Back again but for the wrong reason

Well here I am, back again but for the wrong reason I'm afraid.

Wasn't sure whether to post or just keep quiet but decided to come clean and take the plunge.

Some of you will know me from way back as I struggled through another of my quit attempts. After over 9 months smoke free I thought I'd cracked it and that smoking for me was a thing of the past.

There's no way of dressing it up and sadly I have to own up to the fact that I've been smoking for the past 4 weeks. I blamed it on one of those stressful times that crop up for all of us now and again, you know the kind of situation that always resolves itself whether we let it worry us or not. Well, being the fool that I obviously am I used this minor problem as an excuse to smoke again.

Did smoking help - of course not. It was a double edged sword because although being able to indulge in my secret addiction was enjoyable (I won't lie) I felt guilt with every cigarette I put to my lips. That didn't stop me carrying on smoking for at least 4 weeks, promising myself with every pack I bought that it would be my last.

Last night I was concerned to see there were only 2 cigarettes left in the pack and that was when I woke up to reality and asked myself what the hell I was doing. More importantly I asked myself exactly why I was doing it. I couldn't give one reason and it was a real reality check for me.

So, here I am again back at the starting post and feeling like the stupid fool that I am. I've made my mind up that my smoking days are over (again!!) but I do mean it. I know the next few days might be tough because I've got back in to the habit of just reaching out for a cigarette whenever the mood takes me. From now on there'll be no more sneaking out the back door and smoking in the garden where I know I can't be seen (that statement alone say's it all!), no more cough and no more wasting hard earned money.

I hate putting a downer on this forum because everyone seems to be doing so well and all the post's are so positive but perhaps mine might serve as a warning to other quitters. I really thought I was strong and that for me smoking was a thing of the past but it was incredibly easy to let myself down. Had I just been waiting for an excuse I wonder but the fact remains that it was a monumental mistake that I bitterly regret for so many reasons.

It really does just take one moment of utter madness for the horrible habit to take hold of you again. I know I was weak, that it was my own fault and that I only have myself to blame but I gained nothing at all and most of all I lost something that really meant so much to me - my quit.

So it's back to Day 1 for me and I'll be making sure I don't make the same mistake again, not if I can help it!

Good luck everyone and most of all 'Stay Strong'.

19 Replies

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  • Ah Linda, what a powerful, brave and hugely inspirational post. That took a huge amount of guts to share with us and doing that you have set the perfect mindset to make this your quit :)

    Congratulations on your Day 1, no point in me patronising you as you know all well what you have to do, only thing I would suggest is if you can use the forum as support, even if you don't share it with us and just type it up will help you.

    I know it not the update you want to be sharing with us but I am really delighted to hear from you. Wishing you all the strength and success, you can do it. Roisin xo

    PS Never think you are bringing the forum down, in fact, you may have just helped lurkers struggling in their quits not to light up that cigarette...

  • Hello Roisin,

    Good to hear from you again although I wish the circumstances were different.

    I read on here about how people are realising that life is so much better and in so many different ways now that they have stopped smoking and it's true. I really don't know why I succumbed again because I felt exactly the same when I wasn't smoking. It actually gave me a sense of freedom that was so important to me (and yes, I know we're only talking about smoking) so why I allowed myself to fall back into the same old trap again I do not know. I have to take responsibility because I did it with my eyes open. I'm not wallowing in self pity but I am so angry with myself for taking such a retrograde step when I should have known better.

    No more looking back, just forwards from now on.

    If I'm absolutely honest though this latest episode has shown me just how much of a hold I've allowed smoking to have over me and just how pathetically weak I really am. To have reached almost a year year without hardly thinking about smoking and then to have relapsed so willingly doesn't make me feel good about myself. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever have the strength and commitment to make any quit permanent but I'll keep on trying.

    I've been reading about you and your situation at work and I'm glad that you are facing the future positively - as they say "When one door closes another one opens" and I'm sure your future will be bright. I wish you well.

