3 years vs. 3 days

3 years vs. 3 days

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

06 Jan 2005, 10:14 #1

So, I celebrated my 3 year milestone at some point around 5 am this morning. For starters, that totally rocks! HooRAY!
So, I start reminiscing a bit about the early days of my quit. I remember members popping in to post their celebration threads. Green, Bronze, Silver, Gold and beyond. It felt downright intimidating. Here was I, with my seemingly tiny little insignificant sum of 3 days, 4 days, 5 days and so on... clinging to my quit like a man clinging to a life line thrown over the side of a ship to a man overboard in a turbulent sea. More comfortable ex-smokers would roll past on their skiff, yachts and cruiseliners, each with the same advice. Keep climbing that rope. Don't let go of it. It'll get easier. We promise.

To me, those people seemed like heroes. From my perspective, they were superhuman, with this gift of comfort I couldn't hardly imagine at that point. I dreamed of being like them some day, but it seemed hard to fathom that this splintery rope would really get me there. It was hard, and I was tired. But, I really wanted to be like those amazing people, and everyone of them told me the same thing… keep climbing, don't let go. Simple. A real slog, but simple.

So, I took their advice, kept climbing and didn't let go. Lo and behold, it was true. It did, in fact, get easier, and easier. There was the odd bit of rope burn, and occasionally a seagull would take aim at my dome with an unwelcome gift (nobody takes a metaphor to the extremes I will), but all-in-all, it got more and more doable, less and less of a chore, and at some point, almost without noticing it, I found myself reclining on the Lido Deck with the others. That was years ago now. I've been kicking back up here for a good long time now, and I can tell you it's very nice.

So, what's my point? My point is to you, the newcomer. Down there on the rope. Yeah, you. You're looking up at me (and the others who have so much time under their belts), and thinking, "man, that guy's almost surreal. Maybe he's got something I don't. How in the world did he get up there? Surely, he didn't take this blasted rope?! He must have some secret that I don't. He's gotta have supernatural powers to have such comfort."

My point to you is this: Every one of us up here got here the same way. We took the rope. We climbed it. We didn't let go. And, just like we were told, it got easier. You will also get here that way.

Three years ago, I was where you are. Everyone here has been there at one time. We understand what you're going through. Nobody here is a superhero. We're just addicts like you who found the rope earlier. And, we can each promise you… the rope is climbable, it does get easier, and there IS a place for you up here.

There's one other way in which we're similar. Neither of us have wings. We let go the rope, or step off the side, we all plummet to the abyss the same way. One puff and it's all history. I learned that on my way up too. People who'd seemed almost unreal they were so comfortable, for no reason that I could understand, suddenly got up from their comfortable seats, walked to the side of the deck, and threw themselves off.

Breaking the metaphor, so that it's perfectly clear, they took a puff and lost their freedom. Some of these were members who had been very active in supporting others, and had experienced months and even years of sustained comfort. One day, for their own reasons, they decided to chance it, and lo and behold their comfort was gone. They returned to their old levels of smoking, often more. I know this is true from email, and from the time when Freedom's policies were different and relapsed members were allowed to rejoin. All it took was one puff, and it was over.

So, while it may be tempting to look at some of the longer term quitters with awe, consider that we are, and always will be subject to the same rules you are. One puff = all puffs. If I were to slip down to the pub right now, walk up to a friend, and take a drag off of his cigarette, I know full well that I would be out on my deck tomorrow night with a pack and an ash tray putting memories of Freedom and this post and everything I've given myself over the past 3 years in a deep hidden locker that my junky side would work overtime to prevent me from opening.

Why is it important to point out that, with respect to nicotine addiction, you and I are the same, just separated by a bit of time? I guess because it's tempting for a new quitter to allow himself or herself to believe that all of these people dispensing education and encouragement here, couldn't possibly understand what they're going through. It may be tempting to listen to your own junky mind telling you, "You're different. These people aren't like you. They don't understand what you're experiencing. You know that you'll never be able to be like them. It's impossible for you."

My long-winded, metaphorically-extreme point is to tell you that that's bunk. While you are different from me in many ways, our addiction to nicotine is the same. You will find comfort (emphasis on WILL) just as I and every other long-term member of Freedom did (by never taking another puff), and you WILL maintain that comfort the same way we all must (by never taking another puff).


Bob (3 years free)
Oh, and by the way, my wife hit 1000 days of freedom today! Double celebration!
Last edited by OBob Gold on 31 Jul 2009, 02:14, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:42

06 Jan 2005, 10:33 #2

Wow Bob, congratulations to you on 3 years of freedom! (and your wife on her 1000 days).
this has got to become one of those absolutely classic freedom posts, that memebers will keep bringing to the top in years to come. I loved the metaphor and while reading, I noticed how I was smiling, both at your wonderful way of putting things and at the thought that it is still going to get even better for me and even more comfortable.

