Acceptance – the biggest, most important step (And LONG. Sorry.)
I wasn’t afraid this time. In the past I’d felt like the sword was hanging over my head, like something bad would happen if I quit smoking. (Right? Like everyone looking at me would KNOW I’d quit smoking. They would KNOW I was different somehow. They would know something was off…. Right. That’s crap.) Cue the Alan Carr quote “Nothing bad can happen because you don’t smoke.” This time I decided it just ‘was’ because as of May 1, 2013 I didn’t smoke anymore. No drama, no issues, no freak outs, no whatever. I just didn’t smoke anymore.
So, I accepted that parts of it would suck. Some days would be better than others to be sure, but even if they weren’t – so what.
I accepted that there would be discomfort, some mental and some physical. (“Hm…I’d like to smoke. Am I in physical pain from this craving? No? Then I guess it’s not that bad and I can ignore it. So there.”)
I accepted that I didn’t know how long it would take to quit thinking about the whole thing. (A year later it still hasn’t happened. Big deal.) But there would be no mental argument, that wasn’t an option. I would never cave again because I was ‘tired of fighting with myself’.
I accepted that I didn’t know how long assorted parts of this would go on. (Those mental arguments. Damn them anyway. But this time, it didn’t matter.)
I accepted that there was no magic bullet. I would have to be my own magic bullet.
I accepted that I didn’t know how I’d get through certain situations; I only knew that somehow I would. I would plan to succeed.
I accepted that there may not be people around me who cared about my quit. I would have to care about it enough myself to make it work. Success was on my shoulders alone and I would succeed or fail by my own choices.
I accepted that losing my temper, yelling, and verbally hurting people I cared about wasn’t an option. They didn’t make me start smoking; it wasn’t their fault I needed to quit. I would have to learn to control my temper; which meant that there wouldn’t be any way to talk myself into smoking so I’d calm down, or any way to push someone else into begging me to smoke again.
I accepted that there was no end point. There would be no definitive time that I could say “I’m done with quitting”. I’m a gal who won’t just get in the car and drive. I wouldn’t even get on my motorcycle unless I knew where we were going so I’d know when we were there. It was *very* difficult to accept that I couldn’t see any finish line with this.
And finally I accepted that I just didn’t know what I didn’t know so no advice was off the table, no suggestions were beneath me, and no help was going to be turned down. And then, I got to work.