The info screen says I've been a member since 2009. I came on the site then but didn't stay, didn't quit. I've thought so many times about quitting, done a few quits with the longest being 9 months. Blamed that relapse on my sister because she broke her hip (the addictive brain/reasoning doesn't work well). This time I feel different about quitting. It doesn't feel like I'm giving up something, it feels like I'm getting something.
August 5, 2013. That is the day of my forever quit.
About me? Well, I'm old enough that I am going to semi-retire (work 2 days per week) starting in October, 2013. I have 2 grown sons. I have 2 older sisters. I have 2 cats. I'm passionate about my work, love mystery books (Patterson, Kellerman, etc.) that I "read" via audio books when I'm in the car. Oh, I also am LOVING my Ipad and have now become addicted to Candy Crush Saga and a few other games. At some point I may have to find a support site for that but it is helping me get through my addiction to nicotine.
I give all the glory for my work, any successes I may have to God and prayer. I have alot of people praying for me right now and that is where I feel the strength. I also am finding strength, information and support from this site. I hope I can offer some of that to others when I get past the newbie stage.
9/4/13 30 days today!! When I started this I knew I "wanted" to "try" to quit. I had such a big fear of failure (again). I said that in one of my first blogs and was promptly told that fear would be my failure. I took that to heart.
I also was told that in being afraid to tell people I was quitting I was leaving the door open to failing. I took that to heart. I started telling people I had quit and even posted to my Facebook wall when I had 1 week smoke free.
I've learned so much since I've been coming here each morning (and sometimes at night). Words: choose, not try-----decision----not giving anything up, but gaining---I'm worth so much more than a cigarette. These are only a few of the pearls of wisdom that I've taken to heart.
So many great people. I won't even begin to name them as I couldn't. I learn something each and every time I come on here.
I'm learning about myself too. I teach clients everyday that feelings are feelings and ok to have, but I've always fought that concept myself. I heard when I was little "what have you got to cry about?" so I learned not to cry. If anger was shown it meant going back and shutting the door 10 times quietly or maybe getting the wrath of my parent. So, I learned not to cry, not to feel anger. I'm learning now that I have those feelings and that smoking pushed them aside and down. They are there. They are real. Now I'm trying to learn how to show and express them instead of going off by myself for a smoke.
I have supporters. A woman in my building asks each time she sees me what day I'm on, tells me she is praying for me and gives me a hug. Pastor at church asks me most Sundays and gives me a hug as he tells me he's proud of me. Both my older sisters told me this last week that they are proud of me (and I don't smell anymore). And more. But the biggest pride is what I feel in myself. With each day I wake up I can say "Today is day ____" and I feel proud. Not the kind of pride like I could never fail. That is a realization and why I need to be aware and conscious each moment. But I don't minimize that I have worked on doing this and that is a source of pride.
No, smoking doesn't solve anything. There is still stress, life goes on. And today I am proof that I can go on without the crutch of a cigarette!
Four weeks, one day, 23 hours, 56 minutes and 49 seconds. 449 cigarettes not smoked, saving $154.11. Life saved: 1 day, 13 hours, 25 minutes.
9/17/13 Had a really tough day yesterday. The craves hit me from the right, then hit me from the left, then smashed right down on my head. And I don't know why. There was no particular stress, there was no major conflict, there was no one blowing smoke in my face. They just attacked. I talked to myself, I distracted, I prayed and I came online and posted. And I got tons of support and encouragement via responses, PM and message board. It made me feel good that people cared and showed me that the EX is there when we need it. Ultimately it is up to me to "keep em away from your face" but I know that when I reach out someone will be there. So, if anyone is reading this I hope you remember what you have in you and what you have around you. Just sayin'.
9/24/13 Today I am 50!!! Days free that is. When I started this back on day 1 I never would have thought I could get to 50 days! But it's here and I'm not stopping now! I've learned so much. And I was so surprised that I didn't wind up curled in the fetal position my first few days, it was not as hard as I thought it would be. I used the ecig with the Chantix at the beginning and when I had gone a whole day without the ecig I figured I would see if I could go 2 days. Then it was 3, etc. etc. Now it has been 2.5 weeks since I used it. This week I've started cutting Chantix dose in half, only taking it in morning. No noticeable difference. Next week I'll cut it to 1/2 pill. I'm happy. Now I've got my eyes set on the 2 month marker.
10/5/13 2 months!!! Feel good about this. Want to share something I've been remembering lately:
A number of years ago God gave me a picture of what the healing journey looks like. I’d like to share that with you today.
When we begin our journey we feel alone. The path and everything around us seems dark and fearful. We step timidly, uncertain of where or how to go. We can see nothing around us. Then we hear a voice ahead of us saying “look out for that hole”, “don’t trip on that big rock in front of you”. We get a little more confidence to follow the directions of the unseen guide ahead of us.
A ways down this path it seems to get a bit brighter or at least less dim. In addition to the unseen, but encouraging, voice ahead of us we can make out figures walking alongside of us on this road. We can’t touch them, we don’t really know them. But they are giving occasional words of encouragement, “come on, we can do this”, “just follow the directions from ahead”, “I won’t give up if you don’t”.
