A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two Choices

In the Freedom From Smoking program I've been asked to write about my two choices: to smoke or not to smoke.

I saw my therapist yesterday and told her that I had smoked several times in the last two weeks. I told her I had joined The American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking program. At the end of the meeting I asked her to wish me luck, which she did. I then walked to a store a bought a pack of cigarettes. I chose to smoke. But why? The lame logic was that if my quit date is Novemeber 3rd, that means that I can smoke until that time. Addictive thinking. I haven't been posting on the message boards and I know I have to. The choice to smoke means that I will be chained to a cigarette again and I hated that feeling. If I choose to smoke, I choose to put my health in jeopardy. I make my family unhappy. I make myself unhappy. If I choose to not smoke, I will initially be uncomfortable, but in the long run I will be happier.

I'm in a strange situation, hanging between smoking and not smoking, and I find it stressful. If I were committed to quitting I would be more comfortable, more motivated, but right now I am not committed to it. I could get a pack tomorrow. I have to remember that I quit for 10 months and that that is something to be proud of. I have to remember that it often takes several serious tries before it quitting for good takes hold and that the more I open the door to quitting, the more likely I will. I have to encourage myself and not scold myself.

The choice to not smoke gives me the freedom I want and the choice to smoke takes away that freedom. Well, I'm still not committed, but I have to keep trying a little each day, writing, going to the message boards, talking into my tape recorder. I can quit smoking. I am saying it out loud.
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