The divided mind

Blog Post created by chuck-2-20-2011 on Mar 27, 2018

Good day EXer’s!!!


When we first quit smoking, one of the things that seems to surprise a lot of people is that endless voice that begins talking in the background. The one that says it’s OK to smoke. The voice that tries to rationalize why it’s OK to smoke. This voice may come as a surprise, but then comes the other voice. The one voice telling the other that it’s not OK to smoke. And pretty soon, there’s an entire war zone living inside of our heads!


Even when we’re not thinking about it, that endless argument goes on in the background, always whispering back and forth. I think a lot of this voice is our own minds trying to sort out what has changed, the one side thinking that in our normal world, a cigarette would make us feel better while the rational side tells us that it doesn’t matter that the cigarette will make us feel better now because we’re in this for the long run.


I’m no doctor, but after I was fairly confident in my quit, I’d listen to these thoughts or voices and realized that for me, it wasn’t so much thoughts as it was impulses firing in the brain. Impulses created because this was how the brain always did things, by simply sending the signal to smoke when it needed it’s stimulation, which our bodies automatically responded to by feeding the addiction.


And then when we quit and the brain sends the impulse which we don’t act upon, it confuses the normal patterns of the brain and as such, the internal argument begins. For me, it helped to understand that this argument was really made up of impulses rather than a real split in the mind. By trying to understand those impulses, I gave them a voice and interpreted those impulses with that voice, if that makes any sense at all.


For me, this really explained the addict within. That endless voice that always tried to get me to smoke.


Perhaps that’s really what quitting is all about. Teaching the brain to react differently to the stimulations that living life sends us, such as stress, sadness or any of the base emotions that we feel.


So the next time you wonder about the divided mind, or hear the screaming child of addiction throwing a temper tantrum, try to see it for what it is. An impulse sent by the brain simply because that’s what it’s done for so long when it needed that stimulation.


We all get these impulses when we quit. I think it’s how we interpret them that decides how easy or hard the journey will be. That’s why I always say, keep your eye on the prize of freedom while the brain works things out and before long, there will be peace. Before long, you will be free. Before long you’ll be smiling from ear to ear because you’ll realize that not only have you won freedom over addiction, but along the way you’ve also learned the true meaning of happiness. It was in you all along. All you had to do was find it!


Onward to freedom!!!