Good day everyone,
( I wrote this thread and put the update at the end for those who want to read it)
It’s been a really busy week for me, facing my fears and moving forward in life after quite a few combined tragedies and problems in the recent past. The stress of these events has been incredible. I couldn’t imagine going through these kinds of things as a smoker, but that’s only because I’ve walked the long road to freedom. Because many years ago, I found freedom to be more important than slavery. I also found my health to be more important than nicotine. And of course I found my future free of addiction to be more important to me than smoking.
I believed all of these things in the beginning but I also discovered a kind of terror at the thought of giving up my master, the cigarette. I fought myself for a long time before I decided to give quitting a shot. In the end, my positive thoughts won over the negative ones or rather, the addictive ones. My mind became focused on freedom and over time with the help of this site, I found the courage to actually put out my last cigarette.
Those first days were hard but the reality is that every bit of my discomfort was worth it. The key for me was keeping my focus on freedom. I used visualization to strengthen my belief in freedom and I studied addiction all that I could, even as I was fighting my own addiction. Like everyone, I had those days where I began to wonder if it’ll ever end, but still, I kept my eye on my goal. The vision of the summit of Mt. Freedom that signified both my struggle and ability to reach the top.
Whatever worked for me is what I focused on until that day that I really felt free. But I’d have never known what would work for me if it weren’t for my preparation. By the time I actually quit, I knew my enemy well, and how I would interact with that enemy as it began screaming at me. Again, I used visualization and created the addict within. I saw him as a screaming child, throwing a temper tantrum. I screamed at him when the craves were hard. I laughed at him when he tried to nudge me. I conversed with him when I didn’t understand and in the end, I calmed him to the point that he finally just faded away forever.
The future is determined by the choices we make today. I’m so happy now because of the choices I made before. There’s a kind of peace that awaits you like you haven’t felt in a long, long time and once you find even a glimmer of that peace and grab a hold of it, then nothing can stop you!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!
The last few days have been filled with the fear that is so common with PTSD. Still, I’ve managed to face those fears, much as I did when I quit smoking by facing them. Just as when I did practice quits before I ever put out that last cigarette so that I could understand what would happen to me, I’ve been facing my fears using the lessons I learned to quit smoking.
In the beginning, my symptoms were so bad that I couldn’t even get myself to apply for a job. I felt weak because of this and my inability to get myself to do this was wearing on me badly, creating even more stress as I feared the future with no income. Well, this week that all changed. Not only did I apply but I’ve had an interview and after a background check, I should once again be employed.
The other fear I’ve been working on is riding a bike. I know, I know, you never forget how. Well, I pretty much did and have been facing that fear regularly as I need to use a bike for transportation for the time being. I have my session today with the therapist and will see what comes of that, but either way I see myself turning back to life more and more every day.
Thank you all for your support as I’ve gone through these trying times. It means a lot. That’s part of why I wanted to post some good news for a change. Still fragile, but not broken and fighting my way out of this every day. Just like with quitting, I’ll never give up or give in to my negative emotions and over time I’ll transform them into something useful. In the end, I'm going to come out a stronger person who’s even more in-tuned with my inner self then I already am and when that happens, I see a very bright future indeed. As I always try to remind myself, I just have to fight to get there first!
Thanks for reading.