In the beginning when you're feeling like a gerbil on a wheel running and running all day, you become consumed with smoking, smoking, smoking. You read about smoking, you smell smoke, you see smoke. When you quit, it seems everyone is suddenly smoking. Kind of like when you're thinking about buying a car. You spend all your time researching it, looking at different models, test driving. You finally decide on a make and model you like and now it seems like everyone everywhere has went out to buy the exact same thing.
You are consumed with the thought of smoking at first because you're just starting to retrain yourself to do something else. Think about when you first started learning to ride a bike. You'd fall over, crash into things, but you kept at it. Years go by and you decide to take it up again. You have to consciously think of okay, I do this and this and after while it becomes second nature. It's just something now that you automaticaly do. In reality, life is just that way. No matter what we learn in life, it's rough at first until we master the task. Starting a new job or learning a new computer program or learning how to type. We have to learn the basics and hone in on mastering it. Quitting is the same concept.
You start by learning the basics. What does nicotine do to me and why do I feel the need to keep coming back? This program takes you through that exact same exercise. Then you go to the next step. Personalizing your quit plan. What is it that makes ME want a cigarette? What situations in my life have me grabbing for the pack? Not everyone smokes for the same reason. Not everyone smokes at the same pace. Then you move on to the next step of separating or developing strategies to separate from those triggers. Some set quit dates. Some just complete the steps above and dive in. Everyone is different.
Then you move on to the support. Support is to reassure yourself that you're on the right path, you're doing fine. Blogging or writing in your own journals is a way to vent, to ask questions, to express personal feelings that we have, the frustration, the self-denial, self-persecution, physical symptoms, self-talk. Sometimes by just talking it out with yourself or expressing it into words to paper can parse out things that are causing you difficulty to come to some resolution. There was many times that I went back to my blogs and blogs of others in the beginning of their quits to see if what I was feeling was “normal”, was something anybody else was going through.
The older format for the site made it very difficult to find things that really struck a cord with you. Now, this new site, you have the ability to bookmark certain articles that really hit home to you. Some that are an inspiration, that shine a light on the path. If you're not comfortable with writing a discussion or blog here, then simply create your own journal at home. It may seem like total nonsense sometimes what you are writing about at the time. Sometimes out of the chaos, the jumbled up conglomeration of thoughts comes your answer you were looking for or you just simply needed someone else to say, you know what, I feel the same way or thank you for saying it, for sharing.
This program works. Don't expect to set a quit date, do no homework, do no steps outlined under My Quit Plan and just assume that you'll quit and stay quit. Not going to happen. If you relapse, slip, go back to smoking again, identify the reason or the emotion that took you back. It's not simply an addiction or a dependence. You told yourself it was okay to go back, why? Get right back on the wagon again and start right back. If you slip up for the exact same reason, then ask yourself, why was “that” bringing me back to smoking? Why am I letting “that” dictate my life? The world has an abundance of substitutions, replacement for whatever “that” is. Take the initiative and find one that works for you. YOU can only answer that question. Take the time, be patient. Trust in the process.......