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I enjoyed smoking. Memory goes back to the days when Red Cross Workers used to dole out little 5 packs of smokes to to us flood fighters along with the hot soup and coffee. As a kid doing my paper route I'd hide my glowing cigarette up the sleeve of my parka and burn holes in the nylon lining.
As smoking adults my wife and I wouldn't hesitate to fill the car with smoke and cure our kids like Smithfield Hams. I could go on but the point is, that for a long time, 36 years, I was a heavy smoker. Back in the day smoking was condoned. A silver cigarette case and matching lighter sat on the coffee table and the solid "click' of a Zippo was music to the ears.
When you give up smoking, you give up something that's taken up a good chunk of your time. And when you give up something that's given you some pleasure it can leave an empty space. The fitQuit process gives you a way to fill the gap by letting you focus on the very sensations you used to eliminate by lighting up.
Take some time between the moments when you are actively confronting the call to smoke to reflect on the pleasant times you enjoyed as a smoker. And after you've done reflecting , say "good bye' to smoking as you would an old friend.
I tried to quit. I went to a smoking addiction clinic where they made us wrap our packs in elastic bands and hide them on the top shelves of our cupboards to make tobacco less accessible.
I tried behaviour modification at the suggestion in a magazine. This involved wearing a rubber band on my wrist and snapping it when the urge to smoke came along. Instead of punishing myself with that torture I tried substituting actions, push up s and sit-ups or eating a piece of fruit or candy or Nicotine loaded gum. I tried Elavil in the hope that it would calm the urge. That failed because I was so sedated I didn't give a damn. Prayer worked for about a day and a half. I lost two weeks pay in a bet with a co-worker. I gave hypnosis a pass. I feel that it is an invasive technique which has not been shown to yield any significant results. The patch came into play a few years after I quit smoking.
When I finally packed in the smoking thing I'd just finished a season on the local ski hill and had a couple of weeks until my summer work started. I decided to dedicate that time to ending my nicotine addiction.
I had the house to myself. I knew that I didn't know how long my cravings for nicotine lasted. As soon as I felt a craving I lit up or was able to jump in the car and hit the corner store in a matter of minutes. I got up, had breakfast and was just finishing my coffee when I felt the urge.I happened to look up at the kitchen clock. Then I concentrated on the craving itself and tried to assess the discomfort level. Was it as bad as a toothache? No. A leg cramp? No. A cold sore? Worse. A bad cold? Yeah, about as bad as a bad cold.
I was just trying to decide if I could handle discomfort equivalent to a bad cold or flu for a couple of weeks or more when the strangest thing happened. The discomfort stopped. Just went away! A looked at the clock. two minutes hadn't even passed. " Jeez!' I said, "that's strange." This begged the next question. "When will the craving come back?
The answer came in about 20 minutes. by then I had my watch with me and timed the second craving at 90 seconds. And so my day progressed with household chores and yard work interrupted every 20 minutes while I focussed on the sensations that emerged when the signal, or craving, came to top up the nicotine tank. I ruled off a sheet of legal-sized paper noting the Frequency, the Intensity of the craving and the Time. The regularity astounded me. I continued the process for about a week and a half but know for certain that I had it licked by Day Four.
In my next post I'll talk about why fitQuit works as opposed to solutions that are based on distraction, slow withdrawal or measured doses of the poison you're working to rid your body of.
Here''s a funny thing. THE STRONGER YOUR CRAVING ,THE EASIER IT IS TO TRACK YOUR SUCCESS. Make friends with it.