This community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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What a wonderful message. I especially reaped benefit from one of your previous messages, about how our society thrives so much on instant gratification. That rings so true for the smoking addiction. We want to rid ourselves of stress, anxiety, things to do. To rid ourselves of discomfort, instead of taking time to process emotions or make a list, we smoke, thinking that will be a fix to our problems- Well, it is NOT a fix. It is NOT a solution. It only makes us satisfied for a brief repose before we fall into that same awful feeling of anxiety and defeat for want of yet another! I hate it! I hate it, hate it, hate it.
I am still using the lozenges, but have been able to scale back to 6 a day instead of 10 a day. I honestly don't know why I still use these things. I hate that addiction controls me 6 times a day. I think where I am at a loss is that I still see lozenges as enjoyable. I hate them but a small part of me loves them. Sad but true.
To anyone else out here on their quit journey, know that any step you take towards not smoking is a step in the RIGHT direction! Cutting down. NRT. Delaying each smoke... Until you can get to COLD TURKEY the ultimate goal. Stay strong people. One baby step at a time. We got this.
Thank you Jerthie!
Yes, our culture is pretty consuming. It takes a lot of work to step back and live consciously and with intention. Culture here is capitalistically built on consumerism and we allow ourselves to become victims of it’s folly. It starts when we are younger and groomed to believe we need so many of these things that are pitched at us. In so many aspects of our lives too! From junk food to prescription drugs. It all right there in our faces and we have over time become desensitized to the seductive sell and are lured into consuming. Big Tobacco has made a tremendous fortune based on this premise, and they continue to do so. Their edge is even more dangerous as they sell such an insanely addictive substance.
The good news is, it really is all in our heads and we really do have control. It is painful to take that control, as we all know. And the addict within each of us digs in and screams and kicks and puts up a helluva fight when we attempt to take control.
This is why I believe it is extremely important to do what Andrew did this morning. Become your own affirmation. There is NO one source outside of our mind that will be triumphant with quitting. There are aids to assist that are quite helpful for many ( I was one of those that NRT helped). But those too come with their pitfalls. It is about finding a balance somewhere inside. The addict cannot be ignored. Willpower alone will not sustain you. You must also nurture and tune into the other aspects of your mind and allow those wiser voices to govern. Those voices need sustenance as well. Not in the form of nicotine but in encouragement, acknowledgement, celebration, awareness, and many other things, but basically, they need to be given a space to have their voice. Focusing only on the self centered addict voice is an exercise in defeat.
We are all capable. Because we are all so multifaceted! So so much beauty in that! Why choose to let one spoiled child within rule? That spoiled child within is also trainable. It can be given new tools and healthy vices. It takes it a very very long time to accept those new positive things as sufficient, but, with awareness and patience, it does learn new things and is capable of letting old things go. I will never underestimate that addict piece though, no matter how long since it’s been given what it once loved so dearly. It will always be vulnerable to the lure of nicotine. We have these fond memories of so many times we indulged in enjoyment. Over time we learn to enjoy all of those things equally without nicotine. It takes time. But so far, that’s all we all really have. None of us knows how much, but, it’s all we have.
Im working really hard to not be so influenced by so many wastes of time in our culture. It’s definitely getting easier.
Do what works for you Jerthie. Always move forward.
Dance! Dance dance dance!
A wise woman indeed! Yea, it's so easy to stay in the negative. Lately I try to project positive energy with any interaction I have in life. Take it people, places and things, I am responsible for my reactions, be it good or bad. This is especially true when it comes to me. I am my biggest critic. I used to say that I have never been satisfied with much of anything in which is bull****. I am an intelligent, handsome, generous and caring man and have done some truly amazing things for myself and others. I love to build people up and make them feel good. Sometimes I think I could have been a motivational speaker like Tony Robbins. Maybe next life.
The power to affect change is within all of us. In my case it was simply a matter of focusing on the good stuff, ignoring the bad stuff and in my mind dance with this gift called life.
I've had several addictions in my lifetime. And I beat all of them except smoking tobacco. Goodby to smoking.
Proud of you. Yes when a craving comes i must remind myself that A. I don't really want to smoke, the addicted part of the brain is just firing off because of whatever trigger. I don't enjoy a cigarette, its pretty awful really, bitter and smelly and weakening , and the only reason why I continued smoking was because I am addicted to nicotine, and B. if I had one, it would not stop at that. It never did and never will.
Thank you Lorificent!
I was on the verge of not just having a lozenge, but an actual smoke. I am sitting in front of a gas station with the warm sun and cool breeze tempting me to just "enjoy" one. Yeah right! The thought is seductive and so alluring, but I know that two puffs in I will have regretted turning back. I don't know why Lorificent... Why I want a smoke and not a lozenge. I am not going to have either though. What is it that calls to me?
