It’s been 30 days since I last spoke of my personal hike to freedom - Wow! Those first few weeks were so exciting and the thoughts and struggles going on made it seem like I’d never reach 30 days, then it seemed 60 days took a long, long time. It seemed every step was uphill, sometimes I’m not sure they even counted as steps.
Time seems to be moving faster now as an ex-smoker. Though I’d be lying to say the last month hasn’t been rough. This last month as I’ve continued on my journey, I've at times felt I really wasn't making it anywhere. Seems I’ve been hiking the same trail only to find myself back where I was days or weeks ago. Have there been urges to smoke? No; Have there been cravings to smoke? No. Have there been thoughts of smoking? Yes.
I do believe that the forest is clearing ahead. I still see some rocks and boulders to climb over or go around, there may be some streams to cross but once I reach that fork in the trail…
I believe I am ready to exit this No Man’s Land and continue my climb onward to freedom.
I was reminded awhile back that perhaps I had not completely covered up the trail that leads to relapse. That I’d left the beginning of the trail exposed, just in case. The realization hit me the other day as I was fighting my emotions about my brother who passed away 2 years ago, there was no desire to smoke. Even though I was feeling sad, lost, and questioning why. When the though popped in my head, it was countered immediately with why? It would do absolutely nothing to change anything. That trail is no longer an option.
For those of you behind me - beware of this section of the trail. You’ve battled through the raw emotions that accompany the beginning of your quit. You’ve been amazed at how good it feels to reach a month or two; you’ve felt excited and eager and then… all of a sudden… you’re stuck in a rut. Trying to figure out where you need to go, trying to figure out how you’re going to get there. The good news is the days start piling up quicker than they did at first; the bad news is feelings and emotions that you’d always covered up with cigarettes are now facing you head on. And you have to figure out how to navigate the trail around those obstacles.
For those of you ahead of me - first and foremost - THANKS! Without your wisdom and knowledge, I’d never have made it this far on the journey. Forgive me if I’ve been aloof and distant - part of it is my nature - a loner. When the path is unclear, I try to work things out for myself, but never underestimate how much all of you have helped me.
For those close to me, I know some of you have wandered around the same as I, others have forged ahead easier, and yes, perhaps some took the wrong trail. Nonetheless, know that your presence and support has helped immensely.
The trail continues, brighter days are in the forecast, and freedom is within my grasp!