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I have several circles of friends.  I divide them up.  Maintain relations with each of them . We are all in varying stages of life, big kids, little kids, no kids, stress, remorse, and contentment.  I never really thought about how I categorize(d) my friends.  Perhaps it was mentioned in passing many years ago in between banter with the bartender.  I see it -so much more clearly now that I observe my young child's social interactions.  I observe through a microscope and telescope.  Both are equally helpful.    It is amazing how I can still be an outcast in social situations.  The varying social situations I often find myself in.  Nearly two years ago, I was the only smoker.  So I thought.  Secret smokers are everywhere!  I always felt on edge, wanting to leave the discussion or party just to go home and smoke in the privacy of my own patio.   Being a secret smoker sucked.  I felt isolated.    I have a new set of friends.  I've kept the old.  It is safe now for me to socialize with my old friends that still smoke.  Safe because I am not a smoker.  I stay inside and they spend more time outside.  Again,  I feel isolated.     They are safe because I am not a cheater.  I'm inside alone with their card hands face down on the table.     I'm honest.     I'm a non-smoking, non-cheating crappy card player.     




Riffing on H. A. L. T

I have read about the acronym, H A L T, in recovery paraphernalia and have used it to a great degree of success in changing my patterns from a nicotine addict to a Free person.     Having a Crave ? H. A. L. T.   Are you Hungry - Thirsty - need a deep breath of Oxygen ? Angry - Happy - Emotional ? Lonesome - Bored ? Tired ?     In many, many instances, when I would reach for a smoke, my poor body was actually trying to alert me that it needed attention in some way. My addiction silenced these natural signals.     I still catch myself these days...no, it is no longer a crave, it is my body hollering for water or food or something it really needs ! Now, groovin' in my new freedom, when these signals come up, my first thought may still be, 'Oh cigarette, dammit' However, it is followed immediately by, 'No, not smokes...you're Hungry, baby !' or, you're thirsty or, you need to go sit outside and take a big gulp of oxygen and figure out what your body or spirit requires.     The piracy that nicotine practiced is still mind-boggling to me. Allowing nicotine to take over my basic human needs of sustenance and comfort was a grave error on my part. I am grateful my body is so forgiving . I am grateful to be free. Free and learning how to read my body's signals and remembering how to take good care of it.     So, next time you have what you assume to be a Nic fit, have a think...what is your body really telling you ? It won't be hard to figure out.   For me it has been obvious and I have to wonder, how could I have neglected my body for so long ? It is a miracle it survived.




three days

I've hit the three day mark. Yay! I suppose I'm doing pretty good, I haven't been obsessing over cigarettes like I was last time. I guess I'm just too busy and stressed out to be obsessing over it. Lots of cravings, but not obsessing for hours at a time. Quite irritable yesterday. I feel less irritable this morning. I am quitting caffeine as well. Doctor's orders. So I will be drinking my last cup tomorrow morning. I had to cut down over several days. I have had insomnia the past three nights. it gets better each night. I got a little pissed yesterday morning as I woke up, when I realized I couldn't have a cigarette,and I said "goddammit!". I just have to remind myself I CAN if I want, I just choose not to. I CHOOSE NOT TO!!!!

two days

I'm now past the second day mark for this quit. I still have a good feeling about this time, like this is finally the time that I'll do it. I am pretty stressed out about other things that I'm dealing with. But I seem to be managing fairly well with out a cigarette.

The good and the bad

Almost two days into this quit. I have a good feeling about this one.    The good: heart palpitations have just about stopped, time seems to be going at a normal pace, not obsessing about smoking/cigarettes   The bad: severe insomnia, I can only sleep for a few minutes to about a half an hour. very irritable, which is highly unusual, even for a quit attempt   Thoughts: this seems like a horrible time to quit, with everything that is going on right now, with family and with health issues. On the other hand, there is never going to be an "ideal" time to quit. I'm always going to have something going on.    With my oldest son here it helps out a lot. 

Amazing to me

This morning I just realized that yesterday I didn’t have one smoking thought. I had periods of boredom but I didn’t think about smoking I just did something else. I accomplished work stuff and didn’t think about having a smoke as a reward or to transition to the next task. I had stress at work and I didn’t think about having a smoke so I could deal with it better. Amazing! I’m really retraining my brain to act and think without dependence on nicotine after two months. The power of being human!   Last week i had had lots of smoking thoughts. But they passed without me smoking. This week I’m not having any and I almost took it for granted. I’m celebrating the truth that it does get easier.      

