Congratulations on three years of smoke-freedom Dana, and on all of the positive changes you've made in your life since quitting. Thanks for sharing your story.
A funny thing happened this morning...
My broken brain tried to tell me that I was better off, A.K.A. "that life was oh so much easier" back when I was smokin' and drinkin' instead of all this *whines* hard self-improvement WORK!!! I wallowed in that for about 30 seconds. It didn't take long to get honest with myself about how it REALLY was back then. The guilt/shame/remorse/self-pity... that was no way to live. Who am I kidding!? I do not want to go back to that dark self-destructive path I was on.
No, if I'm being honest... THIS is a far better path. I get like that though when I'm doing serious self-work, which I am currently. It's hard, but it is SO worth it! It's important for me to remember, really remember, that while I was smoking (or whatever) I was also wishing that I didn't do that - saying to myself that tomorrow would be different, gonna turn over a new leaf tomorrow... yes, I lived in tomorrow-land and it never came.
When I look at the road in front of me now and get scared by how long and twisted it is, I have to remind myself to look in the rear view mirror and see just how far I'm come! Enjoy the journey. Easier said than done sometimes, but I keep saying it.
The difference between three years ago and now is...
Three years ago that broken brain (junkie) thinking would have wrecked my day. I would have been spinning on that. Will it ever get better?? When will these cravings go away?? Am I always going to "miss" smoking?
Today I am not spinning. I know the answers to these questions and so much more. IT HAS GOTTEN BETTER, WAY BETTER than I could have ever imagined. The cravings went away! It's been a long time since I "craved" a cigarette - dare I say it's been years?! Wow, back then I never thought I'd be able to say that. And I do NOT miss smoking, not one bit! What I miss is.... an escape, an outlet from life - but life still happens and I've learned new ways to deal with life. It started right here on this forum.
Did I tell you I started karate about three months ago? Now there is a much healthier and much more rewarding way to "escape" life's disappointments for a little while. It's fun trying new things! Because I CAN... and I feel good about it. You can be sure there is no guilt, shame, remorse, or self-pity after I spend an hour at the dojo.
I'm over it - I was literally over those junkie thoughts in about 30 seconds, what would have lasted all day three years ago. And I actually laughed at myself! I laughed out loud on the inside, and let out an audible giggle on the outside. I only bring it up here now because perhaps someone who reads this will feel a sense of HOPE. We hear all the time that "it gets better" - I am living proof of that. Hang in there!
All the best,