there's an old saying that applies to my post "on relapsing": "if you really want to learn something, teach it to somebody else".
my rant - as with many of my, shall we say, "less gentle" posts - was aimed at me as much as at anybody else.
last week i was going through a pretty rough time, which peaked at the end of the week; the current week is traditionally one of the most stressful of the year in my job (ironically, we refer to this week as "hell week" where i work), and i knew (from doing my homework in this program) that stress was a huge trigger for me.
early last week, i had my first dream with a burning cigarette in it (i wasn't smoking it). after thinking it over for several days and talking about it with a friend, i "decoded" it as a message from my late father that i could not succeed in this quit.
digging a little deeper, i realized that i was listening to an old record from my mid-teens, when i was a rebel without a cause, and dad was no doubt extremely frustrated with the myriad ways in which i was abusing myself and wasting my gifts. but that's a really long story.
even after realizing that the message was not an accurate reflection of how dad would probably feel if he were still alive, the experience turned up the intensity of my nervousness coming into this week to an insane level. by the end of last week, i had totally convinced myself that if i was ever going to lose my quit, this week would be the most likely place for it to happen.
at the same time, everywhere i looked, i saw posts about other people losing their quits; people i had thought were very solid. people i thought had "made it". and the demon started to whisper to me, "you know how you get when you're under stress", "hey, nobody will blame you for smoking a little at a time like this", "look at all these other people that are losing their quits; there's no shame in admitting that your addiction is just too strong..."
worse, i started listening; his lies were starting to make sense to me. "yeah", i thought, "where's the harm? i could just smoke a few when i really needed them; who's to say i couldn't? then i'd just stop once "hell week" is over, get right back on the wagon..." - i think we all know the voice of rationalization...
thus, my rant. as with many of my, shall we say, "less gentle" posts, it was aimed at me as much as (if not more than) at anybody else. (which may help explain why i couldn't quite decide on a point of view to write it from...)
it never ceases to amaze me, though, when something like this hits so close to home for so many others. it's like we're siamese twins or something; i kick myself in the ass, and you feel it.
strange sensation, isn't it?
kevin - day 58