I just read@ Dales blog about a member leaving because of all the changes. THAT is exactly why I left, and it breaks my heart because there are so many that I have considered family AND I MISS THEM HORRIBLY. I can't even figure out how to write this DAMN blog and post it, and yes I used profanity. I miss the laughter, cyber hugs, crying, story telling and all of the
uncensored support. If this somehow gets posted I just want to tell you all HOW MUCH I MISS YOU, and the ex family it once was.
When we choose to quit smoking, the first thing we feel is fear. At least that’s how it was for me. So often, I’d think about quitting. In fact, I thought about it for several years. Just a fleeting thought of course. And it never seemed to bother me that I always thought about quitting, even though I never did.
But like anything, eventually something is going to pop up to get a person’s attention. For me it was waking up every morning and spending a good two hours exercising my lungs. Thing is, this is not the kind of exercise a person wants to do for you see, I spent the first two hours of the morning coughing excessively, even as I smoked!
Yeah, I was that addicted. Willing to cough my lungs out for hours every morning and still convincing myself that bad things only happen to others. I knew I was safe for you see, I had no problem smoking and the coughing happened whether I smoked or not. I had let my addiction control my very perception of things. I had let my addiction go beyond just controlling my life. In fact, I was so addicted that smoking WAS my life!
I began to believe that it would be impossible for me to ever remove the shackles of my addiction, until one day the same old thought came through as I was smoking like a chimney that I really should stop this horrible addiction. But for some reason, this time I grabbed ahold of the thought. And the first thing I felt was fear! I was terrified at the thought of giving up my cigarettes. I was almost debilitated with fear as soon as I believed that I might once again try to quit.
I mean, what about my past failures? Of course I would fail again. After all, I’ve already proven that to myself. I was literally shaking when I called the Colorado quitline, and to be honest, when I called I felt like I was just doing the motions, with no intention of following through. I didn’t tell anyone close to me that I intended to quit, as if it needed to be a huge secret, which was of course my personal fear of failure.
And so I went through a couple of days, terrified that I might be changing my life but also slowly believing that I might try. Slowly overcoming the fear of my own thoughts and finding a glimmer of hope that it might become a reality.
I did make it to that wonderful day of my quit, and I say wonderful because by the time I reached that date, I was more than ready. I actually WANTED to quit! In fact, I couldn’t see my life any other way!
Finding BecomeanEX was an incredible help to me. It was a link on the state quit smoking site that I decided to try. And I was so glad I did for you see, we all feel a kind of fear when we quit smoking. An unfounded fear but yet a real one.
It’s a fear of change. It’s a fear of failure. But mostly, it’s a fear of changing our very perception of how we live our world. And everyone here at EX understands this fear. We’re here to make the unknown seem more normal. We’re here to make life seem a little more doable during the worst moments that we might ever experience.
Beating an addiction is never easy. Beating an addiction is never something we really want to do at first. But if you do decide to give it a try. If you do ever decide that you really want to beat your addiction. Your slavery. Then we are here to take a little of the fear away because a big part of our fear is fear of the unknown. Fear of change and fear of failure.
We can help you with all of that. But only you can find the way to win. Only you can find the strength to win. We can’t give you that but we can sure stand right beside you. We can sure feel your fear and understand it and teach you that there’s nothing to really be afraid of so long as you try.
We can do our part which is to make what might not seem so scary actually feel just a little more normal. We can help you to understand that we all had the same fears and we can tell you that what you’re doing is a process, but only you can take what we give along with your own resolve and turn it into something wonderful! Something that we all want to see.
For you see, those of us that have found freedom from addiction want to share the wonderful feeling that comes with it. We want you to feel the peace that we now feel. Why? Because we’re selfish in a way. And that’s because we know what awaits you.
I can’t wait to see each and every one of you free from the fear that comes from addiction. I want to see you free of addiction! Go for it! You really, really really won’t regret it!
It’s been a long time since I visited Mt. Freedom, though my time on the mountain has been one of the most incredible journeys of my life. I stepped foot on Mt. Freedom a bit over six years ago when I put out my last cigarette. I remember that first day, staring up the slopes and realizing that I has so far to go to get to the top. And the thing was, I knew this was going to be a long, hard climb. Still I could see the summit so high above, and knew that no matter what, I’d one day be standing there, and that on that day it would feel like I was standing on top of the world!
And so I put one foot in front of the other, always climbing upward to where my goal lied. My steps were faltering at first, for I had to get my footing for the rest of the trip. At first I was nervous about slipping and sliding down the slopes to the beginning of my journey, where I’d have to start all over again.
As the days became months, my footing became more secure and I could see the summit, and the banner up there, flowing in the wind. As I drew closer, I realized that there were a lot of people up there, beckoning me on as I followed the trail that had been blazed by so many before me.
