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Day 158 - Harmony

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jul 29, 2011

Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m doing just fine. No real problems with my quit. Just loving my life of freedom. I still live with my internal addict. It’s just a fact of life when we quit but he’s so much easier to live with now. My understanding of my addiction has taken me miles from where I stood just a few months ago.


Don’t ever believe that quitting isn’t worth the effort. It’s worth every bit of energy that we have to put into our quits. It’s worth every internal struggle. It’s worth every sleepless night and every ounce of weight that we gain for with each step that we take up the slopes of Mt. Freedom we find ourselves that much closer to what we really seek.


Harmony. A harmony within ourselves that we don’t feel for quite some time after we quit. But it does return my friends. And when we calm our addiction to the point that we can once again feel the harmony within ourselves then we have indeed achieved a goal like no other. Because the only way we can feel that harmony is to have accepted that we no longer smoke.


When all doubt is squashed that we will ever have to smoke, this is the day that our harmony returns to us. It’s the day when we finally stop fighting with ourselves. It’s the end of one journey and the beginning of a new one for as addicts the journey never really ends. It just becomes ever easier until we no longer realize that we’re still on the journey.


So never doubt the rewards that wait for you down the road. Never believe for even an instant that you cannot win this battle with yourselves. For so long as we are true to ourselves then we really can’t stray from the path of freedom. So long as our hearts are filled with a longing for life then we cannot stray from our goals. So long as our souls believe that our health is more important then the slow agonizing death that our addiction can bring, then we will win.


So long as we can always look to the days ahead that are filled with a kind of peace that we cannot feel as addicts, then we will win. The path is clear. It’s been blazed for you by so many before you. Look to the light that is knowledge. Learn the lessons of those who have walked before you for though much cannot be learned without ourselves living it, there’s still a wealth of help for the mind. There’s the power of the many to help the soul. There’s the undying love of our fellow man that lives in this place. Take all of it in that you can. Ease your tortured minds for a bit by writing to the community. Find the things that will help you to win and soon you’ll be where I’m at now.


Loving a life of freedom and feeling the harmony that freedom can bring. Feeling the power that only I could find with my own determination. Feeling a love of life that might have been lost while in the throws of addiction.


Go for it my friends!! Keep your commitment and never give in to yourself. You and you alone have the power to win this goal of freedom. Only you can fight the good fight of a winner! Only you can throw away the shackles of addiction once and for all and only you can fight for your future right now by believing in a future that is free of that monster we call nicotine addiction.


Now, take a deep breath, open your mind to your new reality and fly onward to your future of freedom! I can’t wait to meet you at the finish line!!




Day 143 "Belief"

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jul 14, 2011

Still enjoying the freedom of a smoke free life! And to think almost five months ago it was just a thought. Amazing! The journey up the mountain did indeed begin with a thought that was transformed into a belief that I could actually quit. A belief that I could break the shackles of my addiction and not only find but actually ENJOY the freedom that awaited me.


Often my own mind tried to weaken my resolve to quit. Often I heard thoughts running through my mind that really made no sense to me. It just wasn’t what was right. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. And so I assigned a name to this part of my mind. I called it the "addict within". Not as an excuse or something to assign blame to but rather to clarify to myself the two parts of my brain that seemed to be in constant conflict.


I created a mountain to climb to show my inner self that I was indeed on a journey and yet by climbing I knew I would get there. The reason is that I had climbed many a real mountain in my day. I used to love climbing those fourteen thousand foot peaks that are right in my back yard. I felt the freedom and joy of accomplishment every time I reached the top of yet another of these magnificent peaks. And it always proved to me that if I believe it, I could be it!


When I quit I told myself that the reward will be once again climbing one of those peaks. Once again feeling the freedom that can only come from a place that is hard and yet not impossible to get to. Tasting the sweet air as a nonsmoker for the first time and standing on the top looking at all I’d accomplished. These were the dreams that propelled me onward. These were the things that kept my belief in myself strong and powerful.


And so I continued to visualize these things. The addict within. The mountain of freedom. These were symbols that my mind could grasp. A way of communicating and understanding myself that might never have been achieved without the help of these things. To me, it’s so much easier to ignore something that has a name attached to it. It’s so much easier to understand the internal arguments we feel when we quit when there is a name attached to those arguments.


And so I continue on, content in the fact that I now have control over the addict within. I now have climbed yet another mountain and tasted the sweet air of freedom. I have accomplished a lot not because of these visions but because I had a belief in myself when I started this journey. I had a belief in my ability to finish the journey and I had a belief that I could indeed change my future because of the actions I perform today.


