This might help you stop any addiction.
How to begin:
My cigarette addiction:
When I was 14 years old, my neighbor friends taught me (very willingly) how to smoke. It wasn’t easy! I wanted to learn how to inhale. Then French Inhale. Then how to make smoke rings. Before I knew it, I was soon hooked! Hooked at 14!
Since then, I have learned the power of addiction. If you are one of those who needs to MASTER everything, like I did, I was soon an expert smoker. And worse of all, I could not get enough!
I had to have that cigarette. I began sneaking them, finding any way to fill my craving for a cigarette. Stealing my dad’s cigarettes. Back then, in the 70’s, cigarettes were cheap and easy to get. You could buy them from almost any vending machine.
Addictions are cunning and baffling. Before the addiction, there is nary a thought of a trying such a thing. In fact, I thought those kids on “smoker’s corner” were disgusting how they smelled when they came back to school. Or watching them with their cigarettes. They appeared dirty, sleazy and like a rebel to me. But, here I was, now one of them! Though, I was a hypocrite. I would hide in secret so no one knew I was smoking! Until the day, my parents caught a whiff of my cigarette going up through the heat register vent into their bedroom. I remember lying, saying I wasn’t addicted. But, that was far from the truth.
How cunning an addiction can be! When once not a thought and now it is all I could think about!
Just like any addiction…
… gambling, drinking alcohol, wine, or even diet colas. Of course the mainstays like: cocaine, pain pills, heroin and on and on. Or what about the anorexic who becomes addicted to laxatives, binging and purging. Once it is introduced, then learned as a behavior to change a state or an emotion, there soon becomes a physical need to keep it going. You gotta have it! The kick, or the used to be a kick that is. Now, you need it to just subdue the pain without it.
The minute you add your fix, you feel a bit more normal. But not quite. Now you have the guilt and shame added to it.
It is a teaser, it is an illusion. It makes you think you now need the drug to feel just normal.
The illusion is that, before you ever had the drug, you were normal. Now that drug has been introduced, it becomes impossible to cure it by willpower alone.
That is because a 2nd thing occurred, and that is the psycological craving. The habit of using has created such a tremendous connection with all kinds of aspects. Just like a tree. It has its roots. Then the years of habit, produces rings to make it tougher and more set in its ways. The branches representing each new growth and along it more rings in the trees until it becomes so thick and unbreakable.
I did finally manage to quit. It was the toughest thing I ever did. for me it wasn’t until my early 30’s that I was able to muster up the strength to quit.
Here are the steps I took:
- I had to really want to stop smoking. I made of list of all the pain points and the rewards.
- Made a decision as to the date, when and how.
- Bought some stop smoking aids. For me it was the Nicorette gum.
- I smoked all I could up until midnight the night before I was to quit. Still, to this day, I can still taste that yukky, burning sensation in my throat from that last cigarette.
- Found substitutions. The gum was the ideal substitution. It gave me the pleasure just like smoking did, plus a satisfying shot of nicotine every piece. Using a pen or pencil in place of holding a cigarette and often times actually taking a puff from it. Perfect while I was driving and back then, I always smoked in the car! Disgusting to think of that now.
- Never ever take another puff of a cigarette again! I knew if I were to take just one puff, I would be doomed! That was what caused me to relapse in the past. I would think I was home free and that I could try just a puff. But soon I was off and running and in full cigarette addiction again.
This continues to be the process for eliminating my addictions. From sugar, desserts, diet sodas, binge watching tv, or any bad habit that is holding me back. I may not use all these tips, but I do use many of them. And you can too.