Forty-eight days in and can still have that urge….
It’s been forty-eight days since I decided that I was going to quit smoking. It’s actually longer for that intention, but actually not smoking has been nearly seven weeks. And even now, after not having smoked 965 cigarettes, I can still get that urge. Twice I’ve nearly bought a pack, but am standing firm and “just saying no.”
I’ve identified the three reasons I smoked cigarettes,,,those were easy to identify. It’s a physical addiction to the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes. It’s a behavioral addiction, just something I did at certain times of day due it being a habit. And then there’s the emotional side; using smoking as a way to deal with difficult emotions.
On this forty-eighth day, I was dealing with some strong emotions and somewhere in my head, it had convinced me a cigarette would help relieve the stress. I knew where the purchase of a pack would likely lead, but those “voices in my head” kept telling me it would offer me some relief. But in between here and there, I didn’t follow through with those thoughts and was able to stop the overthinking before it led to a slip.
We all deal with the emotional ups and downs in life in different ways. We cope with uncomfortable feelings by seeking something out that offers relief. At one point in my life, I turned to alcohol to calm my thinking. But that got out of hand and I’m proud to say I haven’t had a drink in over twenty years. Smoking, however, has been much more difficult to stop. I had quit for four years at one time, but had started back up and despite multiple tries, hadn’t been able to quit.
This time, however, I am convinced that I’ll be able to stay quit for good. As my therapist told me, “That chapter of your life is over.” I know where smoking leads….I know where that inerrant thought of “I’ll just have two or three cigarettes and quit again.” will lead me. I’ve been there and tried to do that.
So for today, when emotional upsets occur, I will realize they are a part of living life and that I need to use the tools that I have to deal with them and not resort to thinking a cigarette would help matters in a manner, shape, or form. I’m thankful that I was able to play the tape forward today and use that as a way of staying free from nicotine for that moment in time.
Perhaps it’s appropriate that this is the entry for my fiftieth day of writing,,,the half-way point of one hundred days of writing. One of things I’ve found helpful with lots of what happens in life is to write about it and share with others. And while I don’t know if it is of help to anyone else who’s struggling with things in their lives, I at least know for this day, it’s helped return me to some level of sanity. And that’s a good feeling.