May 13th 2016, exactly 1461 days (4 years) ago I embarked on a new journey to search, seek and find this new life called FREEDOM. I really didn't know how or where to begin finding this FREEDOM I read about. I have been in bondage and slavery to this Nico dude for 30 plus years, so all I knew was smoking and that next puff was all life had to offer. I finally stumbled on this site and began reading how to conquer this Nico dude which would lead into the right path of freedom. Oh, how I longed to find this freedom, but truthfully when I began reading, it all sounded like a fairy tale that was unreachable and I wouldn't be able to find ( because I had no self worth) and truthfully I didn't believe in myself. The more I read peoples stories and learned about this addiction the more I thought it to be an obtainable goal. The more I read, truthfully I found myself a little anxious, because I was really thinking about giving up the Nico dude, the only life I knew and only thing (friend I thought) at the time celebrated happiness, sad, lonely, boredom and anything that life threw my way. I found my anxiety building as I got closer to my original quit date. My original date I set was May 15th. I remember the details like yesterday. On the 12th, I decided to practice time without smoking, I allowed myself have one every hour, then 1 1/2, then 2 hours, at 5:50 PM I went for the challenge that changed me for the rest of my life. Reading one of Dale's blog jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 using his advice, I told myself to wait 10 minutes, then 20, 25, 30, 40 then 2 hours on went on a minute to minute wait to light up, before I knew 6 hours went by without a smoke. I got rid of all my smoking things went to bed at midnight and never smoked another cigarette again. This method took away the anticipation and anxiety out of the equation. The funny thing is I didn't blog I quit until afternoon sometimes, as I didn't believe I really could do this. My thought was if I failed then no one would know except me. Finally, I blogged to make the final, forever commitment to not put a cigarette in my mouth ever again. Now was this easy? NO! By all means I did struggle,which is normal as this was a new normal and I had to learn new coping strategies to deal with life on it terms. So the moral of this long winded blog, is quitting smoking is very doable. I learned that anything you want in life is worth all the effort it takes to succeed and get you where you want to be in life. So what did I do? I developed the NOPE (no one puff ever) concept, I told myself I don't do that anymore and one day I believed it. I committed myself to find this freedom, I found my determination ( some days I had to dig in with both heels in the ground) but I stayed true to myself, I blogged and stayed connected to this community. I told myself " YES I CAN, YES I WILL AND I DID WHATEVER IT TOOK TO CONQUER NICO DUDE. As I say in all my blogs, the great thing about this community is you do not have to go it alone on your quits, reach out and let us help. Get excited about your quits because you are about to embark on a journey to a new you. What does freedom mean and look like for you? For me I am loving freedom. Freedom for me, is being in control of me and not having the need of a substance to control my life anymore. I conquered Nico dude so anything I set my mind to I believe when I put forth the effort needed I will succeed. I am a new me and loving life. What are you waiting for? Come join us in defeating your Nicodemon.