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Filling the Voids




Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:14 AM by hermine (qsmb)


Quitting smoking leaves us with a terrible emptiness that, for a while, we don't know exactly how to handle. And we may even ask ourselves if we will ever be able to fill these voids with anything. What helped me to get over this was eventually understanding that the source of the problem wasn't the absence of cigarettes, but the mere existence of those terrible feelings I was dealing with. 


They were there all along, but I was trying to cover them all up with smoke... The moment I stopped smoking, I started to realize and acknowledge all those things that were wrong in my life and I've been trying to get rid of by hiding behind a curtain of cigarette smoke. But they didn't disappear, they have been watching me silently and now, as the smoke cleared, we are starting to make eye contact again. Should I light a cigarette so I become blind again? Or should I finally tackle the beasts? The answer is clear. I will attack.


So ask yourself, as you are ripped by this feeling of emptiness: is it ok that a small piece of paper filled with tobacco has become such an important part of my life? Is it ok that I have become emotionally attached to a small piece of paper filled with tobacco?!


Don't hide behind the curtain of smoke again. Don't choose to run again. Make the most of the fact that you are finally capable to see your life as it really is and you finally have the chance to fill those voids. Fill your short and precious life with people, places, hobbies and knowledge. Put things that actually matter inside those voids, because blowing smoke inside them will never, ever, make them disappear.


Link to original post: https://www.quittrain.com/topic/10482-filling-the-voids-repost-by-hermine/


Edited by jillar

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Thanks for bumping this, @jillar. Now that I'm well beyond the chemical withdrawal phase of my quit, I'm noticing that my actual urges to smoke have not gone away. They are more manageable - and I have a stronger toolkit for coping with them. But The deep desire/urge to smoke persists. This post points to part of why. One factor that contributed to my smoking was trying to numb-out and evade some inner conflicts (and some outer ones, too). Another was unmet needs. Now that I've quit smoking, I'm called into a deeper reckoning with these forces in my life. Ouch. 


I believe that denial is "nature's shock absorber." It serves a purpose in our psyche, and shouldn't be entirely avoided. I used smoking to serve this purpose, but quitting does not mean I have to be relentlessly hammered with discomfort. Talk about a disincentive to keep the quit! All it means is that I need to come up with some different ways to take a break or shift my energies when needed... ways that don't entail sticking something toxic in my mouth and setting it on fire. As @Boo has said elsewhere on the forum (and I'm paraphrasing), there are 999 things I can do with this moment, and just one thing I can't do - smoke. Here's to focusing  on the 999.  

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