Mar 4 2016
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A lifelong journey but not a lifelong battle

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My battle with my addiction lasted a gruelling six plus years, but before you freak out – hear me out, because it really was worth it…

My first ever attempt to quit smoking was in February 2008. I read Allen Carr’s ‘Easy Way to Quit Smoking’, stubbed out my last cigarette upon finishing the book and proudly began my smokefree life. It lasted two hours! Allen had lied to me – nothing about this was easy! He had done little to prepare me for the mental anguish, the torment that was my cravings for nicotine.

It didn’t change the fact that I no longer wanted to smoke and I tried again and again, without success.

Then in November 2010 my beautiful 58 year-old Mum passed away, she had COPD from her many years smoking and in the end she simply ran out of the strength and will to keep fighting for life. She had left me, right when I needed her the most, and I was angry.

This is when I knew I HAD to quit; I did not want my children to face this loss so early in their lives. Still, despite this renewed determination, despite having watched my mother struggling to breathe, wasting away, I continued to relapse, time and time again. This destroyed my already low self-confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.

I lost count of the number of attempts, it honestly felt like hundreds! I relapsed after racking up days, weeks, even months smokefree. I began to believe I would never succeed.

I would have given up, but here I had made friends who continued to believe in me, in spite of my terrible track record. And with each relapse came experience, new insight to my addiction and my way of thinking, a dogged determination! I was a prolific blogger, over the years posting literally HUNDREDS of blogs, sharing my highs and my lows (some of which felt simply soul destroying), writing about my life dramas and revealing my innermost thoughts and feelings.

On the 3rd of March, 2014, in a fit of bravery I flushed my tobacco and readied myself for battle once again. Thanks to this community and the support I received here, I have never looked back.

It is no longer a battle for me, the struggle gradually eased and one by one I passed the challenges that life threw at me, without turning to my old and familiar coping tool, smoking.

For me, I know I will ALWAYS be an addict and therefore this will be a lifelong journey. But I will never again have to face the battles that nearly broke me over those six years of struggling… all I have to do, is never take another puff, NOT ONE PUFF, EVER! And I am happy, and able, to do that!

I would not change any part of my journey, it changed me as a person and it changed my life, and my children’s future. My self-esteem is growing every day. I am in control of my addiction and that’s no longer a battle. I choose not to smoke, and it’s now an easy choice.

TODAY, with as much pride as ever, I celebrate TWO YEARS SMOKEFREE! A milestone that had once seemed impossible for me to achieve.

This, my dear quitters, is YOUR future. Just KEEP BELIEVING, and KNOW that this IS within your grasp. Blog your struggles and successes, and never be ashamed to put your hand up and say, “bugga, well that didn’t go according to plan”. It is what it is. Learn from it and move on. Pick yourself up and try, try again.

JUST FOR TODAY, hang tough, don’t puff. One day at a time. There are people here that believe in you, even when you might not believe in yourself ♥

Smokefree days: 731 days
Grams NOT smoked: 7310
Total savings: $10,248.00
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Mar 31 2014
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As hard as this is for me to say Im awesome

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Smokefree days: 28 days
Grams NOT smoked: 280
Total savings: $420.00

Look how far ‘one day at a time’ has gotten me… I can’t believe it has been four weeks already! Later this week I will be celebrating one whole month 100% SMOKEFREE!!! This is such a huge achievement for me, I haven’t made it this far since June-July last year, when I lasted around two months before depression overcame me, again, and I relapsed, again. So I’m very happy to be here now, thanks to my own stubborn perseverance and the constant unwavering support of my amazing quit family ♥

Over the weekend I really struggled with cravings and low moods and began to worry that I was going to fall apart again, but I today I’ve realised – again! – that I need to make more effort to keep on top of my thoughts. I received some news that a friend is having another baby, which is the dumbest reason ever to feel sad and crave a cigarette, but I did, because hubby says no more babies for me, but sheesh, how selfish, I really have to get over myself!

I also found I was judging myself and my mothering, comparing myself to someone who in my eyes is the most amazing mother ever. Baby was very unsettled all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday night was just terrible, I hardly got any sleep at all. So yesterday I was thinking I’m no good at this, bet you if baby was the child of “the most amazing mother ever” he wouldn’t be so unsettled! Well! *slap!* I REALLY need to stop this thinking! Talk about unhelpful, all it does is bring me down!

