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Still winning

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  1. Still winning
    I've umm'ed and ahh'ed about writing another blog entry, I don't like to be rushed I guess. I thought I was in  a new year and heading for my 4th year quit but on perusing the site, transpires I'm heading for my 5th lol. Smoking is an enigma to me now but those who knew my habit 2+ packs a day for years can't believe I have stayed quit *cough, this site* and new friends can't imagine me as a smoker! The latter is a compliment for sure.
    However when I quit it was with two others. My Mum and my then boyfriend, now just one of my best friends. Both relapsed. Chris, my friend, smokes heavily again and has done for 4 years, no quit in sight. Sadly my Mum damaged herself too heavily and last May, 1 day before her 70th birthday, I stood at her bedside after the awful news she wouldn't make it - to talk her over to the other side. Our relationship had been fairly strained but I'm pleased we had marginally reconnected for a few months before she died of multiple organ failure - drinking and smoking were at the heart of it all, quite literally. I have the most awful memories and photographic evidence of me holding her hand and cuddling in as I was telling her to look for our loved ones...when we should have been preparing for her birthday. 
    If you have children and are on the fence then please consider that it isn't just you who suffers. Get educated and be real. 
    The quit itself is effortless now. I remember at times that I would have smoked here and smile that it means absolutely nothing, it simply a memory. My children are level 4 and 5 (red and green belt) at mixed martial arts where I used the money from quitting to put them in a club to train. I should really go to that gym I pay for more, oops, but I can still run faaarrrr better than I ever could as a smoker, even with the gaps in training haha. The quit bought me strength, joy and healthier finances....I have never looked back. I completely retrained myself with a new career and am happily teaching both Reiki healing and Tarot Cards that I trained in. 
    My point is the quit bought me nothing but good and joy. Those who didn't commit have a painful story attached. 
    Love to all. Marti. xx
  2. Still winning
    It's all about choice.
    We can create the drama, or not. Create the fear, or not.
    It really is very simple. As simple as stepping into the life we want and not being chained to the past.
    The rains may fall and the droughts may happen but we simply move forward step by step when it feels too hard to run.
    Accept support when it is offered, accept gratitude for what you have and what you have accomplished without ego. Some will travel with you on different parts of the journey but don't be afraid to walk alone when it is needed. You are never truly alone anyway, you are a part of the universe, a child of the stars and all the vastness that becomes of this space.
    It's time dear heart. Own the journey.
  3. Still winning
    I don't think at the time I quite understood the guru's ahead of me, when they said quitting is a journey and not an event. I sure as hell get it now. What a ride!!
    This time 2 years ago I sat with cigarettes, 16 days worth of champix taken and a deep sense of desperation to not be a smoker - with no idea how to achieve that. I never really realized it was as simple as just not smoking. I don't really know why, it seems glaringly obvious doesn't it?! I could do an oscar worthy speech of who to thank but you know who you are, thank you.
    I decided to set a new adventure on the same date as it was so successful for taking my life back 2 years ago. So tomorrow I move to a new house. The timing is not lost on me, the quit gave me the strength to change so many things in my life.
    I didn't understand how much smoking controlled every aspect of my life, I feel like I lived a lie for ALL of my adult life. Everything revolved around when I could and couldn't smoke. Not to mention my money situation was in dire straits. I wish we could genuinely convey to fresh quitters the strength this journey will give you. Yes, once upon a time it was "I quit smoking, I can do anything now" but it isn't like that today. Today it isn't like that. I now feel like if I put my mind to it, anything is possible and I am happier for feeling like that and for being free of the ties of nicotine addiction that I really had to finally admit was always going to be part of me.
    Not one puff ever or thousands will follow it but I'm good with that now, I'm too busy living and spending with what truly feels like a new found freedom - I don't think it will ever get old for me.
    Much love. xx
  4. Still winning
    I love to write, it is one of my passions and sometimes, it get's the mental neurons firing and course correcting. That's why there is power on these boards because as we help someone else up, or write down a ton of confusing feelings, or acknowledge that today is hard but yesterday was good, we start to straighten out our thought processes.
    Because some of you know but others don't, my life was somewhat complicated 14/15 months ago when I quit smoking. I had many pressures and few answers and the folk here helped me to quit but also to analyse what was working and what was not. I will be eternally greatful that in hindsight, there were no judgements....of quit techniques which were fairly sketchy or of personality types. This site and the people on it, accepted me for what I was and it meant I kept my quit, for them, when I didn't feel strong enough that moment. A lot is spoken of people who are slightly different and it feels like the world salutes that, apart from if your different is spiritual. Then the world gurns at you and stands back to make sure you are safe! Well I got none of that here and this sensation of being free...combined with safe brought me out of myself. I quit, of course, but I also grew.
    I will stop here to thank you for the inner strength I gained through calling you my friends. If you knew how safe I had played my past you would know who I have become is in no small part a revelation. This is not exclusive to me however. You guys and I will support everyone who comes through. Some support is gentle, some is really real, a couple are bordering on crazy but the heart of here is amazing. We all have the same end goal, grow and quit.
    I move forward in a new way of being and with new values. And I attribute no small part of that to my quit and having to grow into who I was supposed to be as I often feel we hide behind smoking. But also seeing people here every day, grow into who they were meant to be. It has given me strength to take this journey in tandem with others.
    I don't think we just quit smoking, I think we embrace a new way to be, or in actuality, who we were always supposed to be. I think there is strength in the quit from hour 1 to whatever number will be.
