Saturday, March 17, 2012

Breaking the habit...again

I had actually intended to write about cleaning out my closet (literally) and trying to make a quick buck on the internet by selling stuff, but it turns out a Wayne Gretzky 1981-1982 Topps card in pristine condition is only worth about $7. So, that can wait until some other time (I'm going to end up making a separate whiteboard for posts I want to do...shit that's a good idea). But in addition to that and a completely worthless Jaromir Jagr card (when he was a Penguin!), I found a sort of quitting smoking kit I had written over six months ago. So, instead, I'm going to write about smoking, and how many babies I'd suckerpunch right now to not feel a crave. If you've never tried or never had to quit smoking, that last sentence probably sounded really harsh, and possibly a sign of mental instability. If you have quit in the past, or quitting now, you realize I'm holding back.

I've made a lot of serious attempts recently to quit, but whether it was outright for someone, for someone else under the guise of being for myself, or for someone else to somehow spite them, one simple fact is clear; quitting for someone else doesn't work. And if you end up not having someone to quit for, well, that's when you have to man (or woman) up, look in the mirror, and give yourself the finger, and fight your own demons, ulterior motive-free.

Without further ado, here is my quit smoking kit.

Reasons to Quit - Nothing fancy, just a simple list of well thought out reasons to stop smoking. I made sure to emphasize ones that focus on me, and ones that are in line with my values. The last one is on shaky ground, but still in line with my values.

-It's killing you
-It's cannibalizing your exercise
-It's draining your wallet
-It makes everyone you own smell like shit
-It makes you smell like shit
-Did I mention it's killing you?
-It can prevent you from getting certain jobs or positions
-Boredom's not a good excuse
-I don't even really like it
-I made a promise (a while ago, but still, a promise is a promise)

Trigger List! - Next, I wrote out a list of my triggers. Once I started writing them down, the list gets really long, and really dumb, once I thought of all the dumb reasons I would like up. This definitely falls into a "know thy enemy" sort of philosophy, because once it's in your face, it's hard to ignore.

-Coffee (which I'm drinking right now....)
-Whiskey (throw scotch in there as well)
-Waking up
-Going to bed
-After meals (especially a huge meal!)
-Annoying people that I can't drown out with noise cancelling headphones
-Work not being varied/satisfying enough (this has changed since I wrote this)
-Any relationship issue
-Congratulatory cigarettes
-Seeing friends and coworkers smoke
-Family issues
-After working out
-Before/after flying
-self pity
-self loathing
-technical difficulties
-death (irony!)

The sad part is, I could probably write another 20, and only 8 of them would be due to the Eagles last year. .500....what the hell Andy Reid.

How to Beat Triggers: So that you know your enemy...time to come up with a strategy. All I did was write out my triggers, and either why it was dumb, or what to do instead.

Boredom - dumb reason, get a hobby, cook something tedious, workout, clean something, if at work, further career

Coffee - only an issue at home, don't have cigarettes lying around
Drinking - Buy an eCig in advance if early in the quit stages. I don't care if they're not proven 100% safe. Smoking is 100% not safe. Unless eCigs end up killing you faster, save the "jury is still out" bullshit for someone who cares.

Waking up - Don't have em around
Going to sleep - samesies
After meals - chew gum instead, floss, go for a walk
Annoying people - just go for a quick walk
Work - work on things to improve work or switch jobs, even within the same workplace. I eventually did, and big shock, I'm happier and smoke way less.

Relationships - Smoking isn't going to fix shit, and more importantly, it's not a form of retaliation.
Victory cigs - stop blowing yourself
Smoking peers - Don't indulge, don't stand near coworkers while they're smoking.
Stress - you're wasting five minutes while smoking that could be used to destress the stressor. It's not helping anything.

After working out - Can supposedly give you a heart attack. (but tastes so damn good in clean lungs)
Self pity and loathing - (I quote from July of last year) "suck it up, you emo little bitch"

In conclusion
Clearly, this plan wasn't bulletproof, but it was one of my more successful attempts at quitting smoking, and did in fact offer me the best chance of stopping for good. Unfortunately, I did end eventually pick up the habit again, but now that I've discovered this again, I'll be using this. I'll also update the blog with whatever status update thing my QuitNow app (available on Android Market and whatever the iPhone one is called) gives me.

If you have a support system that works, that's great for you, but sometimes, you need your own kick in the ass and need to fight for yourself. That's what I tried to do, and that's what I'll be doing now.

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