I’m putting this out here today mainly in response to the recent reports of the dangers and deaths from vaping.
Because of the industry of vaping?
Because the dangers of vaping and smoking?
Because of the mouth close-ups news channels cannot stop showing on repeat of people vaping?
The news must not need permission to just get a mouth close-up of someone smoking or vaping. If they did, I would just ask everyone to refuse permission from now on and that would solve my little phobia of mouth close-ups exhaling vapor or smoke.
But since they don’t need permission, I’m just gonna have to ask everyone vaping to please stop so I never have to see this imagery again.
This is for those that want to take me up on quitting.
Decided to be a quitter, have you?
Come on over, it’s like a breath of fresh air.
It’s easy! You’ll see.
No it is not easy!
Even last night, I about threw the remote at the tv when the news reporter suggested they didn’t totally know what about vaping was causing these injuries and deaths so for right now, just stop.
Oh! Just stop. Thank you so much! I’d just never thought of that before.
Nonsmokers!! I’ll get to them in a minute.
Quitting is hard though. Maybe it was just hard for me. I only know it was so hard for me because everyone that loves me still loves reminding me how hard it was for me To quit, even now, years later.
Maybe their collective memory hasn’t faded because it took at least a dozen times and I still smoke.
That’s right folks! I quit! And I still smoke.
Already embracing my awareness to the many flagrant dualities in life. That’s a story for a future blog to keep posted for. Wink-Wink.
When I say I will smoke, it’s more on a case by case basis. Hypothetically, Keith Richards comes up to me offering a smoke. Post Malone for the kids. That is a cigarette I am personally not saying no to.
As someone that has tried vaping and didn’t find the tastiness of it satisfying when juxtaposed against inhaling a nasty-ass cigarette, I can only imagine someone getting me to inhale nicotine again through having an actual cigarette, not by sharing a nicotine vaporizer. Let us not fantasize about things we don’t want to have happen. Picturing me declining to share a nicotine vape pen with Kit Harrington now playing in my head.
This story is about not using nicotine. When it comes to vaping cannabis, let * lead the way.
Another example of an occasion I might smoke is a cautionary tale from a friend of mine that just got back from Paris, France. They hinted to me they wished they had sat at a street cafe in Paris and smoked. I would have smoked! Smoking in a cafe in Paris, France sounds worthwhile. Almost makes me buy a ticket now.
That’s the point. I’m not making those excuses anymore is I can feed nicotine’s need, and as a non-smoker I don’t have to anymore or ever again.
I don’t want to smoke the way I smoked, and I smoked proudly, unabashedly, and dickeshly, for years.
Why? (For the non-smokers.)
Because smoking worked well for me in my life, until it didn’t.
This is the same as all things that create an impetus for change.
If smoking still worked the way it did for so long, I’d still be smoking. The thing for me is, it didn’t. It’s the big and dirty secret of nicotine - it requires more and more from the user with no regard to the damage it is doing. Nicotine doesn’t give a fuck that it kills you. The knowledge that I was having such a spiritual, enlightened, hip, sexy, cool relationship with nicotine was purely one way, and it completely disgusted me when the blue haze that settles in the stillness of putting a cigarette out finally cleared.
That’s what got me to finally quit. I loved it so much and it was just using me, with no regard the cost to my health and life it was stealing away.
The other reason is that I was staying at my mom’s house before we moved in together, I heard a bump in the night, woke with a start, and barely made it to my bedroom door when I seriously thought I might just fall down and die, unable to help my mom if she needed me. The pressure in my chest, lack of breath, and heaviness throughout my body, making it nearly impossible to move the way I was used to moving scared me enough to quit.
Still wasn’t easy for me.
I also got sick almost every time I quit too. This is more so just a possibility that may only apply to me but it seems worth mentioning because it had a beneficial effect of making me really not want to smoke. I didn’t like being sick but I liked that it really helped me get over the hump of the first few days of quitting nicotine. Nothing like being too sick to smoke. Remember, it’s the nicotine that pushes that button, and the nicotine doesn’t even care if pneumonia is the reason, or a 103 degree temperature, it needs us to inhale until we no longer can even take a breath.
I know and I’m sorry if reading so far is giving you second thoughts about quitting. Good! You are going to have many second thoughts about quitting until you decide you are a non-smoker.
So without further adieu, my top 5 tips to quitting:
Think of a non-smoker and what they’d be doing. Got it? Nothing. They’d be doing nothing because they don’t smoke. This one seems overly obvious but it never occured to me and helped me every time I wanted to smoke. There are just all these people out in the world, living their lives, without any desire to inhale anything to live happily. What would a non-smoker do? Then I’d spend a few breaths pondering that calmness or annoyance or whatever the feeling as a now non-smoker until the urge to inhale passed.
