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2016

~~Give yourself time to be sad, frustrated, angry.  Give yourself time to heal, accept, and to grow.  Time doesn't erase anything, but it can provide you with enough space to be able to breathe again.  And then one day you wake up and your heart has a little sunshine in it.  And then day by day, people offer you pieces of their hearts to help remake your own.  Allow yourself to be where you are at, to feel what you are feeling, and to experience everything that means.  And during this process, look and listen for that glimmer of hope.  It is there, I promise.  And it is waiting for you to see it.  Because one of the most beautiful things about humans is their capacity to heal, grow, and survive.  Face it.  That is how you get through it.~~ Jessica Jensen

You really do have the capacity to heal.  Your spirit is stronger than you think.  Give yourself the time you need to repair not only the physical damage smoking has caused you, but also the psychological damage.  Because, my friend, its there.  Your spirit is damaged. In ways you may not even consciously think about.  Hiding behind that chemical ridden cloud of smoke has isolated you, has embarrassed or shamed you, or has entrapped you in a web of addictive thinking that will take time to heal from.

It's ok to be sad or frustrated or angry.  Its ok to feel impatient or stressed or trapped.  But underneath all that, realize that time is your friend.  Time will allow you to heal.  Time will allow you to grow.  Time will allow you to survive those first few months....those first strong craves...those first uncertain steps towards freedom.

The most beautiful thing about you, you see, is your capacity to love yourself.  To realize your worth.  To expand your horizens.  To truly live.  And you can never truly live being tied to an addiction that can kill you.  You can never truly live needing that next hit of nicotine to getyou  through until you need that next hit of nicotine. 

So give yourself time.  And each person here will give you a piece of themselves to strengthen you, to support you, to heal you until you are able to soar on your own.  Maybe just a word of comfort....maybe just a bit of wisdom....maybe just a little kindness.  But it will help you feel less alone.  And it will help you feel that glimmer of hope. 

Time is your friend.  Embrace it.  Get comfortable with it.  And know that when the time comes, you will soar. 

Sheri

~~Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.  Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow.  Let reality be reality.  Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.~~  Lao Tzu

Last night was hard.  I work as a victim's advocate.  I am there for the family from the time they enter the Children's Advocacy Center until they no longer are in need of services.  Yesterday I worked out of the head office and heard some heartbreaking stories from children who had been sexually abused.  I finally got home at 530, looking forward to spending time with Jake and forgetting about the outside world for the night.  But I am on-call and got called out at 715pm to hear another heartbreaking story.  It was a long night and we didn't even get started on staffing or talking with the family until 830.  By 1000pm when the child was telling her story,  I was extremely tired, hadn't eaten, was discouraged and a bit heart sick.  I knew I would need coffee to make the 45 minute trip home as well.  For the first time since I quit, I thought about how I would smoke when I drank coffee because I was tired, hungry, and heart sick.

No, I didn't even entertain the idea of smoking now.  I love my quit.  But I vividly remembered how nicotine would relax me after a particularily hard day.  Correction!!  The nicotine was the drug I needed in order to function.  I don't need that anymore and don't want it, either.

But, yes, thoughts pop up for most of us.  After 1150 days (I believe), it finally happened to me as well.  And it goes straight back to what we tell newbies all the time; watch out for HALT!  When you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, your resistance to craving may be weaker.  By paying attention and knowing that, you will be aware of what else you can do to keep your quit strong.

Me?  I cried for a little bit for all those hurt children.  Then I prayed and thanked God that I my children are safe and healthy.  Then I turned up the tunes (Rod Stewart's Great American Song Book) and sang along!! 

I continue to take good care of me.  But part of my life is filled with ugly and pain and hot emotions.  By accepting that, I learn daily how to better deal with it and still find all the beauty, joy, and laughter that life has to offer, because all those things are there as well.

TFIG, all!! (Thank God I'm Fabulous!!)

