As I approach another fantastic milestone in my quit journey, I am finding that I am able to clearly see what I could not when I still smoked.
The biggest lie that I told myself was that I was not addicted to smoking. I can barely say that now without laughing - because it is truly the biggest lie of my life.
I based my assessment on the fact that I did not smoke as soon as I got up in the morning. Surely if I were addicted I would have to run for my cigarettes when I woke up like my life depended on it, right? I based it on the fact that I never really craved cigarettes. If I were addicted, I would constantly have the tell-tale shakes of an addict, because that's what addiction looks like, right? I decided that because I could go hours without smoking if I needed to that it was not an addiction - no addict could go 6 or 8 hours calmly without smoking, right?
Oh, was I ever smug. I choked on my smugness - my addiction loved that I fell for the lies. Worse yet, I felt sorry for those poor souls who were truly addicted to nicotine, because I was not. What a freaking LIE.
No, I didn't crave nicotine when I got up - my autonomic nervous system knew that I would feed my addiction when I poured that first cup of coffee. My addiction knew that any break from smoking, regardless of the number of hours, was temporary. No need to trigger a craving - it was a sure thing that I would light up again. Smoking habits kept my addiction from showing... I kept it swept under the rug. No more. In the south we like to say that we wear our crazy proudly. Guess what? I wear my addiction proudly because I am one of those poor souls for whom I felt so sorry.
The biggest lie is no more.
I was an addict. I am an addict. I will always be an addict.
Tell the truth about your addiction. See it for what it is. Know that you are stronger, know that you are in control, and know that you can beat it. Freedom from the chains of addiction is hard fought and won with honesty.
Because of my honesty, I know that I am a one-time quitter. I will never smoke again because I honest to God do not have it in me to quit a second time. Despite this, or perhaps because if it, I protect my quit ferociously because I am an addict. I know how easily I could fall. I will never lie to myself about my addition again.