May 25 2020
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Missed my 6 year Breathday

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Smokefree days: 2,204
Total savings: $42,977

Sorry for my absence the last 10 days. Going through a pretty tough time right now. So tough that I actually missed my 6 year anniversary even though I was looking forward to it.

But in spite of a really crappy time I can honestly say I have not once thought about smoking.

Never going back :)

NOPE NOPE NOPE

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May 1 2020
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You have 3 choices today

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1) You can choose to smoke: If you do - you run the risk of watching your lungs deteriorate until you have to fight for every breath and eventually die an early death.

2) You can choose to have 'just one smoke', go back to Day One and go through the withdrawals all over again.

3) You can choose NOPE (not one puff ever) and be a non-smoker for the rest of your life.

When you stop and think about it .. it’s that simple …

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Apr 28 2020
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Kick it to the Curb

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Good afternoon quit buddies. I wish you strength for today! Remember that you are the boss .. who is in control? YOU are! Kick that whinging nicodemon to the curb today where it belongs! Remember .. if you starve him out he will die (cue mental image of that horrid addiction, writhing and gasping for air as it dies). Don’t even allow it into your thoughts, keep focused on the joys of being a non-smoker. Think about the money you are saving, think about being able to breathe properly. Think about how wonderful you smell! Think about the example you are setting for your children and whanau.

Go you .. you wonderful thang you (Lady dances around, waving her pink pom poms)

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Apr 26 2020
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Wasted time

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I was reading Isabel's post and it got me to wondering about how much time we actually spend smoking

If you smoked 20 cigarettes a day and it took 6 minutes to smoke every cigarette, that would be 120 minutes per day. (2 hours per day.) Thats 730 hours per year and if you smoked for 41 years like I did that would be 1,247 (full 24 hour) days.

I'm gobsmacked. Thats a minimum of 1,237 days I wasted smoking. And that would be a very conservative estimate because I certainly was not back inside in less than 6 minutes for every smoke and I certainly did not stick to 20 cigarettes per day. What an absolute waste of time.

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Apr 25 2020
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Seven things I enjoy without a smoke

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It’s no secret to most of us that smoking is an addiction and it lies to us. Not ‘little white lies’ either - but really big porkers. I seriously did not believe I could ever quit smoking. That’s the truth. So as I journeyed on the smoke-free path I discovered a whole bunch of things, that contrary to my belief, I can actually do without a smoke.

1 - Coffee – yep. Coffee! It is possible to enjoy a cup of coffee without having a smoke. And guess what? Coffee has a taste, a really strong taste and a delightful aroma too! Oh and wait for it, yes you won’t believe this one, but now I can enjoy a cup of coffee and not even think of a smoke! That’s right you heard correctly. Be encouraged. It will get easier.

2 - Movies - I know you are all thinking ‘what is she on about?’ I lived rural and my local cinema, believe it or not, still has an ‘intermission’. While everyone else lined up to buy icecreams and snifters and jaffas, I had to have a smoke break. It went something like this. The curtains close for intermission and the buzzer goes and just like the races, I’m off, pushing and shoving, dodging and diving and sometimes even crawling on all fours through peoples legs, with my handbag around my neck, to get to the entrance faster. Why? Because I have just 4 minutes to race out of the theatre, down the stairs, rummage through my bag, find a lighter, light up and puff at a rate of 20 puffs per minute to get it finished, pop the peppermint, wipe my hands and race back up the stairs again. It was exhausting! How on earth I convinced myself that this routine ‘relieved stress’ I will never know. I shake my head in disbelief. Now I don’t even move out of my seat. It’s wonderful.

3 - Alcohol – refer to Number 1 and I’ll add that I can have a fabulous time to boot. I should point out that it doesn’t stop my looking foolish, tripping over ‘air holes’ and slurring my words if I imbibe too much, but at least I don’t come home smelling like a bushfire, with smoke holes in my clothes.

4 - Grocery Shopping - Yes I can go through the checkout without even thinking about a smoke. And to my delight, I no longer feel like smashing the checkout guy in the face. And sometimes I get a huge treat when someone purchases smokes in front of me. I love it when this happens, I can’t help myself, every time I ask innocently ‘how much do they cost now?’ Then I feign surprise, open my mouth wide and gasp loudly saying “Really Oh my goodness how do you afford that? I am so glad I quit when I did!

5 - First thing in the morning – This was huge for me. I was absolutely convinced I would not make it to the shower, let alone lunch without a smoke. I couldn’t even wait for coffee, my brain would semi-wake, send a message to my feet, who would then drag me outside, eyes still firmly closed in sleep, and I would wake up some time during that first smoke when the coughing began. It was pathetic! “Haha Nicodemon, I sometimes think of you while I remain snuggled up in bed on a winters morning. But it’s never with nostalgia. Nope. Its always with gratitude that I am no longer a slave to you” (insert loud raspberry here)

6 - Long trips - I have discovered, much to my relief that I will not die if I do not stop for smoke breaks, and not only is it not life threatening, but I get to my destination faster. Bonus! Oh and my car smells ever so sweet.