    So in case you wondered. My life is AMAZING and I attribute that to the support I got here as much as quitting smoking. This may make no sense to you but I felt like I should write somewhere that I am finally happy. I wake in the morning and smile. I go to sleep and smile. I sat saying to my Chris the other day, I feel as if I am free to be myself and I am honestly so happy I might burst. So for anyone who wondered how my story ended...it has just begun :)
    Ok I was always going to go deeper then the average bod would - but quitting can be a transformational life tool.
    Much love QT'ers. xx
  5. Still winning
    It's so easy here. The quit is a wonderful thing still. It never gets old for me, perhaps because I assumed my family were "smokers" and it's what we did.
    Today I joined a gym again, and I do exercise classes, a few of them and I still look like a ribena berry at the end lol, but I'm so much fitter. I take deep breaths all the time. I'm even wondering if I learn a new breathing technique to help and teach others...from an ex smoker!! Of 40 a day, who tried to quit and relapsed at a rapid rate for over a year but those days are more than done now.
    it's pretty magical where I am today. As I walked past a smoker in my local shopping centre I felt a huge level of sympathy. I knew he smoked, I could smell it. I could see the extra lines around his mouth and hear the quick breaths he took. I chose to NOPE through that. My poor mama, as much as we have dramas, she smokes again because of stress. She's terrified of dying and bringing it ever closer.
    Today I am very grateful for my freedom and I genuinely thought that. Thank goodness I don't stand in that supermarket queue to buy smokes today, I can buy my new exercise gear and leave.
    My new t shirt says I don't sweat, I sparkle :) I love it, it's bright pink!! Everything is so full of life now I don't have to work around smoking anymore. The triggers or craves are pretty non existant. I'm just grateful that time is done and folk helped me hold on.
    I have joined a group to provide support and meet ups to healers and spiritual people like me, I start later this year. After my reiki masters in August. And my 2nd computer course. and I signed up for short sewing and gardening courses. I would not have done ANY of this a year ago. I needed the time to be free to smoke. My life may be far from perfect but I love it today! Free to choose whatever I like :)
    13 months last week, lucky for me. Love and light to all! x
  6. Still winning
    I don't much like my Mum. I feel bad saying that but I don't. She mistreated me in the form of emotional manipulation and bullying, for years, but worse the last year and I am done with her. Toxic as it is, she lives with me waiting to be housed by the coucil/authorities and I am her primary carer as she is disabled. It's one of those situations you look on and shake your head for the poor unfortunates involved.
    Move backwards 15 years. I was quit. It had been 364 days when my then fiance announced we weren't happy were we? I said no, that lazy bugger never lifted a finger round the house, we had only moved in together in the dec, now it was the march 6 months off our wedding...things needed changing for sure! He called everything off! I had meant he should hoover or something.... I smoked, a lot...intending to quit the next day, after the weekend, the next week...roll on 14 years....
    Yesterday, 3 sleeps till a year...a frikkin year, beating the previous marti record of 364...not even a tremor of wanting to smoke. Oh yeah, some dumb thoughts, but I think dumb stuff all the time and I don't follow all of it through! (some, shhhhh)
    I literally can't descrbe the terror at seeing your yes disabled but very pushy, mouthy mother completely lose her faculties. No body functions, no ability to talk or answer, shuddering and shaking...having been seen not 3 hours before she goes to sleep bad and wakes up terrifying! I'm trying to keep the kids in the lounge, speak to the docs on the sly, then call an ambulance and deal with their questions and keep my babies seperate but of course they see some and I can't hide all my emotions...I have another spiritual daughter who can read emotions much like me. So we're all scared from my mum to me to milly...bella at 5 wonders why she can't say goodnight to nan.
    For the first time ever my mum goes in an ambulance to hospital alone. I can't go with her but that makes me feel relieved, I'm so ashamed, I didn't want to go, I really don't want her to be ill but I desperately want some space from her. My sisters are abroad or busy, it's now 363 days quit, I keep getting stuck pretending to be ok in hospital to support a woman I have zero respect for and want free from ....
    Screw this, I'm going to have a wine or 2 but I almost knew there would be something! I don't know how but I anticipated this test and kept re-assuring myself it was based on previous experience. This sucks donkey balls, but I know that I haven't felt this for months and it's just a trigger.... and I love boats! But what a crappy week for this.
  7. Still winning
    Till one year.
    Going to bring myself back up now. Can't be sad for long...got a treat to plan no idea what still?
    As I come towards this mark in time I can't help but remember where I was a year ago today.
    With 12 days till the quit I had already tried patches and been allergic, so by now a year ago I was taking champix, desperate for that "moment" when I knew I could quit. It made me feel so sick, the dreams were mental, I felt like I was beginning to suffer some depression...I knew I would follow it through waiting for that elusive quit...it must be somewhere right. I had done a healing course, I knew it was time. I just honestly had no idea how it actually worked...how did one simply not smoke again? I'd been relapsing since the previous July, quit, fail, quit smoke. It had been a joke.
    What made the difference 11 days on is finding a tribe to support me. The strange thing is I went in hard with the supporting others, day 2, I gave every sad story to help others and knew I'd found my feet in a quit and my place in a support circle. Probably the first time if I'm honest, that I'd ever actually allowed anybody to support me. I am massively independant and self sufficient. It felt odd to be so confused and weak but good to know others would hold me up when I needed and virtual hi five every ok day and celebration.
