# (NOTE: THIS IS THE ENTIRE DIALOGUE FROM THE ORIGINAL EX SITE.
(THIS TOPIC WAS STARTED BY MIKE)
* Posted by Mike in @lanta on October 15, 2009 at 11:10am in RELAPSE TRAPS (Source)
This cessation thing is just too hard. You've spent all day trying to come up with a reason to justify smoking again. It's been such a hard day you've already planned while lying in bed last night that you're gonna smoke just one first thing in the morning & that will be it. Well I'll have just one more at morning break with my coffee. Another after lunch. It's been such a tough day I think I'll have one or three on the way home. After all it's not like I'm back to smoking two packs a day right? I've already blown the day so I'll just start a new quit tomorrow & then another tomorrow & another. You see how it goes. You may come back with "well it was only one smoke" but one can turn into two & two can turn into thousands. That's how fragile our quit is. The thing is, we never know if we've already smoked the cigarette that put the last nail in our coffin. Or will it be the next one we smoke? Are you as comitted to this quit as you should be? Do you truly understand how deadly our addiction is? I've got 5 smoke free years under my belt & every day I still have to watch for triggers & emotional situations that could literally mean life or death for me because I know if I started back I probably couldn't quit again. I can't afford to think about planning how I can smoke again. This is my last chance. How many more chances do you have? How many more chances do any of us have?
Replies to This Discussion
Carla Mcdonald Permalink Reply by Carla Mcdonald on October 15, 2009 at 12:10pm
Yes I have quit again..I've got make this work,as i have health problems..There are many reasons besides health everyone should quit smoking..The main one is,TO LIVE....The best to you all....Carla
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 15, 2009 at 7:17pm
Thank you Carla. There ARE many reasons but they have to be our reasons. I see so many ruining their quits because they feel it's just to hard or just using any excuse they can find. And that's all they are is excuses. Slipping & smoking didn't do one iots for them except to feel guilty about smoking when they really couldn't afford to. It's never too late Hun. Always remember that.
LindaMc Permalink Reply by LindaMc on October 15, 2009 at 5:27pm
That is the truth, and it happens to people trying to quit every day, over and over. I know I have been there quite a few time and always started back and rationalized it. This time was different, I made up my mind, really!!, and stuck with it, doing everything I could find to help me get thru the hard times. I will be 59 tomorrow and have had my share of cigarettes. No more, done with them. I have COPD already, and cancer, runs in my family, esp lung cancer. well all my aunts and my Mom have passed on due to it or are fighting it right now, Don't wait too long, do it while you are young and you will get back to normal pretty much. Thanks for the post Mike.
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 15, 2009 at 7:13pm
Your counter is looking great Linda & Happy Birthday tomorrow. I turned 56 today & I don't think I would have made this day had I not quit smoking 5 years, 2 weeks, 22 hours, 12 minutes and 11 seconds ago. Have a good tomorrow.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 17, 2009 at 11:42pm
And I've got over three and a half smoke free years, and every day I have to watch for triggers that could bring me right back to a pack and a half a day. I know EXACTLY where you're coming from. We can't stop fighting. Well, I guess some can. Like my husband. Who quit 20 years ago or something - he never gives it a thought, has no cravings whatsoever. I envy him that. For me - well, I'm a puff away from being a full time smoker again. And I know it. And that, perhaps is my saving grace.
It's interesting to me now - what I think equally about when I briefly contemplate having a cigarette (in those weak craving moments) - is the incredible COST, monetarily. I know the physical cost. But it's absolutely stunning to me how much cigarettes cost in your pocketbook now compared to three and a half years ago. Here in NC they've only gone up a smidgen. But in NY they're like $9 a pack? Are you kidding me???? If I lived in NY now, I couldn't AFFORD to smoke. At a pack and half a day that I was smoking that's $450 a month????!!!
Those who are young think they have many chances. Until they develop a debilitating disease due to smoking. And then it's too late. Yeah - don't wait 'til it's too late. You never know when you're last chance is really upon you. So quit - before then.
Great post, Mike.
Marty Permalink Reply by Marty on October 26, 2009 at 11:31am
I feel like I'm planning my relapse. I haven't smoked for over 900 days. (Alright, 931 days, 11 hours.) I still think about smoking; I even dream that I'm smoking.
