Trading One Addiction for Another

I do not understand my own actions.
I do not to the thing I want, but the very thing I hate.
Romans 7:15

The point of this blog is to be brutally honest for two reasons: 1 - it will help me stay honest with myself for it was my secrets that were killing me the fastest and 2 - if I'm going through something, I know I'm not alone and others experience the same thing, so why not just name the struggles we face.  Many people call me courageous but the truth is, I'm really a wimp.  I give full credit to God for empowering me to be so "out" with the world.  And it is all in the hopes of helping myself, but others especially.

So confession time:  While in treatment, I smoked 3 cigarettes over the course of a month.  I quit smoking 12 years ago and never had an inkling to return to that dirty habit; however, for one reason or another, when I got home, I bought a pack of Camel Lights 99.  Boy oh boy, a pack of cigarettes doubled in price since the last time I purchased a pack of "cancer sticks" (I'll never forget that's what my eight grade gym teacher used to call cigarettes).

So now I'm smoking again, an average of 6-8 smokes a day.  I find myself praying over and over again, "God take this desire away from me,"  but it persists.  Why?  Because quite frankly, while I pray "God take this desire away from me," what I'm really praying is "God take this desire away from me but not yet, I'm enjoying this too much."  So now I realize I have to pray, "God give me the desire to quit harming myself."  Maybe once that prayer comes to be, I can pray to God to help me give up the yucky habit all together.

I heard in an AA meeting the other day that everyone's bottom is the same.  It's the moment when we sincerely cry out "God help me!" and fully surrender from a place of desperation.  That's where I was on that Good Friday.  Before that holy night,  I prayed over and over again for God to help me with my addictions.  Every Sunday I included a time of confession in our Sunday service and almost every Sunday I tried to give my brokenness to God, but if I'm to be honest, I held back.  Just like I'm holding back with smoking, I held back with drinking.  It wasn't until I got to the place of total defeat that I could completely let go of my desire to drink and smoke pot.  Quite honestly, I can't explain it, but since that night, my desire has been completely lifted.  I have no cravings whatsoever for alcohol or pot, which concerns me because then I can convince myself that I'm not really an addict.

The Big Book or AA shares a few stories where this total absence of cravings is true for some addicts.  I think that it was God who removed my cravings.  I give full credit to my Higher Power and I plan on keeping that in the forefront of my mind always, lest I forget and become complacent and the cravings will return.  But for now, I will continue to thank God every day for my sobriety and pray every day for the desire to quit smoking.  If only I could replace one unhealthy addiction with a healthy one, like "I can't stop eating carrots!"  Oh well.  One day at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Our body is akin to our earth home. It is a gift, but it really isn't ours. It is a gift that God has entrusted us to take care of.
    What we do with both is up to us. When it is time to stand before God, are we going to thank him for what he has given us or tell him he should of gave us a better body to take care of and not put trials and tribulations in front of us in the form of cravings. Let us not forget that if God didn't love us, he wouldn't of put things onour walk of life that build character and make us a better person.