You can regain your freedom by looking at pictures, but reading the instructions can prevent a few missing fingers along the way.
Now, this might seem like a news flash, but you are not alone. This is just my story. There are many like it, but this one is mine. To each his or her own. This is not a very deep-in-the-gutter elaboration, but right where it needs to be in order to become equipped and made ready for battle.
About five years ago maybe, I made the mental decision to quit smoking cigarettes and stop chewing tobacco. After about three days trying the nicotine patch, I said eff it and quit cold tuna.
At the Start
The first day was not too bad, but bad enough. The second day was a kind of calm before the storm. The third, fourth, etc., they were hell, like initial training. The hard days lasted about a week to two weeks, but not forever. I decided to be stronger than myself for a change and do something that would be good for me. I was important, ya know, and I still am. I didn’t need anyone else’s or Hollywood’s confirmation to tell me that I am worthy. I didn’t allow excuses to cause me to relapse, although sometimes I wanted to. I wasn’t in this, though, for an easy way out. I played hard on myself. I had come all that way and I was not about to stop. I didn’t want to turn around and go back to that sh!thole. Besides, I didn’t have enough gas in the tank to go back anyway and I wasn’t about to leave myself stranded.
The Mind of the Matter
It was all in my head. I thought of ways to change my mental outlook, every day, sometimes more than once. If I had a weak mind, than I might fail, but as I continued, I realized that my mind was in its own gym, lifting its own weights, and building its own muscle, no pain, no gain. Not only did I begin to realize more clarity of mind, but I also felt it in my body and in my soul. I felt a sense of great accomplishment defeating a monster. It took courage. It took strength.
After It’s About Me, then it Can Be About You
I thought about other people and their battles with their own monsters. They provided me with examples of trials and tribulations, victories and defeats, in many forms and many fashions. I asked myself a bunch of useless, self-defeating what-if questions. This wasn’t about someone else’s monsters, though, it was about my monster. Someone else’s monster and their battles and war with them, in the end, did not matter except for one thing: the strategies they used to defeat them. I made a list of other peoples’ strategies and kept them close.
All or None, No Half-Assing It
Substitution was only a weak attempt to disguise my addiction. I didn’t know about vapes back then, so trying to substitute smoking with chewing or the patch were the only substitution alternatives that I knew of. Chewing, obviously, was just another bad habit, just as bad as smoking and the patch? Well, to me that was just a coward’s way out, wanting to hold on by a thread just in case I was too weak to handle life without an addictive substance. I lied to myself all that time just like everybody else does, saying that smoking is a form of stress relief, that I came from a background of smoking in the family, yada yada. To me those statements were all a useless, weak man’s excuses. I used this line, too: “But, but, I like smoking. I enjoy it. I makes me feel good.” Haha, bullshit. No it did not. It made me broke. It made me a begger, a bum. I made me stink. It made me feel guilty. It made me weak, in more ways than one.
The war didn’t last forever, but it requires preventative maintenance, even to this day. Now that I have been introduced to and experience the raw and cooked versions of addiction, in kicking the habit I realized that maintenance would now be required, for the rest of my life. I still get urges, I still have temptations. I even gave into one of them and started chewing again as a result of allowing excuse to set in. “I was stressed out by work, and family, and self-pressures; I needed it because…” STFU! HEY! It is not okay to give in. Stay strong.
“Troubles will come, and they will pass.” Simple Man, song original by Lynard Skynyrd
In the End and Beginning
That is me and my experience. That is my story and how I delt with it. I hope it encourages you, reader, or someone else to face, fight and against whatever addiction you have allowed yourself to be imprisoned by.
How about you? Are you too far gone? No, you are not, stop bull-shittin’ yourself.
Have you lost your own desire to be free from a prison you created for your own self? This is your own one shot. This tace, this battle, this war, however, only has two competitors: addiction and you. The caveat is that you get to choose who wins. You will fall, you will get knocked down, but gravity only lasts until you get back up. I cannot tell you how to fight and win; you just have to do it. Move, get back up, go, and forward are the moat powerful words to chant.
Fight hard, win hard.
P.S. I ♡ hecklers.