In May of last year, my ex-son-in-law (commonlaw) came to me after being released from rehab. He just wanted someone to talk to, someone to listen, bounce ideas off. I've known him for seven years. He's had a rough life and was recovering from an oxycodone/heroin addiction. I by no means am a licensed counselor, but I wanted to help him. I needed to understand what this addiction is all about.
An addiction is an addiction they say. It just simply takes on the persona of alcohol, drugs, etc. I was sticking with alcohol and drugs, trying to grasp how recovering alcoholics and drug addicts think. I've watched my fair share of Intervention and am fascinated by the common theme of which they deal with families. My question was how do they stay clean and sober? What's the magic potion?
I decided to research the different sites on the Internet where users are consoling each other, offering tips, tricks and experiences with other addicts. The whys and when most people are susceptible to use. The parallel to smoking is similar. We used smoking as a shield to mask something we were either trying to bolster about ourselves or hide from others. Some people drink for courage and some use drugs to hide perhaps a childhood tragedy.
I know this epiphany didn't come to me overnight by any means. My first year quitting was all-consuming. I was not the happy quitter and was in awe of those that were. But I've come to the realization upon coming up to my 2-year anniversary and entering my 3rd that there is finally an even playing field. Yes, I'm still short tempered, but I've always been. I was short tempered when I smoked and I'm short tempered when I'm not smoking. I'm very impatient by nature and that's probably why that first year was strenuous for me. I wanted this to end and never come back again. Around September to October and probably even before then last year, I told myself this will never end. Not may, not might, never. This will always be with me, but that's okay. It's something that I cannot just have an occassional smoke, a weekend smoker, a holiday smoker. One for me is basically signing on for the whole pack.
The frugal part of me would never throw them out. The “just in case” or the safeguard pack “just in case” life gets to be too difficult could never be part of my life anymore. Life will continue to move around me whether I'm smoking or not, good or bad. Smoking never changed anything. We always have to be on guard for those tells that we all have. It's an individual thing, but we all have them. My tell is anger and frustration. That always brought me back to smoking every single time. Life is a concept. The way we perceive life is the way it's going to be for us. There are some people in life that wake up every day and appreciate the beauty in the world today. Kind of like the glass is half empty or the glass is half full. If we fixate on the bad and not see the good, it will be difficult. Quitting smoking or even remaining smoke free is just like that. My mind-set has come around full circle to simply that's just something that I used to do. It's not part of who I am anymore.
If you feel you are struggling, go to certain groups on here, Relapse Prevention, Wisdom and Motivation, Celebrating Milestones, Mindfulness. Write yourself a blog or write in a journal if you have one. Go to a member you connect with and read some of their blogs. I have a certain few that I refer to when I'm struggling. I've bookmarked some inspirational writings that have comforted me or picked me up and led me on my path again. Trust in the process. Know that there are certain steps you have to move through. Not get through; move through in order to get through. Trust me when I tell you that you're going to discover so many things about yourself that were buried in that gray haze. I know in my case my creativeness is coming to surface again.
I'm looking forward to spring now to plant and grow and watch the beauty bloom before me. You will wake up one day and not think about smoking. You'll wake up and just plan your day and complete things, get things done without stopping to just have one more before I do this, that and the other thing. Knowledge is power. Know your foe before you begin the fight. Learn about nicotine dependence and identify the whys and when you smoke. Make a mental note when out of the blue a smoking memory comes to surface and it stops you dead in your tracks. It has an association with something that's happening in your life that's bringing that memory up. Once you identify those and see it for what it is and not act on it, you will become the winner !!!!