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Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Blog

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~~Our greatest duty and our main responsibility is to help others.  But please, if you can't help them, would you please not hurt them.~~  Dalai Lama

 

A long time ago, I was trying to quit smoking.  It was a struggle, I was in a 'bad' place in my life, and had no clue at the time how smoking was addictive.  Some well meaning person told me that I needed to stop being a victim in life or I would never quit.

 

At that particular time, those words devastated me.  I retreated back into my self-preservation mode and stopped trying to quit smoking.  I didn't trust opening myself up to anyone else for quite awhile after that.  I healed with time, self-care, and the love of those close to me.

 

That well meaning person probably still has no idea that her words didn't help.  That well meaning person would probably still defend her position that you can't go through life with victim mentality.  But at that time in my life, I was a sexual assault victim who had yet to regain balance and her words cut instead of offered hope.

 

Elders are the best tool in quitting smoking, no doubt.  The wisdom and experience in recovery can be a tremendous help to those struggling in their quits.  But we don't know the person behind the avatar...behind the cute little user ID.  And since most of us aren't doctors or psychiatrists or therapists, we need to walk gently through the lives of others.  Criticism, no matter how well intentioned, can damage a soul that may not be whole.  Talking coping skills is one thing, talking medication changes is something else.  Discussing quit tool kits is helpful, discussing how everyone coughs after quitting is something else (always get a doctor's opinion about physical conditions!). 

 

We all want smokers to quit and we all have unique ways to assist.  But we simply need to keep in mind the fact that we have no clue what smokers are truly feeling or dealing with in their personal lives.  Anxiety for one person could be PTSD in another.  We need to tread gently and remember that these smokers are unique souls as well and may be working through a broken heart, the loss of a loved one, mental health issues, or some other life event that makes them fragile.  Handle with care.

 

Sheri

 

 

~~Always choose to heal, not to hurt; to forgive, not to despise; to persevere, not to quit; to smile, not to frown; and to love, not to hate.  At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; not our competence, but our character; and not our success but our significance.~~  Unknown

 

I choose to believe that the good stuff matters.  The positive, the warmth, the gratitude, the kindness.  And I think I've understood that so much more when I quit smoking.  My thoughts shaped my quit and it made all the difference.  When I decided that my children didn't deserve me being *itchy because I was missing my cigarettes, I quit being *itchy.  When I decided that I wasn't going to let those cravings get the best of me, I stopped using them as a crutch to 'fail'.   When I fully understood what being 'committed' to my quit meant, I fully committed to my quit and let go of the fictional memories of feeling 'better' as a smoker.    Because all my positive thoughts mattered.  All my hopes mattered.  And they mattered just as much (if not more) than anything I thought I was losing.

What matters is not that you smoked, but that you cared enough about your life to quit.  What matters is not that you struggled through your quit but that you hung on to it with every fiber of your being. What matters is that you are doing it...step my step, minute by minute....rather than simply wishing that you were smoke free.  And sometimes it is hard and sometimes you will struggle, I'm not trying to say you won't.  Life can sometimes be a struggle.  Struggles, though, fade just as much as good times do.  Choose to persevere.  Build a quit that you can be proud of.  Be significant in your own life.  

Each and every smoke free breath you take is truly a miracle and you get to keep that miracle alive if you choose to.  I think that is one of our greatest gifts in life....seeing the miracle that life itself is.

 

May you find a little bit of peace today in your quit and a few more reasons to hang on to it

 

Sheri

~~Before you can break out of prison, you must realize you are locked up.~~  Unknown

 

Too many quitters never realize this.  Some may not want to think about the addiction, others don't understand it.  A few more may even reject the idea that they are 'addicted' to cigarettes.

 

Take the time to educate yourself, please, about this addiction....because that is what it is.  Even if you only smoke three cigarettes a day, the fact of the matter is if you can't do without them, you are addicted.  If you have that 'need' to smoke, you are addicted.  If you feel more and more stressed until you finally get to take that first puff and the relief is so overwhelming, you are addicted.  Not just those who scrounge for change to buy that one more pack.  Money has nothing to do with addiction.  Not just those who sit and smoke three packs a day.  The amount you smoke has nothing to do with addiction.  Not just those who get ill.  Physical health has nothing to do with addiction (although poor health is one possible result of smoking). 

