Zen of the Quit


Your Inner Junkie


A common theme that comes up with people who are getting ready to quit smoking is they feel like they have a split personality: one part of them wants to quit and one part wants to find reasons to keep smoking.

The reason for this is that inside us there’s an “inner junkie” that we created when we got addicted to smoking. We’ve been feeding our inner junkie for as long as we’ve been smoking, so by the time we get ready to quit, it’s really strong, and it has a mind of its own.

You are a rational, thinking person who realizes that it’s slow suicide to keep smoking and wants to quit.

Your inner junkie is an irrational, obsessive-compulsive personality whose only concern is getting its next fix. It doesn’t care about you, or the fact that continuing to feed it will kill you, all it knows is that it’s hungry.

The inner junkie’s biggest weakness is that it can’t get its next fix by itself. It needs you to feed it, and its only hope of keeping you doing that is to psych you out. Its most effective weapon is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of rationalizations for continuing to smoke that it hands to you in such a way as to make them seem like your own thoughts.

They’re not.

One thing you need to realize about the inner junkie is that, since it can’t feed itself, the only power it has over you is the power you give it. And once you realize this, you realize that, ultimately, you have complete control over it.

More on the inner junkie as we go on.

(If you're feeling a bit lost, it may be helpful to go back to the first post and follow along in order.)

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