ElaineC

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Blog Post created by ElaineC on Jan 6, 2020
Elaine C.
Elaine C. 371 Days Quit
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Troutnut 1.
Troutnut 1.troutnut 16885 Days Quit

Somewhat depressed over my recent “severe emphysema” diagnosis, I had been feeling down yesterday and not sleeping well. I received a text yesterday from a friend inviting me to attend a local AA meeting to celebrate the 21 years of sobriety I have accrued. Mrs. Troutnut urged me to go even though I didn’t feel like it to “pick up some good energy”. So I did. And a few minutes into the meeting a strange thing happened I want to share with you. A man walked in a little late wearing a black velour face mask. He came and sat next to me. When he took off the face mask I recognized him as someone I had seen long ago, but could not recall his name. He got up and made himself some coffee and came back to sit down again. When he talked he said “I have been facing some depression issues and my psychologist said I needed support from like minded people. He is familiar with me being in AA, so basically he told me to get to a meeting.” Now he had my full attention. He went on to say “I told my psychologist, who is part of my transplant team, that there aren’t many people like me walking around having just had a double lung transplant. But he said that didn’t matter. That I didn’t have to find someone who had received a double lung transplant. That I just needed to find someone who had experienced depression and talk to them about what they did about it. Or to help someone else through what I have been through.”. My mouth was probably hanging open by then and you could of knocked me over with a feather. At a tiny meeting, in a tiny town in Montana, with 10 recovering alcoholics, and there...right next to me was a man who I needed, and who needed me. Someone with vast experience in all I am facing. Turns out the pulmonologist that has cared for him so long, and who arranged his transplant, is the same doctor I have my appointment with for December 5th. We exchanged phone numbers and he offered to go with me for my appointment! Finally I slept like a baby last night. And the wonderful messages I have received here today have made me feel even better. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Your friend in Montana Troutnut1-dennis

Repost: Keep Your Attitude High !!! From BilliB on 12/29/2003 5:10:05 PM Just a few thoughts to share on how to not get totally overwhelmed during the early part of your quit. The world is filled with plenty of negative things that create pressure and stress in our lives. Our job is to focus on being positive, empowered and making decisions that will lift us up unto higher ground. Our minds are a powerful tool. Don't let it run amuck with all kinds of negative thoughts. Be in charge of your own destiny. YES, you can do this. Keep your life simple, get rid of any extra baggage you are carrying around. In every situation look for the good. You may have to go through plenty of garbage, but the good is there........ seek it out !! Feeling the craves bad ? Go wash your kitchen floor. or clean your bathroom really clean. Go through your drawers, get rid of things you don't wear or use anymore. Wash your windows......... do activities that will help to clean out your environment. Don't sit and focus on how bad the cravings are ~ kick them out, by being busy doing positive things that will enhance your life. If you feel your self slipping, pull up, just like an airplane that was going into a dive........ PULL UP YOUR ATTITUDE !! Put on some music, really loud, dance around, move, laugh at yourself. Get the energy flowing in your body again. Good energy that will fill you up with an abundance of "good feelings". "Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are." --Norman Vincent Peale You are stronger then you realize. You hold your destiny in your own hands. Keep Your Attitude High !!! ~ Billi ----- Yes, there is Life after smoking, much Life.

Craving; Before you light that one cigarette...From The_GAEL Written by The_GAEL 02/24/03. 115 days quit. I have seen a number of folks failing. some after a few days and a few after months quit.. always coming back feeling very bad. So I wrote and posted this piece.. called Craving; Before you light that one cigarette... From The_GAEL on 2/24/2003 6:41:39 PM Picture yourself a second or two after you stub out that quit-breaking cigarette. The one that you just had to have because the craving was so strong you couldn`t hold out any longer, when that voice inside you was saying.. `Go on, life sucks, you may as well smoke a cig.. y`know for your nerves..` or the other one.. `you`ve got this beat now.. you are in control.. you can have one just now and again.. Go on, have one for old time`s sake..` So you bum a cigarette, and smoke it and in 2 and 1/2 minutes, you stub it out. Now what ? Your mouth feels like crap. Your lungs are tightening up. You managed to stifle the coughs .. but barely. You begin to squint again because the smoke hurt your eyes. and your fingers and clothes smell again. You either want to throw up, grab some mouthwash, take a shower, or have another.. maybe buy a pack. But then you realize what you`ve just done. After all those times when you said you were going to quit, and then when you finally did, and your family and friends were so happy for you - but not exactly over the moon, because after all they`ve been hopeful before only to see you relapse - all that enthusiasm is now smashed to pieces on the floor. And all the pressure that drove you to grab that cigarette in the first place - it`s all still there. Nothing has changed, except now you`ve added one more problem: you just blew it. And then you realize what you`ve really done. You had invested days, maybe weeks and months, in this quit. You had made a great decision, one of the few things you really and truly felt proud of in your life, and you just blew it. You just blew the quit that you swore to yourself was the last one. You were so positive, so motivated, and encouraged, you were really on top of it, ahead of the game for once, you had taken control of your life and it felt like a whole new beginning.. and you just blew it. You look at that stub in the ashtray. The grey ash and the brown edge to the burnt paper, and the tar stain on the end of filter. You remember the thousands of cigarettes you have stubbed out and think about the tar that came into your lungs as smoke. And you think if smoking that one cigarette was worth it. Nothing`s better. You feel a little dizzy now as the nicotine hits your body, even a little nauseous - certainly don`t feel the pleasure that you remember the adverts and billboards were promoting during your early years as a smoker. In fact it`s hard to remember any time when you felt that pleasure.. just another tobacco company lie.. They helped you to become an addict the first time, but when you smoked that cigarette after you quit.. well that was a whole new decision. You made that one all by yourself - there`s no pointing fingers now, you know that cigarettes kill, so when you lit that one cigarette, the choice to smoke was all yours this time. And you blew it. It wasn`t worth it.. time after time the slippers` and relapsers` lament how they feel like crap, how ashamed they are, how they have lost confidence and hope, how they hate themselves, how much it hurts, how depressed and they cry and hide and cry some more. And now you are one of them.. the quit losers. Lost in the wilderness, not quite a smoker.. yet. And not sure you are a quitter, searching for some dignity, some self-respect out of this. All because of that one cigarette. Because you blew it. OK, time to come back.. thankfully this was a `Picture yourself...` so none of this really happened. You didn`t smoke that cigarette, and your quit is intact. You take a deep breath and you can still fill your lungs without breaking down into a hacking cough. You can smile, because you are still in control. The craving passes and you can shake your head a little and give yourself a little pat on the back at your success. You remained true the promise you made to yourself on day one. Because none of this really happened. Did it ? ________________________The GAEL/115 days

CSavage helped me understand what I was going through as a quitter is/was normal for a person who quits smoking. This post help(s)(ed) me stay quit, no small order in my book. to life~ Nancy 11 years quit, grateful quitter repost 4 PARTS: first in a series Chris the Science Geek answers your questions about CRS csavage is the writer on 11/17/2003 3:49:01 PM This is for any newbies (or even oldbies) that wonder, "why is it I feel so light-headed, dopey and stoned now that I have quit smoking...?" Well, pull up a chair and Chris the Science Geek will tell you why... <cue dream sequence music and spinning spiral...> When you burn the leaves of tobacco and inhale the combustion products, you inevidibly inhale a whole bunch of a certain chemical called carbon monoxide. You may be familiar with this chemical; it's the same one that spews out of the, uh , "backside" of your car. So, yup, it's kinda like doing tailpipe hits. The carbon monoxide, aka "CO", takes up space in your bloodstream that would normally be occupied by another certian chemical that goes by the name of oxygen, aka O2. Funny thing is, your body uses the O2 but can *not* use the CO. In fact, in large enough doses, CO will suffocate/poison you. This is why doctors do not recommend that you get into your car in a closed garage, run a hose from the tailpipe into the window and start the engine. Take it from me, this is a Bad Idea. Anyway, your body, being the unbelievable wondrous machine that it is, responds to this mini-suffocation that you are inflicting on it by increasing something called your "packed red cell count". Why does your body do this, you ask? I'll tell you why: in your blood are cells (they're red, go figure) that carry O2 from your lungs to other parts of your body. Because the CO uses up some of their ability to carry O2, you need more to carry the amount of O2 you need to live. So, your body produces about 10-20% more red blood cells. When your doctor is looking at your blood they will often separate out the red blood cells by spinning your blood in a centrifuge. The red blood cells all go to the bottom of the test tube, nicely compacted. The doctor measures the volume of these packed cells and that number is called (wait for it) the packed red cell volume. Neato, huh?! Because humans have a pretty consistent level of red cells, doctors can actually tell if you are a smoker by looking at your level. So, now your body is happily chugging along, coughing and hacking a lot but at least getting enough O2 to keep you alive. Then you quit smoking. Very rapidly the reduction in CO that you are breathing causes a precipitous drop in the amount of CO in your blood. But here YOU are, still walking around with 10-20% higher O2 carrying ability. So, you get a little, well, giddy. Kinda dopey. Hell, you're stoned, let's call it what it is. You are actually walking around in a state of constant, low-level hyperventilation. Eventually your body realizes the big favor you have done it and stops producing red blood cells for awhile so that you can get back down to your normal level. When that happens, the dizziness will go away. What can you do about it? Well, my advice is to breathe deeply and enjoy this free buzz. Ever hear of oxygen bars over in Tokyo? Well, they have them. You go in and belly up to the bar, lay down your coin and huff pure oxygen for awhile. But YOU get to do it for free!!! Take advantage of your inebriated state and blame absolutely every little mistake, faux pas and error on it. You won't often get this opportunity so DON'T BLOW IT!!! One more word of advice: you may want to avoid making major decisions, operating heavy equipment or performing death-defying stunts for awhile. Ya just never know... This has been a public service announcement by Chris the Science Geek. No warranty, expressed or implied, is given - use at your own risk. Offer void where prohibited, please allow 10-12 weeks for delivery. Your mileage may vary. Quitulence ~ Second in a series...from csavage the science geek ===================================================== A recent correspondent asked me about what is commonly known as "quitulence" or excess *cough* $@!#% *cough* during a Quit. Please sit back, get comfortable and sip a nice beverage and I'll try to explain it the best I can. ***** <cue science geek music soundtrack and spinning spiral...> ***** Although we all like to think of ourselves as very independent, especially since we are now certified Quitsters, the fact of the matter is we rely on other organisms to live. In fact, without some of these other organisms, we COULDN'T live. The biggest and most obvious example of this are the bacteria that live in and on our body. There are bacteria on your skin that help you to fight off unfriendly bacteria that try to infect you. There are bacteria around the openings into your body (nose, mouth, ears, etc...) that fight off the unfriendlies trying to infect those areas. Stuff like that. ***** One of the most important activities that friendly bacteria perform for us to live in our gut (stomach, intenstinal tract, places like that) and help us to break down and digest our food. Without those friendly "bugs", we have >>major<< problems which is why you often experience -uh- gastric "distress" when you are on antibiotics: the drugs actually kill off many of these good bugs along with the malevolent ones that are trying to make you sick. ***** Well, when you invade your system with nicotine, it plays hell with your whole body and causes a shift in the types of bacteria that can survive in this polluted environment. Then, one day, you go and quit and suddenly the chemical environment shifts dramatically. It takes a while for your gut to respond and for the population of bacteria to recover and readjust itself to this new situation. During that time, you will find you don't digest your food so well. When food gets past your stomach and is digested in the intestines and other unspeakable areas (this happens with beans a lot for many people), a great deal of gas gets liberated "down there". When this happens, you can't just give a discreet little belch to let it out, it has to go the ...um... other way if you get my meaning. And LOTS of it goes "the other way". A WHOLE LOT in some cases. Like maybe you need to go outside now whole lot. Like even the dog gets up and leaves when you're around whole lot. ***** Eventually, the microbial equilibrium in your body is reestablished and things return to normal (which for men is usually indistinguishable from this hyper-gassy state that we've just described.) In the meantime, you might try upping how much yogurt you eat and focus on eating easy-to-digest foods so that less gas gets produced "down there". Also, keep in mind that many of the snacks that Quitsters use to get them through the initial days and weeks are high in fiber and fat (carrots, sunflower seeds, Cheetos, etc.) These can make things worse and, if it gets real bad, you might consider avoiding them. Otherwise, just be patient. Eventually you'll get back to normal. ***** Now, please, would ya light a match or something?! Sheesh! Chris the Science Geek REPOST: Chris the Science Geek answers your questions about getting sick after quitting smoking From csavage on 11/17/2003 3:50:25 PM Third in a series... ===================================================== Recently, an intrepid Quitster asked, "why am I getting sick MORE now that I have quit smoking? I thought I was supposed to be getting HEALTHIER?!" If you are interested in the answer to this question, pull up a chair, relax with a nice beverage and Chris the Science Geek will endeavor to explain this phenomenon to you. <Cue dream sequence music and spinning spiral...> There are several possible explanations for the fact that you seem to be getting sick MORE often rather than less often now that you have quit smoking. The first is that you aren't actually SICK but just experiencing "cold-like symptoms". In other words, your body is exhibiting natural responses to quitting smoking and they *look* a lot like the symptoms you get when you have a cold. For example, a healthy adult human produces between a pint and a quart of mucous EVERY DAY. Small hair-like cilia in the sinus cavities wave back and forth and circulate the mucous through you sinuses and, eventually, into the back of your throat where it is swallowed. The purpose of this is for the sticky mucous to pick up foreign debris (including bacteria and viruses that can make you sick) and send them to your stomach where aggressive stomach acids destroy them. However, when you smoke, you kill the cilia and your body also may produce less mucous. When you quit, it starts up again, the cilia come back to life and suddenly you are one snotty Quitster. You may have an unusually runny or stuffy nose at times for the first few months of your Quit. It seems a LOT like having a cold. Another possible explanation is this: when you smoke, your body is in a state of heightened defense, trying to combat the continuous poisoning that happens every time you light up. When you quit, your body sighs and says, "Ahhhh...now I can relax..." Since this relaxation of your immune system is coupled with unhealthy sinuses and dead lung and sinus cilia, you are much more vulnerable to attack from bacteria and viruses. So you get sick more often (colds, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, etc.) until your body returns to a healthier state. A final explanation is simply that when you quit, your body quickly moves into "healing" mode. This takes a great deal of energy and it becomes quite easy to get run down if you don't get enough rest. A common lament of new Quitsters is constantly being tired and this is a manifestation of that healing process. If you become run-down, you are more vulnerable to getting sick, as we all know. Which of these explanations is the one for you? That's hard to say. The truth is that it may be one or all of them. It may also be that a little "revisionist history" is going on and you are only now admitting that you get sick more. Before, you may have attributed it to "allergies" or "the weather" or "sunspots" or "communist insurrectionist plots" - stuff like that. Anything but admitting that your smoking was making you sick. In other words, maybe you aren't sick more, you're just calling it what it is for the first time. At any rate, we cannot expect to undo in a few days or weeks what we've spent many years causing. It will take time, up to two years for some people, before we really are healed up and see the benefits of not smoking in terms of being sick less. Just be aware of this and help your body out: get plenty of sleep, lower your stress load, drink lots of water to help flush your system and eat properly. You will begin to see evidence that the healing is taking place in a short time. Coughing up gunk a lot? That's evidence that the cilia are coming back to life and helping your lungs to purge themselves. Do you seem to have more energy than you used to? That's evidence your body is healing nicely. Less out of breath after climbing the stairs in your house? One more bit of evidence that you're getting better all the time. Just remember that all it takes is one puff to get started down this path to dead cilia and constantly getting sick. You've done the one most effective thing you can do to improve your health so don't blow it. Keep the Quit! Chris the Science Geek REPOST: Chris the Science Geek answers your questions about Quitzits, sore gums & tongue, canker sores and cold sores From csavage on 11/17/2003 3:51:01 PM Fourth in a series... ===================================================== The question was recently sent in to our laboratory, "Now that I've quit smoking, why am I getting acne like I'm a danged teenager?!" Well, have a seat and the Science Dork will do his best to fill you in. <Cue dream sequence music and spinning spiral...> As we've all learned, the act of smoking introduces all kinds of nasty pollutants into our bodies. Being the miracles of nature that they are, our bodies adjust as best they can and do whatever they can to shed the nasty chemical toxins we pour into them with every puff we take on a cigarette. Unfortunately, each cigarette we smoke retards the detoxification process that our bodies are *trying* to engage in. The net effect is an accumulation of toxins inside our bodies along with a shift in the chemical balance inside us (including our hormones.) One day, we quit smoking. This is a Good Thing but, as we have also learned, it throws our bodies into an upheaval. Suddenly the chemical balance is thrown out of whack again while, at the same time, our bodies start the detoxification process. You've heard people tell new Quitsters to "drink lots of water to help flush out all the toxins". This is good advice and it helps a great deal. However, it's just not fast enough for you body when begins to excrete the toxins in any way it can. Sometimes the toxins are ejected through the soft tissues inside our mouths and through the pores. This causes the well-known Quitzits many Quitsters suffer from. It can also cause tremendous mouth discomfort as cold sores and canker sores erupt inside the mouth and on the lips. This coupled with the hormonal changes that happen (akin to the changes that happen during a woman's menstual cycle, another time when she's likely to experience more acne than is typical) can lead to some pretty pimply periods. Sore throats are also quite common during this time. There is also some evidence that there are chemical agents absorbed from cigarette smoke that inhibit the formation of cold sores which only makes their occurence more likely once you Quit. Finally, many Quitsters suffer from Quitstipation. Since this slow downs a major toxin shedding process, this is one less avenue for the body to rid itself of the nasty chemicals it has been absorbing. If it's any consolation, smoking Quitsters aren't the only people to experience this phenomenon - recovering heroin addicts have been known to develop raging cases of acne, too. As with all the other negative side effects of smoking cessation, the best thing to do is just wait it out. In the meantime, consider lowering your toxin load by eating more nutritious, healthy foods, especially high-fiber foods. Also, drink as much water as you can. It really does help to flush your system. You may also want to invest in some Oxy10 to take care of that third eye on your cheek ;^) Chris the Science Geek REPOST **DISCLAIMER: xsome people dispute part 4 regarding the Oxygen. I am no expert.

