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All People > Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 > Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Blog > 2012 > August

Hello all. I do hope that today is yet another day of strong commitment. Another day of believing in yourself. Another day of freedom as you walk the path to a more perfect freedom down the road, each day building upon the last. This is an incredible journey for you see, this is truly a journey of life. Quitting smoking is a journey that is so wonderful because each day that we don’t smoke, we prove to ourselves that we really do want to live. That we really do want a healthy life. That we really do intend to have that life no matter what it takes!

I was going through my journal that I created while I was quitting and noticed something interesting. A feeling of loss that sometimes would invade my mind. Being always curious, I wondered just what that feeling was all about. After all, my quit was going quite well at that time and I had a handle on the addict within. And yet there was this feeling that seemed quite real and yet at the same time seemed indefinable as far as finding the root of the problem.

After a bit of reflection I realized that this was because it was a new experience for me. And on the surface was the obvious. My time was no longer being filled with cigarettes. Before I’d quit, smoking consumed every free moment of my life. That’s just how addicted I was to those things. And suddenly I had all this time to fill up. One would think that this is a wonderful thing and the reality of it is that it is, but to an addicted mind that is still trying to understand a world without cigarettes, the mind sometimes tries to create road blocks. The mind still has not learned that we don’t smoke any more. The mind still didn’t understand that I was starting a new and improved life. All it did understand was that so much had changed in the last couple of weeks.

I saw this type of thinking as a threat to my commitment. As a threat to my quit which is why I thought I’d share this with you. There was this seemingly big gaping hole in my new world and I knew that I’d have to plug it if I was going to continue to succeed. And so I decided to take a walk. To look at my new world through the eyes of a non smoker. To fill up that hole with an activity that was as new to me as was my new smoke free world.

And as I walked I realized that this was the first time I’d taken a walk without a cigarette in my hand. It was the first of many firsts to come. I actually looked at my empty hand and smiled for you see, it reminded me that there really is no hole in the world that must be filled. No. That was simply an illusion created by an addicted mind. It was once again the old addict within trying to derail what I had fought for during the last two weeks. It was me trying to convince myself that things had changed even though the only real thing that had changed was my perception of the world and really, it wasn’t empty.

No. It was full! Full of all the things I would do with my life of freedom! Full of a burning desire to teach myself this new world. Full of a life that I now know is just so incredible if you can just get past those first hard days. If you can just believe that there is nothing negative about quitting. Rather then losing we are gaining so much! We’re gaining life and health and above all, we’re gaining that freedom!

So never look at what you’ve lost. The reality is that there’s nothing for you there. Instead try to fill your heart with all that you’ve gained! Understand that soon you really will understand that there is no loss. That it was just another thing created by the addicted mind and really has no place in reality.

Try to think of all the wonderful things that you can fill this time with. That’s part of the beauty of quitting. It’s part of the future that you long for so very badly. Me; I’ve filled my life with writing and walking and seeing the world in the light of freedom. I’ve found that peace that we all long for and rest assured that you will too! All it takes is a little time but one thing is certain. It’s time that we all know is well spent.

You know, when I first decided to quit smoking I never really thought about the freedom. I never really thought about my overall health. About the only thing I DID think about was that I had this horrible cough in the morning. I thought about the fact that maybe it’s to late to quit. I mean after all, I was already exhibiting some pretty scary lung symptoms.

I have to be honest. Even though this made no real sense, I continued smoking; the addiction telling me that there was no real reason to worry. After all, isn’t the comfort in the present way more important then caring about a future? Isn’t it so much more important to let the old cigarette hold you by it’s string? Well the reality is that it wasn’t more important but by using this rationality it was the easy way out. It was the easy way to continue to feed an addiction that was obviously killing me.

Well, that insanity only lasted about a month before I saw the deception in my own mind. Before I realized that we all have to die sometime but we can still dictate to a point exactly what that death will be like. We can manipulate our future by the actions that we take right now! My addiction didn’t appreciate this kind of thinking very much. And I sure didn’t want to go through those nasty withdrawals. I didn’t want to take the fight to the next level.

But then I thought of something. Perhaps this wasn’t necessarily all about me. You know? I have those who love me. I have those who would love to be with me in the future and I know that those same people would really rather have me in their future in one piece or at least as healthy as I could be. My children. My wife. All these people who wanted to be in that future with me. But more importantly I realized that I wanted to be there with them as well.

