Reflections on Gold

Doc460704
Doc460704

January 1st, 2009, 3:43 pm #1

A journey that started with such trepidation on midnight New Years 2008 continues after a full 366 days and one second. I haven't had any nicotine in a year, the only such year out of the last 43. Alas, to celebrate my gold milestone I had to wait one more day because of leap year and then this year (adding insult to injury) they added a "leap second" too. Actually maybe this could be an advertizing ploy for Freedom. Step up folks, come one, come all, join now, for the next few years reach your gold (one year) milestone one day sooner.

How has this quit lasted for a year now when so many others failed? Did I get stronger? No, I wasn't visited by Governor Schwarzenegger's trainer, besides more muscle wouldn't have helped anyway. Was I more motivated this time? If my heart attack, three days in intensive care and three arterial stints didn't motivate me a few years ago then it likely would have taken body parts painfully falling off of me to get my attention. Was it pressure from family or friends? Hardly, with as many years that I'd smoked they'd reluctantly become resigned to it a long time ago. Did I have a miraculous infusion of will power? Ha, get real. Did I get smarter? Ah, now we may be closer to the truth, not smarter but perhaps I just got a little education … and then took it to heart, literally.

In the articles at WhyQuit and member posts at Freedom I found honesty and the weak links in my thought process. I found out from other addicts, just like me, that quitting might not be easy but it is most definitely "doable". I got an accurate picture of how nicotine had enslaved me. I learned how long it would take to get the nicotine out of my body and how long I'd experience the physical craves. Then I found out the single most important thing I needed to sustain this quit and that was to simply "never take another puff". Talk about a "light bulb" moment. That's why all my previous quit attempts had failed, duh. I had always thought, up to that second, that I could have just one "occasional" cigarette and stay off. I couldn't. No one can. Thank you, Joel Spitzer. I wasn't stupid after all (which can be incurable) I was just ignorant (definitely correctable).

So now after a year I've been musing on some of the positive and negative effects of giving up smoking. Yes friends, sadly, there are some negative effects.

- I can smell everything again.

- I can smell everything again. Face it, there's a lot out there that stinks and as a smoker I was blissfully unaware. Still, on the bright side, it's not me that's stinking anymore. I take a shuttle bus to work (I'm trying to reduce my carbon footprint by not smoking and ridesharing). The seats are informally assigned and most days I wind up sitting between the same two gentlemen. One smells like a cross between a wet dog and an unwashed athletic sock and the smoker, well he's not even that pleasant.

- I can actually read about, watch TV programs about or hear about the dangers of smoking and not have to ignore them hoping that what they said just wasn't true, but always knowing that it was. I don't have to worry about hearing those dread words from my doctor "you know you really should quit". I can ignore the ubiquitous signs where I live that say "According to state law, smoking permitted in designated areas only." I actually saw one where a couple of words were added to the end so that it read "According to state law, smoking permitted in designated areas only … like Wyoming".

- I'm actually a bit obsessed about looking on the net and through the literature on nicotine topics and voraciously reading everything I see.

- Those little smoking urges we call triggers have faded almost completely and as a result I've almost forgotten what it was like going through my early quit.

- I don't want to ever forget what it took to quit and I'm so comfortable now that doing that does take a little effort. It helps me to read the newbies posts to remind me of that time. Thank you, all you new posters. Trust me it will get easier for you newbie's and sooner than you imagine.

- I haven't branded or burned a hole in any of my clothes, my old dog, rugs, car seats, furniture, work benches, tools or various body parts in over a year.

- Actually I really can't think of a negative here and neither can Doogie (my old dog).

- I don't have to dash outside or into the garage in the heat of summer or the cold of winter every 30 minutes for my drug "fix".

- It is difficult coming up with excuses to leave the room when some of my in-laws visit and then drone on, incessantly. The operative word here is "difficult". It's "difficult" to get away, but not impossible. Nothing is impossible, I learned that when I quit smoking.

- The money we've saved.

- Every time my sweet wife sees the quit counter on my PC with how much we've saved the first words out of her mouth are "Woohoo, let's go shopping". Sigh.

- I don't wake up every morning trying to hack up a lung on my way to and during my first cigarette. I can take a deep breath now when I want to instead of gasping for air just because I'm climbing a few stairs.

