You know, I’ve learned a little about grief in the last couple of weeks. I’ve also learned how to lose an addiction, but you know what? I never realized that the steps are so much alike. Ever heard of missing the “old friend”?
How about “my life will never be the same without cigarettes in them.” Both statements might be considered as true to the addicted mind. They also might be a form of grieving. It’s true that feeling loss of any kind can make us sad. But if we lose the first thing we’d go to when we feel loss then it can just get confusing!
That’s why preparation is so important. So that we can find a way to get around that fear of loss. That fear of living a life that will forever be different so long as we stay true to our desire for freedom.
It’s not so much what we’re losing that matters. It’s more about what we’re gaining, but addiction makes it really hard to see things that way. Instead, we dwell on what’s missing. And loss can be such a powerful emotion within us that it can literally sway our thinking.
Suddenly we no longer look at the cigarette as the stick of death and instead start thinking about deprivation. We start thinking that we’re depriving ourselves of something we’ve always believed we wanted.
These are the kinds of things that get the divided mind talking, creating that maddening voice within us that argues with what we know is right constantly. To me, that voice was the most annoying thing about my quit, at least until I started laughing at it, but even that takes time.
So I guess my point is that before we even attempt to put out that last cigarette, we need to know how we’ll deal with that feeling of loss and the feeling of loneliness that goes with that loss. We need to be prepared to have that argument of depravation already worked out. And we need to be focusing on what we’re gaining right away lest the old negative thoughts creep in to derail our quits.
There’s many pieces to a successful quit. All we have to do is assemble them into something we can understand and the journey will be easier.
Have a happy Easter everyone!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!