Skip navigation
All Places > Best of EX > Blog

Dear Cigarettes -

Posted by stephanie1067 May 27, 2017

Dear Cigarettes - 

 

You were my first love when I was 17.  Very quickly after our first couple of dates, I became addicted to you.  I actually, as a young girl, felt sexy with you and loved having you by my side and in my company.  You gave me confidence at first and and made me feel mature.  I loved how you felt between my fingers and the rush you would give me after being apart for a short time.  It seemed like so many of my friends and family were in similar relationships and they were all fine.  What was good for my grandparents and my father and my best friends was certainly good for me also. So I became more and more attached as we spend more time together.  I had to have you the minute I woke up, every time I got in the car or on the phone, we spent time together after meals and enjoyed each others company during the relaxing quiet of the evening.  We became the best of lovers, or so I thought......

 

Fairly quickly into this relationship, I must say, I began to feel that you were not right for me.  I'm not sure why it has taken me 30 plus years to be honest with you about this.  I have hung on for so long but felt more and more like an outcast for being with you as time went on.  Having to sneak away to be with you when others have the freedom of just staying put.  Having to rush out on a dinner or a visit or meaningful time spent with my kids. You have taken over my mind and I can't enjoy a movie or a vacation or a trip to the zoo or the park or anything wonderful without wondering when we can be together again and how long I can last without you.  I feel like my mental health suffers from being with you because I am in a constant state of worry each time we're together.  Will I have a heart attack?  Will I develop cancer?  Will I end up on oxygen not being able to breath?  What color are my lungs?  What is that little pain I have today in my back or yesterday in my chest?  I have seen you take the life a my aunt and my best friends sister.  I have realized that my kids viewing me in hospice on my death bed is NOT something I am willing to put up with for being in a relationship with you. 

 

It has been very hard the past 13 days that we have been separated.  I have mourned you and felt alone and quiet and nervous and anxious.  I have cried and complained and become depressed.  But then I have also caught myself smiling at something and realizing I will be happy again.  It's like being reborn and learning happiness will still exist without you.  Life will go on and be better with out you and be a lot longer without you.  I have felt jealous of seeing others get to be with you until I realized you are just easy and will go with anyone and I bet my lungs are looking a lot healthier than theirs.  So I am here to tell you I am taking this separation to the next level and dumping you for good and forever!

 

This is where I say good bye!

 

Stephanie

 

This is simply a link to the free pdf of his book which is talked about and recommended all over this site.  Wanted to make it easy to find.  What a better place than in Best of EX.

 

EASY WAY TO STOP SMOKING

So it is Sunday night.  I am sitting on the swing.  Not really swinging, but just sitting, moving back and forth a little.  Sunday nights are like this on the playground.  The weekend is coming to an end.  People are getting ready for school or work.  Families are doing family things, and well, some of us are kinda stuffed from a big Sunday dinner. Sunday night is always a laid back kind of time.

 

But that is okay, because that also makes it good thinking time.

 

A light breeze is blowing, and with it getting only up to the mid 60’s today, well, it is a bit cool.  A few kids are on the merry go round, talking, but not going real fast.  Others are in the sandbox.  I also see some new people, hanging around the entrance.  They want to come in, but like I was, they are fearful of what being nicotine free might mean.  They are wondering if they will just fail again.  Or if coming to this playground will really help.  I remember so many things going through my head when I first entered the playground.  It seems like just yesterday.  And it also seems like years ago.

 

So as I sit on the swing, I think of all the differences of all of us on the playground.  We all have one thing in common.  We are addicted to nicotine.  That is where the similarities end.  We all have different reasons for wanting to quit.  We all have different things that make us want to smoke (watch out for pineapple upside down cake).  We all need different things that will help us stay on our quit.

 

And that is what I find to be so wonderful about this playground.  When someone comes in, everyone comes together to help.  But they all come in offering different advice.  They are all coming from different places.  The person who came in looking for help takes what they need, and leaves the rest.

 

And everyone is okay with that.

 

Let me say that again.

 

Everyone is okay with that.

 

There is no competition.  There is no concern that someone used Sally’s advice and not Rob’s.  No one cares who helped get someone through the rough times.  Everyone comes together to celebrate it regardless.

