4 Decades Of Lies! (First Post Journal)

Mandevilla
Mandevilla

March 12th, 2011, 11:33 pm #41

Neal,
I really enjoy reading your posts and journal.  I live in Florida too (USA for the others) and there have been many times when the spring and orange blossoms have brought on triggers - and like you, I just face them, and know in my heart that I have just made another step toward extinguishing the thought and feeling that the "auto pilot" in me before is now being re-conditioned to a better me.

Just wanted to stop by and thank you for your un-ending honesty and say you accomplished something huge by getting through a great camping time without nicotine....by laying a more solid welcome mat for the real you to walk through the door.  You rock.

yqs,
Lisa
quit 1-1-11 and smiling

CWZ
CWZ

March 14th, 2011, 7:45 pm #42

Enjoyed reading about your quit and want to offer up some encouraging news...The triggers will keep getting fewer and fewer! You are doing fantastic in your good smart quit. Congratulations!

CWZ Gold x 3

Gary

Jefferyrw
Jefferyrw

March 16th, 2011, 9:35 pm #43

Hey Neal, thanks for dropping by...your post on my thread got me to thinking and I went back and reviewed a number of of quit logs during the first month or two of their quits.

It is just as Joel and John tell us, each of our quits is different.  I noticed that some folks seem to really struggle through the first month and then suddenly it gets easier.  Others mostly cruise through that first month and suddenly have struggles to deal with.  Then there are others (like me) that seem to struggle off and on through the whole thing.  The good news here is that as I read the logs on some of the longer quits I find that most find sustained comfort somewhere in the first six months (although a few seem to struggle longer than that).

The lesson I learn from this is to not have specific expectations, just accept what comes (as it comes) and always keep nicotine on the outside.

By the way Neal, golf is better without being in a state of withdrawal half of the time.  I did notice early on that my ball striking was rather poor for a time but I worked through it.

I hope that you get out on the course soon.

Jeff - two months and eight days Nicotine Free (67 days)
Since: 1-8-2011

NoNic4Neal
NoNic4Neal

March 23rd, 2011, 5:15 pm #44

Well, I'm on Day 73 today and all is going well. I'm loving my freedom and I feel very far away from the possibility of using nicotine. I haven't been quit so long that I forgot what it was like to have my life revolve aroung smoking, but I have been quit long enough to see how much better life is now that I'm finding the real me. I did gain about 10 pounds, as predicted, but I know that will soon come off. I'm finding I have a lot more time on my hands. I've already painted the whole outside of my house, and now I'm working on re-landscaping the entire back yard. (All with the money I've saved from not smoking!) It truly is getting better and better. YQB Neal - NTAP

wwchi
wwchi

March 23rd, 2011, 6:53 pm #45

WOW WOW WOW!  What great accomplishments - of course the quit, but also the home improvement.  Now every time you pull in the driveway you will be reminded of the great work you've done on ALL fronts! Congrats!

Wendy

Doc24747
Doc24747

March 23rd, 2011, 8:09 pm #46

Hi Neal
Congrats on your quit- you are doing great.
It keeps getting better too, that for sure.
Life is much better on this side of the bars eh?

All the best

Mandevilla
Mandevilla

March 29th, 2011, 12:09 am #47

"I'm loving my freedom and I feel very far away from the possibility of using nicotine."  - Neal

Sometimes the simple statements are the ones that mean the most.  Neal - you may have written that in a flurry on the keyboard -just to state your state of mind ----- and never thought it may mean a great deal to anyone else.  Just stating the facts - right?

Well, it meant a great deal to me.  Sometimes stating the truth just rings so wonderfully true - and it feels good.  

Thank you for that.  

yqs,
Lisa
quit 1-1-11 and smiling because you said it just right

Mandevilla
Mandevilla

April 4th, 2011, 11:20 pm #48

Thanks for stopping by my bronze party Neal.   You are right on the coat-tails of it yourself.  Awesome feeling isn't it?  3 months is such a vastly different place than 3 days or 3 weeks.  I can only imagine what it will feel like at bronze x 2 = silver. 

I'm standing at the ropes, cheering you through the last lap till the bronze flag waves - cause I can see you on that last lap and you are hoofin' it something crazy!!!  Go Neal!!

Lisa
Bronze, free and laughing 

NoNic4Neal
NoNic4Neal

April 8th, 2011, 7:00 pm #49

Today is Day 89 and I'm on my last lap towards Bronze. One day at a time is not words, but words to live by. I had a smoking dream the other night, and it didn't even upset me. I think I knew even in my dream that there was no way I was going to smoke. Thanks again to everyone who stops by to give me support, your time and effort are greatly appreciated. I try to post when I can, but I still read when I can't. I'm trying to think of a special Bronze post to put up tomorrow. Keep all nicotine on the outside and success is guaranteed. YQB Neal - Stopped all the lies, and feeding the addiction on 1/9/11.

