What a difference a week makes when you have relapsed!
A week ago today, I was still "clean" of tobacco and was starting to notice when I was in the stores how a waft of stale, stinky smoke would identify the smokers. Today-- as I shopped in numerous stores-- I was again one of those stinky ones.
Today, I was also one of the stinky ones who waited in line to buy a pack of those nasty cigarettes I had vowed would never again touch my lips.
But there are also positive differences in me vs. a week ago. And I am thankful for the lessons I have learned from this relapse. These lessons have come not only from my own personal experience but from other sources as well:
- With personal reflection, I now understand how "having just one" led me to the point of relapse. And, how the not one puff ever (NOPE) is necessary for my quit to be sucessful.
- I have also come to the point of forgiving myself--not approving of my actions-- but coming to the point of allowing myself a clean slate to start over again.
- From others, I have read how they have relapsed and returned to be victorious--so this has given me encouragement that I can do this as well.
- From Alan Carr's book, " Easy Way to Stop Smoking" I am learning new ways of positively approaching my next quit and assurance that I don't have to again "white knuckle" my way to freedom from cigarettes.
- From posts on this site and from internet research, I am learning more about handling stress in a positive and productive way and am working at stress-reduction techniques. I'm a high-achiever, stress-prone person and I'm also learning how this had a negative impact on maintaining my quit.
- From an excellent post on the Ex I have become aware of the benefits of designating something that's precious to me as an example of my commitment to stop smoking. Something small enough to fit in my hand. And something I can take with me wherever I go. My precious item is a wooden cross. The deal with this action is that should I give up my quit then I give up that precious cross. My quit and that cross are precious to me.
- And, I have given up my fear of starting over again. I feel positive about my quit and am actually going to be relieved when January 6th comes as it will be the first day of my final quit.
I am aware there will be tough times and am thankful for the support system I have here on the Ex. And, for the tools i have acquired for my quit tool box.
As I prepare for my quit date, I have also updated my quit plan.
I know I have not been as active on the site as I wish I could be because I'm spending the majority of my time in preparation for my final quit. I look forward to being an active daily presence on the site once I start my quit, participating in the daily pledge to not smoke, and getting to know all of you.
See you on the 6th!!! ~ Suzy