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I just bought four dogs and fixed my agitator.  Say wha?  Yup.  Saved myself a $70 service call on my washing machine.  The agitator on my top loader was no longer working properly, wouldn't draw the clothes down.  Went into my local appliance store.  Great guy owns the shop.  Said "you probably just need some dawgs."  (I thought I must have misunderstood him.)  Gave me a brief "how to" put them in, said it was real easy.  Mmmmmm hmmmm, I thought.


I didn't even know how to get the agitator OFF to begin with.  His instructions were not as thorough as I needed, so I went on line.  Spent about half an hour looking at different videos and thought I had found the one that most resembled my washer.  Got the top cover off (had no idea it just popped off, I thought it was a solid unit - mine looked like the second, flat part he took off in the video below, didn't have the water softener dispenser on top) that was real easy.  But how to unscrew the main part where the dogs needed to be replaced?  Didn't have the right tool.  Wasn't even sure what the right tool would be.  Needed something with a large square head.  Tried various things, none the right size.  


Suddenly spied the fork sitting on top of the drier that I use to open the cat food bin.  Stuck the back side of it into the square and gave a twist.  Nothing.  Kept trying, pushing down and twisting and suddenly something moved!  And YES it's unscrewing, unscrewing and voila!  Pulled the clutch unit off and there are the little dogs.  But how to get them out?  I remembered in the videos they said there was a retaining ring.  Looked like one solid piece to me.  I turn, I twist, finally used my fingernails and sure enough, there WAS a very thin retraining ring.  And I skivied it down, removed the old dogs (they really are called dogs), put in the new, cleaned up the entire inside and out of the agitator, put it all back in (found that the back side of a letter opener worked better than the fork as a screwing device)  and, holding my breath, turned the unit on.  And it WORKED!  YAY!  Doing a load of sheets as I write.  Each time I accomplish something like this, it gives me the courage to attack the next plumbing problem.


What has this to do with quitting smoking?  Everything.  We have to have the desire to tackle the problem to begin with.  Then we have to have a certain amount of curiosity.  "I want to stop smoking, how do I go about that?"  So we learn how.  We come to a support site like EX, and we read.  And read.  And read.  We study it from all angles.  We learned everything we can about it.  Then we make a plan, we follow it.  And we persevere.  We don't give up until we have accomplished the task at hand.  


And when we get through just one day, smoke free, it gives us a feeling of pride and power and gives us the courage to tackle the next day and the next.  


So don't give up if you don't get it right the first time around.  Keep working at it until you do. 


And for anyone who wants to learn how to fix your washing machine agitator....  it really is easy once you know how.  



The day I quit

Posted by Freedomcat Dec 28, 2018

Today is day 1 of my quit. 16 hours, 59 minutes to be exact (according to my app). 


This morning I felt fine. Some cravings. Mostly hung in and read blogs, prayed,  coloured, listened to music, enjoyed my morning coffee and breakfast, etc. I thought...this isnt so bad!


Ha! At around 12:30pm, I started feeling wonky. Someone described it well in a blogpost. Like being in a kaleidoscope. I feel dizzy. My visual perception is off, and easily overwhelmed. My head feels full of cotton balls and fog and lead. Not very hungry and a little nauseous. Haven't had my usual morning bowel movement yet. 

Emotionally I feel excited then disappointed, over and over again. Excited about going for a smoke...something to look forward to and then immediately remembering that I choose to quit today,  and disappointment. I'm trying not to dwell there. I have been breathing, shifting my focus instead of arguing with the thoughts or let the loss overwhelm me. Instead, I have been 'playing the tape to the end'....replaying what it was actually like to smoke. And looking into the future if I smoke again. And praying. 


That was a few hours ago. I then spoke with a  friend who said..."it gets worse," "you need to change your habits," and "and if you smoke, you can always try again." 


Argh!!!! So words really threw me for a loop. 


Since then I feel like I've been running,trying to avoid the panic I started to feel. I got realy really scared that I was going to **** up. I was going to do it wrong and would find myself smoking again. So I stopped. Cried a little. Felt the panic a little. With my partner. Then realized I made a list of anxiety coping skills that I I looked at them and decided to go with feeling the support of my comfy chair, finding the safe feeling in my body and deep breathing. Getting out.of my head

..stop trying to fight those darn thought pe reframe them or whatever, but allow them to be and redirect to my senses and my body. 


People here say that we gotta stay on top of the addict voice...but when I try to do that, I get so exhausted, and really stuck up in my head, and way more panicky and confused and like I'm spinning. I think my higher voice lives in my body, not in my head. Going into the support of my body helped. And burning sage and cedar. 


I dont want to smoke. And I don't think there's one right way. The more I read on here sometimes the more scared I get that I'm getting it wrong and my mind spins with all the words and advice. But the encouragement feels good and the connection. And to write out my thoughts. 


I struggle with OCD...where my thoughts can become very obsessive and my thoughts are a tricky place to dwell. 


I'm  now at 19 hours, 11 minutes 2 seconds 


Please tell me it does get better. I know it might get worse the next couple days...but I need to hear it will get better and that I'm doing good. Thank you!

~~Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.~~  unknown


It's easy to get excited about the idea of quitting.  No longer being chained to longer spending all that longer having family look away in disappointment.  All those negatives will disappear when we quit!!

The reality is, of course, a bit different.  As our quit date approaches, we frantically think of all the reasons we shouldn't quit.  Our stress level is too high...our relationship is tanking...our health is too questionable.   The early days of our quits can be real nail biters,  too.  Everything is now out of wack.  We are a nervous sucks...anger seems to be a constant companion.

Can you see how addiction works now?  It will use anything and everything to keep you enslaved.  Even to the point where you quibble about 'slipping' rather than 'relapsing.  And personally, it doesn't matter to me which word you use and it doesn't matter to me if you start back at day 1 or not.  Looking at the bigger picture, I simply want you to understand that your addiction will keep you addicted...IF you let it.

