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All Places > Best of EX > Blog > Author: jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007

      This post is intended for you to share what you are going through right when you see it, whether a week or 5 years from now.  Whether you're having a good day or you wanna run away.

      Go ahead, try it out. I guarantee people will respond to you and give you something you need at the time.



     Today I'm taking the day off. I did a little cooking. There were things I could have done that will keep for tomorrow and, if I died tonight, what do those things matter?

We have someone interested in leasing the upstairs. Keeping our fingers crossed.

I'm still waiting to schedule a cat scan.

I've been writing lyrics sporadically the past week.

      When you have medical decisions you occasionally realize you aren't as close to life as you are to death.  My dad has always been amazed at how happy I remain after everything I've been through. Life is a gift. 

      I believe my love for life comes through creativity. I believe we all have gifts.

Find them. Use them. Be Happy.

         How's your life today?

There are a number of ways to deal with it.

You don't want to magnify it.  That only makes you want to smoke more.


1 Realize it will typically last a few minutes and ride it out. 


2 Detach yourself by stepping outside that focus and realizing it's all in your mind and snap out of it.


3 You can jump up and down on some twinkies (if you can find any) screaming "why have you left me?"


4 You can bite into a lemon, skin and all, stick your head in a freezer and breathe the cold air, Run in place, Splash water on your face, eat a bug, clean your rug, give someone you love a hug.


5 Put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it as a reminder. (not too hard, it's only meant to sting a little)


6 Let an ice cube melt in your mouth.


7 Laughing out loud may draw a crowd but it will shoo that crave right out.


Fortunately the reminders of smoking fade away but, it takes time.

You can make them leave you alone quicker by using self talk.

Say "I don't do that anymore" every time you get a crave.


You didn't smoke for a week or a month did you?

YOU SMOKED FOR YEARS, RIGHT? So give it time. Time distances you from your ties to smoking. 


please add what is working for you to the list AND


if you feel like you are being overtaken?

Come here and post the word HELP and wait for responses.

I've said it before but it needs said again

You put holes in your armor each time you give in.

Don't Burn it! Don't Do It!

Come Here And Let Us

Talk You Through It.

*we'll get an email and normally get right with you.


      Many of you are going through No Mans Land Right Now (Days 30-130)

This is the second hurdle of a longtime/forever quit. The first hurdle is getting through the first 30 days.

      When I quit, I was constantly researching information for when you were through the worst of quitting. One medical study I read during that time, said it you made it through 4 months without smoking you had the best chance of a forever quit.

      Along with that study, I noticed there were so many people losing their quit and dropping off the site I was on before reaching four months.


      I had my personal breakthrough at 128 days when I was driving up a hill to a job I had still been a smoker on.

      I reached for a ghost pack and realized I was no longer a smoker. I laughed.


      The term No Mans Land came from the person (Ron Maxey) who wrote a powerful post and gave it that title on the site I quit on.

      No Mans Land Will Be Over For Many around 130 days. For some it's longer/For some slightly less.

      We smoked for a long time and we can't expect to have experienced every trigger in the first 130 days.

      We have many memories that are connected to smoking that we must  unlearn by making new ones without smoking.


Let's talk about two sets of seasons.


      I suggest to you that you have to go through two sets of holidays and seasons. During these two years you will likely experience a family blowup, the infidelity of a spouse/partner, a car accident, and the death of a pet or someone close to you that would normally set you off.  In other words, the hard parts of life.

Example: You have a relative that ticks you off and they are missing from your first annual get together. Well, they may be at the second years so, that's the implication of what getting through 2 years means. 

      The one thing to remember is, smoking is not required. You know if you smoke, you will be a smoker again.


      After your first year, your quit should not be such a fight anymore

unless you've fought quitting all along. There may still be some fleeting thoughts of smoking but they are now easily dismissed.


You smoked a long time. It will fade away. Be patient.

Nothing and no one can make you smoke! You are in charge.


STATISTICS: While roughly 94% of uneducated smokers who attempt to stop smoking relapse within a year, the relapse rate declines to just 2 to 4% per year from years 2 to 10, and then falls to less than 1% after 10 years. Wow! Chance of relapse goes from 94% to 2-4% after two years.

This is not meant to scare anyone. I feel it was one on the reasons I was able to make it through the difficult things I was going through during this time in my quit and what many others were going through on the site I began my quit with. If you have lost a quit during the first 4 months or so, think back and try to remember what made you give in and smoke. Chances are it was the difficult feelings Ron Maxey describes here.


