Still cruising along on the path to freedom. Last night I had a dream about smoking. It’s not the first one I’ve ever had though it’s been a long time since I had one. And as always, it seemed so real!
I was with some friends when someone who I don’t even know in the real world handed me a cigarette. Last time I had a dream like this, I put the cigarette out, remembering that I had quit. This time however, I took four or five deep puffs off of the nasty thing and then realizing what I was doing, I put it out and had sudden thoughts about the fact that I had slipped. I was rather upset with myself and was just beginning to feel the area of the brain that represented my nicotine receptors sort of wake up. I felt a strange kind of calm begin to envelope my body as my mind felt the release of my commitment to be a nonsmoker.
As I began to wake the thoughts that went through my mind were not that I’d blown it. Not at all. The thoughts were simply that so long as I kept my commitment now. So long as I didn’t give in and change my life to one of a smoker then I still could find the path to freedom again. I still could continue my climb with one small detour.
And when I did wake, I felt nothing but relief that this was only a dream. That in reality I had not lost the path. I did not give in!
And then as I so often do, I began thinking about this dream and what it might have represented. To me a dream is a means for the subconscious mind, (the part of the mind that doesn’t really know right from wrong ) to sort out things while we sleep. To me the dream signified the addict within trying to grasp why it could no longer fuel the addiction. Why things had to be different then before. It was trying to grasp what would happen if I smoked again.
Of course the false memories of smoking told me that it somehow tasted good. That there was a deep kind of pleasure derived from the act of smoking. I felt the receptors wake up again and realized even in my dream that these receptors had begun to go dormant. They had lost the power they used to have. This I believe to be a reality. I think that those receptors have begun to calm. They have begun to shut down simply because there is no more need for them.
So to me this dream was a learning experience from myself. A chance to actually peer into the window of my mind and see the addict within for what he really is. To understand that though he will still fight me, he is trying to understand the new life. The reasons for wanting this new thing to happen.
But the bottom line is that it was just a dream and holds no power over me in the physical world. It was one of those memories surfacing in my mind and as such I know I have achieved another victory on the road to freedom. I have attained a new feeling of success simply by living yet another one of those memories of the past.
My nicotine receptors are still dormant and nothing has happened to weaken my quit. If anything, my resolve has strengthened simply because I have in a way lived what would happen if I were to slip. I have felt those emotions of failure and feelings of having to start over and have understood once again why I never will slip. Not even once!
And so I continue onward up the slopes of Mt. Freedom!!