~~Addiction: Fighting to save yourself from yourself.~~ Unknown
It started with love. My quit journey, that is. One day as we were shopping, I told my son I needed a pack of cigarettes. He gently reminded me, "You don't 'need' them, mom. You want them." End of conversation....yet it stuck with me. Changing my words, changing my thoughts about smoking.
Small, even petty differences you may think. But in changing my thinking about what I was doing, I was actually bringing the focus to what I was doing. Instead of mindlessly smoking, I began to think of each and every moment when I thought I 'needed' one. I began thinking about each and every moment I was isolated from my family because I 'needed' one. I began, in fact, to realize that my entire day always centered around 'needing' a cigarette.
I didn't want to be chained to a 'need' that would ultimately kill me in one way or another. So I shifted my thinking about 'needing' a cigarette to understanding addiction. I never wanted to think I was addicted to anything...I was a single mother--strong, competent, capable. Addicted? Me? I truly was. Not only could I not put them down....I didn't want to.
I liked relaxing with one. I liked that feeling I got with my first inhale. I even liked the peaceful solitude.
But isn't that just like an addict? Not seeing what I was actually, really doing. I wasn't relaxing....I was getting that fix of nicotine that my body needed to function. And that first inhale was that first fix. And peaceful solitude? That was just so no one could distract me from enjoying my addiction.
For me, it all started with my son pointing out that I didn't need it...I wanted it. It snowballed from there as I focused on the realities of smoking rather than the beautiful lies addiction painted for me. Reality. Sticking a lit tube of paper in my mouth and inhaling. Reality. Not being able to get through the day without one...or without wanting one if I didn't have one. Reality. Pushing away family just to go light up. "I'll just be a minute" isn't true. "I'm choosing to put chemicals and toxins in my lungs rather than spending time with you" is true.
Now some of you may be at a loss in how to quit because nothing seems to be working for you. Slow it down, maybe, and focus on what you're doing...and what you're telling yourself as you do it. If you say smoking relaxes you, you're lying to yourself. Getting that hit of nicotine is what calms the brain down...and sooner or later it will take more and more nicotine to help you 'relax'. If you say you enjoy smoking, you're lying to yourself. You are actually enjoying the addictive chemicals and what they do to your brain. (If addiction felt, tasted, seemed horrible, nobody would do it.)
Reality is what will help your recovery. Seeing smoking for what it is, not for how addiction makes you feel. Do not let your whole life be run by a little tube of paper filled with toxins and poisons. Addiction robs you of the ability to reach for all the true joys of life. You may not understand that now...you may not even like what I'm saying right now ("she doesn't know me or my life")….but I can promise you that life starts with recovery. It's glorious on the other side of smoking and no one has ever regretted quitting.
A few thoughts to leave you with:
~~Addiction is the only disease that tells you that you don't have a disease.~~ Jason ZW Powers, MD
~~We inhale the very thing that kills us just so we can feel more alive.~~ Chrissy Penney
~~Every time you light a cigarette, you are saying that your life isn't worth living.~~ Unknown
See smoking for what it truly is, not what you've always thought it to be. Open your eyes, open your mind, and open the door to recovery. Your life depends on it.