Jefferyrw
Jefferyrw

April 9th, 2011, 3:48 am #50

Hey Neal!  It is incredible!  You have been nicotine free for three months after 4 decades of chemical dependency.

You have helped many of us with your insightful posts and generous support.

We are all marching together toward Silver, Gold, and beyond!

Keep on keepin' it on the outside, Neal!

YQB,
Jeff

Mandevilla
Mandevilla

April 9th, 2011, 11:49 am #51

Neal - congratulations on 3 months of freedom!!!  You are bronze and it is a grand party with plenty of great company.

Your remarks throughout your journey - in all the threads - have been great to read.  You have a terrific way of saying things.

BRONZE and BEYOND!!  That's where we're headed! 

Keep up the great quit!

Lisa
quit 1-1-11

schmaltz
schmaltz

April 9th, 2011, 12:33 pm #52

Glad to see another 40+yr smoker reaching a important milestone. I wonder what it was in the beginning of this particular year that sparked us all into action.  Anyway glad to see you in bronze and can't wait till silver and gold .

Craig

Herman1331
Herman1331

April 9th, 2011, 3:57 pm #53

Neal,Congratulations on BRONZE!!  THAT IS AWESOME.  Keep up your great quit and can't wait to congratulate you on silver.  NTAP
Laura


NoNic4Neal
NoNic4Neal

April 9th, 2011, 6:41 pm #54

The Real Me Vs. The Junky
For my Bronze celebration I would like to tell a lighthearted story of my quitting smoking experience / adventure. I’ll let you figure out the analogies. My quitting experience boils down to an internal fight between the Real Me, desperately trying to surface, and the Junky, A.K.A. - my Subconscious, my Executive Assistant, my Prison Guard. The Junky is that little voice in my head, I’m sure you all know the one, that has always come up with all those creative relapse excuses.

The Real Me has been gone so long that he was small and weak and all but forgotten. The Junky has been in charge of the Nicotine Roller Coaster, which meant he ran everything.



For over 40 years, from the moment I woke up, until the time I went to bed, he would tell me what time was mine and what time was his. He always had most of the time, and the schedule was always changing. There were his normal times - upon waking, after meals, working outside, talking on the phone, driving, taking a walk, and before bed. There were also all the unexpected times when he needed to put all my emotions up in smoke. If I was stressed, I had to stop and smoke. If I got angry, tired, hungry, lonely, happy, or sad, I had to stop and smoke. If I drank alcohol or had something to celebrate, I had to stop and smoke.

The Real Me was pushed so far into the background that I could hardly see the light thru the trees. The Junky kept me right where he wanted me, buried in the jungle with lies and use rationalizations. Withdrawal would be too painful, you couldn’t live a good life without nicotine, nicotine was a big part of who you are, you would lose yourself without nicotine, you would always have urges to smoke, and you would be miserable. Why punish yourself with trying to quit, just leave things as they are. The list of lies and excuses were never ending.

The Real Me still wanted so badly to surface and be free from the deep, dark, jungle. I tried and tried and even enlisted the help of gums, lozenges, patches, inhalers, E-cigs, and dip. I found myself in worse shape then when I started. Not only was I still buried in the jungle, but now the lozenges were growing vines around my legs, and I could barely move.

I finally decided it was time to take a deep breath, plant my feet, put my head down, and fight for my life. The Junky was also fighting for survival. He liked being in charge, and he would use every trick in the book to remain in power.

The Real Me went on-line and found Why Quit.com. I started to read about Bryan, Noni, Kim, Deborah, Brandon, and Sean. The vines started to loosen their grip. I read Nicotine 101 and the vines fell off of my legs. I started reading the One Puff Files, and leaves started to fall from the trees. I read Never Take Another Puff, and Freedom From Nicotine - The Journey Home, and so many leaves were falling that I could start to see the blue sky thru the trees. All of the Junky lies were now being exposed. I joined Freedom From Nicotine and some of the small trees started to die and fall down.

I heard a noise and looked back, I saw John and Joel both carrying chainsaws. They said, let’s start carving a path and get you out of here. They cranked up their chainsaws and started cutting on the two biggest trees standing in front of me. I looked back again and saw Marty, Joanne, O Bob, Joe J. Free, Denny B., Suzie, Kattatonic1, CWZ, Doc24747, Chasnfireflies, and all of the oldbie veterans carrying axes. They said, we’ve already been through this, we know the way out, just follow us. They walked in front of me and started chopping on several different trees, bushes, and shrubs. Then came Tagsgirl, JimH, Juan Carlos, BSKing, Puffanomore, Sarah, Mary, and Lucie. Behind them were Lisa, Jeffreyrw, Greg, Laura, Kelly, Craig, Wendy, Endura, Lara, Bev, Stella, and a whole lot of others (sorry I couldn’t name everyone). They were carrying saws, hatchets, pruning shears, machete’s and even large knives. They said, we all would like to get out of here, and we will be happy to help you too. I started to feel overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and well being; I did exactly as they all said, and worked with them to get out. I felt better and better as each tree was cut down.

