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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I Suck

by Tracee Sioux

I am not a smoker.

I have been writing this message on my wrist for the last year on and off. I read in a magazine that it's supposed to help me kick the habit. It's supposed to help me redefine myself as a non-smoker. It's supposed to change my identity from one as a smoker to a non-smoker.

Other methods I've tried include:
  • Nicotine gum - disgusting. (yes, in my opinion more disgusting than smoking - have they ever heard of a flavor?),
  • Nicotine patch -most effective, but eventually you stop using it and then the cheating starts,
  • Acupuncture - ridiculously ineffective,
  • 2 pregnancies - you think this is the answer cause it's 9 months of not smoking, but eventually you're not pregnant and the stress of a newborn baby and the desire to lay claim to your own physical body overrides the fact that you are no longer physically addicted to nicotine.
  • Self-Loathing and the Loathing of Dependency - really it just makes you feel bad about yourself while you smoke for being so weak and fallible.
  • Single-cigarette purchases - this is pretty effective for the weaning time because if you buy a pack you will smoke a pack. This allows you to buy a single cigarillo to get your nicotine hit and feeds the psychological need to make the hand-to-mouth motions. However, I find myself buying them two at a time and then smoking them while wearing the nicotine patch.
  • Goal Setting - the latest one was to give up smoking for Lent. Heck, it's only 40 days, surely I can do that for God and all.
  • Psychological Conditioning - supposedly if you snap your wrist with a rubber-band then you will condition yourself not to want a cigarette. Whatever.
  • Sunflower seeds and gum and computer solitaire - The notion is that if you keep your hands and mouth busy you will not need the hand-to-mouth motions of smoking.

I used to say, in defense of cigarette manufacturers, People have a right to kill themselves if they want to.

In walks the five-year-old conscience, Mommy! Please don't smoke that cigarette. You'll DIE! I don't want you to die! Who will I be with if you die! No more smoking Mommy! Throw it away! You said you wouldn't smoke anymore!

I would like to slap the crap out of whoever it was that told my kid that I will die if I smoke! Seriously - if I find out who did this to me, you're in deep, deep $%&#.

So, since I can not tolerate the deception of hiding behind buildings and sneaking around to smoke I resolve every single day to quit. To never smoke again. Because it seems I have actually lost the right to kill myself, at least peacefully, by becoming someone's mother. Unfortunately, I very often feel like a total failure for my inability to stick to it.

I don't smoke everyday anymore. Sometimes, I'll go a whole week without a cigarette. I've gone months without buying a pack of cigarettes. I'll see liberation from smoking on the horizon. And then when true freedom is within my grasp, I'll let myself believe in the alluring, yet delusional, notion that I can smoke sometimes without the consequences of a full-on addiction to cigarettes.

I'll bum one off a known smoker. Just one - okay, maybe two. I've even pulled up to a gas station and bummed them off a stranger, just one. I'll pay you $1 for one - see I'm trying to quit and this way I don't buy a whole pack.

Ah, but that one was so good. It made me feel like my old self again. You know, the girl who could smoke if she damn well felt like it? Her, I liked her. I miss her. Maybe just two then.

Or maybe only when I'm not around the kids. Or only when I drink a few beers. (WARNING - This logic will turn you into an alcoholic. Really, who needs to fight more than one addiction at a time?)

The road to my addiction to cigarettes has been incredibly long. I thought the guy who sat in front of me in 7th grade English class smelled divine. Camel cigarettes on a Levi jacket. Yummy! I thought it was exciting to take a drag off a cute boy's cigarette, yeah I'm cool like that. Erotic beyond belief when my boyfriend would blow a drag into my open mouth (nauseating what used to be a turn-on isn't it?)

And I smoked unapologetically for basically two decades. I never, ever felt bad about it. I LOVED it. Cigarettes saw me through every drama, crisis and celebration of adolescence and early adulthood. I only tried to quit once, when I went on vacation with my family trapped in an Oldsmobile and I swear I would have hitch-hiked home had I thought I could make it out of the state of Texas in under a week. After that, my family was happy that I was not attempting to quit smoking in their presence.

