“I really want to be free of nicotine! But, I really don’t want to stop!”
Sound familiar? This is the dilemma. You are not alone! You’re not sure you want to give up your best friend, but you sure are sick and tired of your cigarettes or e-cigarettes running your life! You are admittedly afraid of what nicotine is doing to your health. You know it is bad for you. But you are equally anxious about even the thought of stopping, for fear that the cure will be worse then the problem. You are convinced that stopping will be a big fight, and that you will feel trapped in nicotine-need jail, and who wants that? No, you don’t want to be miserable, and you surely do not feel ready!
Ugh! What inner conflict! There is no freedom here, nothing but anxiety! So you resign yourself to forget about it for a while longer. Besides, you have already tried most of what is out there only to be disillusioned and quietly hopeless that anything can really take away the fight of nicotine withdrawal.
Welcome to my world! That’s how I felt before I was finally able to stop. In fact, I tried eight times before I was successful, not including the countless days when I would flush my cigarettes down the toilet in a fit of self-disgust only to cave in an hour later on my way to get more.
So what is the answer? How does one get out from under the control of nicotine? What is the most effective, no-nonsense approach for a gal or guy with a busy, full life? Let’s explore the top two obstacles to stopping smoking or vaping.
The first obstacle to stopping is how to get through the withdrawal from nicotine without killing someone? How does one resist or get rid of the urges?
An urge to smoke is an urge for nicotine. When you light up a cigarette or take a hit off of your vape, you are getting rid of the urge for nicotine by satisfying the need for it. So it is built in that you are going to want to smoke or vape while you are stopping. That is what withdrawal is: lots of urges, one after the other, as your body is eliminating nicotine within the first 48 hours. Your body is sending you messages, sometimes shouting at you, to give it the nicotine it demands to feel “alright” or “normal”. You see, “normal” to you as a smoker is having a sufficient amount of nicotine in your system to be okay. Non-smokers and ex-smokers do not have such a need. They already feel normal without the need from nicotine. Feel jealous? Read on.
So you, like most people, take a negative view of wanting to smoke. You may be confusing the fact that you no longer want the consequences of smoking but nevertheless, you still want to smoke, i.e. you are having urges. You are afraid of admitting to yourself that you want to smoke for fear that you will smoke. And that makes sense because you don’t know any other way to deal with your urges than fight or to give in to them. After all, that is what smoking is – giving in to urges. So you believe that stopping will mean a fight.
Your best solution is to find another way to get rid of the urges by substituting something else; perhaps another form of nicotine, like a patch, or gum, or other things like cookies, soda, coffee, exercise, an extra helping of whatever. On the short term you think you have found a brilliant solution because you are not having an urge when you substitute. And that is true... until another urge comes up. So now what? Well, before you know it, you have transferred your dependency from nicotine to needing more gum, coffee, sugar, etc. You see, the urge didn’t go away, it just transformed in a new need for something else. And that need doesn’t blow over in time. It gets worse and bigger. In time your misery returns because you really don’t want to be eating so many cookies, coffees, etc. and underneath that, you still really want to smoke! What is the way out of this misery?
What if I told you that the way you are going about facing this problem has been all wrong. I know it is conventional wisdom that the urges to smoke are bad for you. I know that experiencing them is scary. I know that you don’t want to be uncomfortable. Who does?
Well, I have further bad news for you! Ready? If you want to be successful at stopping smoking once and for all, you will need to go through withdrawal, not run from it, to get to the other side of it. You will be uncomfortable in the process because you have a dependency on nicotine, and when it is leaving your body, it wants you back.
Now here is the good news! Ready? Not one person I have ever helped stop has needed to be hospitalized or died in the process of stoping smoking or vaping. And, not one was miserable or in pain in the process. You see, the problem is not that you want to smoke. The problem is that you don’t want to want to smoke! And, because you take a negative attitude towards your urges, because you only know how to resist and fight them, you make yourself miserable along the process.
But what if, instead, you learned to take a positive attitude towards your urges to smoke? What if you learned to ride the horse in the direction it is going? What if you learned to make the urges your friend, rather than your enemy?
That is what my training will teach you to do. You see, I am not going to offer you some magic will rescue you from your addiction. You know snake oil when you see it. Rather, I am going to teach and coach you how to rescue your own life with your eyes wide open. We will explore the difference between pain and discomfort, fighting urges and welcoming them. I will give you concrete exercises to help you walk through the process of withdrawal from your dependency on cigarettes or e-cigarettes so that you can feel positive and empowered while you are stopping, and not wishing you are anywhere but where you are. You can still live your busy life like you always do, because if this is only going to work while on a vacation island, then its probably not for you!
Pick up the phone to call me or book a free, half hour session with me. Take the action today, and you will feel so much better about facing your problem!