I would first like to point out that whether you are are smoker, not a smoker, smoke occasionally, or struggling to quit, wherever you are at on your journey is okay. There is no right or wrong to your spiritual path; smoking is simply a defensive mechanism to counteract anxieties or overwhelming feelings. It can be helpful to understand how the behavior is helping you or what purpose it serves in your life if it is your desire to stop the behavior and live a more healthy life.
Smoking is addicting due to its immediate dopamine pleasure effects. Your brain learns that the dopamine release feels good, and the behavior becomes a feel-good numbing action. Once the addiction sets in further, it can cause physical sensations within your body, leading to the urge of wanting to smoke another cigarette. The good news is that these cravings go away, but the not so good news is that there is no easy way to clean cut stop the behavior. The urges will be very strong, and if you are a pain avoider like myself this takes mental work to sit down with yourself and feel the uncomfortable feelings that you may have been numbing.
First it's important to do some truth awareness because addictions are mischievous and can trick your mind into thinking the behavior is something that it's not. For example, I started telling myself that my 'one-a-day cigarette' on my back porch was my time to meditate, connect with myself, and connect spiritually. Let's just say, my therapist reframed that trickery real quick. Smoking is way to numb you from yourself and anything uncomfortable you may be feeling. It's a layer away from yourself. She started telling me that If I needed a cigarette, to have a cigarette, but to stop fantasizing it's nature into something it's not.
Now, if I were to smoke a cigarette I would simply say, "I am going to go numb from myself for a minute." That's a more real truth that keeps your mind from falling into a creative false understanding. I believe that the start to any behavior change starts with being conscious of its true nature, and only then are we able to break free from its deceit.
My first nicotine addiction developed from smoking a vape pen that was given to me with over 50 cartridges included. The accessibility was insane! This addiction went on for almost 6 months until my skin started having weird reactions, and I started feeling divine messages to cleanse myself and that my guides and angels would help me along the way. It was after kicking this addiction that my ego tricked me into believing one cigarette a day wouldn't be that bad, and this went on for about 2-3 months until my therapist helped me intervene, along with prayer and divine support and an urge to be connected to my highest intuitive self.
So here's all my experience and truth-telling guidance thrown into 8 categories 🤜🤛
1. You feel like your cigarette is your best friend. Try making yourself a beautiful cup of hot tea that can offer you an intimate spiritual connection with your pure intuitive self, while thinking about how the herbs and activating water are vitalizing your body. Notice how alive and connected to your true self you feel. That's a real best friend.
2. You feel like the habit is so engrained. It is now connected to social intricacies, driving, or enjoying a night/morning on your porch. From an ADHD perspective my psychiatrist tells me that we are (for whatever reason) obsessed with oral fixations, or always having something in our mouths, for I think the extra movement can be calming to our minds. Regardless if that's you or not, try pulling out the perfect piece of gum to share with your friends instead, and drinking a glass of water every hour to still allow for some movement. Think about the water activating all the cells in your body, while filling them with clear fresh light! Think about it cleansing your body of any toxins that may be built up from smoking.
3. You notice you are less likely to think about a cigarette when you are doing something that fulfills your soul! This is a sign! You are capable of filling yourself up with beautiful things that align with more of your true self. Also, it could be helpful when a craving comes, to partake in something that connects you with your most fulfilled version of self. For myself, writing is helpful, because my soul's voice is tremendously louder than my ego when I actually sit down and process with myself. Try to take fields trips away from your cigarettes! My favorite quitting mechanism has been leaving any nicotine products behind and jumping into a full blown vacation or fun traveling trip! Having other satisfying things around can be CLUTCH when trying to make it past the urges stage. If you can make it one week, the urges are already significantly less intense. The real goal would be to throw them away before you left, I've made that mistake before! Went on a week long trip, got over my urges and simply let myself slip back into using my vape, because I forgot to throw it away.
4. You feel like quitting is too hard or impossible - you've tried a million times. Give yourself grace, it's not an easy addiction to kick away, especially when your body has become chemically addicted. If there is anything I have learned in this life, it is that there is always possibility for new mental re-wirings, no matter how engrained something feels, no matter how many times you have failed, or how many times you have fallen back into an addiction. That is the trickery of addiction and where shame and feelings of guilt can keep you from feeling capable of stopping the behavior. Don't ever give up on the power of your true spiritual self that doesn't need any external forces to feel whole or okay. Run towards that part of you, sit through the uncomfortable moments of your ego trying to tell you you are not capable of being the true you. Rewire these thoughts. You may thank your ego for trying to protect you from what may have felt unbearable at one point in your life and for allowing you a place to numb from yourself, but this is no longer needed. The brain has a funny way of protecting us from traumas and things that are less than nurturing, and what was meant to only be a relief in the meantime can turn into lifelong addictions before you realize. The way out is through connection with your true self. Try to align your life for recovery, so that you are either filling it with things that ignite your spirit or are searching for that to be revealed to you. Ask for support, pray about it, trust that god, your angels, and guides can help take away cravings and guide you to areas of recovery.
