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2011
Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 39

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 30, 2011

 Continuing on the path to freedom. Today I see things as they really are. This is a day to rejoice in the past experience that I've gained in my quit. Today is a day to see the reality of myself as a non smoker. Though I'm still on the first phase of my quit, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 This Saturday I'll be stepping down again on the patches to the 7MG ones. I'll do these for two weeks and then will be the final step down. You know, the onewhere I put no nicotine whatsoever in my system. This will be an exciting moment for me.

 Am I nervous? Not in the least. Am I excited? Very much so. I've spent my time with my quit learning life without cigatettes while feeding the brain much smaller amounts of nicotine then it was used to. This created the cravings just as if I had quit the nicotine completely except not quite so intense. Still, I was able to learn to deal with them. I was able to learn how to live my life without cigarettes.

 At one time, I thought of changing my quit plan and just giving up the patches. In the end, I decided it would be best to stick to the plan I created before I ever started my quit. My reason for this was simple. I spent a long time developing my quit plan before I actually quit. By the time the first day came, I felt that I had made a bit of peace with my inner addict.

 My mind had accepted the fact that this was how I was going to quit. This empowered me to go beyond the fear I had for quitting and actually take that first step. Once I began my quit, I felt much as I expected simply because I'd thought about the quit and created a plan that I believed would work. This has kept me in a positive mode throughout my quit. And being positive is really important I think.

 And so I will follow my plan to the letter. It's worked wonderfully so far and to stray from that which has been ingrained in my mind would be a mistake I think. And so I continue on, fullfilling the destiny that I have worked to create for myself.

Onward to freedom!!

Another day has passed and another notch in the old belt is completed. So often I find in the blogs I read that people seem to become blindsided by the fact that the urges continue for so long after we quit. This in itself makes the journey seem harder then it really is. When we become surprised by the intensity of our addictions.

This is the time when we question ourselves and our resolve simply because we didn’t realize that the journey is indeed a bit longer then we thought. Many believe that getting through the first days is all there is to it. But as we live the life of the recovered addict, we realize that this is not the case. There’s more to the fight then we might have realized at first.

Personally, I listened to the words of the elders. It’s right there in so many of their blogs that the journey is indeed longer then one might at first expect. There is something to be said when it comes to the wisdom of those who have stayed on to help us newer quitters as we discover what quitting is really all about.

But the thing is that I took what they said to heart early on and for this reason, even though I do get the urges I have not been blindsided by them. Instead I understood that the continuing urges are a natural part of the journey. It’s the price we must pay in order to really become free and if you ask me, it’s a small price to pay.

Still, even with this knowledge, we have to learn how to work through those urges. It’s something that can’t really be taught. It just has to be lived. But each urge that is worked through adds another building block to our quits. It teaches our minds how to deal with our minds, knowing that one day it will be so much easier.

But being an addict means that the urges can pop up at any time in our futures. It means that we have to understand this so as not to lose our momentum. It’s the surprise urges that get us in the end. For this reason I know that it will be ingrained into my very being that I will not be blindsided. Not now or ever! I’ll be thankful for the days and weeks ahead where the urges start to fade and become mostly a thing of the past but will always be watchful for the next urge.

So hang in there my friends. We must face the realities of our quits together and stand together for one another. We must fight our fight to win. We must quell the addict within us but more then that, we must understand that addict. Once we understand the addict within; Once we know what makes him tick, this is when we’ve truly won not only the battle but the entire war!

So my inner addict and I will spend another wonderful day together, the addict learning what the rest of me wants while I learn the part of my brain that is the addict. I’ll spend a lot of time with my addicted brain but in the end I think that we’ll form a bond that goes beyond our addiction. We’ll form a bond of life and I know that in the end, even my internal addict strives for this same goal!

Now on to a new day of life!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 35

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 28, 2011

Wow! Still walking that path to freedom. For the most part, it’s easy but at times there’s those moments when we wish we were something else. Thoughts actually enter the mind trying to convince us that we are smokers even though we know we’re not.

At times that can make us wake up feeling grouchy. Like this new non smoking world that we’ve propelled ourselves into though our actions is listless or colorless. As if the choice we made to quit might not be the right one.

Besides the fact that this can be dangerous thinking, there’s other ways to look at the world as we awaken. There’s better ways to see things. We’re non smokers and we know that. It’s something that is ingrained in our very beings just as smoking is. The thing to remember is that it took time to become an addict and as such, it will take time to free ourselves of our addiction.

The important thing is that we never loose our perspective on what we’re doing. We must never let the addict within us come to the surface and derail our quits. It’s almost like we live a world of split personalities. We fight with ourselves constantly. We see our world differently as we continue to free ourselves from ourselves.

This can create a kind of discomfort that seems to run so deeply within us. In reality it only runs as deep as we let it. It only cuts as deeply as we allow it to. Quitting truly is something that happens in the realm of the mind and as such, most of what we feel comes from that very realm. The good news is that since it really is a battle of the mind, we can change the power of it. We can change the way we react to the addict inside of us.

I always say that I can ignore the urges when they come but there is more to it then that. And it boils down to perception. It boils down to what’s really deep within our hearts. And deep inside of myself I know that there is no option but to remain a non smoker. There is no other choice for me. I perceive myself as such and when that happens, it weakens the addict within us.

So, when I wake and feel that addict screaming at me, I tell him to be quiet for a moment because I’m busy preparing my mind for a new and positive day. I simply have no time to listen to him. Just as when I look outside and see the snow on the ground for another day, I don’t see this as something negative. No, I instead see the beauty of the glistening flakes lying together and creating amazing beauty for the eye to behold.

When I look up into the cloudy sky, I see the sun that is above those clouds rather then just the clouds. I see a world of beauty even on the drabbest of days. I see the light and warmth of spring just around the corner. I see a day that I’m happy to live and again I see myself as a non smoker.

Every day that we live is what we make it. This is why the addict within has such a hard time convincing me that my new life is not a happy one. This is why the addict within is powerless to stop me from achieving my goal. This is why I choose to fight this addiction while feeling at peace with myself.

The addict is there, but he’ll never get me!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 24

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 26, 2011

Day 24 is here! What an exciting thing it is as we put one more day behind us and follow our path onward never doubting that this day would come. Never believing that we cannot succeed. There is so much resolve and belief in one another here at this web site. It’s a kind of power that can be felt when we come here and even when we’re out there in that big old world living the life of a reformed addict.

