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Penitent
Nov 18, 2018 (08:46 AM) Reply | Quote 


       
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Just keep on keeping on!!!!
 
 
 

The habit of despair is worse than despair itself

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Sparrow1975
Nov 18, 2018 (12:11 AM) Reply | Quote 


       
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5 months!!! Wow...l came in when you were at about 1 month and to me its felt like about 3 months not 5. Wtg girl!!! What a massive achievement to be free of every nasty addiction demon. Oh how l wish l had have done it back then and looking back on it all rather than still fighting this battle. Youre so right the time passes anyway and youre better off doing something positive with it...biting the bullet rather than dragging out the pain of quitting and busting. I dont know how you did it with yr partner smoking around you and now yoire being tested with different pressures and youre concluding that cigs wouldnt help. You truly are a reformed smoker....kudos to you Stella, what an awesome gift to give yrself. I still havent given up on the idea but lm so sick of trying and failing. I go into panic mode when l quit and cant deal with the stress. But l cant keep going round this mountain....somethings gotta give and lm afraid if its not the smokes it will be my health. Thanks for all your inspiration. I have loved reading your insights about your quitting journey. Addiction is such a ***** and you finally kicked it all. Hope youre enjoying the rainbows  

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StellaBlue
Nov 17, 2018 (05:30 PM) Reply | Quote 


        
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5 MONTHS TODAY!!!
 
I just re-read my thread from beginning to end, and I'm pinching myself that I'm sitting where I am right now.  Stressed out and uncomfortable with massive homework piling up on top of me (I'm also a mature student in my other life!) and a big work thing coming up this week, and my partner is away again for 4 months so I'm lonely..... and I do not want to smoke!! Five months ago, what I just wrote out would be the equivalent of three excellent justifications to smoke, and what would feel like an absolute need to take a time out to soothe myself with a cigarette. Today?  Not so much.  In fact, adding a smoke on top of this blaze sounds like pretty much the worst thing I can do.  I am in continual awe at how much quitting smoking has improved my ability to cope with stress in my life. It is by far the most unexpected side effect of my quit, as well as one of the most amazing.  I operated for so long thinking that smoking was helping me with my stress, and I was so, so wrong.  It's hard to even articulate it - it's kind of like taking smokes out of the equation has turned off the spotlight.  Stress was such an overpowering, loud, and unbearable feeling for me, and now that I'm not surrounding "stress" with all of the desperate smoking associations, actions, and feelings, stress has been minimized to a manageable facet in my life.  I thought that money and the smell would be the biggest payoffs for me, but this stress thing is the real surprise winner!

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StellaBlue
Nov 15, 2018 (09:52 AM) Reply | Quote 


        
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Thanks for reading my thread :) Actually living the process was terrifying and inspiring, haha. I really found it helpful to document my whole process here. It kept me accountable and jazzed up about things, and now it's neat that I can go back and see what it was like.

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StSc37
Nov 15, 2018 (08:50 AM) Reply | Quote 


       
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Hey, I am new here and read through your thread.  It's both terrifying and inspiring.  Thanks for sharing your journey with us. 

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StellaBlue
Nov 13, 2018 (09:08 AM) Reply | Quote 


        
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I'm a few days shy of 5 months smoke-free.  That's insane.  I said to my partner, "Guess how long it's been since I had a smoke?!" and his guess was..... 40 days, hahaha.  He was shocked when I laughed and said it's been more like 5 months.  To me, it just goes to show how quickly that time really does pass.  Being in mid-quit, it feels like it's lasting forever or like it's going to last forever, but it really doesn't.  Time keeps on ticking, and five months from now, YOU can either be still trying to decide if you can/want to/should quit, or you can be long done with the whole process and enjoying a smoke-free life.  The time is going to pass regardless of your decision.
 
 I am so stoked to get to the 6-month mark. It'll be the best thing since hitting 90 days, in terms of my excitement level :)  "6 months" sounds like a such a solid block of time. I envision it like I'm building a wall, and 6 months is my first solid brick.  I've done the research (hello my 2 years of failures!), drawn up the blueprints for success (hello my Quit That Stuck!), I've leveled the ground (hello 90 days!) and built a foundation (hello days 100 to now).  Now all that's left to do is stack the bricks up and keep on going.