 

This is what makes our playground so great.  There are no egos.  It is only about helping.  I only wish the world I am normally in was as wonderful. 

 

And that is why, on a slow Sunday night, I am sitting on the swing.  Not really swinging, but just sitting, moving back and forth a little.

I have been working on this recipe for 764 days.  You would think by now it is perfect but I truly beg to differ.  From my experience quit smoking recipes require occasional tweaking in order to remain forever quit.Image result for cooking utensils

 Disclaimer:  Please be aware there are other recipes but this is one that has worked for me. It is general to avoid a lengthy blog some obvious steps may not be included.  Please note that some ingredients are main and others optional.

 

My recipe is divided into parts: I call them the P’s and not “peas”. Planning,   Preparing,  Practicing,  Perseverance,  and  Protection.

 Planning- Main ingredient Join a support group Set a date, follow the site guidelines Create your own quit kit (sample below)  NRT’s   Meds etc. (optional)

 

Preparing- Main ingredient

Education is the key to a successful quit. 

Learn about nicotine addiction.    

Suggested reading material is VERY important for preparation.

Read-Study-Research Relentlessly.

http://whyquit.com/whyquit/LinksAAddiction.html   and

http://whyquit.com/ffn/

Read   Allen Carr’s book, “Easy Way to Quit Smoking”.       

              ********************************************************************

Practice- Main ingredient

            Practice reprogramming your mind that you do not have to smoke.  

            Unwash the brain washing. That you have not loss a thing. Relearn your thinking about smoking. 

            Self-Talk, can take you very far in making a forever quit.  Tell yourself that

            “You don’t do that anymore”. 

            Every time the thought of smoking comes say to yourself “I am non-smoker” and   
            Start “believing it!”

            Develop your own mantras  

            Change the lies your addictive brain has been taught.

            Stay close to the site as much as possible.

            Bookend your days here.

Perseverance- Main ingredient

Willingness to do whatever it takes not to smoke.  No Matter What!  When! Where! Who! or How difficult it may be. NOPE (Not One Puff Ever) Neither Life, Death, Divorce, Sickness, Hunger, Lonely, Tired, Angry Weight gain

NO EXcuses.                        

 Add:  Ingredients that can only come from you. 

Commitment, Determination, a Made up Mind.  Believe with all your Heart, Mind, Body, Soul and Might that YES you can do this because this is your recipe for a forever quit.

 

Protecting- Main Ingredient.

Now this is where the real work begins, protecting.  Do not become complacent and not guard your quit. Take all the tools and skills you have learned and keep them on the forefront to “use” whenever necessary.   Have a network of friends that you can talk to about smoking. Even though it is a choice, for me, I never allow smoking to be an option.  SINAO smoking is not an option.  Do something else. Choose freedom. Come here, blog ask for help BEFORE you smoke. Hang tough, Stay close, be mindful of what is going on around you and with you.  Don’t ever give up and never give in.

 

Example of quit kit

A list of why you quit

Book to read

Chrystal light

Cinnamon sticks

Cinnamon toothpicks you can find these on amazon.com

Coloring Books

Deep breathing

Emails of people that are supportive

Exercise videos

Fresh Fruit

Frozen grapes

Games

Gum

Hobby have a hobby to keep you distracted

Ice chips

Lemon bit into it  (I think this one is from Dale what he tells people to do)

Links to a funny video to get you into a good mood

Licorice

Meditation

Mints

NRT gum

Other web sites you can find your friends at for support

Phone numbers of someone supportive

Puzzle book

Raw Vegetables

Red hots

Straws

Sunflower seeds

Tic tac

Tooth picks

Vicks vapor rub put a little bit under your nose during craves

Water bottle to keep with you all times

 

 

Today marks six years since I put out my last cigarette! My, how time flies and sometimes in an incredibly wonderful way. I still remember the moment I put out that last cigarette and there’s a reason for this. You see, remembering that moment in a positive way just helps to keep the resolve for year after year after year.

 

It’s not so much the moment that’s important but how I got there. The fighting with myself and the endless doubt that addiction can create within a person. The longing to be free while fearing the very freedom that I longed for. The days of wondering if I really had it in me to beat a monster that in itself lived within me.

