Tuesday, December 04, 2007

No Smoking. Inventory In Progress.

This is the longest I've gone without smoking in years. Today is Day 11.

It reminds me a LOT of early sobriety. I don't know what to do with myself, because my routine is disrupted and I'm consciously not doing what comes naturally to me. I tell myself the familiar lies, and I still believe them: "Just one pack, then I'll never have the urge again." It's a good reminder to this alcoholic of how my brain works and that I can never, ever take my sobriety for granted.

I'm grateful to find myself putting recovery to work with smoking. I can recognize the lies I tell myself. I can take it one day, one hour, one moment at a time. I let God handle it, because I can't. I don't worry about smoking tomorrow. I'm a smoker, an addict, and smoking is what I do -- there's no reason to expect I won't smoke tomorrow. But I'm not smoking right now, this minute, and that's a gift from God and I will be grateful for it. I will pray for the willingness to let God handle it when tomorrow comes, too.

The obsession to smoke has not been lifted yet. It's good to be reminded how it was before the obsession to drink was lifted. And it's good to have the experience of having that obsession lifted, so I know it can happen with cigarettes, too.

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I'm leading a step study (which basically means I have the key to the room we meet in), and we're on Step Four. Last night we had an inventory-writing session. I looked at my first fourth step from three years ago for the first time since doing steps six and seven. How marvelous to look at the resentments and fears I had, to acknowledge them again, and to recognize how many of them I have let go of! I know I need to dig a little deeper, and get beyond the general feeling of relief and well-being I have since the recent resolution of the main issues of my divorce. Even so, it's gratifying to see this fourth step looks a lot like a tenth step.

It's astonishing. I don't work anything like a great program -- I think it's pretty half-assed, actually. All I bring to it is a little willingness, a little humility, a little service I do resentfully, some inconsistent gratitude. In return, I've been showered with blessings totally out of proportion to the effort and commitment I put into it. The blessings and miracles are so plentiful I end up hardly noticing them a lot of the time -- yes, take them for granted -- until I take a good look with something like a step-four inventory.

Recovery -- particularly AA and the doors it has opened -- continues to amaze me, surprise me and exhilirate me.

5 Comments:

At 12/05/2007 02:18:00 AM, Blogger dAAve said...

My experience with stopping smoking is that new habits are formed pretty quickly. Any time I have had a thought about lighting up, I remind myself that I'm a non-smoker, so why would I have a cigarette?
Sobriety and Recovery continue to amaze me each and every day.

 
At 12/05/2007 06:29:00 AM, Blogger Scott W said...

Congratulations on eleven days as a non-smoker. When I quit I asked everyone I knew in AA who do not smoke if they used to be a smoker, almost 100% said yes. That gave me a different perspective and that I could also be a non-smoker.

 
At 12/05/2007 07:59:00 AM, Blogger dbv said...

congrats... try quitnet.com... it's a website that is for non smokers and keeps track of your progress for you and there are groups too... it's amazing... oct 19 was 3 years smoke free for me and i've saved almost 10 grand and added almost a year to my life... when i see that, it's an amazing boost... good luck!!!

 
At 12/05/2007 09:16:00 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

PHIL!!!! YOU WERE MY FIRST BLOGGING BUDDY EVER!!! EVER!!! daave sent us over to encourage you to keep on not smoking... GOOD JOB!!!!
I will tell ya you are doing it!
what also helped me was a little mantra I used whenever I nicked out
"I will not feel like this forever"
(((HUGS))) I have missed you

 
At 12/05/2007 01:07:00 PM, Anonymous Lisa said...

When the craving hits remember this "a craving for a cigarette never lasts more than 1 1/2 minutes". That helped me a LOT when I quit which was over 2 years ago. I had smoked for 32 years so I do know how hard it can be.

Lisa

 

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