Category Archives: Direct Issue

Is it hard to quit smoking? Is quitting easy?

When it’s all said and done, quitting smoking wasn’t the hardest thing I ever did.

Well, it wasn’t easy either.

It sure was one of the longest … at least until I started writing books.

Quitting smoking was probably the most aggravating thing I had ever done.

I know I always figured I could try again later.

I just love how “they” tell us that quitting smoking is more addictive than heroin, yet “they” tell us to quit, without going into treatment … they say to keep on working, keep on parenting, keep your routine and just make people understand that you are trying to quit.

Anything that has to do with quitting smoking is a bunch of double speak.  You need to shut that out and listen to yourself.  Eventually you will even shut me out because you will have narrowed down your focus to just you and your goal.

That nic fit eventually subsides.  The trick is to put up with the aggravation until it doesn’t become an aggravation any more.  It was easier to handle when I quit having expectations and I rode it out.  My goal was to outlast the withdrawal and I had to prepare for it.  The only way I could do that was to shut everything out and listen to myself.

Before my Real Quit Date, I took a look at how I approach things in the frame of “hard or easy”.  I didn’t do anything new, I went through my day and was aware of how I approached any given situation.

I discovered:

  • if I expected easy, I may have procrastinated, because it was easy.
  • if I went into a project and it was harder than expected, I would get upset.
  • if I went into something thinking it was hard, I did it, but I dragged my feet with the extra burden.  I actually made it harder than it was.

After that I tried to quit judging things as hard or easy.  Although, I didn’t give it up entirely.  I do like to do all the easy stuff first, so I can take time on the hard stuff without thinking I still need to allow time for 10 other things.  After all, that is how I approached smoking.  Challenge all the easy aggravations first and there is no choice but to reveal the hard ones and face them.

But mostly, I just had to allow the time to heal.  I smoked for over 25 years.  There is a lot of healing going on.  I had to submit and just let it happen because I didn’t have control over my body healing.  I didn’t know how long it was going to take.  I just had to abstain from smoking long enough to trust myself not to pick up a cigarette on a whim … or at least the first excuse I could find.  I had to quit quitting” only for the reason that I wanted to move on to something else.  I had to view looking forward to quitting more than I viewed it as a pesky problem that was impossible to do.

I’m willing to bet that right-now your view-point of quitting as pesky and problematic is greater than your desire to quit.

Your successful quit date will come once you turn that around.

Day 2 NaBloPoMo; Quitting Smoking, Direct Issues and Indirect Issues

Most of my work with the False Quit Dates was to activate triggers and deal with them while I continued to smoke.  I captured the triggers, or issues, and dissected them into the most basic concept … I pondered them.  Triggers are issues related to smoking that makes a person fail to quit.  I divided these triggers into Direct Issues and Indirect Issues.

Direct Issues, basically are habits.  Smoking after a meal.  Get in the car, start it up and light up a cigarette.   Wake up, grab a cup a coffee, go on the porch to watch the sunrise and have a smoke.   You may have the idea that if you quit smoking you’ll never be able to go on the porch with a cup of coffee without clinging to the memory of having a cigarette.  This is especially hard when it comes to the after dinner cigarette … you need to eat.

Indirect issues are triggers that make you stomp off to go smoke.  Having a bad day at work.  Upsetting a customer.  Getting into a car accident or at least having a close call.  Getting angry that after taking care of everyone else, there is no time for your stuff.

Usually when I set a False Quit Date, a couple of issues would come up.  First, I would pick the easiest ones to work on.  I figured if I worked my way up, the hard ones wouldn’t be so hard when I got to them.  Second, I would try to pick a direct issue and an indirect issue.  I figured the first one was practice and the second one was an attitude adjustment.

Yes, I would get on myself about screwing around and I should just get busy quitting.  Except unlike before where I tried to quit and failed, I felt like I was actually doing something about my quit, instead of giving up and continuing to smoke.  This way, even though I was continuing to smoke; I didn’t give up.  That is why I kept setting another False Quit Date.

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