As always I hope this day finds you smoke free and loving life. Life. That’s what quitting smoking is really all about. Not only a longer life but a life with better health. And then there’s the pride that comes from beating an addiction. Proving to yourself that life is more important to you then a little discomfort right now.
Though this process is never easy, it can be an incredible learning experience because we have to look deep inside of ourselves in order to succeed in the battle for freedom. We have to understand why it’s so hard and we have to build a resolve that cannot be shaken. These are things that can be used for the rest of your life!
Part of the trick is getting through the first hard days. These are times when the withdrawals start to make us wonder what the heck we were thinking when we decided to quit. These are days when many of us question our own confused minds as we progress hour by hour through that first day. And then we wake on the second day and discover that yes, we’re still smoke free. That’s how it starts.
The path to freedom can seem endless at times as we struggle along. Since many of you don’t really know me or my quit, I wanted to talk about something that helped me along. I used visualization to help me cope with the journey.
I visualized a mountain that I named Mt. Freedom. This was of course a tall mountain because it had to be in order to signify the journey. I found myself at the base of this mountain, staring up the steep slopes and wondering what it would feel like when I reached the summit. I was certain of one thing. That I would reach that summit.
And so I started; putting one foot in front of the other as the first day of my quit arrived. As is always the case for me when climbing, the first steps were needed to acclimate me. To get used to the journey. The path has many twists and turns. There are boulder fields to navigate and many a slippery slopes to avoid. To slip would mean that I’d have to start over.
Often I would look down the slopes just to see how far I’ve come. But the main thing was that I always focused on the summit, where my freedom lied. As I got closer I could see the banner of freedom flowing in the wind. I knew I still had a ways to go but nothing was going to stop me from achieving that summit and grabbing hold of that banner of freedom! Through all the trials I kept climbing.
I had a companion with me as I climbed. This was the addict within. The source of my discomfort. The only part of my mind that could make me slip down the slope. I kept my addiction close for it’s always best to know what your enemy is up to. Sure, me and the addict within argued constantly. That’s just part of quitting. Holding that screaming addiction at bay until it shrinks to the tiniest element within the mind. Until it loses all power. Until it becomes a thing of the past.
It doesn’t really matter what scenario one uses. It doesn’t really matter how we see our journey to freedom. What does matter is that one day we stand on the other side of our addiction holding our heads up high for you see, we proved not only to ourselves but to those who love us that we cared more about life then we did a little discomfort right now. That we were willing to first create a path to freedom and then to follow that path to it’s beautiful completion.
I love my life now, free of the enslavement of nicotine. I find so much joy in this life without cigarettes. And the thing is, I’d have never known this life were it not for that first day when I first thought of quitting. Were it not for the fact that I took that thought and turned it into a reality. Were it not for the fact that I prepared my mind and body to win this battle.
Every bit of my journey was worth the effort. Even those first days when it seems so hard. When it seemed like I had so far to go. When I wondered if I could really do this.
So to all of you who might just be starting out I have to tell you that it begins with that first day, that first commitment to yourself. To the day that we create a new reality for ourselves. A reality that is filled with the love of life and freedom.
Take that first step my friends, for you cannot end a journey before you start it . . .