~~The worst part about anything that's self-destructive is that it's so intimate. You become so close with your addictions and illnesses that leaving them behind is like killing the part of yourself that taught you how to survive.~~ Lacey L
Often when we quit smoking, we mourn for those times we left behind. Those "relaxing" moments, those "I am missing my best friend" moments. Those "Thank goodness I can breathe again" moments. Not because we liked or miss being addicted but because our lives revolved around that addiction. Those times when we could finally have a cigarette and just leave the rest of the world alone.
And that's truly how we survived. Nicotine became the core of how we coped with life. That is what addiction is. Our anchor...or more accurately, our ball and chain.
But that ball and chain was so easy. Just light up and for 5 minutes or so, everything was just wonderful. And lighting up over 10 to 20 to 30 times a day? Made cigarettes a necessity to function through our day. So to leave it all behind can be not only hard but it can make us actually feel panicky and alone. How are we going to survive without our core coping skill????
This is exactly why I think educating ourselves about addiction can help. Because the basic truth is that smoking is a negative coping skill that can actually kill us rather than give us a life of 'feeling better'. The momentary relief we feel because our brains get the nicotine is craves is nothing compared to living on oxygen or going through chemo. The reality of smoking is entirely, completely, utterly different than what addiction allows us to believe.
It's up to us to change our thinking. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's uncomfortable. At first. It's unfamiliar territory to think we don't want to go back to smoking. Secretly the addictive part of our brains probably...most likely...does. At first. But the more we change the way we think, the easier it becomes. When we don't feed our addiction, we can think more clearly and make rational decisions.
I get to attend the Indoor Percussion Championships today at the University of Southern Alabama. Jake is performing. The show is spectacular and I believe they can win Not once will I have to sneak out to have a cigarette. Not once will I feel anxious because I "need" to relax. Not once will I feel jealous as I see someone else puffing away. I don't do that anymore and haven't for almost 6 years. That 6 years started with a single step...the first day....NML. We all start the same. But you get to decide how long you remain smoke free. Think before you smoke. Day 1 doesn't ever get easier.