But, now I can't even smoke in peace. One can not enjoy cigarettes while their child is crying about how Mommy is going to die. And if I'm not enjoying it - what is the point of doing it? I've kicked the physical addiction. It's just the psychological bond that remains, like shackles around my printed on wrists.

This is about my freedom - I can if I want! Evidently, what I don't have is the freedom NOT to smoke.

According to Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, the secret to life is to fall down seven times and then get up eight.

Okay, off to buy the nicotine patch again. After just one more drag . . .



Read more about the success of a new smoking cessation pill called Chantix at Blog Fabulous. I tried it, cheated a time or two, and then a miracle occured and I quit smoking. So did over 600 other lifelong smokers. I really can say that I'm a non-smoker and so can you!

8 comments:

jen said...

Reading that really made me want a cig.

J/K...sort of.

I linked you on my blog. Hope you're down with that. Oh, and I invited a friend to book club. I think you will really dig her.

PS: A good case of bronchitits is what cured Aaron of smoking. I was always a pretty light smoker, but could go through a whole pack in a matter of hours if I was in good company, with good drink, talking about the universe, God, and/or politics :P

Bret said...

First there is the issue of identity. That’s the part where she’s talking about taking drags off of the cute boy’s cigarette and her association of smoking cigarettes with “every drama, crisis and celebration of adolescence and early adulthood”. On some level quitting smoking disrupts your concept of your identity and your freedom (which she also points out throughout the piece). One of the insidious things about smoking is the way the act of smoking is clear in your memory of events. In your memories of certain events, you remember yourself smoking. It’s part of your mental picture of the event, and in a way the smoking becomes part of your emotions related to the event. It’s a sort of psychological conceit. Your memory of a bad breakup or a miserable time takes on a cinematic flair where you remember yourself sitting on the porch, smoking the cigarette and looking miserable, like you are the tortured character in a film. The memory seems more real, and more important, because of the act of smoking. Like I said, this is kind of a conceit, and it’s enhanced if you ever associated ‘coolness’ or ‘freedom’ with your smoking. The basic elements of the memory don’t require smoking to be important, but because you were smoking at the time, the smoking seems important to your impression of the memory. I don’t know if this makes sense to someone who hasn’t smoked. So when you can’t identify important memories without also remembering smoking during those events, in some ways, smoking becomes part of your perceived identity of who you were. To a long-time smoker, giving up cigarettes requires you to re-form your identity in some ways. Not easy when you associate smoking with “every” important event from a long period of your formative years (especially when you can clearly remember the act of smoking during those events).



Another reason that smoking has such a powerful psychological hold, is that smokers tend to use cigarettes to think about things or work through feelings. The reason a smoker remembers smoking at every important event is that they probably were smoking as a reflexive action while they attempted to process whatever was going on at the time. For smokers, some cigarettes are meditative. It’s a physical act that you associate with clear thinking, or an unfettered exploration of emotion. In reality, this is kind of a Pavlovian response. The smoker tended to smoke during times of introspection, until eventually, the smoker requires the cigarette as a condition for introspection. Now for the longtime smoker, not every cigarette is meditative. There are plenty of cigarettes that are smoked ‘just because’. But when quitting, the smoker remembers those satisfying cigarettes, not the 18 others in the pack.



Beyond the physical addiction associated with nicotine, what she’s describing are some of the reasons that quitting is hard. Maybe she wouldn’t agree with parts of my explanation, but I think I’m describing part of what she feels. So you can see why someone might ‘know’ that smoking is bad, but at some point it’s so ingrained in your perception of you, that you feel like you’re sacrificing part of yourself when you quit. (Whether you label what you’re sacrificing as ‘freedom’ or ‘identity’ or ‘independence’ or anything else isn’t really relevant to the fact that you perceive a sacrifice of something).



But there are plenty of good reasons to quit. And the reasons not to quit are really kind of self-indulgent psychological tricks the addiction plays on you. The only thing I can say is that part of quitting is recognizing that your brain is playing tricks on you and making smoking more important than it is. Not easy, but if you’re going to quit, you have to do it.

Bret, former smoker

So Sioux Me said...

Bret, That's a fantastic explanation for something I never thought of. A lot of it is in the memory of my self and events in my life. The memory thing is a new concept I hadn't explored. The introspective thinking or meditative cigarette explanation is also right on. I do a lot of emotional work while smoking. As is the concept of my mind playing tricks on me about the importance of the cigarettes in my memories or fantasies about the future. It's called addict thinking I believe.

I would describe the conceit similarly in that I REALLY do feel like I can see my self as the ultra-cool smoker in a film or laughing with a cigarette in my hand flipping my hair about in a carefree sort of way like a freaking commercial.

Who cares about the cigarettes? How am I going to function without the "cinematic conceit" that what happens to me is important enough to be on film or in a commercial? A nicotine patch doesn't film nearly as well.

But, he's right. I've got to give up these rediculous notions in order to give up the cigarettes. I have to believe in my coolness without the cigarettes.

Jonna said...

Now I'll chime in with your little girl crying about how you may/eventually will die from the smoking. Note, my project for the sixth grade science fair was entitled "You Smoke? What a Joke!" I hooked up a little apparatus that my dad helped me build (what's the science fair without parents doing more than their fair share of the project), a giant pickle jar filled with polyester fill just like the inside of a cheap pillow. We stuck some tubing through the top of the jar, and placed a lit cigarette in one, and my dad's shop vaccuum on the other. I made my little pickle jar lung smoke one case of cigarettes, and the polyester fill captured all the tar and goo, and made for a really awesome visual display. I won the science fair, I understood why my grandmother died when I was 5 and I never got to know her, and I swore off cigarettes forever, because my dad's shop vac really stunk after that.
For what its worth, my mother in law is presently quitting (GOD BLESS HER), and her physician has prescribed some sort of medicine that actually makes her feel nauseated when she smokes, so that Pavlovian thing is getting turned around on her.

Klint said...

I have a bit of a different take on this issue. I believe the issue is faith.

I firmly believe that your will can make your body do anything that it is physically capable of doing. You can quite smoking because it is physically possible for you to stop lighting up a cigarette and inhaling the smoke. But it takes faith. You have to believe that this is something that you really want to do, state your reasons for it, and firmly believe that your actions are necessary to make your goal become a reality.

It starts off like this. You don't always believe that your goals are what you really want to achieve. Especially when tempted to smoke. When tempted to smoke, you default to the belief that either 1) one more cigarette will not hurt you, or 2) you really don't want to quite, or 3) you think of some other rationalization that would justify your actions to smoke. I know there is a real physical addiction to smoking, but you do have the ability to overcome this addiction...and you do have the ability to overcome it psychologically if you exercise faith. Notice I never said, if you have enough faith. You obviously don't have enough faith that you can quite just yet, but you can exercise this faith until you actually quite.

You first must have faith that you don't have any options but to quite. You have to decide within yourself that you must make this commitment. If you leave the door open for choices, you will undoubtedly become slave to your addiction once again. You must understand that you have a very real addiction. You are not free until you have no more addiction. Smoking controls you. It forces you to purchase cigarettes at really high prices, just to place chemicals into your blood stream that your body truly does not need or want. You must tell yourself that you have no more options. Smoking is not an option because YOU are in control and you don't want the option to smoke.

Secondly, you must try to remove yourself from as many temptations to smoke as possible. Don't visit places where people smoke, don't visit with people who smoke, don't go to stores that sell smokes (which is nearly impossible, and is only given as an example - not necessarily in touch with reality), don't watch TV if people smoke on it, don't look out the window at your smoking neighbor. You will receive enough temptations to smoke, so you need to seriously make a conscious effort to not allow you subconscious a chance to change your mind. Christ said: Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof. Well, this is very true. Take no thought for the smokes, because your mind will take enough thought without you placing yourself into places where you are forced to think about your choices again. You've already made your decision - remove any chances where you might change your mind.

Thirdly, set goals for yourself. You may even reward yourself. However, you must change your mindset entirely - you must NEVER think of a smoke as a reward. You are an addict; you cannot change this fact until you think of your addiction as a crippling disease. It is not a reward. You must never allow yourself to think of it in this fashion. You must not forget, however, that you are not setting a goal to go three weeks. You are setting a goal to go forever without a smoke. Three weeks is simply a step in the right direction. You must ALWAYS go in that right direction.

