The Journey Home

The Journey Home

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Jun 2002, 20:14 #1

Like the world's most aggressive cancer, junkie thinking can be a powerful force for personal betrayal. Instead of remaining patient and riding out the bumps during this temporary period called quitting, you'll see posts from members where relapse thinking is beginning to taking hold and seriously infect their judgement.
Hundreds of times in Freedom's over 100,000 posts, we've seen members share honest facts associated with utterly terrible and emotionally brutal life situations. We then watch as they stand back and almost dare the group to tell them that they don't have sufficient justification to again put nicotine into their body. Well guess what, we don't buy it and neither do you! There is no justification for living life as an addict!
Five pounds, ten pounds, twenty pounds, thirty pounds - the health risks don't begin to compare. You lost your job or face devastating financial crisis and your very last penny is gone - yet you'll find money to feed an expensive addiction - forget it! You held your mother in your arms as she passed from this life and the depression that has followed has had you sitting in an arm chair for weeks on end - you need medical help, not nicotine. Flushing your hard work, dreams and healing down the toilet as you add active drug addiction to your list of problems defies all logic and reason.
To use the circumstances of life as our mind's excuse for putting nicotine into these healing bodies is wrong. Quitting isn't a problem, it's a solution. Nicotine use does not relax stress, it only relaxes its own absence. No sooner did we use it than the amount remaining in our blood began to once again decline until the anxiety for the next fix caused the cycle to be repeated, again and again, until death would we have parted.
Please don't think us heartless when we put your recovery, health, and life above serious concerns about your weight, finances, loved ones, your job, friends, your relationship, a smoking friend, relative or spouse, or even the death of the person that you hold dearest in your heart. All we ask is that you be honest with yourself. Honesty would make you see that pounding your thumb with a hammer in response to your problems (with the risk that injury would be so great that amputation becomes necessary) makes far more sense than assuming the 50/50 risk of a very early grave that comes with being unable to remain free from nicotine.
Quitting is our temporary stepping stone back to that deep deep sense of calmness and comfort that our minds' enjoyed immediately before nicotine took control of our lives. Our endless lifetime cycle of nicotine feedings has been an extremely draining experience both physically and emotionally - for some quicker than others. Do you remember the deep and rich sense of almost constant calmness that filled your mind immediately prior to smoking nicotine for the very first time? Emotionally your resided somewhere between that nicotine/dopamine "aahhhh" sensation that arrived within 8 to 10 seconds of a single powerful puff of new nicotine, and the profound anxiety and depressed state of badly needing another fix ("Where are my cigarettes!!!!).
Prior to our first encounter with nicotine, there was no perpetual cycle of dopamine high and lows. It was just us enjoying the normal healthy dopamine flow that arrives with a big hug, a deep breath, a cold glass of water, great tasting food or during sexual relations. Quitting is nothing more than once again adjusting to who we were before nicotine took our mind's dopamine circuits permanent hostage.
If you're still having triggered craves or find your mind flooded in a sea of smoking related thoughts, keep in mind that this isn't how it feels to be the real "you" or to be an ex-smoker. This is how it feels during that temporary period of adjustment called "quitting" that transports each of us home!
Please give yourself a chance to meet the real you again! You won't be disappointed! Like a healing broken bone, quitting is a process, not an event. It requires that we each develop a bit of patience when it comes to dealing with our dependency. It requires that we stay focused on victory here and now - hour by hour, just one day at a time!
Life's challenges have nothing whatsoever to do with once again becoming an active drug addict. See such thoughts and links for just how ridiculous they really are! We're each addicts too! The only difference is that we LEARNED to be patient with our healing so that we could once again meet the person we once were. We're going home! Patience!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!
John - Freedom's Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on 02 Apr 2009, 03:48, edited 1 time in total.
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misledfairy
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

01 Jun 2002, 20:57 #2

To anyone who doubts Johns words, I swear I am living proof that you can even lose loved ones and still keep your quit, you have to keep your head and really ask what you have to gain by lighting up again, dont lie to yourself in looking for an excuse to relapse, someone said to me " you would be throwing away that what ***** cant hold on to no matter how hard he tries," please heed those words they are so true.
God bless.
Naymor xxxx
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Tootie
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

01 Jun 2002, 21:41 #3

very powerful words. thanks John. i know this is going to be a long journey but i realize it will only be as difficult as I make it. thanks for helping us to really think and understand our addictions.

Six days, 12 hours, 45 minutes and 19 seconds. 97 cigarettes not smoked, saving $21.55. Life saved: 8 hours, 5 minutes.
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improud (golder)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

03 Jun 2002, 23:13 #4

Thanks John for keeping this in perspective. Nothing NOTHING changes by taking that puff, except of course you will feed the addiction that you are trying to take control of. This is easy if you let it be.
Last edited by improud (golder) on 02 Apr 2009, 03:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Patsy (Gold2)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

12 Jun 2002, 22:36 #5

Facing life's stresses without even thinking about smoking 
(except to be thankful that you don't) 
is part of the freedom you will experience if you 
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
I am a "different person" than I was as a smoker. 
It's great to be "home" & to be the real ME!
Patsy
One year, three weeks, three days
21416 cigarettes not smoked.
Last edited by Patsy (Gold2) on 02 Jan 2013, 15:07, edited 1 time in total.
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clactwicegold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Jul 2002, 23:02 #6

Thank you John,

As always, you post just what I needed to read...

I'm feeling ready for my journey home and my Journey Home if you know what I mean...

