Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Step Towards Quitting Smoking

Quitting is like a baby learning to walk. First the baby grabs onto the coffee table and holds on, next stands up and immediately falls on their butt and finally takes a first step and falls on butt again. But we would never chastise a baby because they don't take off and start running immediately because we know it is a process and that the baby is learning how to use muscles they have never used before. I started smoking when I was 14, so you're like me, you've been smoking longer than you've been doing almost anything else--smoking is connected to sooooo many things in your life, it is a retraining process. You need to learn to use muscles that you haven't used before. You didn't become a smoker over night. Do you rememer your first cigarette? You probably coughed, felt light headed and maybe sick to your stomach, but you kept at it until it felt normal. It was like learning how to walk with one shoe on and one shoe off, at first it was ackward but in a very short period of time, it felt normal. Now it's a reverse process, like learning how to walk with both shoes on, at first it doesn't seem normal, it feels ackward-its a process of learning how to live without each cigarette, each instance that you smoke, each habit, each emotion. but often we are too hard on ourselves for not quitting overnight or doing it perfectly the first time.
So start the process with becoming conscious of smoking. Maybe your first step could just be to leave your cigarettes in another room instead of on the table next to you, so instead of unconsciously reaching for one and lighting it up, you actually have to think for a minute and go get one. All you need to do to start learning how to walk with both shoes on, is to take one baby step and train yourself step, by step on the road to recovery. Fianlly, make it OK to stumble and fall, just like a baby, be gentle with yourself, it a learning process, a retraining program, believe in progress, not perfection and before you know it, you'll be off and running and be smoke free.

No comments: