Not once have I ever denied that I had an addiction to nicotine, or that I was dependent on the repetitive and ritualistic compulsions of smoking. These were my truths, and I admitted them. But, even in the days of my early quit, I also didn't deny that I yearned to believe in something beyond addiction. I was eager to focus toward something...more. Something better. Something "other than". What was that something better called? How would it feel? Would it be honest? Real? How would I get there? To what was I aspiring?
Fortunately, this village of Elders unfolded its wisdom to me. I was allowed to explore here, and I discovered 3 Blessings that changed...everything!
The first blessing was realizing that my new life without cigarettes would not be only about fighting back addiction, but also about moving forward into Recovery. What a powerful concept! The promise of Recovery empowered me to think of quitting as a healing. A process. Like other recoveries, it would require time. It would require patience. Planning. Knowledge. Compliance. Sometimes, it would require tough work, and sometimes rest. The promises of Recovery gave me the courage to accept my addiction, but not be defined by it for the years to come.
The second blessing was acknowledging that I also had a Priority Disorder. Cigarettes had so fogged my common sense that I valued menthols more than air and breath, and teeth and lungs and heart -- and life itself. I tauted myself as a son, a friend and coworker, a cyclist and kayaker, a traveling photographer; ultimately, though, in my heart, I was a dedicated Smoker - first and foremost. My priorities were in a backward mess. Fortunately, thanks to EX, I realized I had the right to reorganize my priorities. I was asked to take an inventory of the smoker I was, and the man I wanted to be - and was then tasked to work through that list. To take hands-on action. To take responsibility. Accountability. To prioritize the new truths of my Recovery.
The third blessing came the day I had a very personal breakthrough. An epiphany: My quit had grown to feel very much like a "living presence". A smart and level-headed companion. Like a guardian angel, my Living Quit is always with me: It ebbs and flows with moods and situations; it remembers, but it doesn't romanticize; it doesn't forget, yet it doesn't fixate, either; and, it still learns and teaches - even after 2,000 days!
For me, my Living Quit is the spirit of my Recovery from a severe Priority Disorder.
So, look for your power words. Your action ideas. Your fundamental truths. They can enrich your quit process, and strengthen your mastery of - and control over! - your addiction, your dependence, and your compulsions.
Believe in something beyond where you are right now, my friends! It's there, it's real, and it's waiting for you!