Is it gratification of an emotion I want to fill? Perhaps? Is there a vibe I want to latch on to? A wave I want to ride? I believe there is, sadly. I still to this day romanticize smokes and lozenges as a cute little vice that makes me prettier, that makes me skinnier... Overall cuter. It's the disgusting truth. I am telling you all. THAT is my truth at this moment. It is the thought that comes back to haunt me everyday.
BUT you know what everyone?! I can create a NEW truth. I can create a new wave to ride. What that wave is I really don't know. I used to smoke to catch a feeling. Perhaps I have to check in on those other voices Lore... The wise voice, the encouraging voice, the loving voice... And NOT give in to the spoiled brat crying in the corner like an annoyance that just won't quit!
It is true Lore! It is all in our mind! And with that I said NO to the smoke and NO to the lozenge. One step at a time!!!
Xvaper... Thank you for the precious reminder. I don't believe in enjoying just one or two smokes a day. It does not end there. It builds up to the inevitable momentum that drags you back into nicotine's evil shackles. I wish I could say a complete goodbye to the lozenges.
It is easier to stay in the negative at times. I’ve often wondered why that is, and don’t have an answer. It’s good to hear you are mindful and making the effort to project positive energy. Also good to hear you acknowledge your positive attributes! But, why wait for the next life to be a motivational speaker? You likely have quite a bit of this one yet. Something like that to pursue in retirement could be really fulfilling.
Having overcome several addictions can bring so much depth and empathy. It’s ok to allow a little of that for yourself. Sounds like lately that you are. I am also my worst critic (as far as I know). It takes a lot to get beyond that but I’m working on it too. Honestly, stopping smoking helped a lot with that. It really opened my mind up to allowing myself to be empowered by the accomplishment. One doesn’t realize what a box tobacco keeps you in until you let it go. It’s so interesting to tune in and become aware of the thoughts and feelings that prompted lighting up. Interesting to learn new ways to cope without lighting up.
The process can be dreadful or it can be mind expanding. We get to choose. Not saying some of those intense craves were easy. They aren’t. But it really is a choice how to react. There were times I’d have to close my eyes and breathe and felt for a few minutes that is all I could do. Just breathe and feel the pain. Those days didn’t last long in hindsight, but in the thick of it? Yeah. It stunk.
Anyway. Think about the speaking thing. It certainly isn’t too late.
I absolutely love “dance with this gift called life”. With your permission I will borrow that expression. Such a fantastic image! Thank you.
Keep on dancing!
Mmmm. It’s nicotine Jerthie. That’s what calls to you. As users, it is our “normal”. Our brains are so entwined with it that we think it is what makes us feel normal. We had to have our hit to bring us back up to the level that non users are always at.
I don’t need to lecture you on the physical detriment of nicotine. I am curious though how the connection was made for you that it made you cuter? That’s isn’t something I’ve heard anyone say. Is it weight related? Are you worried about gaining weight if you give up the nicotine? I don’t think that has to be the case. You also don’t need to answer those questions here if you aren’t inclined. I realize they are point blank questions. Ask yourself though. Maybe write out your answers? Nicotine will age a person fairly quickly. In many ways.
Yes! Check in with the other voices/aspects that make up Jerthie! There is a lot there. Pretty much most ways we deal with or cope with things are in our minds. We have a lot more control than we want to think at times. It’s kind of human nature to seek the path of least resistance; it’s easier to blame an external force than to dig in and own up its all us. That screaming spoiled brat in the corner is still part of you. Not an external being we cannot control, or that belongs to some poor haggard mom who is at her wits end, standing in the grocery line whilst her kid embarrasses her to no end. It’s our own spoiled brat! You get to treat it however you feel is productive. It’s one small piece of many many pieces that make Jerthie. Maybe take some time, few minutes a day, and look inside and get to know some of the other voices better.
Im not one who views nicotine as evil. I understand it helps some folks to criminalize it. But, really, it’s just a chemical. It has no power on its own. None, nada, zip. We give it power when we use. We are responsible. And we are also very very capable of letting it go.
Im kind of sleepy and rambling. I’m looking forward to hearing about who you meet inside you though! What words of acceptance and encouragement and strength and are there?
Please feel free to share my comment "dance with this gift called life". I don't know where some of these thoughts come from. Conquering my smoking has opened up so many new avenues of thought and feeling. Along with my other major life changes in the past few years, I am experiencing a kind of spiritual awakening, I have been asleep at the wheel for so long that I lost touch with my desired destinations.
Now I see so many directions that it's difficult to determine which way I want to go next. Each day is a gift to be embraced and enjoyed. Self-actualization is the name of the game for me. I only hope that I can share these treasures with the world I live in.
All of the people in my life will be touched by my newfound awareness. I hear it everyday, "Andrew, what has happened to you?" I can't explain it, but I can certainty gain satisfaction in knowing that I have changed my approach to life for the better and people see it.
Good day (and more to come)
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!!