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Choose You

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 27, 2016

~~Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself.  Trying to become smaller.  Quieter.  Less sensitve.  Less opinionated.  Less me.  Because I didn't want to be a burden.  I didn't want to be too much or push people away.  I wasnted people to like me.  I wanted to be cared for and valued.  I wanted to be wanted.  So for years I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy.  I am done shrinking.  It's not my job to changed who I am in order to become someone else's idea of a worthwhile human being.  I am worthwhile.  Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter.  My thoughts matter.  My feelings matter.  my voice matters.  And with or without anyone's permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth.  Even if it makes people angry.  Even if it makes them uncomfortable.  Even if they choose to leave.  I refuse to shrink.  I choose to take up space.  I choose to honor  my feelings.  I choose to give myself persmission to get my needs met.  I choose to make self-care a priority.  I choose me.~~ Daniell Koepke

 

Have you come to this point in your life yet?  Where you recognize that your needs are just as important as everyone else's?  Where you understand that you are a worthwhile human being?  Where you choose you?

I hope so.  I hope you reach this realization with joy and marvel and wonder.  Because once you understand how very much you are wanted in this world,  it is like the weight of the world is off your shoulders.  It is a freedom so sweet that it takes your breath away.  

Refuse to shrink for the comfort of others.   Honor your feelings.  Be proud of who you are.  Because who you are is unique.....breathtakingly glorious....and utterly perfect.

Smoking kills the spirit as much as the body so oftentimes we forget how perfect we are.  Instead we slink away from life, head down, but furiously puffing away on a stick we secretly loathe.  Even when we want it.

I hope you choose you.  I hope, when you quit smoking, the perfect you emerges from the shadows and bursts into glorious life!  I hope you become your own hero.  I hope you love your life.  I hope you never lose yourself again.  And I hope that you never allow yourself to shrink for anyone....or anything....ever again. 

Life is waiting for you.

Sheri

~~Our ability to grow is directly proportional to our ability to entertain the uncomfortable.~~  Unknown

And that is what quitting is, really.  Uncomfortable.  We not only quit the physical actions of smoking, we have to pick a quit date, we have to learn our triggers, we have to find other things to do instead of smoking.....it is an uncomfortable process.

And we don't like to feel discomfort.  We don't like our routines interrupted.  We don't like to have to change things.  Because, in part, we live on automatic for so long. We don't have to think about what we are doing because it's so routine we can do it on auto pilot.  So when we have to think about what we're doing, it's different.  When we have to think about what we're feeling, its uncomfortable.  When we have to think about how to act/react/respond/behave, it's difficult.

And so we stay in our zone.  We smoke, we live in routine, we continue with the same old behaviors.  We don't have to think about that.  So we ignore the warnings.  We ignore the signs that what we are doing is killing us.  We ignore the pleas of our loved ones to quit.  Better the devil you know that the one you don't know, right?

Entertaining the uncomfortable is really our saving grace.  Because outside our comfort zone is life!!  You can make it anything you want it to be.  You can create your life, one smoke free moment at a time.  Focus on that rather than on missing that comfort zone.  Look ahead, find the positives, feel the release from addiction!! 

Live thoughtfully, live mindfully, live fully.  Everything you want is one step out of your comfort zone.  So entertain the uncomfortable.  I read somewhere that change isn't painful, the resistence to change is what's painful.  Makes sense to me.  Quit resisting...it's painful!  Just move towards change.

Have a lovely day, all!!  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Mind Set

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 25, 2016

~~Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate.~~  Unknown

So often we think of good habits as a punishment.  "Ugh...I have to exercise after eating that cupcake! " "Ugh...I have to quit smoking because I've developed COPD."  "Ugh.....I have to drink water because my doctor says I'm dehydrated."

I choose to think of everything I do as a celebration!!  Yay, I get to do yoga today!!!  Yay, another smoke free day!!!  Yay, I have enough bottled water to last me all day!!!

It's all in the mind set, you see.  Your body, your brain, your spirit is waiting for you to acknowledge them.  To honor them.  To celebrate them.  Your body knows how to take care of itself.  Your spirit knows which direction to steer you.  It's your brain that needs to be retrained to allow the rest of you to work well :)

So please reconsider thinking of exercise as a punishment.  Celebrate instead.

