When I first came here way back in March, 2010 I was just like you in that I kept asking myself, If I can’t quit for a Week, how will I ever be able to quit forever? I could get through a few hours, especially if I was busy or asleep but to look down that forever tunnel I sure couldn’t see any light!
Yet that’s what I had to do. The alternative of smoking while on Oxygen Therapy was absolutely intolerable! I know some people do that but not this guy, not Thomas! So how….
…..how did the Elders here stack all of those YEARS together without a single puff?
…..how did they get past the constant nagging of the Addictive Voice?
…..how did they handle all of the stress and other difficult emotions that I smoked away?
….how did they find their New Normal, comfortable in their own ex-smoking skin?
There didn’t seem to be anything uniquely different about them and they even stated that there wasn’t.
So I had to really pay attention to their message. They had been EXactly where I was. And they had come to where I wanted – No, needed to be!
I READ and READ and READ! I wrote – a lot of pathetic Blogs it felt like, very EXposing, but nevertheless I wrote. I listened and practiced and tried the quit journey vocabulary and message on for size…..
…..And it worked!
Not One Puff Ever!
I don’t do that anymore!
So what can I do instead?
Nothing profound but effective in it’s simplicity!
Honestly, some of the comments hurt a bit – like when I was told to give up on the ol’ “wish me luck” or “I hope I can do this!” But I didn’t pick up my ball and bat and slink off the playing field. I took it, examined it, tested it, and came to the conclusion that there’s something to be said for changing a person’s perspective!
Meanwhile, the Elders kept saying, “Don’t white knuckle your quit! It doesn’t, can’t work in the long run!” Now, I found that really confusing! Isn’t Cold Turkey all about white knuckles and willpower?
And they kindly, generously showed me another way – not Cold Turkey but Smart Turkey ( as my Friend SkyGirl refers to it.) It’s again, all a matter of perspective. Like Pilates, it’s a question of getting the heck out of your own way!
There’s an Executive Control part of your Brain that doesn’t belong to the Addicted Brain. It has the ability to DECIDE and that’s what you have to channel. You simply make up your mind that
Just for TODAY I will not smoke for any “reason” under any circumstances NO MATTER WHAT!
That sounds so doable – and IT IS! You honor that DECISION at all times for just the next 24 hours! I can do that!
For some of us it helps to make a public pledge. For others it’s enough to pledge to oneself. The main thing is to make the pledge unbreakable.
Now, obviously, like any journey there’s a lot more to the whole quit journey. You will go on adventures of all sorts – both good and not so good. Mine during the first Year included my Son quitting smoking because of me, being laid off my job, finding an even better job!, losing my GodMother, and any number of self discoveries that had been hidden under a smoke cloud for decades! It’s a Roller Coaster of unimaginable chaos and change!
But with the simple, subtle POWER of N.O.P.E. and the Ultimate POWER of DECISION all those changes made me a much better person in all aspects of my Life!
I look back on that man, Thomas, the Smoker, and Thank the Lord every day that I no longer have to be like Him! This New Thomas is so much more authentic!
And I did it one single day with one single DECISION at a time for 1966 days in a row!
How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time, of course!