I decided to quit smoking.
It was not as simple as a “decision” to stop buying cigarettes. I discovered along the way that it’s not easy, mostly because the dual addiction has many layers. Cigarette smoke is bad enough, but the psychological aspect and ‘whole experience’ was worse then the chemical withdrawal.
By “whole experience” I mean everything from the oral fixation to the excitement of scanning the multicolored tobacco racks at corner stores and then packing, opening, and lighting up. Since my primary job is “in the matrix” it involves long hours in front of the computer and my ‘break time’ habit quickly became an unchecked ‘deadly 2 pack a-day addiction’ about a decade ago.
I knew it was time when I woke up with “rot lung” one day.
I am not sure of the medical term so I coined the phrase ‘rot lung’ because that’s the best description I can muster up. For a few years now I had been toying with the thought “I should to quit, one day” and along the way there were a plethora of signs which ranged from shortness of breath to ‘moments of shock’ at small-cell carcinoma funerals for friends who were taken way too soon.
I am only 32 and to wake up with real pain in my chest and a raspy sound when I tried to breath (rot lung) was my moment of clarity. Looking at my glass computer desk covered in grey smoke dust and my ashtray piled to the brim (with what was at least 4 packs of cigarette butts) a sick feeling came over me. “How did I go through 4 packs in 18 hours?”… it was time to up the ante: “I need to quit if I want to live”. (So I did an adhoc step 3)
I decided to start with a vape.
I had tried the eCigarettes before and threw them out. In the past I tried cold turkey and got several days, I even got it down to 2 smokes a day for several weeks, but it did not stick. The moment I would sit down in front of the computer screen, where I smoke the most, the familiar feeling of a cigarette in my hand would drag me out of my house down to the corner store to buy a real pack of smokes.
By grace, a friend showed me the ropes on the legit vaporizer mods: flavor, vegetable glycerol and adjustable Nicotine. My advice is do not waste any money on the little ‘toys that look like cigarettes’, just go and get a real pro-tank, a real battery, and some nice liquid. (I started with a simple $10 eVod twist and a $10 kanger tank and then upgraded to an Aspire Nautilus tank and a 16 hour iTaste MVP ). It worked, the feeling of having something to puff on was effective.
There is something else in those cancer sticks.
I quickly set in to reduce the nicotine. I went from 30mg down to 24mg on day 3, from 24mg down to 18mg on day 6, from 18mg down to 12mg on day 9, and now I am on day 14 and have 0mg of nicotine in my organic liquid tank. On day 3 I suffered from the most extreme headache and body pain ever (I was hunched over in pain and nauseous, I could not even drink water) and it could not have been nicotine addiction withdrawal because I had 30mg of nicotine in my tank, no indeed, this was from the other chemicals, who knows what they were.
I am not interested to argue about the contents of the vape liquid, I spent hours looking into it and I am satisfied that other than the nicotine most liquids, especially the organic ones, are less evil then the tobacco companies and in many cases I suspect the liquid is harmless. My point is that cigarettes have way more then tobacco in them.
There is an amazing bright side of freedom from tobacco addiction.
Even though I had a vape I found myself still thinking about cigarettes. I decided to train my mind to do something positive, to see if I could pave new thought patterns in my brain and train my neural networks to do something positive. I did not want to simply re-associate my addiction, as well I did not want to ‘punish’ myself for thinking about a cigarette by doing something unpleasant (for example, hitting the gym too hard, the gym has its place, mostly the joy of shaving an entire minute off your mile after 1 week of not smoking).
I wanted to turn a negative thought process into a positive one. I made a really simple rule for myself: “Every time I think about smoking an actual cigarette I will practice playing a musical instrument instead”.
In fact, it worked so well I decided to post the results. This video below is day 9 no cigarettes and Day 1 with the instrument. I can play easily enough and keep a beat. At this time I had the instrument for about 3 hours and played it for about 1 hour before making this video.
This video below is day 14 no cigarettes and Day 5 with the instrument. The progress is unbelievable. At this time I had the instrument for 5 days and played it for 5 minutes every single time I thought about a cigarette. On day 4 I played for 6 hours straight at a campground to serenade passers by and fellow campers.
I understand that some level of talent is involved here, and with music I have been blessed. As a musician I also know that practice is key. Having an alternative to the negative desire to smoke was essential in breaking my addiction to cigarettes and rapidly repeatedly tapping on this hand-pan helped to battle the nervousness. Turning the negative thought patterns into something good that would benefit my health and produce a worthwhile recreational activity was truly epic, at least for me it was…
For more information about the Harmonic Art HandPan
Note from the Author: Yes, I am a web designer and I know allot about SEO and paid content. NO, I did not get paid to write this post nor did I get any free stuff for it. I wrote this post because I really wanted to. That is not to say I won’t accept money for SEO related content (when I do I state it clearly), but this post up here is 100% organic and legit.