Coping Mechanism or Habit?

From you, the people who keep my spirit alive every day, I’ve learned I’m in control of my desires, compulsions, and impulses. It’s up to me to make good choices.

True Story: In a recent episode of the television show, This Is Us, the characters, Randall and Beth, a married couple, were in conflict about a parenting issue. Beth went outside and pretended she was smoking. It looked so real to me that I thought she was really smoking although I didn’t see any smoke nor did I see a cigarette in her hand. Her husband, Randall, came out and asked if she was fake smoking. She nodded yes and he took the fake cigarette from her and took a drag and passed it back to Beth. They talked through and resolved their issue while fake smoking.

I have never been a smoker; however I know people that were, are, or are trying to quit with gum, patches, shots, pills, hypnosis, vaping and just sheer will power of deciding to quit and going “cold turkey”. It made me wonder if quitting is as simple as pretending to smoke or “fake smoke” to satisfy the urge or to cope with the issue that’s giving the signal to smoke.

It also made me think about my own coping mechanisms and what I reach for to deal with unsettling situations. Going forward I’m going to keep it strong and healthy, like going for a walk or a hike. If I still have the urge for a habit I want to break, I’ll fake it until it’s no longer something I have trained myself to believe I need.

How about you? What do you do to cope? Can you fake it if it’s an undesirable habit until you realize you don’t need it?  I wonder.

For me this is a new year’s revelation and an intention, not a resolution to be broken.

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