I still look inward every day, charting my addiction and telling the addict within that he has no power over me. Sure, it wakes up and tries to tempt me every now and then but I simply ignore him for what he is. An addiction.


And so I continue on, never doubting my ability to keep my quit safe. Always believing that this is yet another smoke free day. Always knowing that though I have seen the top of Mt. Freedom there will always be new mountains to climb. There will always be new challenges in my life. There will always be that future that I have fought so hard to see.


I will always look within myself, for that is where the journey really lives. I’ll always look to the top of Mt. Freedom for that is where my new life began. I’ll always speak to the addict within until I understand every grain of truth about my addiction that I can for knowledge is indeed power. Especially the knowledge that comes from within for that is the knowledge of the soul. That is the knowledge that makes us what we really are.


So always believe in yourself. Always believe in your ability to win. Never run from your addiction but rather embrace it. Learn it. Know it. Keep it close so it can do you no harm. Never question your ability to succeed in your quest for freedom!


The mountain may not be an easy one to climb but it is attainable. It is worth the effort. And so long as you keep your commitment to yourself and your future you will never, ever give in. So long as you take stock of who you really are and understand that you are no longer a smoker you will win. So long as you continue to embrace the new future that you are trying to create right now, you cannot lose.


Keep your eye on the prize!!

I remember when I put out my last cigarette. I thought there would be this ritual that I would go through to tell my old friend goodbye. But at the moment I put that cigarette out, I instead saw through the lies that my "old friend" had been telling me.


I realized at that very moment that this evil weed had a grip on me that was stronger then I could have ever imagined even though all of this was inside of me. I realized how my old friend had tied me to a long chain that I had to drag with me everywhere I went. I realized that my old friend was trying to kill me and that the death my old friend had chosen for me was not going to be pretty.


I realized that my old friend had been robbing me of life and breath for years while telling me the sweet lies that only an addiction can tell a person. And I realized that with every day that I smoked throughout my life that the addict within was becoming stronger and more confident in it’s ability to keep me enslaved forever.


I realized a reality that was almost laughable when I thought about it. My "old friend" in reality was nothing more then the soothing lies of an addiction.


When we really understand that we are indeed addicts, it takes away the ability of our own addictions to fool us. The sweet lies of the addict within change to the reality of what we are actually doing when we smoke. The addict within will always try to convince us that it’s O.K. to smoke. That it’s O.K. to care only about the present and never look to the future where the sad and lonely death that our addiction has chosen for us awaits. That it’s fine to continue feeding the body poisons because unlike other poisons, these poisons make you feel better.


The day that we realize that our internal addict is no friend of ours is the day that we take our first step toward freedom. It’s the day that we discover something about ourselves that we might never have realized. And that is that we actually do care about our futures. We actually do care about freedom. We actually do care about our health and how well we can breathe.


And at that time it’s like a shroud is lifted from our eyes for we no longer desire to feed our addiction. This in turn allows us to see our addiction at face value. It allows us to see through the shroud that we have placed over our minds in order to keep smoking. It allows us to see through the sweet lies of our addiction to the reality that exists if we don’t care enough about ourselves to defeat the enemy within.


And that’s when we see the ugly reality of smoking. That’s when we can see what we are really doing to ourselves every time we light another cigarette. That’s when we can take those first faltering steps toward our freedom and that’s when we know in our hearts that we will not be enslaved any longer. We will be free and nothing is more important then that!


So take a long hard look at that "old friend". Realize that this is no friend but rather an addiction that is lying to you. Realize that this friend should be kicked to the curb before he kills you. Understand that you are an addict and then use that knowledge to defeat the demon that drives you to continue smoking. Look past all the lies to the future that awaits you and remember that what you do today will determine the future that you will live tomorrow.


Let freedom reign and never listen to the sweet lies of your addictions again!!

Wow! It really is amazing how it feels as the time passes from that first day of our quits. There really is a rainbow out there if you want it. There really is that light at the end of the tunnel and it’s so very worth it to reach that light.


I remember back on those first hard days when I saw Mt. Freedom in my minds eye. The mountain was simply my way to visualize my journey as I walked the path to freedom. I remember how daunting the summit looked when I first started. I remember how far away it looked to me and I remember that I was quite determined to make my way to this beautiful summit that signified the future I so badly wanted to be in.


