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151 Posts authored by: Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Good day all,

 

 Just thought I’d check in. All in all, things are well in our little world. My new job is going well, though I really had to get in shape to perform it. Getting there as well. Since the loss of our son, we’ve been kind of in a shell of our own choosing. One that was both comforting and at the same time, confusing. We’ve given some thought to the upcoming holidays as these will be firsts for us without him. Those times when we must face things that were always comforting and yet now are different.

 

 It’s in those kinds of moments that we can find wisdom. A way to cope with things that have changed. For us this year, we’ve decided to change our traditions. To do things on those special days a little differently simply to ease the burden that naturally comes with those firsts in our lives. As I thought of this, I realized that once again this was a problem I’d encountered before. A thing that had to be overcome in my past because you see, I was an addict. A slave to nicotine and with that slavery came the things that seemed to be normal to me, even as I created this normal with every endulgance into the addiction.

 

 I created traditions that helped to feed my addiction with every passing day. Things that I expected to have happen such as the after dinner smoke or the coffee and cigarette on the deck in the mornings. The cigarette that gave me the confidence to walk down the road or drive. My days were filled with the traditions that I’d created as I continued defining myself by my belief in my addiction and the traditions that go with it.

 

 And when I decided to quit, I found that for me finding ways to change those traditions was an important key to my freedom. For every time that I allowed myself a chance to smoke, I attached a kind of tradition to it. It was something that was expected in my mind not because it was written in some kind of cosmic stone but rather because that’s what I’d always done, and over time I had an expectation of this.

 

 I found that by changing that expectation I was able to move more easily on from it and embrace something new because of it. Soon these new traditions WERE my traditions because my expectations of an event had changed. Sure it had to be learned but so too did the traditions I created in the first place. Like a holiday, the day itself is insignificant. It’s the expectation that we add to the day that makes it special, and because of this that expectation can be changed.

 

 So never believe that your life is written in stone. Never think that what you expect to happen has to be your reality. We decide our traditions by the importance that we attach to them. To change that, all we have to do is change the expectation. Just a thought I had that I thought I’d share with all of you dedicated people.

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

(The update is at the end of the thread for those who’d like to read it)

 

 Hello all,

 

 Just wanted to drop by and leave a message for all of you dedicated people. It’s always a good feeling to write to all of you because even though so many are in the hardest fight of their lives, there’s still a sense of belief in a brighter future if we can just beat our addiction. And as so many have learned through experience, we really can! All we need is that amazing determination that comes from deep inside of us and of course understanding.

 

 When I chose to quit, I studied all I could because there’s a kind of power that comes from knowing our enemies when we must fight them. And yes, I saw my addiction as an enemy that lived inside of me. One that over the years had become quite good at manipulating me and to be honest, I was terrified of fighting this monster that I’d allowed to grow within me for all of those years.

 

 As I learned, I realized that my internal monster wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought. It was really a set of impulses sent from the brain that I allowed myself to react on for so long that I quit thinking about it. I realized that the addiction to nicotine was merely the catalyst of my addiction. The rest was all created my own mind. I realized that much of the fear I felt was simply two things. A reaction to my brain impulses that I’d learned to attach to my life as well as the thoughts that went with it. I realized that I’d have to learn how to control those thoughts as I fought my addiction.

 

 I used a lot of tools to help me to do this, including what I called practice quits where I’d quit smoking for several hours and I’d observe how my addiction was creating these thoughts within me. The only difference to an actual quit was that at the end of that time, I knew I’d be able to smoke again. This helped to take much of the mystery out of my addiction and the more I learned, the more confident I became to the point that I began looking forward to my quit.

 

 This understanding made it easier for me because it took away the fear of those first hard days and also helped me to understand that in reality, after the first days I’d simply be fighting my own thoughts without the baggage of the addiction to torture me. I chose to use the patches because I wanted to allow my mind some time to get out of the way of my own freedom. Even then, I continued to study my addiction. Each time I stepped down, I made a mental note of what it felt like with the understanding that when I take off the last patch, I’d be ready to continue without one.

 

 All I can say is that my success came from understanding my addiction and my freedom came from a burning desire to see it. If you’ve already started your quit, keep learning! It’s never too late to understand what’s happening to you and if you haven’t quit yet then take a little time to understand your addiction and how it interacts with you because once you really understand it, you’ll no longer fear it and once the fear dissipates it leaves our mind room to form a cohesive plan. No matter what method you use, the most important thing is that you actually quit. There’s an incredible world out there. I look forward to the day that you not only see it, but feel it.

