(Photo Credit: Brent Thomas “Musta Slipped”)
What can we learn from relaping? Perhaps telling our stories to others will help keep them from making the same mistakes.
Let's let it all hang out.
If you've quit before and lost it, write it here. We need to understand the whys so that we can prevent the wherefores and might bees.
Here's my tale:
I quit first when I was around twenty-four. Had only smoked a couple of years (began at age 21). Had a year under my belt and didn't have any cravings.
I'm an actress and got a role in a play where the character smoked. I thought, "well, I won't inhale and everything will be fine. Besides I don't really want a cigarette any more." Within a week I was back to smoking full time.
Cut to: 24 years later and I stopped again. Managed three months this time. At the opening night party of a show I was then in I asked to bum a cigarette to celebrate. As I recall the person was somewhat reluctant to give me one. But I persuaded him. The next day I went and bought a pack thinking I'd only smoke one occasionally.
Cut to: 8 years later. I quit again March 1, 2006. Will this be my last time? I hope so.
So, what have I learned? That I cannot take one puff, ever. Ever. That if I get hired to do a role where I must smoke, I must decline it. That I must protect my quit at all costs.
What's YOU'RE story and what have YOU learned?
(for further reading go to Relapse and Persistence)
This Forum was created back in 2008. The following 5 Sections are the original dialogue/responses that took place.
ManOfSteele Permalink Reply by ManOfSteele on May 8, 2008 at 6:23pm
I tried so many times with little success...
one time my best friend Mike and I smoked one whole pack one right after the other to make us sick of smoking ... well I think it just helped me become more of a chain smoker ..... I went out and bought another pack right afterwards ...lol
I can remember a hypnosis clinic where some guy was hypnotising 300 or so people in less than 3 hours ....lol at the 1 1/2 break everyone is in the hallway lighting up ...you could barely see.... I did not smoke the whole night from like 9pm on ....until the next morning....
SO back then EVERYTHING was a trigger and I let myself use any and all excuses !
All my bad experiences I think did show me what I needed to do to eventually have a successful quit and that basically came down to never allowing ANY excuses to EVER take a puff again.
hope this might help someone ...
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on May 8, 2008 at 9:25pm
What a RIOT! LOVED the fact that after the hypnosis session you all went out for a smoke break in the hallway! Hillarious!
Actually hypnosis helped me for about 2 seconds too.
Thanks so much for your response, Ray. Yes, it's all about not allowing any excuses ever. You just have to keep saying NO. You may think that Nancy Reagan's promotion of this concept was not to your liking. But that's exactly what you have to do to stay quit. It's as simple and as complicated as that. Just say NO. And mean it.
Lenna Permalink Reply by Lenna on June 4, 2008 at 10:39am
You got it, don't you!!!! Allowing ANY excuse to take pick up a cigarette.
I quite for 6 years, met a man, and he smoked. After a year, I did finally bum "just one".
That was 8 years ago. I married and divorced the man, but still have the smokes!
I blamed him for being the reason I smoked. I really have begun to look at this very differently now.
I"M the reason I still smoke!!!
I'm working quite hard on the mental aspect of this addiction, and this site is very helpfull, I have NEVER joined an online group before.
So thank you all for being here and sharing, and I plan to work the becoming an EX program and soon to pick that "Quit Date"
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 10, 2008 at 8:35am
Amazing, isn't it. We can quit for SIX YEARS and then just bum ONE and we're back to being full time smokers again. That's the power of this addiction. We need alarm bells that go off in our heads when we near the dangerous reefs of "just one" thinking. I've worked very hard for the past two years to ensure that there are such alarm bells in my head. It's reading stories like these that keep me from the reefs. Thanks.
Janet Permalink Reply by Janet on July 3, 2008 at 12:39pm
Wish the best for you. I'm struggling here myself. Quit for a few days and went right back to it. I'm going to give it a try again this weekend. I have been on zyban for almost a month but it doesn't seem to be helping.
