We all know how to smoke or we wouldn't be here.
That makes the most important goal for success unlearning smoking.
This is all about getting to a place you are not thinking of smoking constantly or reaching for something that isn't there. (the ghost pack)
So, let's focus on what happens when. (there are links to studies that back this up on my page)
AND please, put your own experiences in the mix. Look back at your prior attempts and try to recall when you gave in and what follows may begin to make sense.
1. The first 3 days without nicotine is usually the toughest because your brain is still demanding it.
2. The first 14-21 days are the time your body is trying to adjust back to a normal state, running without nicotine.
3. The 100 days AFTER the first month is when most people give in and smoke. This is the time period that smoking is still close to the surface. You're dang tired of trying not to smoke. Your memories know nothing else so it's very natural that it is difficult to let go. During the time you continue adding to your toolbox and using what you've learned to subvert those thoughts. This is unlearning the hand to mouth and inhale motion and the time necessary to put some distance between the old smoker and the new normal. THIS IS THE MOST CRITICAL TIME OF YOUR QUIT.
4. When you get through those 130 days, (approximately) you should be having realizations that you aren't thinking of cigarettes or smoking continuously. (This typically begins happening right around 100 days) These realizations should be life affirming because you have been through the worst and know how to handle some situations and avoid others.
5. There are things that life will throw at us that we just can't experience in 130 days. Relationships, losses, work, finances. Memories will float up from decades past that may be painful. You see, we've buried reality with smoking to the point that we've never faced it without a cigarette and most of us began smoking before we were fully functioning adults.
6. Your first year is the second major success after the first 130 days. You've experienced every holiday and season change once. However, another year is the solidifying force because once again, we just don't experience all the situations and memories in one year. Someone may have died close to a holiday and that loss may not have been triggered in the first year.
So, take it one day at a time if you must, but, realize the thoughts of smoking will come to an end if you don't dwell on it or put yourself in risky situations. Keep this timeline in your head. There are statistics that back this up. At two years, the relapse rate drops from 94% to 4%. (Again, more info is on my page)
Have a GREAT Weekend