Welcome to Episode 7 of Ask an Ex.
In this video, the inspiring Elinor Primer from South Carolina tells her story of quitting smoking two and a half packs a day after 55 years using the CBQ method.
Elinor gave up on November 11, 2018 after trying all available smoking cessation methods, some more than once!
And she explains how her belief in God played a huge role in her success and how it helped her quit smoking and stay smoke-free.
ASK AN EX is a new series of interviews. Each interview features an inspiring ex-smoker who has been successful 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 was right where you are.
Each EX shares their unique perspective and wisdom regarding smoking cessation (because each has a unique mix of background, mindset and experience).
“However you can make it, whether it’s movement or like me, praying or whatever it is, get a hobby. Whatever it is to distract you from it. Because once your mind is off it, the urges go away. They really do. And in the 55 years I’ve smoked, I never thought I’d be a non-smoker. “
Hi everyone, this is Nasia Davos and welcome to this episode of Ask An Ex. Today you are going to hear from someone who has joined our CBQ program and has a very inspiring story. So if you are worried that you cannot quit because you have 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 many consider impossible. She quit after smoking two and a half packs a day and trying all kinds of methods for 55 years, and she is here to tell you how she did it. Please say hello to Elinor Fibel.
Nasia: Hello Elinor, thank you very much for being here.
Nasia: So your one year anniversary is coming up, right?
Elinor: Oh yes, in less than a week. I’m excited.
Nasia: Yes, how you should be. So you quit on November 11, 2018?
Elinor: Yes, absolutely. And it was a milestone. It was really. I never thought I could stop smoking at all. I’ve tried so many different ways to quit. From stains to cold turkey to weight loss, hypnosis and stains and medication, nothing made me quit.
Nasia: So you really tried everything.
Elinor: Oh everything. Absolutely. More than once.
Nasia: But you did it, so big congratulations! What a great achievement.
Elinor: Yeah, I don’t think it was me. I believe that my inspiration began with God. I am a new Christian, a little over a year or two now, I should say. One day while reading the Bible, I came across this area where God was talking about being addicted and overdoing things. And of course he was talking about things like food and gluttony and sex and things like that. But he also talked in general and I said to myself, “I think that means smoking.” I started thinking about it and said, “Well, if I want to be a good Christian, I have to stop.” At the time I had just seen a commercial for your program and said, “What the hell? All right. “I spent more money on stupid stuff than it cost on your program. And let me tell you, it was worth every penny and up. But between God who prayed a lot, that got me through. Every time when I had an urge I prayed. I know you will give examples of things that you can do to help you through that desire, but to me it was prayer. And every time I got the urge I prayed and it got me through. And I still didn’t think I could quit, but at the end of 10 days I put my last cigarette down and that was it. You know, I’ve prayed a few, now I’ve got a lot prayed because the urge was very strong at first, one of the keys is not having instant access to cigarettes because once you smoke one you come back right away I believe that with all my heart.
Nasia: That’s great advice. So true.
Elinor: Yes. So just do it the way you can, whether it’s practice or how I do it, praying or whatever it is, do a hobby. Whatever it is to take your mind off it. Because as soon as your mind is off, the urges disappear. You really do. And in the 55 years that I’ve smoked, I never thought I’d be a non-smoker. In fact, I have to tell you Nasia that throughout your program you will say, “Think of yourself and tell yourself that you are a non-smoker and introduce yourself as a non-smoker.” I could not. I had smoked since I was eight years old. Every memory and thought I have, every picture I have shows me smoking in some way. Either sneak a cigarette or just smoke. My life was controlled by it. I knew it. I knew it was controlled by it. Things like, “Okay, we can’t stay at this hotel because it’s non-smoking.” “Okay, we will be staying at this hotel, but you must smoke and we need a non-smoking room.” and, you know, just my family’s urge to quit for health reasons. My own ideas about my health, I knew I was lucky. If I have no lung problems for smoking for as long as I have, then I have no major heart problems.
Nasia: That’s great.
Elinor: Yes, I built up some cholesterol, but it’s also a family inheritance issue. And while smoking does help, it’s not really bad right now. So my breathing is good, I don’t have oxygen, I don’t have COPD, I’m very happy.
Nasia: What was your motivation to say back then: “Okay. This time I will try. I will succeed. It has to happen “?
Elinor: God wanted me to do it. Religion, yes.
Nasia: Okay. So it goes back to what you said before. You read that and connected it to smoking, and that awakened in you, the desire to do so [quit].
Elinor: Right, yes. And I said to myself, “Only God can do this for me.” There was nobody, nothing. I mean my husband, the love of my life, my children. There was no one who could convince me to quit smoking, but God did. And so I firmly believe that it wasn’t me; It was God the Holy Spirit who helped me and just believed and had faith and had faith that I could. I really could. Of course you will hear your program. That was a big deal. I go through the steps rather than through a cold turkey. Their program is the first to look at psychological addiction because I know that I have overcome physical addiction in the past. It’s psychological addiction. I was psychologically addicted to cigarettes and smoking and all that habit and way of life. And it’s very liberating.
