Those Days are Over

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I enjoy smoking – let me rephrase that. I enjoyed smoking. I quit over a week ago, and am still going strong, which is a huge thing for me! Anyone who knows me knows that I have tried quitting in the past – I tried everything from electronic cigarettes to the patch, but nothing worked. This time though, I am determined to put my habit to rest.

It kind of shocked me when I started thinking about just how long I had been smoking. I started when I was 16, and I am now 26. To me, 16 doesn’t seem that long ago, but when I say “I’ve been smoking for 10 years,” it really hits home.

One of the main reasons why I stopped smoking was because I just recently got married. My wife hated that I smoked, and I realized that I was now sharing my life with someone else. I don’t want to be that Dad who still smokes, or look like I’m 40 when I’m really 30. I want to have kids, and want to look my age. I also want to keep my body healthy, because I know that the internal effects of smoking are much more dangerous, and I can only imagine how much damage I have already done.

In the past, I had tried to quit, but never really made the effort. This time around, I tried a new plan of action – the 12 Steps. I know most people use the 12 Steps when they are going through addiction recovery, and most don’t ever think of using this process when trying to quit smoking. However, I realized that I was using cigarettes the same way I used to use alcohol and drugs. When I was stressed, I would have a smoke. When I was bored, I would light up a cigarette. Smoking was my crutch, and through the 12 Steps, I’ve put an end to that.

The 12 Steps are something that I think everyone should do at some point in their life, regardless of if they are an addict or not. I say this because one of the most important things The Steps have taught me is to be accountable for my own actions. Now, I look forward to holding myself accountable for my smoking the same way I did for my drinking and drugging. I hope to touch base with all of you again with the good news that I have stayed on this path and am smoke-free in the future!

 

Paul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

Paul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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