Free at last - Kim's Journey

Kim from Painesville
Kim from Painesville

January 8th, 2009, 1:36 am #1

Hi all,
My name is Kim. I have wanted to quit smoking for a very long time but was always afraid that I would fail, afraid that I would dissapoint my children, husband, Mom, ect... My Step Father just passed away 8 weeks ago from COPD and Lung/Liver Cancer. He lived with COPD for the last several years and suffered greatly, then was diagnosed with cancer and died 2 months later. Watching him suffer and stuggle to breathe was the awful and heartbreaking knowing there was nothing more we could do for him or ease his anxiety. After he passed away I used the exuse that it was to stressfull to quit at the moment amongst other exuses. My husband and I were trying to decide what we were going to give up as a new years resolution and out of the blue we both said "Smoking!!!" I have been free of the nasty habit since Jan 01, 2009 at 12:30am and have never been more proud of myself. Every time I get the urge to smoke I remember my Step Father and KNOW that I do not want to suffer that horrible fate! I have tried to quit in the past, made it a short time and said "oh just one hit wont hurt" and as we all know that didn't work and I was right back to it, but this time is different. I really really wanted to quit and somehow that made it much easier and I now know that I can NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!! I have had my really bad days but keep telling myself "You are stonger than that ciggarette!!" and it seems to be working for me so far. One of my problems has been pictureing the rest of my life without ciggarettes and have had a hard time with that sometimes. I smoked for 28 years and everything I did revolved around smoking but I have learned from this site and others that I have to just take it one day at a time and put the future out of my mind and surprisingly enough I am starting to see that my life is better without the ciggarette. I just tell myself now, hey you can go to a restaraunt, movie, night club, riding in a non smokers car, getting on an airplane, etc... without wanting a ciggarette the whole time I am there (Ohio is a non smoking state) and wondering when I can get up and get outside. Wow it's amazing how stressfull that actually was. I am very proud of myself and my husband (who has done awesome) for how far we have gotten and the support we give eachother during this hard time. Everyday gets a little easier, now if I could just break the mental habit.......

Kim - Free and Healing for Six Days, 12 Hours and 6 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 130 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $6.51.
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ScottA0
ScottA0

January 8th, 2009, 2:15 am #2

Congratulations Kim (and husband), your almost through your first week nicotine free. The hard parts over now the healing begins. You made the statement, "you are stronger than cigarettes". We don't have to be stronger than nicotine we just need to be smarter. Read all that you can for an educated quit is a final quit. Take a few big healthy breaths and be so very proud of what you have done.

Scott
I have been recovering for 1 Year, 10 Months, 13 hours and 28 minutes (672 days). I have saved $4,807.28 by not smoking 23,539 death sticks. I have saved 2 Months, 2 Weeks, 6 Days, 17 hours and 35 minutes of my life, My Quit Date: 3/6/2007 23:45
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 8th, 2009, 2:16 am #3

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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 8th, 2009, 2:24 am #4

Hi Kim from Painesville - land of 10' annual snow

Your post brought back a flood of similar memories from a year ago when my Dad passed from very similar circumstances to your Father in Law. It is a real wake up call seeing someone suffer from the cumulative damage smoking causes. Not a question of if but when it will happen if we continue to inhale the smoke of burning tobacco to feed our addictive need for nicotine. Luckily neither he or I had to deal with the stress of constant withdrawal from our nicotine dependency during his last years as we'd both quit cold turkey & learned how to live the rest and best of our lives free of nicotine from what is taught here.

This is my post # 169 in the string I wish it was just a "Nasty Little Habit", found on the Addiction message board. I hope it helps build one more foundation block in your education about our nicotine addiction. Please share it with your husband as well.

Is it habit or addiction? While I still have not resolved the age old question "Which came first - the chicken or the egg?", I am sure the answer to my original question's easier, the addiction came first. All of the rituals built into the dependency maintenance process followed our constant need to service the addiction to nicotine. Based on nicotine's 2 hour half-life and the fact that our level of the chemical was being depleted constantly, we needed to regularly intake more nicotine so as to fend off withdrawal borne anxiety sensations. Wherever, whenever, however the chemical absorption balance demanded to maintain satisfactory satiation / blood serum saturation. From this for most hourly repetition pattern everything we did became intertwined with our addiction responses and feeding / servicing patterns. We lived dose to dose.

In my experience, based on what is taught here, I chose to not reinforce 'habit' associations and decided to live the rest of my life as a 'non' or 'never' smoker would. I embraced and broke each one encountered.