Andrea G.
Andrea G.6195 Days Quit

FROGLADY REPOST My quit is great, but.......... I Am Sick And Tired Of Hearing These Dumb, Stupid Comments and Excuses For Slipping, Relapsing Or For Not Quitting At All!!!!!!!!! From froglady on 8/10/2005 2:41:29 PM DISCLAIMER! This is a repost, and I am not criticizing or pointing a finger at anyone so please......... read it thoroughly before posting an ...Read more

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Andrea G.
Andrea G. 6195 Days Quit

The HALF-PERCENT CLUB Repost of message by kevindontsmoke on 11/19/2002 According to statistics published inJune of 2002 by the American Lung Association (see "TRENDS IN TOBACCO USE" at http://www.lungusa.org/data/) Over 46,500,000 (that's 46 and a half million) Americans smoke. Of those, 70% (or 32,550,000) say they want to quit. Of those, 34% (or 11,067,000) attempt to quit each year. Of those, 2.5% (or 276,675) succeed. That's about one-half of one percent of the total number of American smokers. The half-percent club. Now, some people might look at those numbers and get discouraged. They might think, "only a half of a percent make it? what chance do i have of succeeding with odds like that?" - what they don't realize is that statistics say *nothing* about individuals, and every member of this exclusive club is an individual. And every individual has the power of choice. -------- The HALF-PERCENT CLUB has no officers; no president, no secretary, no treasurer. It has no meetings; it has no meeting hall. It doesn't march in parades, organize food, clothing or fund drives, hold garage sales, or have bingo on Wednesdays. But it does have dues, and if you want to be a member, you have to pay your dues. It doesn't matter who you know, doesn't matter what you know, doesn't matter if you're from the right family, doesn't matter if you went to the right school, doesn't matter if you're from the right side of the tracks, doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, doesn't matter what color your skin is, doesn't matter what religion you follow (or even if you follow any at all), doesn't matter what your politics are. All that matters is that you pay your dues. Because the HALF-PERCENT CLUB isn't like other clubs: nobody nominates you for membership; you nominate yourself. Nobody votes on whether you can become a member; your vote is the only one that counts. You elect yourself. By paying your dues. You pay your dues by waking up every morning, looking your addiction in the eye, and choosing not to feed it today. You pay your dues by going to bed every night patting yourself on the back for having stuck by that choice today. You pay your dues by choosing not to feed your addiction whenever you're hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. You pay your dues by choosing not to feed your addiction whenever you feel sorry for yourself. You pay your dues by choosing not to feed your addiction whenever you're under pressure. You pay your dues by choosing not to feed your addiction whenever you get a crave. You pay your dues by choosing not to feed your addiction. no matter what. You pay your dues by choosing life. Because as long as you choose life, you're a card-carrying, paid-in-full member. And as long as you keep choosing life, nobody can vote you out. In fact, once you've paid your dues, the only way to lose your membership is to take it away from yourself. By choosing to feed your addiction. By choosing death. --------

This is a quick tool I found here at the Q, if you find yourself thinking about tossing your quit. Read this first, not sure who shared it but I hope it helps someone. With this puff I enslave myself to a lifetime of addiction. While I can’t promise to always love you, I do promise to obey every craving and support my addiction to you no matter how expensive you become. I will let no husband or wife, no family member or friend, no doctor or any other health professional, no employer or government policy, no burns or no stench, no cough or raspy voice, no cancer or emphysema, no heart attack or stroke, no threat of loss of life or limbs, come between us. I will smoke you forever from this day forth, for better or worse, whether richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part! “You may now light the cigarette.”

Worth the read. Jessicaybar, aka Janet Wells was a very real quit buddy to those of us here early in Quitnet. She was 42. https://youtu.be/5t9zmpDInXs This is the link to a one minute commercial she did. And below is her story from Quitnet. If this doesn't scare you... Lung cancer spread to brain now - This is WEIRD! From jessicaybar on 1/10/2004 4:48:55 AM I had to go to hospital and stay a night - they put me on steroids for, of all things, my brain being swollen. They did a cat scan on my head and found that there are several rather large tumors, and numerous little ones. They say this is commonly seen when lung cancer spreads to the brain. The lesions/tumors somehow make the brain swell - the pressure against the skull makes for pain and for some weird visual disturbances and other symptoms - They did one treatment of radiation to the tumors - I have option to go back for more, but I think I'd rather not lose my hair. That may be stupid, but it is beyond waist length, and I won't live long enough to grow it back I don't think I can deal with the shame of having short hair (or no hair), even for a short while, stupid as that might sound to some but it is very important here with me and mine.When my hair is gone, that is more than I can bear, and that is when I lay down and die. This is one of the things I feared most about the lung cancer. I didn't know lung cancer spread to the brain until after I was first diagnosed with early stage lung cancer two years ago - but I was assured all was fine, that it was a tiny little cancer, early stage, not spread anywhere, etc. But - they NEVER ever scanned my head to check for spread until now, after having symptoms of a small stroke and visual disturbances, and WOW, there it is, with quite a presence. They say this isn't curable - the best they can do with radiation or chemo is to knock down the size of the tumors, which will help with symptoms, for a while, but they say the tumors will come back , etc. They tell me 6 months, maybe a year without treatments, with lots of pain - or maybe 12 months stretching to 2 with treatments - There is a very real reality of succumbing to sudden events such as paralysis, stroke, cerebral hemmorhage, coma, and more - I know they tell me these things to encourage me to take treatments, but even with treatments these tumors will return and those things will become a reality at some point, more than likely, anyway - I'm at home now with lots of pain pills and steroids, and inclined not to return unless the pain/symptoms become unmanageable. The radiation oncologist told me the failure rate when it has spread to the brain is really high - i.e. just a repeat that the radiation can help hold it back a while but won't cure - Well bummer. I had hoped to live. Doctors say that isn't possible. So! I'm back to where I was, and I think where I've always been - waiting on the Lord, hoping and praying, and knowing the only healing that comes will be from Him. I strongly considered having a cigarette while I was in the hospital. I would have had to go outside to the smoking area, in the wind and cold, and bum one off of someone - and I know that it probably would have made me feel very green. Even so, I was tempted. Sometimes I think that if I went back to smoking, the poison in the cigarettes might be nasty enough to kill the cancer!! Maybe, who knows. I'm positive the poison in them is what started the cancer, though, so - I just can't bring myself to smoke as it's like instant condemnation, damnation if I do - It looks to me like I've already been damned though, so maybe it doesn't even matter at this point - but I *do* breathe easier, and my children aren't breathing in all that smoke, and my house, clothes, etc. don't smell like that anymore - that's nice. Doctors say I can't work anymore. I kind of knew that already - I felt so bad since before Christmas vacation, then all through Christmas vacation, and when school started back this past week, I knew I wasn't able. That's going to make things hard. BUT there is a good side to that - I will get to stay home with my children, be a homemaker again for a little while. It will give me enough time (I hope, as long as nothing drastic happens for a few weeks) to get all my paperwork, etc. together for when the time comes - It'll be nice to have my house CLEAN again - that is so hard to keep up with when working full time - it'll be nice to spend time with the children like we used to do, before I started working full time years ago - I'll go up and clean out my stuff from my classroom at school. I feel awful about doing it though - it's like stripping the room of its personality, of me, and that's kind of sad. It's a bright, cheery room, full of bright primary colors, toys and lots of books and manipulatives placed in a way to make it very attractive to little ones. I may just donate a big part of the stuff to the school - it just seems like it belongs there now as that's why I bought the stuff to begin with, for the school room, and it just seems like it belongs there - Got to talk with funeral home people - geez louise, they charge for every little thing! Absolutely ridiculous! I decided to do away with most of the things they charge for - I'm having my grave dug here on the place, back on the mountain a little piece, where it won't cost to "buy a plot", and getting it dug beforehand by someone else. I don't wanted the embalming, visitation, etc..funeral home says I MUST have embalming (another charge) unless there is immediate-within-24-hours burial so I've asked for immediate, within 24 hour burial. They hold will be ready and waiting for them (they made sure to tell me that if they dug it, it would be $350..). They sell coffins for $5400 - no thanks, give me the $450 pine box, and NO I DON"T NEED A FRIGGIN VAULT for that- They want $130 or somesuch "transfer fee" (transferring from hospital or home to funeral home) and $150 or somesuch "coach fee" (use of hearse for a funeral) - We can forget using the hearse - just put the coffine and me in the back of the 4 WD pickup truck, go on back to the grave site and proceed, no hearse needed - They've got a charge for every little thing - By sticking with the most basic of basics, doing what we can ourselves - the funeral home is still going to pocket $1500 or $2000!! And for what? good grief. At any rate, here I am in my final months, arguing with the funeral home people. SO what's my point in writing this here. I don't know. I guess I'm still in shock that this progressed from "tiny, stage 1, CURED lung cancer" to "terminal, end stage lung cancer spread to brain, lymphnodes, etc." and guaranteed death within a precise amount of time. My head hurts. You know how you get little visual wigglies, etc. when you have a migraine come on?? That happens with this, constantly, plus more and it's hard to get used to. I've got my pills, I'll go take another - they help some - I've go take more cancer tea and herb supplements and get ready for church. They have told me they will do an annointing soon - Perhaps with the laying on of hands, the annointing, perhaps we will get to see God show off. Wouldn't that be cool? I've got so many tests, scans, etc. that show cancer, cancer, cancer, terrible incurable cancer - I would LOVE for doctors to see it disappear out of the blue - they couldn't possibly deny the work of God then. I'm 42 years old. This cancer started when I was 38, they tell me - they didn't find it (*as early stage 1 curable cancer* until I was 40. In 2 years time I've gone from cured and well, to ready to die. ALL BECAUSE OF CIGARETTES. I don't want to die. I have a 4 year old, and older children too. I want MORE children. I have stuff to do. Places to go. SALES to go to! LOL You know what? The suffering, the pain, the aggravation, the hopelessness, the sadness - not one single cigarette is worth what I've gone through, am going through, or look to go through. Not ALL the cigarettes are worth this. If you're sitting on the edge of the fence, not sure whether to really put the effort forth to quit smoking , or perhaps wondering about whether to go on back to smoking - don't do it. Especially not if you're a female. Females are now seeing an epidemic of lung cancer deaths, at earlier and earlier ages. we're talking 30s and 40s here. It appears Satan is alive and well, and he laughs as we fall. There are over 400,000 of us in the U.S. that fall to the lung cancer each and every year. That's a lot of people, people! I will continue on as normal as I possibly can - make the most of every day from here on out, I guess. If I hadn't smoked, I might have lived to be 83 or 86 like my grandmothers. Looks like I won't make even half their age. Thanks so much, Phillip Morris & R. J. Reynolds. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Janet Wells, aka Jessicaybar, died at Thanksgiving, 2004. May she rest in peace

Reposting for those that wanted to bookmark this... You don't have to reset your gadget. (A repost) I've already done it for you. I love each and every precious newbie here, whether you decide to take that FIRST puff of nicotine, or whether you decide not to. Just by being here you have shown tremendous wisdom and courage. But as a quitter with 59+ months (now over 17 years) truly smoke-free under my belt, it is impossible for me to NOT notice the difference between the two choices. And it is, in my opinion, unfair of anyone to ask me not to notice, when they make a conscious decision to take that FIRST puff of nicotine (to smoke), and then try and escape the normal consequences of their actions by renaming it (a slip which implies something less than smoking). The ole Montana Troutnut1 has watched this issue for almost 5 years (now over 17 years) now and has tried to stay on the sidelines. In fact, I have intentionally ducked (quack, quack) this issue. Smoke free since 2/28/2001 and sober since 11/21/98 I have faced my demons, and beaten them, one day at a time. And my main purpose in being here at this stage in my life is to share my experience, strength, and hope with you so that you may experience the joy that I have found here, and to insure my own quits by helping others. So that you may also recover, as I have, from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To share the love that has no price. To share in miracles on a daily basis. And I can't do that by ignoring the obvious. The obvious, at least to ME, is that there IS a difference between one-week smoke free, and one day smoke free 7 times. And there IS a difference between 100 days smoke free, and 20 days smoke free 5 times. And if you don't yet know or understand the difference, its simply because you have not yet had that experience. Its not that I'm judging you. Its not that I'm looking down on you. I'm not trying to be mean to you. Lord knows I've been there. I failed dozens of times. I know what its like. It's simply that I want you to eventually get to that place of freedom that I've finally found. And you are unlikely to find it if you don't know what you are looking for. If nobody tells you the way. Its why we have Elders and Doctors here, and I would be remiss in my obligation to you, were I to remain silent about this any longer. If you want to go to a different place this time, it's important that you use a new map. If you use the same ole map you've always used, you'll likely end up in the same ole place you've always ended up. The ole definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. If you ever need medical help, you'll find that there IS a difference between a physician with 6 years of medical school, and a student with one year of medical school 6 times. One is called Doctor. And one isn't. I am a private pilot and it took a minimum of 40 hours of instruction and practice to obtain that license. The FAA would not have granted me that license, nor would you wish to ride with me, if I just had the first hour of instruction 40 times. If I just took the one hour "intro" flight 40 times. If you want a college degree you'll find that you need 4 years of school, not just the first year 4 times. And by definition (Quitnet's, not mine)nobody here NOT ONE single Doctor of Quitology, has ever made one whole year quit, while continuing to puff. Because the definition includes the words smoke free, which, in hindsight at least, are not all that hard for me to understand. I recently had someone who had been smoking and didn't reset write me complaining about the way we do things around here. She kept saying "we Elders this" and "we Elders that". I didn't have the heart to tell her that she wasn't an Elder because she had not gone 100 days without smoking. So when we cheat now, we have to cheat later too, and at every milestone forever and ever. If I had to live with dishonesty like that I'd HAVE to smoke. And maybe drink too. It took me 35 years, and dozens of failed attempts, to figure out that TO QUIT YOU HAVE TO STOP SMOKING. And now, I am here to share that revelation with you. And if you don't yet have that understanding, I hope that you will join me, and those of us that DO have that understanding, sometime real soon. There is but ONE puff that separates Doctors of Quitology from those just pretending to be Doctors. It is that FIRST puff. And that's exactly where you need to draw that line in the sand. At that FIRST puff. Of course you don't have to reset your gadget if you don't want to. But when you admit to smoking here, at any time, in any amount, and for any reason I, and many others like me, will just go ahead and reset for you. Though we probably won't mention to you that we did it. This is simply a statement of fact. The world, and the remainder of the Q, has a gadget for you that runs concurrently with your personal gadget. But the two do not always agree if you decide to take that FIRST puff of nicotine and not reset. This simple fact is not negotiable. It is not debatable. It doesn't depend upon what anyone else (that hasn't yet been there) says. Or what even what the Q may say. There is no way for it to be sugar coated. And yes, your life really does depend upon you getting 100% on this simple test. Don't take that FIRST puff, one day at a time, and it is physically impossible to fail! Don't take that FIRST puff, just for today, and you are absolutely, positively, 100% guaranteed to go to bed as a WINNER tonight! Your friend in Montana Troutnut1 (Dennis)

Back again? (A repost) Back again? Welcome back! You are welcome to relapse and start over again as many times as you want to. But it’s really not necessary. You don’t ever have to take another puff if you don’t want to. If you have already relapsed and didn’t ask for help, none of us can really fix that now. The question is, what will you be doing differe ...Read more

Quitting Smoking is Easy . . . ¤ Easier than hearing your doctor say, `I am sorry . . .` ¤ Easier than fighting cancer. ¤ Easier than laying in the hospital having radiation treatment. ¤ Easier than breathing through tubes up your nose. ¤ Easier than having a Tracheostomy. ¤ Easier than losing your vision (AMD-Age-related Macular Degeneration). ¤ Easier than COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). ¤ Easier than laying in the hospital wishing you could feel the sun. ¤ Easier than looking out the window knowing you can`t go there anymore. ¤ Easier than listening to your loved ones crying outside your hospital room. ¤ Easier than researching for hospice care. ¤ Easier than preparing for your funeral because the cancer has gone so far. ¤ Easier than picking out your favorite songs for your funeral. ¤ Easier than trying to say the right words because they will be your last. ¤ Easier than your child seeing you die from cancer. ¤ Easier than imagining your child without a Mom. ¤ Easier than imagining your child without a Dad. ¤ Easier than realizing your child may need a new Mom in the future. ¤ Easier than realizing your child may need a new Dad in the future. ¤ Easier than not seeing your child`s face because of blindness. ¤ Easier than telling your child you are dying because you smoked. ¤ Easier than losing a friend . . . or a friend losing you. ¤ Easier than imagining your spouse being alone. ¤ Easier than asking your friends to look after your spouse. ¤ Easier than training your job replacement and knowing why. ¤ Easier than changing your retirement plans or canceling them. ¤ Easier than going through your photo album with tears. ¤ Easier than realizing your pet may out live you. ¤ Easier than friends talking about you in past tense. ¤ Easier than realizing smoking was more important to you than your life. ¤ Easier than thinking, `So this is it . . .?` ¤ Easier than dying . . . Quit smoking now . . . start living life smoke free . . . addiction free . . . Peter

