I hope everyone is doing well with their quits. I know I am! Still, a couple of days ago I had a couple of days where I felt some pretty stead y urges. Not really a big deal because the longer we go without nicotine, the easier it becomes to deal with those things. The important thing is that we’re aware of them when they appear.
After I acknowledged their presence, I simply moved on. Still I was surprised that they kept coming at me! After a while I thought to myself, "Oh, it’s you!" I realized that my old friend, the addict within was trying to throw a little temper tantrum. This little revelation actually made me laugh out loud at myself and the pesky little addict within who I knew would pop up from time to time.
I always knew that he was just sleeping. Well, he must have woke up for a moment and woke up cranky. The poor little part of my brain that has been beat down so many times by my commitment decided to give it another try. Of course to no avail. After all, I knew he would be back sooner or later.
And then that night I dreamed of smoking. I smoked a bunch of cigarettes in my dream. Every time I lit one I remembered that I had quit and I’d put it out only to find another one in my hand. Amazingly, I laughed at this in my dream just as I had laughed at the addict within when he made his appearance. I mean really, it is kind of funny when you think about it. I don’t smoke anymore and I know that. I know I’m still and always will be an addict but that doesn’t mean that I have to give my addiction any credit.
And so I woke the next day feeling fine just as I knew I would. How did I know that? Well, although the brain still sends and receives the signal to smoke, that’s as far as it goes. The action part of my addiction is no more. The impulse to reach for that cigarette is no longer there. Over time my addiction has changed and because of this there is really nothing that can derail my quit other then me being weak.
Thing is, I already know that those things will taste bad. I already know that they have the power to enslave me if I let them. I already know that the addiction will try time and time again to get me and I already know that this is laughable. It really is funny to me when I think about it. I mean really. I’ve already quit and it’s like some little cocoon trying to grow inside to become a full blown butterfly of addiction.
The addiction must be treated like a child I think. It must be listened to and it must be tamed before we can move on. I think this is exactly what happens in those first few months of our quits. We slowly tame the addiction and teach ourselves that we no longer listen to the temper tantrums of the addiction. We remain aware but we don’t actually give the child any more then we have to. It takes time to teach a stubborn child that is our addiction how to act and over time this is obviously achieved.
But when it appears again and tries to slam us with thoughts that we know we don’t think anymore it creates a situation that for some reason strikes a funny bone within me. It’s like a tickle in the mind and this in itself takes the wind out of the sails of my addiction.
Perhaps it’s because I know that these thoughts are irrational. Perhaps it’s because I realize that even though I possess these thoughts that I will not act on them. Perhaps it’s because the smoking thoughts actually feel alien to me now. I don’t know. I just know that it makes me laugh when these urges hit me.
So yes, I’ve now discovered a new phase in my quit. And to me this is something that so many can look forward to. The day that you can laugh at an addictive situation rather then dwell on it, thereby creating horrible days in the fight that we really don’t need. The day that we progress to the point that we no longer fear the urges but rather embrace them and understand them as a simple physical reaction caused by years of living with our addictions.
This is indeed another monumental step toward the freedom we desire. This is indeed proof that though the fight may not be quite over yet, there’s still a kind of calm in the acceptance of what we no longer do. So keep climbing my friends. Keep planting that foot firmly on the mountain and keep moving forward and upward.
Keep that summit in sight for it is where your freedom lies. The climb really isn’t so bad so long as we continue to understand that our commitment is real. The climb isn’t so bad so long as we reach out to one another and never believe that we will fail. And to reach that summit is so wonderful! It’s so exciting and it’s just so darn free!!