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I think most of us can safely say we did not know what to expect when we started smoking.  Those of us who saw people smoke in our own homes thought it was fairly normal behavior.  Other folks saw TV or movies where the bad guys (only ever the bad guys) smoked.  Street hustlers, purse-snatchers, and other low lifes smoked cheap cigarettes.  Oil barons and Wall Street wolves smoked cigars.    A good guy might smoke a pipe.  I’m thinking grandpa in the rocker on the front porch, but other than that, the media showed smokers as criminals.

I was never worried that I would become a criminal.  But I also didn’t worry about becoming and addict, either.   Addiction is another thing that only happens to the bad guys in movies. Addiction happens to bad people and rock stars and high school athletes that don’t listen to their coaches.  It wouldn’t happen to me.  My daddy smoked, and HE was a Navy Aviator, certainly the model of probity.

I didn’t realize I would never stop coughing.  Coughing didn’t make you a bad guy in the movies; it meant you were a poor coal miner.  Or, if you were a pretty, young woman, coughing was caused by “consumption”.

Women who smoked were either home-wreckers or man-eaters; neither of which sounded appealing to me.

I didn't realize that I would become a sneak.  I never thought I would stink.

Real life is not the same as the movies

Since I started writing this blog, I have discovered that a number of us we closet smokers.  A far larger number than I would have anticipated.  A closet smoker is not the same thing as the "social smoker".   A social smoker would define themselves as only smoking in certain social situations such as at a bar.  My experience with "social smokers" is that they are really  I-go-to-the-bar-and-drink-just-so-I-can-bum-cigarettes smoker.  You know who you are.

A closet smoker takes great pains to hide the fact that they smoke even from other smokers.

We aren't proud of smoking.  We know it's stupid and expensive and bad for our health and bad for the environment and a terrible example.  We know.  We really don't need the lectures from people when they find out we smoke.  We know.  That's why we are hiding it from you.

 

But; you're only as sick as your secrets.  For the closet smoker, the Ex site may be the first time they have ever been able to talk about their addiction.  We may be the only support system a closet smoker has.  That's true for me.  I haven't told any of my friends or family that I quit smoking because I worked very hard to make sure they don't think I do.  Having one less secret to hide feels pretty good to me.

PT

DonnaMarie

It's been a minute or three

Posted by DonnaMarie Feb 17, 2020

It has been 428 days since I smoked a cigarette, and I haven't looked back. In the past year or so, a couple of my friends have also quit. I've loved being a bit of a mentor for them. A smoker still lives in my house, but I do not push too hard, though we at least now do talk about the potential for her to quit. She smokes outside and a lot less than she used to. It's amazing the effect of being a good example can have.

 

Life has changed in lots of ways - I retired, left one volunteer job and took on another, I'm painting/sewing/gardening more, and my health has done nothing but improve.

 

I tested clean for bladder cancer a couple days ago. I'll still get that checked every 9 months, but beware, smoking is a cause of bladder cancer. My stomach issues are gone. I'm still walking a mile most days. And yesterday and today, we had some of the older shade trees removed from our yard as they've grown so much in the last 35 years that we had zero sun in the yard. We still live in the woods, but the part closest to the house in the back is not as woodsy as it was

 

Two of my kids moved back to VA, so now all three are within an hour. I have a new granddog and my own dog still brings me great joy.

 

I lurk here more than I post, but I cheer on all the new quitters and am delighted to see so many people here!  

 

Anyway, wanted to say hello and stuff, so hello! And stuff

 

Donna

Day 428 of not smelling like a stinky cigareet

 

PastTense

Walking it off  73/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 17, 2020

Good Monday morning to all of Ex, and Happy Presidents' Day to our US-based peeps.  Some of us lucky ones have the day off from work.  Because nothing honors past presidents better than being lazy and sleeping in.  I'm just guessing about that part; I was not on the committee that decided we needed a holiday in February and that holiday should honor presidents.  To my mind, they already get their faces on money; they don't also need a holiday.  But who am I to deny mattress companies and used car lots the opportunity to have a sale? 

After waking up late (heaven) and enjoying coffee and scrolling through Facebook for an hour (bliss), I figured I needed to shake the lead out and go for a morning walk while it was still morning.  The sun is shining and it's too cold outside for a picnic, but just perfect for a brisk turn around the block.  I live in a pretty rural area, so "around the block" translates to around 2500 steps.  The entire time I was walking, my glasses were fogging up and my nose was running. I was really regretted my decision about half-way in.  Then I noticed a peculiar phenomenon.  I was not coughing.  I wasn't clearing my throat.  I wasn't hacking.

This is momentous.  My Numero Uno reason to quit smoking was the damn cough, cough, throat clear, cough.  I hated it.  Not because it might be an indicator the breathing smoke into my sinuses, throat, and lungs might be a Bad Thing to do.  Not because it might indicate a health issue.  No.  Heavens no.  Those reasons all make sense, and if there is one thing I have learned about smoking, it's that smoking defies all laws of reason and common sense.  

I wanted to stop coughing because I didn't want other people to think I smoked!  