7 - After tea – My body can digest food fine without a smoke, it has enzymes to do that. And there is absolutely no danger involved it getting up after tea and doing the dishes straight away.

You will notice I didn’t put ‘swimming or bathing’ on my list. That’s because I never got the knack of smoking while swimming or bathing. For some reason my brain always got confused and I forgot to keep my hand above water. I gave it my best shot, but there is something very unromantic about a candle-lit bubble bath with soggy butts floating on top of the water

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Apr 21 2020
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I am set free

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Gone are the days of battling and striving
Of sipping on water, and blogging and sighing
Of temptations and triggers and crying and rants
Of pulling on armour and ‘big girl pants’

At times I wavered and almost caved
But with help I found strength, and now I can say
That the battle gets easier and soon you will see
The benefits are awesome, come count them with me

No yellow teeth and rank, smoky breath
And no nagging fear of premature death
No standing outside in the cold and the rain
And no fingers yellowed with nicotine stains

Gone are the days when outside I'd go
To feed the addiction, thinking ‘no one will know’
And chewing on mints, now that was a joke
To think that a mint could cover a smoke

And gone are the horrible feelings of shame
The feelings of weakness and mind control games
For my life is my own now and forever will be
That demon is banished and I am set free

And the bonus in this, it’s fair to say
Is the money not spent can be hoarded and saved
With no pack in the trolley I have loads more loot
And that’s dollars to spend on new clothes and boots

But by far the best benefit I truly did see
Was the time when my Grandchild climbed up on my knee
And instead of complaining she snuggled in tight
And said “Grandma I love you …. you smell nice”

Keep your eyes on the prize people. Stay strong. One day at a time will get you through. It is so worth it

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Apr 17 2020
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A little something to start your day and take your mind of "you know what"

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THERE'S A FRENCH SPIDER NIBBLING MY EAR

You’d think a gal would learn some lessons the first time round hey. Not this one apparently. Last month I left the bedroom latch slightly open and awoke in the morning to find a massive cockroach on the wall above my bed (insert shudder here).

So last night I did it again. No it wasn’t intentional ... my tired and addled brain forgot to remind me to close it. Sigh ..

Anyhow .. I was just dozing off when I felt something tickle my ear. I brushed it away but I didn’t want to turn the light on and wake myself up fully again. I vaguely remember waking in the night to the tickle on my neck and face a couple of times but I was too weary to be particularly perturbed .. until I awoke fully this morning that is.

I opened my eyes there he was … just sitting there on the pillow gazing at me adoringly. The hugest hairy brown spider you have ever seen. It’s size 10 feet were twitching excitedly and as my brained tried to figure out what to do next it lifted one of its front legs and waved at me. I kid you not, he actually waved at me. I don’t presume to speak spider but for some reason I imagined he was French, and in view of the fact that it had been nibbling on my ear he was probably blowing a kiss and drawling ‘Bonjour Chérie’ in its thick French accent. I slowly moved my head from the pillow and looked at him. He waved at me again ... I thought his little face looked kind of forlorn and I figured he was just lonely and needing company so I took him outside and let him go. Yes, in case you are wondering, I waved and blew him a kiss goodbye.

Surprisingly, it’s not the first time I have encountered a romantic spider nibbling my ear. Once when I was driving home from unloading a trailer load of wood with my daughter, I felt something tickle behind my ear. I put my hand up thinking it was a bit of hair and felt something soft and squishy. I knew instantly what it was and flicked it onto the floor where it landed by my daughter’s foot on the passenger’s side. It was the granddaddy of all spiders and it was still moving. I performed the fasted pull-over in the west! It was so fast that my trailer almost somersaulted over the car!

One minute my daughter was relaxing in the passenger’s seat and nek minute she was squished up against the door, one white-knuckled hand clutching the door handle, knees fully up around her ears, ready to eject herself from the moving vehicle and emitting an awful noise which would have rivaled any piglet squeal. She said later, quite unashamedly, that she probably would have jumped if we had been going slower and that “it’s every man for himself” when it comes to spiders.

After I stopped I grabbed a tissue and was going to put it outside but she turned into this crazy woman and started spitting and yelling 'squash the f….. r … no really smash it to pieces!” This coming from a woman who does not normally cuss!