 

Addiction is all in your head.  It's how your neurotransmitters function with and without nicotine (and all those chemicals they add into it).  With the drug, your neurotransmitters happily shoot throughout the brain, making your body feel happy, relaxed, calm.  Without the drug, your neurotransmitters shoot "Something's wrong!!!!" throughout your body, making you tense, irritable, anxious.  And you will continue to feel this way until that first drag.  And so the cycle of "ah, I feel better" continues.  Trapped by wanting to feel good, you continue to smoke.

 

Playing Russian Roulette with your health....with life itself....is not in your best interest.  Being chained to your addiction is not in your best interest.  Shelling out money to feed your addiction is not in your best interest.  So what can you do?

 

The only good thing about addiction is that recovery CAN happen.  You can cut your ties, break free from that prison, and regain control over your life!  It's do-able.  It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but I promise you that it is the most powerful thing you'll ever do as well.  It is freeing, it is exciting, it is amazing.  You are saving your life and regaining control over it.  You will never regret quitting....and I can promise you that there will come a time when you will regret continuing to smoke.  Head to recovery....understand your addiction, make your quit plan, look forward to life!  You can.  But its up to you if you will.

 

God Bless Our Vets!!

Sheri

~~I guess the moment when everything changed was when I realized I deserved so much better.~~  Unknown

 

I often say things like this here.  You deserve so much better than to be tied to cigarettes....you deserve health...blah-blah-blah.  It's a Sheri thing to some.  She is positive or being kind and just like so many other posts here, mine get glossed over by the ones I'm actually trying to reach.  

That's ok.  I can only try, right?  My most powerful moments come from the world I created for myself after I quit smoking so I want others to have what I have found.  A beautiful, amazing, miraculous world.  

Tonight was a stunning example.  I supervised a visit where a broken child found his voice, his balance, his way.  He told his parent exactly what he was feeling....and those feelings weren't pleasant.  He told his parent that no child should ever have to go through what he went through when he lived at home.  He spoke of his anger when that parent forced him to parent his siblings, he relayed how he was angry he never got a birthday party or even a cake his whole life.  He ended with "You took the money you were supposed to be raising us with and you bought cigarettes instead."  That was only a small thing compared to the other things this parent had been doing....but it mattered to this child.  I witnessed a child breaking the cycle of abuse by refusing to be a part of it any longer.  It was heartbreaking and powerful and something I will never forget.

Early this week I was at the jail teaching math when one of my students opened up as well.  I was humbled that he chose to share his story and honored that he trusted me enough to open up.  It was painful, full of regrets, shame, and confusion but the hope was still there for something more...his GED, possibly a college degree later down the road.  His life had been horrible, riddled with generations of abuse, yet full of hope.

My heart is so full.  I am grateful for my life and recognize how blessed I am.  Even working two jobs, I have all I need to feel my world is amazing.  But it took me quitting to find that out.  It took getting past the victimizations, rationalizations, excuses to find out just how to live my truth.  

Maybe you think I'm dramatic.  Maybe you think it's too much for you to get.  Maybe you just want to quit smoking but keep the rest of your life the same.  Everyone is different, of course, but I can promise you that your life will grow when you quit.  It just will evolve into how you were always supposed to live and who you were supposed to be.  You won't have to work at it, no applications to fill out, no actions required.  Your life will take on.....life.  And it will be amazing.

 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Lose Yourself

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Oct 27, 2018

~~Lose yourself.  In laughter and nature and lovely moments, kisses and cuddles.  In a much needed conversation with someone you love or and adventure, or your favorite book or movie, some good food and precious company,  Lose yourself in the tender breeze of the wind, the song of birds around you, the strokes of sunshine on your brow, the glitter of stars winking.  Because you will surely find yourself, my dear.  And you'll realize all is well.~~  SC Lourie

 

Just lose yourself in everything you love and you'll lose that desire to hold on to the thought that you need to smoke.  Lose yourself in fun and in healthy living and in joy.  Lose yourself in new experiences and sweet memories and good times. 

The more you embrace life, my friends, the less you'll hold on to the idea you 'need' a cigarette. You'll let go of your fear of failing, your fear that you "can't".  Fill your time with laughter and lovely moments.  Fill your days with friends and fresh air.  Fill your heart with love and happy and contentment. 

