I remember months prior to quitting, even years prior, those tell-tale signs that I had to bring me back to smoking. I recognize them now having been quit for 3 ½ years every once in a while when life throws me a curve or just simply frustrates the heck out of me. Those instances in life where I throw my hands up and think, Screw this, I'm buying a pack. My goodness, I used those words over and over again for years before I quit once and for all.
In times of weakness or trouble, stop yourself and think, What would a nonsmoker do in this situation? What would a person who has never smoked in their life do? They certainly don't think of lighting up, popping a pill, taking a drink. They developed other choices in life to deal with stress.
Are we predisposed to smoking? Is it part of our DNA? What part of our brain clicks on and tells us that lighting up will solve the world's problems? Are we just searchers for the next feel-good solution? What makes some people smokers and others turn their nose away from it? There's many theories out there. We certainly weren't born with a cigarette in our mouth. When life gets tough, it certainly doesn't magically appear for us to smoke it.
Once the physical symptoms are through, there's a lot of brain exercising going on. We have to consciously think about new habits we're creating, new routines. It's like when we start a new job. We have to take it slow and think about each new task that we're doing. Before too long it becomes so automatic, we don't have to think about doing things any longer. At times I feel like a broken record simply repeating over and over the same things. I just want to share with you newcomers and relapsers what has worked for me over my journey in this wonderful land of living smoke and tobacco free.
When you recognize your old habits returning, when life is throwing you a curve ball, be sure to come here and read some blogs. Bookmark some that hit home for you. I've done that many times over the years. Go to Relapse Prevention and read the blogs there. Use the search feature and look up what you're feeling at the time. Talk to people around you or write about it. Don't let the feelings and frustrations bubble up and then you find yourself falling into old routines.
See them for what they are and stop them in their tracks. Remember the old saying for detecting a fire, stop, drop and roll. Give yourself those few minutes, recognize the signs, make the right choices. Because after all, it really comes down to that, doesn't it? Choosing this new lifestyle or falling back into our old one. What will be yours?