Commitment to your quit isn't just about keeping your word.  It isn't just about integrity.  It is recognizing that the only way to break this addiction is to NOT smoke.  Ever.  Not one puff...because one puff will keep that addiction alive and well.  

Commitment means recovery.  Commitment means freedom.  Commitment means you choose life.  Hold on to your commitment even when you don't want to.  It's your lifeline.  It's your way out.  

You can be free.  So many of us now are.  Simply by honoring that commitment.  Quitting means not on puff ever.  




And so It is.

Posted by anaussiemom Dec 26, 2018

I have angels to my right and to my left.
Behind me and in front of me.

I will not smoke again.  No matter!

will renew my vow to myself, "I do not smoke anymore! 
These links have by far given me a restored beautiful Christmas day. 
Yesterday, hearing for the 3rd time by Nurse Asst.'s, by 3 different doctor offices, that I had this or that; Not knowing period!   That I had any of this stuff that had been seen on x rays and such for, a year or less caused me great alarm. 
The emotions and PTSD, I had reached yesterday was so frightening, because of so many dynamics in my life....

Hell ya, after 18 days of hard work @ times. Teaching my brain to redirect  thinking in my brain into positive thinking and such.   Feeling much better daily physically, small bouts at a time.   Lit up and had 4 puffs of a cigarette...   it felt good, and comforting, after bad news of nodules, and floored by that "word!  No Doc" to talk to til January 15th!   IT was to much for me.   Watching my mom go thru this kind of stuff passing away at 56.
...  Caring for her 24/7 with a new baby in my arms, tough stuff!   PTSD,  kicked in" big time.   Justification! No!  It was a bad choice of comfort zone, madness!

So reading up on a lot of things today, I realize I can do this and succeed and be very healthy, walk my dog, take karate, all that I hope too gain and then some. One baby breathe, and step,  at a time!! 
See you all tomorrow, knowing I am probably medically okay! 
Felt doomed yesterday!  

Today I feel a great sense, of relief and absolute renewal on my vow, to what I deserve in life, good health, more animals to rescue, etc...  
 I HAVE NO NEED TO BASH DOCTORS. THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS.  However, it is hard to ask a question about something, if  you have no clue on findings of something????

Merry Christmas Everyone!!




Why did I do that?

Posted by anaussiemom Dec 24, 2018

I had 4 puffs from a cigarette today.     I won't romanticize the experience, I can only say big mistake.  

Finishing my day in tears and yearning.  18 dof.  Which I worked hard as hell for.
Back to the drawing board! 
A pissed off hubby ..........My emotions just get better and better..........


Stopping by......

Posted by ShawnP Champion Dec 23, 2018

to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Giving each and every one of you a virtual hug!! Wishing you peace, love and joy.



Posted by AnnetteMM Dec 22, 2018

...days to go!


I've received and saved a few really great sayings over the past year, and I've passed some of them along to others. 

That one dubbed me "Amazing Annette" and it still makes me smile stupidly.


This makes me feel strong, even when I know for sure I'm not strong at all.


GREAT visualization of this whole process.


My favorite, because it's Peter Max and it makes me all nostalgic.


And finally...


One little relapse now releases all the dominoes back to Day One again.



I DID IT!!!!

Posted by minihorses Dec 21, 2018

Today is my 100th DAY OF FREEDOM FROM SMOKING!  I made it, Triple Digit Club.  This is my second time in a year that I've had this milestone.  I reached this once before but somewhere after then I'd started smoking again . This time I know for a fact I won't ever have to see 100 days again.  Since my husband is completely oblivious and uninterested in my quit I think I'll  celebrate with my two minions that ARE happy and proud of me.  I got lots of hugs and high fives from them.  Maybe they'll buy me lunch today. No matter if anyone in the family is blase about it I'm proud of me and that's all that counts.




The project we were about to start got held up another day by inspections.


I remember in the old days, this would anger me enough to go have a cigarette and calm down. What a joke that was! Why I carried that smoking baggage with me my whole life, I’ll probably never know. I mean over time that baggage gets kind of heavy as we become more enslaved.


In fact, I think I spent way more time thinking about smoking than I did living. All that mental energy wasted on maintaining an addiction. And all that wasted money as well. I remember when I thought I’d quit the moment they went over two dollars a pack. Well, by the time that happened that thought was just a dream. I was so addicted by that point that money didn’t really matter. Big tobacco owned me and for the longest time, I didn’t mind being owned.


Like most smokers, I’d turn off the TV or change the channel when those anti smoking ads started appearing. I mean, I didn’t want to watch some crazy person telling me that I didn’t want to smoke and then trying to scare me into quitting.


No way! I was on top of my game and that game was addiction! I never really saw a need to quit before my final quit attempt. Every now and then I’d just quit for a day or two and then go back to smoking, as if I wanted to verify to myself what quitting would do to my world, but I only got serious three times, the last one being the final time, I think.


And when I analyzed those first two quits, the first thing that always jumped out at me was that I didn’t really want to quit those first two times. And so I knew that I had to find a way to change my thinking. I had to find a way to change my very perception of what I perceived as reality.


I did this through learning and preparation. This is why I took my prep so seriously. Because before when I’d tried to quit and failed, I still loved smoking. I started my learning with the pack tracker and this helped me to identify my triggers. Then I started using separation exercises where I didn’t smoke for several hours a day. I was actually able to learn from this because I treated it more like an experiment where I knew I could still smoke at the end of it.


Also, for each trigger I discovered with the pack tracker, I used separation for that as well by not allowing myself a cigarette for a given amount of time after the normal trigger events. But still, even after all of this, I hadn’t changed my thinking about smoking. I still basically liked to smoke even though I knew it was killing me!


I began to realize that it was more of a need than a like and it was during my preparations that I first came up with my concept of the addict within. The embodiment of my addiction. The thing that I could converse with as it tried to keep me from seeing the realities of freedom. For me, this became a turning point. A time when I could realistically compare my addiction to a life without it.