Jeezo, people! Is it a full moon in America just now? Or something in the water? Things seem to have been moving in an ugly direction on the forum the past couple of days with people nursing hurt feelings and possibly harbouring grudges. I miss a lot with being ‘over the water’, but would urge people to take a deep breath before publicly calling people out on the forum. We can’t control what’s posted online but we can control how we react. Back on the old Q, I had to message someone asking them politely not to post on my threads again as it wasn’t appreciated - problem solved - they didn’t ever again, and I didn’t post on theirs. Until (or if) a block button is developed here, the only options we have is to turn the other cheek and scroll on or send a POLITE message. I posted this a year ago and I think my number 1 point is still relevant today, maybe even more so, given the atmosphere on here this weekend. It’s Saturday, do something fun or relaxing and chill out. REPOST To all quitters who have set their quit date for today or the near future. Whether it’s your quit, or your 100th quit, here is some advice to make the most of Quitnet and your quit. 1. This is YOUR quit so be true to yourself and give it 100% and do what you feel is necessary to keep and maintain your quit. In an on-line support community forum like this, opinions are like @rseholes - everyone and their dog has one. Take what you need and leave the rest, but also have an open mind (especially if you have relapsed in the past) you’ll need to be open to trying new things in order to achieve your final quit. If yo7 feel someone is being too pushy and crossing a line with you, tell them to jog on. 2. You’ll get out as much as you put in. In a forum such as this participation is vital. You don’t need to post if you don’t want to, but you will need to read a lot of posts and profiles to ensure that you are properly educated in order to beat your nicotine addiction. Read @Gummer .. @Teach C. @BoldPrint .. to debunk myths about nicotine, @Grammax s. for ideas for a Quit Kit. Other websites including www.whyquit.com and www.quitsmokingonline.com are useful sources for knowledge and information. 3. The concept of NOPE (Not One Puff Ever). NOPE is not just a short and snappy acronym. In my opinion, it fully encompasses exactly what is needed for a successful forever quit. Lots of people who were serial quitters in the past find their final forever quit with NOPE. The reasons NOPE works are numerous, not least with being necessary to change your brain chemistry from being that of an addicted smoker to being an ex-smoker (if you want a more detailed explanation let me know and I’ll post one of my previous posts). I think of NOPE as the simplest and quickest method of moving from smoker to ex-smoker. And NOPE is definitely the only way to change your mindset and beliefs from ex-smoker to non-smoker. 4. Do whatever it takes to quit and STAY quit. Would you do everything you could to keep your friends and family safe and happy? Of course you would. So do the same for yourself and your quit. If cold turkey hasn’t worked for you try NRTs, if NRTs haven’t worked try the other medications by discussing options with your Dr. I know people who sporadically take NRT gum/lozenges at 1+ year quit. Why? Your question should be ‘why not?’ if the alternative is to give away your quit. Keep your quit NO MATTER WHAT and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to keep it. 5. Honesty and Accountability. Nicotine addiction is the same as all other addictions - only difference is that nicotine is legal. Since Quitnet is online, anyone could be lying. For all you know I could have smoked this morning and members here would be none the wiser - BUT I WOULD and I would only be lying to myself - but my nicotine receptors would know the truth even if I was in denial. For me personally, the ‘days quit’ counter kept me accountable at the beginning harder stages of my quit. But I know there are other people who would feel discouraged if they reset their counter after having smoked. It used to irritate me when members posted they had smoked and chose not to reset. But I realise no way that it’s not my responsibility to tell members what they should do or not do with their counters and I remember the saying ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink it’. But I would urge all new and returning quitters to be fully aware of the ‘unseen’ consequences of choosing to smoke. Anything less than NOPE has made your quit a lot harder because you will crave again and one relapse only serves to make further relapses easier. We didn’t become smokers overnight, we learned how to become addicted smokers by repeatedly smoking. So, on the flip side, the only way we learn how to quit is to repeatedly NOT smoke. 6. Keep it simple. You can’t quit smoking by smoking - it’s impossible. Follow NOPE at all times and you can’t fail. If NOPE feels too scary for you, follow NOPT (Not One Puff Today). Normally, most people would wish you good luck on your quit. I won’t, because luck has nothing to do with my quit - or yours. Instead, I wish you commitment, accountability, responsibility and willingness. The success (or failure) of your quit is in your hands. You and only you have the power to choose whether you smoke or you not. I hope you choose NOT.

I'm here less and less these days since the sight has became more like FB over the past year, but I will always be eternally grateful and make a point of dropping in sporadically to (hopefully) pay it forward. I have no doubt at all that I wouldn't have managed to quit if it wasn't for the Old Q so feel an obligation to try and pass on what I learned. REPOST In order to become an ex-smoker you have to change your brain chemistry and neural pathways. How do you do that? By not smoking, that’s how. You will vanquish your daily ritual cigarettes relatively quickly - the after a meal one, the ‘wake up’ one, the ‘before going to bed’ one. Each and every time you refuse to smoke when you get a crave you are destroying your existing neural pathway which advised you to smoke and beginning to create a new neural pathway - one which doesn’t suggest you smoke after a meal or after waking. The danger point in people’s quits is when they believe they can have just one. Sometimes due to bereavement, sometimes too much alcohol, or maybe an argument with family or their boss. If you choose to smoke in these circumstances you are continuing to strengthen that neural pathway where you always smoked due to that stress. In turn, the next time you have that same stressful situation, the crave and urge to smoke will be just as strong. Whereas if you refuse to smoke, the next time you face the stress, the urge and crave will be less intensive. This is how we become ex-smokers by refusing to smoke each and every time we get a crave or urge until the intensity lessens, eventually disappearing in time. Now this won’t happen overnight, so while you are carrying out the day to day of your quit, make sure you are educating yourself on nicotine addiction. Why do people relapse after having been quit for 1+ years? Because they still WRONGLY believe that smoking can offer them something positive to help them. Trust me, being quit and not smoking is easy when you DON’T WANT to smoke, but it takes time and patience to reach this point. And the only way to get here is to not smoke no matter what happens to you.

Pleaz, If=U=get=off=Track=Get=Back=On=Get=Back=On=Get=Back=On=Toot! ........................................-..-.``'''(`'~)................. ......................................``.(...,-.-(.`.~``(#.......... .................................................'(.~'#.:;..)`.``."'../#~)``.. ..............................................................``.(.'';";;';').... ..______.______.______.______._____.______\_/.... .(____(c(____(c(____(c(____(c(____(c(______(Q)... .(o)-(o)\(o)-(o)\(o)-(o)\(o)-(o)\(o)-(o)-(o)\(o){\\\}..======cc been there, done that Taking your hand. Nanc to life! 2244 o@..Repost..@o __________________________________________________________ ************Leaving the City of Regret************** ***********Author: AngelLady on 2/10/2001 4:52:20 PM************ I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I'm talking about my annual "Guilt Trip." I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town. As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year's most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn't going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there. First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol' Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday's. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Then Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It's Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don't Blame Me and I Couldn't Help It. Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent "pity party" could be canceled by ME! I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn't have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN'T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I've made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them. So, if you're planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myself and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don't have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. GOD BLESS you in finding this great place. If you can find it -- it's in your own heart -- please look me up. I live on I Can Do It Street. repost-

ClearColors Q.

Dear Qster, What are your Q memories? Who put his/her shirt on backwoods? Who farted on that hard plastic chair? Who had white knuckles? Who parked his/her car by the pharmacy and then walked home? Who had what virtual pet? Who liked road kill? Who posted for HELP? Who gave roses and why? Who would swing from a vine into the Qhot tub.. Who put the celery behind the rear left tire? What are your Quit memories, dear Qster?

The Autumnal gowns donned by our trees fade now as they sweep and flutter to the ground in the winds, laying its carpet of colour upon the land. Tucked in for the winter, my garden looks barren, neglected. It stymies one's mind that the hopes for the future lay under all that nakedness. That I harvested abundances of flowers and food for my table for months past. So be still my soul, sleep deeply and safely beneath the coming white, sheltering duvet of snow. For anon shall the Earth lean once more when Sol and Spring will demand much of you once again. Be still my soul, and rest.

A Quit is Gold... pure, gold. Protect it.. embrace it... love it, it's gold, pure gold... extending our lives, bringing us peace. Walking batheing or any light household exercise will reduce anxiety/stress, try to walk often... protect your treasure... namaste Jim Croce ~ Time in a Bottle ~ https://youtu.be/dO1rMeYnOmM

to my Beloved Quitters, “For me, God is the one who calls me the Beloved, and I have a desire to express to others how I try to become more fully who I already am.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World “To be chosen as the Beloved of God is something radically different. Instead of excluding others, it includes others. Instead of rejecting others as less valuable, it accepts others in their own uniqueness. It is not a competitive, but a compassionate choice. Our minds have great difficulty in coming to grips with such a reality. Maybe our minds will never understand it. Perhaps it is only our hearts that can accomplish this. Every time we hear about 'chosen people', 'chosen talents', or 'chosen friends', we almost automatically start thinking about elites and find ourselves not far from feelings of jealousy, anger, or resentment. Not seldom has the perception of others as being chosen led to aggression, violence, and war.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World “Yes, there is that voice, the voice that speaks from above and from within and that whispers softly or declares loudly: “You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.” It certainly is not easy to hear that voice in a world filled with voices that shout: You are no good, you are ugly; you are worthless; you are despicable, you are nobody—unless you can demonstrate the opposite.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World Blessings, Nancy *Forgive me if I cross a line here.

Got CRS - Can't Remember Stuff ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Funny CRS repost, author? I decide to wash the car; I start toward the garage and notice the post on the table. OK, I’m going to wash the car. But first I’m going to go through the post. I lay the car keys down on the desk, discard the junk mail and I notice the dustbin is full. OK, I’ll just put the bills on my desk and take the dustbin out, but since I’m going to be near the post-box anyway, I’ll pay these few bills first. Now, where is my chequebook? There’s only one cheque left! My new chequebook is in my desk. Oh, there’s the cola I was drinking. I’m going to look for those cheques. But first I need to put my drink further away from the computer, or maybe I’ll pop it into the fridge to keep it cold for a while. I head towards the kitchen and my plants catch my eye, they need some water. I set the cola on the counter and there are my glasses. I was looking for them all morning! I’d better put them away first. I fill a container with water and head for the houseplants. Someone left the TV remote in the kitchen. I will never think to look in the kitchen tonight when I want to watch television so I’d better put it back in the living room where it belongs. I splash some water into the pots and onto the floor, I throw the remote onto a cushion on the sofa and I head back down the hall trying to figure out what it was I was going to do? End of Day: The car isn’t washed, the bills are unpaid, the drink is sitting on the kitchen counter, the plants are half watered, the chequebook still only has one cheque in it and I can’t seem to find my car keys! When I try to figure out how come nothing got done today, I’m baffled because I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY LONG! repost Funny CRS repost, author? And Tom Rush - Remember Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yN-6PbqAPM cheers, Nancy to life~

Have you got money to burn? Most smokers don't have the money, on their own, to even maintain their addiction. They have to borrow money just to be a smoker. For many, many years I really couldn’t afford to smoke or drink. I relied on well meaning, but misinformed friends, relatives, employers, co-workers, and creditors to assist me in continuing my addicted lifestyle. I got help from my Enablers. They allow addicts like me to continue long after we would ordinarily be able to continue on our own. They delay the natural consequences of our actions. They provide the Piggy Bank we break every time we have trouble funding our addiction. When my addictions were active, I thought I was pretty independent. I thought it was my business, and my business alone whether I continued to smoke and drink. But all the while I was borrowing money from creditors and relatives which supported these addictions. Oh, they didn't know the money was going to feed my addictions or they probably wouldn't have given me any. But that is exactly what much of it went for. Even when I was dead broke I still found ways to smoke and drink. My enablers funded it for me. When I got sober and smoke free it took many years to pay back all the money I had borrowed. My dear mother kept track of it all. I told her I didn't even want to know how much it was, but that I would just keep sending her checks until she told me it was paid. It took a long time, but finally I redeemed myself. I actually paid her a little too much and she kindly sent me a refund check. There is a saying in recovery circles that addicts have to "hit bottom" before they can recover. But what they don't tell us is that we "hit bottom" whenever we care to stop digging. Are addictions to sickarettes, alcohol, or other drugs causing you to keep digging? How deep are you willing to go? What has your addiction done to your financial life? Do you owe money to friends, relatives, banks, credit cards, banks, or personal loans while continuing to smoke? If so, then you are borrowing money to smoke. You can push the STOP button on the Down elevator anytime you want to. And when you do it will stop, the doors will open, and you can walk out into the light and freedom. You may have some past debt to repay like I did. But you don't have to go down any further. Today I am an expert on money matters. I am trusted by family and friends to handle important financial matters and estates. I just retired from an important career position dealing with money for the state of Montana. I am debt free and drug and alcohol free. But none of that would have been possible without having first dealt with my addictions. Your friend in Montana Troutnut1-dennis

Good advice from a man across the time zones. @Knight C. , Thank you Knight Cyberian. Thank you for being here. He Quit Quit date: 6/15/2006 12 QTips For the Newbies !!! #1. QFears: We think we will quit smoking tomorrow. Perhaps the day after or sometime later. We hesitate with what we have got, now. We want to wait for a famous book or a miracle drug which we hope will make us stronger to quit later. We worry about our sanity, relationships or our work. We think we might fail and so we prefer to wait till later. #2. QActions: No! Please do not! Go, go, go, get up and charge straight ahead. Now! Let all know we have arisen! We never were any pushovers. Get up and be counted. Dare, to do, just this once! We were born as a fighter. Everything we have done, till date, is to fight. Let`s go then now and fight, as only we can, this time, to stay quit! #3. QSteps: Simple steps as simple as 1,2 and 3. Easy to remember like NOPE - Not One Puff Ever, by us, come what may. We do this ODAAT - One Day At A Time. We ASA - Always Stay Alert to watch out for triggers that makes us vulnerable like HALT- Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. That is all, we would ever need to KTQ - Keep The Quit. #4. QMaintenance: We work on our quit daily, or as frequently, as we can. Quitting is not an event, but a long term process. It needs to be sustained. We need to become ex-smokers. We never test our resolve un-necessarily but we dont flinch either if we are forced to. We just keep doing whatever that worked for us, thus far. #5. QPriorities: Quitting smoking is why we are here for. We stay focussed and be relevant. We never lose sight of the primary purpose: to stay quit, for a lifetime. Quitting is one of the most important things that we are doing for ourselves. We are in for a lot of changes, re-adjustments and re-learning. We need to be one hundred percent committed, always. #6. QStruggles: Be prepared to slog it out and its a long haul. Sustaining a quit is no walk in a rose garden. We`ll have to fight. We`ll have pains. We`ll feel weary. Yet, we never ever give up. We just keep adding to those numbers of cigarettes and days not smoked. We keep struggling like a caterpillar to become strong and beautiful like a butterfly. #7. QFriendships: While we are at it, we try and become a little more unselfish. Quitting smoking is not a competition. We learn to love, share and to extend help without expectations. If ever we get hurt, we forgive and forget. We never presume anything. We`ll be amazed, when we find, that folks who are mean, are as vulnerable as us. #8. QGratitude: We always remain grateful and we acknowledge our dues. Its not important to repay them as much as it is to realize that we were given, when we needed anything most. We enjoy being blessed thus. We appreciate all that we have got. We also remember here that HE who lives high above, always keeps looking out for us. #9. QHumility: Mine or yours are not the only ways to stay quit. There are others. Let us learn to live with this reality. We would never force ourselves on others. Our world is just as big as we can actually perceive. The real world however extends far beyond. So, we only have a tiny part of the whole picture. Let us take what we want and leave it at that. #10. QLaughter: We increase our QFQ - Quit Fun Quotient! We learn to laugh often. We let down our hair and laugh with our friends. It helps us bond together. More importantly, we learn to laugh at ourselves. It helps us stay in the right shape and size, mentally. It helped me, to stay humble, in a very easy way. #11. QCatch? Soon, we`ll find it all seems easy to do, which it is, in fact. Yet, we wonder where lies the catch or when will we fail. No! We never fail unless we want to. No lightning can ever short-circuit us and cause a lighted cigarette to be placed between our lips. We start believing that good times can really happen to us in life and that the best is yet to come. #12. QFarewell: Our quit now rocks and we decide to quit Quitnet. No! Our story needs to be shared as a proof of the concept. We need to make folks believe that quitting is doable. Apart from helping us in the long run by repeating our success story, we might someday make just the critical difference for a newbie to start and sustain a quit. NB: That difference, my friends, would correspond to, one more life saved !!! From Knight Cyberian profile

Here's a little something that has nothing to do with anything other than make you smile...ready?? Here goes... This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have. Lesson - no one took responsibility so nothing got accomplished. ~author unknown~

When I finally pulled the trigger and quit for real, I was full of resolve and optimism. I'd been asking questions here on the Q for a few days beforehand (and was met with my share of skepticism and doubt from some, and that was fine), I had a great conversation with the cashier at Target when I bought my lozenges (she had been quit for about six months, she told me, I sure hope that she still is), and I really embraced the struggle as something I'd pass through and be stronger for. The first couple weeks were what I call the "honeymoon phase". Sure, my digestion sucked, my sleep sucked, the craves were nearly constant, but I was so thrilled to be finally doing it, that I endured. I utilized my quit kit (mostly tons of water, carrots, cashews and constantly refreshing the feed here), made some friends and allies, identified some trouble spots to avoid, and mostly felt really great. I did, however, have a few of what I called "murder days". These were days where the pain of addiction started punching the moment I woke up, and just didn't quit. The first, and worst, was the first day of my third week. I stood in my kitchen, crying my eyes out, just in so much anguish. I posted here. This was the time (infamous between us) that @Rebecca R. saved my quit by suggesting that I kick my addiction in the man-parts, and posting a humorous pic to that effect. It cracked me up, and made me feel stronger. I also sat on the couch with my wife, and confessed how I was feeling, and how I wanted to quit so badly that I was willing to endure it. I got my next chance a week later. Visions of going to the gas station by my work filled my head all day. The thoughts of "it's not worth this", "you're going to feel this way forever", "you can't keep going on like this" pounded away at my resolve. Again, I took what I'd already learned, and came here for help, and leaned hard on a lot of great people to keep myself upright. My last "murder day" was right around the five-month mark, right in the middle of "no-man's land". Again, it was the visions of going out to the gas station that plagued me, but they were STRONG. Like, UNBELIEVABLY strong. I feel now like this was the closest I ever came to losing my quit. HOWEVER, I just couldn't imagine losing all that time, and having the relationships I'd built here damaged by my inability to stay strong ONE MORE TIME. And, I did it. I got through it. And it was like the rubber band snapping for me. All other craves were ridiculous after that. Easily dismissed. Within a few more weeks, the worst was over, and I was on my way to a quit life that felt completely natural and normal. I really, really got there. I hope you will, too. I believe that you can. DFS.

