~~With brave wings, she flies.~~ Unknown
I haven't always been brave. I lived in safety, cocooned in the security of what I knew. Smoking is what I knew. If I was stressed, I smoked. If I was unhappy, I smoked. If I was hurt or lonely or nervous or anxious.....I smoked. And though I knew it was bad for me and I knew it could kill me and I knew my family was in agony over it, I still turned to smoking.
Oh, my gosh the horrors of this addiction!! It's not just the smell or the price or the physical ill effects. It's the separation between the smoker and the family and friends. It's the solitude of the smoker, isolated in the lonely agony of nicotine addiction. It's like standing on the edge of a high rocky cliff, knowing the only way to get away is to jump.
And so we come here, to Ex. We gain knowledge. We read. We listen to the experience of others. We may even make friends, form bonds, and connect with others. But coming here and doing all these things is only part of quitting.
We need to quit and sometimes, no matter how much we blog and text and talk, quitting can be as isolating and agonizing as smoking. The changes in our brain chemicals can make us really feel like we're losing our minds. The changes in our sleep patterns, our personalities, our bodies, can make some run back to the safety of smoking.
It breaks my heart. I want to tell those who chose smoking that they were so very, very close to success!! Every second you don't smoke is a victory and every minute you don't smoke is a minute you don't have go through ever again. And every cigarette you don't smoke is a moment of life you get to live...truly live.
Don't give up. Please don't ever give up quitting. You may feel like you are going crazy but you really aren't. You may feel like you'll never feel better again, but you will. The benefits of quitting are always worth the quit. YOU are worth the quit!!
No one can replace you. You are needed. You are loved. You are treasured. You matter to the world.
We can't predict how much damage our smoking did to us. We can't know what the future brings. But we can decide to love ourselves enough to quit this deadly addiction. We can decide that we are worth it. We can put them down, knowing that we are stronger.....we are braver....than this addiction.
And we can reach down and pull others up with us. We can use patience to teach and to guide and to support. We can use humor to ease their fears. We can use wisdom and tolerance and love to help them through their early days.
And we can remember those who have left us. Knowing that with brave wings, she now flies.