You see, I’d forgotten what life without addiction was like and as such, I had to imagine that world so that I could compare it to the world that the addict within wanted me to live. This made all of the difference for me because with this new concept, I could finally compare my worlds. And I could ask myself why certain things are certain ways. Sure. All I was really doing was talking to myself but by making my addiction something separate, I could begin to change my perception of it.


I realized that in a way, I was trying to talk my addiction out of wanting to be addicted. And over time, it worked! Soon my entire being was behind the concept of freedom and I didn’t just want to think of freedom. No, I wanted to live it! Soon that became my all consuming thought and by the time I quit, I was excited! I wanted that freedom more than anything I’d ever wanted!


Perhaps for some, the key to a successful quit is simply seeing that addiction for what it really is. The hard part is figuring out how to do that without a clear point of reference. For me it was as simple as seeing my addiction as something that could be reasoned with.


This is why I was able to achieve that one thing that jonescarp told me was the key to success. The laughter! Because of the work I did before hand, I was able to laugh at the urges, making them easier to brush off. And when that wasn’t quite enough, I’d ask the addict within what was wrong and you know what? Every time I asked myself that, the answer was always the same. It wasn’t actually that something was wrong. It was simply that I had changed and it just took my addiction a little longer to accept that . . .






Out of Control

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Dec 19, 2018

So often in a quit, we tend to find ourselves wondering how we found ourselves so addicted and why we did this to ourselves. We somehow find comfort in the past, because that’s our only reference to what we call normal. We don’t understand the present and are uncertain about the future we’re trying to create.


And so quite often and mostly out of confusion, we latch onto our past lives of smoking. This generates a kind of longing for that old world where things seemed so normal even as we strengthened our addictions of the past. And of course this translates into a desire to smoke. Soon those old memories are flooding the mind simply because we let our guard down and let them in and all of a sudden we realize that we’re having a massive crave that came seemingly out of nowhere!


Even though in a way we created this situation, we suddenly feel out of control! But we still don’t want to smoke so we become irritable. We start thinking thoughts of how unfair this whole addiction thing really is and yes at times we even feel sorry for ourselves for having to go through this horrible ordeal. We begin to feel like we’re unable to do what we want to do without driving ourselves crazy and then just at the right moment, someone says something that angers us to the point that we completely lose our focus.


This is the anatomy of a relapse, I think and the moment that decides a choice between slavery and freedom. We have to fight endlessly in order to quit, and sometimes the endless fight wears a person down but what amazes me is that when a person relapses, it’s generally a split second decision.


The key to success is to not make those split second decisions when we’re in the middle of a battle for our very futures! We must always take a moment to breathe. To calm our anguished minds before making a rash decision that we always regret, especially when we start over.


It’s way easier to simply log onto the old computer and type something then it is to get in the car, drive to the store, buy those cigarettes and drive home and I know for a fact that the moment that cigarette is lit, there’s instant regret and a feeling of failure and fifty percent of the time those worthless feelings will get someone to continue on recreating a horrible future that they were trying to escape.


Thankfully for the other fifty percent, they see the errors of their ways and start over, but either way the feelings of regret and failure are what we feel when we relapse.


So obviously the key is to find something. Anything to change our thinking. Be it coming here and typing HELP and then explaining your feelings or taking a nice refreshing walk or perhaps journaling. To me, the best thing to do in those moments is to come here where you’ll find understanding that might not be found elsewhere.


I think it’s true that misery loves company, and when we come here to save our quit without even realizing it we may save another person who was having similar thoughts. By getting together and conversing about what’s being felt inside with others who understand those feelings, it gives us strength and not only that. We also might strengthen another who needs if just as badly.


When you have those weak moments, the balls in your court. What will you choose to do with it?






Just a quick note: I’m going to be working a rather hectic schedule for a while and might not be here quite as much, but I will check in daily and will always reply to those who might need it and of course add my two cents where I can in the blogs


Prayers I guess.

Posted by anaussiemom Dec 19, 2018

Honestly my husband drives me nuts. The stuff he is saying is so mean, then he asks what is wrong? Seriously!
  I want to just run and go smoke!!


He is taking jabs at my body!  That is all I will say and can say at this time  Never did I think I would have these kinds of conversations  with my partner!


I can't even get into it now.  It does hurt deeply and Im in shock over it.


On that note I'm gonna add something funny cuz I cannot write it at this time.


So I'll Just put up a quote that my mind goes to in my free time many days a week.


Random crazy moment.  I feel totally lost right now, with holidays Hubby's issues, me not smoking etc..
Yep Crazy!


December Tests

Posted by anaussiemom Dec 18, 2018

The dreaded tests for December.  May they come to a rest now.  Biopsy on thyroid Dec 12th, have heard nothing.  Nice large  bruise though, sore too. 

Later I get to do a "Low dose" scan for right side of lung.  I just had 2 "high dose" x-rays for chest.  They said imagery was shadowed;  Does anyone else feel that doctors pad each others pockets with cash, via seeing doc after doc? Oh I miss the old days when one or two docs were more then plenty. I wont even mention the scopes for December, and Hubby's issues, you know, tilt table", hospital stays for his b-day, Afib, then no Afib, then vertigo, then more docs; Lord.

  Anyway I will probably Glow In The Dark When 2018 Comes To A Close.
Am I whining?   You betcha!

12DOF  Is tough business!

I do not feel blessed and smushy love" about way to much Doc and Insurance Politics.  

Happy Tuesday.   I think it's Tuesday?



Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Dec 17, 2018

On those days before we ever started smoking, we had a perception of our world and how it was supposed to work with us and how we would interact with that world. Our minds were filled with curiosity and yes, a sense of belonging because as a species, we tend to want to stick together. We traverse through life, ever evolving as our minds learn from experience and uses memory to help improve our lives by not making the same mistakes twice.


