Jan 2 2019
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Welcome to the Newbies

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I don't frequent the blogs much these days. I will be smoke-free for 5 years this coming May . Not one solitary puff in that five years. I wanted to come on and encourage you by telling you some of the things that were helpful for me.

I smoked for 41 years and tried many times over those years to quit, and like many of you I thought I would never have the strength or determination to give up and go the distance. I was wrong. It was seeking support that changed everything for me. That, and learning some truths about smoking and about myself. And I learned some coping techniques too.

Here are some of the things I found really helpful.

It takes around 72 hours from (the time of your last smoke), for nicotine to leave your body. (If you have even one puff your 72 hours starts all over again). Those are the hardest 3 days. Once you get through Days 3-5 the worst of the physical withdrawal is over and you just have to battle the ‘mental/emotional’ dependency.

And something that was really key for me was this: the really intense cravings only last up to 7 minutes (not all day like that addiction will try and tell you). Check it out and you will see that’s true. “Break it down . Just concentrate on getting through those 7 minutes, one minute at a time. Practice the 4 D’s (distract, delay, drink water and deep breathe) to get through them.

I found in the early days I felt so ‘double-minded’ Part of me wanted to smoke part of me did not. I was in a constant battle with myself. So I pictured the addiction as a separate thing (because it is really). I saw it as a nasty monster living inside of me. It wanted to smoke, but I did NOT want to smoke. My battle was with the addiction, rather than myself. It whinged and whined at me, begging for a smoke but I refused to feed it, because I knew that if I didn’t feed it .. it would starve and die. And as it got weaker I got stronger and stronger. I found this separating the addiction from myself really helpful.

And put a plan in place before you start. Change your routine. If you smoke with coffee on the deck .. move to another place for your coffee. Plan out in your head what you will do when the craving comes. What will you do when you are confronted with the smell? What will you do when someone offers. Make escape plans. Will you go for a walk. Will you suck on a straw, squeeze a cush ball, ask for help, get up and clean the bench. You will be more likely to follow the plan in times of crisis. Find something to do with your hands, chew gum, do whatever it takes.

Reward yourself for every milestone. Our bodies work on a reward system. That’s how our brains are wired.

Stay away from smokers as much as possible. Put your boundaries in place before the temptation comes. Don’t put yourself into positions that are hard to resist. Don't be afraid to ask your friends to support you.

NOPE (not one puff ever) is the only way to remain smoke free. Don’t listen to the lie that you can just have ‘one puff’ to alleviate the cravings.

You can do this .. .you are so much stronger than you think. Ride out those first days and instead of reaching for that smoke, choose instead to come and blog until the craving passes. There is usually someone in here to support you through the craving.

Good luck on your smoke-free journey. You got this

Ladylene

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Nov 1 2018
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Stats Update 1633 days smokefree

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Smokefree days: 1,633
Total savings: $27,294

Sorry guys have not been around again. Not wanting all of the world to know my business but have been struggling with health issues ... sometimes you just have to go back to basics. Hopefully have it sorted soon ...

New grandie is doing awesome .. has some surgeries coming up but what a sweetie he is .. love him to bits.

Keep going .. this is totally do-able .. yes its a struggle but you absolutely have what it takes. Remember the discomfort is temporary .. I never even think about smokes now .. I promise it gets easier. Stay focused, remember the 4 D's and if you get stuck .. call Quitline .. they saved my quit a number of times in the early days.

Scrolled down the blogs and its so great to see people kicking this addiction to the curb. Shame there is not the support that there used to be in here .. it was a totally rocking place a few years ago and I'm convinced that kept people on track.

I would love to offer more support in here but its so frustrating trying to post and comment. It takes forever to post a blog and I have to keep logging in and out. Cant change a post once its posted. Just plain frustrating. And to be honest .. it doesn't seem like Quitline are too worried about it.

