Sep 22 2019
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1000 days

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Today I’m chuffed to have hit 1000 days smoke free. It sure hasn’t been easy, but I’m pleased I made that decision to stop and wish I’d made that decision so much earlier.

This week I made the call to resign from my current job. Some will be aware that I was diagnosed with macular degeneration a wee while back It is a condition which 1 in 7 of us will get. Smokers have 5 times the risk. It’s is frequently knowns as AMD (age-related macular degeneration) as the more birthdays you have the higher the risk. On average those with it are legally blind within 10 years of diagnosis. I’m in my mid 40’s so I feel I’m at least 20 odd years to soon. Thanks nicotine.

Anyway, one eye is now buggered, and like all of us I’ll have bills to pay and a life to live. Earlier this year, I failed the eye test while renewing my drivers’ licence. A visit to the optometrist sorted this wee scare, however, there will be a point in time when I won’t be able to drive. Driving around the countryside selling livestock as a career is also limited. It was a teary discussion (I was a big sook) with my boss as I told him I was leaving to refocus and retrain in a new role. I love my job, so it will be hard to say goodbye.

Everyone is going to get a bad set of cards at some stage, and in the scheme of things my bad set is a lot better than some. We can do things to load the deck in our favour though.

If you are thinking of throwing away the smokes, just do it. It may not be a walk in the park but its definitely better than the not having a go. Anyone that has battled vision loss, cancer or heart disease or any of the other nasties that smoking attracts, would probably agree.

Life is all about choices, they can have consequences.

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Jan 1 2019
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For the new quitters. Give it heaps!!

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Gudday all. There will be a few people looking at breaking free from the nicotine trap at the moment. So I thought I would throw my 2 cents in on the biggest part of that battle which in my opinion is the head.

Giving up doesn’t happen overnight it’s a long game and most of us addicts are well and truly held in nicotines grip. We can stop for 1 minute, 1 hour and sometimes one day and then that little nagging “friend” starts chipping away in the background. Scared that it may lose it’s grip on it’s victim.

Nobody else can fight this battle but you. I knew I should give up for the kids, my wife, my wallet, my friends etc. But until I decided I had to give up for me, I kept falling over.

You have to have the determination and conviction to break free. I found that once I realised that fact, then the battle is won.

Nicotine addiction is like a strong rope. You can give it a quick pull but it won’t snap. Instead it has to have constant pressure applied and, slowly, one by one, each individual strand of the rope will fray and break. Gradually you will be released.

Knowing why you are giving up is so important, because that is the knife which helps frays the rope.

You will get through the first few days (and it can be tough) and there will still be a hold. After a few months it’s still lingering in the background and the mind games will try and convince you that just one puff will be alright. But don’t, because you’ll have to start slowly cutting that rope again.

Give it heaps. You can and will win.

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Dec 26 2018
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Stats Update 2 Years smokefree

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Smokefree days: 730
Total savings: $9,550

YEEEEHAAAAA!!

Well that's made for a ,merry Christmas.

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Oct 2 2018
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Gudday

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Hi Quit family.

I've had the laser treatment, so now we sit back and wait, and keep all our fingers, eyes and toes crossed. I head back on December 4th for hopefully good news. Given my age and the aggressiveness of the disease in my case (one eye is down to 6-24) what we hope the procedure does is stop the degeneration. If it's the one bad hand I get dealt with in life, then I reckon it's a damn site better than some poor buggers get.

So now a few lifestyle changes that could help. Regular exercise (when you wake up in the morning trying to avoid the gym, not wanting to go blind is a great motivator!).
Bright coloured fruit and vegetables, eating the rainbow has real benefits, in fact the brighter the better is good for the eyes and lol carrots do help.
Wearing sunnies (always hated them), taking mineral supplements and of course the one we all know.....NOT SMOKING.

One of the young guys at work thew away the smokes on the back of my news, so I'm pleased to have had a positive effect on someone.

Keep off the fags team and keep the head up. The further up smoke free mountain you travel the easier it gets (must be all the smog down the bottom lol).

Woodsie

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Aug 24 2018
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Well, well, well

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About this time last year I reported in that the optometrist gave me some sobering news about my eyesight. Well being a typical bloke I have put off seeing the eye specialist until today.