Yes I know that seems irrational but she really is terrified of them. I probably didn’t help her phobia. I once unrolled the toilet paper and drew spiders on it intermittently with black felt pen and then rolled it up again … giggle. The results were truly magnificent :)

Suffice to say that spider is no more and we won’t go into the details of his untimely demise. I like to think it was humane.

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Apr 16 2020
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QUITLINE - Question

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I'm wondering why we have to click on each blog to read the entire blog, read the comments or comment. In the first three years of my quit I supported every day. I commented on every post to encourage folks. When the new website came up I stopped commenting on every post because it was time consuming opening each blog in a different tab or page. Eventually I got tired of the new outlay and its slowness and I left the blogs and have only recently come back in the hopes of supporting again because the quit blogs are certainly not what they used to be. But already I am very tired of the excessive clicking and opening up new tabs. My question is "Is there some reason why you have made it like this?" If not then is it possible to change it back? Thanks in advance

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Apr 12 2020
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ShasSpaz

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ShasSpaz .. this is what I blogged way back when, with regards to my third day of quitting. I thought I would repost it so you can see you are not alone ......

"Days 1 and 2 of my quit have been rather uneventful and had a lot to do with planning and the fact that it takes 72 hours for my body to fully realise it is without nicotine. The most difficult smoke to cut out is the one first thing in the morning and after tea. So I changed my routine to help with that. Instead of coffee, I get straight up and make myself a banana omelette, then I shower, and before I know it I am past the craving. But not today.

I awoke feeling cranky and tired. This is truly the understatement of the year. In fact if there was a shiny trophy for the use of the word 'understatement' I would be proudly holding it.

Hubby is home for the day. Think about the ramifications of this for a moment if you will. It is Day 3 and Hubby is home. Yes feel free to pray for him. Deep breath. The man had the audacity to mess up my new breakfast routine. I had to hover around like an annoying fly waiting for the fry-pan to make my banana omelette. Then he had the cheek to whistle. No Really! I kid you not. Day 3 and he dared to presume that there is anything worth whistling about. Foolish man!

Then he did the unthinkable and told me, in his great wisdom, because he is now smoke-free for more than 3 weeks, that I should just leave the ‘nicotine patch’ off and go cold turkey, because I’m going to have to go through this all over again when I do take it off! Did I mention it was Day 3?

Suddenly a hot stream of ‘I’m-in-withdrawal-junk’ shot up from somewhere inside my gut and rushed into my mouth. My ‘patience valve’ failed to operate and it came flying out in a rush.

“Oh yeah, because you’re such an expert, Mr Know-it-all-Perfect, you’re so much better at it quitting than I am. Mr Wonderful, that’s what you are”. I pause for breath. “That’s it – I’m done quitting!” I shall take a moment here briefly to say it was about then I noticed a blob of spit escape with the anger, and land on the bench by his plate and I must confess, I secretly wished it had been on his bacon and eggs. I contemplated having another go to see if I could hit it, but instead I pressed on. ‘I’ve got to die of something. Stuff you I’m going to go buy a smoke!’

Thoughts of the quit smoking strategies, distract, delay, deep breathe and drink water, flashed momentarily into my mind. “Where the heck is my water bottle? Breathe woman breathe. Seven minutes and it will pass. Dang” Tears sprang up into my eyes and my chin is now having an epileptic fit.

Aarggh. I don’t want to be a blubbering mess in front of this pompous git! Walk away Lady … walk away. I gave him one of those looks that could kill a dead cow even deader, offered him my best one fingered salute and stomped off.

Then … Mr I-know-everything-about-quitting-smoking, silly man, runs behind me yelling NOP, NOP, NOP, (Supposed to be NOPE you fool ... not one puff ever) … how typical of the rude, whistling man to be only ‘half’ listening when I told him about it).

I grab the phone, head for the bedroom and ring Quitline, where I talk, or rather snivel, to the lovely Rita. She assured me I am doing all the right things and that I have better odds of quitting if I stay on the patches. I can’t wait to tell the man he knows nothing!"


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Apr 9 2020
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THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT

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Once upon a time there was a little white bunny called Mabelline who lived in a warren under the ground deep in the forest. Everything in the forest was verdant, filled with the sweet aromas of flowers and the freshness of nature. It was a beautiful place to live.


But sadly, Mabelline did not smell the beauty around her, for her nose was ‘broken’. Incredulous as it may seem, the little bunny with the white fur and the large green eyes, was a smoker. Day after day foul smelling smoke wafted out of her rabbit warren and permeated the surrounding forest with its ugliness. Slowly but surely it tainted everything it touched and over the years it gradually turned the luscious green oasis a repugnant shade of ‘nicotine brown’ and everything began to die.


