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All People > crazymama_Lori > crazymama_Lori Blog > 2018 > May

Yes, I was once like you. I was petrified at the thought of quitting. I was a chain smoker for 43 years. I lit up once I woke up until the time I went to bed. Since 1996 I've owned my own business and sat at my desk in my office and puffed away all day long. My life consisted of basically emptying ashtrays all day. My keyboard was always covered in ashes. Not completely, I do have to see what I'm doing.


I remember contemplating quitting. I searched and searched for the cure all, end all. The painless way to quit. It was only a habit, you know. Kick The Habit was the campaign years back when they first introduced Habitrol and Nicoderm. They professed to be the answer. I wanted the easiest way to quit, because after all it's only a habit.


I researched all the different sites out there. Back in the early years, they didn't have websites. Those were the days of these huge cell phones with these ginormous battery packs that people hauled around. Nicotine dependence was only added as a diagnosis to the DSM-IV in 1994. I guess it really is much more than a habit. I remember ordering cases of Habitrol to quit smoking. They always said smoking was hazardous to your health. Never said it was addicting. Think back in the last 1800 and 1900s, most of their cough syrups contained opium. Who knew any of this was addicting?


It wasn't only the smoking I had to quit, but I have to also give up nicotine. As time went by and as more and more research was performed, there was studies to prove that there is chemical changes going on in our brains. An excellent article to read that I found is written by Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed. I'm always on the search for more of the brain war that goes on, the explanation for it. I'm more successful at something when I can understand the reason for it so that I can find my own solution.


Take the time to find your solution. I believe a successful quit is one when a person understands what brought them there in the first place. How can you identify the warning signs when you don't even know what they are? Once you get past the physical withdrawal (2 weeks to a month), and then you're done riding the roller coaster of up one day and down the next (another 3 to 4 months), you're finding yourself thinking is this ever going to end, find your reasons for why you smoked to find your solutions. Don't go back to the go-with-what-you-know mentality. How do I do that? Go back to tracking your cigarettes or even fill out a chart and place those triggers on the left side and label the right your solution. Have a different action for each of your triggers.


You find you are struggling, identify the source. Are you struggling more when you feel the need to relax; try meditation. After a meal; chew gum, go for a walk. Anger; buy a stress ball, get a punching bag. Boredom; get a coloring book, load up some puzzle games on your tablet or phone. We have so many electronics at our disposal. There's got to be something to distract you.


Train your brain to steer toward something else instead of the act of smoking. We weren't born this way. We conditioned ourselves to automatically think of smoking when something/anything comes our way. When you have increased thoughts of smoking suddenly, take a minute and see what's going on around you. What is it that's making you want to retreat back? Think back to how you felt during the first week. Do you want to go through that again? If you want this to be your new lifestyle, what are you going to do about it?  Do you want this or not?  What do your nonsmoking friends do, those who never smoked in their lives? Ask around. Be proactive in this game we call quitting. You'll be glad you did.