Turn towards those strokes of sunshine on your brow and allow the shadows of addiction to fall behind you.  Let it be something you used to do but no longer need to continue.  Let it go with grace and peace, allowing regret and shame dissolve into acceptance and healing. 

There is no need to tie yourself to smoking any longer.  All the good you deserve in life is just on the other side of addiction, waiting patiently as you let go of the lies addiction has told you.  Lose yourself in all the world has to offer, all you have always wondered about, and all you want to do.  You can, you know.  The world is yours and it is waiting.

 

May you have a day filled with lovely moments,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Limitless

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Oct 19, 2018

~~We can either watch life from the sidelines, or actively participate....Either we let self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy prevent us from realizing our potential, or embrace the fact that when we turn our attention away from ourselves, our potential is limitless.~~  Christopher Reeve

 

I find that actively participating in life is much more satisfying than watching life from the sidelines.  Sure, I make mistakes but even then I get the opportunity to apologize or fix  them or otherwise learn from those mistakes.  I also get the joy of helping others, the excitement of new adventures, and the peace that comes from living each day my way.  

 

Smoking limits us, you know.  It limits our activities, it limits our time, and it limits our lives.  Still, with knowing all that, the fear of living without cigarettes can be so paralyzing that we simply pass on actively participating in our quits.  We may 'try' of course.  We may hold on for a few agonizing days.  But we can't picture ourselves ever living life without a pack nearby.

 

It was only when I decided to quit despite my fears....despite a reluctance to leave my comfort zone...despite my longing to have both a smoke free life and yet the ease of my routine....that I began to understand just how much I had been sitting on the sidelines.  The more active I became in my life the less I thought about what I was 'giving up'.  Because the truth was that I wasn't giving up anything worth holding on to.  I was gaining everything instead.

 

Maybe you don't want adventure.  Maybe you don't want to help others.  Maybe you don't even want to 'actively participate' in life.  It's your choice, of course.  But I can say from experience that if you get that "it's terminal" diagnosis....or if you get that eye opening heart attack....or if you are touched by the suicide of a loved one....life suddenly takes on a sweeter note.  Don't wait for that brush with death before you decide you want to live.  Live now.  Get up and get out and grab life by the hand!!  Your potential is limitless.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Discipline Is

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Oct 16, 2018

~~Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.~~ waywire.com

 

I want to apologize for not checking in lately.  There are so many people here I am in awe of and I love checking on their progress as they move forward in their quits.  Quite an amazing group of quitters!!  Stan, Ralph, Ann, Christine...the list goes on and on.

 

After Hurricane Michael hit, I just wanted my family safe.  And, thank God, they are.  But my son and his family can't go home, although they've travelled back to meet with insurance adjusters, contractors, etc....They've been staying with me, of course, but even that may end as my son's boss wants him to return to work.  Without power, without a working cell phone (Verizon's towers still don't work) and without gas to get around.  They would need to find a hotel as well...it's just a bit of a mess yet as to what they can and will be able to do.

 

Here in DeFuniak Springs, things have also changed as this is a stopping off point for first responders, contractors, and others who need to get to the affected areas.  We have long gas lines when we have gas, we have no food in our stores, and the laundry mats stay busy.  Traffic is sometimes a nightmare and families who come here no longer have homes to go back to.  

 

So my time and attention are on those people right now. I can't help but I can listen, I can refer, and I can support.  I still have my two jobs as well and religious education to teach now two days a week (first communion classes are starting!).  But please, please know that each quitter is in my heart and in my prayers!!  I know you have it in you to quit and I know the courage you never dreamed you had is waiting for permission to come forth.  

 

I don't know how long it will take for things to get back to 'normal'.  And I'm ok with the abnormal because my family is safe.  Know that I believe in you and I will be checking in so if you need me, just shoot me a message and I will respond.  Promise  

 

Use the elders here as well!!  They WANT you to succeed, they know all the ins and outs of quits, and they can provide remarkable support and wisdom  

 

Much, much love to all,

 

Sheri

~~The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.~~  Terry Orlick

 

There is absolutely nothing like the feeling you get when doing something you love!  Whether it be teaching GED classes to inmates, offering comfort to someone during a difficult time, or picking up a paintbrush for the first time only to discover you love to create art  

 

Sometimes it's a simple matter of reading a good book on a rainy day or gardening under a gentle morning sun.  Holding a baby or learning to play piano or taking a pottery class.

