Mar 4 2017
Report

FAMILY

avatar-icon
Today marks my third year of being SMOKEFREE. I found it hard, trying to figure out what to blog about this milestone. I don’t know what to say to those of you who don’t know my journey, to those of you who are just starting out on this path, to those of you who are struggling and wondering if you’ll ever make it. I feel like you may not be able to relate to me, now that I have been travelling this road for so long and am secure in my quit.

I want to say, “If I can do it, then you can too!” This is just so cliché though isn’t it? Except that I say this with a deep and true sincerity. Because there were so many times when I honestly believed I would never be free. I felt like I held the record for the highest number of failed attempts (it seriously felt like a Guinness World Record kind of number) and that I was just destined to battle with my addiction until smoking took my life, just as it had my mother and my grandmother. I felt like an absolute failure.

I want to say that this incredible community saved me from myself. Through my countless attempts, which literally spanned over the course of a number of YEARS, these people were always and unconditionally there for me. Old timers and new supported me without judgement or shame and showed me nothing but compassion, faith and true friendship.

I want to say don’t be afraid to lean on your fellow quitters, no matter whether you’re feeling positive or whether you’re struggling, whether you’ve reached a milestone or whether you’ve had slip or relapsed. Be brave and share what’s going on for you, for there are people who care and you don’t have to walk this path, no matter how rocky, alone.

I blog today to also celebrate the amazing people that stood by me and supported me, for better and for worse, and helped me overcome my own shame, guilt and doubt. There are just too many to name and I fear if I were to try, I would leave someone out and I would hate to do this, you are all so important to me. But you know who you are. To YOU, I will forever appreciate you for always believing in me, for your warmth and friendship, for your compassionate, encouraging words, for caring about me, for listening to me, for always being there and never, ever leaving me. I need more people like you in my life and I am so grateful to have had you all by my side throughout this journey.

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

My treasured quit family, THANK YOU for being you. I love you guys and I miss you.

Smokefree days: 1096 days
Grams NOT smoked: 10960
Total savings: $15,372.00
Comments (27) Read full article...
Nov 28 2016
Report

QUADRUPLE FIGURES

avatar-icon
2049 days ago I posted my first blog here, lost and alone and desperate to quit smoking.

After that first blog, hundreds followed, outlining my highs and my lows… my (brief) successes, my struggles and my disasters… my life’s happenings, my journey to becoming smokefree and to becoming a better version of me (still a work in progress, that last one!). Fast-forward through a whole lot of ranting, rambling blogs and…

1030 days ago I was contemplating (and not for the first time) ditching heironymus and starting afresh as someone new and unknown – embarrassed and ashamed of my blogging history and countless relapses.

1025 days ago I was questioning (read: overthinking) what it really meant to be “ready” to quit smoking.

1006 days ago I was drowning in hopelessness, guilt and shame, but still blogging.

1001 days ago I smoked my last cigarette and daringly flushed the rest of my tobacco down the loo! I was too scared to picture my future or even contemplate where I would be in 1000 days’ time. I couldn’t even think about double or triple figures, let alone anything more, my only focus was getting through that day.

To you, maybe this milestone might seem daunting, insurmountable… maybe, like it was for me, it’s not even a consideration for you right now. But I want you to know that while no two journeys will ever be the same, you can take comfort and hope in that, perhaps 1000ish days ago, I was on the same path as you are now.

Now, I’m here. I've knocked the bugger off and planted my flag in this incredible new territory! I am bursting with as much pride as ever, victorious and yet still a little astounded that this is actually MY flag!

I’ll save a spot for your flag, okay! 👊 😉

Just for today, hang tough – don’t puff. One day at a time.

Smokefree days: 1000 days 🚩
Grams NOT smoked: 10000
Total savings: $14,028.00
Comments (28) Read full article...
Nov 26 2016
Report

Pride Joy Freedom Success Satisfaction Hope Strength Amazement

avatar-icon
This morning I’m idling along with my chores and suddenly HAD to check my stats! Have BIG milestone coming up, would hate to miss out on marking the actual day!

So, I check my stats and wow - LOOK at that! There’s one more sleep to go!

Smokefree days: 999 days
Grams NOT smoked: 9990
Total savings: $13,986.00

What do these stats evoke in you? Once I doubted that I would ever get here... now - I am the Queen of this mountain!
Comments (10) Read full article...
Mar 4 2016
Report

A lifelong journey but not a lifelong battle

avatar-icon
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
Comments (37) Read full article...
Mar 3 2015
Report

My own Mt Everest CONQUERED

avatar-icon
Smokefree days: 365 days
Grams NOT smoked: 3650
Total savings: $5,124.00

This summit, for so many years, seemed impossible to reach, so much so that I firmly believed I was one of a handful of addicts for whom recovery was hopelessly unachievable.

I’d watched smoking destroy my Mother, robbing her of her health, then her life, at 58 years of age. This was such a huge loss for me, the grief over losing my best friend and soul mate was overwhelming. I felt angry that she had not tried harder to quit smoking, to be there for me, for my son, who had lost his loving, devoted Nan, and that my unborn baby would never get to meet her or know her huge capacity to love.

