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2020

TODAY leap into YOUR OWN choosing to NOT take one puff - just for TODAY - WE are given this NEW DAY to choose to leap into HOPE - I do that by reading the blog's here each day -  to EDUCATE MYSELF - to look for the similarities - to experience YOUR strength and HOPE - to believe in HOPE - if YOU can stay quit TODAY - I will leap into MY believing to keep MY NEW mindset -  it is written - I have the mind of Christ - 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 too - will NOT take one puff - over ME or what life unfolds in MY world to ME -  in MY personal DAY  -  NOPE - NOT TODAY -  over the FACTS -  I just am learning to accept -  MY sister in love - Sally has BRAIN cancer - she text us YESTERDAY  and also she is living with MS for years - and WE also learned MY husband very close friend Johnnie - has prostrate cancer - life on life's terms TODAY for ME is - MY willingness and MY acceptance - to choose - to stand in MY faith and pray and this way -  I am taught to leap into MY Lord Jesus living as-  I surrender Sally and Johnnie in faith and in love -  to MY Lord Jesus in Jesus name amen - leaping into the FACTS - life on life's terms HITS EVERYBODY - I am not alone  - COPING TODAY for ME is -  by sharing with ALL here - I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER in MY Lord Jesus name amen  - FACT in using MY common horse sense - I know that sucking on death sticks -  NICOTINE sticks -  is NOT - gonna remove their cancers - and FACT - yes both of them suck on death sticks - THEIR CHOICE - God gives us ALL FREE will - to do as WE choose- I leap into blogging -  BEFORE  - I let MY EMOTIONS run ME into MY OLD stinking thinking and get MY OLD -  twisted perspective to use OLD HABITS and OLD PATTERNS - to try - fixing or managing or controlling humans by playing their God OR playing their Saviour OR playing Holy Spirit Junior in their lives - FACTS- not emotionalism or insanity thinking I could save anyone - question to MYSELF BEFORE I take any action - Did Sally OR Johnnie ask ME to do ANYTHING - they NEVER asked ME for HELP - NOT YET - Sally asked for PRAYERS - I am prideful at times and I think in MY past life stlye - while I was sucking on a CARTON of death sticks - really emotionally thinking twisted by MY drugged fueled ADDICT mind-  that I could change another human to do MY will - NOT TO DAY- ladies and gentlemen - there is a God and I am NOT him please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank youHappy leap day birthday to ANYONE CELEBRATING TODAY

PastTense

Inner Child 81/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 24, 2020

I want to explore a little deeper the thought of “just one”.  “Just one” has been the undoing of all my attempted quits and I suddenly have House of the Rising Sun playing in my head. Dammit. Now it’s in your head, too, and I apologize. @Youngatheart.7.4.12 reminds me that you can never have just one-because they travel in packs. That made me snort laugh.

I’m trying to be serious here, because if I don’t break this trigger, I will never be smoke-free. I cannot spend the rest of my life quitting. I cannot stay on the fence, sneaking smokes, searching out safe places and easy excuses for grabbing the clandestine cigarette. That is the life of the closet smoker and I truly hate it. I can’t become the closet quitter.

The problem I have may be the self-talk I am using. When I get the thought of having just one; my brain automatically tries to shut it down and say NO – you can’t have that. Which immediately triggers my inner child to respond “You aren’t the boss of me”. Hands on hips, chin out, attitude large. Sometimes I can reason with Inner Child and sometimes I can distract Inner Child with a cookie, but she won’t be bullied and disdains adult supervision. I suspect that I won’t succeed unless Inner Child grows up or I somehow convince her to be part of the quit.

I liked @Barbscloud ‘s suggestion to say “We don’t do that anymore”. That sounds gentler than NOPE or CAN’T. Perhaps I can placate Inner Child with more soothing words.

It’s either that or use a pacifier at this point.

Keep the quit

PT

MartyO

Day 10~Loss

Posted by MartyO Feb 24, 2020

 

"We lose one of our most comfortable, reliable, and familiar ways of relating to ourselves and to the world around us." 

 

Thank you, @Barbara145 for sharing this post.  It spoke to me as well. 

 

As the novelty begins to wear off, the sense of LOSS comes rushing in. 

The journey of quitting smoking/vaping is also having to relearn how to relate to myself and to the world around me in a whole new way....w/o relying on my crutch/nicotine to distract my body and cloud my head.  

A fellow Exer posted:

 

.......the "hit high" from the nicotine is gone, you are learning a new life....a new normal without cigarettes. As most of us come to realize, they were a part of everything we did and when they are gone....it "feels" like a loss.   After awhile, things will even out.

Quitting is an emotional thing. Many of us found our way through our quits early on by having the experience of so many emotions we didn't know if we were coming or going.

 

For me....tears were a large part of that. Mixed emotions stored my thoughts.  Deep inside I WANTED DESPERATELY to be a non smoker, but I was afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of fear...is there such a thing? Being afraid of fear itself?

 

Tears came unannounced over I would say the first 3 months of my quit. Just look at me wrong and I would cry. I was fragile. I was learning how to cope with life without running to smoke first. This was a key turning point for me once I understood what was happening.

 

Frustration during my early months was induced by anyone who criticized me, looked at me wrong...again...how do you look at someone wrong?... My perception of everything was knocked out of whack.

 

I learned here on this site, that I would go through many stages as I began my quit journey. Some would bring intense anger, fear, hurt, pain, tears...oh yes plenty of tears, and feelings that I would lose this battle.

 

We feel like we've lost a friend.  We actually feel something more potent than that - we feel like we've lost our 'selves'.  And it's ok to cry over that.  Truth is in one way we never WILL be the same 'self' that we've known.  And it's okay to grieve that loss.  What we don't know, however, is the magnificence of the when we first quit nothing feels OK.  Especially us.  We feel like fish out of water.  Everything is uncomfortable.  We feel like we've lost our best friend.  We seem unable to cope with anything and are irritated by everything.  Or we're lost in a fog and all we want to do it sleep it away, but our sleep pattern has been altered too.  We tend to cry a lot.  We don't know what to do to get through.  We're told it will get better, but it seems to take sooooo long.  Our entire being seems foreign to us.  And it's UNCOMFORTABLE!

