For all of our One Year Quitters

Joel

November 30th, 2001, 9:01 pm#1

We have a number of people who have just reached a major milestone in smoking cessation--they have made it whole year nicotine free. This really is a major accomplishment. For when a person is off for a year it means they have learned to deal with annual events and holidays, changes of seasons, major national and world tragedies, and a host of other life upheavals all the while proving to themselves and to others that they are fully capable of experiencing life's ups and downs smoke free.

Basically making it a year means that a person has proven that there can be a full life after smoking. While a year is a major accomplishment, it is still important to keep working with the premise that every day is also still a major accomplishment. Also please note, that being off for a year does not mean that you have ended your addiction. It is still there and if given the opportunity will come out in full force.

Almost every clinic or seminar I do I will have people who were once off for many years, and sometimes even decades. I actually did a group two nights ago. I only had seven people there. Five were kids who were caught smoking and sentenced by the courts to attend the seminar. The two other were a man and women who did not know each other and who were there because they wanted to quit. Both of them coincidentally had five year quits in the past that they had lost. Of course they both lost it the same way, one day after fives years they took a puff.

The point I am trying to make is that being off for a year is great. It means you have learned how to do lots of things as an ex-smoker. It means they you have proved countless times that you can overcome adversity and still remain smoke free. It means you have learned how to celebrate major events without "needing" to smoke.

Being off a year proves a lot of things, but it does not prove that a person is cured or immune to relapse. Our one and two year ex-smokers are still addicts in recovery and hopefully will stay this way for the rest of their lives. Enforcing one simple rule can insure that that they never will relapse. That rule is to remain smoke free simply entails remembering and keeping in practice the decision to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)

November 30th, 2001, 11:21 pm#2

I've now been free and healing for 2 Years 6 Months 2 Weeks 14 Hours 12 Minutes 34 Seconds, there should be an extra 55,775 cigarettes somewhere and they tell me I'm $6,274.75 richer but I'll be darned if I can find it : ) One thing I do know, the complete sense of comfort I feel today can be lost just as quickly as that of Freedom's newest newbie. Yes - I'm on probation for the balance of my life and will always remain just one puff away from three packs a day - but comfortably so and as me : )
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Hilary (silver)

November 30th, 2001, 11:37 pm#3

Truer words were never spoken.
I, too, lost a 5 year quit the same way, by taking ONE PUFF!
It took another five years before I was able to quit again.
I am an addict.
I will always be addicted to nicotine.
To remain in recovery, I must never take another puff.
Thank you, Freedom!
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improud (golder)

December 1st, 2001, 3:34 am#4

We should remind ourselves of this every day. We keep getting so comfortable in our quits that is also SOOO easy to say OH JUST ONE WON"T HURT.We are all here to say that ONE will DEFINATELY HURT. NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF is the only way to stay Nicotine free. I have been Quit for: 10M 3W 4D 16h 2m 6s. I have NOT smoked 9920, for a savings of $1,488.01. Life Saved: 1M 3D 10h 40m.
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marty (gold)

December 1st, 2001, 5:56 am#5

Yep, that's me, I'm a one-year quitter now 'cuz my meter says NOT A PUFF for one year, : 6572 cigarettes not smoked saving £1,413.17 : 3 weeks, 1 day, 19 hours added to my life

I'm under no illusions. I know so much more than I did a year ago. Yes, I'm the same "one puff" away from being the smoker that I always was.

But that doesn't woryy me. The wonderful thing is that cigarettes no longer hold any attraction for me. I no longer find the thought of smoking appealing. Why would I light up a cigarette ? I truly cannot think of a single reason. or circumstance under which I would do that. If I was a never-smoker today, I wouldn't try my first cigarette, because I have too much knowledge of the dangers. In the same way, I wouldn't take my first shot of heroin, and I wouldn't try bungee jumping.

Maybe it's an advantage of age. I no longer need to do the "dangerously exciting" things in life. In fact they frighten me too much . So I'll remain alert, and I will spend the rest of my life protecting this quit that has come to mean so much to me.