'Never smokers' do not have to find anything to do with their hands or mouth to keep them busy or satisfied. Nor do most 'non-smokers'. We as ex-smokers do not have to 'do something' either. We learn new rituals. We break trigger associations. We learn to live as we were meant to, as we were supposed to live before our brain's reward pathways were hijacked by the most addictive substance know to mankind - nicotine.
As for Crutches to Quit Smoking. Kinda like getting rid of the pacifier or favorite teddy bear or blanket when very young we can simply let smoking related behaviors fade away. Substituting (often proposed as the thing to do elsewhere but not here and for good reason) is a comfort reaction/response but is a dangerous one that should be avoided. The act of picking up and playing with a pen - maybe putting it in your mouth or similarly holding & sucking on a straw or something similar - seems harmless but it serves to reinforce old behaviors and serves to reinforce the trigger association as well. Instead of defusing the trigger we end up reinforcing a behavior that is no longer necessary. Further, I believe it is leaving the door open for our addicted psyche to come back at us through a chink in our armour, a weakness in our defenses created by our acknowledging a former feeding cue and reaction as something we 'need'. Embracing craves and Breaking Links to Our Crave Generator are ways to navigate the pathway to healing- yes. Reinforcing triggers by substituting a crutch replacement item or activity does not assit our true healing?
You don't need to replace anything cause nothing is missing. The only thing we need to do to quit smoking is to quit smoking. The only thing we need to do to stay free from nicotine is to stay free of nicotine.

Don't pepetuate any links to your addictive behaviors. It delays moving on to your new life as An Ex-Smoker with no need for rememberances of past habitual behaviors we developed while we perpetuated and reinforced our addiction dependency relationship to nicotine. NTAP....and live free.

Advice 4 Newbies is another good board to explore.
The Power of Logic - Your Road To Healing - Welcome To Freedom

Here are a couple more articles that may be of interest.
Focus on Quitting for Just One Hour
Quitting for Others
Buddy Systems
Quitting or Recovering?
One rule keeps us all free - no nicotine for the rest of today. One = All and None = Freedom!

JoeJ (from Broadview Heights) & Free to be 'just me' no additives or maintenance activities required - 1458 days and lovin' every minute!
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Gump19690
Gump19690

January 8th, 2009, 9:12 am #5

In my opinion, the single most dangerous misconception in the smoking world is: "I enjoy smoking"

The truth is we hate what happens when we don't smoke --which translates to withdrawal. <<

On the positive side, withdrawal is temporary. Otherwise nobody would ever stay quit. It continues to get better and better with the passage of time. No matter if you measure time in hours or days. Your brain is associating everything your doing with oxygen rather than nicotine, so consider the "noise" as up close and personal healing. Comfort happens, you just gotta believe in yourself and your ability to get there.

Welcome Kim from your neighboring state of Indiana. Don't let fear of failure, or success for that matter, curtail your want and desire to be an ex smoker. Its within your grasp and here for the taking. Continue to read and learn all you can about his addiction and most importantly apply what you learn.

Gump...2 years nicotine free.
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vinnydeeeeg
vinnydeeeeg

January 8th, 2009, 10:37 am #6

Wooo hooo nice work, Kim!
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eriley1
eriley1

January 8th, 2009, 10:44 am #7

Kim, you found the right place to nuture your quit.
Keep reading and getting educated.
The mental break will occur and comfort will find you.
I never thought it was possible Kim. I loved nicotine.
I was worried about giving it up but you will learn that you didn't leave anything back there. Keep moving forward, it is so worth it Kim.
This will be a great journey. Glad you found us, keep swimming, jenna 241days
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Doc2474
Doc2474

January 8th, 2009, 5:09 pm #8

Hi
Kim
Well done, you are over the worst.
Keep doing it a day at a time and it gets easier and better.
Keep reading and learning here and you will do this.

Regards

Doc

86 days
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Kim from Painesville
Kim from Painesville

January 8th, 2009, 10:39 pm #9

Well it is officially 1 week now nictone free and it feels good to be here. My husband got me a treadmill for christmas and we both started walking on it last night, 30 min. I am so afraid of gaining weight!! I am already over weight and could not stand it if I gain. We have totally changed the way we are eating and started the exercise plan. Loosing weight would be a bonus, right now I am concentrating on not gaining any additional. I have exercised in the past only to be completely out of breath and this time it wasn't like that, felt really good. I am actually excited about exercising. I still have plenty of moments where I subconsiously grab for a cig or think ok time for a smoke, but I have found that deep breathing gets me through them easy enough. I do ALOT of deep breathing!! Thank you all for the wonderful warm welcome and I look forward to traveling this road to freedom with you.

