My 4000 Day Ramble - reposted
I really do like this one. Have a great day. Cara D4713
Dear New quitter or Someone who is thinking of quitting;
Are you thinking of quitting? Are you scared? Do you think you cannot quit?
I am writing you this letter to tell you that I was once where you were.
I was thinking of quitting – not cause I wanted to but more because my doctor said I could quit before or after the heart attack – thankfully I quit before. I did not want to quit – I felt I had to quit - that I was being forced to quit and I was very unhappy.
I am not sure if scared describes the emotion I felt building up to my quit. Let’s be honest here – this quit was not my first attempt. I quit for 12+ years. I was out with smoking friends who I had been around for years when I decided I wanted a smoke – figured after all those years I could have just one. What a shock – I am an addict and within a few weeks I was back smoking a pack a day again.
Do you think you cannot quit? I seriously believed that myself. I got my 12 year quit following a visit to a hypnotist – I believed it would work and walked out from that office with no interest in smoking but a huge desire to eat and gained 50 pounds. I do not blame that on the quit I blame that on me making poor choices of food and choosing not to get any exercise. Quitting smoking was not the cause of the weight gain.
I started trying to quit smoking after about 9 years after tossing that 12 year quit. That was in 2004 – October. I went cold turkey and lasted 60 something days. I tossed that quit over some excuse that I cannot remember but I will say was nothing serious. I became quite upset with people in the quit smoking forums who were not buying my justification of my failed quit but I got over it and for the next year and a half I made half hearted attempts at quitting – I can say that because I made excuses and justified over and over my decisions to smoke. I had pneumonia and I smoked. I tried patches and gum, cold turkey and even a shot with a different hypnotist but alas nothing worked. It did not work because I refused to take smoking off the table as an option in my life and rather then working through the quitting process, I just chose to go to the store or mooch smokes off of others.
Two things happened in my life that helped me choose to start a quit and keep it. The first was the previously mentioned doctor’s statement. It did impact me but not enough to have me quit then as it took an additional 4 months give or take for me to quit. It was the well-intentioned comment from someone in one of my clubs in quintet.com back in March of 2006 ( Rosie in the October 2004 Buttkicker club). I announced yet again that I was going to start another quit and this angel of the internet said to me that she so admired my repeated attempts to quit but it was such a shame that I kept putting myself through those early days over and over and over again. March 15, 2006 – this quit was born and here I am today approaching 4000 days, 10+ years quit.
Was it easy – hell no those early days were hell. I journaled my feelings, emotions, illness and I took Zyban to help me quit. I cried and cried and cried bitter tears for my 25 best friends who were so cruelly taken from me. I hated happy people, happy smokers, happy non-smokers happy quitters – hated them all.
But here is the thing. I never understood this before with my prior 12+ year quit and even hanging around the quit smoking sites. I never saw myself as an addict. I thought that I loved to smoke – it made me happy. I remember writing this in my journal and I want to share it with you now. “I feel that I have lost a friend - a very close one at that. My smokes are - not are, were - like my dogs - always here for me - and in some ways better as they did not bark. Now I have my dogs who I love, but I no longer have my smokes and sad as it is it feels like something is totally missing out of my life.” I truly believed this load of crap. That was not me speaking it was the addiction talking. I did not love smoking – I loved the relief that smoking gave me. I could not see this while in active addiction – I had to quit and when the smoke screen cleared I saw smoking for the vile enslaver that it was. Smoking did nothing for me but kill me. I gave it credit for everything I did for myself.
What does this mean to you my smoking friend or newly quit friend? Please hear the wisdom I have learned from my quit smoking journey and hopefully you can make your life easier by not falling in to the potholes I did.
1. There is never an excuse to smoke period. 2. Quitting smoking is not an overnight thing. We all ask in those early days when will it get better as we seem to think that 10, 20, 30 or more years of addiction will be gone in a week. It takes time folks but it is worth it. 3. Quitting is not a linear process. It does not get better each and every day. I remember many times saying my quit was like a roller coaster ride and I wanted to get off. I stuck it out and finally the good days were much more frequent then the bad. 4. We are forever addicts. I tossed a 12 year quit and I could toss another one should I buy into the lie that I can have just one. I do not think about smoking the way I did in the early days of my quit but it does enter my head now and then and I dismiss it easily. 5. Quitting smoking is not an easy process cause if it was the world would have no smokers. I worked really hard to get to where I am today and I had mentors and support to help me get here. That is why I try to give back to others as I want them to be where I am today.
I have taken back my power from addiction. I control my life again and I refuse to ever again allow a white tube filled with poison to enslave me. I call the shots in my life. I am not running out to serve my addiction. I am free but vigilant as I never want to go back and start over again. I use a line in my daily pledge that I walk the Freedom Road. That is where I am. Living my life, doing my thing and doing it my way. Life is not perfect but it a whole lot better smoke free. Come and join me on the Freedom Road. I know it is kind of rocky to start but if you take my hand, I will support you till you are ready to walk it on your own beside me. Quitting is not always easy but doable. Not a person in the world who cannot quit and we do not even have to want to quit to be successful – look at me. You can do this. Let us show you how. KTQ Cara (Teach404) D3909