The Quitter Everyone Loves

These following characteristics of quitting are not only true with nicotine,
but have been found to be true with any chemical addiction.

Quitting may turn out to be easy for you. Many people are surprised at how easy it is. However, I love to smoke. If you love smoking too, read on please. Patches have worked for some, but one smoking friend of mine eventually had a small patch on each arm while he continued to smoke. I love nicotine too! It kick-starts my heart in the morning! It wakes me up when I'm drowsy! It helps me relax in the evening! It lifts the weight of the world from my shoulders! It puts a smile on my face! It adds to the quality of my life! I am an addict!Be A Quitter

To quit smoking is not easy, but it isn't as hard as you think. I quit ten years ago for a year. I quit again, eleven weeks ago. The idea of paying four "sin-tax" bucks a pack scared the heck out of me. Since this is my second time, I now realize that knowing what to expect can really help a quitter. Even if you don't want to quit, knowing this can help a friend.

A friend of mine bought a special pocket computer. She first programmed it by pushing a button every time she lit up. Once it knew how often she smoked, a light flashed and she flipped a switch. She was then supposed to wait for the "beep" before she lit a cigarette. It slowly cut her cigarette smoking back until she was driven absolutely insane with cigarette craving. It seems that it's only when you stop smoking that the craving begins to go away. She finally cracked and went on a smoking binge. Cutting down for a while is good for any reason, though.

I was told hypnosis has helped some people quit. I was nervous about turning my mind over to someone else. After all, I've heard of "subjects" who actually took off their shoes in front of a room full of people and quacked like a duck. After the hypnotist made a loud noise the subject woke up and didn't remember a thing. One individual, who had been hypnotized to quit, later heard a car backfire, took off all his clothes, and bought a pack of cigarettes. I understand that you don't do anything under hypnosis that you wouldn't do anyway. So, I decided to quit without it.

The first time I quit, I went off into the woods for four weeks with some non-smokers. I simply didn't take any cigarettes. By the time I came out, I was able to resist. So, why am I having to quit again ten years later? Like a dummy, I had been drinking beer with some friends and thought, "Since I've quit a year, I'll try a smoke!" It was fantastic! That was when I realized how much I loved nicotine. "I can do this at least once a day", I thought. For the first three days each cigarette hit me like a train! I couldn't stand up! I was amazed it's legal. Then the effect began to wear off. By three weeks I was smoking two, three, sometimes four cigarettes a day. In three months, I was back to a pack a day. From this experience I know that a quitter is still only one cigarette away from being a smoker again. The quitter should keep this in mind: three days, three weeks, and three months. These time periods are important.

In the first three days of quitting the urge to smoke will be strong but it won't be as hard to overcome as your brain. The cigarette doesn't jump into your mouth and blow smoke down your throat. You actually have to put it there, light it, and suck. You will do that because your brain will convince you. Some of the best reasons brains have invented are as follows:

1) "OK, stupid (your brain will call you stupid for quitting) this isn't the time to quit, there's too much going on. You really don't want to quit do you?" You get up. Pull the cigarette out of the pack, smell its marvelous aroma, feel the filter between your teeth, light the match, take a wonderful, long flavorful drag and fall into a euphoric heap.. "This is much better than quitting", concludes your brain.
2) "OK stupid, you've made it for twenty four hours! You're great! Reward yourself and have a smoke! You can do this at least once a day!"
3) "Winston Churchill smoked till he died at ninety-two. Health problems only apply to those who smoked three packs a day for forty years. It doesn't apply to you; so, smoke!" This reason is for scientific thinkers.
4) "You shouldn't quit cold turkey, you should slowly cut back. Have a smoke!"
5) "Go ahead and sneak a smoke! No one will know! Go ahead!"
6) "You're too young to quit smoking! You don't smoke that much! No one told you you have to quit!"
7) "If you don't quit smoking you will smoke till you die!" That's a funny one, of course! Have a smoke!"
8) "You're too old to quit. Life without smoking is dismal. There is no quality to life without smoking. Have a smoke!"
9) "I don't care about life.. Have a smoke!"

You have to keep remembering, if you can quit for one day, you can do it again and again. And it DOES get easier. So, with all these reasons to smoke, why and I sitting here at the end of eleven weeks without having had a single smoke? I'm damn tired of plunking down those twenty-plus dollars a week! To hell those tobacco companies, their not getting any more of my money! Now my wallet stays a lot fuller.. $220.00 so far! I like that. And, the big secret? How did I do it? Have you ever had a sore throat and wanted a smoke, but said, "no, I'd better wait on this one". Well, the last time that happened to me, I just continued the thought. Whenever I wanted a smoke I just said to myself, "Wait five minutes1". To do this you have to be prepared for the first three days. I had stomach pain, restlessness, and cramps in my muscles at times. But these were mild. What you really need to know is the tricks your brain plays on you. Your brain will try really hard to convince you to start smoking again for the first three days.

For the first three weeks you will have to tell your friends and business associates that you won't be normal. You will become light headed and impatient. Your judgement isn't affected but your tact and diplomacy are out the window. Other than that, this lightheaded buzz is rather euphoric and may be something to look forward to. Apparently the act of smoking increases carbon monoxide which robs your blood of oxygen. Your body compensates by pumping your oxygen levels up. So, when you quit, you experience an oxygen high until your body readjusts.

At the end of three weeks, you regain your composure, you get up in the morning and don't need a cigarette to get going, you are more alert than before, you have energy to spare, you don't need a smoke to think, you have more money, your sex drive will actually increase, but your hair won't grow back. In the weeks that follow, up to three months, the craving is resistible but still there. You don't imagine yourself smoking a cigarette, amazingly enough, but you have the feeling that something is missing. So, you pay much closer attention to other things.

Do you need some water? How about something sweet? Perhaps some exercise? May be some fruit? Be careful, there are thousands of calories to be attained if you are not prepared to journey on this quest for equilibrium. It's a good idea to learn about a balanced diet and what it means to you before you quit smoking. With this knowledge you can find equilibrium and feel satisfied without gaining weight. Chewing gum and lifesavers are definitely helpful in the first three months. If you are inexperienced at this, you will painfully bite your tongue and cheeks a lot before you get the hang of it. Your need for these will disappear.

Finally, when you quit smoking, you become somewhat of a celebrity. Your friends will look at you with admiration and tell you they are proud of you. You become more attractive. Your eyes will appear brighter. At gatherings now, I always mention in conversation, "well, I managed to quit smoking three weeks ago!" People immediately gravitate toward me. They are sympathetic and want to touch me. Some are envious and consider me a hero. This statement is so successful, I even recommend this for people who have never smoked. Once you get through the three-month process, you can easily go a lifetime.

Alden Bacuzmo
The Realistic Idealist
Realistic Idealism, philosophy based on evidence