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About Christian99

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  1. Thanks much! Didn't really celebrate today, but I've got 365 days to plan for something big for the 20 year mark. C99
  2. Welcome and keep up the great work: remaining smoke-free will transform your life! I'll just strike another note, though...since you're feeling so good right now, use this time to identify some concrete strategies/actions in which you'll engage if things turn a bit. When you're in the midst of that turn, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and your perspective can narrow, so it's good to plan now when you're doing well. I'm a big advocate of naming specific actions for yourself because, for many of us, just telling oneself to "think positively" isn't enough (and can sometim
  3. I still have occasional smoking dreams (maybe once or twice a year), and they're incredibly disturbing to me. I don't think they have anything to do with smoking, per se; instead, I've come to see them as profound expressions/metaphors for anxiety or stress about other things going on in my life. Christian99 Nearing 19 Years Quit
  4. My brother died of lung cancer at 42, smoking until he lost consciousness for the final time (and even after, making unconscious smoking gestures with with hands and mouth until his death). It was a terrible death, made much worse by the shame he felt because of his complicity in his own death. His wife, also a heavy smoker, took her own life an hour after my brother passed. Christian99 18 1/2 Years Quit
  5. So let me describe a slightly different approach... I struggled with some false starts when I first attempted to quit, and it was bewildering to me that I didn't seem able to maintain my resolve and commitment when--just like you--I was fully aware of the terrible damage my cigarette use was doing to my body. Frankly, I've never felt like a mentally weak person, and I was pretty certain that I had, indeed, made the genuine decision that I did not want to be a smoker anymore; thus, I couldn't really figure out what was missing. In fact, I bristled at the suggestion that my failure
  6. Thanks so much, friends. I told my students yesterday and one of the classes broke into a round of applause; I have one class today, and I'm looking forward to sharing the news with them. Cheers-- C99 18 Years Quit
  7. I haven't had a single craving or even passing thought of smoking in well over fifteen years, yet I have periodic smoking dreams like the ones you describe. They're deeply unsettling. A friend of mine who has advanced training in psychology and whose insights I value suggested to me a few years ago that the dreams probably have nothing to do with my quit proper and instead may be a way for my subconscious to examine/express broader issues like success/failure, the "imposter syndrome," etc. Christian99 17 1/2+ Years Quit
  8. I wish you nothing but success in this crucial, life-affirming and life-saving enterprise. As you proceed, just be careful that you're not confusing your plans to quit and lessons learned from failed quits with actual abstinence and real success. I've seen people over the years sort of trick themselves into thinking they're making progress simply because they're able to talk about why they failed. I'm not suggesting that's the case here (as only you can make that determination, ultimately), but success in this endeavor is finally about being and staying completely smoke-free: th
  9. Your comments resonate with me, Michelle, and remind me of how I felt during my failed quits of the late 90's and early 00's. In my case, I decided to change my approach pretty dramatically as a result. I decided that I needed an alternative--something that, when those inevitable moments of weakness and vulnerability emerged, there'd be a final line of defense to protect me and my quit. For me, that was my new health and fitness persona: thus, when I started my new (and final, lifetime) quit, I made substantial changes to diet and exercise. This gave me positive things on which to focus a
  10. Congratulations on the quit. Two quick observations... First, maybe think about trying to force yourself to go to the gym despite the fatigue. Sometimes exercise can be an energy producer instead of an energy consumer, and you may feel better as a result of going. Second, definitely don't be alarmed if your energy is not back to normal in a couple of days, as you mention in your initial post of this thread. Recovery can be a long process--and given how long most of us smoked, the toxicity of the chemicals we've ingested, and the habits we've ingrained, it would actually be surp
  11. Quitting smoking was exceptionally hard for me--much harder, in fact, than I thought it would be, and I think I began the enterprise with relatively reasonable expectations. But the rewards have also been exponentially greater than I ever imagined they could be--continuing to grow and help me even now, more than 17 1/2 years after my last cigarette (and about 16 years since my last craving of any kind). A positive mindset is helpful, but if you're feeling miserable in the early weeks/months, that's OK. Develop and trust a thoughtful and well-informed process that caters to your individual s
  12. I've been quit for 17 1/2 years, and by a conservative estimate I have not spent $48,106.50 on cigarettes that I otherwise would have spent during that time. That's assuming, of course, that I would have survived the widowmaker heart attack and cardiac arrest I experienced (at age 40) seven years AFTER I quit, which every physician I've encountered tells me would not have happened had I still been a smoker. Christian99 17 1/2 Years Quit
  13. For the sake of consistency, I'd love to see challenges to this (obviously smart and beneficial) policy by the folks on this site who love to claim that ALL limits to freedom (and the commercial tobacco industry/lobby has done a masterful job of convincing people that smoking is a form of freedom) are somehow dangerous and un-american. Way to go Atlanta. Christian99 17 1/2 Years Quit
  14. I'm assuming that, like me, you choose to include NRT in your larger suite of tools to help you succeed in this crucial enterprise after carefully considering all the options available to you. As such, you've made a fantastic, life-affirming choice, and I admire you for your decision. Your quit is not only not "fake"; I'm happy to argue that since you catered your approach to your individual circumstances with an approach endorsed by addiction specialists, it very well could be superior and more authentic than those attempted by individuals who continue, irrationally, to fetishize the "cold
  15. The gum was a very useful tool for me when I quit. I continued to carry a couple of pieces around with me for several months after I stopped chewing it (chewed it for 2-3 months), just in case I felt like I needed extra assistance in those still early stages of the quit. In my experience, claims of long-term nicotine gum dependence are wildly exaggerated and ultimately unhelpful to the quitters who choose NRT as part of their recovery. Also, scientifically speaking, inhaling burning cigarette smoke is a far more efficient delivery method of nicotine (and every other chemical) than chewing t

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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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