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

 

Update

 

 I’ve begun working this new job and so far, though it’s hard to get going again, it’s been quite good for me. My mind has been too busy to create those scenarios that I always create because of my brains desire to protect itself from trauma. Also I don’t have much time afterward because I need to sleep sometime, leaving me just the right amount of time to see my wife and our dog.

 

 I did just work a total of 36 hours with only four hours of sleep as I get used to working nights but like anything, the mind will eventually work things out if we give it a little time. Switching to a vampire's schedule can be difficult, but I have experience with that from my past job of running inventories. Some that started at midnight.

 

 I’m waiting for a couple of weeks before I restart therapy for PTSD as I need to get my mind and body acclimated to this new kind of living, but I haven’t given up on doing the therapy starting in a couple of weeks. All in all, doing well and looking forward to the future again instead of just automatically fearing it. I hope all is well for all of you!

 

Chuck

Hello all,

 

 It’s been quite a week for me this week. Well, really it started with the weekend. On Saturday, I received an email that said they had passed me over for the job I wanted. What was confusing was that the day before, the corporate office had called and said they wanted to move forward with my application, and after my interview, the store told me I was already hired, so I was incredibly confused by the endless changing stories. To be honest, for a person with PTSD this would be called a trigger, meaning an event that causes us to manifest what for me is always hypervigilance which includes not trusting life, a kind of fear and even anger at times.

 

 I’ve learned to understand most of my reactions from the two therapy sessions that I’ve had, and this made this new crisis more tolerable. I think that this is because when we understand what’s going on in our brains, it helps us to handle the symptoms that we feel. This is actually a good point to make about quitting smoking. That if we understand addiction and how it interacts with us before we quit, we can handle the effects of that quit so much better. That’s why so many here preach learning about addiction before we ever quit. Knowledge really is power when we face the hard obstacles in our lives. That holds true for both PTSD and quitting smoking.

 

 Anyway, back to my story. On Sunday, I got a call from the work location and they assured me that everything was fine as far as my new job went. I went in on Monday to do the new hire computer classes and finished those and on Friday at midnight, I start this new job. Because of the trauma that I’ve had recently, I found the whole thing rather unnerving. Funny thing is that I’m not nervous in the least about the job itself. I know I can handle that job because of past experience as an inventory guru of sorts. (That’s what the inventory company that I worked for called me at least.) I am quite good at bean counting as some like to call it. Though it’s only part of the entire job, this past experience is a big help for me as far as getting good at that job goes.

 

 And then, a little more good news. I borrowed some money from my son and will be purchasing a car tomorrow. I won’t have to ride my bike to work every night after all!! But I’m so glad I learned to ride again and intend to keep it up. It just feels good to cruise around while working out my body. I’ve now found a new hobby. All in all, I think my re-entry into the world is going rather smoothly.

 

 One thing I found interesting as far as my PTSD goes is that when things started turning around, I think I’m fine and don’t need any help after all. But after I thought about it, I realized that I really don’t know what my normal psyc is because I’ve never really had an opportunity to experience it yet and as such, though things seem great, I still have to continue to change this baggage I’ve been carrying my whole life into something manageable. I look forward to this very much because I really want to have every bit of that incredible future that I worked so hard to attain a bit over eight and a half years ago when I quit smoking.

 

 Change is never easy but sometimes change is just what we need. I’m rebuilding my life on my own terms without the baggage of addiction to slow me down and to be honest, that decision that I made so long ago is going to help me now simply because I took the time to learn about myself and my addiction before I quit, and that my friends is a prize that I’ll carry with me forever! I hope we all gain that prize of freedom!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Good day everyone,

 

( I wrote this thread and put the update at the end for those who want to read it)

 

 It’s been a really busy week for me, facing my fears and moving forward in life after quite a few combined tragedies and problems in the recent past. The stress of these events has been incredible. I couldn’t imagine going through these kinds of things as a smoker, but that’s only because I’ve walked the long road to freedom. Because many years ago, I found freedom to be more important than slavery. I also found my health to be more important than nicotine. And of course I found my future free of addiction to be more important to me than smoking.