 

In the end I realized that the monster within me was of my own creation. That the beast was given strength by the very mind that wanted to be ridded of it. So to find my own strength to beat myself, I had to find my heart. I had to find my love for life and for all that might be in the future of that life if I could just get past my own stupid mind.

 

I looked inward and felt fear. I looked at what would be my changing in my life and found fear. I looked to my current life of smoking and somehow found peace. It was crazy! How could I be my own worst enemy? And how could I beat something that lived totally within myself. Something that without realizing it, I had spent so many sad years creating? My God! How could I beat myself?

 

I was angry with the things I’d already done. I couldn’t believe that so long ago I’d started building what would surely be a future of misery, where my health would steadily fade as I continued to believe in my own invincibility. When I convinced myself that bad things only happened to others and that somehow I was immune from the risks of the life I had enslaved myself with.

 

Soon I actually lost my resolve. Soon I surrendered to a life of a misery of my own creation and I ignored the realities of what I was doing, somehow finding sanctuary in what would surely be the death of me. I was totally convinced of a lie that could not be!

 

So long as I didn’t think about quitting, I was calm. So long as I never thought about my future, and lit another cigarette, I was calm.

 

But then one day, a crack appeared within the almost impenetrable wall that I had created for myself. I have to admit, it was a very small crack at first but for the first time, I embraced it. For the first time, I took a moment to see how things could be different. For the first time I allowed myself to see things as they could be, rather than how they are.

 

I thought about the future of the ones I loved and the way my life of addiction was going, that future didn’t look good. Then I took a moment and saw that same future in a new light. One where I’d beaten myself. One where I could look back at the decisions I’d made and be content that though I’d lived in fear of freedom for so long, that if I could win the war within my own mind that the future would be smiles instead of sadness. That I still had a chance to enjoy those that I loved and not bring them misery.

 

The crack began opening, very slowly at first until one day I believed that I could beat the enemy within. The addict within that I had created. Still, there was so much fear. But I took a step to make myself accountable to myself. A step where I could almost believe that yes, I could win this!

 

I picked up the phone and called the Colorado Quitline. I remember a voice that sounded like it was smiling on the other end and guess what? I hung up! I was shaking and sweating. My mind was reeling! How could I even have entertained the idea that I wanted freedom more than I wanted the peace that my addiction fed me with each new cigarette.

 

I lit a cigarette and walked into the other room, convinced that I’d thrown this insane thought away. I mean after all, smoking was a part of me. But then the light came through the crack in my wall again, and for some reason, this time I grabbed hold of that light. It suddenly seemed like the light of a lighthouse stabbing through on a dark and foggy night, showing me that if I could just reach that shore, then I would see the greater light.

 

I lit a cigarette and it slid through my sweaty fingers, falling to the floor. I looked at it for a moment and realized that this was where that cigarette belonged. Far, far away from me. I picked up the phone again and called that quitline. Again, a friendly voice answered and asked if they could help me. This time I said “yes!”

 

We talked for awhile, my voice trembling and when I was done with that phone call, I had ordered nicotine patches and agreed to do something to actually start the quit. I wouldn’t smoke a cigarette for the first half hour after I woke up. The thought terrified me, but that next morning, I did it!

 

And then with a renewed confidence, I waited an hour the next day and the next. I was feeding the crack in the wall of my addiction. I was feeding the light of my future. And you know what? I was starting to feel really good about it!

 

I found becomeanex.org on the quitline website and went there, introducing myself and getting set up. Turns out, that was one of the best moves I’d ever made. To find others just as scared as I was and yet still doing it. Still choosing every day to continue the fight! There was understanding for all the thoughts that I thought were so alien to me. There were others that felt just like me but more importantly, there were others who were grabbing that light of the future! A place where people really understood what I was going through.

 

I came here daily, preparing myself for the final day of freedom. I did a lot of prep work, until one day I believed in myself and my heart enough that I knew I could do it. That I could bring myself from the darkness and into the light of the day that suddenly seemed so attainable.

 

And six years ago today, I put out that last cigarette. I found the light that was calling to me for so long. I dreamed of climbing a mountain that I named Mt. Freedom. In my mind I carried what I called the addict within up that mountain with me, understanding that if I could keep my enemy close, then not only could I fight it but in the end, I could understand it. That I could see it for what it really was. The old ball and chain.