To me, "reformed addict" is indeed a beautiful word. By using this word, it reinforces the belief in ourselves and our quits while at the same time reminding us to be on our guards for that sneaky little child within that wants to cause us mischief every chance he can.

The one that reminds us of how it remembers life with cigarettes. The one that can pop up out of the blue. And if we’re not careful, the one who can derail our quits. It’s always important to remember that it’s there so as to lessen it’s ability to mess with us.

As recovering addicts, we fight our urges every day at first. At times we allow those urges to torment us and by doing this, we give those urges a power they don’t deserve when in reality it’s so easy to ignore them and reduce their power when we desire to do so.

If we can just see all the positives to what we’re doing then the negative just fades away. If we can look at how well we can now breathe rather then looking at how long it’s been since we’ve smoked, then we’ve found a positive. If we can look at how strong we really are when it comes to beating our addiction rather then at how hard it is to remain strong, then we’ve found a positive.

If we can wake up in the morning looking forward to a smoke free day rather then remembering how much we wanted that first cigarette of the day, then we’ve found a positive. And when we survive another urge while keeping our quits intact then not only have we found a positive, we’ve actually lived one!

And so I go into the new day positive that it will be smoke free. Positive that tomorrow will be smoke free. Positive that in time, this whole experience will be all but a memory. All it takes is a strong commitment, a belief in the positive, a belief in oneself and the passage of time.

And so I walk the path today thinking of all of you for when one sees fellow reformed addicts working together as we do, what could ever be more positive then that!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 32

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 25, 2011

Well, made that month mark. I guess in a way this is another milestone on the road to freedom. Another day to celebrate internally. Another day to protect that which has already been achieved in order to continue on the path that must be trodden in order to be truly free.

My inner child has continued to throw little temper tantrums and I continue to teach myself that this will not always be the way it is. No, in the end there will be a kind of inner peace. A feeling of accomplishment that may only be understood by fellow addicts, for to think of walking this path is a lot different then actually walking it.

But take heart for the path though filled with constant twists and turns of the mind is still a path to freedom. It’s a path that must be walked if we care even a little about our futures. It’s a journey of the mind in reality.

In order to win we must not only have a deep understanding of our inner selves but we must also know how to combat the little things that life throws at us. We must never be tempted when our emotions try to take away our resolve to finish the journey.

And so I walk solidly into the future of my journey, confident that in the end I will become a master of myself. That I will see my addiction for what it really is and still follow that path to freedom. To that future free of the chains of addiction for if being an addict is what I really wanted then I never would have started this journey in the first place.

And as I continue to walk the path, my resolve will only strengthen. My belief in myself will only increase for this is no path that can be walked when in doubt of oneself. It’s a path that cannot be walked without a kind of inner strength and resolve that no one can take from us.

It’s a path that I know I can finish for the battle is really with myself. And once we understand that all we’re really fighting is our own minds and memories, then there is no stopping us!

Now, on to a new day on the path to freedom . . .

So often in my quit I notice the steady roar in the background of my brain. This really isn’t an urge but rather it’s the argument in the mind that we all must face. Like a small torrent that is constantly turning in the back of the mind.

To me this little scream in the background is the evidence that even though I’m pretty much over the physical part of the addiction, the mind still has not accepted that I’m no longer a smoker. It’s like a child within that continues to throw a little temper tantrum because things aren’t like they used to be for so many years.

The child within doesn’t understand that the cigarettes are killing us. No, the child only wants to live the life of the past where it wasn’t told that it can’t smoke anymore. The child screams until I simply place it into a corner of the mind. Once that happens, you can still hear the scream within but it’s behind a door. It’s pushed to a part of the mind where it can be ignored.

Still, it chooses to scream it’s miserable song, trying to nudge one into smoking. And just like a child, the child within will eventually give up on it’s tantrum as it realizes that the tantrum is doing no good.

This is the period in our quits when we are the most vulnerable I think. The time when the physical urges are almost nonexistent and yet there is still this child within us who doesn’t seem to understand that we’re quitting.

It’s the part of our minds that must be trained just like a child for it’s own good. It’s amazing that we carry this child within, but when you see it for what it is it’s easier to deal with it. It’s easier to quiet that child. All we have to do is use the same patience we would use with any child and explain to ourselves that there really is no reason to throw a tantrum because it won’t make me smoke.

We have to train the child that throwing these little fits will do no good for we won’t give into the child no matter how loud it gets. As much as we can, we continue to ignore the child for it’s own good because if we don’t then we give power to the tantrums of the child within.

And the good thing is that once the child understands that nothing will ever get us to smoke again, the child grows and becomes a part of us that actually helps us with our quits. So never listen to the child within. His tantrums will do you no good. We must realize first that the child can be ignored and second that in the end the child within will indeed give up. He will stop the tantrums simply because they do no good. They don’t get him what he wants or thinks he wants.

This in the end is a battle worth fighting for once we control the child within then we have taken a huge step toward winning not just the battle but instead, the whole war!

Now, onward to freedom!!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 29 - Change

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 21, 2011

Well, I stepped down on the patches yesterday from the 21MG to the 14MG, which means I’m halfway there when it comes to finally clearing the nicotine from my body once and for all. I really only felt a small amount of discomfort, though it was different then when I first quit.

It was more of a steady small craving for most of the day. Pretty much what I expected. But the difference is that although I felt some withdrawal from reducing the nicotine intake, that’s all there was to fight. No cravings like when I first quit. This to me is easier to deal with then when I first put on a patch because something has happened in the last month.

I’ve changed! That’s right. During this last month without cigarettes, I have become a non smoker! When I feel the pangs of nicotine withdrawal I have no desire to smoke. I no longer feel the loss that so many of us feel when we first quit smoking. I no longer miss the life of smoking. And most importantly, I still see myself in my minds eye as a non smoker. I see my life clearly without cigarettes and because of this, the little discomforts that come with my stepping down have no power over me. The only way they could have a power over me would be if I chose to think about smoking, which I choose not to do!

In this case, change is a wonderful thing. I am now living in what used to be my future when I first quit. And because of what I did a month ago, I am living in a more perfect future then I could have had if I’d not chosen to quit smoking in my past.

