"Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time..."
- Lennon/McCartney, All You Need Is Love
in my experience, the people who have succeeded in maintaining their quits long-term are the ones who have confronted and dealt with the underlying issues that made them want to self-destruct.
smoking is a socially acceptable way to commit suicide.
it's becoming less socially acceptable, yes, but still, when we see someone (or a group of people) smoking, we barely notice it. imagine seeing someone standing outside an office building shooting heroin; now that would be shocking. not only because it's illegal (and as long as the tobacco cartel is one of the richest — and most generous — lobbies in washington, smoking will never be illegal in this country), but because it's such an obviously self-destructive behavior.
at its root, smoking is a self-destructive behavior, but we've been acculturated to it (largely by the propaganda of the same tobacco cartel that lines politician's pockets on both sides of the aisle), and we tend to overlook that part, even though nearly half a million americans destroy themselves this way every year...
when i was preparing to stop feeding my addiction to nicotine, and during the early days of my quit (and i'm with Nancy on this one; our quits are still very young), i did a lot of "digging", and i advised a lot of other people to "dig deep" as well; i knew that smoking was a self-destructive behavior, and i intuited that uncovering the cause(s) of that urge to self-destruct would be essential to maintaining this quit (after numerous attempts to quit over a thirty-plus-year smoking history).
i'll be celebrating my seventh lunaversary in just a few days, and i've seen lots of people come and go (at this site and others) in that time; some of them, despite the fact that they had stopped feeding their addictions, continued to be in denial about the underlying issues that were causing them to want to self-destruct. of those, some have come back and announced their renewed attempt to quit.
in my experience, the people who have succeeded in maintaining their quits for any appreciable length of time are the ones who confronted those underlying issues and dealt with them early on. many of them (including myself) continue to look for signs that those old issues are reappearing (or that new ones are appearing to take their place) and deal with them on an ongoing basis.
the fact that you're still here and still questioning yourself this way after three months indicates a level of awareness on your part that will serve you well in maintaining your quit. it's only through continually questioning where we are and how we're doing that we can keep ourselves from deadly complacency. as thomas jefferson said, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance".
and, as john lennon wrote in the song i quoted above, you can learn how to be you, in time; and fighting a deadly addiction (and winning, as you are) is a great way to do that...
keep questioning, susan. keep digging. and keep choosing life!
kevin - day 209