 

Yup - that's what the early stages of the quit journey feel like.  It's uncomfortable.  We're out of our comfort zone for sure.  Because the behavior that we've practiced for so long - many of us for year and YEARS - is being altered.  It's different to go through our days without our binky, without our "go to" to relieve stress; our reward for an accomplishment, exclamation point on a success; that moment where we can relax for a few minutes and that five minutes to pause to think through sorrow or anger and escape it; the sharing of times with like-minded smokers, that after-meal final fulfillment or the one after sex.. the times alone on our back decks where we got relief with a cigarette in hand...  

 

When we quit smoking - everything changes.  All our normal routines and behaviors are altered.  (But we have chosen this path to freedom, don't forget.)  So of course we're going to feel uncomfortable.  But only for a while.  

HANG IN THERE!!!!

 

In this journey you learn a lot about yourself and those around you...the smoke screen hid many things ... be sure to make your quit your priority.  Colleen 448 DOF 

 

~~~~~~~~~These are quips I've found scattered on this website today that have helped me get through.  I know I didn't properly give credit, but credit is certainly due.  Please tag yourself if you feel inclined.  Just too much work for my battling mind at this moment....Thank you all for your wisdoms and insights...... 

 

Great article about the feeling of loss in the quit journey:   

 

  https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-thing-they-never-tell-you-about-quitting-smoking/

PastTense

Too many  80/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 24, 2020

It has been nearly a year since I decided to quit smoking. For good. This time it’s for real. For the record, and before anybody gets too excited and offers congratulations – I do not have a year of freedom from nicotine. Nowhere even close. Yet.

I was one month in to a new job and figured that the steepest part of the learning curve was behind me. I wanted quit before I developed any ingrained habits or triggers. I wanted to quit before I was discovered as a closet smoker. I wanted to quit before it was too late; although I never stopped to consider what I meant by “too late”.

My mother smoked up until the moment her cancer robbed her of the ability to hold a cigarette. Obviously, she waited too long. So what was I thinking? I know that just because I quit smoking today, it won’t guarantee a cancer free tomorrow. I know that the next puff I take could be the one that’s starts cells mutating into cancer. I know that sooner is better. We all know this, right?

I have been struggling with this quit for nearly a year. I struggle because the pull of addiction is more urgent than the desire to be smoke-free. I struggle because I am still learning not to bargain with addiction. I struggle because I am just too damn stubborn to ask live people who are all around me for their support and encouragement. I struggle because I’m not sick, yet. I’m struggling because I have found ways to justify “just one”.

As each month has past, I played the game of Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda. I shoulda stopped smoking on my quit date. I woulda have had 30 days DOF if I did. I coulda been a year quit by now.

I have no excuses and I’m not trying to make any. I am trying to figure out what I need to do next, and I think that entails better tools for the “just one” thoughts. Because one is too many and a thousand aren’t enough. Because I am tired of quitting and want to be quit.

Keep the quit

PT

PastTense

Previews   79/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 24, 2020

We had an unexpected weekend and I am sorry to have missed signing in.

My son finally closed on his first house on Friday. It had been held up with some paperwork for 2 weeks and we weren’t sure if it was going to happen or not. We are so proud and excited for him but, DAMMIT; the first truly fine weekend in months and we are spending it moving him to his new house. We also volunteered to move the washer and dryer hookups from the basement to the mud room on the first floor. Actually, we did not volunteer; my husband volunteered us. Which somehow evolved into me stuck down in the basement rerouting drain pipe while he was moving furniture. I’ve done lots of plumbing projects but this one was more convoluted than most since the house was built back in 1850. No exaggeration. Built before the Civil War so none of it was designed with wiring or plumbing in mind. We were routing around stone support walls in the creepiest, cob-webiest, most nightmare-inducing basement into which I have ever personally set foot. ~ Shudder ~

The entire weekend was working on the house or driving to the hardware store. We had breakfast standing up and pizza for dinner (also standing up). By the time we got home, I just wanted to wash the cobwebs out of my hair a crawl in bed. I didn’t get to sign in at all let alone post a blog.

I did have time, however, while down in the scary basement, to think and ponder and plan for the next blog post I would write. I have three ideas circling in my head right now that I want to get to paper before I forget them. I may not get three essays from these ideas. Might get six, might get 1. Sometimes the blogs go in a direction I did not anticipate. Sometimes a promising idea becomes a dead end and just lies there on the page like a lump in gravy. You can stir it all you want to, but it will never become edible.

I’m off to pledge and I’ll be working on better blogs for the rest of the day.

Keep the quit

PT

leannelilley73

When do you feel better

Posted by leannelilley73 Feb 23, 2020

I quit 72 days ago. I still feel worse then I did when I smoked. I have more skin problems. I feel like I am always sick. I can not take a deep breath at all now. I am so tired and have zero energy. I thought by now I would start feeling a little better, not worse. 

PastTense

Tammy  78/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 21, 2020

Today would be my sister Tammy's birthday.  It would be, except she died last spring.  She should be 60 years old this year.  Her daughter just graduated from college. 

My sister suffered from a number of health issues that left her basically disabled.  Or so she claimed.  She said she could barely walk.  She said some days she couldn't get out of bed.  She said she couldn't work, or return phone calls, or do any of the things she promised she would do. 

But she could still smoke.  She never had a problem getting to the back porch for a cigarette.  I was estranged from my sister for decades and for good reason before she passed away.  The last fight we had was about her still smoking while using her illness to get out of responsibility.  She told me is was none of my effing business. 

She was right.  I responded that her illness was not my problem, either. 

 

Her death was not directly associated with smoking, but her health problems were definately exacerbated by it.

There is no point to the post, other than it's been gnawing at me all day. 

Keep the quit

PT