And then, for some reason we choose to try a substance of the Earth. Perhaps it was that natural curiosity that all us humans have. Perhaps it was because of a perception of maturity or in my case a desire to be cool. Somehow when I was holding that cigarette, it made me feel stronger and more confident for reasons I’ll never really know.


But somewhere along the way we choose to smoke. And with that first cigarette comes the first big lie. You know, the one where we say “one can’t hurt anything, right?” and in reality maybe one didn’t hurt anything. But somehow that one became twenty and then forty and when we reach that point, we begin changing our perception of our world. Our brains begin the creation of receptors and uses this new substance to create a chemical euphoria, and each cigarette causes the mind to create even more of these receptors and as far as the mind is concerned, those changes are perceived as normal simply because of the stimulus we were continuously feeding the mind and body.


The brain itself doesn’t really understand right from wrong, I think. But it does understand euphoria and the feelings of well being that these receptors create everytime we take a drag off of a cigarette which over time changes our perception of everything! Suddenly we find it impossible to be truly happy without a cigarette. In fact, since it is believed that the receptors also release chemicals that dull negative feelings, it makes it really hard to see reality after a while.


I think this also generates the fear we feel when we first decide to quit. We know how we feel when we smoke. But we’ve forgotten what our perception was before we smoked. In essence, we forget what freedom feels like and I think this makes it even harder to quit. We have no reference to compare to and just have to trust that in the end, what we believe to be true if we quit is true.


And then when we do quit, we still get no taste of what that future might bring and it’s so easy to lose sight of the original goal of freedom and remember instead the pleasure that smoking used to bring us. And once that memory comes flooding in, we tend to latch onto it. We want to wake up those receptors so that we can feel what they once offered again. And of course that translates to smoking, or hopefully just the thought of it.


So in reality, the fight is quite real both mentally and physically. This is why our quits are perceived in such a negative light at times. This was why for my quit I’d created Mt. Freedom and the addict within. So I could visualize things in a different light and so that I could understand that my battles weren’t really against the cigarette. No. It was an internal battle against my own perceptions.


Mt. Freedom represented the entire journey from start to finish with the shimmering summit always giving my mind a tangible goal to get to. And I always saw myself dragging the addict within up the mountain with me so that I could keep an eye on him and at times when I really needed to, yell at! I was able to focus all of my anger toward the beast that was screaming inside of me simply by perceiving it as something separate that I could scream at and at times yes, talk to.


I realized that once my perception changed and I could view my addiction as an enemy, it helped me to focus more on what I was gaining rather than what I was losing. And then as the receptors shut down, calming my addictive half, I could once again focus on the future.


Quitting is a process. It takes time. It takes acceptance. It takes a desire to want to see things differently but one thing is certain. Once we can see through the lies of our own making. Once we realize that happiness really doesn’t live inside a modified plant, we begin to calm. And once we begin to calm we can stop living only in the present and look instead to the future that was waiting for us all along.


My hope for you is that you find your own Mt. Freedom. That single thing that keeps you focused on a burning desire for change. On a desire to be free. On a desire to find peace because it’s out there and one day at a time we do find it!






Help!  Help!

Posted by anaussiemom Dec 16, 2018

Feeling so much better today, after being sick for weeks.  I want to smoke a few, Omg.

Stop Me! To Stop Me!

Does it Ever End?


That‘s one of the number one questions I’ve seen asked on this site. The short answer is yes, it does. But you know me, I don’t always just give the short answer.


The number one thing that seems hardest for us to grasp when we start this journey is that it takes time. To me, this represents a normal human response. When things are uncomfortable, we want to move on from that discomfort or find a way to stop it.


When our addicted mind begins comparing pros and cons to quitting, we begin to see how hard it’s going to be but we never really know how long we’ll be uncomfortable because every person reacts differently to losing the stimulus of nicotine. I considered myself to be one that had a fairly easy time of it and I think that was because I was ready. I understood well what was going to happen to me and what to do about it when it did. My perception was one of gain and not loss from the first moment that I put out that last cigarette.


Don’t get me wrong, I still had to fight for my freedom just like we all must fight for it. It’s just that I went through the worst of the soul searching that we all must do before I quit and I’d already convinced myself that I wanted to quit. That I wanted freedom more than slavery and that the only way to get there is to get started!


And yes. Like everyone I was curious about how long I was going to feel this discomfort, but I knew I’d done everything in my power to understand it and so when the internal argument began, I’d already had most of those arguments in my head before I quit. And yet they still appeared and yes, at times they annoyed me. So one thing is certain. There’s no way to simply prep your way out of addiction without actually going through the process.


And so, like everyone I at times wondered when it would all end. When I’d feel normal again. When I could rejoin life completely without fear of relapse. And like most, it took some time. I think I had things pretty well in hand in around a month. The discomfort was there but it was so far in the background that it was easily ignored and because of this site I knew that I could embrace that calming of the mind so long as I stayed vigilant and didn’t let the addiction sneak up on me and catch me at a weak moment.


So for me, I’d have to say the answer is that I felt; how should I put it? Back in control of things in a month. Sure, there was more fighting to do but the hardest of it was over in around thirty days. And looking back, I now realize that I was actually feeling gradually better throughout that month. It was just hard to see it while I was living it.


The results of our efforts happen gradually. I don’t remember waking up one day and the discomfort was simply gone. Rather, it was more like an awakening. One day there was just this realization that I was free of my addiction and that there was a day when my addiction felt more like a memory of the past than a real thing that once lived inside of me.


And slowly, I found that I could look back and that was when I realized that I’d really been free for quite some time. My mind just hadn’t accepted it yet. That’s why we call the first week hell week and the second week heck week.


In hell week we must fight the loss of nicotine, or reduction of nicotine if we use NRT’s and deal with the mental aspect of what we’re doing at the same time. Generally in heck week, we’ve managed to fight off the worst of it and as such we actually have time to think about what we’re doing, but the fight is still a difficult one.


