"I can smoke just one! Just for this evening, I'll smoke, and then I'm back to my quit tomorrow! Really!!"
Sound familiar? Thoughts of smoking are common as you go through nicotine withdrawal. Your mind can feel like it's turning itself inside out trying to convince you to have just one cigarette. Don't let it throw you; this is a normal part of recovery from nicotine addiction. Make a vow to put your thoughts on ignore when you're struggling, and keep your focus on the day you have in front of you only. Don't worry about tomorrow; don't fret about never smoking again. Just think about getting through TODAY smoke free.
Junkie thinking can sometimes spring up out of nowhere when you least expect it, and suddenly your mind is trying to rationalize why smoking would be an alright thing to do. That is addiction and habit talking to you, and the voices can get pretty urgent at times, demanding your attention.
Keep your memory green. Use your list of reasons and your quit journal; refresh yourself often about why you've quit, as well as how far you've come on your path to freedom. Don't slip into thinking that because you've done so well, you can smoke and quit again easily. It never works that way. People who return to smoking often spend years trying to quit again.
Your reasons for quitting will never be less true as time goes by, but they can feel less critical if you're not careful.
If you are seriously considering smoking, take some time to think about the answers you'd give to the questions below.
- Why did I quit smoking?
- How long did I smoke?
- How long have I been smoke free?
- How long do I think it should take to be free of this habit?
- If I go back to smoking, will I want to quit again?
- How long will it be before I do? Weeks...months...years? When illness strikes?
- Will quitting be any easier next time around?
- How do I think smoking will benefit me?
- Is it worth giving up what I've worked so hard to do?
Protect and nurture the freedom you're gaining from this deadly habit. Remember that the chains of addiction are broken one link at a time. Be patient with yourself, and let time be your quit buddy.
Don't let junkie thinking trick you back into a habit you hate. You might never find a way to break free again.
Give cessation time and you will be free.
Give smoking time and it will kill you.
Keep Your Memory Green!