Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SMOKING RELAPSE PREVENTION

You've successfully quit smoking.  You feel better, your breathing easier, your teeth are starting to whiten, and best of all you sometimes go an entire day without even thinking about a cigarette.  Congratulations, you are officially a non smoker.

Most people who quit smoking will experience an entire day of no smoking thoughts within the first 30 days of quitting smoking.  In fact, as time goes by, you will experience more and more days where the thought of a cigarette doesn't even enter your mind.   Unfortunately, for most ex smokers, they don't even realize this has occurred.

Once you have quit smoking you will have to conquer each smoking trigger at least once before you can move on.  For instance, the first time you get in your car after quitting smoking, you will instinctively reach for that cigarette and press in the lighter.  Lets face it, you've done it thousands of times over the years.  The first time will be tough, but the next time you get in the car it will be easier, and eventually you won't even think about smoking.

Until you complete this exercise with every situation you ever smoked, you will not be completely free.  Driving, a drink at the local pub, after meals, at a casino, at the beach, and anywhere else you ever smoked a cigarette.   You must experience each situation as a non smoker in order to remove the psychological addiction from your mind.

Beware, there are many, many people who have successfully stopped smoking for extended periods of time that were sucked back into the addiction by one little slip.  You see, it only takes one puff on a cigarette to spiral back into that awful world you worked so hard to escape.   The world of not controlling your own thoughts, feelings and actions.  The world of drug addiction.

So how do you prevent yourself from falling into this trap and going back to life as a full time smoker?  You must understand that you are no different than any drug addict.  No different than a person addicted to heroin or an alcoholic.  One slip and you will eventually be right back where you started, smoking a pack a day and wishing you would have never taken that one cigarette.

Far too many people have thought that once they were free of cigarettes, that they could control their addiction and have one cigarette now and again.  They wouldn't fall back into their old habits, but understand, smoking is not a once in a while proposition.  It is not something you can do half way.  How many smokers do you know who only smoke once cigarette a week, or a month.  It doesn't happen.

The only way to truly insure that you never become a pack a day smoker, is to never allow yourself to even have a puff of  a cigarette.  Don't do it, I 100% guarantee that in time, you will become a full time smoker again, smoking cigarette after cigarette.

Remember that first day that you quit smoking?  How difficult was it.  If you are just starting out quitting, write down your thoughts from day 1, day 2, day 3.  Keep it fresh in your mind and remind yourself how difficult it was to free yourself of nicotine addiction.  Keep your guard up, because the devil will strike when you least expect it. 

Do the following to make sure you prevent a smoking relapse:
  1. Write down your thoughts and feelings from day 1 of your quit.  Be very specific and keep this with you at all times.
  2. Make a pledge that you will never ever take a puff of a cigarette again.
  3. Celebrate each day that you are a non smoker.  Don't stop celebrating after a month, 6 months or even a year. 
  4. Help others quit smoking.   This is very important, as you will be constantly reminded of the difficulty and struggles that people addicted to nicotine face.  It will remind you that you do not want to become this person again.
You've accomplished something that millions of others hope and pray that they can accomplish, you have quit smoking.  Continue on your path and never let the illusion that smoking is something wonderful enter your mind again!!!!  It is only an illusion and a lie.

 

3 comments:

  1. Keep up with your positive outlook even with not knowing what the next steps will be. Your attitude has been one of your biggest allies in what you have been through the past 4 years. You are also incredibly lucky to have someone like Dr Sara taking a very personal interest in you. Not all doctors behave like this. I'm lucky to have had an incredible one myself for the past 30+ years, and it helps just knowing that they care. You are not just another patient to them, thinking of you often, Dave and Debbie
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  2. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful thoughts of yours. Relapse prevention is a important step in the recovery process. This will be the basis if you will succeed in starting a new life without your addiction.

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