Early on my EX journey, I came upon a few EXer’s who had fallen. Some had been on this journey longer than I. Why did they fall? I walked past 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 to me. 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) on this journey. The sign that reads, "One Puff Away To Relapse".
Your journey may be in one those seasons we talk about. 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 smoke-free. If it means avoiding people, places, and things that may cause us to be vulnerable, do it. The signs may not be visible in the beginning because we think we have become stronger than the addiction. Don't be so fooled. We feel we have gotten the addiction under control and we are okay with certain situations. Maybe, but for some, it can be taking your quit for granted. It may not happen the first time in those 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 to 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 so you can set boundaries to protect your quit no matter what, who, when, where, or how. In the end, we are responsible for it.
So no matter how many days you are smoke-free, you are still “one puff” away from relapse because the nicotine addiction is real. Quitting smoking is a continuous work with no stop sign or date. It is forever. It just gets easier with time. So if you are new or old to EX work your quit and most importantly, protect it. Stay close. “Don’t quit on your quit. NOPE no matter what. SINAO. Smoking is not an option.