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By (March 6, 2009) ()

The last two weeks I’ve been forced to consider the various facets of my smoking habit in anticipation of a quit date at the end of the month. I quit once before, but it started creeping back in a couple of months ago. The desire to quit came fairly quickly, almost in tandem to the re-emergence of the habit itself. As Bizarre as that sounds, consider the fact that I began smoking again despite knowing that my behavior patterns wouldn’t permit me to be a casual smoker. Every single cigarette I’ve lit for the last two months has had a flurry of negative emotions associated with it, so many that I feel compelled to list them bulletpoint:

*guilt: that I was lying to my parents like I was 15 again.
*anger: thst I started again and continue
*resignation: that it’s easier to deal with negative emotions than it is to stop.
*disgust, with how my breath ends up smelling.

The interesting thing to consider in this case is that I am in complete control of each the trigger itself: negative emotions shouldn’t be triggered by the person themselves, or at least not so overtly and blatantly consciously. in order to reverse engineer this trigger, we have to go one step further back and consider what triggers the act of having a cigarette in the first place and puts me in the position to want to experience all these negative emotions. Although it varies by person and situation, In my case I’ve determined through a steady course-load of (tiring) smoking cessation workshops that the vast majority of my triggers are physiological at this point. By physiological I simply mean that my system’s dependency on nicotine is the single strongest factor in every decision I make to have a cigarette.

The upside for me is that it explains how it’s possible that I can put myself in the situation to experience negative emotions. Even though ostensibly I make the decision, an external factor is forcing my hand every time the nicotine drops under a certain level.


March 6, 2009


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