Quitting smoking can be challenging at best and seem impossible at worst. We always feel that nagging thought, just under the surface of our perception that seems unfocused and yet it somehow translates to smoking, and our addictions. It’s like when we quit, the addiction starts humming along, waiting for that chance to get us. And after the first couple of weeks, it kind of hangs in the background, waiting to pounce.
Add holidays to the mix and things can get really dicey, really quick. I think there are many reasons for this, the first being the most obvious. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had fond memories of my past holidays. And the thing about those fond memories when I first quit was that during the holidays, there was always a cigarette hanging out of my mouth.
As such, I always thought that these memories could become a trigger because the cigarette is associated with happy times in our lives. The cigarette didn’t create those happy times, it was just always there and as such so are the smoking memories.
That’s part of what makes that first year harder, is that we have to face a bunch of firsts. In fact, everything we do when we quit is different because of the fact that the cigarette was always involved with our lives in the past. As addicts, everything revolves around our addiction and when we take that addiction away, it’s like we blew a hole in a big part of our worlds.
And then comes the other aspect of holidays. Relatives!! Those people who we love with all of our hearts and yet also the ones who have the most power to create - uh; let’s just call it the worst anger we’ve ever felt, usually because of some statement that they think is completely harmless, and yet because we’re so close to them, it just sends us over the edge!
And what did we all do when they made that one little, almost insignificant statement that angered us? Well, we’d of course light a cigarette! Somehow that was our method of dealing with everything. Anger. Hurt. Depression. Or just about any other negative feeling or life event that is negative.
I always found it interesting that when I think back to the more positive parts of my smoking life, the cigarette was never really a part of it. But when it comes to those negative parts, it was like that was my only solution to make it better, although we all know it didn’t. That’s just us humans trying to make our addiction something that it isn’t. Trying to come up with a single valid reason for why we choose our slow death.
And I won’t even mention what drinking can do to a quit. That’s YoungAtHeart incredibly important message to all of us. So all I’m saying is have fun, but please be careful and don’t let that addiction sneak up on you. Even if it’s your first holiday smoke free, the thing to remember is that if you stay vigilant, it won’t be your last, and that this one is when you must learn. After that first year, you’ll have new memories without cigarettes in them.
We’ll always have those loving relatives keeping things interesting, but after the first year, you’ll know how you go about dealing with that without the cigarettes. It’s a process, but one that is doable and worth every single bit of effort that it takes to become free.
Anyway, I originally came here to wish all of you a safe, happy and of course smokefree holiday so Happy Thanksgiving!!
And as always:
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!