In my constant internet search for knowledge and the smoking truth I came across this little gem which I had to share, mainly for the fact that it's not a million miles removed from the method I used myself.
I still have my 19 security blankets left somewhere.
It's a fair old read so don't peek if you're meant to be working...
THE MECHANICS OF QUITTING
So, how do we quit? What is the best approach to dumping this habit when we really know absolutely nothing about it? To start, we can look at what does not work.
This approach presented here totally contradicts all authoritative approaches. It disagrees with all the expertise presented by various government agencies, health organizations, and even the tobacco manufacturers.
Statistically, the accepted approach to quitting has a high rate of failure. The percentage of those succeeding is measured in single digits, and success is usually achieved only after multiple attempts.
With the chaff stripped away, the standard approach to quitting boils down to three basic steps:
(1) Set A Quit Date, (2) Gather A Support Group, - and when the quit date arrives - (3) Flush the Cigarettes.
Here is a loose scenario of what might go down if one were to follow the authoritative approach.
You start by setting a date and gathering a support group - family, neighbours, coworkers, etc. You tell them when you are going to quit and how their support will be greatly appreciated.
As the quit-day approaches, the feeling sets in this may not be the perfect time to quit - you are just not ready - some time later, but not now. There could not be a worst time than now. But you are committed. You have told just about everyone in the whole world you are counting on them for help. You have no choice. You have to quit, NOW!
So, you toss the cigarettes, throw out the ashtrays and cigarette lighters, and go for it! But it does not last long. The time eventually arrives where you can handle it no longer. Panic sets in. You have to have a cigarette! But you have disposed of them! But you have to have a cigarette â€“ Right Now! But you have no cigarettes! So you hop in the car, drive to the nearest store, buy a packâ€¦. and light up!
Now, what do you tell all your supporters? What do you say to the spouse and kids, neighbours and coworkers? Those that have never smoked will not understand your failure. Those that have never been there can never understand.
And what about those that have been there â€“ the smokers that have successfully quit - the righteous â€œreformed smokersâ€? Expect little or no understanding from them. Many, maybe most, are prima donnas who delight in expressing their indignation when someone lights up a block away and fouls their air. Many, if not most, delight in feeling â€˜holier than thouâ€ when you fail.
So, what went wrong? For starters, a quit date was set. The date came around and you really were not ready. It sounded like a good idea at the time. But later, when that special day rolled around, it did not seem like the best idea in the world. But there was no backing out.
A public commitment was made with no graceful means of backing out. You told everyone their support was needed. But itâ€™s not their battle â€“ it is yours. The battle is between you and the tobacco companies. A pat on the back and a couple of â€œAtta-Boysâ€ from well doers is not going beat this thing. You must do it alone with no obligations to others. It is your battle.
And then, you threw your cigarettes away â€“ your security blanket. When panic set in, when you had to have a cigarette, there were none around. If a pack had been within reach, there would have been no need for panic, no need for a trip to the store. Immediately lighting up can be postponed because there is no panic and with the passage of time, lighting up can be forgotten.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
A different approach would be - Prepare yourself mentally for quitting. Think about quitting. Get angry, not with yourself but with the tobacco companies. Hate them, not yourself. Get tough!
A different approach would be - Get up in the morning and then decide if this might be the day to go for it. There is no pressure. It is your decision. If you have not lit up since the previous night, you already have an eight-hour start at being cigarette free!
A different approach would be - Tell no one. Quitting is something you do on your own. It is your addiction. If people notice you have not been smoking, and ask if you have quit, tell them you are working on it. No need for a definitive answer. Things may change.
A different approach would be - Hang onto those cigarettes. They make a good security blanket - and there is nothing wrong with a security blanket!
Keep a pack in your pocket or purse. If the urge sets in to fire up, no need for panic. A cigarette is right there within reach. Without panic, there is no reason you must light up at that particular moment! It can be postponed, put off for a while. You can always light up later if it is absolutely necessary. Instead, wait a while. Get angry. Think tough. Feel tough. After a while, you will be tough. You have to be tough! You will find feeling tough feels good. Beating the tobacco companies feels good.
When you are beginning to feel secure in your endeavor, you can forego carrying cigarettes on your person. Instead, keep a pack in your car. Keep one in your desk at work. At home, you will still have part of that carton you had not smoked when you decided to quit.
There is no need to ever get rid of the â€œsecurity blanketsâ€. If it feels better to have them around, hang on to them. If the time comes that you prefer dumping them, then do so. It is your call.