Separating Emotions

Blog Post created by Chuck_Quit_2-20-2011 on Jul 24, 2013

Good morning Exer's!!


I hope all is well with you. I was just thinking about something that I noticed when I first quit. We always seem to have really strong emotions during those first hard days. I remember thinking that I could hardly stand to be around myself at one point!


I think a lot of this comes from the internal conflict that we must face when we begin our journey. There's always this constant nagging in the background, almost like an annoying itch that you can't quite reach. This adds tension to the day and because this internal argument is so new to us, we seem to feel our emotions more strongly.


When we spend a good part of our day telling the addict within to shut up, it adds just a bit of stress to an already stressful situation. On top of that on those first three days, we have the physical withdrawals to deal with as well.


For some this can be an overwhelming burden, and perhaps the cause of so many slips during those first days. In order to combat this at first, I learned before my quit during what I called “practice quits”, to separate my true emotions from those that the addiction is creating. For instance when I became angry I would look at the situation and ask myself if I'd have been this angry before. Of course I realized that I wouldn't have been. In fact, I realized that most of what was making me angry was really nothing at all other then my addiction amplifying things in order to make me smoke.


I realized that our own addiction had weapons that it would use. Starting with the endless screaming that the addict within does on those first three days, almost demanding that we smoke. Most of us expect this part of the quit and are generally surprised that it wasn't that bad after all.


But then comes those days of beating the mental side of our addictions. This is when we have to be aware that some of our thoughts and emotions are coming from that part of our brains that doesn't know right from wrong. The part of our brain that only responds to stimulus like nicotine. That child that I call the addict within, who doesn't know that smoking is killing us.


It's up to us to change those thoughts and emotions. It's up to us to train that part of the brain. To teach it that yes, every time it sends a signal to smoke, it's really sending a signal for us to kill ourselves. And when the addict within tries to generate those feelings of loss, telling us that it's unfair that someone else can smoke and we can't then it's time to reach an understanding with yourself. One that makes sense. You know; N.O.P.E.


So whenever you have a thought of smoking or of loss, think about it for a moment. If you look at that thought in the true light of itself then it becomes easy to understand that by listening to that thought, we're really listening to that part of the brain that doesn't know any better. By listening to that thought, we can raise the level of our emotions to the point that we might slip.


All I can say is that if you can separate those two sides of the brain, then one part will lose power over the other and it's easy to find the addict's thoughts because if you really think about it, those thoughts don't make any sense. And they shouldn't because we all know that taking our own lives just doesn't make any sense!


Still, we must continue the fight and rise above the addict within. We have the strength to do this if we just listen to the side of ourselves that really has the answers. The side that really wants to be free. For that matter, the side of the brain that is actually rational!