May 13 2015
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365 days Its my Breathday and Ill laugh if I want to

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Smokefree days: 365 days
Grams NOT smoked: 2608
Total savings: $3,710.00

I woke early this morning (5am) and as consciousness came I immediately remembered … “It’s my breathday. Wow I can’t believe I have conquered an entire year without a smoke”

The thought was like a delightful little melody tinkling around in my head, and as I allowed it to linger there, a huge, toothy grin splashed itself onto my face and it’s been there ever since. No amount of showering could wash it away. I must confess its hard to eat when you are grinning like a Cheshire cat and I might have dribbled a little bit on the bench at breakfast. I’m so chuffed, that I’ve even had a chuckle or two bubble up and escape for no apparent reason. Yup to say I feel proud would be an understatement for sure.

What a rollercoaster ride it was. After 41 years smoking, I was diagnosed late 2013 with early stage emphysema (which has since been rediagnosed as an auto immune disease). This was my initial motivation. I first quit in Jan and mastered 19 days before a camping trigger did me in and I reset. Then in Feb I managed 23 days before falling off the wagon. I reset again. I set off on my third quit in March and managed 6 days before my Husband decided he didn’t want to take care of a sick wife anymore and threw my world into a spin. I decided to take a little time-out to regroup, find somewhere to live and get settled before finally coming back on 13th May for my fourth attempt. This time I came armed with my NOPE shield (not one puff ever) held firmly in front of me. That ol’ nicodemon continued to throw everything at me, depression, chronic sickness, pain, torn ligaments, tooth abscesses, crashed car, kitchen fire where I badly burned my hands .. I won’t go on ... you get the general gist … it was one of the hardest years of my life.

As I trekked through the withdrawals wearing (as the lovely Calmwaters would say) ‘My Big Girl Panties’ I discovered the journey was not about feelings, it was about making a decision and sticking to it no matter how I felt, not matter how unpleasant it was. I learned (particularly in the early days) that this journey is about one foot in front of the other, baby steps, minute by minute until the minutes become hours, days, weeks and months. I learned not to think too far ahead. I learned that my battle was not with myself, my battle was with an addiction, that it actually wasn’t me who wanted to smoke! I learned that many of the sacrifices I needed to make in order to be successful were temporary, and that the more I resisted the weaker that addiction became, until 'not smoking' became the ‘norm’. As time progressed I grew into those 'big girl panties' quite nicely, putting on a (much needed) 14 kgs .. they could possibly be more aptly named my ‘small girl panties’ now.

But more importantly, I uncovered some valuable lessons about myself. I learned that I’m a fighter, Yup .. all 5 foot 4 (and a quarter) inches of me, and that when squished up against the wall I have what it takes, not only to take the punches, but to get back up, over and over again. I learned that although abandoned by my husband I am not ‘unlovable’. I am valuable to God and to others. I learned that even in chronic illness, I can take care of myself. I discovered that the harder the battle became, the more fierce my determination to succeed, and believe me, no-one was more surprised by that resolve and determination than I was because, truth be told, I came into this battle expecting to fail.

It was this new-found knowledge of how valuable and how strong I truly am, that gave me the ability to continually say “NO .. I will not do this to myself any longer. I will no longer abuse myself by filling by body with poison. I am worth so much more than this. And I will no longer be this kind of role model for my grandchildren”

What a great gift to take from this whole process hey I couldn’t ask for a better Breathday present.

So here I am standing on top of that One Year Mountain ... (Lady beats her chest ceremoniously) shouting to the world ‘I AM A SMOKE-FREE LADY …. And I LOVE IT’. (Okay I’m climbing down now coz my blood pressure has been up and I feel a little whoozy)

To my wonderful support team (you are too many to mention individually), thank you for your fabulous support. I am eternally grateful to you all. Your encouragement has been immeasurable … it truly has. You believed in me when I could not believe in myself. You saw strength in me before I ever did. And a huge thank you to QUITLINE too … what a blessing you are! How wonderful to go to sleep at night, knowing that you are helping to set people free.

And to the ‘new quitters’ … hold tight to your decision to be smoke-free. Don’t let it go for anything. You will have to fight for it but you are up for it! Know that you are stronger than you think. When that strength arises in you .. be proud. Recognise your enemy for what it is – an addiction that wants to kill you. Hold up your NOPE shield and just concentrate on one step at a time. If you don’t feed that monster, it will die and you will be free. You can do this! You deserve to be smoke-free and its a goal well worth fighting for!

