Remember how you thought of smoking before you quit? I know I do. I remember being a fierce defender of continuing my addiction and would actually get angry at people who I thought were being rude to me when I smoked in their space. I believed it was like a birthright to smoke, and no one was going to tell me otherwise!
And then there were the times when I’d sit alone smoking and those thoughts would be quite different. One thing I’ve noticed since I quit is how much time is wasted feeding the addiction. And yet the whole time we convince ourselves that the smoking was doing something constructive. I also knew deep inside that I was slowly killing myself but like all addicts, I was able to ignore those thoughts.
And like most of us, I continued on, allowing my addiction to control every aspect of my life. During this time in my mind’s eye, I SAW myself as a smoker. Whenever I’d think of day to day activities, there’d always be a cigarette in my hand or dangling out of my mouth. I actually couldn’t picture myself as a nonsmoker.
Once I realized that I was an addict, my perception of things changed. Suddenly the old friend appeared to me as the ball and chain, enslaving me for so very long. In a way I actually knew that this was always how it was. I just kept it pushed into a quiet little cubby in my mind, safely nurturing my addiction.
For me, a big part of my preparation was seeing the world as it really is, rather than through the cloud of addiction. I had to teach myself that everything I’d said was OK before wasn’t OK now. During this time, my entire perception of smoking changed. I could see the world as it really was, rather than through the eyes of an addict.
By the time I put out my last cigarette, I could see myself in my mind’s eye as a nonsmoker! I could already look to the future and catch a glimpse of the freedom that awaited me. And the day I realized that I no longer feared quitting, I knew I was ready.
I believe that a big part of our preparation is learning to change our perception of the world. Learning to see life as it really is rather than through the eyes of an addict. That’s why the chances of failure are so large if we just wake up one day and try to put out our last cigarette without understanding what we’re actually trying to do.
It’s possible to white knuckle your way through a quit. In fact we all have hard days but the chances of success are just so much better if that perception is changed BEFORE we put out that last cigarette.
Never believe that you can’t quit forever. The reality is that you can, so long as you take some time to build a solid foundation and change your perception of the world. It doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. It doesn’t mean that you won’t feel the withdrawals that we all must face.
But having a clear perception of a world without cigarettes in it when you quit will help you to understand your new world and also make it that much easier to make it last forever! However you decide to quit is up to you. You’re the one that ultimately must do it. We’re just here to give you that little nudge and perhaps take the mystery out of what you’re doing.
No matter what your choices are for your quit, I wish you complete success!!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!