Scientists argue that time itself is simply a man-made illusion. Intriguing but whether time is real or a figment of cultural imagination it’s a helpful means of measuring change in our lives! Change seems to be the theme of the day so to speak so I’ll share some changes that happened to me - or rather – that I introduced into my own life in 2015 and what changes I’m initiating for 2016.
2015 for me was the Rubicon Year. I examined my social, physical, and mental aspects of my life and determined what things I like and what I would like my life to become. I saw room for improvement in my health management and mental health management. I made those improvements.
I contracted a personal nutritionist and studied my eating (and significantly shopping) habits. Now I don’t ever eat in restaurants, I avoid trans and saturated fats, stay away from red meats and pork, head for the fiber and fruit and veggies, and eat 7 – 8 times a day instead of 2 -3.
I changed my hit and miss exercise program to a consistent 5 days a week cardio and 3 times a week resistance training along with Yoga and/or Pilates for balance and flexibility. The trickiest was cardio because raising heart rate while not getting short of breath is an art. I learned that art at Pulmonary Rehab. It was worth every minute of it! A recent evaluation showed that I increased all of these areas from 25 – 50% in this one Year.
I challenged my beliefs around depression/anxiety. Instead of accepting my constant companions as inevitable, I took intensive Neurofeedback, practiced CBT and ACT therapy, utilized mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and guided visualization as well as supplementing magnesium and probiotics so I could become free of my nemesis. Just last week I had an EEG evaluation that showed 90% permanent brain healing directly related to depression/anxiety. My brain now looks like somebody who never had symptoms of either!
Having a healthy brain makes everything better! My work relationships, social relationships, and personal relationships have improved substantially! Happiness begets happiness! And happiness is a decision!
So what does any of this have to do with Smoking Cessation? In my humble opinion – EVERYTHING!
Only when I began my Quit Journey did it occur to me that any of this was within my control! Nicotine Addicts are literally out-of-controll! They relinquish decision-making to their Sickerettes and then are lured into believing that the stress in their lives just happens to them!
Yes, wonderful and terrible things happen to people every day! I had absolutely no control over becoming a grandparent or the snow storm that overwhelmed our city this last Monday. What I can decide is how I will react to these events.
As Nicotine Addicts we reacted to just about everything good, bad and neutral with, “I need a smoke!” Only when we break FREE of Nicotine Addiction do we realize what FREEDOM means! We have the opportunity to learn about our true Selves and to recognize what Self Determination is all about!
As Barry said today, “Each new day is another chance to change your life.” You can miss the opportunity altogether or you can change things for the better or for the worse! Change happens in a trajectory. Good choices lead to good choices and poor choices lead to even worse choices!
I am a Believer! I believe that my Creator does have a plan for me and that plan is for prosperity and not harm! Jer 29:11 BUT I also believe that God preserves FREE WILL! We have to be partners in our Recovery and our Lives! We have a responsibility for the choices that we make. I don’t pray that God change me! I pray that the Lord give me strength and clear thinking to change my own Life through Him!
This Year many of my decisions will be determined by my relationships. I will make my Family even more of a priority! Becoming a Grandfather does that for you! I’m reevaluating my work life and my social life based on this priority. Life is Very Good! I with God’s help am becoming the Thomas that I wish to be – one day at a time!
And it all began the day I quit smoking! March 20, 2010