Haven't given up

I just have to keep trying. I can't sleep, it looks like an all-nighter. I am going to make it worse by having coffee in a half hour or so. I will sleep for a couple hours after my boyfriend gets up. It's easier to sleep when he's awake anyway. Luckily it's the weekend so he's home all day. He didn't buy a pack tonight, so I think he's ready to quit. I hope so. I will quit again by wednesday, for certain reasons I won't go into here right now.     

it will be easier tomorrow

I am not normally a drama queen, but it's just really HARD for some reason to quit and I feel like I'm being a big baby about it. The other times I tried to quit, it didn't seem to last for hours. Maybe I just gave in soon after the obsessive thoughts started? Or possibly I'm just having a manic episode. This is a possibility due to being schizoaffective. Either way, I need to deal with it. I am running out of energy from pacing around too much. I even went to sit in the smoking chair in the garage, to see how I would feel. It didn't do anything, except the air STANK like old cigarette butts.   I do feel somewhat better than I did a half hour ago. Still thinking about it, but it is not overwhelming. I've been smoking since I was twelve. Most of my life. I really want to quit. I will quit this time. 


Unchartered territory.  No oars, motor, navi, or map.  Howdy!!!   Still not sure whether or not this content will be read.  How did you quit smoking?  Was it planned or on a whim?  Mine was both.  I planned, quit, then failed,.  Tried again and again.  Until I finally quit.  Just quit.  Decided that was that, read Carr's book again (yep, first time failed), found a supportive forum.  I quit. Quit. Done. Next. Moving on.  I did not binge prior to my final quit.  I have binged before.  The mentality being -"I'm going to smoke and drink until I'm so sick I'll never want to do this again!"   So, after 18+ months, I am thankfully labeled a non-smoker. ex-smoker,  PERSON THAT DOES NOT SMOKE!   I don't smoke.   I eat.  And ate.  A lot.    I ate too much over the course of 18 months.    This evening I binged.   On food.  And drink.     I re-read the books.     A different quit starts tomorrow.   I binged today knowing I would not tomorrow.   This weight must come off & it will.   I quit smoking.  I can do anything.   And I will.  




Stop Smoking Recovery Timetable - The Body's Ability To Mend Is Beauty To Behold!

This is so motivating and in fact, it's what I kept handy on my phone when I first quit.  I would look at it several times per day as motivation to keep it moving and not look back.   Within ... 20 minutes Your blood pressure, pulse rate and the temperature of your hands and feet have returned to normal. 8 hours Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.75% reduction. 12 hours Your blood oxygen level has increased to normal. Carbon monoxide levels have dropped to normal. 24 hours Anxieties have peaked in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels. 48 hours Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability will have peaked. 72 hours Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free. Over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals nicotine breaks down into) have passed from your body via your urine.  Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. Unless use cues have been avoided, the number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day have peaked for the "average" ex-user. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and your lung's functional abilities are improving. 5 - 8 days The "average" ex-smoker is down to experiencing just three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although we may not be "average" and although minutes may feel like hours when normal cessation time distortion combines with the body's panic response, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Keep a clock handy and time the episode to maintain an honest perspective on time. 10 days The "average" ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day. 10 days to 2 weeks Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in your gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user. 2 to 4 weeks Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician. 2 weeks to 3 months Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function has noticeably improved. If your health permits, sample your circulation and lung improvement by walking briskly, climbing stairs or running further or faster than normal. 21 days The number of acetylcholine receptors, which were up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence in the frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, basal ganglia, thalamus, brain stem and cerebellum regions of your brain have now substantially down-regulated. Receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers (2007 study). 3 weeks to 3 months Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared. If not, get seen by a doctor, and sooner if at all concerned, as a chronic cough can be a sign of lung cancer. 4 weeks Plasma suPAR is a stable inflammatory biomarker that helps predict development of diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer in smokers. A 2016 study found that within 4 weeks of quitting smoking, with or without NRT, that suPAR levels in 48 former smokers had fallen from a baseline smoking median of 3.2 ng/ml to levels "no longer significantly different from the never smokers' values" (1.9 ng/ml) 8 weeks Insulin resistance in smokers has normalized despite average weight gain of 2.7 kg (2010 SGR, page 384). 1 to 9 months Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath has decreased. Cilia have regrown in your trachea (windpipe) thereby increasing the ability to sweep dirt and mucus out of your lungs. Your body's overall energy has increased. 1 year Your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker. 5 years Your risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage has declined to 59% of your risk while still smoking (2012 study). If a female ex-smoker, your risk of developing diabetes is now that of a non-smoker (2001 study). 5 to 15 years Your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker. 10 years Your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is between 30% to 50% of that for a continuing smoker (2005 study). Risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half if you were an average smoker (one pack per day).  Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas have declined. Risk of developing diabetes for both men and women is now similar to that of a never-smoker (2001 study). 13 years The average smoker lucky enough to live to age 75 has 5.8 fewer teeth than a non-smoker (1998 study). But by year 13 after quitting, your risk of smoking induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker (2006 study). 15 years Your risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked. Your risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study - but note a 2nd pancreatic study making an identical finding at 20 years). 20 years If a female, your excess risk of death from all smoking related causes, including lung disease and cancer, has now reduced to that of a never-smoker (2008 study). Risk of pancreatic cancer has also declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study). http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Benefits_Time_Table.html