"The tragic f*cking comedy that was last night unfolds to my inner devil's sheer delight a pointless f*cking banter in an endless bout with whiskey soaked Frolic Room tobacco mouth" -- Nick Hexum 311, "Livin' & Rockin'" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F60mRF0LaV4 One sad truth about addicts is that we tend to think we're hot sh*t and on top of our game when we're indulging in our addiction. I'm sure plenty of us remember feeling that we were smarter when we smoked, more lively, more happenin' and groovin'. Quitting can rob us of this false consciousness. Suddenly, we feel all too human. Alone. Vulnerable. Dense. Cloudy. Forgetful. Here's the good news, though. All of that is temporary. That's why sticking with a quit is such a big deal. You're becoming actually, fully, human again, not the drug-addled shadow of your true self. Your addict self was never any more clever than anyone else, never more attuned than anyone else, you can do all of that without it. Lots of clever people never smoked. You can be a clever person who used to smoke. And I think that's pretty awesome. DFS.

1:20am Eastern Daylight time Rested Ride, be healthy, take a part in the trip. Come ride with us on the no smoking train It's a whole lot better than being out in the rain. We want you with us, come do your part, For healthy lungs, skin and heart. It's all worth it, this no smoking trip. Kathy Blanton gives us a glimpse of my youth. This is Fernald Shore on Northeast Pond, it's in Lebanon, Maine. The shore on the far side is in Milton, New Hampshire. Lebanon is where I grew up for the first 14 years, that water felt so good after a day in the hay field; ahhhhh! Appointment first thing, well coffee is first, then home group and home by noon. No smoking involved. I hope your day is pleasant, without too much "stuff" and non-smoking. “I know it hurts and I know there are days when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t breathe because of this unbearable lack of something or someone. I know what it’s like to be sad for no reason at all, standing in the rain with no intention of surviving. I know things hurts, I hurt, but life can also be so beautiful… Wonderful things are waiting for you. I know it, I’ve had a taste of it, small moments of complete clarity. Magical nights under the stars and peaceful mornings with someone you love. Before you know it you will thank yourself for staying strong and holding on. I do, most of the days. I know there are days when even one single positive thought feels like too much effort, but you must develop an unconditional love for life. You must never lose your childish curiosity for the possibilities in every single day. Who you can be, what you can see, what you can feel and where it can lead you. Be in love with your life, everything about it. The sadness and the joys, the struggles and the lessons, your flaws and strengths, what you lose and what you gain.” ― Charlotte Eriksson, Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps

Cathy B.
Pledge badgeCathy B.1069 Days Quit

Some old school advise from a farmer. •Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong. •Keep skunks and bankers at a distance. •Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. •A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. •Words that soak into your ears are whispered & not yelled. •Meanness don’t just happen overnight. •Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads. •Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. •It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. •You cannot unsay a cruel word. •Every path has a few puddles. •When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. •The best sermons are lived, not preached. •Most of the stuff people worry about, ain’t never gonna happen anyway. •Don’t judge folks by their relatives. •Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. •Live a good and honorable life, then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time. •Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none. •Timin’ has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. •If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’. •Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got. •The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’. •Always drink upstream from the herd. •Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment. •Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in. •If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around. •Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God. •Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you. Most of the time it just comes down to some good ole common sense. No matter your problems... smoking won’t fix a gosh darn thing. Cathy

Cathy B.
Pledge badgeCathy B.1069 Days Quit

Smoke! If that is what truly makes you feel happy and content, then smoke. Everyone here is telling you, Don't smoke ... Smoking is stupid .... Keep your quit.... don't do this - do that! Smoking. Isn't it a great feeling? Ahhhhh, I can remember it now. Putting that cigarette to my mouth. Sucking in a mouthful of smoke, filled with artificial flavors and poisons ranging from menthol to embalming fluid - animal vomit to tar, and many more poisons .... let's not forget nicotine. The ultimate life controller. Ah, yes. I can see how you missed all that. Smoke it up Johnny, as they say... smoke'm if ya got'm! Let the cycle begin! Morning wake up.... not because you really want to, but because your body is craving nicotine. Waking up trying to clear out your lungs from the last 20-40 cigarettes you smoked the day before. Hacking with such force at times, you swore to God a lung was going to come up. Feeling lethargic because, let's face it, It zaps the life and energy out of you. So let's start the day there. Not enjoying that? It doesn't matter because you chose to let the demon control you. You don't get a say on how you feel as long as you let him back into your life. Within seconds the cycle begins again. The cycle of being lied to and you being a puppet every 30 to 60 minutes ... estimated average. Another thing to miss .... right? So now, for the rest of the day, every time you.... Have coffee Eat Do dishes Start the car Take the garbage out Put laundry away After folding clothes Mow the lawn Get out of the chair Sit back in the chair Talk on the phone Let the dog out Put groceries away Make dinner Before going in a store Coming out of the store Have a drink Go out Clean Get the mail Watch TV DO ANYTHING!...you have to smoke. When you allow the addiction to win you can't do anything with out that useless paper cylinder packed with leaves and poisons. Sometimes you really don't even want one. It tells you that you do and has you believing that you'll be anxious if you don't get an extra fix in right now. Which in return make you anxious, and there starts a lot of anxiety problems for some. It's a vicious cycle. Let's not forget the rapid pulse. That's always a pleasant feeling. Never feeling as if you can relax. Let's also add in the smell that gets you uptight, you're always looking for a way to mask it, which makes you anxious again. Or how about the ole chest pain. The one that has you wondering if it's the big one. Again, that adds more anxiety. Everything about smoking adds anxiety. Do I have enough to get me through? Can I smoke here? What if I CAN'T smoke here? Can the non smokers smell me? How am I going to afford them? Crap, i forgot my cigarettes! Remember that? You thought your life was over. So wound up and pissy that it didn't even occur to you that there is a convenience store on every corner. You could just go buy another pack. See? It makes you stupid. All that extra anxiety is what puts wear and tear on your heart, upping your chance of heart attack. Phew! I'm exhausted just thinking about everything it added. So as I sit here with not one care or worry about smoking, I feel I am in complete peace with myself. No anxieties and no controlled feelings. I keep plugging away at my ~ one day at a time ~ loving every new day, that much more. It's peaceful here. Realizing, they were right ... Smoking IS stupid! Keeping your quit IS a necessity for a better life. Things DO get better. Let no excuse take YOUR quit. I hope you make the best choice. I know for me - it's smoke free! Please don’t give up too easy. It takes time. Now really, I don’t want you to smoke. NOT AT ALL. I’m also sure you don’t want to start at day one again. Stay strong friends! Cathy

8 years ago this morning, I was on my way to have a triple by pass and smoked what I thought was going to be my very last cigarette. Well, that lasted for 6 months Today I have 6 months plus a few days free of smoking. I was such a dummy for having just that one in a moment of stress. I am thumbing my nose at stress today...its not going to cause me to pick up another one. Someone asked me a few months ago if I had noticed any benefits of not smoking. At that time I had noticed food "tasting" and that my city stunk. Today I am happy to report that I now have many benefits. I had been diagnosed with raynauds disease in 2008. This is where toes and fingers turn purple from lack of circulation. They feel cold almost all of the time and its painful when pressure is applied. Today, I am happy to say that my fingers and toes do not turn purple anymore and my pups step on my toes all of the time and it is not painful. Grateful for this benefit. Back in December, i was chain smoking. One right after the other, coughing my head off all the while. Today, I may cough a few times a day but the atrocious amounts of phlegm that I used to cough up seem to be a thing of the past. I am grateful for this benefit. I have always been the skinny minnie, Olive Oyl, and boney marony and every one always said I had high metabolizm. Well, that wasn't the case! I smoked. This quit I have gained almost 20 pounds. Hopefully I can put on a few more, so that I can tone up muscles in order to keep from having my 49 pound dog knock me down. That happened in August 3 years ago resulting in a fractured tibia plateau and having to have a rod with screws put in. Oh, I didn't mention that I have brittle bones, mostly caused by smoking. I feel much healthier. I am grateful for this benefit. Oh, do my house and car smell better? You betcha. I didn't realize how awful the smell of smoking was....mostly because I couldn't smell anything but the horrible scents on the soap aisle and maybe that wasn't the smell but the choking of not being able to breath on that aisle. Today it still stinks, but at least I don't choke. That must mean that my breathing is better!!! So grateful for this benefit. I have age related macular degeneration in both eyes. In 2013, a blood vessel burst in my right eye while in flight to Alaska,- making me blind in that eye. I have a world renowned retina specialist and with her amazing skills, I have almost perfect vision in that eye. However, because of another recent bleed, I have had to have injections in that eye every month for 6 months. Specialist said at first that would be for the rest of my life....well, I quit smoking and last month I didn't have to have the injection because the blood vessel is healing now. I was told that I had to have cataract surgery on my left eye because of narrowing of the blood vessel and if that one burst it would cause glaucoma. I had a visit with my opthalmologist yesterday and she determined that surgery can be postponed, as the vessel angle has improved. Maybe because I quit smoking? I am SO grateful for this benefit. I have seen that at 6 months quitsters are to do a rant. I'm a little late and probably a page too long, but I want to thank the oldsters and others here on the Q for support and sharing their stories which has helped my quit be easier. Have a great smoke free week end N.O.P.E.

A cigarette is the only consumer product which when used as directed kills its consumer. -Gro Brudtland-

1q2 S.
Pledge badge1q2 S.1q26893 Days Quit

Repost from @Hamilton G. "This is a long repost and good night to all. Sometime back I posted this question, What I miss about smoking ? I had requested that the responses be sarcastic. So here they are again 1) I miss having to pick nastyass butts from the ashtray when I ran out of sickerettes 2) I miss smelling like a dirty ashtray. 3) I miss walking to the gas station in a blizzard at 2 a.m. when I ran out. 4) throwing money out the window 5) Absolutely Nothing! Final answer! {:>) 6) Coughing. 7) Asking total strangers for a butt 8) I miss leaving the house and worrying if I put that last cig out or if my house is going to burn down while I'm away. 9) Related, I miss burning holes in my clothes and furniture 10) I miss throwing a cig out the car window and having it come back into the back seat and start burning the car up 11) I miss gently clearing my throat and getting a mouthful of phlegm whilst being nowhere near a sink or toilet. That was always super classy and fun. 12) Being a drug addict. 13) I miss trying to buy a cig off strangers - man can those non smokers get nasty. 14) When pretending I was quit a picking up a half smoked cig from the ground. And yup I smoked it! Disgusting!!!!!’ 15) I miss burning my lips. Because when you're smoking butts from wherever, they get so hot at the end that you wind up burning your lips. 16) I totally miss paying NY state tax on my cigs. 17) I miss not being able to breathe and coughing up a lung on a daily basis. 18) Going out in the middle of night in your pj's and robe to grab a pack. That in a neighborhood where they would only wear Gucci -had to move the suburbs where they didn't mind pj's at the 7-11 in the middle of the night. 19) Looking like drug addict looking for a fix - wide eyed crazy got cigs and then didn't have a lighter. 20) I really loved it and myself when I bought a 300 euro winter coat and burned a beautiful hole in it the second time I wore it while smoking a self-rolled in a storm. 21) trying to pretend I could breath when I was walking up the LONG fields at school to see Abby play here field hockey games. Carrying water!! I looked like I was dying,thankfully I would get help from. 22) Buying all those Large bottles of Febreeze. 23) That coughing in the morning was soo awesome! Like man, I wish I could do that all over again. 24) Oh and using my inhaler before and after a cigs cause why not? 25) And that golden cup that I would put cigs in that periodically needed me to add water to it. 26) I really miss the smell of that gold cup too! Umm umm! Blech!!!!! 27) Sadly, I never was able to smell the gold cup. I do remember my husband finding it and tossing it after I had been quit for 3 months. So I guess it really smelled. 28) Yep those half smoked cigs - can't imagine - but I did. 29) How I miss picking through a full ashtray, fihing out the most promising buds to make a new one bc I ran out, still going out after to get a pack but needing one RIGHT NOW. 30) kept mine a big coffee can would dig thru that damn can - no butts for sure I smoked them all. 31) I miss my cat (Papo) not wanting to cuddle with me because I smelled like a burnt Turd! 32) I miss my yellow teeth and stuffy nose. 33) if there is only enough money for food or cigs - the cigs would win. 34) if you got your last ones wet - putting them the oven on a cookie sheet to get them dried out fast. Have to really watch that they get real crispy in a hurry. 35) walking into a park with group of gang bangers asking them if you can buy a cig - stupid. 36) I'm really disappointed I failed to kill myself and my neighbours that time my couch didn't catch fire properly after I fell asleep on it watching telly and smoking. The burn hole was deep but that was all. 37) No it’s just allergies! 38) Coughing so hard I thought I was going to die because I couldn't take a breath in 39) I miss having to skip lunches in high school and save my lunch money, and going in front of a 7-11 and begging adults to buy me a pack. 40) thinking this time you are going to have call the para medics because you can't breath in the middle of the night. 41) being in the hospital with a lung infection and after a month of oxygen and they take you off, having your husband wheelchair you out for about 15 min to catch a smoke. 42) I really miss the feeling of desperation, having to have a cigarette, regardless of anything else, missing out on conversations, family time, to get my fix. I also really miss looking for places to have a cigarette 10 meters away from eating places, 50 meters away from my work entrance . God I miss all of that. 43) I really miss that smokers cough 44) I miss those times at the beach when I would get so frustrated that I couldn't light my death stick because the wind was so strong the lighter wouldn't stay lit or light at all!! I'd persist though! ....or worse yet, having no lighter or match to light my death stick! 45) What a fabulous topic! Even though the responses are tongue-in-cheek, we can all relate to the insanity! Doesn't everyone have to cough up a certain amount of phlegm every morning? Isn't that normal? I used to think it was + umpteen other addiction 'truths'. I am very reassured to know that I am not the only neurotic one about fearing burning my house down LOL! That used to make me crazy as I checked and double checked! Thank God that is gone! 46) I miss what my clothing and hair smelled like! 47) I miss what smoking did for me as I stood out in the weather! 48) I miss the tea stained walls ceilings and drapes and film on the windows. You know my house smelled like super old full ash tray! Yep those were the days my friend! Lol 49) It seriously horrifies me to think I smelt like that for soooooooooooo long That I disregarded being around others stinking of cigarette smoke I suppose that's what addicts do. Nursing my new grandson yesterday Imagine if my fingers were still stained yellow and I reeked of smoke........ 50) I really miss singeing my hair and smelling my hair burn and wondering if I could get it out tamping it with my hands before it was totally engulfed and my head burned up. 51) I can relate to many of these including oven trick. Here's what the Q-crew responded with. Thanks everyone you know who you are." Hamilton G