 

It’s always good to remember where it all started, I think. Always good to remember the battles that were fought so long ago. To see that we really can take our futures into our own hands. And now, six years later, to feel the fruits of labor that started so long ago.

 

There is peace in that future my friends. There’s so much peace and you know what? That peace comes from the light of freedom. That peace comes from knowing that though once enslaved, I know longer am.

 

There’s so much waiting for all of you no matter what stage of your quit you’re in. There’s a future that is as bright as you can imagine it now.

 

I hope that all of you keep climbing the slopes of Mt. Freedom as I did and so many others have as well. It’s a beautiful summit filled with peace and there’s a banner up there waiting for you. The banner of freedom! I hope to see all of you up there, waving that banner high over your head as I did, confident in the fact that now the future’s looking brighter.

That the peace and freedom really is there. We all deserve it. All we have to do is take that first step, just as I did seemingly so long ago. Your future awaits you!! Go for it!!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!!!

 

Chuck

Giulia

No Man's Land Weekly Blogs

Posted by Giulia Champion Feb 19, 2017

 

Here is a link to all of sarahp's weekly No Man's Land Blogs.  Very good reading material!  (Thanks jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 for suggesting it and giving me the link!)  Once on her page, simply scroll down to the individual posts.

 

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/people/sarahp/content?query=No+Mans+Land 

~~You will see me struggle but you will never see me quit.~~  Unknown

You aren't going to find your quit here.  You will find suggestions, advice, encouragement, tips, hints, and information.  But you won't find your quit here.

You aren't going to find your quit in an NRT.  No patch has the answer for you.  No gum takes the challenge from you.

Your quit is within you.  Seriously.  Take time away from the internet, away from well-intentioned friends, away from all the information on why quitting is necessary and good and do-able.

Take time to look within.  Are you willing to stop believing you will fail?  Do you know that quitting is entirely possible AND that you can do it?  Can you acknowledge that it is time to stop setting yourself up to fail and just do it, come hell or high water?  Most importantly, are you willing to undergo anything....absolutely anything....rather than pick up another cigarette?

Because those who are serious about quitting no matter what, will quit.  Those who give themselves an out by doubting themselves, by being worried about failing, by wondering if they are ready, usually don't.

You see, the quit isn't in the NRTs, although they can certainly help the craves.  The quit isn't in the support, although support while quitting can inspire and motivate.  The quit isn't even in this site, although this site is the absolute BEST for information, knowledge, support, and wisdom.

The quit, my friend, is in you.  Only you.  And if you succeed, it's because you wanted to.  And if you return to smoking, it's because you wanted to.  Not something you want to hear, I know.  It's not the stress and it's not the pain and it's not the loss you suffered that returns you to cigarettes, it's you.

So take smoking off the table.  Once you quit, KNOW in your heart that you will never....no matter what....ever pick up another one.  It's there in you where you'll find your quit.  It's through your strength, your commitment, your courage that you will keep your quit.

The NRTs, the EX site, the friendships.....are all for maintaining what you already have inside you.  You are the foundation of your quit.  Know that.  Because once you do, you will find your quit and you will delight in it.  I'm sure of it :) 

We do this blog every Wednesday afternoon to offer encouragement to those in No Man’s Land -- months 2-3-4 of a quit, give or take a couple of weeks. This community has chosen to put a big, bright spotlight on NML – we’ve chased away the shadows, taken away the mystery, and put a lot of effort into bringing people in NML together. Because we understand that quitting isn’t over in a month.

Everyone who goes through NML blazes a trail for those that follow. You are not alone on this journey, and you never will be!

*********************************************

This week’s topic: The Forever Quit


As you near the end of No Man’s Land (day 130 or so), it’s time to start thinking about what comes next. It’s time to start making plans and commitments about your long-term quit maintenance.


No one wakes up one morning and says “gee, I think I’ll relapse today.” No one in month 3 of a strong quit thinks their motivation will ever fade. But we hear from people all the time who relapsed after a year, 2 years, 5 years, or even longer.


