We spend a great deal of time here talking of how to cease smoking and rightfully so! But abstinence from Nicotine Addiction is only the beginning of recovery! True recovery addresses not what we abstain from, but the rebuilding of the life that was saved!
When we realize just how much time, money, emotional and physical energy we sacrificed to our Sickerettes, we often feel overwhelming shame and guilt about the terrible decision we had been unthoughtfully making for years, even decades. This in spite of our loved ones' pleas for change, their own personal sacrifices to our vice, their heart break and pain!
So when we speak of grief, at first we think of ourselves - our grief which, totally justified, is a natural process accompanying any fundamental change. But there is another deeper grief we must accept - the grief and remorse for the lost moments we might have had with our family had we been living Addiction FREE - for ourselves and for our loved ones!
There's the denial and isolation - although you know that you not only hurt yourself, you hurt your Family and Friends but you may not want to believe or face it!
Next comes anger - at yourself, even at the tobacco companies, for the torment that your social circle has been through because of your choices.
Even bargaining comes into play! "Please God, protect my health so I can make it up to my loved ones!"
Depression might become overwhelming if we don't have or develop the skills to forgive ourselves and to make amends to the best of our ability to those we care about.
Finally, acceptance! There has been and I can't imagine there being any better way to address grief than the Serenity Prayer!
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Continuously, I find recovery opening up like a beautiful big blossom, one petal at a time with each new phase more spectacular than the last! May you find your true self through self awareness and acceptance and enjoy a deep abiding peace!