as a smoker, reality can be kind of scary. After all, feeding an addiction simply means wasting time. It means taking the time to nurture that addiction. To make it a part of us once and for all because the alternative is hard. Facing the reality of addiction is hard. Understanding that we are addicts is hard.

 

But once we get past the hard part and understand that all we ever really wanted in our lives was happiness, we find ourselves longing to find the true happiness that lives in the world rather than living the lies of addiction. We long to see our world like those who have never faced addiction see it.

 

And at first, we wonder what it could be like if we could just face the reality that is our addiction. If we could just remove all the lies of our past and make ourselves whole again in our perception of reality.

 

This is why quitting reminds me of spring for you see, once the cloud of addiction is lifted. Once your mind can perceive the world as it really is, then change happens! Growth happens!! We begin to long to be free more than anything we ever wanted before. All we have to do is take that first step into our shiny world of reality where our freedom lies.

 

Never for a moment think it’s not worth the hardships that come with quitting. Never believe that you can’t achieve that goal and step into a world that you never knew existed! I’ve never even for a single moment regretted my decision to quit.

 

Instead, I find myself smiling a lot more. I find myself dealing with life’s problems head on because I no longer have to first light a cigarette to think about that problem before I can act on it. And with every breath I take, I find happiness in the fact that these breaths are pure.

 

Sure, it’s hard at first. Change always is. That’s why we fear quitting. Simply because it’s a change from what we’ve always told ourselves was normal.

 

You’ll never regret taking that first step. Your future awaits you! Go for it! Make that future amazing!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Hi everyone!  I want to stop using the lozenges! I used three 2 mg yesterday.  Last one at 5:30 last night.  I've been getting through the cravings today without them...19 hours without!  I was keeping busy this morning but now I'm dog sitting for the day and I've experienced crying bouts several hours on and off.  What is helping me get through this is being here!!  

Has anyone experienced coming off an NRT? I don't want any nicotine in my body anymore ~ I want it gone!!!    I'm having pretty strong urges...and the first thought I have is to pop a lozenge!  That's just feeding the nicotine!!! I know that I won't die from the cravings but I hate crying.  How long is this going to last?  I've been dealing with the psychological part of it but not the physical part because I pop a lozenge!   I need your help to get through this....

i must be under alot of stress... becanot able to sleep cuse here i am writing a blog post again... 

i have been quit for nearly 5 years now and thought i would be past this... i have been able to sleep good lately because of smokemares... i am dreaming that i am smoking.....i wake up and feel an emptyness like im craving... i roll over and go back to sleep and start dreaming again.... this happened like 3 or 4 times in a row...in my dreaming i can actually see the smoke floating around me... and im sitting there all relaxed .... its frustrating... i didnt know that it would come back to haunt me.... i didnt give in though hopefully thats over with for another 5 years...

izzy

Today is day 15 for me.  I'm doing much better than I thought I would.  I never smoked in the house...always outside on our porch swing.  I've managed to get through the triggers that going outside caused, I've managed to get through the driving triggers and a few other situations that were triggers.   This is where I need some advice...  there is a clubhouse here with a huge patio overlooking the pool and jacuzzi. The patio is the hub of activity... there is always something going on down there...Small cafe...a bar, karaoke, bingo, theme dances, live music, water aerobics, even Leslie Sansone walking dvd fitness daily on the dance floor.   I haven't been down there for 15 days because going there is a huge trigger.  You see, every time I went to the patio I smoked...6 years of doing that here. One half of the patio is smoking. The other half is non-smoking...no wall or anything to separate the sections...just a row of nicer tables. I used to go to water aerobics and the walking fitness 5 days a week... Shoot...I just burst out crying...I miss the activities... I miss my friends...4 of my friends work here and they are smokers.  I also have non-smoking friends in the fitness class.  My best friend is my biggest supporter!  My point is...I want to go swim in the pool...I want to get back to exercising...I want to go down to the grass to listen to the band tonight...I'm afraid of going down there and being hit with a huge trigger.  Any suggestions of how I deal with this? I'm paralyzed with fear!!!

