Welcome to episode #7 of Ask an Ex.
In this video, the inspirational Elinor Fibel from South Carolina shares her story of how she quit smoking 2 and a half packs a day after 55 years with the CBQ Method.
Elinor quit on the 11th of November 2018 after trying all available stop smoking methods, some of them more than once!
And she explains how her faith in God played a huge role in her success and how it helped her decide to quit smoking and remain smoke-free.
Tune in to watch:
- Why it’s important to have a support system when you quit smoking
- What happened when Elinor smoked her last cigarette after 55 years
- Tips and inspiring words to quit smoking and overcome challenging cravings.
About Ask An Ex
ASK AN EX is a new interview series. Each interview features an inspiring ex-smoker who succeeded with the CBQ Method ™
And they tell you everything – how they did it, what helped them, what challenged them, their fears, motivations and aspirations.
Because the best person to ask about quitting smoking, is an Ex who’s been exactly where you are right now.
Every EX shares their unique perspective and wisdom on quitting smoking (because everyone has a unique mix of background, mindset, and experiences).
And they do it for 1 reason: to help YOU become an EX too.
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“Whatever way you can get through it, whether it’s exercise or doing like I did, praying or whatever else it is, get a hobby. Whatever it is to get your mind off of it. Because once your mind is off of it, the urges go away. They truly do. And for the 55 years that I’ve been smoking, I’ve never ever thought that I would be a non-smoker.”
Hi everyone, this is Nasia Davos, and welcome to this episode of Ask An Ex. Today, you’ll hear from someone who joined our CBQ program and has a very inspiring story. So if you worry you can’t quit because you’ve been smoking for many years, or if you have tried everything to no avail, stay with us because the ex I have with me today did something that many think is impossible to do. She quit after smoking two and a half packs a day for 55 years and trying all sorts of methods, and she’s here to tell you how she did it. Please welcome Elinor Fibel.
Nasia: Hi Elinor, thank you so much for being here.
Nasia: So your one year anniversary is coming up, right?
Elinor: Oh yeah, in less than a week. I’m excited.
Nasia: Yes, as you should be. So you quit on the 11th of November 2018?
Elinor: Yes, absolutely. And it was a milestone. It really was. I never thought I’d be able to quit smoking at all. I’ve tried so many different ways in which to quit. From patches to cold turkey, to waning off, hypnosis and patches, and medication, nothing got me to stop.
Nasia: So you really have tried everything.
Elinor: Oh, everything. Absolutely. More than once.
Nasia: But you did it, so huge congratulations! What a great achievement.
Elinor: Yes, I don’t believe that it was me. I believe that the inspiration started with God for me. I’m a new Christian, a little over a year now, or two years I should say. As I was reading the bible one day, I came across this area that God was talking about having addictions and overdoing things. And of course, he spoke of things like food, like gluttony and sex and things of that nature. But he was talking in general as well, and I said to myself, “I guess that means smoking.” I started to think about it and started to say, “Well, if I want to be a good Christian, I have to quit this.” And at that time, I had just seen a commercial for your program, and I said, “What the heck? Okay.” I’ve spent more money on stupid stuff than it costs for your program. And let me tell you, it was worth every cent of it and more. But between God, praying a lot, that got me through a lot. Every time I had an urge, I would pray. I know that you give samples of things you can do to help you through those cravings, but for me, it was praying. And every time I got the urge, I would pray, and it got me through it. And I still didn’t believe I could quit, but at the end of 10 days, I put down my last cigarette, and that was it. You know I had already been praying some, now I started praying a whole lot because the urges were very strong at first. One of the keys is not to have immediate access to cigarettes because once you smoke one, you’re going to go right back. I believe that with all my heart.
Nasia: That’s great advice. So true.
Elinor: Yeah. So just get through it in whatever way you can get through it, whether it’s exercise or doing like I did, praying or whatever else it is, get a hobby. Whatever it is to get your mind off of it. Because once your mind is off of it, the urges go away. They truly do. And for the 55 years that I’ve been smoking, I’ve never ever thought that I would be a non-smoker. As a matter of fact, I have to tell you Nasia, that throughout your program you say, “Think of yourself and tell yourself that you’re a non-smoker, and picture yourself as a non-smoker.” I couldn’t. I had been smoking since I was like eight years old. So every memory and every thought that I have, every picture that I have is of me smoking in some manner. Either sneaking a cigarette or just full out smoking. My life was controlled by it. I knew it. I knew that it was controlled by it. Things like, “Okay, we can’t stay at this hotel because it’s a non-smoking hotel,” “Okay, we’re going to stay at this hotel but you need smoking, and we need a non-smoking room,” and, you know, just the urges from my family to stop for health reasons. My own ideas about my health, I knew I was lucky. If for smoking as long as I have, I do not have any lung problems, I do not have any major heart problems.
Nasia: That’s great.
Elinor: Yeah, I have some cholesterol built up but that’s a family heredity thing as well. And although smoking contributes to it, it’s not real bad right now. So, my breathing is good, I’m not on oxygen, I don’t have COPD, I’m extremely lucky.
Nasia: What was your motivation then, to say, “Okay. This time, I’m going to try. I’m going to succeed. It has to happen”?
Elinor: God wanted me to. Religion, yes.
Nasia: Okay. So it goes back to what you said before. You read this, and you connected it to smoking, and this woke up inside you, the desire to [quit].
Elinor: Right, yes. And I said to myself, “Only God could do this for me.” There was nobody, nothing. I mean, my husband, the love of my life, my children. There was nobody that could convince me to stop smoking, but God did. And so, I firmly believe it was not me; it was God, the holy spirit that helped me along and just believing and having faith, and having faith that I could. That I really could. Listening to your program, of course. That was a big thing. Going through the steps rather than cold turkey. Your program is the first program that addresses the psychological addiction because I know that the physical addiction, I have overcome in the past. It’s the psychological addiction. I was psychologically addicted to cigarettes and smoking and that whole habit and way of life. And it’s very freeing.
