I had a sort of epiphany.
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. It wasn't recently. It was the day I realized that I could could live a perfectly happy life without smoking. Now, 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.
That last sentence does not describe a "slip". A "slip" is an ACCIDENT. It's something that happens TO you. You "slip" on a patch of ice. You "slip" when the floor is still wet. Your car "slips" when the road is icy. You "slip" when something is beyond your control.
Many people here on EX talk about "slipping". But was smoking a cigarette something that happened TO you? Something beyond your control or your responsibility? No, it was not.
I realize that people here on EX will continue to use the word "slip" to describe a lost Quit. But please make sure that you understand that you are actually describing a conscious decision to acquire some nicotine and put it into your body.
So I guess what I'm saying is this: if you don't HAVE a cigarette, you can't smoke one.
I speak from experience. I know full well that, during the 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, get one from a nearby friend or from a pack I kept "just in case", I probably 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 sure that cigarettes were unavailable to me.
It's so important to get rid of all cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters when you quit. If you don't, you are leaving the door open to smoking again.
Close that door.