I recently had a heart attack and I am told I have to quit yet I keep smoking. Where do I get the willpower ?
Welcome to our community!
If you take advantage of the reading materials I recommend, you will find that willpower is not the be all, end all to quitting smoking. Above all else, you need willingness and commitment to never smoke another cigarette NO MATTER WHAT. Willpower implies fighting to quit - and you will wear yourself out trying to do that.
The most important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This is an easy and entertaining read. Here is a link to a free PDF version of it:
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go the the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmokingonline.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. You should also do the tracking and separation exercises suggested in My Quit Plan http://www.becomeanex.org/my-quit-plan.php
After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for three reasons: 1) the vapor has been compared to the polluted air in Bejing on a bad day, 2) they just provide another nicotine delivery system while continuing the hand to mouth smoking motion, and 3) the batteries can spontaneously catch on fire. . But – any method that you think will work well for you will be best for you.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T.
You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas:
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
Greetings and Welcome. Sorry to hear about your heart attack. They're scary. And yes, you do need to quit. Nancy has wise words above me. Quitting isn't so much about willpower as it is about commitment, agreement and acceptance. Well, add into that mix the daunting word "DISCIPLINE." I find it helpful to think of quitting as a skill to be learned. And like any skill you first need to learn about it by reading and doing homework, practicing. And to be good at any endeavor, you need to make it a priority and persevere.
The right mindset about the journey ahead is paramount. And that's one of things we try to help people understand here. You can think about it in terms of "having to quit smoking," having to "give up" something you enjoy, or you can think about the quit journey in terms of how empowering it is, how much better you'll feel and how much less damage you'll be doing to your heart. Most of us are scared of what cigarettes are doing to us, or might do in the future. Especially if we've already suffered some of the negative effects of smoking. And that worry constantly hangs over us with each cigarette we smoke. But we're also scared of quitting. The point is to dwell more on the fact that quitting will alleviate the former fear than sitting there contemplating how awful and hard quitting is going to be. You can make it mountain or a molehill in your own head. The Allen Carr book is a tool that helps with that. So is reading the blogs and discussions here. You'll find you're not alone and discover that there's actually excitement in freeing oneself from this addiction. So stick around and absorb. Do your homework, plan and then jump in with both feet. We're here to walk the walk with you. Chin up and have heart!
amykauffman Welcome to EX. If you do the reading that Nancy (Youngatheart.7.4.12) has recommended, it will be incredibly helpful. I tracked my cigarettes and wrote down what the triggers were and how strong they were on a scale of one to five. I made plans for what I would do when the triggers happened...they WILL happen and smoking was not among the things I could do. Once you really examine why you smoke and what smoking does FOR you...as opposed TO you, I think you will find that you don't WANT to smoke. Yes, you will still have the nagging voice of your addiction carrying on but it will get weaker and weaker and YOU will get stronger and stronger. You will actually learn to deal with your emotions in the way that people who never smoked have always dealt with theirs. Quitting is a journey, it is not an event, it is one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time...it is one step at a time and sometimes they are baby steps. The biggest thing to remember is to "keep them away from your face." My favorite acronym of all the things I learned here, and there are so many that I cannot name them all, was N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever! I just kept saying nope and believe me, I said it a LOT. I came to this site every morning and every evening and I leaned on the people here and asked them questions and I told EVERYONE I knew that I quit smoking. I am pretty sure that I drove people crazy but talking about it helped reinforce my quit, for ME. Some smokers were really happy for me and asked me HOW I was doing it, others thought I would be back to smoking in no time.
I quit on January 19th, 2014 and I could never have held onto my quit without the amazing people on this site who held my hand and basically told me what to do. I have made friends I will have for the rest of my life, I have been touched by people I would never have met from all over the world. It has been an amazing journey and I hope it goes on a LOT longer.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Welcome, you've got the best advice above me please read the links because it'll strengthen your resolve to quit and remain quit, you can do this, believe in yourself, be willing, determined and totally committed to succeed and you can and will be successful, please read those links and start preparing for your quit journey.
Yes, for sure follow the advice of the smart people who responded ahead of me. But also realize that we were all in the boat you are now in. We were addicted, and wanted to quit. Through this site and the support of everyone here we are able to do it. You can too!
don't listen to me. :-)
Thank you so much everyone.
Willpower doesn't work! Just be willing to learn about Nicotine Addiction and Recovery and then make a commitment to stay Smoke FREE today no matter what! Do the reading and stay close to us. We can show you how and in the end it's a daily decision to find other options to Life's situations.
I agree with everyone here and am praying for you a beautiful quit journey. "It is not impossible, in fact the very word spells I'm Possible. You have come to the best of the very best!
We discuss that here. It's not willpower but willingness to start and educate yourself about quitting and nicotine addiction. It's doable. You can stop.
Learn How to Quit Smoking (and Make it Stick)
Heart Attacks are scary stuff. You must quit smoking for your health to improve. AND YOU CAN!!! We all did and we are NO different from you.