This brings to the fourth step. Change your mindset entirely. You must loose the opinion that your addiction has anything desirable for you at all. You must forget about smoking as a reward or a form of pleasure. Don't tell yourself lies that you cannot possibly believe - like trying to hypnotize yourself into thinking that smoking will cause your nose to fall off (though, this may actually be possible considering the cancer implications). Instead you must begin to view something that you have historically loved (and truly you did love this master) as something that is very bad for you. You must understand the horrible things about smoking. It's not child's play any longer. This is your life. You are a mother. You must live without cancer, yellow lungs, arteriosclerosis, poor circulation, physical addictions to substances, etc... You must change your mind-set that smoking is something good. It is not good. No good comes of it. It is like the ring in Lord of the Rings - no good comes from it and you are a slave to it unless you get rid of your desire for it.

The last step is patience and endurance. You must commit yourself to complete the process, no matter what. It takes lots of time. Try to enjoy it as best as you can, but it will be a while. Don't try to speed it up or expect results any faster than they come (unless you have made mistakes, then commit yourself to eradicate the problem immediately). Learn to love your control over the substance and think positively about your progress. You will stop smoking - as you have faith that you will.

So Sioux Me said...

I whole heartedly agree with Klint's assessment about what I need to do to quit.

I'm still struggling - truth be known. But, I have faith that soon I will smoke my last cigarette and be free of it.

Truly, I need to quit. I make myself feel "less than" everytime I cheat.

Thanks for all the support people!

Purple Crayon Brain said...

Hey check this site out it really helps for the long term. I used it and it worked. you can find them at habitbraker.com good luck with the effort.

So Sioux Me said...

Now would be a good time to mention that I really am a non-smoker now that I've taken Chantix for a month and a half.

It's been great! Awesome! I've actually got a regular Stop Smoking support group going over at http://www.blogfabulous.com/chantix/ .

Seriously, I don't even want a cigarette!

Good Mommy! Good Mommy! Good Mommy!

Tracee

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I Suck

by Tracee Sioux

I am not a smoker.

I have been writing this message on my wrist for the last year on and off. I read in a magazine that it's supposed to help me kick the habit. It's supposed to help me redefine myself as a non-smoker. It's supposed to change my identity from one as a smoker to a non-smoker.

Other methods I've tried include:
  • Nicotine gum - disgusting. (yes, in my opinion more disgusting than smoking - have they ever heard of a flavor?),
  • Nicotine patch -most effective, but eventually you stop using it and then the cheating starts,
  • Acupuncture - ridiculously ineffective,
  • 2 pregnancies - you think this is the answer cause it's 9 months of not smoking, but eventually you're not pregnant and the stress of a newborn baby and the desire to lay claim to your own physical body overrides the fact that you are no longer physically addicted to nicotine.
  • Self-Loathing and the Loathing of Dependency - really it just makes you feel bad about yourself while you smoke for being so weak and fallible.
  • Single-cigarette purchases - this is pretty effective for the weaning time because if you buy a pack you will smoke a pack. This allows you to buy a single cigarillo to get your nicotine hit and feeds the psychological need to make the hand-to-mouth motions. However, I find myself buying them two at a time and then smoking them while wearing the nicotine patch.
  • Goal Setting - the latest one was to give up smoking for Lent. Heck, it's only 40 days, surely I can do that for God and all.
  • Psychological Conditioning - supposedly if you snap your wrist with a rubber-band then you will condition yourself not to want a cigarette. Whatever.
  • Sunflower seeds and gum and computer solitaire - The notion is that if you keep your hands and mouth busy you will not need the hand-to-mouth motions of smoking.

I used to say, in defense of cigarette manufacturers, People have a right to kill themselves if they want to.

In walks the five-year-old conscience, Mommy! Please don't smoke that cigarette. You'll DIE! I don't want you to die! Who will I be with if you die! No more smoking Mommy! Throw it away! You said you wouldn't smoke anymore!

I would like to slap the crap out of whoever it was that told my kid that I will die if I smoke! Seriously - if I find out who did this to me, you're in deep, deep $%&#.