Before long, all I could do was focus on that summit. There were many sign posts along the way as well, keeping me safe from the slippery slopes of the snow fields and there was even a path through the boulder fields that lied between me and my goal.
Month after month I continued climbing and then one day, without even noticing, I found myself on that summit. There, I found that the banner that had looked so tiny in the beginning of my journey was the banner of freedom. I grabbed it and waved it high over my head, as my heart was filled with laughter and accomplishment!
I couldn’t believe that I made it and realized right then that if I hadn’t taken that first faltering step so long ago, I’d never have made it to the summit. I’d never feel the freedom I feel now!
We all have our Mt’ Freedom inside of us. It lives in the realm of resolve and a belief that we belong on that wonderful summit. That we deserve to be free. It becomes a part of us the moment we manage to put out that last cigarette. The moment we decide to take our lives back from ourselves. The day that we choose freedom over debilitating slavery.
Sure, the journey can be hard and filled with uncertainty. That’s why so many have blazed a trail to the top, and fixed ropes in the hopes of making it a little easier for those on the mountain because we all remember our journeys, and we all remember how we managed to stay on the path and in those times of another’s uncertainty on the trail, we try to offer a hand to help guide you to your wonderful new future.
Never believe that you can’t attain your dream. Never think that it’s only a dream for this is a dream that must become reality. It’s a dream that must never be tossed to the wayside. It’s a journey of life. A journey into a future that can be whatever we want to make it.
Just like so many of us here, if you can just take that first faltering step to freedom than one day you too will be waving that banner of freedom high over your head, and the smile on your face will light up the whole mountaintop. Can you see it? Can you see yourself happily at the end of your journey, smiling and free?
Because that’s what’s going to happen if you don’t stray from the trail. And if you come to a fork in the trail, and aren’t sure which way to go, we’ll be right here to guide you simply because we all want to see that smile on your face that only freedom can bring.
There’s always more room on the summit. I can’t wait to see you there!
I came across this link when i was doing some reading in one of my groups. I have never heard of mixing a half teaspoon of cream of tartar with a glass of OJ to help with quitting smoking? Has anybody else? Maybe someone here would like to test this.
There was a time when freedom was nothing more than a dream. A time when I’d light up a cigarette and romanticize the idea of quitting. I’d think about how nice it would be to watch a movie without either having withdrawals or having to miss part of it in order to smoke. I’d think about how nice it would be to hike and climb mountains without the drag that a cigarette can bring. To breathe better. And just to feel better.
I lived with that dream for years, never letting it become any more than a daydream because that would change everything if I did. After a while, I started adding a few more things to this dream. Thinking of how nice it would be to no longer wake up and cough for a couple of hours every morning. How nice it would be to no longer have to ignore the nicotine that ran down my bathroom walls after a shower. How nice it would be to smell better or even better, to be able to smell at all!
I went on like this for many years until one day, I decided to make this dream a reality. It seemed so easy at first, until I realized that I was now serious! That’s when the fear started. A fear that seemed to start in the depths of my very soul. What the heck was I thinking? How could I give up the foundation of what had been my life for all those years? How could I give up something so enjoyable? Why would I even want to?
I think the first time we change our dream of quitting into something that might become reality, a huge fear consumes us. And that fear is rooted in a couple of things. The first is the fear of failure. The fear of going through hell without ever succeeding. And the second fear for me was a fear of change. I simply couldn’t see myself as a nonsmoker and for this reason, I couldn’t believe that I could ever quit.
This was the main thing I worked on during my preparation time. Seeing my world without cigarettes in it. And at first, this was really hard! But this exercise taught me so much, about myself and my addiction. I would day dream of my future, relaxing without a cigarette and more importantly, smiling. I’ve always believed that imagery is a means of getting all parts of our beings working together. And I knew that if my internal image of myself was as a nonsmoker, that things would in the end be easier.
I had that mental image in my mind when I put out my last cigarette and you know what? I actually smiled to myself the moment I began my quit journey. I simply put it out, looked up at the mountains and smiling, I walked into the house.
When I woke the next morning to begin my first day quit, I really felt calm as I applied my first patch. I remember that day was hell! Not because of the quit but because of the job we had to do that day. And yet I still caught myself smiling inside, and this increased my confidence.
I worked through that first day and was surprised at how easy it was. Not that my entire quit was easy, but the beginning really was. This is another thing I always remember to mention to others when I talk about quitting. In a lot of cases, the first days really are easier than we expect. I think this is because we put so much thought into what that first day will be like, and nine times out of ten, the day itself is nowhere near as bad as our expectations of it were.