This just reminds me once again that anything I do today will have a direct impact on my future. And I see a future free of cigarettes. I have changed deep inside of myself and it’s a change that gathers momentum with each passing day. This is one of those times when one can see the benefits of the past. When one can feel the physical changes inside the body because of the choices the mind has already made in the past.

And so I look forward to each new day and see it as a building block for tomorrow. And tomorrow will be the building block for the next day. So long as we remember that we’re always building to the future with every moment that we live in the present, then the changes inside of us that need to take place to be free of the addiction become a bit easier to bear.

So never lose hope in your quit. This is one of the lessons of the elders. The one that says they are now living in a future that they created for themselves long ago and since they are now in that future, simply by being here they prove to us every day what our own futures can look like. They show us that we can pass through the hard present to create a future free of cigarettes. That all it takes is the passage of time and a realization that in this case, change is a good thing.

Change in this case is the one thing that might save our lives because without the internal change that must happen within ourselves, there could be no victory!

Now, onward to the future!!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 26 - Belief

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 19, 2011

Another day is now the past and soon I shall begin a shiny new day walking the path to freedom! To me every day is something that is filled with opportunity and yet at times we waste the new day that was given to us. At times we find that our quits seem to drag along. We lose the enthusiasm that we had on those first hard days. Soon the quit seems almost boring compared to the fight in the beginning.

This is in reality a blessing I think. We’ve already fought our way through the hard part and now we learn to focus more completely on our quits. This is when it truly takes a belief in oneself to win because the path to freedom is a long one filled with lot’s of unexpected twists and turns as we continue onward. It can be hard if we don’t possess the correct mindset to complete the journey. It doesn’t mean we’ll fail but without the proper mindset it can be so much harder. If we don’t believe right from the start that we really are going to quit then our attempt becomes weakened before it ever begins.

My belief is that we fight together for a common goal. That together we achieve so much more then we could have alone. There is no science involved with support. There’s a real reason for that. While science tackles the basic problem on the surface, support is all about the human aspect of what we want to achieve.

It’s about the part of quitting that can’t be found through scientific research because it’s the realm of our own hearts and souls. That invisible part of us that can’t be charted or graphed.

It’s about believing in each other’s ability to tackle a fight that lives in the mind. Another area that can’t really be charted by science. It’s about helping each other to find a way to freedom. This is what makes this web site so important when it comes to finding our freedom. We can look at statistics or charts that show the success rate of this or that method or we can listen to the voices that have been there. We can learn from the experiences of others. Things that again could never be charted.

We can refine our original quit plan by using the knowledge of those who went before us. We can gain a belief in ourselves from those who believe in us. This is what makes a support forum so special. A family. And just as in any family, at times we disagree. At times we get angry at one another for no reason other then a simple difference in thought.

But what’s really amazing is that like a family we lift each other up when one falls. We open our hearts to one another in ways we’d never think of doing with a stranger. Although at times it can feel anonymous, I believe that we are close to one another in ways that again cannot be charted or graphed. And I also believe that even though we’re separated geographically, there is no distance when it comes to the heart and soul.

That’s why when times are rough, all I have to do is think of all of you wonderful people and I gain a strength that can only be achieved in the mind. I feel a comfort that can only come from you. I feel a sense of belonging to something really special and in reality when the cravings used to be bad, I didn’t want to disappoint my friends that I’ve met here. This is because I understand that we’re not just icons on the side of a blog. No, we’re all real living and breathing people.

And so I continue on with my quit secure in the fact that in reality I’m never really alone. Secure in the fact that I’ve found something special.

I believe that today will be a wonderful day. I believe that because of my determination as well as the support of all of you I will never smoke again. I believe in the reality that is my new and wonderful life without cigarettes and I believe that no one can ever take my quit away from me!

As I continue on the path of freedom, I find more and more that the mind fights itself. This in itself creates a kind of journey. It’s a journey that lives within oneself. So badly we want to be free of our addictions and as much as we want to be free, so too does our own mind play tricks on us.

It is indeed the journey of memories that so many have mentioned before. Just another facet of what must be conquered along the road to freedom. But this is the part of the journey that is really in our own control for we no longer deal so much with the physical aspects of quitting. No, instead we must deal with the memories of our past. The part of our lives where the tentacles of addiction were deep within us.

It takes time to remove those tentacles, one by one. And though it can be hard to find and remove every last tentacle, it can be achieved using the same determination and belief in ourselves that we had when we started our journey. I believe that as we gain more solid ground in our quits, each memory must pass through us in order to lose it’s strength on us.

Each memory of our past must be dealt with as we move onward to freedom. This in itself can propel us onward in our journey so long as we don’t believe that these memories hold any power over us. It’s really in the realm of the mind that the final battle for freedom must be fought I think.

If we can control our own thoughts then we can win our freedom much easier. If we can allow these memories to become more like a movie instead of reality then the journey becomes easier. It once again boils down to our perception of things. This I think is what the mind does to us during our quits. It tries to change our perception of how the world is. It tries to see the world as it was before we quit.

Changing perception is a key to a successful quit. The mind must accept the new reality before we move on. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just something to be careful of as we continue the path to freedom. This is also where I think frustration lies for those who are in the midst of a quit. This is why it seems to take so long before we really feel free.

But I take solace in the fact that others have walked this same path before me. I take solace in the fact that the journey is the same for all of us. I take solace in the fact that this journey does not have to be fought alone. There is a family of warriors standing right next to me every day. This is the reality that my mind sees right now!

And so I walk the path of freedom, gaining some wisdom with every step. Gaining a new knowledge of myself. And when I really think about it, this journey isn’t so bad. It isn’t the end of life but rather the beginning and so my perception for THIS day is indeed a good one. It’s a perception filled with a belief in myself and my ability to shut down the games that my own mind tries to play with me. I choose life over a slow death down the road and so long as I remember where my true future lies, my mind will not get me.

And so I move onward to freedom, never doubting my success. Never doubting that in the end it will all be worth it. Never doubting that the memories of the past are just that. Memories. And so long as I realize that beating my addiction is the single most important thing in my life right now, then there can be no more mind games! So long as I believe that I will win, I will!

Now onward into a new and wonderful day!!

Well, day 23 for me. I actually had to go to my page and find out what day of my quit it was! To me this says something. Cigarettes are loosing what grip they had on me. I really don't even care so much how many days it's been, though I'll always check just to realize the reality of the passage of time. But the thing is that to me even though there's still nicotine in my body, I've made it through a part of the quit that can be the hardest I think.

