I'm stuck in the middle of No Man's Land.
It's Day #78 on my path to becoming a life-long non-smoker. That's roughly 2 1/2 months free of the stink and the bondage.
But I'm leery and on guard; it was about this time into my last quit when I "slipped" by choosing to smoke one cigarette and then soon after went into full-blown relapse.
I've noticed during the past few weeks that I'm having more thoughts about smoking. They are more like "brain flashes" that don't last all that long.
But during those flashes, I imagine my self smoking again.
And, that scares me.
So, what can I do to protect my quit, I ask myself.
Well for one thing. I'm relying heavily on a new tool I put in my quit basket this time around. It's a real incentive to stay on the path. The gist of this concept can be found in this earlier post by Giulia:
In her blog post, Giuilia speaks of choosing a "reality object" to self-define just how precious our quit is to us.
That concept grabbed onto my heart and I decided to choose something very precious to me to extend as a type of collateral : Something that I would lose, should I not keep my quit.
And I refer to my choice as a "precious object".
As my precious object, I chose a wooden cross given to me by my daughter-in-law Jean, following the death of my 2nd husband and my subsequent move from our home in the west to the land of my family in the east.
My beloved cross is made of olive wood from the Holy Land. It's a cross that fits nicely into the palm of my hand and lends itself to "worrying my thumb" on it" whenever I should have an urge to smoke.
That cross is something I don't want to lose. And I've put it up for collateral.
Like if I'd put up my home as collateral for a loan. Don't make the loan payments? Lose the house.
Don't keep my quit? Lose the cross.
In order to keep my cross, my quit has to remain more precious to me than my beloved cross.
And so, what can I do to protect my quit?
For starters, I will hold onto my cross more often, and remember how precious my quit is to me.
And I will look to you more often, my Exer friends, for support, encouragement and direction.