Fighting the Crave to Smoke
I suppose we all feel the weight of life from time to time. Recently I experienced fear-laden concepts coupled with unpleasant feelings. These came in waves - off and on - a few minutes duration per set, throughout a couple of days. I called a peer (translation: friend who’s as flawed and human as yours truly) and he acknowledged having experienced similar phenomena. Reaching out usually helps at such times.
Mercifully, I’ve not felt a craving for a smoke on any of these occasions, ever since I successfully arrested my cigarette addiction in 1993. Similarly I’ve felt no knee-jerk need for a drink, since I successfully put down the bottle in 1978. I share this material in an effort to offer hope and support to folks facing similar issues.
I used to live to drink and smoke, i.e., life “devoid” of these activities wasn’t life as I knew it. I could drink and smoke you under the table (where I found myself, passed out on occasion, empty bottle by my side, cigarette burns on my clothing).
“These are extremes,” you may say; “I don’t have a drinking problem and I don’t smoke that much.” Would you, however, like to stop smoking? Do you think your life would be missing something if you stopped?
After I quit drinking, I could no longer tolerate consuming cigarettes in the quantities I’d previously experienced. So, after 1978, I also didn’t smoke “that much”. So what. I continued to put toxins into my body that – research shows – can potentially kill you, or disable you as much as heavy smoking can do.
When I quit in 1993, via gradual cessation along with gradual replacement with new healthy activities, I felt no loss, no longing. As for pain, I discovered that I was now avoiding the pain that chronic nicotine addiction had previously inflicted.
Nicotine-free living is, I’ve found, far more fun than smoking. More energy strengthens me in everyday life. I’ve got a number of nicotine-free friends and acquaintances and we revel in our freedom. When I occasionally feel the weight of life, it’s not exacerbated by addiction to cigarettes and booze.
I feel generally more empowered in the smoke-free years and, since I’m less needy emotionally, this up-beatness is more prevalent and, for the most part, life is less burdensome; less of a weight to bear, more of an adventure to experience. When I get up off my backside and leave my comfort zone I often feel exhilarated by engaging in both work and play.
Relaxing and reflecting also have more depth and clarity without the cloudy stench of smoking.
These “befores and afters” are measurable. Little triumphs frequently abound since the chemical weight of nicotine addiction was removed. I encourage you in your quest to achieve freedom from nicotine addiction.
Visit me at quitnicotinenow.net. I look forward to being with you again next week.