No Mans Land Authored By Ron Maxey 2002


I call No Man's Land that period of time after 1 month and 3 or 4 months into your quit,  This is a time when many people slip and go into a full relapse and have to start over... if they can start over, that is. I have some observations that may help some of you who are literally hanging on by your fingernails... or who may find yourself there tomorrow.


The first month is an exhausting but exhilirating experience... you are locked in nearly daily struggles and you get the satisfaction of successfully beating your addiction that day. You go to bed a WINNER each night, and you are justifiably proud of yourself. Your friends and family are also supportive as they see you struggling each day to maintain your quit. And you are being constantly supported here, whether or not you post... just being here is good for your quit. And so, the battles are won and it actually becomes easier and the battles occur less often as you finish 30 days or so.


Around 60 days, you're starting to have some really good days, with very few craves and some nice insights about yourself... but then again, you still have some bad days. Those bad days can really be depressing... you begin to wonder if you're ever gonna be able to relax. Your junkie is whispering to you, telling you that 'just one' won't hurt. You've conquered your daily triggers, but now you start trippiing over the occasional ones... a death in the family, unexpectedly bad news, money problems, health problems, going on a long car ride, a trip to the bar, or whatever. You have a strong crave and you begin to doubt your ability to keep your quit.


In addition, the 3D support that you used to get is pretty much gone... non-smokers figure you should be 'over it' by now, smokers don't like to hang around you much because they feel guilty and addicted (remember that feeling?), and people who have quit may not remember just how much love and support you need well into the first few months. They all think you should be 'over it', you think you should be 'over it'... and the temptation is to have 'just one' to see if you ARE over it.


But of course you're not over it, are you? That 'just one' whisper becomes much much louder and becomes 'just one more'... and each time you give in to that whisper, the craves come harder and sooner. The one way to guarantee that your craves will never go away is to light up, to slide that old cigarette needle into your arm and shoot up. Those craves will be back and keep coming back. But if you protect your quit, your craves will eventually weaken and become even fewer and farther between.


As you get to around 100 days or so (some will be a bit longer)... you will begin to really get a healthy perspective on your addiction. You will see the huge role that smoking played in your life, you will see clearly what that addiction really cost you. And you will understand that it was a very high price to pay... the loss of your confidence, your emotions, your self-control... your SELF. All enslaved to your addiction.


You will begin to see that you can look forward to a non-smoking future without romanticizing your addiction. You see it clearly for the life-stealing evil it was... and is. You see a much different future for yourself than your past has been. And it no longer scares the crap out of you to think that you are done smoking... in fact, you embrace that thought with joy every day.


But you have to get out of No Man's Land first. How can you help yourself? And how can those of us who have been through it help you?


First of all, you need to understand that you aren't alone. If you haven't already done so, make a promise with 2 or 3 good friends on the site here and exchange phone numbers with them. Promise to call them if you're ever in trouble, and make them promise the same. These are your 'life and death' quit partners... you are literally trusting each other with your lives. Then call them... often. Just to see how they are doing, and to tell them you're doing well too. Be totally honest with them, this is life and death.


Second, understand that you're going to have some unexpectedly bad days... but they are going to be further apart. Shrug them off, laugh your way through them, call your quit buddies... whatever it takes to get through them without smoking. Some battles will be easy, some will be hard. Come here and post, send sitemail, exercise, learn to cook, take up a new hobby. Whatever it takes, keep going to bed a WINNER each night.


Third, ask some of the older quitters to keep an eye on you... to contact you to see how you're doing. I have been asked to do that for several of you recently and I am happy to do that, as I am sure that others are too. We know that you just need to hold on a little bit longer and change your focus just a little to make that breakthrough. And then you will OWN your quit, and it will be a very comfortable thing.


Last, take a deep and honest look at your past life... your life as a smoker and compare it to what your life is like now... and what it will be like in the future. You have to develop that vision of your future, of the person that you are going to BECOME now that you have freed yourself. You have to believe in yourself. You have to love yourself enough to deny yourself your addiction.


No Man's Land doesn't have to be so lonely and scary and dangerous. You need some company and some courage and some faith in yourself. And when you emerge from it, you will not be the same person that entered it.


Never never never question your decision to quit! This is the most loving thing that you will ever do for yourself. A few days of discomfort in exchange for a lifetime of freedom. You will never find another deal like it.






The following is a link to a study that confirms the extra strong cues to smoke after the first month quit and into the next few months. Thank you Thomas

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