That first summer

Blog Post created by chuck-2-20-2011 on Jun 28, 2018

Good day Exer’s!!


Summertime is a time that has always been associated with fun, and with a desire to get out there and do things while we can bask in the warmth that summer brings. We go to picnics and enjoy a hike, or some time on the beach, depending on where we live.


But for those who are in the middle of losing an addiction, it can seem just plain horrible! This is largely due to how our cigarettes were so interwoven into our lives. Every experience is a new experience to those who have quit because all these things that we loved so much, we always did while smoking.


It’s the memories of smoking that must be overcome, as Dale pointed out to me so long ago. And the only way to achieve that is to create new memories without cigarettes. When I first started my quit, I always called those memories the tentacles of addiction. These sinewy things that can slither inside of every aspect of our lives.


And as I created each new non-smoking memory, I saw it as me pulling out these tentacles one by one, and replacing them with a new memory so that I could move onto the next. I did this because I’ve always been a very visual person and as such, I learned early on that I could use my visualization techniques to my advantage.


That’s why I created Mt. Freedom and the addict within. Two tangible things that I could wrap my mind around in those times when I felt weak or unsure of my ability to stay on the path to freedom. I would see myself climbing this formidable mountain and as I climbed, I kept the addict within close by so it couldn’t try to fool me.


When the addict within would throw a temper tantrum, demanding that I smoke, I would calm it like the child it was for you see, the child of addiction never understood what that addiction was doing to me. It only understood that it was so much easier to just keep smoking. That to the addict within, things were normal so long as there is nicotine and horrible when there’s not.


And when the addict within screamed at me, I would talk to it like the toddler that it was. A thing that just couldn’t understand what was best for the both of us. After all, we were one and the same. The addict within was simply a name for the addiction I was working to remove from myself. A way to focus my energy and yes, my unexplained anger at something inside, rather than lashing out at others who have no idea what’s going on inside.


Boy, do I ramble at times! I guess my point is that when we’re new to a quit, summer time is actually new as well because we have to relearn how to enjoy our summer without those nasty cigarettes. And we have to stay safe while we’re doing it. Sometimes that’s no easy task.


I can’t quit for you, however I can tell you what it’s like when you do. At first the journey seems almost endless, but over time, it becomes wonderful! In fact, I think very few of us who actively smoke remember much of how life was before we were addicts. I know I didn’t.


That’s why after the long hard journey becomes reality, we’re completely surprised at how wonderful we feel. We’re completely surprised at how much easier life seems. We’re completely surprised that life is just plain fun again.


Enjoy your summer my friends, but be wary until the day comes when you no longer have to be. I think that time comes at different times for each of us but when it does, the smile on your face will reflect the happiness in your soul. Your mind will feel so calm and able to focus like never before because it’s clearer without the addict within always screaming for the next cigarette.


You’re on your way to a new and incredible life the moment you put out that last cigarette. I look forward to hearing of that wonderful smile of freedom on each and every person who tries to achieve it. It’s within all of us to win. All we have to do is grasp for our goal and hold on tightly until the day that we wake up and realize that wow! We really are free!!