I believe the root of long-term relapse is forgetting two very important lessons -- first, we forget that we cannot have just one, because for addicts like us, one always leads to one more. Second, we forget that we did not enjoy smoking. We smoked to avoid the pain of not smoking. We smoked to stop withdrawal. It wasn’t enjoyable, it didn’t taste good, and it wasn’t relaxing – those are the lies of addiction.


We learned these lessons painfully – with sweat and tears – when we quit. But as time passes it becomes easier and easier to forget, to minimize, to rationalize.


Right now you have committed to quit smoking, but have you committed to never smoke again? Two years from now when you get really bad news, or are at the beach watching the sunset and the smoker next to you says “want one?” – what will you do? Will you remember the pain of quitting?  Will you remember the lessons you learned? Will you remember how to distract/dismiss/kick it to the curb? Will NOPE (not one puff ever) still be in your heart?


Plan it, practice it, be ready for it. The lessons you are learning right now, in No Man’s Land, are the lessons you need to carry with you and never take for granted. The Forever Quit is within your reach!

                                                                                                                                                            

                                                           

 

*********************************************

If you're in NML right now, speak up!  Tell us how you're doing! 

 

Click here to read the original No Man’s Land blog on Dale's page:
https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007-blog/2011/05/24/no-mans-land-days-30-to130-approximate

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Why Not You?

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 25, 2016

~~Why not you?~~  Russell Wilson

You've been reading blogs, reading pages, and learning all the things you need to know for a successful quit.  You silently watch as newborn, shaky quits blossom into lovely strong commitments.  You cheer, you support, and....you smoke.  Maybe it's a 'slip', maybe its a relapse, maybe its an addiction you have yet to understand, much less conquor.

So you focus on others' quits and wish you were them.  Or wish you were like them.  Able to successfully quit.

Why not you?  Are you less intelligent than quitters?  Are you older than quitters? Do you have short legs or are you bald or have you had too many children?  Maybe only right handed people can quit?  Or those who live in cities?  Or maybe they are tan, taller than you, or smell better?

I hope you are laughing :)  And then I hope you get it.  Anyone can quit successfully.  Anyone.  That includes you, my friend.  There is no secret formula.  No criteria.  No magic spell. 

Just put them down.  Walk away.  Don't look back.  And honor that commitment you have made to your quit.  Honor that person you are.  And know that you are as deserving to live addiction free as I am or anyone else is.  And each moment you don't smoke, remind yourself that you are doing it!!  Remind yourself that it will get easier.  And remind yourself that just because you are anxious....stressed....bald....pale....you do not have to smoke. 

You do not have to smoke.  Move towards freedom even if it is only one minute at a time.  And every minute will add up and you will be just like the rest of us quitters.  Coming here and telling the next smoker that they, too, can quit. 

So, why not you?

Sheri

Thomas3.20.2010

Quititude

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 21, 2016

Have you noticed that some of us seem to have a smoother time getting through those first challenging weeks of our Quit Journey? Often they’re the folks on the true Quit Journey for LIFE! I call this mind set Quititude!

Quititude doesn’t just come naturally – it’s a learned behavior! That’s good news! If I can learn it, I can acquire it! Some of us learn at different rates or in different ways but we all have the ability to learn!

Here are some suggestions that might help you with your quititude:

As often as possible throughout your day, take a moment to celebrate an activity or a thought related to your new smoke FREE status such as, " I love how delicious my food is tasting," "I love how wonderful the air is smelling," "I love the compliments and support I get from the people in my life," or "I love this brand new day of smoke FREE living." These sincere reflections of appreciation immediately will bring you into perfect alignment with the Creator of your Being and enhance your Values.

When you acknowledge these gifts and EXpress your Appreciation for Smoke FREEDOM, you will begin to change energetically, and it will influence every aspect of your Quit Journey. By practicing Quititude, you begin to have a relationship with the true essence of who you are and everyone who is within your sphere will benefit from your appreciation, even the naysayers! As you accept support graciously, more support comes your way!

By living with an awareness of Quititude, you are open to appreciating the element of Love in all things beginning with your Divine Source and yourself. As it touches every area of your life, it cultivates well-being and happiness, and when expressed around others, it brings about an increased level of peace, optimism, confidence and empathy. Quititude is not only a great virtue for successful addiction recovery, but the person who exhibits Quititude will benefit many people around them.

