written at the end of my second week of freedom from smoking and originally posted on december 3, 2001; in it, i talk about how i planned to establish the image of myself as a non-smoker.

self-image of a non-smoker

2009 January 10

in one of the lessons in the american lung association's freedom from smoking program, it's suggested that we come up with a phrase that we can repeat over and over, every day, until we believe it - a phrase that reinforces our self-image as a non-smoker - and post it on the ffs message boards.

in the words of thomas jefferson, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

i actually came up with a set of three phrases the day i quit, and i repeat these phrases to myself every morning as soon as i wake up. i also write them out at the top of every page of my quit journal, and repeat them to myself at times of temptation (or even just when it occurs to me to do so), and i've believed them right from day one:

i am a nicotine addict.

i cannot afford to feed that addiction; not even one time.

so, today, i choose not to smoke.

there have been a number of people in my life who were, at one point or another, addicted to something (nicotine, alcohol, heroin and cocaine, to name just a few). i've thought about it, and i've come to realize that the one common bond among the ones who successfully stopped using the substance they were addicted to was this: every day, they acknowledged their addiction, acknowledged that they could not control that addiction, and reaffirmed their choice not to feed their addiction that day.

in the words of thomas jefferson, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance". by repeating my "mantra" every morning as soon as i wake up, i'm building the habit of being eternally vigilant against my mortal enemy.

and that will keep me free.

kevin - day 14

2 responses leave one →
  1. 2003 February 16
    Jennifer Cady permalink

    I'm right with you!! I am now embarking on the end of my 7th day smober!! I am also a recovering Alcoholic/Addict (9 yrs. sober)and like you have reiterated many times, "Just stay in today, admit the powerlessnes over our addiction on a daily basis."

    ONE DAY AT A TIME. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, strength and hope. You have inspired me to keep the quit.

  2. 2009 January 10

    note: the comment above was left on the original tale at the date and time indicated.

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