Last week I spent some very long days working in the field where smoking is alowed only permitted locations. I had some very strong cravings that passed like they usually do. But when I returned to the office, I still had cravings like it was one month into the quit. It hasn't gone completely. I find myself thinking: maybe I could put on a 7mg patch. Tha would be OK. ( I know it wouldn't be.) Maybe I could chew some ncotine gum; that would be OK. (I know it wouldn't be.) Maybe I should bum a smoke. That would be OK, right? It's only one. (Oh, yeah, I know one is too many, a million is not enough.)
I guess this crave will pass, eventually. I am hopeful that my will can last the length of the crave -- it's been almost a week now. It can't go on much longer, can it?
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 26, 2009 at 1:04pm
Yes this craving WILL pass. How much longer will it last? Does it really matter? The demon is just starting his whispering in your ear again, is all. He's smart. And he never gives up. So you must also never give up. You're simply allowing the possibility of smoking to take over your brain again. Push it out. Reinforce all the reasons you have a 2 1/2 year quit going. Remind yourself that smoking is NOT AN OPTION for you.
With the thinking that you're allowing yourself at the moment, you ARE planning your own relapse. So stop it. Now. Every time one of those undermining thoughts comes into your head acknowledge it for what it is and RUN in the opposite direction. You're in replay mode, so you need to also replay all those techniques that enabled you to be smoke free in the first place.
If you never read (or even if you did) the Carr book, read it again. Read everything again. Jump around this site and be reminded of what the early stages of a quit feel like. You DON'T WANT TO GO THERE AGAIN. Find the old timers and read what they have to say about maintaining a long term quit.
Real glad you came on here. Stick around until you're back in safe harbors. And lend support to others in the process. Because it will help strengthen your own resolve.
Keep posting. We're here for you.
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 26, 2009 at 2:24pm
Sounds like you're at the Terrible Threes Marty. This always seems to happen at a stage when 3s are involved. 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years, I don't know why. It sounds like you're tired of the fight but you've shown that you don't really want to smoke again because you're here talking to us. I agree with Giulia, go back to your reasons for quitting, go back to the methods that have kept you smober this long & re-educate yourself about cessation. Get in here & read of other's fights & post to them. You'll be surprized how you can help yourself by helping others. Remember what the battle of that first week was like & vow to never have do it again. NEVER forget what brought you here & please, always ask yourself one question before you smoke again. Will smoking improve my situation in any way? I know what the answer has always been for me. What will it be for you? Remember NOPE Marty. Not One Puff Ever.
Marty Permalink Reply by Marty on October 26, 2009 at 2:52pm
Thanks Giulia and Mike.
You're right, I know it. I really don't ever want to do week one again. I really don't want the hassle of finding the smoking post; spending $6 for a pack; stinking like some unkempt indivdual; always planning for the next smoke break; etc. We all could go on for ever.
I recognize the insidiousness nature of the addiction. Back on Day 1, I promised myself I would never purchase another pack, or bum a smoke from a "friend." I have kept those promises to myself. (But, I using gum or a patch the same? I know the answer to that, as well.)
Nicotine in all forms is out of my life. But I feel it tugging, as I turn my back on that devil and; fight off this crave.
This too shall pass. (I hope.)
Thanks for your support.
Together we can do what we could not do alone.
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 26, 2009 at 4:14pm
It SHALL pass Marty. We gotta keep those promises we make to ourselves though, otherwise...how would we know what kind of person we are?
John Pugh Permalink Reply by John Pugh on October 26, 2009 at 8:16pm
I too am a hopeless addict. I have been battling the dopemine disease for over a year now.
When I quit cigs, it became amplified.
You have to deal with it. You have to!
You can and will be suucessful!
Marty Permalink Reply by Marty on October 27, 2009 at 4:31pm
What is it that makes us think that a smoke will makes us feel better?
I'm thinking about that a little more often as I approach the three year mark.
Did you ever notice as a smoker hw w used these things? I used them to get met started; to calm me down; to wake me up; to prepare me for sleep; to end the perfect meal; to begin te perfect meal; as the finale to perfect sex.
As an ex-smoker, I see how ludicrous these things are, I see aas an ex-smoker most "perfect" things are better without a smoke. I don't need them to wake, sleep or calm me.
What is it this past week that has it's hooks in me? I shake them off with a brisk walk or a cup of coffee. Then, I'm fine for about 12 hours.
It's still nagging me, but I'm not about to give it all up for something I know will not satisfy the crave,
Thanks for listening (reading).