    It's why the celebrations are so big to me.
    So 12 sleeps to go until my 1 year celebration.
  8. Still winning
    13 sleeps till one year.
    So massively overwhelmed I have no plans at all. The nearest weekend will be mothers day (laughable) and my fella Chris's birthday. It's what you get for quitting near his birthday I guess lol.
    I should say, it isn't all bad. Even when life is doing it's thang, I don't want to smoke. I do feel that I should celebrate though, it's been something I've done all the way through and it feels wrong to not do it now. I wonder what others did? Anyone?
    I have been thinking. To experience true joy (nb, chronic overthinker starts here), you need to have experienced the depths of despair...I likened it to smoker and non smoker earlier without even meaning to. Only an ex smoker, could fully comprehend the quit process. I really really did not want to smoke anymore, in honesty with almost every cigarette towards the end I was wondering why I was doing...while also believing it was impossible to quit, that some of us were more detined to be addicted.
    So almost a year...what to do. And much love to my crew, you are my rocks at times without even knowing it. Here I am safe to be me, have a giggle and generally be ok...and stay quit :)
    13 sleeps.
  9. Still winning
    I haven't planned a treat!! I did a big celebrational thing for 10,000 not smoked recently but this month feels anti climatic. In a good way I suppose, the quit is a done deal like I said...the cravings are gone...I have a thought and think nah, and carry on with my life.
    I am lovin the newbies though. They don't post so much though hey, I think that's kinda sad. I remember with fondness some totally pointless and random posts I put in social when I should have just posted please tell me I will be ok :) Although I do really like the daisy perfume thing i was recommended and I'm fairly hopeful my cruddy menopausal (how mean, just after I quit too) skin will benefit from sharons obsession with pricey make up haha.
    Perhaps I'm just a bit jaded for now. Youngest is poorly, so am I. I really want to say to my insane mother "oh your crazy is showing, might wanna tuck that in again" but I know I have to be the bigger person. I say this because at 364 day quit 14 years ago, I used an emotional situation to career off the quit wagon and I haven't forgotten. In honesty months 8/9 ish I worried about it, I mean life was getting tough...jeez, what if it happened again. Now I know it won't and I'm quite relieved to be honest. Relieved that I'm sure I mean.
    So 11 months.... I wish a lot of things were different in my life. The quit is not one of them thank goodness. The quit gave me the kick I needed for self respect and to stop burying my head in the emotional sand and I will be forever grateful to all who helped me. Ultimately I have gained so many parts of my life back, most of which I never suspected.
    I don't miss the emotional tears from nowhere. I don't miss the doubts of whether a smoker like me could even pull this off when so many made "there there" noises to me. I don't miss the wondering what to do next or thinking I will have a smoke then do xyz...oh I don't smoke. I don't miss getting in the car and having a moment. I don't miss the sad feeling I got when I finally connected that smoking was a cycle and I could never do that again, like it was some psychotic best buddy. I don't miss the false thinking that smoking calmed me...
    I quit for financial reasons, that's what makes me laugh. I quit so I could go to Florida with my kids, which turned into the biggest nightmare holiday ever with my crazy mother. The money is good, don't get me wrong. The pride I feel is EPIC and I didn't see that coming.
    So maybe for 11 months I can just "be" and not celebrate really. Just enjoy who I am. Who I was always meant to be!! Before smoking took the biggest part of me and made me some crazy addict who did nothing lest it took up smoking time. I really like who I am now ya know, even if not everyone agrees. That's ok. That is my celebration i think...that I am the best Marti I can be today and I am smoke free. Still inspiring others to quit. Still healing people as I was always meant to and a deeper and more spiritual connection to my life than I could have ever imagined.
    I shall call this quit a good quit :)
    Love to all.
  10. Still winning
    I've had a wine or 5. At times like these I like to write, I find myself more honest when inbetween sober and tipsy.
    I'm close to 10K not smoked. I'm marking time waiting for it if I'm honest. I really want to get there and "get er done".
    I really have to push myself to think of smoking now. I mean, I can't imagine a scenario that means I would fall off the wagon.
    My quit is comfortable now. Not to say I never have a thought, I do, but it never overtakes me anymore. I just know this quit is safe. Ipay it forward, for sure, but I choose to do that as much as I choose to not smoke. Reading a newby journal (thanks oneistoo) has cemented where I am, as has my quit buddy hitting a year and messaging me saying "I fell off last night" as a joke to highlight my previous faux pas. That is what I did, 364 days and boom, carnage. Never again! I am stronger than all of that.
    I will stay quit cause I choose that. I will choose freedom from toxic people because I choose that too. I will fight for who I am because actually, I know that now and that makes me smile. Do you know I am raising strong independant and powerful women...and I'm not sure I even knew I was to lead by example, but it's all good...I am!
    I weirdly find that I can do whatever is needed and I can do it smoke free. My newest Jen was surprised my situation didn't cause a crave but it really doesn't. No matter what my life throws at me I choose the freedom from nicotine. It's not even an option anymore, it has been a done deal for a while.
    It feels good to finally write...my quit is properly done. Just here making up the numbers now :)
  11. Still winning
    Sometimes, we go through things. There is always a reason in my humble opinion.
    Every time I hit a milestone, or another 1,000 cigarettes not smoked, I celebrate. No matter what is going on, no matter how I am financially. The reason for this is simple, I believe this freedom was hard fought for. I have often given thanks to friends here, newer and older quits for helping me find my path to finally make this attempt stick. I have had major wobbles, even an SOS back in April and untold swearing ...enough to worry people which does bring a smile to my face.