 The first days when we relearn life without cigarettes. This is when the mind is retrained for a new life. This is when we realize that yes, I can make this a reality.

 So many of the experienced ones have given me their wisdom simply because they care. And believe me, no thing that was said to me ever goes unnoticed! In fact there are things that I dwell on for a while until I can incorporate the wisdom of those who have been there into my own quit. It really is much easier to hear these things rather then have to learn them for yourself and I thank all of you for taking the time to give us those pearls of wisdom.

 You really are helping others with your knowledge and yes in some cases, saving lives that might not have been saved without you! And so I continue on, learning that my mind is indeed making life the way I percieve it to be. Our perceptions can be our own enemy if we don't stop for a moment and take stock of what we're really percieving.

 The thing is that perceptions can be changed if we just take the time to change them. And once a perception is changed then the path to freedom becomes much easier. If one can see themselves as a non smoker then they can be a non smoker with a lot less effort. If we can see ourselves free of the urges that are mostly in our minds then we can be free of those urges.

 But as Jonescarp and Strudel told me, there will always be the memories. I believe that. It's not that we will be addicts for the rest of our lives but we will always remember our lives as smokers. This put's things into perspective and in a way shows the path to a brighter future simply by realizing that it's O.K. to have those memories. It's normal to have those memories. But they are just memories and as such they have no power to become action.

 I think as long as we can face those memories and never have another cigarette then who cares if they are thier. They can't harm our quits unless we give them a power that they really don't possess except in our own minds. So as I step down to a lower patch in three days, I will carry all of the things I've learned with me. I'll use the knowledge that others were kind enough to give me to strengthen the foundation of my quit. And I will ensure that my own mind doesn't become my enemy!

Now on to day 23 . . .

So often when we seek to find a kind of peace in our lives. Uncomfortable situations are something that as humans we try to avoid, even when we know that the condition that is uncomfortable may be a situation that obviously needs to be corrected.

This can cause us to seek other answers. To avoid the problem who’s solution may create a temporary discomfort within us. We look in every direction to find a more suitable answer. One that doesn’t involve discomfort. At times there is no solution but to face the uncomfortable situation head on. There’s just no other way out of it.

This is when our mind begins fighting with itself. It’s so much easier to just continue on as before and avoid the discomfort. It’s so easy to forget the original resolve that brought us to this decision and at times to even forget the decision itself. This is when we have to win a battle with ourselves. We have to come to an agreement that we will face this uncomfortable situation head on. We will do what’s right for ourselves.

This is the moment that we not only think we’ll quit smoking but actually believe that this will happen. Once we have that acceptance within ourselves, it frees our minds and allows us to learn what might be the best way to get through this situation that we have to face. It gives us the freedom to look ahead at a world where there are no cigarettes.

This is when we seek to loose our addiction. This is when we decide that the temporary discomfort is worth the results. And then the day comes and we take a deep breath and begin our journey. The days seem hard at first as the mind battles the mind for control of the body. We wonder if we’ll give in or if we can fight to the end. The days go by and we begin to feel a little more confident in our ability to say no to ourselves.

Saying no becomes a reality that we realize we can achieve as we continue to fight ourselves. This is when we realize that we’ll never really loose our addiction. When we make this realization, this is the time to be very careful for we can loose our resolve, believing that it would be easier to give in then it would be to fight. This is an internal struggle that many of us must face I believe. It’s the moment that we must face a reality in our lives. One that we may not be comfortable with but one that must be completed.

But it does get easier as time passes. It does get easier when we realize that though the body has ended it’s withdrawals, we still feel the craves. We still feel the urges. This is when we realize that the final phase of winning against our addiction is embedded not within our bodies but within our minds. For the physical part is over. Still, the mental struggle lasts a bit longer. This is the part that gets easier with time I think. As we spend each day not smoking, our minds slowly accept the new reality of our lives.

And in the end we must realize that what we are really fighting is our mental perception of the world. We’re fighting urges that are only within the mind. And once we realize this, there is hope for we now understand what we’re really fighting. We understand that the urges now belong in the realm of the mind. And we realize that the mind can be changed with time, patience and a belief in ourselves.

So we really never lose our addiction. No, there’s a part of the mind that will always crave a cigarette. But over time I believe that the mind will accept a new reality. The mind will find peace. All it takes is a new perception of the world. A new way to look at things. A new perception of life itself without cigarettes.

Well, day 20 is here! Looking forward to day thirty so I can start counting months instead of weeks! That seems to be how it works. First we count the hours, then the days, the weeks and then months. Before long we can be counting years. Each time we get close to another mile stone in the journey it adds strength to our quits.

 And it only seems like a long time at first. Once we get some time under our belts it seems like it gets better or is it perhaps that we just get more used to it? I really don't know but it just feels easier as time goes on. The urges feel more like a normal part of life. Something to deal with that doesn't seem to have the power that it used to.

 The main thing is that my quit doesn't lose power over time. That is the one constant in this whole journey. The fact that I intend to succeed and nothing and no one is going to stop me. Soon it'll be spring and time to enjoy all those outdoor activities. And I'll bet that the hikes and the climbes will feel so much easier and so much more rewarding. After all, part of why I climb is to feel that air at thirteen or fourteen thousand feet.

 But I know that this year that air will somehow feel sweeter. The air will taste better and even though there isn't as much air to breath up there, my lungs will now be able to use every bit of it! This will indeed be a wonderful summer I think.

 It's always good to look for the positive in a quit and to examine the way the future will be without cigarettes. This is a kind of positive reinforcement that we all can use. If we see our futures as bleak, then they very well might be bleak but if we see our futures in a positive light then the chances are very good that it will be positive.

 And not only that, to me the mind is geared toward the positive and when you reinfoce that positive feeling, then soon you have the mind, body and soul working toward that positive goal, no matter what it might be. It's just human nature to seek out a more harmonious life. And quitting smoking is indeed a step toward that harmony. So no matter how you feel right now, I think it's important to seek the positive and try not to dwell on the negative. This way we can indeed create that positive future that we all long to see.

 Well, onward to day 20!!