I wrote this six months into my quit. December 2005. I had not read it for a long time until today. Years. It made my eyes water, but I find myself sitting here so proud that I did it. Its a good read, and many have a like story. I hope it helps. A previous life Pick a day, most any day in the past 30 years, and this is pretty much how it went. Wake up with a pounding headache from too many beers and chain smoking. Stand up and lean against the bed while I get my bearings before I can walk to the bathroom. Suck down 2 cups of coffee and smoke at least 2 cigarettes with each cup. Take a shower to wash the drunken funk off and get dressed. Have a couple smokes for breakfast while waiting to go to work and then have one on the way to work. Every 20 to 30 minutes we walk outside, rain or shine, baking or freezing, and suck down a smoke. Lunchtime comes around and we have one. We have a couple more waiting for the hour to be spent. Again, every 20 to 30 minutes we walk outside, rain or shine, baking or freezing, and suck down a smoke. When it is time to go home we light up on our way out the door. We eat some dinner and have a smoke right after. At about 7:00 we go to the liquor store and buy a six pack and a single tall boy and 3 packs of Marlboro reds. Soft pack please. Go home, sit down, pop a beer and proceed to hit that bong and chain smoke until all the beer is gone. This was usually about midnight. Sleep the sleep of the drunk, which is not really sleep. Then do it all over again. I had years in there where I did not drink and smoked a lot less. Moved all over the country for work. Changed careers. Got married. Got divorced. Got married again. Went to school. Finished school. Got a better job. Same things millions of other people have done. The one constant was smoking. Whether I was married, divorced, drunk, high, sober, happy, sad, cold (San Francisco), hot (Phoenix), depressed, manic, clean-shaven or looking like Captain Caveman I always smoked. Who my friends were at work was pretty much dictated by who I took smoke breaks with. Outside of work my friends were people who I smoked and drank with. Smoking defined me. It put me with my group. It was who I was. I smoked more than I did anything else except breathe. Smoking was what I looked forward to with my coffee in the morning and my beer at night. Nothing was complete until I smoked. I did not begin anything until I smoked. Every break was a smoke break. Any free minute was time to smoke. If I had 10 free minutes I would smoke two because you never know when you are going to get to have another. I would go out in the middle of a movie to have a smoke. I would leave a date sitting at the table in a restaurant to go have a smoke. I did not, and still don't, know anyone who smoked more than I did. Wake up call My first trip to the hospital for chest pains was in 2001. They wired me up in the ER and it appeared all was well. No heart attack anyways. Probably gas. Sure. I wheezed my way through an echocardiogram that week. I was only 41. Way too young for this crap? Not so said the cardiologist, “I’ll be seeing you again if you don’t make some changes”. I quit drinking for two whole weeks. Did I quit smoking? Sure. For about 12 hours. Moron. My second trip to the ER for chest pains was in 2004. I had had episodes of odd chest pain between this trip and the previous trip to the ER but nothing like these. The ER doc said my story was too good. I had earned an overnight stay in the cardio unit. They checked me in and got me all connected to the monitors. They started drawing blood every 3 hours to check for enzymes that damaged heart muscle gives off. I was wired to a monitor that you carried around with you. I surely could not sleep with that thing on me so in the middle of the night I got up and took a walk. There were a few people in there my age or not much older. I asked the nurse about them. Without giving specifics about who was in for what she said "bad habits" mostly. I took that to mean alcohol, drugs and / or smoking were what brought most of the younger people here. Of course I promised myself I was going to quit. I did not want to end up like "them". I was already one of "them" though. My wife and my 14-year-old son came to get me the next day. I will never forget the look on his face when he saw me all wired up to that thing. He looked worried and he looked confused. He was too young for that look. I was angry with myself. I think it would have registered different with him if it was 70-year-old grandpa lying there. Nope, this was 44-year-old dad. What kind of example was I setting for him? I had to change. I had to quit. What did I do as soon as I got home? Yup. I went to the 7-11 and got me a pack o' reds. Needed something to help me think. I would slow down. I would only smoke a pack a day if I did not drink. Because that was the worst, drinking and smoking you know. I smoked three times as much when I drank. Just to give it a chance off I go to AA. It helped if only because I did not want to end up like most of the people I saw in there. Quite a few of them had already lost their families, jobs and it appeared quite a few teeth to alcohol. Some had hit rock bottom, been on the streets, etc. I surely did not want to go through that and I did not want my family to go through that. One thing that stuck in me when I went there was that everyone smoked. The place was nasty with cigarette smoke. I don't know how a non-smoker could go there and stand the place. I went for about two months. I got tired of the attitude I constantly received from a couple of the biker types. They seemed to be peeved that I was not getting a sponsor, reading the book and following their 12 steps. I quit going. I started out again with just a few beers on the weekend and went from there back to every day in short order. This included going back to smoking almost 3 packs a day. I can't give a specific reason or event that explains me starting up again. Nothing big happened that I can remember. Maybe it was just because I was bored and unhappy. I did not care much about anything at the time. I had forgotten the fear, the pain, and the look on my son's face. Maybe I buried those things. I felt weak and overpowered. I had started feeling physically better after a time of not drinking and not smoking as much. Now I was right back to feeling downright crappy all the time. The only time I felt good was after a few beers and that was all in the beer buzz. My body was rebelling against the constant abuse, worse this time. My chest hurt, my stomach hurt, my head hurt constantly. I could not walk up a small flight of stairs without getting winded. I had odd pains down my arms and in my back. It spiraled into a bigger binge this time. The binge lasted about two weeks. I looked in the mirror one day and saw an old man. A wheezing old man. An old man who everytime he exerted himself felt like his chest was going to explode. I went to the doc with the same complaints as the last time and the time before that. I knew what was causing all this and so did he. He just looked at me for a while. He looked kind of angry and when he spoke I could hear frustration in his voice. He said "You have got a lot to live for. You have to choose which way you are going to go here before it is too late. You're killing yourself. " It was really unlike him to talk that way so it kind of shocked me. I had been going to him for 20 years and I really respect the guy so it stuck with me when he said it as opposed to when other people had said the same things. I thought about what he said a long time before I started the truck and drove home. I know I am long winded here with the description of my past life. You will hear a lot of people who succeed at leaving their vices behind say "If I can do it, anyone can". I think that statement rings hollow if you don't understand where they came from and what demons they were dealing with. I think if I can do it, anyone can too, but I want whoever I am saying it to, to have an idea of where I came from and how deep I was in. Read on. On the morning of June 1, 2005 I woke up hung over and wheezing as was usual again. I drank my coffee and sucked down a couple of cigarettes. I was sick. Sick to my stomach. My head was pounding and the cigarettes I had just made it worse. I felt so bad. I looked horrible. Again. I did a search on "I have been smoking for thirty years and I want to quit". One of the first hits was a woman's website that had quit after smoking for 30 years. http://www.satiricquill.net/quit_smoking.html. (Not an active site anymore) I read her story. It was close to mine. 30 years of cigarettes and alcohol and tired of feeling like crap. I do not know why her story gave me the final push to do this, I had read others, but it did. I decided to try. Really try to give up all the things that were pushing me to a certain early grave and screwing up my life. It was a choice between keeling over at 50 and maybe living to be 100. I was scared to death but it all had to stop. Now. Today. I was making a big change. A lot of big changes. Cigarettes, alcohol, smoke. The crutches that I had used since I was 15, gone all at once. I had never been an adult without them. That seems so odd to me now. I went and bought a box of 21-mg Nicoderm patches, slapped one on and waited for the world to end. It didn't. I made it through that first day, and my cup of coffee the next morning without smoking. It was hard, really hard, but I did it. Twenty-four hours without a cigarette and I was still here on earth living and breathing. It sounds like I am being smart about it but I am not. When I tossed those last few cigarettes in the trash, I was so afraid because it felt like I was stepping out into a huge void with nothing to hold onto but faith in myself and that was in short supply at the time. The first month was a blur. My plan was to keep moving and tire myself out and that I did. My yard, my house and my truck were looking like I had a full time team taking care of all of them. I never stopped moving. I got up at 4:30 most every day and went to work out. I joined a local support group. It helped so much just to know there were people in the same boat as I was. As the weeks went by it got easier. Craves got fewer and further between and were easier to deal with when they did happen. Exercise was keeping me sane and keeping me from porking out too much even though I was eating everything in sight. In the beginning of the fourth month the blackest of depressions set in. It lasted about three weeks. It was awful. I scared myself. I did not want to get out of bed. Nothing mattered. I did not want to smoke. I did not want to do anything. What got me through was stubborness, grit, refusal to fail after getting this far, and people in the group that had been there before letting me vent, holding me up, and telling me it would pass. It did pass. I still have the frown wrinkles in my forehead, but it did pass. I wear the frown wrinkles with pride. Here we are at 6 months. Clean, sober, and smober. Craves, if you can even call them that are pretty much non-existent and are gone in a second when they do happen. It is more like a feeling of I should be doing "something". I am lifting weight like I did years ago. I can go a mile and not break a sweat. I feel twenty years younger. I can breathe. I feel strong. I am over the hump. I have climbed the mountain, lived to tell the tale and let me tell you the view is so beautiful. I have an indescribable sense of accomplishment. This is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done for myself. Smoking steals your sense of smell, taste and even touch. You are missing so much that life has to offer because of smoking. You are missing all of the most subtle, and some of the most beautiful of scents. The way a baby smells, the light scent of lavender bushes when you brush them as you walk by, the full effect of puppy breath. Men, Cigarettes are stealing one of the sweetest things in life from you. Your sense of smell is diminished, so you are missing the way a woman's perfume grows stronger as you brush past her cheek on your way to kiss her earlobe. You are missing most of the smell of her hair, her skin, and her sweet breath as you get closer to her. You are missing the salty, steely-clean taste of a long, wet kiss. You cannot discern the difference in pressure when she ever so slightly leans into you when you kiss her because your lips are numbed just enough by smoking. Smoking is stealing your energy, your stamina, and your desire. I feel, and act, like a much younger man now and that, is a beautiful thing. Do you even need any other reason to quit? Cigarettes were the key for me. The key to giving up all my vices was to give up the original vice first. The others were so much easier to do without when I was not smoking. I don't miss them anymore. At all. So many times I heard "You can't quit it all at once". This usually came from some yahoo who was sucking on a beer and a cigarette at the time he uttered that glowing little nugget of bullshit. Well you can quit all at once. If you have more than one thing you need to quit it is probably the way for you to go. When things go together as good as the things I was doing do, I see no other way. In the past six months I could not count the people who have said to me they could never do what I did. My response is "You never know what you can accomplish until you try. I mean really try. Not half-$@!#% try and give up as soon as it gets hard." Don't give up. Even if it does get hard. Lower your head, come out swinging, and barrel through the tough spots. Keep moving, exercise, drink water, chew gum, pig out. Just don't smoke. You can do it. If I can do it, you can do it. Everything you need to take control of your life and quit this awful habit, or habits, is inside you. I cannot speak for all but as I got further along it helped me in my quit to help others in theirs. There are people here going through the same things you are right now. There are people here that have felt the same way you do right now and beat it. They were just as bored, tired, miserable, pissed off, sick at their stomach and lost as to what to do as you are. Don't be shy. Rant if you must, whine if you must. You won't be doing anything that most of the people that went before you have not done. Everyday is a gift. Life is a gift. A long life and feeling good while living it is a gift you can give yourself. Here is your chance. Take it.

That Whooshing! sound... From troutnut1 on 1/23/2002 1:37:48 PM (some things never change around here!) That WHOOOSHING sound is the sad sound of a fellow quitter flushing his or her quit down the toilet with malice aforethought. Maybe they thought they were different. Maybe they thought they were unique. Maybe they thought they had stresses or problems that nobody else has. Maybe they thought they would just start again tomorrow. Maybe they thought that they could have the infamous "just one" and get away with it. Maybe they thought nobody would know. Maybe they thought that they wouldn't have to reset their meter. Maybe they thought they should congratulate themselves for being good for ___ whole days. Maybe they thought they would just smoke today while they were sad or angry. Maybe they thought they would punish their spouse by smoking. Maybe they thought they were too old, or too young, for it to really matter. Maybe they thought they could drink alcohol in excess without lowering their guard against one of the world's most powerful drugs. Maybe they thought that just 10 sickarettes today were better than the 20, 40, or 60 they usually smoke. I have had all of these thoughts at one time or the other, and blown lots of good quits before I had the Quitnet. Newbies....please do not use these instances as an excuse to smoke... Excuse me for saying this...but my commitment here is to tell the truth even when it hurts. So here it is: This is a support site. Support is a two way street. The rule here is to post and wait for three responses before smoking. If you choose to go ignore that deal, go locate sickarettes, open the pack, get one out, put it to your lips, light it, puff it in, exhale it out, and then tell us about it after the fact...neither I, nor anyone else here can help you. Like many others here, I am here to help you BEFORE you make the conscious decision and bad choice to take that first puff of nicotine. That the Quitnet works has been proven without any doubt....but it only works if you follow the directions precisely as stated on the label. That label clearly says "Post and take three answers BEFORE administering nicotine in any form." Your friend in Montana Troutnut1 (Dennis)

Andrea G.
Andrea G.6195 Days Quit

REPOST FROM FROGLADY Sheila D. froglady7247 Days Quit 3 years ago My quit is great, but.......... I Am Sick And Tired Of Hearing These Dumb, Stupid Comments and Excuses For Slipping, Relapsing Or For Not Quitting At All!!!!!!!!! From froglady on 8/10/2005 2:41:29 PM DISCLAIMER! This is a repost, and I am not criticizing or pointing a finger at anyone so please......... read it thoroughly before posting any comments. "Wish me luck! Luck? Luck has nothing to do with a successful quit. You must make it happen! I screwed up! You sure did! This is tough! This is too hard! I totally agree, but so what? Do you or don’t you really want to quit! I feel miserable! You would feel worse if you were smoking! I`m so grumpy! Aren`t we all sometimes....whether we smoke or not? My spouse, my relatives, my friends, my co-workers, my b/f, my g/f, my s/o, the kids, my neighbor, the cat, the dog, the squirrels, etc, all deliberately aggravated me, tempted me, annoyed me, made me angry, stressed me out, etc., just in order to make me lose my quit, so I will show them and smoke out of spite! Well, go ahead……and blame everybody and anything else for something you really want to do, and already knew that`s what you were going to do in the first place! I really want to quit, but I just can`t! You can`t because you really don`t want to quit! I blew it! Right! You and you alone put that cigarette to your lips! I can`t stand the stress, tension, anxiety,________(fill in the blank)! It`s called life and day to day living! Any suggestions so I don`t smoke? Yes, lots of suggestions, but none of them will help unless you take them. I`m gaining too much weight! Well, personally, I`d rather be an overweight non-smoker than a thin dead smoker buried six feet under! I`m depressed! Understandably, but if you smoke that will only deepen your depression. I slipped but I don`t know why! Why? Because you wanted to smoke and decided that you would, that`s why! Maybe now isn`t a good time to quit! Would it be better to wait until you develop a debilitating disease, or something that`s far worse – an incurable or even fatal disease? I feel like I`m losing a good friend! With a friend like the Nicodemon, you don`t need an enemy! And, lest anyone think that I`m being too critical, let me say that all of these comments and excuses…every single one of them....were MINE! (This is from my profile and written on my three year smokefree anniversary). Quitting is not easy, but anything worth having requires lots of work and there is nothing more valuable than a smokefree life. I experienced some very dreadful situations early on in my quit – deaths, illness, anxiety attacks, and an entire myriad of other problems. Giving up cigarettes was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life, but it was worth every single second of what I had to go through in order to remain smokefree. Be prepared for the worst, and in the end you can expect the best......the wonderful benefits of a healthy, happy smokefree life. KTQ! Sheila 16 + Years

Repost for @Amber K. and anyone getting started! From Vikki (Staff) on 4/30/2010 1:43:11 PM Hello and welcome to the Q! Most people have trouble following through with their quit due to the habitual and emotional attachment to smoking. Missing the daily ritual of smoking a cigarette every half hour is a normal part of the process of Letting Go of this lifelong habit. Many smokers 'try everything' except the most important step of all - sitting down and actually PLANNING their new, nonsmoking life! 'Becoming a nonsmoker' is much different than not smoking a cigarette for as long as you can go --- 'becoming a nonsmoker' means actually learning how to live and cope and experience EVERYTHING you do all in a new way - as a nonsmoker - for the first time for as long as you can remember! And that takes patience, effort and practice. Do you have a plan of action to keep you motivated and help you succeed? If not, are you willing to write one down today and follow it? By writing out a plan and practicing it daily, keeping your quit will get easier instead of harder as time goes by. It helps you stay focused, motivated and prepared. Planning ahead means accepting you will have unavoidable, temporary side effects and withdrawals. it is important to relax and let such symptoms pass by you without moment by moment analysis. Planning ahead also means having a list of options that you will commit to doing instead of smoking so you can slowly but surely develop new, nonsmoking habits. Planning ahead means that this quit will be your very last quit ever! Let's get started: Why are you really interested in keeping this quit? What will you gain from being a nonsmoker? Is your health and longevity and quality of life important to you? Why? Who is going to support you through this? How specifically will they support you? What has worked well before? Write it down! Do more of it. What has not worked so well before? Why? How can you avoid these problems this time around? Really think it through and write it down. What has led to relapse in the past? How can you address your biggest trigger challenges this time around successfully as a nonsmoker? Write it down. If you are prone to anxiety, how will deal with these feelings when they arise effectively as a nonsmoker? Write down 5 things you will commit to doing that will help you relax, re-group and alleviate stress and anxiety. If you have other smokers around you, how will you gather their support? What are 3 things they can do to help make it easier for you? How will that help you? What other challenges will you have? What are you willing to do to address them? Are you ready to give keeping your quit 110% of your focus and energy for the next 2 months? Good! That is wonderful because that is what it takes to develop new habits and attitudes surrounding your new nonsmoking lifestyle. The important thing to remember is that nicotine is only one third of the big picture. NRT ( such as the gum) helps with that one third, however, the rest is up to your commitment to work through the quit process. The emotional and habitual bond that long term smokers have with cigarettes goes way beyond simply doing their best to not smoke. The best way to let go of cigarettes PERMANENTLY is to follow the plan of action your wrote down that addresses your own personal list of habitual and emotional triggers. That way you can finally stop thinking about cigarettes. Plan in advance how you will replace each and every cigarette you used to smoke. You can replace a cigarette with many things ~ find out with practice and effort what works for YOU and then do it. Commit to doing it No Matter What. Adding to your action plan, please write down what would work for YOU as follows: How will you be: relaxing rewarding unwinding enjoying comforting entertaining without a cigarette? How will you deal with: other smokers anxiety boredom sadness anger frustration after meals morning coffee work breaks cravings thoughts of smoking social activites effectively as a nonsmoker? Really think it through and write it down. How will you cope with 'the hard stuff' -- like finances and job hunting and relationships and health concerns effectively as a nonsmoker? Really think it through and write it down. The process of sitting down and brainstorming the answers to the above questions helps you to identify YOUR interests and YOUR options and will help you visualize your life as a successful nonmsoker. Practice being a nonsmoker each and every day by replacing each and every cigarette you used to smoke with the new behaviors, emotional coping tools and rituals/habits you just wrote down. That way, you will not feel bored or lost or start 'romancing' the cigarettes. If you 'fill the void' effectively, you will not have room or reason to miss smoking. By taking these daily actions, you will practice - then finally become - a nonsmoker; as a result each and every day will keep getting easier! Stopping smoking can literally save your life. So give your upcoming Quit the planning, effort, focus, commitment and daily action it deserves. You CAN do this! It is the most important thing you can do for your health and your future. Good luck and KTQ! Vikki Q Counselor

