Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Know What to Do to Quit Your Addiction

I believe that we tell ourselves that “we have to read a book first about addictions” or “we have to have therapy to see why I’m addicted” or “I can’t quit now because I’m not happy” to put off doing the inevitable---quitting the addiction.

If you honestly ask yourself what you would need to do, for example, starting today to get you to end your addiction I bet you could say what that was (remember I said honestly ask yourself). Maybe it’s to smoke ½ of what you normally do. Or sign up for a membership at the gym, knowing you will utilize the gym this time. I don’t know what that is for you, but you do.

And think about WHY you want to quit. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll know that you’ve accomplished something really big! You will realize you can do the thing you once thought that you couldn’t do. It’s time to not put it off anymore.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Face It To Erase It

I saw this phrase on the Suze Orman show last night. She was referring to a caller who had admitted out loud she was several thousand dollars in debt. But it reminded me of addiction. Most of the time we live with our addiction and keep all of our thoughts and feelings about it to ourselves. We don't dare share it with others. I say this because it's what I did most of the time when I was addicted to alcohol, food and cigarettes. It was my personal misery and I didn't want to share it with anyone. I'd rather they see the fun, happy and carefree side of me (which was the fake me).

If you face the fact that you have an addiction, I believe that is the first step. But the problem is so many times we say "I don't have an addiction. I could quit tomorrow." But tomorrow doesn't come very often. Be bold--face the fact you have an addiction, then decide to do something about it. Life is short. Living life without your addiction will be---well, you really won't know the sweetness of it until you quit.

Monday, January 19, 2009

8 Years Ago Today I Smoked My Last Cigarette

I didn't even know it at the time that it would be my last, but it was.

I had one of the worst colds in my life for 5 days and couldn't smoke. Normally I wouldn't let anything get in the way of me smoking, even if I was sick. So for me not to smoke for 5 days---let me just say my cold was bad!

But on day 5 of me not smoking, I was a bit ticked off at work because the supervisor was getting to me and I told myself that I would treat myself to a smoke after work because "I deserved it!" I was looking forward to it---a lot!

I got home, grabbed my pack of cigarettes and my lighter and headed outside to have my long-awaited cigarette. I took the first puff. It was terrible! With my cold and not having had a cigarette for 5 days it felt like I was smoking my first cigarette, which as people who smoke know, the first cigarette doesn't taste good at all (but you stick with it until smoking becomes enjoyable).

I forced myself to continue. Each puff seemed worse until about the 5th puff. I was becoming nauseous. I had to stop for the day. I threw the rest of the cigarette into the ashtray. Little did I know then that it would be my last cigarette.

I'm glad I didn't have that much time to think about it either, because if I did, I probably would have been able to tell myself that "it's not a good time to quit. I'll quit at another time. Things are too stressful at work."

I never thought I'd become a non-smoker. But I am, and I have to say...that the freedom from tobacco is wonderful. I don't have to plan when and where I can smoke, buy them at the ridiculously high price they are and my lungs are clear. I can take a full, deep breath now.

I smoked for 28 years, have quit for 8 and know that I will never go back. I don't even think of cigarettes anymore. But they sure can smell good sometime....still.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Do You Have to Love Yourself to Quit an Addiction?

I was watching Oprah a few days ago. The first half of the show was about people who have lost weight and then put the weight (or a lot of the weight) back on. Oprah, as you probably know, gained 40 pounds last year. She's on a mission now to lose weight. Her first guest was someone who had lost over 200 pounds on "The Biggest Loser." He looked buff and thin when he hit his goal. But he gained over 100 pounds back and said he "sometimes didn't want to get out of bed in the morning because he just wanted to hide from everyone."

Then he said he learned "he has to love himself and put himself first." At that point Oprah agreed with him saying, that yes, it IS important to love yourself first and she had forgotten to do that too.

I personally cringe when I hear those words. I don't wake up in the morning and say "Linda, I love you and I'm going to put you first today." Why don't I? Because it's too much focus on ME.