So, since I can not tolerate the deception of hiding behind buildings and sneaking around to smoke I resolve every single day to quit. To never smoke again. Because it seems I have actually lost the right to kill myself, at least peacefully, by becoming someone's mother. Unfortunately, I very often feel like a total failure for my inability to stick to it.

I don't smoke everyday anymore. Sometimes, I'll go a whole week without a cigarette. I've gone months without buying a pack of cigarettes. I'll see liberation from smoking on the horizon. And then when true freedom is within my grasp, I'll let myself believe in the alluring, yet delusional, notion that I can smoke sometimes without the consequences of a full-on addiction to cigarettes.

I'll bum one off a known smoker. Just one - okay, maybe two. I've even pulled up to a gas station and bummed them off a stranger, just one. I'll pay you $1 for one - see I'm trying to quit and this way I don't buy a whole pack.

Ah, but that one was so good. It made me feel like my old self again. You know, the girl who could smoke if she damn well felt like it? Her, I liked her. I miss her. Maybe just two then.

Or maybe only when I'm not around the kids. Or only when I drink a few beers. (WARNING - This logic will turn you into an alcoholic. Really, who needs to fight more than one addiction at a time?)

The road to my addiction to cigarettes has been incredibly long. I thought the guy who sat in front of me in 7th grade English class smelled divine. Camel cigarettes on a Levi jacket. Yummy! I thought it was exciting to take a drag off a cute boy's cigarette, yeah I'm cool like that. Erotic beyond belief when my boyfriend would blow a drag into my open mouth (nauseating what used to be a turn-on isn't it?)

And I smoked unapologetically for basically two decades. I never, ever felt bad about it. I LOVED it. Cigarettes saw me through every drama, crisis and celebration of adolescence and early adulthood. I only tried to quit once, when I went on vacation with my family trapped in an Oldsmobile and I swear I would have hitch-hiked home had I thought I could make it out of the state of Texas in under a week. After that, my family was happy that I was not attempting to quit smoking in their presence.

But, now I can't even smoke in peace. One can not enjoy cigarettes while their child is crying about how Mommy is going to die. And if I'm not enjoying it - what is the point of doing it? I've kicked the physical addiction. It's just the psychological bond that remains, like shackles around my printed on wrists.

This is about my freedom - I can if I want! Evidently, what I don't have is the freedom NOT to smoke.

According to Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, the secret to life is to fall down seven times and then get up eight.

Okay, off to buy the nicotine patch again. After just one more drag . . .



Read more about the success of a new smoking cessation pill called Chantix at Blog Fabulous. I tried it, cheated a time or two, and then a miracle occured and I quit smoking. So did over 600 other lifelong smokers. I really can say that I'm a non-smoker and so can you!

8 comments:

jen said...

Reading that really made me want a cig.

J/K...sort of.

I linked you on my blog. Hope you're down with that. Oh, and I invited a friend to book club. I think you will really dig her.

PS: A good case of bronchitits is what cured Aaron of smoking. I was always a pretty light smoker, but could go through a whole pack in a matter of hours if I was in good company, with good drink, talking about the universe, God, and/or politics :P

Bret said...

First there is the issue of identity. That’s the part where she’s talking about taking drags off of the cute boy’s cigarette and her association of smoking cigarettes with “every drama, crisis and celebration of adolescence and early adulthood”. On some level quitting smoking disrupts your concept of your identity and your freedom (which she also points out throughout the piece). One of the insidious things about smoking is the way the act of smoking is clear in your memory of events. In your memories of certain events, you remember yourself smoking. It’s part of your mental picture of the event, and in a way the smoking becomes part of your emotions related to the event. It’s a sort of psychological conceit. Your memory of a bad breakup or a miserable time takes on a cinematic flair where you remember yourself sitting on the porch, smoking the cigarette and looking miserable, like you are the tortured character in a film. The memory seems more real, and more important, because of the act of smoking. Like I said, this is kind of a conceit, and it’s enhanced if you ever associated ‘coolness’ or ‘freedom’ with your smoking. The basic elements of the memory don’t require smoking to be important, but because you were smoking at the time, the smoking seems important to your impression of the memory. I don’t know if this makes sense to someone who hasn’t smoked. So when you can’t identify important memories without also remembering smoking during those events, in some ways, smoking becomes part of your perceived identity of who you were. To a long-time smoker, giving up cigarettes requires you to re-form your identity in some ways. Not easy when you associate smoking with “every” important event from a long period of your formative years (especially when you can clearly remember the act of smoking during those events).



