Smoking Addiction: Break Away from Your Emotional Crutch

Jim Christopher Health Guide
  • Years ago I was disinclined to deal with difficulty directly.  I’m also not the world’s best at standing up for myself; streaks of anxiety shoot through my very human frame on occasion.

    I experience fears of various potency: a momentary reactive fear, an instantaneous adrenaline-in-the-throat feeling when another driver swerves in front of me on a busy Los Angeles freeway.  I admittedly feel anxious about a number of things from time to time.  For many years, I reached for alcohol or cigarettes; not so since 1978 re: alcohol and 1993 re: nicotine.

    Fear and anxiety do not – even momentarily – bring on a feeling/thought to drink or smoke.  I think it is fair to say that fear – or any other thought or feeling for that matter – has not led me to desire a drink or a smoke.

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    I stay fit and healthy.  Not perfectly, but I’m willingly in the zone of mental, emotional, and physical fitness on a pretty consistent basis.

    Affirmations play a part; I repeat self empowerment affirmations daily prior to each of 2 sets of moderate strength training exercises: 130 push-ups and 100 pull-ups (on a towel-draped interior).  I walk and climb stairs as a matter of course daily.  This, coupled with healthy eating (including healthy snacks), is a winning formula for yours truly.

    I’m what one would generally refer to as “high-strung,” or over-reactive; colorful expletives are not foreign to me.

    Flashback: Years ago I attempted suicide gulping over 200 over-the-counter sleeping pills, slept frequently in my own vomit (from drinking/throw-up bouts), smoked three or more packs of cigarettes a day and generally evaded life as we know it.  I was never a violent person, more of a “doormat drunk”: you could walk on me or over me but please be gentle.

    Now, things are better minus booze and nicotine. Brighter. Bubblier without the bubbly, clearer without sucking toxins via a nicotine delivery system: the cigarette.  I am, as I’ve shared in previous posts, a participant in life.  That’s revolutionary for me.  It’s up to me to engage.  To cross my comfort zone and to take calculated risks.  When projects end, as I had anticipated or otherwise, I choose to choose other projects.

    If I don’t seek out potential projects, who’ll step in and do it for me?  As I continue to age (and who doesn’t), I continue to deliberately do stuff that – for the most part – will affirm and extend my life.

    Smoking doesn’t fit in.  I want to maintain a powerful arrest of  my nicotine and booze addictions.  As an addiction recovery coach – so to speak – I’ve had the frequent exhilarating pleasure of being of service on this planet.

    I’m fortunate to be alive, to have a life and a relatively productive life.  You can change your fortunes by making a decision to stop smoking and, as a result, experience life in a less oppressive way.

    I’m well aware that challenges abound and that we’re individually unique and that some of us have endured far more crap than others.  But please don’t stay trapped in your crap.  If you are free from active cigarette addiction burdens become less oppressive and a brighter life awaits you.

  • Visit me at and I look forward to being with you again next week.

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    More from Jim:

    Stop Smoking: Self-Empowerment and Old Fashioned Elbow Grease

    Traditional Quitting Methods Got You Down? Support is Here

Published On: July 07, 2008