Reminds me of that old saying "If it aint broke .. don't fix it"

Love Lady xx

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Sep 13 2018
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Dropping in

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Hi all .. sorry I have not been around to support the last week. I have a gorgeous new Grandson .. whoop whoop .. he's delightful. He had a bit of a rocky start .. a lot to handle for a wee lad but he's coming right now. It never gets old does it .. even at my age my ovaries jump up and down when I see him :)

Well done to you all .. I just scrolled down briefly and I'm seeing some fantastic looking statistics .. yay .. some very determined people in here .. winning!!

I'll be back shortly when things settle down a little bit .. keep up the good work

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Aug 26 2018
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INSIDIOUS LITTLE CREEP

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Good morning beautiful non-smoking people.

I saw a cartoon this morning. It was a picture of a grave complete with tombstone. The caption said ‘Smoking helps you relax’.

The truth of it really impacted me and I wondered why stuff like that never affected me while I was a smoker? Was I that deceived that I really believe that I would not be a statistic? That it ‘would not happen to me? The whole world around me would die, but me? I would still be standing - because I was invincible - I was an exception - I was special. (Ladylene beats her chest and yodels loudly like Tarzan).

I consider myself to be an intelligent, and reasonably articulate women, and yet I seriously believed that I was an exception. Why did I think like that?

Because this addiction is the ‘King of deception’. It really is an insidious little creep. It gradually distorts your thinking until you believe it’s lies. I absolutely believed I could not deal with every day stresses without it. It told me it was ‘normal’ to breath smoke into my lungs, into the very organ I need to breath in oxygen and sustain life.

But worse still it lied to me and said I was not strong enough to quit. And that addiction will continue to lie to you until you say ENOUGH! No more!

No matter where you are today in the quitting process … you deserve better .. don’t listen to the lies -

You are strong!
You are in control!
It’s your choice!

If you just make the choice to not feed that addiction it will shrivel up and die. It will beg pathetically but don’t feed it. Yes its uncomfortable to go through withdrawals, but put it into perspective, look at the big picture. The discomfort is temporary and the withdrawals will not kill you .. but smoking will!

You can do this. You and I are no different. If I can do it - so can you!

Keep blogging, keep reaching out for support … ODAAT and NOPE

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Aug 23 2018
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Victory

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I lost a family member yesterday .. a gorgeous young man .. a dedicated family man .. he leaves behind three small children under 3 (yes you heard that right). It was a huge shock. My heart is breaking for his beautiful wife and children. It was a rough day .. but I woke this morning and it occurred to me that I never thought of a smoke. Not even once! That used to be the first thing I reached for in times of grief, or stress. It used to be my comfort ... I feel like this was a huge milestone to reach .. to not even have one thought enter my mind is freedom indeed.

Wherever you are in your quit .. hang in there .. it gets better ..

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Aug 19 2018
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THE LITTLE BUNNY

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Once upon a time there was a little white bunny called Ladylene 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 Ladylene 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 hole and seeped into 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 disgusting shade of ‘nicotine brown’ and everything began to die.

One day Ladylene 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?” “It is because of your smoke” said the other bunnies. Your smoke is killing everything it touches .. including you Little Ladylene”.

“Me?” she asked in surprise. The little bunny looked down and to her horror she discovered she was no longer the ‘little white bunny’ she used to be. Her fur had turned an ugly shade of ‘nicotine yellow’, just like the forest around her. Ladylene gasped in horror. How had she not noticed that? The little bunny was mortified. In a loud voice she delared “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 Horizon Mild 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 on. “Good choice Ladylene” they said. The little rabbit smiled and then hopped back to her hole … looking very pleased with herself.

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 a little irritable. She looked longingly at the spot where the nasties were buried. “NOPE” she uttered under her breath. She danced around with the other rabbits until bedtime.

On the Third Day, no smoke arose from the rabbit warren again. Ladylene 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 snapped at all the other rabbits and made them very unhappy. She left the social time early and went back to her warren.