Get the focus off of yourself, do what needs to be done---eat the correct way, exercise, meditate---but then live life. Forget about if you love yourself or not and forget about putting yourself first in your life.

I think you'll do better with quitting your addictions if you do.....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life

People are addicted for many reasons. Some say they're addicted because their parents didn't love them. Others may have had something horrible happen to them or someone in their family and blame that event for their addiction.

Some people identify who they are from the past. I've known people in my life who think they have a good excuse to drink or use drugs because "I didn't have a good childhood." OK. They may not have had a good childhood but being addicted because of the bad childhood will only exacerbate the problem. I had a great childhood, but my early teens weren't wonderful for me. Should I blame that fact and have a reason to ruin my life with addictions because of it? Does that solve the problem? Not at all.

Many spend years in therapy because their life didn't turn out the way it should have. What's done is done! You can't change the past. If you're drinking, using drugs, smoking---whatever the addiction is---to try and somehow alleviate the pain of the past, it will NOT work. You're wasting your life. You're stuck in the past. You're not moving forward.

We all have one life on this earth to live. When it's over, it's done--that's it. Do you want to live life wishing "if only" all your life? and being addicted because life wasn't fair? Or do you want to accept the past, quit your addictions and live the life you have left?

I choose the latter....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quitting an Addiction Might Be Hard

But you can do it. I was talking with a friend over the weekend about how, I believe, so many people think they can't do something because it's difficult. If they're on a diet and they get hungry and are uncomfortable, that's it. Diet is over. I can't stand being hungry is the excuse and the diet is over.

I remember for myself years ago when I was dieting, if I had started out dieting and had eaten anything at all that wasn't on my "diet" then I'd write "blew it" in my journal and I'd do just that---blow my diet and eat whatever I wanted to for the rest of the day, knowing that tomorrow I'd diet again. What a vicious cycle that was! It was all or nothing. And I was very depressed at that time living like that daily.

Take the time and really think and meditate on the fact that.....even though quitting an addiction is hard, it can be done. Can it really be that simple? I think it can.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Making the Decision to Quit

If you keep going back and forth trying to decide if it's really going to work this time if you say you want to quit your addiction, I'll give you some advice that I know to be true, and has worked for me.

Adamantly declare "I am going to quit my addiction this time and I'm not going back to it." Isn't it a much stronger statement than something like "I'm going to try to quit and hope it works?" I see so many people saying the latter, when in fact, we need to speak strong statements.

And once you make the decision to quit something else happens. The path will seem easier because you've made the decision to quit. If you truly decided to quit, then all of the help will "magically" seem to be there for you. Your mind won't constantly ask itself if you are really going to quit or not---you've made the decision.

Oh, sure, there will be times when things seems tough but you'll get through it. I remember when I quit drinking 21 years ago. I thought my whole life would be a cake walk from then on because I'd quit drinking. Then about 3 months later I found myelf crying for seemingly no reason. In the past I would have picked up a drink if I was upset. Now I didn't have that option. So what did I do? I cried as much as I neeeded to.

So make the decision to quit and see how it may not be as difficult as you thought it would be. And if life DOES get difficult, you'll soon realize that going back to your addiction will actually only exacerbate the problem.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

We Don't Live Forever

It's January 1, 2009 as I'm writing this. Since I quit drinking 21 years ago I think I may have stayed up once to see the ball drop in Times Square. It just doesn't excite me to stay up anymore. Yeah, I guess I'm a bit boring.

As I worked out this morning thinking about what I wanted to write about today, I thought of the fact that we don't live forever. We think we have lots of time to do the things we have planned in our life. We think we can put off quitting our addictions until there is "a better time." There IS no better time. The time really is now!

I think it's important to remember---daily if you need to----that you only live once on this earth (as far as we know anyway). Why not just decide today to take care of business and quit your addiction? It's preventing you from becoming the best person you can be in your life for yourself and others.

Let me know how you're doing and if I can help in any way to get you on the right path to quit your addiction.
Oh, and Happy New Year......