Do the readings suggested---they are very important
Stick close to this site and talk to us...let us help you
Put them down and never pick them up again
Welcome to EX----we are all here for each other.
@amykauffman Welcome to the EX community and is great place to get support. I really can't think of anything else to add different. Do the homework, read lots of people blogs here, stay close to this site, and blog about how you are doing, blog if you are struggling before you smoke and give us a chance to talk you down from the ledge. You CAN do this!! Stay strong!
I felt the same way before I quit.
You don't have to quit smoking. It's your choice. You decide. And you don't need willpower. You just need focus.
Quitting is like competing in an Olympic Event. Get ready, get set, quit. Your cheering multitude is right here.
Hi Amy, So much good advice above for you to absorb so I only will add that I smoked for 52 years and thought I would never succeed at quitting but here I am over 2 years later still smoke free and feeling great about it ! I give credit to God first and second to this Ex-Community of beautiful caring people who helped me to get here ...it is a journey travel with Us and you can make it to freedom too !
I love this picture and saying @BonnieBee.quit.2.8.15 I am thankful I have no more excuses.
I love it too Sharon !
Wow. You got lots and lots of amazing advice above. The biggest thing (from the advice above) that helped me, when I came here just over 6 months ago, was reading about nicotine and how it affects your brain. I knew smoking was an addiction and not (just) a habit but I always believed (for some reason) that I had to have the willpower to beat it. I'm not sure why we look at nicotine addiction differently than drug addiction or alcohol addiction considering they are exactly the same. Nicotine affects and changes the brain, from the very first puff, exactly the same way that first pain pill or first shot of heroin does to an addict. Nicotine is actually worse because it immediately makes your brain believe that you physically need nicotine in order to survive, like food and water, when the truth is 'once you stop using nicotine the physical urge, the feeling that you can't live without that next cigarette, will actually go away.' The only thing keeping the addiction alive is continuing to smoke. As said above you can't rely on willpower to successfully quit. Knowledge about nicotine and how it changes your brain is the key. You get to a place where you can see that nicotine is doing absolutely nothing for you. Alan Carr's book helps with breaking the cigarette down to it's parts and pieces and once you see that it's difficult to unsee it. I've been almost 200 days without a cigarette but sometimes, now that the weather is changing and getting nice out, picture the days I would ride around listening to music smoking cigarettes with the windows down... but I've seen that the "but I enjoy smoking" mentality is a lie. I know now what nicotine has done to my brain and how it affected me and took things from me; like money and time and I can't go back.
Unless I decide I can control it one day and try to smoke "just one". That is the thing that will keep me chained. Picking it back up. You decide to be done and you choose that every moment, every hour, every day, and eventually you'll not even have to think about it. You'll be a non smoker grateful you quit instead of a smoker wishing they could quit. I promise it can be done and this place is the place to be to see it and know it everyday!!!
Stay on here and stay connected to everyone and you'll do it!
It's an addiction. And it is not easy to accept saying goodbye to cigarettes-- because the addiction makes them seem sooooo important. Before I decided to quit 3.5 years ago, I thought that I would smoke til the day I died--and I was fine with that because I thought I could do no better than smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke (I had a smoke every 20 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the time of the day, or whether I was working).
By design and chance the desire to quit hit me in 2013. I should say, the desire to give it a sincere try came to me. So I did.
It wasn't easy, but, eventually I've come around to knowing that the smokes owned me, I didn't own them. I've let go of the addiction or it has let go of me one day at a time.
Most important to understand is that you can quit smoking and you can get past the cravings, get past the addiction, get past the desire to have those all important cigarettes. You don't have to be heroic, you just have to make a plan, take it one day at a time, get and keep support.
I also, ask the Same Question... Where for I get the willpower? My issue is KEEPING the Willpower
As I Willfully gave them up ONCE and was Happy "as a loon" until I decided to smoke just "One"...Hahaha! That laugh is still on me, as I Roll my Cigs with Tobacco and Cigarette Tubes with a machine...I sound like I'm "buttering up" this Relationship !!! UGH! FAR FROM THE TRUTH !!
4? YRS of this with testing showing on 37-42% lungs left !!! Yikes ;(
Willpower means using your will to push something away. That wears you out. Then there is a time factor.
Within the first 4 1/2 months is when I've seen most people give up.
So it's about accepting your quit not fighting to stay quit then getting through that initial risky time period.
Make a decision then make a plan. It doesn't have to be complex. I would invite you to read a compilation of the information that was my page on the old site. It will give you a good understanding of what you are up against.
My Welcome To New Members (10 Years Of Watching)
Oh my Dale, Thank you for your caring Response !!!
Great Point of How the Quit is Not about FIGHTING THE QUIT... BUT HOW TO ACCEPT THE QUIT !!! YES, YES !!! Thank You Soooo Much
Along with my Incredible Holy Relationship with Our Great Lord God Almighty, I am NOW Empowered TO SUCCEED
HALLELUJAH !! In Jesus Name I Will Have a Successful "smoking death", with lots of "Help Along the Way" right here in EX
SEE YA SOON !!!
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