On the Fourth Day the little rabbit did not appear for the ‘social time’ in the evening. She stayed underground. “Oh dear” said the rabbit family. I hope Ladylene is coping alright. Maybe she will appear tomorrow. Late that night, when social time was over the little bunny hopped 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 dug up the “Nasty” and looked at the packet for a long while. Then she looked down at her fur … was it her imagination or did it look a little whiter than before? “NOPE” she whispered and promptly buried the nasty back in the ground. No smoke wafted out of the bunny hole on day four.

On the Fifth Day the little bunny again did not 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 in delight. “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, as she realised her smell was no longer broken. At the social time that evening Ladylene appeared to say hello to her friends. They hardly recognised her. “Why look at you little bunny” they gasped in surprise. Ladylene 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 she danced around the gathering with happy 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 Ladylene noticed for the first time that the forest was no longer a horrid ‘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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Aug 18 2018
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Wow .. just Wow ..

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Sorry for my absence .. Just spent two days with what I suspect was food poisoning. What a waste of two perfectly good days!

I just saw a smoking chart that shows the currently price of tobacco.

I used to smoke around 50 grams per week .. this would now cost $90 per week, $4,680 per year and at the currently price would cost me around $46,800 in the next 10 years … I’m gobsmacked!

I think I deserve a new pair of boots :)

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Aug 14 2018
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Birthday Resolve

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Today is my birthday .. don’t ask me how old because I have been heading in reverse for some time now.

I’ve packed on a few kilos since moving into town and that was never more obvious than on Saturday when I could not squeeze by thighs into one solitary dress for dance medals.

So I decided to go for a jog this morning. It was such a grand idea in my head and I was actually quite excited about making a start. I was not prepared for how unfit I have become since giving up Rock and Roll which was very physical compared to ballroom and latin.

I was and huffin and puffin louder than the big bad wolf, and coughing so hard I probably woke half the neighbourhood. And every time I breathed out too deeply this weird whistling noise sounded. It crossed my mind that I might actually die. I had to give myself a stern talking to .. 'Come on Lady .. you have made it to the letterbox ... keep going" I consoled myself with the thought that if worst came to worse, those magic words "she collapsed during her morning run" would sound ever so impressive at my funeral. So I pressed on. I estimate I managed about 1.5 kms … sigh

It has become very obvious that my 41 years of smoking has taken its toll on my lungs and I can see I’m going to have to ease into this slowly, walk, jog, walk, job .. and possibly see my GP about getting an inhaler. There is of course the possibility that I will never get more than 1.5 kms but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it .... if I ever reach it ... it’s a good 2 kms away

Have a happy smoke-free day you wonderful quitters :)

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Aug 12 2018
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KNOCK KNOCK

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Lady: Who’s there?
Addiction: Its me .. your old friend
Lady: Go away
Addiction: I can see you are feeling a bit down today … You have so much stress in your life .. Go on admit it .. you really miss me in times like this. I’m your comfort!
Lady: Um I’ll need to correct you there .. you “used’ to be my comfort.
Addiction: But you still miss me .. I can tell. c’mon what are you holding out for?
Lady: Just don’t want to be a smoker
Addiction: But imagine how great it would feel .. don’t your remember the rush?
Lady: Yes .. I remember . but I remember a lot of other stuff too
Addiction: You have proved your point, just have one for old times sake, then you can go back to being a non-smoker. Who’s gonna know? It will be our little secret.
Lady: (getting annoyed) Go away! I dont want to be rude but .. you smell .. did you know that? You really stink, I could smell you on that lady at the checkout today, you seriously reek. I don’t want to smell like that again.
Addiction: (Whining) .. I promise if you just have one then I’ll leave you be .. please … just one.
Lady: Geeze you are so needy! Okay .. let me think on that for a moment …
It’s a difficult decision because ..
I like not standing out in the cold to keep you happy
I like not being conscious of how bad I smell. I buy lovely perfumes with the money I saved not smoking. I love smelling nice!
I like not listening to your constant nagging to be fed,
I like having the money that it used to cost me to support you .. its cool being able to afford new boots and clothes.
I like not having nicotine stains on my fingers and teeth,
I like being able to taste my food
I like not being embarrassed about my weakness
I like not having to leave functions early because you need feeding
I like not having the croaky voice, the cough and the wheeze,
I like not having a handbag full of tobacco crumbs,
I like being able to relax in the morning when I wake and not feel pressured to get up out of bed to please you.
I like knowing that I am strong,
I like the feeling of victory, knowing that I am ‘worth it’.
I like knowing that I will live longer to see my grandchildren grow up.