Only by God's grace I remain a NON SMOKER - filled the extra time picking out different hobbies in 3333 DAYS of living joy filled NON SMOKER DAYS and thanking MY God for HIS love mercy and grace in MY Lord Jesus name amen - please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you -  TODAY I am hand sewing a quilt for MY grandson -  hands creating TODAY NOT using MY hand to suck on death sticks  - NOT TODAY

 

When I first took up smoking at the age of thirteen, I never thought about addiction, nor about becoming an addict. After all, I was young and invincible. I never noticed as the tentacles of addiction began slithering their way into every aspect of my mind, changing me in ways that I never realized were happening. Over time, I began to consider my addiction as a normal part of my life, forgetting what life was like before I smoked. It was simply a part of a new life that I was creating for myself, and somehow it just felt right.

 

 I fully embraced the sweet lies of addiction as this addiction began to feel more like a friend rather than the enemy that it really was. I always had my cigarette to boost my confidence or help me through those lonely moments in life, never realizing that the reality of it all was based on lies that I had created for myself in order to try to feel good about my addicted life. And I lived like this for forty years, never even trying to see through the shroud of my addiction to see what normal looks like.

 

 As I got older and was pretty happy with my life, I started thinking of the future and how I’d look in that future. My father had died of smoking related cancer and so I could see the ugly side of my future if I continued on my current path of addiction. But for the first time I also allowed myself to see my future without the cigarette in it, and in my mind’s eye everything looked happier, healthier and just plain cleaner.

 

 These mental images of the future created the first cracks in my addiction. For the first time in almost forty years, I was seeing what could be rather than simply accepting my world as it was. And along with these new images came a kind of fear that rocked me to my core, for you see change is never easy. My first thoughts were about how I’d cope with my life without my cigarettes. They were always there to help me to concentrate and to comfort me in my time of need. But for the first time I was seeing through the lies of my addiction and realized that most of these lies were based on my need to justify my smoking.

 

 I saw the cigarette for what it really was. A plant intentionally modified to enslave me. Still, my fear of change was huge and I realized that change is always easier with understanding. So I called the Quitline and set up my patches and more importantly got some links to information about smoking and addiction. One of those links was for this website. As soon as I’d come here I knew I’d found my home. My way to navigate my way to freedom. The place where understanding came from experience.

 

 And so nine years ago yesterday I started on my journey to freedom. Was it hard? Of course it was! Change is never easy, especially when that change is to what had become the very foundation of my world. But with the help of understanding both by understanding addiction and by understanding how I interacted with my addiction, I took the first faltering step. Everything that happened in the beginning I expected because of my preparations. I fought through those first days with relative ease compared to what I expected, but I knew this was a long fight. A long journey on the road to true understanding. To true peace.

 

 After the first few months of accepting my new world, things became easier. I fought with the addict within less and less. My mind was slowly understanding the realities of freedom and eventually I reached a tipping point where freedom became more important to me than the cigarette, and by focusing on that freedom I got to where I am today. Living the future that I’d only been able to dream about on those first days.

 

 Never give up on your dreams, especially when those dreams are ones of a brighter future. Dreams of taking your life back from addiction. Dreams of freedom that in the end are just as wonderful when it becomes reality as it was when we first conceived of them. There’s a new life just waiting for you, just as it was waiting for me. All you have to do is fight for it and before long like me, you’ll be free! There’s just something amazing about the freedom felt after quitting. It really can’t be described. It just has to be felt. I look forward to the day that you too are feeling that freedom!

 

 Never give up on your dreams . . . .

 

ONWaRD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Movies and TV did not prepare me for what smoking would do to me. Maybe I watched too many after school movies where the morality of the story was as overwrought as an infomercial failure. You know those commercials, where something as basic as getting a plastic dish out of the cupboard ends in a cascade of fallen Tupperware, a broken nail, and a house fire. Right?

Even at a tender age my eye-roll game was strong. Over acting to make a point never makes the point it’s supposed to. I just learned not to trust people who were trying to manipulate me guide me down a healthier path.

Movies also failed to instruct me on what to expect when quitting smoking. Characters who smoked were rare, characters who quit smoking were non-existent. I think there was a bald guy in a detective show that always had a lollipop because he quit. Correct me if I’m wrong about this one, it was on past my bedtime. Oh, and a movie about a minister who gets a whole town to quit smoking?

All other addiction withdrawal was treated by sending the addict sweat it out for 3 days in bed. After which, he was completely fine. I would so gladly trade 3 days in bed for months in no-man’s-land.

Nothing prepared me for how deeply nicotine was embedded in my system. I wasn’t prepared for the change in digestion, which, in all fairness, might also have been caused by the pounds of M&Ms I was eating or the wads of gum I was chewing. I chewed Trident until my gums blistered, and nobody on TV told me this would happen.

I wasn’t prepared for the headaches or the trouble sleeping and I can’t tell which came first on those symptoms, either. I expected my sinuses to drain a little (which I knew from experience, not from TV) but I wasn’t expecting the sore throat or temporary increase in coughing and sneezing or that my sinuses would molt.

I expected getting a little cranky. I did not anticipate the full-on rage I would feel about the stupidest stuff.

Addiction is ugly and withdrawal is not ready for prime time.

No stunt doubles

Keep the quit

PT

I find inspiration for these blogs in the oddest places –because I look for inspiration in the oddest places. I used up all the logical topics by the 30th blog. Now I am casting about trying to find a topic I can pummel into some semblance of an essay. Looking hard for a topic is much easier than digging deep inside and writing about why I allowed myself to get addicted to cigarettes and why I am resisting quitting.

