Still Going Strong

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It is my pleasure to report that, yes, I am still cigarette-free! Its been almost two weeks now, and I’ve learned a lot about my addiction to nicotine.

Instead of asking myself “what” I want, I am asking myself “why” I want it. For example, when I get a craving, I know I want a cigarette, but instead of just reaching for one, I just sit through the craving and bite the bullet. I know that it will pass eventually, because the reason I want the cigarette is because it’s a habit, not because I really need it. My mind was always pulling me the other way. Now, as I am still working to steer clear of cigarettes, I just remember the importance of the “what” and the “why” to keep me going.

I know people who have tried to quit smoking before and they’ve always recommended for me to try the patch, Chantix, etc. While I started chewing Nicorette, I still needed more than that. So, I utilized one of the many things that has helped me in breaking all my bad habits related to addiction – the 12 Steps.

Each one of the 12 Steps has applied to my journey to quit smoking in one way or another. For example, I know that I am powerless over nicotine, but that I don’t want it to have power over me. So I work hard to make it so I can overcome this power on a daily basis. I do the 12 Steps every single year to keep me firm in my sobriety, but this year it has truly helped me end my smoking habits.

I always say the Serenity Prayer in the morning, too. I read my Jesus calling book and meditate for five minutes daily, so I can reflect on what I am grateful and thankful for. This helps remind me of how blessed I am, and I use this motivation to keep me away from picking up another cigarette.

My wife Ashley and my family have all wanted me to quit for a long time, but I never wanted it for myself – similar to getting help for an addiction problem. I had to want it, and now I do. I still call my sponsor and have people hold me accountable so I don’t fall off track, but I can honestly say that now, I am doing it for me and my overall health and wellbeing.

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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