From "I have to Stop" to "I get to stop."
When preparing for stopping smoking or vaping our thinking at first is “I have to stop”. This kind of thinking brings reluctance. It will not serve us. We are constantly looking for a way around not having a choice.
But once we realize we really do have a choice, we can see freely that “I want to stop” and “I don’t have to stop.” This begins to bring hope. As we begin to make positive choices we are lifted out of the fog of deprivation, knowing it is up to us. As we continue to make positive choices our desire to maintain our freedom takes over.
Next “I get to stop” kicks in because we see the value of having acted “as if” during the times when the urges were strong. We are grateful that we took contrary action by making positive choices more important than choosing immediate relief, especially when we were sure we couldn’t do it. We like the feelings of self-esteem derived from making friends with our yearnings. We like knowing that we are doing something we never thought was possible. And better yet, we are not miserable! We are not fighting! Who knew it could be so simple for such a complicated mind!