3 1/2 weeks - good day

For me, it seems things have settled down this week and are back to a good balance. Been a wild and crazy couple of weeks. It is a good thing I can laugh at myself.    This week, I get a thought of going and having a cigarette about 4 or 5 times a day. It usually happens in one of two situations.   One scenario I am intensely engrossed in something I am doing and then accomplish or figure out how to accomplish it. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and am "proud" of myself. And the into my brain pops the though " time for a smoke...you deserve it". So I just tell myself...NOPE!  You got things backwards gurl. What you really deserve is NOT to have one. Got  And I laugh at myself and how absurd that thought was.   Another scenario is if I am working in something and hit a roadblock - just can't Figure it out. Thought comes in...ahhh but going and having a cigarette ALWAYS helped you figure things out before. So I just tell myself - NOPE, smoking  not an option anymore. Come on...you know that is stupid. Go for a nice walk, clear your thoughts and see things from a different perspective and you will figure it out. It wasn't the cigarette that helped, it was getting away from it all that helped you figure things out. So I go for a nice walk figure it out.    But it is not a crave or urge. It is just a thought that pops in quickly, but then vanishes quickly.    I understand why week 1 is called hell week, week 2 is called heck week and week 3 is called tricky week.    I don't miss smoking. I dont want to smoke. I like not smoking.    When i see my smoking buds smoking, i dont think anything of it. When i smell a cigarette, the only thing i worry/wonder about is if the second hand puff will delay my nicotine receptors from going back to normal. I wonder... But i do hope that they too will soon begin to see...




Difficult or easy to quit smoking?

Is it difficult to quit smoking or is it easy peas? I have read opinions on both sides. Some say it is the most difficult addiction to overcome. Some say it is easy peasy.   For me, so far the answer is YES!   I had heard for years that quitting smoking is more difficult than heroin or cocaine (but I wasn’t a nicotine addict and nicotine wasn’t addictive…hmmm)  I remember hearing this years ago. So of course, my mind was programmed to believe it was going to be extremely difficult. I remember quitting Cold Turkey when I was pregnant many years ago, and I slept for 5 days because I was non-functional. Now I wonder how much of that was quitting smoking or how much as stopping my 4 cups of coffee a day. Before I quit smoking, I was fearful of the withdrawal and doubted that I was going to be able to quit.   Fear and doubt - how did they become part of me?    I think the mind is the most important/difficult battle – at least it was for me. I had programmed my mind (or let it be programmed -but either way I am fully responsible) that smoking cigarettes was glamorous, cool, relaxing, a big reward for a task/job accomplished; the wonderful and beautiful attributes I had given to my smoking addiction. And before I could really fully want to get rid of this addiction and banish smoking from my life, I had to reprogram my mind.  Before I could reprogram my mind, I had to see and face the lies of wonder and beauty I had associated with smoking. Then I could commence with  replacing those lies with the truth of what smoking was doing to me. I had to see all the negative things that I did because of my addiction and how much control smoking had over me. This was difficult at first; but once it started to unravel and with help of those who had gone this path before me, it went quickly. At that point, I was at peace with myself. A calmness came over. I want no more cigarettes or nicotine in my life. In my mind, there is not one good thing left associated with smoking; yet there are many wonderful things associated with not smoking in my mind. It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t easy. Many things in life that are good for you are not easy and requires effort.  But with this reprogramming of my mind regarding cigarettes done, it is much easier to dismiss the thought of having one, when it arises.  When the “want” to smoke unconsciously arises and I bring it into my consciousness it is puzzling to me because Why in the world would I want to smoke a cigarette, now that I know how awful it is and all the wonderful things I would give up if I had just a puff? Our minds are something else.     For me, I think there were craves the first several days being off nicotine but they weren’t physically painful. Bothersome yes, but not what I feared. I was stronger than the craves. Why had I doubted myself? I am missing the Dopamine effect, but am hoping that will return to normal (whatever that may be) in a month or so. I am researching a supplement L-tyrosine and may try taking it.   I can see that a deep daily NOPE moment will be critical for the rest of my life, to my remaining free. While I have reprogrammed my conscious thoughts, smoking became a subconscious activity that I did without thinking. So I do think if I do not daily instill NOPE into my subconsciousness, I will relapse. I do not know (yet) how to get smoking out of my subconciousness - time may help some, but I don't know a way of erasing / deleting it as if it never existed (yet).    I would say that for me, quitting smoking is not as difficult as I feared, but it requires more effort and more change. And change is not always easy. 😊   So YES! 