2:12am Eastern Daylight time Rested Come ride with us on the no smoking train It's a whole lot better than being out in the rain. We want you with us, come do your part, For healthy lungs, skin and heart. It's all worth it, this no smoking tip, Ride, be healthy, take a part in the trip Dandelions. Aren't they beautiful? At the corner of Ohio Street and Kelly Road in Glenburn, Maine. It's the route I used to go on every day. It's a sign of spring. It was near 70 yesterday and 35 this morning. Sleeping in, I needed that, parts of yesterday were tiring. It was the birthday of my oldest son, we don't know where he is, or if he's alive. He would be 53 years old. Addiction sucks! “I may not be where I want to be but I'm thankful for not being where I used to be.” ― Habeeb Akande

6 years... how on earth have 6 years passed so quickly and also feel like a lifetime ago at the same time? I’m 6 years older - definitely; 6 years wiser? Don’t think so. But I’ve definitely and defiantly been an ex-smoker for the past 6 years; felt like a non-smoker for the past 3.5-4 years. To explain, I feel like a non-smoker because nothing makes me crave or think about wanting to smoke and your first step towards becoming to feel like a non-smoker is to take smoking off the table. This means that no matter what happens to you smoking is not the answer. No slips, no ifs, no buts, no excuses. To become first an ex-smoker and then a non-smoker you need to realise that you will come up with a lot of excuses as to why you should smoke and you need to the rational grown up and realise that all these excuses are b@llocks. REPOST Goggles Off's Guide to Calling B@llocks on Relapses Once you have been a member of Quitnet for a while, it can become a little like Groundhog Day at times, with relapses happening all over it seems. Members will post that they have relapsed sometimes explaining WHY they have relapsed (notice I use the word relapse and not slip - they have not landed flat on their @rse, ergo it's not a slip it's a relapse - call it for what it is people. I am here (thankfully with lots of others) to call b@llocks on any, and all, excuses given to choose to return to smoking. 1. I had too many stressful things happening all at once. Answer - B@llocks. Everyone has stress in their lives. I can guarantee that there will always be someone worse off than you. Are you seriously saying that you're going to smoke every time life gets too stressful for you? If so, prepare yourself to smoke until you die. You know what is really stressful? Cancer, COPD, and all the various other illnesses that smoking contributes to. Arguments with spouses, children, bosses, complete strangers can be dealt with choosing to smoke. 2. Bereavement. Very, very sad and feel for anybody going through a bereavement. But using it for a relapse is still b@llocks. Say you've been quit 30+ days, a bereavement will provoke some serious craves. Say you choose to act on these craves. What happens? Nothing has changed, the person you love is still dead, you don't feel any better - in fact you have a sore throat, maybe a sore head, you stink and now you have re-opened the door to your addiction and it has returned with a vengeance. 3. Weight gain. Also total b@llocks. I get it, I really do. However, getting a little fatter is not a reason to choose to return to smoking. In the 4+ years since I've quit smoking, I've put on weight, lost it, put it all back on again and am in the process of losing it again. Weight gain can be dealt with later, or at the same time if you so wish. It is another CHOICE, we aren't forced to eat barrowloads of junk food (well, after the first month anyway). 4. Illness. Biggest b@llocks excuse ever. This BS I hate more than any other BS. Only an addict would claim that they had to smoke due to illness. Any sane, reasonable, non-addicted person realises that the worst possible thing to do when you are ill is to breathe toxic fumes with sh*tloads of chemicals into your lungs. Like you're really going to say 'Ah, I can feel that 3000+ toxic chemicals doing my (* insert illness here) the world of good! Biggest b@llocks excuse ever! Now, the only way to be free from smoking is to CHOOSE not to smoke when you face these issues, and you will face most of these issues and probably more. You will not get through the rest of your life without facing stress, bereavement and illness. These triggers lose their power when you choose NOPE. What else can you do? Wait until you're physically unable to smoke cos of COPD? That's what my Gran did. She didn't want to stop smoking but became physically unable to. Her last 10 years weren't pretty - she was unable to leave her house as she got totally breathless just going to the bathroom. Don't let that be you! There is only one reason that you smoke (not excuse) and that is because you are ADDICTED. Free yourself from the addiction by researching what's called 'stinking thinking' and romancing the smoke, because if you think that smoking a cigarette actually helped you or your situation - well, that's just total b@llocks.

Happy New Year Q-mates! I want to share a poem that helps me keep my quit and I want to pass it on to someone who may share an affinity for Robert's wisdom. Cheers beautiful people! The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Peri L.
Pledge badgePeri L.342 Days Quit

When I first got here, on my profile I wrote that I was scared but ready. That it was time. I knew It was time, but I’m not sure if I truly believed I was ready. I see people say “I slipped” and it irritates me. Not because I don’t understand having a cigarette. But you don’t “slip” it isn’t an accident. You aren’t forced. You decided. So.. not only was I actually ready.. just a few short months into it, and I’ve become an impatient militant.

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An extremely condensed repost from deep in the archives... From Joyinca For the entire post go here --> http://purplkoala.coolpage.biz/library/barefacts.html Nicotine Users Are Drug Addicts, And Therefore Are Subject To All Of The Rules Of Drug Addiction The very first cigarette you smoked started you down the road to addiction. You arrived without knowing where you were going. Now you know. You have joined the millions of nicotine users who are and will always be drug addicts. There is no changing this fact, and the only thing you can do now is to learn to control your response to your addictive impulses. Luckily learning to be a quitter can be done, as attested to by the millions of people that have gained their Independence from smoking. This rule is absolute, and there are no exceptions. Relapse Won't Happen Unless You Put Nicotine Into Your Body Relapse is the result of awakening your addiction Relapse Will Happen If You Don't Acknowledge and Respect Your Addiction Relapse Means Having To Start Over From The Beginning

One of my favorites from @Kerry M. Like many others who have quit using nicotine, I started experiencing a lot of negative feelings, feelings of being overwhelmed, frustration, irritability, and unmanageability. It reached a peak around the 70-80 day mark for me. In previous quits feelings like these were the primary reason I would go back to smoking. This time I had to find a solution to this problem and this is what I think happened. I'll share in the hope that it will help someone else who is struggling with the same issues. "The Empty Tool Box" I've successfully recovered from other addictions in the past and each time I let go of an addiction, I find that the substance wasn't really the problem. The substance was simply me attempting to use the same tool for ALL of my problems because I didn't have any other tools. For example, in my early years, alcohol was one of my tools. It worked for a while but it was not always effective. Let's call it a sledgehammer. When the tool that was called for resembled a large hammer it would seem to work... but if I needed a saw, or a screwdriver, or pliers to get the job done, the hammer just didn't work. It usually smashed the whole project to smithereens and left quite a mess (you can easily see why). So when I got sober I picked up some new tools using a 12-step program and the experiences of other people helped me fill my tool box. These tools were still new to me and I had to learn when and how to use them. It takes time to get good at new things. Since the sledgehammer wasn't in my toolbox anymore I had to learn to use my other tools when life got difficult. But I've found that these tools work much better than the sledgehammer and they usually take care of the problems without creating a big slew of wreckage (when I remember to use them). Smoking was a tool too. Maybe a smaller hammer... let’s say a ball-pein hammer. I started using it a lot more once I gave up my sledgehammer because it resembled that once useful tool a lot. When in doubt I would reach for that tiny hammer because honestly, it looked familiar and I still thought what the heck... it might work this time. It's not as devastating a blow as alcohol was for me but its job was still to smash things... just a little more slowly. Then I decided to quit smoking and I tossed that tiny hammer out of my toolbox too. Luckily I had a whole set of other tools, even if they were a bit rusty. The problem was that I wasn't really used to using them because that ball-pein hammer was still my most common go-to. What I've discovered is that without my go-to addiction(s) to "resolve" all my normal life stressors and feelings I HAVE TO use my new set of tools. I must or I will smoke again. I found that I hadn't a clue how to manage stress, provide self-care, calm myself down, find serenity, or deal with other people and life. So I'm having to learn how and when to pick up and use all my new tools. Sometimes I even try all my tools and find that they don't work so I have to go look for a new tool to add to my tool box. Sometimes I can ask other people that have, nice, functional tool boxes what they use for each particular situation... they're usually happy to share what's working for them. Sometimes I just have to go try new tools and keep trying until I find one that works. But I can never go back and pick up that old sledgehammer or that little nasty ball-pein hammer... and why would I want to? They stopped working for me and I wouldn't want to clean up all the messes I KNOW that they make in my life. So I journey on picking up new tools along the way and getting better at using the new ones I have in my tool box. Here's a little glimpse into my tool box. The old hammers took up tons of room, so without them there's more room inside for when I find new ones that work better. ~ Meditation time every day to be quiet and able to be in the present moment. ~ Eating healthier, more nutritious food. ~ Exercise, lifting weights. ~ Getting plenty of sleep. ~ More creative time (playing guitar, singing, art) hobbies I enjoy just for myself. ~ Deepening my spiritual path and spending more time learning about and surrendering to what I believe in. ~ Reaching out to people in my life that I admire, seeking friendship more. ~ Trying to find nice things to do for other people. ~ Positive self-talk and affirmations. ~ Asking for help from people when I need it. ~ Willingness to go to any length to protect my quit. ~ Focusing on Gratitude. ~Attending & practicing 12-step programs that help me learn new living tools. If you're hurting take a look at your toolbox... is it empty? If so, get some tools! Start looking for new ones and put them into practice. Quit thinking about those old dumb hammers... they never really worked anyway and there are so many new, wonderful, tools to be tried.. there are tons of them here on the Q, get some! Love and Light to you, ~Kerry

Kerri H.
Pledge badgeKerri H.1008 Days Quit

2 years quit: “What advice do you offer a brand-new quitter?”

2 Years of freedom. 2 Years ago today, I woke up on the day I quit and could barely get myself ready for work without having a cigarette. I had no clue how I was going to make it through the morning let alone the day. Terrible attitude and I was only awake for 2 hours before I had my first (of many) tantrums. I got dropped off at work and my coffee spilled and it set me off (it’s obvious now I was just using that as an excuse) but I threw my coffee into the street slammed the car door and headed upstairs to my office. I was sure I would cave. I had arranged for my husband to drive me to and from work that week because I would have stopped and gotten cigarettes if I were alone. I knew I could not trust myself. This was my second attempt at quitting in 2 days. I cried so much that day. I was a mess. To be honest, the first month is a complete blur but the longer I went the more I wanted to keep it going. Lots of mood swings. and crying. Lots and lots of crying. I was happy, sad, excited, one huge ball of emotions. And I slept through most of it if I wasn’t working or eating I was asleep. Then something clicked. I realized I was walking around mourning my quit like as if it were a break up. It was! I broke up with smoking, BUT instead of crying over it like it was a bad thing, I had a change of heart. I was in fact breaking up with smoking ( and this logic helped me ) BUT it was a healthy thing to do. Like needing a relationship with an abusive partner. It was a good break up and a long time coming. I could no longer mourn quitting smoking. Smoking was killing me. Who would mourn leaving something that will eventually kill you? And that’s when my thinking turned around. I became so proud of my quit and it just kept getting easier and easier. I wrote my cigarettes a break up letter. (It’s in my profile) This site and all the members here educated me on my quit more than you’d think. More than I ever expected. I followed the elders and hung on their every word and I even learned what not to do from the relapsers. Today I get to say I am smoke free for 2 years. 2 entire years!!! And the best part? Im not lying about it and hiding smoking this time. ( did that a lot ). I am free - from smoking and from hiding and from lying about it. I never want to have to reset my counter, so I keep close to this site and it helps me keep accountable. I never crave a cigarette. I don’t ever feel Im missing out on anything. I do feel bad for the ones still smoking who say they could never quit. Of course they can. We all did. I am so proud of my quit I could talk for hours about it. I won’t do that to you. Lol I’ve said more than enough already. I am free, proud and ready to keep racking up the smoke free years. And I’ll always be on this site to help anyone who needs it as it was done for me. <3

I often hear those who are resisting quitting talk about all the things smoking "does for them." Let me tell you all the things smoking DOESN'T do: Smoking DOESN'T pay the bills. Smoking DOESN'T cure illness. Smoking DOESN'T mend broken relationships. Smoking DOESN'T lessen the pain of losing loved ones. Smoking DOESN'T make life more meaningful. Now here is what smoking DOES: Smoking DOES cost thousands of dollars a year. Smoking DOES make you sick. Smoking DOES cause bitterness, resentment, and guilt as we become willing to sacrifice everything for our addiction. Smoking DOES take our loved ones from us. Smoking DOES ruin lives. See where I'm going with this? DFS.

Over the years we’ve lost track of the dates, but the first version of QuitNet was launched somewhere around this time of year in 1997. In the beginning QuitNet was really just some simple tools to give smokers feedback on their habit. It wasn’t until a couple years later that we introduced social features. We rebuilt the site many times over the years, but it wasn’t until we completely overhauled it at MeYou Health in 2015 that the code I had written in the 90s was fully replaced. In the early days of QuitNet we only had two people working in the community and offering support: myself and eventually a coach. Over time, I moved on to work on other topics, and our coaches shifted to doing more actual coaching and spent less and less time in the community. Since the re-launch the coaching and product teams have realized that having a community representative is critically important, someone who can help jump-start conversations, loop in the coaches or clinical staff when it’s appropriate, share feedback with the product team, and help cultivate a supportive, welcoming community at QuitNet for anyone who wants to quit smoking. https://quitnet.meyouhealth.com/#/feed_items/949175 I’m incredibly excited that @Corrie M. has joined the QuitNet team to take on this role. She will be working directly with @Llaen C. and @Maureen O., our director of coaching and product manager respectively. You may already have seen Corrie around or gotten a private message from her as she gets to know the QuitNet community. It’s a tough job to step into a bustling community of people with strong opinions working to overcome their nicotine addictions, but we know she’s up to it. She’ll have our full backing as we work to ensure that QuitNet stays the best place to get online support for quitting tobacco. As always, feel free to ask questions via PM or in comments. Nate Nate Cobb, MD Chief Medical Officer … and QuitNet Founder MeYou Health

Another thought... I couldn't figure out why my Monday was heck...yesterday... Until I was clued in by my siblings... As they posted their grief for the anniversary of our mothers passing. Wow... that stuff is deeper and stronger than I ever thought. Subconsciously I must have known it...and it made me off kilter for the rest of the day. I am better now for the knowing or associating my misery with a cause. Every time I think I have my feelings understood... I get a kick in the pants that takes me down for a few... to let me stew... until I realize this is just another feeling that has to be felt anew. Addicts are always about running away from bad feelings. When we stop being addicts... we open ourselves up to FEELING and don't really know how to handle it. So, we just muddle through... I believe 'muddling through' is what the rest of the world does too. When they get those feelings. When their days are heck. I am just too stubborn in my quit and my life to cave-in to the discomforts of my feelings. And some of my feelings I am getting quite fond of... Like that one called... pride. I did that. It was me. I did it well. I handled the emotion of grief and survived my day. I'm proud of what I did. So... with a smile on my face...now... I can sleep. ~Craig Sober and S'mober