Another reason that smoking has such a powerful psychological hold, is that smokers tend to use cigarettes to think about things or work through feelings. The reason a smoker remembers smoking at every important event is that they probably were smoking as a reflexive action while they attempted to process whatever was going on at the time. For smokers, some cigarettes are meditative. It’s a physical act that you associate with clear thinking, or an unfettered exploration of emotion. In reality, this is kind of a Pavlovian response. The smoker tended to smoke during times of introspection, until eventually, the smoker requires the cigarette as a condition for introspection. Now for the longtime smoker, not every cigarette is meditative. There are plenty of cigarettes that are smoked ‘just because’. But when quitting, the smoker remembers those satisfying cigarettes, not the 18 others in the pack.



Beyond the physical addiction associated with nicotine, what she’s describing are some of the reasons that quitting is hard. Maybe she wouldn’t agree with parts of my explanation, but I think I’m describing part of what she feels. So you can see why someone might ‘know’ that smoking is bad, but at some point it’s so ingrained in your perception of you, that you feel like you’re sacrificing part of yourself when you quit. (Whether you label what you’re sacrificing as ‘freedom’ or ‘identity’ or ‘independence’ or anything else isn’t really relevant to the fact that you perceive a sacrifice of something).



But there are plenty of good reasons to quit. And the reasons not to quit are really kind of self-indulgent psychological tricks the addiction plays on you. The only thing I can say is that part of quitting is recognizing that your brain is playing tricks on you and making smoking more important than it is. Not easy, but if you’re going to quit, you have to do it.

Bret, former smoker

So Sioux Me said...

Bret, That's a fantastic explanation for something I never thought of. A lot of it is in the memory of my self and events in my life. The memory thing is a new concept I hadn't explored. The introspective thinking or meditative cigarette explanation is also right on. I do a lot of emotional work while smoking. As is the concept of my mind playing tricks on me about the importance of the cigarettes in my memories or fantasies about the future. It's called addict thinking I believe.

I would describe the conceit similarly in that I REALLY do feel like I can see my self as the ultra-cool smoker in a film or laughing with a cigarette in my hand flipping my hair about in a carefree sort of way like a freaking commercial.

Who cares about the cigarettes? How am I going to function without the "cinematic conceit" that what happens to me is important enough to be on film or in a commercial? A nicotine patch doesn't film nearly as well.

But, he's right. I've got to give up these rediculous notions in order to give up the cigarettes. I have to believe in my coolness without the cigarettes.

Jonna said...

Now I'll chime in with your little girl crying about how you may/eventually will die from the smoking. Note, my project for the sixth grade science fair was entitled "You Smoke? What a Joke!" I hooked up a little apparatus that my dad helped me build (what's the science fair without parents doing more than their fair share of the project), a giant pickle jar filled with polyester fill just like the inside of a cheap pillow. We stuck some tubing through the top of the jar, and placed a lit cigarette in one, and my dad's shop vaccuum on the other. I made my little pickle jar lung smoke one case of cigarettes, and the polyester fill captured all the tar and goo, and made for a really awesome visual display. I won the science fair, I understood why my grandmother died when I was 5 and I never got to know her, and I swore off cigarettes forever, because my dad's shop vac really stunk after that.
For what its worth, my mother in law is presently quitting (GOD BLESS HER), and her physician has prescribed some sort of medicine that actually makes her feel nauseated when she smokes, so that Pavlovian thing is getting turned around on her.

Klint said...

I have a bit of a different take on this issue. I believe the issue is faith.

I firmly believe that your will can make your body do anything that it is physically capable of doing. You can quite smoking because it is physically possible for you to stop lighting up a cigarette and inhaling the smoke. But it takes faith. You have to believe that this is something that you really want to do, state your reasons for it, and firmly believe that your actions are necessary to make your goal become a reality.

