Tuesday, September 01, 2009

smoke emotions

Something I've often said is that cigarettes are the wonder drug. You're tired, you smoke and perk up. You're tense, you smoke and relax. Cigarettes are whatever you want them to be and that's a huge part of why they're so addictive.

Recently, I talked with someone who had quit 14 years ago, and he said "cigarettes are entirely emotional." Being a bit Spockish it took me 2 weeks to figure out what he was saying and apply it to quitting.

It's all about association. Cigarettes are whatever you want them to be. They're all about affecting how you're feeling. But the thing to understand is the emotions you had were there to begin with, and the emotions you have after the cigarette are YOUR emotions.

The cigarette does nothing.

Example: You're tense, and you step outside and light up. What you're doing walking away physically, mentally, or both. You take a break -- you get away from the problem -- you pause for reflection. That's what relaxes you, NOT THE CIGARETTE. Associating the relaxation with the cig is the error.

If you're happy, the cigarette does not make you happier. If you're hungry, the cigarette may put a flavor on your tongue but you can do the same thing with anything else. Tense, bored, needing relaxation or a break -- you can do it just as well without.

Disassociate the emotion from the cigarette and you will lose another (possibly large) reason to smoke.

1 comment:

Steve Bodio said...

I LOVED my Camels, until I was about 36. I figured out a few things. With them and my lungs I doubt I would be alive today (almost 60).

Now then there is also booze...