It’s the same old story. We move along happily in our quits and then out of the blue, BAM!! A craving hits us. This happened to me yesterday. Thing is, I totally expected this because I was doing something that I always did when I smoked.
And then I started wondering. Does my expectation of a crave actually create the crave or would it happen whether I expected it or not? I think the answer may be both and yet this answer is still a positive one. One might wonder how this is.
It’s a fact that the phantom craves exist for almost all of us. It’s true that they can at times cause a great deal of discomfort and for some even shake the very foundations of a quit. They seem to come out of nowhere and at times make us wonder what the heck is wrong with us.
But I see it a little differently for the most part. Being aware that they exist and can pop up out of nowhere is indeed a first step to not letting them derail our quits. I think that by knowing when a crave will hit, we can form a defense against them. We can be ready for them when they appear.
I knew that I would crave because I went and set up tents for my daughter and grandkids. I’ve never done this before without the old cigarette hanging out of my mouth. So of course my addiction responded as anticipated. It sent the signal to me that it was time to smoke.
So to me, it wasn’t so much that I created the craving. Instead because of the past knowledge of my quit, I understood that my mind would indeed create a craving due to the life situation that I was living in. It’s almost a natural response. It’s as if the addiction questions the situation every time it runs into a new one.
It’s up to us to tell the addict within us that "No, this is not a situation where I need to smoke. That’s no longer our world. We just don’t smoke anymore." Soon as always, the craving goes away. And at that point I think our minds have learned a lesson. And another small step has been taken toward the complete freedom that we seek.
So I think I’ll look at each phantom craving as a learning experience. Perhaps something that somehow needs to be experienced in order to continue my progression. I already know how to deal with them but at least I no longer wonder why it happens. I see no need to fear them because I have just a little understanding of them and when they will appear.
After four months, I know they no longer have the power to derail my quit. They simply must be acknowledged and then dismissed for what they really are. The meaningless phantom craving. The mind asking itself that same old question. Is it time to smoke?
And so I move on with my life of freedom, confident in my ability to keep myself safe and secure in the knowledge that though there will be cravings, they cannot stop me from reaching my ultimate goal of complete freedom!
And so I can now stand on the summit of Mt. Freedom and wave that banner of freedom high over my head for though I still may feel those phantom cravings, I understand them. But more importantly, I have tasted freedom and it tastes good! This is what I live for now. This is how I crawl out of my addiction. By wanting freedom more then death. By nurturing my future every day that I live. By telling myself that though it can be a hard journey, it really is worth it!!