Good Morning All,
Who says there are no such things as miracles! While I am only occasionally on NOPE - or is that HOPE? these days, I must say, lining up a 1000 ducks in a row is a truly cosmic event for anyone, all of us, 'brave' enough to 'willingly' step out of their comfort zone into a tobacco-free space. "Willingly" is a bit of a joke isn't it? I don't know about you, but I was delivered to the gates of 'hell week' only AFTER I was beaten senseless by the ravages of tobacco addiction, or to be more accurate, by what I thought about myself in relation to tobacco or my substance of choice.
In a way tobacco (and alcohol et al) was a huge (and imaginary) 'safety net' because no matter what happens, even if my ass falls off,' I could always find refuge in a smoke. And then there's that popular, rather annoying ‘New Age’ truism, "Leap, and the Net will appear". Right, because any 'well heeled addict' never leaps anywhere without a cigarette first!
So I think it takes a special kind of courage, that sort of courage that everyone here on ‘EX’, or over at ’NOPE’, anyone / anywhere stepping up to the plate and calling addiction’s bluff - call it ‘hutzba' to take the chance, the risk to leave behind what for some is the only meaning life holds. In the early days of my Quit I felt just like that. As though meaning, even beauty itself had fled my withdrawal spasms. There was no better example of that wasteland than in the period of time called "No Man's Land", or PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) that sometimes occurs a few weeks into quitting.
To stay tobacco free during this time is the same thing as ultimate surrender, admitting there is no way out, no escape, only THROUGH. The best advice here is to simply "Stay" - and remain faithful to the idea that you have not made a mistake, you are not lost; in fact, you are on the eve of discovering a wonderful truth about yourself. That you have real power!
Most of us break out of the clouds into bright sunlight sooner rather than later. As I broke through, a new understanding of what addiction and craving really were dawned on me. As I have written before, craving (indeed addiction itself) is the song of the inner child reaching out from the depths of unresolved abuse; that hard trauma that shadows many an addict's life and is responsible for that all too infamous 'hole in the soul’. But let's not forget that each day we are smober, the addict in us dies a little bit - and every morning we wake up tobacco free, the ’not-addict’ is reborn again.
At the very least, craving - the pain and distress of a child demanding ‘candy’ at the checkout - should inspire a profound sense of compassion and forgiveness towards ourselves if we are to remain smober, sober and free. After all, miracles do happen.... But I don’t want to be coy. Quitting tobacco (or whatever) isn’t a miracle, it requires continuous honesty - truth testing - proper intention and a HUGE helping of self-compassion. And frankly, the nuts and bolts of it often come down to just staying f*** busy!
The wisdom of "No Escape" is perennial; even after 1000 days I still slip and slide into cravings. Yet, for all the trouble they stir up, they last a minute at the most... like a cloud - a flash of lightening - a drop of rain. The willingness to stay focused on a tobacco free / REAL life is the same thing as a willingness to be honest - hopefully, authentic - in all realms of life. Mere willingness holds me upright, and on-course, as I breath in what I really, truly need.
One thing for sure, IT'S NEVER A CIGARETTE. We may deny it, but we can never elude the truth that the ‘endgame' of addiction is always death.