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StellaBlue
Nov 05, 2018 (10:04 AM) Reply | Quote 


        
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DAY 138. After exorcising those travel thoughts on the page here, I was able to let them go and move on without fear.  I totally forgot about quitting smoking again.  Because I'm no longer quitting. I QUIT.  I even forgot that I used to smoke until I saw this tab open on my work computer.  All I wanted was for the struggle to end, and it finally has.  I wanted to feel like a non-smoker does. I first spent time feeling like a smoker-trying-to-quit. Then I moved on to smoker-who-is-quitting. Then I felt like an ex-smoker.  And now, the holy grail: The NON-SMOKER!  With that one bizarro exception of the travel fear (which was neatly solved before it ever even happened, thanks to this place and you people) there has been no situation, feeling, person, or event that has made me think of smoking in quite some time now... Not since around that Day 100 mark. 
 
My partner gave up his quit a week or two ago, but I expected that and my success is no longer tied to what he does.  I never understood that before - how on earth people could quit while their partner continued smoking.  I read accounts of it, and it didn't make sense.  The only conclusion I could come to was that those people were made of different stuff than me.  Stronger resolve, more confidence, more willpower, better self-esteem, whatever.  As long as he smoked, I couldn't seem to stop myself.  I thought we would have to separate for me to stick with it (and since we weren't going to separate, I had a nifty excuse to keep smoking forever....).  But I totally get it now, and it IS possible.  It's all mindset, identifying what was excuse vs. real obstacle (hint: there were no obstacles in the end, only excuses), getting support, some grim determination, some boundaries, and a pinch of faith.  And it was something I had to practice until I "got" it.  So anyone who is currently in the "practice" stage of their quit, or is contemplating a quit, don't lose faith that there might be a future wherein YOU are a non-smoker.  I really thought that "ex-smoker" might be the mountain top for me, but here I am, yodelling it aloud: I AM A NON-SMOKER!!! Come join me, the view is fantastic!

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StellaBlue
Oct 31, 2018 (09:01 AM) Reply | Quote 


        
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Timbo, you're absolutely right, and as I wrote my last post I could see what I needed to do.  I'm way beyond the initial panicked enslavement stage, and I now get to enjoy the stage where I am very much in control of how I view the world and my quit.  Quitting smoking has given me that free choice back.  I have already started to change the soundtrack in my head about this trip.  Soundtrack A: "Oh no, how am I going to not smoke there?  I really really loved smoking there. I'm going to be overwhelmed by a desire to smoke. This is going to be so hard and if I'm going to abandon this quit, that's the time it will happen."  I am now running soundtrack B: "It's not a problem.  I actually don't suffer from physical cravings anymore, and so I won't be 'overcome' by anything. I'm a non-smoker and that comes with me wherever I go."
 
Does anyone have any more suggestions for little mantras or sayings to add to my B soundtrack?
 
(The most embarrassing part of this perceived future crave is that I really enjoyed the idea of being an exotic female smoker there, in a country where women smoking is totally taboo.  I got to be "in" with the men and was granted certain freedoms to move around the city as I pleased.  If I didn't smoke, I would have been shunted off to the side with the womenfolk and children.  I loved the "shock value" part when I would light up my smoke. And everywhere I went, people would offer me smokes and tea and a table and a chat, just out of novelty at westerners and the WOMAN IS SMOKING!  I'm afraid they are going to remember me as that brazen western woman who smokes, and I'll suffer the gauntlet of never-ending cigarette offers.  I mean, I would literally stub one out, and two people would already be handing me another... It was a very central part of my trip, and everywhere I went we all chainsmoked for hours while struggling over the language barriers.  The smoking gave us something to do with one another when we couldn't talk.  Maybe that's the crux of it.  What else can I do besides smoke to share "conversation"?  Suggestions?)

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Timbo637
Oct 30, 2018 (06:10 PM) Reply | Quote 


       
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Hi StellaBlue,
  "I feel some anxiety over this trip potentially interfering with my quit", "this trip will be taking me out of my normal every day life". 
Per Wikipedia: "Fear of the unknownFear of the unknown or irrational fear is caused by negative thinking (worry) which arises from anxiety accompanied with a subjective sense of apprehension or dread." Sounds like you nailed it.
Simple to solve in theory. THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS!!!!!   Well at least it sounds easy. You're in triple digits now, and back in control of YOUR life. Happy thoughts.....happy thoughts....
Stay strong.
 
