This is my theory about this whole quitting thang. We were young, perhaps adolescents, college students, but everyone was doing it and it just simply seemed cool. Sometimes we'd only do it with friends or while out socializing at parties. Before we knew it, the thoughts of smoking consumed our very being. It may have taken a few years of off and on smoking, but we finally arrived. We're hooked. Instead of buying packs, we're buying cartons.
You see, smoking starts as a habit. We finish the day's work and we light up day in and day out every single day. We go on our breaks and we light up. We grab a cup of coffee in the morning as our habit for waking up every morning and we add a cigarette to go along with it. We start creating routines that we perform every day with a cigarette in hand. We introduced something into our rituals, our habits.
Then we gravitate to emotional ties to smoking, the second prong. We smoke when we are stressed. Soon we find ourselves stressing ourselves just for an excuse to light up. We're bored. Instead of finding other things to do, we light up. We feel we need that cigarette to keep us company. An object that gets burned up in five minutes, ten if you puff slow and pack it right. We're unloved or lonely, depressed, feeling down, we convince ourselves that that object (the cigarette) will make everything better, nicer, calmer, the warm glowing feeling.
Some believe once the physical symptoms are gone, you've got this licked. You'll never think of smoking again. Once 130 days has passed or you make it through NML, poof, it's gone and never will be seen again. That is so far from the truth. You've forgotten the most important part. Habits are easy to break, but emotional ties are very difficult. You've made this an important part of your life for many, many years. Little tiny snippets of your life moved around smoking. You created memories upon memories of activities evolved around smoking.
I'm not saying that you'll be fighting the urge to smoke your entire life, but you have to learn to recognize the warning signs. Only you can answer that question. As you move through your first year, notice the things that spark the thoughts. See them for what they are. And, yes, those thoughts will pop up from time to time. Think of how many years of memories you have stored up in your noggin'. Replace those thoughts with something different, something positive. Embrace the process of quitting and remind yourself how thankful you are that you've quit. Stop romancing the stone, the mighty cigarette. Strip it of its power and glory and give it back to where it rightfully belongs, YOU and only YOU............