Some people have been amazed that I blogged "Help" to face a craving for a sickerette when I have been a big advocate for more than 3 years of NOPE! And I still AM! But I am a Nicotine Addict and will always be one and yes, I had a runaway memory of smoking having relieved distress! What did we do when things went very wrong in our lives? Like so many other times and situations in our lives, we reached for a sickerette! My Brain Map told me that that's what you do!
Do you ever still say to yourself, "but I don't drink or use drugs or play Anthony Wiener!" I know I have! I would think/hope that maybe after X amount of time I could stop recovery and "get back to normal living!" Well, guess what? This is normal living for a Nicotine Addict! We must always not just say but live NOPE and NEF! We are no different from the 6 Month quitter in that respect! Complacency is the biggest quit killer and TODAY is the most important day of MY recovery!
The same things we tell folks over and over we also have to live! I visualized getting into the car, driving to the gas station, say the "magic words", taking that one sickerette out of the pack, taking my newly bought BIC and lighting up! That's where my fantasy stopped of course! The whole purpose of our Addictive Voice is to get that one nEXt fix! He doesn't have to worry about the ones that follow because he (being US) knows the Law of Addiction better than we do!
"Administration of a drug to an addict will cause
re-establishment of chemical dependence
upon the addictive substance."
Actually, my Addictive Mind didn't want me to think about what comes nEXt because that wouldn't have achieved his goal! The Addictive Mind works from the limbic system, the same brain circuits as do behaviors linked to survival, such as eating, bonding and sex. It felt like a survival need!
What comes nEXt is that sickerette doesn't even taste good! I cough my lungs out on the very first puff, I start wheezing, I choke (maybe even vomit), I put the da&% thing out and the shame and guilt hit!
Finally, a bit too late, the Cerebral Cortex takes control of my thought processes. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that says, "Wait a minute! Let me think about the consequences of this decision. A whole new set of voices turns on in my head, the Loser Radio Station! You might not have heard it but I have: "You blew it! You always blow it! You're worthless! You screw everything up! yada yada yada...." Not EXactly helpful at this point!
But it gets even worse! My nEXt thought is how do I tell my Wife? Oh MY GOD! She'll be sooo disappointed, ashamed, disgusted.... Maybe I can just lie to her - omission of the truth in this case is a lie! It's my secret! And my Son??? The Son who quit 4 Months after me because of my EXample? How can I tell him! What will my Friends say? They'll think I'm stupid beyond belief! Oh shucks! How do I come here and tell my BecomeanEX Family and Friends? I'll be a Newbie again! There goes 1200 + quit days! They already know that I'm a serial relapser - now they'll never believe anything I say! Darn! Darn! Darn! [Or maybe I can just pretend it didn't happen?]
And I'm at the relapse crossroads - Do I lie and try to keep it a secret or do I fess up? Both options have serious consequences! Do I continue to feed my "now awakened" cravings or do I secretly cold turkey using willpower? How many times have I said that willpower can never work yet that's the new plan! I may spin all kinds of stories about how it was only one puff! But right when I need support (after all I'm a Newbie again) that's when I'm least likely to seek it!
The Good News is that I followed my new Brain Map - the map that we've drummed into each other Month after Month after Month! If you even suspect that you need help - BLOG HELP! Don't wait! Don't hesitate! Don't even thnk about it! Just DO IT! The consequences are a whole lot less than the alternative! I still have 1228 Smoke FREE Days! I just had to eat some humble pie! A much better decision!