This community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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Beautiful Andrew! Simply beautiful.
I also realized my mind seemed to open up when I stopped smoking. I didn’t realize how smoking created such a veil. Mmm. Covered a lot of emotions and thoughts. Again I think it goes back to starting when young. The smoke became the reaction mechanism to so many things. Light up and in the mind the anger was soothed, the anxiety dissipated some, the loneliness became not quite as sharp, even the happiness seemed brighter. Nicotine rushed in, latched onto the receptors and other processes seemed to dim or halt altogether. Really. It is a drug. I think there has been so much research on it’s addictive capabilities but very little on the potent effects of brain wiring. Young developing brains are still the ideal candidates to become addicts to it. A wiser more developed brain very rarely picks up the habit/addiction.
I think the guy with the QuitNow e-book speaks to this some.
I also think as addicts we underestimate the habit part too. When I smoked I used to think to myself how I really only wanted about 4 or 5 a day. I knew the rest were the habit part. When I stopped that actually helped me. I could reduce the “real” craves to 4 or 5 a day. Those were the big waves I rode in the beginning. The smaller habit craves were much easier. Still there but if I stopped and asked myself “if I were to have one right now, would it be a habit smoke?” and the answer was yes, well that crave was easily flipped off with a flick of my hand. If the answer was “I really need one right now”, I knew it was time to dig in deeper and ask myself what was really going on. Those were the big waves. The ones I needed to sit with and ride out the feeling.
Stopping is empowering. No doubt about it. Especially when you are where you are. It’s so wonderful to read what you wrote and hear how life is opening up to you. How you are opening up to life! Awake at the wheel and realizing you have so many destinations, both inner and outer. It’s a fantastic place to be. Stay in touch with the addict piece. Include that voice in all of your new found joy. It will never allow itself to be banished to the corner and ignored, but it is capable of embracing new soothing mechanisms. Even something as simple as dropping down and doing a few push-ups. We always have tools at the ready. I’d drop down and say out loud “Look! See what you can do now?” in a very enthusiastic out loud voice too! I still give it some credit for what it gave up for me and give it something back. It’s a voice of energy. I’m a science kind of girl and I am a believer that energy cannot be destroyed but changes form. It’s so empowering to embrace that newfound energy when you start to wake up and come out from under the veil. I’m so happy for you.
Dance Andrew, DANCE!!
That's beautiful Andrew! I'm so happy for you.
As usual articulate and meaningful.
Thanks Lore - you have touched me in a wonderful way!
You are amazing. I soak up all of your intelligence and wisdom! I love how you said that we still have to give a bit of credit to the addict voice, because it is giving up a lot too! What a wonderful way to heal!
I am talking to my addict voice like an ex boyfriend whom I have been on and off with for years. I will say: I know you don't want to leave me, but I need to move on. If you can't bear it, at least let me be for another hour or two. We can break off slowly but eventually we must break. This helps me in delaying lozenges, but I have yet to say I am near the final and absolute quit.
I have adjusted to my new job, so that is no longer a trigger or excuse. The only excuse I have now is fear of really cutting off. I seem to have success cutting down, but cutting off still scares me. A lot. I am not sure how to really WANT the final quit. I don't want to quit due to a health issue. That would be quitting out of fear. I want to quit because I am ecited to quit. Will continue to keep you all posted!es
Oh, thank you Andrew!
You have me too! I’m truly am thrilled to hear how positive you are right now and to feel your exuberance for life. It’s really refreshing!
Thank you Jerthie.
I understand that fear. It kept me from quitting for a long time. The most interesting thing I found when I finally committed and set my resolve, was that it wasn’t as bad as I had been making it out that it would be.
I wish I had a magic capsule. I would give it to all those desiring to free themselves of nicotine. Sadly, none of us have that to give. We are left digging and hoping and seeking some magic within us. There isn’t really any of that either, is there? As far as getting us to stop I mean.
But, I do believe there is something almost magical about doing it. Actually getting through. I think Andrew is discovering some of that now and it’s beautiful. I wish I could explain the feeling of true empowerment that awaits you. I do know that one day you will experience it. I really believe you will. You are here, and still thinking about it. You’ve not gotten to the place of giving up. That’s a lot really!
