Remember that first day that you really entertained the idea of quitting? If you’re like me, the main thing noticed on that day was an intense and in reality, unfocused fear just at the thought of it. A kind of shudder in the deepest parts of our very beings. And from that feeling, we usually hit a wall for a while. I mean to an addict, the idea of giving up the main thing that that our entire life revolves around is perceived as an impossible task, and it takes a bit of time to turn that thought into a reality.
The thing is all we had to do was THINK about quitting and suddenly there it was. The first experience with the internal argument. The moment I thought about quitting, it was like I’d just turned my entire world upside down! I didn’t even notice that argument in the background at first simply because I still smoked. Simply because once again, I hadn’t yet acted on the thought.
A few days later, when I’d finally convinced myself that I was going to do this and picked a date and started tracking my cigarettes, the infamous internal argument became more intense. When I decided that I was no longer going to smoke when I drove (one of my biggest triggers), the voice began telling me how hard it would be to concentrate and the voice was correct because rather than thinking about my driving, I was listening to this maddening internal voice telling me that something was wrong. Something was missing.
This was the first time I began listening to that voice, and it appeared to actually be a kind of whisper always in the background and at the same time it seemed to be more of an impulse then a thought. I looked deeper and realised that I was the one giving these impulses a voice. That I was deciphering them into the internal argument that we all feel. I think it was how my mind made sense of these impulses. By giving them a voice.
Over time, I found that conversing with this voice was a good way to get the impulses or urges to stop, or at least to lesson in intensity. I named these impulses the addict within and when those urges were the strongest and I could focus on what I saw as a screaming toddler throwing a temper tantrum, they seemed to become less intense.
And there were times when I used visualization to see my journey as something tangible. Something with a defined beginning and end. As many of you already know, I called that journey Mt. Freedom. Also over the course of my quit, I learned to assess my mood upon waking and if my mood wasn’t the most productive for the coming day, I’d close my eyes again and use visualization to go to a quiet place of my own creation. And this is something I still use to this day to keep my day a positive one.
There were so many changes that I had make both internally and externally in order to change my life for the better and you know what? I still use all of these things every day of my life! My preparation was much more than preparing to quit. It was also preparing to live a new life.
This is why I’ve always considered those first days. Those learning days; days of wonder. I know if you’re in the middle of a quit, you might not see these first hard days as days of wonder but you will!
As the addiction calms within our minds and we begin to see the incredible and positive changes to our world. When we can look back at what we’ve created and achieved without fear of relapse. This is when we can see that our quit was indeed an incredible journey experienced in all levels of our psych. This is when we can see that what we chose to do on that first day would end up creating so much more within us that we get to keep forever!
So the next time you feel like this is all a waste of time. The next time that you think that quitting is just to hard. Try to remember that change can be amazing! And yes life can be wonderful! All it takes is a desire to see it, to experience it. To dream it and fight for it!
And when it’s all over and you can look back with a confident smile on your face. That’s when you’ll know that those first hard days really were wonderful.
Fight on my friends! Fight on! I know it’s worth it and it won’t be long before you know it too . . .
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!