I've been having the smoking dream on a regular basis the past few days. I'm not sure why, but I'm getting used to it. I awaken after such dreams with a sinking feeling that goes away pretty quickly now, but I still reflect on my quit as I lie there afterwards.
In a way, these dreams are good. They let me experience relapse without actually doing it. Most of us have relapsed in the past and know what a terrible feeling it is to have lost a quit of any length. The depression, despair, disgust that follow a relapse are the price we pay for a moment's lapse in concentration. Each time I wake after dreaming of relapse I am reminded of why I don't want to ever smoke again.
I was lying in bed this morning after another such dream and reflecting on the numerous changes in my life in the last seven months. I love being able to stay in bed for a few minutes after waking. Smokers are unable to do that--they must rise immediately to feed the addiction, no lolling around in bed, lazily greeting the morning for them!
What I was thinking about this morning was that cold turkey quitting really works. It's a lifestyle change and it's not an easy one, but lifestyle changes never are, and they're never popular because no one makes any money from them.
Permanent weight loss requires a lifestyle change, a permanent alteration in our diet. Fad diets are lucrative because they're popular and they're popular because they offer quick fixes to a chronic problem. They don't work because there are no quick fixes. Overweight persons don't get that way overnight and diets don't work that quickly, either. Golf manufacturers make a fortune selling new clubs and gimmicks that will cure a slice because golfers don't want to make a lifestyle change that includes practice--they want to "buy a swing".
It's the same way with smoking. There is no cure for nicotine addiction. There is no magic pill or patch or gum or shot that will make our problem go away. The only thing that makes our problem go away is abstinence from nicotine and that's a tough withdrawal to get through. No one makes any money from nicotine abstinence and cold turkey quitting is not popular because smokers think it's too tough.
I watch newcomers here searching for the magic solution to their problem. That's human nature and I don't criticize that search. Those of us who have been quit a little longer know that it's not magic and never will be. It is one day after another of just not smoking today. It that sounds simplistic, it's because it is. It really is that simple. Just do not smoke today. There's no money to be made from that approach, but it is the one that works.
If you're thinking about quitting or if you're in your first few days or weeks of a quit, please know that it really is simple. Simple does not mean easy, it means uncomplicated. There are no magic bullets, just one day after another of not receiving nicotine into your body.
I wish I could somehow show you how my addiction looks to me at seven months. It is so different than it was at seven days or even seven weeks. Quitting is hard but it's not impossible and comfort is not that far away. Just don't look for any magic, look into yourself and you'll find the answer. If the answer is that you have the desire to quit, then look into the library and you'll find the ammunition you need.
This is way more than enough for one day, but as for me--I'm not going to smoke today.
I don't smoke and I don't chew and I don't go with the girls that do. Seven months 2 days 10 hours, with an extra $1,041.51 in my pocket. Somewhere there are an extra 7,574 smokes.