 

 I believed all of these things in the beginning but I also discovered a kind of terror at the thought of giving up my master, the cigarette. I fought myself for a long time before I decided to give quitting a shot. In the end, my positive thoughts won over the negative ones or rather, the addictive ones. My mind became focused on freedom and over time with the help of this site, I found the courage to actually put out my last cigarette.

 

 Those first days were hard but the reality is that every bit of my discomfort was worth it. The key for me was keeping my focus on freedom. I used visualization to strengthen my belief in freedom and I studied addiction all that I could, even as I was fighting my own addiction. Like everyone, I had those days where I began to wonder if it’ll ever end, but still, I kept my eye on my goal. The vision of the summit of Mt. Freedom that signified both my struggle and ability to reach the top.

 

 Whatever worked for me is what I focused on until that day that I really felt free. But I’d have never known what would work for me if it weren’t for my preparation. By the time I actually quit, I knew my enemy well, and how I would interact with that enemy as it began screaming at me. Again, I used visualization and created the addict within. I saw him as a screaming child, throwing a temper tantrum. I screamed at him when the craves were hard. I laughed at him when he tried to nudge me. I conversed with him when I didn’t understand and in the end, I calmed him to the point that he finally just faded away forever.

 

 The future is determined by the choices we make today. I’m so happy now because of the choices I made before. There’s a kind of peace that awaits you like you haven’t felt in a long, long time and once you find even a glimmer of that peace and grab a hold of it, then nothing can stop you!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

 

 

 

UPDATE

 

 The last few days have been filled with the fear that is so common with PTSD. Still, I’ve managed to face those fears, much as I did when I quit smoking by facing them. Just as when I did practice quits before I ever put out that last cigarette so that I could understand what would happen to me, I’ve been facing my fears using the lessons I learned to quit smoking.

 

 In the beginning, my symptoms were so bad that I couldn’t even get myself to apply for a job. I felt weak because of this and my inability to get myself to do this was wearing on me badly, creating even more stress as I feared the future with no income. Well, this week that all changed. Not only did I apply but I’ve had an interview and after a background check, I should once again be employed.

 

The other fear I’ve been working on is riding a bike. I know, I know, you never forget how. Well, I pretty much did and have been facing that fear regularly as I need to use a bike for transportation for the time being. I have my session today with the therapist and will see what comes of that, but either way I see myself turning back to life more and more every day. 

 

 Thank you all for your support as I’ve gone through these trying times. It means a lot. That’s part of why I wanted to post some good news for a change. Still fragile, but not broken and fighting my way out of this every day. Just like with quitting, I’ll never give up or give in to my negative emotions and over time I’ll transform them into something useful. In the end, I'm going to come out a stronger person who’s even more in-tuned with my inner self then I already am and when that happens, I see a very bright future indeed. As I always try to remind myself, I just have to fight to get there first!

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Chuck 

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Stress

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Aug 20, 2019

Hello everyone,

 In life we face a lot of stress. Sometimes this stress manifests itself as anger. Other times it can manifest as fear. But stress is always uncomfortable, and in reality it’s a big reason why so many lose their quits. Because they end up believing that they were stressed to the point that a cigarette would help. There’s a good reason for this. As addicts, we always feel calmer after we smoke and over time I think we begin to believe that the cigarette is a kind of safety valve in our lives when we feel stress. When the addict flies off the handle or when one of life’s stressors hit us square in the face as can happen so often, the first thought is that calming cigarette.

 

 Of course, anyone who’s read anything about addiction understands that the only calming factor of this insidious addiction is the relief we feel when we feed it. I have to say that this release is false. It really doesn’t exist except in the life of an addict who chooses to base their entire belief system on the fact that if we don’t smoke, our stress will be ten times harder to deal with. I think this is how a modified plant becomes our crutch. Our friend. And in reality, our slave master.

 

 I know all of this because at one time, that was me. My belief system stated to me that the only way to find peace in this world filled with stress is to feed my addiction. Over time, this thinking becomes such a foundation of our lives that we find ourselves believing that we can never beat it, or in other words we decide that the slavery of addiction is the easiest option that we can find to live this life of stress, even as the cigarette makes our lives more stressful.

 

 When the thought of quitting first popped into my head, I didn’t believe that I could. It was just so foriegn of a concept to me that I could survive without them. That’s why I prepped for so long. Because I had to change my entire belief system to be successful. The number one thing that carried me through my entire fight with this addiction was my belief that I could tear down my entire belief system and replace it with a new one.