Not One Puff Ever
 

Tim

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StellaBlue
Oct 30, 2018 (10:29 AM) Reply | Quote 


        
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Okay guys, so I just bought a plane ticket for an international trip over the holidays.  I had this weird body reaction to the idea of a 10-hour flight - it's as if part of my brain is trying to panic over the idea of a 10-hour flight without a smoke, and another part of my brain is trying to tell me it's okay, I don't actually smoke anymore so it's not going to be a problem.  I can't shake this weird feeling, though!  I feel some anxiety over this trip potentially interfering with my quit (because last year when I went to this same country, I chain-smoked the entire time and it was very much a cultural thing and part of my social group there... plus smokes cost like a  buck a pack).  I have this (irrational?) fear that once I get there, I'm going to be suddenly overwhelmed with the desire to smoke.  I guess I just can't picture myself there without a smoke, since that's my only frame of reference so far. Has anyone had a similar experience in their quit and can give me some pointers?  My trip isn't until New Year's, so I have time to acclimate to the idea and do some mental prep.  It feels strange to feel like my quit is being threatened.  I feel super duper secure in my quit in my every day life - total non-issue at this point - but this trip will be taking me out of my normal every day life.  Maybe I just needed to write about this to get it out of my head.  I'll be fine if I choose to be fine. But still, advice is welcome :)

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egg
Oct 19, 2018 (01:17 PM) Reply | Quote 


       
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Hey guys I just found this company that supplies vaping products which is the best way to help quit.
 
If anyone thinks this may help them on their journey as well here is a coupon code for ten percent off  EGVAPR
 or for a free bottle with an order PURE101960

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StellaBlue
Oct 19, 2018 (11:32 AM) Reply | Quote 


        
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Sparrow - Just keep trying to get up the mountain, one step at a time.  It feels so good to be rid of the addictions.  Quitting (and failing to quit) smoking was more demoralizing than quitting drugs, because I felt it should be "easier" since I already knew I was capable, had done it before, there were fewer payoffs in continuing to smoke than in continuing to use drugs, etc etc. Plus scads and scads of people seem able to do it, and people were quitting left right and centre... and there I was, failing for the 50th time.  Or the 50th time that month, lol.  When I look back at other recovery or healing processes in my life, it becomes clear to me that I am simply a slow processor in these areas.  I am intelligent and a quick learner, so I thought I should be able to "learn" how to quit just as easily.  Not so.  I may be intelligent, but when it comes to *me*, I do take time to internalize new ways of thinking and new belief systems.  It took me like 15 years to quit dope. It took me 2+ years to quit smoking. It has taken me several runs up several mountains before I've internalized other changes in my life.  Maybe you are somewhat like me in this respect.  When I realized it about myself, I at felt first stupid because my sense of intelligence was threatened.  Once I processed the information (which took longer than I felt it "should" take, haha), I actually started finding comfort in it.  I no try not to panic when I'm not able to make a change or "get it" right away.  I understand that I, personally, take a little extra time to change habits and thoughts and beliefs and feelings. I know that I need to collect lessons. But when I do get them?  Man, it tends to run deep and stick.  I'm not a light switch girl.  I'm a dimmer switch girl :)  Slow and steady, whether I'm turning something down or turning something up or starting something completely different. I guess all I'm saying is don't lose hope.  I know exactly how you feel.  Right before this quit, I was actually pretty equally contemplating just being a smoker for the rest of my life.  I had no idea this one would work, but I was absolutely sick and tired of trying.  I didn't even post here until Day 5 I think, because the first few days were so ambivalent and I thought starting a thread somewhere would jinx me.  I just tried one more time than I failed.  It's true what they say - it really does not matter how many times we fall, as long as we get up that same amount PLUS ONE.  It only takes one "plus one" in the end. 