Deborah 15 DOF

freeneasy 

Support with a positive, friendly, humble attitude.  His goal is to motivate members to work harder and fulfill their responsibility of quitting smoking. Jim has the ability to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive.   Jim continuously supports the EX community using positive affirmations to impart his wisdom and cheer us on.  You are sure to get the point from his logic, truth, and humor.  

Logic

"Banish the thoughts of "struggle" and replace them with pride of conquest." 

When you learn about quitting and nicotine addiction, you'll build confidence. You may even be more afraid of continuing to smoke than quitting." 

"I like to call them "smoking thoughts" rather than craves." 

Truth

 Yup,  " I lost my quit" Translation: " I decided to smoke."

"Once an addict always an addict. S.I.N.A.O."

"A crave won't hurt you,  smoking will."

"No luck necessary. You're the boss of your quit"

Humor

"Don't fear the snake. It only will bite if you allow it to.  Craves are like snakes..." 

"I didn't smoke today but didn't vacuum either. I don't plan on smoking but plan on vacuuming a couple of times a year whether the place needs it or not."

"Time is like a roll of toilet paper. It goes more quickly towards the end."

 

Always the gentleman, Jim is a breath of fresh air. He has a listening ear and a heart that understands. 

Thank you, Jim, for staying and supporting the EX family after 5 1/2 years.

 freeneasy , I dedicate this video/song to you.  (Can be seen in the comment below)

You remind me of this song. Summer Breeze - Seals & Croft #1 Hit(1972) - YouTube 

Rollingon

Chat rooms

Posted by Rollingon Jun 19, 2018

I was looking for a chat room. I am trying to quit smoking. I could not tell you how many times I have quit in the past, its been a lot. Now everyone around me does not believe I will ever quit. Thought if there was a chat room or others I could talk with It may help this time. As much as I do not want to smoke, I kinda think like them that at this point I will die a smoker.

hattonc

Didn't follow thru

Posted by hattonc Jun 18, 2018

Well my quit day came  and went..I didn't do it .. something occurred in my personal life that has just thrown me into a deeper depression..on top of that I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy on Friday which I'm terrified of...fear is just controlling my life right now and I don't know why ...I hate smoking I say this over and over again ...I was so ready to quit...I reset my date for Friday the 22nd...I pray that I can do this ....

ShawnP

Special day

Posted by ShawnP Champion Jun 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day to those men on this site. Enjoy your day.  If you haven't chosen a quit date yet, today would be a perfect day to remember.

 

I also would like to wish pir8fan Tommy a Happy Birthday and many more!

Have a great Sunday to all!

ShawnP

Prayer request

Posted by ShawnP Champion Jun 8, 2018

Please say a prayer for pir8fan. (Tommy)  He is really having alot of pain in the eye that he had surgery on. 

The Encourager,       

Look at this number October 1, 2004, the oldest quit of the Elders, 4 months shy of 14 years of freedom 

There is no wondering why he is so cool, calm and collected.  Just a downhome guy with downhome "just sayings".

Mike is here for us. If you are down he will pull you up.  Those simple words, "Keep on keepin on" do make a difference. 

I know, they did for me.  Mike keeps it simple with no frills, no bars holding, straightforward and honest words of encouragement which I believe is the way he lives.  No tongue biting when telling the truth and makes no EXcuses because he knows the seriousness of death associated with smoking.  Along with being a great storyteller, we are blessed with his humor and his "Just Sayin" quotes. Let's continue to show love and appreciation for  Mike.n.Atlanta.  He is still ACTIVE , giving support.  Thank you, Mike, you are one of the best!
 