    All is well in my life apart from this Nemesis of mine that's known as smoking.

    Thanks for your kind words and I will keep close to the forum.

    Back on the wagon for me - happy days!

  • I was nodding my head with every word you said there Linda, I have numerous occasions of 'one won't hurt' and only recently when down in the pub watching Ireland in the footie, was minding seats while my brother went to the loo, nobody else around and could not take my eyes off his cigs and lighter on the table, I looked and looked and said I could take one and go out and have a sneaky one later on, I don't know what stopped me but something did, but I know I have to keep my guard up for a long time yet.... you will get to this again, I know you will.

    Thank you for the good wishes on the job situation, new opportunities ahead :)

  • It's a hard habit to break Roisin but I think you've cracked it. I just can't see you smoking again somehow.

    As for me, well nobody likes a moaner - least of all me - so I'll shut up and get back to normal. I know it's not rocket science and that it's a question of choice. You choose to smoke or you don't!

    To be perfectly honest I think it's a case of willpower despite people turning to nicotine replacements and therapy to help them through. If you think that helps then it can only be good but for me, at the end of the day, it's just down to willpower. Mine's obviously not as strong as I would like it to be though I've discovered so who am I to give my opinion.

    It is what it is and I am back to square 1. I know I can live without smoking but the question now is "For how long?".

    No half measures from now on though and I will be very strict with myself, I can assure you of that.

    I know you will be fine and that you will move on to better things work wise and I hope you're looking forward to you forthcoming holiday and that your husband is now back to full strength after his surgery.

    Onwards and upwards for all of us - and I just hope I can do it without smoking.

    Right now I'm thinking back to when you, Mmaya and Hercu were on our quit journey and I'm kicking myself for being the weakest link. I'm determined to catch you all up though. xx

  • You definitely are not the weakest link Linda, if anything, today you have shown huge strength, desire and determination, don't think I could have done it......well done :)

    PS Let me know your birthday (year is optional :) )

  • Hi Linda welcome back and thank you for not quitting to quit...Yes we missed you and certainly you are not the weakest link...It is a very very tough Journey Linda...We are the lucky ones who could avoid that continuous temptations.. Stay strong and thank you for remembering us as your friends and really hope to carry you through on this one !!

  • You won't get any grief from me Linda; been there and done that myself.

    It's good to have you back though, albeit in not the greatest of circumstances!

    You can do it, you know you can. How's it going today?

    Sorry for the stilted reply...trying to write this and make tea for the kids!

  • Hello Nozmo,

    Just seen your reply and it's so good to hear from you.

    I know what you must be thinking, what I am thinking in fact but what's the use in beating myself up - life's too short. What an absolute idiot I am though!

    Telling myself that everyone makes mistakes in attempt to make myself feel better but it's time I stopped licking my wounds and just got back to quitting.

    I'm fine today thanks. I know what I have to do (and God knows, I've had enough practice).

    No more moaning or self pitying from now on - just no more smoking.

    Hope all's well in your world. x

  • I'm fine thanks Linda. I'm only thinking that I love your attitude and I'm glad you're getting back into it.

    The good thing about this is you know exactly what to expect. You won't be caught out because you've experienced it all before. You're so well prepared.

    I have every confidence that you will make a success of this and I hope we can help you along the way.

  • Hi Linda, I'm fairly new to the site so we haven't spoken before. Well done on seeing the light and coming back to day 1 of your quit. I think the vast majority of quitters have had more than one quit attempt, it's such a hard addiction to get past so don't be too hard on yourself. Also, please don't think of yourself as weak and pathetic - seriously you have to be hardass to get to 9 months quit in the first place! The only weak ones as I see it are those who don't even try.

    So, as you say, you know what to do now. The only thing I would suggest is to look at your reasons for relapse. It was a stressful moment so maybe you thought smoking would help you through that stressful moment - it's quite a common belief - I used to think the same as I'm sure all smokers do. You now realise that this is not the case - smoking did not help you through the stress but actually ended up giving you more stress - the stress of being a smoker hiding where no one could see you (had to lol at that as I've done that myself after a failed quit!). You need to reinforce this message with yourself and think of how you will handle future stressful situations that don't involve reaching for a cigarette.

