The Addiction is Real
Early on my EX journey I came across a few EXer’s who had fallen. Some had been on this journey longer than I. Why did they fall? I walked pass them not understanding what happened. I also noticed when one fell another would come along and trip. I just couldn’t quite” get it”. I became frightened with thoughts that I was doing all these things to quit smoking and this could happen. I was baffled in the beginning but learned I could trip or fall if I did not read and pay attention to the signs (triggers) correctly.
One of my best quit buddy’s just fell. She fell hard and the pain she is suffering hurt both of us. Thank God she is willing to do what is necessary to pull herself up. It had been several weeks and we both were seeing signs we were not reading carefully. We were dealing with signs (triggers) we thought we passed and should no longer be a problem. A sign here and a sign there. We vowed to each other to be vigilant and guard our quits to stay on the journey. We tried to analyze what was going on. We knew we were vulnerable and had to be on guard We promised each other not to quit on our quits. Here it is almost a week later and one of us is down. My heart hurts for my quit buddy. In her mind she has taken a major fall from grace and is ashame. I am shaking my head indisbelief but belief because this addiction is real.
No matter where you are in your quit you have to be vigilant and guard it (read the signs) and do what is necessary to stay smokefree. If it means avoiding people, places and things that may cause us to be vulnerable. The signs may not be visible in the beginning because we think we become stronger than the addiction. We feel we have gotten the addiction under control and we are okay with certain situations. It may be taking our quit for granted. It may not happen the first time in these situations but over time it can build up and because of the fog, you don’t stop and read the signs. We have to recognize that we are only one puff away to relapse. This addiction is as real as crack, heroin, meth, cocaine so you have to protect your quit.
I understand that we live in a world that people smoke but sometimes we have to do whatever is necessary avoid those people, places and things before it’s too late. Hindsight is 20/20. If you are breathing second hand smoke on a regular basis you are not reading the sign to a possible relapse. We cannot subconsciously test ourselves or we may be smoking before we know it. So don’t set yourself up for failure because you think you are strong. Smoking cessation isn’t always about strength. Sometimes it is knowing where you are weak to set boundaries to protect your quit no matter what, who, when, where, or how. In the end we are responsible for it.
To my quit buddy, hold your head up and stand tall I am here with you. I will help lift you up if you stretch out your hand. I love you the most. As I try to analyze this situation I believe that it was not just one thing that may have caused a relapse. You and I would say “Excuses”. Sometimes we think we are stronger than the addiction and let our guard down. No matter where we are in our quit we have to protect it. Just the other day I saw a lighter that created a trigger. After over 600 days I recognized the sign and put the lighter away.
So no matter how many days you are smoke free, you are still “one puff” away from relapse because the nicotine addiction is real so don’t be fooled by it. Quitting smoking is a continuous work with no stop date. It is forever. So if you are new or old to EX work your quit and most importantly, protect it. Stay close . As Terrie would say “Don’t quit on your quit”. I say, “ If we fall down we can get back up”. One day at a time.