you come too
this is not an easy trip to make. in fact, for some of us, it’ll be the hardest thing we’ve ever done. but it’s possible.
three months ago today, i quit smoking for the final time. as i thought about what i'd write in my diary on this milestone occasion, the tag line of this poem ("you come too") kept coming back to me. because the thing i'd most like to do on this occasion is to invite everyone who's still a slave to their addiction to nicotine to come along on the journey of freedom. the thing i'd most like to do is to encourage those that are just starting that journey, and may not be feeling very confident yet, to come along, too. the thing i'd most like to do is let everyone who hasn't got three months behind them yet know that it's possible to get at least this far...
because when i was getting ready to quit this time, there were people i met online that were ahead of me on the road of freedom, and they cared enough to reach back and take me by the hand and say, "look! i'm doing it; you come too!". at the time, i wasn't sure i believed them, but i was willing to try; i was willing to entertain the idea that it might be possible for me to win my freedom back.
because when i was taking my first tentative steps along this road, and the demon was still calling my name real strong, and i kept feeling like i'd just have to give in and turn around and go back into voluntary slavery to that son of a bitch, there were people a little further along the road who cared enough to turn around and say, "no, you don't have to give up; the demon can only win if you let him. you'll be o.k. just keep walking and never look back; it gets easier after a while. the voice of the demon gets fainter the further down the road you come - we can barely hear him any more; only when the wind's just right..."
because when times occasionally got tough, and i started to feel weak, or wonder if it was really worth it to keep walking down this road, there were people up ahead who cared enough to turn around and say, "keep going, kevin! it is so worth it! wait'll you see the view from up here; you won't believe it - it's incredible!"
and i believed them, and i kept going, and i'm still going, and they were right: this is so worth it! there's nothing to compare to the feeling of freedom!
and i still believe them: when Debi tells me what a beautiful view she's got from her 6-month perspective, i believe her! when Chrissy tells me how spectacular the scenery is up at 7 months along the road, i believe her! when Ruby turns around and tells me how breathtaking the vista is out a year down the road, you know i believe her! and i'm gonna keep on following them, because i want to get to where they are now, and then i'll want to get to where they are then, and so on...
and i believe that part of the toll on this road of freedom is to reach back to the people who are coming up the road behind you and let them know what's coming up, so they don't get tripped up by it.
i believe part of the toll is to turn around and tell the people who are just starting out that they can do it, too; to let them know that we all had to start with day one, that we all had to survive the first 72 hours, we all had to go through hell week...
i believe that part of the toll is sending the message back to those people who are standing at the beginning of the road, wanting to take that first step, that it's o.k. - there were people down this road before you, there will be people coming down the road after you, and others that'll be walking beside you all the way...
this is not an easy trip to make. in fact, for some of us, it'll be the hardest thing we've ever done. but it's possible. it's all about choice: every day, you get to choose whether to be free or be a slave. whether to be strong or weak. to be in control or to be controlled. to embrace life or resign yourself to death.
today, i choose health.
today, i choose strength.
today, i choose self-control.
today, i choose not to smoke.
today, i choose to keep walking down the road of freedom.
you come too.