    I have been struggling of late. Not with the quit itself, I am good not smoking. My fight is with fear, fear of relapse as I get ever closer to my previous world quit record and the stress around me intensifies. Although the scenarios are different the message is the same, same timings, different stress...but still ...fear is not always rational is it.
    I started to wonder, did I always have the strength to quit, or did I get this re-newed strength to stay quit with each day, or sometimes hour/minute that passed? I decided about half hour ago, as I read two totally different things here that solidified my quit and my strength again ...the strength I feel in myself, is as a result of the quit.
    Sometimes we forget. Early days I don't think we even know it could be a benefit, so caught up are we in simply getting through what we feel then. So this is my message to myself in a way and to honour a fabulous guy who said write down why you will always stay quit. There can be no weak moments in this health and wealth roulette.
    Don't ever forget the gift of being free. A gift we unknowingly gave away, with no idea of the life we were signing up for. Don't forget the mental battles. Remember the vigilant quit survives, it's not about being less addicted or even a stronger person...it's about understanding we face an addiction which can lay dormant if we simply follow NOPE. The pride you feel when you tell someone you've quit, even if they don't understand quite what that means.
    So for 9,000 not smoked, I bought myself some new oracle cards (similar to tarot). They are magnificent, angel ones and fairy ones, so beautiful... like my quit :)
  12. Still winning
    I am the woman who is always in control. Always leading the charge and I can battle some. Offensive, not defensive. So the romance thoughts always surprise me a little.
    What I refer to as my smoking thoughts, have ramped up a little of late. Now that's ok, cause they are pretty small for the most part considering how long, how much and often I smoked, I think I'm pretty lucky overall. My calmer reactions of god I'm surrounded by divs, huff...have been replaced by needing to get away and regroup though. My emotions are not very even although better then they were a month ago. I have been doing a lot of reiki, meditation and yoga...but I'm not there yet.
    I have been thinking about my thoughts (don't ask, yes I overthink lol)... I have so many dumb thoughts!! Last night I thought drinking a bottle of wine was a fab plan...this morning, I don't agree. Stuff like that, nothing bad, just dumb. When someone told me I needed them today (pfft) I thought about smoking ...whassat then?? Of course I didn't, duh, I'm a non smoker and it didn't last, or grab me like a crave or anything sinister...it was just there. I said I don't think so and off it went into the brain ether again, but it's a bit weird.
    So I'm reminding myself again that romance is pretty dead. I do not smoke and I look suspiciously on people that bring me flowers...and I'd rather a plant anyway cause it always feels a little mean to kill the flower...but they do look beautiful.
    So this is just me remembering. The phoenix has to go into and through the flames to be born again into a new and better phoenix. I think my battle cry for this month will be "once more into the flames" and I will just accept the feelings and let them flow straight through me. I feel better having got it out of my head and into something I can read.
  13. Still winning
    It was simply time. I had run out of excuses as to why I couldn't. Tried being every type of smoker and relapsed at a rate that would scare you silly. Every single person in my life wanted me to quit. Some to help them quit too, most because they worried for me. I would smoke 30-40 per day, indoors or out socialising. Every day! My quit is a bit of a non entity to me now. I almost think that can be a bit sad, so I make sure I celebrate myself so I never forget what was for me, a battle that I continue to win. New hairdo for me later today :)
    I never forget - My chest hurt, I was often ill with the kids, bugs from school and such. My cough was terrifying, but not to me then. I couldn't really laugh too much, it made me cough. I simply can't believe that I accepted all of that and didn't fight sooner? I still worry about my previous world record of quitting smoking at 364 days when I relapsed through emotional drama. Jeez, what a numpty!
    Now, I miss having a crutch. Yes it was smoking, but by my choice, not any more. I work out a lot and I am still learning new things daily and planning more training. I would have laughed at you even 6 months ago if you told me the way I would manage my stress and mood levels would be yoga or pilates...yet I do them most days now and do genuinely benefit!! I can see me having an alternatively type of career that I would not have had the confidence for, but I am perhaps not as close as I hoped I was ...but that's ok, I trust I can get there, when it's the right time :)
    So 9 months for me is more an ongoing journey of self discovery but it isn't the crave/trigger infested times of days gone by and I am forever greatful that ended and I was able to trust other folks here that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I won't lie, thoughts do pop in my head, sometimes they feel like they "take hold" a little and I need support to get them gone - but I have that support, so I'm pretty lucky. Health wise, I feel good overall. I am in good health and recover from every illness quicker, but that took me 4/5 months to get too - so I am noticing it now. I am much stronger, faster and far more emotionally resiliant too. I grew in ways I never could have anticipated.
    Now I am just going to continue with my vigilance and try and simplify more of my life. I really want a peaceful life, as much as I can and thanks to my quit I feel justified to pursue things that make me feel good.
  14. Still winning
    On sept 28th, I celebrated not smoking 6,000 cigarettes. Today I am at 8,125!!!
    That's a really large amount. I normally like my commitment levels to a cause but in this case, yikes, that's a big number. I see other normal quitters numbers, a lot are nowhere near what I haven't smoked in far more time!! As per usual, I don't know whether to smile or sob at the amount I smoked and therefore haven't smoked now.
