GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or even just thinking of quitting, please join us! We kindly ask that politics be left out.
You can also click the GUS tag to view all diary posts, or access the GUS Library at dKosopedia for a great list of stop-smoking links. Check it out! Want to make sure you never miss us? Follow (♥) the GUS tag to keep GUS in your Stream and easily find the link to the latest one. It's just that easy!
A message to ALL quitters: You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit. We won't give you a bad time or nag you. We consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.
In a non-dKos discussion about quitting smoking the other day, I was reminded of something my Dad once said about the behavioral change side of the process: "it's like learning to do a thousand different things all over again, but this time, without cigarettes." My Dad is a retired teacher, so he knows a thing or two about learning. He was also a near life-long chain-smoker before successfully quitting about ten years ago, so he knows more than his fair share about nicotine addiction.
His observation had the ring of truth for me, and I think he was especially right about it being a thousand different things to re-learn, rather than that one big thing ("quitting") that we envision it to be. We don't just stop smoking...we learn to do all the little things that make up our daily routines, except without cigarettes.
We learn to stop having a cigarette right after we roll out of bed, or with our first cup of coffee.
We learn to stop lighting up a smoke when we step out of the house or get settled in our car for the morning commute.
We learn that meals don't have to be followed by a cigarette and that adult beverages don't require a nicotine chaser. Eventually, we also learn that food actually smells and tastes pretty good. Who knew?
We learn that we can, in fact, go online or plunk down to read or watch TV without a pack of smokes nearby, and the world doesn't end.
We learn that stressful incidents, encounters, confrontations, or situations don't actually need to be followed by an immediate cigarette or six, no matter what our deceitful little addict brains tell us.
We learn that we don't shrivel up and die if we don't give in to that gnawing sensation telling us that we will shrivel up and die if we don't have a smoke. Again, who knew? It sure seemed like we would!
We learn...well, we learn a whole lot about a whole lot. We learn about ourselves, and our knee-jerk reactions to a million little stressors when our nicotine binky is gone. We re-learn how to do all those boring, run-of-the-mill routine activities without factoring in optimal tobacco intake (so as not to be antsy or cranky, hungry or tired). We learn that we can do all those things, and more, without the smokes.
We learn that we are stronger than we think we are.
Who's Your Li'l Buddy?
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