Over the last several weeks, I have been coming to terms with some of the habitual and addictive practices that I have in my life. I am so blessed to be working with clients who are facing their practices because it forces me to be honest and deal with my own. And one of the things that I realize is that so much of what we do is unconscious...we habitually move through our days and lives using coping techniques that we learned as little kids. Some of them still work, and some of them don't, but we keep doing them because that's what we have always done.
I've been working recently with some individuals who have now decided to stop smoking. The challenge is not only the actual physical addiction which is great, but also the emotional addictive practices. Cigarette companies do everything they can to physically addict you to their products. They include additives that open up the bronchioles in your lungs so the nicotine penetrates deeper; they have added chemical transports so that the nicotine gets to your brain faster and more efficiently to give you that rush that you seek. They advertise in ways that get your attention and then keep you hooked. Aside from this, smokers have all of the subconscious memories of when smoking worked for them. Perhaps it was a time that something traumatic happened and smoking a cigarette helped soothe their nerves in the moment. Or perhaps it was part of positive social engagement with friends and positive memories and associations are also linked to smoking.
The mind holds all of these. One of my clients had positive associations with smoking on her patio, yet when we regressed into her past, she had more upsetting memories of smoking on her patio after a robbery at her house, after breaking up with her boyfriend in high school, after taking a test that she thought she failed. By regressing her, we were able to do some corrective actions, help her see herself in these moment handling these situations successfully without smoking, and releasing the energetic attachments to the past. We then brought her to her current patio where she couldn't go without having a cigarette, and she was completely comfortable being there as a nonsmoker.
As you can see, the change from being a smoker to a nonsmoker is not about overcoming a weakness, it is about letting go of past attachments, finding and installing techniques to overcome cravings and create new habits, and moving on as a nonsmoker. And all of the guilt, shame, and other emotions that we have about ourselves, and all the awful things that we have said to ourselves for failing in the past can be let go as well. Nobody does this well alone. Nobody.
So if you're ready to stop doing something, and are sick and tired of your addiction, get help. You're not weak because you need and want help; you're just human.