So all week I have been telling myself that I would have a cigarette today. It's probably not the best psychology, I do realise that - but in the same vein it has been effective on getting me here - day 12.

Thing is, when I woke up this morning (normally my biggest crave time), I found I didn't actually want that smoke. Driving to work in the sunshine, I mentally offered myself that cigarette again. Surprisingly my thought was, 'why would I ruin a lovely sunny day with the stink of a cigarette?'

Now I'm at work. I can see the sea (funny how lots of us seem to live near the coast), it's a beautiful day out and I have had a patient not turn up for their appointment...NOW I want that cigarette. Now I am doubting the effectiveness of my stupid 'tactic'. Because in my head I have already forgiven myself for 'one' little slip up. I have already granted myself permission. Scratch that, I have granted my addiction permission to relapse.

I honestly don't know if I can hold it off...I am going to go and get a sandwich and a hot chocolate, but part of me (the addict part, I know!), is aware that this is delaying the inevitable of what I have set myself up to do today.

I've never tried to quit before (I'm not sure 4 hours one January counts!). Yet here I am, day 12. I haven't died from the hardship of quitting and fortunately neither has anyone in my vicinity (amazing considering my moods in wk 1!) which proves that while yes, it's been hard, it also hasn't been THAT bad!

So why am I sat so close to the edge of giving in? It's not to test myself - I know I'm not 'over it' or that I'll be 'safe' to have that one fag. I think my addiction is trying to convince me that I'll sort of, get the relapse out of my system. It's mental but I can't fight it!

13 Replies

  • you can fight it. you've done the hardest part. there is NRT if you really do want a fag. please don't smoke. deep breathing, pretending to smoke helped me - i even did the hand actions, have a go, it does help. water, drink something, eat something. strong flavours.

    break the day dwn to an hour, think of getting through the next hour. you can do an hour.

    rushed this out as don't want you smoking!

  • It's interesting to read that you have been mentally allowing yourself the idea of having a cigarette. In fact, you are the first person I have seen write about this, and I was very much the same when when I first quit. It was one of the psychological tricks I used to see me through the first several weeks, and even today I still subscribe to that same concept. I have the CHOICE to smoke if I want to, and I can start again any time I want. But, I won't, because I'm committed to having quit.

    The great thing about that psychological trick is that it takes away the fear of never being able to smoke again. You can smoke again. We can all smoke again. But we won't.

    CHOOSE N.O.PE. and take it one day at a time. At some point, you will hardly ever think of smoking again.

  • Thank you both...I have literally inhaled a sandwich so far and am sipping hot chocolate (got them from the vending machine at the hospital so I didn't go out). The thought is on my mind more, I have made it so myself. But I have a patient in soon and maybe...just maybe after that it will have eased.

    One of the main reasons I haven't rushed out and bought tobacco, yet, is also a few days until payday and the thought of parting with 4 quid for ONE smoke seems like insanity, even in my current, knuckle chewing want! It is a circumstantial blessing.

    Both of your comments are immensely helpful. Caroline - breaking it into hours made me smile as that is just the kind of psychology that works for me. I really feel as though if I can get through today I will have crawled over a large hump. Hour by hour might just do it, that's so helpful.

    Alex, boy, I'm relieved that you admitted to that too - I did worry about admitting it; psyching myself up all these days to smoke on this wonder today feels like such a mountain! But, it HAS worked so maybe it's not such a bad trick.

    Okay, really must do some actual work here. Much love and appreciation felt.

  • Bex - start a diary of the positives you are experiencing from NOT smoking. Create +ve lists and support them with your coping thoughts and tips from others on this site. Stick £1 in a bottle and record it in your diary by circling the date number. In other words be proactive with visual and physiological prompts to support your quit. Extend this with physical changes eg power walking for 20 mins per day - it's amazing how much more energy you will have. Good luck :)

  • You can smoke any time you want. You're an adult. Go and smoke 20 if you want. But at the end of the day you're an adult and have already chosen that smoking is rubbish so you decided not to bother. After all, you allowed yourself to smoke as much as you liked before and still decided it was crap. The sooner you accept that you're not stopping yourself doing anything, the easier it becomes. What you're doing is exactly what you want to do, which is not smoke.

  • lol @ inhaling sandwich, hey, if it works don't knock it!

    Hoping you got through that horrid crave. This is hard, I can remember being at work in week 2 needing petrol. It was stupid o'clock and I swear if it wasn't for a woman in front of me buying fags in slippers and pj's with bed head I could have caved. I don't want to be her any more - simples.

  • I must admit I used the 'just quit for a week or so to show myself I can do it' ruse the first time. The positive is that it doesn't put undue pressure on you. However, this is also the negative, in that if there's no pressure, you might as well have one.

    Bex - "I honestly don't know if I can hold it off". I hope you don't start again. Are you familiar with the work of Windy Dryden? I read one of his OU books about 20 years ago on RET, and he said, to respond to the 'I can't stand it' thought, something along the lines of: 'You clearly CAN stand it, as you are here and conscious.' It is therefore your decision whether to smoke or not.

    Caroline - I can't believe people actually do that. I'd at least put some trousers and shoes on before going to buy some fags, no matter how desperate!

  • They do! and on that occassion it may have been a blessing!

  • I once rang a friend at 5 in the morning to beg her for tobacco coz I couldn't wait for the shop to open...I probably ran to her house in pjs too!

  • I hope you made it through the day, Bex. I can't really add anything at this point beyond the excellent responses already above. Just to wish you well with your continuing quit. See you in Week 3 :)

  • ETS 147 you put it perfectly into words how I feel well said

  • Bex, how did the day go on? Good to see you'd resisted up until lunch time :)

    In my experience, shelling out on tobacco just means you smoke the whole lot. Although I've done similar - bought some, smoked a couple, thrown the rest out of the car window before I got home...only to go out and buy more later on/next day...It IS insanity, and it's not you that wants to do this!

    Sending love and NOPE vibes x

  • How are you doing Bex?

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