4 Decades Of Lies! (First Post Journal)

4 Decades Of Lies! (First Post Journal)

Joined: 14 Jan 2011, 00:33

15 Jan 2011, 00:43 #1

     My name is Neal, and I feel especially lucky today for two reasons.  1).  I started smoking over 40 years ago, and I'm still here to talk about it, and  2). More importantly, I have been free of any nicotine and healing for Four Days, 19 Hours and 39 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 120 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $24.10. 
     I started smoking when I was 11 years old.  I was the youngest of 4 kids (who all smoked), from parents who both smoked.  It seemed like all my relatives and everyone I knew smoked.  It was the end of the 60's and smoking was cool!  Cigarettes were sold everywhere, even in vending machines for about 50 cents.  The Ads were everywhere, all the Hollywood stars smoked on the big screen, and you could smoke anywhere.
     When I was sixteen I lost my father to a smoking related illness.  He was 48 years old (younger than I am now) when he passed.  He smoked two packs a day of Lucky Strike non-filter.  I guess I never really acknowledged that it was a smoking related illness (hardening of the arteries) until recently.  I guess that was part of my junkie thinking and rationalizations.
     I remember my first serious quit attempt at 17 years old.  I quit cold turkey with no help for almost two miserable weeks.  I lost count of how many times I tried to quit.  As new gimmicks would come out, I would try them.  I knew I should quit, and I knew how unhealthy it was, but I could not succeed.  I tried cutting down, switching brands, vitamin programs, cigarrest, switching to dip or chewing tobacco, patches, gums, lozenges, and even hypnosis.  In the long run my addiction always won out.  I would always find some way to rationalize going back to smoking or why that particular quit wasn't right, or how I would do better next time, but it was alright to smoke for now, etc, etc, etc.  My record quit was 15 months, I also quit for 12 months, 10 months, 8 months, 6 months, 3 months, and many times for an assortment of weeks or days.  I was always reminded of Mark Twain's quote " Quitting smoking is easy, I've done it a hundred times". 
     I really believe that this time is going to be different from all my other attempts.  I have armed myself by reading as much of the literature and watching as many of the videos on WhyQuit.com as I could.  If knowledge is power, then I am beginning to get very powerful.  I will not stop, if I think I've read every word on WhyQuit, then I'll start over and read it again and again.  I even joined Freedom well aware of the relapse policy, because this time I will not fail.
     My quit has been going well so far (almost 5 days), and because of all my researching there has been no surprises.  The first 3 days I was lost in a fog, I could not concentrate, I felt very lightheaded and almost dizzy, I was tired all the time, and of course I had to deal with the craves.  So far each day has been better than the last as I can slowly fell myself returning home.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to recognize home since I've been gone so long, but it has to be better than where I've been.
     Many of the other times that I quit I got a taste of the "better life" without nicotine, but I never realized the extent of this addiction and the brain wanting disorder, I always went back to using nicotine.  Now knowing that this is one of the worst addictions and diseases, makes it easier for me to understand why I have failed so many times in the past.  If I ever feel like I'm losing control I can strengthen my resolve by reading at WhyQuit or I can post to this forum for advise from people who know what I'm going thru. 
     I have different options available now before reaching for that first puff.  Every single failed attempt at quitting in my past had one thing in common.  I took that first puff!  I know now that just one puff will send me straight back to my full addiction.  I'm just one puff away from over a pack a day.  I feel so lucky, almost blessed, to have stumbled onto WhyQuit.com and ending the 4 Decades Of Lies.
     I now call myself a recovering nicotine addict rather than an ex-smoker, because it reminds me of the power of this addiction and disease.  I don't know how many more quits I have left in me.  I never know if, or when, that spot will show up on my chest x-ray, but I know if I have to face that type of situation, I want to face it as a non-smoking recovering nicotine addict, and I won't go down without a fight.
     In closing, I hope there is a special spot in heaven for John, Joel, and all the volunteers who make this site possible.  You are helping so many people, like myself, who would otherwise be helpless!  Thank you so much.

Joined: 16 Nov 2008, 23:57

15 Jan 2011, 02:02 #2

Welcome to Freedom Neal!!

You have "experience" with this addiction we all share.

You have tasted the "better life" without nicotine.

You understand that just one puff will bring you back to smoking all you used to and perhaps more.

However you now also know that the knowledge provided at whyquit.com and here at the forum is indeed powerful. Educated Cold Turkey Quitting works! Once you understand Nicotine you can ultimately learn to fully enjoy life FREE form this insidious drug.