But I now know I'll die an ex-smoker.
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Stan (Gold)

December 1st, 2001, 6:28 am#6

Amen to what Marty says....cigarettes just hold no attraction anymore, however that being said I know that the evil "nicodemon"still lives in the far reaches of my brain and will pay me visits for the rest of my life. But as I was telling a dear friend of many years just this morning...I can't imagine ever smoking again...I rarely even think of it anymore and when I do it is in a negative fashion. Hey, everyone have a wonderful Holiday Season and Best Wishes from the Great State of Texas, USA.....Warmest Regards, YQB, Stan (Gold)
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Joel

January 1st, 2002, 7:05 pm#7

I think we have a number of people who this post applies to today. Congratulations to you all. Everyone just joining in today for the first time look at these people and realize they were right where you are now a year ago and now are still smoke free. I am willing to bet many of them had prior New Year quits that didn't last a week or even a day. The last one was different though--they armed themselves with a lot of information and committed themselves to succeed at all cost and at all times, and have pulled off a year now by reaffirming each day their desire to never take another puff!

Joel
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Roberta (GOLD)

January 1st, 2002, 11:35 pm#8

I am almost to that year and am sure I'll make it by never taking one more puff. I have educated myself on addition and the sneaky nicodemon. I have had three previous quits of at least this duration but never knew enough and thought I could have one smoke during extreme stress. Imagine, wasting three separate quits due to stress. Well, education and Freedom friends here got me through what has probably been the worst year of my life in regard to stress and I am still smoke free. You can do. Best of luck to all. Breathing is such a pleasure.

YQS, Roberta I have been Quit for: 11M 1W 5D 5h 23m 15s. I have NOT smoked 10416, for a savings of $1,562.51. Life Saved: 1M 5D 4h.
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mitch (Gold)

January 2nd, 2002, 11:23 pm#9

Yo Joel... Mitch here. Yah... I lost a five year quit also with one friggan puff just like Hillary. Didn't know I was addicted... duh! Took 2 years to come around to this quit... by the grace of Freedom.

55,775 cigarettes not smoked John... whew... staggering. Your lungs would have been toast by now had you continued.

I just can't imagine ever sucking in any more of that vile smoke... can't even handle smelling it from afar. But it's clear now... I'm addicted. Not a lightweight realization... to the contrary... quite sobering and illuminating. I am in control once again over my well being.

After 8.5 months of being clean it's clear that FREEDOM RULES.

Yer quit bro Mitch
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Joel

January 5th, 2002, 10:01 pm#10

We still have one year quitters popping up pretty regularly here--thought it would be good to keep them reminded as well as everyone else that the goal needs to still stay to make it through today--getting through today is the major reason to celebrate tonight. Deal with tomorrow the same way, and the day after that and so on and you will eventually have thousands of days of celebration for you will have proven over your lifetime that you were able to never take another puff!

Joel
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Tash (Gold )

January 5th, 2002, 11:43 pm#11

Thanks for the reminder Joel... it is very true, we can never let our guard down. I will never take another puff, I know what would happen, and there's no way I want to go back to that lifestyle. As Marty was saying, we have so much knowledge now from all of our readings here at Freedom, we will not go back!

Never Take Another Puff!!! NEVER!

Tash

One Year, One Day.
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amcanuck ( GOLD )

February 2nd, 2002, 7:56 am#12

Once again, I show up and Joel has perfectly pegged what I need to hear. Such a wonder you are .......amcanuck
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Joel

March 3rd, 2002, 8:41 pm#13

I see we had a few people hit the one year milestone last week. Just thought I'd bring this up to add perspective. One year is great--one year and a day is even better! Stay focused on today for today is always going to be the most important day of your quit, not matter if it is your first day, 30th day, 90th day, 365th day or thousandth day. For no matter how long a quit has lasted, each day it is essential that you make it through that day to stay smoke free. I have known many people who had years and even decades under their belts smoke free, let their guard down once, and now have years and decades of smoking under their belts again. Those years that were smoke free are now distant memories and are viewed as really quite meaningless to them now. One puff can take years of hard work and thousands of victories and negate the whole effort. Don't waste this effort, for losing the quit is paramount to losing your Freedom, your health and over time, likely losing your life. To keep all of the perks and benefits that go along with being smoke free requires always remembering that no matter how long you are off--to stay off still requires remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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childofnite GOLD.ffn

July 26th, 2002, 12:22 am#14

Hey Joel! Is it a coincidence that you bumped this thread today?? I, as well as Redstar (Diane) Have turned Gold TODAY! And yes, it is the most wonderful feeling!

