Hello everyone-- Still smoke free!
I have been very depressed this week, as i am realizing the truth of NOPE-- not one puff, ever. This is because i still believe deep down that i am missing out on something by not smoking. Even though I know logically that i am not, this belief has been building up and getting reinforced for 20 years, so it is not going away quickly or easily. Happily, it is getting smaller!
I was at a wedding this weekend at which i did not smoke, but I was miserable about it because i wanted to smoke so badly. Even though i was trying hard to enjoy the festivities and avoid the smokers that were around EVERY TURN, there was just this overall sad feeling, like when you see everyone else having fun without you. I still believed that i was missing out on something by not smoking. I am realizing that this feeling will persist until i change my whole attitude about smoking.
I have finished reading Allen Carr's book, the Easy Way to stop smoking, and it is great! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is battling with quitting smoking. I am now re-reading the book because i think i need to in order for the message to sink in.
I am so addicted to the idea of smoking. As a smoker, i was lucky that i didn't need to smoke all the time, and while it was rare for me to go an entire day without smoking, it was never a problem to delay smoking until later. As long as i knew i could smoke later, i didn't miss smoking. But then, when later came, i totally cherished that cigarette. I saw it as a valuable thing that brought me much pleasure, and was my secret way to survive the hard world. "At least i can smoke" was actually a common saying in my mind.
Unfortunately, this kind of heavy psychological addiction is very hard to overcome. As Carr points out, i was physically withdrawing all the time with no complaints. But unfortunately, i did tell my brain that smoking was a pleasurable activity, and every time i went for a long period without smoking, i reinforced this idea to my brain and body when i finally did smoke again.
I am realizing now that for much of my life I have had this feeling that i was maybe missing out on something that everyone else was doing, or that i didn't quite get something that everyone else got. And while i couldn't exactly tell you how or why, in my mind, i let smoking be a cure for this general doubt / fear. Even though i wasn't sure exactly how, i was sure that by smoking, i was somehow curing this uneasy feeling, and showing everyone else how tough / cool i was.
So, i was totally wrong! for 20 years of my life i have been totally wrong about smoking, and i am learning that now. There is nothing good that smoking does for me, and it does not in fact show everyone in the world how cool and tough and with-it i am; it only expounds my fear. Rather than the number smoked per day, the fact that I think/thought a cigarette could fix anything IS the problem.
I think if i am able to truly change my attitude about smoking, convincing myself that there is nothing good it, that it will also mean i am able to effect change for the better in all aspects of my life. This is a true mental challenge. I have always been a person who was very hard on myself and second-guessed or over-analyzed all social situations to death. I feel like once i am able to come to terms with not smoking, it will also be easier for me to be more confident and secure in all aspects of myself. Easier said than done!
Every now and then, i do have this sort of fluttering, blissful feeling deep down when i realize i am already a non-smoker. Hopefully, it will happen more often soon! I am also beginning to feel relieved that I never have to smoke again.
I know this is such a long post, but I bet there are others out there who felt / thought like I did. Hopefully reading this will make it easier for them ,to quit, too.