Knowledge IS ammunition

I think I’ll put this Sunday morning rambling in “help to stop” rather than day 1, oh, and happy mother’s day to all you lovely mothers out there..

Let's just hope it doesn't end up in "reasons to welcome Mr Shouty"

“Knowledge is ammunition”

I spent a lot of the autumn undertaking hospital visits to a sick relative. Getting stuck in the COPD ward made me realise that I really ought to try giving up the fags again. I was a serial quitter, regularly stopping for between 3 and 12 months and once for 2 years but always coming back to them.

When I got home I trawled the web, I needed to know why I couldn’t keep up a good quit. I spent days reading stuff, some real rubbish of course, some cruel exploitive stuff but also some really eye-opening information.

I’d always known how bad they were for me and what their payload could ultimately deliver but none of that told me why, as a well educated, intelligent forty-something, I sat there smoking them.

The “everyone does it” excuse was wrong. I was the sole office smoker, the sole smoker in my household and the sole smoker in the band I play in but I still smoked.

Three writers helped me, Joel Spitzer, Allen Carr and Neil Casey. Between them they erased 25 years of ignorance and showed me why I smoked and it didn’t cost me or the NHS a penny.

The last smoking advice my doctor had given me was, “you know it’ll catch up with you in the end.” Why couldn’t SHE have told me why I smoked..?

Now of course you have a dilemma. The moment you know why you smoke you also know how to stop..

In my case I stared at my laptop, fag in hand, thinking, “surely not? Have I just spent the last 25 years doing that!”

That fag I was smoking was my last. Its 19 friends still live in my kitchen as a reminder.

Once you know why you smoke you have a simple choice and please, oh please don’t take the following the wrong way…

You either stop and feel embarrassed for all those wasted years and money…or…you don’t. However, if you don’t stop you haven’t really understood the question.

I’ve seen posts on here that said summat like, “I’ve read his book/been to his website, it didn’t work for me,” which suggests that there’s a technique involved which of course there isn’t, unless you call reading and short term recall a technique.

I was at a Christmas party talking to 2 ex-smokers. One was 25 years clean and knew why he’d smoked, the other was 15 years clean, had had a gut-wrenching quit, still fancied a fag and spent a lot of the time telling us how grateful he was that the smoking ban had reduced his temptations in the pub. What was obvious was that this chap was basically still a smoker who hadn’t smoked for 15 years and.......... that now reminds me of how I stared this post.

I know it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there but “there” isn’t on the map. I spent 2 years as a non smoker and didn’t get there. This time I spent 2 days on the web and I think my feet are firmly under there’s table…!! (i've even taken my shoes off and i'm exploring the shag with my toes)

This is not a dig at anyone or their methods, i just honestly believe that you know when you've cured your addiction.

Don't be afraid to investigate the subject.

Knowledge vs willpower..?

hah..no contest.!

Happy Mother's Day mum..! :)

12 Replies

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  • Very well said, couldnt pick out anything I disagree with.

    Also, I'm glad Neil Casey has helped someone else. There is never much talk about him on this forum and neither in general 'stop smoking circles', if you will, and he's very much under the radar that Allen Carr dominates. I cant described how many times reading his book I truly felt like my eyes had been opened to different things. Its why I keep it in my signature.

    An ex colleague of mine had quit 8 years previous, but used to tell me she could kill for a fag sometimes. A current colleague is 1 year in and told me similar the other day. Meanwhile, I dont at all feel that way. I KNOW that in the end I LET GO of smoking, I didnt WILL it into some part of my mind where it can crop up from time to time.

    As with many if not all things in life, all it takes is knowledge. Great post austin.

  • I agree - knowledge and education is key in dealing with the addiction. I never did so much reading about it before and never realised what was happening physically as well as mentally. I am still learning to deal with the new "me" - so much I did not deal with, so much I hid by smoking.

    I used Champix as a means to the end of smoking and it has been key in enabling me to differentiate the physical from the mental grips and allowed me to get that lightbulb moment - it all happened when I realised that the cigarette gave me nothing physically, that they were actually quite awful tasting - I then decided that it was not giving me anything else either and I started to work on that.

    I am still reading a lot and it is so good to read other's methods, thoughts, recommendations and views here!

    x

  • Great post

    I totally agree and would urge anybody who hasnt read anything from Joel Spitzer, Allen Carr or Neil Casey to do so. It really can help turn a "difficult" quit into an enjoyable experience.