Writing 90 in 90 doesn’t exactly sound like a person resisting a quit, right? Believe me, writing about nothing is easy. Writing something light, bright, and trite is, well… is not easy, certainly, but it isn’t painful, either. I hate to admit this, but the painful blogs to write were also the blogs that helped me the most. They helped me see what I was doing to sabotage my own good health.

Part of my sabotage is my own anger. I didn’t realize this until I had a meltdown on a calorie counting site. On-line meltdowns are the worst because you can't shout. I was melting down over something minor and the community was trying to be helpful. I assume they were trying to be helpful but all they were doing was missing the point of my question and pissing me off. Instead of just saying “bless your heart” and walking away (which is how I was raised), I gave a blistering remark, bruising my thumb in the process by pounding on the keyboard so hard. I physically damaged myself in an internet fight. Who does that? As it turns out, and to my great shame, I do that.

I don’t handle frustration well. I get annoyed because I cannot accept the things I cannot change. Nicotine is never going to be non-addictive. Smoking is never going to be healthy. Chocolate is never going to be a diet food. Veggies are never going to taste good. The only thing I can change; the ONLY THING I can change is me. I really don’t want to admit that because I don’t want to change.

Right now, I am going to acknowledge my intransigence. I acknowledge that being stubborn has helped me in that past. Being stubborn helped me withstand an onslaught of negative experiences. I can honor that past and be thankful for that characteristic. I can also allow myself to change.

Change the habits

Keep the quit

PT

GyorgyiM

It's because of you......

Posted by GyorgyiM Feb 20, 2020

 

Today is my 2 year Anniversary and I just wanted to say........................Thank you.

You know who you are....

You know what you did....

and you know...........

how I feel.............................................Blessed, to have you all in my life.

 

Miles of Smiles...

 

Gyorgyi 

I think most of us can safely say we did not know what to expect when we started smoking.  Those of us who saw people smoke in our own homes thought it was fairly normal behavior.  Other folks saw TV or movies where the bad guys (only ever the bad guys) smoked.  Street hustlers, purse-snatchers, and other low lifes smoked cheap cigarettes.  Oil barons and Wall Street wolves smoked cigars.    A good guy might smoke a pipe.  I’m thinking grandpa in the rocker on the front porch, but other than that, the media showed smokers as criminals.

I was never worried that I would become a criminal.  But I also didn’t worry about becoming and addict, either.   Addiction is another thing that only happens to the bad guys in movies. Addiction happens to bad people and rock stars and high school athletes that don’t listen to their coaches.  It wouldn’t happen to me.  My daddy smoked, and HE was a Navy Aviator, certainly the model of probity.

I didn’t realize I would never stop coughing.  Coughing didn’t make you a bad guy in the movies; it meant you were a poor coal miner.  Or, if you were a pretty, young woman, coughing was caused by “consumption”.

Women who smoked were either home-wreckers or man-eaters; neither of which sounded appealing to me.

I didn't realize that I would become a sneak.  I never thought I would stink.

Real life is not the same as the movies

No matter how many hurricanes and earthquakes come over me. Those are not reason  to smoke.  Hi, everyone! Celebrating another year of victory. My sixth year of smoke free. I will not let any future year without thanks.  Thanks for all your support and to think of me as I do so. 

Since I started writing this blog, I have discovered that a number of us were closet smokers.  A far larger number than I would have anticipated.  A closet smoker is not the same thing as the "social smoker".   A social smoker would define themselves as only smoking in certain social situations such as at a bar.  My experience with "social smokers" is that they are really  I-go-to-the-bar-and-drink-just-so-I-can-bum-cigarettes smoker.  You know who you are.

A closet smoker takes great pains to hide the fact that they smoke even from other smokers.

We aren't proud of smoking.  We know it's stupid and expensive and bad for our health and bad for the environment and a terrible example.  We know.  We really don't need the lectures from people when they find out we smoke.  We know.  That's why we are hiding it from you.

 

But; you're only as sick as your secrets.  For the closet smoker, the Ex site may be the first time they have ever been able to talk about their addiction.  We may be the only support system a closet smoker has.  That's true for me.  I haven't told any of my friends or family that I quit smoking because I worked very hard to make sure they don't think I do.  Having one less secret to hide feels pretty good to me.

PT

DonnaMarie

It's been a minute or three

Posted by DonnaMarie Feb 17, 2020

It has been 428 days since I smoked a cigarette, and I haven't looked back. In the past year or so, a couple of my friends have also quit. I've loved being a bit of a mentor for them. A smoker still lives in my house, but I do not push too hard, though we at least now do talk about the potential for her to quit. She smokes outside and a lot less than she used to. It's amazing the effect of being a good example can have.

 

Life has changed in lots of ways - I retired, left one volunteer job and took on another, I'm painting/sewing/gardening more, and my health has done nothing but improve.

 

I tested clean for bladder cancer a couple days ago. I'll still get that checked every 9 months, but beware, smoking is a cause of bladder cancer. My stomach issues are gone. I'm still walking a mile most days. And yesterday and today, we had some of the older shade trees removed from our yard as they've grown so much in the last 35 years that we had zero sun in the yard. We still live in the woods, but the part closest to the house in the back is not as woodsy as it was

 

Two of my kids moved back to VA, so now all three are within an hour. I have a new granddog and my own dog still brings me great joy.

 

I lurk here more than I post, but I cheer on all the new quitters and am delighted to see so many people here!  

 

Anyway, wanted to say hello and stuff, so hello! And stuff

 

Donna

Day 428 of not smelling like a stinky cigareet

 

PastTense

Walking it off  73/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 17, 2020

Good Monday morning to all of Ex, and Happy Presidents' Day to our US-based peeps.  Some of us lucky ones have the day off from work.  Because nothing honors past presidents better than being lazy and sleeping in.  I'm just guessing about that part; I was not on the committee that decided we needed a holiday in February and that holiday should honor presidents.  To my mind, they already get their faces on money; they don't also need a holiday.  But who am I to deny mattress companies and used car lots the opportunity to have a sale? 