I know you'll insist the glory is all mine but I'm afraid a little of it belongs to you...
[font='TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Clac [/font]
[font='TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]xxx[/font]Big love
2 months, 1 week, 5 days, 7 minutes, 35 seconds tick tick tick
Last edited by clactwicegold on 02 Jan 2013, 15:08, edited 2 times in total.
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DubiouslyDos
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Jul 2002, 00:15 #7

Enjoyed re-reading this one today too John....Learning what the "real" you is like after 28 years of junkie thinking and staying preoccupied feeding your body nicotine is quite an experience. Thanks to friends here, and articles like this one, I am better able to separate my personal situations from my stressors. Even if I am a bit befuddled once in a while...I'm okay as long as I never take another puff.

I particularly was glad to see the weight gain comments in the beginning of this article. That had been the hardest to accept and had destroyed my past quits. This time...my medications added extra pounds too....and my self esteem has taken a beating. I'm always glad to read and re-read....that no matter what the gain may be, it will be temporary, can be worked back off later....but it is not as life threatening as continuing to feed my nicotine addiction. Baby steps, right???

Dos (Dubious)
6 Weeks, 5 Days, 1 Hour, 15 Minutes
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Jul 2002, 20:56 #8

When you see a smoker whose all alone puffing away in the car beside you while stopped at a traffic light, they are not doing so to tease you. They're doing so because they must!
Try picturing what they're each doing as more akin to injecting heroin into their arm. Don't think in terms of the false marketing images that conveyed messages of choice, freedom, and good health. Instead think in terms of nicotine delivery, involuntary chemical dependency and an endless need to elevate a falling blood serum nicotine level in order to avoid the onset of chemical withdrawal.
There is nothing romantic about watching a drug addict feed their addiction as they take yet another step toward damaging or destroying a bit more of their body's life giving attributes. It's highly likely that many new and sometimes struggling quitters watched you smoke nicotine in public over the years. In all honesty, how should they have interrupted what they saw? Why should you interrupt what you see any differently? For those enslaved, nicotine is nicotine and dependency is dependency! The lies are simply an addicts way of coping with today's defeat.
Quitting is a temporary journey of adjustment during which we each trade places with our dependency. It's now under arrest and we hold the key. As long as we never put nicotine into these bodies freedom is ours!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 02 Apr 2009, 03:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Lilac (Bronze)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

28 Jul 2002, 23:02 #9

John,

What a wonderful forum you have here. The articles you provide are often on subjects I have wondered about all my life. It would be difficult or even dishonest to dispute the contents of most of the srticles. I have one complaint and it is strictly from a personal stand point and has to do with my age, I imagine..
Seventy percent of my life I have smoked. I smoked when I fell in love and married, when I bore and raised my two children, during a long and stressful career, when I cared for my 94 yer old mother during the last years of her life, while I cared for my beautiful fifty year old son during his last seige with one of three brain tumors. I helped raise two precious grandsons while still smoking altho' not around them, sat in critical care waiting rooms when my husband had a heart attack, a by pass, and thoracic anyeuism surgery. I was, of course, smoking at that time too. After I learned of second hand smoke I never smoked again around people. It became a solitary pursuit. I have smoked without any time off, except for three months five years ago, for my entire adult life.
Now it is probably true that I could have been a better person, wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, nurse, friend if I had not smoked. But the FACT is that the majority of my life I DID smoke. I will not discount all those years of love, sorrow, joy, pain , fullfillment, humor, tradgedy, blessings because I smoked. Or that I was essentially some other person than who I am now because then I smoked. and now I don't.
I am amazed at the quality of people who attend this important forum. Their kindness, sincerity, and efforts to help each other are a real inspiration. Your articles and messages to members are thoughful, informed and full of knowledge and you are kind in your criticism.
Well, I am going to keep attending your forum because it is enormously helpful, unless it is thought that because of my viewpoint I belong elsewhere.
Jo Anne (Lilac) 3weeks, one day, four hours quit. 55 year smoker
By the way, My mother didn't smoke, (heaven forbid,) neither of my children have ever smoked, none of my grandchildren smoke and my husband quit smoking twenty years ago after his heart attack. He says he quit because I nagged him unmercifully.. After he quit I never smoked in the house or car, winter or summer again.. I figure I must have done SOMETHING right,
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janetd (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

29 Jul 2002, 00:00 #10

Hi Lilac, I also did many things as a smoker that are part of me and my history. Married, went on many wonderful trips, worked at several different jobs, went to school, designed gardens, visited family in the hospital, attended funerals, christenings, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, etc. And just because I quit smoking, those events will not be diminished as a part of my life experience or memories. However, I think what many of us find, as we advance into our quits, is that in some ways we are leading fuller lives. A personal example is that I now babysit for my niece and nephew who live close by. In the past, this was not an easy thing to do because their house is smoke-free, and they were young and required constant monitoring. I live in New England, and if it were twenty degrees below zero, well, **** it, those kids were going outside so I could have a smoke.

Why is this significant? For many of us, before we quit smoking, we thought that we would not be able to do many things that we enjoyed without smoking. I was absolutely terrified of quitting, and did not know how I would be able to carry on without my butts. So to instead discover that I can have the best garden I've had in years is a delightful side effect of my quit. Quite frankly, I do have more time on my hands since I gave up smoking. So I get to spend that time doing things that I enjoy. We then find, that we also have the time to engage in new activities. So you see, we do not expect you to look down upon your former life as a smoker. We just want you to relish your life as an ex-smoker.

I hope you see the distinction because it really is quite uplifting.

yqs, Janet 

P.S. -- I don't think too many of us here at Freedom are fanatical reformed smokers. I still have many friends and family members who smoke. I wish they would quit so that they could find the comfort that I have found. But I certainly don't look down on them.
Last edited by janetd (GOLD) on 02 Jan 2013, 15:09, edited 1 time in total.
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