Skip navigation
All People > Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 > Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Blog > 2012 > April
2012
Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Random Thoughts

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Apr 18, 2012

Good morning,

I hope everyone is safely guarding their quits and are as happy as you can be under the circumstances. Me, I’ve been enjoying my life of freedom. I don’t mention this to rub it in. No, I mention it so that we can all keep our eyes on the prize of freedom that we so desperately want.

I was heavily into my addiction when I decided to quit, smoking thirty plus cigarettes a day. Every facet of my life had cigarettes in it. I really never understood just how addicted I was until that day that I didn’t just think about quitting but actually took those first steps to prepare. When I stared tracking those cigarettes and tweaking my triggers and urges to create a separation from the desire to smoke and the actual action of smoking. A kind of pre-training that in the end helped a lot.

But that’s because while I took the time to prepare, I never lost touch with the reality that I would be quitting very soon down the road. That’s the trick with preparation I think. To keep focused on the quit while learning as much about the addiction and how we react to it as possible. This allows one to build a foundation to use when the actual event takes place. The danger of course is that some might lose their desire to quit while prepping so this must always be weighed in when prepping. If we begin to think that quitting is a bad idea then our preparations can do more harm then good. Again, this is a personal decision that must be made by each of us.

In my case, I was able to prep without losing sight of my original goal and because of this as I mentioned before, I was able to learn a little about myself before I actually quit. So if your just starting out I would weigh this option carefully. So long as you don’t lose sight of the original goal then preparation is well worth the effort I think.

I even did what I called "practice quits" where I would not allow myself to have a cigarette for anywhere from four to six hours. Many wondered why I didn’t just quit then and the answer for me was simple. I wasn’t quite ready yet and I knew this. But I did have a solid plan that I never wavered from and this helped me in the end I think.

Keeping that unwavering commitment strong is a key to success. This is why I used Mt. Freedom to represent my goal. By using the mountain I was able to visualize both my progress as well as always seeing that summit of freedom in my minds eye. For those of you who never read my blogs about the mountain, I’ll share my vision with you.

I see Mt. Freedom as a large mountain that holds many twists, turns and possible traps for the traveler who climbs to freedom. There’s obstacles that must be avoided or climbed over. There’s always the chance of slipping on the ice fields if we’re not careful. The path is fairly clear as it was blazed by so many before me, but the reality is that the path is different for each of us. What some see as an obstacle others breeze right past.

But I always kept that vision of the summit in my minds eye and I always understood what that summit meant. I could see those who had traveled before me standing on the summit and urging me on. Some of them held ropes in case another might need a little help as they scratch their way to their own freedom. Others even come down the path to help when we get confused but all have the same goal in mind. Getting as many people as possible to the summit where their freedom lies.

I climbed slowly through the boulder fields because I was so close that I didn’t want to fall and have to start over. This was when I could see that banner of freedom waving in the wind! I was so close now. Those at the top were gesturing to me and urging me on as I fought my way up that last hard slope. And then I was there, standing with all who desired to help me and we were patting each other on the back and smiling as the banner of freedom was placed in my hand to wave high and proud. There is so much happiness there on the summit because to those who stand there, freedom for another is all that matters.

And now in my minds eye, I can see others climbing upward, using the trail that was blazed by others simply because it makes no sense to try to blaze a new trail when there’s one that others have tried successfully that already exists.

The bottom line is that we can all create our own mountains. We can make them hard or easy to climb. We can blaze our own trails or use the trails of others. But so long as we keep our eyes on that summit and the banner of freedom that awaits us then we can’t go wrong!

So keep climbing my friends! There’s just so many of us who can’t wait to see you join us at the top!!

Good morning!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful smoke free weekend! I know I am but then I always do these days simply because after all the hard work that we must do to beat this addiction is over, well then we get to enjoy the benefits of it and that all starts with a calming of the mind and body. It just happens over time when we manage to lose our addictions.

