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View Diary: GUS: Bunny Sunday!!! (57 comments)

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  •  Don't get down on yourself. (7+ / 0-)

    Seriously, you really need to be in the right frame of mind for it to work, and the kinder and more forgiving of yourself you are in the meantime, the sooner that will arrive.

    Quitting isn't just about losing the nicotine addiction. A big part of quitting is the behavioral change required along with that to get it to stick. And a big part of behavioral change is learning how to think differently about what you do, why you do it, and why you're worth the effort. Because you ARE worth the effort.

    Instead of seeing it as something you're doing to fix your flawed self, try seeing it as a gift you are giving to yourself. There's no moral component; you're not broken...you've just decided to change something about your life, so you can feel better. You're not inviting more stress into your life by doing this...you're choosing to release one of the big reasons for the stress. Because that low-level, ever-present stress is, in part, driven by your rising and falling nicotine levels, and the only coping skill you have right now is to smoke, to offset that.

    If you can accept that some level of stress will happen (and the world won't end, and you will be okay despite the temporary uncomfortable feeling), you are already partway there. Nobody WANTS to make things more stressful in their lives...but if you remove that reason for the ongoing stress and anxiety, you can start to learn new skills and coping mechanisms...and have a perfectly socially acceptable reason to wig out in the meantime! People are very forgiving while you're quitting, and you sort of have permission to melt down a little.  :-)

    Ultimately, though, you have to be in the right frame of mind to make it work. You've already decided that you want to quit; that's further along than many people who are TOLD to quit and already puts you closer to your goals. If you can just forgive yourself in advance for not being able to do it "perfectly" and realize that the anxiety is a temporary state, you'll get where you want to be eventually. You can do it.

    Donald Rumsfeld is a blood gargling psychopath.

    by Vacationland on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:49:08 AM PDT

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    •  You need to combine all your (5+ / 0-)

      amazing and helpful advice in a book and make yourself a zillion dollars while sitting on your ass.  Everything you tell folks works for multiple addictions and stresses.  And then you can give me 20% for my expert advice.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 02:45:11 PM PDT

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    •  Thank you :) (4+ / 0-)

      Excellent advice. I HAVE quit several times before, once for over a year, twice during pregnancies and attempts at nursing. But never forever :(

      I can't smoke in front of or while visiting my mother, which necessitates silly subterfuges involving hand wipes, gum, gargling, and sneaky trips to CVS, where I madly puff while hiding behind a corner.

      Honestly--it's the automatic weight gain that frightens me the most. I want to start a vigorous exercise program, but the Catch-22, of course, is not being able to exercise vigorously while smoking.

      Perhaps cutting down would be a good start. Can't do the patch, it makes me hallucinate and I hate that. Grew up in the 70's and 80's, never tried acid or mushrooms or anything psychedelic, so the patch was awful.

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:08:04 PM PDT

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      •  Aw, don't be frightened of the weight thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gchaucer2

        That can be fixed once you quit and adjust to the different metabolism. Most people who quit feel better enough (breathing and energy-wise) in a relatively short time that they can start exercising almost immediately and that will help. You can also consciously choose better snacks when the oral fixation thing hits, too. We have at least one regular who took up cycling after quitting and he's logged thousands of miles since! But don't ever let yourself believe that sustaining an addiction that's doing real, measurable damage to your health is ever a good trade-off for temporarily going up a size or two.

        And won't you be glad to get rid of the crazy subterfuge involved in hiding your smoking? (Which, by the way, is almost never entirely hidden, no matter how good we are with the mints and Febreze. I thought I was being all sneaky and covert with it in some situations, but people were just being kind. When I actually quit I could smell it on everything. So much for that, LOL!)

        I couldn't do the patch (skin rash) or lozenge (mouth skin rash) so I ended up having to go Cold Turkey. It was Mr Toad's Wild Ride for a few days, weird/cranky for a few weeks, and eventually normal after a few months, but it worked. I've saved thousands and thousands of dollars since; enough to put a downpayment on a house (really!).

        Cutting down can help, in that it will lower your nicotine levels a bit ahead of the actual quit, but for me, cutting back always made me fixate on the next smoke and think of the few remaining ones as precious treats, which is actually the opposite of what you want to do.

        Instead, what I'd suggest is try to change the way you smoke now and really force yourself away from the "autopilot" thing or the "smokes as treat/reward" thing. Most of us have a few "good" or "favorite" smokes (with coffee, after a meal, after doing something stressful, at the end of a day, during a drive or with a beverage at night) and the rest of them are "autopilot" ones that we smoke to maintain our nicotine levels.  When we cut back, we save the "good" ones for last...ironically making them even more precious.

        You can switch off the "autopilot" nature of most smokes and stop making the "good" ones seem like treats by changing the way you approach smoking. Remove easy access to smokes (if you smoke when you drive, lock them in the trunk so you actually have to pull over and retrieve them if you "need" one). Change the times and locations you smoke, and don't do anything pleasurable when you DO smoke.

        For example, delay that first smoke or eliminate the one you have with your morning coffee in your regular spot at a regular time. Instead, stand in a corner of the garage or on the porch or in a random, uninteresting spot and don't do anything nice or fun or distracting  (read, check messages, text, talk to anyone, watch TV, listen to music...nothing) while you smoke. Force yourself to be mindful of the act each time, and consider why you're smoking  at that moment (nicotine craving, stress reaction, coping skill, attempt to "reward" yourself, self-comfort) and think of other ways you might respond.

        Basically you need to retrain your brain to respond to the impulse to smoke with other actions or responses...building a set of coping skills and responses to stress that most of us as smokers don't develop, because we have a "one size fits all" response in the form of cigarettes. It's totally doable; it just takes a bit of work, and time. You'll get there.

        Donald Rumsfeld is a blood gargling psychopath.

        by Vacationland on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:36:27 AM PDT

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