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2020
Christine13

Happy today!

Posted by Christine13 Jan 31, 2020

No depression today, altho I am very early in my quit.  Had some juice this morning before my coffee, and that helped with the craving.  Mornings are still my toughest time of day.  If I can make it until 12:00 noon, without a death stick, I have an excellent chance of staying quit for the day.  I also got to talk to my quit coach today.  That helps.  It all helps me.  Woke up at 1:00 a.m. got up and I ordinarily would have made a trip outside.  Anyway, just wanted to let you know this day is going fast, and that's good. I'm going to start doing online puzzles too for distraction.  It always bogles my mind how much there is to do here instead of smoke!!

PastTense

Muscle Memory  59/90

Posted by PastTense Jan 31, 2020

About six years ago, my husband and I started swing dancing because I really wanted to learn and he really likes keeping me happy. We found a group that offers lessons and signed up for the intro-package. We now attend once a week and consider it date night. We have so much fun, we’re moving non-stop for an hour a week, and we have met some great people.

The highlight of the year comes during the first weekend in June. The airport sponsors an airshow of WWII military aircraft – both in flight and on static display. Caravans of people flood the airport with every article of equipment, clothing, uniforms, etc. from back in the day. There is everything from an authentic Army field hospital staffed by Army nurses in uniform to a USO stage.  At night, the hangars are cleared out and a Big Band sets up and plays swing music until midnight. Dancers from New York to Ohio attend, and of course, our club is there in numbers. I have seamed stockings, a vintage dress, and a red lipstick that get worn once a year at this event.

We discovered that taking lessons and dancing in an old building with our club are completely different from dancing on a crowded dance floor. There is a great deal of logistics that goes into planning and executing a twirling move. Adding to the general confusion, we are relative new-comers to this and we aren’t very good. There are times when we completely lose composure. Then we fall back on the basic moves and muscle memory to take over. Once you have practiced a move a hundred times, your brain doesn’t even get involved any more. Your muscles know what to do and they just do it.

I told you the story about dancing so I could talk about muscle memory. I had a revelation of sorts regarding muscle memory on the way in to work this morning.

Muscle memory is a motion imbedded in your muscles by repetition. It’s part of the habit we build around smoking. The addiction creates the habit and the habit feeds the addiction. A classic example of a vicious cycle and certainly a contributor to making smoking hard to quit.

I had a muscle memory moment this morning that nearly drove my car to the nearest gas station to buy smokes. I was rather surprised, to be honest. I thought the car triggers were dead and buried, but NO. I did discover something that worked for me, though. Instead of arguing with the craving, I focused on breathing. I didn’t start the negotiation cycle (that nicotine always wins, BTW). I just breathed. In – hold – out. I few cycles later, and I was pulling into my spot at work. PT wins this round!

Keep the quit

PT

indingrl.01.06.2011

Flowers 

Posted by indingrl.01.06.2011 Jan 30, 2020

Gosh how MY ma loves flowers - American red roses are her favorite - she will be 88 years old on February 4 , 2020 -  she was taken to ER last night  and they will be keeping her a total of 2 days probably released on January 31, 2020 - she was given antibotic for pneumonia and a water pill for swelling of her lower legs - she is on tons of meds for old aging illnesses and a tired worn out body - I have 8 sister's and one brother - all gathered from different states - ready to fly at announcement of it is -  TIME - this - TIME - has been throughout these past years - it is -  TIME has been coming due to aging - it happens to everyone who is getting older and now here is another -  TIME - yet this morning the report is GOOD - MY ma got up with assistance of couse and potty ok and food intake was a hearty appetite and they took to therapy - I believe - for exercising at 87 yrs old and now as a precaution -' to be kept over night and probably go home tomorrow- thanks for letting ME share that this TIME - again - I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER -has kept ME NOT to want or desire to smoke at MY blood family - that's just MY stinking thinking old habit old patterns - passing THROUGH and one MOMENT at a TIME - I asked MY Lord Jesus for HELP to be willing to ACCEPT life as it is happening and to STAY in the present moment of MY DAY in faith and in love for ALL people involved - to live and let live - to let go and let God in Jesus name amen - I walk the mall today 2.4 miles and stop to buy these crocs with a red heart decale to put on the top them - they have flowers on them and are sheep skin lined - reminding ME - of MY ma flowers and that .I walk in love TODAY with GOOD memories of MY ma and blood family in Jesus name amen  -  EVERYONE is still alive - TODAY and MY ma is healing one day at a time - this TIME - will have to wait on another - TIME

PastTense

Shiny things  58/90

Posted by PastTense Jan 30, 2020

I wish I was motivated to quit smoking just because it’s bad for me. I truly admire the Exers here who looked at the health risks and stopped smoking. They are people of reason and purpose. I’m sure they are also loyal friends a good cooks.

I am not one of them. I am motivated by shiny things. I have a list of goodies with which to reward myself at several stages of quit. Isn’t that a thing? Living longer, breathing more easily, and smelling nicer aren’t reason enough to stop lighting 10-dollar bills on fire. I also need Santa Claus to bring me a unicorn.

Quitting shouldn’t be an excuse to over-indulge, but if I can justify it, I am going to do it! My first treat is coming up soon – a trip to a salon that specializes in eyebrows. Yes, this is a real thing and they have a two week waiting list! I don’t care, I want my brows on fleek and if that means I will also be smoke free for a month, then it’s a win/win.

Doing what it takes

Keep the quit

PT

Hi again EXers....

I feel pretty silly, in that I was looking through some blogs and came across a blog from tdstarr that was dated back in 2017.  I didn't even notice the date, and replied anyway.  I actually think that the content is still quite relevant for today, and thought that I would go ahead and post it here just for poops and giggles....who knows, maybe it might help somebody.  It helped me to write it....

Hi @tdstarr.  All of us are going to quit someday.  The goal is to be alive after the quit.  Sound a bit morbid?  Well, that's because it is....I read your blog, and I am sensing alot of angst about things to come up, and that you have to be quit for a certain amount of time prior to those dates....That is just piling on more stress to an already stressful time anyway.  Just stay in the moment.  You...and each and everyone of us needs to address an urge or thought of smoking as it occurs.  Stomp it out by telling yourself (out loud works best for me) you are "no longer a smoker."  Then move on to another task.  If the thought comes back immediately, then pause for just a second or two, and yell it out again..."I no longer smoke!!!"  Cr*p, yell it at the top of your voice if that is what it takes for your ears to hear it.  Just keep doing it, and don't worry about the second hypnosis appointment.  After all, the first one didn't perform any magic for you anyway.  Who knows, maybe you can save yourself some money on top of not buying more smokes.  Don't even worry about the surgery coming up.  Just stay in the now....stay on the task at hand, and that is to keep the smoke out of your hand and anywhere within your space.  Throw out all of the ash trays and lighters & matches.  I bought 500 dum dums to suck on from the local Sams club.  They are great, and my friends all loved me having so many of them in my pockets for the longest time.  They would see me sucking them down, and come up and tell me how proud they were of me & ask for a sucker...that fostered good will in my social circle as well.  Now, I don't even think about it hardly at all.  I only talk about it now, because it might help you to hear about it.  Try reading my blog from yesterday, and ask yourself if you are really willing to wipe out twenty or more years of your life that you still have simply from being afraid or stubborn?  Time to suck it up Buttercup....just say no.....

Pops, a nicotine addict that is not just existing, but instead is thriving and enjoying life one moment at a time...trust me when I tell you there are alot of moments that pass in the time span of 155 Days.....

Good Luck....now just do it! 

    Like  Show 0 Likes0Reply
    • Pops

      What the heck...lol.  I just now noticed that I was replying to a post from over two years ago....oh well, if anyone else reads it, and feel that it applies....all the better....Did me good to write about the solution anyway.....

    Thelastquit2019

    Update

    Posted by Thelastquit2019 Jan 29, 2020

    Update on  my visiting smoking friend ,so I absolutely can not imagine why I was even worried about this .I stressed myself out for no reason the whole week leading up to my friends visit .I was able to sit on the lanai with her for our morning coffee and it didn’t bother me .I actually was watching her and worried for her health as she is a chain smoker and she never seemed relaxed .It definitely made me realize I’m not missing anything by not smoking ,only to realize how much I’ve gained by quitting,my health ,calmness,energy ,freedom etc the list goes on.I still have to remain vigilant but my confidence is stronger .Thank you to everyone for all the support.

    PastTense

    Best Practices    57/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 29, 2020

    Part of my job is to champion continuous improvement. I love that part of my job and even embrace the principles of Lean Manufacturing, 5S, and TOC in my own home. My cupboards are labeled as are the shelves in the basement and the tools in the shop. I have a degree in this stuff. I made my husband a little bit crazy when I drew a spaghetti chart of the laundry room so we can make it more efficient.

