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Battling addiction: 3 weeks in - Now what?


tourdelove

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MILESTONE: THE 3 WEEKS TRIAL PERIOD IS OVER, NOW WHAT?

Allen Carr, probably the best method for ceasing smoking said that it took about three weeks [or 21 days] to ween yourself off the physical addiction to nicotine [well this is based on lab tests on people]...

WELL, I made it through three weeks of this. Wow! Amazing and cool, but the battle continue, to completely annihilate the enemy, because it is an enemy.

New challenges arises. It's not the pang anymore, but for me, it's the panoply of old emotional triggers [of self destruction]: Somehow my brain thinks that this behavior is soothing, when in reality it is extremely harmful, so how to ward oneself off of this?

It's not only the different challenge, but also the impression that 'nobody cares' anymore. And it is true. The newness of the challenge fades and people forget to cheer you on, as they think 'he/she should be 'normal' by now' or they simply forget.

The motivation coming from accountability towards others fades. So how do you stay committed?

Some people start helping others, this is a very powerful way to stay accountable. The only thing is to make sure to keep your boundaries. Meaning, when somebody is in deep trouble waters, and you feel that it affects you, refer them to someone else, don't sink with the ship. And your boundaries are your boundaries.

You can set new challenges. For me, one thing that prevented me from relapsing was the fact that I want to continue running and want to do a race. One time I felt a strong urge, but I remember that I had to go run that night, so I thought nah, it'll just get in the way. So, I'll keep that in mind in the future.

One thing that is concerning for me is the 'all or nothing' thinking. I think it's brought on by not wanting to feel vulnerable, and triggered because I fear I can't handle it [but it produces the reverse outcome when there is a lil mistake. but truth is I can, we all can face this fear. In this case, I try and remember a technique that needs some everyday practice anyway: feeling the disturbing feeling, but realizing that it is a feeling, I still have a choice as to how I can response. It is hard to do, but it works.

Another thing that arises is the feeling that the more you think about your quit, the more you want to smoke [???]. This seems strange and I thought I was going bunkers but it makes sense. The obsessive thoughts whether focusing on 'doing' something or NOT doing something are still obsessive and still bring what you are trying to stay away from to the forefront. I know I tend to do that a lot! In that case, it is better to relax and take deep breath as you as I realize I am obsessing. I can also distract myself with other activity, and sooth myself with other nice things that have nothing to do with my obsession.

Other ways to recommit:

1] read your reasons again

2] you list of fears

3] make a new list of the advantages of being addiction or smoke free.

4] every time you feel like going back. take note. Analise it...What happened? what is the trigger, why, and how to prevent this response.

5] keep or intensify healthy habits like exercise. With your new gained health, you might want to increase your time exercising, say from 30min 3 times a week, to 45 min..., until you reach 60min everyday, 6 times a week.

So this is what I have compiled as a note to self.

Some people around me, my mom for instance, have the tendency to try and take me down, not that they do it intentionally. Either they think I have Icarus syndrome. Which I can appreciate :D, as it would be really possible to perceive all my strategies, my over analysing things, my talking, and journaling as excessive hubris leading me straight into the arms of my nemesis. I do recognize it. thanks for reminding me :D All I know is it is my way of keeping myself on track.

I know also, that the other reason some people may unintentionally try and remind me of imminent failure is their own jealousy and fatalistic views. [my mom again]. How do I know this? Well, I have felt this before, this urge to say something negative when someone is doing well. It's the crab in the bucket talking. So I can see it in others as well.

But, all in all, it all comes down to the fact that I am convince, and will remain convinced of the possibility of change in our brain, for many many reason. I know it's very hard, but it's also feasible.

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Toury I challenge you to the Mini Challenge : 67 seconds of mindfulness! here's mine:

breath in for 20 seconds

breath out in 5 (gasp, gasp :P)

feeling of sadness

feeling of quiet

empty listening

feeling of peace

Now that I've done this once, I'm remembering something my therapist used to recommend. He said to take 3 mindfulness breaths before you eat. It could be used for anything though. Three breaths is really all it takes to shift a little inside, and a little can be a lot. :D

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ah, mini challenge, ok, I'll take that for now.

today I go for my r-walk. week 3 day 3

what is the 'feeling of sadness' feeling of quiet' 'empty listening' feeling of peace' means?

and I can only breath in for about 12 seconds..:P and my breathing out takes longer than 5.. mmmm. maybe I didn't get it ah!

but I'll try again

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Hi toury!

Those were just the things that came to me in those 67 seconds of mindfulness. That's why I was gasping... taking 20 seconds to breathe out was too long!! :P The magic still worked though, because I was attending to my breath. Putting my focus there brought me into the present moment and a little away from my spinning thoughts. A little can go a long way!! :)

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