    This whole month has been odd. It hasn't ended yet (few days off 9 months quit) but I'm sure now that there is a message somewhere in this feeling. Or put another way, this is part of the bigger quit journey. I'm ok with learning, I want to win this battle so going through anything is not a problem. It's not bad like the earlier quit, just weird thoughts that pop out of nowhere and then dissapear again.
    Overall, I am really happy to have not smoked over 8,000 cigarettes as that number is obscene!!
  15. Still winning
    I see a post, what motivated you to quit. I can't answer it there, I'm pretty ashamed. It should have been my beloved uncle's lung cancer but it wasn't (one sister quit then, both his sons still smoke!). It should have been cervical cancer, I chose denial. It could have been my Mums COPD diagnosis, but no. It was my 8 year old baby telling me she was scared and me finally imagining her living my life as a carer to my mum - oh hell no you don't!! It started a quit journey of almost a year (july to march) of relapses and varying smoking types, ie social, weekend, evening etc.
    Counting - I simply hate the winter. The cold does nothing for me, why on earth did I get born in england and why do I love it so much I never chose to leave. Meh! So I am counting!! 27 days to winter solstice . 31 days to christmas for the babies. 64 days to my daughters 5th birthday and my quit buddies 1 year anniversary. It's how I make it through winter, to focus on the next things that will be wonderful...I count my way through the season.
    Edgy, I would love this to mean my fashion sense!! Nope, I am on edge. Life is doing it's tricky thing.
    There are a ton of good things happening. The rational part of me reminds myself of this. There is some utter tripe going down too. I keep looking to the quit as the problem but if I'm honest, it's not. The quit has been safe and secure this time from the word go - the problem is I let my mind travel when I get upset and I'm getting upset more often due to circumstance. I'm writing this down so it comes out of my head. It has already done what it needed to do as I can read lots of things get on my nerves.
    I am well, my plans are healthy and focused. I am just a bit jumpy I guess. Yeah, edgy.
  16. Still winning
    Markus Quote:
    And so you too will become exactly what you seek if you so choose it. You will lose yourself as you are, and become who you were meant to be, a free person. But, it comes at a price, and we have all had to pay it. You have to leave yourself behind to find yourself anew.
    Thank you for the mention of change. Sometimes I doubted it, with all the talk of the same person. For me, no, I am not the same.
    Possibly, it's the jet lag, or the OCD of machinery breaking, it's certainly making me feel jaded to life the no washing machine or dishwasher (how unfair for both to screw up together).
    The strange thing though, it makes me think how did I quit smoking...I chose a new way to be!! I read what folks were posting and thought, I want that, I can be that, and didn't light another cigarette that I was able to smoke!! I did light one but decided no, this was my quit day and put it out :) How mad is that!! I keep a lighter to light my candle but not a cigarette. That sh*t harms you and I don't want to die like I've seen around me! Lung cancer hurts, you grind your teeth and they disintergrate! Wow, that looks bad. COPD and heart failure, I live with these and it hurts my soul.
    I will fight!! I won't show my girls this!! I am pleased to have others who will fight with me so thank you.
    If you ever wonder is it worth it, this battle...then yes it is. I grew up watching people suffer and I draw the line here with you guys. I only wish we could influence more people.
  17. Still winning
    8 months seems utterly amazing to me!! This last month has taught me quite a bit about my quit.
    I went on the holiday of a lifetime. One of the main factors of me quitting was affording to go to Florida and Disneyworld with my two kids. I think with the holiday being paid for and actually being on holiday it set up some triggers. I was able to use all I had learnt with you guys here to nope through it, in honesty, once recognised it wasn't difficult.
    Sadly my Mum didn't do the same. Having already smoked a couple of times prior to the holiday, she purchased cigs at the airport (unknown to me at the time) and smoked here and there through the holiday. Once busted the usual aggressive behavior, both of her and of all smokers commenced. She spent the whole holiday creating stressful scenarios so she had an excuse to smoke I believe (I'm sure she thinks differently). Be eternally vigilant, there is no need to go backwards!!!
    Whilst that's sad, I said from the word go on this quit that my quit stood alone from everyone else around me. If anything it re-inforced my decision cause oh my goodness, the mood swings from the withdrawal were fairly epic to watch. I had forgotten what's it like when you get to that desperate to have a cig time but aren't able to. I also realized last month how many quit symptoms I had and had forgotten about. Isn't the human brain a wonderful tool! It almost feels like I never smoked at all to me. I was genuinely surprised to get triggers as most days, my only smoking thoughts are about celebrations here and the like.
    Last month I needed talking down from a couple of days romancing. This month on holiday for fleeting seconds I got some smokers envy but I mean seconds before my rational brain took back over and it was easy to nope from.
    And I met Bakons :) Was great to meet up and chat like we'd all been mates forever!
    So despite concerns I had that once my main reason was over(the hols) that my quit might feel harder, it doesn't. I love that I had so much saved that I came home to a healthy bank account and additional savings ready for christmas purchases :) I also had the money to pay for all my healing courses and now the insurance so I can be fully registered and start offering reiki healing for a fee. Work commences on now getting my tarot reading registered and actually, I still have some work to do for that so maybe a few months. But all is looking on target for a spiritual business to look forward to. Something that may sound odd to some, but was always a part of me and part of me yearned to do it without ever believing I really could.