    I was not so diligent in figuring out the best way to stay on track with a quit. Which is why I had so many false starts and do-overs. If I approached my quit as a professional, and broke down what works for me, I could have been smoke free 5 years ago. Perhaps I was less than committed to quitting then.

    My experience:

    Accountability: Let people know you are quitting. It helps me stay clear of smoking because I don’t want to admit if I fail. Letting people know you are quitting can also help develop a support system, but for me; accountability is key

    New habits quickly: The quicker I am to adopt new habits, the easier. For example: no smoking in the car, or reading a book during breaks.

    The Pledge: Honestly, taking the pledge is the best predictor of a day remaining smoke free. It seems simplistic, but I don’t argue with what works.

    Written plan: Not just a plan; a written plan. A written plan that includes taking the pledge, a list of people I will tell that I am quitting, specific ideas for new habits, and, of course, taking the Pledge every day.

    Do what works

    Keep the quit

    Please I am talking about ME not anyone else - please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - I remember how I collected cigarette butts off the streets for MY grandma and was told not to come back until the old large coffee can was full of cigarette butts  - I was 4 years old and I also smoked cigarette butts with another 5 year boy and then we took the can filled with cigarette butts to MY grandma who then took all the cigarette butts and got all the tobacco out of them and then rolled her own from the tobacco cigarette butts- I was a good little NATIVE AMERICAN girl - that was then and TODAY in MY present DAY - January 29 - 2020 - I am very proud to be a NATIVE AMERICAN who belongs to MY Lord Jesus - HE is the ONE who set ME free from alot of addictions - ONE at a time of course - it has taken HIM - YEARS -  to teach ME to take MY OWN sin inventory - MY Lord Jesus set ME free from - MY addiction to PEOPLE APPROVAL - MY addiction to ALCOHOL - MY addiction to COFFEE - MY addiction to CHOCOLATE - MY addictions to MANY EATING DISORDERS. - MY addictions to PEPSI - MY addictions to WHITE SUGAR - it is so wonderful to NOT be labeled by MY OWN mouth - as a drunken heathen - to NOT call MYSELF names anymore  - it is so nice to be a lovely YOUNG lady from MY Whapton Sioux Tribe belonging to the reservation of Lake Traverse in Sisseton , South Dakota - there are many RECOVERING from ADDICTIONS in this world - TODAY and also MANY who received the FREE gift of Salvation - of their OWN free will to choose to believe in THEIR OWN heart - that Christ Jesus died for all our sins on the Cross - HE was buried and HE rose again from the dead - please get a Bible and read it  for YOURSELF - don't take MY word on it - read in the book of - 1 Corinthians -  chapter 15 verses 1 -4 - the gospel of garce for eternal salvation - faith plus NOTHING -  please read it for YOURSELF and believe in YOUR OWN heart  - take God at HIS word and just BELIEVE - thanks for letting ME share in HIS love - I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER - in Jesus name amen

    PastTense

    Younger self  56/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 28, 2020

    I started smoking when I was 24. That is unusual. According to the CDC, 80% of smokers started before they were 18 years old. Surprising to me that I started late because both of my parents smoked and smoked heavily. I managed to make it out of the house to my own place without ever being interested in smoking. I should have been immune for life by then.

    I started because I found a lovely antique cigarette case at a junk shop and bought it thinking it would look very sophisticated on the coffee table. Back then, cigarettes were cheap, and I filled that case with thin, brown cigarettes that looked vaguely French. At the time, I rarely smoked them because although I had a lovely silver case and fancy cigarettes, I didn’t have matches or a lighter. They were just stage dressing; a prop.

    Then I discovered smoking instead of eating and cigarettes were no longer props; they were essential to my ever day life.

    I didn’t know about addiction back then. I had no idea how much control over my life I would willingly give up to nicotine. I had no idea how difficult it would be to take back that control. I always wonder why smoking prevention programs focus on the health aspects of smoking. Kids think they are immortal. Kids do know about the dangers of addiction, though. They have heard about it in connection with opioids and illegal drugs.

    If I could back to my 24 year-old self; what could I say that would convince me to not start smoking? What could I say right now to one of the 30% of high school students that are smoking?

    nevergiveup

    Shining

    Posted by nevergiveup Jan 28, 2020

     

    Happy to be here with all of you this morning! That's all I've got for today. 

    PastTense

    Namaste   55/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 27, 2020

       

    Monday night it yoga night for me. Yoga improves my muscle tone and flexibility and I really notice it if I miss a class. I tried to get my husband to attend with me. My instructor is very good about showing the beginner’s move first and then adding layers of complexity or difficulty on for the more advanced students.

    Let me say this, for the folks who are not familiar with yoga. The first rule of yoga is to honor your body. To honor your body means to push enough to stretch your muscles but don’t push so hard you get hurt. Honoring your body means listening to the instructor to make sure you are performing the postures correctly – you can’t always tell if you’re doing it right just by watching the instructor. Honoring your body means using the beginners’ pose if you’re a beginner. Sounds simple, right? Alas, my husband is a little bit competitive and very nearly crippled himself during the first class trying to do what everybody else was doing.

    No matter how often I told him that yoga was not a competitive sport, he would still push too hard and hobble out of class at the end of the hour. So, instead of getting a good stretch, some needed strength-training for his back, and work on balance – which we could all use!; he nearly gave himself a hernia. Now he won’t go anywhere near yoga and blames the exercise and not his refusal to do it correctly for his discomfort. Yes; sometimes I just want to smack him upside the head for being a guy.

    We all know that smoking is no way to honor our bodies. I know plenty of times I have made half-hearted efforts to quit that promptly failed because I didn’t do it right. My refusal to do it correctly doomed the quit before it could even get started.

    I am trying to be more mindful now. If some part of my quit isn’t working, I am asking why. What needs to change? Am I breathing? When I get irritated or flustered, I don’t breathe the way I should. Maybe I need a drink of water. Maybe I need a nap. Learning all these new ways.

    Keep the quit

    PT

     

    PastTense

    Times have changed  54/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 27, 2020

    We got a preview of Disney+ this weekend, and I took full advantage.  It was rainy and nasty outside and I had a stack of sewing projects inside.  I brought a folding table into the living room, set up my sewing machine, and queued up every Disney movie that has ever been made.  HOURS of pretty little motherless girls singing to birds.  Have you ever noticed that about Disney movies?  No moms. 

    Anyway, there was also a tour of Disneyland hosted by Walt himself.  The park was celebrating its 10th anniversay, so that must have been mid-1960's.  At the opening of the show, there was a parental warning for "tobacco-related imagery".  That caught my eye.  I looked that up, because I was curious why they would include such a thing. 

    Apparently, back in 2005, the Disney Company pledged that it would not show smoking in any of thier films.

    Times have surely changed.  I am old enough to remember smoking on TV, and commercials for cigarettes.  I used to watch Andy Griffith re-runs (in black-and-white!) after school and he smoked.  The tour of Disneyland did include smokers walking down mainstreet.  Can you imagine that today?  Amusement parks nowadays have designated smoking areas and it is forbiden anywhere else. 

    I am grateful for that, although I used to grumble against it.  Smoking shouldn't be considered normal in the same way that snorting cocaine shouldn't be considered normal.

    Keep the quit

    PT

    green1611

    It was Monday

    Posted by green1611 Jan 27, 2020

    It was Monday...smoking quit.

     

    The whole day went as normal, but back of mind busy..quit smoking from today.  I would have smoked few cigarettes more than normal. Last three four days, it was in my mind that I must quit.

     

    and that Monday, around 9.30 pm, I smoked last cigarette.. I still remember it was half I smoked, and half I kept on ashtray saying that we will not meet again. No No No. I had tears in may eyes, went to bed and could not sleep properly the whole night! and journey of quit smoking project started then onwards.

     

    Nice to say now that, that Monday was 322 weeks back.. November 25, 2013. And from November 26, 2013 onward, absolutely different, happy and lively life ahead.

     

    My all gratitude to this community and help I received during initial days !

     

    New joiners.. believe in you. Quitting smoking is doable.

    PastTense

    Easy Saturday  53/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 25, 2020

    Lounging on the couch, watching Disney movies, and listening to the rain rattle against the windows.  It's a good day to say inside, warm and dry.  It's a good day not be standing outside trying to stay dry for a quick puff or two.

    Lazy day but I have to get up and get ready for company at dinner.

    Enjoy a day of smoke-free comfort

    Keep the quit

    PT

    PastTense

    Keep what works   52/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 24, 2020

    I realize that I have written a lot about tools for quitting and what is working for me.

    The operative phrase here is “what is working for me”. I would like to spend some time on that thought because I keep forgetting to apply it.

    Sometimes I get annoyed at posts that offer advice when I haven’t asked for it and frankly don’t want it. For the moment, let’s set aside the probably correct assumption that whether I want it or not; I definitely need it. Getting advice I don’t want makes me cranky. Cranky and sullen and surly and even a little hostile. In a word, I react like a spoiled brat.

