Only gotta change one thing…

Ch ch ch ch changes


Just sayin NO

When I quit smoking cigarettes, the last time, something occurred to me that was so profound, I’ve not forgotten it, even 16 years later. I’m sure others have thought of this LONG before I did, but it’s simple truth was just tremendous at the time.

The after-dinner ciggie

I’d just finished eating, and as any smoker can tell you, the next natural step after a meal is to smoke. There are a few universally agreed upon instances where this is the case, and eating is one.
I was probably a couple of days  past my last smoke, and of course my (addict) mind was screwing with me: “You really oughta go smoke one now. It’s not like you’re using- just a cig…” and on and on. That’s when the (divinely sent, I’m sure) thought hit me. In the midst of my minds’ sales pitch on the virtues of smoking, I heard my response: “I don’t smoke anymore!”

Another moment of clarity?

It was as if a switch had been thrown. I don’t smoke, therefore, it would be absurd for me to go have a cigarette!!   I mean, as a person who DIDN’T SMOKE, why on earth would  I go outside to the smoking area, and fire up?

Recovery:1, Addict-thinking:0

That’s the day when I realised, that just like they told me in The Rooms – “You never have to drink again”, that I really never had to smoke another cigarette. Simplicity won again. Having spent a lot of time working on keeping things simple, and not over-thinking things, it was pretty easy to just stop there. I don’t smoke anymore. I’m not a smoker.

Of course, there have been instances where a cigarette seemed like an option. I’m not gonna lie. But that discussion had already been concluded. I don’t smoke.

Since putting down the drink and the chemicals (drug of choice: whatever you’ve got) over 23 years ago, I’ve certainly not made a lot of progress toward where I thought people clean for this long would be (sainthood). Some days are better than others, to be sure. But by the grace of my loving Higher Power, the battle of whether to have a ciggie is not one I have much concern about.


How about you? Do you have other addictive behaviors that you may eventually want to address?
If you’re less than a year sober, it’s suggested that you don’t worry about smoking.
That leaves a hell of a lot of character defects open for discussion, though, doesn’t it?
Just take it one day at a time, friend. Easy does it, just for today. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.


24 responses to “Only gotta change one thing…

      • To elaborate…I love the way that you spoke to the simplicity of sidestepping the temptation to overthink…instead, allowing your realization that you were no longer a smoker to be the be-all-end-all….there is no arguing with that kind of logic…this epiphany can be applied to so many things….eg. I am not going to hold onto this grudge because I am not a vengeful person….I am not going to be self-critical because I am a person who chooses to be self-compassionate…these are affirmations and determinations that are profoundly simple…thus, serve as reinforcing encouragement…I hope this makes sense to you ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  1. last I’ve caught a post from you, my friend, before it flew unwittingly off my reader…I’ve been meaning to drop in unannounced for a few days now…check in if yiu so like. Fascinating post too…I refer to much of these aspects as habit addictions rather than absolute addiction…..differentiate the two and it is less traumatic to think about giving up. After a meal autopilot light up…that’s habit….stuck in traffic…similar, morning cup of tea..boom habit zone…. realise this and half the battle is done. Biochemical addiction is a whole different beast. When I stopped it was a case of that’s it…I’ve chosen to stop…to me…if you don’t actually want to stop no amount of give up therapy is going to work completely….we have to make a determined ‘I WANT TO’ decision….utter it at each habit moment…until it becomes the norm not to

    Obviously these are just my thoughts on tackling smoking…it’s not easy with any drug based product be it alcohol, nicotine or anything else… And entirely dependant on volume intake….like I said biochemical dependence is a very different beast and takes an aweful lot of self will and support to get through…but again you have to be very mindful and really really WANT to.

    Lovely thoughts Abbie ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey, Gary! I was wondering where you’d gone.
      My Dad used to amaze ppl by deciding he was going to stop, and just putting down the pack and walking away. Of course, he never STAYED stopped. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      But there is a lot to be said for will power…sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not gone as such just buried in emails and life stuff…I keep missing friends posts too…bit frustrating that is ๐Ÿค•

        I feel it’s a heap of will power and assisted by mindfulness….by that I mean being alert to when the old default automatic mode kicks in saying grab a cig…you always do about now…a mindful state will grab that and say hang a about, what do you think you’re doing here? Not easy changing life habits though….especially at the start…ho hum as it were….๐Ÿค”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So relating to this- except my other vice isnt legal- everywhere yet!! Do you recommend not trying to quit specific vices within the first year of sobriety?

    Keep it up love! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welll….that’s a really good question! I know there are as many takes on “legal” or not vices, but here’s mine:
      I was sober but using “marijuana maintenance” for several months before I actually got clean. I didn’t want to give up everything at once, right?!
      But here’s what I realised:
      I never used or drank half-assed. There’s a line in the Big Book of AA that says “many of us tried to hold on to our old ideas but the result was nil until we let go ansolutely.”
      When I used or drank, I never did it to get “a little high” or “kind of drunk”. I’ve always been an “all or nothing” kinda girl. So, in my mind, if I wanted the BEST that recovery could offer….I had to be completely drug and alcohol free.
      So, dear friend, you do what seems right for you. I’m digging the WILD RIDE that life has been with all my “anesthesia” removed. It’s been hella good, and hellishly painful, but it has been REAL.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. One day many years ago I was walking through the park, smoking the last cigarette in my pack, and intending to buy more when I reached the shop. I hadn’t been thinking seriously about giving up smoking – just the usual “I’ve got to give it up one of these days.” I suddenly felt nauseous. I took anpther drag, and out of the blue I had a lightbulb moment. I looked at the cigarette and realized it was the last one I was ever going to smoke. I finished it, put it out, and thought “I’m a non-smoker now.” That was it. I didn’t suffer withdrawal symptoms of any kind. It was as if I had never smoked in my life. Weird!
    You poted a very relevant comment on my blog, andwhen I tried to respond it disappeared! So please don’t think I’m being rude by not replying – it’s just that your comment doesn’t exist any more. It’s not in either the trash or the spam folder.


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