If life is like a box of chocolates (you’ll never know what you’re gonna get), then quitting is like a pendulum. There’s difficult times, and there are easy times. But eventually, you’re going to end up resting in a centered position.
A pendulum is a weighted ball at the end of a string and suspended from a centered pivot point. When pulled in one direction and let go, the ball will swing freely past its center point. It will travel to the opposite side of this center point, and begin its return. Due to friction and air resistance, each period becomes shorter until the ball is eventually resting at the center.
Every quit has times in it when quitting is very simple. You don’t have to put much thought into it. Nicotine is not a part of your life. You don’t need to fight the urge to use because there is no urge.
But there are difficult times as well. Whether you are 10 days quit or 10,000 days quit, these times will hit you like a wrecking ball. It seems like the world is out to make you fail. It seems like nicotine delivery systems are being thrown at you 24/7. You lie awake at night thinking “Just one won’t hurt…”.
Imagine that your quit is separated by this Centered Pole. The right side is the Easy Quit Side. The left side is the Difficult Quit Side. Your quit is suspended from the center.
When you initially quit, you pull your quit way over to the difficult side and let go. In fact, you can feel it building as you are doing it. The first few hours make your jaw sore and leave you wondering if you are doing the right thing. As the poison leaves your body, your body begins to rebel and throw a fit. This builds up for 3-5 days until you don’t think you can stand it another minute.
But then you let go.
The quit starts falling back towards the centered point, and life is better. It’s still not good, and quitting is not the easiest. It’s just better.
And then it gets to the good side.
Life is great. You never knew that life is this good without nicotine. You laugh at users still lying to themselves, and feel impenetrable. Your quit is strong, and you can shrug off even the most blatant attempts of others to get you to use again.
This period is as good as the preceding bad.
But then it starts to become harder again.
The quit starts its return trip back. Quitting takes a few more thoughts. And then a few more. And then you are back at the difficult side again.
Your quit can continue on for the rest of your life if connected to this point (aka KTC). Your quit will eventually lose steam and slow down. It will hang centered between the two worlds. It is not difficult to stay quit, but it is not easy as well. A simple acknowledgement usually keeps this ball resting here.
Unfortunately, sometimes you bump the machine and the ball swings for a moment. It’s not something to worry about it. It will come to rest again. This can happen during any point of your quit, but it seems to be worse once you are centered.