A relapse occurs when someone suddenly smokes after weeks, months, or years after they’ve quit. It’s usually because of a huge trigger or event that suddenly took place.
People just don’t go back to smoking full-time because they want to. They go back because something in their life made it seem impossible to get through without it.
That’s why people relapse. They think whatever impossible situation they’re in, they need to suddenly smoke.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Day 1 is the hardest day to get through by far, which also makes it the easiest day to relapse.
It’s happened weeks after I’ve quit, too. It’s always usually because of some huge event, like a holiday, or a party.
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It’s hard because you can be so sure of yourself going into it, but all it really takes is one small slip, or one vulnerable moment, and then it’s all over.
You go back to square one.
Yes, you do go back to square one, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. You are not them and they are not you.
A lot of people will say to you, “You can have one or two and be fine.” No, you absolutely cannot!
The nicotine addict in your head will convince you beyond reasonable doubt that having just one or two will NOT result in a relapse.
Sadly, the opposite is true. You’ll be back to smoking full-time in a matter of days, if not hours.
I see this at work all the time. People quit, and then days later they are right back to smoking full-time.
The really sad part is that it doesn’t just send you back to square one, it sends you back to the bottom of your life.
It did for me, at least.
If you go back, you don’t just continue your great life as it was when you woke up in the morning, only now an addict again, NO!
You go back to the miserable life you were leading when you were a full-time smoker.
You go all the way back!
You have to go through all the withdrawal as if you were just quitting for the first time once again. Nothing changes, nicotine doesn’t give you a free pass. It doesn’t say, “I’ll let it slide this time.”
It will do anything it takes to keep you in its grip.
It doesn’t just take a day out of your life, either, because you’ve had a couple of cigarettes.
Smokers hardly ever just smoke for one night and quit the next day. Nicotine is too smart for that.
It will haunt you day in and day out, and in your most vulnerable moments, until you give in and throw in the towel.
This is why it’s so important to never allow that one vulnerable moment to exist in your life.
If you don’t feel you are ready to go to a wedding, or a camping trip, or to a party, then DON’T GO!
It’s just not worth it. It can take weeks before you try again. You’ll be miserable the entire time.
No matter what the huge event might be, it’s not going to be more enjoyable if you allow yourself just one or two cigarettes for the duration of it.
You’ll just have to start all over again.
Is that worth it?
Mentally, and physically, it is not worth it. You’ll hate your life and feel horrible about it.
For some, when a relapse occurs, it means much more than just the return of the nicotine addiction. It can mean the return of many things.
When I quit, my life turned around for the better, in ALL aspects, not just the smoking part of it. My entire life improved.
I admit I relapsed 100’s of times, and every time I did, my world came crashing down. I knew what was going to happen each time I did it.
Mentally, this sent me right back down to the rock bottom of my existence. I was not a happy camper. This is why I was so depressed all the time, and so anti-social.
My life was a roller coaster!
Here are some of the bad habits that returned to me:
Drinking more – Yes, drinking and smoking go hand-in-hand, and it’s important to get a firm grip on alcohol when you quit.
When I quit smoking, I drank less. It came naturally.
Mentally, it just wasn’t as much fun anymore, because I had been doing both those things at the same time for over 20 years.
Once you take that away, it’s just simply not as enjoyable anymore. But there’s nothing wrong with that, as it’s not healthy to drink everyday anyways.
However, once I relapsed, I began drinking heavily again.
Since the two go together so well, it seemed only fitting that I should also be drinking if I’m going to be smoking.
This, sadly, turned into weeks of binge drinking, and getting wasted almost every night.
Why did I do that?
I was punishing myself for smoking again.
Gambling more – Every time I was relapsing, I was drinking more, and that meant I was spending more time at the bar.
This is still a very serious issue in my life, but by not surrounding myself in those environments, I can decrease the number of times I engage in it.
I don’t enjoy being broke and losing everything. It’s just as bad as anything else.
I would often say to myself, “I’m going to gamble and lose everything I have just to teach myself a lesson for smoking again.”
This happened all the time, many nights of the week. I left the bar sad and depressed every time.
See what happens when you relapse? It isn’t just about cigarettes all the time. There are many more dangerous things that can result of it.
More unhealthy eating – I simply just did not care about my health.
If i was willing to smoke, drink, and gamble everyday of my life, then who cares about what food I’m putting into my body?
I sure didn’t. I’d eat the worst meals, if not skip them all together just so I could do stupid stuff.
I’d eat TV dinners, frozen pizza, fast food, chips and candy bars. I didn’t care, because I had low self-esteem.
Smoking became my #1 priority, not a healthy meal.
Food was the last thing on my mind. Food became just a means of survival, not viewed as an energy source for strength and vitality.
Big difference right there.
With one bad habit comes many bad habits. Eliminate the root cause, and you’ll eliminate (or greatly reduce), the other bad habits.
This I can attest to in my own personal experience.
There is nothing wrong with going to the bars and drinking with friends. There is nothing wrong with moderate gambling as long as it doesn’t get out of control. There is also nothing wrong with eating a pizza.
What is wrong, however, is when you purposely abuse those things in order to punish yourself, and to teach yourself a lesson.
That’s when things get ugly. That’s when life spirals out of control, and you hit rock bottom.
That’s also when you need to seriously quit before something bad happens.
Punishing yourself for smoking might seem like the right choice at the time, but to drink your health away, or gamble your saving’s account away, or eat the worst foods for your body, is simply not the right way to go.
It’s the wrong decision every time.