Thursday, July 31, 2008

Different Reasons Why We Smoke

I have personally quit a total of nine separate times for at least 3 months each time. This is not counting the numerous attempts of a day here or a day there. Each time I have quit, I have learned something else about how I was connected to my cigarette. The first time I quit, it seemed easy, too easy and I thought I could control my smoking. But I was wrong, I needed to learn about relapsing and how just one cigarette can lead to a whole pack.
Another time it was important to learn what to do with my hands and the hand to mouth motion. Chewing on coffee stirrers worked for me. Other times, it was learning how to handle social situations without smoking and having a cocktail. I used to run a social club and often smokers would come up to me with a cigarette in their hand and want to talk. I would excuse myself and say that I would be right back. As soon as they put out their cigarette, I would return and them tell them that I had recently quit and it was difficult for me to be around a lit cigarette. That put the emphasis on me changing, not on changing or making them wrong.
The last time I quit, I needed to learn to control my strong emotions. I had started again because I was so angry at someone else that I had no outlet to vent and I saw no option except to smoke. Each time I quit, I develop another tool for my toolbox in dealing with my addiction to nicotine. Just like a carpenter needs many different tools for different jobs, a smokers needs different tools to handle the many different way they are connected to their cigarettes.
Since I've quit at least 9 times, this also means that I relapsed 8 times before I was finally successful. Most smokers would have given up before that because we want to make it easy to quit, we just want it over with but for some people like me who are truly addicted to nicotine, we need all the help we can get--which is developing more tools for your toolbox.

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