I am a non-smoker

I went to the art museum Saturday. For several hours, I immersed myself in the various types of art on display and let it take me away 😊 .   After I had been there an hour, the thought of going out to have a cigarette interrupted my wonderful experience. And I chuckled to myself…What? Go have a cigarette? I don’t smoke! And poof…the thought disappeared; without a fuss.   How powerful it is: I don’t smoke; I don’t want to smoke!   It is that simple!   Later, I began thinking of all the different museums, in various countries, that I was not able to fully enjoy because all the way through, a part of me was thinking about how I could get out quickly enough to have a cigarette soon. Yet this time, I fully enjoyed the beauty of each piece of art – not just saw it but experienced it, because there was time and nicotine was not controlling me. This is wonderful! I really enjoying this.  




I am an addict

So what have I learned so far:   NICOTINE is addictive It changed my brain  It changed my DNA I needed a fix every hour It hurt my lungs, my heart, and other body parts Cost me a fortune Took a lot of my time  Controlled much of my life   I spoke to my daughter and she said of course I am addicted to nicotine. She gave me examples and now, what she had been telling me for years now made sense. I was not in control of when I had a cig, it was in control of me.    Why was I resisting acknowledging that I was an addict? I always "prided" myself with the "fact" that I was in control. Yet, with an addiction, one is not in control. Yet it is obvious to me now, that part of me is out of control. I have given that power and that control to nicotine.  I AM AN ADDICT.   While that was difficult to admit to myself, it was paramount to be able to begin my healing, to come to a place where I really wanted to quit...forever, where I realized the lies I told myself to rationalize my addiction. For now that I know and acknowledge  I am an addict and out of control with this addiction, the choice is for me to leave that part of me out of control or do something about it.   I choose to do something about it. I choose to heal my addicted part and become whole.  I choose to take back the power I gave to my addiction. No more fear. Each time I have the urge to Smoke, I will face and challenge the urge and absorb its power. And before long, I will have accumulated the power over my addiction and the addiction will lose its power over me. I look forward to each urge. I look forward to becoming whole again at to becoming free.    NOPE




Ok....but not a bad addict

Ok. So it is the smoking that is making it a "little" difficult for me to breathe. the nicotine is ok...it is all that other stuff i am smoking that is bad. I can quit smoking and the nicotine patch will help me not smoke. Good we have such caring big tobacco companies that provide patches and stuff like that.    My quit date is set. I got the patch. And...i am happy, ready to go!!! Put the patch on and I am off. No problems, no withdrawal, no smoking. I am learning to live without a cigarette, no withdrawal. I knew I wasn't a bad addict. Besides, smoking and nicotine is LEGAL!!!    Then I join a forum on day 4 of my quit and someone asks me (not mentioning any names...saz)  why I am using an nrt  to put nicotine in my body. Hmmmm. My rationalization abilities are pretty good if I do say so myself. My goal is to quit smoking, the patch will make that easier and take edge off withdrawl. Made perfect sense, right?   But...another crack. I begin googling about nicotine and I begin reading about nicotine receptors in my brain that have hijacked my  normal receptors. What?   And these nicotine receptors demand nicotine; if you supply the nicotine you relax and can focus and get dopamine, if you don't you get increasingly more irritable and stressed. No dopamine.  What? You mean the nicotine receptors caused me to get stressed and irritable? when I had a cigarette, it appeased the nico receptors for about 1/2 hour. Ahhh I was relaxed and happy. But then the nicotine receptors would demand a fix again. What a vicious cycle.    Ok. Nicotine is addictive...but I am not an ADDICT. Well, not a "bad" addict. I'll just take off the patch. Yes, i am afraid of the big bad withdrawl. I am in fear of what will happen. But, Saz says I am stronger than a crave.   At this point, i was Beginning to think maybe..no way...could I really be an addict? What does that really mean?    




Me an addict?

While this is so obvious to me now, a couple weeks ago I the thought never entered my mind.   I smoked since I was 15 and I am now almost 65; I graduated from college, have a successful business career, raised a wonderful daughter, was a good mother and wife, was married for 35 years, etc.    See, I didn't have to Smoke, I enjoyed smoking. I liked it. I could quit IF I wanted to, but why would I want to? It released my stress, calmed me Down, helped me maintain my edge in being a quick thinker and I liked smoking...it did me no harm.    For 50 years, I rationalized my addiction and clothed it in beauty and gave it so many wonderful attributes, I really believed smoking was beneficial to me.   I don't really know how or why, at this time in my life, a crack in my rationalization occurred and from there, all my wonderful rationalization began to unravel, stich after stitch, thread after thread.   It all started because I wanted to breathe better on my next vacation, climbing up the mountainous stairs to various places in Japan.   Ok, doing good on incline on treadmill to prepare for next year, but...darn breathng  Was taking a long time to improve. So I decied  Not to Smoke until I got up to 5 miles, incline 10, speed 3 mph for  3 miles. That was the first crack...wait did I just admit to myself that smoking was causing me harm? Was it impacting my breathing?   So I set a quit date and the closer the date got the more panicky I became. Oh dear me, I was fearful of the withdrawal and thought I was too weak to quit on my own. But never fear, nicotine would help me get through it.   Now everything in my rationalization of smoking came tumbling down.     





After much reading and much advice, I understand there is a method or process to become free, to become whole, to heal from an addiction. While I no longer want to smoke and have made the commitment to myelf never to take another puff, I also want to heal in all areas. So from this moment on, I am taking full responsibility for any choice I make; I will lead a conscious and caring life. With each crave I overcome, I will regain inner power i have  unconciously given away to my addiction. Yes, each time I grow stronger and it grows weaker. This will be one interesting journey and strangely enough, I am looking forward to it.




Day 19 - Relaxing Into It

Finally.  It's finally happening.   I'm beginning to feel like a non-smoker again.  I find myself thinking about it less and less; mostly just the occasional "vague thought."  (Description of vague internal thought:  'Hmmmm, am I supposed to be doing something now?  Oh, yeah.  I'd normally smoke a cigarette.  Is this a craving?  Nah.  I don't want one - that's just a habit.  What am I going to do instead?  Ooooh!  SQUIRREL!)  So, I'm starting to feel like my old self again.  YAY!   For the last few days, though, I've been super-cranky in the evenings after work.  What's awful is that I'm irritable towards my husband.  It's not his fault at all, but the weather is turning and after being in an office all day, I enjoy spending my evenings sitting on back patio, having a glass of wine, reading a book while the sun is setting.  That's my unwind time.  It's also the "smoking" area since we don't allow smoking in the house.  The problem isn't that my husband is a dirty smoker.  The problem is that he is being so CONSIDERATE of my quit, that it's actually causing me a problem.   Picture this:  I've just spent 10 hours commuting and working, with only the occasional vague thought of smoking.  As long as I don't think about it - or, as long as I don't DWELL on the quit - I'm in great shape.  But then, just when I get comfy for the evening, here he comes pulling out his pack of cigarettes and specifically showing them to me and asking me if it's gonna be a trigger for me.  Seems perfectly reasonable and considerate to anybody else, but to the person that is trying to NOT think about smoking, it's just - UGH!  His smoking is not a trigger for me; I honestly would've maybe just looked at him, had a vague thought, and then moved on.  But, instead, I'm sitting there not even thinking about smoking, and then he asks me a question like that and BAM I want a cigarette.  And, it makes me cranky.  And the addict in me wants to blame him unnecessarily.   But, I finally told him (well, fussed at him, really) how irritating I found his consideration and WHY it was causing me a problem.  He put his unlit cigarette back in his pack, told me he understood, and that he wasn't going to smoke that minute, but from now on, he'll just do what he normally does instead of making a production of it.  And, to be honest, I'm not sure if he smoked again after that.  I'm certain that he did, but I either didn't notice or didn't pay any attention.   Is there a point to this story?  Is there a moral to be learned?  I dunno.  But, I guess the important thing, what I'm grateful for most today, is that I have a support system - even if he is a dirty smoker.  And I'm taking full advantage of it by being open and honest about how I'm feeling - not just to my support system, but also to myself.  I know I'm just being sensitive, so I'll give him a pass.  And he knows I'm being sensitive, so he's giving me a pass too.      