Sheri

~~Pause     breathe        repair your universe          proceed.~~

I like this.  Nice and simple.  Nothing says that we have to sit and wallow in our troubles.  Nothing glues us to the bad times.  And I like remembering that.

I also like to remind myself that I have a 100% success rate at getting through my issues.  Still here, still breathing, still moving forward. 

And every time I conquer another hurdle, I smile.  I can do this.  I can quit smoking.  I can overcome my fears.  I can explore my world.

Maybe keeping it simple helps.  Maybe you don't have to struggle, rather accept.  Life is life.  Good, bad, boring.....it constantly changes.  People are the ones who choose not to.

I chose to grow.  I chose to discover new aspects of me.  I chose to not wallow in my negative experiences. 

I can't chose for you.  You can.  You can chose to remain where you are.  Maybe miserable with your quit.  Maybe bored with your life.  Maybe to fearful to move forward.  Or, maybe you are a warrior....queen of your life...a daring adventurer with new worlds to conquer. 

It's ok to be whoever you are, you know.  It's ok.  Because when you are ready, you will move forward, move on, move through.  Something inside us won't allow us to stay still forever.  For now, just keep it simple.  Pause, breathe, repair your universe, proceed. 

Wishing your joy this beautiful Sunday

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Not Today

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 22, 2016

~~Today is the day I choose to kill this demon, I have let it win too often;  not today.~~  Gareth Egan

The time will come when you decide that you've had enough.  Enough crave laden quits, enough white-knuckle quits, enough going back to that first day.  Enough stops and starts and disappointments and 'failures'.

In fact, the time will come, my friend, when you take back your power and say "Enough!!"

You don't think so? Stop for a moment and think about it.  With all the successful quits here, how do you think they occurred?  Magic maybe?  A secret formula that we aren't giving you? 

Of course not!  We may have all quit different ways....NRTs, cold turkey, hypnosis.....but we have one thing in common.  We did it.  We took back our power.  We became the most fierce of warriors, stood our ground, and killed it.

Now, some may not have thought about it like that.  But don't you think it's true just the same?   If we aren't playing with it....going back to day 1, romancing it, wallowing in it....we must be killing it.  If we aren't just contemplating it, or studying it, or wondering about it, we must be  saying "Enough!"

You may not think you are a warrior.  You may not think you have the strength or the courage or the determination.  But we used to think that, too.  Truth is, it is there in each and every one of us once we stop focusing on the fear of letting go.

Find your inner warrior!  Let today be the day you decide to kill it. 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

A Honest Post

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 20, 2016

No quotes this evening.  No usual, feel good post.  Simply a large amount of honesty.

Today, I was talking to a friend I met here on Ex when I first found this site about 6 years ago.  We were discussing the changes on Ex, the posts, the people....just chatting.  She asked me why I didn't talk to people like I used to.  I used to post on everyone's board, I used to rspond to everyone's blogs, I used to be here hours at a time.  She also asked why I didn't tell others the struggles I had been through as she thought it would help others to see me as I really am.

I want to share with you what I told her because it's important to me that you understand me.  Why I'm here.  Why I am the way I am now.  So please bear with me.

This site isn't about me.  When you come here and read blogs and respond to posts and talk with other quitters, this site is about you!  How you are doing, what problems you are experiencing, how your quit is growing.  I have been quit for over 3 years.  It is solid and I have confidence in my ability to keep my quit.  But I will never forget the struggles I had 6 years ago.  I will never forget the bewilderment of failed attempts.  The crushing disappointments.  The loneliness of a quitter who 'couldn't' quit.

So I come here and offer a little hope.  A little insight.  A smile every now and then. 

You do not need to hear my life story.  Not because I'm above that, but because we all have stories.  We all have shattered dreams, unforseeable tragedies, heart breaking events, life changing episodes.  All of those things mold us into who we now are.  I'm no different.  But I came through the life changing episodes with the promise that I wouldn't look back.  I wouldn't hold on.  I wouldn't revisit what tried to break me. 

I quit smoking, you see, only after I had decided I wouldn't be broken.  I quit smoking when I decided it was time to love me, to love life, to create something precious from something that was at times dark and ugly.

My choice.  My decision.  And it worked for me.  I was able to quit smoking with far less trouble than my previous attempts.  I wanted to battle the nicodemon....I was ready to be a warrior....but he came in with a whimper and left defeated because I would not be broken.

Now, please remember that quitting is a personal, invidivual journey.  You don't have to understand mine in order to create yours.  You don't have to listen to me, you don't have to like me, you don't have to believe me.  Your quit, my friend, is yours.  Quit your way.  Use whatever it is you want to use.  Be whomever you want to be during your quit.

But I can't be anyone but me.  I will continue to offer positive posts.  I will continue to be a happy quitter.  I will continue to love my life.  All because I can't do anything else.  It's who I am. 

So you don't have to know my life story to know that I have one.  You don't have to hear about my struggles to understand I've had them. 

As for why I don't spend hours here anymore and why I don't write on everyone's boards or posts.....I am busy living my life.  I work, I have a soon to be 14 year old, 2 grandchildren, a slightly aging mother, friends, neighbors.  I have my volunteer work, my yard work, my creative work.  I am busy but I adore my life!! 

And yet I adore Ex as well!  I come here to share, to listen, to support, and to honor the site that helped me not only find my quit but find myself in the process.  I'm not here a lot but I am here.  I try to do good. 

Ok.  I've vented.  I've explained.  I hope it's helped those who don't know who I am to know why I'm here.  I love the Ex community and I've been a part of it for years.  I've earned my place, I believe.  I've earned my quit.  And that is enough for me.  I hope you continue your own journey, finding your quit and yourself in the process. 

Sheri

~~All the things that make you fragile and fierce and clever and powerful and wounded and creative and layered and thoughtful and moody and spiritual and wild and damaged can be described in just one single word:  lovely.~~  Unknown

You may not see yourself this way yet.  You may feel tired and drained and ragged and shadowy.  You may avoid mirrors and reflections and compliments.  You may know that you need a haircut or to work out or to see a dentist.

Surface stuff, my friends, and so very unimportant compared to the essence of who you really are!

All those things you see as negatives....all those things that hold you back from embracing life....are the very same things that make you beautiful.  When you understand that, you begin to wear your wounds like jewels and your damage like a tiara.

You have come through everything life has had to throw at you.  You have shown courage and wisdom and perseverence and honesty.  You have kept your head up and your eye on the prize and your hopes alive.  All these things shine lovely in you.  All these things have given you grace and beauty and sparkle.

You'll see it more as your quit takes shape.  You'll feel your courage.  You'll delight in your strength.  You'll take comfort in your passions.  Quitting smoking is a process that adds so much enrichment to your life.  You are losing nothing while gaining everything good and powerful and joyful and enlightening.

You can do anything you set your mind to.  You create your own reality.  You design your own life.  And all of these things make you lovely.  Wear it proudly.

Sheri

~~Your life has purpose, your story is important, your dreams count.  Your voice matters, you were born to make an impact.~~  Unknown

I read Sparky's post this morning.  I read about not writing the prize winning blog.  Iread about gratitude.  And then I thought about all the people who come to this site.  The quiet ones.  The lonely ones.  The shy ones.  The unsure.  The hesitant.

There are people on this site who make a big impact on us all.  The ones that everyone know....the Tommys and the Dales and the Shawns and the Giulias and the Thomases and the Ellens.  The ones who are here every day doing what they do best....writing, supporting, encouraging, imparting big wisdoms for those who need it.

Then there are the Marilyns and the Sharons and the Nancys and the Nikkis and the Diane Joys and the Aztecs.  The ones who make you feel like you've come home.  They welcome us and they remember us and they open their arms to all of us.

Then there are the Sparkys and the Sheris and the rest of us.  The ones who come here every now and then or are even here daily but they wonder...."Do I make a difference?"  The ones who don't write prize winning posts.  The ones who can't be here enough to have everyone know who they are. 

As a Sheri, I can tell you that it doesn't matter your name or how much you come here or if you write that prize winning blog.  Your voice matters.  Your story matters to the next smoker who is looking for answers.  Your story matters to that lonely one who just want to know someone cares.  Your story matters to those who hesitate and need to hear there is nothing to be afraid of.  I will never write a "WOW!!" post.  And I'm ok with that.  I write because maybe someone will read it, smile, and feel better about his/herself.  That's all.

Sparky, I know you here.  I may not say hi like I should.  I don't say hi to most of those I know here.  Not because I am cold or unfeeling but because somehow I've lost that art of making small talk.  But I'm here if you need me.  I'm here if you just want a friend.  I'm here and I will respond, although I do not call those I don't know :)

Please don't leave totally.  Please don't think you don't matter here.  Everyone matters here because we all have that something in common.  We know smoking and we know quitting and that bond can be the start of a lifelong friendship....even if it's just a "hi, Sheri" every now and then.

You matter.  We all do.  And your life has a purpose that no one else in the world can bring to us.  We need it and we need you.

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Being Honest

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 12, 2016

~~An amazing thing happens when you get honst with yourself and start doing what you love, and what makes you happy.  Your life literally slows down.  You stop wishing for the weekend.  You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being.  You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy.  You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful.  A veil is lifted and a whole new perspective is born.~~  Unknown

Interesting things happen when you get really honest with yourself.  You begin to truly see who you are.  You begin to understand how you've been living lies as well as truths, Maybe you've been accepting less than what you deserve.  Maybe you even ignore so that you don't have to face things.  Unpleasantness, change, loss.

My children helped me see this when I used to say, "I need a cigarette."  They would gently suggest, "You want one, mom, you don't need it."  Truth?  Of course they were right.  So I would say "I want a cigarette" but didn't seem to 'enjoy' them as much.  I was beginning to question smoking.

Then I found this wonderful site.  Made a huge number of friends, learned some things, but didn't like reading that I was an "addict".  I took what I needed and left the rest but in doing so, I relapsed after about 180 days.  Not because I didn't like the word "addict", but because I didn't understand the meaning behind the word.  I was not working on my quit as hard as I was working on others' quits.  I didn't pay attention to me.  I didn't want to.  Back to day one. 

I finally left this marvelous site and these lovely people because I needed to focus on me rather than distract myself with 'helping' others.  And so I did.  It was a transformation I needed.  Honesty.  Self-honesty.  I really wasn't happy with me.  With my life.  With my world.  I wasn't happy being an addict. 

So I transformed.  I quit smoking cold turkey because it was right for me.  I started doing what I loved.  I left what I didn't love behind.  Three years later, I'm still happy with my transformation and still over the moon about my quit.

But I'm not you.  I can't suggest life changes because you may not think you need them.  I can't advise you to change behaviors because you may not think you need to change.  But I can urge you to be honest with yourself.   Its a good place to start.  Don't not think about it.  Don't smoke your way out of it.  And don't ignore it anymore.  Why are you still smoking?  Or why do you still see it as something good?  Or why do you miss it? 

Be honest. 

Sheri 

~~I love my life.  It's my way of saying "thank you" to the world.~~  Unknown

By the time I quit smoking, I was ready for other changes as well.  I let go of the negative people and things in my life that kept me feeling unbalanced and victimized.  I let go of old hurts.  I forgave others.  I forgave myself. 

It was time, you see, to create the best me I could be.  So I learned about me.  What I loved, what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be.  I truly looked at myself for the very first time.  Not my looks but my life.  It was a time of transformation.

I looked forward to it.  All the time and energy and focus I once had on my addiction, I now put to creating a smoke free me.  What fun!!  And it distracted me from missing smoking.  Rather than focusing on my  quit, I focused on healing my spirit and my heart and my world.

Did it work?  Well, I love my life now.  I am far from perfect but having flaws is as natural as having thoughts.  I am made of kindness and impatience, joy and distraction, delight and weirdness.  Every day I give thanks that I have more time to learn, to laugh, to love. 

In the three plus years since I quit, I have been a work in progress.  But I have enjoyed the journey.  I never regretted quitting.  I never regretted forgiving.  I never regretted letting go of all the negatives.  I feel lighter, happier, and more relaxed than I ever have before.

Now, we are all different.  Some of you may not need to create a life you love because you are already there.  Some of you may view the world through a different perspective and joy is not a feeling you are looking forward to.  Some of you may need a little laughter, a few good friends, and a bit of understanding. 

Whatever it is you need to help you quit smoking.....find that!  Find that focus that will get you through those first moments, the first week, the first year, of your quit.  Develop your plan rather than diving blindly into something you aren't ready for.  You need coping skills.  You need support.  And you need to know, deep down inside, that no matter how difficult your quit is, you will come through the other side with no regrets. 

What does your quit consist of? 

Sheri

~~Please be proud of the pieces that make you, you.  Embrace the oddities and hold on to them with everything you have.  These strange little quirks belong to us, and only us, and they are all absolutely vital in creating the bigger picture that is who we are.  Be proud of yourself, because if you are, it never matters who else is.  Because when you are, the inevitiability of other people believing in you and being proud, too, is such an amazing bonus to the strength you already possess.~~  Tyler Knott Gregson

You can be proud of that 100 day quit.  Those huge 1000 day milestones.  That stupendous 5 smoke free years celebration.  You've earned them, right?!  You've worked for them.  You've struggled and paid your dues.

But please remember to be just as proud of your decision to quit smoking, even if your quit date is weeks away.  Decisions like this honor you and are just as vital as the bigger, more obvious successes.  Be proud of making it through that first day!  Hard as %&** for some of us, right?!  Vital to the courageous you...the 'grace under pressure' you who doesn't buckle for anything.

Be proud of the whining you.  Be proud of the jittery you.  Be proud of the you who maintains that quit no matter what kind of stormy weather.

Because those moments define you as well.  They may not be pretty or smooth or standing ovation moments, but they demonstrate with clarity your strength of character. 

Don't let those negative emotions you may be feeling define how you look at yourself.  You may be stressed, unhappy, depressed, angry........but those are only emotions and emotions change with the wind.  You, my friend, are brave and honorable and strong.  You have every right to be proud of yourself no matter where you are in your quit.  You have an obligation to yourself to feel proud that you are living your truth.  Your way.  Your time.  Your pace.

So when weakness hits, be proud that you didn't give up.  When storms blow in, be proud that you stood your ground.  And when you don't think you can hang on much longer, be proud that you have hung on this far.

Be proud of you.  I am.  Others are.  But it is most important that you are as well.  And those little quirks that keep you off balance?  Charming!  And those oddities that you may find embarrassing?  Delightful!  So the quit that you are finding difficult and messy and ugly?  Your pathway to life.  Doesn't get any better than that :)

Celebrate you!  

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

The Gift

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jul 6, 2016

~~Wherever you are right now, it's exactly where you need to be.  Whatever you are experiencing right now, it's exactly what you need to be experiencing.  You may not be able to see the lesson or the gift in it, but its there, I promise you.  You're learning, growing, shifting, changing and becoming more of who you're truly meant to be.~~  Unknown

I know you may not be able to see the gift in your quit.  Not when you are craving a cigarette or you feel like you're missing your best friend or you are so stressed you feel like screaming, but it is there, I promise you. 

Waiting for the smoke to clear, it's there.  Waiting for the nerves to settle and the turmoil to ease, it's there.  That precious gift that only you can open and only you can marvel at and only you can truly understand just how priceless it is.

That gift of freedom.  Freedom from addiction.  Freedom from your life revolving around that next cigarette.  Freedom to create a life you want.  Freedom to breathe and play and work and wonder without ever having to hide around the next corner to puff.

