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Celebrating Milestones

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A cigarette with an orange, flashing circle and slash over it, symbolizing "No Smoking"A multicolored, flashing image that resembles a neon sign and says "1000%" with a black backgroundA cigarette with an orange, flashing circle and slash over it, symbolizing "No Smoking"

It's official! I've earned my comma and am quickly nearing my 3 year mark. Here's a little comment that I am cross-posting from the Quad Squad thread.

 

"...It's been a while since I've been on EX but I decided to hop on, and while the site was loading I quickly calculated how many days it's been since my quit date. I was surprised to see it had been 1,056! I'm so happy to not be a smoker or vaper anymore. I ended up pursuing a career as a CNA and smokers were not allowed at clinicals or at the jobs I have worked at subsequently. So if I were still just as hooked on nicotine when I took my class just over a year ago, I don't think I would have made it, or I would have been forced to quit against my will - and that sort of thing never worked for me; it just made me feel bitter about quitting.

 

I also am now a part of a Tae Kwon Do school as a brand new white belt and am in my second year of Irish dance. Both but especially the latter would have been impossible if I had continued to smoke and vape and coat my lungs in all that crap. I am happy to be a part of these activities because I missed out on such opportunities as a kid but I can say that it is NEVER TOO LATE! It's never too late to start something new, and it's never too late to quit something old (like smoking). My fiance is also so proud of me since he hated being around me when I had to smoke or vape (he's allergic to nicotine) and hated the way my breath and clothes and hair smelled. I used to steal money from my parents for cigarettes when I was desperate and unemployed, but not anymore. They also used to fund my vaping habit which I feel really guilty about now.

 

Not to mention everything going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, if I were still inhaling all that poison today, I might have been in a more dangerous place if I were to catch the virus even after smoking for "only" 6 years.

 

1,000 days and about $7,000 saved. That was a sweet, sweet feeling; having my first paycheck that I didn't spend a dime on cigarettes or vaping supplies! 1,000 days and nearing 3 years of FREEDOM! I can't remember what I treated myself to, but I know I felt so proud of myself.

 

Happy Quitting, everyone!! Hope everyone is well and healthy and happy! -Kaylee"

 

You can quit! Now more than ever! If you want it, you got it! It might take a couple tries. It might take ten tries or twenty or more. But you can do it, I swear! You can live without that vice, you can survive the withdrawals, you can find the method that works for you, you can find what inspires and motivates you to quit. I believe in you!

TaracaX

05/29/20 AT 9:00pm

Posted by TaracaX May 30, 2020

Hello,

 

I feel wonderful at starting this journey with my husband. We have been 16 Hours and 17 Minutes smoke free. I feel I can do this with him by my side. He is very determined as well as I. I appreciate the people here and a chance to take the daily pledge and help others on the same journey.

 

God Bless,

 

 

Taracia

jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007

~I Quit~

Posted by jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 Feb 24, 2020

I Quit!,

I let 'em go.

Most of my life, 

They ran the show.

 

Those cigarettes,

were my best friend.

Or, so I thought,

OOPS!  wrong again

 

REPEAT
REPEAT
REPEAT

BobKatt22

Happy Birthday to me

Posted by BobKatt22 Feb 19, 2020

Today I turned 62, on March 1, 2020 I will have been smoke free for one year for the second time in my life. I sure hope this one sticks! Have a blessed day everyone!

CJ_A

500 Days Smoke Free!

Posted by CJ_A Feb 14, 2020

I'm not sure how this works with regards to posting a celebration, but I'm happy to be celebrating 500 days smoke free!

jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007

13

Posted by jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 Jan 2, 2020

hey everyone sorry I know its been a while so lets get right to it as I have good news so still smoke free 184 days 15 hrs $1,477 saved from not smoking those coffin nails to be honest the only time I think of cigs is when I am on this site so cravings on a scale of 1-10 is a 1 and I know this is a site for smokers and non smokers but I have to say I have now reversed my diabetes my ac1 level is back to normal range yes it can be done dr says he will take me off the med's when I drop 15 more pounds and I now can have my jelly donut back but only once a month not every weekend  funny I missed the dam donut more than the cigs I hope everyone is well and staying strong have a great weekend one and all

tonyc6066

still doing it with ease

Posted by tonyc6066 Aug 17, 2019

hi everyone sorry I have been away for a while I have been real busy so lets see it has been 136 days 15 hrs 2732 cancer sticks not smoked and about a tad over a grand saved in cash to be honest I have not really even thought about smoking anymore urge is almost non existent as I am now focused on my getting my health back diabetes and high triglicerides its funny how you quit smoking you get all kinds of health problems maybe I should just go back to smoking just kidding never again like I said I am so focused on my health I don't have anytime to dwell on cigs so I hope all are well and do good battling there demons have a great weekend everyone 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

The Focus

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 30, 2019

~~One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.~~  Rick Godwin

 

Hmmmm….let's think about this for a moment.  People resist change because they focus on what they have to give up.  Logically, you aren't giving up anything good when you quit smoking, right?  You're giving up a chance of dying.  You're giving up polluting your lungs.  You're giving up polluting other people's lungs with second hand smoke.  You're giving up money that could be better used elsewhere.  You are giving up an addiction that takes over your life each and every day.