Kim - Free and Healing for Seven Days, 9 Hours and 8 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 148 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $7.38.
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Horsehead 11
Horsehead 11

January 9th, 2009, 4:39 am #10

Nicely done Kim,
It gets way better-just stick to your beliefs and no more puffs-not one. I am also an alcholic and I can't even drink a thimble of whiskey anymore or I'm off to the races. I have a little over 5 months smoke free and it is already more comfortable than I had ever dreamed and they tell me it gets better still.
Peace
Jeff-bronze
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JJBird77
JJBird77

January 9th, 2009, 9:37 am #11

Many Congrats Kim.....you are on the road to FREEDOM!!!

That next puff can wait! It can wait until tonight, it can wait until tomorrow.........It can wait until never.

Just don't take that next puff!!

Jay - Free and Healing for Three Years, Eleven Months, Thirteen Days, 3 Hours and 37 Minutes.
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aryeh36.ffn
aryeh36.ffn

January 9th, 2009, 10:50 am #12

Hello Kim. Welcome to Freedom.

and
Welcome to FREEDOM.

although there will still be some bumps on the road,
you are over the worst.

Congratulations on GLORY WEEK.
A great accomplishment,

Aryeh
230 days
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Vikki
Vikki

January 12th, 2009, 6:04 am #13

This message has been deleted by the manager or assistant manager.
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Kim from Painesville
Kim from Painesville

January 12th, 2009, 9:28 pm #14

Hello all, Thank you so much for all your encouraging words, I cannot tell you how much they help and to hear from you that are ahead of me, knowing this has to get better helps alot too. I had a rough weekend but I made it through it!! I am proud of myself for that. I don't know why but I seem to be dwelling on smoking these past few days. I keep trying to get busy but everytime I sit down it comes back. I hope this doesn't last for long, it is quite hard. I did realize yesterday once I got on my treadmill and started working out I did better afterwords so that is what I am going to try and hopefully it will help.
Still plugging away to NTAP!!!

Kim - Free and Healing for Eleven Days, 7 Hours and 58 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 18 Hours, by avoiding the use of 227 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $11.34.
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Doc2474
Doc2474

January 12th, 2009, 10:47 pm #15

Hi Kim
You are doing great!
Eleven days is some achievement, you should feel very proud.
Just keep at it, one day at a time.

Regards

Doc
90 days
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wendyaannn
wendyaannn

January 13th, 2009, 12:06 am #16

Hi Kim! Congratulations on quitting smoking, you will never for one second regret this! I quit with my husband too, and it has brought us closer in ways I never would have imagined when we started.
I know (ALL of us here know) how very hard it can be at the beginning, when your inner dialogue is incessant and just plain annoying. I always compared it to being in the room with a very big mosquito that you couldn't quite kill. The good news is that it goes away, fairly quickly, and if you can just NTAP you will never ever have to hear it again. And what is on the other side of it is so wonderful, a brain that never (well hardly ever ;) ) bugs you about nicotine and how to get it. (Even when it does it's not annoying, just kind of funny and pathetic...)
Hang in there, you are doing just great, keep reading here and posting, and you'll be over this hump before you know it!! Stay proud, you're doing a great thing.

Wendy Ann, 359 days!! Humble and grateful and EXCITED!
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Paoletto1970
Paoletto1970

January 13th, 2009, 2:18 am #17

Hi Kim,

I stopped to smoke about 1 year ago and I know how it's hard, but now I can say that's the best thing that i had never made in my life. You have to enjoy your freedom, you have to enjoy your new life without nicotine.

(Sorry for my English written...I write from Italy)
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

January 13th, 2009, 11:15 pm #18

From: Vikki Sent: 1/11/2009 4:04 PM
Hi Kim (and Kim's hubby),
You have made the best decision of your life to quit smoking and I applaude you both.

Beginning an exercise routine is smart also. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel physically since you have quit smoking. Your staminia will be much improved as the months go by. I've been quit for 4 months (after smoking for 40 years) and I can tell a big difference, in many ways, already.

Never forget why you quit and remember to NTAP!

God bless you and your hubby.
Vikki

---
4 months, 1 week, 3 days smoke-free, 2,652 cigs not smoked, $530.40 saved.
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Jenn XSmokr
Jenn XSmokr

January 15th, 2009, 8:34 am #19

Congrats on your quit so far! The support here is amazing :)

Jenn - Free and Healing for Two Months, Eighteen Days, 21 Hours and 34 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 13 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1598 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $360.73.
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