Hell! Now I realized that in a way my addiction was about more then I thought. I realized that in a way I was being selfish. I was more concerned with my personal pleasure in the present then I was concerned with those who loved me. In my own mind, this changed things a bit. After quite a bit of reflection, I suddenly realized that I was no longer THINKING about quitting. No, it was going to become a reality. And I never waited even a moment before I called the quit line in our state because I knew that if I did wait that I wouldn’t do it.

This is what it takes my friends. An honest belief in our futures. A desire to live. A longing for a different kind of life. A belief in ourselves and from there grows the desire for freedom! From there grows the confidence that we need. From there grows the very essence of what we desire, and it’s so attainable! The only one who can stop us is ourselves!

For those who don’t know me I will say that it’s been eighteen months and counting since my last cigarette. And yes, there’s a wonderful freedom just waiting for you starting with the very first day that you put out that last cigarette, even though it doesn’t feel like it then.

And in case anyone’s wondering, that scary cough that I had. It just doesn’t exist any more. So you see? When I convinced myself that it was probably to late to quit well, OOPS! I guess I was wrong about that. I feel healthier then I have in countless years. I have a confidence in myself and my ability to master myself like I’ve never had before!

The life without cigarettes is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever experienced. So if you haven’t got started yet then why? If you have and your wondering if the stress is really worth it, understand that it is. Understand that what you do today is what determines your future.

So let’s get on that horse and ride into the future that we want so very badly! You know, the one without cigarettes in it . . .

Good morning EXER’S!! Me, I’m doing well and loving the freedom! I hope this day finds you feeling as good as you can as you tackle what could be one of the monumental tasks of your life. But the main thing is that it’s a task well worth the trouble. There’s so much waiting for you in your future and because you’ve made a decision to quit smoking, you might actually see that future!

Though the battle may seem hard at first, it is a battle that can be won so long as you keep your focus. I remember the fear that I felt at the mere thought of quitting. My addiction started screaming at me as soon as that part of my brain realized that I was serious. An internal battle began within me that many of you may be feeling right now. My addicted brain was telling me that I must be insane! How could I even consider changing something that’s so interwoven ion my life? Why would I even consider casting aside my old friend? Why go through all that trouble when I don’t have to?

And so began the internal conflict with myself. After I made my quit plan and the reality of what I was about to do set in, I began to feel a confidence and a belief that yes, I can do this. I started pushing the fear out of my mind for I knew that fear could easily cripple my attempt on those first hard days. I even changed my quit date four times, trying to find the best possible time to begin, although the reality is that there’s never going to be that "perfect" time to quit. But when I at last reached that final quit date, I never looked back!

From information I’d gathered from the EXperts here and other information that I’d gathered elsewhere, I made it through the first week in far better shape then I ever thought I would. And I was prepared to continue the fight for a while.

The night before I quit I was smoking that last cigarette and I noticed something for the first time. The fear of quitting was gone! At that moment I knew in my heart and soul that I was ready and at that moment I also believed that I would never smoke again. I only smoked half of that last cigarette and when I put it out I was surprised for you see, at that moment many of the deceptions that we create for ourselves in order to fuel the addiction were gone! I knew I wasn’t losing an old friend. Instead I was losing one of my biggest enemies. I was losing something that was slowly killing me. I was losing something that was disgusting and filthy.

And then I thought about all that I was gaining. Freedom from addiction. A chance to live a future that might not otherwise be there. And then there’s the pride that goes with showing yourself that yes, you really want to see that future. And over and over, I thought of the freedom. This became my mantra. This gave me the will to fight no matter how bad it got and this is what made the fear fade away. My love for freedom!

So hang in there my friends. Look to that future of freedom. It’s right there beckoning to you. Forget about how hard today might be and instead look to those days ahead that your creating now. Realize that soon you’ll wonder what the big deal was in the first place. Spend each day ripping those tentacles of addiction out of yourself and never believe for even a single minute that you cannot do this. That you cannot win.

Right now and especially on that first day that you put those nasty cigarettes down once and for all is not a day for mourning. No, it’s a day of celebration!

So get out there and get started! Today’s as good a day as any and it brings you one day closer to your own personal freedom. Take it from me and so many others, it’s worth the effort. The freedom is wonderful. Soon you too will be experiencing it for yourself. Soon you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back and sooner then you think, the whole experience will be but a memory . . .