My phone was DINGING off the hook from Facebook messages of people asking me what my Secret was to quitting smoking. Quitting smoking for me is like the opposite of committing suicide…and that’s abit heavy to explain.
It began when I had put in a status update about how grateful I felt for the unbelievable positive changes in my life resulting from stopping smoking. I quit publically using Facebook and since so many people had been so encouraging to me I was brimming with gratitude and wanted to let them know I was still moving forward.
So now everyone wanted to know how I did it. How was I going to explain this?
They say cigarette smoke is a harder addiction to drop than heroine and just like everyone else I was incredibly addicted. I could smoke through anything and nothing was enough to get me to quit. I would “try”, but never for long and never totally honestly. I was with my mother while she suffered through treatments for lung cancer and I smoked. I felt like a true asshole standing outside the hospital having a cigarette while she was inside hooked up to chemotherapy machines.
Sometime in mid winter I had developed a bronchial cough that was so chronic that I had begun spitting up blood. But still I smoked.Finally I was absolutely forced to go to the doctor. My cough had gotten so bad that my lungs would seize up and seemingly just refuse to take in air which was pretty scary and secretly I was pretty sure I already had lung cancer. I think this kind of thinking stops allot of people from quitting but no one wants to admit it.
On the way to the doctor I fished around for my cigarettes and realized I had forgotten them at home. I noticed that strangely, was a huge RELIEF. My reaction is what surprised me. Normally forgetting cigarettes would cause either anxiety if none were within a reasonable distance, or annoyance because I would have to detour and find a store. Relief. I didn’t want to smoke.
I told the doctor honestly what I thought, and asked for patches.
1- I think using every smoking cessation help tool available to you is AWESOME. Screw cold turkey if you can’t do that. The hard part about quitting was changing my behaviours. The physical part is not so bad – its ll the things I would associate with smoking. Like – finishing ANYTHING…requires a cigarette. Dinner, work, a set, a chapter, grocery shopping – you smoke after these things. Being aware and “one step ahead ” of my cravings was important for me., BE a wimp – take the drugs. I have never heard of anyone say they just couldn’t get away from PATCHES…
2- Don’t let people tell you quitting smoking is HARD. That’s bullshit. Dying of cancer is HARD.
3- Don’t ignore your cravings – they will really suck for three days – address them. tell them to fuck off. relly this worked for me…maybe a bit Unhippie and aggressive of me but…hey – DO WHAT WORKS!! Those stupid cravings had been bossing me around for over 30 years…and I was annoyed!
I am stronger then my body today…and this feels GREAT. It is possible for everyone to develop a mentality that your body is allowed to have a craving – but you don’t need to listen to it. Working with animals can help with the development of this mentality.
4- Be really healthy. It feels good to be nice to yourself for once.
5- Tell the entire planet. LOUDLY. Accept their help.
6- Pray and meditate. Pray for help. Meditate for answers. Seriously. Try it.
7- Be loud about your GRATITUDE – tell everyone each new amazing things you discover about not smoking. Your lungs feel good, you have energy, body hurts less, clothes smell good, random hot guys are smelling you – wait..no that can’t apply to everyone. 🙂 But having fun with it is important! THIS is the mental ticket to staying quit for me SO FAR. When it gets hard, I use Facebook to SCREAM what I AM grateful for and I always get such encouraging words and thoughts – it sure doesn’t hurt and it encourages others to look at getting healthy too.
So when you ask me this “secret” and I think in whatever way you come to it, the “secret” to quitting smoking is wanting to be kinder to yourself. It sounds simple, but it’s not necessarily so for most people. I can only tell you what worked for me, and this was simply that one day I began to see that what I did to myself flowed outwards and it was important to me to live more kindly towards myself. But no one can tell you what will work for you. No book, no guru, no laser hypno-drug therapy. You have to WANT TO LIVE – for you. For yourself – because you love he people in your life.
The Secret – you already knew.
Please share your stories with us if you’d care to.