A better way of thinking would be… God chose ME to be his mother! He is unsettled because he has lots of wind due to the fact that I am such an efficient cow and he is a real piglet. It won’t always be like this, he has only just gone three weeks old and will things will settle soon enough (I hope!). And, since becoming much more awake and alert, he spends a long time gazing at me and I could have sworn he was even trying to smile back at me yesterday, even though I know it is too early, but it really didn’t look like his usual fleeting windy grimace/smile ☺ Not to mention the fact that I smell like a Mum should because I am SMOKEFREE (“most amazing mother ever” is not – I hate to sound so terribly judgemental but am just trying to give myself a boost here)!

So yeah, I’m awesome! LOL!
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Aug 27 2013
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In summary a whole lot of sorry S words

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Selfish; sap; stupid; shameful; senseless; slow; seething; stinky; soft; sucker; sad; scared; stuck.

It’s very like me to fall off the wagon, but I have never just disappeared from here without explanation. Truth be told, I have been too ashamed to post. A few weeks ago I found myself in a very dark place and rather than follow the doctor’s suggestion of taking antidepressants, I starting smoking again, a couple of weeks after finding out I was pregnant. In my mind, this is totally unforgiveable and I guess I have been afraid that people would judge me the way I have been judging myself.

Even on a good day I find it especially hard to be nice to me. Every time I have tried to write a blog, it has been full of negative, self-flagellating comments. Perhaps I believed that if I said it all first, then no one would come and say it about me. Then I thought; what if it was someone else writing this blog? I would never think this way about another person, I would never say such awful things about someone else, I would feel compassion for them and I think I would understand. Am I worse than anyone else that’s been in a similar position? In my opinion, yes I am, but who am I to determine that? Am I not just the same as the next addict? Am I the only pregnant woman out there smoking and living with the guilt? So why condemn myself?

You’d think with such a powerful motivator and such remorse over my actions, I would have just quit again, put my own self aside and done it for my precious unborn baby. How can I, trying to convince myself I AM a good person, still be struggling with this??? And yet, this is where I am, swamped by all those s-words, but with no sign of Strength, Sanity, Sense or Snapping out of it. Maybe I need a good Slap!? (Kidding, please don’t slap me).

I’m sorry for dumping this on you guys now and I’m sorry for hightailing it out of here and avoiding you all, and to my wee fig… I am heartbreakingly sorry for the poor start to life I am giving you... I know I can never make this up to you, but I hope that by continuing with counselling I will finally one day heal my head and become the person I long to be, and the mother you and your brothers deserve.
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Jun 11 2014
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There it is 100 days 100 SMOKEFREE

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Smokefree days: 100 days
Grams NOT smoked: 1000
Total savings: $1,428.00

I’ve come to realise that while I don’t really have it hard in life, I don’t exactly have it easy either. More importantly, I’m realising that maybe I’m a lot tougher and stronger than I give myself credit for. That I can do more than I think I can.

Not that long ago I believed I would never achieve this milestone and yet here I am. I could not have done this without your constant, unwavering support and encouragement. Having my Quit Day Buddy KevdaRev walking this journey with me has made all the difference too - congratulations to you, my friend!

Still struggling to believe that these are my stats but am feeling so proud of myself, because they are real and they are all mine. My next goal is to surpass my old 100% smokefree record of 120 days. One day at a time.
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Jan 30 2015
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All the threes

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Smokefree days: 333 days
Grams NOT smoked: 3330
Total savings: $4,662.00

Enormously proud of myself, and thankful for my past lessons (of which there have been many!) that have empowered me to keep going on my smokefree journey, while everything else within me has fallen apart.

So while I’m crumbling, at least I have not allowed myself to be led back to my old ways of coping. I am still smokefree and through it all, I actually found the subtle suggestion that smoking would fix it laughable!

Yes, it might feel like I am going backwards with everything else, but where my smokefreedom is concerned I continue to keep moving forward, and with this epic achievement I am proving to myself that I can do anything!

One day at a time.
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Jun 20 2015
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YEEHAA

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Smokefree days: 300 days
Grams NOT smoked: 3000
Total savings: $4,506.40

I can't believe I've been smokefree for 300 days.