It starts off like this. You don't always believe that your goals are what you really want to achieve. Especially when tempted to smoke. When tempted to smoke, you default to the belief that either 1) one more cigarette will not hurt you, or 2) you really don't want to quite, or 3) you think of some other rationalization that would justify your actions to smoke. I know there is a real physical addiction to smoking, but you do have the ability to overcome this addiction...and you do have the ability to overcome it psychologically if you exercise faith. Notice I never said, if you have enough faith. You obviously don't have enough faith that you can quite just yet, but you can exercise this faith until you actually quite.

You first must have faith that you don't have any options but to quite. You have to decide within yourself that you must make this commitment. If you leave the door open for choices, you will undoubtedly become slave to your addiction once again. You must understand that you have a very real addiction. You are not free until you have no more addiction. Smoking controls you. It forces you to purchase cigarettes at really high prices, just to place chemicals into your blood stream that your body truly does not need or want. You must tell yourself that you have no more options. Smoking is not an option because YOU are in control and you don't want the option to smoke.

Secondly, you must try to remove yourself from as many temptations to smoke as possible. Don't visit places where people smoke, don't visit with people who smoke, don't go to stores that sell smokes (which is nearly impossible, and is only given as an example - not necessarily in touch with reality), don't watch TV if people smoke on it, don't look out the window at your smoking neighbor. You will receive enough temptations to smoke, so you need to seriously make a conscious effort to not allow you subconscious a chance to change your mind. Christ said: Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof. Well, this is very true. Take no thought for the smokes, because your mind will take enough thought without you placing yourself into places where you are forced to think about your choices again. You've already made your decision - remove any chances where you might change your mind.

Thirdly, set goals for yourself. You may even reward yourself. However, you must change your mindset entirely - you must NEVER think of a smoke as a reward. You are an addict; you cannot change this fact until you think of your addiction as a crippling disease. It is not a reward. You must never allow yourself to think of it in this fashion. You must not forget, however, that you are not setting a goal to go three weeks. You are setting a goal to go forever without a smoke. Three weeks is simply a step in the right direction. You must ALWAYS go in that right direction.

This brings to the fourth step. Change your mindset entirely. You must loose the opinion that your addiction has anything desirable for you at all. You must forget about smoking as a reward or a form of pleasure. Don't tell yourself lies that you cannot possibly believe - like trying to hypnotize yourself into thinking that smoking will cause your nose to fall off (though, this may actually be possible considering the cancer implications). Instead you must begin to view something that you have historically loved (and truly you did love this master) as something that is very bad for you. You must understand the horrible things about smoking. It's not child's play any longer. This is your life. You are a mother. You must live without cancer, yellow lungs, arteriosclerosis, poor circulation, physical addictions to substances, etc... You must change your mind-set that smoking is something good. It is not good. No good comes of it. It is like the ring in Lord of the Rings - no good comes from it and you are a slave to it unless you get rid of your desire for it.

The last step is patience and endurance. You must commit yourself to complete the process, no matter what. It takes lots of time. Try to enjoy it as best as you can, but it will be a while. Don't try to speed it up or expect results any faster than they come (unless you have made mistakes, then commit yourself to eradicate the problem immediately). Learn to love your control over the substance and think positively about your progress. You will stop smoking - as you have faith that you will.

So Sioux Me said...

I whole heartedly agree with Klint's assessment about what I need to do to quit.

I'm still struggling - truth be known. But, I have faith that soon I will smoke my last cigarette and be free of it.

Truly, I need to quit. I make myself feel "less than" everytime I cheat.

Thanks for all the support people!

Purple Crayon Brain said...

Hey check this site out it really helps for the long term. I used it and it worked. you can find them at habitbraker.com good luck with the effort.

So Sioux Me said...

Now would be a good time to mention that I really am a non-smoker now that I've taken Chantix for a month and a half.

It's been great! Awesome! I've actually got a regular Stop Smoking support group going over at http://www.blogfabulous.com/chantix/ .

Seriously, I don't even want a cigarette!

Good Mommy! Good Mommy! Good Mommy!

Tracee