Habit vs physical addiction

For a long time I believed that my addiction is mostly physical. I convinced my self that as soon as I get rid of this physical part, I'll be fine. How hard can it be? I've stopped biting my nails haven't I.

Then I got married and changed my name - gee its difficult to change the automatic responses. My hand has a mind of its own. It just keeps writing my old name. My mounth has a mind of its own. I answers the phone incorrectly. My ears have minds of their own. They can't hear the new name. You get the point...

So, how long does it take to learn a new name? Might be as long as it will take to learn to live without cigs. Heureka! My smoking must have been a habit, a learned way of life.

... just wanted to share that one as I feel so enlightend now - and a bit stupid for not getting the message for so long. Just shows how difficult it is to understand what others tell you. Even harder for thick headed ones like me ;)

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  • I love the comparison between smoking and changing your name... smoking deas really become automatic, doesn't it?

    What I keep saying to everyone that goes on at me about smoking being 'just a habit' is that yes, it's a habit, but it's formed around an addiction. The addiction is relitavely easy to get rid of, it's the habit that leaves you feeling like an empty shell.

    It's great that you were aware of the addiction part cos tbh I find it really useful to turn to this explanation on the days when I get the odd crave. I feel sorry for people who try to quit thinking it's just a habit, it must be quite hard.

    Eitherway, loved your post and insight, thanks!

  • ... just wanted to share that one as I feel so enlightend now - and a bit stupid for not getting the message for so long. Just shows how difficult it is to understand what others tell you. Even harder for thick headed ones like me ;)

    Don't feel stupid please, many people never get the message.

    It’s depressing to think I spent a huge chunk of my life thinking I was a nicotine addict. I swallowed every line and popular myth that the media and world at large suggested and never really stopped for a minute to investigate my own smoking habits, techniques, likes and dislikes. Consequently I was happy to wear the “I’m a nicotine addict & proud” T Shirt whenever it wasn’t in the wash. Unfortunately it came with the awful cost that I had trouble quitting smoking. Any attempt at quitting meant trying to forget about smoking, trying to avoid contact with smokers, pubs, booze, socializing and pretty much isolating myself in a self-imposed quarantine from cigarette smoke. My smoking life revolved around finding opportunities to smoke and my non-smoking life revolved around avoiding smoke.

    Bizarrely Allen Carr, a staunch pro-nicotine addiction advocate if ever there was one, opened my eyes to my smoking habit and once opened I could see all the things he’d either got very wrong or hadn’t attempted to answer as they contradicted his formula.

    I wanted to know why I could fly to Egypt fag free but couldn't last a morning at work.

    I wanted to know why I went out on cold rainy nights to buy more fags despite having half a dozen in my packet.

    I wanted to know why I lit one fag off another lying on a Greek beach.

    I wanted to know why I'd light a fag and then be desperate to finish it so I could get on with what I was doing before.

    I wanted to know why everyone didn't just switch to E-Cigs once they were invented.

    I wanted to know why even after smoking a rollie I still craved a Marlboro

    etc etc

    I went off in search of the answers and found so many things I wasn't looking for, that's the internet for you!

    You either believe things or you don’t.

    If you honestly think that you’re addicted to nicotine then there’s a well publicised pathway to treatment and cessation.

    If you can make the leap that you’re actually just addicted to smoking there’s a well worn path to cessation.

    Luckily cessation seems to be the common destination. :rolleyes:

  • Well said, everyone is in fact different.

    My mum is one of these people who uses the 'I'm a poor addict, what am I meant to do about it?', I got her the Allen Carr book for xmas and although (like you said) he doesn't have all of the answers I hope it will get her thinking maybe.

    :D I like the thought that all paths lead to cessation :D

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