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2015
Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Looking ahead

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Feb 26, 2015

Good morning EXer’s!!

 

You know, I just realized that before I came back to celebrate my four year anniversary with you folks that I’d been absent for almost a year. I really don’t intend to let that long of a lapse happen again. After all, this site was here when I needed it and it’s still here for all those who still need it.

 

The thing that got me most when I returned was the determination that abounds here. I’d kind of forgotten just how determined we have to be to win. We have to take our life and turn it around and what’s weird is that even though we know we’re doing the right thing, it just seems so hard at times to stay true to ourselves. It seems so much easier to just throw in the towel and forget that we ever decided to quit.

 

On those first hard days, we tend to look at our current discomfort rather than thinking of the future, where the reward of what we’re doing now really lies. Believe me, I’ve been there. Waking up with that first crave and telling myself that it’ll only last a moment or two. Feeling that dryness in  the throat as I thought about what I was giving up.

 

But the reality is that we’re really not giving up anything and by staying true to ourselves, we gain everything! And so the confusion starts. We begin questioning ourselves and yes, even our resolve. We find ourselves in a constant turmoil that seems endless.

 

Since I haven’t been around in a while, I thought I’d revisit some of the internal tools I used to make things easier. I had to find a way to quit dwelling on the present discomfort and begin looking to that future that I so badly wanted to see smoke free.

 

I’ve always known that visualization is an incredible tool when applied correctly in that the right thought or “pictures” can motivate the mind, body and soul to work together in ways that might not otherwise be achieved.

 

For this reason I invented Mt. Freedom and the addict within. Two ways to “picture” my journey into the unknown. Mt. freedom represented the journey to me simply because of the nature of climbing. There’s always a little doubt the first time one climbs a mountain. Doubts about one’s ability to make it to the top. Doubts about getting lost or wondering if we have the stamina to complete the climb. And to look upward and see a summit that looks so very far away. That was something I knew I could use.

 

And so on those first days of freedom I began that climb in my mind. I put out that last cigarette and that represented the first step onto the slopes of Mt. Freedom. For the most part I could use the image of me always looking ahead to the summit where the prize of freedom lives, rather than looking at the current steps that I was taking.

 

But then came the old internal screaming! That endless background noise that we all experience at first. This is what I named the “addict within”. I did this so I could put a face on my discomfort. So that I could understand what my mind was trying to do to me. And once I assigned a face to my screaming addiction, I was able to tell it to shut up!

 

I learned that if one can keep the mind involved in the reward rather than the actions it takes to achieve that reward than the journey becomes easier. If we have a thing that we can assign the craves to, then yes we can tell it to shut up, or even go to the point of telling it that it will not win. We can talk to our addiction as if it were a child throwing a temper tantrum.

 

There are as many ways to quit smoking as their are people, I think. We all have to find our own ways to cope but in the end, we all get to the same place. A place of peace and freedom and when we get to that place, it makes every day of hardship so very worth it.

 

I do hope you can find your mountain, whatever it might be and that you eventually reach that summit. The view is incredible from the top!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!

   
Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Random thoughts

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Feb 24, 2015

Good morning EXer’s!!

 

Just dropping in once again to leave a message for some of the most dedicated people in the world! At least I hope your dedicated because without complete dedication to the cause of freedom, you may run into a bump in the road or worse, a relapse.

 

We have to learn as we quit and at the same time keep ourselves secure. This in itself can create real problems within us. How can we possibly stay secure if we haven’t yet experienced what’s coming? I mean, any of us can explain what’s coming but the bottom line is that until we experience it ourselves, we really don’t yet have the knowledge to understand. We have to live it to believe it.

 

But we can sure heed the warnings and at least be prepared for what might happen, just in case it does. That’s where others experiences comes in. It’s a fact that no one can feel things for you and certainly no one can predict how another might react to a given problem but one thing is certain.  Many have made it on the road to freedom and many have experienced the same things. The days of doubt, and wondering what we were thinking when we put out that last cigarette. The fear of failure. The longing to be free. The endless crave that really isn’t endless. Getting rid of the idea that we’re losing something when we quit and so many others.