Of course getting to that point is what we’re all about. Although the process of quitting is a deeply personal thing that we must do, there is still strength in numbers and the wisdom of those who have "been there" is an invaluable asset to our quits simply because sometimes we have to try to understand exactly what’s happening to us.

Like that first day when we decide that we no longer smoke and the addict within begins complaining. Quietly at first and then building into a crescendo of noise that becomes almost impossible to ignore. And then the next day and the next, each one building on the last both in our resolve and internal strength.

Then comes that next week and to me, this is the week that surprises a lot of people because they know the nicotine is out of their systems and yet the addict within is screaming at the top of it’s lungs at us, as this addicted part of the mind tries to determine why theirs no more nicotine.

It’s a week where we can begin to lose our resolve if we’re not careful because no matter how much we prepare, we’re still forced to use the knowledge of the first week to try to understand the second. Thing is, once the nicotine is gone, then we have to fight the longer battle with ourselves. This is what is meant by relearning a life without cigarettes.

I know that very quickly I morphed from an addict terrified of losing my addiction into a relatively calm addict who has indeed lost his addiction. There was a tipping point for me in about the third week I do believe. This was when I began seeing myself in my minds eye without cigarettes. It was a kind of silly exercise that I did where I would close my eyes and think of some past memories. I was actually amazed to discover that almost every one of those memories had cigarettes in them. I was smoking or holding a pack or lighting one up or buying a pack.

Perhaps this was the musings of an addicted mind changing the memories slightly to include cigarettes. I don’t know for sure but it gave me something to work on for you see, we can change our perceptions any time we choose to with just the tiniest bit of effort. And so I thought about those same memories and consciously took the cigarettes out of them. To me it was like I discovered a tool that the addict within was using on me. Dale actually gave me the idea when he said that he believes we have to relive all of the memories of smoking before we’re truly free.

But the bottom line is that from that day forward I would take a little time to modify how I saw my world. I took a little time each day to reinforce the fact that I don’t smoke. I still got the urges but somehow for me it was easier to blow them off, perhaps because I was no longer shackled so much by memories of smoking.

I think there’s lot’s of events like this that we discover as we quit. We’re forced to dig deeply into our very souls in order to win. We see ourselves in ways that we never saw ourselves before. We grow day by day and learn that with enough resolve we can accomplish anything we put our minds to. This is an internal growth that can be carried with you for the rest of your life so even before you really feel the freedom that’s awaiting you, your still accomplishing things that you might not yet realize.

So take each lesson that you learn on this journey and use that to build on the next. Never for a moment think that your not achieving exactly what you want to achieve so long as you remain true to yourself. And always look ahead to that bright future your building right now.

Keep your eye on the ultimate prize of freedom and only look back to learn and before long we’ll all be standing on the summit of Mt. Freedom together, laughing and patting each other on the back for you see, though we had to do this journey alone we also found a way to do it together.

You know, it’s good to stick close to a place like this even after we feel good about our quits and know in our hearts that we can make it our own. But the reality is that since we’re addicts it’s important to remember this even years after a quit because you never know when the old addict within might try to sneak up on us. Even years later powerful urges can come out of nowhere.

For most, it’s no big deal because we know how to control those urges but if we get one when we’re not expecting it perhaps during a stressful time or a life changing experience then we could be at risk. So to me it’s good to keep a quit close even years later so as not to be taken by surprise. And so it only makes sense that I keep coming here and sharing what I can while remembering that I too could be derailed though I don’t believe I will be.

But this is the benefit of a site like this one. You can take what you need from it and stay true to your path of freedom. There’s a kind of power that exists within a support web site. When a group of people unite in a common goal there can be nothing but positive results. To know that we’re not alone in our struggles can be a light that shines on the path to freedom. A light of knowledge and caring. A light of sharing both the good and the bad that must be endured.

So if your just starting out on your quest to freedom then you’ve found a place of wisdom and caring support. If you’ve been on the path for a while then by sharing your journey you light the path of another who might not be able to see it as clearly as others can because others can see your journey from the outside looking in.

