Monday, 28 September 2015

Megapost on overcoming addiction; fairytales and reality

This post is going to be about my experience with fighting cigarette addiction (nicotine), or trying to quit smoking for several years. I can only hope this will be helpful for anyone who want`s to shackle chains of addiction and break free, like I did.

"To do list"

First step is always about setting the right mindset

     You probably heard about all those things and steps to prepare for a journey without addiction. These include: gradually smoking less cigarettes, buying all sorts of nicotine stamps, undergoing hypno therapy and many more. I didn`t go through any of that and don`t have a need to light a cigarette anymore.

All obstacles are in your mind 

     Simply put, you need to make a stance in your mind. Take a side. Do you really want to stop? Is it because of you and your needs, or because of your spouse is pushing you to do it? Results won`t come if somebody else wants it more than you. Trust me. I tried it and failed. Many times. Is your life imaginable without a cigarette? If not, don`t even try. Instead, work on your mindset first. Many people fail simply because once they think they`re clean, they don`t know how or what to replace bad habits with. The easiest way than is to fall back into an old routine of addiction.

     This is a fist step only, but also the most important one. What can you get by not smoking? What will you lose if you stop? Try to rationalise and remember these points everytime you light another one.

Imagine what getting rid of your addiction will be like

     What is your daily routine? Do you like a coffee with 2 cigs every morning? Imagine not smoking with your coffee. How would that make you feel? What is the best way to replace this habit with? Find something else that would make you feel good in the morning and try to do that instead. Watch a favourite show, read newspaper, anything. Don`t give up smoking yet, this is all part of your training. Your mind is getting used to possibilities of having fun and joy without smoking.

     Try to imagine cravings you`ll get once not smoking together with your smoking routine. Think about the best activities to get them under control. Only you know what works on you, noone else. Imagine a lunch break at your job; is there anything else you could do to take your mind off smoking? Do you have to plan this activity ahead?

Quit smoking for a while, as a test

     Try to notice what does it do to you, your mind and your balance. How much time will pass till the first cravings begin? What are the symptomps of your body lacking nicotine? Nerves, sweat, lack of concentration, headaches. Remember all those things and think about how to make these effects softer. Make up a fighting plan, so nothing will get you unprepared!

     Once in a test phase, remember who supports your smoking habit. Is it a colleague or perhaps spouse? Tell them about your intentions. Trust me, once you try to quit, you`ll need every kind of support. And of course, not seeing other people enjoying their ciggarettes would be great too. Up to this point, your activities were about studying yourself and preparing accordingly. Let`s move to the next stage then!

It`s neccessary to try and fail more than once

     The famous quote by Mark Twain perhaps describes the situation for the best: "Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I`ve done it thousands of times." I honestly don`t know if Mark Twain quit smoking. What I know is that failure makes a master. I tried to quit dozens of times, with no success. Everytime I failed at something else- I was too nervous, friends helped me do it again, ciggarette is so good with a fine beer and so on.

     The difference between each try is that step by step I found out where the problems are and why I can`t stop. Here is my advice: Do the same! Each time you fail write down or remember why you failed. Study why a failure is unavoidable and work on it. This might sound too general and indeed it is. The issue is that I can`t tell you exactly what to avoid and what to expect, as everyone is different and doesn`t hadle challenges the same way.

Build up a resistance to bad habits

     This process leads to eventually building up a resistance to anything that can draw you down from your path. It`s almost like fighting with yourself. Only you know what methods to use to keep your mind off addiction!

Stop or don`t stop at all

     In my experience, all nicotine stamps and e-cigarettes don`t work. The only thing that worked was to stop all at once. Seems like pretty stupid idea, right? Well, let`s take a look at how addictions work; First of all, you grow your psychologic addiction. Only then (true for ciggarettes, not some hard drugs) your body becomes addicted. So in effect, it`s much easier to erase your physical addiction, than to end psychological one.

beer and ciggarettes go together for a smoker; if you don`t crave cigarette while drinking a good pint of beer, your physical symptoms are usually overcome (for drinkers)

     This in effect opens up another theme. Quitting is a two-fold process. To be successful, you have to work on your psychology and only then you`re free to move to physiological symptoms. That`s why so many people fail. Once their symptoms and cravings are gone, they think it`s a victory. But, psychological addiction is still there. Even if they don`t crave a cig, they will eventually light up one in a good company in a pub, or with a fine beer. That`s why the hardest part of it is only in your mind. And that`s why nicotine stamps don`t work, nor do e-cigs. They can help you with the easiest part, but can`t push you through actual blocks in your mind.