 

These are the things we have in common. Those things we share to help us to find a way out of this mess that we all at one time created for ourselves. Beating addiction isn’t easy. Anyone who has done it can tell you this. But again, this is stuff we all already know.

 

We seek many ways to make beating our addictions easier. Personally, I used the patches to calm my fear of that first smoke free day or week or month. Now I believe that all they really did was give me the confidence to put out that last cigarette but hey, for me it worked! I got past the initial fear that me and my addiction created within my mind and that was the first step to freedom.

 

Putting out that cigarette and knowing in that moment that it would be the last one. No one can coach that. That’s just something that has to come from within. But we can feel a compassion for one another and a belief that together we can try to make some kind of sense out of this thing we call addiction. That together we can not only dream of freedom without addiction but that we can help each other achieve this one goal.

 

And I can tell you one thing that means so much for all of us because four years ago I made a choice and I stuck to that choice. I chose freedom. And this is something that really is the same for all of us. FREEDOM!!! We all get to live the peace that comes with that freedom. We all get to feel lighter than air once we know we’ve beaten a formidable enemy.

 

This is when we understand what others were telling us. It has to come from within. We all have the ability to win, so long as we don’t take away the power from ourselves. Fight on! What matters most is that in the end each of us finds our peace. That each of us finds our freedom. But most of all, when you win this fight of a lifetime, your building the most incredible future for yourselves. We can all get through. It just takes a belief that we really want to because once we can see that freedom. Once we can long for it then nothing can stop us!

 

Never give in! The rewards are so precious.

 

Looking forward to seeing you in that future that you’re creating right now. The future you create is really up to you . . .

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

   

Good morning Exers!,

 

Four years ago today I turned my dream into a reality, put out my last cigarette and took my freedom back from addiction. Sure, it was a little hard at first but I always kept my eye on the future, confident that this was where my success lied.

 

And now I’m there, living in that very future that I once dreamed of and it’s wonderful to know that this future is so much better than it might have been had I not decided to take that first step on a journey that is indeed long, but not horrible. In fact, every year of freedom feels even more precious than the last.

 

During those first days that I walked the path of freedom, I came here and believe me, it helped. There’s something about a group of people who have like thoughts and desires coming together. It’s simply a powerful weapon to use against our addictions.

 

But today, I’m not really here to talk about the current discomforts. No, today I dropped in to tell you of the future and how good that future feels when all of the work we do now gets us to where we can live it. I can tell you that down the road so long as you stick to your quit, there is peace. There is calm. There is life and yes, there is the love for our families that we thought of while we were quitting.

 

So often during my quit I’d find myself focusing on the future. Looking ahead and seeing myself doing things without cigarettes, I’d visualize working in my garden or taking a nice scenic drive without those cigarettes. At first those visions didn’t make much sense to my addicted mind. They were images of a world that I didn’t yet know how to live for you see, we have to learn our new world of freedom and this takes time.

 

But eventually as with all of us, my mind began disassociating the activities that I dreamed of from the cigarettes. It became easier to see myself doing these activities without the old crutch. And so, like all of us, I began living this life of freedom. I began facing those withdrawals that I knew would be there. I put one foot in front of the other and found that path to freedom.

 

It’s there for all of us you know. All it takes is a belief in our futures and a desire to see that future smoke free. It takes a commitment to ourselves to wheather those first hard days. And then, after the initial fight is over, it takes a commitment to our futures to really be free.

 

Stay focused on the reward of freedom and let that reward be the one thing you desire more than anything and before you know it, you’ll be writing one of these, four years later!

 

Oh and the freedom is everything I thought it would be. Life just seems to much more pure now. There’s no longer planning my days around an addiction because I just don’t have to anymore. No longer must I find those moments in the day to sneak a puff. No longer do I have to worry about damaging my body. Like we all do, I’ve made peace with my past and the mistakes that I’ve made and moved on to a brighter future.

 

So all I’m saying is stay on the path of freedom and in the end you’ll find that peace and believe me, it’s well worth the wait!

 

Have a wonderfully successful week!

Chuck