As Addicts in Recovery we will go through the Grieving Stages:
1. Denial and Isolation
For more on this, check out the following Blog:
Today I’d like to focus on (3) Bargaining.
This is the emotional state where you will be most likely to fail in your attempt to quit smoking. You will find yourself saying “I’ve made it a week already, one little cigarette won’t hurt,” or “I’ll just vape, it’s less harmful than smoking at least,” and you will try and convince those who still smoke to let you finish the ends of their cigarettes. “Maybe I should restart the quitting process. I might not have done it right.” But you must change your perspective, you’re beginning to look and feel desperate!
During the bargaining stage you will be willing to do anything to get a cigarette. You will become incredibly devious and your Addictive Mind will be constantly finding new ways to try and justify having a smoke or a vape. Now instead of using this new found cunning to smoke we should use it to help ourselves quit.
(1) Listen to the Voices
First, you have to begin listening to your Addictive Mind! We’re so busy doing things these days we don’t always take the time to listen to ourselves. When you go into withdrawal, your Brain goes into overtime Fight/Flight response. That’s the most reptilian part of your Brain and the part we least pay attention to. Yet we still act upon it without even understanding why! Have you ever automatically done something that made no sense at all? You were most likely acting from this part of your Brain – the Amygdala.
So LISTEN! PAY ATTENTION!
(2) Respond rather than react!
The Control Administrator in your Brain has stopped communicating with your Reptilian Brain. It’s like a small child who is so caught up in emotion that (s)he can’t hear the Parent! As you practice listening, then you have a window of opportunity to respond not just react.
If somebody near you lights up, you can remove yourself from the scene rather than bum that cigarette. If a trigger presents itself you can refer to your go to list (you DO have one, don’t you?) instead of reach for the pack. You can avoid sure fire quit breakers like alcohol and hanging out at your past favorite smoke site while your smoke buddies smoke like chimneys.
(3) Take Charge!
You can decide to stop the bargaining! This is the most important of all! The more you allow yourself permission to even consider bargaining, the more likely you are to talk yourself into smoking. Instead, talk yourself into Recovery! That must be your daily non-negotiable goal!
No EXcuses, No Exceptions. N.O.P.E.!