Using the Spiritual
My name is Michele and I am a nicotine addict. I am the same as most from my generation. Parents smoked, doctors smoked, it seemed everyone smoked. We weren’t denied buying ciga-rettes at any age. I used to go to the corner store at age 8 and buy cigarettes for my mother, so at 15 buying them wasn’t an issue.
I started by taking a couple from my mother’s pack, and by 18 I was a pack-a-day smoker. I met my future hus-band. He smoked. It seemed that smok-ing was everywhere - on TV, in maga-zines and in the movies. Coming from that generation, it seemed the thing to do.
I stopped smoking when I was pregnant with our first son. In 1976 you could still smoke in the hospital with the baby in the room. I started smoking again when he was 6 weeks old. When my second son came, you could still smoke in the room with the baby, but by the third son, born in 1982, you could only smoke in the lounge, which was on the OB floor.
Somewhere in the 90’s I decided to quit. I would stop for awhile, then start again. It bothered me that our sons were in a car with the windows rolled up when it was cold, with 2 smokers in the front seats. It didn’t bother me enough to stop smoking in the car though. Selfishness to the ex-treme. Nobody was going to tell me where or when I could smoke. Of course, that changed. Gone was smok-ing in restaurants. People started giving you the evil eye if you smoked any-where. I didn’t care.
In 2002 I quit for 2 years. I joined an online support group. I didn’t know there was Nicotine Anonymous. I should have, being in another 12 Step program since 1975. But I started again - no reason, just wanted to smoke. Then I found NicA. First it was the phone meet-ings. I got a sponsor and thought I was ready, but couldn’t get more than a few months together. I really didn’t have an honest desire to quit.
I rejoined that online support group on
April 17, 2015. I had a 6 month quit
going and knew I needed the 12 Steps, so I joined NicA online, Voices of Nico-tine Recovery (VONR). I got a new sponsor and this time the desire to quit grew and grew. From that day until to-day as I write this, I haven’t had any nicotine in my body.
I have days where I think a cigarette would be nice, but I know it’s a big lie. A cigarette will just start the chain reac-tion of craving. I really don’t want to start over. It was so hard for me to start and mean it, so why would I want to play with fire?
My mind is where my disease resides. I have a thinking disease. I need to re-member this so when those thoughts come in, I can use all the tools the 12 Steps have given me. It is a spiritual tool kit. I start with the first 3 Steps, which are my foundation. That founda-tion needs to be strong or the rest will collapse. “I can’t, He can, so I’ll let Him.” I say those three things to myself every morning to remind me that I am not in charge.
The Fourth through the Ninth Steps are action Steps to help me clean house and straighten up the destruction of the past.
Steps Ten through Twelve are my grow-ing Steps, teaching me that my purpose is to serve others. They are the roof on the 12 Step structure that will stay safe and warm as long as I keep it in good repair.
I owe my life to these Steps, my spon-sors, my group and mostly my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God. I am deeply grateful for all that has been given to me.
Michele P Drums, PA