Sometimes it's not about starting healthy habits, but stopping the unhealthy ones. It's time to bring up an 'uncomfortable' topic...one we prefer to avoid, but needs to be faced now.
1. Are you a heavy or casual smoker? This concerns you.
2. Do you want to quit, not to quit, or know you should? This concerns you.
3. Are you a “social smoker?” Are you able or unable to admit you're a smoker who smokes time to time? This concerns you.
The purpose of this article is to reflect on smoking and how it effects you - maybe even encourage you to consider quitting in a realistic way.
My very new husband, Joseph, has been smoking literally for 20 years between 30 – 40 cigarettes a day. He's what we call a heavy smoker.
When I met him, I told him, “I'm not a smoker. Absolutely not. I just smoke in social occasions, once or twice a week, depends on my mood.” Well half of the sentence was wrong, and I was unintentionally lying - not only to him but to myself as well.
Whether you smoke once in a while or 100 a day, you are in some way addicted and dependent on nicotine. While this might seem obvious to some, I assure you that most casual smokers won't admit it or have a hard time admitting their addiction and dependence on nicotine.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER...
Joseph's mum, who also is a smoker, wanted to quit smoking for long time, and she researched until she found something she believed could help her. It was a book called: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. She bought it, and was hoping to hand it off to Joseph as well, with no expectations but only with hope.
Once Joseph got the book, I didn't think he would do much with it. Especially because he kept saying, “I want to want to quit smoking. My problem is that I don't really want to; I like it”.
While I was teaching yoga workshops in Spain, he flew to Africa for work reasons. A funny detail is that when I met him, he didn't read at all, and he gave me a pleasant surprise when he read my published novel in a DAY in a previous trip!! So this time he did the same. He took the Allen Carr book with him and in less than a week he read it.
Throughout his time reading, he would get excited and share facts and knowledge with me. “I am throwing cigarettes half way smoked because it disgusts me,” yet, I didn't really believe that he would stop smoking. Of course, I didn't mention it to him. I had hope and it wouldn't be smart to discourage his new purpose.
After a couple of days, he sent me a video of him throwing away all of his cigarettes, lighters, papers, tobacco, everything. Right into the trash with confidence and no looking back!
All it took was 21 days, which is just about the amount of days that the body needs to be completely clean of nicotine. In other words, after 21 days, you are not addicted to nicotine anymore. That's the easy part, actually. Because there is no physical pain at all, this may be even worse - the feeling of emptiness.
Now, Joseph says, “I don't like to smoke; it doesn't taste good; it makes my clothes smell like shit, my skin, my fingers are yellow, my teeth are becoming black, and I feel itching in my throat. I realized that I don't enjoy it at all. It's all an illusion. There is nothing actually fun or enjoyable in smoking.”
Joseph continues “Now, I understand, I comprehend and I want to face it. The hardest part is to get rid of the brain wash, or the habit, like that first cigarette with my coffee in the mornng.
The issue here is that according to the philosophy of that book, smoking is not a habit, but an addiction. Habits and addictions are not the same, and it is like a brain wash.
YOU SMOKE, I SMOKE, WE'RE ALL ADDICTED.
Therefore, heavy, casual and non-admitting smokers are the same: we're all addicted people to a substance that provides us nothing. Nothing besides bad things and more probability of dying and suffering.
You don't need me or anyone to remind you what the prejudices are for smoking - we know how much money we spend, how it's proven nonsmokers are happier, and how it makes us smell like a grandpa...but all I ask is this - do a favor for yourself and ask, "do I control my mind or does my mind control me?"
I am the first one that says to myself: “Ey u casual smoker! Stop the bullshit and face the facts, you are addicted!”
As well as Joseph, I've decided to commit to keep my body away from nicotine, to keep my mind free from addiction and brain wash, to not let down my health and to keep loving myself hopefully forever. So...I will not surrender to you, Nicotine!
I hope somehow this story inspired you to reflect and perhaps not to stop smoking (or yes) but to stop any other harmful habit/addiction you have in your life.
Have you had any similar experiences? Do you have any thoughts to share? Are you with me against nicotine? Share in the comments below.
With Love & Hope,
Spain & Israel, Loves the Present
Nita is the owner and inspiration behind El Reino de Nita: Yoga & Philosopy. Check out her amazing space right here: www.elreinodenita.com/en
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