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Flavius Victor

The View From Here

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The View From Here

By: Penguin

July 13, 2007

 

 

I have been on hiatus lately. My goal this year was to make a meaningful post here in the café once a month…where at least 1 person would walk away with something positive to add to their arsenal of tools to start or maintain their quit. I was away on an anniversary getaway trip to Hawaii for 2 weeks. Being from the east coast, Hawaii offered everything that I love about nature…and offered it with in miles of itself rather than day trips from each other. The ocean and beaches, to mountains and cliffs, to challenging hiking trails, waterfalls and even rainforests which we don’t have back east, were with in steps of each other. The diversity of the land out there makes me think of the diversity of this site. The diversity of quitters we have to the diversity of quitting styles and techniques and advice that is shared amongst each other here on the site. The trip and visit was utterly amazing. It allowed me the opportunity over 2 weeks to get back to my roots of being 1 with nature versus getting the momentary day or weekend to hike, ride the mountain trails, or bum it on the beach. My eyes were reopened to a life I had once lived and had abruptly ended when I traded it for my addiction to tobacco.

 

It was refreshing to be reintroduced to the PURENESS and BEAUTY that nature has to offer. I made a conscious decision to trade that pureness and beauty in for the total opposite of the hideous and ugly addiction. I was addicted to a substance instead of being pure of both mind and body (or at least a heck of a lot closer to being pure than I was). I was hideous with brown crap lodged in my lip and a brown stream of foulness being ejected from my mouth in stead of the better looking and cleaner person that I am today. (I admit I am not the most desired male penguin in the world, but I am not longer the dipping troll I used to be which is a drastic improvement for ALL OF US QUITTERS).

 

I spent every moment of my trip celebrating 5 years of marriage to my wife. We hiked together, swam together, cruised together, snorkeling together, beached together, etc. I did not have to share my time with her with a 1 ounce can of snuff.

 

Being back from the trip and reflecting on what was said above, I can only imagine how my wife felt, being forced to share her life with me and my addiction. How much longer would she have put up with me cheating her out of time with me to a can that was killing me? If roles were reversed, how long would I have put up with her spending her time away from me with something or someone else?

 

I have always been a nature person. Running and hiking outside, mountain biking trips on trails through out the Mid-Atlantic states. I used to enjoy the early sunrise rides and hikes and sunset walks or runs. I looked forward to the campfire fellowship with friends and the pureness of the star filled sky. When I started to dip, I lost focus on these wonderful opportunities that I quickly sacrificed for a pouch of dirt and tin full of harmful elements. I was getting up at the crack of dawn to pack my tin and shove the dirt in my mouth. The sunrise was now on hold, and if I missed it, no problem, I had a beautiful brown sludge dripping and oozing out of my mouth. I missed the chance to kiss my wife good bye in the morning because my dip took priority and wasn’t going to sacrifice 10 extra minutes with my dip instead of 10 minutes with my wife. My addiction quickly took priority in everything I did. I stopped the bike rides because that interfered with my dipping time.

 

When I first quit, the first 100 days were a challenge. My focus was on the battle, not anything else. As time ticked away, I started to notice things such as the pureness and beauty that I had forgotten about for so long. Maybe it was because I was in paradise for the past two weeks that allowed me to notice the beauty around me or maybe it was just the time I needed back in nature to remember the special splendor it holds. The time I needed to reflect back on what is important to me and to really see what I had GIVEN UP to be an addict.

 

Those years I was an addicted user of tobacco are lost. They are gone forever. Honestly, there are not many memories from those 7 years. Most memories are the lies and excuses I came up with so I could spend my time dipping rather than spend my time LIVING. The past 3 years have given me so many memories that it outweighs the tobacco using years ten fold at least.

 

What have you missed out on due to your addiction? Stopping home improvements so you could focus on your addiction? Worrying about packing tins for a trip instead of planning out the sites you want to visit and things you want to do? Time without your family so you could dip away without offending them, that time now lost and can’t be reclaimed. Willing your child’s bedtime to arrive much sooner so you could spend the quality evening time with your tin instead of reading a bedtime story to your son or daughter? Or being that poor role model for your son, teaching him (or possibly even your daughter) the finer points and techniques to an early and possibly painful death?

 

With each day you put between your new and old self, slowly the goodness and pride of quitting begins to reveal itself. Each day offers at least one short moment of pride, beauty, goodness and freedom from this addiction. As time passes and the days add up, you find more positive time in your day rather than the constant and nail biting battles you face early in the quitting process. Each day offers more freedoms to you, offers you more memories to hang on to, offers more opportunities to reclaim yourself from a nightmare of torture and disappointments you lived with while using tobacco. For over 1200 days I have lived each day as a single day, solely by itself, welcoming the new and improved day and beauty that I had previously suppressed or refused to acknowledge when I was dipping.

 

I take great pride in quitting and bettering my new life. I am thankful each day for the help I found and the received from the QS communities. I am proud of ALL THE QUITTERS, those who are quit for the first day to the quitters I share the 12th floor with, to the original founder of the QS community Matt Van Wyk who is over 10,000 days quit. I am proud over everyone because it is a choice we make to stay clean, the battles we wage to help each other through those tough times, and taking the more difficult path on this journey by refusing to use instead of taking the easy road that could lead to a cave. We are accomplishing something that hundreds of thousands of people wish they had the guts, will power and discipline to do. We are proving on a daily basis that there is more to life than dipping our life away, throwing money away to a company that was killing us and controlling us.

 

Is my life perfect now that I have quit? No. But it has been a hell of a lot better the past 3 years than the 7 years prior to that. And the last 2 weeks in Hawaii will be positive and unforgettable memories, with thousands more to come over the coming years. I keep making small steps every day, a day at a time. All of those 1200 plus steps have been more positive and rewarding than a handful of giant leaps. I have covered more distance and have accumulated more accomplishments in the small daily steps than I would ever be able to accumulate in a few giant leaps.

 

Enjoy each small step and each day instead of worrying about the future and missing all the greatness and memories that TODAY has to offer!

 

I am much happier with the views I have from where I am in my journey now...than the view I had before I started my journey. Getting up in the morning I can relax with this view. As the day goes by, the view gets better. Finally, after enjoying all the day has to offer, I get to take in this breath taking view. They all beat the view I had before I started my journey.

 

I can't wait to see how much better tomorrow's view will be!!! But for now, I can enjoy today's view! It sure has been a spectacular journey...and it only gets better and better with each passing day. Why don't you start YOUR personal journey today? The path has been blazed for you, the signs have been posted...just take it step by step and soon, you too will have similiar breath taking views! It can all be yours and you CAN do this. I came here just like everyone else has come here. I made a decision to take this journey like so many others have. I am just a former addict like everyone else and I got support and encouragement from so many here at QS that helped me get to where I am today. You can and will get there too by using this site!

 

-Penguin

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