 

 Thing is, this takes time. It takes commitment and the ability to see through the lies that we created for ourselves in order to smoke. I never went to whyquit because I had my own smoking example in my father, who died from complications of throat cancer after having half of his face removed along with the jaw bone because of - you guessed it - a horrible addiction that just makes no sense, and one that I also carried through my entire life. 

 

 But what really matters is now. You see, a bit over eight years ago, I made the choice to become free. To rid myself of this baggage that I knew was slowly killing me. And as I approach my ninth year smoke free, I have to say that I don’t miss smoking a bit. This is because I kept my focus on freedom and let life’s stresses be what they really are. Normal stress that can be controlled simply by using our minds and to be honest, we do a much better job of managing it after we quit simply because we quit relying on the crutch to carry us through.

 

 We can all become free. All it takes is first a belief in our future and secondly a burning desire to lift ourselves out of the bonds of addiction because when we do that, the world becomes a happier place and one that we can again be confident in. Never give up on your quest. Never believe that it never ends, because it does. Even with everything that’s happened in my life as of late, I never lost touch with my belief in a better future. I’ve always believed I’d get there and now I’m living it. I can’t wait to hear of your own success in discovering freedom. 

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

 For so many years, I was completely consumed by addiction. My mind had simply accepted my addicted life as what was normal. Because of this, I never saw it as a problem. After all, the cigarette was simply the foundation of my day, every day. I never knew that things could be different because I smoked for so incredibly long, I could no longer see it. (40+ years)

 

 When I first thought of quitting, my mind turned on me. This was an incredibly hard thing to overcome. The first thing I felt when I thought of quitting was fear. I was terrified of the concept of simply not smoking, and to be honest I didn’t think it was possible to become free simply because my mind was fighting me. In reality, this was when I first experienced the divided mind. I think most of you who have quit knows the divided mind well. 

 

In the beginning, I never really believed that I could quit. It was just such a forign concept to me that I honestly didn’t think it was possible, mainly because I feared the loss of a modified plant. How could this be? How could a plant control me so completely? As if it were a living thing that had tentacles intertwined within every part of my being in such a way that it seemed impossible to remove them. I realized that I feared being alone, and yet I knew that a plant wasn’t really company. In the end, I realized that the stimulations of the modified plant was what was really controlling me and generating fear at the slightest thought of losing it.

 

 It took me quite some time to get over this fear, and what helped me most was realizing that the fear was there, because we can’t work on a problem until we know it exists. This is when my brain became my friend. As confusing as it sounds, my brain was the single thing keeping me from quitting but at the same time it was my brain that knew I needed to quit.

 

 In the end, the rational side of my brain beat out the addictive side. It didn’t happen right away. No. I had to spend many hours comparing the pros and cons of quitting. I had to work through my feelings of loss and I had to overcome my fear of living without the plant that both brought me false pleasure and also tormented me throughout my life.

 

 I mention this because sometimes it’s important to understand that those of us who are now confident in our freedom used to be just like those just starting out. Now, as someone who has found my freedom, I’d also like to say that freedom never comes easy. We have to first know why we want it and secondly understand why changing the foundation of our lives is worth it.

 

 All I can say is that most of us work this out so long as we stay focused on change. We simply have to get both sides of our divided mind to work together in order to achieve change. The ability to lose our addiction lives within all of us. All we have to do is believe that freedom outweighs being enslaved by a modified plant. If you think about it, it all makes perfect sense to become free. It’s the single most important thing I’ve done for my future so far. Creating the confidence and my belief that so long as we never give in to the whims of the divided mind, we can make that mind whole again and when that happens, nothing can stop us!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Update

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Aug 15, 2019

Hello all,

 

I hope all is well with you and that you’re finding peace on the journey to freedom. I’ve had setback after setback and you know what? It doesn’t even matter simply because I’m moving forward no matter how much life wants to throw at me. I did receive and have confirmed a diagnosis of PTSD. To be honest, it was a blessing to me because it validated the fact that my family was wrong when they said I should be over all of this.

 

 But, being a fighter, I went to a therapist and will begin active treatment for PTSD next week. I’m really looking forward to this and am hoping that it’ll be the answer for me, or at least something that calms the mind just a little.