After waking up late (heaven) and enjoying coffee and scrolling through Facebook for an hour (bliss), I figured I needed to shake the lead out and go for a morning walk while it was still morning.  The sun is shining and it's too cold outside for a picnic, but just perfect for a brisk turn around the block.  I live in a pretty rural area, so "around the block" translates to around 2500 steps.  The entire time I was walking, my glasses were fogging up and my nose was running. I was really regretted my decision about half-way in.  Then I noticed a peculiar phenomenon.  I was not coughing.  I wasn't clearing my throat.  I wasn't hacking.

This is momentous.  My Numero Uno reason to quit smoking was the damn cough, cough, throat clear, cough.  I hated it.  Not because it might be an indicator the breathing smoke into my sinuses, throat, and lungs might be a Bad Thing to do.  Not because it might indicate a health issue.  No.  Heavens no.  Those reasons all make sense, and if there is one thing I have learned about smoking, it's that smoking defies all laws of reason and common sense.  

I wanted to stop coughing because I didn't want other people to think I smoked!  

 

There is the irony of closet smokers quitting smoking.  

Keep the quit

PT

Jeanmarc19561

A reintroduction

Posted by Jeanmarc19561 Feb 17, 2020

Good morning Everyone, I have been here before about a year ago and found this site and this community incredibly helpful. So this is a reintroduction if you will. Here I am at 63 and have smoked since I was 15. Over the years I've attempted to quit many times. In fact I'm an expert at failing to quit. I'm not wallowing however. I've never lost the resolve to keep trying. Each failure has actually been a learning experience in one form or another. Over the years I've gained a lot of information about smoking, tried a number of ways, read countless books including Alan Carrs and used many techniques to deal with cravings. One really effective one was writing here when a craving came. It was, not sure what word to use,  comforting perhaps, that the intended group were a diverse bunch of people who have all dealt with the same issue. It reminds me of the passage "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience." So having said that, because of the support given on this site by so many, it is my hope to be a benefit to someone else as well. Today is the day I quit and I'm reminded of something I saw on Pinterest. It was a picture of Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) looking down a valley with hordes of the enemy below just before a battle and he say's "And so it begins." Thank you for this site. John

Initially I felt, I am not going to succeed in quitting....

So I did not tell anyone at my workplace for first ten days, I know, if I fail, people will laugh at me. 

Initially I had mild headaches, 

and .... I assumed that these are excessive thinking about quit.

I used to had increased appetite..

so kept drinking  a lot of plain water.

The life was not smooth, and had lack of confidence during day time....

so use to breath looking at one single point with concentration. Used to pick up easier activity in workplace first, and later the complicated jobs. 

And insomnia was guest appearance for many nights....

I bought good books physically, and turned  to be good reader.

 

Good to be prepared for side effects of quit smoking.

These are, at times, worse than you imagine.

Resultantly convert into relapse.

 

All the best new joiners..

PastTense

Saturday blog  72/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 15, 2020

I promised to write 90 blogs in 90 days, and while I am on track to that commitment, I always fall behind on the weekends.  I don't generally spend much time at the computer.  I like being busy and getting projects finished.

I got quite a bit done today but want to "pause for a cause" and remind myself why I am here.

My thoughts today have not been on smoking and haven't been on NOT smoking, so I really have nothing to say,

EXCEPT for the obvious.

My thoughts today were not on smoking.  I have not had the running battle in my head about smoking and cheating and just one.  That particular intrusion into my brain has been silent all day.

Tomorrow may be different.  Today's reprieve may have been just a preview of coming attractions and not the main event.  But a glimpse of the possible is very reassuring to me.

Today is all about hope, y'all.

Keep the quit

PT

PastTense

My Valentine  71/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 14, 2020

My husband and I met each other 10 years ago and got married five years ago. We had both been married before and brought all our past baggage with us into the relationship. We both had our own families, our own houses, and our own Christmas ornaments. We started our married life with 3 couches, 4 Crock-pots, and 6 kids.

We also started out with assurances from me that I was quitting smoking. I have spent at least the past 16 years in some degree of quit, so this was a true statement. I don’t know if it was entirely in good faith, however. Somehow I went from “I will quit smoking” to “I will hide my smoking” without hesitation. Junky thinking. Addict rationale.

We gave away couches, blended our families, and put up 2 Christmas trees. What we didn’t have was a real smoke-free environment. Even during the weekends, when I didn’t smoke – and didn’t have cigarettes, I was thinking about smoking. Sunday afternoon I would start getting very cranky as withdrawal started hitting the high notes. My husband and family filled my heart and my life, but smoking had my brain.

This Valentine’s Day I can truly say that I am committed to just my husband. I ended my affair with nicotine. I will be able to kiss my husband when I get home from work without first making a detour to brush my teeth and change my clothes.

There are many benefits to being a non-smoker. This is one of the best.

Keep the quit

PT

Buy yourself Recovery Boots and sit for quite some time enjoying them with TV!!!

 

What will YOU buy with your newfound wealth!?!

PastTense

Feelings   70/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 13, 2020

I saw a question yesterday by 5Jacks  that I found intriguing and have been pondering rather obsessively. “What part of smoking did you find satisfying?”

I want to explore that aspect of this addiction, and I know I need to tread very softly through this particular minefield. I don’t want to romanticize smoking or get nostalgic for it. Smoking is the dreadful ex-boyfriend that was hard on your heart, your furniture, and your credit rating but was able to make you laugh just often enough to keep you coming back for more. Remembering the fun times does not negate awfulness of the whole relationship.

Part of the satisfaction of smoking is the nicotine addiction, obviously. The minute the withdrawal from nicotine becomes too great, boom! A cigarette provides instant gratification. Smoking was much, much more than just the delivery system of my drug of choice, though. The more pleasure associated with an addiction, the harder it is to break.

Aside from satisfying a craving, smoking was also the punctuation of life. Just as a sentence always ends with a period; a task always end with cigarette. That’s actually a pretty good analogy. Smoking provides breaks and even exclamation. I am just now shaking the feeling that I have left something undone when I finish a chore or a project. I hate that unsettled feeling. It took me a while to recognize what it was and why I had it.