It was not long after the birth of my second son that I joined this blogging community – I was desperate, lost and felt so alone. I’d realised that it wasn’t a matter of “trying harder” to quit smoking. It was a battle of wills – and the addict in me was clearly in charge. Here I found solace, I wasn’t alone! Here I found inspiration, following the journeys and successes of others just like me. Here I received the most amazing, unwavering, non-judgemental support.

I don’t know how many attempts there were. How many times I fell and struggled to get back up. ALWAYS, my quit family stood by me, picked me up and dusted off my bum. Time and time again, year after year.

My quit family believed in me when I had lost all hope, you supported me through some terrifyingly dark days, you refused to give up on me even though I had given up on myself. I made friends here, cyber friends, but friends in the true sense of the word. I only wish I had friends like these out here in the real word – oh, what I could achieve!

Still, this milestone, these stats, is my biggest achievement ever (even tops delivering my second son, all by myself, at home, after an incredibly quick labour!). Mum’s passing and the emptiness that she left behind was the catalyst for me to keep trying but I could never have done it without you guys.

Now, I stand here absolutely bursting with pride, having planted MY flag in this new territory – no longer chained to smoking. I am FREE. I DID IT!!!

And believe me when I say, if I can do it, you can too! NEVER STOP BELIEVING!

THANK YOU!
Comments (60) Read full article...
Jan 30 2015
Report

All the threes

avatar-icon
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.
Comments (36) Read full article...
Dec 28 2014
Report

This is ME I did this

avatar-icon
Smokefree days: 300 days
Grams NOT smoked: 3000
Total savings: $4,200.00

WOW!

If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much. ☺
Comments (25) Read full article...
Dec 22 2014
Report

Its about time

avatar-icon
I said Hello! And SORRY! I am ashamed at how long it has been since I got in touch with my quit family and friends! The intention to blog, to comment, has been there, but somehow I’ve let life get in the way! I feel guilty for abandoning my post, especially after the indescribable support I received, and whenever I pop in, I realise how much I miss being a part of the community here.

It is so wonderful to see so many familiar names, as well as quite a few new ones! I often log in to read the blogs and when I settle in to read your posts it is as though I have come home. I hate that the time I spend here is so fleeting these days.

Life is so busy, but better than I could have ever imagined it being…

My beautiful, delightful little baby has completely changed my world. He has a smile for everybody (except Santa LOL) and it’s as though if you were squeeze him, joy would come out! Not to mention my older two who make my heart swell, as well as ache, and are teaching me to appreciate the quiet, thoughtful moments!

The demons that held me prisoner to depression are no longer in control. I have grown and overcome so much, I am finally starting to see the changes I was so desperate to make. Most days I can even say that I am happy, living in the present and embracing what really matters.

I still have the occasional thoughts of smoking, minor cravings, but I could not imagine smoking. I still remember the depth of failure at relapsing, the mental torment during those first few days, the hard yards of the first weeks and months. I am free of that now, I hold the balance of power. I also have to sit with the disappointment of recently relapsing on lozenges (a whole other blog!) and that is enough, I know the regret from smoking again would bury me. I never want to go there again.

So, I cherish and marvel at these stats. Numbers I used to only ever admire from afar, achieved by someone else. Now, they are mine, I did this - 294 days without a cigarette! So proud.

Smokefree days: 294 days
Grams NOT smoked: 2940
Total savings: $4,116.00

Just for today. Hang tough, don’t puff. One day at a time.

Merry Christmas to all of you, my precious Quit Family. You helped me so much and I am eternally grateful, I cannot express how much it means to me. Thank you ♥
Comments (23) Read full article...
Oct 11 2014
Report

So many twos

avatar-icon
Smokefree days: 222 days
Grams NOT smoked: 2220
Total savings: $3,108.00

My most coveted milestone, it's been a long time coming, but I have finally made it!

Onwards and upwards ☺
Comments (32) Read full article...
Sep 19 2014
Report

The best bits 200 days smokefree

avatar-icon
Smokefree days: 200 days
Grams NOT smoked: 2000
Total savings: $2,814.00

Enjoying my children, no time lost to feeding the demon, freedom from the guilt that came with being a mother that smoked (especially having lost my own mother too soon, directly due to smoking).

The freedom from being an active addict, I felt filthy, ashamed, stupid… No more!

Time bonding with my beautiful wee baby, without worrying that I am subjecting him to the toxic residue that smoking left behind, on my skin, on my clothes… Last night he was blowing raspberries on my neck and trying to chew my collarbone, I just sat giggling, relishing this moment, knowing that I smell like a Mum should.

Amazing myself with what I can do… I have proven that those who supported me were right… I really am capable of this, despite having fallen so often in the past. While I am aware that I will always be a nicotine addict, I am no longer a prisoner to my addiction!
Comments (28) Read full article...