- OK here's another one that's hard to complain about.

All right, I'll be the first to admit that the positives far outweigh the negatives.

I'll finish (before I take up all the space on these servers) with a note of thanks to Joel, Zep, the managers and contributing members of these sites that give of their time and effort. God may be the only one who knows how many peoples' lives you have unselfishly touched, bettered and lengthened. I know in my heart He will reward you. If there is a "No Smoking" sign at the gate of heaven I'm sure it reads "According to His law smoking permitted in designated areas only … like the one DOWNSTAIRS".

Thank you all (especially QS Zoe) for the first of my many years free of nicotine,

Pat (Now GOLD)
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tina
tina

January 1st, 2009, 10:40 pm #2

Pat is Gold!
Congratulations on this wonderful achievement!
Great Gold post, very inspiring.
Tina - Free and Healing for Four Years, Ten Months, Five Days, 11 Hours and 20 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 73 Days and 18 Hours, by avoiding the use of 21246 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $9,719.44.
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cxb cxb
cxb cxb

January 2nd, 2009, 12:43 am #3

Congratulations Pat!
I love how you describe freedom from smoking as being more honest and stronger.
Although I feel strong at two years, I still return month after month to read posts like yours for future inspiration.

Happy new year and congratulations on your success!

cxb

---
1y 11m 1w 2d 13:42 smoke-free, 3,549 cigs not smoked, $1,419.60 saved, 1w 5d 7:45 life saved
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ScottA0
ScottA0

January 2nd, 2009, 12:45 am #4

Congratulations Pat on achieving one year nicotine free. I loved reading your gold post- it brought back all those reasons that I quit and remain nicotine free.
I now can hardly believe that I ever smoked, such a vile addiction, so anti- social these days. Thankfully we don't have to live that life of active addiction anymore. Congrats again and keep ntaping to gold x 2.

Scott
I have been recovering for 1 Year, 9 Months, 3 Weeks, 4 Days, 11 hours and 56 minutes (666 days). I have saved $4,762.19 by not smoking 23,327 death sticks. I have saved 2 Months, 2 Weeks, 5 Days, 23 hours and 55 minutes of my life, My Quit Date: 3/6/2007 23:45
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Doc2474
Doc2474

January 2nd, 2009, 3:29 am #5

Great post Pat.
Congratulations. Be very proud.

Regards

The other Doc.

The Doc - Free and Healing for Two Months, Eighteen Days, 6 Hours and 29 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1585 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me £477.17.
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dennyb2
dennyb2

January 2nd, 2009, 10:25 am #6

Congratulations Pat on your Golden achievement!

Did I have a miraculous infusion of will power? Ha, get real. Did I get smarter? Ah, now we may be closer to the truth, not smarter but perhaps I just got a little education … and then took it to heart, literally.

Education; the key ingredient to Freedom!!

YQB - Denny B - 1013 days Free
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zoe
zoe

January 2nd, 2009, 10:34 pm #7

Dear Golden Pat,

Wow. We did it. I am so proud of you. I don't even have to post my one year golden accomplishment (but I will...hehe). You nailed it! For a year, you, our fellow quitters, joel and the managers were right there with me on this amazing journey. My weakest trigger moments were spent here reading and posting and you're absolutely right... the education built around NTAP made all the difference for me too.

Of course, you're cheerleading skills most definitely helped me make it here...

RAH RAH RAH QB G-PAT!!! Goooooooooooooooo 2009!!!! RAHRAHRAH NTAP!!!

With love, yqs,
zoe-G

Nicotine Free Since 1/1/08 by Never Taking Another Puff One Beautiful Day at a Time... (-_-) sweet.
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Doc460704
Doc460704

January 3rd, 2009, 1:05 am #8

Thank you Tina, CXB, Doc, Scott, Denny and especially Zoe. It has been wonderful sharing this journey with wonderful folk like you. In the beginning what helped me so much were the words of encouragement from the oldbies. Now it's the reminders of those early days of my quit that I get from the newbies that helps me steel my resolve to NTAP. We all deserve to celebrate every day that we stay free of nicotine.