Though we have to be careful on those first days, the time that a quit can really get us is after a week or two. I think this is because we feel more secure in our quits, and then when the craves hit out of nowhere, we’re not always ready. We feel like we’re suddenly going backwards rather than foreword. And for some, the resolve crumbles from this unexpected day.
All I can say is that for success, we must be vigilant for quite some time. We must be prepared down the road just as much as we are on the first day. This can save us, so long as we’re ready for it.
Always remember that what you do today and the choices that you make today will determine what your future will look like tomorrow. I hope that yours is a bright one and look forward to the day that you too will be free, because that’s what it’s all about is that final future of peace . . . .
I had such massive coughing fits in bed last night that I asked my husband to sleep upstairs (his preference when we can't share the bed for whatever reason). Aaannndddd today my throat is absolutely killing me. I've heard of people coughing so badly that they vomit, but it has never actually happened to me - last night was the closest I've come. I keep taking all this (the bad dentist appointment, this worse than ever cough, an old friend sharing that she has been 1 week smoke free, etc) as signs that this IS the time to quit, that I WILL be successful this time.
Going off Dale's post that he shared with me yesterday (& that I have reread this morning, as well as shared with a friend) I am going to either write or have printed "Just wait a little longer" & have it displayed in my kitchen, I believe.
I hear children up. Time.running.out.
I noticed yesterday that just seeing our pitcher of Crystal Lite on the counter is a bit of a trigger for me. When I saw it at one point last night, I instantly wanted to smoke. Kind of interesting. Not sure what eventually will become of that pitcher
Here's to another day of waiting a little longer, reducing how much I'm smoking & continuing to plan for my big day!
I’ve noticed something as of late. And it’s one of those welcome discoveries that we sometimes make that surprises us. For me, it was the fact that this was the first time I actually looked at my garden. I mean, I spent almost six years building this thing, one little foot at a time. Turning a patch of land in the middle of what is appropriately named the “Rocky mountains” into a garden was never an easy task, but one that I loved.
I built this little garden as I quit smoking. I still smoked for a bit in the beginning, but for the most part, I was enjoying the freedom without cigarettes as I built this thing. Well, maybe not at first, but I had some nice hard clay ground filled with rocks to smash my shovel into when I got, how do we say - eh - grumpy?
Yeah, we’ll just call it grumpy. But I realized this year that as my quit grew, so too did these flowers and bushes. So too did the trees that happened into the yard. And ever so slowly, it became a thing of beauty.
Sure, there was a lot of work to get there. But the rewards have always been tremendous! And
on top of that, above the garden is a mountain that reminds me of Mt. Freedom every day! And you know what? It makes me proud to have accomplished a dream, just as I did when I quit smoking!
I know it can look so daunting at first. Like when I stuck that shovel into the ground for the first time, looking around and seeing that I was a long way from finishing my task. So too did the quit go. It may seem so far away at first but so long as we keep building on that first day. So long as we can see what we’ll have at the end of our toils, then eventually we get to live the amazing beauty of what we’ve done.
It takes time. It takes patience. It takes a burning desire for freedom and it takes a belief in ourselves and our longing to see a new and different future!
Be proud of yourself as you take that first step to freedom. Be proud of yourself every day that you remain smoke free. For you are doing something amazing. You’re taking back your future. Your choosing life over a slow death. You’re choosing to live a new life that is incredible! It’s just a little hard to see at first, but freedom never comes easy.
And just like you, I have the dream of freedom. Just like you, I found a way to take that first step and just like you, so long as you stay true to yourself then your own internal garden will flourish as you walk that incredible path to freedom.
Always try to look ahead, to that wonderful place that you want to see so badly. Plant those first seeds and watch them flourish as you put one foot in front of the other and before you know it you too will be living the life of freedom that so many others are living and believe me, it’s an amazing place to be!
I am getting in some quiet time at home now. Feels good after entertaining my sister for the last 3 weeks to have some alone time. My quit journey continues on and enjoy all the freedom that quitting brings. So happy I went through the annoying discomfort and did not back down to the addiction trying to entice me back into its darkness. This journey has been full of pain, sorrow, grief, tears, laughter, joy. It has allowed me to learn new things about myself. It has helped me push myself out of my comfort zone to learn and do new things. My life is still filled with sorrow and pain but I no longer use "emotions" as an excuse to smoke. My commitment to my quit and me understanding what addiction is and the wonderful support that is given here has helped me be where I am today. I am learning, I am doing and I am going.... I have a plan...
My son, Matthew, has been in the hospital a couple times in this past month or so due to uncontrollable seizures. Hoping this is finally under control. His MRI results showed no change from his last one so that is good news. He is having increase memory and behavior issues. Had to move him to a place so he can be watched more closely. He is not a happy camper about that but he says he understands why we had to do it. Continued prayers for him would be greatly appreciated.