For more info, here are our celebratory threads: I'm back, and more colourful than ever... ;) and Golden anniversary!

Love you all!

Diana
Gold Club!
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John (Gold)

August 21st, 2002, 8:30 am#15

To have come full circle, sampled the seasons, visited the reasons and have that honest inner glow of knowing that it's far easier being on this side, than it ever was over there. To look upon a struggling new arrival and wonder what words you could possibly select to convey the essence of what awaits them. To wonder if it's really necessary to keep your quit counter on your desktop as from here on out things are measured in years. To hope that all who follow can someday soon join us in comfort's silent bliss. You've done it all - the chemical, the days, the psychological, the weeks, all the birthdays, twelve months, the holidays, anniversaries and four victorious seasons. This is us. This is the stuff of dreams. May it always be ours! Breathe deep, hug hard, live long Freedom! NTAP! John : )
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mitch (Gold)

November 10th, 2002, 1:03 am#16

Yo Joel... Mitch here.

Aye Aye Capn' Your words come through loud and clear. After a year and a half, sometimes when I smell smoke... boy does it smell good... ummmmmmm... I realize I'm still an addict capable of relapse.

Really appreciate you Joel. Thanks for bringing this up and thanks for your ruthless compassion.

Yer quit bro.. Mitch
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wcsdancer (Gold)

November 10th, 2002, 1:25 am#17

Joel, just as I was kicking back enjoying my One Year of Freedom I had a wake up call. I visited one of my customers this week and while I was there she asked her son for a cigarettes. I said "I didn't know you smoked". She said "well I had quit 20 years ago and this old friend came to visit me and we had some giggles sharing a couple smokes. Ya know, I can't seem to stop buying them now...". That was a 20 YEAR QUIT THAT SHE LOST!!!! It's never, ever, ever, ever, OK to take another puff for us addicts. Did I stress NEVER!!!

*Candy* at one year but just a puff away from full blown active addiction (not gonna happen though)
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Rickgoldx5

May 30th, 2003, 10:51 pm#18

Joel,
I have always thought that what I have going here is a temporary reprieve form my addiction, based on my mental state and my education here at Freedom.
If I remember this everyday it keeps me from getting complaceant.
Rick
One year, three weeks, five days, 4 hours, 36 minutes and 43 seconds. 31295 cigarettes not smoked, saving $4,678.65. Life saved: 15 weeks, 3 days, 15 hours, 55 minutes.
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MareBear GOLD

May 30th, 2003, 10:56 pm#19

"Turning gold doesn't signify the end of the journey...it's just a nice stop along the way, sort of a 'scenic lookout' on the road of life."
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kito40 Gold

May 30th, 2003, 11:17 pm#20

After 1 year and 2 months, I was having major smoking craves. This was last week which was 1 week before a Benefit Dance my friends were having for me. I was really nervous about how it would turn out, would enough people come, what would I say...............etc.

I said to my husband "I can't believe how much I'm feeling like having a smoke." I made it through all the holidays, seasons etc but I know this was a situation I had not come across in my quit and it was causing major triggers.

As it turns out the Benefit was a huge sucess and I did not take that puff! I knew I wouldn't anyways.

It goes to prove that once an addict always an addict and you can never let your guard down. One puff and its all over, I know because I've been there done that.

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DubiouslyDos

May 31st, 2003, 2:20 am#21

For Joel

Nuff said Joel... Thanks!

