Quitting addiction is in some ways like doing a puzzle. You tear it apart piece by piece and then you try to put it back together. Thousands of people will tell you how to tear your life apart to quit your addiction. Only a few will give you specific advice on how to put it back together.
I am going to give you a lot of new pieces to put into your life to replace the old pieces that were destroying you. You are going to have to have some faith in me to try the program wholeheartedly. You do not have to believe what I am telling you to do is good or right. Just try it and see if it is good.
Many people think that what you don’t do is the key to quitting addiction. While that is vital what you now do is just as important. Starting tomorro I will give you a lot of things to do. How well you do those things will determine how “whole” your life will be when it is put back together.
Don’t give in to rationalizations. The physical and mental pain of addiction withdrawal is real, and you’ll likely start telling yourself it’s ok to take up the habit again. Don’t listen to the voice telling you to start back up. Don’t give up on yourself when it starts to feel hard. Every bit of pain will be worth it in the end.
Tell your smoking buddies that you are quitting. Many people will encourage you and tell you to keep up the good work. If being around them when they smoke is too much for you, you may need to take breaks with non-smokers or find new people to hang out with.
Robert Perkinsons writes about the goodness that is the moral law and said the following: “In all cultures, and in all lands, this goodness is expressed in what we call the moral law. Morality demands love in action and in truth. It is simply stated as follows: Love God all you can, love others all you can, and love yourself all you can. This law is very powerful. If some stranger were drowning in a pool next to you, then this law would motivate you to help. Instinctively, you would feel driven to help, even if it put your own life at risk. The moral law is so important that it transcends our instinct for survival. You would try to save that drowning person at your own risk. This moral law is exactly the same everywhere-in every culture. It exists inside of everyone. It is written on our hearts. Even among thieves, honesty is valued.
To believe in a Higher Power you must believe that this good exists inside of you. You also must believe that there is more of this good outside of you. If you do not believe in a living, breathing God at this point, do not worry. Every one of us has started where you are.”
Where did this moral law come from? Why do I know that I should not kill other people. Why do I know these things?
I heard a story on TV and it went like this. A pastor whose name was Ironsides was preaching one day at a large venue. When he was done a man came up to him and handed him a note. The note read – meet me for a debate next Sunday at 4 PM. You will debate the proof of Christianity and I will prove that atheism is true. Mr. Ironsides paused and said: I will accept your challenge on one condition. You bring a man and a woman who will testify about how they turned to atheism and that it transformed their lives. Helped them kick alcohol or drugs or sex addictions or smoking. I in turn will bring 100 people who will testify about how Jesus Christ transformed their lives. Helping free them from these addictions and how they have now found joy and purpose. If you agree to these conditions I will meet you here at 4 PM.
Much to the atheists credit he replied – you might be here but I won’t.
To quit smoking it is helpful to understand your Higher Power. In a way this is easy, but in a way it is the hardest thing you may ever do. Many people are ready to talk to God to try to get Him to help them do what they want to do. Only a few people are truly ready to commit to God to do things the way He wants us to do them. But all you can do is to start where you are at. Tell Him that you do not want to live like this anymore.
Next we need to make a decision. Do we want to surrender to God? We can’t compromise, either we do or we don’t.
List four things that will improve in your life if you turn your life over to God.
Some of you (like myself) attended religious schools or Churches that tainted us from Christianity. How are religious situations from your past keeping you from making progress Spiritually .
Why do you need to make a Spiritual decision? _______________________________________________________________
The #1 rule: never give up.
God has unfailing love for us. Every day I will add another verse that talks about His unfailing love.
“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
Habitual sin will hurt you. Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go. Sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay. Sin will cost you more than you wanted to pay.
One of the biggest keys to quitting addiction is to know (and have organized) what exercises you need to do to overcome the addiction. On this web site and on many others there are mental exercises you can do. But to simply read about them and then to do them for a few days is not the answer. What is needed is to have a journal to write down every exercise you come across so that you can reference them at any time in the future. It does not need to be fancy; a Wal-mart one subject notebook for a dollar is just fine.
The way I would organize the journal would be to reserve the first 4 pages for exercises you know you would like to do every day. In the next section I would jot down idea’s that seem to be good, but ones that you are not sure you want to review every day. Over time if you change your mind about one of the exercises, you could promote it to the front everyday section.
You can fill your journal with quitting addiction idea’s every day (that you find a new exercise). You can write down key points from my articles or any articles on the internet. You can put in idea’s you get from overcoming addiction books. You can write down idea’s you get at addiction help groups you attend. The point is to write down all the great idea’s you hear or read that you think will work for you, so that you can have instant access to them in the future. Most of us don’t realize how quickly we forget things. We can’t afford to forget things that affect our future, family, finances, freedom and many other things.
The following are examples of some types of exercises you may want in your journal.
1: Form a habit to say to yourself 5 times a day that “my addiction causes me financial destruction. It has in the past and it will in the future.”
2: Have a list of the benefits of quitting your addiction. Write down all the benefits then memorize the top 5 and top ten benefits. This will allow you to say the benefits multiple times each day until you get on more solid footing in your recovery.
Every day keep adding ideas that work for you. You can choose to work on your journal all day. But if your addiction is long term it is more important to make it a habit to review it or work on it every day.
Your use (or lack of use) of a journal will tell you exactly how much you really want to quit your addiction. If you can’t spend four minutes per day reviewing and doing mental exercises you probably have a good chance of staying addicted. On the other hand if you start the journal and are careless with reviewing it every day you have also learned something. You have learned that one of the reasons that you are still addicted is because you are not dedicated enough to having a new routine. For more severe addictions you may need to refer to your journal several times each day to that you will remember to do your exercises consistently.
Even when you are having one of those days where you strongly suspect that you are going to fall, still, review your journal. Maybe it will help turn you around. But it will at the very least keep you in your new routine as long as possible. You never know when fighting off that craving for as long as possible will lead to you never giving in again as long as you live.
Christopher Morley said “The big shots are only the little shots who keep shooting.”
Strive to learn from people who have quit. We will follow several people to see how they did it. Jan determined to say three times every day: “This temptation will go away if I don’t act on it. If I give in it will return and it may be even stronger next time. If I don’t give in it will go away and someday it will go away for good. I have the self control to change”.
Bill decided to Pray often each day “Lord keep me from temptation”(This is part of the Lord’s prayer from the Bible).
Mike was undecided about Chritianity, but he was intrigued by how a Christian friend lived his life – so when his buddy recommended “The case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, he went out and got a copy.
Day 1 Overcoming cravings
Day 2 Why can’t you quit