(Written by Carole May 2006 from another site. EX hadn't yet been created.)
QuitTude is Addict Attitude. And my Quit is only as good as my Quittude or Addict Attitude.
I struggled on and off over the past 25 years to quit smoking. I KNOW that feeling of being quit for over a year and then breaking down from the stress of studying for my college finals to smoke again. I know the battle of back and forth, trying to quit for 9 months straight! I TRIED to quit for 9 MONTHS STRAIGHT! Day in and day out, I was obsessed with quitting. Almost a year of my life wasted, my health suffered, my emotional state suffered, my finances suffered, and I still continued to smoke until May 9, 2006, and why??? QuitTude, that's why.
When I finally called my friend on May 9, 2006, and asked her to support me, that I really needed a Quit Buddy, she agreed. I said to her, "I'm going to give it all I've got this time, I'm really, really going to TRY this time!" She laughed at me and it hurt my feelings. I didn't think I said anything funny. "Why are you laughing?" I asked her. "You can't use the word 'try.' she said. "It's not going to work." she said. "Tell yourself you ARE going to do it, there's no trying, you ARE going to do this Carole. Tell yourself that." And, she made me say out loud and with conviction, "I'm going to Quit for good this time, I AM!"
I remember feeling about 2 inches tall at that moment. Very small. Why? Because the word 'try' had been MY champion word in life. It always put me out their to "do or die" with anything new in my life. New job, new adventure, new anything! The old line, "I'll try anything and succeed!" And now, I'm being told not to use that word, it cannot be any part of my vocabulary. Just Do It. Just Do It. Just Do It. Okay, there IS something to that Nike Commercial Slogan. HA Just Do it. Imagine what their sales would have been like if the slogan was - Just Try It. HA Now that sounds more like an addict line, doesn't it? Here, just try this cigarette, just try one more, it can't hurt you...HA!!!!! ----- Quittude, a word that defines Addict Attitude. It makes a difference.
Truth is, we are addicts, we will always be addicts. No denying that now, especially since many of us have TRIED to quit over and over again. We feel so self-defeated that we say to ourselves and others that there is a "likelihood of failure, I'm scared of 'trying' to go cold turkey, I'm going to feel like a failure 'if' I use nicotine again..." We all have used these lines in our heads before, we all have shared these words. Addiction is powerful, addiction is real, but we have to make our attitudes about quitting, better.
With the right QuitTude there is no failure in Quit. There is no fear in cold turkey, fear is an illusion. There is truly nothing to fear but fear itself. Addiction wins anytime we use the words: try, failure, afraid, and fear. Words are powerful tools. We wield them at ourselves like a spray of bullets. Isn't any wonder we start to feel weaker and weaker, and more wounded by our addiction? We certainly give it plenty of ammunition. I have done this countless times in my life, and especially the last 9 months before this FINAL QUIT.
Now, someone may look at that and say, yea, but, aren't you suppose to just think about today? One day at a time? Not the whole future? How can you say this is your Final Quit? How do you know you won't have to "try" again? The difference this time is that I didn't start this Quit 'trying' to do it. I'm not 'trying' to get through one day at time without smoking. I'm telling myself that I WILL get through one day at a time without smoking, even if my ASS falls off! But I also tell myself this is my FINAL QUIT. I make sure that my Quittude is as good as it gets by not allowing "try, failure, afraid or fear" to be a part of my vocabulary. And, it's working. I am going to any lengths to keep my QuitTude in check.
I'm already looking for positive ways to maintain and improve my QuitTude. I'm looking at my triggers, my coping skills, my stressors, I'm changing my mental, emotional, and physical behaviors. I'm going to every length to learn and grow as much as I can so that my positive QuitTude becomes second nature to me. I want my QuitTude to be the strongest element in my daily life. It is a POWERFUL defense against addiction, absolutely POWERFUL.
With quitting their has to be changes, I cannot expect to have the same attitude I did as a smoker and expect to stay quit, and yet I'm still an addict, that will not change. By not changing my attitude as a Quit Addict, I'm inviting myself to continue to do the same thing and expect different results, our addict definition of insanity, right? No different than saying I'm going to change to healthier eating habits for the rest of my life. Okay, fine. But then I don't cut down on junk food, I just keep eating junk food in large quantities like I have all the previous years, but, hey, I'm eating more fruits and veggies! What's the point?
Despite eating more fruits and veggies, I'm not going to feel better and look better if I keep feeding myself a ton of garbage with this new and fabulous lifestyle! As addicts, despite doing an incredible, amazing, wonderful thing for ourselves like QUIT SMOKING, we continue to 'feed' ourselves garbage after the quit. Months after, sometimes years after. And WE DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT TO OURSELVES. We've just got to make a committment to some minor changes in attitude and stick with it which does change our behavior, emotional health, and mental health over time. We do come to believe in ourselves a different way, a better way, we truly do. And, equally as important, support others compassionately with love and passion.
QuitTude! As far as I'm concerned, it is as important as the Quit!
Thanks for letting me share.