Help me stop smoking!
or, kicking the nicotine habit
or, stop smoking now

What is important to understand is you have to get through several weeks of nicotine withdrawal before your brain starts normalizing. During this time, you will be essentially mentally impaired. Quite literally, you're brain is not going to be firing on all cylinders (neurons). So what you have to do is develop a strategy that works for you during this time of mental impairment to keep you off nicotine.

Keep in mind that during the first week you'll be much more mentally impaired than the sixth week. This is why the cold-turkey approach often fails the first time you try, because you simply don't realize just how mentally impaired you're going to be. It's challenging, but not impossible.

You're also going to have physical symptoms. All this time you've been dumping fight-or-flight hormones into your body, constricting your blood vessels, making your heart race and your kidneys work overtime. You're going to feel sort of 'weird' without all this over-clocking. You may have headaches, nausea, and insomnia while those systems re-balance and return to normal operation. Add this to the emotional anguish you're going to face and you start to see why cold-turkey is difficult. But, remember, it's not impossible.

But aren't curious who you really are? The person you used to be before you became addicted to this simple chemical? Aren't you curious how your life will change in ways that you can't even comprehend now as an addict? Aren't you ready to stop rationalizing your addiction and quit kidding yourself about what's going on with your mind and your body? Do you want your friends, family, especially your children to know the real you, the peaceful, patient, loving you whose mind is at ease?

You know in your heart that the answer to all of these questions is yes. You know it through and through. And yet nicotine's influence, at this very moment, is working against you, starting some bizarre rationalization process in your mind.

You have to realize that stopping the addiction is like a giant mind-game you're going to play against yourself. You have to carve out a compartment of rationalization in your mind that can't be overcome by the trauma of withdrawal. You essentially have to outsmart yourself. You have to develop a strategy and execute on it just as if you're playing a sophisticated game of chess. Only this time, what's at stake is the control of your mind, your body, your health and your future.

Here are the 5 major pieces of the strategy that ultimately worked for me:

  1. Thoroughly educate myself on how my addiction was controlling me. Meditate on it every day so during the withdrawal phase I could actually remember it and try to rationalize in my mind what is happening.

  2. Plan to have 2 solid weeks off work and away from my 'normal' environment (which for me is in front of a computer) where I had the strongest associations with nicotine use.

  3. A large bottle of Ibuprofen.

  4. Telling all my friends and my family that for the next 2 weeks they would not see me and that for the next 6 weeks I'd be going through nicotine withdrawal and I could say things I didn't' mean or could be irrational.

  5. Completely disassociating myself with people who used nicotine and the environments in which they lurk, even if that meant terminating long friendships.

<< Previous 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  Next >>

Want to discuss Smoking?

Go to the Helpation Smoking Forum!