Contemplate about cigarette

     Wait, what?! Yes, you read it quite right. I used to do that everyday. The best time to start is right before going to bed, or before falling asleep. Think about what`s inside the cigarette. Among other things, once light up, it`s just smoke. And why would you need smoke to live your life? Try to rationalise. Then comes the second step; smoke doesn`t taste any good, it`s just your addiction telling you don`t stop, don`t just need to realise that. Instead, focus on things your nicotine free life will bring to you- healthy lungs, better blood circulation, softer skin, ability to smell again... Then, during the day, everytime you crave for another, try to remember your evening contemplations. Instead, try to do something different for the moment of your weakness.

"Not to do list"

Stop doing activities associated with your addiction

     Hmmm....that cigarette with a nice cold beer is fantastic, isn`t it? Well, I have a bad news for you. I`m sorry but...And this is hard to say, really!!! You will have to stop drinking beer (or alcohol) for some time, if you have drinking associated with smoking. One conditions the other, I would say. Don`t worry, it`s not for the eternity, just for the time when you`re getting off the nicotine. After that you can drink whatever you like. But let me warn you: Chance of getting into your old habit when drunk is always higher than sober. And remember, alcohol is only another drug in your life.
     Of course, this is not limited only to alcohol, but to all other sorts of stuff, like morning routine of drinking coffee and having a cigarette with it and others. If you can`t give up coffee (which I`m almost sure you won`t), drink it somewhere you can`t smoke. That should do the trick!

Don`t get aggitated

     You get by almost whole day without a single puff and you`re quite sure you have the rest of the day covered, Then, 5 minutes into the end of your shift, your boss gets on your nerves. Suddenly, everything changes. You are so aggitated, you want to show your boss where he can put his report. Instead, you show yourself a new pack of smokes and a lighter. When this idea comes to you (and I promise, it will), just try to calm down. You might be able to postphone the actual process of buying a pack for later, that`s good. Try to remember your contemplations. Breathe in and breathe out. Wait just a `coup of minutes. Is it getting better now?

Don`t try to cover up one addiction with another

     Probably the most important advice we tend to forget. This is also a part of a reason why people get on weight when they try to quit smoking. There are plenty of another addictions you can fall for, but don`t. Instead, decide to spend your time on a thing you always wanted to try out. It doesn`t have to be skydiving, it`s enough to start with something small that takes your mind away. Make your potential happen, instead of staying outside, in the rain getting wet with a light-up cigarette. 

Don`t question your freedom

     Everybody who tried giving up smoking probably knows about this situation. I, for instance, didn`t smoke for a year and then for some dumb reason I don`t really remember, decided to try and take a look what will it do to me. Long story short, even when the first one was disgusting, my body got a kick and I went back on track with smoking again. Not immediately, it was more of a gradual process that took a month. The worst part of it was that I kind of knew it was happening, I just went with it. And undermined all my hard work. Don`t tempt the devil.

     This pretty much sums up (with all the other parts) my journey to nicotine-free life. If you think I forgot something vital or just want to comment what a good for nothing advice I just published, do it! Feedback is a good thing for me, even if it`s a negative one. Thanks for reading, you are fantastic!

About Unknown

My name is Sidney Aldaine. And this is the start of my ultimate project, my Fantasma. My way of helping people to make them feel better. My way of contributing something of a value to the world we all live in. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy my little corner of the web. Place, where I left a piece of my soul and dreams. A Fantastic place. I would love to call myself a blogger and a writer some day. And I`m not going to give up this dream, at least not until my Fantasma comes into reality.

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