(this was meant to be a blog post but I posted it accidentally as a conversation first. My apologies for the cross post.)
This quit journey, so far, has been quite the adventure. Today is day 16. And as I wind down for bed, I realize just how different I feel than yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Each day has brought a surprise, not necessarily a welcomed surprise, but something new.
Newness is good, it's a sign of progress, that things aren't stagnant. Change is a sign of life.
On day 14, I began to experience some more positive changes. For one, it was the first day I didnt have a meltdown. That was huge. I have not had a meltdown since.
And in hindsight, the meltdowns were important. I needed to cry, alot. I needed to feel panic and terror and grief and shame. I needed to learn to reach out for other supports, to access my other resources when in distress, instead of the cigarette. I needed to release some long held emotions, feel them, be seen and accepted in them, move through them.
Each day brings with it a new challenge. Some days I hide as much as I can, not ready to face anything new that day. And that's okay. Not going outside 17 times a day is new enough sometimes.
Today I went for a walk in the woods without smoking. That was new. Walking and smoking are so attached for me.
Today I panicked and was caughed up in spinning scary thoughts. And was able to utilize my breathe, find compassion for that little one inside who's scared, tap into my inner strength and give myself permission to rest and relax (the spinning thoughts were about work). I was able to find my calm, my strength, without smoking.
Today I sat down and spent time painting. Something I have wanted to do but never did when I smoked. It felt so sweet and really got me out of my head.
Today I felt some peace.
Today I felt contentment.
Today I felt restless too.
Today I had so many feels. So much newness.
Today I was alive.
For the first time in 19 years, I'm allowing myself to fully be here. To give myself the gift of feeling fully. Of staying instead of running. Of the possibility of healing. Space and time to find out how I want to spend my days, my moments here on earth instead of being a slave to nicotine.
It's interesting because I'm realizing that I dont reall have a desire to smoke. What I have is a desire to escape my feelings...because they feel intolerable. Uncoupling the discomfort from a desire to smoke has been super helpful. Smoking only ensures the feeling will come.back, un healed, not dealt with. Not smoking is the only way to get freedom, to find peace.
I understand today that this journey can't be rushed. Easier to say now that I'm out of the hell of the first 2 weeks. But I know this year will be a year or newness. Of firsts. And that wont always be easy. It might be downright painful and awful at times. And also amazing at others.
This journey is worth it. And as my partner said to me 'let's take a chance on life'.
Will you take a chance on life with me?