Good morning EXer’s!!
When I first decided to quit smoking, it was simply a thought. I knew I should quit. After all, what is there that’s good about smoking? I looked inside to try to find the reason that I began this horrible addiction, and you know what? I couldn’t find a single valid reason for smoking.
This kind of thinking set off a chain reaction within me and my addiction began to battle me, using the fear of quitting to get me to keep smoking. And I did keep smoking for quite some time, but something had changed. I’d planted a seed and that seed seemed to keep growing inside of my thoroughly addicted mind until once again I thought of quitting, only this time the thought seemed even more real, and of course in response came the irrational fear of quitting.
But there was something different this time and I started rationalizing what my addicted mind was trying to do. I had to dig deep to the very roots of my addiction in order to understand why I feared quitting. Thing is, that reflection made no sense. All of the arguments to continue to smoke seemed to be irrational, hence the irrational fear of quitting.
It was during the preparation time that I forced myself to confront my addiction and learn about it. Not just external knowledge but also a lot of self reflection. To understand one’s self can indeed be a valuable tool in the quest for freedom. I think it was also during this time that I created my dream.
I saw myself doing all kinds of things without a cigarette. And in my minds eye, there was always a smile on my face. I think the smile came from a kind of confidence that I was building within myself. I saw myself learning how not to smoke. I would be driving without a cigarette. I’d be writing without a cigarette. I’d be finishing a meal and would just feel content to enjoy a nice view outside. And in my mind’s eye, this was the first time that I understood that it was freedom from addiction that was my quest.
Still, on my quit day I was concerned. But I went through that day, knowing the entire day that I would put out my last cigarette that night. After I finished my dinner, I went out and lit that cigarette. I was about halfway through it when I muttered., “Good riddance”. I remember I had a smile on my face and realized right at that moment that I wasn’t losing a thing and was gaining everything!
Don’t get me wrong, I had the same discomforts as we all have to go through. I had the same battles with myself that we all have and I still had to learn how to control those urges and identify my triggers but for some reason the moment I put out that last cigarette I realized that I was no longer dreaming of being smoke free. Now I was living that dream!
And so I took that dream a step further and could see myself in my minds eye not only doing all those activities without a cigarette but feeling peace at the same time. And then I saw the banner of freedom for the first time, though far off, high on the summit of Mt. Freedom and knew that one day I would hold that banner! That all I had to do was stay true to myself and before long I’d really, really be free!!
It’s been a little over four years since that time. And now, I really am living that dream. Every single part of it! And it’s just so amazing to think that so long ago, it all started with that one seed that I’d planted within myself. That desire to do something positive. To show myself that I really do choose life over what could’ve been a completely different outlook.
Remember, it never hurts to dream. It never harms us to see ourselves as we really want to be. What matters most is that we take a single thought and turn it into a burning desire that cannot be turned away.
Fill your minds with all that is positive about this new journey. Always believe that you will win and if you can do that then there’s just no room left in the mind for the negative thoughts that the addiction tries to give us.
Hold on to your dream and before long it’s no longer a dream. No. Instead that dream becomes a new and wonderful life! Go for it!! I can tell you it’s more than worth it . . .
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!