Dos
I have been quit for 1 Year, 1 Week, 1 hour, 39 minutes and 32 seconds (372 days). I have saved $1,674.30 by not smoking 11,162 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Month, 1 Week, 18 hours and 10 minutes of my life.
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gaspar (gold)

May 31st, 2003, 2:29 am#22

Joel,

Thanks for all you do. I'm sure glad I found this site and am certain that the information presented and closeness of the entire group helped me maintain my quit. I'm another one of the stat's who had quit for 5 yrs, took a puff, smoked the next 3 years and quit again 1-1/2 years ago. For all those just now quitting heed those words and know they are true, "Never Take Another Puff"

Later
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Joel

July 9th, 2003, 9:41 pm#23

When I see that we have a bunch of people all celebrating a one year anniversary at the same time I sometimes start to think that we did a good job a year ago. But then I quickly come back to my senses and realize that we didn't do a good job one year ago--"they" did. "They" being the group of individual's who quit smoking.

I don't feel that this can be said enough, that each and every individual here is responsible for his or her own quit. We have a disclaimer up in a few places that we refuse to take the blame if any person relapses. A person relapses because he or she took a puff. In all fairness then, we cannot take the credit for all of our successful quitters either. Each and every individual who makes an entire year smoke free did so because he or she stuck to his or her initial commitment to himself or herself to never take another puff! We don't have the ability to enforce that a person stays quit. All we have is the ability to disseminate the information a person needs to understand what he or she must do to stay off of smoking.

As I said many times above, one year milestones are great, as are any milestones, but what is better than making a month, or three months or a year or even a decade is making it through today! Stay focused on today for today is always going to be the most important day of your quit, no matter if it is your first day, 30th day, 90th day, 365th day or thousandth day.

No matter how long a quit has lasted, each day it is essential that you make it through that day to stay smoke free. I have known many people who had years and even decades under their belts smoke free, let their guard down once, and now have years and decades of smoking under their belts again. Those years that were smoke free are now distant memories and are viewed as really quite meaningless to them now.

One puff can take years of hard work and thousands of victories and negate the whole effort. Don't waste this effort, for losing the quit is paramount to losing your Freedom, your health and over time, likely losing your life. To keep all of the perks and benefits that go along with being smoke free requires always remembering that no matter how long you are off--to stay off still requires remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Parker GOLD

July 9th, 2003, 10:34 pm#24

"Stay focused on today for today is always going to be the most important day of your quit, no matter if it is your first day, 30th day, 90th day, 365th day or thousandth day."

As I walked this morning -- without chest pain or wheezing, thank you very much! -- I gave thanks for the fact that my nicotine addiction is inactive. Can't give thanks for being cured, because I will always, always be an addict.

Anyway, back to the walk when I promised myself, " I will not smoke today, no matter what happens, no matter how I feel." My one year and one month of freedom is not to be taken for granted. As I learned here, we will never be stronger than our addiction, but we can be smarter. One puff and I will be back into a deadly routine of smoking and hating it and longing to quit as I smoke one after another. So, it is imperative that I do whatever it takes to never take that one puff.

For me, that means continuing to participate here. It means frequently reviewing the benefits (dare I say...wonders!) of being quit. It means honestly remembering what active addiction felt like. It means giving daily thanks for my freedom. It means paying attention to my state of my mind. Caring for Our Quit

This is such a precious gift to me. I've fought hard for it and know that no one can take it from me. It is up to me to continue to nurture my freedom.

Regards all,
Parker - 13 months of one-day-at-a-time
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Dionne (gold)

November 2nd, 2003, 1:30 am#25

Joel and Parker: "See", that's what I'm talking about! All the above has sunk in more- this my third year into my quit- and this fear of relapse has made me become an active participant in Whyquit again. The thought of relapse is just plain frightening and it seems doable if we do not stay on our toes about our addiction.
So perhaps when I say how long I've been 'quit' I should say I am not smoking today and have kept it up for over 3 years. As I read over your letter Parker, I see I could have added my name to all that you said. Nicely done, thanks.
I'll hope to be reading things you've written for many years.

After 45 years of being an active addict, I am 3 years clean and fresh,
Dionne
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