I hope everyone is safely guarding their quits and are as happy as you can be under the circumstances. Me, I’ve been enjoying my life of freedom. I don’t mention this to rub it in. No, I mention it so that we can all keep our eyes on the prize of freedom that we so desperately want.
I was heavily into my addiction when I decided to quit, smoking thirty plus cigarettes a day. Every facet of my life had cigarettes in it. I really never understood just how addicted I was until that day that I didn’t just think about quitting but actually took those first steps to prepare. When I stared tracking those cigarettes and tweaking my triggers and urges to create a separation from the desire to smoke and the actual action of smoking. A kind of pre-training that in the end helped a lot.
But that’s because while I took the time to prepare, I never lost touch with the reality that I would be quitting very soon down the road. That’s the trick with preparation I think. To keep focused on the quit while learning as much about the addiction and how we react to it as possible. This allows one to build a foundation to use when the actual event takes place. The danger of course is that some might lose their desire to quit while prepping so this must always be weighed in when prepping. If we begin to think that quitting is a bad idea then our preparations can do more harm then good. Again, this is a personal decision that must be made by each of us.
In my case, I was able to prep without losing sight of my original goal and because of this as I mentioned before, I was able to learn a little about myself before I actually quit. So if your just starting out I would weigh this option carefully. So long as you don’t lose sight of the original goal then preparation is well worth the effort I think.
I even did what I called "practice quits" where I would not allow myself to have a cigarette for anywhere from four to six hours. Many wondered why I didn’t just quit then and the answer for me was simple. I wasn’t quite ready yet and I knew this. But I did have a solid plan that I never wavered from and this helped me in the end I think.
Keeping that unwavering commitment strong is a key to success. This is why I used Mt. Freedom to represent my goal. By using the mountain I was able to visualize both my progress as well as always seeing that summit of freedom in my minds eye. For those of you who never read my blogs about the mountain, I’ll share my vision with you.
I see Mt. Freedom as a large mountain that holds many twists, turns and possible traps for the traveler who climbs to freedom. There’s obstacles that must be avoided or climbed over. There’s always the chance of slipping on the ice fields if we’re not careful. The path is fairly clear as it was blazed by so many before me, but the reality is that the path is different for each of us. What some see as an obstacle others breeze right past.
But I always kept that vision of the summit in my minds eye and I always understood what that summit meant. I could see those who had traveled before me standing on the summit and urging me on. Some of them held ropes in case another might need a little help as they scratch their way to their own freedom. Others even come down the path to help when we get confused but all have the same goal in mind. Getting as many people as possible to the summit where their freedom lies.
I climbed slowly through the boulder fields because I was so close that I didn’t want to fall and have to start over. This was when I could see that banner of freedom waving in the wind! I was so close now. Those at the top were gesturing to me and urging me on as I fought my way up that last hard slope. And then I was there, standing with all who desired to help me and we were patting each other on the back and smiling as the banner of freedom was placed in my hand to wave high and proud. There is so much happiness there on the summit because to those who stand there, freedom for another is all that matters.
And now in my minds eye, I can see others climbing upward, using the trail that was blazed by others simply because it makes no sense to try to blaze a new trail when there’s one that others have tried successfully that already exists.
The bottom line is that we can all create our own mountains. We can make them hard or easy to climb. We can blaze our own trails or use the trails of others. But so long as we keep our eyes on that summit and the banner of freedom that awaits us then we can’t go wrong!
So keep climbing my friends! There’s just so many of us who can’t wait to see you join us at the top!!