We start to question if what we’re doing is really the right thing to be doing, even as we know it is. (The seemingly endless internal argument) Again, this is because our natural human nature wants us to rid ourselves of discomfort even though by the second week, it has lessened in intensity.


For me, there were a lot of discoveries in the third week. My mind had calmed enough to do a little soul searching and I realized that this quit was in my grasp. I began to believe I really was going to make it to that wonderful freedom that I was now dreaming of constantly for you see, that little bit of fear that was still within me was now gone! My future was set and I intended to see it through.


In other words, I’d reached the point of acceptance to my quit. I’d reached that place where I was no longer questioning what I wanted to do. Now, I was getting excited to realize the future that I could see more clearly now. I had at last reached that tipping point where freedom was more important to me than the discomfort and to me, when we reach this point is when the discomfort ends.


So I Guess the answer for me was the day I accepted that I no longer smoked was when it ended and you know what? Thinking back, even that started in the second week! The balls in your court. All you have to do is reach your tipping point, and you will so long as you keep fighting my friends! I look forward to that day when you’re telling me your story of acceptance.







Posted by anaussiemom Dec 14, 2018

I have been on the verge of  perhaps panic attacks or hysteria!  IDK

It's scaring me.

Anyone else? 



Posted by anaussiemom Dec 13, 2018

I  so want to just bite someone really hard right now!

This addiction is pulling at at my passion and romantic sick thinking that smoking is amazing.

It is so not!  It stinks!  It tastes awful!   It burns my throat!  It makes me wheeze!  It causes me to cough endlessly!

It will kill me slowly!   No worse way to leave this world!


Good morning EXers!!!!!

Pops is excited about the prospect of counting up another day of smokefree living...Lately, I have been coming into work early in the morning, and I can't help but notice that my old smoking buddies are out there, and they are not smiling very much this time of year....When I see them in the hallway after they are coming in from their smoke, they hardly even speak to me anymore...I told them all that I simply could not smoke any longer for health reasons...Each and every one of them "all" said they wish they could quit, but it was just too hard to do, and they simply did not want to go through the hassle....

I can understand their reasoning, but I simply told them that I am part of "", and they all say that's great, but no thanks....oh well...I can relate to that too....But for the grace of God....there go I.......

82 days later....Pops is floating down these long hallways, and bouncing up stairwells & walking from bldg to bldg on campus, and not coughing or running out of air....woo hoo!!!!!  Plus, I don't go outside, unless I "want" to go outside!

xoxoxoxo Pops w/82 DOF....Woo Hoo!!!


This morning, I decided to edit my profile, and so I thought that I would paste it here I am sure that not that many people read our profiles very often......


Hi, and thanks for stopping by to read my page....My name is Ken Bishop...aka, Pops. I am a stubborn older addict of nicotine....I have quit on numerous occasions in the past, and have experienced great rewards as a direct result of not ingesting deadly toxins into my bloodstream. One of the curses of having a strong constitution that seems to be able to withstand much more than others body would still be able to move around, and get things accomplished even after I was poisoned by the harmful effects of nicotine addiction. Eventually, the harm became so significant, that not even I, with all of my denial...could avoid the truth that to continue to smoke, would most assuredly be the death of me, and in short order as well. On Sept 1st, of 2018...I found myself in a rehab facility for alcohol abuse, and came very near death. I quit messing around, and had a deep and moving spiritual encounter, and have remained sober without one single urge to pick up a drink since. That was after consuming copious amounts of booze for many years in the past. After 22 days of sobriety, I asked for spiritual help from my creator to make it possible for me to get the same amount of clarity and conviction towards nicotine, that I have been given towards alcohol. From that day forward, the urge and constant thought of smoking has been lifted from me...plain and simple. Sound like a miracle to you? Well, you can certainly believe that I believe it to be a miracle....Pops is a living miracle I write this editorial of my page, (December 13, 2018)...I have 82 days of living smokefree! Woo Hoo!!! Friends and family are all very proud and happy for me. They have asked me what I thought was the turning point, after having experienced so many failed attempts before. I simply reply, "I took the God Shot". xoxoxo Pops

I'm soooo glad that I do NOT do this anymore!!!!! NADA, Not One Puff...EVER!!! NOPE!

I've had a busy last weekend, with my Dad's 90th surprise party, it was a huge success.  Monday I went to see my grief councillor.  That girl is old enough to be my daughter, and we have such a great connection and she always makes me feel like a million bucks!!  I have been also busy with friends and family a ton of phone calls.  Some with good news others not so much.  I am trying to be there for everyone!!  I hope I can get myself organized for my trip Dec. 27th and still enjoy the Christmas season even without Brian.  My neighbour called me tonight to invite me out to the legion with her husband and the neighbour who also lost his wife last year at this time.  i usually try and restrict my activities, but I said yes today when she called!!!  It's coming up a New Year soon.  I'm dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time!!  Onward and Upward, life is good, eat it up!!!  Especially without the cigs!!

I am so blessed to know all of you here at EX.  Thank you for your patience and kindness!!




My husband and I have been put thru the ringer with medical tests.  His vertigo systems...  My scopes, biopsies,  xrays, now another low dose scan..

My lungs are a mess.  And yes, if I could get it passed my lungs I would sneak a dreaded killing, suffocating, cancerous stick of tobacco in my mouth. 

I know better now, it is much to late to keep playing that game. Those days are so over.  But for whoever, needs to know just one more. it wont hurt;  Think again!  It will, It can, and it does!

Sometimes you have to let a learned process, of addictiction and behavior, go every single moment, for the rest of your life. 
 The Good news is: The unlearning behavior  process "Can Not" kill you!!

Writing to myself, and anyone, who wants to know what I'm going thru!! As I schedule more madness in the medical testing world, from toxic waste that I have allowed myself" to put in my body!  

I will commit to parenting my mind!
They say when u first start a new rule, it is always hardest in the beginning", and gets  easier as time goes on".   So be it!!

Almost 6 DOF YES! 




