This week’s topic - The Forever Quit - Right now you have committed to quit smoking, but have you committed to never smoke again?
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) or SINAO (smoking is not an option) 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!
NML List (Please let me know if there is anyone who has been missed!)