Well, this is day 18 for me. As I mentioned in some earlier blogs, I had some urges the last couple of days. They were fairly easy to work through but they were there, kind of in the background of my thinking. But rather then dwell on the long road to freedom, I chose yesterday to remember the journey even though it's still only in the beginning.

 I've learned that we can find some great lessons from our past experiences. Things that can be used now to strengthen the quit that we work so hard for. I always try to remember that first day when I made the decision to quit. The fear that ran through me. The beleif that it couldn't be done. I remember realizing right at that time that I was going to need some help if I were to succeed.

 This was when I set myself up with a quit line and was offered patches to ease the journey a little. I also spoke to some very supportive people from that quit line. They understood my fear, something I never expected. From their web site, I found a link to this one. Sometimes something just clicks inside. Sometimes we discover that we now have what we really need. It's the understanding of what we're going through. The warnings of what to look for in the future so that our quit is not derailed. The knowledge of those who have been there. These are the things that can make or break a quit.

 I remember building my game plan and reading all I could. I remember how that quit date loomed on the horizon, getting ever closer. And I remember that last cigarette before I started my new smoke free life. Funny thing is, I really didn't enjoy that last one. I didn't say "I'm going to miss you my friend." No, instead I said, "Good-bye my deceptive little friend. And I knew then that this was not a friend. Friends don't try to kill you. Friends don't enslave you. Friends care about your future where the cigarette does not. So, I didn't loose a friend at all.

 Then came the first day and as many of you know, the first day is a lot easier then most of us imagine it to be. At least for me it was. Sure, there were a lot of urges and I felt a bit uncomfortable but got through it easily. In fact the whole week went easy.

 I think what suprises us is that it doesn't end with the first week. No, this addiction took a long time to create and as such it would be unreasonable to assume that it will let us go quickly. We're always proud of our achievements the first week because we expected it to be hard but when it carries over to the second week, some of us can lose a bit of our comittment. We forget that the journey is longer then a week.

 So I guess what I'm trying to say is we can't let our guards down ever. We can't expect the journey to end in a flash! It just sets us up for dissapointment down the road. And that's something we really don't need. What we need is the positive belief in ourselves and what we're doing. We need to learn to put those urges in the background of our minds rather then letting them reach the foreground. We need to accept the fact that those urges might be there for a long time to come and we need to learn how to deal with them.

 In the end, it's all worth it. In the end we do find freedom. Freedom never comes easy. It's something that we have to be willing to fight for! And fight for it I will!

Now, on to day 18!!

Well, I’ve reached day 17! Had a few urges yesterday but nothing like the day before. They seem to just kind of hang around in the background, like barely noticed thoughts. Still, I keep climbing the mountain of my freedom.

 

It’s quite a mountain and the path is twisted and slippery at times. But the first hard steps are now behind me. I can now look down the slopes and see how far I’ve traveled. I can marvel at my progress even though I know I must turn around and begin the climb again.

 

One thing I’m learning as I scratch my way up the slopes of Mt. Freedom is that though the path may twist and turn. Though it may be an uphill battle, it is a path that’s becoming more clear by the day. I’ve left the tall pines and the steep slopes behind and am now stepping my first steps onto the gentle tundra that lies ahead.

 

The small flowers of my past achievements are glowing in the golden sunlight before me. And I can see the bright field of flowers ahead as well. The ones I will pass through as my journey continues. These flowers that are the heralds of my freedom.

 

I reach down and pick up another gem and place it in my pocket along with the others I’ve picked up along the way. I intend to save these to bring back with me when the long climb is over. For these are the gems of knowledge. They are gems that I earned as I learned the ways of my addiction. Each one representing a different facet of myself.

 

And there, just on the edge of the tundra lies the peak of Mt. Freedom! I can see it so clearly now and make out a path to reach the uppermost peak. To do this I know that I must shed much of what I brought with me. I must shed the fear that life taught me was there when in reality it wasn’t.

 

I must shed my belief that I am a smoker for you see, Mt. Freedom never allows those with addictions to reach it’s mighty summit. I must shed any doubt of my ability to reach that shining peak for doubt is the key that sends one down the slippery slope rather then allowing them to see the clear and easy path.

 

Yes, Mt. Freedom is a hard peak to climb but brings so many rewards! The crystal clear air that resides at the top is of a sweetness never tasted before for it is the air of life free of addiction. Free for all to breathe who can take their path to the top. And the view! I can just imagine the view. How free it will look. How different the world below will look! It will be a world full of hope and future potential!

 

I’ll fix ropes so that others can follow more easily and leave some of my gems of knowledge so that the path might make just a little more sense to those who follow just as those before me have done, for no one wants to stand alone on the summit. No, it’s not that kind of summit. It’s a summit filled with the joy of life and a belief in a future that might not have been were it not for the climb.

 

It’s a summit that is happily shared with all who have made the climb of their lives! The climb to freedom. The climb that seems impossible at first yet is easily attainable. First with the belief that you can do it and second by using all that you know. Everything you learned and placed in that back pack for the climb.

 

But for now, I must put one foot in front of the other and keep climbing. It’s the only way to reach the summit of Mt. Freedom. One step at a time.

 

Onward to freedom!!

Yesterday I blogged that it was day 13. Actually, it was day 15. But who’s counting. LOL

 

It was a day of urges yesterday. Seemed to get them on and off for the whole day. Not to worry, I was able to keep them pretty much in the background. Not even once did I consider lighting up a cigarette in response to these urges. In fact at times I found it amusing that the old addiction just keeps trying to get me to do something I already know I’m never going to do again.

 

It’s when we doubt the fact that cigarettes are no longer in our lives that makes the cravings seem bad I think. The tiniest doubt in the mind can create a whole cascade of emotions within us when it comes to giving up an addiction. But I have no doubt in my mind that my smoking is a thing of the past.

 

This in itself gives me a kind of strength to use against my addiction. It takes away the power of it simply because in the deepest part of my brain I don’t just think that I’m not going to smoke. Instead I KNOW I’m not going to smoke. That takes away the internal conflict that so many of us feel at times.

 

It takes away the power of the urges because the action that the urges try to make me take is in my mind an impossibility. It’s an action that no longer exists. Because of this, I respect the urges but I do not fear them. A miniscule amount of discomfort now is well worth it to reach that future that I see for myself. The one without cigarettes.

