August 5th, 2011
I know I said goodbye at the end of June. I also said I wanted to move on to other topics because I was bored, blah, blah, blah.
The truth is I needed to stop blogging about quitting because I was thinking about smoking all the time. I needed to break away before I drove myself crazy or to the liquor store for a pack of cigarettes.
I recently figured out that the hardest part of the journey has begun, and it would be down right selfish of me to not mention this last phase that is the most important one of all – Phase III: Maintenance.
In other words, staying quit. Watching out for my addiction (a.k.a. “The Bitch”) because she lurks and patiently waits to catch you in a weak moment. You know it’s her when a craving smacks you right between the eyes, and you weren’t even thinking about smoking. The sudden interruption of your thoughts is jarring, and upsetting because it’s been x many months now, damn it! Withdrawal is over! You want to throw a tantrum like a little girl.
Take immediate action. STOP THINKING! NOW!. Before you start to rationalize. Before you justify (to yourself), why it’s OK to have a cigarette. You deserve one. Or two… The longer your mind travels this destructive train of thought, the more logical your thinking seems to you. But it’s not your thinking anyway, it’s your addiction‘s thinking.
A psychologist, I know personally, taught me a technique called “Stop Thought”. It sounded too silly to really work, but in the spirit of cooperation, and the fact I knew no other techniques, I gave it a try. (I used to try reason. But that Bitch is SO unreasonable.)
“STOP!!” is the simplest and fastest one. I visualized the word STOP in bold, bright red and font-size 14K, as I screamed (very loudly inside my head) “STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP!” . Very cathartic .And it works. Your brain switches over to defensive mode and your only focus now is slamming the door in the Bitches face.
Other Stop Thoughts that help me are: “GO AWAY“, “UP YOUR NOSE WITH A RUBBER HOSE“, “CA-CA“, “KNOCK IT OFF“, and “NOT TODAY“
And don’t be shy – throw that tantrum like a little girl if you want, by stomping (as loud as you can) in circles, flailing your arms about, with your fists tightly balled up. Then you add in shrill whining and hiccuppy* sobbing. If you are the adventurous type, try the rolling around on the floor version. I’m too old to do that anymore, but I think the vertical tantrum is more fun anyway.
OK. You slammed the door against your Bitch. So what now?
You can do whatever. Continue on with your day like nothing happened. Good News: Cravings only last one or two minutes and you handled those minutes beautifully. There will be other minutes down the road. Some worse than others, but do not be afraid of them. You don’t have to listen to the Bitch’s lies anymore.
You know what to do 😉
* Hiccuppy [hick-up-ee]; adverb. Multiple hiccups accompanying an activity.
Taken from The Words That Should Exist Dictionary