10 September 2007

Feelings

quit-smoking-FeelingsThe great post was found titled "It is possible - but...". It is a really true story, so let it be republished here without any revision:

Hi folks
I have been a non-smoker since Dec 29th 2004, so that's... 15 months or something. I was 20+ a day etc. etc. When I stopped, I drank more, ate more.

Contrary to the 'information' on this (and other) sites, NRT *IS* addictive. As addictive as cigarettes. Sorry if that offends the people who a) sell it or b) don't want to frighten quitters off trying.

Having said that, using lozenges certainly helped me in my journey but I had to face a moment of giving THEM up which was actually, on reflection, harder than stopping burning cigarettes.

The other point I want to make is that I've trawled so many of these quitting sites / govt. / NHS help resources etc. What's missing from ALL of them (tell me if this is wrong, other successful quitters) is any discussion of the real consequence of smoking. I.E. why we do it: the fact that it suppresses HOW WE FEEL so that we do not FEEL pain / sadness / joy or whatever we need not to feel.

In my experience, THAT is what hits quitters like a ton of bricks and eating more, drinking more alcohol, using NRT or even going to the gym more is usually a way of shifting the addiction to some other behavior so that we don't have to sit with those painful feelings.

Today, I am dope-free, drug-free, cigarette-free AND alcohol free. Before that, I was an ordinary, respectable professional person. When I quit smoking, the *emptiness* and *pointlessness* of life was suddenly overwhelming - but it sure as hell showed me how much work I needed to do to fix the root causes of my 'respectable' addictions.

I'm so PRO-QUIT, you wouldn't believe :-) but I'm just angry that the whole of this smoking debate doesn't face up to the REAL effects on smoking and the real roots of the addictions that keep us trapped like slaves: - FEELINGS and our need to cover them up. When you've quit, look back at the resources / websites / articles that are out there to help you quit. Ask yourself 'where does anyone show me how to deal with feelings that will come the surface; that are the reasons I - and anyone - smoked, drank and used drugs in the first place?'

Why, as a culture, do we SO steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the psychological / emotional roots of addictions?

Good luck to everyone quitting and thinking about it. It's so worth it, but only if you're ready. Not just ready to quit, but ready to face the emotional growth that has to result (unless you just transfer your addiction somewhere else). Say goodbye to slavery but be prepared to face whatever it is that you've been avoiding all these smoking years.

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