This word is very significant on so many levels.
When I hear the word independence, I immediately think of the 4th of July. Independence Day, the Fourth (4th) of July is a public holiday in the United States of America that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared the original colonies to be free from British rule.
I just want to say This American life is the only life I’ve ever known. The freedom we all have seems to be taken for granted. But that’s not what I intend to blog about today.
But the word independence means free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority. There are many different types of authority. One example is addiction. Addiction is one of the strongest authorities you will ever come to know. Some how we obey that authority EVEN when we don’t want to.
In my younger years, I smoked weed. Now I still believe weed is not addictive, because I smoked it EVERY day for at least a year to a year and a half, then we left Texas and I didn’t have access like I did in Texas. I didn’t have withdrawals from it. Not only did I smoke weed, I would have a mixed drink or 2 or 3 every night with my good friend. I was 15 yrs old, but she was 25 soooo she became my drinking and smoking buddy. But as I said we (my family) left Texas. I didn’t know any body to smoke with in Florida, so I just didn’t smoke anymore. Of course I still would have a few drinks. But I never ended up addicted to alcohol, or beer. But the one thing I was addicted to, was the cigarette. Now I’m not proud of it, but I’ve been smoking since I was probably 13, or 14 years old. There’s a story here on the smoking situation. I’ll explain as quickly as I can. So I had a cousin who was about 2 years older than me. I found out she was smoking cigarettes. So because they was keeping it a secret, once they knew I knew, her dad decided to tell my mom that they, are allowing Tina to smoke cigarettes. Now her dad is informing my mom about this smoking situation as he’s leaving. So mom says ” well she’s your daughter, long as Bea’s not smoking it’s y’alls business” She said her goodbyes, closed the door, turned to me and asked me if I was smoking cigarettes with Tina. I said no ma’am. She responds with don’t lie to me. Now I’m scared, she THINKS I’m telling her a lie. My mind is racing to find the right answer to save me a butt whoopin. So I said ” ok maybe once or twice, but that’s it!” Now I don’t know why, but I remember she went and bought me a pack of cigarettes. I didn’t even know HOW to smoke. I couldn’t figure out how to inhale without coughing. I hid in the garage until I learned to inhale without coughing. I was even more afraid that IF she KNEW I didn’t know how to smoke then she would know I was telling the truth about NOT smoking with my cousin. BUT, still be in trouble because I lied, saying that I did smoke with her when I didn’t JUST to save myself a whoopin, that now if she knows I lied to get out of a whoopin it, ( the whoopin) will be worse.
Now through out the years I have quit smoking, ONLY to start up again. But honestly, I never REALLY wanted to quit. I enjoyed the taste, and feel of taking a draw off the cigarette, and feeling the cool menthol assault my lungs. However I have managed to quit smoking. This time I have quit with conviction. I will no longer be controlled by these cigarettes. But you HAVE to be stronger than your addiction. Because you WILL have a battle of the WILLS. The addicted part of your mind will do it’s BEST to convince you that it’s ok to do it one time, just to take the edge off. But the mind that wants to quit has to tell the addction part that THAT is a lie. Because both parts of the mind know darn good and well if there is a pack of cigarettes you’re not going to smoke just one. Your addicted brain is ok with that, but the part that wants to quit will mentally abuse you. But the one thing I have learn with nicotine, is it usually takes up to 3 days for the nicotine fully leaves the blood.
There are a few things you can try IF you want to quit smoking. First and foremost DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. This takes time, and conviction. Chances are high, that you wont succeed on the first attempt, and that’s ok. But pay attention to habits, and real need(fix) there is a difference between the two. Once you recognize “habit” then you can start to eliminate one “habit” at a time. Some of my habits was…
- Get in the car, light up.
- Phone call, light up
- Take a walk to the mailbox, yep light up.
- After dinner ( although this one falls into both habit and addiction)
Those are a few, but the last one does fall under both categories of habit and addiction, however, try to prolong THE (after dinner mint) at least until the desire to smoke has decreased. Trust me I KNOW that after dinner mint is the BEST top off. Little by little if we stop the habits then we can focus on the addiction. That’s when the real work comes in. That’s when you focus on WHY you want to quit, and take the challenge to fight and be stronger than that addiction. You’ll find each time your desire to smoke decreases and the strong urge to smoke don’t last too long, if you ride the storm and keep your focus on being stronger than…
Another meaning for independence is when you finally have the courage to leave an abusive relationship. But I’ll write more on that tomorrow. For now this will do. Because I really have to start my day.