Thursday, December 22, 2011

Addiction

This year, I went through a number of life-changing experiences, some good and some bad. One bad one was picking up the habit of smoking.

I wan't a social smoker. In fact, I smoked when I was alone and feeling depressed. This happened back in August/September, and soon I developed a hardy addiction.

Smoking damaged my health and my soul. My habit made me a slave to tobacco. Because of the damage delivered directly to my lungs, I could no longer run long distances. Without this ability to run, I felt incomplete. Worst of all, I became someone who I never thought I could become. This caused me great sadness.

I realized then that I had to quit for the sake of my health, my family and self-esteem. With sheer will and the support of my family, I managed to quit by going cold turkey. Currently, I've quit for 3 months and it feels amazing!

From my experience with smoking, I realized that overcoming an addiction is similar to snapping a rubber band:


When I initially tried to quit by going cold turkey, I was burdened by withdrawal symptoms. I had persistent headaches and felt nauseous at times. I also had trouble breathing. But the worst part about withdrawal were the cravings. The cravings made it very difficult for me to focus on important tasks, like working. This situation is similar to the pain felt on one's fingers when trying to stretch and snap a rubber band.

Sometimes when the cravings got really bad, I gave in and smoked again. At these periods of relapse, I smoked so excessively that I fell sick. This situation is very similar to the painful smack you get when you let go of a stretched rubber band.

In the end, I had to endure 3.5 weeks of nonstop cravings to get over my addiction. It was a very painful experience. But after those few weeks, things quickly became very smooth and positive. This situation is similar to continually stretching a rubber band till it finally snaps. I'm happy to say my rubber band finally broke!

What made my addiction so difficult to overcome was my inability to remember the purpose of quitting. This perceived lack of purpose caused many relapses. What I realized was that when you feel down and hopeless, you must remind yourself why you are quitting. You must remember the loved ones at stake and envision the noble individual you want to become.

Picture source: http://www.kokev.in/2011/10/31/struggling-with-focus/

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