Thursday, 24 November 2011

Damn you nicotine!

So I have to quit smoking AGAIN! This is ridiculous! Even I'm tired of hearing myself say "I quit smoking!" It's been an ongoing battle for, what feels like, forever! I've never had a good excuse for starting again. Just a freakin addict who is capable of justifying anything when I want to feed the monster inside me.

I need a plan. I need to examine what I've done in the past and decide what I am doing for my last quit. This time I need to determine what will "replace" cigarettes.



~Meditation in the morning to combat the anxiety attack that happens as soon as I realize I am not having that first cigarette.
~Meditation throughout the day when the "end all" cravings hit.
~Yoga to ground myself and to bring exercise back into my life.
~A journal to keep me focused on why I need to stay away from the poisonous crap.
~WATER! Oh so much water! Flush out those damn toxins!
~Deep breathing.
~Baths. As many as I need in the first few days.
~A good bye letter to nicotine. It's time to part ways.
~PATIENCE! Need to be gentle with myself. It's not just willpower. It's the fight of my life. Compassion and loving kindness for myself will go a long way.

And a quit date. I'm doing this cold turkey. The anxiety will subside and I believe all my other "attempts" have failed when I've tried to quit whatever "vessel" I've used to deliver the drug. Nicotine is the addiction.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It's been a long climb.

It's been hard for me to "heal". I suppose it's hard for everyone to heal. The word heal suggests work .. physically, mentally or emotionally. I knew at the beginning of my journey I was in for a long uphill climb, and just assumed the view from the top would be so astounding and so beautiful that I resolved to get there no matter what. So I took a step. Then I took another and another. A few times I've fallen or slid down, but always manage to find a source of inner strength and continue onward.

At the end of this past summer I climbed a popular mountain in my area. It's a decent hike and the view from the top is breathtaking. I really did feel like I was on top of the world. What I didn't count on or anticipate was the incredibly gorgeous views on the way up. Tops of mountains near or glimpses of valleys in between the mountains. Equally as stunning. 

Same with my personal journey. There have been glorious breaks with amazing lookout spots along the way. And the more focused I have been about getting to the top of my "personal mountain" the less I've noticed these wonderful, encouraging views. 

I struggled with my faith because I couldn't name it. Or wasn't able to comprehend not having a "thing" to believe in when the whole time I had faith in my spiritual practice. It was there the whole time. It's me. Mindfulness, meditation and loving kindness. Once I stopped and just took a look around it became clear. And now I believe wholeheartedly in the power of my spiritual practice. It gives me strength. It protects me. Once I had compassion for myself, my soul just opened up. I now meditate and listen to Dharma on a daily basis. Buddhism has been there all along and once I stopped fighting...well, I felt "home". 

I struggle with my anxiety. I have to get over my anxiety. I shouldn't let it control me as I do. I stopped and looked around at the view. My anxiety used to be masked by intense anger and rage. My anxiety and my fears were once transformed into a weapon against everyone else. I rarely experience deep anger. In fact, historical anger is so rare to me now that I feel physically ill when I experience that feeling. I've made huge progress. To let go of anger and understand my anxiety is incredibly significant. I know most of my anxiety and fears are still from childhood and that awareness alone should be celebrated.

I still have a long way up the mountain. But I have an appreciation for the moments of beauty along the way. What's the point of reaching the top if I haven't enjoyed, honored and loved myself through the process?