Have a wonderful new year, NTAP rules,
Pat-Gold
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Gump19690
Gump19690

January 3rd, 2009, 6:09 am #9

Congratulations Pat on a year well done.

Reaching that Golden milestone is an awesome achievement. That sense of accomplishment will never ware off and is yours as long as you hold onto it. Funny thing about quitting though, you never really cross the goal line and spike the ball permanently because the game is still on, and it continually gets better and better... even after 1 year.

Celebrate, you've earned it.
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Vikki
Vikki

January 3rd, 2009, 9:50 pm #10

Pat,
WOW a year with no nicotine!!! You rock!!! I loved reading your anniversary post this morning. What an inspiration you are.

I hit 4 months this week and can still hardly believe that I no longer smoke.

God bless you and all the other seasoned quitters for bringing encouragement to all of us newbees.

Vikki
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Chipits GOLD.ffn
Chipits GOLD.ffn

January 6th, 2009, 6:55 am #11

CONGRATULTIONS PAT!
Great Gold post too!
I think that the one second added to your Gold Year is about the time it takes a scarce smoking thought to zip through my mind, process as useless and disappear into forgetfulness.
Here's to a New Year of more comfort and healing. Celebrate well! You deserve it!

Wendy&Randy-Using our smarts!Healing our parts! for 29 mths. & 25 mths.
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starbirder.ffn
starbirder.ffn

January 6th, 2009, 12:54 pm #12

CONGRATULATIONS Pat
You have reached your GOLD Milestone - WELL DONE
It really is True you know, it does get better and better each day we
Never Take Another Puff!!!!
An Educated Cold Turkey Quit WORKS.......
Star After 40+ years now Free and Healing for 1 year and 5 months......
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

January 6th, 2009, 8:35 pm #13

Congratulations on your Golden Anniversary Pat. I really enjoyed your post. Delivered with equal parts wit, honesty and humility; like the hundreds of posts you've made in support of so many in the last year. Enjoy the ride, it gets even smoother as you keep on rockin down the hiway on the Freedom Road.

YQB - Joe J free 3y 11m 26d 21h
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eriley1
eriley1

January 7th, 2009, 10:04 am #14

Thanks for paving the Gold road Pat. I am so proud of you.
I read all your posts, very inspiring.
well done, jenna 240days
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Horsehead 11
Horsehead 11

January 7th, 2009, 11:33 am #15

Congrats on your year Pat
Quite an accomplishment. I see you kept your sense of humor through it all.
All different stages of peoples quits are up for all to see and I think it helps a lot.
I know I will be a very proud man when I reach gold.
Peace
Jeff-bronze
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vinnydeeeeg
vinnydeeeeg

January 7th, 2009, 1:30 pm #16

CONGRATS, MON! YOU DID IT! THAT IS SOOOOOO COOOL!
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wendyaannn
wendyaannn

January 11th, 2009, 1:25 am #17

Hey, Pat! Just wanted to add my congratulations to the pack... you are a couple weeks ahead of me and I looked to you in the early days to see where I might be headed.... so nice to have finally "caught up"!! I love this post, I laughed until I cried, so true and sweet! I'm so happy for you, and me, and all of us here at Freedom.... thanks again for unknowingly being my guiding light. And give Doogie a scratch behind the ears for me!!

Wendy Ann - thisclose to gold!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 11th, 2009, 9:04 pm #18

"I haven't branded or burned ...my old dog"
Congratulations Pat on your first year of freedom & healing!
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mewapiti2
mewapiti2

January 14th, 2009, 1:04 am #19

Pat - Wooooooo Hooooooooooo for youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Great post. Loved the part about the leap second! You are a great inspiration to many on this board. I occasionally read here and I rarely post anymore, but had to drop in for this one!

Congratulations!
Rose - will be 9 mos on the 16th for me - time flies after 3 mos!
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smilingthyme0
smilingthyme0

January 14th, 2009, 3:58 am #20

Hey Pat

Just so pleased tp see your golden post! Keep it up qb, happy new year and onwards up the happy road of NTAP eh!
Best wishes
yqs
Julia
FREE 1 whole smiley year!
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michelledawn
michelledawn

January 14th, 2009, 4:45 am #21

Great post Pat!!

Congrats on going GOLD! :)
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