But the reality is that we’re all here seeking one thing. A shot at a brighter future. A chance to feel a kind of freedom like no other. The thing is that no one here can do it for you. It’s a journey that must be started and completed by ourselves. It’s just the nature of addiction. Still, the path is only as hard as we make it. We have many tools to help us through the hardships that must be faced on this path. Some use those tools and others do not. Some need those tools and some don’t.

But what it takes to quit really isn’t something that can be given to you. No, it’s something that we find inside. It’s when the desire to be free outweighs the desire to smoke. It’s when we see a brighter future without cigarettes rather then wondering what the world will be like without them. It’s about when we realize that our health is more important then our ridiculous desire to smoke. It’s about when we lose our fear of quitting and about realizing that we’re not "losing an old friend".

So long as we understand that friends don’t try to kill you. Friends don’t try to enslave you. Friends don’t take away hours of your day simply to make that day worse in the end. We’re not losing a friend. No, we’re ridding ourselves of an enemy!

But once the path is clear where it really matters, in our hearts and souls. This is when we can really begin to walk that path. This is when the help here at EX is useful. You don’t have to do it alone but really, we do have to start the journey alone because until we have the resolve that can only come from inside of us. Until we have the belief that we really can do this. Until there is not even the slightest doubt of failure in our minds then we still have internal work to do.

So never give up. Never think that you can’t do it. Of course you can so long as your prepared inside for a fight. So long as you know you will win. So long as freedom matters more to you then a little bump in life then your going to make it and I can’t wait to see you on the other side, free of the shackles of your addiction!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Will it ever end?

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Apr 12, 2012

I think we all run into this thought when we finally take the plunge and quit. The first days we expect trouble and for many of us, we’re surprised at just how easy that first week was compared to what our minds thought it would be like. It’s almost as if the addict within doesn’t even start screaming at us until the second week or more likely, we’re so busy with the physical withdrawals at first that we just don’t notice him.

And then as the weeks go by we become a little more confident in our quits. But along with that comes that seemingly endless nagging from our addiction. The voice that wants to derail our quits. The thing that really does take time to overcome.

This is the part that can make our quit seem endless as we travel our paths to freedom. It’s a rather stubborn part of our brains I think and it’s obviously the part that doesn’t understand the difference between right or wrong. It only reacts to the fact that we’re no longer giving our body the nicotine that it thinks it needs. This creates a kind of internal conflict that can drive us over the edge if we let it.

But the reality is that it does end. Or at least it becomes such a small noise that we can easily ignore it. But until then we’re in danger of loosing our quits because this voice will pop up every time there’s a stressful situation or every time a trigger finds itself in our faces. It’s just a fact that this voice can challenge us over time and can even make us believe that we don’t really want to quit when we’re in a weak moment.

If it were just the three days and bam! Your free! Then I think there would be a whole lot less smokers in this world. Sadly, that’s not the reality of our addictions. We really do have to put a lot into this one task. We really do have to defend ourselves from ourselves. And each time that we quell that maddening voice and step safely out of the trap that it tries to put us in we take that voice down a notch. We teach it that we’re not smoking anymore.

So try to understand that each time we fight our internal addict is a moment of opportunity. It’s a moment to learn. A moment of positive achievement that can reinforce our quits. And before long you’ll realize that though we’ll always be addicts, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be free. It doesn’t mean that our lives will be hell forever. It doesn’t mean that we can’t take something positive in our lives and turn it into a stepping stone to our futures.

So hold on to your quits. Every day does get a little easier. That’s because in our hearts and souls we know that we’re doing the right thing we know that this is something we want to do. We know that we will win because there’s no room for doubt. We know that the insane little voice inside us will no longer hold any power over us because with time that little voice will come to a kind of understanding that no matter what it says you will never smoke again and that my friends is the day that you are truly free!!

Onward to freedom!!

Really, that’s what it’s like to lose a quit I think. After trying for hours, days or weeks to reach that end to an addiction, we suddenly lose our focus and find ourselves back at the base of the mountain. We realize that all we’ve gone through was for nothing. The emotions are incredible as we face feelings of failure because we know that somehow we did this to ourselves.