 

 The dedication that I used to stay smoke free is becoming a really useful tool in my life as I fight a new kind of war. Just like when I quit smoking, I’m again a neophyte in a world that is simply different and just like when I quit smoking, I have to learn to navigate it. The main difference is that this time, I couldn’t prepare for what happened. But I also learned when I quit smoking that we cannot change the past and that looking to the future is really the best medicine as I create that new future.

 

 So even though times are hard for me right now, I’ve managed to keep my head above water as I learn to tread that water and find my new future. Change is always hard. I learned that all those years ago when I quit smoking and also as I’ve always said, every bit of learning that we choose to do in order to quit successfully are tools that we can carry with us for the rest of our lives.

 

 So even when you tear down what was once normal in order to create a new and better normal, you’re creating tools to help you forever. I’m now living proof of that. Not that I wouldn’t have learned it again had I not learned it before but because I’d already learned these skills and how to put them into practice in the everyday world that has saved me so much! 

 

 Never believe that you can’t change, because you can and that change is like the opening of the brightest flower you’ll ever see because one thing is certain. Freedom from addiction is the number one thing that can change our lives for the better. Sure it can be hard, but that’s no reason to find yourself stuck in that past life of smoking. Every fight that you make to find change and every tool that you use to get there are what will make this struggle worth it. Not just now but for the rest of your lives!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Hard Days

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jul 31, 2019

Hello my friends,

 

 I sure wish this could be a positive post but things just keep getting worse for my wife and I. This weekend, my brother decided that my grieving has interfered with the job to much and he told me I was nothing but lame since my son died. We dissolved our partnership and now on top of everything else, I’m unemployed.

 He then called the police and had them do a welfare check on me, I assume just to mess with me. A counselor came by the next day and handed my wife and I a diagnosis of PTSD. Also, both of our vehicles died in the same week so I don’t even have a way to look for work except online. I’ll get through this. Sometimes when it looks the bleakest is when we see the rainbow.

 

 On the upside, still smoke free. And to me, that’s a huge positive! I can’t even imagine how much I’d be smoking right now if I still did because as addicts, even in the worst of times we’d find ways to feed the addiction. But that little impulse that used to be so strong when I first quit just doesn’t exist anymore and that is one part of my life that I’m very grateful for.

 

So never believe that you can’t get to the point you were before addiction. At least for me, I can attest that it can be done. I’ll be back soon to post a more positive post soon. In the meantime, strength is requested. Miss you guys!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Happy Fourth

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Jul 4, 2019

 

 Hello all. I hope all is well with you. Me? I’ve been doing better than the day before and better than the day before that and so on. I just wanted to say that holidays can really be a rough time for a person who’s losing an addition. 

 

 It doesn’t have to happen that way, but sometimes it does.The interesting thing about holidays is that they bring us memories of the past. Sometimes, past memories can be harmful to us, especially if we start thinking about how much the cigarette related to our holiday happiness.

 

 All I’m saying is that as addicts, we can still have fun, we just have to temper it with caution. No matter where you are in your quit journey, it’s always wise to be extra vigilant on those days that can bring us past memories. It’s the sneaky memories that’ll get you sometimes. 

 

 The thing to remember is that for most, this journey of addiction does end. The light at the end of the tunnel is real, even if it’s hard to see right now. The fourth of July is a holiday about freedom. Perhaps for us addicts, we can celebrate our personal internal freedom as well. After all, anyone choosing to lose an addiction deserves to celebrate that every time they can.

 

 Always remember that if this day was hard, the next time you face it it will be easier. Time cures all, both my personal grief and that of addiction, which are both based on loss. Although we’ll always be addicts, the important thing to remember is that with time anything is possible so long as we never give up on our quest for freedom. After all, isn’t that a big part of why we quit in the first place? To see and feel freedom?

 

 Whatever our reasons for quitting, the important thing is that we did and that’s something we can celebrate for the rest of our lives!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Hello all,

 

 I’ve been living in a different world as of late. Thankfully still a smoke free world but there’s one thing I wanted to mention that was evidenced by the rough times in my life. I have no desire to smoke whatsoever. In the old days, I’d have caved in an instant during stress, simply because I’d remember the way it felt to light that cigarette, and somehow that seemed appealing. 

 

 But now, even as I experience these hard days in my life, there’s nothing there as far as smoking goes. So from my personal experience I can say that it is possible to completely lose this horrible addiction. My evidence is that if it wasn’t, I’d be back here looking for support to quit again.

