Spring excellent time to quit smoking
As flowers unfold and life renews, it's hard to imagine a more perfect setting for smokers to rediscover their own abandoned beauty, an inner self, buried long long ago by the output of brain "pay attention" pathways taken hostage by nicotine.
Although deeply ingrained, it somehow seems wrong to use "quit" or "quitting" to describe a beautiful homecoming that's long overdue. The terms are better suited to identifying the day you said goodbye to a calm and quiet mind, as you climbed aboard an endless roller coaster ride of nicotine-induced dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin highs and lows.
"Quit" and "quitting" better describe a sad priorities exchange where planning for and delivering that next nicotine fix became more important than family, friends, work, eating, and even sex.
Nicotine dependency recovery can be the most beautiful awakening you've ever known. Yes, those first 72 hours may be challenging, as you purge 100% of nicotine from your mind and reach peak withdrawal. But taking them just one at a time, while celebrating each, can transport any smoker to that magic moment where extraction is complete and true healing begins.
Have you ever noticed how obnoxious and zealous some ex-smokers seem to be? It isn't that they're necessarily trying to rub it in or make you feel badly. Most are astounded at how horribly wrong they were all those years about life without nicotine. They want you to join them. They are often just trying to relate how amazingly easy life is now that they have quit. They recognize how fooled they once were. Attempting to reach through your wall of dependency denial, it's their hope to spark hope.
Nicotine dependency is about being buried alive by brain "pay attention" pathways taken hostage, and then living a lie. It's about the power of those dopamine pathways to make us falsely believe that smoking nicotine defines who we are, is core to our very existence, gives us our edge, and that life without it just won't be as good.
Yes, spring is a time of renewal and about coming home, but how? Contrary to pharmaceutical industry quitting-product hype, nearly 90% of all U.S. ex-smokers made the journey home without any product, service or procedure. Clean, fast, effective and free, they simply decided to stop putting any and all nicotine into their bloodstreams.
But just one powerful puff and full relapse is all but assured. It's called the "Law of Addiction." We'll never be stronger than nicotine but then we don't need to be, as it's only a chemical with an IQ of zero. It cannot plot, plan or conspire and is not some demon that dwells within.
Our greatest weapon against it is, and always was, our vastly superior intelligence but only if put to work. Think about it. What learning takes place by slapping on a patch, being hypnotized, taking a pill, chewing gum or sucking on a lozenge? Knowledge truly is power. The following links are free resources that will aid you in understanding both nicotine dependency and the recovery process.
Spring is upon us. Aren't you just a little curious about what it would be like being "you" again? It's your birthright to be free. As hard as it may be to believe, a 2006 study found that unplanned quitting attempts are 2.6 times more likely to succeed than planned attempts. Remember, baby steps. The next few minutes are all you can control and each is entirely do-able. Rid your mind of all nicotine and then watch the forgotten beauty within unfold.
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- WhyQuit.com - WhyQuit is the Internet's oldest forum devoted to the art, science and psychology of cold turkey quitting, the stop smoking method used by the vast majority of all successful long-term ex-smokers.
- Nicotine Addiction 101 - WhyQuit's basic guide to understanding nicotine dependency.
- Nicotine Cessation Topic Index - An alphabetical subject matter index to more than a thousand nicotine cessation articles, videos and support group discussions.
- Joel's Library - Joel Spitzer began presenting stop smoking clinics and seminars in 1976. WhyQuit's education director since 2000, Joel's Library is home to his life's work. It includes Joel's "Daily Quitting Lesson Guide," more than 100 original stop smoking articles, his free ebook "Never Take Another Puff," and to his ever growing collection of more than 400 stop smoking videos.
- "Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home" - Written by John R. Polito, a former 30-year heavy smoker and WhyQuit's 1999 founder, Freedom from Nicotine shares the science underlying nicotine dependency and successful abrupt nicotine cessation.
- Turkeyville - Imagine surrounding yourself with more than 10,000 cold turkey quitters. Turkeyville is a Facebook support group exclusively for cold turkey quitters.
- Freedom - Freedom was WhyQuit's original 1999 stop smoking support group. No longer accepting members, its 453,000 archived posts continue to share recovery insights.