5. You can't identify any traumas that may have caused the urge to numb from yourself, it has always been around you or you have grown up around smoking. Many times, by the time an addiction is heavily engrained, the person might not even be conscious of what led them to this behavior. It takes work, untangling, and talking it out to get to the heart of things, and one may never get a clear distinct answer, for there are so many experiences and things all playing into our mental health. It takes fighting, and also trust, that things will be revealed to you at the perfect timing to unlock what is needed to shift you. If you have grown up around it, you may have learned at an early age its ability to help you cope with uncomfortable feelings and your ego may be more intense than someone who hasn't had this wiring for as long. Stay aware - if you need a cigarette, remember to tell yourself the truth by simply saying "whatever I'm feeling is too uncomfortable, I am going to numb from myself for a minute." Also, when I say "uncomfortable emotion," this doesn't have to mean something deep and sorrowful. Keep it conscious - it's when it starts to get tangled and confused again within your ego that it will creep back in!
6. You try to quit and then forget about all the advice, knowledge of how bad it is for you, and eventually end up smoking again. Let's just be honest, this is typical addiction behavior and it may happen throughout the recovery journey, because your ego will do everything it can so you don't have to feel pain in the moment (even though listening to this ego leads to more pain in the long run). A good lesson here can be starting to realize how to separate your ego-self from your spiritual or intuitive self, and understanding that your higher self will always lead you in the highest direction. I know I speak a lot from eating disorder recovery, but it is all very similar and operating from a same source that once was not being fulfilled inside. Regardless of how tangled and messy the addiction is now, your unfulfilled self was once the source of it all. Stay conscious of that, and stay conscious that a fully loved and fulfilled version of yourself won't need these things or external substances. The good news is that the part of you that searches for any external high just wants to be filled and loved. You get to choose what you fill it with.
7. You are not able to connect to what feels fulfilling in your life, you feel stuck by your current work situations, or you simply feel lost or have a lack of meaning in life. My first answer is that this may mean there is healing that needs to take place within, or a new direction is needed. While therapy is always helpful to keep yourself reprogrammed, I understand it can feel overwhelming to know where to start or how to find the right therapist and etc. As an advocate for therapy, I simply say/believe that it is okay to ask for help when you feel defeated. Sometimes the help outside of yourself is what can spark new levels of consciousness that you were unable to access on your own. And my second answer is self-care/energy healing activities such as healing touch sessions to balance any energetic centers, so that you are more balanced and aligned to fight an addiction.
8. You begin to miss your smoking habit, its ability to ease social situations, always be at your side, or give you something to do when you're unsure of what you should be doing.
First and foremost ALWAYS remember that unhealthy coping mechanisms will try to save the day when you are not being fulfilled in life. Life is this unpredictable journey of pain and pleasure that is meant to shift and ascend us. The process of learning new coping mechanisms is a difficult process that will continue to be challenging if we are not fulfilled, we don't feel good enough, something tragic happens, or etc. Remember that your soul only wants to be filled. Also, there is a grief process attached to letting go of ANY part of your self. It is okay to be sad and even miss the part of you that didn't have to feel difficult emotions. You are on a journey of becoming more in tune with yourself and everything you may have been numbing from may be extremely hard to feel and/or simply annoying, but it is through feeling that we unlock higher levels of consciousness. Stay in tune, and keep reaching for yourself.
What if authenticity, and deep internal anxieties, depressions, and digressions of awkward moments was the new high; the high that we all signed up to be a part of, so that we may find growth, so that we may find ascension, and so that we may reach and experience new amazing parts of ourselves. And only then, do we realize that we are made of strength, resilience, and before all... divine power. That sounds like the awakening I would have raised my hand for.
For people who would rather raise their hand for being mad at this post -> In the summarized words of Rhianna and NERD's new song Lemon, "the truth may set you free...but I didn't say it wouldn't piss you off first."🗽