Good day EXers!!
When I think back to my quit experience, I see so many things that I couldn’t see before, during the time that I was living it. I think addiction can make it hard to see some things while we’re still addicted because stepping out of ourselves and seeing ourselves as we really are goes against everything we tell ourselves to remain addicted.
But one thing that stuck out the most for me was the ups and downs that we must face when we choose to lose our addictions. Those first hard days seemed like a breeze to me, simply because I was already expecting them to be bad and I knew I had to fight hard at first.
To me, it felt like I had a complete handle on my quit that first week. I was proud of my achievement of the previous week and felt confident that I was going to win this thing. Of course, it’s rarely that easy to lose an addiction and I of course was no exception.
About halfway through that second week, I woke up feeling terrible! My mind couldn’t focus and I felt like I was living one long, endless urge. I was angry at myself for seemingly going backwards and like so many of us, I thought of the cigarette as a comfort. Soon, that cigarette was all I could think of, and it was driving me crazy!
All I can say is that I did make it through that day by blogging and using all of the tools I had placed in my toolbox before I started on the journey, and I remember vowing to myself not to let that happen again if I could help it.
On that hard day I learned something that I carried with me throughout my journey. What I learned was that no day is static. No day is written in stone. The reality is that each day is like a blank canvas, waiting for the color to be added by our own actions and thoughts. I realized that I could color that canvas drab and grey or I could color it red with anger or more importantly, I could color it with bright and beautiful colors, creating a wonderful landscape for the day.
And so, from that day forward whenever I woke, I would assess how I was feeling. For me, I discovered that there’s a very powerful moment in those first moments of wakefulness. And so when I woke if I felt sad or like the whole thing is just hopeless or that perhaps I should just give up, I’d create a peaceful place of my own choosing, painting the canvas within my mind in warmth and serenity. I would lay there for as long as necessary, until I felt a calm come over me.
Then I would open my eyes to begin another wonderful smoke free day! This is why I always say that the power to quit lies within each one of us. All we really have to do is take the time to find the right tools that work for us and once we do quit, be prepared to modify things if they must be modified.
Our attitude and perception is the one thing that can make or break a quit. If we see our quit as a monumental burdon, then we weaken our resolve. If we only see others that still “get” to smoke and don’t change that perception then eventually we’ll fall into the trap of our own making and relapse. But if we feel sorry for those who still smoke, it changes our whole perception of how we thought we felt and strengthens us to push on to the next wonderful day.
The main thing to remember is that a quit isn’t a permanent situation for most. There is a day when you suddenly realize that you’re free. And when that day comes, you’ll be glad that you took every step that you did, and like me, you’ll look back at all that you learned and realize that everything we had to learn to beat our addiction will help us for the rest of our lives!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!