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Car Pool 10/90

Posted by PastTense Dec 13, 2019

I spent the day at a supplier conference two hours from here.  There were a few of us from work going, so I volunteered to drive if anyone wanted to car pool.  That sounds like a normal day.  Every single day, thousands of people share a ride.  This was the first time I have EVER invited another person into my car that  I didn't already know was a smoker.


What a magnificent feeling!  I could just open the car door and know it wouldn't stink.  

One small step ...




'Tis the Season 9/90

Posted by PastTense Dec 12, 2019

Starting from last Saturday until Dec 26, we have something on the calendar every single day.  These are all fun things, but it can add to the stress.  The cookie swap on Saturday is always a good time with people we see only a couple of times a year.  There is craft beer and some carols are sung.  I look forward to this event.  Except... that I have to come up with a fancy dessert to share (this event is Pinterest on Parade, let me tell ya') and make an extra large batch of deviled eggs.  Even though it's fun, it's still a scheduling challenge.

The same is true for every other event we attend.  The big dance last night, the carol singing next weekend, the holiday party for my volunteer group.  Even heading out of town to visit family for Christmas requires planning.  I have no idea when I'm going to have a chance to throw some laundry in the washer; but it's either do that or buy new underwear.  And I don't have time for that, either!

I understand that this is a first-world problem and I am so lucky to have so many activities.  I get that I am blessed. 

But I'm also tired.  I'm so tired that I had a dream last night about taking a nap. 

Being tired, stressed, and a little run-down (from eating nothing but crap for weeks) is a recipe for a lost quit.  It's hard to have willpower when you're draggin your wagon.  HALT - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired is a reminder to stop. 

Just stop for a second.  Practice some breathing, maybe.

A little self-care goes a long way.

I'm glad I wrote this.  I needed to remind myself that I have tools and a plan.  Success is an option.



One of the ways that smoking hooks us into becoming addicts is by providing immediate gratification.

It doesn’t take more than a puff or two to feel the effects of nicotine. I’m not going into details – it will just set me up for a craving I don’t need.

All the negative effects of smoking don’t start making an appearance until later. The coughing, the wheezing – even the realization that you are addicted, takes a while to materialize.

There is no immediate gratification when quitting. In fact, there is just the opposite. The coughing might actually get worse. The withdrawal is worse. The only thing I noticed immediately was the smell.

Quitting smoking is playing a long game. I have to think about how I want my life to be weeks and months from now and not focus on the temporary discomfort. I hate it, but I’m still here.



Day 359

Posted by DonnaMarie Dec 11, 2019

I find myself coming to EX often again (mostly reading). It's like I'm thinking about smoking every day as I get closer to the one year mark. Not that I want to smoke, but that I'm about to reach a milestone and am dazzled. But it keeps reminding me of having smoked in the past and therefore, reminds me of smoking in general. 


This is one crazy, messed up addiction!


I'm helping to costume a play right now; I'm an assistant to the costumer. At any rate, I am around a lot of people in a fairly small space and I can point to every smoker in the group, never having seen any of them doing it. It's so secretive now! When did that happen?


Anyway, I felt the need to post today, and so I'm doing it. Hugs to all.



Day 359


Quitting is work 7/90

Posted by PastTense Dec 10, 2019

Mark Twain said of smoking cigars “Quitting smoking is easy – I do it every day”.


That pretty much sums up my relationship to quitting smoking. I started new quits at least once a month for the past decade. If you’re counting, that multiplies out to over 100 quits. I have been in a perpetual state of withdrawal. I have wanted to be a non-smoker. I just didn’t want to go through the work it takes to actually quit smoking!

I took the prescription meds, and St. John’s wart, and patches, and gum, and hypnosis. You know what? NONE of those things will quit for you. None of those things will motivate you to stay away from cigarettes. All of those things can help you – but they can’t do it all. I had to take ownership of my quit and why my quits failed in the past.

Being on this site is the tool I am using to stay committed to quitting.

Keep the quit


All of us have probably seen the comparison between a smoker’s lungs and a non-smoker’s lung. The smoker’s lung looks like a black stone compared to the pink and healthy non-smoker’s lung. Those photos never particularly resonated with me. For one thing; they are both pretty gross looking. But mostly because I couldn’t compare myself to the photos.

I happened across some photos of twins, where one twin smoked and the other didn’t. That hit home.

The smokers were immediately identifiable as being the older looking of the pair. Their skin seemed to sag off their faces. Their mouths were lined and their eyes were puffy with deep wrinkles. Alas, I could absolutely see the same effects on my own face.

I doubt I can reverse the changes to my face; but maybe I can slow down any further damage. I should take photos but I honestly don’t think I can bear it.