Kellie Permalink Reply by Kellie on October 19, 2008 at 10:54am
I had quit for about 2 weeks short of a year. No more cravings. Felt really good. I was so proud that I had kicked it. I was under a great deal of stress in the 4th year of Vet Med school and national boards were coming. They put me on Zyban for anxiety issues. Within 7 days, I was jonesing like crazy. I had not felt like that since the first two weeks of quitting and it was back. I gave in; telling myself it was to avoid losing my mind. I have spent the past 10 months trying to quit again. I wish I had never started again and it is frustrating me horrible that I can't get past the first week.
Lenna Permalink Reply by Lenna on October 19, 2008 at 12:08pm
The biggest part of this addiction is the mental obsession. I had quit for about 7 years. Now here I am, on DAY 7. I feel great, but I absoulty know that the longer I go, the harder it will be. My mind will start playing tricks on me. I'm prepared for it this time, and therefore am stronger mentally. When I am stressed, I will look at the stress and see what I can do to relieve it in healthy ways. When I'm angry, I will immediately look at that anger and see if its justified, or just some childish agenda violation issue, that my addiction would love me to go out and smoke on! Not this time! Not ever again. A ciggarette is never going to be the answer to any mental or emotional stress. There are tools to learn how to handle my reaction to life, instead of just reacting to life. WHEW!
This is me on day 7 LOL....
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on October 20, 2008 at 5:23am
I am so proud of you Lenna & this new attitude of yours. You can do anything sweet lady.
Raj Permalink Reply by Raj on July 4, 2008 at 1:41pm
I'm second. One will lead to more. There will always be some sort of excuse to smoke. I'm with most of you. Don't allow any excuses. Just do not light up!!!! I regret the backslide and have to quit all over again. I tell you what. I felt too good . Can't become a slave to the 3 inched bandit again. NO excuses....Quitting for Good!!!!
Sue Permalink Reply by Sue on May 9, 2008 at 1:51pm
Once upon a time I had a 20 day quit....then fell into the missing smoking trap.So, I had one and here we are how many years later and still smoking.Looking back on it I think that maybe if I'de turned to a friends and talked about it instead of convincing myself that a smoke would fill the void, I'de have realized that I was really looking for emotional comfort, not a nic fix. It's strange how I can confuse the two being a cigarette doesn't offer any comfort whatsoever in any way shape or form .....it just drags you back into a vicious cycle again...
Dian Permalink Reply by Dian on May 9, 2008 at 3:04pm
Yep, quit and started quit and started, got pregnant twice, quit and stayed quit for a year or two then my dad crossed......... but I did quit again in 2003 and started again in 2004 now it's 2008 and it's my 3rd day quitting..... I really want it to be my last.
ManOfSteele Permalink Reply by ManOfSteele on May 9, 2008 at 6:35pm
Dian .... you quit to give life and it worked .......
Now just give yourself LIFE ..... and be free forever from this crap !!
I got your back !!
Pete Gustin Permalink Reply by Pete Gustin on June 2, 2008 at 5:59pm
That is So me. I keep thinking one won't hurt.
Oh but it will and it does.
At least we're still in there trying....
polly Permalink Reply by polly on July 5, 2008 at 9:30am
Hiya Pete! To counteract the thoughts that you can have just one you can think any of these thoughts to put your mind to rest.:
NOPE = Not one puff EVER!
Smoking is not an option <-----------this is the thought that I use and it really works well!
NO = not one
There is no such thing as trying -- NIKE -- JUST DO IT!!
Stopping smoking won't kill me
There are more, but I think that the top 3 are the most powerful!! This is definitely a mental addiction. Our minds have been so entrenched with our daily habit that our subconscious gives us thoughts signaling us that we can't live without cigarettes and just one won't hurt, etc. Once you establish a firm thought in your mind, then you other thoughts can interfere. If you tell your mind "smoking is not an option," then you are eliminating all excuses, justifcations and rationalizations! It really works!!! Hope this helps you!!! Have an awesome day Pete!!
