A little over four
years ago I was stumbling around trying to find a way to quit
smoking that made sense to me, looking for answers yet not
even knowing the questions I wanted to ask.
All I did know
was that, like most other quitters, I'd failed many times,
and the thought of yet another failure made me wonder if it
was even worth trying again. I'd tried going cold turkey,
used every NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) on the market,
hypnosis, acupuncture I think if there had been a witch doctor
handy I'd have signed up with him too. None of these methods
had ever worked for me, so why would the next quit attempt
be any different?
I vaguely recognized
that feeling angry, stressed, bored or anxious were huge triggers
to smoke, but as I couldn't spend the rest of my life avoiding
difficult situations and living in some bubble, I was clueless
as to what to do next.
2000 I did some searching on the internet, found a few quit
smoking sites and signed up hoping to get a bit of inspiration
and a new angle. I read many debates about whether chewing
sunflower seeds or straws worked best, just how much water
quitters should drink, and where to get the best downloadable
quit meter. Plenty of "you can do this" and "hang in there!"
and other distraction techniques, but nothing to actually
teach me how to quit (and, more importantly how to stay quit)
and give me the answers that I was looking for.
I decided one day
to try out a quit smoking chat room at one of the quit smoking
venues I'd visited. The first person I met in there was Steve.
I remember he asked me some searching questions about my reasons
for smoking, and why I lit up. He got me thinking very differently,
and more deeply, about my smoking behavior. When I read the
articles on his website, I knew that I'd finally found the
answers I had been seeking.
I set a date to
quit, and then found that as I did the work I became anxious
to bring my quit date forward. February 24th, 2001 was the
day. I can remember clearly feeling very excited about it,
and enjoying stubbing out the last cigarette. The hours, then
days, rolled by and I was in control. That was such a great
feeling, and in chat Steve shared that excitement with me.
Then he patiently coached me through the early weeks of my
quit (as he does with so many quitters).
When I learned
how to quit cognitively, I not only learned how to stay comfortably
quit, but also gained tools that would help me direct and
live my life very differently. I learned how to step back
and to think for a moment before blindly (automatically) reacting
to events, and how to become much more self aware. I learned
how to listen to my body and how to address the needs I identified,
and, in doing so, how to disconnect the old smoking associations.
I learned how to live my life without needing a cigarette
between my fingers in order to accomplish anything.
Pam H. Careers
Adviser/Counsellor, Certified Life Coach
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