Hello Fellow Travelers:
Our addiction is a many headed beast, a sort of Hydra. The addiction itself has many elements. But of all the inter-dependent pieces of this addiction, there is one that breaks my heart more than any of the others. And the irony of this is that the element of which I speak is one that springs from our own inner beings. Fear.
As I read the posts, I can almost sense, beneath the words, a subtext of pure fear. It is understandable. While fear is indeed one of the Hydra's heads. Fear is not built into cigarettes at the factory. No, we manufacture our own fear. In many ways fear is a trick of the addiction. And we are the magicians.
Fear does not serve us well on our journey to cessation. Fear, in fact, keeps us addicted. Until we begin to come to terms with our fear, we will remain addicted. Until we desire cessation because we know that we will regain our health, we will remain addicted. Until we want freedom more than we are willing to accept servitude, we will remain addicted.
Perhaps one way to do this is to see that we are not our addiction. We were not born addicted. Somewhere along the line we made a bad choice and choose to smoke. So be it. But that choice is not who we are today. We should celebrate cessation as a second chance, a way to correct a past error. How often does that come along?
Fear is difficult to control. I have no illusions about that. When we seek cessation, we seek change and change can be upsetting. Most people do not particularly relish change and some do fear it. But in this case there is no reason for fear. We need to take that fear and turn it into hope. Fear will keep us addicted. Fear is the addiction's friend. Hope on the other hand is the seed of cessation.
We are not our addiction. But if we are not careful it is possible for us to become our fears. And if we choose to become our fears, we will, once again choose our addiction...