It's amazing how you can remember certain dates in time and forget others. I'm good with birthdays, anniversaries and most of all my quit date. That's ingrained in my head. I know my exact quit date but I cannot seem to remember the number of days I've been quit. Being a conductor on the Freedom Train and trying to participate every day when I can, I always have to look back to how many days I've been quit. But ask me about my quit date, and I'll rifle that off in no time flat.
I've been reading a lot lately on the site about the “reward” cigarette, the congratulatory, pat on the back, good job done smoke. It's funny how we see it that way, isn't it? What do nonsmokers do, people who have never smoked in their life? I'll tell you one thing, they don't understand our thinking about whew, that's done. Let's go have a smoke. But that was our treat to ourselves. It spiked our dopamine and we felt that all was right with the world once again. We never had to change up our thinking, our perspective. Back then, it was only seen as a habit. It was never seen also as an addiction/dependence until 1994 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine_dependence).
When I quit back in 2016 and after I got through the rough patch, I searched for more and more information about how the brain works, why it works, and what's causing all of this craziness. I've posted many blogs and many links in the two years that I've been active on this site. But with so many new members popping up, it's worth a mention again. I'm a firm believer of there's never enough knowledge. This blog contains a link to an article I found back in July last year about the burning question of when quitting gets easier: The more you know. This is one was written when I was 60 days quit. Pretty much sums up some of what I've been reading some newbies saying: Spread those wings. If you should ever go back in the blogs, this was written only 9 days later: It's all in your head.
I go back to these blogs to relate to people struggling today. To point them in the right direction or simply say to them, see, we're all not so different. At times, I'll go back and read over the things I've written these past two years to see the progression of things, the progression of how my quit went. That's basically all I did when I first seriously came onto this site, I went back in quite a few members' profiles and read their blogs from the very beginning of their quits. Some go back as far as 2008. I spent hours reading all of their early blogs and thought wow, they were just like I am right now.
So take the time, look up some of the elders, ELDER'S LIST , the ones with the smiley faces are the more active members. But feel free to choose anyone on that list and visit their profile, go to content, select filter by, choose sort by latest activity: oldest first. All of their blogs are now listed by the very first time they wrote something here. Read their journey. See how they gradually progressed. Some have relapsed and never returned. But they still have a story to tell. They can give you clues on what to be on the watch for. Some have simply never came back. The site did what it was intended to do and that was enough for them.
This site has a boatload of information. Search around the Groups tab. Find something that interests you. Some articles may be old, but they still have loads of knowledge to share. A lot of people have come and gone. Some are just lurking in the distance. Some are preparing for their quit. Some are teetering on a ledge. Some are happy-go-lucky. Others are struggling but hanging in there. Whichever you are, whoever you wish to be, trust me when I tell you, you're going to be pretty amazed by who you are about to become.