Talk to someone. Phone a friend. Especially if you’re having a hard time with it and struggling. Some people can just stop and become an instantaneous non-smoker. Those people are evil. Do not trust them. No. No! They just weren’t me. I asked for a lot of help once I knew I was failing at quitting. I turned to my acupuncturist that had just completed a coaching certification and the coaching sequences she used with me really helped in a long lasting way. The acupuncture needling, massage, and ear beads helped too.
Do something else. Right? I feel like I hear you. And you aren’t the 1st person to tell me to fuck off and you won’t be the last. And from a yogi no less! It’s from the introduction to Michelle Goldberg’s book, The Goddess Pose. The author is caught smoking by her yogi after a yoga class, he takes the cigarette from her and instead of putting it out, he starts to smoke it. She exclaims in shock and his response is, “smoking won’t interfere with your yoga, but yoga will interfere with your smoking.” Take a few clearing breaths and ponder all that that means.
Breathing exercises. They might seem silly, funny, or weird but they’re not. We need our breath and as ex-smokers, we’ve been torturing our ability to do the number one thing humans need to do to continue living so taking a few moments during a nic-fit, pick a breathing exercise and do it. There’s one where you take a deep breath in and let it out through pierced lips. I really like something called box breathing because it’s also a relaxation technique where you take a 3-5 count breath in, hold it for a 4-5 count, then exhale fully for a 4-7 count, and inhale again for a 3-5 count. Repeat until you’ve moved on from freaking out over the nagging of nicotine.
Make a list of all the other things you’d like to do instead of smoking and pick something off the list and do it. This ties in with tip #3 and the 1st thing that comes to my mind from my list was bathe. Can’t shower and smoke. You might be able to shower and vape but let’s pretend you don’t want to do that. On the list you might want to include some healthy snacks. The urge to feed your face might be a real thing for you. It was for me and I wasn’t always great at making my snacks healthy. I think I said I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted for the 1st month after quitting. I also increased my physical activity after I quit because anything physically active while smoking is a challenge. One of my favorite alternatives from my list was to put on a song and dance.
There they are, 5 tips to help quit nicotine that might not be on every other (or any other) recommendation list.
Just don’t give up.
Don’t beat yourself up if you inhale again. I know I’m not supposed to say that but it’s true. If the truth is you have to smoke, then you will have to smoke and when you decide you want to be a non-smoker, you will be. Does that make sense? I hope so. Let me try again though; if you find yourself inhaling when you said you wouldn’t, own it. Really be present with the experience and forgive yourself, release the guilt, and try being a non-smoker again another time.
You make the rules around your habits that make them true.
Quitting is not the same for everyone but I do believe everyone that wants to quit can.
I made it hard. I made it so hard. I made it so much harder than it needed to be because I gave nicotine more credit than it deserved when what I really needed to be doing was giving myself that credit. Once I started living my life on brand new terms I created, I was a non-smoker of my own design.
That you are here reading this is a great sign that you want to quit, care about someone you wish would quit, or are looking for new additions to your own recommendations list for someone you’re helping to quit.
Know too, that I am somewhere right now not smoking (I haven’t run into Keith Richards nor am I going to Paris, France anytime soon) and believing that you can not smoke or vape or really not do whatever it is that you don’t want to do because there is something more important that you do want to do now.
What do you want now?
Think about that.
Take an action step toward that.
Keep those new thoughts at the forefront of your mind every time the thought to grab that nicotine tries to take over.
It is better and more worth it than any form of nicotine.
Remember too, it’s nicotines fault. This is all nicotines fault. Nicotine is to blame and similar to killing you, nicotine doesn’t even care when you’ve left it behind.
Bye nicotine, Bye!
I do invite you to contact me or just click here to sign-up for a FREE Start Session if you want help quitting or need someone to talk to and possibly work with while quitting. If not me, please reach out to any of the people in your life that care about you, or provide support services and counseling while quitting. You are worth it!
* Vaping Cannabis: it’s hard to resist the temptation for big hits but try. This is true with cigarette comparisons too. Never would I take an insanely huge hit off a cigarette but it’s so much easier to take huge hits off a vape pen. It just is. It seems counter-intuitive to recommend “smoking” in another form so I won’t. It seems irresponsible anyway. There are a lot of other tasty and delightful ways to get THC if you’re so inclined to try. I realize I have the benefit of legal cannabis in my state, and can only hope the same for your state too, and ALL STATES SOON.