So many of us when we quit, actually feel like we lost an old friend. That quitting has taken this and so many other things away from us. As if we could never again see the same view that we always enjoyed without that cigarette. That the wonderful morning cup of coffee won’t be the same without the old friend to keep us company. That we no longer have the same confidence in ourselves without the cigarette and oh yes, how can we do anything without the standard reward of smoking? It’s almost as if life has lost all of it’s meaning and everything is just so darn irritating!
Yes, the beginning of the path can feel like a loss rather than a gain, if we let it. The mind begins questioning. It begins wondering what has changed even as the nicotine receptors scream in agony from the loss of its fix. We have an actual physical reaction to deal with as the mind continually tries to figure out what’s wrong!
I think really, only a nicotine addict could truly understand what I was just mentioning. Those who have never been addicted wonder why the addict doesn’t just stop, and why we find it so hard to quit smoking. I mean, all we have to do is not make the choice to do it. Right?
Wrong! When one is strongly addicted, there is no “just keep it away from your face” because there is so much more involved in a successful quit. Time must be spent learning how to quit, even as we continue to feed the addiction. And we must have a solid plan in place when we do quit.
A plan to defeat all of the things our addictions will throw at us. But take heart! Quitting really isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s the beginning of a brand new world! The loss that we feel is really caused by change, and the fear of it.
The addiction becomes so intertwined with the rest of our lives that we don’t want to face a change to it, simply because it’s inconvenient. One by one, we have to rip the tentacles of addiction out of ourselves, and the only way to do that is to accept the change that we decided to create when we chose to quit.
Once we have acceptance the rest of the experience is just learning the new world that we forced ourselves into, without reacting the same way we used to. By smoking.
The reality that’s so hard to see at first is that we’re not losing a thing, but we’re gaining everything! Never believe that change isn’t worth it! Never think that change is impossible because then you become a barrier to yourself!
Life is such a noble cause to fight for, and when we quit that’s exactly what we’re doing. Fighting for a better life. An improved life. A life that feels rewarding rather than confining. A life that brings confidence rather than sadness. A life where we can start to believe there really is a future out there! One that is going to be so wonderful because of the freedom!!
There’s a peace waiting at the end of this long journey that you haven’t felt in a long, long time. A peace that’s filled with the light of achievement! It’s filled with the wonders of freedom. And with a belief that no matter what, we will be free! No matter what, we will find the rainbow that lives in the thundercloud.
In the end, we become more and more aware of the inner working of our addictions, and that there is a new world that was always there. We just couldn’t see through the cloud of addiction. A world where “just keep it away from your face” actually works. A world that is so much happier than the world of an addict. A world that belongs to you so long as you take that first step and keep true to yourself.
I long to see each and every one of you on the other side of addiction. Why? Because it’s such a wonderful place that those that have found it after their own long struggles want everyone to experience it. To feel it. To know it as a new life that all started on that first day when we put out that first cigarette . . . .
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!