Early April while getting my blood pressure checked, I broke down crying to the nurse practitioner about my anguish over “wanting” to stop smoking and my “inability” to quit. She prescribed Bupropion to help but she gave me no other guidance. In my search for more information, I found the “re-learn life without cigarettes EX” quit guide and subsequently this forum. I’ve been following it for over a month. My quit date is midnight June 30th 2017.
I’ve stopped before; twice for Lent and a couple times because I was trying to quit. The longest I went was about 3 months. This forum has helped me better understand why my previous attempts didn’t work. Besides my ignorance about nicotine addiction, I recognize my mindset has worked against me.
The quit guide asks us to list why we want to quit. I had a hard time answering the question because deep down I don’t want to quit and if I don’t want to quit, no matter how often I try, I won’t succeed. I am frightened I won’t quit. My realization sent me into despair. Am I doomed to spend the rest of my life loathing myself for smoking and feeling too weak to do anything about it? . I changed my approach to the question. I asked myself, why don’t I want to quit smoking and the answers were interesting: I can’t imagine my life without cigarettes, I feel fear at the thought of never having another cigarette, I don’t know what I’d do if I don’t smoke, how will I fill my time, what would I do when the oral urge hits me and what if I’m too addicted to stop. These are just a few of the reasons I thought of and then it hit me, if this is truly how I feel and what I think, I mine as well not even try to quit. I need to believe myself capable of accomplishing this task. I see a common thread. All of the reasons are rooted in fear. It’s a fear of the unknown of my having to learn to live my life differently. I need to find a way to mentally and emotionally move into a space of “wanting to quit” in spite of my “wanting to continue.” I asked myself to list reasons why it is in my best interest to quit in spite of not wanting to. I don’t know if I’m fooling myself but I feel if I can list reasons why it’s in my best interest, I can use them as my tools to fight with. The biggest reason stopping smoking is in my best interest is because I have used smoking as a means of invalidating myself. It has given me a reason to think negatively about myself. I believe stopping smoking is in my best interest because it is a demonstration of self-love and a sign that I believe myself valuable. I believe stopping smoking is in my best interest because it will allow me to demonstrate that I have the fortitude to face challenges and not give up on my ability to overcome a challenge.
I’ve read and downloaded many articles from negative self-talk to will I miss smoking forever. I’ve identified many triggers in my daily routine and I have practiced separating the trigger from smoking. I recognize it might be best to eliminate alcohol and the occasional pot smoking.
I know some of the challenges I will meet. The 1st day I’ll wake up scared and as the day progresses I’ll begin experiencing emotionally painful thoughts and cry off and on. I’ll get on and off the pity pot. The second day, the oral cravings will kick in. There is one huge difference; I’ll have this community to turn to for help and encouragement.