Thank you for sticking around after all this time, to share these inspiring words with us, who hold on to the rope (or in my case, who have taken the first wabbly steps up on deck)
Last edited by Pindan Pearl on 31 Jul 2009, 02:24, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

06 Jan 2005, 10:56 #3

Hello there Bob! Congratulations to you on 3 glorious years of freedom, and to your wife for 1000 days! How awesome is that.

I had written a positively perfect post, filled with great metaphors and I hit send and it went....where? Ahh well, I will recap briefly to say that I, like Pindan Pearl here, smiled through your post and enjoyed your metaphors very much. My own rope burns are healing nicely, and on occasion, the wind kicks up, and I find myself swaying, but my upward climb is steady and still strong. I have even ventured onto the lido deck and enjoyed some spirits and warm sunlight. The rope is still there when the winds are high, and I still cling to it occasionally, but I love the deck more...

Thank you for being here and helping to keep our focus on the positive. You do rock, Bob!

Sue - Bronze

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:25

06 Jan 2005, 10:59 #4

Congratulations from a guy who is still on the rope. A guy who looks up to those who have come before me like a country boy in New York City looking up at the skyscrapers. You and John and Parker and Linda and many others here are like tall buildings to me. I walk around straining my neck as I look up to you all for the wisdom you share. I enjoy a good story and boy can you guys spin one.

I have this memory of my father when I was just a little boy. He was a carpenter and I must have been just a tot at the time. He would come home from work and I would run to him and sit on his work boot and he would walk around the kitchen while I laughed with glee. I get the same feeling when reading posts from you and the others. It is like going for a ride on my fathers boot. You and the others make the ride not just tolerable, you make it enjoyable. For that, I am grateful.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. It is a priveledge to read your posts.

84 days walking in the big city or on the rope - Which ever metaphor you choose.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

06 Jan 2005, 11:11 #5

Great post Bob. Congrats to you and Mrs OBob. Lots of good points raised.
"occasionally a seagull would take aim at my dome with an unwelcome gift"
Ha! This was my favorite image. Even though we all have tough days and times (seagulls pooping on our heads) if we just hang on long enough, we'll get to that place where we want to be. Be patient, be tough, NTAP. It will happen.
Steve 7 months, 23 days.
Last edited by ZZRSteve GOLD on 31 Jul 2009, 02:15, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

06 Jan 2005, 11:18 #6

Wow - what a wonderful accomplishment - 3 whole years of not smoking! Your post is really inspiring to me and it gives me strength to hold on to that rope and keep climbing without letting go even once... As you said...we must never take even one puff... thank you for inspiring me and for all your support through all the tough times... Thank you for being there for all of us - in good and in bad... We will forever be greatful...Now it's your turn - so relax and enjoy the warm wishes...Don't forget to celebrate and spoil yourself (and your wife of course)... Congratulations to your wife on 1000 days!
Agnes - BRONZE, Free and Healing for Four Months, Twenty Seven Days, 22 Hours and 58 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 9 Days and 8 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2699 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,113.53.
Last edited by agnesjtom 1 on 31 Jul 2009, 02:27, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Jan 2005, 13:32 #7





9 months 23 days free

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:56

06 Jan 2005, 13:50 #8

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !

This means worlds to me since I am a newbie. Thanks for sharing.
I have been quit for 3 Weeks, 14 hours, 3 minutes and 55 seconds (21 days). I have saved $70.15 by not smoking 280 cigarettes. I have saved 23 hours and 20 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 12/15/2004
Last edited by r0s1e2 on 31 Jul 2009, 02:29, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

06 Jan 2005, 13:56 #9

Ahhhh - 3 years of increasing comfort .... CONGRATULATIONS Bob!!!! I love this post, definitely another "must read". 1000 days for your wife too! Double the wisdom, what a magnificant pair you make :o) OBob - you will always be a superhero to me no matter what you say :o)))
Last edited by GeorgieGirl GOLD on 31 Jul 2009, 02:29, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

06 Jan 2005, 19:28 #10

Congratulations, Bob!!
and to your wife, too!!
"Three years ago, I was where you are. Everyone here has been there at one time. We understand what you're going through. Nobody here is a superhero. We're just addicts like you who found the rope earlier. And, we can each promise you… the rope is climbable, it does get easier, and there IS a place for you up here."
What an inspirational post ... I have read so many messages you posted since I found Freedom ... and always find something in them that touches me, help me (not got very far on the rope yet) or encourage me ... and I know I am not alone.
You and all the (once, double, treble ...) Golden Boys and Girls ARE superheroes to me. You show me that there will be a point where I will reach complete FREEDOM, will be completely comfortable ... all I have to do is take all the info on board, follow your advice and your footsteps or the marks you left in the rope.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us. I am so happy to celebrate this milestone with you and your wife ... and thought I'd send you a wee bit of music to listen to while having all these nice cups of coffee (or tea?)!

