I just had a sort of epiphany. (I love it whenever I can find a reason to use that word "epiphany" What a great word, eh?)
I'm always going on (and on and on and on) about how people who want to quit smoking need to spend a lot of time educating themselves about nicotine addiction, right? (Those who know me well will agree with this assessment of most of my advice, and will raise your hands while yelling "Amen", please!)
And I DO sincerely believe that any person who truly wants to quit will have a huge advantage when they begin their Quit if they understand EXACTLY how nicotine affects the brain. When you have learned how nicotine actually PHYSICALLY alters the way that your brain receptors work (which makes you falsely believe that you "enjoy" smoking) you will have a whole new way of seeing smoking.
If you have any doubts about how the chemical nicotine gets into your brain and makes you believe that you love smoking, please go to whyquit.com and read the article at the top left side of the page called "Nicotine Addiction 101". It should rock your thinking.
But...didn't I say something about an epiphany...?
Yes, I did. And maybe it doesn't qualify as a real epiphany...because it's a concept that you might already know as "N.O.P.E", which means "Not One Puff Ever". Perhaps the so-called epiphany (Gosh, I love that word!!!) is more about HOW you go about living "not one puff ever".
Here's how: Get rid of ALL your cigarettes. And I mean every single cigarette that you might be able to access during a craving. Do not have any cigarettes in your house, your car, your office, your pocket, your kitchen drawer, your purse, your tote bag. Do not keep ANY "emergency" cigarettes "just in case". Just in case WHAT? In case you change your mind? In case it gets too difficult? In case you have a really strong craving? In case you feel stressed?
If there are NO cigarettes available to you, you won't smoke. At least, you won't smoke UNLESS you get in a car, drive to a store, ask for cigarettes, pay for cigarettes, open the pack, put one in your mouth, find a lighter, ignite the cigarette and then inhale the smoke.
And that last paragraph does not describe an irresistable urge. It describes a conscious decision to acquire some nicotine and put it into your body.
So I guess what I'm saying is this: While education about nicotine addiction is the best weapon you can use in your quest to become an ex-smoker...don't forget the practical aspect: if you don't HAVE a cigarette, you can't smoke one.
And I speak from experience. I know full well that, during my first few weeks of my Quit, if I'd been able to find a cigarette in my coat pocket or the bottom of my purse or get one from my sweetie...I would have smoked it. But I didn't...because when I thought I couldn't last another minute without a cigarette, I DID last without a cigarette. Because I made them UNAVAILABLE to myself. I can't tell you how many times I decided that I was just going to smoke, darn it all!. But then I didn't...because I didn't HAVE any cigarettes available.
And then one beautiful day...I just didn't think about smoking anymore. Talk about FREEDOM!