 

So really, I think there’s something for all of us here. If we can be 100% sure that we’re never going to smoke again. If we can see ourselves in the future without cigarettes then our journey can be so much easier. Our quest for freedom can be a thing that flows rather then feeling like a ball and chain is attached to our ankles.

 

Sure, it takes work to quit. It takes a belief that you can but more then anything it takes casting away that single doubt. That feeling within you that you want a cigarette. This is what has to become a thing of the past if we’re ever going to find our paths to freedom.

 

Now, on to day 16!!

Had a few urges last night and this morning. They do tend to pop up out of the blue at times. The thing is that each time I get them, I find it easier and easier to ignore them. I think the urges are just a fact of life that we must deal with for as long as it takes. I am noticing that they no longer seem to start with triggers. They just appear.

The thing is that though we must be aware of them we still can’t give them to much power. We can’t let them become a thing that would derail a quit. If we dwell on them, it adds power to them. If we find them to be uncomfortable, this gives them power as well. If we forget that they are only a temporary thing, this too gives the urges power. We must know our urges almost as a living thing in order to beat them.

At times it seems like it would be hard to ignore these things, but I think it can be done with practice. After all, I really don’t want to smoke and I know that. I don’t even like the smell of cigarettes any more, so why would I give these urges any credibility at all. The only thing that I really have to work through is the physical aspect of the urges which are becoming less and less prominent with each passing day.

Although I realize that the urges must be respected for what they can do, they still don’t have to be a driving force in my life. Instead I choose to do other things that take away their power. Sucking on a straw. Breathing deeply. Writing or reading. And when at work I never let them get the best of me because I know that I could be at my weakest there. So I work with less breaks. I get more accomplished then I would when I used to take all those smoke breaks so once again quitting is creating a positive scenario in my life.

I look at the urges as an enemy to what I want to achieve. And when one has an enemy, it’s best to know all you can about that enemy. It’s best to understand why that enemy exists. It’s best if we know what we’re up against before that enemy has a chance to do any damage.

And so I continue to live and learn and learn how to live my new smoke free life. This is how we do it. One urge at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time until we reach that moment when we are truly free.

So hello day thirteen! So glad I have another day! Now, onward to freedom!!

Often when we quit, we get kind of stuck in the flow of things. We don't see the reality of what we're trying to achieve. Sure, we know the reality because we feel it. We know the reality because we live it. But sometimes, the whole idea of quitting can seem to loose it's lustor.

 We find ourselves questioning if it's all worth it. We see others who still smoke and they seem happy enough. We see all kinds of things that remind us that we're moving into a new life. A new world that's quite different from what we're used to. Our path can seem dull and useless.

 This is when it's time to turn the page in our lives. This is the time to look at what we.ve been missing. Sure, the days can seem long and hard at times. Sure, there are days when we don't even want to get out of bed just to fight our addiction again.

 But there is so much that we don't seem to think about until we turn that page. Until we stop for a moment and take stock of what we're doing. Every day that we defeat our addiction is a day to be celebrated. Every day that we get out of bed to walk the journey should be a day to look forward to for we must walk this journey before we can reach the end of it and each day takes us closer to the finish line.

 Each day bolsters our belief in ourselves and what we can accomplish if we really try. Each day shows us the resolve that we've created to win this internal battle within ourselves. Each day shows us that yes, we can win!

 So when your really feeling like it's not worth it, turn the page. Look at the colors that your creating inside yourself. See the beauty that is you for really, who else are we doing this for. The more you prove your ability to complete this long task, the more you can believe in yourself.

 And when you believe in yourself it just adds color to what could be a drab page in life. So rejoice in your committment. Rejoice in the fact that what your doing right now is going to effect the rest of your life. Get out there and prove to all who would question that yes, I can take back my life.

 Our quest in beating this addiction is based on freedom. We want so badly to know what freedom feels like. We want to know that we can walk the Earth without fear of ourselves. These are things that we can take with us and use to our advantage when life throws something hard in our way.

So go for it! Turn that page and feel the colors of life. And when we look back on these days that seemed so dark. When we look back on the achievement we have made for ourselves, this will be the day we can smile for yes this is the day that we are free!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Time

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 7, 2011

So often in life, we look to our past and wonder how we could’ve done things differently. We wonder how things would be now if we’d just done this or that before. It’s always good practice to visit the past from time to time. There are so many lessons there to be learned. So much wisdom that comes from our own experience.

The past is the place where we can learn from our mistakes and use that knowledge to improve our future. The past is also a place where we can dwell to much. A place where we can be proud of our achievements as well as wishing we hadn’t done some particular thing.

But really, all we can do is wish. There’s nothing in the past that can be changed. Once the day is lived, it becomes static. A building block to the now.

But right here, right now we have a unique opportunity. Although we can’t change the past, we can change our futures! What we do today, at this moment is the building blocks for our future. The day that we decided to quit smoking, we paved the way for a future that will be quite different from our past.

We created a foundation that pertains not only to right now, but to our future days. We chose to deal with a little unpleasantness now in order to create a pleasant future. It’s funny, but as soon as we decide to quit. As soon as we realize that we really do care about our futures, it sets something in motion that we build on every day.

And as each of our decisions become the past, this teaches us how to deal with the present. And our present determines our future. So every time you get one of those urges in the present, instead of thinking about the unpleasantness of now, think of the freedom of the future.

Every time you decide you might just go to the store and pick up that pack of cigarettes and make yourself feel better now, think of what your doing to your future! Do you really want the addiction to be there, waiting for you to arrive in your smoke filled future or do you want to walk into that future free of the shackles of addiction?

Do you want to walk into a future where you must relive your quit or do you want to deal with it right now and look forward to those wonderful days ahead?

I guess the bottom line is, "How do you see yourself in the future?" And if you see yourself free of the shackles of addiction then the next question might be, "Should I deal with the unpleasantness now or wait till tomorrow?"

I guess it all depends on how you really want to see your future!

Have a wonderful smoke free day!

Wow! It’s amazing how time can fly. Two weeks into my quit and doing good! Although I can also tell that these pesky urges are still there. It’s just that they’re not as strong as they used to be, but still existent.

So while I can say that it does get easier, I also have to be aware. I feel that I’m in a stage of my quit that could be deceptive so to speak. The reason being that the urges are still there, waiting for a chance to pounce and catch me off guard.

