Dealing with addiction

I know, it’s been a while and suddenly I showed up with this title. I have a lot of list to write, but honestly I can’t keep my mind off of this one.

I was addicted to cigarettes. It didn’t matter how I first became one, I just felt the urge to smoke and I couldn’t help it. Sometimes 2 cigs a day, sometimes 1 pack a day. Everything depended on how much burden I was dealing with at the time or how big the urge was. This is why  I called my past smoking habit was an addiction. I was both physiologically and psychologically dependant on cigarettes. Every time I got stressed, burdened, deep into my own thoughts or even wanted to have more fun with some friends, I need cig.

Now, I really don’t  remember exactly what motivated or pushed me to stop. What I do remember is that it was full of lapse-relapse moments.

My first attempt to quit smoking was when I was in 9th grade. (I started smoking when I was in fourth grade) A friend of mine asked, ‘Really, why do you smoke?’ I found that it was a stupid question. ‘I smoke because I like it, dude!’ that was my answer to him and following was a terrible, useless debate.

But the question lingered.

Not long after that moot, I had a boyfriend who was an ex-heroin user (yeah, I know what you think-believe me, I’m not proud of that relationship). When we met, he was just 6-months sober and still in recovery. I remember his mom said to him once, ‘don’t let me chase you up to the roof again!’ I was shocked. Geez. That made me rethink my friends’s question. What if I’m dying and have to quit smoking but choose not to, and my parents have to chase me just to get rid of that pack of tobacco out of my mouth? How embarrasing. So I tried to quit the following day.

I was successful on my first attempt…for about 6 weeks. Just like any other addiction, I had a relapse moment. Then I tried to quit again, but then I smoked again. on-off. Not committed. Well, I wanted to believe I was committed, because there was a time when I didn’t smoke for almost two years.

But I am not going to tell you in detail how the up and down struggle was. What I am willing and I deem important to share is what really slapped me on the face and how and why.

I’m married to a man whom I have been dating for 8 eight years. He doesn’t smoke. He never explicitly tell me that I should quit smoking. He’s not the reason I quit, either. But he did contribute a portion of positive encouragement to quit. So now, I am proudly say to you I am sober from my addiction for 3 years straight. No relapses. Not a single inhale of nicotine.

So you’re wondering how, what and why.

No definite reason. I just found that it’s a sad thing that I have to cling onto something just to feel a little bit unburdened, de-stressed, think clearer or even to have fun. I can do better. I can be a better person. Often, the arguments to encourage smokers to quit smoking is that it is for the sake of their health. I honestly don’t feel healthier after I quit smoking. I do feel liberated from any dependency. I am not a slave to cigarette packs anymore and I have saved a lot of money from that. I think I saved my teeth as well, lol.

About health. Why did I say that I don’t necessarily feel healthier? Well, smoking is just one factor. There are plenty of other factors that contribute to poor health. Luckily, I still eat enough veggies to keep the balance and I work out every now and then when I was a smoker (to date, as well). I try to have enough good sleep everyday. I have never had any lung disease whatsoever when I was smoking, but recently I had infection on my lungs, which then leads to bronchitis. You probably thought, such an irony. But I’m not dead, people. Not even close to dying. I think, every disease is unique and the viruses and microbes always want to find a new host. So, do I regret quit smoking? The answer is NO. The illness is just a reminder that I need to be more careful and take a better care of myself.

Just a few weeks before I write this, the urge came back. I was desperately trying to work out on a piece of writing, but the idea just stuck in my head, and then something in my head said, “a cigarette might help you think better.” and I was even surprised that I had that idea popped into my head. There was a half-smoked cig at the porch and I was tempted to finish it. But no, I threw it away. (Honey, if you’re reading this, please not to worry, I’ve managed to fight my demons.) This is why I took some time to think, instead of writing.

I have learned that in life, anything can come in your way. Anything can sway your stand point. Anything could kill you at any moment. The least you can do is not voluntarily let yourself be the easy target.

In short, I want to be free from any dependancy in my life. I should be able to be happier, healthier both psychologically and physiologically without depending on a substance or alike. I should be able to control my own mind, my lust, my desire, and channel them to the right frequency. I don’t want to be consciously destructive to myself. It is hard, and like I said, even after three years your demon won’t leave you be. It is always easy to conquer anyone else but you, but once you did, you won the true battle in life. Most importantly, I quit for me…not for anyone else.

Do I want or at least hope you to feel liberated from any dependancy? yes. Do I tell you that you must? No. It’s your choice. Life is always about making choices…

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Author: Maria Ambarastuti

A wife, a worker, a dreamer. trying to live her life to the fullest and continue to search for ways to enrich life. drop me an email for further chats: m.ambarastuti@gmail.com

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