    The quit and my self belief have spurred me on in many unforseen ways :) So today I am 8 months free of nicotine but feeling more positive and focused. More regulated and solid in my quit. Ready to go back to my new love of excersicing now I'm back home, maybe join a gym with my spare money? Gonna get christmas paid for and some new furniture first though. So lovely to breath nicely and not be permanantly poor and watching the pennies!!
  18. Still winning
    The time span amazes me. I don't think they know me, I can't quit?!
    However, my ticker would disagree. You see, I have almost 8 months and a holiday with the funds under my belt! It's proper weird to me!
    Let me say this. If I commit to it, it will happen. That's how I smoked for so many years. Also how I choose not to smoke now. Still, my mum has the holiday trigger, I get it but nope. I think they smoke in more places here then at home but nope!
    I knew I would have holiday triggers but am still surprised because my quit feels like home to me already. So I nope again, it's ok to reinforce that but kinda surprising.
    8 months on the horizon :) bring it! No price on my freedom!
  19. Still winning
    I have been sitting wondering why, why did I become a smoker and how. The word that has sprung to mind all through my quit is insidious! I never "meant" to be a smoker. I didn't "choose" it and yet I ended up at an average of 2 packs per day by age 38, from a first cigarette starting point of age 9.
    Age 9, I stole a cig from my mums packet. I don't even remember why. My parents were still together, home life was suspicious but I don't know why I did it. I took it to the shed, took some puffs and it was terrible! I remember deep wracking coughs and extreme dizziness. I put it out and went back to that same cig, relighting it on and off. Occassionally stealing the next one but nothing consistent.
    By age 12 I was smoking one a day. After school in my bedroom (the whole house always reeked of smoke from my Mum). We had not long returned from living abroad, I had not smoked in Australia for the 6 months. I think I can pinpoint THIS as the time I became addicted. I had heard from my parents that they "needed" a cig, I associated it with being a grown up and stress relief. My parents had split whilst we were abroad. I now understand my dopamine pathways were reliant on nicotine to reset it's flight or flight path. While I was still a baby really, my brain had started to build in smoking as a coping mechanism, I had bought into the hype at such a tender age. Even on that one a day I could feel the difference if I was late home to smoke.
    Age 13 I dated a guy who smoked. I was a malboro red smoker. They still made me cough. Every time we would meet up I would smoke between 5 and 10 in a day. At some point of this year I started to take my cigs into school and smoke in the breaks, I did this alone, none of my school friends smoked! Let's be clear here, my addiction was fully fledged now. I honestly didn't realize or have any knowledge of nicotine as an addiction. Most of the adults in my life smoked, except my Dad who had quit. They all knew I smoked, no one tried to stop me or explain any bad things that could happen. By now my brain would have needed nicotine anyway. That relief sensation that I believed was given by nicotine was simply my pathways receiving the nicotine they had been trained to believe they needed now. My whole brain had re-wired itself to dispose of the chemicals and nicotine. I started a little baby cough. Especially if I laughed and on waking.
    Age 15 I moved school. Fell in with other smokers/kids who skipped school and it spiraled from there. I still did well enough at school despite often being out and about. Smoking was socially acceptable, the only person not smoking was my Dad and he had started to whinge. I believed I chose to smoke, after all I never did anything I didn't want to!
    Age 24 I needed to quit. I wanted to buy a house and my then fella quit. He told me he didn't expect me to be able to quit - pfft - I quit because I insisted on proving I could if I wanted. Man that was hard!! Started to educate myself on the damage I had done from a similar type of forum but internet was still pretty new and they cancelled the server at work before my quit had "set". We split up a year later, 6 months from my wedding date. It was a shock! I went to buy cigs to light in front of the wardrobe that held his clothes. I got an ashtray (I kept for visitors) lit the cig without inhaling and set it in the ashtray with the wardrobe doors open and sat beside it to wait for the smell to get strong, the smell took me over and I picked it up and smoked it whilst blowing the smoke onto the clothes. This is the story I have always told myself but now I will re-write it! I did not have a 364 day quit, I had simply abstained! The act of buying cigs would be enough now to have me screaming "junkie thinking" and of course deep down I know I would always have smoked that cigarette. In truth, that quit related to being with someone and from the moment that changed I took myself on a misguided path back to being a smoker. That lasted 14 years!
    Age 39 So today I have a 7 month quit. I wonder why I get thought associations at times but still feel cautiously (eternal vigilance) safe in my quit. So today I understand that I chose this quit for me and my girls. I chose for the girls first off but at some point that changed to me. I don't miss anything about smoking, even when my addicted now re-wired brain tells me I could or should be a smoker in this scenario. I fully understand my addiction could be re-awakened if I were ever crazy enough to pick up and inhale or use nicotine again in any format and I choose not to do that.
    I can never completely undo the damage I did. That is my penance for stupidity and lack of education but it is no excuse from now and hasn't been for some time. I will protect my brain by understanding the associations and why they happen and my body will be protected by a nope philosophy that I will need to engage for my whole life. Thank you brain for trying so desperately to cope and rewire to enable the damage but we are ok to move on now, when you're ready.
  20. Still winning
    They are not triggers, nor craves. My quit is secure and my resolve is strong, or at least I believe it is.
    However, there are some strange thought associations going on for me. Two of my "quit reasons" were a reiki course and a florida holiday. The holiday is 5 days away and paid for now, my practioner level reiki course was today. My "reasons" to quit are finished and yet not finished and in honesty it's an odd feeling.
    Life has been throwing some stressors of late, maybe it's that? It's certainly nothing like quitting was, I feelI'm well past all the nasty thinking and batting back etc...but these thoughts are roaming around my head, I close them down and they pop up again.