So the long and short is that he doesn't think I'll be driving in 10 years (55), unless the degeneration slows down. But there is a shimmer of hope in a new form of laser surgery which has only been round for about 4 years. Not covered by health insurance dammit but @$1400 per eye it's a throw of the dice worth having a crack at.

Interestingly one comment he made was that it was good that I'd finished smoking and if I didn't want to put a nail in the eyesight coffin then I better not relapse at all. Great motivator that, I tell ya!!

20 months smoke free and counting,

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Jun 29 2018
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Stats Update 550 Days

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Smokefree days: 550
Total savings: $7,195

Well that's all ticking along quite nicely. Still a bit chubby, but still winning. The odd craving pops out every now again and says Gudday, but just like how I treat the door to door sales people, I just smile, say no thanks and then slam the door!

Gearing up for a road trip with the kids for the first week of the holidays......... and we're off to Karamea. One daughter is excited, and I'm sure the other thinks it's the worstest idea in the world. She reminds of breaking free from the nicotine, you know, it's the part of you that really doesn't want to do it, it's really really pissed of and you either cave in and don't do it or you say damn it I'm going to do this, have fun, and you realise down the track what an awesome thing it was to do. Anyway the daughter that is keen on the trip can share the driving (16 and dangerous). I'll be the guy with the white ashen face, with a look of sheer terror.

Apart from that, all good here, I have learnt cups of tea and lap tops don't mix, I'm sure work saw the funny side of that but just didn't show it. ; ) I've popped into here occasionally for a read but without the laptop it's a bit harder. It looks to me that the blogs maybe starting to breathe life again which is awesome.

Take care one and all and give it heaps.

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Feb 25 2018
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Two Cents Worth and a Moment of Clarity

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So far so good. 426 days since I last had a smoke. It’s been a journey of high and lows, stress and freedom and, ultimately, I know I’m an addict.

I always thought that it was my choice to smoke. In reality from the moment I was hooked in by nicotine it was never my choice.

Of course we all want to quit at some stage, and just the very thought of quitting builds the stress levels. All those thoughts of OMG how am I going to do this? How am I going to cope when I’m having a beer, my morning coffee, sitting next to smokers, have shit go down in life, accidentally run over the neighbours cat and and have to tell the neighbour,. How am I going to keep my weight down? Aaargh the world is going to end without smokes. How frigging stupid are we?

I’m an addict. That’s the one thing that helped me beat this so far. I’ll be damned if something like nicotine is going to control my life. Funnily I have failed a squillion times to break free, but now I know the one silly little reason I always went back to smoking.

Now, it’s so much easier to stay focussed.

I’m hoping I don’t forget this simple fact when those silly little thoughts of “one wee smoke won’t hurt” creep in or some monumental crisis arrives.

Hang in there guys and girls. For some of us it is one hell of a fight. But everyday without a smoke is like landing one good punch or letting rip with a five star smart-arse comeback against an old foe.

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Jan 15 2018
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Thought for the Day

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Willpower is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.
Every beaten craving makes you stronger.

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Dec 26 2017
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Well Ive knocked the bastard off

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12 months ago today I had my last cigarette. A big shout out to my wonderful bride and kids who wore the brunt of it for the first few months, You guys rock.

Another big thank you to the Quitline blog community. So many awesome people, all on their own journeys, in their own stages of breaking free. Simply this wonderful mishmash of people has been an amazing help with tips, advice and support.

Thank you one and all.

Today you've all helped me feel a little bit proud! : )

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Dec 7 2017
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19 days to go

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It's hard to believe that 346 days ago I had my last smoke at 5 am in the morning and every day since I have gained 70 grams a day to finally be the happy ever so slightly (well actually quite a bit) rotund non-smoker that I am today.

Sorry I haven't been on much for the last few months, life has been busy and thrown some annoying curve balls including bloody kidney stones.

But because I know how hard that first day, first week, month, 100 days can actually be and haw much this blog community helped me.............well frankly I'm peeved I haven't been able to do my bit for those starting this journey.

But if you are on the start of that climb up smokefree mountain, or even just thinking about it, well, just give it a*$ehole$.

It's a tough walk, but trust me it's also absolutely bloody marvellous.

BOOOYAAAH, See you on Boxing Day.

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