 

 So never believe that there’s never an end to this addiction. For some, there is. And it’s incredible! It took me many years to reach the point of true freedom and I think I’ve at last found it. My heart goes out to all of you who still must face this horrible addiction. Recovery can be a long road but I just wanted to let you know that from my experience, I have recovered.

 

 I have found that freedom that was and still is my shining banner. I’m proud of the freedom I’ve achieved, and you will be too just so long as you stay true to yourselves. It’s a beautiful life when there’s freedom in it. I have other problems, but I no longer have addiction as an issue. And right now, that’s something positive that I can cling to.

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Hello my friends,

 

I hope all is well with you. Me? I’m still working to come to grips with past tragedy. It’s amazing how the loss of a loved one can take the wind out of a person’s sails. But just like when I quit smoking, I have to relearn life and here we all know that this can take time.

 

Still, because of my experience with quitting, I understand these things and it helps me to believe that like quitting smoking, we do find a new normal. A new way to perceive life in a more peaceful and positive way.

 

Friday, I had to pick up my sons car from the sheriffs. He took his life in that car and it was incredibly hard to see it again. We’re actually donating it to the fire department so they can crush it and teach the newer fire fighters how to use the jaws of life to save people. It somehow seems like an appropriate use for the car, I think.

 

 Mostly, thanks to a message from Youngatheart.7.4.12, I wanted to  check in. I’m a non smoker for life and that is always something to celebrate even in the hardest of times.

 

I also wanted to wish everyone a happy fathers day and let you know that though I’m doing better, I’m still broken. But I know that if I could find my way to freedom from the most powerful addiction known to man then I can find my way out of this. I miss you guys and rest assured, I’ll be back. Slowly at first. I still have so much to share about how to rid ourselves of this horrible addiction to nicotine, and helping others to achieve freedom is still where my heart is. It’s just that for a little while, my heart must mend.

 

As always,

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Quick Update

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Apr 27, 2019

Good evening to all,

 

Sorry I’ve been absent as of late. My wife spilled some water into our modem and it took a while to get another. It’s amazing the things we can do to ourselves when we’re distracted. I erased all of our phone numbers and have been slowly getting them back as people call, so my wife and I are just taking turns wrecking things!

 

We’re still of course working through our grief since the loss of our son but like quitting smoking, there’s progress every day. It’s just hard to see because it’s so gradual. And like smoking, there will be an end to the hard part. It just takes time.

 

My wife and I are slowly returning to the land of the living, so to speak. And there’s always the one positive for me. I didn’t find a weak moment and start smoking again. I will say that the thought was actually very unappealing to me, even in the beginnings of our current trauma..

 

This reinforces my belief that with time, everything will be fine for you see, my addiction can’t even make a cigarette sound good to me anymore. So keep fighting my friends! There is an end to the nightmare we call addiction. A real tangible end where we know we’ll never even think about nor desire to smoke again.

 

Maybe that doesn’t happen for everybody, but it sure has happened to me! The main thing is to never give up on your future because it’s up to you to create that future as you want it to be by your current actions.

 

I look forward to peace, just as I looked forward to freedom and you know what? I found one so of course I’ll find the other. I just mainly wanted to let everyone know that we still struggle, but we’re OK.

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Loss?

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Apr 21, 2019

You know, I’ve learned a little about grief in the last couple of weeks. I’ve also learned how to lose an addiction, but you know what? I never realized that the steps are so much alike.  Ever heard of missing the “old friend”?

 

How about “my life will never be the same without cigarettes in them.” Both statements might be considered as true to the addicted mind. They also might be a form of grieving. It’s true that feeling loss of any kind can make us sad. But if we lose the first thing we’d go to when we feel loss then it can just get confusing!

 

That’s why preparation is so important. So that we can find a way to get around that fear of loss. That fear of living a life that will forever be different so long as we stay true to our desire for freedom.

 

It’s not so much what we’re losing that matters. It’s more about what we’re gaining, but addiction makes it really hard to see things that way. Instead, we dwell on what’s missing. And loss can be such a powerful emotion within us that it can literally sway our thinking.

 

Suddenly we no longer look at the cigarette as the stick of death and instead start thinking about deprivation. We start thinking that we’re depriving ourselves of something we’ve always believed we wanted.