Elinor: Just like believing in God, it’s very liberating. I feel at peace and don’t have to worry, “Okay. Will the people I have dinner with get angry because I get up and go outside to smoke a cigarette?” That doesn’t happen anymore. This is a very important step for me and I have a lot of support. Support is very important. With these close friends that you can call anytime of the day or night, they’ll say, “No, you don’t need a cigarette”. And I’ll say, “You’re doing great, just keep doing it. Talk to me for a few minutes and the urge will go away.” The support, the friendship, the love.
Nasia: That’s wonderful.
Elinor: It’s important. It’s really.
Nasia: Yes, and I know that you mentioned once on 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 this has helped you because there are a lot of people who believe that it is too much pressure on them. How did it help you that someone else knew you were doing this?
Elinor: You totally and totally encouraged me. That encouragement brought me along and kept me going. They called me or texted me just because and said, “How are you?” or: “You can do it”, “I know that you can do it, you are strong”, “You can do this, you are stronger than you think”, only the encouragement was the big thing. And of course with the encouragement came the love and the support and all that that comes with it. I knew, and I now know, that all of the people I was a part of loved me very much. I love them back and whatever they say, whatever they do, they don’t do it maliciously. They do it because they love me and that’s how I took it and that helped me.
Nasia: Thank you for sharing this. It brings you peace to know that everyone has good intentions when they tell you something, when they ask you to quit, when they tell you to hold on. What a precious thing this support system.
Nasia: How did you feel when you smoked that last cigarette almost a year ago?
Elinor: Very nervous. Very nervous, but I did exactly what you told me to do. I invited my daughter and my best friend and she knew what it was about. She came over and we went to my porch. I live in south carolina. It was a beautiful day. I was outside on my porch because I never smoked in the house while she was here.
Elinor: Anyway, I was pretty relaxed, but very nervous that it was my last cigarette. I had more cigarettes. I had over a pack of cigarettes in my house at the time.
Nasia: Oh wow.
Elinor: I’ll tell you about it in a moment. But my last cigarette was, I enjoyed it, and it was over too quickly. I wanted it to take a lot longer, but it wasn’t. And when I finished I started crying a bit and my daughter hugged me tight. We talked for a while and she left. The cigarettes I had left, actually the day before I quit, I had my last cigarette. I brought my very good neighbor, she is like family to me. And I said, “Hold on to it, and I have a key to your house by the way, so don’t leave it outside either. So hide it and hold it. If I can stop I’ll end a party.” two weeks after quitting and feeling this was going to stay, I did just that. I made a pit fire, invited my very close friends to help me, and we were all seated. I said a prayer and we all sat and burned 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 just light it up.
Nasia: So it was like a party.
Elinor: It was a celebration. Yes absolutely.
Nasia: Wow, that’s unique. I have never heard of it. I like this.
Elinor: Yeah, and on my first anniversary, I know I’ll do something. But everyone is so busy right now that I’m not sure they can make it, but if it isn’t the 11th it will be there soon. I’ll have everyone with me 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 a year? Wait a minute, I have ..
Nasia: tracking app?
Elinor: Yes, I have a tracking app.
Elinor: I saved a little over $ 3,500.
Nasia: Okay, congratulations!
Elinor: It’s a lot of money.
Elinor: Yeah, and they asked me what to do with all that money because it’s about $ 300 a month or so and I said, “Well, maybe I’ll buy a new car,” and I did thought that was a good idea at the time.
Nasia: Why not? Yes.
Elinor: But actually I had a dream. The dream was that I bought a new car and it crashed on the first day and it was total. So I didn’t buy my new car, just thought it was an omen. Don’t buy it. So I’ll just sing along here, have a good time, and spend a little more money.
Nasia: Well, it comes down to just enjoying life.
Nasia: So you mentioned that after two weeks you knew it would stay that way. Your resignation would remain. How did you know?
Elinor: Because I could last two weeks.
Elinor: And going through some not-so-great things in life, the shabby parts of life where you get nervous or stressed or something. Some of the reasons why people smoke, or at least some of the reasons I smoked.
Nasia: So did you complete challenges after quitting? Things that happened in your life after you stopped that made you fall behind in the past?
Elinor: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely yes. Just recently, last week, my brother died. I was very close to him.
Nasia: I’m really sorry.
Elinor: Yeah, and it was a struggle for me because I’m busy with his estate and taking care of his apartment and all these other things. The funeral and stuff is all mine, so there is a lot of stress.
Nasia: But if you can quit smoking, then you can do anything. Something.
Elinor: That is my mantra. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. That’s Philippians 4:13, and I’m wearing it on a bracelet, and yes. And my neighbor bought me this little label right there. You probably can’t see what it says, but it says, “Enjoy the trip.” That’s it, I’m enjoying the trip.
Nasia: That’s beautiful. I love that.