    I don’t need no stinkin’ help. I can do this all by myself. Yes, I am a full-grown toddler.

    So here is a thought. Maybe that piece of advice wasn’t directed at me. Maybe somebody else needs to hear it. OR, maybe it is directed at me and I’m not ready to hear it. It might take hearing it multiple times before I am ready for it. OR, maybe it isn’t applicable to me in any way and I can just leave it be.

    If it isn’t for me, then it isn’t for me.

    On the other hand, I have gotten terrific insights from many of the posts here that weren’t even directed at me. Ideas like; “You have to quit smoking to be a non-smoker”. I kid you not; that was a revelation.

    You never know what someone else needs to hear during their quit. There are all kinds of ideas and approaches and opinions on this site. Take what you need and leave the rest.

    Keep the quit

    PT

    PastTense

    The Great Pretender  51/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 24, 2020

    Quitting is hard. That sentence is the entirety of my blog distilled into one thought. It’s just stinking hard and it’s hard for a long time.

    It’s hard because we are fighting addiction.

    It’s hard because we are fighting habit.

    It’s hard because we have adjusted our entire lives around smoking – whether or not we realize we are doing it.

    Sometimes it takes several attempts before your quit sticks. Let me be completely honest here: it took many several many dozen attempts for MY quit to stick.

    This blog is for all my fellow quitters who are having a tough time sticking. You may just be lurking here on the forum, but staying hidden. Maybe you started taking the pledge but stopped because you broke your quit and after the first couple of times were just too embarrassed to come back.   Maybe you plan on making yourself known when you have some solid time to boast. Maybe you were (are) a closet smoker and can’t reach out for help and support because that would blow your cover.

    I feel your pain and frustration and embarrassment. I feel you because I am you.

    I started my quit in March of 2019. I just stopped posting my quit date because it moved so often. I didn’t want to admit to slipping. I didn’t want to hear the advice and wise counsel of the long-time quitters here. This was an error of hubris.

    We all get to our quit by different routes. I took the long way to find the right way. It took me 6 months to admit that the way I was trying to quit wasn’t working. It took me another 3 months to figure out something different to try. The entire time I knew I was searching for a way to quit but I felt like an imposter through the whole process.

    You know what would have worked from the get-go if I had done it? Posting every day. Yep. Posting. Every. Day. It takes courage and humility to post your DOF every single day. Food for thought for the serial quitters.

    For as long as it takes you

    For as often as you need to start over

    Keep quitting until you are quit

    Keep the quit.

    PT

    12 DOF

    PastTense

    90/90 update at 50/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 23, 2020

    The fiftieth blog seems like a good time to step back and review my plan to write 90 posts in 90 days. I’m over halfway through the blogs and a little surprised by the whole process, to be honest.

    I decided to try 90 in 90 because my quit was broken. I started this quit in March of 2019. Nearly a year ago.   I would quit for 5, 6, up to 7 or 8 days at a time and then break down and by a pack, swearing to myself I would have “just one”. Very often I did have just one. More often I would have 3 or 4 and throw the pack away only to buy another pack the next day. This is basically the story of 2019. During this time, my sister passed away at 58 years old. She was a smoker. And STILL, I could not go for more than a week without breaking my quit. I didn’t post my DOF, because I was embarrassed about constantly resetting back to 0.

    Nevertheless, I was committed to quitting. Obviously, what I was doing wasn’t working. If you quit smoking and you’re still smoking; you’re doing it wrong. Right? So I had to find something that would work better.

    In a moment of either genius or desperation (possibly both); I challenged myself to 90 posts in 90 days. I recalled a TV show I had seen 20 years ago about a doctor who had gone through rehab and then relapsed. He was told to attend 90 AA meetings in 90 days. I decided I was going to do the same thing.

    I was hoping that hanging out here would help remind me of why I want to quit smoking. I thought that I would anchor my quit and really dedicate some time into being quit. I seriously underestimated how hard it is to post a blog every day, especially when each blog is essentially about the same thing. I spend a significant portion of my day thinking about quitting.

    So far, it is working. After a rocky start where I regretted this decision, it seems to be working. I don’t have 50 days quit, but I do have more than I ever had before. I don’t feel like a non-smoker, but I don’t feel like a pretender, either. I have another 40 blogs to go and no earthly idea what I am going to write about. I am committed to the next 40 blogs. I am committed to

    keep the quit.

    PT

    PastTense

    Let's make a deal   49/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 23, 2020

    I talk a lot about quitting being a journey and not an event. I realize that for some of you; that is not a true statement. You made a decision, put out the cigarette and never looked back. I applaud you and am in awe.

    That has not been my experience. My experience with quitting is not clean cut. I have been “quitting” for well over 16 years, since breaking a successful quit with just one smoke. I put quitting in quotation marks for a reason; because what I called “quitting” was really just a series of deals I made with myself to enable me to pretend I’m quitting when I’m really smoking.

    Some of you may be familiar with the deals.

    I’ve been quit a week so I can buy a pack and smoke just one to celebrate and I’ll get right back on track

    My spouse is out of town this weekend, so I can smoke and it doesn’t count. If I smoke now I’ll get right back on track

                    I can smoke when I am out of town and it doesn’t count. I’ll never smoke at home.

    I want to have 90 days smoke free by my birthday. This is the last cigarette until then. Make that 60 days.   Make it 30 days.

    I have made those deals and many more just like them for years. I am done making deals.

    Keep the quit

    PT

    Every single smoker eventually quits smoking. Some quit smoking at the same time they quit breathing.

    Others of us have chosen to quit now. At whatever point in our lives we are, we chose to stop ingesting poison and not wait until we are dead. From the outside, this doesn’t seem like a difficult decision to make.

    For some of us (like me), the decision was easy and made years ago; the actually quitting part was hard.

    Others of us had real wake up calls in their health or maybe an ill friend that galvanized them into quitting.

    I’ve also heard stories here of people who had a hard time making that call and felt like they were giving up their friend.

    And some here don’t really want to quit; but they know they HAVE to quit. For health or a spouse, it’s been thrust upon them.

    And here we all are, at a crossroad where we make the decision to become smoke free. We make the turn and we are on the Non Smoking Highway. Like every highway, there are slow downs. There are opportunities to exit the highway every 5 miles. There are irritating traffic jams and irritating people on the road. There are the drivers that exit and enter the highway multiple times, hoping to bypass the slower traffic, but it never works that way.

    I was late for work today because of some traffic snarl and everything I see makes me think of quitting smoking. Quitting is a journey not an event.

    We’ll all get there

    Keep the Quit

    PT

    PastTense

    Order  47/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 22, 2020

    I spent yesterday on an emergency visit to a vendor who is having some…”difficulties”. I got in to the office at 7:15, was told I need to pay the vendor a visit at 7:35 and was out the door by 7:45.

    I feel badly for the vendor. I am not a pleasant person when my routine is upset. I am an even less pleasant person when I don’t have a chance to plan for a trip. Planning gives me a sense of control over the uncontrollable. Or at least a sense that I have done what I can to know what comes next.

    I like order. I like knowing where I am going to be and what kind of shoes I need to wear. I love to travel, and when I do, I make spreadsheets outlining what activities are planned, what the weather is predicted to do, what I am going to wear, and which shoes. Not even kidding about this. My husband laughs at me, but I tell him it’s all part of my charm.

    Quitting smoking as a great, giant, leap into the unknown and unplanned. It is safe to say that quitting is more than just unknown – it is unknowable. At least in advance. All the planning and reading about the effects of withdrawal aren’t going to help you when you get hit with an unusual symptom. I will say from personal experience that even withdrawal symptoms you are expecting can be quite shocking in their intensity or extent. Like a headache that won’t go away or constipation. You know it can happen, but WOW – did not see that coming.

    Not having control or the illusion of control over the direction and dimension of my quit has been agitating, at best. I hate being out of my comfort zone. I detest it. Even with my written quit plan and several spreadsheets to track my progress, it is completely out of my control and I have no idea when things will get better. OCD? Not clinically, but, heck yeah – and some ADHD thrown in for when I get bored! And I know many of us are dealing with some level of mental health issue that is exacerbated by quitting. Anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, at all levels of the spectrum.

    We are all battling our demons along with fighting nicotine. My hat is off to every single one of you who fighting the good fight. I know that our efforts will eventually pay off.

    Keep the faith

    Keep the quit.

    PT

    brittneyd.rice

    Just passed day 11

    Posted by brittneyd.rice Jan 21, 2020

    I'm still not smoking... Yay! I won't pretend it has been easy the past few days but I am still truckin along. I drove my smelly car for the first time a few days ago... Had to roll the windows down in the snow because the smell was so bad. They have these smelly bomb things you can set off in the car... Did that and now the pina colada smell is a bit too overwhelming. Smells have been very hard for me. Also, my throat feels raw although I havent been coughing (which I also find strange).  I ate peanut butter and it burned my throat a bit. Anyone know why I havent been coughing? I was looking forward to it almost because I wanted a physical sign that my lungs were healing.  Probably sounds crazy that I want to cough but I guess I just need a reward for all my hard work lol! Maybe I just need more time. Anywho... 2 weeks, here I come!

