Make no mistake about it. The enemy is within, the enemy is me.
As I wake up today, with a fresh yearning for that which poisons me, I realized something that is profoundly true: my own enemy is none other than myself.
The moment I open my eyes and get up and be aware that I need to breathe, the desire to smoke is as powerful as the desire to quench a thirst.
Sun Tzu, in the Art of War said,
"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
Thus begins another battle that I have been waging in this very long war. Today, is the day, that I need to come to terms with the enemy and know it's strengths and weaknesses. There is no doubt about it, the potency and the allure of smoking is as strong as the desire to drink water itself. As daunting as that statement may be, I now know its value in my battle. I now know how to defeat it.
- The moment I wake up and I smell any kind of smoke, I feel the strong urge to smoke.
- Certain auditory triggers include those which induce stress: a baby crying, a dog barking, people shouting, any type of cacophony that disturbs my state of mind is a trigger. I should be aware beforehand of these and list them all down. So that when I encounter them, I can immediately make myself aware that a trigger is changing my behavior and coaxing me to smoke.
- Social occasions are a huge trigger. Being in a large gathering that includes a lot of waiting and socializing is very stressful, at least for me. Specially if the circumstances are quite stressful. This includes wakes, parties, family gatherings or just simple socializing.
- Smoking is a ritual in itself and as one becomes addicted to it for a long period of time, it becomes a part of our daily pattern.
1. Waking up
2. Before breakfast
3. After breakfast
4. In the bathroom
5. Before working
6. During break while working
7. Before lunch
8. After lunch
9. Before going back to work
10. During break
11. After work relaxation
12. Before taking second bath
13. After second bath
14. Before dinner
15. After dinner
- The regimen speaks for itself and is indicative of how it became a huge part of my life. While writing this, it has made me aware of how much I can smoke in a day too. My normal average is 15 to 20 sticks a day, Marlboro lights.
- I smoke more when I am around stressful people.
- I smoke more when I have to talk to stressful people on the phone.
- I also smoke when I feel bad physically and emotionally.
For now, this is enough. In writing this, I hope to get to know myself and in knowing myself, know how my enemy operates.
I am Daniel, and I have been smoking for more than 10 years.
This is my life and my story.