“You are greater than your addiction.” – Nasia Davos
I smoked my last cigarette yesterday afternoon. I’ve gotten rid of the last in my pack, washed my hair, swept the ashes off the front porch, and stocked up on gum.
I never want to smoke again … which I’ve said before … but this time I mean it … which I’ve also said before.
But there is a reason why this time is different.
If there’s one thing I know about addictions is that you have to done.
As in, ready to stop, no matter what. As in you’ll do anything – anything – rather than engage in the addiction one more time.
I haven’t been done before.
I was still getting some payoff: cessation of anxiety, excitement over having a “secret,” freedom from boredom.
Today none of those things are true and smoking has become for me pure expensive hell.
No one was more surprised than me that I picked up smoking again. I’d smoked for years, starting as a teenager by digging out my mom’s More Menthols from the fireplace and smoking the rest.
I smoked throughout my twenties. In my thirties, I married a smoker and we lit up together. About ten years ago, we decided to quit and once I put down the cigarettes, I never thought about smoking, never wanted to.
All was well until I went on vacation in April 2017. I was enjoying an evening out with a friend and she pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. It looked good, so I bummed one. I thought it would be harmless.
I could not be more wrong.
That was Saturday night. I smoked one cigarette and then another on Sunday. The following Monday I went and bought a pack.
That started 20 months – almost two years! – of trying to quit:
- Trying nicotine gum and lozenges
- Switching from Marlboro Lights to Ultra Lights to cigarillos and back again
- Watching the lines around my mouth get deeper and deeper, getting those lines filled with expensive injectables … and the smoking again
- Buying packs of cigarettes, smoking five, throwing out the rest of pack in the dumpster (often pouring water on it first), then go buying another pack the next night, smoking about five … you get it
Take the ticket.
I don’t know why yesterday I “got done” but I’m not asking questions.
If there’s another thing I know about addiction is that when you are handed the gift of willingness, you better grab it with both hands because it might never be offered again.
Today I’ve grabbed that golden ticket to a new life and am walking through the door that just opened for me.
I don’t ever want to smoke again.
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