We have this discussion every Monday to offer encouragement and camaraderie to those in NML, basically months 2-3-4 of a quit and those who have not yet reached the 6% club. Regardless of how long you’ve been quit, anyone who likes the conversation and wants to offer support is welcome to participate!
We are happy if you just stop by to say hi and let us know you are still with us in NML. Feel free to offer up ideas on topic question and I will include them in next week’s post! Stop by daily or as often as you like! Don’t forget to post to the Daily Pledge!
This week’s topic: Celebrate NML! I know we had this topic recently, but with so many new NMLers (YAY!) I thought this was relevant given some of the posts from last week.
I have something to say that might surprise you – I enjoyed No Man’s Land. Really! We talk about the “dangers” of NML so much that some people think it’s a scary place, but the truth is, No Man’s Land is something to celebrate!
You’re getting back to your life. Putting the roller coaster behind you. Your quit meter is really adding up, you’re feeling better and looking better. You’ll probably have your first encounter with a doctor or dentist, and you’ll get to tell them you quit – I promise you, their response will make your day! You’ll start to feel a sense of freedom that can actually leave you a bit giddy. You’ll do the math on how much money you’ve saved, how much time you’ve saved, and you’ll start to feel like that smoker you remember was a different person.
Of course those bumps in the road are still there – quitting isn’t over, but you know how to deal with them. Because you took the time to learn and prepare. Most of the other blogs in this NML weekly series are about the bumps – let’s not forget to enjoy the rest of it! NML is an important part of your journey, so celebrate it!
And one day, maybe in month 4, maybe in month 6, maybe even later, you’ll have an Ah-Ha Moment that will make you laugh out loud. If you have had your moment, please share it below! If not, no worries. Check in and let us know how you are doing!
No Man’s Land ends when you realize smoking doesn't matter anymore because you haven't thought about it or being a smoker hardly at all. My moment was when I was driving up the familiar route to a jobsite I was on before I quit. I reached for my pack on my truck seat out of habit because I had done so many many times going up that hill. I like to call it "the ghost pack" and, I laughed because right at that moment I knew I was through.
Mine was at the Atlanta airport, one of the last airports in the US at which you can smoke. I had an hour between flights, and the gate I arrived at was right next to my departure gate. The only thing separating them was the smoking lounge. I thought “too bad I don’t smoke anymore”. That random old junkie thought startled me so much that I laughed out loud. That was when I knew, truly knew, that smoking was behind me.
I went back to read some of my old blogs because I knew I had a moment but couldn’t quite remember when in NML it happened. It was 39 days into my quit. I took this from my old blog post (Now I get it....NML ):
I actually had a split second moment of panic followed by laughter!
I had just finished prepping food and getting a lot of things ready for the week. It was almost 1PM and I was hungry for lunch, but wanted to get all the prep work done first. After the prep was done, I paused...it hit me...I was getting ready to reward myself and "relax" by having a cigarette before heating up my lunch. Of course, I did not. This honestly was a quick moment of thought, but my husband noticed the pause and asked me what was wrong.
I told him I was having a thought of a cigarette and smiled at him and said there is no way that will happen! Then I laughed. After weeks, I had a thought. This was not a craving at all. Just a thought. An old habit because I would do this in the past. I was going to "reward" myself with a smoke because I got a ton of stuff done. I was going to "relax".
NML. Yep. I get it now. I am protecting this quit. I can laugh at the thought. I am aware it can happen. I am grateful it didn't. I am hopeful and determined it won't.
If you’re out of NML, please share your Moment with us in the comments. If you’re in NML right now, never fear! You will have this moment! You will laugh out loud! You will smile as you say “whoa, I’m out and didn’t even realize it!”
ENJOY the journey!
(Taken from an old NML Blog Weekly post by SarahP)
Click here to read Dale’s helpful blog about No Man’s Land:No Mans Land Days 30 to 130 (approximate)
Click here to read what to expect in the first four months: What To Expect In The First Four Months
Checking in here will help you get through NML and on your way to the first year where you can celebrate being in the 6% Club and graduate to eventually become an Elder!
Please let me know if you are interested in posting the NML Weekly Check In. I am happy to continue it, share it, or pass it to the nEXt EXer in NML who is ready, willing, and able.