Welcome to WhyQuit.com! What is the inner source that will allow you to stop smoking nicotine, chewing it or sucking it, skip those once mandatory feedings, and resume full control of your life? Strength, willpower, desire?
It would be natural to think that it's a combination of the three but none of us are stronger than our addiction, as is clearly evidenced by our inability to live the drug addict's first wish of being able to control the uncontrollable. We cannot beat our dependency into submission, stand toe to toe with it, or handle one puff of nicotine without that puff occupying up to 50% of our brain's a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors, and causing a dopamine "aaah" sensation that will soon have our brain begging for more. Nicotine's chemical bond with the brain's reward pathways is beyond the reach of strength.
What about willpower? Yes, we can each temporarily muster mountains of willpower but can willpower make any of us of us endure a challenge that we lack the motivation to complete? Can we inhale, chew or suck nicotine into our body and then "will it" to not travel to the brain's addiction circuitry where it will foster a chemical need for more? Have you ever been able to order or command the challenges of chemical withdrawal or psychological recovery to cease? If we are incapable of using strength to control our addiction and we cannot "will" our chemical dependency into hibernation or submission, then what remains?
As simple as it may sound, dreams and desires born of honest recognition of tobacco and nicotine's impact upon our life have the amazing ability to fuel change. But it takes keeping those original honest motivations in the forefront and driver's seat of our mind so that they can both consciously and subconsciously guide us home.
The successful ex-user finds ways to protect and safeguard their primary motivations so that they remain robust, alive and available at a moment's notice to fuel the patience needed to transition this temporary period of adjustment that most call "quitting" but we refer to as "recovery." The intelligent strategy is to combine an understanding of the Law of Addiction - one puff of nicotine equals relapse - with well-protected core motivations.
The educated ex-smoker does not try to forget what their health was like while still using, what it felt like to be controlled, the growing sense of becoming a social outcast, or that feeling as we stood at the tobacco counter and paid hard-earned money to purchase the more than 4,000 chemicals contained in each cigarette, or the 3,000 in each oral tobacco product, that would slowly destroy our body and mind. The successful ex-user keeps such memories - and others - in the forefront of their mind as honest reminders and motivations to fuel their dreams and desires.
The intelligent ex-user realizes that if they allow their motivations to die that it is very possible their freedom and healing will die along with them. The intelligent ex-user finds ways to fuel their motivations, just one day at a time, through study, understanding, education, skills development, critical observation and honesty. They know that they are 100% guaranteed to continue free today if they'll only maintain and protect their original, day #1 genuine desire to ... Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!
John R. Polito
Nicotine Cessation Counselor
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