written when i reached 100 days of being quit and originally posted on february 27, 2002, this tale talks about my quest for the keys to quitting smoking long-term.

100 day ramble

2009 February 7

i remember day one very clearly; i was excited to be on my way, determined to get through it and terrified that i'd never make it...

acknowledge your addiction and choose not to feed it, just for today. do that and you're home free.

i remember reading in someone's post on the freedom from smoking boards about another quit-related site called quitnet, and i decided to go check it out. one of the first things i saw there was a "ramble" by a new "elder" - i thought, "wow! this guy made it to 100 days of being quit! how the hell did he do that?"

so i set out on my quest to find out "how they did that".

and along the way, i met a lot of wonderful people; some of them are here with us now, some have stayed over at qsd, others are at quitnet, many others are still regulars at freedom from smoking, and the one common thing that i can tell you for sure about these people is: they're ex-smokers. it's like this semi-joking "proverb" i read once: "remember; you're unique... just like everybody else".

i found in my quest that i was a little like the blind men and the elephant - do you know the story? a group of blind men are trying to figure out what an elephant "looks" like by the sense of touch: one feels its leg and says, "ah! an elephant is very much like a tree!", another feels its trunk and says, "oh! an elephant is like a hose!", and so on... each blind man trying to relate the piece of the elephant that they can feel to something they already know - that's what i was like:

i didn't know what a successful quit looked like, smelled like, tasted like, sounded like or felt like, so i went around looking at other people's successful quits to see if i could figure it out. and what i saw was that everyone's quit was a little different; everybody had their own unique way of dealing with it, of getting through it.

now that i've reached 100 days, and so can claim "elder" status myself, i think i've finally figured it out. i think i've finally found the secret to a successful quit. the one common bond between all the successful quitters i know. would you like to know it? it all boils down to one thing:

they choose not to smoke. just for today.

that's so important to understand; we are addicts. we will always be addicts. and we're addicted to the single most addictive substance on the planet. the best we can hope for is to stop feeding the addiction, so that the side effects of doing so don't kill us like they kill nearly half a million people in the u.s. alone, every year.

acknowledge your addiction and choose not to feed it, just for today, every time it becomes today again for you. do that and you're home free. but as jefferson said, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance"; you have to make that choice every day for the rest of your life. the alternative is to return to bondage to your addiction. the alternative is death.

choose life.

3 responses leave one →
  1. 2004 September 23
    Mary Dude permalink

    I too will choose life today - my 100th day. And I pray I will have what it takes to continue to make that decision daily. Smoking is just not an option. Thank you for this forum - the insights and support make the journey easier.

  2. 2005 January 19
    Tabitha permalink

    Thank you so much for your wonderful insight. My day one is in one week and three days. Reading this post is going to help me make it way beyond 100 days!! You are a God-send!

  3. 2009 February 7

    note: the comments above were left on the original tale at the date and time indicated.

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