 

I've often said here on ex that you need to quit your way.  You are uniquely you so following someone else's quit journey is not going to be the best fit for you even if it works for a time.  Taking that thought even further, how about if your heart of excellence starts to beat as you discover that pursuit that gives you a sense of meaning?  Of joy?  Of passion?

What is it that sparks a light in you?  What is it that brings you a sense of meaning?  

 

Find these things if you don't already have them!  Take your focus away from how 'hard' this quit is to how much you can learn about yourself.  You know, all the things that make you smile.  All those things that bring you joy.  All those moments that bring purpose to your life.

 

I can tell you that it's in you.  All those wonderful, freeing, absorbing pursuits that you were put here to do, to feel, to love.  And the more you turn from those unhealthy, negative habits that suck the joy right out of you, the more the true you will start to glimmer...and then shine.  You have that heart of human excellence that is just longing to beat....bring it to life   The world is waiting.

 

 

 

~~When you have something good....when you have something good, you don't play with it!  You don't take chances with it!  You don't take risks with it!  When you got something good, you get every single thing you can get out of it!  Because guess what?  When you take care of something good, that something good takes care of you.~~  Eric Thomas

 

That something good I'm talking about is you.  Yes, you!!  I don't want you taking risks with you anymore.  I don't want you taking chances.  And when you smoke, that's exactly what you're doing.  You are risking your health.  You are risking your life.  And yet, even with the warning signs...shortness of breath, gum disease, heart problems, stroke....you smoke.  And in your addiction, you don't think about the negatives.  That would put a damper on 'enjoying' the smoke.  Instead, you shut off your mind while that nicotine soothes the craving you had.  Smoking is giving you your 'fix'.

 

But when you have something good, you are supposed to get every single thing you can out of it!!  You are full of creative energies left untapped.  You are full of laughter, fun, and warmth all stuffed under the need for nicotine.  You are so much more than you can ever realize as you smoke!  Because you are buried underneath the addiction.  Quitting brings out the very best you are....the sweetness, the wonder, the magic of you!  

 

And you know what?  When you take good care of you, your body, in turn...and your mind, and your spirit and your soul...all will take good care of you.  You will find hidden treasures within yourself and those hidden treasures will bring light to your day and joy to your world.  You will sing more, stress less.  You will feel more generous, less isolated.  You will hope more, hide less.  

 

When you have something good, recognize it for what it is.  YOU, my friend, are that good!!  Don't risk yourself any longer.  Don't take chances with your health.  Don't risk death, disease, cancer because you don't want to let go of that addiction.  Life is waiting for you because it recognizes the good you are.  You are needed here.  You have a purpose.  And the world is better off because you are in it.  So please don't risk all that you are for an addiction that takes so much away from you.

 

It's time to quit.  And it's time to get every single thing you can out of you  

~~I used to sit on the banks with a raft and watch the water roll lazily by.  One day I pushed my raft into the shallows of the water and found the water moved swifter than I thought.  My raft was actually a boat.  Then, after some time, I rowed by little boat into deeper water.  There were great storms, mighty winds, tremendous waves, and sometimes I felt so alone.  But I have noticed my little rowboat is now a mighty ship manned by my friends and loved ones; and beautiful calm seas, warm sunny days, and nights filled with comfortable dreams always double after a storm.  Now I could never go back and sit on the bank.  In fact, I search for deeper water.  Such is life when lived.~~  B. D. Gulledge

 

I know not everyone is at a place in their life where they can say they love life.  I know not everyone can see through their storm.  And I know not everyone has a clear vision of what their life is supposed to be like rather than the chaos they think it is.

 

But I can tell you that on the other side of that storm CAN be a breathtaking rainbow.  And I can tell you that when your vision clears, you CAN see a joyous life ahead.  And that after the chaos has calmed, life CAN be sheer tranquility.  

 

And I know because I've been on both sides.  I've lived through some storms.  I've been shortsighted.  I've struggled through chaos and turmoil.  Most of it has been of my own making, of course.  Because often it's our own thought process that determines our reality.  Sometimes outside forces change our worlds as well, but even then it's how WE think about things that get us through to the other side.

 

Quitting smoking is our chance to bring positive energy and strength to our worlds.  "Change your thoughts and you change your world", right?!!  

 

I can't begin to tell you how much I love my life.  It's not all sunshine and unicorns.  I have two jobs, two teens at home, financial constraints and obligations that are not quite under control, a mother who doesn't understand me, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah…….