    PastTense

    Real Addiction    46/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 20, 2020

    I have thought a lot about addiction over the past few months. My husband’s family live in Ohio in the epicenter of an opioid drug problem. We know people who know people who have been darkly affected by the drugs. We are related to people who have gone through rehab.

    Even in our small town we have billboards encouraging addicts to reach out for help.

    The only difference between me and the stereotype of a drug addict is the drug of choice.

    I have made some of the dumbest decisions I have ever made because of smoking. I have been late to a job interview because I wanted one more cigarette. I have set fire to countless trash cans. I have destroyed thousands of dollars’ worth of car interiors and clothes from burning embers. I have almost wrecked my car from smoke getting in my eyes. All those things before even mentioning the toll on my health and finances.

    It is humbling to consider how close to the edge I have stood and relieved to see a way out of this addiction.

    Keep it real

    Keep the quit

    PT

    Many of us Exers in the US are celebrating the holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. I read the entire text of his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is quite magnificent. I read it twice because the language, the imagery, the rhetoric, and the message are all so powerful. WOW.

    I digress.

    I was thinking about the reasons each of us has to quit smoking. Our health, our looks, and/or our pocketbooks are prominent reasons stated for wanting to quit smoking. Underlying all of these reasons, though, is the idea that we are NOT FREE. We are chained to nicotine by a powerful addiction. We are so chained to nicotine, in fact, that we have to be powerfully motivated by our other concerns to even attempt to give it up.

    If we were free, we wouldn’t need reasons to quit. If we were free, we would just think to selves, “I don’t want to smoke” and we wouldn’t smoke. In fact, if we were truly free, we wouldn’t even think about smoking. Right? How much time does the non-smoker-never-has-smoked think about smoking? NEVER. They spend zero seconds of every day thinking about, planning for, or avoiding smoking. None.

    Smokers are not free. We are not free and we did it to ourselves.

    Break the chains

    Keep the quit

    PT

    PastTense

    The hardest quit   44/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 20, 2020

    All of us here have committed to doing something extraordinarily difficult. We have decided to break our addiction to nicotine and quit smoking. That is no small task. I was pondering on my way to work about which of us has the hardest addiction to break.

    Pack-a-day smokers: Heavy smokers have inhaled a constant stream of nicotine. The act of smoking is embedded in their daily lives. Every internal system is accustomed to operating with nicotine.

    Closet smokers: Secret smokers are always on the lookout for opportunity to sneak a smoke. Smoking never retreats to the back of their mind because they never know when their next chance is to smoke. Closet smokers have been going through withdrawal almost as long as they have been smoking.

    Vapers: Vaping creates a near-perfect delivery system of addictive nicotine into the system. Vapers don’t worry about the stench and mess of cigarette smoke and ash; which means they can get their nicotine at any time.

    Serial quitters:  Serial quitters have made the decision to quit a thousand and one times.  They have made it to day three or four a thousand times.  They may have made it out of Hell Week 500 times.  It's very had to be optimistic about a quit when you have gone through it so many times only to relaps.

    Every category of smoking has inherent challenges to quitting. But the hardest quit is the one you are rocking right now.

    Keep the quit

    PT

    indingrl.01.06.2011

    3:45am- TIME 

    Posted by indingrl.01.06.2011 Jan 19, 2020

    TODAY - only by God's grace -  I am given - 3300 DAYS OF FREEDOM - I try to go back to sleep -  yet here I am BLOGGING - awe -  the memories of having two cigs - to comfort ME and then go back to sleep - MY PAST ADDICTION LIFESTYLE  - OH boy -  do I remember -  smoking like a chimmey -  while Bible reading and studying in the early morning - I remember -  the many many TIMES -  I REALLY tried to QUIT SMOKING -  on MY OWN - MANY attempts since 1988 to November 5th 2011 - I tried over and over to -  stop smoking - STOP SUCKING ON DEATH STICKS -  to live in MY OWN skin without using MY DRUG NICOTINE and I remember thinking -  smoking calmed ME down - I believed smoking - HELP ME - to think and to do better with MY coping with people - places - things - situations - circumstances - MY emergencies - in MY LIFE - SMOKING -  before and after and in between -  a funeral to COPE with loss of MY loved one  OR smoking while taking a relaxing bath - OR THINKING - I really NEED a cigarette -  RIGHT NOW - just so I could deal with MY DAY of having to deal with PEOPLE  -  I made the emotional thinking DECISION to - stop so MANY TIMES - I REMEMBER - I just bought a full pack of red Marlboro - cost ME $6.50 - sucked on two DEATH STICKS - real quick - then I said. - that's it - I quit and I REALLY meant it - EACH TIME I tried to QUIT - I made MY many many many - attempts to - QUIT smoking -  I took them out of pack and I wet them down and I also ran water all over MY cigarette butts in MY ashtray - then threw ALL in the garbage - cigs and ashtray with wet butts and lighters and went to bed - VERY confident - very PROUD - I quit smoking on MY OWN!!!!  I got up early the next morning  - I went straight for the garbage - took out ALL the cigs I could save and laid them out on papertowels - they were covered in coffee grounds and the garbage remnants of garbage - I blew them DRY with MY blowdryer and smoked them ALL -  didn't think twice about it and asked MY husband to go buy ME 2 packs of smokes BEFORE he left for work and he did - I did NOT BELIEVE -  I would EVER quit smoking -- hmmmm - MY memories of the lengths I went to get MY fix - I am so GRATEFUL - in MY God's perfect timing HE blessed ME with HIS grace TODAY - to choose to blog BEFORE - I take that FIRST puff over ME - saying to MYSELF - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER - SELF DISCIPLINE for ME takes prayer - I ask MY God -  to STAY NICOTINE FREE TODAY  - thanks for letting ME share MY experience strength and H.O.P.E. - oh MY and yesterday - I saw a driver with her window rolled down smoking- it is so cold here in MY neck of the woods  - and then I remembered - but for the grace of God go I - I remember to PRAY - for the smokers that I see TODAY and I thank MY God for HIS love and grace and tender mercies - I am NICOTINE FREE 3300 DAYS TODAY

    PastTense

    Find your house 43/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 18, 2020

    My daughter and I were talking about which house we would be in at Hogwarts.  She’s very smart so, Ravenclaw all the way.  I thought about all of us Exers; hanging out here in cyber-Hogwarts.  Here is my take on how to spot the Houses here.

    Hufflepuff: Listens with empathy to all whining and withdrawal agony.  Offers recipes for excellent chocolate chip cookies. 

    Ravenclaw:  Explains the physical component of your withdrawal.  Suggests healthy snacks.  Always remembers your quit date

    Slytherin: Exposes the excuses you tell yourself.  Won’t accept defeat and challenges you to maintain your quit

    Gryffindor: Always ready to cheer your success.  First to pledge every morning.  May have many years of quit but keeps coming back

     

    We need all of us and I'm glad you're here

    PT

    brittneyd.rice

    Almost done with day 8

    Posted by brittneyd.rice Jan 18, 2020

    Its a strange feeling to know you never want to smoke again, yet your body and mind think you do. I belong to a Facebook group for people quitting and I constantly see people saying "quitting again" and I do not ever want to have to do this again. My old habit of smoking wont seem to let me go.  I even dreamt of smoking last night. I basically lay here all day because everything I do reminds me of smoking and I just dont want to feel terrible. Please understand I am fully determined to continue my new lifestyle, I just really need to figure out how to continue living my life while being a non smoker. I made it through hell week and I was really hoping things would be much better but instead they are just slightly better. I fear this is going to take much much longer than i'd hoped.

    green1611

    NOPE saved

    Posted by green1611 Jan 18, 2020

    My friend and me use to meet, once a while, like once in year or so,  over cup of tea/coffee and cigarettes. The meetings used to go for couple of hours. (in between couple of cigarettes are smoked) 

     

    I met him after long time yesterday, and he asked me do you want to have one cigarette? (our earlier way of meeting?) I said no, he urged, nothing happens by one cigarette, I had also quit smoking, but let's have today, and enjoy our olden golden days with tea/coffee and cigarette. 

     

    I asked my self quickly..

    Do you want to restart smoking? 

    Do you want to get into same slavery you had earlier before quit?

    Do you feel you will be better off after smoking couple of cigarettes, and then back to quit again?

    Do you want risks associated with smoking "sword of the Damocles?

     

    The answers to above questions were no..no and no.

     

    Few quitters  like to taste the cigarette after long quit, only because they want to know how it tastes now? they have curiosity if it tastes same? and secondly they are confident, that they have gone through quit once, so they can quit again, hence does not matter couple of cigarettes today, "I can overcome future urge" overconfidence though.

