a lot of people try several different programs/approaches (sometimes simultaneously) when they're trying to quit smoking, hoping that one of them will be the magic bullet that rescues them from slavery to their addiction. here are some of the realities of quitting.

some realities of quitting

2009 March 24

there is no magic bullet.

freedom from smoking is a great program, and i'm sure you could find people who would endorse nicotine anonymous or smokenders or hypnosis or what have you.

the only thing that matters is that you make the deliberate conscious choice not to smoke, even though you want to, every time you want to.

but there's no magic bullet; none of these things is going to do it for you.

there is no try.

here's my favorite quote from "the empire strikes back" (the 2nd of the original star wars movies): when yoda tells luke to lift his fighter out of the swamp with the power of the force and luke says, "i'll try...", yoda yells at him,

"No! Do, or do not. There is no 'try'!"

trying lots of different approaches or programs is like throwing all those things at your addiction, hoping one of them will stick; hoping one of them will be the magic bullet. see reality #1: you have to either quit, or admit that you're not going to; there's no middle ground.

when you say you're "trying" to quit, what you're really saying is you're not committed to quitting. you're just leaving yourself an excuse for when you relapse.

there is no hope.

"hoping" you'll stay quit is worthless. what works is making the deliberate, conscious choice not to feed your addiction.

what works is making that deliberate, conscious choice not to feed your addiction every time you feel an urge to do so. what works is making that choice every time you feel like smoking. it doesn't matter why you feel like smoking. it doesn't matter what's going wrong, doesn't matter what's going right. all that matters is that you make the deliberate conscious choice not to smoke, even though you want to, every time you want to.

in the early days, you'll make that choice often, and it'll be tough sometimes. after a while, you'll make it less often, and it'll get easier. do it long enough, and you'll start to feel "normal" as a non-smoker.

a final reality:

stressful events cannot send you back into slavery to your addiction. in fact, nothing outside of you can do that.

the only thing that can send you back into slavery to your addiction is your own deliberate, conscious choice to smoke. your own deliberate, conscious choice to feed your addiction.

addiction is tough: you have to starve it. because as soon as you feed it, guess what? it's back in control.

4 responses leave one →
  1. 2009 April 12
    Debi permalink

    Maybe write a story... about two brothers... Choice and Chance?

    (In case you're wondering, a local music event update I just read featured Kev Choice... which sort of made me think of you... and then I remembered a friend's son who's named Chance...)

    See? Everything really is explainable. 😉

    I hope Life is treating you well! Much aloha!

  2. 2009 October 28
    susan permalink

    this has been my only saving. i guess as much as i lament i am "trying", my saving grace has been i refuse to buy a pack of cigarettes anymore. i have told myself, self, if you want a cigarette, you have to go up to lake county and buy a carton. there is no middle ground. it is all or nothing. you will not spend the price of a pack when you can get a carton for two thirds more, and in this rationale, it also means, if i have them i will smoke them. for i am cheap, or thrifty, whichever, and i don't waste anything. so. that one cigarette means i will not ever quit, and i will go through this torture forever and ever and ever and be broke and wasteful buying dirty stinking cigarettes. (lovely darling little things they pretend to be)
    but you know, the third day, third week, third month....i'm going into my third week. i can taste the little bugger. somebody knock me out for the next 5 months.

  3. 2011 July 18
    Inforthelonghaul permalink

    I have 'tried' many times to escape the evil one that is nicotine addiction.
    Even before my quit date, I told family I would 'try my hardest' to quit!

    8 days in there is no try, it's a fight ( this weekend was a war!) but I WILL never give up the fight!
    I guess there is going to be many wars inside my head over the next few days/months/years, but no white flags coming from me!
    Everyday is a big V for victory, another war I have won and with every passing day I tell myself ( because I know onlu to well) how discusting that first cigarette will taste, it really is vile, so for the sake of a less than five minute craving, I will remain persistant in resistance!!

    Onwards and upwards!

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