Keep reading and watching the videos. Participate here at the forum and share your experiences with those currently marching with you. You will succeed. Just take it one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

Denny B - After 38 years - Free and Healing for Four Years, Nine Months, Twenty Days, 213 Days of my life have been saved to do as I choose, by avoiding the use of 61469 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $18,184.81.

Attitude is everything, keep it positive, move forward and live life to its fullest. NTAP!

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

15 Jan 2011, 02:03 #3

ImageWelcome Neal and wowsers!  Talk about being loaded for bear!  The only thing that jumps out at me is all those prior quits and wanting to encourage you not to see yourself as being in competition with them.  Why?  Because although many of us reside here on Easy Street where we haven't known challenge in years, we remain equals to you in our distance from relapse.  

The first day of the rest of our lives, your freedom today was every bit as real as ours.  In many ways, we value and admire what you did today vastly more than the effortless calm and comfort that accompanied us.  We were there.  Our biggest challenge in getting here was developing the one hour, challenge and day at a time patience needed to allow addiction's chatter to end.  What makes this attempt different from all my others is that this time I know exactly what it takes to both fail and succeed!

Welcome to the group, Neal!  As you've come to realize, there was really always only one rule ... none today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x11)   

Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

15 Jan 2011, 05:51 #4

Last edited by FreedomNicotine on 15 Jan 2011, 11:34, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 23 Feb 2009, 13:26

15 Jan 2011, 18:38 #5

Welcome Neal and congratulations on your new found freedom! I understand what you mean by continuing to smoke even though you lost your dad to a smoking related illness. I cared for my grandmother in Hospice care in her home as she died of lung cancer from smoking all of her adult life. I think back to how crazy it seems that everyone who came to visit her would sit around smoking at the table. That she would be in that hospital bed asking for a cigarette and we would turn off her oxygen so she could smoke before she eventually went into a coma and died from her disease. I think that whole scenario speaks VOLUMES to the kind of lies the addiction allows us to tell ourselves. The good news is we both made the decision to stop the madness and agree to NTAP! Keep reading, keep doing the great work you're doing! - Kerry (free since 2/10/09)

Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 10:37

15 Jan 2011, 23:06 #6

Hi Neal and welcome.
We are all just one puff away from smoking. But now you are educated and understand this is an addiction and that the difference.
You have made a great decision to quit and this site provids all the tools to succeed.
Stick with it, you sound so positive.

All the best

Quit date 14th October 2008

Joined: 13 Sep 2010, 17:47

16 Jan 2011, 05:17 #7

 You were the newbie that I pulled up and said to my hubbie "hey, you wanna hear about "nonic4neal"? He said yes and I started reading. Afterwards I said to him "I know you can't fully appreciate this as a never-smoker, but wow. We can find so many million ways to rationalize smoking when we are living in denial. People don't realize how profound it is to realize you are an addict. THAT is why we failed." He said "It's a shame everyone can't come to that realization". He gets it. You get it. I got it. Thank God!  Can you believe I actually thought I really LIKED smoking. I said it's just a HABIT. WRONG.

Embrace the truth. Life is so sweet on this side of the bars. Please let me know I can help in any way. I already know, though, that everything you need is here and in you. One rule, keep nicotine out of your body. Develop the attitude of recovery and work hard to secure your quit. You are an inspiration!

You have given yourself and those who love you a wonderful gift!

Terri - free and healing for 4 months and 10 days!!!!!Image

Joined: 14 Jan 2011, 00:33

17 Jan 2011, 17:16 #8

Just a follow-up:
I made it thru my first week, one day at a time. I'm still feeling strong in my quit, I have been spending time continuing to seek knowledge on WhyQuit. Along with feeling strong, a new feeling is starting to surface - pride. I am still having the psychological triggers. I made an analogy of the triggers being like the ducks on a shooting range. I don't spend time admiring their shape or size or color, I don't wonder what it would be like to touch them. I just look where their coming from and shoot them down. I then take a couple of deep breaths and continue with my healing. Each day there are fewer ducks to shoot. Someday I might have nothing to shoot at! I will still really enjoying taking the deep breaths though, I enjoy not having any pain or coughing. My sense of smell is also getting amazing. I'm beginning to really see some of the advantages of not taking another puff.

Joined: 16 Jan 2011, 14:53

17 Jan 2011, 21:19 #9

finished at about the same time as you and am enjoying being without the nicotine as u r. not the easiest but worth every feeling better minute.Good luck and health,

Joined: 30 May 2009, 03:09

18 Jan 2011, 16:10 #10

And how AWESOME are you?  AWESOME!  You have a great feel for this.  Keep up the good work.  One day at a time.  Do whatever it takes for you to succeed.  Breathing is funImage, isn't it?????   Mary