     

    If it is clear that I do not want to smoke again, then why go for couple of puffs now? is not that going back to addiction?

     

    Hence NOPE..

     

    My understanding of NOPE !

     

    note:

    I stayed away from one puff and also convinced my friend to be away. We had multiple cups of tea and coffee, and had good meeting.

    PastTense

    Still mulling  42/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 17, 2020

    I’m still mulling over the significance of accountability.

    I took a walk at lunch and it was 25 degrees with wind blowing at 20 miles an hour. It was so cold, my ears hurt. Why on earth didn’t I stay indoors like I had some common sense? Simple; my daughter just invited me to join her step challenge group through Fitbit. There are now 6 of us in the group and I, through some fluke of luck, am in the lead. There is just no way I could cancel my walk if other people could see it.

    I suppose a grown-up should be accountable to themselves. I know that I am not. I need the peer pressure (or perceived peer pressure) of other people to help boost me to action. Either that, or a really clever excuse. Maybe I’m just a spoiled, entitled brat. Maybe I’m about average and most folks could use a nudge in the right direction.

    I will say this; the more visible I am, the more accountable I feel. Challenging myself to write 90 blogs has increased my visibility substantially – and also my determination to crush this addiction once and for all.

    Thank you for keep me accountable

    PT

    PastTense

    Accountability   41/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 17, 2020

    Many of us log in every morning first thing to pledge our commitment to stay smoke-free. There have been days where I needed some extra glue to stick to my quit, so I pledged more than once. There have been days that I stayed quit because I took the pledge and ONLY because I took the pledge.

    If you were to ask me why taking the pledge made a difference, I would tell you that the pledge holds me accountable to my quit. Making the pledge requires us to take an action to affirm out intentions and to do it front of witnesses. Because I take the pledge and I’m still quit, I would say that the pledge works.

    However, taking the pledge, or blogging, or just hanging out on this website does not hold you accountable. The Ex Police will never come knocking on your door demanding to know why you didn’t pledge. The DOF auditors will never question your posted days. I never have to provide a blood test to prove I have no nicotine in my system. Technically, the only accountability is to myself.

    This site provides good tools and helpful supportive people. But at the end of the day, I either smoked or I didn’t. If I did, my body will eventually pay that penalty even if I don’t report it and update my quit date.

    It’s like going on a diet and only counting the calories that somebody else sees you eat. You can cheat on calorie count but you cannot cheat your body. It’s gonna count the calories even if you don’t.

    I am accountable for my own actions and grateful to have this site here to keep my honest.

    PT

    Please I am talking about ME not anyone else - please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - TODAY is MY 63rd birthday and MY husband gave ME flowers and this birthday card - I also received a birthday card from MY beautiful sister in Christ Jesus - her name is Kristi - she gave ME - H.O.P.E.- she has YEARS as a NON SMOKER and also mailed ME a birthday card - that to ME is a labor of love - LOVE IS ACTION - I like snail mail - it is nice to receive mail - - ONLY by God's grace -  I have 9 YEARS - ONE day at a time -  living as a NON SMOKER and I am GRATEFUL to keep moving forward -  in MY NON SMOKER DAY - I woke at 3am - I am up between 430am - 530am everyday that MY God blesses ME with and YET TODAY -  I am excited I just wanted to THANK ALL of YOU here -  for teaching ME to keep an open mind - to learning something NEW each day from EVERYONE here and to STAY a NON SMOKER - no matter what life on life's terms throws at ME in the midst of MY DAY and to keep growing up on the inside - to become MORE and MORE - spiritually mature - to let people be themselves by letting GO and letting God be God and to remember to live the way I choose and let YOU live the way YOU choose by saying to MYSELF - live and let live - when I want judge or criticize someone - for NOT doing their OWN NON SMOKER LIFE -  MY WAY - sometimes I TRY to play God in other people's life THINKING I know better than God - then I am humbled by MY God by remembering -  in the MY Bible -  the Book of Job - chapters 38 - 40 - which I read on - January 13 - 2020 - because it was SUGGESTED to ME to read it for MYSELF   - I PRACTICE - each moment in MY DAY to remind MYSELF  - to mind MY OWN -  business and taking MY OWN -  sin inventory - each DAY - MOST of ALL to remember to -  THANK MY God for HEALING ME in MY heart in MY Lord Jesus name amen gosh it is wondeful to - NOT HAVE TO SUCK ON DEATH STICKS TO COPE - TODAY - I have a CHOICE - live or die - I choose to live as a NON SMOKER - JOY filled and BLOGGING the way I CHOOSE in MY Lord Jesus name amen

    Sonia2019

    Where Did My Sanity Go?

    Posted by Sonia2019 Jan 16, 2020

    I'm starting to wonder if I ever had sanity to begin with...Lol! Honestly, I'm beginning to think that smoking was the only thing that helped me to maintain my sanity...? Although I'm fully aware of how terrible smoking is, the money wasted, the toll on my health, etc....etc., and what the benefits are for no longer doing it, I still struggle with certain aspects of it. This is the 4th attempt I've made to quit in 22 years. And, thanks to my current regimen of Chantix, the patch, and occasionally the lozenges, this has been my easiest attempt, hands down! So, the physiological aspect has actually been a breeze. The meds seem to be doing their job and I'm very thankful for that. The cravings have been very minimal, if at all. However, I think my issue is psychological. I enjoyed smoking....there are days that I miss smoking. 

     

    Who, in their right mind, thinks this way? Is it just me? If so, I must not be in my right mind, right? This is what makes me question my sanity, or lack thereof. Where did it go? Will this feeling ever go away? Although I haven't smoked in over a month, I still feel like I identify as a smoker. It's like going on a diet and losing tons of weight but still thinking think like the heavier version of yourself (something else I've also done). I'm trying to stay positive that this will go away in time. Which leads me to why I'm here. I joined this community about a month ago but really only started to poke around in it today....there's lots to take in! So many positive comments and overwhelming support out there!! I'm so glad I joined and look forward to the camaraderie of my fellow non-smokers!

    I found chocolate-flavored, sugar-free, no-carb gum on Amazon and bought a sack of it. My hopes were high. I could cruise through a craving with a delicious chocolate treat! AND, I could have a delicious chocolate treat without any weight gain. The silver bullet! The magic pill! Some things are just worth the price, you know?

    For the record, chocolate-flavored gum is not just a mistake; it is a crime against humanity. It is false advertising for your tongue. I don’t think I ever had chocolate that tasted of laundry detergent and used coffee grounds. I certainly never had it twice. The flavor was bad but the texture was awful. Imagine chewing a chocolate-scented candle. While it’s burning.

    Perhaps I was expecting too much. Chocolate-flavored, sugar-free, no-carb, - seriously, what’s left? Pick one and call it good. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can’t chew this gum and enjoy it, too. Lesson learned.

    On the other hand; I have been so thoroughly disappointed with this product that I cruised right through a craving. I guess it did its job, after all.

     

    Keep the quit

    PT

    HughMary10

    Day 3

    Posted by HughMary10 Jan 15, 2020

    I am on day 3 going into day 4 of choosing not to smoke. I have smoked for almost 39 years a pack a day. I have tried quitting  with help from pills, patches and vaping. I hated all those techniques and allergic to most of them. So I decided if I am going to quit I just had to do it cold turkey, which scared me to death. So my quit day came and I choose not to smoke. It’s early in the game here for lack of words, I have to shut the door on the craving every other minute it seems but I am glad I decided to go cold turkey. To be honest I think it was easier then using the other techniques.  I could be naive here and I know each day will be a up hill battle. My biggest problem is going to be gaining weight. What do you guys do for that hand/ mouth activity. I try mints, and chew gum ( not a fan of gum chewing). Seems M&M work good but I’ll be 400 lbs if I keep doing that. Any suggestion would be helpful. 

    PastTense

    Future me  40/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 15, 2020

    I know a couple who are in their early 70’s that are remarkable. They are extremely fit and active. They came with us on our 60 mile bike ride and had no trouble at all. They could have gone much faster and for longer. As a matter of fact, I was the anchor on that ride and I know it was because I had smoked and they never had. I look up to this couple. They are who I want to be when I grow up.

    I imagine what it will be like for me in 20 years. What would my future-me tell me right now? Future-me wants to be active and enjoying retirement by through-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Future-me wants to look as good as possible. Future-me is already annoyed that I didn’t quit smoking sooner.

    I can’t quit any sooner, but I can keep the quit today

     

    PT

    PastTense

    I call foul   38/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 15, 2020

    I woke up this morning with the image of smoking in my head.  That's just not fair.  It's morning before coffee.  I cannot formulate a coherent sentance, but my brain has produced a vivid image of smoking a cigarette.  I call foul and demand a referee throw out my brain for unsportsmanlike conduct. 