    I know with the knowledge that I have aquired that I will never smoke again

  • Just been rooting around and found this, its not all that old but deserves to be upped to page one. Aint seen austin around for a while either, hope he still drops by now and then.

    One of the best posts i've ever seen on here, all fawning aside, it really sums up my feelings.

    Great stuff.

  • The longest I stopped previously was 8 months, and it felt NOTHING like this time. I see now that I only managed to stop for so long that time through sheer willpower, pigheadedness and determination.

    I hadn't actually got on top of the addiction at all - I was fighting with myself everyday for the whole 8months! :eek:

    I'm not fighting at all this time, there's really not much effort being made on my part at all - it's more like a quiet acceptance....I don't want to smoke any more and so I won't :)

    Thanks for a great post Austin :)

  • Thank you for all your kind words.

    I am still around but, due to good old fashioned work and play, i haven't the time to get involved in the threads and i do so hate not having all the knowledge. Never fear though, i will be back....

    If i had access to a big bunch of flowers i'd give it to Maddy.

    She turned from a tormented smoker, who publicly battled with her quit every night and finally caved, regrouped, then returned almost immediately as crave-free, deal done, ex-smoker.

    Whatever she did is pure inspiration and i've told her we should write a book.

    If there's someone else here who's done the same thing then accept my apologies for not noticing you but we have living proof in Maddy that simply getting your head right makes quitting a breeze.

    Let's all try to play nicely and fight this monster.

    :D

  • Awww Thanks Austin!

    Now, that book...50/50 ok? We'll split the profits in half on one condition...its your face plastered in the back of the book and not mine! lol

    On a serious note, I totally agree re having your head in the right place. You really do need to have it in the right place as otherwise you are doomed to failure at one point or another. Or at least, that was the case with me.

    I'm not saying those who 'struggle' are never successful, of course, going by the laws of averages there are going to be people who 'successfully' quit this way, but it is so much more pleasant stopping smoking with your head in the right place. AC exposed my addiction/habit to me and it turned my thought processes around. For that, I will be forever grateful.

    Anyway, we can all beat this nasty drug. Hell, we have beat it. We've all stopped haven't we? :D

    Now, I want my cheque at the end of the month Austin haha!

  • Ooooh, that’s an old post…

    I think that stopping smoking is a bit like stopping the milk. You can leave a note for the milkman and stick it in the bottle or you can type the note, write it in ink, green crayon, blood, whatever. You can cut letters out of a newspaper and spend all week making the note. You can even get a groovy little mesh cage with a pointy dial that tells the milkman how many to leave, if any.

    People may say, “when I stopped the milk I used a hand-written note and it worked, no milk, so that’s a sure-fire way…” others will say, “no. I always ring the dairy it works every time.”

    In reality all that matters is that the milkman doesn’t leave any milk.

    There are easy ways and hard ways of getting the message through. What some find easy others find hard and vice versa.

    What is obvious from this forum is that there is no one quit method that works for everyone. There is no magic bean that’ll work every time but there is the simple fact that all successful quitters don’t smoke and have no wish to smoke.

    I’m quite happy to put my head on the block and say quitting’s a doddle if you’ve got your mind right. I smoked for 25 years and spent the last 18 trying to stop. I had a continuous cycle of quit, cave, smoke, quit, cave, smoke, but throughout those 18 years I desperately thought I wanted to stop but clearly wasn’t stopped. It wasn’t a willpower issue as I could stop for months, it was more a case of I missed them and succumbed to their evil temptation when I was weak. Deep down I must have needed to smoke and every drunken party every stressful day every holiday became an excuse to quit my quit and get away with it without shouldering the blame.

    As Allen Carr said, if your quit is full of angst and grief and stress you may as well smoke, giving up doesn’t have to be difficult. In a roundabout way that’s what I did. I carried on smoking albeit with occasional large gaps between fags until the day I learnt why I smoked and why the rest of my family didn’t need to.

    I really don’t want to tread on people’s toes or upset anyone but it’s so hard to keep my gob shut when you see people who want to smoke forcing themselves not to when they really need the guidance to become people not wanting to smoke.

    The saddest thing I’ve learnt during this quit is that those that we thought were our best allies are in fact misguided, wrong or working to their own agenda.

