Good morning Exer's!!
I hope this day finds you calm and smoke free!! I was just thinking about something when we quit and that is perceptions. I think those perceptions begin the very moment we really decide to quit. Do you remember what you felt? I do. I was terrified!
I perceived what I was considering doing as a nightmare! I started shaking just at the thought of quitting. That's when I realized that I might need a little help changing those perceptions and so I called the quit line in our state and ordered some patches. I also received a link to the quit lines web site. This was where I first learned about triggers and craves. This was where I was first introduced to the fact that I was an addict.
There was something about accepting that I was an addict that changed my perception of the whole concept of quitting. Suddenly I realized that I had a real fight on my hands. Suddenly I knew that this wasn't going to be easy. Beating any addiction has to be hard. And at that moment, I suddenly knew that I really was going to quit. I felt the resolve burning inside of me.
Still, like most do, I started thinking about my life without cigarettes. I started thinking about all that I was losing. How could I possibly do all I did before and still be happy without smoking? I knew that these thoughts weren't helping me and yet I continued to think about them as I lit another cigarette. It was as if the cloud of addiction wouldn't let me perceive a world without the old friend.
I think this was when I first started to perceive the vision of the addict within and I also realized that I was thinking the wrong things. I was looking at loss when I should have been looking at gain. I was seeing a friend who was no friend at all. I mean really; does a friend enslave you? Does a friend eat up so much valuable time in a day? And most importantly does a friend try to kill you?
And so I came around to seeing through that cloud of addiction and started looking to the positive aspects of what I was about to do. This simple change in my perception calmed me. I continued in this positive vein until my quit day and you know what? When I put out that last cigarette I didn't feel any of the fear of quitting that I'd had when I first thought of the idea. I didn't even finish the last one and I was actually smiling when I went to bed that night.
I continued on the path to freedom with a positive perception. I wasn't losing anything and I knew deep inside that I was gaining everything!
It's really up to us how we want to perceive our quits. We can look at it as a loss rather then a gain. We can look at it as torment rather then freedom. Sure, it's hard to rip each and every shackle of addiction out of us. It took us a long time to place them there and when it comes to addiction, those shackles run deep, seemingly intertwined into every part of our consciousness.
This is what takes time. This is why quitting is a journey. But so long as you long for freedom. So long as you want to find a kind of peace that was never known since before you started smoking. So long as you can find the strength within yourself to continue the path for just a little longer and look ahead at what your gaining rather then back at what you might perceive as a loss, then one day you will step out on the other side of your addiction. You will feel that peace and yes, you will be free!!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!