Have you ever been quit for a while, then chosen to start smoking again for whatever reason? When you did, did you ever feel like you should just quit again right away, but then found yourself talking yourself out of it and putting it off? Like you were afraid of taking that first step, or of even deciding to take that first step and just quit right on the spot?
Where does that fear come from? That hesitation? That putting it off again and again?
It Comes from the Inner Junkie
When you become an addict, you create a parasite inside yourself that I call the “inner junkie”. The inner junkie’s only concern is getting its next fix, and it needs you to supply that fix. It doesn’t care about what you want, it doesn’t care about what getting it its fix does to you, in fact, like all parasites, it doesn’t even care if getting it its fix kills you.
All it cares about is the fix.
Since the inner junkie is part of you, it can usually fool you into doing whatever it wants, because you — naturally — believe that whatever thoughts occur to you are yours and yours alone. But this is not necessarily true: the inner junkie puts thoughts into your head all the time. And one of its favorites (because it’s so effective at keeping you its slave) is the thought, “What’s the point of even starting? I’ll probably fail and end up smoking again anyway.”
You see, the inner junkie knows you inside and out, and it knows that, as long as it can keep that doubt alive, you’ll keep putting off quitting. And, as long as you keep putting off quitting, you’ll keep feeding it.
Trial by Jury
Under most Western criminal justice systems there’s the concept of the trial by jury, and at the beginning of every trial, the jury is instructed that if there is any reasonable doubt, they should not vote to convict. Skillful defense attorneys know how to exploit the concept of reasonable doubt to win cases.
The inner junkie uses a similar skill; by making you doubt that you can succeed, it robs you of the conviction it takes to commit to the quit. The thing is, the doubt it introduces is not a reasonable doubt: you know you can quit; you’ve done it before. But then the junkie managed to trick you into feed it again, and now you’re the junkie’s slave once more.
The Junkie’s Only Power Over You
You have to realize that the junkie is your creation, and the law of creation says that the creator is always more powerful than his or her creation. The bottom line is: the only power the junkie has over you is the power you give it.
Understand that any thought you have of not being able to quit, and any thought you have of inevitable failure after you quit, comes from the junkie. In fact, any thought that you have that suggests that smoking is a reasonable thing to do under any circumstances comes from the junkie.
When thoughts like that occur to you, recognize where they’re coming from and ignore them; eventually they’ll slow down and stop.
But keep your eyes open; the junkie never dies. It lies in wait for the slightest opportunity. It might be months down the road, it might even be years, but when the opportunity presents itself, the junkie will pounce. And if you’re not prepared for it, the thoughts it puts into your head can sound awfully reasonable…