Elinor: Just like believing in God, it’s very freeing. I feel at peace, and I don’t have to worry about, “Okay. Now, are the people that I’m with at dinner going to be angry because I get up and go outside to have a cigarette?” That doesn’t happen anymore. This is a super major step for me, and I have lots of support. Support is very important. Having those close friends that you can call any time of the day or night, and they’ll say, “No, you don’t need a cigarette,” that kind of thing. And will say, “You’re doing great, just keep it up. Talk to me for a few minutes, and the urge will go away,” kind of thing. The support, the friendship, the love.
Nasia: That’s wonderful.
Elinor: It’s important. It really is.
Nasia: Yeah, and I know that you mentioned once in the Facebook group that before you quit, you told some people close to you about your intention to quit.
Nasia: And I want to ask you how that helped you because there are many people who believe that it puts too much pressure on them. How did it help you that someone else knew that you’re doing this?
Elinor: They encouraged me totally and absolutely. That encouragement gave me a lift and kept me going. They would call me or text me just because and say, “How are you doing?” or, “You can do this,” “I know you can do this, you’re strong,” “You can do this, you’re stronger than you think you are,” just the encouragement was the big thing. And of course, with the encouragement came the love and the support and all of that that comes with it. I knew, and I know now that all of the people that I got involved loved me very much. I love them back, and whatever they say, whatever they do, they’re not doing it maliciously. They’re doing it because they love me and that’s how I took it and that helped me.
Nasia: Thank you so much for sharing that. It brings you peace to know that everyone has a good intention when they tell you something, when they ask you about your quit, when they tell you to hold on. What a precious thing to have, this support system.
Nasia: So how did you feel when you smoked that last cigarette almost a year ago?
Elinor: Very nervous. Extremely nervous, but I did exactly what you told me to do. I invited my daughter and my best friend over, and she knew what it was about. She came over, and we went out to my screen porch. I live in South Carolina. It was a beautiful day. I was out on my screen porch because I never smoked in the house while she was here.
Elinor: Anyway, I was fairly relaxed but very nervous about it being my last cigarette. I had more cigarettes. I had over a carton of cigarettes in my house at the time.
Nasia: Oh, wow.
Elinor: I’ll tell you about that in a second. But my last cigarette was, I savored it, and it was over much too quickly. I wanted it to last a lot longer, but it didn’t. And when I was done, I think I started to cry a little bit, and my daughter gave me a big hug. We talked for a little while longer, and she left. The cigarettes that I had left over, actually the day before I quit, I had my last cigarette. I took to my very good neighbor, she’s like family to me. And I said, “Hold on to these, and by the way, I have a key to your house, so don’t leave them out in the open either. So hide them and hold on to these. If can quit, I’m going to have a quit party.” And two weeks after I quit, and I felt like this was going to stick, I did exactly that. I made a pit fire, invited my very close friends that helped me, and we all sat there. I said a prayer, and we all sat there and burned the cigarettes in the pit fire. It was exhilarating. It was fun. It was, “Hey, I can do this,” and “Hey, this is bad stuff.” And I’m just putting it on fire.
Nasia: So it was like a celebration.
Elinor: It was a celebration. Yes, absolutely.
Nasia: Wow, that’s unique. I have never ever heard of that before. I like it.
Elinor: Yes, and coming up on my first anniversary, I know I’m going to do something. But everybody is so busy right now I’m not sure that they can make it, but if it’s not on the 11th, it will be soon around there. I’ll have everybody over, and we’ll do something else.
Elinor: We’ll start throwing cigarettes away. I saved a lot of money. I saved a lot of money.
Nasia: How much money did you save?
Elinor: In the one year? Wait a minute, I have..
Nasia: Tracking app?
Elinor: Yes, I have a tracking app.
Elinor: I saved a little over $3500.
Nasia: Okay, congratulations!
Elinor: It’s a lot of money.
Elinor: Yeah, and they asked me what I was going to do with all that money because it winds up to be about, I think $300 a month or something like that, and I said, “Well, maybe I’ll buy a new car,” and I thought that was a good idea at the time.
Nasia: Why not? Yeah.
Elinor: But then, actually, I had a dream. The dream was that I bought a new car and I crashed it in the first day, and it was totalled. So I didn’t buy my new car, I just figured that it was an omen. Don’t buy it. So I’m just singing along here, having a good time and spending some extra money.
Nasia: Well, that’s what matters, just enjoying life.
Nasia: So you mentioned that after two weeks, you knew that this was going to stick. Your quit was going to stick. How did you know?
Elinor: Because I was able to get through two weeks.
Elinor: And going through some not so great things in life, the down parts of life where you get nervous or stressed out or something like that. Some of the reasons why people smoke, or at least some of the reasons why I smoked.
Nasia: So you went through challenges after you quit? Things happened in your life after you quit that would have made you relapse in the past?
Elinor: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, yes. Just recently, last week actually, my brother passed away. I was very close to him.
Nasia: I’m really sorry.
Elinor: Yeah, and it’s been a struggle for me because I am involved with his estate and taking care of his apartment and all those other kinds of things. The funeral and stuff like that are all on me, so there’s a lot of stress.
Nasia: But if you can stop smoking, you can do anything. Anything.
Elinor: That’s my mantra. I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. That’s Philippians 4:13, and I wear it on a bracelet, and yeah. And my neighbor me bought me this little tag right there. You probably can’t see what it says, but it says, “Enjoy the journey.” That’s exactly what it is, I’m enjoying the journey.
Nasia: That’s beautiful. I love that.