41 days and a bit
Last edited by Starshinegrl Gold on 31 Jul 2009, 02:31, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

06 Jan 2005, 21:45 #11

Wow! OBob is three! Great post and congratulations on your milestone. I am proud to have made most of this journey with you, and I thank you for the help and inspiration you've given me and many others over the years.

The three months or so difference in our quits doesn't seem like much now, but not so long ago it was a lot, night and day, a long piece of "rope".

To all you new quitters, as usual this guy speaks the truth, so listen to him. It does get easier and it is worth the effort.

Enjoy your celebration, old friend and tell the missus congrats also.


I don't smoke and I don't chew and I don't go with the girls that do. 2 Years 8 Months 2 Weeks 5 Days 11 Hours 40 Minutes 19 Seconds, with $4,350.88 more in my pocket. Somewhere there are an extra 34807 smokes.
Last edited by Hillbilly(Gold) on 28 Oct 2010, 16:37, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:33

06 Jan 2005, 22:23 #12

3 years!
Congratulations Bob!
I always enjoy reading your posts.
You are quite an inspiration to so many of us.
Thank you!
I hope you get this. Everyday I try to reply to someones post and it is hit or miss!
My computer is ......very tempermental!
If it get through I also want to Welcome all our new members
Congratulate all who are celebrating milestones.
Way to Go BOB and Bob's Wife!
One year, five days, 9 hours, 14 minutes and 17 seconds. 11141 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,531.96. Life saved: 5 weeks, 3 days, 16 hours, 25 minutes.
Last edited by wackylaurie on 31 Jul 2009, 02:20, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

06 Jan 2005, 22:59 #13

Congratulations, OBob!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

06 Jan 2005, 23:06 #14

Congratulations on three whole years of Freedom OBob and to Tess on her 1000 days. Personally I love your metaphors - rope burns and all.
I've often written to newbies that they have great bragging rights with a few days under their belts - because it is the early bit that is the toughest. Not that we aren't all still vulnerable always. All that stands between me and a puff is a personal committment and an education in nicotine addiction gained here at Freedom. That said, it is lovely not to have to fight that urge, to have made it up the rope to that sunny deck.
Lorraine GoldX3
Last edited by SweetLorraine (Gold) on 31 Jul 2009, 02:23, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

06 Jan 2005, 23:19 #15

Wow. OBob is three. Time really does fly when you're having fun, doesn't it? ... and although that may be difficult for our newest newbies to believe, this journey DOES get fun after a while.

I loved your rope analogy too, Bob. And boy, do I remember dangling for a while there on that rope. Heck, I even made the leap back into the abyss after two whole weeks of FREEDOM cause my inner-junky somehow convinced me that I didn't deserve the FREEDOM you and the other "oldbies" told me felt became so comfortable. BUT, thanks to you and many others here, I quickly found the courage to jump back on that rope and start climbing again. That was the point when I finally was able to prove to myself that I can't have just one. Well, maybe I didn't convince myself ...this helped: The one puff files

And then when I came up on two weeks again, and I started doubting again whether or not I deserved this FREEDOM, I read this: The monster under the bed and your words of wisdom once again shed a bright light on this path:
Confront the fear, and confront the voice. Our junky side doesn't fight fair, and uses confusing logic. It plays upon the parts of us that feel most vulnerable. The parts of us that want to hide and wish things away. You can eliminate the fear, and silence the voice by always looking it in the eye, seeing it for what it is, and never letting it get away without shedding the light of truth upon it.
BINGO! I was back on track. And then again, at two months quit, I had some hard times. As Sue "Pryde" described so eloquently "the wind kick[ed] up, and I [found] myself swaying". I pulled out my Last line of defense ! and I DID make it through but I still had to share...you know, to gather some strength to keep on holding on. So I posted this: An Escape from Reality? and you told me:
"Mary Kate, You get it."
That was HUGE for me. The fact that you, oldbie O'Bob comfortable on the deck, would encourage little ole me dangling from the rope to keep on climbing, well, you (and many here actually) saved my life that day. Thank you.
That was also when I started to really believe THIS is it, this is my last quit. I started Turning the corner -towards acceptance, and you played a big part in that Bob. Thank you.
Congratulations on your three years of FREEDOM Bob. You are one of the people who make this place work. You are a man who has an amazing ability to describe this journey so it makes sense to us hazy addicts....and your words have helped save a lot of us from taking the plunge off that rope.
I'm looking forward to an awesome celebration on the deck tonight...I expect our very own resident rocket scientist will supply the fire works.
Oh, and as Homer would say: Woo Hoo!!!
Mary Kate
Following in O'Bob's well lit footsteps for 2 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week, 6 Days, 8 hours, 17 minutes and 28 seconds (835 days).
I have saved $6,265.08 by not smoking 25,060 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Months, 3 Weeks, 5 Days and 20 minutes of my precious life!
Last edited by IrishLotus GOLD on 01 Aug 2009, 10:05, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

06 Jan 2005, 23:46 #16

Bob: You always have the right thing to say here at Freedom.....you are a special man who recognizes his special gifts and uses them to benefit others. Thank you for that! Enjoy all the comfort and joy that not feeding your addiction brings. You deserve it!