 

But you know what else I have?  I have pride in my students when they pull their TABE scores up.  I have pride in my visiting parents when they gain unsupervised visitation with their children because they overcame addiction or other personal issues.  I have joy in nature regardless of it raining or blooming roses.  I am grateful for the moments.  Loving new adventures.  I'm sad when I'm sad but then I move on.  No longer stuck in the negative emotions, I know that they are part of life but not ALL of life.  I've changed and in doing so, my world is good.

 

I guess what I'm telling you is that it's your decision to make.  Smoke or don't smoke.  Struggle or accept.  Cry or smile.  Hold on or give up.  It's all on you to decide how your life is going to be and that in itself should make you smile.  It's all on you....not what's going on with you, not what's happening around you, not what's up a head.  It's simply on you.

 

Life is just life.  We can watch it go by while sitting on the bank or we can get in the water and find out that our raft is in actuality a ship that can navigate through any storm.  

 

And if you disagree with my take on life, I applaud you.  You are thinking for yourself, making your own determinations, and I think that is wonderful, too   It's your world, your life.  Make it what you will.

~~If I could, I would send you a box of happiness wrapped in a bow that you could take into your heart so you could breathe easier right how.  I would sweep out the cobwebs of fear and regret so that you no longer have to stumble upon them in the dark.

I would make sure you walk through this world knowing that you are celebrated and loved.

Because you are a bright light in this world and you are worthy of this and so much more.

So today I send you the blessings of a thousand angels who will help you find your way into heartfelt laughter and a sense of well-being.

Know that you are loved.~~  Laurel Breadon-Maffel

 

I don't know why but quitting sometimes makes people unhappy.  It brings dark clouds instead of sunshine  and brings out insecurities rather than confidence.

Quitting should be a time of celebration as you turn your focus on what could be rather than what has been.  Picture days of breathing better!!  Picture saving $300-$500 a month!!  Picture smelling so good that your family crowds around you for hugs!!  Picture having more time...more time to spend with those you love, more time to do what you love, more time to enjoy being alive!!

A lifetime of being free from paper, tobacco, chemicals that kill.  A lifetime of never having to run to the store, search for that lighter, find the 'smoking area' sign.  A lifetime of never again burning that hole in your car seat, never freezing as you grab one more outside in 10* weather, never having your family look at you in hurt silence as you excuse yourself after dinner.

Shrouding ourselves in negative emotions, I think, is a side effect of addiction and gives us an out should we decide to relapse.  "I couldn't handle it", "I was going through a horrible time", "When things calm down, I'll quit again".  In actuality, there is nothing bad about quitting.  We don't lose a thing and we gain...well....everything good!!  So by looking forward to everything good, we are encouraged to keep our quit.  By being excited at the thought of another smoke free day, we are supported by positive emotions. 

Sweep out those cobwebs of fear and regret.  Find your way into a sense of well-being and heartfelt laughter.  And know that you deserve to be celebrated and loved!  Each and every day.  You are, after all, a bright light in this world!  And that light is needed and appreciated  

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

When Its Yours

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 30, 2018

~~Be yourself.  If you water yourself down to please people or to fit in or to not offend anyone, you lose the power, the passion, the freedom, and the joy of being uniquely you.  It's much easier to love yourself when you are being yourself.~~ Dan Coppersmith

 

It's easy to lose yourself here.  There are so many people supporting and guiding you....so many cheering you on...so many who have amazing stories of overcoming obstacles.  You like them.  You are impressed with them.  You want to be like them.  A quitter.

 

So you take their advice.  You read everything they suggest you read.  You say things like "I don't do that anymore".  You stick your head in the freezer and drink gallons of ice water.  You chew on cinnamon sticks and get rid of all smoking items in your house, your car, your porch.

 

And still you relapse.  And as you smoke, you hate what you're doing and you don't understand why you failed.  You did EVERYTHING they told you to do.  So why?

 

Your life is not here .  Your spirit is not in the control+alt keys.  Your soul is not in a blog, no matter how wonderfully you write or how many comments you get. 

 

It is so important to add you to your quit!!  Your personality.  Your routine.  Your passions.  Even your family and friends.

You are the only one who knows what makes you happy so add that!  You are the only one who knows what stresses you out....so avoid that!  You are the only one who knows what keeps you going....so add that! 