 

These are the kinds of things that get the divided mind talking, creating that maddening voice within us that argues with what we know is right constantly. To me, that voice was the most annoying thing about my quit, at least until I started laughing at it, but even that takes time.

 

So I guess my point is that before we even attempt to put out that last cigarette, we need to know how we’ll deal with that feeling of loss and the feeling of loneliness that goes with that loss. We need to be prepared to have that argument of depravation already worked out. And we need to be focusing on what we’re gaining right away lest the old negative thoughts creep in to derail our quits.

 

There’s many pieces to a successful quit. All we have to do is assemble them into something we can understand and the journey will be easier.

 

Have a happy Easter everyone!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Good day everyone,

 

I’ve finally made it back to work for a while the last two days. I came home early today because my wife is having a really hard time today. I remember looking forward to anniversaries because they were milestones in a hard fought quit. But the anniversary we’re having today is one of sorrow.

 

Still, we improve every day. We’re going back to the doctor on Monday, I guess to talk about the possibility of using antidepressants for awhile. I know my wife needs them. I worry about her when we’re not together and I guess she worries about me as well. Maybe she sees in me the same things that I’m worrying about with her. I don’t know.

 

On the outside, I’m fine. On the inside however, things are a bit out of sorts. There’s a constant lump in my throat and an endless headache that has lasted for two weeks. So, like she is taking my advice, I’ll take hers as well.

 

Really, I came here to talk about something else. And that something else is how bad this situation would be if I still smoked. First off, I know that’s all I’d be doing in these trying times had I not lost my addiction. Smoking one cigarette after another and lighting the next one off of the last one.

 

And in that situation, there’s never an answer. Never progress. Just the constant intake of nicotine, adding to my stress while I believed that it wasn’t. But I don’t smoke anymore and I never will again. This latest experience in my life has just proven that. And you know why I’ll never smoke again?

 

Because there’s no value in it. There’s no benefit. It’s simply a way of wasting time that sometimes shouldn’t be wasted.

 

But since I did quit, none of that is a worry. And that takes a lot off of my plate right now so I’m so incredibly happy to be an EX. I’m so proud of my achievement of reaching my dream of freedom.

 

And once I finish this new journey of bewilderment and grief that I’m on and find my way home to the world that I remember from before my step sons decision, those flowers will be just as bright as they ever were. The sun will once again have all of the brightness it always did. The colors will return to my world and once again I’ll be smiling the smile that only freedom can bring.

 

No matter what happens in our lives. No matter how hard things might be there’s still a chance for this recovered addict to smile for you see, I’m still free!!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011

Renewal

Posted by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 Apr 16, 2019

Good day all,

 

I hope this finds you well. Spring is upon us and with spring comes thoughts of renewal, and dreams of a brighter future in the warmth of the sun. I’ve always loved spring. Even now, as I ponder other facets of my life.

 

One thing I’ve learned, even in sorrow is that I’m content with my life. And you know why? Simply because I quit smoking all those years ago. When I first began my journey I, like you had no idea of what to expect. And like most, I wasn’t even sure I could ever achieve an escape from addiction.

 

But in the end with hard work, I discovered freedom from addiction. Thing is, I’m just now starting to realize all of the emotional benefits in my life. The constant stress that I used to feel has now just melted away. I no longer constantly dread going places where smoking isn’t allowed.

 

I can actually enjoy a drive and yes, I can look at the beauty that surrounds me even as I cherish each fresh breath of air that I take.

 

I have a tough day tomorrow. It would’ve been my sons 35th birthday, so of course there will probably be some tears. There will probably also be an opportunity to begin celebrating his life rather than mourning his death. I know it’s a little soon for an event like this, and I’m asking for strength for both my wife and I.

 

All I know is that were I still a smoker right now, that’s all I’d be doing. Smoking one after another, never realizing that this exercise is an exercise derived of addiction and rather than focusing on the problem, I’d be focusing on the cigarette.

 

And looking back at my past life of smoking, I’ll never forget what a slave I was. I’ll never forget how badly I wanted to find freedom but most of all I’ll never forget the people who were with me on this incredible journey. The ones who talked me down when I needed it and encouraged me to continue on so that like them, I too could feel this indescribable peace that can only come from freedom. That I too could feel for myself just what renewal looks like!

 

And like them, I too want you to feel the wonders that await you!

 

ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!

 

Chuck

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