Yeah, it’s All That


I had been an off-and-on smoker for perhaps forty years. When I smoked, (and there were long periods when I didn't pick up), I smoked cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. I always had the idea that I could take them or leave them. That worked for awhile, but as the years stretched on, I felt that ability slipping away into serious addiction. Funny how addicts can rationalize, deny, intellectualize, and use every other manner of defense mechanism in order to protect their addiction. A friend had smoked heavily during pregnancy and as a result her baby was born prematurely. He was so small that my wedding ring fit over his small hand. It was a miracle that he even survived.

Was that enough to get me to reconsider my addiction? Hardly. I was still smoking even as I ran competitive 5 and 10k races. Certainly incongruent, if not insane in some small manner. I had heard that nicotine addiction could be harder to break than a stubborn crack habit. I watched as friends and relatives died of heart disease and lung cancer. Lovely people reduced by chronic pulmonary obstructive disease to a state of barely functioning as a result of smoking. I certainly had some motivation to quit then, didn't I? I'd quit for awhile and then go back for no good reason. Sound familiar? It was then I had the great fortune to be able to work with alcoholics, cocaine addicts, and crackheads. A good number of these addicts are helped by a twelve step program in which the main rule is to stay clean for 24 hours.

Those in AA have a motto: "One Day at a Time". I noted that there are a lot of differing methods people have used to quit smoking- hypnosis, nicotine lozenges, cold turkey. I tried the cold turkey method, but I also used the principles and actions of the 12 step program as my support group in order to break this sorrowful cycle. I can now state that I have been smoke free for 8 months and feel a renewal of spirit and energy, a sublime happiness. May you find the method that works for you, but do it now. Make a call to 1-800-QUIT, get a hypnosis session, talk with your doctor. You will be serenely happy that you finally got free.

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