Let me count the ways.
I saw this heading on a recent post: “Does EX work?”
But well, no! It could only work when I committed myself to work my part. Worked it with a firm decision, a quit plan, dedication and the unmoveable belief that I am NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN. Then, with the support of EX, I became a happy quitter.
NMW No matter what, NEF Never, Ever Forget (Day 1, the actual cost of the cigarettes, the cost of the extra toothpaste I used 4/5/6 times a day to kill the smell (it didn’t), the mints, the mouth sprays, extra perfume or body sprays (WHAT A STUPID WASTE OF MONEY!), the stale smell of smoke surrounding me, my house, my car, the damage I did to my body, my gums and teeth, 2nd and 3rd hand smoke that, no doubt, damaged my loved ones and my pets, the yellow fingers and nails, talking with my hand covering my mouth or looking down so as not to “share” my putrid breath with others…)
S.I.N.A.O. = Smoking is not an option.
N.O.P.E. = Not one puff ever.
A couple of others from the Elders that I connected with… Keep them away from your face / You don’t do that anymore. These were the phrases that went around in my head for at least 6 months, daily. They were a huge part of my quit kit.
It all comes down to choices…
I was scared. I had little faith in my ability to keep that promise. I had to make the promise to myself every morning that, just for today, I would remain smoke free and had to follow that up by coming here pledging with my mates…to keep myself accountable. It was a daily CHOICE. A choice that replaced that other one I had made every day for 45 years, when I lit the first cigarette of the day. (MY choice – no one forced that cigarette between my lips). I had to CHOOSE whether I was going to wallow in self-pity or hold my head high, CHOOSE that smoking was not a part of my life anymore, CHOOSE that I was not going to do this in fight mode, but in acceptance mode.
And yes, I did it all while in full clinical depression with panic and anxiety disorders. My disease did not get worse for quitting, nor did it get any better after being quit. I’m still on medication which gets revised and tweaked every 6 months. As far as excuses go, the ones we throw out because we suspect that caving is just around the corner, depression is the one thing I could not blame on quitting. I’ve been dragging that with me for many years and it gets worse at times (selling home and moving, losing and missing my mom); then other times I want to stop the meds because I feel so fine (BIG mistake, HUGE). It has nothing to do with smoking or quitting – it’s an imbalance of chemicals over which I have none of my usual control. It also had nothing to do with feeling blue or feeling depressed because I was grieving for my old smoky friend. Feeling depressed and being diagnosed with Major Depression – two different animals.
But – as calm and serene as I feel about my choice and my success so far, I simply cannot let my guard down. I read the “EX One Puff Files” yesterday and went ice cold. Someone blew a 12 year quit, another an 18 year quit!!!
So, as much as I feel this quit of mine is unshakeable, it still has to be nurtured and cared for and protected from excuses.
To get back to “does EX work”, I could not have reached this milestone without every person on this site. It works for sure – all the tools are here. All the guidance, advice, the caring, the sharing, the tough love and the softer love, it’s all here for us to use to shore up our quit. Make good use of it. It’s priceless.
SIX HUNDRED DAYS PEOPLE!!!! THANK YOU!!!!
And to think I only quit to get me through a knee replacement
Hugs and blessings to everyone
Stay smoke free guys.
Bree 600 DOF.