A few people have asked lately the best approach to their Quit Dates.
This is a very important subject and you'll find that successful EXers have a variety of opinions which may even add to the confusion. The fact is that how you get there is very individual so take what works for you and leave the rest! To be helpful is our only goal!
First I want to recommend that you go to My Quit Plan which you can find in little blue letters at the upper right hand corner of your page. This page was designed by our sponsors the Truth Initiative and is very helpful in knowing where to begin step by step.
Now, I'll give you my take on it. I started practicing mindfulness lately so if you are familiar with this type of meditation you will recognize my description.
The next time you go out to smoke don't stop yourself Pay Attention! We can learn a lot about ourselves especially our Addicted Selves by simply paying attention. If I were to quit again I would keep a journal of these observations.
If you haven't set a Quit Date, do so! I chose the first day of Spring for 2 reasons. One, because it was 6 days after being diagnosed with COPD - a chronic, progressive smoking related lung disease. And two, because it has some significance for me and I wouldn't want to lose my Quit Date for anything in the world! Don't set it for six Months from now and don't set it for tomorrow unless you feel prepared. Many people disagree with me on this point. Some folks just up and quit!
As your Quit Date approaches your thoughts will almost certainly go bananas with why you should postpone or reset that date. Don't listen! It's perfectly normal! You have woken the monster within you that will stop at nothing to get you to your next fix! It's your job to maintain control through discipline - not willpower.
So what's the difference? Discipline means you don't argue with your Addictive Self. You don't debate or discuss the thoughts and feelings. You simply adult-like step over the belly aching, whining, criticizing, begging, nagging, ladadadadada that your brain will surely do! You made a decision. It's the correct decision and that is that!
Don't try to be stronger, wiser, tougher than your Addiction. It is you! And it therefore knows you like no other! Just stick with your decision. N.O.P.E.! Not One Puff Ever no matter what! Simple - not easy - but doable!
Meanwhile, instead of rationing X number of sickerettes per day or X amount of time from one to the next, when you have an urge to smoke please, just wait 15 minutes. Then if you still really, really want a smoke - go for it! Not guiltily - just paying attention non-judgmentally! I think you will find that sometimes you can even wait another 15 minutes.
This is what I did - remind you I didn't know diddly dodo because I joined BecomeanEX 2 days after I quit smoking....
I was diagnosed with COPD and like a true Addict I went out into the parking lot, got into my car and smoked a Sickerette! How else is an Addict going to cope with bad news??? Then I counted my pack. I had 10 left. I set my quit date then and there - still sitting in my car in the parking lot. I decided that I would never buy another pack again in my LIFE! So from then on instead of smoking a whole sickerette at once, I did the delay thing but instead of smoking a whole sickerette I would take a puff or 2 and put the da@% thing out! I made those 10 last me those 6 days.
Do I recommend this? Heck no! I was in a constant state of physical withdrawal - which is not pleasant! You know, headaches, weakness, dizziness, nerves. A lot of people say smoke 'em while you got 'em! Then when Quit Day comes destroy the rest in a bucket of water - the stinch is profound! More incentive to quit! That wouldn't work for me! I am a penny pincher and the waste would upset me to no end! Now, think about that a minute! Waste what?! Waste the ability to kill myself even faster?! Jeez Louise! But that's the Addictive Mind for you!
Warning: Do not let yourself get too into withdrawal before you Quit! Either Quit or don't Quit! But smoking 1 or 2 a Day is just plain unhelpful in every way! If you're down to 5 a Day - just stop already!
So I quit smoking out of pure ignorance. But I soon found BecomeanEX and read, read, read. I learned how Nicotine Addiction and Recovery works. I found support for my Quit! I became aware of the way to win the mental game of Smoking Cessation and I stuck with it! In time I detached myself from my Addiction. I put it into a very tiny space in my Brain in a very tight little cage and locked the door!
That was 7 + Years ago! You can, too!