Posted by anaussiemom Dec 9, 2018

3 days for me, to Be a Quit, a NOPE, a Recovering Addict in Wonderful Progress " !  May be a little"!  But man It's a lot !!

One moment at a time.
Need to keep affirming to myself,  and anyone who wants to help me, with positive affirmation

When we first quit smoking it feels like there’s a storm brewing somewhere kind of off in the distance. And then as the hours pass, the storm becomes more visible, it’s dark imposing clouds looking like they’ll swallow us up. Soon it’s close enough to hear the thunder that goes with the flashing of the lightning. You can feel a sense of foreboding and the air is thick with tension.


And so often, we stare at that storm and feel a kind of fear that it might overtake us and leave us in the darkness, not quite sure of which way to go. But there in the distance is a glimmer of light. Something that seems to have found its way through the storm. Suddenly, we know which way to go, for now the light is guiding us.


Slowly, as we walk toward the light, something begins to take shape and soon we realize that we can see the end of the storm just ahead. But first we have to get there. Carefully, we navigate forward, trying to peer through the darkness into the light that we know is on the other side.


We continue following that single white light and slowly as we walk, the sky turns from black to an ashen grey and now we can see more clearly. Soon we see the wisps of blue sky that we always knew were there, we just couldn’t see them. And now as the light improves even more we begin to pick up the pace for we now understand how to get to the other side and not only that, we know that we intend to get there.


All at once we realize that the sky is clear! We’ve survived the storm that we might not have if it weren’t for that one little light that we grabbed hold of and refused to let go.


This is kind of how I saw my journey to freedom in a nutshell. When we first start out, it feels like the storm is brewing and constantly gaining strength. We sense a kind of foreboding that we might not make it through, but we take what is at first a shaky confidence and turn that confidence into a powerful quit once we understand what is happening to us.


For me, the light signified the wonderful people at EX who guided me through the darkness of addiction, first convincing my that the light was actually there and then nudging me on, into the storm but at the same time, ever closer to the other side. Even when all I could see was a kind of confusing darkness, they were always there for me. All I had to do was listen.


And I did listen and found what would help me most, using that to bolster my confidence and keeping me on track as I slowly found the light that I was sure was always there.


And to be honest, I did find that light that I’d been seeking my whole life and I know that the main thing I did different with this quit was to use the knowledge and power of the many to help bolster me and help propel me to the next level.


Never think you have to face the storm alone. Never for an instant believe that there is no light on the other side of the storm because there is. All you have to do is first face the storm and then find your way through it.


And as the storm builds, look for the light that is knowledge to guide you through. Look for the bread crumbs that so many of us have left along the path for you in the hopes that you won’t get lost.


There’s a kind of power when a group of people choose to band together for a common goal. A means of keeping each other focused and safe from our own minds. A power that is as strong as love for in reality, it is love.


Compassion may be all a person needs at times to succeed. Just to know that others care, even if we’ve never met them face to face. Just to know that when it comes to taking back our freedom from addiction, our hearts beat as one. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been quit for ten minutes or ten years. We all share a kind of wisdom that can only come from common goals, ideas and yes even common fears that we’ve all felt.


As such I just wanted to thank all of those who took my hand and helped to guide me through the storm and make the storm seem so much less scary and also to let you all know that those of us who have found freedom come here for a lot of reasons but the main reason I think is we know what’s on the other side of the storm. We know how wonderful that world is and we want to share that world with all that seek to find it! Keep your eye on the prize of freedom and soon it will be your new reality!





When we first decide to quit, it seems like a cute little idea at first that we kind of file into the background. But then as the mind nurtures this thought and starts really thinking that this is indeed what we need to do, a strange thing happens. The long argument with ourselves begins in that very moment.


Sometimes we lose that argument with ourselves. Other times we again file it away for later consideration. But sometimes, we grab hold of the positive and decide that we’re really going to do something positive for ourselves. We’re really going to create a new world. And once again, something strange happens only this time, the mind interprets it as fear. Mind numbing debilitating fear. At least that’s how it was for me.


And this is the reason I knew I’d have to take my quit seriously. My mind was completely consumed by my addiction; the tentacles, like a snake sneaking it’s way into everything that seemed to matter. Into every part of my being.


And I prepped for this so I’d be ready but the bottom line is no amount of prep can take away what we have to do on those first few days. You see, on those days we’ve kind of entered a new world and the problem is the old world doesn’t want to give up on itself.


 When we smoked, the brain would send us impulses that we always interpreted as wanting a cigarette. These are sent because of changes in the brain that smoking caused, creating nicotine receptors These receptors expect a certain thing when they send an impulse and when the mind blocks what we normally do because we’re trying to quit, it creates confusion. And it creates the old familiar discomfort that we’ve all experienced.


Those two things together make it harder to see the positive aspects of what we’re trying to do when we quit. We can easily forget the tools we found and created to help us at first because we now have a different response to those impulses than what the brain used to consider to be “normal”.


And we haven’t yet learned that we’ve changed how we react to those impulses. I always used mental pictures to change my focus for several reasons. I don’t know if this is the same for everyone but for me, when I present a picture to my mind, it kind of gets all parts of it working together.


When we’re feeling negative in nature, sometimes we have to actively try to change it. My favorite method for this was to visualize a quiet place, and I mean really build it in the mind right down to the smallest blade of grass and the shapes of the clouds floating by. There’s something about painting a calm picture for the mind to focus on that just changes everything. And not only that, creating this scene can distract the mind from the hardest moments of our quits.


I know this idea isn’t for everybody. It’s just something that worked for me. The main point I’m trying to make is that because of what the brain does to us when we quit, we have to find a way to focus on the positive and kind of change the brain patterns simply because when losing an addiction it’s too easy to dwell on that addiction at first, blinding us to the actual positive nature of what we’re doing.


