Guide to Sobriety: the beginnings of the Not Smoking Project

So, I know I promised to make a video about what I’m doing to try to quit smoking, and how that is going for me, but besides the fact that I’ve taken a bit of a break from YouTube to focus on discord and sorting out my thoughts here more first; I told myself it wouldn’t be useful to talk about something I had not yet succeeded at accomplishing. That I wouldn’t have anything to say that others might find value in.

But it has been pointed out to me by Metavore that just because I haven’t succeeded yet, doesn’t mean I may not have anything to say about it- and regardless that not having succeeded at quitting smoking is not valid reason to not talk at all about the struggle, the process of it.

So I was just thinking about it some, and realized that it was an error on my part (that I only mentally corrected like half an hour ago), to think of dropping heroin and crystal as overnight things.

“Of course that isn’t what happened, Brooke!”

I’m telling myself, right now.

“You know that life doesn’t do sudden, it does gradual so slowly and effectively that sometimes it just seems sudden when we look around and notice it! Get it together, Brooke, you knew that!”

But I only knew that in some contexts, and hadn’t broadened it to include this specific topic yet.

 

Not until today, not until I really took the time to think about what I’m doing now, to prepare myself to drop smoking soon.

I have told people for a while now that I don’t do weaning off very well. That it’s never really worked for me.

 

But that wasn’t strictly true, I’ve realized. I think what I do could possibly be described as a process of weaning my brain off.

I will attempt to illustrate by listing an incomplete series of things I have been doing re: The (Not) Smoking Project-

1) I asked my parents to stop buying me whole cartons at a time, allowing that I wanted to keep smoking at the time, but giving Future Brooke more of a fighting chance to quit, if she chose to do so, by making cigarettes less easily available, more of a hassle to obtain- doubly so because it was my parents, and not me, going to stores to procure them then.

2) As soon as I was able to start working again, emotionally/psychologically/ whatever- I did, and immediately told them they didn’t need to buy cigarettes for me at all any longer, though they were still offering to at the time.

3) I began trying to pay attention for the flitting thoughts along the lines of “I don’t really want to finish this cigarette,” and then putting them out, regardless of whatever “but..” followed that first thought (usually something like “but…I’m driving and I don’t have an ash tray,” or “but… there’s only a little bit left, anyway.”
This, I believe, helps begin to wear down my habituated urges to smoke.

4) I tried keeping track of how many I smoked a day, several times, but that never seemed to make any difference to me!

5) This week, I have begun two new things:
A) Buying (nearly) random brands, generally based off of past association with people who smoked those kinds. This is in an effort to break my dependence upon Camel 99s, specifically, as a step towards breaking my dependence upon cigarettes as a whole.
B) Started to not buy myself a pack in the evening when I run out, as an attempt by Afternoon Brooke to give Night Brooke a chance to exercise will power and go to sleep without one. It has repeatedly failed, but may not fail forever. Unless I stop doing it, then it fails by default!!(edited)

I always bet on my future self, not against. I just like to give myself options. If I knew I would not be able to go get any later, I probably would not have left it open like that.

Options.

When I have options, I usually pick the one I expect myself to.

But the times I don’t, the times I surprise myself with hitherto untapped, and totally unexpected reserves of whatever sort- are worth all the lost bets. To the point where I come out ahead, always- when I am thoughtful and careful about my bets. About my LifeMax Equations!

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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