One day Mabelline coughed her way out of the rabbit hole to socialise with the other rabbits and looked around. Suddenly her eyes were opened. “Oh My” she said, “what happened to the green? Why is everything dying?” Her question was followed by an uncomfortable silence. “It is because of your smoke” said the other bunnies. Your smoke is killing everything it touches .. including you little Mabelline”. “Me?” she asked in surprise. The little bunny looked down and to her horror she discovered she was no long the ‘little white bunny’ she once was. Her fur had turned an ugly shade of yellow, just like the forest around her. Mabelline gasped in horror. How had she not noticed that? The little bunny was mortified. In a loud voice she declared “That is enough! I do not want the forest around me to die and I do not want this horrid yellow fur” The little bunny raced back into her rabbit hole and came bounding out with a packet of tobacco and she dropped it onto the ground before her. Her little nose twitched in disdain. “No more” she declared again. “No more will my homely little warren be filled with this nasty smoke”. The little rabbit dug a hole and buried the packet of ‘nasty’ in the ground. The other rabbits applauded and encouraged her. “Good choice Mabelline” they said. The little rabbit smiled and then hopped back to her hole, feeling quite delighted with her grand decision.


On the Second Day, no smoke rose from the rabbit warren and at the social gathering that night the little rabbit looked tired. She was also a little irritable. She looked longingly at the spot where the nasties were buried. “NOPE” she muttered under her breath, “Not One Puff Ever” and then she danced around with the other rabbits until bedtime.


On the Third Day, no smoke arose from the rabbit warren again. Mabelline appeared that night at social time but she was not a happy bunny. She was more than irritable, she was downright grumpy and rude. She fidgeted and snapped at all the other rabbits making them very unhappy and retreated to her warren early.


On the Fourth Day the little rabbit did not appear for the ‘social time’ in the evening at all. She stayed underground. “Oh dear” said the rabbit family. I hope Mabelline is coping. Maybe she will appear tomorrow. Late that night, when social time was over the little bunny crawled out of her rabbit warren and stood looking forlornly at the place where the nasty was buried. Her fur was dishevelled, sweaty and unkempt, her eyes were bloodshot and her whiskers twitched uncontrollably “Just one” she thought to herself. She hastily dug up the “Nasty” and stood gazing at the packet for a very long while. Then she looked down at her fur. Was it her imagination or did it look a little whiter than before? A large tear rolled down Mabellines face. “NOPE” she whispered and promptly buried the nasty back in the ground.


On the fifth day the little bunny again did now show for the ‘social time’. The rabbits knocked on her warren door. “Are you OK little bunny?” they asked. “GO AWAY” shouted the grumpy little rabbit. “I do not wish to socialise, I have a sore throat and I don’t feel at all well”. The rabbits left her alone. All through the night they could hear the little bunny pacing the floor or her warren and muttering to herself, long after bunnies should be asleep. But on the fifth day, still no smoke wafted out of the rabbit warren.


On the Sixth Day the little bunny ventured to the door of her warren at the ‘social time’ and said a polite hello to her rabbit friends but she did not mingle and although they were sad for her they were delighted that once again no smoke wafted out the rabbit warren.


On the Seventh day, bright and early the little bunny bounded out of the bunny hole. She sniffed the air. It smelled exquisite. Her little nose twitched with pleasure. “What is that divine smell?” she asked herself. Why it was the flowers, and the grass, and the smell of the dampness of the morning dew on the earth. “How delightful” she whispered to herself and smiled. At the social time that evening Mabelline appeared to say hello to her friends. They hardly recognised her. “Why look at you little bunny” they gasped in surprise. Mabelline looked down at herself, her big green eyes blinked in wonder. “Oh my” she declared excitedly. Her fur was as white as snow and it glistened in the moonlight. “I am clean” she declared in an excited voice, and then she danced around the gathering with abandonment. She was so happy she began to sing “Clean I am, oh clean I am, NOPE has made me white again”. All the other rabbits danced and sang with her. She went to sleep that night a very contented little white bunny.


On the Eighth Day the little bunny arose very early and bounded with great fervour out of her warren. She sat quietly watching the sun rise until dappled rays of light shone through the canopy of leaves above and splashed onto the forest floor. It was in that moment that Mabelline noticed for the first time that the forest was no longer a hideous ‘nicotine brown’. It was once again green and lush and beautiful. Butterflies flitted happily from flower to flower and as the little rabbit watched them she knew what she had to do. She bounded to the place where the ‘nasty’ was buried and dug it up. Then she carried it to the edge of the stream and quickly dropped it in. She watched as the water carried it further and further downstream until she could see it no more. “NOPE” said the little white rabbit “No longer will there be any smoke wafting from my bunny warren, and my fur shall remain soft and white”. And with that the little bunny skipped happily back home to join her rabbit friends and enjoy the beautiful day.

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