The reasons to quit smoking are endless, and most of them were and are mine. The chief reasons, the constants that continue to keep me smoke free are...
- Fear of suffering a long, painful smoking-related illness and death, and putting my family through that ordeal
- Abhorrence of the slave I had become to nicotine and all its lies
- Disappointment in myself as an example for the children in my life
So, armed with patches, the caring support of Christine Rowley and the No Smoke Cafe, and a determination to be kinder to those I love and to myself, I set out on a most incredible journey. I can't thank you enough, Christine.
I posted my first message 18 hours after my last cigarette, and I have been amazed ever since at the power of support in fighting this addiction. There is just something so special to me about one person reaching out to another in crisis. I am continually inspired by the compassion and sense of family that is so evident here.
After 2 years without cigarettes, I have never felt freer. To those who are having a tough time right now, I say HOLD ON with everything you have. It will get better. If you don't believe another word I tell you, please believe that. Please put everything you have into making this happen for you. Please reach out to someone who has been where you are, and in a couple of weeks or months, when you're feeling stronger and more confident, reach out to someone who needs you. That is the magic of this place, and I believe it is saving lives. I love this quote from B.D. Gulledge:
I used to sit on the banks with a raft and watch the water roll lazily by. One day I pushed my raft into the shallows of the water and found the water moved swifter than I thought. My raft was actually a boat. Then, after some time, I rowed my little boat into deeper water. There were great storms. Mighty winds, tremendous waves, and sometimes I felt so alone. But I have noticed my little rowboat is now a mighty ship manned by my friends and loved ones; and beautiful calm seas, warm sunny days, and nights filled with comfortable dreams always double after a storm. Now I could never go back and sit on the bank. In fact, I search for deeper water. Such is life when lived."
I have been active in this forum for more than a year, and in that time I have met some of the most wonderful people I'm likely to ever meet. Several of you are now among my very closest friends. E.B., Georgia, Kat, and Lesly(in alphabetical order :-), you have been there for me without fail whenever I have needed you, and I'm so grateful for your support and love. I thank you with my whole heart.
To all of you who have been so kind and supportive of me during this past year, who have made me laugh and cry and think and wonder, I offer my appreciation and gratitude. I ask you to please forgive me; I tried to list all those who have inspired me here over the last 14 months, and the longer the list got, the more afraid I became that I would leave someone out. I think and hope that those who know me will understand that I would feel horrible if that happened. I must offer special thanks though, to Terry for recognizing the need for her leadership here: what a labor of love.
Thinking of the generosity of everyone here and the friendships fostered, despite the fact that most of us have never met one another in person, I am reminded of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him."
With Love and Gratitude to you all,
Two years, 1 hour, 5 minutes and 2 seconds. 29201 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,577.22. Life saved: 14 weeks, 3 days, 9 hours, 25 minutes.
~Michelle(whose raft is now a mighty ship :-)~
Mischief of the Sista Ash Kickers Experience
"if you act out of love, love will come back to you." ~leslyr, EMOH
Michelle's Quit Story
Michelle's 1 Year Milestone
Michelle's 3 Year Milestone
Michelle's 4 Year Milestone
Michelle's 5 Year Milestone
Patience With the Process
A Perspective on Using NRT's
There is No Substitute for Time
Depression When You Quit Smoking
Smoking and Degenerative Disc Disease