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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

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