But the reality is that this scenario can be avoided simply by understanding our addictions a little better. When we choose to quit their seems to be that endless nagging internal voice telling us in a lot of different ways that something’s wrong. Coupled with the withdrawals of the first week smoke free, this can be a terrible discomfort to say the least.

To me there’s two ways to look at that first week. We can see it as hell week and spend the entire week fighting with ourselves and trying to get to the other side. Or we can see that first week as opportunity. You see, though we feel like hell, this is a good time to learn what we’re facing. This is a good time to get to know that addict within just a little better because the bottom line is that the two of you are in for quite a ride together and since the addict within is actually the enemy, it’s always a good idea to know what he’s up to.

I have always called my internal voice the addict within. I mean after all, it’s like a second voice running through the mind and to me a good way to deal with that voice is to give it some kind of name just so it has to come out of hiding. So that you can get to know this part of your brain that seemed to have popped up out of know where to harass you because to the addict within, what we’re doing when we deprive the brain of nicotine is completely wrong!

WE know that what we’re doing is the right thing but somehow our own minds are telling us that it’s not. And so we face a constant struggle with ourselves at first. But if you take a little time to learn about this little brat that makes you want to do what you know is wrong, then when the physical part of the withdrawals are over with your better prepared to deal with that crazy voice. You can learn to tell it to shut up! This should bring about the laughter that Dale often mentions. And it’s really hard to take that voice seriously once you can see the humor in the fact that it’s there.

So though it’s hard. Though it takes time. In the end you’ll find that it was time well spent. And so long as you can deal with that little internal voice and learn to either laugh at it or ignore it then you’ll be fine because this is the part of us that we must overcome to be free. This is a part of the journey that must be lived because until we can see the addict within for what it really is. Until we can take the wind out of it’s sails and push it back to where it really belongs then we can never be completely free.

This is what takes time. To deal with our internal selves. So hang in there my friends. Though it takes time to learn our addictions, every step that toward that goal is a step toward freedom. Every day that we wake up filled with a resolve that is way more powerful then our addictions is a new day on the path to freedom. Every time we tell that internal voice to shut up and realize that this is the part of the mind that has always created the triggers is a step toward freedom.

So when you wake up in the morning the first thing to do is smile because you know at that moment that today is going to be a good day. Today is going to be a day of resolve. Today is the day that I will once again look to my future of freedom and know in my heart that this is how to quell that nagging voice once and for all for you see, this is the day that I will once again face myself with confidence. This is a day that I will win!!

Keep your eyes on the prize! It’s so worth the effort!!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Amazing!

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Apr 10, 2012

That’s what I think every time I come to this place. The things that go on here are simply amazing. A group of people united under a single goal to help each other endure a journey like no other. It really doesn’t matter that we did this to ourselves. It doesn’t matter that it took us so long to get here. What does matter is that we are here and that we’re committed.

What does matter is that we came here not only to fight but to win! We came here with a single goal in mind and together we will achieve that goal. What’s amazing is that we’ve taken that final step toward freedom at last. We’ve chosen a brighter future over the alternatives. We’ve overcome the fear that held us back for so long and now we’re walking the path to freedom.

Sure we must fight ourselves to win. We must feel a bit of internal discomfort and we must quell the constant doubt within ourselves that we can do this, because that doubt is the enemy. That doubt is something that can be removed from our minds with very little effort. That doubt is the single most negative thing that we must encounter because we know that our doubts are wrong. We know the reality of life and we will achieve that reality by believing in ourselves. By trusting in our commitments and by casting aside all doubt as we continue on.

We knew the path wasn’t going to be an easy one when we chose it but choose it we did. And after that first step is taken, that first day without a cigarette we begin to realize that what we’re doing is no longer a thought. No, it has left the realm of thought and become a reality.

