Addiction, Recovery and the Appalachian Trail

The urge to smoke has been strong these past couple of days, maybe a week or so. I don’t know why. The end of the school year stress? The terrible twos stress? The beautiful weather, where an evening smoke on the back porch chair seems relaxing and familiar?

Fortunately, fighting the urge doesn’t take much effort. I’ve come too far, risked too much, to cave now. It’s just funny that all of a sudden it’s there. And smoking itself isn’t something a nonsmoker would ever imagine someone craving so desperately. It’s an ugly habit, smelly and dirty, nothing redeeming about it. Unless you’ve been addicted. Then you know the lure.

I do other things instead, things I’ve learned to do, as any recovering addict does. I am reminded daily by my dad, in his strange, new, weird and wonderful, family emails about the journey he’s on, that we all are on in our lives. His messages are simple and not new, but always worth remembering.

You never stop quitting your addiction. You never stop moving or changing or learning new ways to live better. And if you think someone else has gotten it right, has finished the learning or the changing, look again. Some people believe that we never get it right in our lifetime, and that’s why we are reborn time and again, to do it better and better and better.

It’s like hiking the Appalachian Trail, maybe. One step follows the one before, but hiking the nearly 2,220 miles of national park takes a little time, a little effort. Almost 5 million footsteps, according to And once you get to the end, maybe you have do it again. Maybe you want to do it again.

But it takes some time. So as it’s been noted before, by those far wiser than I, it is the journey, not the destination, that matters. Because, in the end, all those tiny steps add up to something truly magnificent.


3 thoughts on “Addiction, Recovery and the Appalachian Trail

  1. We are all addictected to something or someone. Addiction is not a bad habit which can be broken, I have been told, in 29 days. Addiction is a disease which may not be cureable but it can be arrested one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Doing so takes lots of self will & courage. By shareing the craving you lighten the burden.

    When you feel this craving sneaking up on you , you may want to say the Sernity Prayer.

    I admire you courage in not somking a day at a time.

  2. i know just what you mean.. hey do you want to hike the trail??? let’s put that on the list too…. oh man, i’d better start getting in better shape!

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