During the first week of our quits, I think that the discomforts of our withdrawal keeps us constantly aware that we must protect our quits. After a week we begin to gain some confidence in the fact that yes, we really don’t need cigarettes. That yes, we can win this thing.

But the sad fact is that as those urges become less and less intense, we tend to let our guards down a little. We tend to forget what those urges can make us do if we let them. So really all I can say is that as it gets easier, we can’t forget what we’ve learned. We can’t forget those triggers and we especially can’t forget those urges.

I think if we do that it allows a little room for a slip because if we get a strong urge that we don’t expect and happen to be in a weak state of mind for whatever reason, then yes the urge might actually overpower us.

But not if we’re ready for it as we were in the first week of quitting. So long as it stays in the forefront of our minds that it’s not quite over yet, then we can come out alright in the end. Just a bit more work for us as time goes on.

Our brains want this stuff and they’ll try to get it anyway they can!

Now, on to week three, mindful and ready to battle . . .

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

I'm an addict?

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 5, 2011

When we first realize that we’re really an addict, how does that make us feel? For me it was a day of discovery. By accepting that I was indeed a nicotine addict I was able to understand first of all that my addiction wasn’t a habit at all.

This is a big step when we quit I think because when we place a proper emphasis on our addiction it allows us to see it for what it really is. Calling it mearly a habit downgrades the reality of it in our minds. It makes us think that will power alone is all we need.

This can be dangerous thinking because it can cause us to believe that our quits will be a walk through the park. That we don’t have to fight to win our freedom. And when we start with that kind of rational then we might not have the resolve we need to win our fight. We don’t take the quit quite serious enough and can be sidelined by the intensity with which our bodies fight to keep us smoking.

But when we understand that our smoking isn’t a habit but rather an addiction, we seek to find out how to beat it. We understand that yes, it’s harder to beat an addiction then a habit because rather then just dealing with our minds, we realize that we must deal with a very real physical reality as well.

We understand that though it won’t be the walk in the park, we can beat our cravings with knowledge and willpower. We tend to build more of an arsenal of weapons to fight our addiction and we just take it more seriously.

This is why we know that just like any addiction, it can come back on us when we least expect it. It can surprise us without any warning because it’s tentacles run deep within us. And like any addiction, one of the hardest things to prepare for is the lifestyle changes that must accompany it.

To beat a real addiction, we have to be ready to think of things differently. Even waking up in the morning can become a challenge because this was a time when we really wanted to smoke. Though it does take willpower and a lot of determination, it’s still an achievable goal so long as we give the addiction the understanding it deserves.

So when we feel those powerful cravings run through the body, understand that this is normal. When we have to fight endlessly with our very minds, understand that this is natural as well. For to beat an addiction it takes first of all a strong desire to do it. It takes a belief that we can do it and it takes a willingness to go through those first hard days without that cigarette. It takes a belief that we can change our everyday habits and if we can manage to see our world without cigarettes in it then I think there’s every possibility that we can succeed.

It does take a lot of work but in the end, when we’re free of the initial discomforts that we must face and start living that new life of freedom, this is the day that we can be proud but it’s also the day that we must realize that we’ll always be addicts. We’ll always have to watch for that addiction to try to surface again. But so long as we never give up and never give in, then life as an addict becomes something that we can deal with and soon it becomes our habit to live life smoke free!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 12

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 5, 2011

Well another day is now in the past and a bright shiny one beginning. Had a few urges last night and noticed something interesting. Right before the true urge hits, I feel a kind of flash run through my brain as if my mind is sending the instructions to my body to reach for a cigarette. And then the physical urge comes.

 I'm wondering if perhaps I've seperated the urge from the trigger. It really feels like this when I think about it. But whatever this hard to describe flash is, it happens right before the actual urge. This is something I can use. It's like a warning that I'm about to have an urge. By seeing it a moment before the actual urge hits, I can prepare for the inevetable urge that follows.

  I can strengthen myself before the actual physical feelings kick in. One thing I've been doing is using a straw. It gives my hands and mouth something to do. Kind of like a pacifier I guess. But I'm trying to train my mind to reach for a straw rather then a cigarette and this seems to be working for me.

 When I get an urge and grab one of these straws, the urge actually eases if not completely goes away. I think changing our reaction to an urge is a big step in quitting. If the first thought that pops into our minds when we get an urge isn't for a cigarette, then this can go along way to staying smoke free!

 I'll still have to get over my addiction of straws down the road however. LOL

Now on to day 12!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Fear?

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 4, 2011

I was just thinking of that first day that I decided to quit. You know, the moment when the thought first enters your mind. And I also remember the response to myself. It was quite simply, "You can’t do it!" This thought terrified me. I lit a cigarette and sat down to think a little. I asked myself why I wanted to quit but my mind was in a torrent of emotion at the mere thought of it and I honestly couldn’t come up with a single reason to quit.

As I finished my cigarette, the old familiar cough came rattling through my body and I thought, "O.K. Now I have a reason to quit." Of course this wasn’t really enough to convince myself to quit. I lit Another cigarette and sat there, still trying to convince myself that it was time to quit and again my mind screamed at me, telling me that I would never allow myself to quit.

I wondered about this. Why was my own mind trying to terrify me into not making this important decision? Why was I sitting here smoking and arguing with myself? What was making me so frightened?

I sat there, this time without a cigarette in my hand and came up with the answer. Because a part of my mind was convinced that the nicotine was as important to my well being as eating. This kind of shocked me. Which part of my mind is convinced that I NEED to have nicotine.

The answer became clear to me as the terror of the idea of quitting began to subside within me. It was my physical brain. The part that doesn’t understand the difference between right and wrong. The part that only reacts to stimulants such as sight, sound, touch, taste and of course nicotine. I realized that this part of my brain somehow believed that nicotine was as important as eating to the wellbeing of my body.

Yet this same brain knew it wasn’t. This made me realize where the turmoil was coming from. The same brain and yet two different parts of it. A brain divided so to speak. This is where I found the determination to quit. By understanding the two sides of this brain. By understanding the internal conflict within myself and where it came from.

This was the moment I realized that to win this battle with myself, one part of my brain would have to train the other part. That part had to learn that nicotine was not as important as food. It had no impact on the wellbeing of the body.