So stay true to your quits. Hold onto that belief in yourself and never let the doubts that the addiction will try to use against you manifest themselves into your reality. There’s no room for that as we climb that tall mountain. That mountain looks so huge at first as we gaze up the slopes to freedom. The summit seems oh so far away! But in the end we cast aside our doubts and gingerly take that first step onto the path of freedom.

At first we must be careful because we’re treading on unfamiliar ground. But each step along the way reinforces our belief in ourselves. Each step takes just a little more of the mystery out of this journey. Each step builds on the last until we’re literally running as our confidence builds.

Suddenly the world is no longer drab. No, it’s filled with life and hope and that belief in yourself just keeps on building. Day after day we trudge to the top, and at times we wonder if it’ll ever get any easier but this time we smile for we know the enemy that is doubt. We know that the only thing that can stop us now is ourselves. So we look to the summit, confident in our ability to get there.

And once our own doubt is gone well, that is really the first day that we can embrace that new found freedom. So go for it my friends! Take that first step into the unknown that will soon be your new life. It’s waiting for you. Beckoning to you! And so long as you always believe in yourself then there can never be a doubt that you’ll get there!

I look forward to seeing you on the summit. Onward to your new life!!

Good morning!

For the last few days I’ve been working on a new container garden. This is something that used to be heavily associated with smoking for me. And yes, even after a year of freedom the thoughts still appear once in while. Thing is, they don’t really bother me anymore because they’re nothing more then thoughts. There’s no actual desire to act upon those thoughts. The power of the addict within to bother me has faded away to nothing more then a memory.

And to think, it all started with a single moment on a single day a little over a year ago. That was when I’d first begun the climb up Mt. Freedom. Things were so different then. I was still heavily into my addiction as we all are on those first days. I was learning my new normal. I was really into a fight and I kept that mountain firmly in view at all times.

This was my way of seeing progress at times when progress might be hard to see. And the summit is the goal that I kept my mind trained on. I walked the slopes of Mt. Freedom one step at a time. There were treacherous places on the mountain but luckily or rather through some seriously hard internal work I managed to carefully navigate the slopes, always moving upward and only looking behind when I wanted to see my progress.

As I got closer, I could see the banner of freedom and there were people up there, beckoning to me. Spurring me onward and ever upward to meet them. At times when I encountered a slippery slope, they would join with me and pull me through, never letting me think for even a moment that I could slip and fall.

And then there were the smiles when they could see that yes, I can now stand on my own two feet. I can now finish the climb on my own. And so I climbed through those last boulder fields and at last placed a foot on the summit. I could feel the winds of freedom rippling through my hair. I could now look at all those wonderful souls who had told me that they knew I would make it. The ones who guided me through those slippery slopes and leaving no doubt that we will succeed together.

And now I stand on that same summit and I look to those who must still make this fated journey. I look to the new seekers of freedom that have gained the courage to take those first faltering steps. And yes, when I can I will walk down those slopes and guild them through those slippery slopes only because I long to see others become free. I long to see you my friends, standing on that summit with me.

So always remember that even if you’ve only taken the first few steps toward freedom, even though those steps are hard, it’s how it all begins. Keep to the path of victory. Always believe in yourself and with the simple passage of time, you too can be writing this message of freedom to others. You too can wave that banner of freedom high over your head. You too can be proud of the fact that you’ve taken your life into your own hands and have resolved to make it better.

To all who have chosen the path to freedom, I commend you for you are showing a love of life and freedom and because of that love, you’ve chosen to experience a little discomfort now in order to have a better tomorrow. You have shown a love for your future so keep building that future right now. It’s up to you to decide how that future will be but I think in the end you’ll make the right choice. After all, that’s why you’re here!

Good day Exer’s! I hope everyone is enjoying the day and that there’s no chance that you’ll smoke. At times holidays can be quite stressful, especially when we’re trying to lose an addiction. At times it seems like no one around you understands what your going through. And the reality is that unless they’ve done it themselves, they really don’t know.