Lady xxx
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Jan 21 2015
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And Here It Is6 Months Smokefree

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Smokefree days:184
Cigarettes NOT Smoked: 2760
Total Savings: $2566.80

Here i am at 6 calender months smokefree. I feel quite emotional and am very happy to be where i am today. I spent some time earlier reading my old blogs and jingoes what a rollercoaster ride it has been! On a few occasions i have been soooo close to caving in - but blogging, your support, and some fighting from me, has pulled me through. Thank you all so much for your support and friendship. It has made such a difference for me. If you are new here, never think you can't post comments on someone's blog because you are new. I learn something here every day. Sometimes from the "oldies" and sometimes from the "newbies" - and it helps to keep reaffirming my quit.I had been feeling a tad nervous about this 6 month mark, having relapsed before at this point. Not this time! No way, no how!! I will never take my smokefreedom for granted and still, even now, i start the day with "today i will not smoke" and end the day with " i've done good today" I still get such a buzz from each and every smokefree day. Some days can still be a struggle, but they are few, and i now have the tools to get through - and my word, i am not afraid to use them! There are many days i don't even think about smokes.So today i am strutting around feeling very proud. Head high, chest out and a spring in my step. Why? Because i am smokefree and loving it. For the first time in 45 years i am calling the shots, not the addiction. I have my life back and dare i say it....."i feel like i have mojo now".
For those in the early days - never give up on quitting. When you think you can't do it anymore......do it some more. Fight! Fight with everything in you.
This feels so amazing and i want all of you to feel this way too. It is unbelievable!!
That's my blather today
Stay Quitsafe
Love & Hugs to all.
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Jun 16 2015
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After work activities

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Hello again my smokefree family.
well today as soon as i got home i got the bike out.
and was off for a ride only 12km head wind really felt it was a good work out. Think i going to get into this cycling so be saving up for a better bike.
I not doing as many kms as our gavin but one day hopefuly i can do as many as gavin. Main thing is im out there doing it. Instead of smoking and
doing no exercise. After tea i be off for my 3km walk have a good smokefree night my 2nd family
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Jun 22 2012
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Hangs head in shame

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I really don’t know what to say except that I’m going to be very late for my breathday bash. In fact, you may as well cancel the whole thing because I doubt whether I’ll ever make it. I'm sorry Truffles, all that effort polishing the silverware was wasted.

I know that you all will say I haven’t let anyone but myself down but I need to say I’m sorry because I feel like I have let my wonderful quit family down.

I didn’t fight hard enough and I well and truly screwed everything up and now I can’t fix it. I’m black and blue from beating myself up and just wish I could wake up tomorrow and find out that it’s okay, it was all a bad dream.

But it’s not. I tried to fix it after the first packet but failed. And again after the second, and the third.... and I have little confidence that I’ll have any more success after the fourth packet.

I can’t think about what I’ve done because the enormity of it just makes me want to crawl into a hole and die. Incredibly dramatic I know, but I feel like I am just a total let down, in every area of my life.

Last night I completely broke down. Thank God my husband realised the state I’m in and said all the right things... he told me I’m not a failure as a wife, mother, person. Now I just need to start believing it.

It was so hard logging in here, seeing how well everyone is doing. It reinforced what a failure I am. I don’t know what to do.

Stupid is as stupid does.
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Jul 10 2013
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Heiro

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The suspense is killing me. If it isn't pole dancing, yoga or line dancing - what is it!!?
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Apr 15 2014
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9 weeks

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Pregnant. It is a nightmare on Elm Street. Ha.
I thought this would be a sweet process, it is not.
I have been put on cancer patient pills because I have been so sick.
I thought I was tough. I am not.

I have been reflecting, I am so glad I stopped smoking two years ago; I always believed I wouldn't smoke while I was pregnant, but who knows, I am glad I don't have to find out.

I cannot believe people have more than one child, you 'forget' they say, yeah right. Haha. Have a good day party peeps, waiting for this to pass.