Keith Permalink Reply by Keith on June 7, 2008 at 4:29pm
The first time I quit was like 6 years ago after about ten years of smoking. It lasted like 6 months and I started getting cravings out of the blue--or at least which seemed out of the blue which--and I was able to ignore them for a couple of weeks until one day, while driving home from somewhere, I stopped at the old gas station I had bought cigarettes at every day for the past few years and bought a pack. There probably was a trigger in there somewhere, but I don't remember what it was.
Between then and now, I quit for scattered weeks here and there, but looking back, those efforts weren't really sincere.
This time, I made it another 6 months, when I slipped up from the stress during exam week. I only had one cigarette that week, but then at the department's end of the semester party, I had a few cigarettes under the guise of "just celebrating." I made it another week, but the seed was planted. I bought a pack about a week ago, and I've been smoking about a third of a pack a day. It's two-thirds less than I was smoking before, but still. My new quit date is tomorrow. I think I'm going to have to avoid going out with my friends for the next few months, unfortunately; at least where alcohol is involved.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 9, 2008 at 8:11am
Thanks for posting your tale here, Keith.
Uh, yeah, I'd have to agree with you that you're gonna have to avoid hanging with your friends for a bit until you get back in control of the Monster. It's such a powerful force. A third of a pack leads to two-thirds of a pack, leads to a pack.... Been there. I know.
Hoping for a strong quit sincerity from you. Post in the Daily Pledge Group. That can help firm up your commitment.
Dian Permalink Reply by Dian on June 10, 2008 at 5:52am
started when I was a teenager. Quit for pregnancy and that would last a few years. Quit 4 years ago for about a year. This time around I quit with never smoking again in mind. I slipped about 2 weeks ago and smoked and you know what I learned. I really really don't like the smell of smoke on me or my hands or my hair and I really really don't like people seeing me smoke period so I decided there and then never ever will a cigarette touch my lips again. It's been over 1 month for me and I feel pretty dang good. I come here for support and to support others like me.
Brenda Permalink Reply by Brenda on June 12, 2008 at 7:45pm
My story sounds pretty stupid but it is real..I had decided to quit 1-1/2 years ago and my husband agreed to quit too.we were smoking roll you owns(very stinky and smelly,and I had to roll them all for both of us) I used nic gum for help and he used the patch. he quit for about 3 months...and started smoking again .he had to roll his own.....eventually he started buying "the good ciggarettes" .as soon as he did my cravings got big and real. we were not getting along very well either..and I got angy ..angry that for all those years I had to roll both of our cigs and smoke the nasty ones, but as soon as I quit he got the good ones (boy was I so stupid!!!)so I got in his truck and took one out and smoked it.. I had made it 10 months smoke free and I was so proud of myself and I felt good and my self confidence was up and I threw it all away for a "good ciggarette"needless to say my self confidence dropped I didnt feel proud anymore. and when my husband saw me smoking that "good one" he smiled.....what a screwed up situation....well here I am now smoke free for 82 hrs (my husband is also smoke free for about the same time.).however___no matter what happens___ I am not going to let anything screw this up for me this time no-one not even myself! not one puff ever...
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 13, 2008 at 10:05am
Good post. I am now gonna start a new discussion under Relapse Traps and called it The Anger Trap. And we have YOU to thank for it. So THANKS.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 13, 2008 at 8:20pm
This post has been moved to "The Anger Trap" on this group.
Patty Permalink Reply by Patty on June 18, 2008 at 5:51am
Most of my quits that are less then a month fail cause of rage... I will have a fight with the spouse and then i will run to the gas station and get a pack...sometime i will start the fight just knowing that i will end up smoking! I am learning to not let my emotions get me back into the niotine trap!
8 years ago i had quit for two years...Was doing Great ! Started a new job and met a girl that i became best friends with. Well her husband was in a band and she had invited My husband and I out to watch the band one night. After drinking a few, I asked her for a smoke and my husband saw this and Said.... "You Know that thats a mistake?" I said Yeah i know and lit it anywayz.... Then he asked for one too (he was 2 yrs quit too) and then we became smokers again!