Just a quick check in today.  My husband and I are painting a rental property we own today - and are already an HOUR late thanks to me.  I am usually the person who arrives 15 minutes early to everything.  Alas, I forgot to put the clothes from the washer to the dryer and we are waiting on my "paint clothes" to get dry.


You knw what I am NOT doing?  I am not worrying about how I can break away at some point to sneak a cigarette.  I am not looking for scenarios to send him to the hardware store.  I am not triple checking that I have supplies.


Being a smoker takes effort.  Being a closet smoker takes up a lot of mental band-width that, frankly, I don't have to spare. 


Today will be very busy because we have less daylight than we planned - but it will be smoke free for me!!



Sneaky Stuff 4/90

Posted by PastTense Dec 7, 2019

I've been a closet smoker for the better part of 15 years.  The fact that I felt I needed to hide smoking should have been the first clue that I shouldn't have been smoking in the first place.  Who hides things they are proud of?  No one.


So I snuck around.  I found places to stop on the way home from work that offered some shield from the weather and had a cigarette before I got to my house.  I added at least 20 minutes to my commute every night so I could have an extra smoke.


I sprayed myself down with odor spray, hid packs and lighters in a shoebox in the closet.  I wouldn't buy a purse unless there was an inner zipper pocket where I could secret my supplies.  I always knew exactly where I had supplies and how many were left and when I would have to go buy more.  I always bought other stuff so the cashier wouldn't think I had only come in to the store for smokes.  I mean, why on earth would I care what the cashier thought?  Because it was all about being better than smokers.  I was better than those silly people who smoked out in the open


I consider myself to be a person of integrity.  I didn't exactly lie about smoking, but I could change the subject faster than you can imagine.  And I always, always had a cover story.


Being a non-smoker is much less fraught.  I don't need a cover story - there isn't anything to cover up.

Now I can learn what life is like without sneaking.



The cost of smoking goes way beyond the price of a pack of cigarettes.  It's more than the money wasted repairing and replacing items that were ruined by a stray ash or the smaell of smoke. 

When I think about the total cost of smoking, I know that TIME is a significant contributor to the bottom line.


Smokers who work are confined to certain times a day when they can go out and take a smoke.  Whatever that time amounts to, I'm guessing to around an hour a day, could so easily be used for something else.  I remember that mad dash at the designated moment to get to my supplies and then rush to the designated smoke area and then puff as quickly as possible to get a couple of cigarettes in before returning to work.  If it was cold and nasty or even horribly hot and humid - it just didn't matter.  I feel sorry for my co-workers who had to live with the smells afterwards!


Those of us who spent time as "closet smokers" had the additional constraints fo trying not to let anybody see us. For me, that meant the addtional time to go out to the parking lot and get in my car.  Sometimes I just drove around at lunch so I could smoke.


At home, no project got started without a smoke first  That project could as small as moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer, but there had to be a smoke before and probably after.  Bigger projects required frequent breaks and took at least twice as long to complete.


After I got married, I spent a lot of time thinking of errands that had to be run so I could smoke without being seen.  I don't know how many trips to the hardware store I made because I "forgot" some little thing.  Grocery stores, pet food, dry cleaners - any errand served as cover to smoke during the weekend.


I spent time finding parks where I could pull over in the shade and smoke in the summer.  During the winter, I looked for areas that might block the wind so I could leave the window rolled down.


So many minutes and hours gone literally up in smoke.  Another reason to keep the quit



