Worried that you will never stop smoking?

The secret fear of most smokers is that they will never stop smoking. That they will fail, like they did before and that quitting is a hopeless pointless exercise in unhappy failing.

This mindset is a sneaky way that the addiction keeps you smoking, it engenders hopelessness and a sense of pointlessness, in order to keep you smoking. I suggest it is not “you” thinking these thoughts but the addiction talking, the little part of the brain that will say or do anything to keep you smoking.

The vast majority of ex-smokers, if not all of them, will tell you that not smoking is fine, perfectly possible and not a big deal. They may have struggled a bit in the early weeks but they came through and got it sorted. The non-smoker will brush off the any talk of problems and difficulty and simply enjoy their new found non smoking status. The smoker however cannot see though the haze of negative thoughts created by the addiction and cannot hear the simple and positive message spread by those who have kicked the habit.

The smoker is in one world and ex-smokers are in another separated by a thin wall of addictive thoughts. The struggle and pain of stopping smoking is far greater on the smoking side of the wall than on the other side. Talk to an ex-smoker and they will tell you this. For them it was all worth it and a good thing that they stopped. Meanwhile the smoker only hears how impossible and awful it is to quit and one day, maybe never, they might have another go at quitting.

So the worry and fear that you feel about stopping smoking is all part of the problem. It is not the reality of being a non-smoker, it is part of the territory of being a smoker.

It is this mindset, along with a host of other destructive mindsets, that a stop smoking therapist will deal with. Pointing the mind towards the future of a life without cigarettes and believing it will be fine and easy and one the best things you have done. It is almost like bursting the bubble created by that smokey haze if that works as a metaphor!

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Andrew Cunningham

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