I've now been smoke free for about a week.
So what caused me to quit the stuff?
I think running had a huge part to do with it - in large part thanks to my peers who have been instrumental in supporting me.
But I also met with Rock Thomas over Skype. Rock is a former Tony Robbins coach and leads a group that I'm in. He suggested that I needed to stop intellectualizing and rather feel emotion around how smoking is hurting me.
He suggested many crazy things to visualize and feel, such as:
Imagine being in a hospital bed, sick from cancer, with my parents by my bedside. It's easy to visualize something like that, but it takes more effort to actually feel it. Feel the pity that my parents would have on me, them crying in the hallway, feeling bad about themselves, wishing they had done more. And feeling guilty that I had done this to do them. Wouldn't that be messed up?
(I don't have kids, but I was told to imagine doing this to a kid): What if every time I took a puff, I also had to make this kid take a puff? Wouldn't that be fucked up? Would I even smoke?
The session was over, and right out of the blue a friend of mine who had quit smoking texted me. We talked about it briefly; he called it a scene out of a clockwork orange
After that session with Rock, I decided I'd try going the rest of the day without smoking and I've been smoke free since.
Was it brainwashing or manipulation? I'm not sure. I think the chain really went like this:
- I pledged to run 3 miles a week to quit smoking. I didn't know if this would work, but I figured I'd suffer through sufficient pain and *might* want to quit smoking.
- I got donations from friends + family. This kept me accountable to them, which meant -
- I'd actually run the miles and feel the pain
- The final catalyst was just talking to someone who suggested: "Yes, you can do this!" and arming me with some psychological tools to stay away from the stuff.
I certainly am not out of the weeds. Rock suggested that the real change will take at least 66 days. Wish me luck! Of course, I'm continuing to run and have a new work out plan. Will update later with that!