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 27, 2009 at 4:55pm
You're right. We foolishly tend to think that we smoke a cigarette when we "need" one to feel better. But we seem to need one ALL the time. Which follows then that we never feel good without one. It's like an exclamation mark we must place after every event during our day. Or, as with certain foreign languages, before the sentence even begins. Our lives are filled with doubled encapsulated exclamation points of dopamine driven madness.
I often wonder why I think a smoke will taste good now. It never tasted good before I got hooked on them. I know from previous experiences of quitting that it tastes horrible and makes me dizzy after only three days of being quit. And yet it's such an insidious drug I also know that within one day of smoking, I'll "enjoy" the taste all over again.
Like a cat with catnip, it just gives us a hit to our pleasure centers. It may make us feel emotionally better but it sure doesn't make us feel better physically. That's the part of the equation we always seem to forget, isn't it.
Marty Permalink Reply by Marty on October 30, 2009 at 1:14pm
Just an update -- I didn't give in. (Still fighting it, but it's calming down a bit.)
I reached into my old box of JuJu Stx. I haven't used a tooth pick in the last year. But I recalled how well those JuJuStx or Aussie Chewing Sticks eased my craving.
They still do the trick!
Thanks for your support.
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 30, 2009 at 1:21pm
Great job Marty. Sometimes we have to go through these things & it's not easy. But if we fight it as hard as we can it will be easier next time...& even easier the time after that. No matter hard hard it gets we can always reach down into our guts for just a little bit more resolve. Every time we knock that old nicodemon on his can he just gets weaker. WTG!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 30, 2009 at 1:56pm
Glad you didn't cave. Keep up the fight. It's worth it.
John Bates Permalink Reply by John Bates on October 28, 2009 at 7:44am
well, talking about speaking truth to power! i am that person. AM currently. i am miserable and depressed and have sentenced myself to smoking for the remainder of my life. NO MORE. something about being desparate...i KNOW all of that stuff, but as u know, KNOWING and DOING are different. I have come here to learn how. i know the why part. so thanks for saying the obvious(which sometimes doesnt get said cause its "obvious".
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 28, 2009 at 8:16am
Welcome to Ex John Bates. Are you as scared & mad as I was when I began my cessation journey. Getting over the scared part was nothing. I found out real soon there was nothing to fear. But to this day carry a lot of anger to this day. Anger at planning my life around smoking, making excuses, missing out, throwing money away, stinkin to high heaven & worshipping cigarettes in general. A lot of resentments. We have to be desparate if we want to succeed & live. This is not a game or a movie. This thing is all in our head & it's something we have to get out of our head every day. That's just the way it is. WE make the choice every day whether we will remain smoke free or let that demon in our heads rule. The funny part is...we are that demon in our head & we're the ones tormenting ourselves. If you wanna change your life...change your mind.
John Pugh Permalink Reply by John Pugh on October 28, 2009 at 9:53am
We have to work on our head everyday John. You know, I've quit a lot of things.
but tobacco is the one that really trips the trigger .
Welcome to our world, and do not go back.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 28, 2009 at 9:23am
Welcome to Relapse Traps, John. Oh, yeah, knowing and doing.... so easy to know, so hard to put into practice that which we know, eh? It's just because we are addicted to smoking. We make believe it's about everything else. But it's not. It's simply about a drug making us a slave. The reason I know is because I can recall the time when I didn't smoke. When I thought people who did were really stupid. When I tasted my first cigarette and felt nauseous. My life was just as filled with stress and emotional upheavals back then. Yet I didn't need a pacifier.
My advice - the best way to learn how to get rid of this monster is to educate yourself and experiment. Read anything and everything you can on here. Discover what works for others. Try their approach. If it doesn't work for you, create your own method. Quitting can be totally crazy making, but also can be an amazingly creative period. Take that craving energy and run with it. Do things you've never done before. It's all about changing your focus. And as Mike said, changing your mind.
Ciara Permalink Reply by Ciara on October 29, 2009 at 3:19pm
This is a great blog and I could totally relate. It's amazing to see how fragile the whoel situation is.....
Rick M Permalink Reply by Rick M on October 31, 2009 at 10:56am
Agree great blog. Glad I read it today, the reminder is always helpful. It's Saturday, if the craves hit it is usually the weekends. Thanks G and Mike
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on October 31, 2009 at 11:23am
Ya never know when a craving is gonna sneak up on you.
(to the tune of "Over There")
Say a Prayer
Send the word,
Send the word to beware.....
The Champs are coming,
The Champs are coming,
The drums rum tumming everywhere....