I've been on this site for 5 years, three years active and the last six months not so much. I've read many stories with people relapsing through the years. They blame it not being ready. Not having their head in the game. They forgot to put their patch on. They forgot their gum, lozenge, whatever. They went out drinking with friends and bummed a smoke. But why truly do they go back to smoking once again? Could it be an underlying depression that was never noticed before? Is it because they have an increasing need to be accepted and one of the crowd? What makes them take those few seconds to give themselves the permission to smoke?
That's really what it is, isn't it? You've talked yourself into going back into your old routines and habits. If nobody else is going to love me, this truly will. It's a parallel really to overeaters, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. If you allow yourself to dwell on the act, you are almost guaranteed to go with what you're used to, what you're comfortable with, what you've always done. I know some alcoholics that can go to a bar and have no problem whatsoever. On the other hand, I know of some people that can't step foot into one. Is it willpower or is it simply allowing yourself that hall pass that you hope won't stick?
Will smoking one cigarette make you go back to smoking a pack a day? No, but over time it will. That's how you got here to begin with, isn't it? You started out way back when trying to be the cool kid and hanging with the crowd doing what everybody else is doing. It may have been an every weekend thing. You find yourself saying, oh, another one isn't going to make a difference. I've got this under control. But as time went on, you're lighting up every day sometimes three to four times a day and it snowballs into 20 to 30 to more. The rush of dopamine the brain likes and then it craves more and more to sustain what you've been feeding it. Do you really want to ignite the spark again?
When those times hit, STOP, breathe in and breathe out. Think at that very moment what's going on. It could be you're finishing a difficult job or project. The kids are driving you nuts. The dogs won't stop barking. The first snow fell. The first grass was cut. Your first holiday is coming up. Those thoughts are arising for a reason. Only you know the reason, no one else. We all move through life differently. What is happening that is making you believe that smoking will solve it? When really in actuality what you're doing is giving yourself a time-out when you were smoking to regroup, relax, remove. Why do you need to smoke to do that?
Choose to be a nonsmoker. Choose to live a smoke-free life, a productive life. Never give yourself that permission to go and bum a smoke or buy that pack. Why do you want to inhale all those chemicals again into your healing lungs? Think about what exactly is making me want to go back. What exactly are you missing, are you lacking? It's not the simple reason of oh, I'm addicted to nicotine and that's why. That part of quitting has left the station already. The emotional part of being tied to smoking is trying to pull you back. The reason resides in you. Find that reason, understand it, recognize it and pave your way to true freedom.
I wish you all a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. If you find yourself having struggles, having a weak moment, always remember that STOP, breathe in and breathe out. Remove yourself, regroup, relax. Reflect back on those first couple weeks of quitting, how you felt, the tension, the restlessness. Concentrate on how you feel now, what you're getting done, how much flipping money you've saved. Treat yourself with a small little present for yourself. Celebrate being quit. Rejoice on how far you've come !!!!