 

But that addiction is strong.  So you focus on "How am I going to live without smoking?"   "How am I going to handle my emotions?"  "How I am going to get through my morning?"  "How am I going to handle stress?"  "How am I going to transition from one task to another?"  "How am I going to function without one?"

 

Every thought like that is simply your addiction keeping you smoking.  That's all.  And you know...you KNOW...it's a lie.  Millions of people function without smoking.  Millions handle stress without smoking.  Millions....quit smoking!!  So if they can, there is no logical reason why you can't.

 

But your addiction will lie to you.  Weave little doubts in your mind about your ability to function without a smoke.  It will trigger your brain to make you feel so bad that you finally give in and light up.  It will hunt down all your insecurities...it will uncover all your secret fears....it will use anything and everything it can use to keep you hooked.

 

And if you focus on those things, you will remain hooked.  It's time to let go instead.  It's time to let go thinking that quitting is anything less than glorious!  It's time to let go of believing that you are anything less than capable!  It's time to let go of doubting yourself or your abilities.  

 

It's time to turn to change.  All you will be gaining from your quit.  Starting with your own self-respect.  Sense of pride and ownership over your life.  The admiration of family and friends.  Health...even if it just stopping yourself from doing further damage.  Happiness.  Control.  Money.  Time.  Sense of smell and taste and even feeling.  

 

In short, there is nothing to lose when you quit smoking and EVERYTHING to gain.  So quiet that addictive voice in your head.  Ignore it.  Laugh at it.  Or be its friend and say gently that it's not your boss anymore so it's time to go.  Because you know what?  Addiction is only as strong as you allow it to be.  It's a thought pattern, not a life sentence.  And thought patterns can be changed, no matter how strong they are.   That's called change.

stAn3

365

Posted by stAn3 Jul 30, 2019

It has been a year since I smoked. My goal is to get another 24 hours smoke free. It was a goal I had to get a year. I haven’t gotten a year in over a decade. But now that I’m here, it is not a huge milestone. I’m still a nicotine addict. I stay smoke free one day at a time. I don’t crave cigarettes much anymore but sometimes I still get the impulse. Having relapsed several times in the past I know complacency is dangerous. I can get a whim to smoke after a long time not smoking. I will give into that whim if I am not vigilant. So, my goal today is one more 24 hours without smoking. I still have some major triggers coming up (moving, new job, school) so I am staying in guard for my disease to tell me to smoke.

stmand92

5 Years and counting

Posted by stmand92 May 9, 2019

Forgot to check in at my 5 year mark but I am still here and going strong. I have had my ups and downs but have not put a cigarette near my mouth. Just want to reach out and say HI. 


To all those who are just starting and/or are having a rough time - stick with it! - things get easier and you can do this. I smoked for 30 years before quitting, it wasn't the easiest thing I did but it happened. Stay strong

Nanalori

30 days 

Posted by Nanalori Mar 2, 2019

Wow, today is day 30 for me... I was a smoker for over 40 yrs and now I feel confused as to how to live a life smoke free. For now its just one day at a time and to continue to tell my brain NO, NOT today!!!

Slickwillie

The Quit Trip

Posted by Slickwillie Jan 6, 2019

Celebrating 7 days!

crazymama_Lori

1,000 days

Posted by crazymama_Lori Oct 21, 2018

I've finally reached my 1,000 days which is approximately 2 years and 9 months. I say to all of you starting or struggling, stick with it. Those swirling thoughts of smoking don't stick with you forever. Yes, they will pop up from time to time; but before long you'll find yourself saying, boy, I'm sure glad I don't do that anymore. And trust in me when I tell you that, because I'm living proof. I fought this quitting thing tooth and nail and was screaming all the way. I wasn't going to let this thing beat me, not again.

 

I'll give you a little tip on really learning a lot about this journey and the go-to places to hit when you find yourself just obsessing about smoking. When I first quit, I spent a lot of my time the first few months or so going back on people's profiles and reading their blogs from when they first joined. I learned most from those who have slipped up or relapsed and came back. They gave me insight to what may be those potholes to watch out for. To simply go back into someone's earliest posts, blogs, simply click on their name, content and sort (filter) by date created: oldest first. That will bring up their earliest posts/blogs. Read what they expressed in written words what was swirling around in their brain. Blogging is so important not only for yourself, but for others to learn from.

 

After about 6 months, you'll think this will finally be over and think that you can only have one just to test drive it a little. When you're feeling quite anxious, go to relapse prevention and read many blogs there. Read on what made people slip up or why they are thinking about smoking. This is a roller coaster ride and buckle yourself in. You will have good days and bad days. You'll be mad at everything and thankful for everyone. No one can definitively say that when you go back to smoking, it's easier to quit the second time around. Are you willing to test that theory? I know I'm not. I didn't enjoy the first 6 months and I sure as heck don't ever want to go through that again.

