At the age of 21, with my very first salary, I bought a pack of cigarettes (a promise of smoking only with my own money was that one promise out of some which I could keep !! ). The wave of glamour was so hard that before long I became an addict and didn’t even realize.
Low stamina issues brought my senses back and I wanted to get over this addiction badly. The resistance stayed sometimes for a few hours or a day but eventually, I ended up with a smoke again in no time. People I went to for a piece of advice only emphasized on the magic of will power which sprouted a cycle of frustration and leading to more smoking as I felt helpless. I started feeling that I was a lesser man with not enough will-power like others. I started blaming the circumstances for not letting me be the way I wanted to be. Somewhere within myself, I had accepted my weak will-power over Wills ( kings) power.
June 2011, as I reached my office, one of the lady officer came to me and handed me an envelope with an ear to ear grin. Before I could make out the reason, she said that a medical representative was here about an hour ago.
In her dutiful manner, she started explaining to me, “Sir! There is this company and they have come up with a medicine for quitting tobacco. I just thought it might be of help to you”. My habit of smoking was known around for a while now. I accepted her gesture with formal gratitude though the voice in my head completely discarded the idea of taking the help of a medicine to quit my habit. To further justify my denial I also blamed the company for their marketing propaganda.
Almost after three months, I incidentally laid my hands on that catalog. In that spur of the moment, a thought of giving a try to the mentioned medicine crossed my mind with an assurance of failure deep inside. Somewhere within I felt, it is better to try than regret! From there my secret journey filled with doubts began.
As a few days passed, I started noticing a change in my urge pattern. Within a span of 15 days, I was able to cut down from 12-15 cigarettes a day to 7-9 cigarettes a day. That was really encouraging. I kept on taking that medicine further and was pleasantly surprised to reach the consumption of 2-3 cigarettes a day in the next 10 days.
It was only in the end, the last 3-4 days I had to apply a little bit of self-restraint not to smoke those 2 cigarettes. Finally, I gave it a last push and from the 29th day of starting the medicine, came the first day of Zero tobacco.
The excitement I felt then cannot be expressed in words. A secret was dying to come out aloud announcing the winner of the battle. Finally, after 15 days of medicine, while not smoking, I took a chance of discontinuing medicine. With some fear in mind ofcourse. I was afraid that discontinuing the medicine might bring my urge back. I started being extra vigilant. However, with Divine grace, counting one by one I crossed 3 days then 21 days, and finally 3 months. Now, I was surely be winner!
Freedom can only be felt not truly expressed. The release is immense. The confidence of not smoking while hanging out with smoker friends empowered me further. Now, looking at me with no cigarette in my hands people started coming to me for advice on the same issue. I started sharing my story and the name of medicine so that everyone could quit. Some believed and some did not ( like me they were in denial too). Some started the medicine and left it halfway through.
Looking at this, I starting volunteering to lend a hand until they were able to quit smoking. The moral and emotional hand-holding extended my feeling of freedom to the joy of contentment. I even went to random people ( who I saw smoking!) and asked if they wanted to quit smoking. 95% of the time, they agreed. Past 9 years, with God’s grace, I have supported about 40 people to quit.
I would like to share some major ‘NEVER’ takeaways during this journey of mine.
1. Never reject an idea just because it doesn’t go well with your belief system.
2. Never underestimate your potential like in my case I thought I did not have enough will power which was probably more damaging than smoking.
3. Never give away half-knowledge. If you really want good for others, walk a few steps till they get independent.
4. Never underestimate the power of Divine. I know in each case that was the only catalyst to make it happen.
5. Never forget that with divine grace when anyone is able to gain from us, our account is credited with blessings. The only currency that works in other worlds, I believe.