First things first, I was smoking, full time, for around 15 years, since a teen, not as long as some, but certainly long enough. I wanted to quite, for the most part, for years, waiting for when I was ‘ready’. For years I was a smoker that was planning to quite ‘some day’.
I did manage to stop, cold turkey! Cold turkey is actually easiest believe it or not. I spent years ‘planning to stop smoking’. It took me a long time to ‘start’ stopping because the time never seemed right. I had certain cigarettes that I felt I really enjoyed. I was fine with quitting, but was having a hard time coming to terms with giving the ‘good’ ones up, morning coffee, after work, after dinner, with a drink….
These were, and still are, the hardest cravings to beat. The good ones, the “Just One” cigarette, that is never just one, or with a drink, a coffee, after dinner…….. These, among a few more, are the excuses that set us up for failure. Like a drug addict or an alcoholic, an x-smoker can never have “just one” or one here one there. you have to say good bye for good to your ‘friend’, no exceptions, no cheating, or you WILL just end up smoking again and have to quite again.
I think for me that was the biggest ‘hurdle’, battling that voice in my head trying to convince me that ‘now’ is an appropriate time for ‘just one’. The worst of the cravings and such were within the first few days, with some fairly strong, but infrequent, cravings within the 2nd and 3rd week, with them pretty much gone by the 4th.
That was my experience, every one person will experience ‘the end’ differently. Big things to remember is the physical addictive power of nicotine is actually pretty weak, it is not heroin, so the real physical cravings are minimal. This means, a craving, no matter how strong, is almost entirely in the smokers mind, 99% physiological (% is just a guess).
Mind over matter is actually the trick, it is soooo much easier than the numerous times I tried gum and patches. The challenge is to get into the mind set and stay in that mind set. So some powerful brain reprogramming (technical term) is needed. If you can afford a good counselor, preferably with experience in stop smoking therapy, you will want to spend time with them before you quite to get you ‘in the zone’ and have them on speed dial during your first week! Hypnotherapy, I would think, would work on the same principal, reprogramming the mental addiction. This is a popular program for home hypnosis, Stop Smoking Remember, For any method to work, you do have to want to quite and make a commitment to do so.
I don’t think the Patch, Gum, Inhalers and other nicotine replacements work! They perpetuate the mental addiction by feeding the physical addiction (which feeds the physical). It is sad the governments push something that has a pretty poor success rate. They should just provide free counseling! Would help society in so many ways I think. Until that day, I counseled myself, I read a book. The context of the book is really getting into the mindset of smoking and of quitting. Through a thorough understand of the mind, it empowered me to think about the whole thing differently, smoking and how to stop smoking. Turns out it is really not that hard. The book was recommended to me by a friend and I was skeptical for sure…but it did work. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop SmokingI have the book displayed below.
The book was all well and good, but I did find that first week particularly hard. A support person is helpful and remember to remind yourself, YOU don’t smoke, there is no ‘just one’, the craving is almost entirely ‘in your head’ and if you face it head on for what it is, it will pass. One day at a time, once you start to stop smoking, tell yourself you ARE quite, you ARE a non-smoker, your not ‘trying’ to stop smoking, your not ‘quitting’, you are quite, you are a non-smoker, period.
Feel free to share your story, how did you Stop Smoking? How do you plan to Quite Smoking?
|Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking||CDN$ 19.95|
|Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking|