Many moons ago, a year and a half to be exact, my all-time favorite thing was watching the lighting bugs in the backyard while puffing away on a cigarette and drinking a cocktail. Always loved watching those things dancing off the grass. As I was standing at my back door just the other day letting the dog out and awaiting her to do her bizaness, the lightening bugs are dancing all over the place. That memory jumps into the forefront and the first thing I associate with it is smoking a cigarette. I feel the anxiousness, the panic for just a moment, but it passes. Why does it pass? Because I've taught myself to treat that second for exactly what it is, a memory. That's all it was.
I had another some such episode hit me a few weeks ago when I worked with a client of mine who I used to work with when I smoked heavily. Did not work with her at all while I was quitting or during my first year of my quit and suddenly she came back out of nowhere. I figured no big deal. I've been off the sauce for a year and a half, I'll be fine. Funny thing was the minute I started working on her stuff again, all the memories came back and the panic, anxiousness rose up for just a moment, but it passed. I saw it for what it was, a memory.
I further remember very early in my quit the very first outing I went on. It was a cookout at my daughter's. We were repairing our relationship, but weren't quite there yet. I was about six months into my quit and felt confident that I had my tools, my gum and my commitment in tow. I taught myself that if anything got too much for me, to simply walk away and regroup and come back. I wanted to stay quit so bad but at that time didn't actually believe that the power lied within me. I was the one that was keeping myself quit. Not the gum, not the patch, not anything else that's out there. It was between my two ears, my brain. Me, myself and I. I left the party after an hour and a half. That was all I could take at the time because I allowed the anxiety to grab a hold. I didn't see the memories of past cookouts as perhaps a situational trigger. I always went with at least 2 packs of cigarettes and a 12 pack.
In closing, don't panic over triggers or sudden anxiety that comes over you out of the blue or what they call cravings. It's just a memory, that's all. See it for what it is. You spent a lot of years smoking. You lived a lot of life associated with smoking. You just need to replace those with memories NOT associated with smoking. Blessings to you all and until next time........... The crazy is over and out ;-)