Back again? (A Troutnut1 repost) Back again? Welcome back! You are welcome to relapse and start over again as many times as you want to. But it’s really not necessary. You don’t ever have to take another puff if you don’t want to. If you have already relapsed and didn’t ask for help, none of us can really fix that now. The question is, what will you be doing differently this time? When you post about your slip or relapse...or just try to sneak back into the Q quietly...elders investigate. We first look to see whether you have a real avatar instead of the stock cardinal. Then we look at your profile. Its amazing how many serial quitters we have that haven’t even bothered to fill it out. Or if they have it is very minimal. Then we look at your previous posts. All of them. Here we often notice an almost endless series of “Quit 7 days, Quit 10 days, Quit 3 days, Quit 7 days, Quit 10 days. This or that happened and I relapsed.” Over and over again. And most importantly we notice that in all these previous posts...NOT ONCE...has there ever been a request for help. It quickly becomes obvious to those of us who have been around for a while that these quitters did not go down swinging. They went down without any fight whatsoever! They wanted to fail and they weren’t about to have us talk them out of it. After a while, most of us probably lose interest. Not because you have tried and failed so many times. Most of us did that. But because you never even tried to save yourself. We threw the life ring over and over again. And you didn’t even reach for it. This is a support site. This is why we have the “Three Post Rule”. There IS an expectation here that you will post and wait for at least three responses BEFORE you take that FIRST puff. The help you get WHEN YOU ASK is absolutely incredible. It can literally save your life. The ONLY thing that has ever really helped addicts like us is...other addicts. We have successfully found our way out of the cave, and we would love to show you how to get out too. But we can’t help if you don’t ask. If you simply smoke first and then tell us about it, you have completely destroyed the purpose and spirit of this site. It turns this from a support site to a place to simply announce your serial relapses. Want to change things this time? Want to succeed instead of failing again? Here is the secret formula: Decide to be honest. Don’t try to be sneaky. We are all recovering addicts and we know all about sneaky. It’s a big part of addictive behavior. You might fool your non-smoking friends, spouse, co-workers, or employer, but you won’t fool us. At least not for long. It doesn’t play well here and you will lose some valuable support in the process. It hurts your quit. Be honest. Personalize your profile. Do a good job. Spend some time on it. Journal in it regularly. Document your victories and your struggles. Always use the Three Post Rule and ask for help. Then help others by telling them how you did it. Even if you have 3 days you can help someone on their very first day. Fight like your life depends upon it (it does!). And don’t take that FIRST puff no matter what happens. If you follow these simple rules, one day at a time, it is physically impossible to fail! If you follow these rules, just for today, you will absolutely, positively, be 100% guaranteed to go to bed a WINNER tonight! That the Q works is beyond question. But it only works if you follow the directions precisely as stated on the label. Your friend in Montana Troutnut1-dennis

Flash Cards for your quit From 2sexy4mysmokes on 10/17/2000 9:48:23 PM In my first few weeks of this quit I replaced the pack of Ciggs that was always in my purse with a stack of index cards. Each card had a reason to quit or an encouraging saying I found on the Q or anything I heard or read that I wanted to save. If I found I wanted to reach for a smoke, I just pulled out my cards and read each one until the craving passed. This really helped me and I thought i would share some of my flash cards with you. Some of these are adapted from the book.."Out of the Ashes" by Peter and Peggy Holmes. 1. So you think one won't hurt? ...When was the last time you had one and quit smoking? 2. I don't want one.. I want them all. 3.You have to practice being a non-smoker. It won't come automatically. Every craving I survive gives me more practice. 4. Avoid thoughts of how hard this might be. 3 million smokers quit every year. It can be done. 5. When you make it through the first week, it gets better rapidly. 6. Body changes are normal and sometimes uncomfortable but they remind me I am suceeding. 7. A Craving is just a feeling. There is no reason to be afraid of it. You can say no to the craving as easily as you can say no to buying something out of your budget. It is my choice. 8. It takes what it takes to quit. no more and no less. No matter what...just don't smoke 9. Symptoms are temporary. I will feel normal again. 10 Don't think of never smoking again ...think one hour..one day..one minute if you have to. We only need to cope with today. Whatever happens tomorrow I will handle then. 11. I will have cravings whether I smoke or not. If i smoke they will get worse and come every 30 minutes. If I don't they will pass in a few moments and get fewer and farther between and get easier and easier until I am free. 12. I can live with the occasional desire to smoke or I can smoke. There are no other choices. 13. Smoking does not calm my nerves. It creates stress everytime my nicotine level drops and I have to smoke to bring it up again. As a smoker I am in a constant state of withdrawl creating stress. 14. Each craving challenges me to think about what is really important to me. With each craving I have the choice of acting on what I believe or staying in denial. 15. Desires to smoke are inevitable..smoking does not have to be. 16. No one is making me stop smoking. I can smoke if I want. I choose not to for now. Tomorrow i will have the same choices. 17. The urge to light up will pass if I smoke or not. 18 I would rather be a non-smoker with an occasional desire to smoke than a smoker that always wants to quit. 19. Getting ill from smoking is far worse than this transitional discomfort of quitting. 20. I am a puff away from a pack a day for the rest of my life. Just don't smoke. *From Val's library: http://purplkoala.coolpage.biz/library/flash_cards.html

My Cigarette, My Friend??? How do you feel about a friend who has to go everywhere with you? Not only does he tag along all the time, but since he is so offensive and vulgar, you become unwelcome when with him. He has a peculiar odor that sticks to you wherever you go. Others think both of you stink. He controls you totally. When he says jump, you jump. Sometimes in the middle of a blizzard or storm, he wants you to come to the store and pick him up. You would give your spouse hell if he or she did that to you all the time, but you can't argue with your friend. Sometimes, when you are out at a movie or play he says he wants you to go stand in the lobby with him and miss important scenes. Since he calls all the shots in your life, you go. Your friend doesn't like your choice of clothing either. Instead of politely telling you that you have lousy taste, he burns little holes in these items so you will want to throw them out. Sometimes, he tires of the furniture and gets rid of it too. Occasionally, he gets really nasty and decides the whole house must go. He gets pretty expensive to support. Not only is his knack of property destruction costly, but you must pay to keep him with you. In fact, he will cost you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. And you can count on one thing, he will never pay you a penny in return. Often at picnics you watch others playing vigorous activities and having lots of fun doing them. But your friend won't let you. He doesn't believe in physical activity. In his opinion, you are too old to have that kind of fun. So he kind of sits on your chest and makes it difficult for you to breathe. Now you don't want to go off and play with other people when you can't breathe, do you? Your friend does not believe in being healthy. He is really repulsed by the thought of you living a long and productive life. So, every chance he gets he makes you sick. He helps you catch colds and flu. Not just by running out in the middle of the lousy weather to pick him up at the store. He is more creative than that. He carries thousands of poisons with him which he constantly blows in your face. When you inhale some of them, they wipe out cilia in your lungs which would have helped you prevent these diseases. But colds and flu are just his form of child's play. He especially likes diseases that slowly cripple you - like emphysema. He considers this disease great. Once he gets you to have this, you will give up all your other friends, family, career goals, activities - everything. You will just sit home and caress him, telling him what a great friend he is while you desperately gasp for air. But eventually your friend tires of you. He decides he no longer wishes to have your company. Instead of letting you go your separate ways, he decides to kill you. He has a wonderful arsenal of weapons behind him. In fact, he has been plotting your death since the day you met him. He picked all the top killers in society and did everything in his power to ensure you would get one of them. He overworked your heart and lungs. He clogged up the arteries to your heart, brain, and every other part of your body. In case you were too strong to succumb to this, he constantly exposed you to cancer causing agents. He knew he would get you sooner or later. Well, this is the story of your "friend," your cigarette. No real friend would do all this to you. Cigarettes are the worst possible enemies you ever had. They are expensive, addictive, socially unacceptable, and deadly. Consider all this and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! Joel

for @Maddy C. and fellow quitters ~ a letter to your body (from from traveler, from Peter) Dear ...... Insert your own name .......... and days of being smoke free x. Dear .......... It has been x days since you have quit smoking. You probably don't recognize me since you have been real busy for about x years. I am your body and I wanted to have a conversation with you. There are some things I need to tell you and share with you. You may need them now that you are recovering and I for the first time can express them. I am your lungs, your heart, your eyes, your liver, your blood, your skin and your mind. For x years, ......., you have been smoking and I have been unable to talk to you. It's not that there were times when I did not try, because I did. I sent you all sorts of signals to let you know I wanted to talk to you and you were not able to hear me. You passed it off as a morning cough or dizziness and whatever you were doing for all those years was too strong for me to fight. I have been waiting for this conversation with you for years. I must first tell you that we don't miss the smoke you filled us with. There were days when you were out, having a good time in the summer sun and I was too. I like the warm air and I even like the sun. But, ........, even on those wonderful days you would take the time to fill my lungs with smoke, my blood with carbon monoxide and my brain with nicotine. Every time I thought things were getting better and I was ready to talk to you there would be a burst of all these chemicals and I had to spend all of my energy, and YOUR energy, ......., on trying to keep you alive. I think you get the point now and I don't want to sound critical although I may have come off that way. What I really need to tell you is that for the past x days I have been working hard with the rest of your body ,to heal from a lot of years of neglect. I guess I want to say THANK YOU. Thank you, ......., for having the courage and the strength to quit smoking. If you have ever done anything right for me, by smoking you have given me a new life. I need to tell you that it will take time for me to heal. You know how long you smoked, ........ It will take a bit of time to work with the lungs and the brain and the heart but IT WILL HAPPEN. Every cell in your body congratulates you... .... I need to warn you about something. One of the drugs that the brain thought it liked was Nicotine. That’s a bad drug. It fooled me into thinking that I needed it. I never picked up a cigarette in my life and you made me addicted to Nicotine. Hey, I know it was not your fault! But there will be some difficulty the next few days and months. I, too, became addicted to that drug and it will take some time before I get rid of that. But I have a promise that I want to give you now that I can talk to you. If you promise to not smoke and to give this your very best shot, and I know how hard it is for you, I will reward you with more than great health, ........... And in time you will not only feel better but I will give you something that you thought you lost a long time ago. Remember your self-esteem and your image? Well I know who you are and I want you to know that I LOVE YOU. In time you will feel better and be so proud of what you accomplished-This I promise you. By the way! In this process of getting better we will be doing a lot of work inside. So please feed me and water me like you would if you were taking care of a beautiful Rose. It's time that you started to look after yourself with love, understanding and compassion as well; we like that too. Everything you give to me during this process I will reward you with tenfold. I believe in you, ....... I AM YOU. I KNOW you can do this. I don't want to have to wait another x years to have this conversation with you. Know that I love you and know that it is unconditional. It seem at times like I am working against you but know that I am working with you, .........., to heal US. Just for Today, ......., please do not smoke. Thank you for listening to me. I love you! Sincerely, Your lungs, heart, liver, blood, mind and skin and every living cell in you

Have a great smoke free day everyone. This was posted by sometime back by our dear Eugina. Worth sharing.

BREAKING NEWS: The Pity Train has just derailed at the intersection of Suck It Up and Move One and crashed into We All Have Problems, before coming to a complete stop at Get The Heck Over It! Any complaints about how we operate can be forwarded to 1-800-WAA-WAAA. This is Dr. Sniffle reporting from Quitchur Fussin'. There are just times when you need to follow the advice of the above and get on with the business of enjoying the life you have! KTQ!

Back again? (A Troutnut1 repost) Back again? Welcome back! You are welcome to relapse and start over again as many times as you want to. But it’s really not necessary. You don’t ever have to take another puff if you don’t want to. If you have already relapsed and didn’t ask for help, none of us can really fix that now. The question is, what will you be doing differently this time? When you post about your slip or relapse...or just try to sneak back into the Q quietly...elders investigate. We first look to see whether you have a real avatar instead of the stock cardinal. Then we look at your profile. Its amazing how many serial quitters we have that haven’t even bothered to fill it out. Or if they have it is very minimal. Then we look at your previous posts. All of them. Here we often notice an almost endless series of “Quit 7 days, Quit 10 days, Quit 3 days, Quit 7 days, Quit 10 days. This or that happened and I relapsed.” Over and over again. And most importantly we notice that in all these previous posts...NOT ONCE...has there ever been a request for help. It quickly becomes obvious to those of us who have been around for a while that these quitters did not go down swinging. They went down without any fight whatsoever! They wanted to fail and they weren’t about to have us talk them out of it. After a while, most of us probably lose interest. Not because you have tried and failed so many times. Most of us did that. But because you never even tried to save yourself. We threw the life ring over and over again. And you didn’t even reach for it. This is a support site. This is why we have the “Three Post Rule”. There IS an expectation here that you will post and wait for at least three responses BEFORE you take that FIRST puff. The help you get WHEN YOU ASK is absolutely incredible. It can literally save your life. The ONLY thing that has ever really helped addicts like us is...other addicts. We have successfully found our way out of the cave, and we would love to show you how to get out too. But we can’t help if you don’t ask. If you simply smoke first and then tell us about it, you have completely destroyed the purpose and spirit of this site. It turns this from a support site to a place to simply announce your serial relapses. Want to change things this time? Want to succeed instead of failing again? Here is the secret formula: Decide to be honest. Don’t try to be sneaky. We are all recovering addicts and we know all about sneaky. It’s a big part of addictive behavior. You might fool your non-smoking friends, spouse, co-workers, or employer, but you won’t fool us. At least not for long. It doesn’t play well here and you will lose some valuable support in the process. It hurts your quit. Be honest. Personalize your profile. Do a good job. Spend some time on it. Journal in it regularly. Document your victories and your struggles. Always use the Three Post Rule and ask for help. Then help others by telling them how you did it. Even if you have 3 days you can help someone on their very first day. Fight like your life depends upon it (it does!). And don’t take that FIRST puff no matter what happens. If you follow these simple rules, one day at a time, it is physically impossible to fail! If you follow these rules, just for today, you will absolutely, positively, be 100% guaranteed to go to bed a WINNER tonight! That the Q works is beyond question. But it only works if you follow the directions precisely as stated on the label. Your friend in Montana Troutnut1-dennis

Dammit, I missed my palindrome day yesterday with 2112 days quit. How have I managed my quit? My quit has managed itself for at least the past 3 years - not smoking is like breathing now, it comes naturally and is done on automatic pilot. But in the beginning, I had to be a hard taskmaster managing my quit:- 1. I had to take smoking as an option off the table 2. I had to use the 5 Ds 3. I had to learn as much as I could about nicotine addiction (thanks Quitnet winners that came before me) and 4. I had to realise that every single excuse I could come up with to smoke was total and utter b@llocks. Here’s one of my older posts from a few years ago now. Goggles Off's Guide to Calling B@llocks on Relapses Once you have been a member of Quitnet for a while, it can become a little like Groundhog Day at times, with relapses happening all over it seems. Members will post that they have relapsed sometimes explaining WHY they have relapsed (notice I use the word relapse and not slip - they have not landed flat on their @rse, ergo it's not a slip it's a relapse - call it for what it is people. I am here (thankfully with lots of others) to call b@llocks on any, and all, excuses given to choose to return to smoking. 1. I had too many stressful things happening all at once. Answer - B@llocks. Everyone has stress in their lives. I can guarantee that there will always be someone worse off than you. Are you seriously saying that you're going to smoke every time life gets too stressful for you? If so, prepare yourself to smoke until you die. You know what is really stressful? Cancer, COPD, and all the various other illnesses that smoking contributes to. Arguments with spouses, children, bosses, complete strangers can be dealt with choosing to smoke. 2. Bereavement. Very, very sad and feel for anybody going through a bereavement. But using it for a relapse is still b@llocks. Say you've been quit 30+ days, a bereavement will provoke some serious craves. Say you choose to act on these craves. What happens? Nothing has changed, the person you love is still dead, you don't feel any better - in fact you have a sore throat, maybe a sore head, you stink and now you have re-opened the door to your addiction and it has returned with a vengeance. 3. Weight gain. Also total b@llocks. I get it, I really do. However, getting a little fatter is not a reason to choose to return to smoking. In the 4+ years since I've quit smoking, I've put on weight, lost it, put it all back on again and am in the process of losing it again. Weight gain can be dealt with later, or at the same time if you so wish. It is another CHOICE, we aren't forced to eat barrowloads of junk food (well, after the first month anyway). 4. Illness. Biggest b@llocks excuse ever. This BS I hate more than any other BS. Only an addict would claim that they had to smoke due to illness. Any sane, reasonable, non-addicted person realises that the worst possible thing to do when you are ill is to breathe toxic fumes with sh*tloads of chemicals into your lungs. Like you're really going to say 'Ah, I can feel that 3000+ toxic chemicals doing my (* insert illness here) the world of good! Biggest b@llocks excuse ever! Now, the only way to be free from smoking is to CHOOSE not to smoke when you face these issues, and you will face most of these issues and probably more. You will not get through the rest of your life without facing stress, bereavement and illness. These triggers lose their power when you choose NOPE. What else can you do? Wait until you're physically unable to smoke cos of COPD? That's what my Gran did. She didn't want to stop smoking but became physically unable to. Her last 10 years weren't pretty - she was unable to leave her house as she got totally breathless just going to the bathroom. Don't let that be you! There is only one reason that you smoke (not excuse) and that is because you are ADDICTED. Free yourself from the addiction by researching what's called 'stinking thinking' and romancing the smoke, because if you think that smoking a cigarette actually helped you or your situation - well, that's just total b@llocks.

