Can we make ourselves miserable on purpose? No doubt about it. Throughout our lives we've experienced worry, fear, anger and irritability, only to find out later that our emotions were totally unnecessary as our concerns failed to arise.
The single greatest source of self-inflicted anxiety in my entire life flowed from failure to recognize and understand my addiction.
How could I seriously and intelligently confront something that I refused to admit existed? Although I'd often dreamed about freedom, it was vastly faster and easier to reach for that next fix instead. Sadly, I grew to expect failure.
Combining intelligence with a can-do attitude can destroy baseless fears. Why not reassure your impulsive mind that there is absolutely nothing to fear, that coming home and your healing is wonderful, not bad.
Picture a board on the ground that's 10 inches wide and 50 feet long. Picture yourself easily and repeatedly walking its entire length, over and over and over.
Now, picture the same board suspended between two skyscrapers, fifty stories up. What are the odds of walking its length now without falling? Not good.
Recovery is totally grounded. Why allow false fears to destroy your will? The choice of which board to walk is totally yours. Attitude can either escalate and fuel fears, or serve as a calming influence that relaxes and reassures.
Why not choose freedom over bondage, happy over depressed, success over failure? Why not invite your subconscious to pick honesty, healing and safety over lies, toxins and disease?
Why allow resolve, commitment and success to be controlled by dependency induced doubt, anxiety and fear? Why heap layer upon layer of anxiety icing on recovery's now squashed cake?
Do you remember when you first learned to swim and found yourself in water over your head? Did you panic? I did. Would I have panicked if I'd been a skilled swimmer?
The more knowledgeable and skilled we become, the easier and calmer our recovery. Yes, there may be a few waves along the way. But why fear their arrival? Why not relax and float or do the backstroke until your swimming skills are needed?
Imagine a positive attitude becoming your subconscious' teacher, in sharing the truth about the beauty of arriving home. Imagine confident honesty enlisting your subconscious to fight on the side that's right.
Encourage your subconscious to take its finger off of the button controlling your body's fight or flight panic response. Help it understand that what needs to be feared is your dependency, and nicotine finding its way back into your bloodstream, not the long overdue healing associated with ending use.
Why adopt an attitude that resists bringing wanting to an end? What harm is there in inviting this temporary journey of re-adjustment to become your most amazing period of self-discovery ever?
Why pretend that the board is too high, the swim too hard, or that there are monsters or demons where none exist?
Reflect on how repeatedly telling yourself that recovery "is too hard," "endless" or "nearly impossible" might tend to eat away at freedom's dreams and desires. Reflect upon how a positive can-do attitude would reassure your subconscious and help diminish self-induced stress, worry, anxiety, panic, anger and depression.
Why not allow your dreams to feel the influence of celebrating each moment of freedom, each challenge overcome?
Picture a plugged-in lamp but without a light bulb. The power switch is turned off. Pretending only, intentionally stick your finger into the bulb's socket and leaving it there. Now picture all of your still active subconscious nicotine feeding cues being wired directly into the lamp's on-off switch.
If we expect to soon encounter another use cue and anxiety episode, but don't know when, what will leaving our finger in the socket all day do to our nerves? Will it keep us on edge?
Will a constant sense of anticipation anxiety have us lashing-out at anyone entering the room? Will we feel like crying? Will worry and concern keep us from concentrating on other things? Will it wear us down and drain our spirit?
Conversely, what if we know that when a shock occurs that it will always be tolerable, that no crave episode will ever harm us, cut us, burn us, or make us bleed?
What if we know that the episode will not last longer than three minutes? What if we know that there's a valuable prize at the end, extinguishing another use cue and return of another aspect of life? What if we know that the only path to fully reclaiming life is to extinguish all our use cues?
Honesty, confidence, understanding and attitude can make the time and distance between challenges more relaxed. Alternatively, we can allow our thinking to become so infected by fear, doubt and negativism that it becomes the instrument of defeat.
Instead of intense focus upon any anxiety felt when the light switch is briefly turned on, why not focus on learning how to fully relax during the massive amount of time that the switch is off?
If we keep feeding ourselves the thought that recovery is too hard, should we be surprised when our emotions make us feel that it is?
Why feed the mind failure? Why fear the swim and needlessly worry when some of us are not even in the water yet? Why fuel the impulsive mind in breeding powerful negative anxieties?
Fight back with reason, logic and dreams. Look forward with confidence while knowing that nicotine will no longer define who you are. You, not a chemical, will now control your remaining time here on earth.
Embrace recovery as a wonderful journey back to the rich, deep, and tranquil inner calm that resided inside our mind before nicotine first arrived.
Permit yourself to grow stronger, not weaker. Let honesty answer addiction's chatter. Picture your brain and tissues healing, extra money in your pocket, extra time to spend it, and more bounce in each step.
While true that only action, not thought, can rob us of victory, why allow a negative attitude to invite failure? Why not marvel in the glory of taking back your mind.