I made it!!! I'm now in the triple digits. The signs and posts made by others crossing NML before me were my guideposts. Yes I am very grateful to be at this point in my quit. Thanks OldBones-Larry. You were such a great straightforward guide through the desert. Blessings galore to Giulia, elvan, Mandolinrain, Youngatheart.7.4.12, jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007, anaussiemom, Barbscloud, Marilyn.H.July.14.14. indingrl.01.06.2011 and others I'm sure I'm not thinking of. I know this is my quit. I own it and I'm proud of it. But this extended family of support has been invaluable to me. I should give you all badges.
For the newbies,which I actually still am one, I want to say please keep going. It is sooo worth it. I'm not free of the thoughts and cravings. I still think of smoking daily, but it's not a craving or a want or wishing I still could. It feels more like a habitual thought pattern that my brain still runs on.
The nicotine demon Larry talks about has definitely raised its head. Especially late at night when I'm completely vulnerable and major stress, usually dealing with family. But I stayed willing to say no. It has been really helpful to me to self talk my way through the craves . " I don't do this anymore," helped me keep smoking as something I did in the PAST. It is not my PRESENT state. Staying in a "willing" state rather than "willpower or willful" helped soften the fight somehow. I wasn't fighting against the urge, I just stayed willing to keep my quit. jonescarp had a great article on that. I'd post it, but I don't remember the title.
And boy they do sneak up on you sometimes. So be ready if you're first starting out. Have your tools ready. Sometimes my craves hit me out of nowhere. Took me completely by surprise. I blew bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles. Kept my bubbles within close reach. Yep. Blowing bubbles and chomping cinnamon sticks. Those were my two main tools along with deep breathing.
Set small milestones for yourself. And give yourself a reward or announce it to folks you know will support you. I announced my 30 day milestones and gave myself a pat with 100 days as my first long term goal. Now I'm headed for my first year. YES!!!!! Maybe I should shorten that to 200 days. You get the picture I'm sure. Small doable goals.
Be sure to read everything that comes up in the Best of Ex. Laughter is the Best Medicine. Is great for a quick diversion during a crave. And I'm not real techie so sorry if the links don't work. But you'll get there anyway.
I wish I had some profound statement to pass along. Something eloquent to say. What I do have is my perspective and what helped me get to this point. I want to share it so that I can give back a little to this community that has given to me. So don't give up freedom wherever you are in your quit, because the longer you stay quit the freer you feel. It's a hard concept to explain. You'll just have to stick with it and experience it for yourself
Here's a few concretes: 1. Your sense of smell is amazing!!!! I became almost embarrassed for some folks I got around who simply reeked of old smoke. That gives me pause to be thankful right there. I live in sagebrush country. There's nothing like the smell of it when it rains..... 2. It's so nice not to have to keep track of your cigs. Remember to take them with you when you go out of town, to stop somewhere and take a few puffs, being uncomfortable all day because you can't just smoke one all the way. Or have a vehicle that reeks of smoke. 3. It's nice to be at a social event and not have to leave to go have your smoke. And that refers you back to #1. I can smell them when they come back in. And now I don't even have the urge to follow them out. 4. My lungs breathe free and easy. No more tight feeling in my chest. I'm hoping I'll see improvement in teeth, gums and bones after a year or so.
It's just amazing how chained you are to your addiction, and you really can't see it except in your rear view mirror. So keep taking those daily steps. Make your daily pledge. Oh yes, The Daily Pledge, another ritual I used daily to keep me going. One step, one day, one week, one month at at time. Put that ugly smelly harmful habit/addiction in your rear view mirror and watch it get smaller with each passing day.
God Bless & Namaste
100 DAYS OF
F R E E D O M !!