Good Morning EXer’s!!
I was thinking about the days before my quit. Those days when I’d decided to quit but hadn’t quite made the move yet. These were days of reflection. Days where I had to get up the nerve to face the fact that I was an addict and had been for a long time.
I often wondered why it was so hard to believe I was an addict. I knew I was addicted but I think to admit to myself that I was an addict was somehow a means of pushing me to the fringe, where I might try to turn the thought of quitting into a kind of reality. I was also reminded of the fact that my mind was actually in agony during those days that I was merely thinking about quitting.
I was no longer finding any satisfaction from smoking because every time I lit up, I was forced to face the fact that I was an addict. Over time and with a lot of reflection, a day came where I was willing to see myself for what I was. I was finally able to admit to myself that I was an addict. That was a big step for me, and as I got comfortable with the realization that I was an addict, I still had to do something about it.
For many a day, I thought about the possibility of quitting until I realized that I could stall forever. That nudged me to the next step. Getting some help. I called the Colorado Quitline and ordered some patches.
And that was the day that I realized that this was going to be a long, hard ride but one I wanted to take. I realized that I had an enemy within me. A kind of creature so powerful that it could convince me to slowly murder myself. A piece of my mind that had strayed from the norm and decided that it was going to ruin my life, like a cancer of my own creation.
And so I came to the realization that in order to beat this enemy that lived inside of me, I’d have to understand it. I’ve always believed that knowledge is power so I started looking up information online. During that time, I found EX and this opened up a new world for me! There was so much to be learned by reading about others experiences and how they dealt with the hard parts of the addiction. But the thing that really got through to me was that I was no longer alone in my agonized quest to be free.
And so I studied and studied. I used a cigarette tracker to learn what made me want to smoke and when. I did “practice quits” where I would deny myself a cigarette for varying lengths of time, just so I’d know what those first days would feel like. And during this time I removed my most powerful triggers; driving in the car, smoking on the deck after dinner and many others.
And most importantly, I worked on the fear that I was feeling to the point that when I put out my last cigarette, I knew I was ready for you see, I worked for months to get to this day. Because I’d prepped for so long, I was actually confident in the fact that I was going to win. That I understood what my own mind would do to me when I began the quest for freedom.
My point is that if we want the best chance to succeed, then we must know our addictions. We must know what we’ll do when certain things happen to us as we quit. What we should avoid and how best to fight through a crave.
A solid plan is key to success. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it without first preparing for my quit and second continuing to learn in real time and from experience after the quit.I know it can seem hard to believe but it actually makes the whole experience easier once we do take the plunge because there’s so much less confusion about what’s happening.
Never be afraid to look inside, to learn the part of you that you’ll have to defeat in order to win. Never be afraid to attack the addiction head on. Make sure you have a burning desire to be free, put out that last cigarette and stay focused on that freedom and before long, it won’t be a dream. No, it’ll be your wonderful new reality and I can guarantee you, you won’t regret taking the journey!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!