Just One Hour at a Time!
Many smokers fail at arresting their dependency because they allow their mind to convince them that the mountain
is just too high to climb. There in front of them stands what seems from the bottom looking up like the mighty mountain of physical withdrawal. It isn't a
hard climb before achieving peak withdrawal, but at a maximum of 72 hours it can feel rather lengthy and clearly requires focus and dedication of purpose.
Although the view from the summit is breathtaking, for millions each year the dream of ever sensing freedom
from nicotine will be destroyed when dependency fostered diseases permanently turns out the lights. Sadly, roughly 40% of us climb for a few brief hours each year and then simply give up. Why?
Are we too lazy to climb? Are they afraid of heights? Was the climbing too hard? I don't think so. I think that most of us talked ourselves into believing that there were just too many steps to take. Like our reaction to seeing extremely long lines at amusement theme parks, we simply didn't have the patience to wait in line to experience the unknown. Long term smokers have very little memory of what a healthy body and an unaddicted mind were like. You can tell a 30 year smoker that within three months of ending its use that they could experience up to a 30% improvement in overall lung function, and begin experiencing entire days where they never once think about wanting to smoke nicotine. But if you can't imagine or remember what healthy lungs are like, or going an entire day without concerns of replenshing the blood streams constantly falling nicotine reserves then you've wasted your breath.
If elephant was the best tasting meat in the world, and we told you that you had to eat an entire two ton elephant, you'd say "impossible!" Eating four thousand pounds of elephant is a far greater challenge than the 72 hours it takes for your body to become nicotine free and your withdrawal symptoms to peak, but it is not impossible. How do you eat a 4,000 pound elephant? One bite at a time! How do you make a 72 hour mountain climb? One step at a time.
We smokers are impatient people. We want results now! But it isn't our fault. Our minds have been conditioned by our addiction to expect immediate relief from the anxiety of early withdrawal, which always arrives within 8 seconds of sucking new nicotine into our lungs. Within 20 to 30 minutes our blood nicotine level will again fall to the point that minor discomfort arrives, and again we obtain almost immediate relief as new nicotine laden smoke is sucked into crying lungs. A pack a day smoker repeats this cycle of obtaining immediate relief about 7,300 times a year. Yes, smokers are impatient when it comes to bringing an abrupt halt to the symptoms of withdrawal but we've got reason to be impatient. Our addiction has bred a powerful habit and recovery doesn't happen overnight.
Successful quitters are those who have learned to control their impatience by ignoring the size of the elephant or the height of the mountain, as they continue taking just one bite and one step at a time. There are many tasks in life that require baby steps in order to finish what we've started. You can't build a beautiful wall with just one brick, receive a new baby after one month of pregnancy, obtain a college degree with just one class, or cook a delicious holiday dinner in a few short minutes. Imagine getting half of a meal cooked and then leaving the kitchen or building half a wall built and then walking away. Going the distance in life is normal. Swimming half way across the pool and then stopping is not.
Stop for one hour. Keep your eye on the path and try not to look ahead. Enjoy the hour, don't dread it. The next hour doesn't have to be difficult. It could be flat and
level or it might be a bit bumpy but either way it's just one hour and it is certain to end. The 72 hours need to reach the top of withdrawal's
mountain are each wonderful hours of glorious healing. With the passing of each, your body grows cleaner as more and more nicotine is eliminated from your
body. You know that no crave lasts more than three minutes but that recovery time distortion can make the minutes feel like hours so be sure and look a clock.
Soon another hour of freedom and healing will have passed and you can begin celebrating! Celebrate 72 times! Enjoy each step to freedom for if we do this
right we'll only take them once. Remember, there is absolutely nothing to fear in coming home to a place where everything we did with nicotine can be done
as well or better without it. I know that may seem impossible right now but just one hour and challenge at a time and you'll learn like we did that
nicotine addiction is about living a lie. It wasn't who we were, it didn't define us and it certainly didn't help us cope.
You deserve to taste freedom! It's our birthright. There are hundreds of millions of recovered and comfortable ex-users and none were stonger than we are. They simply learned a a bit of patience. Why not give yourself a chance to meet the real you! Stop using for just one hour and then celebrate! Remember, that next craving will end whether it's fed or not. Why not bring them to a permanent end!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John (Zep) - The Gold Club