I will say this: if you are waiting to get to a place where you really want to stop, that may not happen. It does take some degree of desire, yes. But waiting to get to where you absolutely want to may not happen. There is too much to nicotine addiction for folks to just say all of them wants to. If you have 80% want that may be enough. Some folks maybe it’s 90%. Or 99%. But that addict is part of you and it plain and simple just doesn’t want to.
Keep going. Do whatever works in a moment. There is not a right or wrong way to do this. What works today may not be as helpful tomorrow.
Have you been to the Whyquit e-book? It is helpful. Here’s a link:
Trust yourself. Keep doing what you are right now at least. You will get there.
Your not alone for sure with all of those thoughts and feelings about it. They are all valid.
Glad to hear you’ve adjusted to the new job! Anytime we have less stress that is helpful for all areas of our lives.
Thank you Lorificent! I do know that it might just be 80% of me wanting to quit and the other 20% will need to be will power. I need to feel passionate about it. I want to! But at the same time I don't want to turn my back completely on the idea of finally making it. I just don't know when that day will be! I hope I can find the magic you are talking about Lore! I want you to know that you have been a tremendous help to me!!-
Ahhh Jerthie, thank you. It is nice to know my ramblings and thoughts are helpful. You really are doing ok. I remember being where you are so clearly. In that contemplative stage of it. It’s hard because you do have desire. That’s evident. One day I’m gonna come on here and find that you’ve taken the plunge. Shed that last thread and tether of fear and let yourself soar! And you will soar! Like a sweet young bird fledging from the nest, on out into the world of possibilities. Heck, you’re gonna soar above all those surfers out on the waves!! And you know what? You will be ok.
It’s funny cause I’m a bit of a danger girl. Not a “hold my beer and watch this!” quite kind of danger girl, but certainly a do things most of my friends won’t do with me kind of girl. I love a challenge, both mental and physical. I’ve found that the things that I thought are a physical challenge usually turn out to be some part mental challenge. Once I found that key ( a long time ago) I allowed myself to do many things that people said I couldn’t or shouldn’t. The funny part is, I couldn’t bring myself to quit smoking!! There was a missing piece somewhere holding me back. Fear. One day one of dear friends asked me point blank, why? She wasn’t a smoker and could not understand how I would allow myself to do some crazy things but couldn’t allow myself to stop smoking. It was so interesting that she worded it that way. Allow myself. Nobody had ever used that term before. Allow. She actually was the first one to tell me I was afraid to quit. Of course I blew that idea off! What did she know? She hadn’t smoked a cigarette in her entire life! She couldn’t possibly begin to understand the romance I had with it. But she did understand fear. She had her own of course, as we all do.
So I got a copy of Carr’s book and set my sights on the “easy way”. Now I’m not gonna diss on that book because it has tremendous value and many folks credit it with their quit. For me it wasn’t enough. What I did discover is that willpower alone for me was not enough. Frustrated further, I went to my Doctor. Now she was a wise woman, though I didn’t credit her with that at the time. She also had never smoked a cigarette in her life so how could she possibly relate? She put me on Wellbutrin. It helped. For a little while. The thing is she had told me something. She said “You are a jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece. You need to find the missing piece that is not letting you quit smoking”. What the heck did that mean? Well that gave my addict voice a lot of fuel for the fire for a few more years! I could not on a conscious level come up with what the missing piece was, so naturally I continued to smoke.
But what my friend had said about fear, and what my Doc had said about the missing piece stuck with me. This lead to a few years of playing a game with myself. Of course I made up all kinds of rules, usually as I went. This day I’d allow myself only the smokes I really wanted. Then another day I’d allow myself only 3. Then I’d only allow myself to smoke if I were angry. Then I’d only allow myself to smoke one before bed. On and on, you see where I’m going. I played those games off and on. In between I’d give up for a while, too frustrated to make new rules that my addict piece relished rationalizing away. This really went on for a few years!