I remember those first faltering steps up the slope. One foot in front of the other as I slowly gained confidence in my ability to reach this goal in my life. I saw the snow fields up ahead and knew that I would have to be careful lest I slip on the ice and have to start over again. I remember climbing out of the snow field and stepping onto the soft, lush tundra.


I remember always looking to the summit where the banner of freedom stood tall and proud, beckoning me to reach it. Looming ahead and waiting for me to raise it high for all to see. Calling to me with each step that I took to reach that seemingly insurmountable goal!


I always kept my eye on the prize of freedom as I walked always upward, secure in the knowledge that each step brought me closer to the prize. Each step brought me closer to freedom. There were hard days when I really had to keep my eye on the summit and never look back for I knew that my journey lied in the future. I knew that the past could bring memories to my mind. Memories of smoking.


And so I continued ever upward until I reached that summit. Until that day that I could stand on it and wave that banner of freedom high over my head. And you know what? It doesn’t seem that long ago at all when I was standing at the base of Mt. Freedom. It wasn’t that long ago that I began a journey to take my life back from the enslavement of my addiction.


This is how it can be for you as well! Once you take the first faltering step into that new future, never look back! Never believe that your life belongs in the world of addiction. Your so much better then that. Your life is worth so much and should never be threatened by the slow death that awaits those who deny themselves the freedom they deserve.


So just remember, though we all have to start with that first day. Though we all have to see the summit of our freedom seem so far away. It eventually gets closer. It is attainable and it’s worth every step that you must take up those slopes. It’s worth every struggle that you must face.


Freedom never comes easy. There’s always a price to pay. But once you get there and look back on the long climb that got you there. Once you realize what freedom really feels like. This is the day that all of the hard work pays off! This is the day that all of us dream of the moment we choose to put out that last cigarette.


And you know what? This is the day that I dream of for all of you!!


Can’t wait to see you on the summit . . .

Well, I have now stepped out of no man’s land and have started looking around at what exists on the other side. I have stood on the summit of Mt. Freedom and waved the banner of freedom as I always dreamed I would. I have fixed ropes for those who desire to follow me and I am living a dream that I’ve wanted to live for a long, long time. Now I just wonder why I waited so long to get there.


It started with a single thought and that thought turned into a reality and then that reality blossomed into freedom. I know it’s hard for some to ever believe that there is freedom from our addictions. The reality of it is that we are indeed free the moment we put out that last cigarette.

But remaining free takes a little work. Each day does get a little easier and yet it might not seem like it. To me it’s like seeing someone lose weight. If we see the person every day then we might not notice a difference. But someone who sees the same person a week later might notice a difference in them.

Quitting is much the same. Each day gets easier by degree. It may seem hard to notice because it’s not much different then the day before and yet over time, we slowly come to the realization that yes, the journey has gotten easier. We have to dig into our past to see it but it’s there.

And now I’ve reached that stage where I only get an occasional urge and it passes so fast that I hardly knew it was there. It’s so easy to ignore now. And ignore them I do but still I understand that I must keep my commitment to myself lest I become complacent and forget that yes, I am an addict.

Losing an addiction is indeed a wonderful thing but at the same time it can open the door for problems if we’re not careful. And so I work on my commitment every day. I keep that commitment close to me and realize that the addict within is not gone. He’s simply sleeping because he’s at last grown tired of trying to change me into what I once was.

So all I can say is no matter where you are in your quit, never forget what it took to get there. Never forget that our internal addict could wake up at any given moment and try to tell us it’s sweet lies. Never forget that though the turmoil is over, the addict will always look for weakness. The internal addict will always seek an avenue to express itself by refueling the addiction.

The important thing for me now is to always remember that though I feel free. Though I have reached the world that I’ve always wanted for myself, there is still danger ahead if I allow that danger into my world. There is always those little moments when the memories of smoking will appear out of nowhere.

And so I live my life confident in my ability to hold my addict at bay. I live my life believing that yes, I am a nonsmoker. I am free. But always in the back of my mind is where I will keep my commitment. Always deep within my soul will live the fire of my freedom. And always deep in my heart will be the answer to the addict within every time he tries to derail my freedom.

And the answer is so simple it’s almost laughable.

The answer for me is simply, "I’m free!!!"

As I walk out of the land of confusion and move onward in my journey, I remember many a thing that both amazed me and surprised me in the last few months. When I started this journey, I never would have believed the power that the addict within had over me. I never would have believed the internal conflict that I would set up for myself. I never would have believed that I would listen to the sweet lies of my addiction and give them any credibility at all.


But these things did happen. The conflict was ever confusing and yet real. The addiction tried to use the tentacles that it had dug into me to get me back to those "normal" days of cigarettes, as the addiction puts it. The mind rebelled because the very world that I knew so well was changing and a part of my mind couldn’t fathom that change. It just seemed like so much work!!


But each step I took on this journey proved to me and my addiction that the old ways were just that. The old ways. I knew deep inside that I was doing the right thing and yet somehow, my mind rebelled.


I thought this to be a sign of weakness at first. I found this to be something that made no sense to me even though I was living it. And yet when I thought of this, I realized that it wasn’t a weakness at all. It was my mind telling me that I was an addict. Showing me what my addiction looks like. Creating a scenario that I never wanted to live again and yet, somehow still did.


So yes, there are many confusing moments for us as we quit. There are many conflicting days within our own minds. The thing is that the mind eventually clears the confusion away. The mind does eventually weaken the addict and tuck that creature away as best as it can.


But so long as I know that the addict is there, then I am safe. So long as I know the intentions of the addict, then I have the knowledge to protect my quit. So long as I always remember the lessons learned in the last few months, then I will be fine.


So this is indeed when the journey gets easier for us my friends. It is indeed the day that we look forward to from the first day that we start the journey of our futures. It’s there waiting for you and yet lives within you all along. It’s the gem of life that we seek. The gem that will brighten our futures and build a confidence within ourselves that cannot be taken from us for that gem lives within us.


And all it takes to see that gem is the ability to clear the clutter of addiction from our minds, allowing our minds to see things more clearly. So fight on my friends! The day is coming ever closer when you can take that breath of freedom and love it’s sweet taste. The day is right over the horizon. The one where your freedom lies so long as you never give up or give in.


I have to tell you that this journey is worth every second that we put into it. It’s worth all the agony that we ourselves create along the way. It’s worth all the confusion. It’s worth all the internal fighting within ourselves.


Freedom does indeed come with a price. But freedom is also the best feeling that you can imagine!


So look to that future without cigarettes! Look to the future that you yourself are fighting to create. Never loose sight of that goal of freedom and before you even realize how much time has passed, you WILL come out on the other side!!!

Still finding my path to freedom and what a wonderful path it is!! As I find myself ever more on the other side of my addiction I sometimes wonder why it seemed so hard. Really, what I’ve learned is something that can be taught but in reality, it has to be lived. Perhaps this is just the reality of an addiction.


Since the addiction lives within us, we have to teach ourselves how to get to the other side. This comes from experience and is practiced over time. To me, this is why each day gets easier. Because of the experience and the fact that every day is a learning opportunity to teach our addict within.


But we can never become to confident in our quits. So many things can come at us that can derail the very confidence we have in ourselves. I mention this because we are about to go into a holiday weekend. This is a time to be very careful and aware of our internal battle. This is the time to remember all that we have accomplished.


This is also a time to remember that our internal addict may try to derail our quits using the memories of our past holidays. The addict may decide that this is the best time to sneak up on us and slap us in the face with urges that are formed from past experiences on these holidays.


As many have said, we are not completely safe with our quits until we live all of the memories of the past. You know, the ones with cigarettes in them. It’s so easy to associate a day such as the forth of July with times when we smoked before. This must not happen!!


So I hope we can all enjoy our holiday as we have earned it but at the same time we must remember to keep our addicts at bay and be just a little prepared for a surprise urge. If alcohol is a trigger for you then perhaps it should be avoided this weekend so that we do not give the addict within additional ammunition to attack us with.


But the thing is that once we get through this holiday and put it behind us, we can put another notch in the belt of our quits. We can be proud of the fact that we have made it one step closer to our freedom. We can indeed celebrate life and relish in the fact that we are still free.


After all, this particular holiday really does signify a kind of freedom. And for us, it can signify a freedom from ourselves. It can signify our belief in ourselves. It can signify our desire to see so many more holidays in the future, free of the addictions of the past.


So if you find yourself to be weakening during this weekend, think of the future that you seek and forget the memories of the past. See the beauty of what you are doing and never ever think that the addict within can win for if we remain just a little aware of him, then we can take away his ammunition. We can strip him of his ability to derail our quits.


So fight on my friends! Celebrate our freedom as we celebrate the freedom from ourselves! We have the power to win this internal battle. All it takes is a desire to be truly free and I for one have that desire deep inside of me. I have the desire to fight for my freedom and the belief that nothing can ever stop me from attaining that freedom!


Onward to the freedom that we so dearly love!!