You know, there was once a time when I thought very little about freedom. I was very confident in my smoking world, gliding through life with a belief that smoking only harms other people. Comfortable in the fact that I could live out my days with those smokes firmly embedded in my world forever.
Yeah, I was a piece of work back then, not even thinking about my future or what I was doing to perhaps make it better. I think for me the idea of quitting started as a tiny crack in my addiction. A day where somehow, I’d let the thought of quitting sneak through my armor of confidence and my belief that I was invincible.
And somehow, that tiny little crack grew and I started wondering just how invincible I really was. I started thinking about my father who had died from complications of throat cancer and that brought an incredibly enlightening memory to me that I’d comfortably hidden from myself for many, many years.
When I was in the hospital with my father after his operation, sucking the infection out of his neck wound so that he could breathe, the surgeon that did his surgery showed up to check him out. He taught me how to do deep suctioning by placing a tube through his nose to reach his lungs, and then suck out the infection. It was a horrible procedure that once again was necessary in order for my father to breathe during his recovery.
The surgeon was on his way out the door when he turned suddenly and poking rather vehemently at my shirt pocket where my cigarettes were he shouted, “Are you insane? Don’t you realize that those things in your pocket are what did this to your father?!”
Shaking his head in disbelief, he walked out the door but before he left he turned and said a little more calmly, “I understand that you’re hooked. Hell, most of my patients continue smoking through their trachs. I just get upset every time I see someone intentionally killing themselves. I love life. Don’t you?” And with that he left, still shaking his head in disbelief.
A little later the nurse came in to do her work and I was out of there! That guy had really upset my little world but you know what? I went and smoked a cigarette and rebuilt my armor, still somehow believing that I was invincible. This went on for several more years before that day where the crack appeared.
That crack became what is now my forever quit. It has to start somewhere. We have to be honest to ourselves and find a way to long for freedom. It took me a long time in preparation and a long time after to pull all of the tentacles of my addiction out of myself.
Now I find freedom to be my banner! I find health to be my calling. And while I’m at it, I now understand that I’m really not invincible. I understand that things can happen. But I also understand that every day I spent fighting my addiction was a day where I was fighting for my very life!
I’m on the other side of that crazy ride now and you know what? It feels incredible! Stay on the path my friends. Never let doubts weaken your resolve. Keep your eye on the prize of freedom and one day you’ll be feeling something so very amazing. You’ll be feeling a freedom like you never thought you’d feel! The rewards are numerous and so amazing! You just have to get through this little rough patch.
I know that if I could find a way through my addiction that you can too!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!