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2 Posts authored by: SarahP

We do this blog every Wednesday afternoon to offer encouragement to those in No Man’s Land -- months 2-3-4 of a quit, give or take a couple of weeks. This community has chosen to put a big, bright spotlight on NML – we’ve chased away the shadows, taken away the mystery, and put a lot of effort into bringing people in NML together. Because we understand that quitting isn’t over in a month.

Everyone who goes through NML blazes a trail for those that follow. You are not alone on this journey, and you never will be!


This week’s topic: The Forever Quit

As you near the end of No Man’s Land (day 130 or so), it’s time to start thinking about what comes next. It’s time to start making plans and commitments about your long-term quit maintenance.

No one wakes up one morning and says “gee, I think I’ll relapse today.” No one in month 3 of a strong quit thinks their motivation will ever fade. But we hear from people all the time who relapsed after a year, 2 years, 5 years, or even longer.

I believe the root of long-term relapse is forgetting two very important lessons -- first, we forget that we cannot have just one, because for addicts like us, one always leads to one more. Second, we forget that we did not enjoy smoking. We smoked to avoid the pain of not smoking. We smoked to stop withdrawal. It wasn’t enjoyable, it didn’t taste good, and it wasn’t relaxing – those are the lies of addiction.

We learned these lessons painfully – with sweat and tears – when we quit. But as time passes it becomes easier and easier to forget, to minimize, to rationalize.

Right now you have committed to quit smoking, but have you committed to never smoke again? Two years from now when you get really bad news, or are at the beach watching the sunset and the smoker next to you says “want one?” – what will you do? Will you remember the pain of quitting?  Will you remember the lessons you learned? Will you remember how to distract/dismiss/kick it to the curb? Will NOPE (not one puff ever) still be in your heart?

Plan it, practice it, be ready for it. The lessons you are learning right now, in No Man’s Land, are the lessons you need to carry with you and never take for granted. The Forever Quit is within your reach!





If you're in NML right now, speak up!  Tell us how you're doing! 


Click here to read the original No Man’s Land blog on Dale's page:

Quitting smoking is a process. It can be learned and practiced, just like anything else. Did you learn how to drive by getting in a car by yourself and winging it? Probably not. And if you did, you probably weren’t very successful.

Let’s look at two different types of quitters. Quitter A did not prepare themselves, they just stopped smoking because they think that’s how it’s done. Quitter B educated themselves and made a plan. Let’s see how they do…

Day 1

Quitter A: I haven’t had a cigarette in 2 hours and I’m freaking out! I want one so bad it’s driving me crazy, it’s all I can think about. I knew this would be hard but this is so much harder than I thought. Last time I quit it was the same thing, after a few hours I just couldn’t take it anymore and now it’s happening again. Why can’t I quit?

Quitter B: It’s my quit day and while I’m nervous, I’m also excited!  I’ve read the materials you all gave me, I’ve got my plan, I know what to expect, and I know this will be soooo worth it a few months from now. I’m 2 hours into my quit and feeling okay so far; I had tea instead of coffee this morning and that helped a bit. Thanks everyone for your support, I know I’ll be GLUED to this site for the next couple of weeks!

Day 3

Quitter A: The last 3 days have been the worst days of my life, I’m crying uncontrollably and I’m so miserable I just want to smoke, I can’t cope, I NEVER felt this bad when I smoked!  Why is this so hard? I can’t work, I can’t sleep, all I can think about is a cigarette. I screamed at my dog this morning and my husband is telling me if I’m going to be such a lunatic b*tch I should just start smoking again. Maybe he’s right. Help!

Quitter B: It’s been a tough few days but I’m doing okay. I’m drinking lots of water and riding out the cravings with deep breathing. It’s true, the craving only lasts a minute or two if you don’t focus on it. The toughest part is not knowing what to do with myself, feeling so restless. But I’ve got my list of distractions and I’m looking forward to cleaning out my Tupperware cabinet to pass the time tonight – that’s a chore that’s long overdue! I haven’t been sleeping very well but I know that’s part of the process. So I’m a little edgy but managing it as best I can. I know this will be worth it!

Day 7

Quitter A: I made it a week, and I haven’t slipped once! Guess I’ve finally got this under control. It’s too bad I can’t smoke anymore, I don’t know what I’ll do when I get stressed over something, that’s when I want to smoke the most. I walk by the smokers outside the office and it smells so good, I almost grabbed one out of their hands yesterday, haha! Well at least I made it this far, maybe I’m finally over this addiction thing!

Quitter B: One week, wahoo!  Thank you all so much for your encouragement, I’m feeling pretty good!  My sleep is starting to get back to normal, and I’m going for long walks with the dog every day, without getting out of breath! I had a really bad craving out of nowhere yesterday, but I just closed my eyes and visualized the craving as a cloud floating away. Then I came here and blogged. It’s so helpful writing about it, and reading everyone else’s blogs. Part of me still wants to smoke but there are other things I want in my life more, like my health, so I just have to keep telling myself that smoking isn’t an option.

Day 14

Quitter A: It’s been two weeks, wow! I slipped last night and had a couple while at a bar with my friends but I’m back on track today. They tasted pretty bad, but it was just too hard to resist. I guess smoking only when I drink is better than smoking every day, right?

Quitter B: Two weeks! This is usually where I would give in and smoke in my past quits but not this time, I know better!  I’m feeling good, this has been so much easier than my past attempts. I’ve already got more energy, I can smell things again. I know there will be some bumpy times ahead, like the first time I’m at a bar, but I’m not even going to try that until I know I’m in a stronger position. Still having to distract myself from some odd cravings here and there, but it’s getting easier and easier to do. And I hope this isn’t TMI but I’m really constipated too… I read that can be part of quitting, how odd. Oh well, at least I know it’s normal.

Day 30

Quitter A: (no longer on the site because their resumed their pack-a-day routine on Day 16)

Quitter B: Well I’m officially entering No Man’s Land, thanks to all of you who told me about it and what to expect. It’s good to know the support doesn’t end after a month, and I still have some changes to go through. Some rough days here and there, but I’m feeling really good overall. I’m a little worried about an upcoming vacation but with everything I’ve learned I think I’ll be ready. Can I swap phone numbers with one of you in case I need to talk to someone while I’m there?

(We could keep going, but I think you get the idea… and if you think I’m making this up, read through the blogs on any given day… you will see these two types of quitters, clear as day…)

So, which type of quitter do you want to be?


MAKE A PLAN    click on “Get Your Plan”

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