CJ A.
Pledge badgeCJ A.460 Days Quit

QUITTING – Effects on Your Body What to Expect Chris the Science Geek REPOST: Chris the Science Geek answers your questions about getting sick after quitting smoking From csavage on 11/17/2003 3:50:25 PM Third in a series... ***** Recently, an intrepid Quitster asked, "why am I getting sick MORE now that I have quit smoking? I thought I was supposed to be getting HEALTHIER?!" If you are interested in the answer to this question, pull up a chair, relax with a nice beverage and Chris the Science Geek will endeavor to explain this phenomenon to you. <Cue dream sequence music and spinning spiral...> There are several possible explanations for the fact that you seem to be getting sick MORE often rather than less often now that you have quit smoking. The first is that you aren't actually SICK but just experiencing "cold-like symptoms". In other words, your body is exhibiting natural responses to quitting smoking and they *look* a lot like the symptoms you get when you have a cold. For example, a healthy adult human produces between a pint and a quart of mucous EVERY DAY. Small hair-like cilia in the sinus cavities wave back and forth and circulate the mucous through you sinuses and, eventually, into the back of your throat where it is swallowed. The purpose of this is for the sticky mucous to pick up foreign debris (including bacteria and viruses that can make you sick) and send them to your stomach where aggressive stomach acids destroy them. However, when you smoke, you kill the cilia and your body also may produce less mucous. When you quit, it starts up again, the cilia come back to life and suddenly you are one snotty Quitster. You may have an unusually runny or stuffy nose at times for the first few months of your Quit. It seems a LOT like having a cold. Another possible explanation is this: when you smoke, your body is in a state of heightened defense, trying to combat the continuous poisoning that happens every time you light up. When you quit, your body sighs and says, "Ahhhh...now I can relax..." Since this relaxation of your immune system is coupled with unhealthy sinuses and dead lung and sinus cilia, you are much more vulnerable to attack from bacteria and viruses. So you get sick more often (colds, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, etc.) until your body returns to a healthier state. A final explanation is simply that when you quit, your body quickly moves into "healing" mode. This takes a great deal of energy and it becomes quite easy to get run down if you don't get enough rest. A common lament of new Quitsters is constantly being tired and this is a manifestation of that healing process. If you become run-down, you are more vulnerable to getting sick, as we all know. Which of these explanations is the one for you? That's hard to say. The truth is that it may be one or all of them. It may also be that a little "revisionist history" is going on and you are only now admitting that you get sick more. Before, you may have attributed it to "allergies" or "the weather" or "sunspots" or "communist insurrectionist plots" - stuff like that. Anything but admitting that your smoking was making you sick. In other words, maybe you aren't sick more, you're just calling it what it is for the first time. At any rate, we cannot expect to undo in a few days or weeks what we've spent many years causing. It will take time, up to two years for some people, before we really are healed up and see the benefits of not smoking in terms of being sick less. Just be aware of this and help your body out: get plenty of sleep, lower your stress load, drink lots of water to help flush your system and eat properly. You will begin to see evidence that the healing is taking place in a short time. Coughing up gunk a lot? That's evidence that the cilia are coming back to life and helping your lungs to purge themselves. Do you seem to have more energy than you used to? That's evidence your body is healing nicely. Less out of breath after climbing the stairs in your house? One more bit of evidence that you're getting better all the time.

[a repost from long, long ago] The Other Recovery Story: what the quit-lit doesn't tell you A common item in the Quit Literature is a timetable of physiological change within your body as your quit proceeds. This sequence appears in various forms in the quit-lit, including the following excerpt from the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program. One can only wonder how all of these things are known, but they are indeed remarkable and inspirational. Those changes are listed below in Section 1. There are some other changes, listed in Section 2, which seem to be experienced by a large number of those in the throes, which are not commonly listed in the inspirational quit-lit. I do not know why. Perhaps they don't want us to know, or maybe they don't know about these changes. Whatever the reason, I add the second section for completeness, with the hope that I don't discourage anyone from giving it a try. Section 1. The Quit-Lit Story Two Hours After Quitting. Nicotine begins to leave your system. Some people may feel withdrawal pangs. This is a good sign. Your body is cleaning itself out. Hang in there. Within two days all the nicotine by-products will be gone. After Six Hours. Heart rate and blood pressure decrease (although it may take up to a month for them to return to their normal rates). After Twelve Hours. The carbon monoxide is completely out of your system. Your lungs work more efficiently and you can do more without becoming short of breath. After Two Days. Your sense of taste and smell sharpen. In addition, your breath, hair , fingers and teeth will be cleaner. After One Week. Most withdrawal symptoms are completely gone. After Two Weeks. Your circulation improves. So does your confidence level because you feel good about your progress. You begin to think of yourself as a non-smoker. One To Nine Months. Your body's overall energy level increases. Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease. Within Two Months. Blood flow to your hands and feet improves, keeping them warmer. Your skin looks healthier. Within Three Months. The cilia (a hair-like cleaning system in the lungs) begin to recover and remove the mucous, so you can cough it up, cleaning your lungs and reducing the chance of infection. You may notice increased coughing for a few days. After A Year. Your risk of lung cancer is reduced and you have less of a risk of heart disease. Fifteen years after quitting, the risk approaches that of someone who has never smoked. Section 2. The Untold Story 20 minutes after quitting. You begin looking for loopholes in your quit commitment, thinking about postponing the whole arrangement until after the next millenium begins. After 8 hours. You have already contemplated at least three murders and several other brutal acts of violence. After 24 Hours. Your city or town declares a mysterious and unforeseen water shortage, while municipal sewers are suddenly overwhelmed. After one week. You have consumed enough calories to sustain a Bengali village of 2000 for four years. Food shortages become critical within your region; pets and local wild animals become nervous. After two weeks. Quitzits establish early outposts on your face. Risk of Browser's Butt Syndrome (BBS) rises to equal that for 13-year-old boys with new computers and internet access. Smileys appear in your writing and begin to replicate Within one month. You have already begun to pester smokers and complain about the smell of their obnoxious cigarettes; IQ returns to low double-digits; Quitzits begin to function autonomously. Exclamation point shortages prevail across the land. After six weeks You may have experienced your first bowel movement since your quit began; if not, be patient, it will happen within a few more weeks. After two months. You begin to forget the pain and misery of the first week without cigarettes, and are wondering if you could, perhaps, remind yourself of what you've been missing; Quitzits establish territorial treaties with each other. After five months. Intelligence returns to at least 60% of its pre-quit level; concentration remains a problem, at only 50%; carpal tunnel syndrome incidence exceeds all known levels for any keyboard-intensive occupation; you have typed more words than are contained within all the works of William Shakespeare, but with more flair and "sparkle". After six months. You wonder why you ever waited this long to quit. It's way, way, worth it.

Winner55 A.
Pledge badgeWinner55 A.3136 Days Quit

The following demonstrates how truly extraordinary our brains are. it deosn't mattaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is that the frist and lsat later be at the right pclae. The rest can be a total mses and you can sitll read it outhit a porbelm. This is bcuseae the huamn mind deos not read Hervey letter by itself, but the wrod as a wlohe. You can use your brain as one of the tools to fortify & maintain your quit. Remember, your brain has to learn how to produce dopamine, the good feeling chemical naturally produced in our brains. Exercise will help produce this chemical while your brain re-learns how to function without having to constantly do battle against the cocktails of toxins we have been feeding it, with our addiction to tobacco. What amazing beings we are.

@Sue A. Found this old post and it answers a lot of questions about WHY and HOW LONG regarding our quits! REPOST: THE BRAIN THING.... From loretta4living on 10/21/2007 12:52:37 AM I got a qmail asking for me to explain what I learned about nicotine recovery during the post acute withdrawal stage to you. First let me say this, as with ANYTHING anyone deals with in life, attitude and being able to keep ones perspective makes a huge difference. The mind can be a powerful tool. That being said, nothing could be further from the truth then the premise that once the nicotine is out of your system in 72 hrs what you are experiencing is purely psychological. That is not true. How you choose to look at it and mentally handle it may make a world of difference but it doesn't make what is happening not be happening. A person can psyche themselves up to walk across a bed of hot coals, that doesn't mean the coals aren't hot. They are using the power of their mind to accomplish something. Deal with me here, I'll do my best to make this sound not too jumbled as I have been indulging a bit during tonights ALCS ballgame. When we smoked our body's bio and neuro chemistry had to compensate for the presence of nicotine. When I say bio chemistry I am referring to our endocrine system. That is our glandular system responsible for putting out hormones that regulate every organ and function in our bodies. These glands include, Pituitary, Hypothalmus, Pineal, Thyroid, Parathyroid, Adrenal, Pancreas, Ovaries for Women, Testes for Men...I'm sure I'm leaving out some here... Anyway, ALL those glands send out hormones. Besides regulating our body's organs functions they impact, mood, concentration, sleep, body temperature, cognitive thought, memory, anxiety, depression,appetite, body weight etc.... When I was saying about neuro chemistry I was referring to the many brain neurotransmitters. Which, once again, are chemicals responsible for a host of things. Dopamine, Seratonin, Acetylcholine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, are some of these neurotransmitters. If you need specific info about what each of these do, I'd have to get it to you at another time..like I said, been celebrating a bit here. But understand that now that the nicotine is out and these glands and neurotransmitters aren't having to compensate for the presence of nicotine and the thousands of other chemicals they are going through a rebalancing. A neuroadaption. That takes time. Our bodies constantly strive to be in a state of homeostasis. That is a state of balance. The nicotine is out and it is scrambling to find its new balance. I am under the care of an endocrinologist. My blood work showed continual glandular hormone changes for the first 6 mths of my quit. Okay...now some may say well once that is all over with, it's the triggers. That the triggers also are mental. No they're not all mental. When ever we repeatedly use a substance that causes a release of the feel good, reward, brain chemical, Dopamine..our brains map what ALL was going on a the time of that release. What we were doing, what was going on around us, sights , sounds, smells. ALL of that was mapped onto whats called neuropathways. Those are like lil roads in our brains. That is how triggers are created. The good news there is when we engage in the same behaviors repeatedly and DON'T light up...those old neuropathways physically shrivel up and new ones with new behaviors are formed. New memories replace them. I'm going to be completely honest here, IF I hadn't of researched some of this, gone in to talk with the endocrinologist and an addiction specialist, I would have been smoking because I did EVERYTHING humanly possible to mentally get over this addiction and I still went through things. Things that some ppl here said were mental. I didn't know what the hell was I doing wrong in my recovery that I was where I was at and feeling what I did. It was AFTER I learned this that I breathed a sigh of relief. I was actually normal and what I was feeling and experiencing was par for the course. My hope was restored. I often wondered how many people, IF they too knew, would have been able to hang on and let the recovery process happen. It is a process, a physical, physiological and psychological healing process. Give it the time it needs, which is individual for all, and you will recover. Loretta You can bookmark this post by clicking on the 3 gray dots below left.

The Life & Death of a Smoker Repost from healing2 You start out when you're a kid hacking and coughing when someone smokes in your presence. You very clearly understand the yucky smell of smoke and the health hazards of sucking in fumes of noxious gas all day. You walk around very verbally expressing your disgust at smoking and are simply unable to understand how people could willingly abuse themselves and the environment so. Then one day, somewhere around puberty, preadolescence or in your teenage years you and perhaps some friends steal a pack of smokes from someone's mom or dad and take that initial puff. The act of theft is the first bit of delinquency which gives you that independent rebellion you seek. But the act of smoking truly ignites your rebel without a cause. Your first puffs are probably followed by coughing and dizziness. Which although somewhat unpleasant is outshadowed by the thrill of your crime and perhaps your first "high". Even though you see yourself as free to walk away from this experience unscathed you have begun the process of giving away your power. Perhaps you did that when you allowed a friend to convince you to try one. Perhaps the nicotene has already begun to draw you into its perpetual drive to fill your body again and again. Perhaps your morality, or a promise you made to yourself has begun to erode with that first puff. Certainly you have begun to train your body and mind not to reject the feeling of burning in your throat and lungs despite the fact that it is obviously uncomfortable. Then somehow, you are looking back, 4,10, 25 years later at a long history of smoking. You are nearly incapable of remembering living your life without smoking. Every event, chore, vacation, celebration, sorrow, and joy has been punctuated by a cigarette. Every day new challenges surfaced as to how to have a smoke at an inconvenient time. Countless hours had been wasted worrying about events and snowstorms and visits with inlaws that might interfere with your smoking. As the years marched on things began to change. More and more of your friends began to quit smoking. Fewer and fewer places allowed smoking. More and more people looked down on you for smoking. More and more friends and strangers both alienated you and made you feel a substandard human being. Media and hollywood became more and more voacal about the dangers of smoking. The medical world became 100% intollerent of smoking. Your friends, family and aquaintences began to die from smoking related illnesses. By and large it became nearly impossible to live in denial as to the dangers and negativity of smoking. But there were moments with a cold beer or after a delicious meal when you could still pretend. And so, though difficult, you pretended that your shortness of breath was do to aging or being out of shape. You tolerated the snide remarks of ex smokers and non alike. You self righteously maintained your FREEDOM to smoke. You stayed well stocked, and tried to be inconspicuous as you went about your days of feeding your addiction. You ardently told yourself you enjoyed smoking and thats why in spite of all the evidence, adversity and a small knot in the pit of your stomach or a lump in your throat you continued. But little by little, perhaps over the course of a few years the knot became worrisome. The lump became unbearable. Each smoke brought you closer and closer to reality. Each smoke became more of a chore. Instead of bringing relief from the need for nicotene, bringing relaxation or peace each cig was now tainted with guilt, stress and a growing desire to quit. Caught in an endless cycle of guilt and relief, you began to feel incapbale of quitting. You felt inferior to others, lacking willpower, powerless to beat the addiction. You probably tried and failed countless times. Or maybe you perpetually said you'd quit tommarrow. Or maybe you were simply too afraid to even try. And then came the death of the smoker. You had two choices. Kill the smoker by quitting or kill the smoker by smoking. Face your fear head on and battle the addiction one moment at a time. Gather all your strength, your years of denial and transform them into a hatred of your powerlessness and fight this addiction with every fiber of your desire to live. Or stick your head in the sand once and for all and smoke until it kills you. It will be happy to oblige you. Die smoker, die. You get to decide how to kill the smoker, what's your choice? You can bookmark this by clicking on the 3 small gray dots at left below post.

Deb A.
Deb A.361 Days Quit
QUESTION

Does anyone have a list, or is there a link to the 'old' milestones (3 day necklace, 7 day fish etc)?

Winner55 A.
Pledge badgeWinner55 A.3136 Days Quit

There is always going to be something to do before you do what you really want to do. There will always be something you believe you have to 'get through,' before you commit to quitting smoking, and even then, you might get it wrong. Those things will be there when you quit, and during your quit and after you are strong in your quit and can call yourself a non-smoker. It is called life, and you can live without smoking but you can't smoke and live. Don't quit on quitting; keep trying and you will succeed.

Elaine C.
Pledge badgeElaine C.371 Days Quit
CRAVING

flunked again went so far as to buy a pack. It was so easy the first few days

Smoking never solves a problem. Ever! It creates another problem. Now you have two problems. Stay away from that FIRST puff, one day at a time, and it is physically impossible to fail. Don’t take that FIRST puff, just for today, and you are absolutely, positively, 100% guaranteed to go to bed a WINNER tonight! Your friend in Montana Troutnut1-dennis

19 CRAVING STOPPERS From walnut on 4/6/2007 8:56:47 PM --------------------------------------------------------------------------

  1. When you're challenged by a strong urge to smoke, take a few deep breaths and remember your determination to be free.
  2. Think of your most important reason for wanting to stop. Say it out loud in front of the mirror.
  3. Do not start feeling sorry for yourself. It's the people who are still smoking who should be pitied. You were smart enough to follow a program and stop smoking.
  4. Immediately turn your attention to something else. Remember that even the most intense craving lasts only a few minutes -- 5 or 10 at the most. The urge will pass whether you smoke a cigarette or not.
  5. Do something with your hands. Knit. Doodle. Play with coins. Write a letter.
  6. Be good to yourself in every possible way. Even indulge yourself a little. Enjoy a special treat on weekends (a good meal, a show, etc.) with the money you've saved.
  7. Frequent places where you don't smoke rather than places where you do. 
  8. Curb use of alcohol and caffeine.
  9. Seek the company of nonsmokers.
  10. Concern yourself only with today--tomorrow will take care of itself. Get through today without smoking
  11. Eat something! Low calorie snack, veggies, chew fresh ginger. Bite into a clove.
  12. Talk to yourself! When the urge comes, say: "Slow down. You're doing great. You can keep going."
  13. Distract yourself! Whistle! Sing! Brush your teeth! Work on a hobby! Take a shower.
  14. Analyze! Do you think you need a cigarette as a reward to relieve boredom, or after an extended period of concentration? Find another way to take a break. 
  15. Move! Get up and walk around. Take a drink of water.
  16. Practice relaxation exercises. Stretch, yawn, do deep knee bends, touch your toes, shrug your shoulders.
  17. Make believe! Pretend you're smoking a cigarette. It's a very helpful breathing exercise.
  18. Breathe! In and out, as if you actually had a lighted cigarette in your mouth. You will find that you are actually sighing!
  19. Think of quitting as an act of love - for those you care about. It's also a gift to yourself.

These work, do them over and over if you have to. Just don't smoke and soon you won't want to. Carrie You can bookmark this page by clicking on the 3 gray dots below left.

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