    All kidding aside, I was rather suprised.  There were days in the past when the only reason I got up when the alarm went off was so I could have a smoke before driving to work.  I thought I had ridden out that particular trigger, but it appears I still have some time left on the clock for that game.

    One day, one morning, one crave at a time

    Keep the quit

    PT

    hattonc

    311

    Posted by hattonc Jan 15, 2020

    Wow.. haven’t been on in a while .. but 311 DOF?.... someone pinch me.. I never dreamed I would have been smoke free this long.. I’m so greatful again for this site.. I hope all is well with everyone. Hope we’re off to a good start for the new year.. still smoke free and don’t ever want to go back .. NOPE!!! Good Night !! 

    My niece – who is a real pistol – posted something to me last night. This girl is amazing; she’s a Marine veteran and full-time college professor and combines beautiful language with tough love in a way that’s dazzling to me.

    Anyway, she suggested that any time I was having a tough time staying quit, I should imagine the voice of someone I hate telling me I can’t do this. She actually mentioned the name of prominent politician that I can’t stand, but I surely do not want that voice in my head.

    I thought about her advice and I think it has merit. It feeds on pride and competition; which, honestly are pretty motivating for me.

    Then I thought, maybe instead of someone I don’t like in my head putting me down, I could think about somebody I like building me up! Can you just imagine Sean Connery giving you a pep talk? (I swoon). Professor Dumbledore calmly telling you that you can do this because the Sorting Hat saw great inner strength in you?

    Or – going for the gusto here – Indiana Jones promising I can join him on his next adventure if I quit smoking?

    The options are nearly endless. A little fantasy never hurt anybody and goodness knows we need a break.

    Keep the quit

    PT

    Gai.C

    Today is the Day

    Posted by Gai.C Jan 14, 2020

    If you're on the fence about Quitting.  Please Read All the Blogs about COPD And Lung Cancer.  If not if it's Win. Please Stop Today.  If U need Support I'm here. PM me Anytime.  I'm a GreatPrayer Warrior.  My God listens . 

    Gai.C

    My Daddy

    Posted by Gai.C Jan 14, 2020

    My Brother sent a text this morning. It said stage 3 lung cancer. My Daddy know he will go to Heaven so no worries about that. I.just feel like I'm loosing it at this point.  I.dont like to take medication but I refilled tha Paxil the Doctor gave me in the beginning of my Quit.  

    We got the call to go to ER for MY daughter - with her liver shutting down bit by bit - unknown WHAT is going on NOW - scare and full of dread  - I had to wait for MY husband to get home from work - I didn't have enough gas to use MY car - so I prayed to MY God - please I am talking about ME not anyone else - please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - MY daughter is trying to get on liver list - she has NOT completed the requirements and being a RECOVERING alcoholic - they have said to her face - WHY would WE give YOU a liver if YOUR going to drink again - so she had two more requirements to fulfill - her LIVER not WORKING and the ER visits closer and closer -  brings her to a liver appointment on January 28th - 2020 at 11 am to look at what stage her liver is at NOT working - ALL levels of her blood are WHACKED - the ER staff do the best THEY can and send her home to live the out her OWN LIFE the best she can - she goes right back to work and takes care of herself and her kids in keeping a JOB and FOOD and getting them to school and paying the heat to STAY warm - I REALLY am STAYING in learning -  to live this DAY ONLY -  by NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER over ME and MY REALITY of the unknown OUTCOME of cirrhosis of the liver OR SUDDEN death from cirrhosis of the liver OR HEALED from cirrhosis of the liver by MY Lord Jesus - WHO is MY God - her is MY PROBLEM- ME and MY pride - I want to demand that MY God -  DO -  what I want with MY 34yr ADULT daughter - she is NOT a 7yr child - YET I treat her like that until she says MA!!!! it gets MY ATTENTION so I say I am sorry for treating YOU like a child - please forgive ME and she has so far and I am thankful for her kindness and love and understanding - It is HARD on MY heart as her mom and she said it's OK MA - so it was SUGGESTED to ME - toTODAY<img src='https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/images/emojis/1f496.png' class='jive_emoji'/> LET GO and TRUST MY God for the OUTCOME - so I CHOOSE to take that SUGGESTION - and enjoy MY DAY

    PastTense

    Nose Business  35/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 13, 2020

    This post will be a little graphic; it’s all about sinus troubles since quitting.

    I have always had allergies. I spent my life sniffling. I’ve done the tests, taken the shots; I even moved away from Texas. I would have tried anything short of snorting Draino to clear my sinuses and breathe again. Anything except quit smoking, of course. I have always known that my allergies couldn’t possibly get better until I quit.

    In fact, fixing my allergies is a main motivator for my quit. Smoking gives me sinus headaches for days. I hate waking up to the smoked-too-much-yesterday headache. I hate the constant coughing. I hate that my throat clogs up as soon as I start talking or even worse, singing. I hate the puffy bags under my eyes.

    Quitting has made some symptoms even worse as my sinuses struggle to clear themselves of decades-worth of smoke residue. I’m doing sinus irrigation every day to help clean out the guck. It’s pretty gross. I found a product that claims to tin out the mucus and it appears to work.

    I’m wondering if my sinuses are sloughing off their old lining and replacing with new. That sounds like it would be a good thing unless you have to live through the sloughing part.

    It is a slow healing process and it is hard to stay patient. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all the nastiness is just the first step.

    PT

    PastTense

    Cautious Optimism  34/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 13, 2020

    I woke up in a much better mood, thank goodnes.  It's pretty bad when you don't even want to be around yourself. 

    Oddly enough, taking the pledge made me feel better! 

    The one thing I can control today is my commitment not to smoke.  Just reminding myself that I AM IN CONTROL lifted my spirits. 

    Now it's off to work and the myriad tasks ahead.

    Wishing all of you a most excellent day

     

    PT

    PastTense

    Disgruntled  34/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 12, 2020

    adjective

    displeased and discontented; sulky; peevish:
    Disgruntled is the word of the day.  I feel it.  I look it.  If it had a scent; I would smell like it.
    I have been churlish and grumpy all day.  I even fussed at my husband (who spent all day working on the house).   
    We have a weight loss challenge at work which started on Monday and I have been very careful about what I eat and logging my food and I still gained a pound.  So not only am I disappointed at not losing weight, everybody in the office will know.
    I'm going to bed.  I know it's only 7pm and I'll probably be wide awake at 4am.  
    Tomorrow is another day
    PT
    Julie1960

    Working on day 12

    Posted by Julie1960 Jan 12, 2020

    Working on day 12. Been craving some.  Will I ever feel better?  I no the Strom before the calm.  I am proud of myself for not smoking.  But I don't like the crabby ass and being tried not sleeping at night.  But I do like the fact I am not smoking.

    Please I am talking about ME not anyone else - Please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - MY reality - we were playing 500 rummy after enjoying a wonderful supper - then SUDDENLY - MY daughter is in pain and confused and out of her MIND so WE experinced this episode in December near death due to potasium level 2 and NOW simular symptoms with the out of her mind - spiked fever and confusion - she went from calm to berserk - at 730pm we are heading to ER with MY daughter - I prayed the word of GOD out loud the whole 20 minute ride - MY husband thanked ME - MY daughter reached for MY hand and the peace of GOD filled each of us - MY adult daughter - who at 34 yrs YOUNG has a body that is failing due to her diseased liver from alcoholism - it is a disease of a 3 fold in nature - the body and spirit and soul - this TIME her heart is getting weaker and her blood sugar is 49 - dr said this was NEAR FATAL for her and due to her diseased liver - her body is working out on all the rest of her internal organs overworked - in a nutshell - 49 blood sugar - they gave orange juice and jello and a sandwich to eat quickly - blood sugar 1 hour later - 188 and it will rebalancing will take place - now her potassium levels 3 - dr gave 2 potassium pills by mouth and iv potassium drip which takes 2 HOURS in vein - next WAITING -  this is the hardest for ME as a mother of an ADULT child to watch and WAIT - MY youngest - of 3 ADULT children - who's body is falling because-  she chose NOT to take her meds - 4 days off potassium causes COMA and DEATH - she has NOT taken the steps required to get on liver list - her CHOICE - I can't change her OR cure her and I did NOT cause this disease - YET this is where I must .- WAIT ON GOD'S OUTCOME -  NOW 2 times - she has CHOSEN to -  NOT to take her postasuum 4 days - EACH time - will bring FATAL results- an anonymous person said NO ONE KNOWS THE PAIN IN ANOTHER PERSON'S HEART - we were released at 1230pm - we offered her to spend night - she chose to drive home and is at work decorating 4 cakes TODAY - YES she is a CHEF decorator of baked goodies - then at the same time - same friday night around 7pm - MY husband sister is at ER - at another hospital - appendicitis needs to come out - surgery scheduled 6am on Saturday and WE went to be with his sister and surgery 6am  cancelled until noon - they took her in and total time 2 hours and then back to room and rechecked and dr said she will go home - ONLY by prayer and MY Daddy God's saving grace in MY Lord Jesus - I kept reading and praying HIS word - I asked for HELP - I received HELP from MY friend who prayed for ME to let go and trust God with HIS beloved daughter in Christ Jesus and with MY husband sister too - BELIEVE - TRUST and OBEY - knowing the OUTCOME for BOTH of OUR loved one's is in God's hands - I BREATHE deep - I cry with the long suffering since 2015 - dealing with this disease of body spirit and soul of MY precious daughter nearing death and I ask MY Holy Comforter to lead and teach ME to LET GO AND LET GODand the GOOD NEWS- NEVER TOOK ANOTHER PUFF over any of MY REALITY in MY Lord Jesus name amen it is written I can do all things through Christ Jesus which strengthens me- amen   

    PastTense

    Weight Gain  33/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 9, 2020

    There is no denying that quittting smoking causes weight gain. 

