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'Happy Calm self' ?   Quit Support

Started Jul-10 by xvaper; 1224 views.

From: xvaper


While reading Allen Carr, and other online books and courses, they all keep putting out this notion that before we started smoking we were happy and care free with calm minds and spirit and that nicotine has turned us into these stressful anxious people, struggling to feed a drug to our brains, and that just by removing this chemical from our system, and maintaining sobriety, will return us to our "calm happy selves".

I was completely turned off by this notion, to the point that it almost alienated me from the quit they offered. I don't know about other smokers, but I started when I was 15, along with many of my friends. I was certainly NOT happy calm self, I was full of teen-aged angst, traumatized by my own life circumstances and looking for a clan to belong to. Many smokers tend to have problems with depression before they picked up their first cigarette, and even though I am quitting now , I most likely never will be a happy calm self, but I will be much more mentally equipped to handle my problems and enjoy my life much more.

Besides, who the hell is genuinely Happy and calm? I can count on two fingers people who appear to be like that, but it can be just an act. 

In short, I felt alienated, imagining that everyone else will quit and live happily ever after while I will still be struggling with difficulties so why hell bother. Luckily I really wanted to quit so I just disregarded those paragraphs. I think quitting literature and seminars have to be a lot more realistic with people, especially ones who have depression or whatever else, instead of selling this 'Calm and Happy self' delusion.  

Anyone feel the same?Toggle Dropdown

In reply toRe: msg 1

From: Loreficent


Interesting thought and awareness!

I agree. It’s a bit of a hard sell for me that because I quit I should be “happy and calm” all the time. My angst often has nothing to do with smoking or not smoking. I do feel that being where I am now in my quit that I have more confidence in myself that I can experience that angst and not have the knee jerk reaction to smoke because of it. I’m also more aware now that smoking didn’t help it any. So in some ways I’m more happy and calm that I cope more effectively and in a more healthy way with those difficult feelings and thoughts, and I feel stronger and more empowered by being able to do so. However, I have just as much Existential Indigestion as I’ve always had! joy Actually, more of it, but that has more to do with other factors in my life than smoking. 
It does seem there could be a better ways to discuss what these articles are trying to say. I think the gist of it could be spelled out differently and maybe folks wouldn’t feel as much like there is something “wrong” with them when they aren’t magically transformed into Yogis or something. 
Yes, I understand the feeling of being alienated by some of those claims. Quitting smoking g does not change our personalities to much extent. A Type A is likely gonna stay a Type A. 
I do hope you are able to feel a bit more empowered each day you abstain and feel your strength building some. It’s nicer to be an empowered and confident person with some depression than not.blush 
I think you are wise to take some of it with a grain of salt and see it for what it is and recognize that you don’t fit that mould. Lots of emotional good and gain will come from quitting in ways that complement you, even if you aren’t “calm and happy “.


From: xvaper


I agree, and yes, I am just not the type of calm and happy, and that's ok,  I just want to be able to manage better, and stopping smoking is the best thing I can do towards that goal. Man I'm having big cravings the last three evenings, but I am bot going to buy them, or smoke someone else's. I don't want to go through this quit again.

In reply toRe: msg 3

From: Loreficent


Yeah, evening was hard for me too. Definitely you don’t want to start over just to wish you were where you are now. You are on a roll at this point! Ride the waves. It can be easy to romanticize the smoking. That is where that “Dear John” letter is a bit helpful. Albeit it is a tad corny, it really does sum up the relationship with the smokes. 
Focus on how great your hair smells!!!


From: xvaper


Yes, I keep reminding myself the smell, the headaches, the lethargy. Such a manipulator the brain can be though, when it tries to get its fix.

As for the subject of the thread, and it relates to the goal of letting go, again in the courses they talk about "remember how clear you mind was, perfectly functioning before you started smoking? " my answer is that since I have been smoking since I was 15, no I really don't remember because my brain wasn't even fully developed by then. It's such a stupid thing to say, especially when most smokers start in their teens. You don't hear of too many people picking up smoking when they are in their mid 30's. The industry is going after teens knowing its the prime age to get people addicted and staying so for life.

As for the cravings..If you managed through Aunt Georgie's visit, I should be able to as well!

In reply toRe: msg 5

From: Molly010


Hi xvaper,

I agree that I don't think anyone is calm and happy.  For me, I related that phrase more to the notion of: remember when you didn't think about smoking constantly?  My life revolved around those things.  I can't smoke here.  Where can I smoke?  Is the smoke bothering anyone?  Do I smell like smoke?  How many cigs do I have left?  I have 4 left and it's only 3pm.  I might not be able to wait til tomorrow.  Then I would try to make the 4 last only to run out to the store at 8pm for more.

I was more of a closet smoker too so I was constantly trying to hide it from people.  The smell of cigarettes just looms in the air when you are indoors and stays on your clothes.  Like you I started when I was 14.  So I don't remember life much before cigs.  I can say I am "happy" that I am no longer controlled by the addiction anymore.  Calm?  Not sure anyone is ever calm.  Except maybe a psychopath.  :)


From: xvaper


You make a good point. I didn't think of it that way. Yes like you I don't remember much about life without it, and as 14 year old I was definitely not calm nor happy.

In reply toRe: msg 8

From: xvaper


6 weeks my friends.. Feeling good, able to deal with cravings, they are a lot less intense.

How is everyone doing?


From: Loreficent


WAY TO GO!!!  
This is wonderful news! It really flew by for me, lol! How was it for you?

All well on the Western Front. Working too much but hanging in there. Hot as heck here again. Ugh. Good thing being on the deck this time is the Crickets are lovely!