Day 13 - Dangerously Close Call

The internal war wages on.  All the way home from work yesterday, I kept thinking it's been almost two weeks, and perhaps I've earned myself a cigarette as a reward.  Just one.  I was completely convinced that having successfully quit smoking for 5 years and now that I'm successfully doing it again - well, it should be a no-brainer for me.  I've got this, and I totally deserve it.  Thought about how great that cigarette was going to be all the way home... how I was just going to have one of my husband's cigarettes and then carry on with the quit as I've been doing.  Certainly he'd give me one - he loves me.   About half an hour after I got home, my husband showed up and found me on the back patio.  After about two minutes of small talk, I asked him to give me one of his cigarettes.  He told me no, and there was no way that HE was going to be THAT person that takes me back down to zero days.  Then, he said he was going back in the house, and if I wanted to come in and steal one from him, that would be up to me, but he wasn't going to just give it to me.  And he left me there, and there I sat questioning everything about this quit.   I stood up several times considering walking in and taking that cigarette.  I logged in to QT and went to the SOS board, thinking that there was seriously nothing anybody could possibly say to me that was going to make me NOT have my reward.  I thought about how much I wanted to be a non-smoker.  I thought about how much I wanted that cigarette.  I thought about how hard it would be on me if I had to go through Hell Week again.  I thought about how I'm mentally strong enough to have just one.  I was so completely torn - I felt like a complete lunatic.  Either I wanted the damn thing or I didn't.  But, I could not make up my mind.   So, I thought, you know, let's just post an SOS and see what's what.  But, when I started reading about how to post an SOS, I found myself reading another member's SOS posting.  That person was having all of the same conflicting thoughts that I was.  And, I read some of the responses by other members.  There was so much kindness, so much truth.  Strangers going out of their way to help prevent another stranger from lighting up.  Just for right now.  And then I started crying.  I wasn't sad, or angry, or anything like that.  As I look back on that dark hour of mine, I believe the feeling was frustration.  Frustration from having to deny myself what I "want" everyday.  It's terribly draining to be so firm with yourself.   The crying seemed to help.  It relieved some of the pressure and some of the tension - enough for me to really listen to what these other members were telling the SOS poster.  I don't have my head on right yet.  I still think of it as denying myself a cigarette, when I should be thinking that I'm denying the addiction.  I'm not losing anything.  But, as much as I try to tell myself that, and as much as I want to believe it, I can't quite get my head wrapped around it.    So, I went out to read up on addiction some more / again and reaffirmed my NOPE commitment, and watched some QT videos about smoking (again) and then...   @Sslip must have noticed that I was "liking" posts on the SOS thread and then must have noticed that I was re-NOPEing, and took the time to check on me.  Just to make sure I was OK.  It took me almost half an hour to reply, because the gesture of reaching out to me during my struggle got me crying all over again.  I realized that I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself.  Feeling sorry that I couldn't have a cigarette.  Ridiculous as that sounds, it's how I was feeling.  And the fact that I was being ridiculous made me FEEL ridiculous.  Eventually I responded that I was "struggling a little bit" (understatement of the century), took a few deep breaths, and thanked my husband for not letting me have one.  (He admitted that the look in my eye was clear - I was going to smoke.)   If it weren't for the old posts here and Sslip's thoughtfulness, I'd be back to Day 1 again today.  Or Day 0 - who knows if I'd've actually only had the one.  I owe today's continued quit to all of you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.   If you're reading this, please pay it forward by posting your own threads.  Posts, blogs, anything.  It may not happen today or next month, but eventually, someone will read it at just the right moment.

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QuitTrain®, a quit smoking support community, was created by former smokers who have a deep desire to help people quit smoking and to help keep those quits intact.  This place should be a safe haven to escape the daily grind and focus on protecting our quits.  We don't believe that there is a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to quitting smoking.  Each of us has our own unique set of circumstances which contributes to how we go about quitting and more importantly, how we keep our quits.


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