    There are two forces at work against us when we quit smoking; first there is effects of nicotene which increases your metabolism, and then there is the snacking that replaces smoking.

     

    There seems to be an silent agreement in the Quit community to not dicuss weight gain - especially with new quitters.  I have seen the suggestions to keep "healthy snacks" on hand to counteract a craving.  ("healthy snack" is an oxymoron, btw; if it's healthy, it isn't a snack).  Or drink water. Saying "Here, eat this thing you HATE instead of having the smoke you Want!" It's probably good advice, but not particulary practical or helpful.  I only have so much willpower available to me.  I can avoid cigarettes OR I can avoid M&Ms; but I can't do both. 

     

    I have also seen many posts reminding us that smoking is far worse for our health than being over weight.  An absolute fact.  Most of us have already admitted to turning a blind eye towards our health when we smoked.

     It is no small thing in this society to gain weight.  Especially for women.  We are judged by our girth first and foremost.  The struggle to stay quit when your clothes no longer fit is REAL.  The struggle to reduce calories when you're already on a diet-for-life is REAL.  The shame and anger when looking at new rolls of fat in the mirror is REAL.

     

    I don't have answers. I think we do quitters a diservice by not addressing this more openly. 

     

    PT

    PastTense

    Side effects  32/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 8, 2020

    Quitting smoking is the best way to find out all the systems in your body that were affected by nicotine.

    Seriously. We have all seen the health risks associated to smoking.  Everything from diabetes to migraines is linked to smoking.  I used to grumble that if I got a hangnail, my doctor would tell me it's because I smoked.

     

    Then I quit - and you know what?  EVERYTHING is affected when you use nicotine.

    My digestion couldn't figure out what the heck was going on and just shut down. 

    My sinuses have turned themselves inside out and have possibly molted.

    I got headaches, I got light headed, and had days on end of being in a mental fog.

    I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't wake up. 

    Coffee tasted funny.  Water tasted funny.

    Let's not even discuss mood swings.

     

    Withdrawal is good indication of where nicotine was doing its dirty work.

    And it is very, very dirty

     

    Keep the quit

    PT

    PastTense

    Non Smoker 31/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 7, 2020

    I truly wish I could just be a non-smoker.  I've had enough of quitting.  Right now, I'm still a smoker who doesn't smoke.  I would love to feel like a non-smoker.  Somebody who has never smoked.  Someone who has never even wanted to smoke.

    I don't know that I will ever feel that way.  But I do know that every day I spend not smoking, feels better than any day addicted to a stinky, filthy, expensive habit.

    Keep the quit

    PT

    PastTense

    Taking the pledge 30/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 6, 2020

    For me, for my quit; there is no better way to start the day than by taking the Pledge. My first task when I get in to work is to sign in and take the pledge. It is my reminder that I made a commitment to become a non-smoker.

    I love the imagery that we create of chain of support for everyone on the site. We take a hand for support we need; we extend a hand for the help we can give. Each one of us lifts up another.

    I know I need to take the pledge every day. Weekends and holidays are hard because I don’t usually log in to my computer first think in the morning. I can feel the tug on my resolve on days that I haven’t pledged. The days I don’t pledge are always the days I need it the most.

    So take the pledge

    Keep the quit

     

    PT

    PastTense

    Back to work 29/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 6, 2020

    The first full week of work after the holidays.  I'm looking at stacks of files and piles of paper and trying to get motivated to dig in.  I was hoping that things would slow down after the holidays, but I think they have sped up.

    I don't know why anything would feel different, but it does.

    Breaks over and it's back to work for me.

    Keep the quit

    indingrl.01.06.2011

    9 YEARS TODAY 

    Posted by indingrl.01.06.2011 Jan 6, 2020

    Hello - MY name is Indin grl - AKA - DIANEJOY - and - TODAY -  January 6th 2020 -  I am a RECOVERING NON SMOKER and I have 9 YEARS - TODAY - January 6th 2020 - I AM - living a JOY filled life in - MY DAY -  filled with MOMENTS of love and joy and peace- ever growing in long suffering and gentleness and goodness - taking the gains and losses of MY NON SMOKER DAY and - I stayed in prayer - ALL MY DAY - seeking MY God's will for ME and received more faithfulness and kindness and self control -  in MY Lord Jesus name and ONLY by God's grace in HIS love - I still come here EVERYDAY -  to give away ALL -  to keep it - that saying was taught to me in October of 1986 -  in one of MANY - 12 step support groups - MY God blessed ME with and still that saying - YOU gotta give it ALL away to keep it - works TODAY- January 6th 2020 - I was taught to keep an attitude of GRATITUDE- ALWAYS - and I have something to be GRATEFUL for EACH DAY - NO MATTER WHAT - life on life's terms HITS ME with - in the midst of family funerals - celebrations or just a boring DAY  - I attend more funerals this PAST year and learned that - now at MY young age of 62 - this PAST YEAR- so MANY of MY family are OLD and are going to heaven - 3 family members went to heavrn -  in a matter of DAYS of each other - it was over whelming this PAST YEAR - I was told - DEATH happens more NOW -  that I am 62 years young and more will take place - deal with it - life goes on - it happens to EVERYONE - that is LIFE on life's terms -hmmmmmm - TRUTH - FACTS - TOUGH LOVE - this is MY medicine that teaches ME to keep growing up and be RESPONSIBLE FOR MY LIFE - NOT anybody else's - MY God's grace and TENDER mercies on ME to BELIEVE TRUST and OBEY MY God - until HE calls ME home - I pray in Jesus name HE finds ME working by faith in HIS service -  NOW to eternity - EACH DAY HE gives ME - to keep moving forward  - to keep thanking  MY God daily - for blessing ME - with ALL of YOU - here on this site - I CHOOSE to include ALL  -  EVERYBODY - EVERYONE - to thank -  ALL - EVERYONE -EVERYBODY - here on this -  RECOVERY FROM NICOTINE SITE - MY NON SMOKER family for teaching ME to keep -  learning and growing and healing - amen - please I am talking about ME - NOT anyone else - so please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - it is on this site that I met Doris and she would love ME- every day - by sending love graphics on MY page - EVERYDAY-  until I could love MYSELF - EVERYDAY she would visit MY page beginning - in October 2010 until the day she went to be with MY Lord Jesus - I miss her so much and I know -  I will see her again!!!!!! LIVING one day at a time - TOGETHER - is MY God's gift of unconditional love to ME - I have been coming here ALMOST everyday to STAY GRATEFUL and in HIS love to HELP the next suffering NICOTINE ADDICT to HOPEMay God continue to let ME be of HIS SERVICE to ALL those who need HIS love and joy and peace to BELIEVE - to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER - to NOT ONE PUFF EVER - ONE BREATHE at a time  

    PastTense

    Shopping 28/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 5, 2020

    I love scrolling through websites and looking at stuff.  I rarely buy.  I don't need more things (unless we're talking about shoes).  I just like browsing.

    What I like are things that cannot be bought.

    Things like fitness.  Money helps with gym memberships and equipment, but it takes personal effort to exercise on a regular basis.

    Education is the same.  Sure, it takes some bucks to go to college; but there are a lot of ways to become educated and libraries are free.  It takes personal effort to read the books, take some notes, and maybe go to a museum.

    Here comes the metaphor.

    Quitting smoking can't be bought.  You can't hire somebody to do it for you.  You gotta quit your own quit.  You gotta power through the craves.

    While we do our own lifting, we have a lot of cheerleaders.  All the folks here are happy for our success.