How do you cultivate a sense of appreciation every day? Just by saying the words “Thank You” out loud, you fortify and grow more Quititude! Work at practicing and remembering to give thanks and gratitude as often as possible and even plan it into your daily routine. Every morning, before getting out of bed, Thank God for another Smoke FREE Day! While going about preparations for the day send out an intentional thought of Gratitude for Recovery. Let the Universe know that you are grateful and appreciative for letting you have another opportunity to learn, understand and perhaps influence another person and hopefully change a life for the better.

How can you grow by incorporating Quititude into your daily agenda? First, it enables you to acknowledge the positive aspects of your quit, whether it is clean living, health or even opportunities to view something from a different point of view. It can assist you in putting things in perspective. When you have a negative thought such as "I really wish I could smoke right now," Quititude can spin that thought into "I am happy that I don’t have to smoke in order to deal with life on life’s terms." Whenever you look at quitting as hard and difficult, instead think of it as exciting and challenging. Start to perceive obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow, and change and improve.

When you emanate an attitude of Quititude, it is the same vibration as the energy of Love. When you practice a mindset of appreciation, you will let go of doubt and fear and live in the presence of everything that feels right and good. The act of giving thanks will make you feel good, and this feeling is your soul's way of letting you know that Abundant Smoke FREE Living  is how you really are meant to live. As you live with Quittitude, your view of the World and yourself will completely change and your circumstances, situations and relationships are forever altered.

When you practice Quititude, you see everything in your life as a miracle and you become aware of how many opportunities and possibilities are before you. You look at the things that are rich and positive instead of poor and fearful. It strengthens your body, mind and soul, and you will begin to attract those situations and people into your life that are also positive and soul-enriching.

Look around you today and acknowledge everything about Living Smoke FREE  for which you are grateful. And give Thanks to the Almighty!

JACKIE1-25-15

I tried everything

Posted by JACKIE1-25-15 Jan 20, 2016

As it gets closer to my 365th day quit I have been reflecting quite a lot.   I enjoy this site and the friendships that have been nurtured.  I am inspired by both the new and the old members.  Thoughts come to mind from where I started and to the now of this nonsmoking freedom of life journey.  I do know the best is yet to come in this and other aspects of my life.  

 Before quitting, my addiction was always telling me that I “wanted or needed a cigarette”.  In fact, nicotine told me that lie at least 10 times a day, 7 days a week give or take a few cigarettes for over forty years.  Calculate the effect of your brain being told that for so long.  More importantly, imagine what it takes to replace those thoughts in your new nonsmoking daily life.   Some may dispute it but it took me, one day at a time, sometimes moments, hours, seconds, or the length of an urge.  Along with the time, it took determination, with an in your own face; I am not going to smoke no matter what attitude.  This is my quit and I was/am not going to allow anything, anyone, no thought, no urge, and no addiction to cause me to fail.  This may sound easy but at times it is not.  First, I had to relearn my thinking.  I had to listen to the advice of the elders.  I leaned on my friends here for support and vice versa.  I put my trust in God and prayed learning that with a willing spirit I would make it through.

 I focused on learning, reading, studying, researching. blogging,  making friends,  commenting, and having fun.  I left no room for failure.  When Nancy gave me the link to Allen Carr’s book, it took me less than a night to read it.  Then I purchased my own updated copy to make sure I had it all.  There were days that my eyes were so tired, red, gritty that I would literally have to take a break to recover.  No NRT’s but I had them available if needed.  I used Wellbutrin for a very short period of time.  MY MIND WAS MADE UP.  TURNING BACK WAS NOT MY FUTURE.  I developed my own mantra SINAO...smoking is not an option The other day while reflecting I had this epiphany.

I tried everything to quit but it did not work until I tried myself.

This statement is so huge yet hard to explain to someone new.  To someone who has just begun this journey let go of all the excuses and apply yourself it is "doable".... 360 DOF. God bless.    

"Can't believe I am still craving a smoke after two weeks"

"Can't wait until I am quit one year"

"Wish these craves were over"

"Why can't I just be done"

"Wish I could say I had 900 days"

"Can't do it...it's just to hard"

"When will it be over?"

