~~I wish sometimes that you can see yourselves through my eyes. Then you could see how beautiful and wonderful you really are. The language of friendship is not words but feelings.~~LCA
My friends here are struggling. Some with health issues, some with mental health concerns, a few with their quits. And the magnificent group of exers are here to support, thank goodness! No one should ever feel like they are going through life's trials and tribulations alone. Because let's face it, we have all at one time or another had similar struggles. We know and by knowing can offer that kind of empathetic support where others feel understood.
I need to start out by saying that quitting smoking isn't a magical cure to life long success. It doesn't bring you everlasting happiness, universal health, or unyielding strength. Life is going to bite you in one way or another some time in your lifetime. That's just how it goes. But quitting will give you BETTER health than if you were still smoking. Quitting will give you a clearer mind than when you were smoking. Quitting will give you a sense that you can get through tough times. Quitting will give you the freedom to address those things in your life that need your FULL attention. Quitting will give you the time you need during your day to do those things you need to do, want to do, and enjoy doing. And, of course, quitting will give you the money you deserve to have for pampering yourself, paying off bills, or taking that long dreamed of vacation.
I am totally loving that these same friends with issues and problems are still here, sharing their stories in order to help the next in line. It's not easy to hear 'cancer' or 'hospitalization' or any other of the words that say we aren't well. But to take those fears, that diagnosis, those devastating facts and to bring them here to us so we are informed is beyond humbling (in my opinion). Simply so we get that test done or we make that appointment or we realize that symptom. Their generosity and selflessness is just stunning. You have my undying gratitude and utmost respect.
Now, for those struggling with their quits. I hear you. I hear you say it's hard, it's a daily battle, and it's exhausting. May I also add that......despite all that, you are doing it. No one is forcing you to quit. Please understand what I mean by that because I'm not being mean. YOU decided to brave your quit, YOU are holding on to it, YOU are making it work. Look at you!! You are amazing!! We may support you but YOU, my dear friend, are the one who is owning your quit. No one can force you to quit and no one can give you permission to smoke. It's all on you. But that shouldn't be a burden, it should be a gift. I think that those who succeed in quitting understand that difference. Remember that each day without smoking means you are being strong, even when you don't actually feel that strong. Give yourself credit for holding on even when you want to let go.
Finally, to that one friend who went back to smoking. No, you aren't a failure. No, you aren't a loser. You are simply slowly understanding the power of addiction. While we say it's all in the mind, the mind itself is a force beyond what we normally think about in our daily, routine filled lives. So that power can take us off guard when we quit smoking. Wow!! Our brains frantically go into overdrive trying to get that substance back....."Anxious!! Need to smoke!!" "Stressed, can't get over it without smoking!!" "Omg, I'm going to go crazy without a cigarette!!" Please understand that going back to smoking doesn't mean you failed, it means you are addicted. Learn from it, learn about it. You can quit with commitment, knowledge, and support. But you have to do it at your time in your own way. I'll be here for you.
Ok, I think I covered everything I needed to say. So much for retirement, huh?! But I love you guys and want you to know how beautiful I think you all are. Thank you for being here, thank you for sharing, and thank you for touching my life in the most remarkable way.