Although it’s hard to go through the initial days of our quits, it’s important to remember why we did it. For me, it was because of a horrible cough that I had developed in the morning. And as I smoked cigarette after cigarette, I continued coughing.
This got me thinking. Wow! Maybe I’m not as invincible as my addiction had told me. Maybe there really are consequences to what I’m doing. Maybe this cough is a warning that I should heed.
But for months, I didn’t. After a while, I was actually able to ignore the cough altogether. This is what addiction does. It changes our very thought patterns and convinces us that we’re OK even when we know we’re not.
After a while I stopped with the selfish thinking and started thinking about my future and how I wanted to perceive it. I thought of the people I loved and how a slow, agonizing death would look to them. I thought of how sad they would be for me that I couldn’t seem to find an end to my addiction. In my mind’s eye, the looks I got from the ones I loved in the future were looks of pity and of sorrow.
I realized that this addiction wasn’t just about me. It was about everyone I interact with. It was about what I wanted my future to look like. It was about throwing out the lies of my addiction and seeing reality instead and I’ll tell you. Sometimes reality can be tough when we take the time to see it!
And so I understood that I was going to quit not just for me, but for all those around me who my addiction effects. I understood which of the futures I’d pictured that I wanted to see. And yes, for a love of myself and those that I loved, I chose to take that first step.
Don’t think I wasn’t like you when I first seriously thought of quitting. Actually, I was terrified, but I was also now filled with resolve. I was filled with the reality that I was quitting for a group of people even if they didn’t know it. To me, that’s all that mattered, or so I thought!
When we finally take that first step, it’s daunting to say the least. Our addiction fights us like a petulant child, screaming at us and demanding that things go back to normal. Normal? What the hell is normal now?
This is when it becomes very easy to forget that we first love ourselves and not our addictions. That there were reasons for quitting. Very valid reasons that the child of addiction will do it’s best to make us forget. Mine was a desire for a brighter future with those that I love, And I kept this close to my heart every time that addict within screamed at me. This helped me to find a way through those first hard days.
In the end I did find that future that I longed to see a little over six years ago. In fact, I’m now living that future because I was willing to fight for it! I know so many of you here are ready to fight. Never forget your reasons for deciding to lose your addictions. Never forget that only you can change your future.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A banner of freedom on the summit. All you have to do is believe in yourself and know the future that you want to see. And if that future is without cigarettes, then that future will indeed be wonderful. All you have to do is get through the first hard weeks. Never demean your love of a clean, healthy future that you want to see. You’re better than that!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!