I know I’ve posted this at least once every year since I’ve quit smoking. And I know that, on this new format, I’m not supposed to repost old blogs. So I’m switching this “Broken Record” blog up a bit.
I believe that Newcomers who have just arrived here at EX need to see something right off the bat that makes them realize that we UNDERSTAND how they feel about smoking and about quitting smoking.
We want newcomers to know that we really do GET it when they say they want to quit but they REALLY don't want to quit at the same time. The dichotomy is REAL.
We know they need to see something here on EX that gives them hope about their ability to quit and to actually be able to enjoy life without cigarettes. Something to help them believe that they CAN quit and that life after quitting isn’t void of those moments of reward and relaxation that ALL of us thought that smoking gave us.
We know that Newbies, upon stumbling into EX, need to know that they are that WELCOME and WANTED here on this website. This is not a closed circle of friends. That we have been where you are. That we want to get to know you and help you and walk this walk with you.
Yes, there ARE a few of us who have long, successful Quits. But we don’t stay here on EX for the friendships we’ve formed. We stay here because we want SO VERY MUCH to help Newbies feel welcomed, accepted no matter what, and to help them believe that they can quit, that it doesn’t take something magic to be able to beat an addiction to nicotine. It just takes knowledge about nicotine addiction and support from other Quitters. Let us do this for YOU, as the Quitters who came before us did it for US.
So I’m reposting the following because these are basic truths. Read carefully. And don’t blow us off just because you don’t believe all of this right away...most of us didn’t believe it right away either.
1) Smoking a cigarette does NOT calm you down, ease your stress, make you happier or more able to cope. All that smoking a cigarette does is increase the level of nicotine in your body, which holds off the effects of withdrawal that started when you finished your last cigarette.
2) You do not enjoy smoking. What you are enjoying is NOT feeling a low level of nicotine in your body.
3) Educating yourself about nicotine addiction gives you a HUGE advantage in successfully quitting.
4) The way you THINK about quitting is absolutely KEY.
It is important that you banish the concepts of "trying", "attempting", "hoping it works", "wish me good luck".
It is important that you read enough about quitting until your thinking does a complete 180 degree turn from "giving up something", "sacrificing something I love", "doing without", "getting through this" into "FREEDOM".
Freedom from what? From a life that is ruled by an addiction, freedom to enjoy better health, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from worrying when and where you can have your next cigarette, freedom from the panic when you realize you are out of cigarettes, freedom from smelling like an ashtray, freedom from hiding and making excuses.
And don't forget to think about all the free time you will gain, the money you will save, and the self-esteem that will rocket upwards when you quit. So get that thinking flipped around so you are ready to quit successfully.
5) You CAN quit. Your addiction is no stronger and no harder to beat than anyone else's. If we can quit, then you can quit. We can ALL quit. Listen to me again: You CAN quit. We all believed we were different when we first found EX.
6) Yes, the first few days of quitting are not very pleasant. In fact, they suck. Completely suck.
But if you prepare IN ADVANCE (hear that???) for how to handle those first days, you will make the whole process go a lot easier for yourself.
Listen to the advice of those who have already achieved what you came here to achieve.
Then FOLLOW that advice. Don't just read it in the blogs and think, "hmm, yeah, that sounds good" and shuttle it to the back of your brain.
You must actually DO the things that have been proven to help make you a successful quitter. No matter how obvious or mundane or elementary that they seem to you.
7) Be HAPPY. This is one of the best decisions you will ever make for yourself. Be excited to do this. And be VERY, VERY proud of yourself. We are. And we will be here to help you all the way... EVERY SINGLE STEP—no matter how you are feeling. So, go ahead, post your head off! Good or bad, you won’t scare us away and we won’t give up on you.