 

Don't give yourself the illusion that you'll never ever think of smoking again once you're quit for a year or two. We're impulsive individuals. Sometimes we were lighting up one after the other. At certain times you'll try the bargaining game or hide and seek. Oh, I can sneak one when they're all gone and nobody will know the difference, but we're unique beings. There are people that only smoke when they drink or when there's a social gathering a few times a year. They are able to indulge for that one night and never think about it again until the next time. OR maybe they do but they are able to fight the urge. I ACCEPT the fact that I'm not that kind of a person. I can't stop at one. One will lead to 20 to a full-blown smoker in less than a week's time. So I choose not to even test that theory or even give myself that permission.

 

You really aren't missing much when you quit smoking. You'll find you have more time on your hands and see that you're completing things quicker. The fogginess doesn't last forever, that lack of concentration. Remember your brain is trying to figure out where all those dopamine hits went to. You recharged that battery at least 20 to 40 or more times a day. If you find yourself watching smokers and saying you miss it, what are you truly missing, smoking or the gathering of people, the socialization? There are other ways of socializing. We just always did it with a cigarette in hand.

 

Just give your brain time to recharge and rejuvenate. That's the glorious thing about the body. It will heal itself in time. Make note of when smoking thoughts surface most often and develop a shield to feign those off. We're trainable creatures. Slowly introduce yourself into new habits and routines. Before too long, you'll be finding yourself no longer coughing, wheezing, fighting leg cramps and headaches. You will find food tastes great and the world smells wonderful. You'll also find how salty things tastes and the things you loved really taste awful now.

 

Stick with it. It's a whole new life you're embarking on. Don't be afraid to take the plunge. It won't be as bad as you think it will be and it will only be as bad as you make it to be. Trust in the process and be aware of what's happening inside of you, both mentally and physically. Remember, your better self is awaiting to yet be discovered. Take the plunge, you won't regret it.

crazymama_Lori

07.13.18 - 900 days

Posted by crazymama_Lori Jul 14, 2018

900 days equates to around 2 years and 5 months. I've been with this site for that entire time. I was lurking in the background for about 2 years prior to quitting doing the sputter dance, starting and then stopping, putting it off and putting it off.  And actually another 2 years prior to that. So we've been together actually for over 6 years.

 

Back in my early days before I quit, I'd read their articles in the beginning when you're first starting the program. I'd track my cigarettes for about a half a day and then forget about it. The thought of quitting terrified me. I couldn't remember myself without a cigarette in hand. I started smoking when I was 12. I wanted to be one of the cool kids and really got hooked when I turned 16. I'd forge notes back when I was 14 to get a pack at $0.25 or take one of my dad's packs. Back in the '70s you could buy cigarettes when you were 16. Well, that opened the flood gates and I was off and running.

 

I'd roll my eyes when I'd see the warnings on the cigarette packs. Change the channel on TV when “those” commercials came on. They can't take this away from me. It's a habit. I can quit anytime I want to. I remember getting the patch back in the '80s giving me an 800 number to call for support while using it. What for? It's only a habit. But what they didn't tell you is that something you've been doing for so many years was beginning to be associated with certain coping skills that we bypassed along the way. There is a psychological part to quitting, let it be smoking, alcohol, overeating, etc. With time, we taught ourselves that those things would make everything better again. If we don't relearn new coping skills, we will simply fall back into our old habits which will lead us back into our full-blown addictions.

 

I'm thankful that I took the time to track my cigarettes before I quit to see when and why I smoked. I took the time to find alternative ways, different ways to replace the when and understand the whys. There are happenings in our lives which we may never see come around again. We may only experience that once in a lifetime. Could be subtle things, could be catastrophic things. Could be a hurricane, flood, death of a parent, a child. Subtle things like returning to your job, starting a new job or having your spouse return to his old shift. These may spark smoking thoughts because that's how we coped with things or we're returning back to a time where we smoked our way through to get through.

 

Take the time you need to educate yourself about how nicotine works in the brain. Research on this site what nicotine receptors are. School yourself about the chemistry changes that are going on within your body. Search for terms that you are curious about, dizziness, crying, tiredness, whatever. Go through the steps of identifying your triggers, tracking when you smoke the most, take special note of filling out the section about how I plan to separate. Pick a different way for each trigger. Teach yourself to cope with life differently.

 

This plan works if you work with it. Go to a member that you connect with or visit ELDER'S LIST and poke around on some of their profiles. Read their content, look at their bookmarks, filter their content by date created: oldest first. See how they were early in their quit, what they wrote about, the responses they received. Send a private message if you need to if you need help. Post a blog stating you're on the edge or start a conversation (discussion) stating HELP !!! That's how I got to 900-plus days. I wrote my little heart out on a daily basis. It helps, it works. When you feel weak, you have something to refer back to. I still refer back to mine every now and again. After the first 30 days, never give yourself permission to smoke ever again. Smoking is a choice. Choose wisely. You can do this and you will succeed. A quitter is a winner in my book and should be in yours !!!!