Well, good morning everyone. It's a blustery day here in the Midwest. I'm excited to see the groundhog tomorrow. that only means we have 6 more weeks of winter. Whether it's going to be harsh or mild, I leave it up to the powers that be.
We have a combination of different theories, opinions and thoughts about the quitting process. We all agree on one thing and that is not one puff ever. Not one cigarette, not a half a cigarette, not one puff ever. Very early in my quit, if I would have taken just that one puff, in the first 2 weeks to a month, I would have been a full-fledged smoker again. Now I just know that I cannot ever have another cigarette again. Plain and simple. Earlier in my quit, I just made it as simple as possible, I'm not smoking today. That went on every single day until I reached about 150 days, 5 months. I've been quit for a year now and there are times, very seldom, that the thought enters my mind. I've learned that it's only a thought and nothing to be afraid of, to panic about and most importantly to act upon.
I feel that once you go through the physical withdrawal, the grief stage, come to terms that you've basically taught yourself through the years to react to bad things in your life by reaching for a cigarette instead of developing new ways to deal with the situation, you run the risk of returning back to smoking. I'm not going to use the word “addictive behavior.” Some don't associate smoking with an addiction or have a hard time grasping that concept. If that's the case, then so be it. But realize that that action of smoking was a learned behavior that you used to compensate for bad feelings, bad things that happened in your life, ways that you dealt with stress or even used as a reward. If it helps you to associate smoking with a behavior, behaviors can be unlearned and replaced with a positive one. That's the purpose of identifying your triggers and using a plan to counteract that and use those throughout your quit.
Over this year, I've identified many things that I personally know are my triggers, returning bad behaviors, returning habits that always drew me back to smoking. Slipping back into old ways of doing things. I think it's important to see those, to recognize those before things escalate. I've printed mine out and keep them stashed to refer to when I need them. I firmly believe as time ticks on, as new memories are made, as a conscious checklist is being performed and filed for future use, we go about life as all the nonsmokers of the world. The thought never enters our mind, but only because we have unlearned the behavior. We have taught ourselves new ways of dealing with life in general. We are our most influential teacher. Only you can develop your own plan for success, because this is your own playlist. You are the rising star.................