    It's odd?
    Just recording it really. Strange sensation of my purpose to quit is done, but it's not. I can now be a channel to heal people and I do that through my hands...which if I smoked would smell! Or at least that was my thought when I quit, but it still would.
    Hmmm, odd times but I do feel fine and ok in my quit, just random thoughts?
  21. Still winning
    It still makes me smile. I posted up, on a site about 7/8 sites down from the top result as I'd already signed on to all the prior ones in my million quit attempts!! Never posted mind, and couldn't be bothered to try and remember the password! Found a new one, had no idea why as had not planned to do anything but I read a bit and posted! I posted of my intention to quit the following day (had no clue if I could or couldn't actually lol), that I lived with smokers who smoked in my house...it was a moment of either bravery or stupidity...and people answered me....
    A real diverse set of answers may I add. I got agro at one, someone telling me to get on with it, wtf, who are you...erm, he was a successful non smoker :) The rest were very supportive I hasten to add lol. One became a very precious commodity to me, a quit buddy of my very own :)
    I couldn't imagine managing a day...far less a week...far less a month...here, 7 months was a distant dream!! All the people who "just knew" I really admire you!! My plan was fake it till you make it!! Be loud, be proud and yada yada.
    Then Bandito said it's easy, don't put something in your mouth and set it on fire. It had been said a million times by a million people but what struck me was the simplicity of the message and that someone had bothered with me. They didn't know my relapse record of course "relapse legend", I had been trying to quit from July through to the following March! Mostly not making one day! I had been every smoker in that time, social, evening, weekend, when the kids were in bed...never non. I didn't really understand non smoker or how to get there. The one thing I was is the woman really tired of trying!! Really clueless how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be, free of smoking.
    I am so pleased that I trusted this gang. I am so pleased because it has brought more to my life then I ever thought possible! I won't bore again with lines of self worth and non agressive pride, nor an opportunity and an acceptance to just be myself. I will say this in case anyone reads though. The acceptance as just being a quitter and being taken seriously for that was enough that I wanted to know more and this board makes me proud to be a part of it. This board sustained my quit so many times. Either with individuals or just reading genereally. So do post!! You never know who is reading what you write, relating and going oh thank goodness!!
    Late 6 months saw another wobble but one I knew was trigger related and I never accepted the smoking thoughts. I took steps when I started to romance to talk to a friend that I had from here, and it was gone within hours.
    This time 7 months ago I smoked my last cigarette. I didn't know it would be my last. I had plans for a fond farewell the following day which I regard as my actual quit date but I woke and couldn't do it. In one post you guys made me a non smoker!! It has not been plain sailing, I'm ok with that now. I got to the same end game, quit and free. I couldn't be happier!
  22. Still winning
    This has been a tough week. It's tuesday! That probably says a lot. And my weird will be in this blog, if it offends please see "ra ra" type posts in the main arena!
    I don't understand why I think of smoking when things become tricky. Although it has been my "go to" for my whole adult life, I started to smoke at 13. I had my first at age 9 - the age my oldest daughter is now!! She's a baby!! I can't believe no one noticed me, and yet if you met those I "care for" you'd understand the self obsession that meant they missed any potential signs for me. I must remember now I think to ensure I am seperate, and really try not to let these people invade my "better place" space.
    Today I faced down for the first time people judging those who are spiritual. Apparently we are all flower power hippies with no life plan lol. Wow! At the "what do you do" question I squared my shoulders and said I'm a hippy...in leggins...who channels stuff like healing...I think your nurse training is awesome...I just signed up to reiki cancer patients for an hour a week and help them through a gift I was given...and I wear crystals and heal with them cause I'm moved to do that. I just want to make lives better and I love that I'm given that opportunity all the time! Cue tumbleweed!!
    I wish I was that spiritual person who didn't think, wow, you're a bit of a twat aren't you and really did wear loose fitting clothing cause that would of been handy with the extra quit weight I claimed via peanuts!! And then I really started to think later. There was a time, almost months ago that I would have said nothing! I wouldn't have defended myself and my life choices even though I considered myself a really strong woman. It reminded me what my quit has given me in the self worth camp and despite a bitchin couple of days I am happier in myself now then I have ever been. I can attribute a great part of that to here and a freedom to just "be me unjudged" and a strength in fighting addiction and being victorious. Yes, I "just know" I am done.
    I won't consider smoking anymore, SNOT, no longer an option! I can't heal if I stink, end of story. But jeez, I wonder why the thoughts still come and if they will ever end although I offer up eternal gratitude at the fleeting nature compared to the early quit thoughts which were so intense they owned me! I read of symptoms of the quit, so many I wasn't sure they were even all quit related until now really, wow, I abused my poor body in an epic manner!!
    So for me. For all behind and in front of me. I know now. Smoking really never fixed a thing. I will help whomever I can and I will be greatful for a place that accepted me for who I was, warts an all. (really no warts, cross fingers and all that). Forgive the inane ramblings but it is my blog and it helps to write all the crazy down sometimes! And not smoke, that helped me too. Wednesday will be better is all. Loves to all.
  23. Still winning
    6054 unsmoked cigarettes when I just posted something. That's just a save on so many levels!!
