If you are reading this as a smoker, the fact that you’re free to smoke might seem rather obvious. Here you are, lighting up cigarettes and smoking them. Of course you can do that. It’s after you have made an attempt to stop that your choice to go back to smoking can seem to have been surrendered.
The work involved in stopping smoking is in coming to understand that you have the freedom to return to smoking – even though you are not exercising that freedom by smoking. The chances are that you have a deep-seated belief that you have been developing for many years, even decades. And it takes some time and effort to turn this false way of thinking around.
A friend of mine, Susan, is typical of someone working through a substantial problem with deprivation. When she first stopped smoking she got very angry, then lethargic and apathetic. When I spoke to her a week later she was feeling very deprived, yearning to smoke for hours on end, even though she was genuinely horrified by the thought of going back to smoking.
Understandably, she said that she didn’t feel very confident at all. She told me that she couldn’t smoke. Her (false) logic was that if she wanted to stay off smoking, then she didn’t have the option of smoking. ‘If I want to live,’ she said, ‘then I can’t smoke.’ ‘Not true,’ I told her. You want to live; true. Smoking will kill you; that is possible. But the truth is that you still have the option of doing that. It’s a freedom you have, whether you want it or not. It’s a fact of life.’ cbd fruchtgummis kaufen
I wasn’t encouraging her to smoke, I was encouraging her to acknowledge that the choice to smoke exists, so that she wouldn’t think she was being deprived. When she turned this thinking around she felt much more positive and in control, and found staying stopped much easier.
Her background explains the trouble she was having coming to terms with the concept of free choice. Her parents were both heavy smokers. While they smoked and smoked every day, they always told her, over and over again, that she ‘must never become a smoker’.
They were both very ill from smoking, and understandably wanted a better life for their daughter. Susan started smoking when she was 16 and you can imagine the reaction when her parents found out. There was much screaming and yelling, and again she was told that she was not allowed to smoke, that she ‘had to stop’.
Once, a few years ago, she stopped smoking after a visit to a hypnotist, but she had just repressed her desire, and was back smoking after two weeks. She didn’t even see the issue of choice and deprivation until she read a few good self help books, after 30 years of smoking, simultaneously believing she just wasn’t allowed to smoke.
When she reminds herself that she does, in fact, have the freedom to smoke, not smoking becomes easier and far more positive. Her desire to smoke is significantly more tolerable, when before it was ‘like a scream through my body’. Knowing she has a choice provided the key. She goes through periods of forgetting her freedom, but then she will remember it again, eventually shifting her thinking enough so that her choices are real to her.