Looking back at this time is hard. It was difficult. How did I get out of this self-inflicted prison? It took many years of quitting smoking and falling back into it, even if just for a night. Well, one night in particular I had a few glasses of wine and bummed a clove. It was a night like any other date night, enjoying the freedom of being with my husband without the girl. I think Alchemy was about 5 then. I hadn't been smoking regularly for a few years but I definitely would take my opportunities when I found them. Well, that night, I'm not sure why but I was sick! I ended up puking and after that the smell or thought of a cigarette makes my stomach turn. I guess you can call that a "rock bottom moment". I'm actually really glad it happened. Since that day, I've taken my health and my life a lot less for granted and have come to cherish it. Through this journey I've learned to communicate my feelings, release my stress in positive ways like exercise, and in general, I've learned to just be grateful for all that I have.
Last weekend I was packing a bag for a full day out with the family and I was looking for something to hold some crayons. I pulled out a plastic baggie, no...that would just fly away. I needed a box. Something that would close securely. My mind flashed on that old cigarette tin that I had tucked away...for some kind of sentimental reason. I resisted that idea and searched for something else. Couldn't find anything and pulled out the tin. I opened it up and it made me smile. Even though it brought up some memories of hard times, it also brought back memories of good times. And even though it still smelled vaguely of tobacco, it made me smile because I realized how much I've grown and changed over the past 15 years. I promptly filled that box with crayons (which fit perfectly, by the way) and tossed it into my bag along with the snacks, water bottles, changes of clothes, toys and other necessities for a day of fun with the family.
I'm typically all about the "now" and enjoying what I have but the past is part of me that can never be erased. My husband is always taking about spiritual and philosophical stuff and something he's told me about the process of spiritual evolution comes to mind, when working through stages of spiritual evolution you need to "transcend and include". I don't think I've ever really understood the value of "including" until now. I usually just try to keep looking forward. But suddenly, I get it. And it's good.