2 Years and 6 Days of Glorious Freedom.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

06 Jan 2005, 23:49 #17

Hi Bob!!!
To me, those people seemed like heroes.
From my perspective, they were superhuman, with this gift of comfort.....
Amen. Amen. As always, you have the ability to express in words what most of us don't seem to put so elegantly.
As someone a month behind you.... I know about superheros. I know that often someone just a few feet higher on the rope (from today's perspective ) can be a superhero, too. I was personally blessed by watching and reading your progress.... and your own struggles and insight cast brilliant light on the path that I was walking. Thank you, my friend!
Keep climbing that rope. Don't let go of it. It'll get easier. We promise.
... and sometimes the person nearest you on the rope is the one who can reach down... even just a "little bit", and give another a hand up.....
BillW (OBob - 32 days... )
Last edited by BillW Gold.ffn on 29 Aug 2013, 15:36, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:56

06 Jan 2005, 23:49 #18

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post.

Thank you for keeping it real and remembering what it is like to be a new recovering Junkie.

Thank you for your wisdom and your humour.

God Bless you for being here and being you.

Bev. ~ On day 5 with rope burning blisters, blood, sweat and a bad attitude. But hanging on, which is what counts today!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:08

07 Jan 2005, 00:07 #19

From one Bob to another - Congratulations!

Three years of Freedom! It has got to feel awsome!

Congrats to Tess, Also.

You worked hard to get here, rope burns and all. I always loved reading your well thought out posts and anologies. You will always be my "Superhero"

Thanks for stopping by and sharing and caring!

2 years and 6 months

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Jan 2005, 00:11 #20

Congratulations Bob on your 3 years free of nicotine. As usual you have written a most inspiring, wellwritten post. You definately have the gift as Valerie said. I love reading your posts, they helped me numourous times in the beginning of my quit, when I was dangling on that rope. I'm happy to say I am comfortably on deck now, with calloused hands from hanging on to that rope. Enjoy your celebration, and give my congrats to Tess as well.
Last edited by TickTockGold on 28 Oct 2010, 16:41, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Jan 2005, 00:15 #21

OOPS, forgot my stats.

Dina - Free and Healing for Nine Months, Twenty Days, 9 Hours and 40 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 25 Days and 13 Hours, by avoiding the use of 7360 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $2,681.95.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

07 Jan 2005, 00:37 #22






Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jan 2005, 00:41 #23

I am different, I'll never be comfortable

You know who else doesn't believe that a comfortable ex-smoker is like them? Current smokers. Almost any current smoker will tell you, "You don't understand what it's like for me. I'm so addicted." This morning I heard my gentleman friend talking on the phone to one of his managers at the restaurants saying, "I'm going to stay home this morning and do the financials for 2004. I could come in and do them but I'd just keep taking breaks to smoke. If I stay here I can smoke while I'm doing it and get it done. So call if you need anything." I don't ever, ever want to have to say anything like that again.

Congratulations on 3 years and thanks for sharing your insights with us. Your posts have been valuable to me on my journey.

1 year, 1 week, 3 days free.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Jan 2005, 01:29 #24

I agree with you, Dave....
Congratulations !!!! (and nice to hear you on the boards again )
richard (34ish months)

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

07 Jan 2005, 02:01 #25

O'Bob is GoldX3
O'Bob's wife is 1,000 days
Congratulations to you both !!! O'Bob, I just want to thank you for all that you have given of yourself to this site. Mary Kate did an awesome job expressing what so many of us feel. You have a gift O'Bob and you have so unselfishly shared it with us. Your posts are classics that are a part of what makes this site so awesome. Thank you , thank you , thank you......You can claim a part of my stats as your own also because you sure contributed to my success. Again thank you. Hug those quits tight and never take another puff.
yqs, sue-Gold
One year, nine months, one week, one day, 19 hours, 5 minutes and 18 seconds. 25991 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,755.82. Life saved: 12 weeks, 6 days, 5 hours, 55 minutes.
Last edited by Shinelady Gold3282003 on 29 Aug 2013, 15:37, edited 1 time in total.