When I decided to quit smoking I told my workmates that I was going to do so. They all laughed and said things like "whatever, for how long? yeah right, etc". One of them had a bet with me that I couldn't quit for a year. He is getting very worried as the bet is a substantial amount of money. In 65 days time I will be collecting that money as I hate losing bets.

Have a great weekend everyone ☺ ☺ ☺
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Mar 5 2013
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One whole year what a ride

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A year ago today I embarked on a journey which has had a very different outcome to what I had anticipated. At the time I was in a very dark place and sometimes found myself contemplating a way out. I’ve never shared this before, it was very personal and I didn’t like thinking like that. After a three month quit where depression really got to me, I was surprised to find that when I returned to smoking, I reached an even lower low. This helped me to see that smoking wasn't the answer for me. I was scared and the shadows were dark, but I knew I had to try again.

I read though all of my past blogs recently and at some point I could see my attitude change. I went from doubt to belief. Not too sure what sparked off this change in attitude, but whatever it was, I’m so pleased it happened. Maybe it was at about two months into my quit, I was finding that I was focusing so much on NOT smoking, that it was ALL I could think about. With these feelings and the 8kg (plus the previous 5kg) weight gain, I decided to shift my focus onto a lifestyle change. Best thing I could have done and the dopamine buzz that I got from exercising was helpful. To date I have lost 18kg, with another 10kg to reach my goal. About the same time I also stopped blaming everything that was going on in my life, on quitting smoking. I learnt to accept that sometimes life is just going to throw us lemons.

So a year on and I have now experienced all four seasons of the year. I know my journey is an ongoing one and it doesn’t stop here at the top of Smokefree Mountain. I know there will still be certain events/triggers that will pop up from time to time, and all I can do is keep on taking it one day at a time.

There are so many people in this wonderful Quit community that I would individually like to thank, (my special cyber-friends, my Quit Date buddies, the Quitline advisors, long-term supporters and comrades MIA, as well as the newbies who help keep me focused), but I’m worried that I may unintentionally miss someone out. I hope you all know who you are, and know that without your unconditional support, advise, and faith in me (when at times I didn’t have it myself), I wouldn’t be where I am today. These people I will probably never meet in person, but through our journeys we have shared the inner most parts of our souls at times. We have cried together and laughed together – and that’s pretty special:)

A celebration of a meal out (Hubby’s idea) has been put on hold this week due to $750 going to our local mechanic today to get the car up to WOF standard. But I’m not too fussed. Reaching this beautiful peak of Smokefree Mountain means more than anything to me and that is reward enough.

I did it!

PS: NRT-free from this day forth (yikes - wish me luck with this one!)


Smokefree days: 365 days
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 5475
Total savings: $3,843.00
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Oct 29 2014
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100 DAYS

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I HAVE MADE IT

I have my party dress on, a smile on my face and i'm in the mood to dance.! Get those doors open wide - i'm coming in !!!
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Feb 3 2014
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700 days

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Feeling pretty happy......just under a month until my second Breathday! Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined I'd be where I am today.

Smokefree days: 700 days
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 10500
Total savings: $7,350.00
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Feb 21 2015
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Stats Update 7 Months Smokefree

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Smokefree Days: 215
Cigarettes NOT Smoked: 3225
Total Savings: $3013.20

I feel so good about being 7 months smokefree today. Several times along the way i began to doubt if i had the strength to keep going - turns out i did. Mostly now i don't think about smoking very much at all, but every now and then a tough day will come along and it's all i can think about. Sometimes i feel really cheated when it happens. "Hello ,i worked my butt off to become smokefree. Now i just want to cruise along thank you very much" Doesn't happen that way though. Never mind the bad days are very few, most of the time i absolutely love my smokefreedom - and NOPE and the 4 D's still work a treat no matter how far in the quit you are.
Pleased to see my cigarette plants i bought to celebrate my 6 months smokefree are really thriving.I actually ended up buying 2 different ones. I smile every time i see them. Thumbing my nose at nicotine addiction the best way i can. Bit warped i know, but there you go.
That's my blathering for today. Keep fighting the good fight everyone. You CAN do it.
Stay quitsafe
Love & hugs to all.
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