How is it that a whole Community of the most diverse and inclusive folks have so much in common? Some of us are beach lovers, others are land lovers. I live at the foothills of the Rockies, others live in every single state and many countries. We come in red, yellow, brown, black and white hues. We are young and old and everything in between. And some of us smoked for decades while others smoked for a few years. Some prefer to quit with NRTs, others use pharmaceuticals, or smart turkey and even cold turkey. Some of us are perfectly healthy while way too many of us suffer from a variety of smoking related illnesses and/or severe chronic pain that challenges us to stay active while quitting.
Addiction resides in the whole spectrum of people but addiction itself is very mundane and the good news is it's predictable. Recovery may seem as unique as the individual who's quitting, yet we have more in common than we have differences.
Nicotine addiction is relentless, it's compelling, it's overwhelming. Nicotine actually disturbs our minds the minute we even consider quitting! It hides among feelings and thoughts of stress, anxiety, pain both emotional and physical, and our deepest desire - to fit in.
What Nicotine can't control - as much as it tries - is the decision-making - the ability to make a choice. It's in that space that we all have our best tool to set Nicotine aside forever and re-cover our natural born feelings and thoughts. Like Dorothy we may feel trapped in the world of smoking addiction while we have had the key for transition into freedom all along!
Nicotine will bombard our thoughts and feelings with such compelling ideas about how we need nicotine when in fact, we need freedom from nicotine. 9 years ago I was taught a valuable counter-thought: I have the right, the ability, and the desire to make a decision to recover from nicotine. I can make the decision right now to not smoke under any circumstances no matter what. Once I have pledged to myself to not smoke I will use my Self-respect, my Self-Value, my Moral Reckoning to honor this decision in this moment, on this day. I will cross the bridge of tomorrow when it gets here.
I will ask myself what I would like to choose to do instead and in so doing, I formulate my own unique addiction free New Self - with my own feelings and thoughts that were blocked by nicotine. We often express this overwhelming sense of intense emotions, intense smells, intense relationship issues as we re - claim our individual uniqueness. It takes time. We didn't set out to become addicts but we are responsible for our way out of it. And the people around us want this for us, too. They will have to make adjustments right along with us and they do so willingly - knowing that our health (in every meaning of this word) is precious.
Folks often ask what magic elixir we used to become an EX. We all chose many tools - none more important than our decision to do whatever it takes to break FREE! The word of the day is Choice. You get to decide who you want to be and become. People wonder about how long it will take to feel "normal" again. It's those daily choices we make that determine whether it's a matter of weeks, months or years. I personally have never found a static "normal." I got used to my own malleability and embraced the ever changing Thomas as "normal."
When you are struggling with your thoughts and feelings, come here and read. You will find folks very different who have the very words of encouragement and support that will boost you in the rightness of your choice. I always said that common sense cannot exist if it isn't in common. Recovery from Nicotine is our common path. Having broken through addiction we carry the sense until you can discover it for yourself.