The hardest satisfaction to break from has been the “ME Time” feeling. Definitely the allure of smoking (when I was out about it), was breaking away from the bustle of the house, retreating to the back deck, and carving out 10 blissful moments of all-about-me. As a closet smoker, I had to find more secure places of retreat, but the feeling of being totally, happily alone was the same. I have not yet found the substitute for this, but now that I have aired it out in the open, perhaps inspiration will find an option.

Please don’t tell me how I ought to feel about smoking. I respect my feelings and acknowledge that they aren’t right or wrong. I won’t dishonor them by dismissing them. Being honest with myself is the only way I will get a quit to stick. And that’s what I am here for.

Keep the Quit

PT

elaynaborn

Juul Addict (day one)

Posted by elaynaborn Feb 12, 2020

I have been addicted to my juul for the past 2 years after switching from cigarettes. I found myself addicted to the juul much more than I was to cigarettes. Today, I threw away all of my juul pods and devices. Any helpful suggestions for staying off juul?

PastTense

Cowgirl UP     69/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 12, 2020

I need a reminder today of why I chose to quit smoking. It’s hard right now to put in the work and effort to be smoke-free because I am not seeing the benefits I thought I would by now.

It’s surprising to me that quitting smoking takes so much effort to begin with. Logic says that NOT doing an activity takes less energy than doing an activity. Except for sleeping, maybe. Not sleeping would take more energy than sleeping. But not smoking should take less energy than smoking. It is ceasing an activity. And yet, it takes up a tremendous amount of my energy, even a month into it.

Just developing the tools to quit takes up a lot of band-width. Finding things to do instead of smoking takes a lot of creativity. You can’t just substitute smoking with another activity that you don’t like because there is no incentive for your brain to remember that it has an option. Replacing smoking with push-ups or eating Brussel sprouts, for example. I’m sure there is an odd duck out there who is just looking for the excuse to add sprouts to their day, but I am not her. That’s why food is such a temptation. I like to eat sweet things as much as I like to smoke; so it’s a viable replacement but then there is the whole weight issue, so, no; that won’t work, either.  I see a lot of discussion on the boards about what to do instead. Finding an “instead” option that is at least nominally as satisfying as smoking takes work, and research, and dedication, and learning from our mistakes.

Using the tools takes energy, too. Reminding yourself that the tools are out there to use and using them instead of falling in to deeply ingrained habits. Remaining steadfast to quitting requires an investment of time and energy.

This blog ended up going a completely different direction than I had originally intended. I must be more tired than I thought if I am spending all this energy complaining about all the energy I’m spending. J

I just need to cowgirl up and

Keep the quit

PT

green1611

World is changing

Posted by green1611 Feb 12, 2020

Insatiable cravings used to trouble me, I jotted down with pen and paper, all my precursors, which mostly turned out for smoking e.g. strong tea/coffee, after lunch/dinner, long conference calls, driving car etc. Recognising them early helped a lot !. I was prepared for cravings so to say !

 

First few hours of quitting it was penalising feeling in mind. I want to smoke, and I am penalising myself by not smoking.  I started thinking  the other way, you are enjoying quitting and quitting is helpful for my enjoyment. 

 

I experienced and share with almost all my dear and near ones that  - "World is same, as it was, when I were smoking, ... however now my world is changing for better"

 

I used to go for multiple times brushing initially, that keeps good smell, and cravings away.

 

My old hobby reading books physically (not on tab or computer), I brought  into reality. I purchased many good books,  and read it....enjoyed reading !

 

You are responsible for change, and world is changing for you !

jdeezy84

The beginning

Posted by jdeezy84 Feb 11, 2020

I know this is going to be a hard-fought journey but I think I have the strength to take care of it I have been smoking cigarettes for years now and I know that I need to stop so I made up my mind to stop letting it beat me in fight back is there anyone else

PastTense

Relief   68/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 11, 2020

We don’t have very good internet at work. This company is extremely strict about control information flows between us and the outside world. We cannot have cell phones in the building at all, which is frustrating because my entire LIFE is on my phone. We can’t bring in CD players or E-readers, either. I understand the necessity and have learned to make due with an old radio and a paper calendar in my purse. I’ve gone retro and not because I’m hip or cool.

Yesterday I couldn’t get on our site to take the pledge. I was concerned but assumed that it would be fixed by morning and not to panic. This morning, I was having the same problems. It was officially time to panic.

What was I going to do without taking the pledge every morning? What was I going to do without a friendly comment in my blog from Barbscloud or Youngatheart? How was I going to keep the quit if I didn’t have my Ex community with me at work?

I was nearly hyperventilating and wondering if I could wake up 15 minutes early so I could at least take the pledge before I left for work.   Are y’all hearing this? I was going to get up early in order to take the pledge. I don’t get up early to make my lunch. That’s how embedded this site is to my life.

Fortunately, all appears to be working this afternoon and I can post my blog. While I’m at it, I want to say thanks to everyone on this site for making it a safe, active place to live your quit out loud.

Keep the quit

PT

Change is CONSTANT - NEW day - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF OVER - MY life - please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - I am getting older as most of MY family is getting older too - YET change is one after another with the elderly in MY family these DAYS - trying to catch MY breath and keep praying in MY Lord Jesus name amen - LIFE on life's terms gets tough for ME be willing to accept -  MY ma gets out of hospital just yesterday - she received treatment for pain meds to be adjusted and a blood transfusion - she is HOME now - this morning MY Aunt Cisti was flying to Vegas to visit her daughter and when getting off plane she had a stroke - please pray for MY Aunt - thank YOU

PastTense

Keeping up  67/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 10, 2020

I’m starting this week behind the eight ball.  I missed both blogs over the weekend due to a series of unfortunate events with a rental property that we own and some other chores the popped up.  I should have seen them coming but didn’t.  I started early on Saturday and didn’t sit down until after supper in the evening.  Once I sat down, I wasn’t moving and I wasn’t thinking.  Once my backside connected with the couch cushions, I was immobile for the rest of the evening.

