When we first quit smoking it feels like there’s a storm brewing somewhere kind of off in the distance. And then as the hours pass, the storm becomes more visible, it’s dark imposing clouds looking like they’ll swallow us up. Soon it’s close enough to hear the thunder that goes with the flashing of the lightning. You can feel a sense of foreboding and the air is thick with tension.
And so often, we stare at that storm and feel a kind of fear that it might overtake us and leave us in the darkness, not quite sure of which way to go. But there in the distance is a glimmer of light. Something that seems to have found its way through the storm. Suddenly, we know which way to go, for now the light is guiding us.
Slowly, as we walk toward the light, something begins to take shape and soon we realize that we can see the end of the storm just ahead. But first we have to get there. Carefully, we navigate forward, trying to peer through the darkness into the light that we know is on the other side.
We continue following that single white light and slowly as we walk, the sky turns from black to an ashen grey and now we can see more clearly. Soon we see the wisps of blue sky that we always knew were there, we just couldn’t see them. And now as the light improves even more we begin to pick up the pace for we now understand how to get to the other side and not only that, we know that we intend to get there.
All at once we realize that the sky is clear! We’ve survived the storm that we might not have if it weren’t for that one little light that we grabbed hold of and refused to let go.
This is kind of how I saw my journey to freedom in a nutshell. When we first start out, it feels like the storm is brewing and constantly gaining strength. We sense a kind of foreboding that we might not make it through, but we take what is at first a shaky confidence and turn that confidence into a powerful quit once we understand what is happening to us.
For me, the light signified the wonderful people at EX who guided me through the darkness of addiction, first convincing my that the light was actually there and then nudging me on, into the storm but at the same time, ever closer to the other side. Even when all I could see was a kind of confusing darkness, they were always there for me. All I had to do was listen.
And I did listen and found what would help me most, using that to bolster my confidence and keeping me on track as I slowly found the light that I was sure was always there.
And to be honest, I did find that light that I’d been seeking my whole life and I know that the main thing I did different with this quit was to use the knowledge and power of the many to help bolster me and help propel me to the next level.
Never think you have to face the storm alone. Never for an instant believe that there is no light on the other side of the storm because there is. All you have to do is first face the storm and then find your way through it.
And as the storm builds, look for the light that is knowledge to guide you through. Look for the bread crumbs that so many of us have left along the path for you in the hopes that you won’t get lost.
There’s a kind of power when a group of people choose to band together for a common goal. A means of keeping each other focused and safe from our own minds. A power that is as strong as love for in reality, it is love.
Compassion may be all a person needs at times to succeed. Just to know that others care, even if we’ve never met them face to face. Just to know that when it comes to taking back our freedom from addiction, our hearts beat as one. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been quit for ten minutes or ten years. We all share a kind of wisdom that can only come from common goals, ideas and yes even common fears that we’ve all felt.
As such I just wanted to thank all of those who took my hand and helped to guide me through the storm and make the storm seem so much less scary and also to let you all know that those of us who have found freedom come here for a lot of reasons but the main reason I think is we know what’s on the other side of the storm. We know how wonderful that world is and we want to share that world with all that seek to find it! Keep your eye on the prize of freedom and soon it will be your new reality!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!