And then I picked up the phone and called a quit line, knowing that if there was an internal battle to face, I was going to need some help. I was going to need the support of people who had already fought this battle. As I dialed the number, I began shaking almost uncontrollably. When someone actually answered, I almost hung up. I literally had to hold my own hand back.

By the time I finished the conversation with these wonderful supportive people, I had calmed a little. It was now all set up. Nicotine patches would arrive shortly and a quit date would be established. This was when both parts of my brain realized that my thoughts were no longer just thoughts but were going to become a reality.

Still, I was scared of quitting until the very day BEFORE my quit date. I prepped my mind the entire day before I quit and somehow the next morning, there was no fear! And the moment the fear was gone, I knew I was going to succeed. I knew that both parts of my brain were in agreement. Don’t think that one side still didn’t fight the other but as soon as the fear was gone, I knew I would win the internal battle with my self for the one side of the brain had lost the most valuable weapon it had.

I just thought I’d share this little story with you because for me it somehow made this whole quit thing make sense to me and with that understanding, my mind cleared enough to work on the important stuff. Because once the entire mind is in agreement it can focus on the urges. It can focus on the triggers. It can focus on the entire process of quitting and once that happens, there’s just no turning back!

Best wishes to all and have a wonderful smoke free weekend!

Wow! The days keep wracking up for my new smoke free life. I know there’s a lot of us here who are discovering this very same thing. Our endless fight with our addiction becomes a little easier with each passing day.

I’ve noticed that my urges are becoming something a little different. More of a thought then an urge. In other words, the real physical part really is fading away and is being replaced by seemingly innocent thoughts about cigarettes.

This is what we'll have to keep our eyes open for as the days and years go by. That part of our minds that still remembers our addictions. The part that still sees our smoking as a normal part of our daily lives. This is the thing that can sneak up on us down the road and in some cases cause us to slip or even relapse.

I think we’ll always have to work on our quits though it’ll be much easier with each passing day. But the mind has a way of catching one at weak moments in our lives. This is why I relapsed years ago, I think.

But since then I’ve learned. I’ve taken the negative of my long past relapse and turned it into a positive. I’ve figured out what must always be watched for. That thing that starts out as a little thought. You know, the thought that can slowly become a nagging itch if you let it come to the forefront of the mind. The thought that soon becomes the gateway to a new addiction if we let it.

Mother goose pointed that out in a reply to me yesterday. This is why it’s in the forefront of my mind today. This is why I’ve looked inside myself to find the answers to the wisdom of those more experienced in the quit then I.

It’s never to late to learn. It’s never to late to build on what we already know. This is a big part of the beauty of this place. While I walk the path of freedom with many others who are on the same day as me, I still get the advice of those who know what lies ahead.

But I also know that so long as I stay true to myself and always look inside of myself, I will find the answers to the questions and warnings that so many of the experienced ones teach us. It’s time well spent in my opinion!

I think we should keep what we learn on our journey close to our hearts for these little pearls of wisdom that we realize along the way could be what saves us down the road.

And now on to day 11!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Just a thought

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 3, 2011

When one decides to quit smoking, we kind of make a deal with ourselves. We look inside and decide that this is what we’re going to do like it or not. Then the fear steps in. It’s a fear of changing our lifestyles and even though we know it’s a positive thing, we still fear it.

We think of what life will be like without cigarettes. We wonder how we’ll deal with the stressful times in our lives when we don’t have a kind of tool that we always had to deal with these things. We wonder how we’ll cope with life itself without that nasty little stick. Some of us even look at the cigarette as an old friend that we don’t want to lose.

And our own minds seem to fight us every step of the way, trying to convince us that it’s something we can put off till later. Or after the first uncomfortable day that we face, the mind tells us that this will not work. Our own minds screams at us, convinced that we’re not giving our bodies what they really need.

This is the face of addiction. A thing that causes what should be a positive decision to seem at the very least negative. This creates a kind of turmoil within our own minds. We fight ourselves until that day that we become committed to achieve this positive goal for ourselves.

Once we become committed, we decide that we will fight this negative thinking that goes on within us. We decide that we will ignore this negativity and this is when we start to develop determination to defeat this negative aspect in our minds.

Determination can be as strong or as weak as you let it be in my opinion. But it’s also something that can be created if we try simply by looking at the positives rather then dwelling endlessly on the negatives which is what our own addicted minds try to generate. When we listen to the negatives, we loose hope. We lose our belief that yes, we can do this!

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that our quits can be as easy or as hard as we choose to make them. If we can squash our fear of quitting and if we can focus only on the good aspects of quitting, it just makes the journey easier. And in turn we gain a belief within ourselves that we can actually achieve this positive step in our lives. We believe that we can overcome the initial discomfort of quitting.

So try to live each day understanding that we are indeed doing a good thing in our lives. Try to live each of those hard first days when our minds and bodies fight with us in the spirit of the positive. Keep your determination in the forefront and believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it. Understand that this time in your life is only temporary and that soon all the discomfort will only be a memory.

Do whatever it takes to lead ourselves out of our addiction. We are the only one’s who can really fight for our lives. We are the only ones who can save ourselves from the negativity that can consumes us! We are the only ones who can take that final step and put our addiction away because we know that our future means more to us then a little discomfort right now. And in the end, we are the ones who can be proud of ourselves for beating an addiction that simply robs us of life and breath!

Just a few random thoughts from one who is in the beginnings of a journey that will last the rest of my life . .

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Day 10

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Mar 3, 2011

Hey all,

 Been really busy the last few days! Still smoke free of course and I gotta tell ya, if I was ever going to smoke again, two days ago would've been the day! Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right? That's how that day was.

 Stared out loosing some supplies out of our truck on the way to a job. Then we got there, got to the point where we could finally start hanging sheet rock. Started screwing the first sheet when I noticed a little water undernieth the sheet. Pulled the screw and was blasted in the face by refreshing, ice cold water! We'd obviously hit a water pipe.

 Got the mess cleaned up and got a plumber over there. Lost about three hours in the process and of course, got to pay the plumber. I had lot's of down time and my partner was smoking up a storm during this time. Funny thing is, I never even thought about smoking. The thought never even entered my mind. This told me that for now I'm over the hump.

 Still, I'll keep my guard up for a while. It's when you least expect it when the cravings can hit but as long as your ready for them, it doesn't get you! Got to get going. Will be in touch.

 Stay strong everyone and wishing you all the best ever smoke free day!