If this is you.......may I make an OUTLANDISH suggestion..................

ENJOY THE RIDE; THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD.

The journey is the reward is the mantra of many runners.  A true runner enjoys the run....not the finish. A true runner runs to run...not really to finish or place or really anything. The RUN ITSELF is the enjoyment! Yet, runs can be tough. Even if you are a trained runner. Why do they run? The journey is the reward.

The same is true of many things----------life itself. So many people rush through life..."wish I was 16, 21, married, kids out of the house, retired". Life goes too fast the way it is...enjoy the journey. The journey is the reward.

Quitting can be the same. Once I stopped fighting how I felt...I found the quit went so much better...actually started to enjoy it (promise!). When things got rough---I sort of "pulled out of myself" and looked at me like an experiment...kind of like..."hmmmm look at that---you crave a cigarette MORE when relaxing than when you are actually stressed.....interesting." Instead of fearing craves...I hit them the way runners hit the hills. You know they are coming. PREPARE and run them. Let the journey be the reward.

Just food for thought........wishing everyone here on EX a rewarding journey.

It started with a decision: I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! I no longer want to be in the 70% of smokers who want to quit – I want to be in the 6% who really have quit!

 

For that decision to become a reality requires that you develop a series of habits and activities that become second nature and will keep you moving in the right direction. Attitude feeds action and action feeds attitude!

 

You also need to prepare yourself for the tough moments. The first days you probably expect that but what about Month 2? Are you preparing to confront the no Man’s Land challenges during Months 2 – 4? Your chances of becoming an EX increase much more once you get past Month 4.

 

What To Expect In The First Four Months 

 

And we’re not there yet! 6% refers to those who launch a quit and see it through an entire Year! Don’t like those numbers? Here’s the good news:

 

It is absolutely within your ability to become a 6%er regardless of how long you smoked, how many packs a day, messy life stuff. You can make it happen!

 

Victories don’t only happen with milestones and calendar days. They are built on true challenges to your resolve! Your inner Nico-Voice knows that (and is probably screaming right now because of it!) Each victory makes more challenges less frequent and less intense – for me, that’s a huge motivator to get to the other side NO MATTER WHAT!

 

Here’s some techniques that will help you make it:

 

Ritualize:

 

Smoking is a ritual – from counting how many Sickerettes you have left to never losing your lighter. Now it’s time to start a new set of rituals. Coming here every day to BLOG is a great ritual. Reading at

 

The Easy Way

 

quitsmokingonline.com

 

And whyquit.com

 

is also very helpful.

 

Making Daily Pledges is a wonderful ritual. Our Community has made it easy for you. Just hop on this link:

 

Take the Daily Pledge 

 

Cleaning you teeth, your house, your car can be ritual. Drinking 8 cups of water a day, eating 6 times a day, walking 10 minutes 3 times a day can all support your quit with ritual. Mindful breathing can relieve your cravings ritualistically.

 

These are just a few Examples of how to ritualize your Quit Journey. You can do any or all of these and add your own.

 

Recognize your cravings:

 

Ignoring cravings doesn’t help. Recognizing them while deciding to change your focus leads to success. When it gets to be day three and you’re debating whether tobuy a pack or borrow a Sickerette, recognize what’s going on. Learn to say to yourself, “I’m facing a craving.” Recognizing this is like taking the blindfold off before the fight begins. Now you know that you have the option to fight or to calmly walk away and focus on your alternative list. “What can I do instead?” Each victory makes winning the next one easier.

 

Smoking is not an Option (SINAO):

 

 

 

Unlike other “bad habits” such as binge watching Netflix or biting your fingernails, smoking is ADDICTIVE! So you’re doing more than breaking a habit.  Therefore, smoking even one single puff ever is simply not an option!

 

1 = 1 million!

 

Around here we say: N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever! Any other approach is a recipe for failure! Coach yourself through a craving by asking these two questions:

 

 1) How will I feel if I beat this craving? and

 

2) How will I feel if I lose it?

 

 This brings emotion into the process, and emotion promotes action.

