The notorious slip, relapse, fall from grace... the classic answer, I'm too stressed, I don't know why, I live with a smoker, this is too hard. The honest answer is you allowed yourself to smoke. Somewhere, somehow you gave yourself that permission. You told yourself that just a couple will be fine. Complacency, the mother of all ends, has landed on your doorstep. What brought him a knocking on that door?
For many years, we were of the misconception that smoking can be cured. We can just simply quit and it will never be with us ever again. We will never be tempted again. Those are the people that don't understand why they relapsed. Why do I keep doing this? Some of them are of the belief that I'll just quit and it will be gone from my body in 2 weeks and I'll be just fine. Somehow someway the emotional aspect of smoking is taken out of the equation. The situational aspect is taken out of the equation.
Slowly as you progress along the quitting spectrum, you will have what some here call stinkin' thinkin'. After you get through the physical withdrawal, you have association urges. It could be the first spring, the first holiday, family gathering, some event in your life that happens in a cyclical pattern. It could simply be when children come home or are home from break when you're first quit or just a change of season. These are the times you need to be on the lookout for. These are the sneaky triggers that will prompt you back to smoking thoughts, association urges. Your brain associates smoking with a certain event because you've been doing that for the past how many years. That's all it knows.
I go back to the example of check writing. We wrote out a certain date for the past 12 months. Suddenly when January rolls around, you wake up half asleep yet making out the monthly bills and you automatically write out the previous year's date. Your brain has been trained to do that because you've been repetitively been doing that over and over. Apply smoking to that equation. The first year you are creating new memories or associations without smoking. You will find in your second year that those events that you were dreading the first year are so much easier in the second year. Why? Because you've created a different association, a memory with that event.
It doesn't have to even be an event. It could be simply dealing with your triggers. You need to train your brain to do something else other than grab for that cigarette. If you fail to do that, you'll be twirling around looking for that cigarette because you haven't taught yourself to do anything else. When you're angry, grab for a stress ball. You're frustrated, click a pen. You're feeling anxiety, rub a smooth rock between your fingers or massage your palm. But pick a different thing for each trigger you're having a problem dealing with. Train your brain to do something else other than grabbing for a cigarette.
A smoking thought hits you out of the blue, take a few seconds and see what it is that's triggering it. Close your eyes for a second, take a few slow deep breaths in and deep breaths out and think about what it is that's causing this anxiety. You have the answer. You just have to allow it to surface. We ran to the cigarette because it was easier to do that than to deal with whatever it was we were choosing not to deal with or have no clue how to deal with it. Take the time and find the answers from within yourself. Quitting smoking is like someone is handing a journal to you with all blank pages. There is no index. There is no table of contents. There's only little helpful tips along the way. The tips can be found on this site by using the magnifying glass (search) function. Type in your question by using keywords, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, fear, loathing, guilt. There's over 28,000 people on this site, there's bound to be someone writing about these topics. Use this site for what it has. If you work it, it will get you to where you want to be.