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New Pathways part 5

Well, it seems the deeper I dig, the more complex it has become.  My golf coach is always saying I over think things. My philosophy has always been "knowing the why makes the how so much easier". I'm beginning to see thing more from his perspective.  When I see people around me who have quit for good, the common denominator seems to be simplicity.  The Nike approach. They decided to quit for whatever reason (health, finances, nagging spouse) & just stopped. Oh, how I envy those poor simplistic fools!

I still feel strongly that the key to relapsing several months into a quit lies in comparative levels of brain chemicals & those neural pathways reinforced over years of repeating a behaviour 20 or so times a day.  The strategies to developing new neural pathways are in chapter 5 of Loretta Breuning's book. I've resisted jumping ahead to solutions so I don't miss anything vital. Chapter 2 covers the "unhappy" chemical cortisol & I suspect elevated levels of cortisol may have a greater role to play in my situation than the absence of stimuli for the "happy chemicals".

6 Replies

You can't avoid the thoughts that pop up where the internal debate starts, at least I can't.

What you can do is when you see your mind doing this is acknowledge the thought and thank yourself for not smoking and also feeling better whether you want to admit it or not.

If you say don't think about that brick wall what are you thinking about?

So don't try to block it out with golf or whatever. That's impossible and I am told you can develope a phobia about smoking and obsess on those thoughts.

So stop running away and just let the thoughts pass and be thankful you no longer consume poison.

If I gave you a glass of cig ashes and water would you drink it if you knew it would give you a lift?

If the nicotine is that important start chewing the gym like a junky.


Hi Ron

Very true it is very difficult to unlearn a behaviour 😕

I work with people who have been instuitionlised and have learnt behaviours, the work it entails to support them to unlearn the behaviours is intense and still in times of crisis,or they are unsure of themselves, they will revert back to the instuitionlised behaviours.

I think that as intelligent people we tend to overthink, over analyse and over dissect our behaviours, thoughts and actions and sometimes we should just "do"

and see what happens 😃😃😃



You're absolutely right Shanti. Any success I have had in the past is from thinking as little as possible about quitting & just doing. I guess I am somewhat over-analysing at the moment because I'm looking for strategies that will get me beyond that 4-5 month period. I really, really, really don't want to continue this cycle of almost succeeding & then having to start all over again. Unfortunately, unlike most other ventures, you can't take a break & pick up where you left off.


I've tried and hopefully succeeded in tricking my brain,mind or memory into believing I never smoked. More and more days I really truly forget I ever smoked and the thought of putting a burning cigarette in my mouth seems alien to me now. I look at my hubby smoking with horror, just like when I was a kid and seen my dad smoke.

Now I even smell smoke on my hubby even after he's had a shower, I really can't believe that was me before.

You will do this Ron, you just have to find the way that's right for you 😊

In the meantime you keep posting as I for one enjoy reading them


1 like

Hiya Ron, I have to agree with Shanti that I also enjoy your posts and I'm learning lots from them 😃 I wonder if you were a Teacher coz if you were, I bet your lessons were very interesting 👍

Keep digging as the answers will be there and I'm looking forward to the next part 👀

😄 x


G'day Briarwood, & thank you for the compliment. No, I wasn't a teacher in a former life. I did enjoy delivering some HR training in my previous job though.

I'll continue the posts until I run out of ideas, or you all tire of them,...or Emjay begs me to cease & desist.


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