The blog I just read is exactly what I’m going through right now! I’m having a tough time with quitting smoking (but haven’t cheated). I’m on my 5th full day using a nicotine patch and gum combination. I’m going to keep the promise to myself not to smoke another cigarette, or use nicotine products, after I’m off my medicinal nicotine.
“Too often we fail to keep our promises. I know I do. It is not so much a failure of will or courage as it is one of perspective. When things get difficult we get involved with the details of the situation: how things feel, where it will leave us, threats ahead, feeling overwhelmed and anxious. We lose the wider perspective of what things are about.”
This piece can be found on Hopework Community’s site here. It’s extremely relevant to what I’m suffering with. Breaking the habit of smoking and the withdrawals of nicotine are intense, but I’m still doing well. I still have a lot of resolve and am not close to breaking my promise to myself. This quote from the blog reminds me to keep things in perspective. Things will get difficult. That’s a given.
When they do become difficult I need to use my coping strategies and tool bag to relieve stress. I don’t want to nitpick details, become engrossed with how things feel, fear relapsing on nicotine (or alcohol), or become overwhelmed with anxiety. There are things I can do to alleviate my symptoms, whether it’s from mental health or withdrawals.
Boredom is one of my major triggers, so I try to mix up my daily activities. I’m keeping myself stable by staying mildly busy around the house, writing, and listening to music. Punk rock is my favorite music hands down. If I really need to concentrate on writing, I’ll listen to classical. Currently, I’m multitasking and listening to punk while writing. It’s important to mix your routine up as well. I may find myself on an online game later, doing laundry, taking a walk, vacuuming, etc. I’m keeping a promise with variety in my day.
Anything in excess isn’t suggested. I can’t sit at the computer playing World of Warcraft for 10 hours a day anymore, like I used to. It was an addiction, taking the fun out of it. Looking back on it, I was using the internet to escape reality. I keep a promise to myself to try not to do anything excessively.
I can become addicted to virtually anything due to my highly addictive personality. Healthy necessities like food or exercise could become a problem in the future, if I’m not careful. However, I can take steps to ensure my well being. I’m cooking more than I ever have, so I’m not relying on take-out. I want to join a gym in the future, but am not taking on too much at a time. I need to be stable and comfortable without nicotine in my life before I do join. It would be a shame to transfer addiction. I’m always promising myself to be mindful about what is becoming a problem in my life.
My life won’t be magically perfect, but I can be proactive. Staying sober and off of nicotine will improve my quality of life. Even after just 5 days without the nicotine-induced roller coaster, my medications are working better. Nicotine affects the brain 7 seconds after a drag off of a cigarette. I’m miserable with or without it so I may as well quit it and do the healthy thing. It really is a disgusting habit that I don’t need in my life.
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