Smoke Free 27 days!
I am curious about the desire to improve oneself. Why is it that some people have the need to better themselves — i.e., quit smoking, start exercising, eat healthier — and some people are on ‘self-destruct’? Actually, I have been on both sides of this coin. It comes down to self-love or self-hate, depending on where you are at. Look at Brittney Spears, it’s not hard to see that she doesn’t love herself right now. Oh I believe she loves her boys, but until she can love herself, she has nothing to offer them.
When I was on self-destruct, I was so ‘self’ absorbed that all I could think about was myself. I loved my children but, I was not capable of showing that love or contributing anything that would benefit them at the time. Alcohol was what I loved the most. It’s hard to admit that it consumed my every thought, action, and feeling. My life was all about Alcohol and I can say the same about cigarettes
Being a slave to a chemical like nicotine or alcohol is being on self-destruct. It’s like a slow suicide so it is not surprising that a lot of smokers are depressed people. When we smoke we are self medicating our depression. Nicotine is an upper so it works for us. When we quit, we get depressed. Some of us get dangerously depressed. Suicidal thoughts, no hope, and crying constantly. These are all experiences I have had when I’ve tried to quit smoking in the past. This time it is different. The Chantix has made it so that I can feel somewhat normal while not ingesting Nicotine into my blood stream. I am on an anti-depressant so I am anxious to see what happens to me after 12 weeks on Chantix. Will I crash and smoke again? God, I pray I don’t. I have come too far and learned too much during this quit to go back to smoking. And smoking again will absolutely crush my self-esteem–what little bit I have gotten since I quit–and that would depress me all the more.
Now that I am on the other side, self-love, it has become clear to me of one major difference between self-hate and self-love. God. He was nowhere in my life when I was abusing Alcohol. I have struggled with a ‘conscious contact’ with Him during my sobriety. I try to remember to ask Him to Please keep me Sober in the morning and Thank Him at night for doing so. Having a scheduled time in the morning for my readings and meditation helped me with this but, since I started attending 7:00 a.m. meetings, I have let that go by the wayside. The last few weeks I haven’t been able to attend the early meetings so I went to a different group on Friday night. Everything in my life has changed since I quit smoking so I shouldn’t be surprised my meeting schedule would change also. When I quit drinking, everything in my life changed also. Doing things differently is what going from self-hate to self-love is all about. I need to be more open to the changes that are happening in my life. Not just the physical, which is all I have been focusing on for the last 27 days, but the spiritual and mental changes too.
Quitting smoking has made me crave a more spiritual life. I feel that my heart is open to God and there isn’t any ‘clogged arteries’ anymore coming from guilt or hating myself. Loving me, being comfortable in my own skin, is something I have searched for in bottles and in packs all my life but, I could never find. I have found it because God is in my life today whether I am ‘conscious’ of Him or not, He is here with me at all times. He loves me, which means I am lovable, which means I deserve to be loved. That love comes from me, loving myself, taking care of myself, so that I now have love to give to my children and family, plus any other people I meet along this journey that I am on. It’s true, ‘you can’t love someone, until you love yourself.’