Then the Ex website went all wonky and I couldn’t post my Monday blog.  Sometimes, it’s just one damn thing after another.

One thing I will say for being overwhelmed and exhausted – there is no time to smoke.

Not much of a blog, but all I have in me right now.

Keep the quit

PT

Oh the snow in MY area is so beautiful - I started singing - We wish you a Merry Christmas. Joy in MY heart remembering how the HUMAN RACE is so kind and smiling and seemingly willing to get along with one another because of the Christmas SEASON...... thanks for letting ME share....very grateful for ALL here in staying focused as NON SMOKERS - one day at a time and encouraging each other with HELPFULNESS in unity.....in His love....I hope everyone is just relaxing and enjoying NON SMOKER LIVING in this present moment .....it is so nice having support too.

Many a times..

Cravings kill us.

Cravings make us loose the game.

Cravings make us go for cigarette

Cravings make us think of whole life with out cigarette, and entire life ahead without cigarette is impossible, so why not smoke now?

Cravings make us to go the same spot just for the sake of remembering earlier moments!

 

So what do we do?

 

Ask yourself a question,

if I had not smoked for fourteen days (say for example), why would day 15th would be difficult? 

I will not smoke today, like last fourteen days.

I was happy last fourteen days, and now also.

I do not want to go back to hell of smokers, where I am none but slave..

 

such thoughts might help to get rid of such cravings mentally.

 

Gain confidence..All the best..

I had errands to run at lunch today; which is tiresome. I usually go for a walk at lunch time. That gives me time to check my phone, walk off some tensions, and just have an hour to myself. However, the cats need food, I have a package to return to Amazon, and we need some beer for the Cook-Out and Cards on Saturday.

There is a shopping center about 4 miles from here that has most of those items available and usually also has enough parking. I haven’t gone in that direction in over 6 months, however, because there is also a smoke shop with discounted cigarettes that I used to frequent. I don’t think it would be a temptation for me; but I am having a rough morning so I am not taking any chances.

I bought myself a tub of yogurt because my brain was just itching with “I want but can’t have” and I thought yogurt might be enough to scratch that itch. I ate the entire tub and now I can barely move and still feel itchy.

And I forgot cat food.

Itch and scratch but

Keep the quit

PT

PastTense

Parley   65/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 7, 2020

I get text messages from Ex Community every day. This morning I got a text that read “Before a slip, most people get a warning – an inner voice making excuses”. This actually made me chuckle a little. We are all a little different, but nicotine is NOT. Talk about a one-hit wonder! Nicotine has one message to deliver, and that is to smoke just one. Nicotine knows (well, the tobacco companies know) that they can get you hooked again if they can get you break down and have just one.

I am very familiar with that voice. I have learned that negotiating with that voice is nothing but a slippery slope that will propel you to a broken quit. Ben Franklin said “Neither a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parley.”

My quit is not open to negotiation. That is not a conversation I am interested in.

Keep the quit

PT

PastTense

Alternatives     64/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 6, 2020

I have been exploring what it means to be a serial quitter and what it takes to finally get to a final quit. A real quit. A quit where, you know, there is an actual cessation of smoking.

I have had until just recently, a series of … what do I even call them? Not “fake quits” because I truly do not want to be a smoker. But they certainly weren’t honest quits, either.  Let’s call them “Alternative Quits”; certainly not genuine, but at least I could say I was trying.

For purposes of this discussion, the defining characteristic of an alternative quit is the reward smoke. A reward smoke is the easiest, sneakiest way of justifying a break in your quit. I have done this a hundred times; get to some milestone in my quit and convince myself I had earned a reward and that reward was a cigarette.

I think many of my alt-quits started as genuine quits. I thought somehow if I started the quit, I would develop an obsession to finish the quit. I don’t know what magic I thought would happen, but I assumed that a force bigger than me was necessary. Maybe that’s what willpower is. I never got it; whatever it is. I had to step up every day and re-establish my goal to be a non-smoker. The Blue Fairy was never going to tap me over the head and turn an alt-quit into a real quit, like Pinocchio becoming a real boy.

Twenty-five days and counting, this is for reals.

Keep the quit

PT

I remember the first time when I reached that AHA MOMENT it was like a lightbulb turned on in my brain and I realized that the thoughts of smoking hadn't occurred at all that day and it was evening when I thought about it, all I could do was smile and say YAY for Smokefree living and YAY for each and every Day WON there were many more AHA MOMENTS to come and of course there still is BUT I'll always remember that first one. If you haven't reached yours YET keep moving forward because you WILL reach it everyone's quit is different and we reach different stages at different times BUT we all get to live a Smokefree Life by stacking up those precious Days Of Freedom one precious Smokefree Day at a time or hour minute or even a second at a time as long as we all stick with N.O.P.E and vigilance N.M.W then we'll reap the benefits of Freedom.....

PastTense

Tried and true   64/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 5, 2020

I am currently working on a successful quit. My definition of success is going at least one week without a single puff and without bloodshed. Granted, this is a low bar but it’s where I am.

A successful quit is a combination of two philosophies that are in polar-opposites of each other. Those philosophies are: a) Do your own thing and b) do these standard things

I certainly embrace doing your own thing. I know I play mental games with myself that completely baffle other folks (like visualizing nicotine as Darth Maul, only not as cuddly). I focus on the superficial benefits of quitting (my appearance) while others are counting the money saved or health crisis avoided.

On the other hand, I encourage newbies to try the proven methods before blazing their own trail. Having a written quit plan, for instance. A written quit plans walks you through various triggers and helps you build a tool kit for responding to those triggers. Other folks swear by the Allen Carr book. Honestly, I found his writing so irritating that I threw it across the room. Either way, thinking about triggers and addressing them are part “best practice” for quitting smoking.