Thing is that people will try to tell you what they perceive as normal. They will try to tell you that your just to edgy to fit into what they want to do. Don’t ever let this cause you to smoke. I mean, what is normal?

To me, normal is just a perception. It’s just what we decide is really normal. This is one of the things that make quitting so hard I think. All those years that we smoked, we perceived smoking as normal. To us addicts, it was abnormal to not have that cigarette. This is one of the weapons that the addict within can use against you if your not careful.

And yet, our minds can change that concept of what is normal to us. We can change our own realities in such ways that things can become easier for us. And a good place to start is to create that new normal for yourselves. You know, the one without cigarettes in it.

When I first had to deal with those withdrawals, I started looking for things that didn’t seem normal to me. I was edgy to say the least. My concentration was bad. I couldn’t sleep. But man, could I eat!

None of this seemed normal to me. It just wasn’t the way that I’d perceived my life before I quit. And this in itself agitated me. It made me want to smoke until I took a moment to accept that all of the above symptoms WERE my new normal. These feelings were new and yet they had to become my reality. To me, this had a calming effect for you see, if we understand our own reality then we can control that reality. If we can realize that the world hasn’t changed so much as we have then we can get on with the business of creating that new normal without cigarettes.

So hang in there my friends. Always try to understand that what others might call normal could be something totally different then what our new normal really is. Don’t worry, in time others will see our new selves as normal. In the meantime the trick is to not let others try to tell you what your normal is.

Kind of a strange blog I know. Sometimes I just write what comes to me.

Stay safe and keep your eye on the prize. It’s really worth the effort!!

I remember when I first quit how the days seemed to go up and down, much like life. There’d be the good days and the bad days. The days where the cravings were fairly quiet and then those long days when the addict within just kept screaming at me in a seemingly endless little temper tantrum. Realizing that the cravings only last a few minutes seemed ridiculous on those days, because it seemed like one long endless craving.

The reality is that those cravings really do only last a few minutes. I think what happens is that our minds try to convince us that this isn’t the case. At first we do battle a physical addiction but sooner then we think, we no longer have that part of the journey to deal with. But although our bodies have begun ridding themselves of the nicotine, the mind still hasn’t accepted this new change in our lives.

This is what makes the journey seem so long I think. In order to win this fight, most of us must first wage a kind of war with ourselves. We must convince ourselves that quitting is what we really want to do. We might think we’d done that the moment we decided that quitting was no longer going to be a thought but rather was about to become a reality.

So what do we do when that little brat inside of us keeps throwing a temper tantrum because we no longer give it what it wants? For me, the first few days of this were hard. But then I kind of stepped out of myself and looked at what I was doing. And you know what? I laughed. I stopped for a moment and then I just couldn’t help it. I laughed again. This time out loud. If anyone would’ve been around to see it, they probably would’ve thought I was nuts!

But laugh I did until I was almost in tears. Eventually I calmed my senses enough to actually look at what I was laughing at. I realized just how funny this internal conflict really was. I realized that it would be OK to not take this conflict quite so seriously. And that’s when I realized that this was a monumental step for me. It took away the ability of the addict within to ruin my day simply because I could now see the humor that was myself.

And once we get rid of that clutter, we can refocus on the rest of our quits. We can concentrate on the positive things rather then simply dwell on the negative. And there’s so much that’s positive in what we’re doing here. I mean really, our improved health. Our freedom. Our new found ability to understand the most fundamental workings of our own minds. And the pride that comes with success!

So really. If you can reach that point in your quits, it isn’t the end of the journey but it’s a step in the right direction in my opinion. It can be the difference between a good day and a bad one because if you can laugh at just how silly that addiction really is then it’s pretty hard to give in.

I mean think about it. Your sitting there aware of the constant craving that seems to run through your mind. Your saying to yourself, "God. Am I ever going to rid myself of this horrible nagging feeling?" And then you think, "Only if I smoke." And then, "I’m not going to give in!" And then, "Will this ever end?" And then, "I sure could use a cigarette." And then, "No! I don’t want a cigarette!" And then, "Why, sure you do. That’s what all the fuss is about."

