On September 27, 2016, I celebrated three years without smoking: nicotine, and its potently designed delivery system known as the cigarette, which is probably the most evil drug I have ever tried.
I smoked for twenty-four years and never thought I would be able to quit. Like many people, I started smoking when I was drinking alcohol, in my case in college. I loved the head rush of smoking one or two cigarettes. I always said to myself that I would never buy a pack. It’s amazing how powerful addiction truly is, I was buying packs before I ever realized I was buying packs and by the time reason caught up with impulse, I was hooked. The addiction continued for twenty-four years.
About a year and a half into my sobriety from alcohol and drugs, I was working out regularly, eating right and going to twelve step meetings regularly. However, I was actually smoking more than I was when I was in active use.
Sharing My Ideas With Others
I started to realize that I wanted to share the exercise and nutrition regimen I had developed in my recovery with others. I started to call the regimen that I had developed Spiritual Adrenaline. I felt that the tools that so benefited me could benefit others and wanted to begin the process of writing those ideas down. The goal was to develop a platform, such as a website and Facebook page, to share my ideas and help others
A Sober Hypocrite?
As I started to write my ideas down, I began to realize that I was chain-smoking as I was writing: This blew my mind. Here I was sitting down to memorialize healthy ways to break free of the scourge of addiction and all the while, I was chain-smoking cigarettes. This disgusted me and when I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized that I was a hypocrite. Say one thing, do another. I figured the world already had enough hypocrites and did not need one more. I decided that until such time as I was truly sober, i.e., no longer controlled by nicotine that I was not “qualified” to write about a healthy lifestyle one could use to overcome addiction.
The ideas that I have come to call Spiritual Adrenaline, were so important to me that they are focused me on dealing with my smoking once and for all. I wanted to share these ideas so badly, as I knew they could improve or outright save lives, that I dedicated all my efforts to quitting smoking. Substances had taken away so many things that I loved and I was determined to mitigate my losses and not allow any substance to control my destiny.
Smoking Is Not Sober Behavior
I decided to stop writing things down and developing the website and platform for Spiritual Adrenaline until I could quit smoking. That decision firmly committed me on the path of quitting once and for all. As they say at twelve-step meetings, half measures will avail us of nothing. By recognizing that I had to give up smoking in order to grow as a person and realize true sobriety, the light bulb in my head finally went off.
I was honest with myself that my smoking was not sober and by recognizing this, the behavior became no longer acceptable to my long-term goals and success.
My last cigarette was on September 26, 2013. My lungs feel amazing, I have vastly more energy, am less anxious, and feel wonderful that I can be in the office, airport or wherever and not be stressing about needing a smoke. It’s a completely different way to live.
The tools I used to quit can be found on the pages of the Spiritual Adrenaline website: www.spiritualadrenaline.me. I hope that at least some of the tools that helped me can also help you or someone else you love.
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