The saying “stop bogarting… (Something)” stems from none other than famed film actor Humphrey Bogart. He was well known for perpetually having a cigarette hanging from his lips. Almost every movie scene he has some form of tobacco in his mouth. Tobacco was as much of a co-star as Lauren Bacall. Bogart continued to smoke and make very successful films until he died at the age 57 from lung cancer. The saying has morphed into meaning “to hold on to something and not share or pass it on”.
With regards to resentment we want to “stop holding onto it and let it go”, perhaps replace it gratitude?
Individual people that use tobacco have variance in the intensity of tobacco/nicotine dependence. While a few people only have minimal withdrawal and seemingly are able to quit without much help, the fact is most people cannot quit so easily. They may have significant withdrawal symptoms, urges, cravings and are at high risk for potential relapse for many months after stopping smoking. Many recovering smokers express anger and resentment towards tobacco, big tobacco companies, and at themselves. You may feel resentful because quitting tobacco was so difficult for you. Do you know someone that was able to “just throw” their cigarettes out the window and never smoke again? Most of us do, but if you could have quit that way, you would have done so a long time ago. A “quick fix” is not realistic for most people. For most, their addiction is far too intense for a “quick solution.” How about that for some resentment (and understandably so)?
So, now what…How do we begin to turn resentment into gratitude?
Well it takes practice. Moving away from resentment requires moving toward “something” more life giving (and that “something” is the attitude of gratitude). Resentment blocks action; gratitude lets us move forward toward new possibilities. Resentment makes us cling to negative feelings; gratitude allows us to let go. Release your resentment and focus on being grateful for the progress you have made (or plan to make).
One possible exercise that can help is writing a “Good-bye” letter to tobacco. The “Good-bye” letter can help start the process of replacing resentment with gratitude. It gives you a chance to tell tobacco why you have left it behind so you are able to move forward.