We have to find a way to see that THIS change is positive. Another visualization method that I used at weak times was to do a kind of comparison of my future, both smoke free and addicted. When we paint pictures like this, it helps the mind to focus on the picture we want to focus on which is naturally the positive one.


For example, I’d see my future after having quit. I’d see it as a gathering of my loved ones. Children, grandchildren and all the people I care about. In the one picture, I never got around to quitting and I’m sitting there in a wheelchair, oxygen tubes everywhere, my jaw surgically removed because of cancer. My grandchildren looking at me with concern in their eyes. There’s smiles, but they’re all fake smiles hiding the fear that they feel because they love us. And all my mind can see is “Why didn’t I choose a different path. Why did I remain so weak.”


And then the other scenario where I’m standing in the kitchen, helping to prepare a large meal. The smiles are real because there’s no concern from my loved ones of an agonizing death. And my smile is genuine as well. I can see the passion for life and a healthy glint in my eye as I survey all the ones that I loved. And I tell myself, “See what you did? Way back then, all those years ago when you quit, you created this future. You created this new and wonderful world for yourself.”


And even in the worst of times, my mind always gravitated to the positive image. The one we all know we want to see. That’s why I say it’s within us all to quit. That little gem of freedom has always been there. We just buried it away for a while. And I’ll tell you what. Once we unearth that gem it becomes a shimmering banner of freedom that propels us to that positive future that was there all along. We just had to find it and more than that, we had had to want it more than anything else we’ve ever wanted!


Keep fighting my friends! And in those dark moments when we feel the weakest, alway look ahead for that’s where the incredible rewards lie. The balls in your court. Which future will you choose?





Been on this site almost a year. Kinda strange when I ask God, to help me quit he sends me angels...Over and Over.

He seems to give me"  illnesses to help me quit.   Which I wish I would learn.  But, I am not.


I panic, I grieve , I sob,  I shake.  
He has closed many doors, for me to help me be a non-smoker. 

Im a sick again"  with a gentle warning, I pray.  This time!

This time with Bronchitis.    My loving God has done so much to help me!!  IDK how to stop this madness! 

I have so many tools. It has become an empty obsession!

Been smoking since child birth it seems.  I fear I may never be able to change the gazillion receptors in my brain of the chemical changes in my" brain.
  To be happy and not grieve, and fall to the floor with panic
attacks not knowing why.

Has anyone smokes a pack a day for almost 1/2 century, and feel and concur these horrible chemicals in freaking cigarettes!

I tremble as I write this.  I stop for a few hours and hit crisis.  I have meds, patches, music, water, candy, exercise equip,   etc...
 Can my brain really achieve relearning thought processes?

I think I need a new brain   The more I seem to quit and fail the worse it gets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was thinking back to a time when I’d been quit for about two weeks. I’d fought my way through the confusion of the first week and the slightly less torment of the second week. At the time I was really proud of myself. I was doing it!!


But then the third week came around and though I was doing well, I had realized that the urges can still get me and not only that. On that third week, when we feel more confident we may not pay as close of attention to the urges we’re still feeling. We now know we can quit but it’s important to remember that this is one of those times when we need to pay attention.


A careful traveller is usually the safe traveller as well. At the two week mark, be proud of your achievement but at the same time, remember to take stock of how you’re feeling. It’s the surprise urges that can get us if we let them.


We can still be proud of what we’ve achieved so far. In fact we should be. We just have to be a little more careful as our confidence increases and our fears begin to subside. The thing to remember is that we’re still addicts and as such, we’re still very susceptible to our own addicted suggestions.


We have to remember at this time that we’re still learning our new lives without cigarettes, and how we interact in the world without them. Sometimes in that third week when we begin to notice more craves even though we thought they would be less prominent, we can get discouraged.


I think a big part of this is because when we prep, we tend to prep for the beginning simply because we don’t know what’ll happen after those first days. We fight to survive the beginning so that we can learn and make it to the end of the journey.


For me, during this third week I started focusing heavily on the concept of freedom. It kept me looking forward rather than back and helped me to see that there is a reason I chose to go through this trying time of my life.


Freedom became my focus and my strongest desire because I wanted it to be. We choose what we want to focus on every morning because each day is a blank canvass, ready to be filled with the colors that we choose to fill it with.


During those weeks after the first two, I’d always assess my mood before I ever got out of bed because this is when we can rewrite the entire day simply by changing how it starts. Just like with quitting, if you don’t like it, change it.


My point is that the third week is a time where we begin to step into the unknown part of our quits and as such we have to be prepared to build on what we’ve already accomplished but at the same time, we have to be ready for the unexpected as far as what we’re feeling inside.


Over time, the unexpected becomes the expected and as more and more of our new world becomes our normal world, the old world of addiction simply fades away. At week two, the ball is definitely in your court. All you have to do is keep fighting and eventually you’ll realize that your fighting no more because you won’t have to. You’ll be free!!





These are some nicodemon thoughts and good responses to them from a book I read a 9 years ago.  I was amazed at how someone could read my mind!


When it comes to addictive behavior and thought processes, the smoker is right up there with the cocaine or heroine addict. Especially in the early stages of quitting smoking do we tend to crave "Just One". Unfortunately, that is nothing but the mind of the addict rationalizing the next of many fixes. (Excerpted from Patricia Allison's book "Hooked But Not Helpless") Find out why "Just One" can never be an option...

JUNKIE THINKING: "One Puff won't hurt"
RESPONSE: "One puff will always hurt me, and it always will because I'm not a social smoker. One puff and I'll be smoking compulsively again."

*JUNKIE THINKING: "I only want one."
RESPONSE: "I have never wanted only one. In fact, I want 20-30 a day every day. I want them all."

JUNKIE THINKING: "I'll just be a social smoker."
RESPONSE: "I'm a chronic, compulsive smoker, and once I smoke one I'll quickly be thinking about the next one. Social smokers can take it or leave it. That's not me."

JUNKIE THINKING: "I'm doing so well, one won't hurt me now."
RESPONSE: "The only reason I'm doing so well is because I haven't taken the first one. Yet once I do, I won't be doing well anymore. I'll be smoking again."

