Steve found me in a chat room here at About.com a long time ago, and I'd spent weeks, maybe months trying to find a way to quit that made sense. I'd read all about the virtues of chewing sunflower seeds, the merits of sucking on straws, drinking copious amount of water, 'hanging in there', and 'keeping busy'. In those days I had absolutely no idea about "why" I was smoking, and what I was responding to when I got an urge to smoke. I did know that none of these strategies worked for me, however. I wanted to understand more about the 'why's of my smoking habit - cuz I knew it went way past just a chemical addiction to nicotine.
I always talk about finding cog quitting as my 'light bulb moment'. As I read through Steve's site and talked with him in ICQ, I kept thinking 'aha! that's why...', each time I learned another facet about my smoking behavior, and learned how to respond to those urges to smoke in much more appropriate ways - ways which worked. I got to learn how to do ABC's and got tweaked more than a time or two(my ABC's that is...) And very glad I was too, because then I had a tool I could use for all sorts of situations, situations which used to set up my urges to smoke.
It's one thing to find something we believe in - and I truly believe that cognitive quitting is very real, valid, and valuable - but it's quite another to put it into practice. Steve and I have often talked about what it is that makes the quit 'stick', and keep coming back to commitment. Steve's Foundation statements are, I believe, at the heart of a cognitive quit. I read a post over at another smoking site recently, and with apologies to tc_guy over at Quitnet, I've pinched a bit of his post and added some to it from my perspective.
Firstly, some definitions
- The trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose
- The act of binding yourself(intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action
- A dedication to a long-term course of action
- Feel or have a desire for; want strongly
- To wish or long for; crave; covet
He felt that "If desire was all that it took, we'd have a 100% success rate. We all want to quit, some of us desperately so. The success rate of the quitting process is far less...except for those who are committed to their quits...I *desired* to quit for many years. Every pack was my last one, I swore to myself. One day, a little over a year ago, I *committed* to quit smoking. And I did quit, that very night."
I'm not sure what method he used to quit just over a year ago, but I'd agree with what he said about commitment being a key part in it. Once we find that commitment, and accept that there will be uncomfortable times in the quit process, but that nothing justifies a smoking response, that we'll 'do the work' and look after our health and well being in the process by taking all necessary steps(eg diet, exercise, a medical check-up), then we've got some solid tools to help us quit in a sound, cognitive way. Please, I urge you, do the work, and you too can be in this wonderful place. I don't get a chance to post here much any more - I now spend a fair amount of time doing online quit smoking support myself - but I'll always be grateful for all the support and encouragement I received here.
Two years, 11 hours, 20 mintues and 25 seconds. 18261 cigarettes not smoked. Life saved: 9 weeks, 9 hours, 45 minutes.
Pam's Quit Smoking Story