    Good luck to you :)

  • Hello Miscy ant thank you for your reply.

    I see you're now 500 days smokefree so I congratulate you on your fantastic achievement even though if I am absolutely honest I am so jealous of you. You have achieved what I couldn't but I promise will strive to match you.

    I'm at that point where I'm asking myself why I can't do what others can - all we're talking about is stopping smoking and so it shouldn't be hard to achieve. I think I must be one of the exceptions to the rule though but I'm determined to keep trying.

    Thank you for giving me the motivation I need as I embark on another quit journey.

    Very best wishes to you too. x

  • I promise you are not the exception to the rule and you can do this. I was just like you, didn't think it would happen for me, I tried cold turkey, every NRT available, Allan Carr, ecigs, hypnotherapy and nothing stuck. The furthest I got previously was 4 months and with each quit attempt I found an excuse to relapse ... EVERY time. Eventually I got there with champix, a little residual hypnotherapy (I think) but most importantly reading up on nicotine and cigarette addiction. I read everything I could find, watched a documentary or two - look up "death in the west" on you tube and get angry at tobacco companies. I gave myself no reason to go back to smoking. I'm now approaching 18 months quit and I think of myself as a non-smoker. I now can't believe I smoked for as long as I did.

  • hi Linda545

    what a post.what an I say.

    you can do this.you are not the weakest link

    you wont see anyone on here give you anything but support.

    we have all been there.

    you never stop trying.one day you./ we will win.

    you take pride in stopping.its not easy but it must be so worth it.

    take care 😊

    do keep kicking 😎

  • Hi Linda,

    Never feel like you are putting a downer on here. That's what this forum is all about. A huge hug for coming on and being truthful about smoking again. It takes a big person to do that. I couldn't tell you how many times I thought I was over it and let my guard down and ended up smoking again. Looking forward to future posts and seeing your new badges as you climb that ladder again.

    Cheers,

  • Hi Linda I am a newbie here aswell. We have all been where you are. I have had 3 long terms quits in my smoking life- this is the 4th. Twice when pregnant and the other time I managed to stop for about 13 months and went back on them. We all think we can control but deep down never can. Good luck.

  • We've all been there, I have quit Before thought I was free then had a social smoke because I was certain I could handle it,obviously couldn't and had to quit again later. hard lesson to learn but we do learn a lot by our mistakes and hopefully they make us stronger. We are addicts and to beat it we have to never give in. NOPE

  • Hey Linda545, Day 3 today, nicotine almost of your system. Hope you are doing good?

  • Hello Roisin, Yes I'm still here and all is well. Had a busy weekend so that's helped keep my thoughts from smoking which is good. Now that I'm back on the straight and narrow I'm determined to stay that way. I'm just so mad with myself for being so stupid but you can't turn the clock back more's the pity. Once I'd had that first cigarette a few weeks back it was so easy to just slip back into my old ways but at least I saw sense before too much damage had been done. Trust me to let the side down though!

    I'm now trying to pretend to myself that nothing's happened and carrying on regardless - not burying my head in the sand but telling myself that some things are best forgotten.

    I don't want to be a smoker and right now I don't really feel like one but I don't intend to make the same mistake again.

    I'm finding my way round the forum and catching up on everything and everyone on here. It's lovely to be back and there seems to be a really nice bunch of people on here now.

    Hope your weekend's been good and that all's well with you.

    Thanks again Roisin, speak soon. x

  • What a lovely post Linda, when you get a few weeks under your belt it will feel alot better, I can actually imagine what you feel as I endured the dream relapse, only had one last week and always woke up feeling dreadful. You have been so brave and courageous and it will stand to you, this is your quit for good this time. Glad you had a busy weekend and try to keep that up for the next few weeks.

    Good weekend, just chilled out, watching tennis and football.

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