Slowly I began to accept what my friend said was true. I was afraid. True she had never smoked, but I really began to ponder that piece. Then even more slowly I put that together with what my Doc said. About the missing piece. I realized me not wanting to admit it was my fear of letting it go that was the missing piece. I was like you. I had about 80% real desire I’d say. I needed 20% more. So I accepted that. Chewed on it for a while. Started to dig in and think about all the things I had done that I was afraid to do but did them anyway. You know what? I was still alive! I had done a lot of things I was really afraid of and survived. I started to believe in myself a little bit more. You see, one can be very confident appearing on the outside and folks believe all these things about a person. But on the inside? That same person can be the least confident person to themselves in the world! How do I know? Cause that’s me. I’ve known that a very long time. That’s why I did some of the things I did! That’s why I sought the challenges I did! I was seeking confidence. But that’s probably another analysis and story for another forum . Anyway, I did finally piece together that the missing piece I needed was basically to face my fear of quitting. Yup. It was that simple. In some ways a bit of a let down really. No magic. No silver bullets. Kind of like when Dorothy looks behind the curtain and sees who the great Oz really is kind of let down.
It wasn’t until a little bit into my quit that I discovered the magic Jerthie. And I faltered. Those that have been on here a while know I faltered. But I had enough taste of the true empowerment that I got back up. I had found those feelings I got with facing the fear and quitting and the empowerment that ensued just too precious. Nothing I’ve done had given me the exhilaration and clarity that quitting smoking had given me. I’ve done and still do some pretty crazy things. None of them have taken the true grit and intestinal fortitude that resolving to quit smoking took. That is the magic. It’s truly magical that I had that in me all along.
I’m afraid that is hindsight speaking Jerthie. The magic came with hindsight. You have it too. One day you’re gonna take that 80%, cut those tethers, set your resolve that you can’t wait for the other 20% because you want to soar anyway, you’re gonna take that fear square on. Then you are gonna see that really, anything really is possible.
How are you doing tonight? I'm sitting here listening to my jazz, a bit bored, sick of watching FOX, sucking on my pouches. Thought I would say hi to my favorite Delphi buddy.
Had a good day. Up at 6am and walked 3.5 miles. Came home and started my latest project refinishing our kitchen countertops. I am installing some cool tile backsplashes tomorrow. I enjoy working with my hands. Bought some new Apple earbuds and have been dancing all day.
I want to let you know how much I really appreciate your responses to my posts. It makes me feel great to know that I can make a difference in people's lives with my ramblings. I write from my heart and really love touching others. The feedback that I get from everyone keeps me grounded in my journey to freedom.
I waked to a lake today where I used to take my dog for walks. I had to put him to sleep last week. How I miss him and cried like a baby remembering the wonderful times we had together. I choke up every time I think about him (like now).
I just needed to talk to someone like you tonight.
Thought you might be interested in reading something that I wrote to Denium last night. He is a good person who had made a huge difference in lots of us who are struggling to beat this thing.
I have been meaning to reach out to you for quite some time. I've enjoyed your many posts on this site and I really appreciate folks like yourself who are committed to others who are fighting for their freedom from smoking. I have been at war with my addiction to nicotine most of my adult life. It's been a long time coming, having tried numerous methods to quit only to surrender in the short term to my addiction. I have fought and won over other serious addictive maladies but by far this has been my biggest challenge. I am currently smoke free for only two months but know in my heart that this is my time to finally end the insanity. I've been visiting Delphi for over two years, but not until the past few weeks do I feel that I have a solid chance to truly eliminate cigarettes from my life.
I really enjoy reading and posting here. I not only benefit from everybody's stories but really love to share mine too. I gain strength in offering support and encouregment to my friends on this site. It is important to know that there are people who understand.
I am grateful for people like yourself who care about others enough to spend time and energy to help. Benevolence is so rare today in our society that seems to have lost the way to enlightenment of the soul. What happened? Nobody seems to care about their fellow man anymore. You are about others. That is an admirable trait and you touch people in a wonderful way with your conversations. Thank you from all of us.
I too care about others and lately have been pumping people up with supportive and positive replies. Getting lots of great feedback for my efforts. You know what I mean. It makes me feel good to help and keeps me grounded in my journey to freedom.
Looking forward to reading your insights and affirmations in the future.
My latest is “Dance with this gift called life”.
I hope this post finds you well.