As a person who smoked a pack of cigarettes and choked down an average of twelve beers a day for more than 15 years, I think I may know a little something about addiction. Not only addiction, but overcoming addiction, because I walked away from both practices without the aid of gum, patches, meetings, or counselors. I'm not implying that there's something wrong with getting help, I'm simply saying that for me the traditional kinds of help weren't necessary. Whatever works to help individuals overcome addiction is a good thing, no matter what form it takes. My hope is that what I learned may help someone else in their process of overcoming addiction.
What I realized is that overcoming addiction is going to be exactly as difficult as you think it will be. In other words, if you think it's going to be terribly difficult, it will be. If you think it will be easy, it will be. It's as simple as that. I found that the difficulty I had in overcoming addiction was in direct proportion to how difficult I thought it was going to be. So I simply began changing my thoughts. I heard a quote that explains what I'm referring to perfectly, "Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. " This is what I began doing, and everything changed.
This may sound over-simplistic and a bit nutty, but it's true. For about a year prior to walking away, I thought about it a lot. I thought about how much I disliked being hung over and out of shape. I thought about how much I disliked the smell of my clothes from smoking. I thought about how someone smelled right after smoking (which indecently is disgusting!) I thought about how much I truly disliked being a smoker and a drinker. And at the same time I also thought about how easy it was going to be to walk away.
Soon, both practices became a complete pain in the butt to me. I truly didn't enjoy either one any longer. I couldn't lie to myself anymore and say that I “enjoyed" either practice. The truth is that neither practice is fun, you just convince yourself that it is. All of these realizations came about because of one simple thing. I had changed the way I looked at both drinking and smoking, and the act of doing both things was about to change.
One day I looked into my pack of cigarettes to have a smoke, and there was only one left. Rather than planning to get another pack, I said to myself, “This is it, I'm done". I smoked that cigarette and haven't smoked since. During the next few weeks I drank once or twice, but always wanted to smoke, so I stopped drinking as well. That was over a year ago, and I'm now clean and sober. And it was exactly as difficult as I thought it would be.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of http://www.JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…. . Montana!
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