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The Power of Detachment


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One of the greatest gifts the process of quitting gave me was the opportunity to practice detachment on a daily basis.  I started thinking about this earlier today after hearing Jocko Willink talk about detachment on a podcast.  In fact, the moment I figured out how to separate myself from whatever emotions and thoughts I was having in the moment was the turning point in my quit.  It was a struggle before I figured it out.  After I figured it out, it has been nothing but smooth sailing.


The cravings didn't magically go away when I turned the corner.  The odd thought about "the good ol' days when I was a smoker" still popped up from time-to-time.  The basic tenets of addiction were still there, I just changed how I reacted.  Instead of surrendering to the chaos and allowing the emotional upheaval to dictate my actions, I just took a step back and observed what was really going on.  Identified my thoughts as nothing more than a temporary feeling born of decades of addiction.


Detaching yourself from the self-defeating thoughts and emotions of addiction allows you to observe what's really going on and make wise decisions.


The cigarette is an inanimate object.


You are not a smoker.  You are someone who used to smoke.


Your thoughts have as much or as little power as you give them.

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I love this post, @Boo.


I have a prompt to help me, a deep breath and feasting my eyes on something of beauty.


As soon as I could recognize the thoughts of the addict,

I was able to first, distract myself from them with a deep, deep breath and replacing the thought by looking at or listening to something of beauty.

This distanced myself from them further and further as time went on and clarity ensued.


I use this exercise whenever I am stressed or confused or upset or in a conundrum.

The breath and finding something of Beauty now stimulates my endorphins quite quickly.

Creatures of habit, are we.


16 hours ago, Boo said:

Detaching yourself from the self-defeating thoughts and emotions of addiction allows you to observe what's really going

Your thoughts have as much or as little power as you give them.


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I learnt the power of detachment a very long time ago...maybe 40 years ago now, it is also related to Art because "I do Art" and used this when I was in family gatherings, where the chitter chatter drove me crazy. I continued Art in my head, and took photos with my mind, when I couldn't stand the strain, I took photos with my camera.  For the simple reason I was quite capable of observing, but the only difference in this scenario is that, the distraction lasts for the time it belongs to this particular event. The concentration of a particular object, is for me paramount to other than beauty, its like a seed of understanding that I wish to explore further. So unfortunately this is not one that I can use very often because my wave length is too long. What I am learning is that the power over myself and understanding of myself needed to be put in order as I was used to listening to my own drummer and no on else's. Now I realize that my common failure if you like is through not listening enough, and the detachment has progressed to a physical shield around me, which doesn't let me get caught in the trap of trying to solve everything. I now can observe and join in with love to my fellow man rather than as the thought of "Family" this works for me now,  and I think I have become a better human being  than before. So to cut a long story short, its been a tough thought process of learning to understand my reactions to myself. so maybe tough love is the answer for me. I have to learn to hate the thought of smoking without hating myself in the process. A bit deep but there you go I like philsophophy too.

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  • 1 year later...

I appreciated this so much. Just cruising through postings, reinforcing the commitment. No particular cravings thankfully. Was at the shelter last night and one of the clients asked me for a lighter. I got to say, "No I don't smoke." How lovely. I did find her a pack of matches in the bowels of my backpack and was just shocked at how bad it smelled. How even being near it just felt toxic.

Feeling gratitude for the freedom but maintaining vigilance. Holidays are here and usually present us addicts with challenges. Hoping you all are well tonight.





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giving and holding of power.




when the kindest thing I can do  is remove myself and sleep.

auto correct tried to insert love myself. but 

attached me insisted on remove.

many great insight and information here.



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