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My Life as One Big Smoke Trigger



Have A Listen to Tex Williams, 'Smoke, Smoke, Smoke' , won't you ?




If I was ever without a cigarette between my fingers,

you would find one dangling from my lips since 1969 (?).

I smoked stogies I rolled mostly,

until I was working as a Deck Hand in the Gulf of Mexico which made rolling problematic.

I smoked tailor-mades, an occasional cigar.

I smoked snipes and dog ends.

I smoked walking, talking, bathing.

I work from Home and You know I smoked Inside.

I smoked cooking, cleaning.

I smoked on my stoop and in my courtyard,

I smoked in bed, you know.

I always smoked on the phone.

I smoked thinking and planning.

I smoked deciding which way to turn.

I drank at a smoking bar.

I smoked E-Cigs too, at the end there, just to wank up my nicotine.

Loved me that nicotine, baby.

(what Joy to 'smoke' in health food stores !)

I even smoked in Mill Valley, CA, where it is

Illegal to Smoke...OUTSIDE.


And then, last October, I quit on a whim.

Just to see what I was made of

(other than rank nicotine).

It was minute by minute

then hour by hour,

day by day.

You get the picture,

and my resolve HELD.


Now, at Ten months and change,

craves are strange little thought bubbles that don't belong to me,


when I try to paint.

That is what I 'do' and it is being a real bugger.


What if I can't paint without that junk ?

It feels so weird to hold a brush without a smoke.

Plenty of Fear (oh, JOY) to shut down

on this last (or current) no-smoking snafu.

I will buck up, quit my special snowflake whining and just get on with it FGS.

This week, I will.

Yep, this week.


Thank you for listening, and feel free to Kick My A$$.


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You are free, maybe you will see what your new better normal is on canvas. I bet you will like getting to know it.

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It's tough and I "get it". I took a prop (for me a crystal but you could use anything that feels right to you) to kinda balance me out - maybe try that?  


It helped to read it only takes 28 days of doing something to make it your new thing so it can be fixed quite quickly.



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It feels SO good to have you on my side, my new friends and the whole QTrain too.

Look !  My trio of Muses,

Paul, Action and Marti.


Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

I am not so scared/crazy/alone after listening to your wise words.


Wet brushes, big clean beautiful deep breaths here and a lotta love for y'all.

Updates to follow.

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Wet brushes and faced old smoking habits with big deep and clean breaths,

your inspiration was central.

Paul, I'm learning my new groove today.

Action, a powerhouse watching my back and sending strength,

and our spiritual adviser, Marti.

I lit incense at my pretty Buddha for my talisman today.

Thank y'all.

Maybe something to show in a few days.

Painting a Sunflower that I grew (Just like Paul !)

and a summer storm sky.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler.

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Great blog, Sazerac. You know, I wonder...


Many people have said that one of the most important "benefits" of smoking is that it allowed them some distance from their emotions. Whenever they felt some strong emotion, the few minutes required to step outside, find, light and savor a cigarette gave them time to process those emotions and choose how to react. The rituals of smoking are also calming. Many people say that they feel emotions more strongly after quitting than before. Negative emotions, of course, but also positive emotions. Sort of like--when they feel bad they feel very, very bad. But when they feel good they feel GREAT!!


For anyone involved in a creative pursuit where you have to reach down inside yourself and express your emotions for the world to see, I suspect that quitting smoking (or any other type of drug) will really throw a monkey wrench into your work for a while. You probably will have to push your way through it, force yourself to work when you are not feeling "comfortable" or "normal". Eventually you will get used to your new normal and you will be able to work easily again. I bet that your work product will be a little different than it was when you were smoking, and maybe that will be a good thing.

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For a while, I really missed stepping outside for some deep breaths, albeit nicotine-y breaths.

Stepping outside for a break,

or a look/see,  

for what to do next,

for a Think.  

Then,  I said, 'go outside, you big goof'.  

Go outside and take some good clean breaths...AND have a think.

It is taking me a while to separate a break from a 'smoking break'.

but, the ceremony of a break remains.

It is an important time, stepping away and now it is smoke free.


Smoking was also handy when I needed to get away from a group of people, a party or ?.

A small private time to gather my wits and often rewarded with a beautiful sky.

Now, I  won't smoke but, I will still excuse myself for those moments.

This is in no way romanticizing the smoke.  Smoking has nothing to do with it anymore.


Now, about creative pursuits.

Chrysalis said,

For anyone involved in a creative pursuit where you have to

reach down inside yourself and express your emotions for the world to see..."


I don't think I do much of the  'reach down inside' part.

It is simpler for me.  

I just want to be a 'painterly' painter, proficient in the craft

and I also want to look at pretty things.

I don't dig deep emotionally to paint.

At least I don't think so.

Ideally, I get in a sort of Zen space with not much thought or feeling at all.

Now, real life is a factor, of course, and if I am full of emotions they are bound to leak out

but, it is never a conscious thing.


I was avoiding painting because I was afraid I couldn't get in that zone without smokes.

Fear is paralyzing as usual, no surprise there.

Chrysalis said,

"You probably will have to push your way through it, force yourself to work when you are not feeling "comfortable" or "normal".

Eventually you will get used to your new normal and you will be able to work easily again"

And Paul said

"You are free, maybe you will see what your new better normal is on canvas"


That, right there is the ticket. Yep yep yep.

Forge ahead....

Oh ! Easy For Leonardo !!!


Thank you so much for helping me through this.

I love smart kind people.

Thank you.

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sazerac just get through this week the best way you can and change the association, paint like a demon this week face it head on


just paint anything, nothing serious it gets easier the more you practise it sure it can be a bitch to start with but then it turns into a annoying fly


freedom is yours for the taking 

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Yesterday was OK, no wasted paint but, no big progress

EXCEPT just the 'doing' was easier.

Y'all are so right....just slog through the week.

Will do. Today more paint less computer.

Thank you, Beautiful Creatures. 

Love you so much, 


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Second week is here and DANDY !

Progress steady on all counts.

If only my leg/hoof had more stamina

(broke both 13 weeks ago)

But, NO whine here. 

Grateful to be smoke free with wet brushes

and y'all for support and accountability. 



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Week Three is here.

Smoke/Paint thoughts are fading FAST.

Amazing how time works !


I was reminded about HALT.

(hungry, angry, lonesome, tired)

and in those moments I blamed smokey smoke,

upon deeper thought realized

I was thirsty !  

or needed to step away and have some fresh air in the courtyard,

or it was dinner time already.

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Week Three passed easily and productively.

Learning how to break patterns is such a great Life Skill

and have used it in other areas too.

Painting has been the huge hurdle and now I begin to forget I ever smoked.  Excellent.

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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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