 

Mindfully imagine the feeling of accomplishment, the pride and confidence you gained, the self-empowerment from knowing you can beat this! You can turn craving into victory. Relish the process from beginning to end when you know that you beat another craving. Review through your mind how your total body is healing all the way from your mouth to lungs, from your heart to your Brain, from your blood to your skin. See yourself celebrating with your buddies and family. Tell them how hard it was and how you did it!

 

 Feel it happening – right now!

 

 Mindfully go through the entire process of going to the store, saying those words, placing your hard earned money on the counter, going to a smoking area, feeling the stares of strangers who judge or pity you, unwrapping the package, putting the Death Stick in your mouth, lighting the end and taking that first puff. Clearly imagine the feeling of the smoke hitting the back of your throat, travelling down your bronchioles, entering your lungs rushing through your heart to your blood stream and hitting your brain. Even allow yourself to envision that false hit of dopamine.

 

image

 

But don’t stop there! Feel the guilt and shame! The sense of loss and frustration of failure! Imagine telling your family that once again, you let them down, you let yourself down! Feel the disgust at the whole dirty habit!

 

If you can imagine that you are no longer a smoker, you’re going to feel good about yourself and probably a lot healthier. If you’re still smoking, you’ll probably feel like a failure, or at least experience negative emotions that come with not meeting your goal. In either case, negative or positive emotions are powerful motivators that will help you become a success.

 

 

 

See Yourself in the Future:

 

 

 

Take thirty seconds and, in great detail, think about where your life will be in five years if you consistently stay smoke FREE. Be honest and let yourself feel the benefits of constantly beating your Addiction.

 

 

 

 Then, go through the same process and suffer the feelings of defeat after giving up on your Quit Journey. How much you’ve embraced these techniques will determine the outcome.

 

 

 

Let’s assume you’ve joined the 6% Club, a new lifestyle has become a regular part of your existence, and smoking and quitting no longer feel like things you have to intentionally remember or push yourself to do. It’s normal to feel proud, but keep your guard up. Common traps can send you into relapse. Check out Giulia’s very comprehensive Relapse Traps Group:

 

Relapse Prevention 

 

 

 

Do you want to jump through the same hoops over and over again, each time a little more discouraged, a little less confident? Do you want to convince yourself that you can’t do it and will die a Smoker?

 

 

 

OR do you want to get it right the first time? The choice really is YOURS! We want to support your Quit Journey right through the 6% Club and beyond! We want to see you celebrating this time next Year your Smoke FREE Victory!

 

 

 

You may wonder just how many of us have actually done this. Well, here’s the list of active members who belong to the 6% Club and beyond. Next Year you could be there too!

 

 

 

Chronological Elder List 

 

image

 

 

 

.

~~I will not be broken.~~  Unknown

I remember the days when I "tried" to quit smoking.  I remember feelings of failure, feelings of defeat, and a sad bewilderment because I just didn't "get it".  I was that one person....that one smoker....that nothing worked for.  The Wellbutrin, the gum, the patches.....I just couldn't find that magic formula.

Until I did.  I had an honest conversation with myself, which is harder than you think for an addict.  Even a nicotine addict.  And I say that because one of my downfalls was thinking that I wasn't doing anything illegal or disgusting like "other" addictions.  In my honest conversation, I admitted that smoking was disgusting.  In my honest conversation, I admitted that I was risking my family as well as myself.  And, most importantly, I admitted that if I really wanted to, I could quit.

I knew there would be cravings, but they wouldn't break me.  I knew there would be a flood of unwanted, uncontrollable emotions, but they wouldn't break me either.  I knew that when I quit, nothing in the world could get me to pick up another one because I would not be broken over a little pile of tobacco.

So, my dear fellow quitters, have that honest conversation with yourself.  Know what to expect when you are quitting and do not allow those things to break you.  Because if you truly decide you are done smoking, nothing will be able to break you.  The craves, the anxiety, the stress....all just part of the quit.  Accept them.

Find your inner strength.  Love yourself.  Honor your commitment.  Treat yourself with kindness and gentleness.  Know that whatever this quit throws at you, you will get through it because you will not allow yourself to be broken. 

I wish you the best life has to offer....one smoke free and beautiful.  Sheri

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: