Let me begin this blog by saying "Thank You" to everyone here! This place is the reason I am still Free! This place in cyberspace where you bring your thoughts, your dreams, your courage, your ambition, your fear, and your hope! This is a cyberplace where we share that which threatens us, that which emboldens us and that which others need to know about! It is a place that I came to in order to vent my anger at being forced to quit smoking! I am sure a number of you remember that! And, you allowed me to get that off my chest! You sat back like wise elders, and smiled. Some doubted my ability to quit! But, most simply waited for the echos of my rants to die, so that I could hear your quiet voices of reason! It took about 40 days! But I did begin to listen! And. I found here the one thing in the world that is more powerful than the fear of quitting! I found the hope for Freedom! And make no mistake Hope is more powerful than fear!
In this cyberplace I found real people! People who had never met me, but wanted for me things that I was not wise enough to want for myself! And with their help I found a new self esteem, a new confidence, and the elation that come from giving back more than you have taken! I found what I called "Collateral Kindness"! Helping yourself by helping others! What a way to quit! What away to live! And most important of all I found Friends! Not just the numbers you add up, and call friends, but people that care about you and are committed to being there for you! Everytime! People who not only wish you well, but will pray for you to do well!
As time passed, I began to meet some of you in person! Dawn was the first! Rest in Peace Sweet Lady! Then Strudel! You know that I love you! Right Kathy? Then Sandy! Then came EX get together in Vegas! Then EX II in Orlando! I can't wait for EX III in Nashville! I want you all to be there! For we are a family!
Who would have thought that My Best Friend in the whole world would be someone I met at a quit smoking site! Sootie! I love you my Friend!
So, once again, to everyone here I want to EXtend a heartfelt Thank You! Whether you were part of my early days here, or you are new here, and the reason I come back everyday! You make me a better person, and you help me stay Free! And, I sincerely hope that everyone of you can enjoy the same Freedom that I live with today! Live Free! Smoke Free!! Tommy