Hi! Are you a graduate of NML? I plan to create this discussion every week to offer encouragement and camaraderie to those in-between -- months 5-11 of a quit. Regardless of how long you’ve been quit, anyone who likes the conversation and wants to offer support is welcome to participate!
This week’s topic: Fear of Forever (aka “Stop Poking Yourself in the Eye!”)
There are lots of milestones and “ah-ha” moments along the quitting journey. Most of them have to do with shedding the lies of addiction one-by-one, and accepting some simple truths. This is not easy, it’s a long, emotional process and is why No Man’s Land can be such a tricky place. I also think the in-betweener can be a tricky place.
Along with the lies of addiction (I can have just one, I enjoy smoking, etc.), we must also cope with some basics of human nature: change is scary, forever is a long time, and we don’t like being told what to do.
When we tell ourselves (or are told) that we HAVE to quit smoking and we can NEVER smoke again, we start putting up some defensive walls. We may agree to quit, because logically we know that smoking makes about as much sense as poking ourselves in the eye with a stick, but that fear, that sense of dread that “forever” evokes, can be very hard to overcome.
Have you ever told yourself if you got through something for a long enough period of time you could do it again at a much later date in life? Like if you stopped smoking now and stayed quit...by the time you reached 80 or 90 years old, you could smoke again if you wanted to? Being afraid of never smoking again was about as silly as being afraid of never poking myself in the eye with a stick again.
Smoking wasn’t taken away from me, I am willingly walking away from it, rejecting it as an option in my life, saying “NOPE, smoking is simply no longer important to me.”
Reach for this milestone, for the “ah-ha” moment when the thought of never smoking again gives you a sense of pride, not loss. When you do, your fear of forever will disappear.
Quitting smoking is a journey, not an event. Never go backwards, success is ahead of you! Keep moving forward!
Come stop by and let us know how you are doing! This check-in is for anyone who needs it, but I am curious to see our NML graduates who have not yet reached the 6% club....