And on and on until you catch yourself and then the laughter starts. At least that’s how it worked for me. But if you can’t quite get to that point yet then be sure to use your support system. Blogging is an excellent way to pass the time during a crave and it’s safe!

The important thing to remember is that each day that you live without a cigarette is a day closer to your freedom. Each day that you keep that resolve strong within you is a day of success. Look to the summit of Mt. Freedom. It’s there beckoning to you! And you’ve already begun the climb into your future! Can you see the banner of freedom up there? Can you see that there really is a new beginning? Climb my friends! Climb to that summit and never look back because that’s not where your future lies. No. Your future lies ahead of you free of the shackles of addiction!

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Reality Check

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Apr 5, 2012

Good morning Exers!

WOW! It’s just wonderful to be alive and relatively free of the evil addiction. The sad fact is that once we take the plunge and become addicted to nicotine we not only open up a whole can of worms but at the same time we set ourselves up for a journey like no other when we realize the error of our ways. For most of us, by the time we realize that we want to quit, the tentacles of the addiction are deeply embedded into our minds, hearts and souls.

So thoroughly are we addicted that it seems like more then just quitting. It seems like our entire life will change when we decide to do it. And at times this can make us feel like we’ve run into a brick wall that cannot be climbed or circumvented. I’m glad to report that though it may look this way at times the reality is that most of the wall exists only within our minds. The addicted part that is. The part that will argue with us and try to tell us that there’s no real reason to quit. After all, we’ve smoked all this time so why change now?

And yet I know that all of us here have our reasons to want this change. It’s why we’re here. Because we’ve actually made that scary decision and now it’s time to act on that decision. It’s time to live that decision and turn it into the reality that you so desire. It’s time to cast off the fear of change and never smoke another cigarette. It’ time to face the reality that you’ll never smoke again!

This is how it starts. By taking that first faltering step toward freedom. Sure, it seems hard at first. Our minds scream at us and beg us to tell ourselves what we really think we’re trying to accomplish. And yet we know in our hearts exactly what we’re trying to accomplish. We want to be free! We want to live a longer life. We want to take that which is negative in our lives and convert that to one of the most positive things we could ever achieve.

That’s what we’re doing here. And I have to tell you, after more then a year of freedom I know for a fact that it’s more then worth it. There’s a kind of beauty in freedom that cannot really be described. It just has to be felt. And the only way to feel that freedom is to walk the path to it and that path starts with putting out that last cigarette.

So if you’ve already started on this glorious path then I commend you and look forward to the day that you too will feel that wonderful freedom. When you too will feel that new found health. When you too can look back on your ordeal and know just as I do how very worth it the journey was.

Thing is, there’s even more to it then that. When we quit, we’re forced to learn our own minds and bodies. We’re forced to analyze our very addictions in order to win. These things remain with us forever so every day that you feel saddened. Every day that the addict within tries to derail your quit and doesn’t. Every time you take another deep breath instead of smoking that cigarette is a day that you have learned things about yourself that can only live deep inside and may never be seen had you not chosen your journey.

So fight on! Never for a moment believe that quitting is something you cannot do. Never believe that your not worth the effort because every life is precious. Every life deserves to be lived in the best way that it can be. Every life deserves to be as healthy as it can be. And every life deserves to be free of the shackles of addiction.

Never give up and never, ever give in!!

Onward to freedom!!

Chuck

You know, I came here yesterday and posted a blog for the first time in a while and to be honest, it all brought back memories. Memories of the fight that I endured with others. Memories of those who I fought with, side by side with a common goal. Memories of just how hard it can be to quit smoking.

I realized that I was missing something that was very dear to me for a long time. I was missing all of you. The determined people who one way or another find a way to beat an addiction that would otherwise enslave them. The ones who must walk those first hard steps and dig in with their heels in order to win. The ones who chose to turn their world upside down for a while in order to beat an addiction that could do us no good.

