Yesterday I mentioned the smoking issue some of us have and or are working on trying to stop. Well, I have been there. A few times as a matter of fact. The fact is I have smoked and quit three different times. No it is not that I tried once and started smoking then quit then start then quit.
What happened to me was I started smoking as a teenager, of course, and as for some insight my parents enabled me to keep smoking because their point of view was they would at least know what I was doing. This actually built a certain level of trust between us. Saying that it was quite a thing for a teenager to trust their parents, and still is. So, I was able to smoke in my house, in the family car, or where ever and feel comfortable doing so. I smoked from, the first time, age 15 to 22 right before I entered the Army.
The day I joined I realized there was going to be a lot of physical training involved, and in knowing this I took stock in my earlier days in high school as a wrestler and determined I did not want to go through the same troubles. These troubles were that I was always out of breath and constantly battling with endurance issues. Besides at age twenty two I felt it was time to stop smoking and take care of myself both physically and mentally. As things turned out it seemed as though I just stopped, without with drawls, without cravings, I just stopped. Of course moving from Florida, 3ft above sea level, to Western Texas, 600ft above sea level, didn't really help the endurance part but I eventually began to feel the changes taking place and felt much better not smoking.
Now, mind you, there were others who were smokers but that somehow did not bother me. The point here is I made a decision to stop smoking and I did it without any second thoughts. At this time in my life I didn't even try to understand what had happened or why it happened, it just happened. While in basic training I was told, along with everyone else, "That the body will do what the mind tells it to do". This was and is pretty powerful stuff. "The body will do what the mind tells it to do".
OK, jump ahead 11 years and I find myself smoking again. The word is that stressful things can cause us to make silly and some what poor choices. Well, I am human, as are you the reader. I found myself going through some tough times and 'boom' I was at it again, smoking a pack to two packs a day just as if I never stopped. This time it lasted about three years because I switched to chewing tobacco, ew, and yuck....But hey, I was not smoking. I did this because I was working construction at the time and had the ability to smoke on the job. I found it easier to chew than smoke.
When that job ended and I left the construction field I just stopped buying snuff and was free once again from the tobacco monster. Can you see a pattern here yet? If not there is one more leg of the journey to go on. This starts when I was working part time in a gas-convenience store selling everything from candy to cigarettes to of course gasoline. I would come home with pounding head aches until I experimented one night and took a puff from a friends Camel cigarette. Wow! it went in so smooth and tasty, I was hooked again. This time, oh yea and my head ache went away, very mysteriously, I went on to smoke for another 3 years.
Then one day at work, again a place where I could grab a smoke any time within reason, I said to myself, out loud, "This is my last cigarette". I proceeded to finish that particular smoke and then crushed the remaining ones still in the pack and never looked back. It has now been 6 years since I have smoked. Some of my friends do and it does not bother me to be around them when they do but I have no desire to start again.
Does the phrase, " The body will do what the mind tells it to do", ring a bell just about now? It's not about will power at all. Will power can be defeated. It takes will power to put a patch on every day. This same will power is used to get up every morning get dressed and go to work. What I discovered about myself is that my will cannot function without the mind. I get things done that I set my mind to accomplish and my will takes over so to speak.You see one can have the will to climb Mt Everest, but, a friend or even yourself, can talk you out it just by saying in passing how dangerous it is.
You can lose the will to try it, wheres the fun in that, I say. The point is smoking is an acquired behavior, it is not a natural one like breathing or eating. It is a behavior that stems from the need to be constantly in motion, orally satiated, physically doing something or what ever you may label it. It is very possible to stop this behavior without using additional chemicals i.e. gum or patches. Although all behaviors stem from a basic need and are masked as to be giving some kind of positive effect. Some are detrimental to our overall health and well being, like smoking. Nevertheless, before we venture further down or path of self discovery here I want you, the reader,
if in fact you are a smoker and I have peaked your curiosity, to ask yourself these questions.
- Why do I smoke in the first place and why did I start?
- How important is my health to me and others in my life?
- How much money does it cost me to continue, and how much would it cost me to quit?
Yes, ask yourself these questions and think real hard about the financial end of it. Since the price for a pack is about the price for a gallon of gas these days. This behavior affects us both financially and psychically along with others around us. My next post will be about how the mind works and what can be done to control it by learning basic meditation. So until then happy trails....