Remember that time when the walls came crashing down? I do and it was the day I relapsed from my quit of a year so long ago, before this final quit. I often look to that one because that one didn’t work out and I always wanted to know why that one didn’t and yet my current quit did.
I know what the excuse was to begin smoking again. The death of a person close to me. But that was just an excuse and as such, I wanted to know more about what really made me cave. What was in the background. I know that whenever I went to the hospital, there were no smoke free campuses back then and I always seemed to have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke both on entering and leaving the hospital. I often thought that this may have helped to create the trigger that eventually got me to cave. But still, I knew that wasn’t the answer.
I know it was kind of lonely sitting in that hospital room, watching my partner in her coma for hours on end but still that wasn’t the root of the problem. The thing that made me give up on something I’d fought for for so long. No, something else was already there. A seed of the old addiction that somehow sprouted at just the wrong time.
I remember the moment that I actually caved and that at the time it seemed spontaneous, though the reality was that it wasn’t. It was right there all along in the back of my mind festering. A thought that I had somehow latched onto rather than letting go of it.
And then it struck me! When I quit that last time, it was all fake! I was never really ready to quit and really, deep down I wasn’t doing it for myself. No. I was doing it for my partner and once she was incapacitated, my single reason for remaining free was gone!
And so I continued on, building my addiction into the monster that it became when I finally quit many, many years later. I always thought of that time I’d been smokefree as living in an endless struggle. I remained addicted to the patch for six months, and spent six months free of all nicotine, but never free of myself.
But that was the past and these were lessons learned and then forgiven. It was an important part of my prep on this last quit to forgive my past, because we cannot move forward until we do. And because of my previous failure, I prepped for a while before I quit this time for you see, I knew I’d have to be excited about quitting if I was to keep myself from a repeat of my past attempt.
When I quit this last time; I was ready, and this time I knew deep within my soul that I really wanted this! Not just for my children and grandchildren but for me! I knew when I quit that I wanted to do this for reasons that lived inside, rather than only for external reasons.
Once you know you want to do this because YOU want to be free, there’s simply no turning back. Sometimes it takes some time to get to this point where inside, freedom is more important than addiction. Sometimes we have to keep looking for that reason that lives deep within us, just waiting to be discovered.
And really for me that reason was freedom. Once I came to realize that my life was being controlled by the chemical effects of a modified plant, it made it so much easier to see that freedom.To grasp that freedom. To want it bad enough to change the reality of addiction into the reality of freedom.
I now had an answer and throughout my prep, that’s what I worked on. Whenever I felt an urge, I’d think of freedom. When I woke up every morning, I’d think of freedom and I made freedom the last thought every night before I went to bed.
Now I had a foundation for my quit. The next step was to learn my enemy which I called the addict within. That’s what the studying that we do before a quit is all about. Understanding how our addiction relates to us in all of our daily activities, and how to change that relation.
And the last step for me was simply to compare things. To try to get a glimpse of that goal of freedom that I so badly wanted, so I created Mt. Freedom in my mind’s eye. I used this mountain to symbolize all that I wanted in my future and the trials that I knew it would take to get me there.
And after all that, this time when I quit, I really, really wanted to quit. This time I knew all about my enemy. This time I had support and more importantly this time all I was focused on was freedom, making those discomforts that we all must face at first seem worth the fight, until they just fade away.
Whenever you feel lost or like it’s all just too impossible, take a look inside where the truth lies. You see without the help of addiction, it’s pretty hard to lie to ourselves. Look for that spark of enthusiasm and if you can’t find it come here and let us help you until you do find it. It really is there. Sometimes it’s just a little hard to see . . . .
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!