 

There is the irony of closet smokers quitting smoking.  

Keep the quit

PT

Jeanmarc19561

A reintroduction

Posted by Jeanmarc19561 Feb 17, 2020

Good morning Everyone, I have been here before about a year ago and found this site and this community incredibly helpful. So this is a reintroduction if you will. Here I am at 63 and have smoked since I was 15. Over the years I've attempted to quit many times. In fact I'm an expert at failing to quit. I'm not wallowing however. I've never lost the resolve to keep trying. Each failure has actually been a learning experience in one form or another. Over the years I've gained a lot of information about smoking, tried a number of ways, read countless books including Alan Carrs and used many techniques to deal with cravings. One really effective one was writing here when a craving came. It was, not sure what word to use,  comforting perhaps, that the intended group were a diverse bunch of people who have all dealt with the same issue. It reminds me of the passage "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience." So having said that, because of the support given on this site by so many, it is my hope to be a benefit to someone else as well. Today is the day I quit and I'm reminded of something I saw on Pinterest. It was a picture of Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) looking down a valley with hordes of the enemy below just before a battle and he say's "And so it begins." Thank you for this site. John

Initially I felt, I am not going to succeed in quitting....

So I did not tell anyone at my workplace for first ten days, I know, if I fail, people will laugh at me. 

Initially I had mild headaches, 

and .... I assumed that these are excessive thinking about quit.

I used to had increased appetite..

so kept drinking  a lot of plain water.

The life was not smooth, and had lack of confidence during day time....

so use to breath looking at one single point with concentration. Used to pick up easier activity in workplace first, and later the complicated jobs. 

And insomnia was guest appearance for many nights....

I bought good books physically, and turned  to be good reader.

 

Good to be prepared for side effects of quit smoking.

These are, at times, worse than you imagine.

Resultantly convert into relapse.

 

All the best new joiners..

PastTense

Saturday blog  72/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 15, 2020

I promised to write 90 blogs in 90 days, and while I am on track to that commitment, I always fall behind on the weekends.  I don't generally spend much time at the computer.  I like being busy and getting projects finished.

I got quite a bit done today but want to "pause for a cause" and remind myself why I am here.

My thoughts today have not been on smoking and haven't been on NOT smoking, so I really have nothing to say,

EXCEPT for the obvious.

My thoughts today were not on smoking.  I have not had the running battle in my head about smoking and cheating and just one.  That particular intrusion into my brain has been silent all day.

Tomorrow may be different.  Today's reprieve may have been just a preview of coming attractions and not the main event.  But a glimpse of the possible is very reassuring to me.

Today is all about hope, y'all.

Keep the quit

PT

PastTense

My Valentine  71/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 14, 2020

My husband and I met each other 10 years ago and got married five years ago. We had both been married before and brought all our past baggage with us into the relationship. We both had our own families, our own houses, and our own Christmas ornaments. We started our married life with 3 couches, 4 Crock-pots, and 6 kids.

We also started out with assurances from me that I was quitting smoking. I have spent at least the past 16 years in some degree of quit, so this was a true statement. I don’t know if it was entirely in good faith, however. Somehow I went from “I will quit smoking” to “I will hide my smoking” without hesitation. Junky thinking. Addict rationale.

We gave away couches, blended our families, and put up 2 Christmas trees. What we didn’t have was a real smoke-free environment. Even during the weekends, when I didn’t smoke – and didn’t have cigarettes, I was thinking about smoking. Sunday afternoon I would start getting very cranky as withdrawal started hitting the high notes. My husband and family filled my heart and my life, but smoking had my brain.

This Valentine’s Day I can truly say that I am committed to just my husband. I ended my affair with nicotine. I will be able to kiss my husband when I get home from work without first making a detour to brush my teeth and change my clothes.

There are many benefits to being a non-smoker. This is one of the best.

Keep the quit

PT

Buy yourself Recovery Boots and sit for quite some time enjoying them with TV!!!

 

What will YOU buy with your newfound wealth!?!

PastTense

Feelings   70/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 13, 2020

I saw a question yesterday by 5Jacks  that I found intriguing and have been pondering rather obsessively. “What part of smoking did you find satisfying?”

I want to explore that aspect of this addiction, and I know I need to tread very softly through this particular minefield. I don’t want to romanticize smoking or get nostalgic for it. Smoking is the dreadful ex-boyfriend that was hard on your heart, your furniture, and your credit rating but was able to make you laugh just often enough to keep you coming back for more. Remembering the fun times does not negate awfulness of the whole relationship.

Part of the satisfaction of smoking is the nicotine addiction, obviously. The minute the withdrawal from nicotine becomes too great, boom! A cigarette provides instant gratification. Smoking was much, much more than just the delivery system of my drug of choice, though. The more pleasure associated with an addiction, the harder it is to break.

Aside from satisfying a craving, smoking was also the punctuation of life. Just as a sentence always ends with a period; a task always end with cigarette. That’s actually a pretty good analogy. Smoking provides breaks and even exclamation. I am just now shaking the feeling that I have left something undone when I finish a chore or a project. I hate that unsettled feeling. It took me a while to recognize what it was and why I had it.