Cheering for EVERYONE today - I am taking the SUGGESTIONS presented to ME years ago and sharing MY experience strength and hope - to give it all away -  so I can keep it - MY NON SMOKER LIFE STYLE TODAY - the suggestions offered - so please take what HELPS and let go of the rest - to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you - SUGGESTION was made to educate - MYSELF -  about MY nicotine addiction only - NOT anyone else's - also to get a NEW MINDSET - to throw away all my old nicotine addict FEELING THINKING - to be willing to remain open minded and be taught by those here on this site and at by Joel - here it was SUGGESTED -  I go there and watch the early death video's at that site and to read Joel's book - which I did read and the recovering FAMILY here SUGGESTED - that I read the book by Allen Carr - which I read too - I was as desperate as the dying may be to receive - HELP to STOP - using MY DRUG OF CHOICE - NICOTINE - to cope with - MY insides - to be wiiling to learn and grow and heal inside of ME - to grow up and take responsibility for MY CHOICES and consequences about living life on life's terms - without smoking at people - places -  things - circumstances - situations  - the suddenly that life throws at ME - MY brother in love killed by a drunk driver -at that time I had 3 months living as a non smoker - or the SUDDENLY of MY friend's son 27yr old killed in a motorcycle accident - I was 8 years living as a NON SMOKER  - I was 7 years living as a NON SMOKER and watching the long suffering of MY sister in love - dying slowly of lung cancer- that's LIFE -  I was told to deal with it - LIFE happens to EVERYONE - in MY PAST LIFE - I handled-  MY DAY - by sucking on 50 DEATH STICKS a day - just to cope with ONE day  - that's MY OLD DEATH LIFE! Just for TODAY - I was TAUGHT to live in - TODAY only -  I was taught to encourage MYSELF by saying out loud - to MYSELF - through out MY DAY- all day long - say over and over  - never take another puff ever  OR  smoking is not an option OR not one puff ever OR do the pledge with those here -  just for TODAY -  I will NOT smoke OR to blog about whatever - blog to just to vent - just blog -  BEFORE - I take that first puff over ME - I prayed for the willingness to be willing to accept others teaching ME to grow in their SUGGESTIONS of NEW ideas and NEW ways of coping with ME and MY insides to handle MY DAY - to STAY in this DAY - as a non smoker by -  HELPING others just like I was HELPED - give away the suggestions given FREELY to ME and pass the HOPE on to the next suffering NICOTINE ADDICT - HOORAY FOR EVERYONE TODAY -  CONGRATS TO EVERYONE TODAY - WAY TO GO EVERYONE TODAY FOR CHOOSING TO LIVE NICOTINE FREE -  as a NON SMOKER just for TODAY -  it is ALL WE HAVE this DAY - TODAY - so GOOD JOB EVERYONE - YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Wayyyyy back when I started smoking, the cost of Name Brand cigarettes was less than a dollar per pack. They are a lot more expensive today, but certainly not the only cost to smoking. I was thinking about all the OTHER dollar costs I incurred that are directly related to smoking.

  1. Seat covers: I probably ruined 4 or 5 car seats from cigarette burns. I distinctly remember burning the back seat of my car the day before I was trading it in on a new car. It’s hard to know for sure how much I lost in trade-in value.
  2. Clothes: I cannot even estimate what I have lost replacing clothes because of burn holes. I know I also ruined a few items just from washing them too often. I couldn’t afford dry-cleaning and I hated my clothes to smell smoky, so I washed everything all the time.
  3. Odor spray: Room fresheners and fabric fresheners and perfumed sprays and every other thing I bought hoping to disguise the smell of smoking. I kept a bottle in the car and a bottle in the coat closet and a bottle in my bedroom closet and sprayed liberally and often. I should have bought stock in the company – or maybe a 55 gallon drum.
  4. Sunglasses: speaking of spraying; I managed to ruin a pair of Ray Ban prescription sun glasses with the overspray. Something in the spray damaged the coating to the glasses making lenses look like they were covered in rain drops.
  5. Antihistamines: I have seasonal allergies during the best of times. Smoking made them a thousand time worse and year-round. Even now I am taking 4 different kinds of antihistamines plus a decongestant. Even over the counter meds cost a lot when you take them every single day.

I wonder if I still would have started smoking if I had known what how much money I would invest in that habit.



Posted by hattonc Dec 4, 2019

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

mine was ok..still smoke free.. I’m so thankful for the support I received on this site , I haven’t been on here much lately but trying not to go too far off bcuz some days I really need the support , not just for maintaining my quit but just good support 

Thabk you once again ..N.O.P.E


90 Posts in 90 Days

Posted by PastTense Dec 4, 2019

I have heard that in AA, if you slip in your sobriety it is recommended that you attend 90 meetings in 90 days.  I don't know if it's true or just what I saw on TV, but it makes sense to me.

So I am challenging myself to write 90 posts in 90 days.  I need an anchor to my quit.  I need the accountability to being on this site every single day.  I need to do whatever it takes to kick smoking to the curb once and for all time.

Day One post



Sticking with N.O.P.E - Not One Puff Ever and vigilance N.M.W.- No Matter What-works when applied on a daily basis it definetly gets easier and easier with time under your belt and it definitely gets better and better without the crutch of cigarettes BUT it does take time to relearn life as an EX Smoker Non Smoker or EXer it doesn't matter what you call it as long you stick with your precious quit so each evening you can look yourself in the  mirror and say YAY for another Day WON it's up to each of us to nurture and protect the best gift that any of us will ever give ourselves which is the GIFT OF LIFE.....


It’s Time

Posted by MindaLee Nov 30, 2019

I knew vaping wasn’t the safest but safer than cigarettes. I knew I couldn’t do it forever but hoped I could. As I type that I lay here tired. Exhausted really. I’m detoxing from nicotine. threw away my vape this morning and everything that went with it. I’m ready. I took a restless two hour nap and am laying back down in bed. I’m mad for not using the full Thanksgiving break to quit and should’ve started on Wednesday but at least I started. I choose to embrace this quit. It’s my final quit. If I don’t quit, it could be my final quit. I cast my care to God and lean on him first and foremost during this time. I know you all will be here with me too and I thank you in advance for that. 

God Bless You All,



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