Farther down the path it is brighter. We can see the dips in the road, we can see obstructions and avoid them. We feel more confidence. And when we glance behind us we can see those who are struggling in their walk. So we encourage “look out for that hole”, “don’t trip on that big rock in front of you”.
How long each stage of this journey takes varies for each of us. But if we keep on the path we will make it to the next point towards healing.
This is The EX. If we listen to those who have gone before and give encouragement to those who walk alongside we will not be alone and as fearful of where we are going. When we have the EX-perience we will be able to help those that are coming after us.
11/13/13 100 days!!! Triple Digit Club!!! I really did not think I would make it to this day…of course I wanted to, but didn’t think I could. I just went back and read what I’ve written on my profile page so far and then went back and read the first month of my journey. I can read the “want to”, but unfortunately I know that woman who was writing those blogs and she did not have the confidence in herself or this process. So, I set little goals….1 week!!! 30 days!! 2 months!!! And then….and then….dare I????? Could I????? OK, let’s chance it….let’s get to TDC and see how we feel! Now I’m there! And how do I feel? I could list all the positive adjectives in the dictionary and it wouldn’t be enough! I feel “powerful” today. But I also feel grateful…for all the people on this site who have supported, encouraged, pushed and prodded me. (In reading some of my early blogs most of the people are still close by, but it makes me sad to see that some are no longer around.) I feel cautious…because I know that with my addiction I am only a tiny, baby-step away from smoking again if I don’t keep my guard up and my head on straight. I feel convicted to reach out and help when I can, to offer that support, information and (yes, if needed) tough love. And I feel committed to go farther along this road, to continue to learn, grow and expand the person that God intended me to be. So, my next goal will be……6 months! I will celebrate 6 months on February 5, 2014….and I’m hoping the reward I will give to myself will be attending the Orlando trip! Big ((((hugs)))))) and love to all my EX family here……couldn’t have done it without you!
Three months, one week, 20 hours, 55 minutes and 6 seconds. 1498 cigarettes not smoked, saving $513.30. Life saved: 5 days, 4 hours, 50 minutes.
I knew I wanted to quit. But I knew I had tried several times and failed and didn’t want that to happen again. So, I re-found this site (had come here before but wasn’t ready to commit). “This time---this time I’ll do it right” is what I told myself. So, I listened to what the people who had some time said in their blogs. I listened to those that sounded confident (NOT COCKY) and followed their advice. “Don’t use negative words”, “Believe in yourself”, “Want this more than you want anything else today”, “Keep them away from your face”.
I got through Hell Week with no scars, Heck Week had a couple of rougher days than Hell Week but made it through that too. Then, oh no……the dreaded NO MANS LAND! Now I began to fear. “You won’t have the same Atta Girls that you had at the beginning” (true), “You may feel confident and secure in your quit but craves will blindside you” (true), “Stay alert, awake and on guard” (true), “You’ll get through it”. I HAVE!!! I am at the end of NML.
I know that I still have to watch what I’m doing, I know I can’t take my smoke free days for granted, I know that some days I’m more fragile than others. I read and LISTENED to Giulia’s blog yesterday. Quit Maintenance. She is 1 of the Elders that I believe and believe in. I would like to list everyone here that has “been there” for me but that would be impossible. I have met and connected with many people here and made some good friends.
Look, there are some of my friends waiting for me just over the line….I see their hands stretched out to pull me into the light!!!
My next goal: On 2/5/14 I will have 6 months smoke free!!!! On 2/7/14 I will get on the big bird and fly to Orlando where I will get to meet some of you, put a face with a name, get hugs and also (Tommy promised) some Krispy Kremes!
I couldn’t have done this without so many of you!
Love you, Sharon 130 days of Freedom!
2/5/14 I just keep saying to myself "I can't believe that I made it to 6 months!" And I really can't. I've quit for short times before but not this long. When I first came on here I said that I had quit once for 9 months....well, after I got thinking about that I realized that I LIED....sorry, didn't mean to not be totally honest. I thought it had been that long but then when I looked back and started figuring what was going on in my life at that time I realized that I hadn't gone 9 months, maybe 2 or 3. It just felt like 9 months because I think I was doing some white knuckle approach to this.
This time I am informed. I learned a lot about addiction before I actually quit....and then I come here to the EX every single day and pledge that I will not smoke for that day, I read the information that is posted from some of our local experts (Thomas and Dale to just name a couple) and I learn.....and it is working!
So, my advice to newbies and those who are not yet as far as I am: learn about this, make a daily commitment to stay "clean" and in your journey of learning and staying clean....reach out to others. Oh, get yourself in a firmer place than you were in your first few months....but then give back.......pay it forward......collateral kindness......loving your neighbor on the EX!
And remember to keep (or develop) your sense of humor.....that will get you through those tough days.
I've met some great people here that I consider to be true friends......
nurture those friendships as well.
OK, onward family......my next goal is 9 months (5-5-14)! I hope everyone that celebrates with me today will be here to celebrate that day as well!