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Sparrow1975
Oct 18, 2018 (06:17 PM) Reply | Quote 


       
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No Stella your journey didnt seem long at all as an observer of course.  It feels like yesterday l came on here and you were struggling in the beginnings. It really bums me out that l didnt join you back then and it would all be behind me already. Its so true that things always look a lot easier in hindsight than when youre staring at it before you. I am getting sooo sick of being in this position but l think its weakened me rather than strengthened me. So many failed attempts makes it feel impossible. Maybe one day it will just click like it did for you. I so hope so. 
You must feel so free now that no substance has a hold on you....how awesome and liberating. Addiction is such a hard battle. Youve conquered huge mountains. You should be so proud of yourself. It takes real guts and strength. You said that drugs is harder to give up than cigs but cigs is easier to relapse on. Thats exactly how l feel. I think l must be able to do this coz lve beat heavier addictions but with cigs the danger of relapse is always in my face...just a 2 minute trip up the road and some spare change. After l gave up drugs l didnt care if l smoked forever. I thought that was freedom and then it creeps up on you and you realize youre still a substance slave. I want real and pure freedom. I want to need nothing but the air l breathe. I feel just as enslaved as l did with drugs.
I know l will do this because l wont rest til l do....its just a matter of how many times l want to keep going round this mountain and geez its getting tiring.
Thanks for your encouragement Stella.....you should write a personal memoir about your addiction battles and how you conquered. So many addicts out there need to know.
Now "not one puff ever"  

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StellaBlue
Oct 18, 2018 (09:44 AM) Reply | Quote 


        
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Aww, thanks guys for the compliments.  I wish I was writer because I love words, but I really don't have anything to write about. Or it feels that way, anyway.
 
Timbo - I'm in no danger of the legalized pot in Canada, haha.  The strongest thing I put in my system these days is English Breakfast tea.  But speaking of second-hand smoke, I had the strangest experience maybe two weeks ago.  I was sitting across the table from my partner on a patio, and he was having a smoke while we talked.  At one point, I got up from the table, and when I went to speak, a huge cloud of smoke erupted from my mouth!  I somehow inhaled his entire smoke cloud from across the table and let it out myself??  I was so startled by it I jumped!  I didn't notice it going in - how is that possible?? In all my years of smoking, that never happened to me before. It was so bizarre to see smoke come out of my mouth for the first time in months.  Luckily I don't think I inhaled any of it (I would have felt that, I think), but I did have a tiny moment of panic haha.
 
Sparrow - You sound sooooooooo much like I did when I was finally approaching this Quit That Stuck.  I started really dwelling on the fact that it would have all been over by now if I'd just stuck it out any one of the umpteen times I tried and failed.  I do believe anyone can quit. It did, in the end, come down to a shift in mindset that made it possible.  And for me, this shift wasn't like flicking a light switch.  It was more like a slow and painful turning down of the dimmer over the course of 2 years until finally the switch was completed.  I envy the people on this board who were able to throw the switch in one fell swoop, but that was not my experience.  At this point, you basically watched my entire quit in real time, right?   Did it feel like a long time as an objective observer? I'm all kinds of biased because I lived it, but today it feels like it didn't even take that long to get from point a to point b.  I used that during my quit, too - reminding myself that everything always seems easier after you've done it (think of school assignments, big work projects, etc), and one day I'd look back on smoking the same way.  Starting any project kind of blows.  After it's done, though, it seems so much easier and I wonder why I was so intimidated by it.  And then the next project comes up, and I go through the whole process again. I find it reassuring to know that anything that feels challenging today, will one day seem simple and easy when I look back on it from the perspective of having completed it.
 
P.S - 4 months today 

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Sparrow1975
Oct 17, 2018 (06:33 PM) Reply | Quote 


       
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Tim is so right. You should take up writing if you dont already. The way you put things always inspires me to think l really should and can quit. Its so wonderful to hear that in just a few months you are over it. And the fact that you think smoking stinks is a healthy sign. I know ex smokers who still love the smell of burning tabacco.  When l think how quickly time has passed since l first saw your posts....l wish l had have quit back then and it would all be behind me. This struggle with just doing it keeps it ever in front of me and something really difficult that l still have to do. Im so happy for you and thanks for so much inspiration. I can read your journey and be encouraged.

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