I know know that I HAVE to stay away from that ONE cigarrette!!!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 18, 2008 at 8:43pm
Thanks for your post, Patty. Wow. Yeah. Anger and drinking. Two major relapse traps. It's all about staying away from that ONE, isn't it?!!!!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on June 30, 2008 at 9:59am
(This was posted by Reshad on June 30, 2008:)
It's easy to slip back in...
I had quit for almost 8 years and I ended up slipping, It was a gradual thing, "oh I'll just have one today with this drink", then it turned into 2 and pretty soon I was a full blown smoker, buying my own ciggs and now I am/was up to a pack a day, I guess my point to this blog is that to remember you can never quit, all of us out there are just not smoking right now, if you keep that in mind you should be able to stay away from ciggs... it's a black hole that can suck you up at any time, Stay on your guard...
V Permalink Reply by V on July 3, 2008 at 4:36pm
I am so glad I read these posted replies. I started slipping because of pain. One would think that after being near deaths door the last thing that person would want would be a cig. When I realized what I was doing I stopped. Thank goodness I never smoked more than one or two a day gee how stupid of me. I am now smoke free for almost two years. Lesson learned think think what are you doing and why. Some times we dont know why. The Golden Rule Not One Puff Ever. Proud to be a non smoker
Carlie Permalink Reply by Carlie on July 3, 2008 at 5:29pm
I found this earlier today, and posted on it - I thought it was a really good topic...
Gosh - 2 years; glad you are staying a quitter !!! There are SO many lessons to be learned...and anything that keeps us smoke-free, is a lesson well-learned !!!!
Day 3 and counting !!!!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 4, 2008 at 3:03pm
Thanks to you V, I'm starting a new Trap called the Pain Trap. Congratulations on the length of your quit. Keep it close.
Carlie Permalink Reply by Carlie on July 3, 2008 at 12:11pm
I thought it would be a good idea to bring this post up top again...it's really relevant !!!
I'm on Day 3, and doing fine (boy - am I surprised!) My husband made a comment the other night, that as long as one of my kids don't show up, I have a chance of succeeding !! I realized he was right !!! I have 2 grown kids - each with their own set of problems. I had quit for 9 months one time, when my daughter showed up, needed some "help" and after staying with us for 1 week, I was smoking again. Darn near needed therapy !!!
When I had quit for a whole year one time, my son and his girlfriend showed up at my door - needing help. Only took me 3 days to start smoking that time - his girlfriend was a wacko !!!
I wasn't aware of my triggers well enough to know what set me off - much less fight it off !!! I'm definately going to be more aware and vigilant this time !!!!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 3, 2008 at 8:20pm
Great lessons learned. But beyond ALL of that you have to learn to say NO, no matter what, no matter children, no matter tension, no matter grief, no matter boredom, no matter anger, no matter celebrations, no matter fond memories, no matter being drunk, no matter "I don't know why I picked one up." It's about making a decision to say NO - NO MATTER WHAT. And THAT is what will keep you smoke free FOREVER. A 100% commitment. - no matter what. Have you got it?
Carlie Permalink Reply by Carlie on July 4, 2008 at 11:22am
Ha - love you, girl.....YES - I've got it !!!!
To all those "no matters".....I quit drinking 16 years ago - not a drop since; no matter what !!! I am treating this nicotine addiction the same way...no matter what !!!
I sure appreciate what you say...and ALL the support I get here !!!! ...Thanks....
Day 4 and counting...and LOVIN' IT !!!!
Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on July 5, 2008 at 4:15am
I'll mind my manners and tounge over here if you folks don't mind. :-) It is very simple for me, I'm an addict, period! If I touch it I will use it without control, period. Start and stop, stop and start are cop-out rationalizations for me that fool me into believing I ever had control to begin with. It simply is not true! When that slams home to my addict psyche I am good to go. NEVER AGAIN. My Higher Power says NEVER AGAIN! If I do I'll be right back where I started. Period! Strait, tough, and simple. I'm lucky I can control the pickup truck........LOL
Day 13 and accumulating like snow in Buffalo!