30 days until our cruise!!
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Mar 15 2014
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feeling confused and frustrated

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its only been a threw hours and im already finding this hard i have my water my patches and lozenges and im baking to try keep my mind off it i even tell my self i dont need a smoke the uge goes away and then 5 mins later its back (REALLY 5 MINS ) I am second guessing if this was the right time to try or if just one for now wont hurt is this normal and how do i get threw this when it hasnt even been a whole day
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Jul 1 2014
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Breaking new ground

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In February 2012 I went through a huge preparation and planning phase to quit smoking and it turned out to be my best ever attempt where not one puff passed my lips, until hubby and I relapsed at 120 days. Try as I might, I was not able to recover from that and I spent a long time kicking myself.

There were a couple of attempts that followed, one where I even lasted two months before relapsing. Then in November 2012 I quit again, only to slip up in December when hubby and I shared 4 smokes over the Christmas break. I was able to keep going and did not reset my stats, but ended up relapsing again a couple of weeks out from the 6 month mark.

Since then I have been trying to get back there. Despite a huge number of attempts, I was unable to get even close to these stats and for many months toward the end of last year, I could not even get through two days without giving in.

It has taken me a very long time and a whole lot of effort, but I can now proudly say that today I have matched my 100% smokefree personal best and every day from here on in I will be setting a new record. This is immense, because not only did I struggle for so long, but I have faced some trials this year and survived, without turning to smoking as a way to get through.

I still have cravings every so often and it is still a journey taken one day at a time but I am finally getting somewhere and some days I almost feel like I might actually get to be where and who I want to be.

Smokefree days: 120 days
Grams NOT smoked: 1200
Total savings: $1,680.00
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Jun 5 2014
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05061952 12112010

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The biggest thing that smoking ever took from me was my Mum. She battled with this addiction for years and finally succeeded not long before she passed away in 2010. Today is my Mum’s birthday, she would have been 62. Today I spend the day remembering her, and what a beautiful person she was, my perfect Mum…

I remember how much she gave of herself, raising my brother and me by herself.
I remember how she would make me come in and see her when I got home from nights out as a teenager, no matter what the time, because she said she couldn’t sleep properly until she knew I was home.
I remember the time she helped me bleach my hair blonde, then restore it back to brown, then dye it black a few months later. How she would perm my fringe!
I remember all the clutter of her house, the little ornaments, the multiple pictures of cats on the walls.
I remember how she would always leave lipstick on the cups.
I remember how she would always wear two pair of pants, so her legs did not look so skinny!
I remember how she would have her dearest cat Pearl sitting on her knee at dinner time, letting her eat titbits from the edge of her plate.
I remember how she used to overcook the vegetables until they were flavourless and mushy!
I remember how she would cut out pictures of animals from the paper and have my brother laminate them so she could put them on the wall.
I remember how she would always say “Hi Darling” whenever I would phone her.
I remember how often she would ask me, “have I told you how much I love you?” and I would sigh in exasperation, Yes, Mum! Because she would tell me every time we spoke. I remember how much she loved me.
I remember how she cried for a week when I moved out of home and then how she fought different tears on my wedding day, she was so happy and proud.
I remember how amazing she was when I had my first son, she would come and cook and clean for me for weeks, even though she worked full time and had her own load to carry. She took time off from work to be with me when my husband returned to work.
I remember how she gave my son his first bath, because I was too scared and uncertain.
I remember what an incredible Nan she made. “Nan” was the first word my son spoke clearly. He would know when we turned into her street and say “Nan! Nan! Nan!” excitedly. He would still say it for months after she died, when we went to visit my brother who still lives there.
I remember her bursting with excitement when I asked if she could mind my son while I went back to work for one day a week.
I remember how she and my son would sit together in her arm chair, watching cartoons on sky with her arm around him. How she would not move from this spot.
I remember how she was outside kicking the ball with my son, only three days before she died, even though she could not breathe properly.
I remember my last phone call with her, when she said that Pearl had been giving her lots of “kisses” that day. I remember later thinking, that Pearl knew.
I remember after she passed, thinking I never took enough photos. I have only a few precious photos of her with my son. I have only one of the two us together with me as an adult, on my wedding. Pearl was in the picture too ♥

It is because of this huge loss that I have never given up on quitting, I refuse to let smoking take me from my own children too soon.
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May 22 2015
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Unhappy Days

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Evening , I hope all is well in blogville .
Just got in from the GP . Results of Medical .
Osteoporosis !!! There goes My career .
As of Monday This puppy is a client of WinZ
Bloody Marvellous eh . Im in total shock , so am blurting this out here .
Total game changer for Me , yet NOT bad enough to cause Me to have a smoke , but don't tempt Me .
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