You may think I'm writing this for you but I'm actually writing it for me! Not that I am fighting the NicoDemon today But a rathe Personal Demon thhat is driving me crazy! ANXIETY!
So I was looking at this old Blog and it occurred to me that I can use the same principles to fight this Demon, too! I'll let you know how that works out...
Your Addictive Self is a part of YOU! That being said there is another part of you that is being dragged down with it - the part that knows that what you're doing is wrong and contradictory to your every moral value! Your Addictive Self won’t stop smoking, and you can’t stop forking over the time and money that make the sickerettes possible.
Of course you can easily see the problem from the outside. Why would an Addict stop smoking when they can squeeze thousands of dollars a month out of you and keep right on doing what they’ve done their whole lives? And how can you say no when your Addiction seems impossible to break? Besides, it’s a disease, isn’t it? How can you deny your sick addiction?
You probably already know that that’s how the daily cycle continues for years and years, and how it’s apt to go on until you get very, very sick or die or the money runs out. The Addict within will continue to manipulate you, and you will continue to feel guilty and wonder what you did to cause your decision to smoke that first sickerette and go down the Addict road.
Nicotine Addiction is a Choice, not a Disease
Of course you've always known that the promise of tobacco never really came to fruition. You weren't really cooler, more rebellious, more popular, sexier, calmer and whatever else the commercials depicted just because you smoked your cancer sticks. Even when your childhood quest for those things played a role, it doesn’t excuse ongoing childishness. Searching for the current problems’ beginnings, even finding them, does nothing to fix the mess. As you’ve probably noticed, everyone just stays trapped in the swirl of emotions, habit, myth, and despair.
There is an Alternative
This time I have a different suggestion. Instead of pouring on battles and willpower, I recommend a carefully planned disengagement. No threats, no expectation that your addictive self will change - just a gradual change in the personal dynamics that will, over the course of a year, result in your Addictive Self being isolated.
Concentrate on YOU! What values do you have? What activities would you like to do if you "had the time." Imagine your perfect self in line with your values and then decide on one activity that brings you closer to becoming that person and do it. You are the part of yourself who wants things to change - so ignore your Addictive Self who obviously has a vested interest in things staying the same.
It works because you are focusing on that part of you who wants to change rather than to force change onto your Addictive Self. Success means working with the part of you that is motivated; skipping labels and self-justifying EXcuses; focusing on the present and future, not the past; and actively instituting new behaviors.
The Temper Tantrum
Your Addictive Self will certainly protest, especially if it got it's fix by carrying on loud enough or long enough! But just as you wouldn't given in to a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum, that's obviously not the solution here either.
But you can defuse the tantrum using similar methods as good parenting skills. You can acknowledge that your Addictive Self is frustrated. You can let it know you feel it's pain, too! Even just saying "I know you're upset," you're telling it you're there to help it feel better. That might be enough to calm it down so you can add, "I wish we could have a cigarette, too. It's too bad we can't right now."
Be silly. Laughter can be a great tantrum buster. If your Addictive Self starts to pitch a fit about walking past a temptation, try singing a goofy song -- anything to make yourself giggle.
Try a distraction. Give yourself something else to think about. There are several lists of 100 things to do instead. Get busy and if it's an activity for which you're passionate, like art or music, even better!
Ignore it. Sometimes, tantrums escalate because your Addictive Self thinks it will get what it wants if it screams loud enough. If you don't react, it will give up.
Leave the scene. When all else fails, get out of public and let yourself have the meltdown, tears and all - just keep those sickerettes away from your face! But do it without making a fuss -- you'll be proving to yourself that even when you don't feel calm you can display calm behavior. It may be inconvenient, but it shows who's in control:
So what do you all think? Could this detachment work for free floating anxiety? I'm open to suggestion.....