The days following putting the cigarettes down, I felt raw all over, like an open wound freshly exposed to air and sun-light. My body worked overtime to begin the healing process and take in newly available oxygen after all the years of constant irritation from inhaling hot tox-ins into my body. My metabolism went haywire without nicotine's stimu-lantsleep, appetite, emotions, focus — all were affected as I withdrew from the violence of nicotine.
The addiction gave way, and then I had to learn a whole new way of being in the world without relying on nicotine as my crutch, my escape, my friend. New feel-ings bubbled up at the most inconven-ient times. I reacted to the slightest provocation. In one particularly angry moment, my sponsor asked me, “Is this really where you would like to put your energy?” This stopped me in my tracks. You mean I have a choice?
As the healing continued and the veil of smoke lifted, I began to gain clarity about how to be at peace in the mo-ment, how to choose to be happy, joy-ous and free. What I learned is to sur-render, and let the god of my under-standing take care of the people, places and things that are outside of my con-trol — which is just about everything beyond my nose.
Little Rock, Arkansas