The hardest satisfaction to break from has been the “ME Time” feeling. Definitely the allure of smoking (when I was out about it), was breaking away from the bustle of the house, retreating to the back deck, and carving out 10 blissful moments of all-about-me. As a closet smoker, I had to find more secure places of retreat, but the feeling of being totally, happily alone was the same. I have not yet found the substitute for this, but now that I have aired it out in the open, perhaps inspiration will find an option.

Please don’t tell me how I ought to feel about smoking. I respect my feelings and acknowledge that they aren’t right or wrong. I won’t dishonor them by dismissing them. Being honest with myself is the only way I will get a quit to stick. And that’s what I am here for.

Keep the Quit

PT

elaynaborn

Juul Addict (day one)

Posted by elaynaborn Feb 12, 2020

I have been addicted to my juul for the past 2 years after switching from cigarettes. I found myself addicted to the juul much more than I was to cigarettes. Today, I threw away all of my juul pods and devices. Any helpful suggestions for staying off juul?

PastTense

Cowgirl UP     69/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 12, 2020

I need a reminder today of why I chose to quit smoking. It’s hard right now to put in the work and effort to be smoke-free because I am not seeing the benefits I thought I would by now.

It’s surprising to me that quitting smoking takes so much effort to begin with. Logic says that NOT doing an activity takes less energy than doing an activity. Except for sleeping, maybe. Not sleeping would take more energy than sleeping. But not smoking should take less energy than smoking. It is ceasing an activity. And yet, it takes up a tremendous amount of my energy, even a month into it.

Just developing the tools to quit takes up a lot of band-width. Finding things to do instead of smoking takes a lot of creativity. You can’t just substitute smoking with another activity that you don’t like because there is no incentive for your brain to remember that it has an option. Replacing smoking with push-ups or eating Brussel sprouts, for example. I’m sure there is an odd duck out there who is just looking for the excuse to add sprouts to their day, but I am not her. That’s why food is such a temptation. I like to eat sweet things as much as I like to smoke; so it’s a viable replacement but then there is the whole weight issue, so, no; that won’t work, either.  I see a lot of discussion on the boards about what to do instead. Finding an “instead” option that is at least nominally as satisfying as smoking takes work, and research, and dedication, and learning from our mistakes.

Using the tools takes energy, too. Reminding yourself that the tools are out there to use and using them instead of falling in to deeply ingrained habits. Remaining steadfast to quitting requires an investment of time and energy.

This blog ended up going a completely different direction than I had originally intended. I must be more tired than I thought if I am spending all this energy complaining about all the energy I’m spending. J

I just need to cowgirl up and

Keep the quit

PT

green1611

World is changing

Posted by green1611 Feb 12, 2020

Insatiable cravings used to trouble me, I jotted down with pen and paper, all my precursors, which mostly turned out for smoking e.g. strong tea/coffee, after lunch/dinner, long conference calls, driving car etc. Recognising them early helped a lot !. I was prepared for cravings so to say !

 

First few hours of quitting it was penalising feeling in mind. I want to smoke, and I am penalising myself by not smoking.  I started thinking  the other way, you are enjoying quitting and quitting is helpful for my enjoyment. 

 

I experienced and share with almost all my dear and near ones that  - "World is same, as it was, when I were smoking, ... however now my world is changing for better"

 

I used to go for multiple times brushing initially, that keeps good smell, and cravings away.

 

My old hobby reading books physically (not on tab or computer), I brought  into reality. I purchased many good books,  and read it....enjoyed reading !

 

You are responsible for change, and world is changing for you !

jdeezy84

The beginning

Posted by jdeezy84 Feb 11, 2020

I know this is going to be a hard-fought journey but I think I have the strength to take care of it I have been smoking cigarettes for years now and I know that I need to stop so I made up my mind to stop letting it beat me in fight back is there anyone else

PastTense

Relief   68/90

Posted by PastTense Feb 11, 2020

We don’t have very good internet at work. This company is extremely strict about control information flows between us and the outside world. We cannot have cell phones in the building at all, which is frustrating because my entire LIFE is on my phone. We can’t bring in CD players or E-readers, either. I understand the necessity and have learned to make due with an old radio and a paper calendar in my purse. I’ve gone retro and not because I’m hip or cool.

Yesterday I couldn’t get on our site to take the pledge. I was concerned but assumed that it would be fixed by morning and not to panic. This morning, I was having the same problems. It was officially time to panic.

What was I going to do without taking the pledge every morning? What was I going to do without a friendly comment in my blog from Barbscloud or Youngatheart? How was I going to keep the quit if I didn’t have my Ex community with me at work?

I was nearly hyperventilating and wondering if I could wake up 15 minutes early so I could at least take the pledge before I left for work.   Are y’all hearing this? I was going to get up early in order to take the pledge. I don’t get up early to make my lunch. That’s how embedded this site is to my life.

Fortunately, all appears to be working this afternoon and I can post my blog. While I’m at it, I want to say thanks to everyone on this site for making it a safe, active place to live your quit out loud.

Keep the quit

PT

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