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We make this transition by getting back to the fundamentals that got us to this point.
--Was smoking really a part of my identity? Did it define, in part, who I am? Or, was smoking a way to relieve the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal every half-hour or so?
--Are my memories of smoking drifting toward the "ahh" cigarette, and neglecting all the other, mindlessly smoked ones, forced into the cold to poison myself, late-night runs to the liquor store to spend hard-earned money on a fix, staining my fingers and teeth, making me reek, giving my children scratchy throats, turning colds into bronchitis, threatening me with early death and disfigurement with every puff?
--If I smoked today, how would I truly feel tonight? Tomorrow? Next year... Ponder it for a bit. Envision yourself back on the other side of the line, looking back across it at yourself now. Picture yourself with the stick in your mouth, inhaling, knowing the full-measure of what that cigarette was doing to you. Question whether you'd rather be reminiscing about the odd "ahh" cigarette once in a while, or be reminiscing about the few weeks/months of comfort you achieved when you quit.
--Remind yourself that there is no such thing as one, and extrapolate it out over the years. Shine the light of truth on it. Have a look around at elderly smokers (the ones who've made it to old age). Put yourself in their shoes. Remember which side of the line you're on. Remind yourself why you chose this side of the line.... why you want to stay on this side.
One day at a time
Permanence is frightening. But, it's achievable in small doses. Just because you're an "experienced quitter" doesn't mean the basic principles change. Today is doable. The next hour is doable.
|From: John (Gold)||Sent: 4/23/2003 9:17 AM|
Whether the next few minutes are your easiest yet or
in the end prove to have been the most challenging
of your entire journey of adjustment, they will be doable!
Be patient with your recovery!
You're going home!
"We question a future where celebrations and defeats, excitement and boredom are experienced without the presence of the powerful drug to which we were actively addicted for years. We question our mettle. We've made it this far, and we've proven to ourselves that it's doable. But, now we're playing for keeps. This is for good. This is permanent. Can we imagine the rest of our life as an ex-smoker?"