A year ago today, I smoked my last cigarette. I chose the date and time to quit, and took a big giant leap of faith and just went for it.
The first few days were tough. I never allowed myself to consider failing, but I did allow myself to acknowledge everything I was thinking and feeling.....therefore, I was a walking, talking cold-turkey puddle of goo.
I joined Become An Ex on day two of my quit, and immediately immersed myself in the community.
Pati made me laugh at myself and reminded me to stop being so uptight. Nancy, Ellen and Marilyn were like constant hugs, and I felt their love every day. Terrie was so consistently present, and Mike greeted me every morning with the cheerfulness of the morning sun. Seriously, you need sunglasses to read his posts...and how cool is that? Giulia was my cut to the chase get-real reality check, and Dale made me think, really think about the quitting process. Nancy reminded me every Friday to be careful around alcohol, and yet I still wanted to sit down with Crazy Mama Lori and have a beer. Thomas regularly provided data to reinforce my decision to quit, and Larry made me want to ride a camel.
Oddly, I loved quitting because of them. These were my people; this was my tribe.
I was allowed to openly share what I was thinking, feeling and experiencing, thereby providing me with the creative outlet that I didn't know I'd need. In turn, you read my blogs, had conversations with me, offered advice when I needed it and a shoulder when I needed that. You gave me the precious gift of your time. You shared your own personal stories (Ellen and Daniella, just to name a few of you) that kept my perspective in check. I was often humbled and frequently moved by sheer kindness and selflessness exhibited here.
There are many reasons to quit, many ways to quit, and many resources to tap into to support your quit. Many people attribute their quit success to books they've read, NRT aids, hypnosis, etc. Not me. I used you. You were my therapy.
I thank God for each and every one of you on this site. While the quit was mine, the journey was bearable and inexplicably enjoyable thanks to you.
Today I join the 6% of my brothers and sisters who have hit the one year mark of being smoke free. I take each of you through that door with me. Thank you for your wisdom, your guidance, your commitment to this community and for everything you've done for me and countless others.
You may not remember the lives you've touched, but I promise that those lives will always remember you.