Good day Exer’s! I woke up this morning thinking of all you dedicated people out there fighting for freedom! And it reminded me of the days when I first quit smoking. That first two weeks when our world is filled with a kind of confusion and uncertainty that can be felt whenever we step into a world we don’t understand fully.
I remember during my preparation days, how my number one goal was to rid myself of the fear that I felt as my quit date came ever closer. It was always in the forefront of my mind. Would I be able to pull this off? Would I be willing to face whatever comes my way? Will I be able to turn all of my knowledge that I acquired while prepping into an actual quit?
And then, at last, after changing my quit date at least three times, I put out that last cigarette and I remember thinking to myself, “No fear!!” I walked into the house a non-smoker and started a journey that I was actually excited about starting.
Using the patches, I woke my first day and I remember wondering what it was going to be like. That first week of a quit though difficult is also filled with an endless amounts of firsts. We have to learn how to do our day to day activities without including the cigarette in it. We have to do things without the simple reward of a smoke afterwards. We have to deal with day to day stress without the false relaxation that we always counted on.
But the main thing I remember was how my mind filled the time that I used to fill with cigarettes with an endless argument that just wouldn’t calm, and seemed impossible to ignore. Sometimes for me, it was thoughtless impulses to smoke with no real thought attached to it, but one thing was certain. It was constant.
I remember how proud I was to make it past that first week, and yet still knowing I had a long way to go. I remember the second week as being filled with intense emotion and yes, still the confusion that I felt in the beginning. I always made sure my head was in the right place before getting up to face the day.
The craves came and went and even now, just two weeks removed from my addiction, I could sense the internal voice becoming less urgent. It was still there, but just a notch less in intensity then the previous week.
This second week was a time of discovery. I’d begun to accept the fate that I had chosen for myself. I was becoming a little more confident in my ability to quit as the week progressed. Quite often, I’d get a strong urge and would remind myself that the urge only lasts for a minute or two and that if I didn’t latch onto it, it wouldn’t last for hours, and so very early in my quit I learned to see the crave for what it was. An impulse that the mind created because of the countless tentacles of addiction that were woven within my fabric.
I mention these memories for a couple of reasons. The first is so that others can understand that a lot of what they’re going through is what would be called “normal” when it comes to losing an addiction.
But secondly, I wanted to say that this experience does get better. Sure, it takes time. Sure, it takes commitment and a burning desire for a better future but I can tell you for a fact that there is a better future out there so long as you can stay on the path.
Never believe for an instant that you cannot achieve this goal for life. For freedom. For a brighter future that we can share with our children and grandchildren. All you have to do is get through the hard part right at first and never stop learning when you put out that last cigarette, for much of must be learned can’t really be described. It just has to be felt.
Keep fighting!! Keep believing in yourself and one day you’ll realize that you really are free. That you’re actually feeling the peace and calm that comes from losing an addiction. This is a fight worth fighting on so many levels and we are here to help you when you might need a little compassion or perhaps a gentle nudge to get you back on track. You can do this just as so many before you have done.
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!