So 'old friend' .. (emphasis on old) you can understand my dilemma hey! Pause .. Okay I've given it careful consideration ... and made my decision. There are just too many things I love about NOT smoking so .... nah .. I think I’ll pass thanks.
(Lady closes the door and smiles to herself)


PS .. I passed my dance medal yesterday with honours :) I'll just have to keep going now :)

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Aug 7 2018
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The Nicodemon

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Was reading back over some of my earlier blogs .. this was my 100 Day blog ...

The Nicodemon slithered into the room, gasping and looking worried. “Oh no, she has made the decision, she is going to quit” he rasped. His friend smirked and with a wheezy voice said “She won’t manage to do it Boss. She has been puffing away for more than 41 years now. Her odds are very low”

Nicodemon blinked his beady eyes in an effort to rid himself of the yellow, gunk oozing from them. “But she has support this time" he rasped "she has joined up with that enemy of mine .. Quitline. And worse still, she is blogging. This is NOT a good sign. This will increase her chances of success.”

“Don’t fret yourself boss, I will take care of it, she may look strong but its only day One, I will break her down. Watch me do my thing. I have weapons at the ready, I have many things planned. Don’t you worry, she will reach for that pack before too long”

*******************

Ladylene logged onto Quitline. Today was her Hundredth Day .. Today she was officially in the Hundy Club .. She was so excited. She was battle worn and weary, and she bore some very noticeable scars (some of which were far from healed). The enemy had thrown much at her in the past 3 1/2 months. Her husband had left her and bought himself a shiny Harley Bike. She had suffered torn ligaments in her knee which still saw her limping and doing physio, but still, here she was … 100 days and smoke-free. She smiled to herself and began typing.

******************

Nicodemon's underling was reluctant to enter the room because he knew he had failed. He knew his Boss would be livid. And he was right. Nicodemons face was red with fury, he paced back and forth along the floor, his breath coming in raspy, jagged gasps. Yellow slime oozed out from the side of his mouth and the stench of stale nicotine permeated the air.

“You said you had it covered. You said her chances were not good” he ranted. “You said you had weapons. How then is it that she is about to blog her 100th day? You have failed miserably”. He spat the words out and droplets of yellow goo flew out and landed on his underling’s shriveled face.

“But I did have weapons Boss, I threw everything at her. Her marriage broke up, she has had to start everything over, find somewhere to live and set up again. She has stressed about income and spent many sleepless nights. She is still limping and doing physio from the torn ligament and damaged cartilage in her knee, and I've thrown some serious pain at her. And Boss, for a while, her depression was so out of control I almost had her convinced to give up. She has crashed her car, suffered a tooth abscess and then a dry socket which saw her chewing painkillers for weeks. I threw everything at her Boss .. but I couldn’t do anything about Quitline, couldn’t stop her blogging. I tried Boss I really did”.

******************

Ladylene finished typing and a huge grin broke out on her face. She knew her blogging friends would respond to her post with nothing but encouragement. They had been the most amazing support and she was thankful for them. She knew the battle was far from over and that this battle with the Nicodemon would always be there. It would wane in its intensity, but she would always need to keep her NOPE shield up. She wondered some days if she would ever be strong enough to ‘not’ blog, but for now it was empowering. She had made some wonderful friends and hopefully she had been a support to others in this journey too. Life had been hard, and her past may have been traumatic, but she still had the future, and she was smoke free. Ladylene smiled again and hit the send button.

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