Hello, EXmates! I'm reposting one of my previous blogs here today, specifically because the moment that inspired this blog was a pivotal breakthrough for me. It truly helped me integrate my quit into my life (acceptance!), and I'm hoping maybe it will resonate with someone else out there.
Last night, while at a quiet tapas bistro, I overheard an amazing comment from a nearby table. It was so moving that I knew I had to share it…
Four women were seated near me, enjoying a “ladies’ night” out. Three of them ordered wine, but one did not. The three ladies who ended up with vino quietly remarked that their non-drinking companion was so strong and brave to be alcohol-free. “How long have you gone without?” and “Isn‘t it tempting?” and “I’m not sure I could give up wine.“ You know, well-meaning comments of that type.
That’s when the lady with the glass of iced water said something that swelled my heart with warmth. She smiled with genuine affection, and said, “Oh, I’m perfectly fine. My sobriety isn’t a burden.”
A part of me wanted to scootch over there, to talk to this woman, to hear her story. But, as it turned out, her declaration sparked plenty of self-talk inside my own head. I sat there thinking about our choices and options as ex-smokers, our responsibilities and obligations as EXmates, our promises and pledges to ourselves and our loved ones and our support group.
Our “smobriety” musn’t be thought of as a burden to bear, even on a “gloomy” day, or a “hard“ day, or a “stressed-the-freak-out“ day. It is not an insufferable curse from out of nowhere, nor a woeful punishment for having done the right thing. It is not a cross to carry. Freedom is not an affliction, nor a deprivation.
It is an honor. A liberation.
Quitting is the ongoing recovery process that we asked for, and it’s a privilege to protect it. Always remember that you chose this better path for yourself, and that it is an honor - not a burden - to follow through with your own commitments and promises.