Video discusses the irony of how many people often feel that they need to reward themselves with a cigarette for getting through a major obstacle.
“I got through a month without smoking–Boy do I deserve a cigarette for that!”
This is a kind of strange logic that some people experience when first quitting smoking. They lock in to a specific time frame as being the problem when quitting, and when they pass that period they are sure that not smoking will now just be a breeze. For some people that mental time frame being set is the one month mark.
For some people though actually getting through the first month is no big deal, physical symptoms may not exist at all and thoughts for cigarettes are marginal at best. But when the month time period is over, all of a sudden the ex-smoker drops his or her guard and thinks that vigilance is no longer an issue. Then when a thought is triggered the person can really get caught off guard and the thoughts and desires for a cigarette can become much more exaggerated than the person is expecting or ready for.
Once through the first month the person quitting no longer has to be worried about the kind of physical withdrawal symptoms that at times can really be intense, especially some of the symptoms that may have occurred during the first first 72 hours. To some degree, what happened then was beyond the person’s control. There are steps that people can take to minimize or squelch psychological thoughts, but some of the physical reactions that occur the first three days may just have to run their natural course. That is why getting through that time period is really important for a person quitting.
There are other situations that will occur over time that will still likely trigger thoughts for cigarettes. Holidays, family gatherings, meetings, tests, weddings, funerals, flights, movies or a host of other non day to day events can be tricky for a person who has not kept himself or herself mentally prepared. That is the key to keep the risk of relapse minimized when facing new situations–being mentally prepared by keeping your reasons for quitting strong and reasons for wanting to stay smoke free reinforced.
The mindset that should be used to get through all of these events is pretty much the same that a person should use when getting through the first three days or any quit milestones. Getting through 72 hours, a week , a month, a year or a decade is great. But getting though today, whether it is your first day or you thousandth day is the greatest accomplishment of all when it comes to addiction. For if you have a friend who had been totally smoke free for the previous few decades, but happened to have blown his or her quit last night–today is really a lousy day for him or her in regards to nicotine addiction. For all practical purposes, you are much further along and secure in your quit than this person is–even if today is only your second or third day being nicotine free.
So congratulations on getting through your first month nicotine free. More important now though is staying resolute in your resolve to get through today nicotine free. To be able to keep celebrating your nicotine free life for as long as you to choose to stay smoke and nicotine free always remember why you committed to never take another puff!