I know it sounds like what someone would say who’s no longer in the throws of addiction, but this is something that helped me out during my prep as well as my quit. It was during my preparations that I first realized that I was doing just that: Dwelling on what I was losing.
I realized that my thoughts during my practice quits were always about what I was losing rather than understanding that by quitting, I was gaining everything! Those first days that I began preparing were really, really hard and being one that always strives to find answers, I turned inward because well, that’s where the quit would really be happening once I put out that last cigarette.
I realized that my thoughts were ones of jealousy, loss, change and yes, fear. I was looking at how my world will look once I put out that last cigarette. I wondered how I could possibly cope with life. How would I concentrate when I was alone, cause I always had a cigarette for that. How would I appreciate the world because in the past, I always had my cigarettes with me and somehow giving me a strange kind of confidence that I would no longer have after I quit.
I was fearing change and my new life, seeing it in my minds eye as a colorless and lifeless world without the old slave master to keep me company. I realized that I was jealous of all those who still smoked and that I feared failure.
I realized that in order to succeed, I’d need to lose that perception of things and for me, that was my eureka moment in my preparation for you see, not only had I really dug inside of myself to see what was generating the fear but I also figured out the very foundation of my addiction and how it interacted with me in my day to day life.
Now I had something to work on. Something that I knew would strengthen my quit and so when I’d do my practice quits, where I would quit for several hours, I looked inward to what my mind was telling my and I realized something new. It was like there were two voices inside of me. One was the voice of my addiction while the other was my voice of reason. And I realized that I’d hidden the voice of reason from myself in order to keep my addiction strong.
I realized that the voice of addiction that lived inside of me was stronger than the voice of reason. I think this is some of what we do when we become addicted. We suppress our reasonable thoughts in order to keep smoking.
This was the time that I actively began changing these thoughts within me. With each urge, I’d visualize my life without cigarettes in it. And I’d analyze how I was feeling and why. I’d see myself in my future without cigarettes and believe me, when a person is addicted, it’s actually hard to see a world without the source of the addiction.
I’d see myself with my children and grandchildren, everyone smiling and happy, including me. I realized that this visualization and actively changing my thoughts were gradually helping me to make the voice of reason louder than the voice of my addiction. Soon, all I wanted was to at last reach that quit date because I knew in every part of my being that this time would be different. This time my voice of reason will already be the dominant voice within me.
Don’t get me wrong. I had the same internal arguments all over again on those first days after I put out my last cigarette but just as I thought it would be, it was easier, and I had way more confidence in my ability to win.
All I can say is that preparation can be a key to success, but if you just decide one day to quit cold turkey, the same things apply. Look for that voice of reason inside. It’s right there, hiding behind your addiction because if you’re like me, that’s where you put it.
Change is always scary, but how you perceive that change can determine how easy the quit may be. But whatever tools you choose to put in your quit kit. Whatever methods you have learned along the way that work, the main thing is that you’re dedicated to a new life free of slavery.
I can tell you the world is just brighter once you reach the other side of addiction. And it’s free!! So very free!! And that feeling of pride and freedom that you’ll have when you reach the end of this ordeal is simply indescribable!!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!