When we forget the potency of the addiction and the cost of becoming free, when the newness of the success of quitting wears off and we become complacent, when we lose our preparedness under emotional fire - we can lose our quits. At any age at any stage. You are not immune to failure. Witness the constant stream of those who did not heed the numerous words of wisdom presented daily on this site. Zombie-like they walked to their doom of taking that Not One Puff Ever puff. What is it that we need to do? What is it that we need to say? What IS IT that turns sane quitters with goodly numbers of days under their belts into relapsers? What IS IT?
Is it simply the "addiction?" I can't accept that. I was/am as addicted as all the rest on here who have lost their quits. Why am I going into my 6th smoke free year in a couple of months and x, y, or z on here failed at 6 months or 8 months or 4 years or 10 years? WHY IS THAT? I just don't get it. I'm not any stronger than anybody else on here. I have as much of an addictive personality as the next. I'm not any more intelligent, I in no way differ from the rest of the quitters on here EXCEPT that (at the moment), I seem to have made a success of this. And so did a goodly number of other long term quitters on here. And I'm, just for the sake of defining that term "Long Term Quitter," gonna call them someone who has AT LEAST a year under their belts.
It's gotta be more than just simply saying NOPE. Because enough say it but don't adhere to it. What is it about this addiction that draws us back in at any given time. Is it just THIS addiction, or ANY addiction? Why do we cling to this - THING? Why do we go back to it for comfort during duress? Why is it our succor? What is it that makes us believe enough - to destroy a long term quit - that putting a cigarette in our mouths will give us comfort that we can get no where else? What IS THAT?
Continuing on in this long stream of thought (and all you quitters out there might need to delve deeply into this kind of thinking yourselves, in order to stay smoke free) [good grief, I’m getting as long winded as Peggy LOL! And perhaps that not a bad thang! ]
I’ll posit that we humans are actually pretty frail emotional creatures. And we either put up big strong barriers to our feelings, or we wallow in them. Or perhaps we do a combo - wallow sometimes and put the good “chin up” version when we can. But it seems to me that when people fail, they fail because of strong emotions. And it ain’t exactly the emotion of JOY. So - we fail when we hurt emotionally. We need comfort. And we go back to the thing that we think gave us that. A cigarette.
OK. Suppose it did? Suppose a cigarette DID indeed give us comfort. What then? Oh you can say it’s because we smoked and it changed our brains and now we have new neuronic (mononic I’ll call them) pathways ... SO WHAT? They’re there. And it seems that no amount of time is gonna change them. Not if we have 8 year quitters starting up again. So... if we accept that premise. I’m back to square one. What makes me different that I have a long term quit? I don’t know. I truly don’t. EXCEPT, perhaps, maybe? - I’ve gone into this kind of thinking throughout my quit. Is THAT what it takes? Saying NOPE is a great mantra, but without the in-depth study - does it have any impact? Obviously not.
OK. Done. Brain is fried. Hope it helped somebody, sometime, somewhere.... Protect your quit. Please.