This is why I was at a loss for words. Me, of all people wordless? Well, not really but one thing has become clear to me because of this last visit. I want to be here more. I need to walk among the determined ones again and offer what little wisdom their might be to offer from my own experiences.

Because it’s all of us together that makes a site like this work. It’s all of us together that creates the determination that it takes to win. It’s all of us together that allows each of us to see the path that must be walked just a little more clearly. It’s all of us together that generate the strength that makes this journey tolerable.

There are times that I’m so busy. And then theirs times where I’m not. I pledge to come here when I can and do what I can even if it’s just a simple message to those who are here trying so hard. A message from someone who’s been there.

Though it takes me a while to navigate this site, I realize that it’s time well spent for you see, there is no better thing that can be done then to help another who might need it. So, like it or not, I’m going to be here more to pitch in where I can.

So I look forward to meeting some of you who I haven’t yet met.

Stay true to yourselves and never, ever give in and soon you’ll be walking with your head held high because what your doing right now can change the rest of your lives. Remember that the discomfort will eventually fade away and after that the only thing we really have to defeat is ourselves.

Chuck

Hello Exer’s! Been a while since I blogged here but thought I’d drop a line. Since we’re a kind of ever changing group here, I’ll tell you a little about my journey. It started on February 20 of last year and like all of us, I was indeed a little scared at the idea of quitting. Actually, scared is an understatement. I was terrified. Why? For the same reason that some of you might be. Because we’re addicts. Plain and simple. And we’re addicted by one of the most powerful chemicals there is. Nicotine.

But we’re also addicted in our own minds. Until we can break away from that "losing an old friend" attitude, we’re still in danger of losing our quits. Until we can remember those days of smoking without that memory filling us with the desire to smoke, we’re still in danger. Until we can realize that our lives are much more precious to us then a few cigarettes, we’re still in danger.

We must always be aware of the pitfalls that come with losing our addictions so that we can navigate around them. We must stick to our plan even as our resolve fades in the constant struggle with ourselves. Thing is, it’s all quite doable so long as our mind set is in the correct frame to win.

For me, one of the most important lessons that I learned was and the mantra that I used in those first hard days was that it is in the present that we create our future. It is what we do right now, at this moment and in every moment that we live in the present that determines our future. So I always made it a point to look ahead. To look to the summit of Mt. Freedom that I saw every day in my minds eye. I longed to feel that freedom that I knew was waiting for me in my future because of the resolve I had right now, on the current day of my quit.

And now a year and some number of days later, I can say that I am free. I still have the memories of smoking, but they have lost their luster. Those dreams of smoking are like a picture that has hung on the wall in the sun for far to long and has faded and lost it’s color for you see, I don’t want to smoke and the addict within has lost all of his power to try to attack me and derail my quit. He’s still there and always will be, but he no longer holds any power over me. He can no longer sway me. Only I can do that.

So no matter where you are in your quit right now, always remember to look ahead to those days of freedom. Always look to the reasons you wanted to quit in the first place for after all, this is a journey that no one can take for you. This is a journey that must be traveled alone and yet right here in this place there are so many there to help you when your weak. So many who know it can be done because they themselves have done it. So many who now feel that freedom and so badly want to share that with others. So others can know how wonderful it is!

Hang in there my friends. Your on a journey that is so very worth it in the end. Just think of the pride you’ll have within you when you complete this task. When you know in your heart that your free so long as you want to be.

Me, I’ve stepped into that future that I started creating last year. I’m living the glorious freedom that I dreamed of in the beginning. I’m standing on the summit of Mt. Freedom and waving that banner of freedom high for all to see! Why? Because I want other to follow. I want others to feel what I’m feeling now. I want others to understand that because of this little bump in the road right now that we will be free! We will win and we will find the happiness that can only be truly felt after a bit of time.

And one day, it will be you writing a blog just like this. It will be you shouting about how wonderful it is to be free. It will be you who just like me will be looking back and saying, "I love this freedom, and I’m never, ever going to do anything to give that up!"

Onward to freedom!!

Chuck