I was again thinking about those first hard days of losing addiction. An exercise I do on a regular basis because thinking of those first days just makes my quit stronger. By visualizing the past, I see the many lessons learned along the way when I lost my addiction.
I remember the days right after my quit when the sweet lies of my addiction were still incredibly pronounced and in the foreground. You know, those voices saying, “Why can’t I have a cigarette? What’s the harm of just one? Oh, come on you know you want one and just think how calm your world will be when you smoke. Just think of how wonderful it would be to return to the land of peace.”
Sometimes we listen to these lies and long for a past that in itself was a lie. Sometimes we allow ourselves to add power to the voices. A power that doesn’t help us at all and the way we add that power is by agreeing with the lies. This in itself can crush a fairly successful attempt.
That’s why it’s so important to always say no. That’s why it’s important to see through the lies of our own addiction and to constantly remind ourselves that these things really are lies. Really we know, just as we always have why we can’t have a cigarette. We know that just one cigarette will send us back to slavery in a single puff. And though the endless internal voice will calm itself if we give in, there’s really no peace. The only real way to find peace is to stay on top of the quit and take the time to find that peace.
I think what happens a lot of times is that on top of these voices endlessly whispering it’s sweet lies to us, we tend to blame everything that happens to us on our quit. The simplest things can set us off, and when the old blood pressure rises, so too does the desire to smoke.
If someone irritates us, the first thought that pops in the mind is, “I need a cigarette!”
Just because the thought pops in there doesn’t mean that we actually have to have one. When we trip over a rock and become instantly angry, we tend to blame the whole thing on quitting. When someone gets in an argument with us, again it only happened because we’re quitting.
It’s almost like our rationality leaves us for a while when we quit. We have to always understand that we did just turn our world upside down when we quit and that the aggressive feelings and irritability that naturally comes from quitting seems to become stronger and stronger.
We get angry at some event in life and all of the sudden we start listening to the endless lies in the background. And because of the troubling life event we start to listen to it. We start to romance it, sometimes even thinking that all of life’s little problems will go away if we just have one more cigarette to calm things.
And in a lot of cases, we relapse and when we do, we see the lies that we were believing. The lies that derailed our quits and as such we feel terrible!
Never fall for the tricks of our own minds. The addiction tries to keep us in an endless state of living only in the present. It seems to rob us of the ability to peer into the future, and that’s where the reward lies. By living in the present we fail to see the benefits of our quits, because we have to be able to see back so we know how far we’ve come and we need to see ahead so that we can see the future we’re trying to create.
There is no simple answer to all of this. We have to experience these things as part of losing our addictions. What we can do is understand what’s happening to us so that we can dismiss it. We know life’s problems are going to be there. And we know we’re going to get irritable. We know that the sweet lies of addiction will be there. All we have to do is either learn to ignore them or face them.
That’s why I called my addiction the addict within. So when these things started happening to me, I could converse with the addiction itself. When I felt a crave coming on I could think to myself, “Oh no you don’t! You may act like my friend, but I know better.”
When I felt the irritability building within me and those lies becoming stronger I could yell, “Shut up! You’re not going to do this to me! I’m better than that!”
The key to a successful quit lives inside all of us. We have to understand our addiction in order to beat it. And just as so many others have, you too can find the path to freedom! You too can learn how much better life is without addiction!
There’s freedom waiting for you at the end of this tough journey. And there’s peace. Not the peace the addiction tells you will be there if you smoke, but real peace that can only come from complete freedom! Keep your thoughts on the future and in no time, you’ll be living that future!
Have a wonderful smoke free weekend!!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!