Mel Permalink Reply by Mel on July 5, 2008 at 8:15am
I know i'm a little late getting here,but oh well...I tried quitting by using Chantix,it actually worked,I was 25 days into it and wanted nothing to do with a cig. That lasted 2 weeks then i started slacking on the pills and finally quit taking them thinking i was good to go,WRONG! I slowly started smoking again untill i was back up to 2 packs a day. So I tried starting them over but I had every side effect possible,I finally quit taking them because the nightmares(not dreams) were out of control and i was sleep walking.This past April i heard about a hypnotist who helped several of my friends quit,so for $60.00 i thought it couldn't hurt to try.On April 2nd I went to see him, he takes up to 15 people in the room and I was there for an hour.I walked out not thinking about ever smoking again.A whole week went by and i was just amazed.My husband smokes and so do some of our friends,everyone continued smoking in my house and around me,I thought I was fine,WRONG!Like a little kid,I snuck a cig of my husband and hid in the backyard and only made it through a couple of hits before i felt sick and dizzy.But later that day I did it again,then I just gave in and began smoking AGAIN.The Hypnotist said everyone gets a second chance if we should need it,so I took him up on the offer.He came back to the area April 16th,I have been smokefree since.Although I did change a few things this time,my husband and friends smoke outside,i even go out with them now,but to have to be trapped in a confined area was too much for me.I have C.O.P.D and my husband knows how sick I can get so he was all for me quitting,and I don't pressure him,he he he...but he doesn't smoke as much now that he smokes outside.I just wanted to share my story with those who may have been in the same sinking boat, we can use any life saver we think will work rather then go down without a fight!
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 5, 2008 at 9:21pm
Jim - straight, tough and simple. That's it. We're addicts. We have one, we've lost control. We have one - it's over. We have one - we have a pack. There is no such thing as one. Like the old Lays ads "bet ya can't eat just one..." no, we can't.
Mel - coming up on three months...that's great. Sounds like you are NOT going down with the ship. I admire you're stick-to-itiveness. You've a winner's attitude. NEVER EVER GIVE IN AGAIN and you will be Captain of your vessel.
Debbie, I'm just so dang proud of ya! Keep it sweet.
And thanks to all of you for sharing your stories here.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 7, 2008 at 9:13am
Great post jackie! READ, READ, READ is right! Congrats on your lovely smoke free time. Cheers!
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 7, 2008 at 9:14am
Congratulations on the smoke free year Jackie! Cold turkey is best in my opinion but not all can do it that way.
My story is similar to yours. I had "tried" quitting several times but none lasted more than a few hours so I've always considered this my first quit. I had to come to a point where knew that I had a problem & was not only killing myself but also harming those around me. There were several times during my quit that I went to pay for gas & asked for my brand of smokes. Several times they were rung up before I had the chance to tell them "Hey I don't smoke." They would just have to take it off my bill or credit my card. I'm proud to say that I haven't even had one little puff in the last three years, nine months, six days, 12 hours, 9 minutes and 49 seconds...50...51...52...53...
Gwood004 Permalink Reply by Gwood004 on July 9, 2008 at 8:43pm
I really enjoyed this post and the epiphany you relayed at the conclusion of it. Relapse is not an act of failure, rather it can be a part of healing and enlightenment. Thanks for sharing your tale of relapse.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 24, 2008 at 9:09am
READ THIS AND LEARN. AND READ IT AGAIN. AND AGAIN. AND AGAIN.
This is Greg's story. He gave me permission to put it in here. I wasn't sure in which section to place it because it covers such a broad scope: The Stress Trap, the Drinking Trap, the Anger Trap. Boy, life is like walking through a
mine field, ain't it?
I created this Group in the hopes of preventing you (and me) from blowing ourselves up. But so many of us seem to be suicide bombers here. We not only take ourselves out, but those who love us.
So read this story and believe that this could be you. All these stories should add up in your mind to one basic principle: You must keep your guard up at all times. You can never let your defenses down. And you can never take just one puff.
