One “reason” I chose to smoke was to prove to myself that I don’t let other people tell me what to do!
Looking back on this in writing shows it to be really immature and childish!
But that’s what Addiction does – even Nicotine Addiction – it freezes our personal development!
[Yes, I know a lot of folks aren’t going to like what I’m saying so if that person is you – take what you need and leave the rest!]
Addictive Personality includes impulsive behavior and bad decision-making! Otherwise, why would I purposely put my very Life at risk on a daily basis to smoke?
For everybody except me, I saw such impulsivity as immaturity. I, of course, was exceptional!
Suppose, just for an analogy that Yoga is deadly and you know that! Would you faithfully practice Yoga daily, even multiple times a day, simply because it temporarily relieves your stress? Sounds pretty risky, doesn’t it? Did you ever think that Yogis that walk on hot coals are making bad decisions?
But I as a smoker have been willing to pick up a Sickerette, a known killer, 10 or even more times every single day to relieve stress or control weight or to fit in! Look at it from outside and it seems extremely risky for the potential benefit!
So one of the Values I had to sacrifice for the sake of my Addiction was risk/benefit decision-making. I became impulsive, giving up my right to decide how to react to stress – I mindlessly picked up a Sickerette! Being uncomfortable in any way made me smoke! What happened to not being dictated to? My Addiction dictated to me non-stop.
It makes sense that one of the first skills I had to learn in Nicotine Recovery is the ability to take responsibility for my actions and make better decisions. In recovery I learned to only take calculated risks, to weigh the pros and cons of my actions or inactions and make choices on the basis of how the benefits outweigh the risks.
We take hundreds of actions a day, many of them mindlessly following our patterns of behavior. So the first step in making calculated decisions is becoming aware of what we’re doing.
How many times have you driven from point A to point B with little awareness of how you got there especially when you’re having a thought pile-up?
Meditation helps me to recognize the decision I’m making in this moment, to stop the old patterns of behavior and measure the risks of such behavior and then to move forward.
I’m not dictated to by habit!
- I get to decide to road rage – or not!
- I get to decide to listen to and believe my negative thoughts – or not!
- I get to decide to apologize to my Wife or Coworker – or not!
All of those actions that I used to take automatically I now have the personal power to change! I can measure the risks and benefits and I can decide!
So what did I decide? And why?
- I decided to not drink, even though I’ve never been much of a drinker!
- I decided to not hang out in my old smoking places
- I decided to make my home, my car, my environment Smoke Free!
- I decided to speak up about second hand smoke – every time!
- I decided to pledge N.O.P.E. every single day
- I decided to be brutally honest with and about myself with you here at BecomeanEX
I decided that no matter what I will not put my Quit at risk! And no nobody, nothing, no statistic, no theory can take that away from me!
I have the Power to protect my Quit and to Live my Life with the Values I cherish! Self Awareness, Growth, Health and Faith are among those Values!
Now I can listen to advice and make the decision for myself rather than reject it outright because I don’t let other people tell me what to do! Most often they were only trying to help me!
Decision is the Ultimate Power!