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I give myself a weekend to get smoking out of my system.  No limits on how much I’m going to smoke.  I did this in hopes that the excess would actually create a negative jump off point and a disgust towards the act of smoking.  Hopefully making it easier to follow my cessation plan.

Just to give you an idea of the depth of my addiction here are the stats on what it cost and the toll it took on me physically.

The cost per 20 pack of cigarettes was $11.65 after taxes.

I was buying a pack sometimes 2 a day.

After doing the math.  I figured out that I was averaging a pack a day.

The total for the year was $4,252.25.  Insane right?

Now, that doesn’t take into account the times I bought 25 packs, at a higher cost.  The nights that I smoked more than a pack because… well… beer and cigarettes are so good together.  Almost on par with beer and chicken wings, or a nice stake and bottle of wine.

Basically that dollar amount was probably closer to $4,500.00 a year.  Again, this is an insane amount of money to invest in my slow death.

Looking at this now, I can’t fathom the logic behind so adamantly and consistently being the sole investor in my own demise.

For all the positive mental and physical changes I have aggressively pursued, smoking was degrading and corroding them one puff at a time.

Oddly my workouts didn’t seem to suffer.  I was still making strength gains, my body was still noticeably changing and I could still go as hard as I wanted.  

My endurance seemed to be getting better, and I didn’t notice any ill effects on my respiratory system.  Meaning I never had to stop a workout because I felt out of breath or unable to continue.

I did notice some throat irritation at the end of the day, while lying in bed wheezing after that last cigarette.  Coughing to clear my throat in attempt to find stillness, none of that registered as an issue.

Always in the back of my mind, I had this nagging feeling that I was neglecting something.  Something wasn’t sitting well with me.

I couldn’t figure out what it was.  If I worked out, I felt better, positive, excited and motivated.

As good as I felt, subconsciously I knew that wasn’t my problem.  

Consciously, I couldn’t or wouldn’t allow myself to realize the true nature of the void that had developed.

Many internal conversations, peppered with brutally honest assessments of my thought process, motivations and personal expectations.   Gave way to the enlightened understanding that I was holding myself back.  

I felt like a failure.  

I hadn’t reached my full potential in all aspects of my life.

I began to ask myself “Why?

Why haven’t I reached my full potential?

Why can’t I get myself to where I want to be?

Why do I constantly hold myself back?

The answer was simple…

Self Discipline.  

I had absolutely no Self Discipline.  

I don’t live a life of crazy excess, but I definitely don’t hold back.  If I want to do something, I do it.  I very rarely tell myself no.  

Again I’m not reckless.  

But you don’t need to be reckless to feel like you don’t have a hold on the things that are important to you.

Now that I found the purpose of the void.  I was able to attack it and start to fill in that whole.  

Wanting to gain control over the mental inadequacy that had been driving me randomly through life.  I was ready to attack my smoking cessation plan.

To be continued…

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