Good afternoon EXer’s!!
Boy, it can take me awhile to type these at the moment, but I don’t care! I’m just glad I found a way to get back in touch with all of you dedicated people!
Quitting an addiction is never easy. And the hardest part of it is that the entire experience lives inside of us.
There’s really not a lot that can be done by others to help us, besides offering a little support and knowledge so that people aren’t blindsided by so much of what happens. But one thing is certain, knowledge is a key to success!
We create our dreams within our minds and if we can hold onto those dreams, they really can become a reality. So many here have already taken the first step. The step that no one can do for you. The one where you decide deep within yourself that this addiction is killing you slowly and that something must be done about it.
If you’re like me, the moment the idea of quitting popped into my head, I felt fear, and a kind of unfocused dread. You see, when we actually decide to do something about our addictions, we’re shaking the very foundation of what we perceive to be our normal life.
After all the years of telling ourselves that smoking only harms other people. After living the lies of our own making for a long, long time in order to be comfortable with the fact that we’re slowly killing ourselves, we create a fake reality I think.
And when we shatter this reality, it scares us! That was the first lesson I learned when I started this amazing journey so long ago. That I’d been living a lie of my own making, and on top of that, I’d found ways to rationalize my slow death spiral in order to keep smoking!
For me, I knew that this was the root of my addiction. Fear of changing things. Fear of deprivation. I just knew that life would be different and it took me a while to wrap my head around this. To see through my own lies to the way life should be, free from slavery.
And so I prepped for my quit, knowing the entire time that if could get rid of this fear of a new and different life, that I would succeed. I did a lot of what I called “playing with my addiction.”
I would do practice quits, where I wouldn’t smoke for several hours just to understand what I was going to experience. I learned and documented the times that I wanted to smoke, how I was feeling right before I smoked and how I felt after I smoked. I was taking the baby steps that made sense in order to step into a new life once and for all.
And as I prepped, I began to see glimpses of what my new life could be like. Of how I would cope with life without the cigarettes and over time as my mind began to slowly accept that I was about to change things forever. And as I accepted this, the fear of quitting began to fade.
I know now that had I not prepped. Had I not laid the foundation for my new life before I stepped into it, then I think I may have failed. For me, quitting was first finding the very foundation of my addiction and then blowing it up so that I could build a new one based on freedom rather than addiction.
I knew that I had accomplished my goal when I put out my last cigarette because there was no fear of quitting in my heart. In fact, I was actually smiling when I put out that cigarette for you see, I somehow knew that this really was at long last my last quit!
Don’t get me wrong. I still had the same withdrawals that we all must face. I still had to work through the endless internal arguments of my addicted mind but this time I knew that I wanted freedom more than anything! This time I knew that so long as I continued to understand what was happening to me that I would be fine.
And almost eight years later I can say that the dream of freedom that I had so long ago is in fact my new reality. And I cherish that new reality every minute that I live it.
It’s within all of us to find that new reality. All we have to do is understand that things are different now. That we live on a new foundation of life and that foundation is called freedom!!
I long to see each and every one of you find the method that works for you. The method that allows you to see the other side of addiction. It takes a bit of work but the results are almost indescribable!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!