Your mileage may vary, but there are things that work and there are common elements in every successful quit. Like: keep quitting until you are quit.

Keep the quit

PT

24 DOF

PastTense

Willpower   62/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 4, 2020

It’s no secret I have been working on my quit for a very long time. In one form or another; I have been thinking about, planning for, passively working, or actively working on quitting for the better part of 16 years. As a closet smoker, I was always wished I was a non-smoker but was never willing to go through the effort to get there.

Being willing to make changes and keep trying is far more important to a successful quit than sheer willpower. Let me be clear; there are those shining examples of people who threw away their smokes, said “NOPE – Not One Puff Ever”! and then proceeded to live their lives as a non-smoker. I applaud them but I’m not them. I am speaking to all the rest of us other folks with have no perceptible willpower.

I have been working on this quit since March of 2019. My track record for not smoking was, frankly, terrible. However, I was committed to quitting. Every time I fell off the horse, I got back on again. Sometimes, it was just as habit. Other times, I actually thought about where the quit failed and why it failed. I considered what led up to failure and what I could have/should have done differently to prevent it. I had to finally have a conversation with myself about how much fun I was having in withdrawal for 9 months. I had to be willing to keep at it until I put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

I think we lose more people than we can count to a failure of willpower. Quitting without willpower requires tools and the willingness to learn to use those tools to quit smoking. Tools like pledging every day, or mindful breathing, or messaging the Ex community when the cravings get too strong. For me; the tools include 90 posts in 90 days.

For me; quitting means keeping the quit until I’m quit

Keep the quit

PT

23 days

My husband quit smoking about 15 years ago. He decided to quit early one January as he was freezing out on the back porch for his midnight smoke. He was a very heavy smoker by his account (this was several years before we met). He cleared away all the ashtrays and lighters and then discovered he had no actual PLAN after that. His quit went through several permutations, including hypnosis and overeating. The key component to his quit was that he could smoke if he went out of the country. Which almost sounds reasonable, except that his job required that he travel to their plant down in Mexico every other week. He set himself up permission to cheat under specific circumstances.

I hadn’t really thought about it, but I did the same thing. My specifics didn’t include a passport, but if it is the weekend, and if my husband is out of the house, and if I had to go to the store; then I would go ahead and cheat.

This weekend, all the stars aligned and I DID NOT CHEAT. I even went to the store twice. It didn’t even occur to me until the second trip. This is a minor victory for me and I am doing the happy dance!

Keep the quit

PT

Sandy-9-17-17

Dear Self.....

Posted by Sandy-9-17-17 Feb 2, 2020

I just read a past post of mine from December 7, 2017. 

It was titled "Self" 

Here it is February 2, 2020, so I thought I would touch base with myself again.....

 

Dear Self,  you're really rockin your quit...after all, you wrote that last one about 51 days into your quit, and here you are 2 years and 138 days later....still a quitter!

 

Your new friends here supported you, and reminded you not to let your guard down, because no matter what, the nic demon would try to coax you back to your old addiction from time to time, and they were right! 

Recently, you have walked in to rooms and swear you could smell the old fresh smell of just lighting up....

It's a good thing you truly never want to go back to being a slave to nicotine! 

You've come a long way since you quit, you've faced battles of stress, but your determination was strong, you chose freedom over slavery! You are proud and you are happier as a quitter than you were as a smoker! 

The amount of money you have saved is amazing, and you get more things done in a day than ever before! 

Determination and one smoke free day at a time got you where you are today! Keep on rockin it! I'll be in touch with you again soon! Take good care of your"self"! 

PastTense

So much time   60/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 2, 2020

I discovered on Saturday morning that we were hosting dinner and cards night that evening.  I had no idea until I saw my husband hoisting a slab of meat into the smoker.  He said it was a brisket, and maybe it was.  But it was brisket of mastodon.  The thing was HUGE.  I asked him why he felt the need to smoke a ton of meat for two people.  That's when he told me we were hosting 8 for dinner.  He also swore he had told me this.  As I had not been obsessing about tablecloths and side dishes for the the past week, he clearly had not.

So...  I ordered up a playlist of swing music from Alexa and got my rear in gear.  By early afternoon I had the house cleaned top to bottom, layers of cat hair removed from behind the furniture, re-potted the house plants, made 2 dozen deviled eggs and a vat of coleslaw, and gone to the grocery store twice - once for the stuff he forgot and once for the stuff I forgot.  I got 11,000 steps in (winning the step competition for Saturday in the process) and even finished my laundry.  

There is no way I would have finished even half that if I were smoking.  Smoke breaks take at least 15 minutes and were required to begin any task.  Like it was rule or something.  

So many benefits from smobriety.

So much more time

Keep the quit

PT

indingrl.01.06.2011

NON SMOKER

Posted by indingrl.01.06.2011 Feb 1, 2020

I am a NON SMOKER today- yet some day's - MY life on life's terms takes ME back to old coping thoughts  - MY old thought life - PAST MINDSET -  I used to be constantly obsessing about - smoking - smoking - smoking - MY thoughts racing over and over - when I can smoke - I just NEED to get a couple of puffs - when do I get a break - I need to SMOKE - what time is MY lunch -  I would be so excited for a half hour - just to - SMOKE - smoking one cigarette after another - MY whole DAY surrounded by thoughts of smoking -  then it was SUGGESTED to get a NEW MINDSET -  it was SUGGESTED to throw away ALL MY OLD THINKING because I did NOT know how to - Not Take One Puff Ever - N.O.P.E -  when dealing with MY DAY - so I read blogs and watched the video's at whyquit.com - now I encourage MYSELF - I say out loud - I don't smoke any more - I am a NON SMOKER - when I see other SMOKERS smoking  - I would come here and blog on how I was jealous that they could SMOKE and I was taught that they don't get to smoke -  they HAVE to smoke - it was SUGGESTED - to think - POSITIVE - I say to MYSELF - YOUR doing good - I ask MY God to HELP someone while I am hurting so bad I want to escape MY life on life's terms - then I remember - THINK POSITIVE - think positive - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER

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