Warning: The first thing you should know about me is I am a TALKER as well as a WRITER. Writing is just talking through a keyboard, so you won't find any short posts from me! But I promise I'll make them as valuable as possible! I'm a super open and transparent person (which you'll find as you read), so I'm hoping my journey and perspective is helpful to anyone else trying to quit this nasty habit of smoking! Now let's begin..dayone
Here it is- Day one without my Juul. I threw it away last night and so far I'm feeling pretty damn positive. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly dizzy and lightheaded, I can't focus on a damn thing (even with my ADHD meds), I'm shaking and I'm tired and I can sense a mild headache coming on. Oh, and of course, I want to take a hit of my Juul. But other than that? Things are looking up! I'm one step closer to a healthier version of me... I'm one step closer to not being dependent on a substance... I'm one step closer to not having to hide my habit out of embarrassment... I'm on step closer to not hearing a "vibration" in my breathing when I get done working out.... And I'm one step closer to saving a TON of money!
I think too often, people tend to focus on whatever negative thing is happening in their life. Yeah, I could focus on the fact that I'm struggling to write this sentence because my head is so foggy- but instead I focus on the fact that I'm able to write about my first day because I actually DID it! I pushed all the excuses out of my mind and decided I wasn't going to be controlled by addiction! I'm CHOOSING to focus on the fact that I've been drinking water like crazy, chewing gum like crazy and snacking on HEALTHY foods and it's WORKING to stop the cravings! I'm going to CELEBRATE the fact that I stocked my shelf in my office with healthy food options to eat when a craving hits! I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for planning to hang out with friends tonight and do something fun, rather than sit and think about the fact that I'm not smoking!
Will I have this great of an attitude every day? That would be awesome- but probably not! There will be good days and bad days- days where I crave my Juul like crazy and days where I think "Juul who?" but the point is not to be fearful of what is to come. It's about taking each day one step at a time. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Meaning prepare to have those terrible cravings days or prepare for a slip up. How are you going to handle that? How are you going to move past it and continue on the path of being addiction free? Remember: the only person you can control is yourself. How you react to or handle different situations is completely within your control.
I know I can do this, and let me share with you two reasons why. There are two situations in my life that FORCED me to look at how I was going to overcome and persevere.
The first came about 2 years ago when I had my first panic attack. I was alone at the time and everything started to go black. I sat on the floor in the kitchen, waiting for my vision to clear. I thought it was just a head rush at first. But then I began to sweat, my whole body was shaking and my lips and fingers were tingling because I wasn't getting enough air. A neighbor ended up taking me to the ER where I was given some anxiety medication and told to relax for a little while. I had never been so scared in my life. After that first panic attack, I was crippled with fear. I was afraid to drive my car, be at home alone, go to the bathroom alone- for fear that I was going to have another attack or pass out and hit my head. I had a choice. I was either going to continue to let this fear get in the way of me living my life, or I was going to confront it head on and grow from it. I chose the latter. I started seeing a therapist, learned breathing techniques, forced myself to LEAN INTO the panic when it happened rather than run away... Today, I still get the "start" of a panic attack from time to time, but I am always able to calm myself down and move past it.
The second situation started about 6 months ago, when my husband told me he wanted a separation. I was absolutely devastated. He had been my whole world for 10 years and although we had hit our first "rough patch" in marriage, it was nothing a little better communication and some counseling couldn't fix. But that wasn't what he had in mind- instead, he wanted a three month separation in which we did not talk to or see each other at all. I felt like I had lost everything. I cannot even describe the type of pain I felt but it was lonely and empty and numb. I was depressed. Again, I had a choice. Either wallow in self pity or pick myself and learn how to hope for the best, while preparing for the worst. I picked myself up. I knew that I was strong enough to make it through this season of my life and I was determined to grow in the process. I got a new job that I loved, stopped partying and drinking too much (my way of coping with the pain for a short time), started doing things I loved again, surrounded myself with friends and family and really just started living. I was prepared to stay with my husband and work on things in our marriage because I believed in the vows we took, but I came back after three months a stronger and more confident woman. When he told me he wanted a divorce, I was not shocked and I didn't spiral into another depression. I was prepared for the worst, and when the worst happened, I was ready to overcome.
Quitting the JUUL is a lot like these situations. I have to LEAN IN to the withdrawal symptoms until they have no power over me. I have to choose to continue living this unhealthy lifestyle or kick the habit to the curb and enjoy the healthy lifestyle I KNOW I deserve. I have to prepare for the worst and realize I am strong enough to overcome when the worst happens. I have to focus on all the good and positive things in my life, because there are SO MANY things to be thankful for... and as the nicotine leaves my system and I begin to feel better.... well, that's just one more thing I'll have to be grateful for!