    PT

    Just for TODAY - I am SHARING what is happening to ME - I have been smelling cigarette SMOKE - it was so over powering YESTERDAY -  I just went to bed EARLY and TODAY - off and on since 4am -  the SMELL is strong - so I am telling this FACT OF NON SMOKER SMELL - TODAY for ME -  to MY RECOVERING FROM NICOTINE family- then I remembered what  - I have learned from ALL of YOU here -  to just BLOG -  what is going on with ME - TODAY - at 8 YEARS and 355 DAYS as a NON SMOKER - this SMELL of cigarette smoke is so REAL for ME - please I am talking about ME not anyone else - please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - thank you - then I remembered to replace negative with POSITIVE SO ........Just for TODAY - Have fun - Just for TODAY remember YOU have choices - Just for TODAY write a gratitude list -  Just for TODAY do someone a good turn anonymously - Just for TODAY pray for someone - Just for TODAY call someone - Just for TODAY give YOURSELF a hug - Just for TODAY have an A B C plan - Just for TODAY take alone time out for God and YOU -  Just for TODAY go to a support group -  these were ALL SUGGESTIONS given by others to HELP ME STAY in TODAY - they have ALL worked for ME - Just for TODAY sharing MY experience strength and HOPE - thanks for letting ME share - gentle hug

    My husband and I were supposed to quit on January 1. I think he’s quitting because I want him to quit; even though deep down he knows he should quit. When January 1st rolled around, we had a death in the family and we caved immediately. I also felt like my husband was not prepared, but looking back, I know that both of those things were just excuses because I wanted to keep smoking.  I’m trying not to dwell on the fail and I’m trying to see it as a lesson. Our new quit date is January 7. I don’t think my husband is really any more prepared, but I’m going to commit to the quit with or without him! Without him, I think it will be a lot harder and that is scary! 

    I spent the day at the museum with my squad.  Four middle-aged ladies and a couple of kids trooping through the marble halls looking at stuff.  Interesting stuff, odd stuff, questionable stuff, old stuff, unidentifiable stuff. 

    We spent about 3 hours poking around and then went to lunch.  Just a normal day - EXCEPT

    I never even thought about smoking.   Didn't even cross my mind.

    Ladies and gents, this is a big deal.

    I know I am not in the clear yet, but one good morning leads to a good week which leads right in to a pain-free, smoke-free life!

    PT

    Thanks for letting ME share MY Xcitment...... today .........counting down two more of MY DAYS.......to JANUARY 6th.....2020........just trying to STAY in the NOW....I stayed in MY moments because I asked MY God for HELP and please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you ......and please talking about ME not anyone else.. TODAY....I prayed.......I came here and read blogs and shared MY Daddy God's unconditional love with ALL.......tried to encourage MYSELF and others...you can't give away something you don't have is what I was taught in 1987 and PRAYER I was taught in 1986 and still all of these things work for ME.......TODAY........I have prayed for HELP to listen to MY body and have eaten when I was HUNGRY and NOT emotional eating and MY CHOICES to eat healthier foods is now MY new life style.....replacing OLD habitual emotional eating ....self discipline is very hard work .....I tried to draw yet MY heart wasnt in it so that didn't work out - so I came back here to be HELPFUL to some ONE person where I could .....I keep reading blogs they HELP save MY peace of mind to be of service in MY God's love...... thanks for letting ME share MY BALL OF EXCITEMENT........COUNTING DOWN TO JANUARY 6TH - 2020........I am filled wirh fresh BREATHE again 

    PastTense

    Best laid plans  26/90

    Posted by PastTense Jan 3, 2020

    If anybody is keeping track (and I am) I owe 3 blog posts that I missed in order to make 90 posts in 90 days.

    How did I manage to miss 3 blog posts?  It all comes down to inadequate planning.

    I knew we would be on the road for two days but thought I could hot spot my laptop to the internet and write while we drove.  As it turns out, we didn't have quite the cell phone coverage I thought we had.  I kept losing the signal and had to start over.  In fairness, I only did it twice before I gave up in frustration.  So I had a plan, but it didn't work.

    One post was missed because I let the day get away from me.

    Poor planning and no planning leads to failure as soon the REAL LIFE starts to happen.

    You know what?  That has happened to me in previous quit attempts, too.  I thought I had a plan; but the plan disintegrated as soon as I hit a bump.

     

    I wrote down my quit plan.  And when I felt myself entering dangerous areas, I challenged myself to 90 posts in 90 days to make sure I was anchored to this site.  I am learning from my mistakes.  I am course-correcting as I go.

    I am here to keep the quit.

    PT

    Julie1960

    Scared

    Posted by Julie1960 Jan 3, 2020

    I am scared to death.  I don't want to ever smoke cigarettes again.  But the weakness is there.  This is not my first time to quit.  I bet it is the 75th time.  I have read alot.  Praying .   

    Why did we feel so good?

     

    "Chronic nicotine use induces neuroadaptations in the brain’s reward system that result in the development of nicotine dependence. Thus, nicotine-dependent smokers must continue nicotine intake to avoid distressing somatic and affective withdrawal symptoms. Newly abstinent smokers experience symptoms such as depressed mood, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, craving, bradycardia, insomnia, gastrointestinal discomfort, and weight gain (Shiffman and Jarvik, 1976; Hughes et al., 1991)."

    "Nicotine influences mood, cognition, and body function by binding to and activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) located on neurons in the brain. When activated by either nicotine or the endogenous neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the nAChR opens a channel that allows ions to pass through the neuron’s membrane from the exterior to the interior of the cell and trigger changes that activate the cell." 

     

    "Nicotine produces rewarding effects by interacting with nAChRs on neurons in the brain’s mesolimbic reward system. This system comprises dopaminergic neurons that originate in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and release the neurotransmitter dopamine in regions involved in information processing, memory, and emotions, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Increases in dopamine levels within the mesolimbic system give rise to rewarding effects. Nicotine directly enhances dopamine levels in the mesolimbic system by interacting with nAChRs on the dopaminergic neurons and causing them to release more of the neurotransmitter (Balfour, 2009; Barrett et al., 2004; Koob and Volkow, 2010). Nicotine also modulates dopamine release indirectly by binding to nAChRs located on excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory gamma aminobutyric acid (GABAergic) neurons in the VTA. These glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons originate from a number of brain areas, such as the NAc, hippocampus, PFC, amygdala, ventral pallidum, and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, and regulate the activity of dopaminergic neurons."

     

    OR to melt all that down to English - we're Addicts! Nicotine robbed our natural Dopamine process and in Recovery, we have to get it back! All that blah, blah, blah wasn't just talking tobacco - it speaks of Nicotine  - NRTs have Nicotine! They still do the same Addictive things that Sickerettes do. Slowly cutting back while doing things to stimulate Dopamine is the way out!

     

    9 Ways To Boost Dopamine

    Dopamine - the Double Edged Blade

    Dopamine Boosting Foods Healthy Way

    MY new goal for 2020 is to pencil draw instead of emotionally eating MY feelings  - I am 230lbs NOW - MY weight has been an issue since 1963 to 2020 - please talking about ME not anyone else - please take what HELPS and let go of the rest to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - I was 275lbs when I was blessed with a cold turkey quit in MY Lord Jesus tender mercies - I started eating healthier in august 2005- gaining weight and losing weight - a vicious cycle for ME - I THOUGHT smoking kept ME skinny - I would binge eat - smoke n coffee for 3 months - then pig out on EVERYTHING food I desired - then back to cigs and coffee 3 months - I ended up in ER in august 2005 - doctors were going to remove MY gallbladder and the ER doctor whispered in MY ear you have the beginning of cirrhosis of the liver - I told her I reject that and she said well your going up and they are going to take YOUR gallbladder out and I said whatever - when I got to MY room I called the Pastor of the hospital and asked for a bible - the Pastor name is Beth - she brought the Bible up and I shared MY life with her and thanked her and she left - I put praise and worship music on and went into the bathroom and got down on MY knees and prayed - Dear God whatever YOU want to ME to go through please HELP ME - I am scared and the doctor's said they want to take MY gallbladder and I reject cirrhosis -  whatever you have planned for ME I ask to be HEALED in Jesus name and YOUR HELP amen -  then I went and read the book of Psalms and did all the TESTS the 4 doctor's working on ME tested ME and  - AFTER all the tests - 3 DAYS later and at 1030pm - the specialists doctor's - their was 3 of them lined up by the wall and the lead doctor sat with ME on the bed  - he held MY hand and said - WE know what YOU came in here with - WE found NOTHING WRONG - WE are sending YOU home - I just smiled and said thank you and when they came in -  I was sitting reading and highlighting MY PSALM -  and after MY miracle happened - they saw with their OWN eye's - they were leaving MY room and one doctor stopped and said YOU are going to have to highlight that whole Bible and I said not necessarily - it depends on what YOUR looking for - they left and I left at 1130pm - AT NIGHT - at that TIME - 2005 -  I was 275lbs and ONLY by God's grace at that TIME - I was 18 YEARS SOBER - so since 2005 -  I don't drink pepsi anymore or eat chocolate - I changed tons of food choices since 2005  - yet I wasn't dealing with MY FEELINGS -  for 2020 I am pencil drawing while feeling my feelings - if I eat - I eat RAW veggies - been 3 days and a notebook of pencil drawings is full - just sharing the GOOD goals set for ME in MY Lord Jesus name amen - Thanks for letting me share

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