There were a few splinters and thorns along the way, I stumbled and tripped a time or two, and a couple of branches would occasionally spring back at me, but I never lost sight of where I was going. Eventually there was a clear path to Freedom laid out in front of me. We all stopped to admire the view.

 

 

I could taste the cool air deep in my lungs. This place even smelled better than the jungle, I could smell everything. There was a rainbow painted across the bluest sky, the sight of the crystal clear lake reflecting the distant mountains was breathtaking. The birds were chirping a happy song as we all marched along. John said that with a little help and some hard work all things are do-able. Joel mentioned to always watch out for stumps in the road, and that we would continue to stay out of the jungle as long as we stuck with our original commitment to never take another puff.

YQB Neal (Looking Better in Bronze!!!) Join me in getting out of the Jungle. There is a spot reserved for you on the path to Freedom. NTAP

I Quit living all the lies on 1/9/11



Edit: Only change was to slightly reduce the size of Neal's two images as it was spreading the screen to its maximum, forcing readers to scroll right and left to read each line.
Last edited by NoNic4Neal on October 3rd, 2013, 11:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

wwchi
wwchi

April 9th, 2011, 8:26 pm #55

Neal - what an AWESOME post! The imagery of the axes and knives cutting through it all to get free...FANTASTIC!!!  Congrats on Bronze...what an accomplishment!! :-)

Wendy

schmaltz
schmaltz

April 9th, 2011, 8:53 pm #56

Neal , now there is a posting. I'm sure it will be a "go to " for a long time . Well done . It speaks volumes in a few paragraphs .

endura
endura

April 9th, 2011, 9:01 pm #57

Neal! I loved your post. You do look awesome in Bronze! Congratulations! I am sure you will march on to GOLD(en). I am so proud of you...proud of all of us for commitment to free ourselves. It is so doable...only one rule...Never take another puff!Endura,  78 days free of nicotine, Gold Wannabee  : ) 

Herman1331
Herman1331

April 9th, 2011, 9:35 pm #58

AMAZING POST NEAL!  Brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you for that, anytime I find myself having a rough time I will come look at that post.  Amazing.Laura

Mandevilla
Mandevilla

April 10th, 2011, 12:07 am #59

Neal - Wow. 
What makes your story so very important is that it gives absolute weight to what this journey means.  We all know exactly what you are telling - and we are all nodding.  It just feels so very, very GOOD to read someone saying it.....saying it ALL.  The honesty of the fear, and the joy at surrendering to the highway home. 

Thank you for taking the time to post this.  It is a wonderful 3 month memoir.   
Onward, brother!!

Lisa
quit 1-1-11 and bronz'in together with you

time4me
time4me

April 10th, 2011, 2:16 am #60

Your analogy was so right on - we are cutting our way out of this addiction and it sure does feel great.  Congratulations, Neal, on bronze.  That is quit a feat, and in a couple of months I have no doubt that I will be joining you. 
Stella - I have stopped nicotine for 1 month, 2 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 1 second. I've not smoked 679 cigarettes, and saved $203.98.

LLJ
LLJ

April 11th, 2011, 7:47 pm #61

Neal,Brilliant, just brilliant.
I saved a copy of your story on my laptop. So powerful, so insightful...I know I will be reading your words often. 
Congratulations on becoming BRONZE!!! In the words of Billy Crystal, "You look mahvelous!"
Lara 

48 days of freedom and healing! 

NoNic4Neal
NoNic4Neal

April 14th, 2011, 7:00 pm #62

Thank you Jeff, Lisa, Craig, Laura, Wendy, Endura, Stella, and Lara. You really made turning bronze a party to remember. Your kind words and thoughts always touch me. Keep it where it belongs, on the outside. YQB Neal - Quit all the lies on 1/9/11.

Doc24747
Doc24747

April 14th, 2011, 10:36 pm #63

Hi Neal
Sorry I'm late - been away.
Congratulations on getting to the three month mark. Six months and a year will follow for you too, I'm sure. You know now that we lived a lie and that education makes all the difference.
Enjoy the new you.

All the best

NoNic4Neal
NoNic4Neal

April 15th, 2011, 8:01 pm #64

Doc,
No worries, your not late, I'm looking forward to celebrating Bronze for the next three months, each and every day. Neal

NoNic4Neal
NoNic4Neal

May 2nd, 2011, 9:06 pm #65

I'm one week short of 4 months. Time has been flying, it seems like I turned bronze yesterday. Each day has been uneventful on my journey to Freedom. I still come on the site often, but not as much as I used to. I noticed on my quit meter that I have saved $560 so far. I'm getting paid to feel good!! I like reading the journals and supporting the newer members as time allows. I don't want to forget what quitting was like in the early days. Hope everyone has a great nicotine free day. NTAP. Neal