Living in the past

Blog Post created by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 on Feb 22, 2017


Starting to learn this new site a little more, and it’s a labor worth doing!


Anyway, I was thinking about way back, when I first started entertaining the idea of quitting. There were so many seeming obstacles in my way. I mean, like all of you, I knew that feeding my addiction was slowly killing me. I knew that with every single cigarette, I was adding power to an addiction that I didn’t really want.


Thinking back, I remember how intertwined my life was with cigarettes. Cigarettes were my reward. They were my comfort. They filled my life, always wanting the next one the moment I put the last one out. I was firmly addicted and over the years I had become content with enjoying the very thing that was killing me. It was crazy!


But what I remember most was every now and then entertaining the thought of quitting, and at the time I thought THAT idea was crazy! Digging a little further into myself, I eventually figured out the root of it. For me, it stemmed mostly to a lack of confidence in myself.


When I went out in public by myself, I’d somehow convinced myself that I could stand the scrutiny of others, so long as I had a cigarette in my hand. If I was trying something new, I needed that cigarette hanging out of my mouth to somehow give me the confidence to complete this new project or event.


When I was with friends, I’d smoke with them, never thinking about the future because that might make me think twice about smoking.


I’ve written before about that day that I first entertained the idea of quitting and how I shook and became sweaty, almost to the point of a panic attack and thinking back, I now understand why.


You see, for me at least when I spent all that time building my addiction, I kind of placed tentacles within my being. Perhaps this is how I justified the insanity of my addiction. Of that I can’t be sure.


But what I realized was that it was the past that was holding me back. I’d wonder how I could go out in public without the confidence stick in my mouth. I didn’t believe that I could concentrate without those smokes. I wondered what I would reward myself with when I accomplished something good. And how could I even eat without that delicious after dinner cigarette?


I used to stare at the mountains as I smoked. Everything I did seemed to be intertwined with my smoking. And I realized that with every cigarette I smoked, I was living in the past. I was allowing myself to kill myself because of what I’d already experienced.


Here in lies the rub. I was looking in the wrong direction! My future didn’t lie in the past at all. And yet I was using the past to create my future!


Again, insane thinking. For me the trick was a bit of training. I had to rip out those tentacles of addiction out of myself  and the first thing I did to begin this process was to begin using my imagination to see things differently. I visualized myself walking down the street without that cigarette hanging out of my mouth. But the thing is, I visualized this with a smile on my face.


I thought about the reward I seeked after finishing a project and duh! I realized that the reward was really the satisfaction of finishing the project. It wasn’t until I was very close to my quit date that I took a cup of tea out with me to view the mountains and I realized that it was more than satisfying. In fact, for the first time I was actually really seeing those mountains! And you know what? They were beautiful!!


To make a long story short (Which I’m obviously not very good at. LOL), I changed how I perceived my smoking. By taking the perceived positive out of the act of smoking, my addiction lost some of it’s power.


And once I was able to stop looking at the past, I was able to see my present much more clearly which in the end got me looking to the future. That was the first crack in the foundation of my addiction, because now I could see my future in a new light! A future without cigarettes looked like it might be possible!


And now I’m living that future that seemed impossible so long ago and you know what? The smiles are really there, just like I thought they would be way back in the beginning. The peace is there as well. So much peace and so much freedom!! I love the freedom. You too can find it if you can take the first step. A new and beautiful future awaits you!