Just a few excerpts of Mike's "Truism "

  • We all end up the same unless we take control. Until we realize that we do have the strength to quit. Until we realize that urges aren’t painful & that they are not a command. Until we realize that we don’t HAVE to smoke. Until we realize there’s nothing to fear. Until we resolve to make a sincere commitment that will change our lives & promise ourselves that we will protect it at any cost. It takes all of these things & more.
  • One may have hesitations about tackling difficult tasks before quitting, but they seem a lot less formidable after a successful quit of any length. EX members have accomplished a great deal personally because of the confidence & strength they've found in themselves because of this process. Find yourself. I'll say it again...it ain't all about quitting.
  • If you really want to be smoke-free you will find a way. If not...you'll find an excuse. Keep on keepin' on

 

Mike.n.Atlanta is a great writer and storyteller. 

  These are just a few of many great "Keep on Keepin on" blogs!

Read on or Bookmark for later.

Mike n @lanta's Story My Goodbye Story A Successful Quit? Don't step on any toes. The Band Plays On Life or Breath This is only MY opinion Look Within Woman of Strength 

shashort

The First One

Posted by shashort Jun 7, 2018

In my smoking days I would have had 4-6 or more lung related illnesses in 1 year with at least one or more requiring hospitalization. I have to say I have been quit for 755 days, a little over 2 years and just now experiencing my first lung related illness. It started with allergies, high pollen counts then into COPD exacerbation and now into pneumonia. So I spent most of weekend in bed. Went to Doctor yesterday and she blasted me with 60mg of Predisone, antibiotics, doing nebulizer treatments. Oh the memories of the effects of predisone, the shakes, and jitters ARGH!!  So in my smoking days this episode would have landed me in ER because I would keep on puffing on those cigarettes and then my lungs and body would not heal.  So today, I am thankful I don't put that nasty junk in my lungs. I am very grateful for my freedom and do know this too shall pass, The meds have kicked in and I am starting to feel better. So in the mean time I will just do the predisone jitter dance until it passes.  Thankful for this being the first episode in 2 years. It is great to breath and I am healthier than I have been for years!!  To the Newbies it is so worth all the effort you have to put up with in the beginning and know it will pass.  Just have to be willing to do whatever it takes to stay free. Make your committment and honour it and I promise you won't regret it.

minihorses

I Blew It!!

Posted by minihorses Jun 4, 2018

Well after 7 months of being wonderfully tobacco free I blew it.  I started smoking yet AGAIN.  My life took a massive nosedive and I couldn't handle it so I said  f*** it and caved.  I won't go into details other than to say I lived in the woods for almost two days including an overnight with nothing but the clothes on my back and a light jacket to use as something to keep warm or lay on.  Luckily I grew up tent camping until we got a pop-up camper when I was 10 and my husband and I tent camped until my youngest was born so I knew how to live outside.

  

Also my oldest child (w/ Aspergers) is now getting services and he's scared to death because he's not comfortable with anyone that's not family or friends.  This is a HUGE change from his world into a world he doesn't know how deal with and doesn't want to.  During all the meetings that we had before we got our case worker the more scared he got and was 'shutting down'  at some point during each on.one. He is out right now for the first day and the look on his face was sheer terror.  We'll see but I think he'll do OK.  So it's been a struggle for him which is why I came home from my hideaway..

 

I kept saying ANOTHER DAY WON NOT ANOTHER DAY ONE, NOPE, LIFE HAPPENS WHETHER WE SMOKE OR NOT, I'VE GOT 7 MONTHS BEING SMOKE FREE AND YOU WANT TO RUIN  IT?  I just didn't care at that point so the cigarettes came back.  I'm starting Chantix again tomorrow and have a quit date of 2 weeks from now (hopefully) unless life here stays on the current downward spiral. I miss being smoke free and the damn things are so addictive it doesn't take much to become a non-smoker again.

 

For all you newbies, NMLs, in-betweeners,  and anyone else thinking about having just one PLEASE DON"T.  Starting from square one for that one little cigarette is NOT WORTH IT!!  Stay strong, keep getting support on here, and keep that quit no mater what!  

 

Julie

currently back to being a smoker 

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