Make Quitting a Priority

Blog Post created by Giulia Champion on Mar 3, 2018

Many people know they SHOULD quit but make only a half-assed attempt at it.  Nobody WANTS to quit.  They WANT to be free of the addiction, the desire to smoke, but that's different from wanting to quit.  I didn't want to have to "give up" smoking, I just wanted to be free of the NEED to smoke.  I wanted to be in control of it, not the reverse.  When one does the reading on here you learn that you simply CAN'T be in control of it.  It owns you.  There is no such things as a “now and then” smoker.  It’s all or nothing with us.


The casual half-assed attempter is never gonna make it.  As we long-term quitters keep saying over and over: this takes commitment. Total commitment.  A “no matter what” agreement to abstain.  It must become a priority in your life. Focused attention on the goal is a DAILY necessity.  Most of us with quit longevity spent time every day on a support site during the initial stages of our quits.  You can't be casual about it.  You may want to quit or you may not, I didn't, but that doesn't matter (though it helps).  If you set a goal and if you expend the necessary energy and time, study and perseverance, you WILL achieve it.


As an actress I have studied sense memory.  It can enable you to feel an emotion from the past.  So I really "get" that part of the addiction. I’ve occasionally used sense memory to re-connect to strong emotions in my life in order to replay them for a character I’m portraying.  There are many things that can trigger sense memory.  Perhaps one of the strongest is scent.  You’ll smell the perfume your mother wore and she comes alive again.  (Or a cigarette.)   Music is another strong one - a song will bring back incredible memories.  For those who reach for a cigarette during stressful times - stress has become a sense memory.


One of Uta Hagen's acting exercises was to take an object and spend time with it, give it an imaginary history, imbue it with a connection.  Could be something as simple as a glass.  When you sit there with that glass and imagine that it came from your great great grandmother (let say), or you won it at a carnival with your boyfriend the day you broke up, or it was the last glass your mother had in her hand.... Spend just 10 minutes making up a story about that glass, and every time you see it, it will now have a new value to you, a new meaning.  It's no longer just a glass.  It’s become important.  And the way you hold and touch it will be different. Same is true with smoking and the same is true with your quit.


The casual, the spur-of-the-moment quitter needs to understand that they must spend time with their quits. The more time one spends educating themselves - discovering, reading, learning -   not only about the addiction but about themselves in relation to it, the more precious and important the goal becomes. And the more important the goal becomes, the more likely one is to push through those nasty cravings.


So make quitting a priority and spend time with it.  You’ll truly understand it’s value when you do.  And when you have it, nourish it, cherish it like it's the most precious gift of your life.  Because without it, your quality of life will eventually be compromised.


(some of this is a re-working of previous material)