I really need advice on how to get around the psychological aspects of stopping smoking & whether anyone else can relate.
All the usual advice from stop-smoking services tell you stuff like:
You'll be richer, healthier, smell better & all that gubbins. My problem is how do I address the issue that I just don't feel like 'me' without the fags?
I've read the Alan Carr Easyway & similar & appreciate intellectually that the sense of 'self' I'm on about is probably the nicotine addiction talking but I just can't escape from the utter misery I feel when I try to quit as I feel I'm somehow struck dumb (usually the life & soul of the party type), have no sense of humour, am not interested in anything anyone says or any aspect of life without cigs. The irony is when people say 'Just think after X months you'd be able to go on holiday with the money you've saved' etc I just think 'Why would I want to go on holiday/buy a fantastic dress/live 20 years longer' or whatever, in a world of utter misery where I can't be myself?
I've smoked for 26 years & currently get through 30-40 a day so want to stop for my health. I know that somewhere in the dim & distant past I must have had a sense of self & occasionally enjoyed myself b4 I was a smoker, but I can't dredge up that image with enough clarity to persuade me I'll ever be the same. If someone can give me hope in this aspect I'd be very grateful.
The other thing I struggle with is the concept of reward. At the moment I love the concept of the 'mini reward' of smoking. You know, I'll just do such & a thing & then have a fag...or someone tells you juicy gossip on the phone & you light up to enhance the enjoyment of the tale! The camaraderie of being with another smoker. That feeling that you & they are in your own secret club that's exclusive, cosy, concentrated, & 'apart'. The feeling that non-smokers can't possibly be enjoying a situation as much as you are. How on earth do you shake that off???
It doesn't help when you hear people who quit over 20 years ago say things like 'I could still fancy one now'. I feel so lost with it all...like it's a choice between killing my best friend or myself!
I don't feel any of the NHS quit smoking stuff deals with those really deep feelings.
Thanks for reading.