Day 32: Quitting smoking, quitting sugar

It’s interesting how my attitude towards this stretch of abstinence – 32 days! – reminds me of the time I quit smoking almost five years ago. At the time, quitting smoking was the hardest thing I’d ever done, and I had quite a few no-matter-what’s, because I had to relearn how to do everything without a cigarette. Everything I did for the first time without smoking was a trigger. I remember going to the movies about three months into my quit – at a time that I felt fairly stable already – but the moment I came out (as I’d normally light up immediately) I was hit by a wave of craving so strong I stood in front of a cigarette dispenser automat for minutes. Eventually I hit it, with my fist, hard.

When I quit smoking, I didn’t “cut down”. I just quit, period. And deep inside I felt like I only had this one chance – if I were to pick up again, I wouldn’t have the strength to go through this again, at least not for many years to come. It was precisely *because* it was so hard that I had the resolve not to pick up again. I feel very similar now about food. If I pick up again, it will take me a very, very long time to make it back to GS – if ever – and the next time will be harder. I’m cruising now. All is well, and food thoughts (yes they’re there) are easily redirected. But I know that I can lose all of this, and reading the posts on this forum I learn that not everyone has an easy time like me… people are out there, white-knuckling it, hanging on for dear life. That’s not the kind of abstinence I’d choose if I have a choice – it’s better than non-abstinence, but I’m not going to jeopardize what I have now, the ease and the surrender and the willingness my HP is blessing me with so abundantly.

Yes, I do the footwork. I go to phone meetings, I read the Greynet, I make outreach calls, and of course I weigh all my food. But there’s a grace about this, an ease, a naturalness. I’m letting myself be brainwashed by all the GS info I can get, and it’s a slow process of washing clean some very, very stained windows into myself. The more I see, the more I understand, and the more I realize how dearly I have to guard this abstinence.

Just exceedingly grateful for today, another abstinent day. Wishing you all the same.

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