    If you want sound un-biased smoking cessation advice find someone who’s been happily quit for years and ask them how they did it..!! :eek:

  • Ooooh, that’s an old post…

    I think that stopping smoking is a bit like stopping the milk. You can leave a note for the milkman and stick it in the bottle or you can type the note, write it in ink, green crayon, blood, whatever. You can cut letters out of a newspaper and spend all week making the note. You can even get a groovy little mesh cage with a pointy dial that tells the milkman how many to leave, if any.

    People may say, “when I stopped the milk I used a hand-written note and it worked, no milk, so that’s a sure-fire way…” others will say, “no. I always ring the dairy it works every time.”

    In reality all that matters is that the milkman doesn’t leave any milk.

    There are easy ways and hard ways of getting the message through. What some find easy others find hard and vice versa.

    What is obvious from this forum is that there is no one quit method that works for everyone. There is no magic bean that’ll work every time but there is the simple fact that all successful quitters don’t smoke and have no wish to smoke.

    I’m quite happy to put my head on the block and say quitting’s a doddle if you’ve got your mind right. I smoked for 25 years and spent the last 18 trying to stop. I had a continuous cycle of quit, cave, smoke, quit, cave, smoke, but throughout those 18 years I desperately thought I wanted to stop but clearly wasn’t stopped. It wasn’t a willpower issue as I could stop for months, it was more a case of I missed them and succumbed to their evil temptation when I was weak. Deep down I must have needed to smoke and every drunken party every stressful day every holiday became an excuse to quit my quit and get away with it without shouldering the blame.

    As Allen Carr said, if your quit is full of angst and grief and stress you may as well smoke, giving up doesn’t have to be difficult. In a roundabout way that’s what I did. I carried on smoking albeit with occasional large gaps between fags until the day I learnt why I smoked and why the rest of my family didn’t need to.

    I really don’t want to tread on people’s toes or upset anyone but it’s so hard to keep my gob shut when you see people who want to smoke forcing themselves not to when they really need the guidance to become people not wanting to smoke.

    The saddest thing I’ve learnt during this quit is that those that we thought were our best allies are in fact misguided, wrong or working to their own agenda.

    If you want sound un-biased smoking cessation advice find someone who’s been happily quit for years and ask them how they did it..!! :eek:

    Quoted just to make it appear twice - This man makes an awful lot of sense, this may be the best post I've read yet. I think you not only need to want to quit - you need to understand the process and need to understand why you smoke before you can do it for good. I honestly believe I am at that point, and that this time is for good. If I am wrong, I will fail. If I am right, and I truly think I am, I will never smoke again.

  • Had to dig this thread up as I wasn't quite sure where else to put this thread, but I have just finished Neil Casey's "Nicotine Trick" after finishing work and throwing myself into it.

    I'm amazed, I have read Allen Carr's book but this one has took it to a deeper level and one that thankfully I can say I really relate too.

    The only issue I have his he encourages you to smoke towards the end to help sort the issue out (I wont give too much away) but I have already stopped and I am quite happy so I have had to just shut my eyes and imagine it for now, anyone who has read this book will get this bit. So I am a little worried that the sub conscious part will not be fully corrected.

    Anyway, earlier in this thread I said I should go read it, and that was months back, all i can say is ... why did I wait.

    £6.99 and what a cracking 4 hour read it was. Its kind of made me look at Allen Carrs work differently know.... what didnt click with him "porperly" seems to have clicked through Neils book.

    Proof will be in the pudding, so I will re-read if needed, and keep working on the brain re-programming.

    Just wanted to share to anyone thinking they haven't got it right, like I haven't in my previous quits. :)

    Very glad you've read it mojo, it is a fantastic eye opening book, that clicked with me from day one. Regarding you not smoking while reading it, I did the same back in 2006 when I first got the book. And it only worked temporarily that time. Rereading it in July of last year however, I did all the way through as instructed. And i'm still quit now. Without being too negative however, that was only one attempt and doesnt necessarily mean the same will happen, I would just feel slightly remiss if I didnt point out that it happened to me, and like you, I had the same concerns at that time. As you know, your well aware though and a reread is always a good idea, still do myself occasionally.

    Speaking of the 'technique' I did it every time at my works smoking shelter... safe to say I got some funny looks. :D It was worth the temporary accusations of insanity in the end!

  • Good stuff mate. There's plenty of Allen Carr afficianado's on here, I'm glad finally theres another person who's read Casey. :D

    Let us know how you get on, but I think you'll be fine.

  • Another post I absolutely love x

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