    There are a lot of new quitters I'm reading and some great advice being given. Wish I had of followed any of it haha. Claw through quitter, take a bow :) Many a mental moment, throwing my hands skywards and saying for Milly and I. The nope shuffle, switch from foot to foot literally saying nope nope nope. Should of taken shares in cough sweets and nobbys nut for sure...utter miss in planning :)
    I read that some people struggled at 6 months, I mean not like the early days but just more thoughts than 4/5 months sorta thing. Not my experience thank goodness. Feeling together and powerful. 5 months was utter pants for me on a personal level which of course upped my thoughts then - maybe I got it out the way? Happy and content with my quit. Peaceful again, secure, utterly delighted to not have smoked another 6000+ cigs.
    I look at who I am today and it's so different. I love to exercise. I love to do things with my kids, out and about and I can, because I have more money! My confidence is such that I can say no in a non aggressive way and it just is no. I was a slave for 23 years to nicotine and in honesty, I never realized how totally it controlled me. How it controlled my life, the movements of my life, the money in my life...every part of who I was had become tied to when I could smoke. I do love me a bit of freedom, especially when I never even realized that would come!!
    Less then a month to taking Milly and Bella on the holiday of a lifetime to Florida. 5 day disney tickets booked and paid. 2 day universal tickets booked and paid. rocket launch at kennedy space centre booked and paid....because we don't smoke anymore, because we are free of the tie and chose NOPE as many times as it took.
    Bring on any thoughts or craves, I have enough amo now that I can bat you back out of my brain within seconds. I breath, I live, I have money, I have self worth...life is pretty freakin good!!
  24. Still winning
    Shhh, I feel ok *looks left and right for the easy peasy crew* haha. I don't smoke, 6 other people don't smoke now because I showed it could be done. Of course they were considering it anyway, isn't every smoker considering quitting. Where I am today is where I could only dream of being before and I fully respect that and hold onto it.
    Things have really been getting to me lately. I have felt massively overwhelmed, as such some of my posts might have seemed a bit sad, that's life tho. I won't pretend to be something I'm not and I refuse to be fake. My support for the people here has been unwavering, of course it always will be. The rest of my life has seen yet another hermit month, where I regroup. I'm sure the swear thread has been fully utilized! Sometimes I wish the journey wasn't so hard, but it's only through the tough times of my life that true enlightenment or the next stage, whatever you call it, comes to light.
    I like that through the last month when I consider smoking it is easy to dismiss the thought. I mean I get the right royal hump I have the thoughts, but that mental baseball bat is dead handy! Getting some violence about this quittin malarky lol.
    I get what the easy crew are saying now. It isn't that quittin is a walk in the park, it's how you aim your mind. I fear I did this the hard way again, shocker!! So I stand (sit, it's been a long day!) and say this - henceforth, I am going to do all in my power to be happier.
    Aside from that, new plan, live my life the way I want too. At the risk of sounding like a dodgy song, I am what I am, like it or lump it. I have too much self worth to be trodden down now, too much confidence to be afraid of being judged. They can do what they want and say what they want. I am really ok. It's taken a while. And a few people. And a shedload of people telling me I am worthwhile.
    This here train will never know what they did for me and I will pay it forward with all I'm worth. In the interim I feel 6 months is a real turning point for me. I was waiting for it and I do defo feel calmer today then I did a week ago. Don't matter tho, no matter what I'm a non smoker :)
    Non smoker, sounds pretty cool to me. Missed my peace of 4 months, feel like it's ready to settle on me again and I'm more than ready. BOOM!!
  25. Still winning
    This is what I posted for how I felt and feel, copied and pasted to my blog for once.
    - Don't put anything in your mouth and set it on fire! Actually, when someone put it like that it sounded like a pretty stupid plan anyway :)
    - Smoking is not on the table. Shortened to SNOT, thank goodness, my memory is shot from kids, I can remember short words!
    - NOPE - yep, like SNOT. Going with the KISS philosophy (keep it simple stupid)
    - One puff away from a pack a day
    There were so many reasons it took me till 38 (now 39) to get to this point. A genuine belief for so many years that smoking relieved my stress and it's not like I have a lot for me. My Dad had tried to bribe me. My Mum would make a lot of quitting noise but no actual results, just a cut down that never lasted. A lot of other people said if I can do it anyone can do it too, but no actual advice other then that?
    I really feel someone should have told me this. It won't hurt at all! It won't "feel" hard most of the time, it's just a series of thoughts that you can dismiss if you choose too. Because the bottom line, that is how I quit. I faced each thought, that lasted moments to minutes depending on how I acted. I was (mostly) in control and made the no choice and the thought simply passed by. Jeez, I think about downing a tub of ice cream most nights but I know this will equal a huge butt so I choose no to that too haha.
    So I am quite secure that I have the "tools" I need and needed now. A support network, :wub: you guys were crucial to my quit. A list of why I quit. Coping techniques (deep breathing, water etc). Healthy education into nicotine as an addiction. A number of key phrases as above and also "be eternally vigilant", nope shuffles, some bad dancin moves :)
    I wish I could have arrived at this point feeling a little more dignified and elegant. However I have secured a great group of buddies, a couple of really special people and a new Mum (thanks Nancy, I think we have the same eating habits judging by your junk food plan?) - so I figure I did very well out of this deal!
    My one piece of really real advice - When it feels hard hold on, it's through the tougher parts of our journey that our quit grows more solid. There is always sunshine after the rain and in the case of giving up smoking there really will be a rainbow. A quit chops and changes, as does life and we just need to grab the equivalent of a life surfboard and ride the waves!!

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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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