You may want the gift.  You may even know it's there, just out of reach.  But it's only when you get through those early days of your quit, that it begins to dance  with joyful abandon.  Because you have to let loose of that addiction before you begin to appreciate the freedom.

First it may only dance on the edges of your days.....you get a glimpse of the delightful sense of lightness and carefree minutes as your thoughts stray from cravings, from smoking, from struggling.  But you will find that your precious gift sparkles more and more as you let go of the struggle and step away from the addictive thoughts and behaviors that held you captive.

Freedom is just a word until you feel it.  Until you feel that surge of life that comes from a different place than your addicted world.  It's lightness.  It's joy.  It's release.  It's powerful and beautiful and breathtakingly amazing.  It's freedom.  And it's worth those horrible early days and it's worth the crying and the whining and it's worth everything you've been through because it feels absolutely magnificent.  Then freedom is much more than a word...it's that gift that you've heard about and always wanted but never thought you'd reach.

The gift of freedom.  Precious.  Worth everything.  Absolutely irreplaceable.

So wherever you are right now, know that you have a gift waiting for you on the other side of addiction.  It's there.  I promise you.

Sheri

~~I prefer to earn it.  It makes me appreciate it more.~~  Unknown

A quick note for those new quitters.  Those quitters who don't want to "bother" us.  Those quitters who don't want to "whine" anymore.  Those quitters who want to smoke and feel like they are holding on to their quits by a thread.

Don't turn away from us when you need us most.  By all means, whine until the cows come home!!  Scream and cry if it makes you feel better.  Blog, blog, blog whatever you want to say, good or bad, positive or negative.  It will help you from feeling alone and it will keep you busy so you don't lose that precious, precious quit.

Write your thoughts, write your dreams, write your life if you want to.  We don't mind!  It's really part of the process of quitting....your words, your quit.  And we will listen.  We will read.  We will nod our heads in understanding.  Some of us will respons.  Some of us remain quiet and let those whom are wiser respond.  Some will private message you.  Some will write on your message board. 

But we need to know you are here.  We need to know you want support or advice or a distraction.  So please don't think we roll our eyes when you post your whines.  We want to hear from you!

That's all.  Enjoy your holiday week-end!!  And hope to hear from you soon :)

Sheri

~~You are blessed when you are content with just who you are, no more, no less.  That's the moment you find yourself the proud owner of everything that cannot be bought.~~  Unknown

I used to think that I smoked to mask my emotions.  Yikes, hide the anger!!  Sweep past the heartbreak.  Hide the pesky little annoyances.

Not quite true, I now think.  I smoked because I was addicted to the nicotine.  It was that addiction that dulled my emotions.  It dulled my life as well.  What a vicious cycle of smoking, thinking of smoking, needing to smoke, buying cigarettes, smoking....

I embraced the changes in my life when I quit.  Actually, I delighted in them.  If I was angry, I examined my anger closely and liked the fact that I had a right to it.  Everyone gets angry sometimes and that's ok.

I also allowed myself to get annoyed.  Feel it, allow it, deal with it, poof!!  It's over with. 

So I am not always positve.  Life would be less if I were. 

But I don't always share those emotions.  When my soul is crying, I keep it very close to me.  Not because I am ashamed, but because it is how I take care of myself.  I have a place in my heart where those tender, take- my- breath- away hurtful emotions are tucked away.  Not to be forgotten but to be gently cared for by the only person who can help them heal....me.  And I honor myself by taking good care of me during those pain-filled moments.

Emotions aren't right or wrong.  They are the deepest part of what makes you human.  How precious they are!  I hope you examine them, nurture them, and honor them.  They are who you are.  It is ok to feel them and it is ok to express them and it is ok to share them or keep them in your heart. 

When you walk away from your addiction, your soul is rooting for you and your emotions are waiting for the opportunity to shine for you.  Make friends with who you truly are because there is no one in the world who sees things exactly as you do.  You are needed, you are wanted, you are loved.  And when you give up smoking, you are gaining the world.  Be prepared to be delighted by it!!

Enjoy your quit, my friends! And be the proud owner of everything that cannot be bought. 

 Sheri