 

In other words, personalize your quit.  Add all the little nuances that make you you   Bring out your talents, utilize your strengths, create your quit with all that you are!  Because it's yours.  Mold it, shape it, build it.  Own it. 

 

When your quit is a reflection of who you are, you will find that you are in control of it.  You know how to hold on to it, you know how to strengthen it, and you know when it's solid.  You don't have to be like anyone else here....not even the elders.  This is all about YOU.  Know we are here for you but it's your quit so make it yours.   You'll keep it then.

 

 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

The Reality

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 29, 2018

~~The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.~~  Unknown

 

Not trying to be hard on anyone here.  Most of us have thought we couldn't.  Many of us have had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.  A few of us.....myself included....have even felt like we were the only ones in the world who COULDN'T quit.  It was beyond our capabilities.

 

But the reality is that of course you can quit smoking!  It takes no special skill set.  No unique talents.  Not even much physical effort.

 

It just takes a willingness to not smoke no matter what.  Smoking is off the table regardless of what your life looks like or what you are going through.  Just a willingness.  How simple is that?

 

Now simple doesn't mean easy.  Getting out of our comfort zone is uncomfortable.  Dealing with stress without a crutch is uncomfortable.  Going through our day without that habit we have nurtured for so long is uncomfortable.  And not many of us like to be that uncomfortable.  But please remember feeling uncomfortable is not the same thing as being in physical pain....or being unable to function.  Do not build in your mind the thoughts that being without cigarettes will kill you.  Because that is addiction talking as the truth is that smoking is what will kill you.

 

I read about a woman who had lost 90 pounds and was extremely proud of her achievement.  One man commented, "You are doing good things for you, but let's face it...losing weight isn't difficult.  Eat healthy, cut out the junk, and become physically active will get you there.  It's not rocket science."  Well, I thought that was a bit harsh but as I thought about (while smoking on my back porch) it dawned on me that he has a point.  It isn't hard in that only certain people can achieve it.  The hard part comes in changing our habits, not falling back into old patterns of behavior, and overcoming the blocks in our minds of why we can't have what we want.  

 

I wanted to quit.  It wasn't rocket science.  To reach my goal, I just couldn't smoke anymore.  And so I didn't.  It's been over five years now and not one regret in quitting!

 

Again, I am not dismissing the fact that you may find quitting a struggle.  Difficult.  Stressful.  But can you do it?  Of course you can!!  Let go of those thoughts that you can't.  Let go of those ideas that it's too hard.  Feel the fear and do it anyway because when you do, the fear has no place to go and it dies.  

 

Reach that goal of being an ex!  It just takes a willingness to do it and an open mind to keep it.  The utter freedom you find is worth it, I promise.  

~~My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive;  and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.~~  Maya Angelou

 

You'll often read here that quitting isn't just an event, it's a lifestyle.  It's a journey filled with changes, challenges, and personal growth.  And it's only when you resist those changes and challenges and growth that you run into struggles and angst and relapse.

 

For me, my quit truly began when I decided that I wasn't going to be a victim anymore.  Not a victim of addiction.  Not a victim of others.  Not a victim of life.  I had to let go of what had happened over the years in order to begin to thrive.

 

Letting go of a lifetime of beliefs isn't always easy.  It's so easy to fall back into the old way of thinking or feeling or behaving.  That's why I surrounded myself with positivity.  I woke with gratitude, I gave to others, I counted my blessings.  I tried new things even when I wanted to run and hide.  I laughed often.  I found myself.

 

This may be total confusing to some of you.  Maybe you think you have your life together and don't need to look at things differently.  Maybe you don't.  Maybe some of you think that you have every right to be hurt or isolated or shut down.  And maybe you do.

 

That's the thing about life.  It allows you to be any way you want.  It allows you to create your reality.  I chose to be a non-smoker who loves life.  Who thrives.  Who tries. 

 

What do you choose?

~~And then it happens...one day you wake up and you're in this place.  You're in this place where everything feels right.

Your heart is calm.  Your soul is lit.  Your thoughts are positive.  Your vision is clear.  You're at peace, at peace with where you've been, at peace with what you've been through, and at peace where you're headed.~~  Unknown

 

If you hold on to your quit, you'll feel it happen.  You will feel different.  And it will all be worth it.