June 29, 2008
I just joined this group because I'm in my 25th day and get a little concerned about the long term part of staying quit and want to use every tip I can so I won't relapse. I have not had any alcohol since I quit. I was going to last weekend but realized it would probably ruin everything. Drinking coffee is hard enough but I'm getting used to that. The good thing is I really don't miss the alcohol.
I've been delaying the fact that I needed to add this post. I quit on June 4th and smoked again on July 11th. I threw 37 days of hard work down the drain because I gave in to a temptation in an atmosphere I shouldn't have let myself be in. I really feel like crap about it but need to realize I'm one of many that didn't succeed on their first attempt. I tried before but nothing like this one. I never applied myself full force in the past. The positive part is that I went 37 days and am learning what I need to do to be successful. I can name lots of reasons why I gave in but the bottom line is no one made me do it, I simply made the wrong choice. To me it has nothing to do with whether I used an NRT or went cold turkey. I will say that I did the right thing and avoided alcohol (major trigger for me) my whole quit until that day, but I should have kept it up. I had even went to a July 4th Barbque/party and made it through ok. For anyone on the site who is starting out, no matter how confident and good you feel and how long it's been- don't let your guard down. You've seen that posted here over and over. Lots of people here told me that and my over confidence is what failed me. I am going to start over, even do the ex-plan again and will start my quit counter again at day 1. I'm willing to go through the pain of quitting again in order to get rid of this habit for good.
My last blog was concerning that I blew a 37 day quit on July 11 because of an extremely stressful situation I got myself in. You can't imagine how stupid I still feel about this. It was all due to me having a heated argument with my wife and I happened to start drinking 1 lousy can of beer. My mind must have been looking for an excuse to smoke, I don't know. Before I knew it, I was smoking as much as I did before. That's a no-brainer to anyone on this site. 1 puff = 1 pack quickly. All I had to do is breathe deep and simply walk away from that situation but didn't. I've been reading so many blogs and discussions on here since I smoked and there are a ton of people in a lot more stressful situations than I was in and made it through. But now I have to look "onward and upward". My new quit date is August 5. I am leaving in a few days for a trip and have decided to wait until I get back. Since July 11, I've steadily been on this site reading, bought the Allen Carr stop smoking book and have been reading a lot on whyquit.com. I am going with the patch again (full term this time) and plan on blogging and reaching out a lot more than I did the first time. I really need to zero in on handling stress and over eating. During my 37 days of not smoking, I felt like I couldn't eat enough food and
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 24, 2008 at 9:31am
Thanks for posting this Guilia. There are so many triggers out there & different ones for all of us.
In your second paragraph you seem to be making an apology. Rest assured this group you've created is serving it's purpose & the more triggers we expose for everyone the better. Some of us have faltered but it looks like they're bringing their experience back to share with us. They don't seem to be gone long. I would still like for all of us to check on this group's members & even your friends for recent activity. If you see that someone has been missing for a week send them a message or a note on their page. They will be grateful that someone cares.
Giulia Permalink Reply by Giulia on July 24, 2008 at 9:47am
Yes. Good idea. Thanks Mike.
Jim Taddeo Permalink Reply by Jim Taddeo on July 24, 2008 at 9:51am
I'm even checking in on the other guys at work that are not on here and trying to help. It helps me to stay focused for sure. I'm not getting much in the way of cravings at all any more. So I'm paying even more attention to my quit. Right now I don't want to forget HOW BAD SMOKING SUCKS! I'm not planning on changing anything I'm doing right now. Everyday several times a day I'm here checking out what everyone is doing, reminding myself that this is a battle for my life. Slips happen, falls happen, get right back up and I don't even care if you dust yourself off..LOL...Just quit again...and again.....an analyze...and do what you have to do to STOP FOR GOOD. Literally.
God bless and holler at me if you need to.....anyone :-)
Mike in @lanta Permalink Reply by Mike in @lanta on July 24, 2008 at 10:04am
Great attitude Jim. Do what ya gotta to do.
It's hard to check on everyone but if we all do a little a lot will be done.
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