JUNKIE THINKING: "I'll just stop again."
RESPONSE: "Sounds easy, but who am I trying to kid? Look how long it too me to stop this time. And once I start, how long will it take before I get sick enough to face withdrawal again? In fact, when I'm back in the grip of compulsion, what guarantee do I have that I'll ever be able to stop again?"

JUNKIE THINKING: "If I slip, I'll keep trying."
RESPONSE: "If I think I can get away with one little "slip" now I'll think I can get away with another little "slip" later on."

JUNKIE THINKING: "I need one to get me through this withdrawal."
RESPONSE: "Smoking will not get me through the discomfort of not smoking. It will only get me back to smoking. One puff stops the process of withdrawal and I'll have to go through it all over again."

JUNKIE THINKING: "I miss smoking right now."
RESPONSE: "Of course I miss something I've been doing every day for most of my life. Bud do I miss the chest pain right now? Do I miss the worry, the embarrassment? I'd rather be an ex-smoker with an occasional desire to smoke, than a smoker with a constant desire to stop doing it."

JUNKIE THINKING: "I really need to smoke now, I'm so upset."
RESPONSE: "Smoking is not going to fix anything. I'll still be upset, I'll just be an upset smoker. I never have to have a cigarette. Smoking is not a need; it's a want. Once the crisis is over, I'll be relieved and grateful I'm still not smoking."

JUNKIE THINKING: "I don't care."
RESPONSE: "What is it exactly that I think that I don't care about? Can I truthfully say I don't care about chest pain? I don't care about gagging in the morning? I don't care about lung cancer? No, I care about these things very much. That's why I stopped smoking in the first place."

JUNKIE THINKING: "What difference does it make, anyway?"
RESPONSE: "It makes a difference in the way I breathe, the way my heart beats, the way I feel about myself. It makes a tremendous difference in every aspect of my physical and emotional health."


* this one saved me many times!!


Breathe Deep and stay strong!




When we first decide to quit smoking. And I don’t mean “thinking” about quitting but that time when we realize that we really intend to quit, it usually comes from inside. The sad truth is that no one can really tell another to quit and expect a positive result. Addicts just don’t react well to being told to quit their addiction.


I remember my smoking days and the way my mind just sort of shut down when my mother would tell my to quit. In fact, I didn’t even listen to the surgeon who had just removed a large part of my dads jaw and placed a trach into his throat so he could breathe due to smoking. I remember him looking at me and seeing the pack of cigarettes that was always in my shirt pocket in those days and screaming, “Are you insane? You do realize that it’s those cigarettes that did this to your father, don’t you?”


I remember staring at him, dumbfounded and by the time I could find my voice he was gone. So what did I do? Went outside to smoke a cigarette thinking that I couldn’t believe he could be so mean to me during this horrible time in my life. But I never even entertained the idea of quitting. The thought seemed so alien to me, even as it’s thrust into the face.


My point being that when I did finally decide to quit, it came from within. In fact, our quits are largely played out inside of ourselves. That’s why no one can tell us not to be scared of quitting. It’s also why we decide to learn, because since the idea of quitting came from inside a lot of the original thinking was already done.


As we prep, again it’s kind of a lonely proposition because even though we still smoke some, everything we’re concentrating on are things that are going to take place inside the mind. We’re learning how to help our minds cope with what we believe will happen.


Sure, we get a lot of outside input and help with the knowledge side of quitting an addiction, but in the end no amount of knowledge can tell us exactly how we’re going to feel when we begin the journey. No one can see the torment that goes on inside at first unless we lash out to another who wouldn’t really understand what we’re angry about anyway.


Every new situation has to be overcome differently and again we can give suggestions or tell another what worked for us but in the end we still have to experience it for ourselves, and at times that can feel rather lonely. We look around at others in the world and wonder why things suddenly look completely different, never quite realizing at first that it wasn’t the world that changed. It was us.


And then of course is the first hard days of a quit, where our mind seems to be going into overdrive sorting out what the heck we just did to ourselves, creating a kind of confusion that we just can’t seem to be able to understand.


Those on the outside tell us that it gets better and the reality is that sometimes that bit of support can be the thing that we can grab ahold of until our mind calms and we can once again start to navigate through this strange new world that we chose to plunge ourselves into.


The thing is, no matter how much we study, we still have to experience it inside. That’s where the fight is. We can make things so much easier for ourselves when we can converse with others who have “been there” and rather than trying to describe their understanding of what your going through, they can converse with you on a much deeper level because just like you, they experienced the same things.


There are certain things that are pretty much the same for all of us such as the intensity of hell week and the slightly less painful time of heck week and of course, the dreaded no man’s land.


So I guess my point is that there is much greater success when we’re around people who have been through similar if not the same experiences as ourselves. We can find others who might be feeling the same inside even at the same moment. We can discover from others that those horrible things we sometimes feel inside aren’t really as horrible as we might think and also gain comfort in the understanding that to another who’s “been there” this is all normal.


Never believe you have to fight alone. Never believe that no one cares because here at EX, everyone cares. Why? Because we know how lonely the battle might be. We also know how wonderful it feels to really be free and the peace that automatically flows from that freedom.


People have told me that they don’t see how online support could possibly work, but the bottom line is when we quit smoking, the single most important thing that can help us is to communicate with others who understand because what we’re communicating can’t actually be seen anyway.


So next time you’re feeling like your confidence might be slipping or you’re just ready to throw in the towel, come by here first and let us try to help you understand what’s going on inside. We all had to do this and we know how wonderful it feels inside when we truly become free. All we want is for you to feel it too . . .





More than you know, but,

perhaps, not as much as you think...


You may not know a thing about quitting

Maybe failed a thousand times

But there is nothing to fear,

Can I make it more clear,

Quitting never killed anyone, right?


Do you get it?

You must

let it 


And allow the time.

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